Turtle Bunbury

Writer and Historian

Random Quote
Random Date

8. THE LATTER YEARS (1852-1866)

The Bruen Testimonial Church

On 21st May 1852, Joyce Derick, wife of architect John MacDuff Derick, lays foundation stone for the Bruen Testimonial (Church of Ireland) Church in Carlow. The building was completed in 1858, when The Builder for 28th August reviewed it. One interesting feature was that, 'Attached to the tower is a smaller one of octagon shape, terminated with pyramidal roof and crocketed pinnacle, and containing a winding staircase leading to belfry and to the pulpit, through a doorway formed with solid granite in the massive but deeply splayed and moulded pier of the tower.' Here might be noticed a trace of the eccentricity which was to appear more prominently later. The review also remarked on the polychrome effect of the use of several different local granites and 'window tracery, gargoyles' of Yorkshire stone on the exterior. The fate of the church was unusual. In 1926, the Bruen Testimonial Church was purchased by Very Rev. James Fogarty, parish priest of Graiguecullen, and taken down stone by stone. It was re-erected in his parish as the Catholic Church of St Anne. 'It still lacks its spire, the stone of which [is] awaiting a propitious time for erection. Both at the taking down and the erection of the church, a steeplejack was killed'.


I believe this unnamed photograph is of Captain William McClintock Bunbury, the man who built Lisnavagh House,
and that it was taken by Marshall & Nelson shortly before the Captain's death in 1866. Turtle Bunbury, 2011.

griffith's valuations

Griffiths Valuation was compiled between 1848 and 1864. This followed on from the Ordnance Survey, which was completed in 1839. The survey started in Dublin and Waterford in 1848 and then worked up from Co Kerry & Cork moving northward and finished in Armagh in 1864. County Carlow was surveyed in 1852 and 1853. (Thanks to Dave Fleming). The survey for Sleaty, and likely also Graigue, both across the river from Carlow Town (but actually in Co. Laois) took place in 1849 and was printed in 1850. The 1852 Survey lists a Michael Brien as one of Captain Bunbury’s tenants, with land in the townland of Mountkelly, parish of Rathvilly. This information came to me from Gene Gribben whose grandfather, Thomas Byrne, was baptized at St. Patrick's Church, Rathvilly, in 1833. Thomas’s parents were Edward Byrne and Judith Brien of Mountkelly so it seems likely this was the same Brien family. Michael Brien could have been the father or older brother of Judith's. The same 1852 survey also lists Bartholomew Watters (Waters) as occupant of over 100 acres at Tinryland Townland in the Parish of Tullowmagimma. Bartholomew apparently died of black fever on 25th October 1851.

Electoral STRIFE 1852

In 1852, Gothic author and aspiring newspaper magnate Sheridan Le Fanu made a bid to become Tory MP for Carlow, presumably in place of Captain Bunbury or Colonel Bruen. Perhaps he was inspired by his engineering brother Bill - William Le Fanu of Summerhill, Enniskerry - who had worked so closely on the Carlow railway station with Sir John MacNeill, and the Bagenalstown to Kerry line with William Dargan, as well as the Borris viaduct. However, Le Fanu’s political ambitions took a dive when the Tory party ditched him for supporting, with Isaac Butt and Samuel Ferguson, a Young Ireland initiative to highlight the indifference of the Government to the Irish Famine.

In the General Election of 19th July, Captain McClintock Bunbury initially lost his seat to the Whig candidate John Ball of Butlerstown, Co. Kilkenny, later Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. Colonel Henry Bruen nearly lost his seat to John Henry Keogh of Kilbride, Tullow. Ball and Bruen were returned with 893 and 891 respectively. In Rathvilly barony the voting was Ball (301); Keogh (297); Bunbury (162) and Bruen (159). As open voting still prevailed, a wrong decision brought the risk of eviction. The townlands of Straboe, Rathdaniel and Ballyhackett were all allegedly "cleared" of tenants who had voted for Ball and Keogh. However, after the election, Philip Jocelyn Newton of Dunlekney and Henry Watters of Stapelstown submitted a petition complaining that Ball’s slender majority of fifteen votes over Captain McClintock Bunbury was “an undue Return and was procured not only by violence, terror, threats and intimidation, but by perjury, bribery, and by the payment, and promise of payment, of sums of money by and on behalf of the said John Ball to Electors and to other persons capable of influencing Electors of said County … and by other undue illegal corrupt and unconstitutional means’. The House of Commons concurred that his majority was ‘fraudulent’ and the captain was returned in his place. (Journals of the House of Commons, 1852, Vol. 108. p. 82.) The conseqeunce of the election was that the reins of government passed to the Protectionist party of the Derby - Disraeli administration. This cabinet only lasted a few months before breaking down.

Defeat of John McClintock

1852 may have been a difficult year for the Captain's brother, John McClintock (Tory), later Lord Rathdonnell. On 25 February 1852, the 74th Regiment, his old regiment, was involved in the HMS Birkenhead disaster when their ship was wrecked of Western Cape of South Africa. Of the approximately 643 people aboard, only 193 were saved. Their commander, Lieutenant Colonel Seaton, was among the dead. This lead to what became known as the "Birkenhead" Drill, enabling women and children on board to be saved.

John stood as Tory candidate for County Louth but was also defeated in the July election - despite spending a well above average £3500 on his campaign. Soon after the defeat, an election address was published by 114 persons, describing themselves as the 'Roman Catholic Farmers, Tradesmen and Labourers of John McClintock's estate at Drumcar'. In it they take objection to accusations made against the latter that he was a 'bigot' and 'had an inane hatred of the Catholic religion'. They pointed out that 'he had contributed to the construction of the Catholic church at Dillonstown, that he had never preferred a Protestant to a Catholic tenant and that when some tenants fell into arrears with their rents, he did not, as other landlords had done, evict them'. (67B) On 8-9 September 1852, a Tenant League conference in Dublin adopted a policy of independent opposition in Parliament.

The year ends badly for Co. Louth when a storm on Christmas Day 1852 sends two cranes working on the behind schedule Boyne Viaduct crashing down and bankrupting Evans the construction man. Sheep-wool was used to plug some of the gaps beneath the viaduct piers into which water was leaking. First train finally crossed over-budget and over-schedule on 5 April 1855 to provide a seamless link between Belfast and Dublin, a massive boost for Victorian Ireland.

Footnotes (67B): The House on the Ridge of the Weir, Harold O'Sullivan.

image title

Born in 1902, Bill Burgess was the
second oldest man in Ireland at the time
of his death in July 2007. His grandfather
was the first of the family to settle at
Tobinstown in 1852


Arrival of the Burgess Family at Tobinstown

Among the new Protestant families to settle in the Lisnavagh area was that of the Burgess family who had 100 acres of land some 20 miles away in Bagenalstown. In 1852, Bill Burgess's grandfather secured a letter of recommendation to come as a tenant. Originally they lived in a stable block built in the 1860s. Why did he move then? Perhaps there was a financial incentive? Or to come to a model farm? Bunburys paid for house and Burgess would have paid it off (c. £400) over the years. Bill recalled how there were turnips in one of the long fields by Keppels. As no agreement had been reached with the landlords, Keppel drew them out with a bull and threw them in the ditch rather than sell them, on so the former owner was free to come and collect them but couldn't claim against value of turnips. A new building was put up when Bill's father succeeded to farm in the 1890s. The Keppels were one of twenty Protestant families from Lower Palatinate on the middle Rhine who settled adjacent to the estate of Benjamin Burton in county Carlow circa 1711. (67)

(67) The Keppels were one of twenty Protestant families from Lower Palatinate on the middle Rhine who settled adjacent to the estate of Benjamin Burton in county Carlow circa 1711. Burton had been appointed a Palatine Commissioner in 1709 and invited the German colonists to Carlow. A settlement called Palatinestown was established, where according to a traveler writing in 1780 'the industrious settlers had transformed bogland into fertile ground'. This area is today known as Palatine. Within a short period of their arrival (1720 - 25), the families had scattered or emigrated. The reason for the disappearance of the Palatinates from Co Carlow remains a mystery but for some reason they abandoned the area. Today only the name of the present-day village Palatine and the survival of the family surname Keppel in the county are the only reminders of the Palatinate presence in Carlow. (Michael Purcell).

Death of Colonel Bruen (1853)

William returned on 25th April 1853 in the by-election that followed Colonel Buren's death on 5th Nov 1852. (68) The Captain, with an address at Sussex Square, Hyde Park, London, is described as "a Conservative in favour of civil and religious liberation". He held the seat for eight years, before going on to accept the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds, and was thus in Westminster during the age of the celebrated Coalition Cabinet which launched Britain into the Crimean War.


The nomination of a candidate to represent this county in Parliament, in the room of the late Colonel Bruen, took place yesterday morning in the Court House, at ten o’clock.

The hustings were crowded by a number of the friends and supporters of Captain W. M’Clintock Bunbury, whilst the body of the court was but scantily filled.

The Sub Sheriff having read the writ, the High Sheriff addressed the assembly as follows:-

In pursuance of the writ which you have just heard read, I, as High Sheriff, now open this court for the purpose of affording the electors an opportunity of proposing and seconding any candidate whom they may think proper to represent them in Parliament in place of the late Colonel Bruen.

Robert Clayton Browne, Esq., of Browne’s Hill, then came forward to propose Captain W. M‘Clintock Bunbury a fit and proper person to represent the county in Parliament. After paying a high and well deserved compliment to the character and memory of the late Colonel Bruen, Mr Browne proceeded to observe that numerous section of the constituency called on the son of our late lamented friend to come forward on this occasion—he has, however, with great self-denial waived his claim on the constituency in favour of our friend Captain M'Clintock Bunbury,—(Applause.) This does him great honour, and affords an earnest of what his future career will be ; and I have no doubt, from what we have seen of that gentleman, that he will follow in that line of conduct which we so highly approved of in his late father, and I hope that on future occasion we will have the pleasure of returning him as a colleague to our respected friend Captain Bunbury, whom I have now the honour to propose as a fit and proper person to represent this county in Parliament. (Loud cheers.)

Horace Rochfort, Esq., in seconding the nomination of Captain Bunbury, spoke as follows :— Mr. Sheriff and gentlemen, electors of the County of Carlow, I feel very great pleasure, indeed in seconding the nomination of my old and esteemed friend Captain M’Clintock Bunbury, which has been so ably proposed by Mr. Browne —(applause)— And the remarks with which I shall trouble you in so doing will be few and very brief. I think, however, that when man stands sponsor for a member of Parliament, either as his proposer or his seconder, he should be perfectly satisfied that his public and private character is without stain or reproach. But. gentlemen, I have been induced by him to state to the assembled electors of the county on this occasion that if returned to Parliament he goes in as a representative unfettered by any pledge, and bound to support no particular political leader. He goes in as the perfectly free, untrammelled, and chosen representative of the Carlow constituency.—(Cheers.) He goes in perfectly free give his support to any measure which may emanate from Lord Aberdeen's administration, should he conceive that such a measure would confer any benefit upon this county or upon Ireland in general.—(Hear, hear,)

The High Sheriff then inquired whether any elector had any other candidate propose, and if so, that he would hear him.

After a short period, no other elector having come forward for that purpose, The High Sheriff declared Captain W. McClintock Bunbury duly elected. The announcement was received with loud cheering.

Captain Bunbury then came forward and said— Gentlemen, Electors of the county of Carlow—it is now my pleasing duty to return you my most sincere thanks for the honour you have done me, in placing me in the proud position in which I now stand as your representative in the Commons House of Parliament. Gentlemen, the vacancy which I have been called upon to fill cannot but bring to your recollection the melancholy event which has occasioned it. We have been deprived of your ancient representative—your old valued friend. He has been taken from amongst us and has left us an example of honesty of purpose and perseverance of character, which is worthy of imitation—(hear)— and it will be my endeavour to follow that bright example in those qualities which I have mentioned. Gentlemen, I think it becoming of me on the present occasion, as your representative, to make a few remarks on the present ministry. They appear to me to be composed of very opposite materials. We see men at the same council board who have been politically opposed during their entire lives.—(Hear, hear.) Even from this very spot where I now address you, we heard a lord of the treasury stating that he holds the same opinions in office, that he held out of office—that he is still the same supporter of Sharman Crawford's Bill (Hear.)We see the same sentiments reiterated at Athlone by Her Majesty's Solicitor General; but when we go a little further north, and come to the county of Cavan, we there find the right hon. baronet the Secretary for Ireland repudiating those sentiments, and entirely disregarding them—in fact, entirely opposed to them. Now, with those opposite sentiments, I think that it becomes me to watch narrowly the propositions which are made by the present government—(Hear, hear.) No doubt it includes men of undoubted talent of transcendent ability, of great administrative qualification — and all these qualities are necessary in a minister of the Crown. Therefore, gentlemen, I think it becomes your representative to watch narrowly the measures that will be proposed—(Hear, hear.)

Gentleman, we have had presented to us within the last few days the budget of the present Chancellor of the Exchequer.—(Hear.) I have not had time to weigh the merits of all that he has proposed, neither have I had the advantage of consulting with those whose opinions I value, and who are better able to judge of these matters than I can possibly be. But I have seen sufficient to tell us that we, the landed interest, will have to bear a far greater proportion of taxation than we have ever yet had to endure.— There is the income tax, which is to extend to all proprietors of land; and there is the legacy duty upon landed property. We will suppose a farmer who has a farm of £100 a year. If I understand the matter rightly, supposing that man to die, his eldest son, upon succeeding to the farm, will have to pay legacy duty. Then supposing that in a few short days afterwards that man should die, his successor would have to pay the legacy duty again ; and so it would if three or four deaths should occur in rapid succession, by which the property would dwindle away, and its ultimate possessor would perhaps be obliged to give it up.

We have been saved the turmoil and misery of a contest; and all those bitter feelings and animosities which such an event occasions, have on the present occasion been prevented. I do not wish to make use of any language of triumph now—(hear)—but I think we ought all to congratulate ourselves upon the happy termination of this election.— (Cheers.)

Captain Bunbury then proposed a vote of thanks to the Sheriff for the manner in which he had presided, which was seconded by Mr. Rochfort, and carried unanimously.

The proceedings then terminated, about half an hour having elapsed from their commencement.

Enniskillen Chronicle and Erne Packet - Thursday 05 May 1853.

Footnote (68): Colonel Bruen supported Catholic Emancipation and was at Harrow with Robert Peel, Lord Byron and Lord Sligo.

image title

Above: Admiral Sir Leopold McClintock
in 1859, the Dundalk man who
discovered the fate of Sir John
Franklin in the Arctic.


Leopold McClintock in the Arctic

Meanwhile, Leopold McClintock, having been promoted to the rank of Commander, was put in charge of the screw-steamer "Intrepid" and again sailed to the Arctic, this time under the leadership of another old Samarang hand, Sir Edward Belcher, C.B. This was the first expedition to reach Melville Sound. During this expedition, McClintock astounded his brother officers by the length of his sledge journeys. He performed the wonderful feat of travelling 1,400 miles across the ice in just over one hundred days.

The polar bear in the Natural History Museum was shot by Captain Leopold McClintock while making his way up Canada's Baffin Bay in 1852. The polar bear shooting is described in McClintock's article F.LO. 1857. Reminiscences of Arctic Ice-Travel in search of Sir John Franklin and his companions. J.R. Dublin Soc., 1: 183-238 The Royal Dublin Society passed its collections into the care of the National Museum in 1877.

This expedition met the same fate as the previous ones, and in the autumn of 1854, the four ships were abandoned in the ice as Sir Edward Belcher, his officers and crew sailed home on board the "Phoenix" and the "North Star". In a letter, written to the Admiralty, from Cork, shortly after his arrival there in 1854, Sir Edward wrote in these positive terms about the fate of Franklin. "I feel satisfied that no reasonable being in this expedition, with brain free from the delusions of interested motives, will venture to suggest that our unfortunate countrymen ever passed Beechey Island after the spring of 1846". Despite the Admiral's strongly worded assertion McClintock not only suggested, but also proved that Franklin's expedition did exactly that which the dictatorial officer considered impossible.


image title

Above: Thomas Langlois Lefroy, first cousin of Anne
McClintock (later 1st Lady Rathdonnell), was
reputed to have been Jane Austen's lover in
their teenage years. In 1855, he became Chief
Justice of Ireland.

Chief Justice Lefroy

Anne McClintock's cousin Tom Lefroy became Chief Justice of Ireland in 1852.


The Attempted Murder of John Regan (August 1852)

See The Times.


Death of Elizabeth Melesina McClintock

On 29th January 1853, William's aunt Elizabeth Melesina McClintock, widow of Henry and mother of Leopold, passed away.


Bunbury v McClintock 1853

Box 106/109 at Lisnavagh contains the Queens Bench judgement from 20th October in a case taken by William B. McClintock Bunbury, MP, against his brother John McClintock, Esq, both of Chester Square, Westminster, for £14,000 damages. Cases such as these were a common method of transferring money and did not necessarily mean malicious prosecution.


1853 Events

John McClintock's brother-in-law John Lefroy returns to England after nine years in the Toronto observatory.

John Alexander of Milford elected for the Carlow borough when he defeats the sitting MP, the notoriously corrupt banker John Sadlier, by 6 votes, 97-91.

Levi-Strauss makes "jeans" for miners.

May: Thomas Trueman, who was born in Carlow c. 1820, and his wife, Sarah Eliza Douglas, born c. 1822, arrived in Australia from Liverpool on the Marco Polo. Sarah was the daughter of Marlborough Douglas and Sarah Rowe, and married Mr Trueman in 1847.

August 29: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert dash over to Ireland to attend the Exhibition of Art and Art Industry at Leinster Lawn, Dublin. It is her second visit to ireland in four years but she would only make two more - in 1861 and 1900.

Sept 12: John Malone, the farm manager, writes to Captain Bunbury, requesting Mount Lucas. As a postscript, he adds: 'I hope that Mrs Bunbury (and) the young ladies and Master Tom are well - I also hope that your father is still in the enjoyment of his usual good health.’ (With thanks to Jean Ffrench and Bill Webster)



(Transcribed by Cara Links)

Groom:- John Nue ( New)
Bride:- Alice Eyles
Grooms Father:- Henry Nue ( New)
Brides Father William Eyles
Date of Marriage 19/8/1852

Groom:- Jane Atkinson
Bride:- William Poland ( Polard)?
Grooms Father:- Thomas Atkinson
Brides Father William Poland (Pollard?)
Date of Marriage 21/11/1853

CONSTABLE HILL and the carlow & island hunt

The Lisnavagh Archives contains several beautiful maps from 1853 of Ballykillane (mainly Ballysallagh Lower and Upper, and Constable Hill), lithographed by John Irvine Whitty of 16 Henrietta Street, Dublin. Correspondence in the archives (G7/8) confirms the Hozier estate in Ballykillane, Constable Hill and parts of Ballysallagh [near Hacketstown] were purchased by the Captain from William Henry Hozier in 1853 for c. £10,000. An instrument of 7 July 1854 suggests the fee farm grant may have been held by Robert Whitestone, Susan Warren and Thomas Wilson. Perhaps a useful addition if the Captain Bunbury was a hunting man for, that same year, the Carlow & Island Hunt was founded when Mr. Bolton of Island, Co. Wexford, gave his pack to Lord Fitzwilliam (who then lent it to the Tullow Hunt). My father recalls Constable Hill as the land of the Pollards and ‘Bo Peep’ who was one of the night shepherdesses at Lisnavagh. James Hozier was connected to Lord Ventry of Kerry; his daughter Christiana married James McAllister. [Thanks to Majella McAllister].

The Carlow Post 17th Dec, 1853
Sudden Death.--- A man named Edward Brennan, nicknamed the "Sticks" whose occupation was that of a cattle-dealer -- who had the character of being exceedingly penurious --- was found dead in his bed in his lodgings in Tullow Street, on Wednesday morning. Deceased had partaken the night previously of a small allowance of buttermilk and potatoes for his supper. Five ten-pound notes were found stitched in his trowsers, and he had £150 exclusive of this sum. He was in the habit of attending fairs in this and the adjoining counties, to which he almost invariably walk, notwithstanding lameness under which he suffered. We have heard that he possessed a considerable number of cattle.


From the Carlow Sentinel of 25th November 1854.

"The labourers of Captain McClintock Bunbury, MP, were, on Thursday week, entertained to a harvest home at Lisnavagh. At two o’clock on that day, 250 of the labourers of the estate, with their wives and daughters, sat down to a most substantial dinner in the great barn, which was tastefully fitted up for the occasion. An abundant supply of good stout ale was liberally handed about. After ample justice had been done to the good things set before those present, the dance was opened by Master and Miss Isabella Bunbury (the former six, and the latter eight years of age), who, by their beautiful style of dancing, were much admired, and attracted the attention of all present. The dancing then became general, and was kept up until three o’clock in the morning, when all returned to their homes in good order, highly gratified with the evening’s entertainment, and cheering loudly for their kind employer and benefactor. The only matter to mar the merry meeting was the unavoidable absence of Captain and Mrs Bunbury. The whole arrangements were under the superintendence of Mr Malone, the agent, whose attention and kindness to the company reflected the highest credit on him.”

Master Bunbury was presumably Thomas Kane McClintock Bunbury, aka Tom Bunbury, later to become 2nd Baron Ratdonnell.

(With thanks to Shay Kinsella)

image title

The artillery and field warfare expert
Sir John Henry Lefroy was a brother-
in-law of John McClintock, 1st Baron
Rathdonnell.In 1854 he compiles and
publishes "The Handbook of Field
Artillery for the use of Officers
" and
300 copies sent out to the Crimea.
The book collected together for the
first time the practical information
required for the rough work of the
camp, and proved of great usage.
Lefroy himself is made confidential
advisor in artillery matters to the
Duke of Newcastle, the war minister.

1854 Events

· Viscount Gough becomes a full general and appointed Colonel-in-chief of the 60th Royal Rifles.

. Colonel H. Stanley McClintock, a half-brother of Captain McClintock-Bunbury, co-founds the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society which first met at Hillsborough on 21st September, under the presidency of the Marquis of Downshire. He is also appointed second in command to Viscount Masserene and Ferrard in the new Antrim Militia Artillery, as from 15th November 1854, which served in both the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny.

· Wexford-born Robert McClure became the first person to transit the Northwest Passage using a combination of sea travel and sledging. It would be another 52 years before Roald Amundsen completed the first successful transit by ship alone.

. Leopold McClintock commands the Intrepid in the third search expedition in search of the fate of Sir John Franklin.

25 September 1854: John, 2nd Marquess and 20th Earl of Ormond, drowned when swimming in shallow water off the coast of Co. Wicklow, in the presence of his family. His wife Frances was the daughter of General Sir Edward Paget, younger brother of the 1st Marquess of Anglesey, who lost his leg whilst commanding the Cavalry at Waterloo. She was thus a first cousin of Captain Charles Paget under whom William McClintock Bunbury served on the Samarang. Frances was a widow for 49 years, dying in 1903. Charles Ponsonby knows a good deal more of all this.


Birth of Helen McClintock Bunbury 1854

Pauline McClintock Bunbury has a second daughter, Helen McClintock Bunbury (d. 1870). I need to check this date as who was the Helen given the prayer book in 1850?


Death of John McClintock

On 5th July 1855, the Captain's 85-year-old father John McClintock passed away at Drumcar. Known as Old Turnip, he seems to have been succeeded by both his eldest son, John McClintock Jr (later Baron Rathdonnell) and by his eldest-surviving son by his second marriage, Major Stanley McClintock.



THE CATTLE SHOW AT CARLOW. Preparations are being made for holding the show on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of next month … The company will be very numerous. His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant will be the guest of Mr. Burton at Burton Hall, on the occasion of his visit. The Duke of Leinster will stay at the Marquis of Kildare's, Kilkea Castle; Lord Gough, at Colonel Bruen's, Derrymoyle; the Earl of Clancarty and Lord Erne at Captain Bunbury's M.P.. Lisnavagh. Wexford People - Saturday 21 July 1855.


Bunbury v McClintock 1855

Box 106/109 contains the Queens Bench judgement from 9th November 1855 awarding £6000 for damages to Ballysallagh and Constable Hill in Rathvilly in a case taken against William B McClintock Bunbury by his half-brother, the Reverend Robert Le Poer McClintock of Kilsernan, Co. Louth.

1855 Events

· Viscount Gough made Colonel of the Royal Horse Guards, or Blues, on the death of Lord Raglan.
· On 24th September, John Lefroy is promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and sent by Lord Panmure (the new war minister) at two days notice to Constantinople to investigate the condition of hospital staff in the East, and on the accommodation of the sick at Scutari. During this mission he met Florence Nightingale, with whom he subsequently enjoyed a lifelong friendship.
· Death of Francis Beaufort (1774 - 1855), hydrographer to the British Admiralty from 1829 - 1855.
· The limbless Art Kavanagh marries his cousin, Frances Leathley, and goes on to sire six children.
· Robert FitzRoy, former Captain of the Beagle, appointed Director of the Meteorological Office.

image title

It is my belief that this painting at Lisnavagh depicts
Captain Bunbury's daughters, Bella and Helen.
Sadly both girls were to have short lives,
passing away within a few years of their father.

Promotion for Captain William McClintock Bunbury

On 1 April 1856, the Captain appears to have been officially posted to the 'Rank & Seniority on the Retired Lists' as a 'Captain'. He may only have been a 'Captain' by repute prior to this.

Death of John WandersfordE

William's brother-in-law, John Wandersforde, D.L., of Castlecomer, dies without children on. 26 June, 1856. One wonders did William ever benefit from the Wandersforde's owning of the Castlecomer coal mines and Perambulator Works.

J B Wandesforde was born about 1813. The ship's manifest of the Guy Mannering, arriving in New York in July 1850, reveals that a J.B. Wandesforde and a Mrs J.B. Wandesforde were at the top of the list of cabin passengers. It is assumed that Mrs J. B. was the former Miss Emily McClintock (i.e.: Captain McClintock Bunbury’s half-sister, who was born circa 1816) but she then declares herself to belong to the United States which is a puzzle as there is nothing to suggest she had become an American earlier in life. They were not emigrating as he died in Kilkenny in 1856. Perhaps they had US (Penn?) coal interests; the NLI Prior-Wandesforde papers at the National Library of Ireland suggests they imported American coal. John Kirwan writes: “A branch of the Prior-Wandesfordes went to the USA; one was prone to coming back looking for money. Certainly Capt Richard Prior-Wandesforde (who was known in KKY as 'Wandy') who died circa 1956 had a brother or an uncle who was in the USA and has descendants still living there. Matthew Harley, who is interested in the Wandesforde connection, adds: ‘The Castlecomer area was owned by the Brennan's before being seized by the English Crown. There were and are lots of Brennans around there and many of them went to Philly as mine workers. I gather the Brennan's of Castlecomer were the Braonan of Dublin Viking origin who ruled the Castlecomer area for centuries but couldn't PROVE it!'See Nora Brennan's Thesis on the Wandesfordes is interesting, especially about their loss of territory to the Crown.

Matthew Harley also advises: “J.B. Wandesforde’s obituary in the Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent of 5 July 1856, and copied from the Kilkenny Moderator, shows that his wife Emily seems to have gone away immediately after the burial: “His truly amiable and afflicted lady, who now leaves Castlecomer, carries with her the fervent good wishes of the people of the district. She ever went hand-in-hand with her lamented husband in doing good to all around her, and her loss, like his, will be severely felt in the locality.” She was childless but it still seems odd that she would leave so quickly. The question is where did she go. She died in Shropshire in 1909 and was with her sister, Anne Florence Tighe, also a widow, at the 1881 Census in a very nice property at 10 Chesham Street, Belgravia, London. Also present is a Frank McClintock, a clergyman and visitor. She does not appear in earlier English censuses, so she may have been in Ireland before 1881. I found a reference to her making a £25 contribution to a Church of Ireland Fund reported in the Saunder’s Newsletter of Dublin 21 June 1870. She’s at Tynan. I see from Griffith that a George McClintock [ie: her brother] was resident at a substantial property at Fellow’s Hall, Tynan, Co. Armagh. You also name him as Colonel George McClintock. It appears, therefore, that Emily went to live with her brother (?) at Tynan, Co Armagh after the loss of J.B.” With thanks to John Kirwan, Matthew Harley and Desmond Townsend.

Marriage of Rev. Robert McClintock

In 1856, William's half-brother, the Rev. Robert Le Poer McClintock, M.A., Rector of Castle Bellingham, co. Louth, married Maria Susan, only daughter of Alexander Charles Heyland, Esq., late of the Hon. East India Company's Bengal Civil Service. (69)

(69) Nenagh Guardian, Saturday, August 02, 1856 Page: 4. The Rev. McClintock died without issue on 30th June, 1879. His widow was married secondly on Feb 1st 1883 to Francis Burton Owen Cole, D.L., of Llys Merichion, co. Denbigh {see COLE of Stoke Lyne). We have a small copy of his portrait at Lisnavagh.

image title

Above: Napper Tandy, the 1798 Rebel. There is an interesting link between the Rev. Robert
Le Poer McClintock and the 1798 rebel Napper Tandy. According to Liz Crossley in
'James Napper Tandy - United Irishman':

'There is a tradition that Tandy's remains were exhumed and brought to Ireland. The Revd
J.B. Leslie records that "Mr R. Baile, Seabank, informs me that during the lifetime of the
late Rev R. le Poer M'Clintock, Rector of the Parish [Castlebellingham], he remembers an
old man in the village telling the Rector in his presence, beside this grave, that he
remembered the burial of 'James Napper Tandy of '98; that his remains were brought
over sea from France to Dunany or Annagassan, that they were buried at dead of night
in this grave, and that some dispute arose over an inscription on the stone.' Others
have also heard the same tradition."


The Lisnavagh Archives (G4/1/6) contains a letter of 1856 written by a rather irate Captain Edmund Gardiner Fishbourne (1811-1887) to Captain Bunbury who felt the Admiralty had ‘cast a slur on me’ when he learned from the Duke of Newcastle that they had rejected his application for a CB (for his services in the 2nd Anglo-Burmese War of 1852-1853) ‘in favour of [Hardwicke] a man several years my junior.’ Fishbourne had been the senior officer at Rangoon and was the Second in Command under Commodore Lambert during the war. However, while his services were recognized by the Governor General and military top brass, he was overlooked in favour of Commanders Tarleton and Shadwell. He felt the Admiralty were unjust in ‘reprimanding me and in not making reparations when they found they were wrong.’ He hoped the Captain would mention it to Admiral Beechey (formerly of HMS Samarang), ‘not as a matter of friendship or favour but as of basic justice’.
The Captain then got a memorandum about Fishbourne, showing he had been the senior officer at ‘the commencement of the Kaffir War’ (when he was Commander of HMS Hermes) and had received the thanks of the Queen, ‘though he did not show / share the responsibility, he having returned from the Mozambique only a few days before the date of Sir Harry Smith’s despatch of 18 February 1851 reporting the service alluded to.’ He was the only field officer not rewarded for his services in the Kaffir War.
Fishbourne entered the Royal Navy in 1824, becoming a Lieutenant in 1835, a Commander in 1841, a Captain in 1853 and retiring as an Admiral in 1879. Between 1835 and 1850, he saw active duty across Africa, the Cape of Good Hope, and the East Indies. In 1854, the newly promoted ‘Captain’ Fishbourne and the HMS Hermes were paid off in Woolwich after steaming 75,000 miles.
When Shanghai was captured, he landed three ships to defend the British settlement. On three occasions he destroyed and captured piratical junks amounting number sot 40. Sir John Parkington when Colonial Secretary officially wrote to Sir Harry Smith saying that Smith’s choice of officers, Fishbourne included, should be recognized but when Parkington left that office, Captain Fishbourne’s name was omitted. He spent many years beating up pirates and being beaten up in Rangoon on the Empire’s behalf so he felt understandably sore at being ignored in favour of some cub who had probably never even left Portsmouth. He later thanks Captain Bunbury for his part in restoring his credibility in 1859 (although written on black-rimmed mourning paper from the United Service Club).
In 1857, he was involved with an attempt to lay the North Atlantic Cable. The following year, he gave a lecture On Floating Batteries (reported in the United Services Institute Journal Vol II, 1858). He was a prolific author of articles on shipping techniques, on various military campaigns, and also wrote What is Sin?, The Injustice of Free Trade Policy, Entire Sanctification; or, a clean heart is the doctrine of Scripture, The Irish Plundered, Manufacturers enriched, and Foreigners protected, Means employed to raise the Condition of British Seamen, Protection for her people and her industries the cure for Irish discontent, Romans vii. 14-25 represents unconverted experience!, Wholeness, or holiness and health through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
He was a Patron of the London Homeopathic Hospital, and of the homeopathic hospital in Smyrna, as wel as being a Steward at the 1858 Annual Festival in aid of the London Homeopathic Hospital.

The following obituary from the Carlow Sentinel of May 1887, and also published in The London Times, was transcribed by Michael Purcell in May 2013 :

Death of Admiral Fishbourne, C.B.
We regret to announce the almost sudden death of another illustrious Carlow man, and distinguished naval officer, Admiral E.G. Fishbourne, which occurred on the 12th May 1887, after an illness of two days, of congestion of the brain.
Deceased was the youngest and last surviving son of the late William Fishbourne, J.P. ( last Sovereign of Carlow ), and, as will be seen by the obituary notice, which we copy from the Times, had a very distinguished naval career, while to the close of his useful life he was intimately identified with missionary work in London.
His death is deeply deplored, and especially amongst his many relatives and friends in this his native county.
Our contemporary says :- "The death of Admiral Edmond Gardiner Fishbourne, C.B., which happened at the end of last week at his residence in Hogarth Road, Kensington, has removed one of the most active and energetic of Lord Shaftesbury's colleagues in the work of evangelising the masses of this great metropolis.
He was a very familiar presence at the May meetings of Exeter-hall, and his exertions were not confined to members of his own profession.

He entered the Royal Navy in the year 1824, passed his examination in 1830, and obtained his first commission in 1835. He saw much active service during the next three years on the African coast, in her Majesty's ships Thalia, Pylades, and Scout, and later in the Albert steamer, under Captain Henry Dundas Trotter, in which he attended the unfortunate expedition to the banks of the river Niger.
While employed on this service he was promoted to the rank of Commander, and appointed to the Soudan, another steamer.
He went on half-pay in 1842, but subsequently served in the Caffre war of 1850 - 51, when he received the thanks of the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope and of the authorities of Grahamstown and Algoa Bay.
About the same time he was created a Companion of the Order of the Bath. He was afterwards actively employed against the privateers in the Chinese seas, and was engaged under the Treasury in relief service for some two or three years.
He obtained flag rank in 1869, and became full Admiral in 1880. He was for many years honorary secretary to the Royal Patriotic Fund, and to the Naval and Military Bible Society.
entered Royal Navy in 1824, distinguished navy career. Colleague of Lord Shaftsbury.

the carlow rifles

In August, 1856, the gentry of the County Carlow gave a great Dinner in the Assembly Rooms to the Officers of the County Carlow who had fought in the Crimean War. The Chair was taken by Captain McClintock Bunbury, M.P., and towards the close of the proceedings he proposed a toast to "The Carlow Rifles and Sir Thomas Butler their Colonel.” In doing so he said—"They have not had the good fortune to be engaged in the Crimea but I am sure from what I have witnessed, if their services had been required, they would have done credit to the County Carlow. I must say I am sorry they have been disbanded." In responding to the toast, Sir Thomas Butler said—"I beg leave to return you my most sincere thanks for the way in which you have spoken to me as Colonel of the Carlow Rifles but I must say that the praise is mostly due to Lt. Col. Keogh and Captain Knipe, the two principal Officers of the Regiment. At my time of life I could not accomplish the task of organising them nor have I been enabled to spend as much of my time with them as I have wished. They have given satisfaction wherever they have gone and they have sent as brave a body of men into the regular army as any country could boast of. I am proud to be their Colonel (cheers). For my part I only desire the ranks to be filled with such men and they will reflect credit on every officer connected with it."(Loud cheering). Lt. Col. Keogh was then unanimously called on to speak. He was a young man of thirty-two years, tall and strikingly handsome. He said—"Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen, I rise as you have been kind enough to call upon me but I thought after the eloquent speech of our Colonel I should have escaped being called on. It is rather dull work speaking of the Militia now. As long as the Queen was pleased to give me 20/- per day it was all very well—as long as I got that I worked hard for the Carlow Rifles but that is now all gone by and I think the Carlow Rifles very stale talk indeed. I did not value myself very highly — only at 20/- a day! The only thing for which I am proud of the Carlow Rifles is that they sent as fine a body of recruits to the line as any Officer might be proud to receive." The Carlow Militia at this period was, of course, a red-coat Regiment and was known, affectionately or otherwise, as the "Old Fogies." The rank and file served 27 days' intensive training every year and new recruits did drill training in addition. The permanent staff remained on duty all the year round and the intention was that the regiment could be mobilised in full force at any time at short notice.


In April 1856, the Rev. Cecil Smyly retired as Rector of Drumcar having been granted a licence to preach in the Schoolhouse in April 1841. He relocated to Grange (Carlingford). He was succeeded by the Rev. George Studdert, the 39-year-old fourth and youngest son of George Studdert (1783-1854), Divisional Magistrate of Police in Dublin. The Rev. Studdert's mother was Letitia Blacker (d. 1831), eldest daughter of the Very Rev. Stewart Blacker of Carrickblacker, Dean of Leighlin. His parental grandfather and uncle, both called Thomas Studdert, lived at Bunratty Castle, County Clare. George was born circa 1818 and educated at Trinity College Dublin, obtaining a BA in 1840 and an MA in 1845. He remained at Drumcar until 1861.

1856 Events

· On 25th June, following the end of the Crimean War, Viscount Gough is sent on a special mission to Sebastapol to invest Marshal Pelissier and other officers of rank with the insignia of the Bath. See The Times.
· Death of Philip Bagenal of Benekerry, Co. Carlow in Bologne aged 64 (June 24th).
· Henry Bruen III elected MP for Carlow (retained until 1880).
Suicide of John Sadlier, former MP for Carlow, after implication in banking scandal.
· Dennis Pack-Beresford elected High Sheriff for Carlow.
· Louis Pasteur discovers that germs spread diseases.
· Bessemer process allows for mass production of steel.
· William's brother the Rev. Robert McClintock marries Maria Susan, only daughter of Alexander Charles Heyland (late Indian Judge).

General Election of SPRING 1857

In 1857, the power of Lord Palmerston's Whig government was threatened when Thomas Cobden challenged their plans to go to war with China. In the ensuing General Election of 27 March - 24 April 1857, Captain McClintock Bunbury (Tory) was returned unopposed for Carlow County, but Palmerston's Whigs actually secured a long sought for majority. Prior to the election,the Captain made it clear that he wanted to stand down, but was persuaded to offer himself again by the argument that his retirement would almost certainly give rise to a contest against the Conservative interest. John Alexander was returned for the Carlow Borough with a decisive win over Crimean War veteran Arthur Ponsonby, a grandson of the 3rd Earl of Bessborough. [Cobden masterminded the free trade agreement with France which saw unprecedented cooperation between the two states].


In County Louth, William's brother, John McClintock Jr, was also returned for the Tory party and serves until 1859. He appears to have been of the strongly Conservative view as championed by Lord Derby and later by Disraeli, which had split from the Peelite faction over a decade earlier.

McClintock finds Franklin

Although every expedition to discover the fate of Sir John Franklin and his men had failed, Captain McClintock believed that another attempt could prove successful. He maintained that the previous expeditions had taken too northerly a course, and he felt certain that a search in the region of the North Magnetic Pole, as yet untouched, would prove fruitful. The Admiralty, however, did not share his optimism and they rejected his request for another attempt saying that "after so may failures there is no justification to risk the lives of brave men in such a hopeless cause". Disappointed by the Admiralty rejection, Lady Franklin decided to finance the expedition herself, and with this in mind, she bought Sir Richard Sutton's screw yacht "Fox". She offered the command of the proposed expedition to Leopold M'Clintock, who gladly accepted. On 1st July 1857, Captain McClintock duly embarked on board the "Fox", at request of Lady Franklin, and set forth on his fourth expedition to find Franklin. For this expedition, McClintock had obtained leave of absence but the time occupied was afterwards counted in his service.
The direction he took had been learnt from the Eskimo. Leopold was thoroughly conversant with all the peculiar needs of an Arctic expedition and apart from any financial gain, his whole heart was in the cause. As well as this, he was proud of the discoveries he had made in the Arctic regions of Canada and, as he afterwards wrote "I could not willingly resign to posterity the honour of filling up even the smallest remaining blank upon our maps". By the winter reached Melville Bay on the north coast of Greenland. Here the ship became locked in the frozen ice and for eight months she drifted southwards, until finally she was released from the ice more than 1,000 miles from Melville Bay, Captain McClintock seized the first opportunity and at once sailed northwards. This enabled McClintock to lay down the unknown northern coastline of Canada, and map King William's Island. It also enabled him to prove the existence of a channel from Victoria Straits to Melville Sound which is now known as the McClintock Channel. He discovers a collection of Atanerkuerdluk fossil flora on coast of Greenland (adding name "Macclintochia" to the Botanists' Directory) but no Franklin.
Landing on King William's Island, the expedition was divided into three sledge trains. One of these explored the estuary of the Fish river, one went onto the nearby Prince of Wales Island, while the third examined the west coast of King William's Island, where McClintock's idea that traces of the missing ships would be found, was borne out. At Point Victory, on the north west coast of the island, the expedition found a record of the missing men. The first entry was dated 28th May, 1847, and read "Sir John Franklin is commanding the expedition, and all is well". The diary traced the fate of the expedition from May 1847 to April 1848. It recorded the death of Sir John Franklin on 11th June, 1847. The last entry was dated 25th April, and tells us that "the ships were frozen in the ice since 12th September. The officers and crew (105 men) are leaving the ships and starting back along the banks of the Fish river. The total loss by deaths on the expedition so far has been to this date, nine officers and fifteen men".
Nearby was found a large boat, 28 foot long and 7 foot wide. Portions of two human skeletons were in the boat. There also were five watches and several articles of clothing, some small books and a Bible. Spoons and forks with the crest of Sir John Franklin were also found and, taking these memorials, the expedition set off on the homeward voyage. The "Fox" reached Blackwell deck on 23rd September, 1858. The relics were deposited at the Admiralty where, in McClintock's words, "they now form a simple and most touching momento of those heroic men who perished in the path of duty, but not before they achieved the purpose of their voyage, the discovery of the "North West Passage".
Immediately on his return, Captain McClintock reported to the Admiralty the result of his search and the reply acknowledged that he gave the first authentic account of the fate of Sir John Franklin. They also informed him that on the instructions of Queen Victoria, his period of service on the "Fox" was recognized by them as "sea time" thereby giving him considerable seniority.

Footnote (70): 'Famous Arctic Explorers from Dundalk: Sir Leopold McClintock', by Garret Magowan (August 5th, 1967).



This exceptional article, unearthed in October 2016, was something of a compare and contrast article that appeared in the Farmer's Gazette in August 1857. For quite a critical article, it is certainly positive about Lisnavagh and the captain's intentions.

"The village of Rathvilly ... might be an exceedingly nice place, from its locality, were it not for a parcel of abominable cabins by which it is disfigured. They are certainly habitations which are scarcely fit abodes for pigs, and yet they are crowded with human beings. The cost of erecting any of those cabins cannot, by any possibility, have exceeded three or four pounds, and with a rental of from sixpence to a shilling a week from each they produce a profit which may well make our city building speculators stare. It is, however, amost disgraceful state of things, and we trust that the day is not far distant when such abodes will be swept away. How long will our refined sensibilities continue to be affected by the state of savages on the other side of the globe, whilst we have, under our own eyes, thousands of our fellow countrymen and countrywomen, speaking the same language, and holding the same faith, sunk and degraded to the level of tbe brutes which perish ? We confesa we have no patience with those who would make merchandize of the miseries of their fellow-men; and it is a special article in our creed, that the landowner who permits the erection or existence of such cabins as those we allude to does not do his duty in that state unto which it had pleased the Ruler of all things to call him. Let us have less whining about "Uncle Tomss,"and a little more home care about our brother Pats, and Sandies, and Jacks, and it will be better for all parties. Let people expend as much sympathy as they please upon those in whom they have no concern, but let it be surplus sympathy, after the main supply has been used up at home. What insensate folly it is to weep over "suffering humanity” at Timbuctoo or the Feejee Islands, when have plenty of it at home, stewed up in hovels, and luxuriating on an uncertain eight-pence or ten-pence a day, spread over half a dozen individuals.
When we compare the cabins in Rathvilly with the cottages erected, a little further on, by Captain M'Clintock Bunbury, at Lisnevagh, the contrast becomes even more painfully striking. In the one case we have the depth of squalid wretchedness, and in the other, comfort, cleanliness, and beauty. Captain Bunbury’s cottages, however, are not show cottages, merely erected to he looked at, loaded with external ornament, but deficient of every internal accommodation to render them comfortable dwellings, as we have seen some fancy cottages to be; they are plain, substantial buildings, just the sort of thing that any proprietor may erect, and what every labouring man, with his family, ought to possess. They are double cottages, two being under one roof (which is slated), but extending in a line with each other. Each cottage has a kitchen in the centre, with a sleeping apartment at each end. One room is lofted over, so that there is a small garret, which is entered by a trap stair from the kitchen. Immediately behind is a commodious scullery, with back-yard containing piggeries and the other requisite offices. In front is a small flower plot, and climbing roses being trained upon the walls, the houses have an exceedingly pleasing appearance, The outer doors are defended and the houses rendered more comfortable by outside porches, which are also fitted up with doors. The entire cost of these cottages, with appurtenances, was about £80 each double cottage, that is £40 for a single dwelling — ten times, indeed, the amount expended by the cabin speculator at Rathvilly; but the one is a dwelling fit for human beings to live in, whilst theother we would scarcely select as kennels for the meanest curs.
Ten years ago not a stone was laid of all the buildings which now exist at Lisnevagh, not a shrub was planted, and fully two-thirds of the land now forming the demesne was composed of turf bogs and treacherous quagmires. The house itself stands on an eminence from which a beautiful view is obtained, with the Wicklow mountains on one side, and those of Carlow and Queen’s Co. on the other. It is built in the Elizabethan style — a style which always appears to us well suited for the mansion house of large estates. The sloping ground on one side has been formed into a series of three terraces, and on the other side into flower gardens and shrubberies. At the back entrance Captain Bunbury has erected a beautiful schoolhouse, also in the Elizabethan style, in which there is both a boys’ and girls’ school, maintained at his expense. There are a few old trees about the house, and scattered throughout the grounds, which formerly grew in hedge rows, but all the rest of the very thriving plantations around are new. A very imposing main entrance has recently been erected, from which a long drive through the grounds brings us to the house.
The demesne contains about 1,100 statute acres, only about one-third of which, as we stated, was capable ofbeing converted into tillage land when Captain Bunbury commenced operations. Fully three miles of a very substantial stone wall has been erected around the demesne. It is not quite complete yet, but will be so very soon. Fortunately for this purpose, there is abundance of material, the ground having been full of loose granite boulders of all sizes. The same supply was most opportune when the farm buildings were erected. These have been built in the most substantial manner possible, the granite used being of the best quality for building purposes. The very spot upon which the farm yard and steward’s house now stands was almost as unlikely a spot as could be be found upon which to commence to build. Hideous bog holes and a dismal swamp occupied the site, but every inch has been rendered dry and solid by means of deep drains.
The farm buildings have been erected in the form of a double square, with smaller yards behind. The squares , are spacious, and, therefore, airy. Entering the principal yard by the main gateway, we find that the left side of the square is taken up by two feeding houses, with accommodation for 40 head of cattle. The troughs are constructed entirely of granite slabs, and are 21 inches wide at the top, sloping to 16 inches in width at the bottom; 18 inches deep at back, and 15 inches deep in front of the animal. The length of each trough is 3 feet 6 inches. The stalls are separated from each other by strong wooden partitions, the width of each stall being 7 feet 6 inches. The feeding passage along the head of the animals is 3 1/2 feet wide. At right angles to and immediately behind these feeding houses, and forming one side of the secondsquare, is a large turnip house. At the other end is the barn, and the straw from the machine passes at once into a loft above the cattle, from which it is put down behind them when required. This loft also contains a supply of hay which is put down into the feeding passage at the head of the cattle in the same manner.
The feeding houses are lofty, airy, and well ventilated. The flooring of every one of the houses is made of granite blocks. In the barn this is especially useful, as it is impossible for rats to find any harbour in the floor, as is too often the case. Behind the feeding houses, in the second yard, is a large dung pit, with liquid manure tanks and pump. The back part of this square is formed by a long shed, in which forty more cattle can be tied up, with five boxes for cattle, separated from each other by stone walls.
The large square contains a row of buildings, comprehending carpenters' shop, cart sheds, yardmen's room, loose boxes for horses, and harness room, a most important part of a set of farm buildings, where the harness can be placed once when the horses are brought in, instead of hampering the stable by suspending it on pins, or allowing it to bekicked about among the litter, as have sometimes seen. Those who are partial to the phrase, "It will do,” may not see the necessity for such an appendage to a farm-yard stable; but if they calculate the loss which is sustained by extra tear and wear on harness, from want of a proper place to put it in, they will soon see that a farm-yard has as much claim to a harness room as the private stables have.
"A place for everything, and everything in its place," is an adage too much neglected about farm yards. A twelve-stalled stable completes the square. Along the front of the stable is a light verandah resting on iron pillars, which is found extremely useful for sheltering horses when being cleaned in wet weather. This, too, is a point in farm-yard management in which there is usually room for improvement. The horses are brought in wet and dirty, and as soon as they become dry they are subjected to the comb and brush, or wisp. The dust rises inclouds, and, there being no other outlet for it, settles down on the same animal and his companions, and finding its way into their lungs, besides alighting on the fodder, and harness; whereas when the horse is cleaned outside the dust is blown away, and the stable is kept sweet and clean. The ventilation in the farm stables at Lisnevagh [sic] is very complete. The main yard is entirely free from all obstruction in the shape of buildings, the only erection in it being a large, open, circular stone tank, which is kept constantly full by an unceasing flow of pure spring water. The surrounding wall is raised about two feet above the level of the ground, and being always full to the brim, the horses get easily at the water. Behind the stable there is a smaller yard for loose cattle, which, with the pigyards, completes the arrangement of the buildings.
The engine, which is of 10-horse power, by Easton and Amos of London, drives the machinery of a flour and oatmeal mill — also constructed by the same parties — oat crushers, chaff cutters, and thrashing machinery. The latter, which was made by Garrett and Sons, thrashes ten barrels of average oats per hour. The waste steam is conveyed by pipes into a steaming house, where it cooks food for the horses, cattle, and pigs. The engine also pumps water for the mansion house, which is nearly half a mile from the farm-yard, sending the water into areservoir, from whence it is conveyed all through the building. In the stack-yard the corn stands are formed entirely of granite, and the whole yard is enclosed by a substantial stone wall. Every stone which was used in the various buildings — in the mansion house, the farmyards, demesne walls, and cottages — was dug out of the land, it being quite unnecessary to open a regular quarry, such was the abundance of stones in the land.
We observed that Mr. Malone, who has the management both of the demesne and the estate, and under whose superintendence all the improvements have been carried into effect, is most particular in having every implement thoroughly overhauled and painted every year ; by doing which, it is impossible to overlook a deficient bolt or screw; and the implements are, therefore, kept in perfect working order, besides always looking neat and clean. The expense of doing this is not great, whilst its advantages are manifold. He would, indeed, be looked upon as a careless person who allowed the machinery of his spinning mill to get out of order in consequence of systematic neglect of cleaning and timely repairs ; but we have schooled ourselves to look upon ricketty carts and untidy implements as quite in keeping with the business of the farmer. Surely, it is not essential that slovenliness should form a characteristic of agricultural labour in any respect.
The soil of a large proportion of the Llsnevngh demesne consists of bog, fully eight feet deep in many parts; in other places the bog had been cut away, leaving only the bare subsoil to work upon. Those parts of the demesne which were naturally dry are composed of granite sand. About 800 statute acres were drained, 4 1/2 feet deep, and averaging about 40 feet apart. The remaining portion of the land did not require draining. The greater part of the demesne has been laid down to grass, it being intended to keep only as much in cultivation as will be necessary for home use, which will probably extend to about 200 statute acres. The crops of all kinds are excellent, and the root crops — mangels, turnips, and carrots — well advanced and beautifully clean. Hitherto the rough work of the place has required every attention ; but that being completed, a finish will now be given to every department. The heavy works at Lisnevagh having been commenced and carried on during the famine years, came most opportunely to the relief of all classes of working people in the district, there having been from £300 to £400 paid weekly, for a considerable time, in the shape of wages alone.
The grazing stock at Lisnevagh consists chiefly of a good class of bullocks, bought in at country fairs, which, after been summer grazed, are finished off in the stalls. Mr. Malone has also at present some immense bullocks, which he intends preparing for the butcher, and which hitherto have been used as plough bullocks in breaking up the rough land. For some time past Captain Bunbury has been getting a very select herd of short-horns; and we observed among them several animals of great beauty. His bull, "Northern Light," bred by Major M‘Clintock, of Randalstown, co. Antrim, is a magnificent animal. His colour is a very rich roan; he is of great substance, yet sweet and fine in his points. Among the cow-stock there are some first-rate specimens from the herds of his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant, Mr. Chaloner, &c.; but what promises to be the flower of the flock is a beautiful heifer calf, bred by Captain Bunbury, out of one of Mr. Chaloner’s heifers by "Emperor,” a bull bred by Mr. Barnes, and now the property of Mr. Tynte, of Tynte Park. She is truly a splendid animal, and with the Hopewell and Baron Warlaby blood in her veins should turn out to be something of the very best. There are also some other very fine pure bred calves.
The breed of horses in the district has been much improved by the introduction of first-class draught stallions at Lisnevagh. Captain Bunbury’s prize horse Eglinton began the reformation of the very light horses which were used by the neighbouring farmers; and now a son of his, Emperor, out of a Clydesdale mare, is carrying on the work of improvement. Emperor is a very handsome, compact horse, light action, and just the thing to improve the produce of a light class of mares.
In the piggeries there are some capital Berkshires; and as an evidence of the quality of the breed, as kept at Lisnevagh, we may mention that Mr. Malone has sold, at the spring show of the Royal Dublin Society, a single litter, ten months old, for 187 guineas.
Whilst Captain Bunbury has been improving his demesne, he has not been unmindful of the state of his tenantry outside. The greater part of the estate has been thorough-drained, at his expense, with the best possible effect. The various farm houses and offices throughout the property are also being overhauled, and in some cases nearly all new buildings have been, or are being, erected, whilst, in others, additions to, or alterations of, the existing buildings have been made. This is all done at Captain Bunbury’s cost, without charging even interest on the outlay; and we believe, in many cases, lowering the rents besides. Captain Bunbury is deservedly popular, both as a landlord, and throughout the country at large ; and we trust that he will yet see his exertions for the welfare of his tenantry rewarded by a thorough-going spirit of improvement arising up amongst them, leading them to turn to good account that "talent” which has been committed to their charge, in the cultivation of the soil. With but few exceptions, and in common with the majority of cases around them, the farming of the district is by no means what it should be; and we think that the tenantry of the Lisnevagh estate in particular will deservedly subject themselves, to censure if, with the example shown them, and the assistance rendered to them, they do not shake off their supineness, and bring all their industry to bear upon the fulfilment of the important duty of developing the dormant energies of the soil. For a neglected tenantry, or for one which is merely looked upon as something out of which certain amount of rent may be annually squeezed, there is an excuse if their mode of cultivation is low and unproductive; but Captain Bunbury’s tenants can offer no such plea in extenuation. It is with the sinccrest desire for their prosperity that we make these observations, trusting that they may be stirred up to greater exertions than they have ever yet employed, so that they may become, what we feel sure it is their landlord's wish they should be, models of good management, and patterns of happiness and comfort."

(Farmer's Gazette and Journal of Practical Horticulture - Saturday 1 August 1857)

COST OF ERECTING COTTAGES - A “Subscriber” Kerry writes, “In page 651 (1857) of your valuable Gazette, the cottages erected by Captain Bunbury for his labourers are described, and are stated to have cost £40 for a single dwelling. Please obtain for me the particulars of this cost and the specification of the building.” Apply Mr. Malone, Lisnevagh, Rathvilly, who, we are sure, will give the required information.” (Farmer's Gazette and Journal of Practical Horticulture - Saturday 24 October 1857)


The fine cottages the author describes are presumably Moanavoth or possibly at the Farm gate. The foul cabins in Rathvilly to which he refers may have been in Phelan Street and replaced in 1903 by the lovely row of houses there. The Estate often gets credit for them but they were actually constructed by some housing trust, Bill Burgess [ of Tobinstown House who died aged 104 in 2007] told me about it and his father may even have been involved. We owned most of the rest of the village as recorded in the Rent Account Book.

It was the rent of a shilling a week reference which got me started on my recent analysis of that book. Some rents were not much more a hundred years later when I was faced with repair bills of £60 or maybe £70, which is why I sold them as we could. A proposal in the 1970’s was that Ground Rents should be bought out by the tenant at 14 years’ purchase - and that was nothing to do with the building on it.

The Schoolhouse was made into a proper dwelling by my mother in 1961. Before that there was the living room below with bedroom above, for the teacher, and one large classroom leading to the big window; if it took boys and girls, as stated, they must have shared the room. I do not know when the last lesson was but until about 1947 the Rathvilly rector, who had only the one church, used to bicycle up to take Evensong there on Sunday evening; I was walked down for this sometimes and enjoyed the harmonium (there was of course no electricity).

Other buildings are mentioned for key employees’ families. The Sawmill (forester) and Oddfellows Hall (gardener) are older than the estate. Tobinstown (became a store and post office) was built later for a retiring steward and, Frank Parker [Forester, Sawmill & Maintenance Manager at Lisnavagh until 1970] told me, constructed low so that it could not be seen from the House. Wherever there is a chimney in all the buildings there is, or was, a plastered room which was the dwelling of an unmarried employee, thus there was a vast community on the place! I thought the “Main Entrance” was twenty years later but presumably our man knew. He mentions the absence of trees; that is indeed true, the 1840 O.S. map shows only a few hedgerow trees, all the woods were planted just after that.

Mr Parker confirmed to me what the author described about the “swamp’ where the farmyard was built. The Haggart extended roughly where the big new workshop now is and around the back of the Dutch Barn (1935); at the east end was a sheep dip but I know not its date. This area was all ricks of corn or straw in my childhood, some maybe even up on those lovely granite rickstands we have since salvaged. It seems the threshing mill was established on the “barn” loft from the very beginning and he describes how the straw was passed on along the lofts. Much of the shaft and pulleys that worked the threshing machine is still in place; the steam engine, later a “hot bulb” (diesel) engine, drove it by a belt up to the end pulley in the top of the engine house in the lean-to outside. Some of this has been robbed for repairs since, not to mention lighting in the West Wing. I never saw the thresher but in my youth there were a number of straw and chaff cutters, turnip slicers and sharpening stones attached to the shaft. When the engine failed my father cut a hole in the floor to allow a pulley from a tractor below to drive the shaft and thus also to pump water I recall; the three piston water pump is still there in the engine house, even if the 3” pipe to the Steel Tank is no more. We owned a mobile threshing mill (and 2 steam engines) in the 1940’s and on appropriate autumn or winter days the stacks of corn in the Haggart were transformed into stacks of straw; it took most of the men on the place to do this. When the time came in 1974 to build a lambing shed in the old haggart Giles Blundell had considerable difficulty with the swamp and had to bring in much stone and hardcore to support his uprights and concrete.

The stone cattle troughs as described were all there in 1948 when my father converted the western “feeding house”, as the writer termed it, into a dairy with a new milking machine; diesel engine, no electricity. I believe any milking that took place in the early days was in the yard at the House, hence the Cow Field. The eastern shed was not modernized so the troughs were there until the 1980’s when the new cattle handling area and crush required their removal. There were also some amazing glazed earthenware troughs in the Stallion Yard, some of which are still around. The yard behind the feeding houses was of course not ‘Covered’ for another fifty years when Thompsons of Carlow did a very similar job to that of the Main Hall of the RDS at Ballsbridge, under much the same management. The “Covered Yard” had some 20 individual boxes on the east and south sides with 8 large cattle pens in the centre, when I inherited it in 1959, and absolutely no running water! Seemingly all the beasts still had to be taken out to the lovely round trough to drink. I took out the walls to make it more machine friendly and dug out the floor so the tractors making silage in there did not hit the roof tie bars so soon!

I recall twelve horses in the Stables (the building in front of you as you enter the main yard); that is before the northern end was taken for a tractor shed, later workshop. I inherited three work horses in what is now Sasha’s den and in those days each horse and tractor had only one master. The smaller yard behind the Stables became the Stallion Yard but clearly after 1857,when it seemed to be devoted to liquid manure. Stallions are mentioned but where did they live? Not sure when this ended but I met Wicklow men who had walked mares over through Hacketstown to be covered here in the 1930’s. Between these yards is the bell tower; before watches became commonplace, the bell was rung to commence work and to finish; it could be heard in almost all weather anywhere on the estate. Most of the men, still nearly 50 in 1933, gathered at the farm gate, having arrived by bicycle or on foot, until the bell sounded. Our man’s wage bill of £300 a week suggests twice as many at the beginning but there were 20 more (unproductive) in the house and stables.

The water pump, I referred to it earlier, has me completely baffled. I thought it was part of a major operation in the 1880’s along with the water ram in the Farm Wood and the Brick Tank (Any date on that I wonder?). I wonder too when the 3” cast iron pipe went in, no surprise it was hopeless by 1975. The Steel Tank was added in 1907 we know. I long to learn more!

Until World War II almost all machinery, and most wheels, were made of iron or wood; motor cars and much more had evolved this way. As such they could very largely be restored or repaired “in house” by the joiner (Sawmill team) or the blacksmith. [The last blacksmith was Tom Halligan, grandfather of the present Halligan Brothers in Rathvilly]. Even bearings were made of greased hardwood; a corn “binder”’s canvas conveyer belt required additional skills but there were very few spare parts as such. All wars create tremendous technical progress and by 1945 although economies were ruined there were massive new materials in alloys, rubber and plastics as well as mechanics and hydraulics; nothing would be the same. Out of destroyed Germany came our Class combine harvester (4th into Ireland) in 1953.

Curious them finishing the cattle in the stalls. Hugh Massy had a theory that they bred the cattle here and after two years sent them over to Moyle, more Bunbury property, on the “good” land to be finished. This all came to an end when that farm was lost to the Rathoe Land League in 1923.

I thought that the Captain ran out of money rather before all his ambitions (Robertson’s fountains on the terraces, etc.) could be fulfilled, but there is no suggestion of that here. High ideals, if the writer has it correct, were certainly there; no wonder TK was such a great fellow!

Rather a long winded commentary, I am afraid, but what a magnificent piece of writing on a wonderful subject and I am fortunate to have been acquainted with it all for nearly half the very long time span since that was written.

1857 Events


The Lisnavagh Archives contains some correspondence from the Rev. P.C. Nolan, parish priest of Rathvilly, and his nephew, Michael Nolan, complaining about the antics of Captain Bunbury's agent during the run up to the election. There is talk of the withdrawal of the liberal candidate, the Hon. Frederick Ponsonby, which needs to be looked at.

The Rev. Patrick Celestine Nolan was born in Ballintrane on 2nd January 1802. Ordained in Maynooth College in 1827, he was first assigned as a curate to the Myshall parish. His second assignment was in Killeigh, King's County (Laois). In around 1850, he was assigned to Rathvilly parish, being appointed parish priest in 1855. He was intrumental in building the new church there. He died on 12th Febrary 1885, with advancing age, having served the Rathvilly community for 35 years.

Father Nolan's brother Maurice Nolan lived at nearby Killane and married their second cousin, Alicia Nolan. Alicia was a grand daughter of Matthew Nolan of Kilconnor and a niece of Laurence Nolan of Kilmeany, Ballinacarrig, the suveyor employed by Benjamin Bunbury earlier in the century. The above-named Michael was their eldest son. His baptism was registered at the Roman Catholic Church in Ballon on 13 February 1839. Michael had two younger brothers – John Nolan (a salesman) and the Rev. Patrick Francis Nolan (a priest) – and a sister, Mary Nolan, who married Patrick Lalor and went to live in Co. Laois. Like his uncle (Father Nolan of Rathvilly, above), the Rev. Patrick Francis Nolan, was known as a church builder, building the Rathoe church which was completed in 1894. According to Fr. Peadar MacSuibhne's book entitled "98 in Carlow" (p. 170), he was also born in Killane. Although the Nolans were still living in Killane when John was born in March 1841, they are not referred to in Griffith's Valuation. However there are several Nolans in Ballintrane where Maurice, the father, may have been born. Anne Buckley and Roger Nowlan, who are researching this family, suggest that as the townlands (and their borders and names) were not set or standardised until Griffith's valuation, Killane in the Ballon register may not be the same as the post Griffith's Valuation, Killane.(Information courtesy of Roger Nowlan and Anne Buckley).




34 Charelmont Street, Dublin

25 March 1857

My dear Sir,

Mark Deering tells me he has been with you and that out of the 10 Votes you pointed out, only three or four, all Deerings, have comply’d with the request - the others, flinching under pretext that there would be no Contest!; I earnestly wish they may not –

That Blockhead James Deering who never does anything of his acres himself; employed Priest Nolan to send me some of his rent the other day – to which I remonstrated that the Priest has shewn me, that he is the arbitrator [?] between Landlord & tenant – no the whole County & much more; But I have transcribed (in confidence) part of the Priest’s note for your information – viz:

“I am interested both for Landlord an tenant, & feeling so, now & then, take a part between them, I do not nor am I permitted to confine myself to those of my own faith – there is not a month that I a not solicited to interfere on one side or the other. I am just now engaged in getting for your Protégée, J. Jackson (not one of your tenantry) a farm from W.d [?] O’Driscol. I am not desirous of mixing in these matters but scarcely can avoid it when called & ** ‘d on; there is one thing certain that I never will act unfairly to any party.

I regret to have to inform you that the People are as determined as heretofore to show forth all their hostility & bitterness against those they consider their enemys; Elections are to be held immediately. I confess I am not willing to be the cause of evil in this district; but I know well, the feeling of the excited people & often have to divest [?] it. If I can check it, all will be well. I am in a difficult position having the Key of the County in my hands, I may be found to do what I would, much regrets … It is well known that Mr Bunbury treated me, to say the least, with indifference, not even deigning to call on me; and the people are furious for the insult ; I should desire revenge by hunting him this county, I could with a bad grace say against them - but it would be sad indeed that we should yield to such feelings & permit a fire to be enkindled, that we might not see the end of; if I can reasonably prevent this evil, I will. I am yours, PC Nolan PP’.

It is not for me to make comments on this Priestly epistle but I think it concerns every Protestant and conservative Propreitor [?] & Electors in Carlow, to enquire why Priest Nolan should carry the Key of their County in his pocket – or that their tenants should apply to him for assistance and advice, which properly [?] belongs to themselves? What in the name of goodness sent Jackson to the Priest? I think he requires absolution for that.

I give you all this for the informing of yourself & friends, praying earnestly that I many not be mix’d up in the matter; or known to proceed from me. I send the Original to Mr W. Stratford who will return it.

I regret that the young man I intended sending down, who is known to the Rathvilly tenants, is like myself an invalid, & from the same cause. I shall request them all again to attend at the Hustings & remain Dear Sir,

Respectfully Yours,

William Duncan


Rathvilly - Wednesday Evening 1857

Dar Sir,

I am happy to make you certain that Hon. F. Ponsonby has ceased to canvas this County against you. This event has arisen, as I intimated to you from my interferences – I received a letter from him today announcing this determination formally.

You will see what part I made in brining about this happy event, from his letter a paragraph of which I transcribe: ‘Reverend Sir, After the communications I had with you – you will not be surprised to hear that I had determined not to contest the County”. This happy consummation I have brought about, & I trust I may congratulate you, the people & myself in effecting is so fortunate – we will now be friends, aiming at the welfare of each other, without jealousy, bigotry or the wild passions that disgraces man, without ***** any . Wishing you long life & good health to use the trust we are committing to your hands for the welfare, peace and harmony of all our people – I am with all Confidence yours sincerely.

Patk C Nolan, PP


Lisnavagh April 1st 1857

My dear Sir,

Pray accept my best thanks for your kind commiserations just received. It breathes such a spirit of peace & good will that quite warms my heart & think that noting on my hands will ever occur to give any fair cause of offence to you … [the rest of the letter is essentially illegible as this is clearly a draft copy; one wonders was it ever sent?!]


Rathvilly – Friday

My Dear Sir,

When passing a few minutes since by Lisnavagh, some one told me that there has been some person imposing on you, or trying to do so, by saying Hon’ble F Ponsonby still intended to contest the County. This handbill will prove to you that for this time he is down with the matter. I send this up to satisfy you that the report, if such it may be, is but a trick.

Yours very sincerely,

P.C. Nolan



I addressed you from London last week, as a candidate for the representation of our County in Parliament. On my arrival in Carlow, on Friday night, I immediately turned my attention to the consideration of the prospects of success that awaited me.

I find, after a most careful enquiry, that in consequence of the state of the Register, the votes of many Independent Liberals are lost.

I find that in consequence of the late period at which I announced myself as a Candidate, some, who would have received me favourably, at an earlier period, are now pledged to my opponents. As I know that on me must rest the responsibility of disturbing the peace of the County, and, perhaps, in some cases causing disunion and ill-feeling between Landlords and their Tenantry, I have determined, with the concurrence of friends who have so kindly given me their advice and assistance, to withdraw from the present contest. To continue it without expectation of success would neither be fair to my opponents nor honest to my supporters.

I cannot make this announcement without expressing my warmest gratitude to the Liberal party generally for a promise of support far beyond my deserts, and to those with whom I have communicated during the short time I have been in the county, for the kind feeling expressed towards me.

If the result of the present Election shall have the effect of rousing those who should be the leaders of the Liberal Party to a sense of their won strength when properly directed, their weakness when apathetic or indifferent to the registration, I shall have the satisfaction of feeling that I have been of some service to the Liberal cause.

I have the honour, to be, Gentlemen,

Our obedient servant,


April 2nd, 1857


Rathvilly - 11th September 1857

My Dear Sir,
I will want a few bunches of grapes, some plums & apples for desert on two days next week.
I will have the Bishop & some of my church brethren to dine with me on the occasion of the Confirmations - I will be much obliged if you could let me have them from your garden - I send this early, in order that I can send to Dublin in case you cannot accommodate me. I am Dear Sir, yours very sincerely, P.C. Nolan


Rathvilly – Tuesday September 15th 1857

My Dear Sir,
Tomorrow & next day I will have the Bishop – I therefore sent up for Fruit you so kindly promised for the occasion. I have no celery yet fit for eating – a few heads then if you have them with some cauliflower & lettuce – I was greatly delighted as well as having at having a *** supplied by this nice quarter of Mountain Mutton you presented to me. It will be a great treat.
I am dear Sir.
Yours sincerely,
P.C. Nolan


Probably 1858.

Dear Sir,
I regret to be so troublesome – I am but a new house [resident?] & not supplied with the [*****] befitting this present [******] – you will therefore kindly let me have a Soup Ladle – and if you have any pears I will thank you to order the gardens to send me a few. Yours very truly, PC Nolan.


Probably 1858 or 1859

Rathvilly – Friday Evening

My dear Sir,
Michael J Nolan, my nephew, has just returned from Dublin where he has stood the examinations, and as far as he could judge, from conversing with the other competitors, has gone on well, if not first, at all events in the second place. I hope the commissioners may think so. [i]
I’m filling up some query about [him?] here – I presumed to state to the Commissioner that as to the character they might refer to you or to me – I trust you will pardon this liberty and that if they should apply to you on this matter you will be able to support favourably - as he is your protégé.
Yours very sincerely,
P C Nolan


Decb’r 18th 1861

My Dr. Sir,

I enclose Sir R. Butler’s note as you desired – and I too



Rathvilly – Sunday Evening.

My Dr. Sir,

I regret to hear from different quarters of harsh, and in the mind of the people, unjust proceedings of your agent – For, as far as I can learn, you are not held culpable – Peter Lalor’s case is so glaring [?] on that every one says, at once Mr Malone, ***** like, covets the Widow Burn’s little plot – and Lalor and his poor young wife, near her confinement, must be turned to the *** world to make room for the Widow.

I wish you to stand well with the peoples, you know it, and I grieve you should be put in the wrong – again I hear of the rents being raised 25 per cent or more – why such a thing – any such a reason would damn any man’s character – can you be aware of these proceedings? I really can hardly believe you have given consent to these proceedings – and I beg you to put a stop to them – your character, that of your family, your *** of charity, all forbid them proceeding.

You will pardon me for interfering – my desire to save the people, as well as my good wishes for your welfare and happiness, all my apologies.

I am Dr. Sir, yours very faithfully,

PC Nolan





Feb 4th 1862

My dear Sir,

This to acknowledge the Receipts of your Letter of Sunday last and to thank you for your good wishes therein expressed for my welfare and happiness.

Allow me to say that you are misinformed as to the facts mentioned in your Letter and more so as to the motives that influenced my agent in the management under my order of my property. I have made inquiries since I received your letter and I can find no acr bordering on hardship or injustice by my agent to any tenants – I have known Mr Malone for many years & I am confident that he would not act unjustly to any man. He is quite able however to vindicate [?] himself against any libellous attacks upon his character that are made to injure him in his business.

Whoever your informant has been let him come before me as proof of his accusations. I shall only be too happy to remedy any hardships or injustice that I have the power to correct.

As for Mr Peter Lalor and his wife, they are not tenants of mine& that they **** well know.

Very faithfully yours,




Feb y 12th – 1862

My Dr. Sir,

I see from the tenor of your note in reply to mine of 2nd Inst that you totally misapprehended my motive in writing that note – I made no charge – but mostly / merely [?] let you know rumours that were afloat and had come to my ears. Hoping you would make enquires – and beseeching you of anything was wrong to right it. You will give me credit, I think, for giving information of reports likely to be prejudicial to you. At all events I am convinced of the honesty of my motives and I cannot conceive why any fair man should be angry with me. Your note was courteous but I thought I could see in it that my interference was not palatable. I may be mistaken but it appears so.

I had a letter from Mr Malone which I regret he should have written. He has fallen into the mistake, above alluded to – and under this misapprehension, and thinking I complained of him to you, with intention of hurting him – in his excitement, but on a very unbecoming note – full of ***** - I will only say, letter of this class rude and insulting to the Pastor for a numerous people, are seldom forgiven, never forgotten.

The letter I will [hold onto?] – it may be useful on some future occasion – for this writer. I have rather pity than anger – he is evidently a hasty and intemperate man and if he suffers his passion to carry him away independently, in writing a note to the Parish Priest, what must those have to suffer who are subject to those control!

Yours very sincerely,

P.C. Nolan

PS: if you think it worth while you can affirm Mr Malone that I never presented knowledge & [will say by / willingly?] a [living / being?] man, & I have not an intention of beginning now. PCN.

[i] ‘Michael J. Nolan" in the letter below has the middle name of John. He was a first cousin of my great grandfather & had three siblings, one of whom was quite famous in his time. This Michael died before 1887, how or where I don't know. I had assumed he might have got the family farm, but can' be found in Griffiths Valuation so there was the possibility they had been evicted. The letter below infers he was looking for some type of job granted by a commission, possibly in the civil service, so obviously he was not farming.’ – Anne Buckley, Feb 2010.


The Leinster Express of Saturday, October 10, 1857, page: 5, carried this tragic tale:
An aged man named Patrick Byrne, who came by his death under the following circumstances:—It appears from the evidence that the deceased was employed by a person named Burgess, a tenant of Colonel Kane Bunbury, at Tobinstown, near Carlow, as a herd, and while engaged at this avocation he was attacked by a furious bull, which set upon him, and having knocked him down, literally buried his horns in the unfortunate man's prostrate body. His cries attracted the attention of several persons who were engaged at a short distance from this distressing scene, and on ascertaining the cause they immediately procured the assistance of four courageous dogs, with which they endeavoured to extricate Byrne from his perilous position. In this they partially succeeded, for at this juncture the animal directed his fury against both men and dogs, and obstinately defended himself against their united attacks for nearly half an hour, but at length was ultimately overcome and routed. The unfortunate man all this time lay, writhing in intense agony, his mangled body presenting a frightful spectacle, being saturated with the blood which flowed copiously from his wounds. A physician was immediately sent for, who dressed his wounds, and had him instantly conveyed to the County Infirmary; but medical skill was unavailing, and he died in a few hours afterwards. The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the foregoing facts.


The Great Eastern, the largest steamship in the world, launched at Millwall in 1858 by designer Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-59). Although ground-breaking in design, the passenger liner was a commerical failure. In 1864, she was sold to a Greenwich-based cable-laying company for £25,000, a fraction of its original cost. From 1865 to 1872, she laid four telegraphs under the Atlantic, and others to link Bombay and Eden. How familiar was the Captain with these antics? Did he live long enough to hear the news that the Transatlantic cable was complete in 1866? He must have been amazed to see the link established between Ireland and the Americas. He was still alive when, in 1865, the European end of the Atlantic cable was laid at Foilhummerum Bay on Valentia Island, off the coast of Co Kerry, from where it connected to the existing landline. The American end was at Heart's Content in Newfoundland. Once the telegraph was established, Queen Victoria exchanged congratulations with President Andrew Johnson. The message took several hours to cross the Ocean where it had formerly taken aproximately 12 days.

1858 Events

· The Irish Republican Brotherhood (Fenian movement) founded by exiles in America.
· August 16th: First message to be sent across the Atlantic by cable received at Valentia Island, Kerry, reads "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will to men."
. Gladstone inadvertently head-butts the Bishop of Paxos during a tour of the Ionian Islands. (See Mediterranean, Portrait of a Sea, by Ernle Bradford).


Poster in the Pat Purcell Papers (courtesy of Michael Purcell).
NOTICE. CARLOW March 1858.
5th Royal Irish Lancers and 18th Hussars.
Mr Alexander Malcomson, Ensign, Carlow Rifles. having received authority from the Commander of the Forces in Ireland to Recruit for the above NATIONAL CORPS, will receive YOUNG MEN averaging from 5 feet 4 and a half inches to 5 feet 8 inches in height, and between 18 and 30 years of age to whom he is prepared to give a Gratuity of ONE POUND TEN SHILLINGS in addition to BOUNTY OF THREE POUNDS and a FREE KIT.


The Freeman's Journal of Thursday 8th July 1858 referred to the marriage of Captain Bunbury's niece Florence Tighe to John Severne, which took place at the Chapel Royal, followed by a party at Lisnavagh. The article ran under the heading 'MARRIAGE IN HIGH LIFE' as follows: 'On Tuesday, the 6th instant, by special license, in the Chapel Royal, by the Venerable the Archdeacon of Kildare, assisted by the Archbishop of Raphoe, John E Severne, ESq., of Thehford House, Northamptonshire, and Wallop Hall, Shropshire, to Catherine Florence Morgan, youngest daughter of the Very Rev. H. U. Tighe, Dean of Ardagh [and later Dean of Derry]. His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant, Viscount and Viscountess Monck, Lord Bellew and the Hon. Misses. Bellew, Lady Elizabeth McClintock, Lady Fanny and the Misses Cole, Lady Mary Monck and the Hon. G. and the Misses Handcock, Lady Chapman, Sir B. and Lady Burke, with a large circle of friends and relatives were present on the occasion; and in the afternoon the bridge and bridegroom set out for Lisnavagh, the seat of Captain M'Clintock Bunbury, MP, in the county of Carlow.'
In 2011, I was informed by John Herrington that the new Mrs. Morgan, 25 years old at the time of her wedding, was almost certainly Florence Severne, a poetess and author of a handful of novels written between 1888 and the mid-1890s. At the time of the 1881 Census, she was living at 10 Chesham Street in London with her widowed mother, Anne Tighe (aged 72), her widowed aunt Emily Butler Wandesforde (aged 63), as well as a butler, a footman, three lady's maids, a housemaid, a kitchenmaid and a cook. Her 27-year-old cousin the Rev. Frank McClintock was also staying in the house that night, but peculiarly the Census failed to mention Florence's husband's existence. On the 1891 census she is living in Atcham, Wallop, Shropshire, with her husband, John E Severne. Florence, a first cousin of Tom Rathdonnell, died in Atcham on 17th June 1916 and was buried at Westbury on the 24th. Her novels include 'Uneven Ground', 'In the Meshes' and 'The Dowager's Determination'.
John Severne was born at Ludlow in 1826 and was the eldest son of J.E. Severne of Wallop-hall, Shropshire, and Thenford, Banbury. He was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford. He was subsequently a magistrate and deputy lieutenant of Shropshire and Northamptonshire. According to The Times, 'He entered Parliament as Conservative member for Ludlow in 1865 but when the Reform Act deprived the town of one of its representatives, Mr. Severne declined to contest the seat again. Nine years later he was returned unopposed for South Shropshire, which he represented until 1885. Mr. Severne took a great interest in country affairs.'
John Severne was tragically killed when knocked down by a van at the junction of Pall Mall and Waterloo Place at the end of April 1899. On May 1st, The Times reported his death, stating that he had ‘sustained a fracture of the skull, which was fatal.’


Captain W. B. ‘Bunburry’ [sic] is one of 55 Irish MPs (from 96 present) who vote in support of the government against Lord John Russell in 'The Division of the Reform Bill’ (Nenagh Guardian, Wed April 6th 1859). On Tuesday, April 12, 1859, The Irish Times reported that the Captain and Henry Bruen had addressed the electors of the county and ‘their re-election is considered certain’. The same paper said that while Bruen had just returned to Oak Park from Dublin, ‘Captain W B McClintock Bunbury, MP, Mrs Bunbury, and family, [had] arrived at merrion-square north.’ Two days later, a shorthorn bull bred by the Captain in 1856 won the first prize of 3 sovereigns in the Class 1 - Short-Horned Division at the Royal Dublin Society’s Spring Show.

'The Lady Elizabeth M'Clintock and suite have left Kingstown, on a visit to Captain W. B. M'Clintock Bunbury, MP, Lisnevagh [sic], County of Carlow' (Belfast Newsletter, 8 June 1859).

1859 Events


To the Registrar appointed by Act of Parliament for the Registry of Deeds Wills and soforth in Ireland. A Memorial of an Indenture Deed of Conveyance bearing date the thirty first day of July one thousand eight hundred and seventy one which is in the words and figures following that is to say:-
Sale and Transfer of Lands in Ireland in consideration of £1,350 by Hardy Eustace of Castlemore, Tullow, county of Carlow trust account of William Lewis deceased – part of the lands of Ardristan otherwise Roscat Barony of Rathvilly Co Carlow formerly in the possession of William Nicholson. 72a.1r.20p. Lease dated 24 May 1859 between William Bunbury McClintock Bunbury Esquire and William Lewis etc. etc.

Sir Leopold McClintock

In Dundalk-Court-house, on 31st October, 1859, Leopold McClintock was the guest of honour at a dinner, at which he received a presentation of silver and an address of welcome. Accepting the address, Sir Leopold said that he would 'cherish it always, more than any other honour, as it comes from the town where I spent my youth, from the friends of my boyhood days, from my home'. Dublin and London followed suit, and he received the freedom of both cities. Dublin University gave him the honorary degree of L.L.D. and Queen Victoria conferred on him a Knighthood. A more tangible token of the nation's gratitude was a parliamentary grant of five thousand pounds, awarded at the instigation of Lord Palmerston and Disraeli. (71) His book The Voyage of the "Fox" in the Arctic Seas is also published. On top of all this a large chunk of the Arctic was named after him, although his vast knowledge of the North West Passage proved worthless to mercantile shipping, especially with the short cut to Asia provided by the opening of the Suez Canal.

(71) The newly elevated Sir Francis McClintock was not a man to rest on his laurels. The use of the recently invented "Electric Telegraph" was spreading and it was decided to lay a cable from Europe to America. The task fell to Sir Leopold who was given command of H.M.S. "Bulldog". He plotted a course from the Faroe Islands, through Iceland and Greenland to Labrador. By following this course, it was found that then length of the submarine cable did not exceed five-hundred miles in any one section. In 1870, at the age of 51, Sir Leopold married Annette Elizabeth, daughter of the Honorable Robert Foster Dunlop of Monasterboice, and retired from active service, taking a position as Aide de Camp to Queen Victoria. Between 1872 and 1877 McClintock was Admiral Superintendent of the Portsmouth Dockyard. He died in 1907 and is buried in Westminster Abbey. Sir Leopold died on 17th November, 1907 at his home in London. Most of the people of Dundalk hoped that his final resting place would be in his native place, where he was born, raised and educated by the side of his father in Saint Nicholas Churchyard, but this was not to be. On 20th November, Sir Leopold McClintock was laid to rest in London, with representatives of the King of England and the Prince of Wales at the graveside.


(Transcribed by Cara Links)

Groom:- David Dagg
Bride:- Francis Giltrap
Grooms Father:- James Dagg
Brides Father James Giltrap
Date of Marriage 27/9/1860

1860 Events





1861 Events

Viscount Gough made G.C.S.I. and Honorary Colonel of the London Irish Rifle Volunteers.



In March 1861, the Rev. George Studdert was transferred to Ardee where he became Rector. On 8th October 1861, seven months later, he married Caroline Amelia Priestly, daughter of Edward J Priestly, later Deputy Inspector General of Constabulary in Ireland. They had two daughters, Elizabeth (who married Dr. O’Flaherty) and Anne, who died as an infant. Caroline died on 9 March 1898 and George followed her less than 5 weeks later, on 14th April 1898.

George Finlay succeeded George Studdert as Rector of Drumcar on March 25th 1863. He was educated under Mr. Allen. He was 16 when he entered T.C.D. He left in July 1873 for Clones and, remarkably, ended up spending quarter of a century in Bishopscourt, the house where my wife Ally grew up.

Bella's Christneing

Bella Bunbury's confirmation took place in Carlow Church on Wednesday 4 June 1862 with the Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin presiding.

The Chiltern Hundreds

On 5 March 5 1862, Captain McClintock Bunbury was amongst those sworn onto the Grand Jury in Carlow before Hardy Eustace, High Sheriff. (i). By May 1862, he was one of the leading figures behind the push for the Dublin and Baltinglass Junction Railway (via Dunlavin and Sallins) behind John La Touche of Harristown (Chairman), Major R. Borrowes of Giltown (Deputy Chairman) and Lord William Fitzgerald. (ii) However, in the summer of 1862, declining health forced Captain Bunbury to retire from politics and accept the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds. (Recent Stewards include Sadiq Khan, Zac Goldsmith and Tristram Hunt!) The captain had represented the county unopposed for the greater part of 14 years. On July 25th the following address was sent from Lisnavagh to his electors:

"Gentlemen, - Circumstances over which I have no control prevent me from attending to my duties in Parliament as your representative, and therefore it is that I am compelled, with very great regret, to return into your hands that trust with which you have honoured me for so many years. I cannot resign the honourable position of member of the county of Carlow, which by your favour I have so long enjoyed, without expressing my deep gratitude for the great kindness I have at all times experienced from you, and for the forbearance you have invariably shown towards my shortcomings, the recollections of which, be assured, can never be effaced from my memory. I have the honour to remain, Gentlemen, Your ever faithful servant, Wm Bunbury McClintock Bunbury".

The Captain's vacated seat was promptly filled on 7th August by Denis William Pack Beresford of Fenagh, Co. Carlow. Denis's grandfather was Major General Sir Dennis Pack, a prominent soldier in the Napoleonic Wars who had received the thanks of Parliament on five occasions. General Pack married Lady Elizabeth Beresford, daughter of the Marquis of Waterford, who took on the name Pack in compliance with the will of her illegitimate brother William Carr, Viscount Beresford. Denis was married to Annette Clayton Browne of Browne's Hill, Carlow, by who he had seven sons. (iii)


(i) Freemans Journal, Thursday, March 06, 1862, p. 4.
(ii) Freemans Journal, Saturday, May 17, 1862 p: 2.
(iii) Of the seven sons, the eldest Dennis succeeded to Fenagh and died in 1942. Arthur was killed in South Africa. The third son, Major Charles George of the Royal West Kent Regiment was killed at Mons in 1914 while shouting "Come on boys, they are ours" - there's an account of Charles's last moments in "The Carlow Gentry" by Jimmy O'Toole (1993), which has a basic chapter on the P-Bs. Henry was the fourth son. According to Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland (1959) Lt Col Henry John Pack Beresford, was born on 22nd August 1871 and educated at Clifton. He served with the Malakand and Bunei Field Force on the Punjab Frontier (1897 - 98, won medal with clasp) and in the Great War (DAA, QMG 21st Div, 2nd Bn HLI). On 28 July 1904 he married Sybil Maud, yst dau of John Bell of Rushpool, Saltburn, Yorkshire. They were divorced in 1914. he died on 26th may 1945, leaving two sons, Comdr Denis John PB, RN (father of the fellow who died two years ago) and Cmdr Tristram Anthony PB, RN, Inspector of Imperial Lighthouse Service, Bahamas Islands, from 1949. The fifth son Reynell was a prominent agriculturalist and cattle breeder and lived in Co. Down. The sixth son Hugh and seventh son Algernon died unmarried in 1954 and 1908 respectively. Also two sisters Elizabeth and Annette who died unmarried in 1937 and 1941. I believe Denis's line has now almost totally died out - perhaps a granddaughter called Alice. And I know not what became of Tristram's daughters Caroline (b. 1945) and Moya (b. 1949).


image title

A photograph of the Steward's House at Lisnavagh (now known
as the Farm House) from circa 1865 taken by Captain Walter
Lawrell who was later killed by Zulus in 1879.


On Wednesday 28 May 1862, the Freeman's Journal reported the death on 24 May at Lisnavagh 'in his 61st year, deeply and deservedly regretted, Mr John Malone, for nearly fifteen years the faithful and much valued steward and agent of Captain McClintock Bunbury, RN, MP.' He left his widow Margaret to raise four small children. He was buried at St Mary's of Rathvilly on 24 May.

I am in touch with some of his descendents. One legend holds that he was thrown from his horse and killed while riding at Lisnavagh. The room in which he was allegedly waked at Lisnavagh was said to be haunted, obliging Lord Rathdonnell to block it up. The same tale says Malone was staunchly anti-Catholic which does not necessarily hold to the notion that he was of Quaker origin but, as Dick Corrigan says, ‘a lot of these stories gather wool on their way around’. Another Malone, based at Rathmore, is said to have murdered the parish priest but thus far I know of no priests murdered locally. These stories were told by Annie Tracey, also known as Baby Tracey, principal at Rathvilly School and a useful folklorist, in the Schools volume on Rathvilly in the National Folklore Collection at UCD. She owned Rathvilly Mill in the 1930s. [1862 was also the year that the Douglas’s, kinsmen of John Malone, left for New Zealand which may be relevant.]

image title

A horse called Dolly, with leather side-saddle, stands
outside the Farm House at Lisnavagh, One wonders
whether the bearded man might be Frederick Devon,
the Steward at Lisnavagh at this time, or his successor
or Sean Keogh. (Photo: Walter Lawrell, 1865).

It seems as though John Malone's vacant post was then filled by Frederick Devon. A later Steward was Sean Keogh who lived at Mount Lucas. Dick Corrigan told me a story of how Keogh decided to replace the banjaxed cobble stone kitchen floor with a cement floor. A man, possibly Pat O’Toole, was employed for the job and had just finished levelling the wet cement when a sow broke into the house and went for a trot. Dick said the curses of Pat O’Toole could be heard on Rathvilly Motte. (Dick also says 'Rathvilly must have been the last place God lived because he left all the Toole’s behind'). The original house at Mount Lucas was burnt in the 1960s. Keogh’s son, Dr. Harry Keogh invented the Rooster Potato while working with Teagasc at Oak Park Research Station in Carlow. Harry was one of the most successful plant breeders of his or any other generation, applying the best of science genetics to breed this most successful of varieties.


'Auction of Shorthorns at Lisnevagh.—On Tuesday last an important sale of shorthorns, the property of Captain W. B. M'Clintock Bunbury, took place at the extensive farm-yard, Lisnevagh. There was a large attendance of purchasers, about 150 persons having sat down to very excellent luncheon previous to the sale, which was conducted by Mr. Thomas Dowse, auctioneer, of Naas and Dublin. The prices are listed in the Dublin Evening Mail, Thursday 2 October 1862.

"Before closing this notice we must express our fear that Capt. Bunbury will not be as extensive an exhibitor the future shows of the County Carlow Society he has been, judging, at least, from the contents of the catalogue of his sale, which will be held Mr. Dowse, Lisnevagh, Tuesday next. Both the worthy Captain and the County Carlow Society have sustained a great loss in the death of Mr. Malone; for Captain Bunbury never concealed for a moment that his success as an agriculturist was entirely owing to Mr. Malone's skill and judgment. But if Captain Bunbury should cease henceforth to as prominent an exhibitor, at least, he has been, trust it will act as incentive to other proprietors in the county to come forward in a more spirited manner than they have done as yet, as exhibitors we mean. Their county society is undoubtedly improving, and wc can only join the hope expressed by the committee, that such of the proprietors, tenant farmers, and other residents the county have hitherto given to the society a limited support, will perceive the utility of the operations of this society, and, accordingly, may be induced to give to it a support commensurate with its usefulness and with their stake in the county.” (Farmer's Gazette and Journal of Practical Horticulture, Saturday 27 September 1862).


image title

Above: Earlscliffe, Howth, where Pauline McClintock Bunbury lived from 1866
until her death in 1876.

Captain Bunbury takes a lease on Emily Cottage in the grounds of Earlscliffe House, Baily, Howth, Co Dublin. The property was held by Cornelius Egan (who built the house in 1847) under a 99-year lease dated to 1847 from the Earl of Howth. The Captain rented it either from Egan or William McDougall, possibly because his own or his wife's health required sea-bathing. He late bought Earlscliffe House itself in 1864. She appears to have lived there, in preference to Lisnavagh, until her death in 1876. (It is to be noted that Daniel Robertson's widow lived at Howth Cottage circa 1849 but it is not yet known where that building stood). The sale of the house after Pauline's death was advertised in the Freeman's Journal of May 1st 1877 which said that the 'present proprietor has expended a considerable sum in valuable and judicious improvements, and the place is now in perfect condition.' Presumably these improvements were carried out by her son, Thomas Kane McClintock-Bunbury who put the house on the market for c.£2,000.

The sale of Earlscliffe discussed in the letters of 1876 must have fallen through, as it was not sold until 1878, and then only for £1,500.

As it happens, the lease was later taken up by John Pentland Mahaffy, sometime tutor to Oscar Wilde and ex Provost of Trinity College, who married William McDougall's daughter, Frances Letitia in 1865.

Amongst others who lived here were Dr. Sir John Lumsden, who oversaw the St John Ambulance Brigade at the time of the Easter Rising, and Dr Ella Webb, a former student of Alexandra College and Medical Officer of St Patrick’s Dispensary who was responsible for converting the Irish War Hospital Supply Depot at 14 Merrion Square into an improvised emergency hospital during the Rising. Dr Webb was awarded an MBE and appointed Anaesthetist to the Adelaide Hospital in 1918, thereby becoming the first woman member of the medical staff. Dr. Lumsden was knighted as KBE by George V and remained Commissioner of the Brigade until his death in 1944. Sir John Lumsden’s great-granddaughter (Nicola Hamilton) introduced me to my wife.

The house was briefly owned in 1949-1950 by Margaret Gregory (widow of Robert Gregory, daughter-in-law of Lady Gregory) and her second husband, Guy Vincent Hugh Gough of Lough Cutra. She bought it in March 1949 from the Martin Murphy’s. She never lived in it, but put it back up for sale in September 1949. It was sold in May 1950.

Jamie Cahalane, my next-door-neighbour here in Carlow, used to mow the lawn for the Stanley-Clarkes, who bought it from Mrs Gough.

(With thanks to David Foley, Earlscliff).


THE £10,000 BOND

The Rathdonnell Papers ((G/5/4) ) contains a reference from 1862 to a bond for £10,000 which Capt. W.B. McClintock-Bunbury had given to John McClintock (and which was partially offset by McClintock-Bunbury's charges on the Louth estate), presumably as an equivalent for the £10,000 which William had received to build Lisnavagh.

Death of Lady Stronge

On 9th November 1862, the Captain's mother-in-law, Isabella, Lady Stronge, passes away on the 12th April.

1862 Events


The Lisnavagh Archives G/9/1-6) contain various letters and papers belonging to Capt. W.B. McClintock-Bunbury referring to the Dublin-Baltinglass Junction Railway, of which he was a director and for a while acting Chairman. This includes a printed prospectus of 2 October 1863, which describes the undertaking as follows:
Capital, £180, 000, in 18, 000 shares of £10 each, Deposit, £1 per share,
Provisional Committee: (with power to add to their number),
Chairman: Capt. W.B. McClintock Bunbury
, Lisnavagh, Baltinglass,
Deputy Chairman: Major R. Borrows, Gilltown, Kilcullen.
[Committee: It then lists the following but order of names and locations may be muddled - John La Touche Esq. (Harristown, Kilcullen), Abraham Shackleton, Esq. (Ballitore), C.J. Cramer Roberts Esq. (Sallymount, Brannoxtown), William Jones Westby Esq. (High Park, Baltinglass), Thomas R. Hardy Esq. (9 Mount Street Crescent), David Mahony Esq. (Grangecon), John McMahon Esq. (Donard), Thomas Pim Esq., Jnr. (William Street), Richard S. Chandlee Esq. (Baltinglass), James Wall Esq. (Knockrigg, Grange, Athy)].
Bankers: Messrs La Touche & Co., Dublin,
Consulting Engineer: George W. Hemann Esq., Dublin and , 13 Queen Square, Westminster, London,
Engineer: James Dillon Esq., 13 Lower Ormond Quay, , Dublin,
Solicitors: Newtons & Armstrong, Dublin and, Dungannon,
Secretary: H.W. Kelly Esq., Temporary Offices: 13 Blackhall Street, Dublin
PROSPECTUS, The object of this undertaking is to provide Railway Communication with Dublin, for the towns of Naas, Ballmore-Eustace, Dunlavin, Donard, Ballitore, Timolin, Stratford-on-Slaney, Baltinglass, Hacketstown, Rathvilly, Kiltegan and for the populous districts, in which those towns are situated. ... Having regard to the cheapness of construction, to the wealth and, population of the district, and to the large existing traffic in passengers, agricultural produce, and goods (particularly along the mail coach road from Baltinglass to Dublin), the Provisional Committee confidently believe that the undertaking will be amply remunerative to the shareholders., Many of the landed proprietors through whose estates the line is intended to run, have already taken shares, and parties in Dublin, not locally interested, have also shown their confidence in the undertaking by becoming shareholders., The Committee entertain a confident opinion that there is no quarter from which any opposition can arise in parliament. The Great Southern and Western Railway Co. are favourable to this project, and are prepared to work the line on very reasonable terms.', Many of the correspondents in G/9 are the people named in this prospectus.

1863 Events


* Carlow Morning Post, Jan 1863. William Curran of Rutland, Carlow summoned John Murphy for stealing his turnips. Mr. Malcomson who appeared for Curran said that Murphy was in the employment of Curran as a daily labourer, and Curran missed turnips from time to time. He was obliged to watch and on this evening he caught this man taking turnips. Curran was obliged to take this case as there was a considerable quantity of turnips taken from him this time back. William Curran stated that this man was in my employment for the last four years, on the 30th December, I went home for my supper and shortly after going home he saw Murphy in his field pulling turnips, he had hold of three of them by the tops, I approached him , he said "Oh Lord, Oh Lord, for a few turnips".
Defendant (Murphy) ---I am those eight years in your employment , back and forward, and from that day to this did you ever see me in any robbery ?
Curran ---I know I did'nt, you are very lazy at your work.
Defendant---I was taking the turnips for my wife and child to eat, and for no other intention.
Curran---His wife made no demand on me for wages. I paid his wages whenever it became due.
Judge --- You are fined 10 shillings or a fortnight's imprisonment with hard labour.


The following article, sent to me by Shay Kinsella, offers some nice details about the Lisnavagh agent and a servant's ball held in March 1863 to mark the marriage of Edward, Prince of Wales, to Princess Alexandra of Denmark at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 10 March 1863. He was 21; she was 18. There’s not a whisper of Nellie Clifden, the Curragh Wren with whom the Prince (later to become King Edward VII) was canoodling not long beforehand! Denmark was on the cusp of its disastrous war with Bismarck's Prussia so one assumes a certain amount of talk about that.

Carlow Sentinel, 14th March 1863.

An entertainment [was] given by Captain W. B. McCLINTOCK BUNBURY to his numerous dependants at Lisnavagh, in honour of the Royal marriage. It is quite unnecessary now to reiterate what we frequently had the pleasure of stating with reference to the continued acts of kindness of this worthy gentleman, who as a resident landlord, is second to none other. At half-past 2 o’clock, the labourers employed upon the estate and their families sat down to an excellent dinner, to which, it is needless to say, ample justice was done by the numerous ad happy-looking guests. Anxious to add in every way to the gaiety of the scene, and pay a just tribute to the “dignity of labout”, Captain BUNBURY presided on the occasion, and the Vice-Chair was occupied by his justly-esteemed Agent, FREDERICK DEVON, Esq.

In proposing the health of the Queen, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and the rest of the Royal family, Capt. BUNBURY alluded, in very appropriate terms, to the happy and holy alliance of the Heir Apparent to the British Throne, to the good and lovely Princess Alexandra, who, since her arrival in England, had won the hearts of the British people; and who with her Royal Consort, and queenly mother would, he sincerely hoped, be vouchsafed a long and happy life to rule over a united and loving people.

The toast was honoured with the most enthusiastic outbursts of applause, which were again renewed on the health of Captain and Mrs. BUNBURY being proposed by the Vice-Chairman, who referred to their unceasing acts of kindness daily displayed by their generous and noble-minded President and his beloved lady, and trusted they would be long spared to pursue their present laudable course of befriending the poor, and promoting the welfare and prosperity of the tenant and labouring classes.

Captain Bunbury responded to the toast, and proposed the health of Mr Devon – [a gentleman who takes the deepest interest in the welfare of those whom as agent to a truly liberal landlord he has been for some time past connected, and by all of whom he is held in the highest estimation].

Mr. Devon having returned thanks for the kind manner in which his health had been received, the light-hearted rustics, all “on pleasure bent”, joined in the merry dance.

For the school children, an elegant feats was provided in the School-house, by the worthy proprietor; and the “rejoicings at Lisnavagh” were brought to a successful close by a servants ball in the family mansion, to which the friends of the domestics were invited.

Captain and Mrs Bunbury visited the gay scene, and dancing was kept up until 2 o’clock in the morning, when the party separated brimful of gratitude to their generous benefactors.


VIOLENT ATTACK ON TWO MEN NEAR RATHVILLY. A murderous, and evidently premeditated onslaught, was made on two brothers, Dan and Fat Lawler, on Sunday evening last, the 2nd instant, at short distance from Rathvilly, they were returning together to the village of Milltown, where they reside. It is said that the two Lawlers were drinking that evening at a public house in Rathvilly, with some of those very persons who waylaid them soon after; and as it is rumoured that ill-feeling had existed between the parties before, it may easily be imagined that that was not exactly the fit place to extinguish the smouldering embers of hate, whieh were probably but ill-concealed by the mutually hating parties this as it may, they were attacked on their way home by five of these cowards, and would doubtlees have been murdered by them, but for the timely and humane interference of some good people who providentially arrived in time to save their livee. The wounds inflicted on the poor fellows are of so dangerous nature, that there are but little hopes entertained of Pat’s recovery, his skull being fractured by the blows of stone. The other brother suffers great pain too from bruises received in different parts of the body. The perpetrators of this nefarious outrage were made prisoners on the same evening, and on being brought to Miltown on Tuesday for identification one or two of the prisoners were exonerated of the charge by the Lawlers. The different rumors afloat are so contradictory that it would be useless to give any of them. It was reported in Hacketstown on Tuesday night that Pat was dead, and two of the police were immediately sent off to learn the truth of it, but happily it turned out to be false. He is a present, however, in a very poor state. (Carlow Post - Saturday 8 August 1863)


On August 13th 1863, Frederick W Devon, Esq, of Lisnavagh, county Carlow, second son of C. Devon, Esq, of St Vincent's Kent, was married at St. James's, Poole, to Charlotte Jane, eldest daughter of the Rev A Wilkinson, Incumbent of St James's, poole. (Freemans Journal, Thursday, August 20, 1863; The Gentleman's Magazine, p. 343). He was Captain Bunbury's agent.


The Bunbury Oarsmen

By 1863 Tom McClintock Bunbury was captaining the Eton Boat Crew - and young Jack was on the same team. Jack rowed with him again in 1868, and stroked the Eton eight for the next two years, so that three years in succession there was a Bunbury at the stroke oar. Dr. Michael Bunbury of St. Vincent advised me that at least one of the boys was in Penn House.


In about 1864, the Captain purchased the house of Earlscliffe in Howth, Co. Dublin, which the family held until after his wife's death in 1876. From her letters to Colonel Kane Bunbury, it is apparent that Pauline was certainly living there by July 1871 - and, according to Colonel Kane Bunbury, this greatly improved her health. (Lisnavagh Archives, G/J/13, Kane Bunbury correspondence).


Saunders's News-Letter of Wednesday 12 October 1864 reports: ‘SALE AT LITTLE MOYLE. COUNTY CARLOW. (FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.) On Monday an auction of short-horns, fat cattle, sheep. &c., took place Little Moyle, County Carlow, the residence of Mr. James Smith. An excellent luncheon was prepared in one of the new granaries, and after the repast a number of toasts were proposed by the chairman, Mr. William Johnson (agent to Colonel K. Bunbury), and by Mr. Frederick Devon (agent to Captain M’Clintock Buubury). Mr. Thomas Dowse conducted the sale with entire satisfaction. Some fat bullocks went as high as £l9 10s. each, and heifers brought as much as £19, but these were top prices.' The Carlow Post provided more extensive details on it all - see Kane Smith chapter - as well as an interesting observation by William Johnson (later to become Lisnavagh agent) that 'since he became agent to Colonel Bunbury in '52, there was not a tenant ejected from the estate. If other landlords in Ireland followed his example, they would not have emigration, or anything else of the kind to complain of.'

image title

Above: One wonders if the Little Moyle livestock sale in October 1864 in any way connects to this sketceh of an upturned phaeton
entitled 'HML arriving at Lisnavagh, Oct 12th 1864' although the jury is still out as to who HML is! I proposed 'Her Majesty's Lieutenant'
while William suggested Henry Maxwell Lefroy, although the latter was, I believe, in Australia at this time.

Death of Sir James Stronge

On 2nd December 1864, the Captain's brother-in-law, Sir J.M. Stronge, passed away aged 80 and was succeeded by his eldest son, James Matthew Stronge, MP for Armagh (1864 - 74), a Lieutenant-Colonel with the Royal Tyrone Fusiliers.


A letter from William McClintock-Bunbury (G/5/4) to his brother John, dated 1864, refers to an 'unhappy scene' at Drumcar which particularly affected relations between their wives and makes it imprudent for Pauline McClintock- Bunbury's wife to see Anne, John McClintock's wife, in the present delicate state of Pauline's health.

1864 Events

High Sheriff McClintock Bunbury

Captain W. B. McClintock Bunbury served as High Sheriff for Co. Carlow in 1865. The Grand Jury of the County of Carlow was swoen before him at the Courthouse on Tuesday 25 July 1865 at 11am, 'for the purpose of entering on the Fiscal Business of the County.'

image title

Above: Sir Francis Leopold McClintock
was elected a fellow of the
Royal Society and became
MP for Drogheda in 1865.

1865 Events

Across the Atlantic, the American Civil War – in which over 200,000 Irish-born had served – was finally over, but Lincoln had been assassinated at Easter. In early August, news arrived that the transatlantic telegraph cable being laid from Valentia Island to Newfoundland had snapped in the ocean and vanished. However, the news of most pertinence to the cattle-breeding Bunburys concerned an outbreak of rinderpest in England. This infectious viral disease, nicknamed the Russian Plague, was to kill over quarter of a million animals, primarily cattle, in Britain before the year was out. The Irish Times ran it as a lead story on 14 August, the day before the Royal Irish Show began at Clonmel, warning that ‘should the plague be introduced into this country by the importation of beasts, whether from England or the Continent, there will be an upheaving of society little short of a national convulsion.’[i] Later in the week, Edward Purdon, ex-Lord Mayor of Dublin, and proprietor of The Irish Farmer's Gazette, likewise warned that if such an epidemic were to be unleashed upon the ‘thirteen million and a half of horned cattle’ in Ireland, it would result in ‘national bankruptcy’.

[i] The Irish Times, Wednesday 16 August, 1865, p. 2.

July 1865: At the General Election, eighty-year-old Palmerston sweeps to power with the Whigs in July, shortly before the outbreak of greater Fenian violence, but caught a chill and died on 18 October. His death robs the Liberals of a strong leader at a time when Bismarck is running rampant. Gladstone will fill the void but first up is Lord John Russell whose chief focus is the Reform Act. Lord Derby and Disraeli smell blood.

On 22 August 1865, The Newry Commercial Telegraph reports: 'John McClintock, Esq., DL, Mrs McClintock and suite, have left Drumcar for London, on their way to the Continent. (With thanks to Charley McCarthy).

Lisnavagh Photograph Albums

When family photos are unnamed, what starts to happen after a while is that faces start to become familiar. Or rather family traits suddenly leap out at the beholder of photographs. I see a girl reading a letter beneath a tree, a massive hula-hoopy sort of skirt around her waist, and she looks the spit of all my Doyle cousins rolled into one. I see my brothers' eyes in the face of an old man with fine black ruffled whiskers rolling down his sides and over his upper lip as he sits in a wooden chair, one elbow on the table, looking thoughtful upon the distance. I wonder is this Captain William McClintock Bunbury at a later age than his Library portrait suggests? I mean whoever painted that portrait the accompanies the start of this article has given him a neck that ET the Extra Terrestrial would find offensive. But just when you think you've cracked it and yes, that's definitely the Captain's daughters, Helen and Isabella McClintock Bunbury, just before they died early, you turn the page and there's a photo of Queen Vic and the Prince Consort. There are a lot of pictures of Victorian celebrities. I guess in those days, with newspapers rarely ever printing any form of a photograph, people collected mugshots of the rich and famous. These mini-photographs must have been a valuable reference material. There was probably a great racket to be made out of collecting them all. I'll swap you a Livingstone for a Gladstone. I'll give you three Prince Alfreds for one of Lord Roberts. When I was a kid I covered my walls in pictures of pop-stars with alarmingly bad haircuts. I later stripped these down and re-clad my walls with pictures of scantily clad but undoubtedly beautiful women taken from my mother's Vogues and the like. It's peculiar to think how quickly some Heroes of our Time fade to dust and are ousted by dashing young soccer strikers and guitar strumming rock chicks. That said, a substantial number of portraitures are named and they read like a sturdy Who's Who of, at the very least, the Victorian gentry of Counties Carlow and Louth. Cousins and family friends leap from every page. Carlow and the sunny south east is headed up by Alexanders, Bagenals, Brownes, Bruens, Burtons, Butlers, Conollys, Ducketts, Goughs, Grogans and Ponsonbys. The Stronges bring in De Vesci, Calverts and Nugents galore. Louth features Fosters, McClintocks and Bellinghams. There are portraits of about 20 members of the Scots Greys, into which regiment Tom, Jack and Billy Bunbury would all go. And there are plentiful snaps of leading politicians and Eton headmasters and all the rest of it. Elsewhere there are Lefroys and Staples and Bensons (Miss. Mary Benson is quite a looker), Ruttledges, Spring-Rices, Hall Dares, Cochranes, McDougalls … it may be me, but there definitely seems to be Scottish hue to the family names of many of these punters. And, coincidentally, they're all looking pretty dour. Maybe that was the way of it in the days before people learnt to say "Cheese". These days the only people allowed to look quite so unapproachable and moody are otherwise beautiful fashion models. Again, in the days before easy printing, were these people's hard copy of what their friends, family and political heroes looked like. Was it so mothers could flick through and decide which boys would best suit their daughters?
For all that, one of the small green albums is definitely a gem. It unearthed the amazing and charming talents of one Isabella McClintock Bunbury, daughter of Captain McCB and his good wife, Pauline. Unfortunately Isabella - or Bella, it seems - did not survive into her 20s. Consumption most probably. Colonel Kane's letters to Pauline indicate that she was ill for some time. She was definitely a talented girl. She would have been a great hit with logo designers in this day and age and, if ever we are in need of someone to reshape the McClintock Bunbury name into a logo, her mid-Victorian concepts are well worth a look. She is also the subject of a jolly wee ditty, written for her birthday or some such, by her cousin CE McClintock on March 25th 1865. (73)

(73) I presume this is Charles Edward McClintock, a grandson of Bumper Jack by his second marriage to Lady Elizabeth Clancarty. Charles's parents were Major Stanley McClintock of Kilwarlin House in County Down and Gertrude La Touche of Harristown, Co. Kildare. He was born on 11th May 1844, making him just 21 when he wrote this. He would later (1881) marry Blanche Foster Dunlop of Monasterboice, County Louth, and had three sons. He served as a Colonel with the Royal Irish Rifles.

An Ode on Isabella Bunbury's Looks.

The tout ensemble of her face,
Is pleasing, bright and full of grace,
Her eyes are brown and shining bright,
Though not both of the same size quite;
I think her nose is quite delightful,
Though some folk say it is so frightful.
Some think it points up towards the sky,
But this I must with truth deny.

And Constance here with me agrees,
Because she too with straight eyes sees:
Her lips are like a full blown rose
And through them pretty teeth she shows.
Dark hair grows low upon her forehead
And her complexion is not quite florid.

Her eyebrows, they are passing fine,
And look quite like a penciled line.
She's pretty, taking all in all,
Her figures good though she's but small.
Enough I've said about this matter
All's true for I do hate to flatter.

(74) The Constance referred to here must be Constance McClintock, eldest daughter of Lieutenant Colonel George McClintock of Rathvinden who, like his half--brother, Captain William McClintock Bunbury, had married a daughter of Sir James Stronge - in this case Catherine Brownlow Stronge. On 16th July 1881, Constance married a 33 year old Oxford graduate, lately returned from the Civil Service in Bengal, named Henry Crossley Irwin. In 1883, Henry succeeded his father and the couple moved into Mount Irwin in County Down.


The April 7, 1866 edition of the Wicklow Newsletter includes this letter (kindly sent to me by Ray Halpin):

To The Editor Of The Wicklow News-Letter.

Sir - Although you seldom give an account of sport in this or adjoining counties, I cannot help sending you an account of a run we had last Saturday with the Carlow and Island Hounds. The fixture was Rathmore, but Captain Bunbury's coverts at Lisnevagh were to be drawn. A fox, and one of the right sort, was immediately found. There was a burning scent and hounds beat horses completely for the first twenty minutes; after that they ran not quite so hard; and, till the finish, the field were well up. He crossed the river at Knockeen bridge, and leaving Tullow to his right he ran through Ardoyne, and was killed at Munny. Time - one hour and eleven minutes.

This is by no means the only good run this crack pack has had this year, for the sport has been far above average.

A Correspondent.

The Carlow and Island Hounds will meet at Coollattin on the 12th April; at Clonegall on the 13th; at Coollattin on the 14th, at 11 o'clock.


Death of Captain Bunbury (1866)

The 4th June is celebrated by Etonians as the birthday of George III. A service was held with a sermon by the Bishop of Oxford (in lieu of the Provost, the Rev. Dr. Goodford, who was ill and recovering at St. Leonard's. After speeches, luncheon and promenading in the fields, the boys assembled to hear the band of the Royal Horse Guards play between 2 and 3 in the upper shooting fields. Jack Bunbury probably left shortly after the choral service to prepare for the afternoon's boat race. Shortly after 6:00, the eight boats left for Surly Hall in the rain. Jack was on board the 'Prince of Wales' with Messrs. Unthank, Hodgson, Entwisle, Tayleur, Eyton, Mirehouse, Thornhill and Roberts (coxswain). Jack was then one of the few boys in training for Henley. At Surly, the boats 'partook of supper, provided by Mr. Layton, of Windsor, and on their return to Windsor they pulled round and round the Eyot whence a splendid display of fireworks was let off as usual by Mr. H. Fenwick, of Lambeth, with which the rain, always propitious to the birthday of George III, played sad havoc'. One wonders did Jack know that his father had died at Lisnavagh two days earlier on 2nd June 1866. Perhaps it was all those years at sea. Perhaps it was gout on account of his passion for port.

Captain Bunbury's Obituary from the Carlow Sentinel

Death of Captain McClintock Bunbury
It becomes our painful duty to record the demise of this inestimable gentleman, which melancholy event took place at Lisnevagh (75), on the morning of the 2nd instant, from an affection of the heart.
The profound sorrow with which the announcement of his sudden and unexpected death was received throughout the county, testified how universally he was respected; but the best eulogium to the memory of the lamented deceased is "the life he had led". Kind, genial, and courteous in manner and disposition; endeared to his family and friends by the observance of every social and domestic virtue, and to the community in general by the honourable discharge of his public duties; one of the best of landlords, and a sincere Christian.
The deceased gentleman, William Bunbury McClintock Bunbury, who had reached his 66th year, was the younger of the two sons of the late John McClintock, Esq., MP, of Drumcar, in the county of Louth, by his first marriage with Jane, the only daughter (76) of the late William Bunbury, Esq, of Lisnevagh, MP for the county of Carlow, which lady died in 1801. He entered the navy at an early age; was present at the battle of Algiers on board the Severn, 50-gun frigate, and retired from the service in 1832. In 1846, on the death of his maternal uncle, Thomas Bunbury, Esq, MP, (in compliance with whose will he assumed the name and arms of Bunbury in addition to his patronymic), he was unanimously chosen to fill the vacancy then created in the representation of the county of Carlow, for which he sat until the general election of 1852, when, after a sharp and spirited contest, he was defeated by the narrow majority of 13 votes. Early in the following year he was again elected by an unopposed return, in the room of the late Colonel Bruen (77), and at the general elections of 1857 and 1859, he was returned without opposition, having on both occasions for his colleague the present Henry Bruen , Esq, MP. (78)
In 1862 he applied for an obtained the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds (79); and "it was with very great regret", as his retiring speech informed the electors (a regret which was very widely shared by his constituents), "that he was compelled (uncontrollable circumstances preventing his attending to his duties in Parliament) to return into their hands the trust with which he had been honoured for so many years". (80)
Since that period he has been a consistent resident at Lisnevagh, where he devoted himself to the discharge of his varied and responsible duties as a landed proprietor, country gentleman and magistrate. In 1865 he filled the office of High Sheriff for this county.
Captain Bunbury married Pauline Caroline Diana Mary, second daughter of the late Sir James Matthew Stronge, Bart, of Tynan Abbey, county Armagh, and by her, who survives him, he has left a family of two sons and as many daughters. The eldest son, Thomas, who is now in his 18th year, succeeds to his landed estates.

(75) Lisnevagh was an alternative spelling to Lisnavagh.
(76) Was there another daughter who married Mr. Greene?
(77) Colonel Bruen was grandfather to Katherine Anne, Lady Rathdonnell.
(78) Henry Bruen was Katherine Anne's father.
(79) Chiltern Hundreds refers to the obsolete administrative districts of Stoke, Burnham, and Desborough in Buckinghamshire, incorporating the chalky Chiltern Hills in south central England. The stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds is an obsolete office with only a nominal salary. It is, however, legally an office of profit under the crown and, as such, may not be held by a member of Parliament. Since members of Parliament may not resign, "applying for the Chiltern Hundreds" or for the similarly obsolete stewardship of the Manor of Northstead is the method, still used today, by which a member gives up his seat.
(80) I do not know what the "uncontrollable circumstances" were.

On Thursday the remains of the above lamented gentleman were interred in anew family vault beneath the north transept of Rathvilly Church. Despite an almost incessant downpour of rain, an immense concourse of persons assembled from every part of the county, including all the tenantry on the Bunbury estates, to pay a last tribute of respect to the deceased. Eleven o'clock was the hour announced for the funeral to leave, but, as upwards of 300 scarfs, &c, were distributed, it was found impossible to have all the arrangements completed until a little before twelve o'clock, when the mournful procession was formed, headed by the tenantry, on foot, all wearing scarfs and bands. The hearse was drawn by four jet-black steeds with sable trappings, followed by two mourning coaches, the equipages of the deceased gentleman, of Colonel Kane Bunbury (uncle to the deceased) and of the county gentry generally; those again, followed by a long line of cars and other vehicles - the entire extending nearly a mile in length.
The occupants of the first mourning coach were - Thomas Kane McClintock Bunbury, eldest son of deceased; John William McClintock Bunbury, second son of deceased; John McClintock, Esq, of Drumcar, brother to deceased; and the Rev. Robert McClintock. (81)
The second mourning coach was occupied by Major Stanley McClintock, Lieut-Col George McClintock, J. Calvert Stronge, Esq, and Captain Maxwell Dupre Stronge.
In the carriage of the deceased - Thomas Vesey Nugent, Esq; Frederic Devon, Esq, and Robert Todd Huston, Esq, MD.
On arriving at the entrance to the burial ground, the coffin was carried by the tenants to the church where the Psalms and Lessons appointed for the occasion were read by the officiating clergymen, the Rev. Quinton Dick Hume and the Rev. Samuel Quinton. The coffin was then conveyed to the entrance to the vault, where the remainder of the very solemn and consoling Burial Service was read, after which the remains of the departed worth were consigned to the abode of the dead, and the gates of the vault closed upon its first occupant.
The remains were enclosed in three coffins, one of lead, and the outer of oak, richly but plainly draped in black cloth, with a silver shield, bearing the following engraved inscription: -

DIED JUNE 2, 1866

The funeral arrangements were most satisfactorily carried out by Mr. William Boake, and the coffins supplied by Messrs. William Douglas and J.C. Deighton, all of this town. The hearse and mourning coaches were from Dublin. (81.a)

(81) Where was his wife and two daughters?
81a. William Douglas, the cabinet-maker who also supplied the coffin for Bella in 1867, was probably William Douglass (c. 1815 - 14 May 1894) of (44) Dublin Street, Carlow who married Kate Clarke of Graigue on 1 Oct 1850 in the Parish Church, Lea. He had a business making furniture, and is recorded on his marriage certificate as a Cabinetmaker. Although they spelled their surname with the double ‘s’, the surname was often spelled with one ‘s’ and two ‘s’, sometimes even in the same document. (WIth thanks to Liz Wade).

The Captain's Will

The Captain was buried in the family vault at St. Mary's in Rathvilly where he was all to soon to be joined by his wife and daughters. In his will, he instructed his brothers, George (Augustus Jocelyn) McClintock, Robert Le Poer McClintock, Henry Stanley McClintock and John McClintock (later 1st Baron Rathdonnell) that all life tenants and tenants in tail "shall take and from thenceforth use the surname of Bunbury only and no other name in addition to his or her or their Christian names and shall bear the arms of Bunbury quartered with his, her or their own family arms". He bequeathed to his widow and sole executor of his will, £3000 and "the use of my mansion house and demesne at Lisnevagh together with the use of all my pictures, plates, china, linen, glass, furniture, horses, carriages, harness, saddles, bridles, farming stock and implements of husbandry" until each of his children was 21 after which they would also be entitled to such usage. He left his son Tom the Bunbury estates and also provided £14,000 for his two younger children, Jack and Isabella, and a further £300 pa up until their 21st birthday "for or towards heir advancement in the world". John Calvert Stronge and Thomas Vessey Nugent were his trustees.

According to the Freemans Journal (Wednesday, October 10, 1866), 'The will of Captain William Bunbury McClintock Bunbury, of Lisnavagh, formerly MP for the county Carlow, has been proved and the personalty sworn under one hundred thousand pounds'.

image title

Captain Bunbury's eldest son,
Thomas Kane McClintock Bunbury,
was 18 years old when he
succeeded to Lisnavagh. He would later
become the 2nd Baron Rathdonnell
and President of the Royal Dublin Society.

1866 Events

Extract from Carlow Cathedral Baptism Register 1866:
John Seaconemow, Convert: A strolling black from Calcutta here on this day baptised having been under instruction for a month or more. Patt Murphy of Dublin Road answered for him at the font. He thinks he is about 35 years of age. Received by Father O' Neill.


'THE LISNEVAGH ESTATES. We understand that William Johnson, Esq., Prumplestewn House, has been appointed Agent over the extensive estates of the late Captain W. B. McClintock Bunbury.' (Carlow Post, Saturday 16 March 1867).


In December 1868, Benjamin Disraeli played a key role in having John McClintock elevated to the peerage as Baron Rathdonnell. See here for more.

Colonel Kane Bunbury to the Rescue

After William's death, his widow, Pauline McClintock Bunbury, was faced with the unenviable task of maintaining one of the largest mansions in Ireland, as well as raising four children between the ages of 22 and 12. To compound matters, neither of her daughters, Bella and Helen, were in good health. Inevitably she turned to the man whose generosity had helped her husband build Lisnavagh in the first place. The Lisnavagh archives show that Colonel Kane Bunbury was a frequent correspondent of the Captain. He spent his time between Moyle and Rathmore Park. His letters reveal little more than a repetitive sense of hypochondria (reinforced by a read of the Colonel's tiny diaries but perhaps the pain was genuine and unvarying). But he has the manners to offer his constant good wishes to William, Pauline and the family. In January1866, he asks how the Captain's 'pain in the back' is and expresses pleasure that the Captain's health has improved since he moved to his 'Marine Villa'. He also mentions a few visits by Captain George Bunbury.

image title

This is believed to be one of the
Captain's two daughters, both
of whom died young.

Pauline's first letter to the Colonel mentions the delicate situation but explains that given 'my poor Isabella's illness', she was out of options. She could not get a loan because she had no security and no possibility of repaying the lender. Hence, 'I venture to apply to you, trusting to your willingness to assist us in our difficulties'. However, Pauline soon found herself in the even more humbling position of writing a 'much grieved' response to the Colonel, assuring him that an unspecified amount of money which he had gifted to William had not been wilfully or wastefully misspent. The Colonel seems to have been particularly irked that the money had been spent on buying properties. Pauline told the Colonel that when she and William first came to live in Carlow, 'we had a capital, I think, of between 60 and 70,000 pounds'. She conceded that 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'. In order to buy 'the Rathvilly property', they borrowed money from the Royal Exchange. 'We also borrowed from the same company a still larger sum to live upon when our capital was expended'. Pauline insisted that all money gifted by the Colonel 'was spent honestly and honourably on this house and place, and if my dear Husband laid out less on the House and spent more on the place than you wished, it was entirely from his mistaking your directions, not from wilfully disregarding them'. She concluded by thanking the Colonel profusely for all his support to her and her family down through the years, 'believe me, yours affectionately, Pauline'.
Pauline's honest response worked. For the next ten years, the Colonel was to be an invaluable source of financial support to the family. His letters arrived at both Lisnavagh and Earlscliffe on random occasions but the contents were almost always the same. 'I beg you will accept the enclosed cheque for one thousand pounds' or 'Please to accept the enclosed cheque'. There must be a dozen such letters and what a lovely letter to receive! His directions are that they help her pay for the maintenance of the house, for fitting out Jack in his regiment (December 10th 1871) and for helping Isabella whose health seems to have declined considerably by December 18th 1868. They were not always without grumble - that same letter of December 18th expresses surprise at 'William contracting so large a debt'.

Footnote - See Lisnavagh Archives G/J/13 - Correspondence of Colonel Kane Bunbury.

The Captain's Heirs

"Tom Bunbury" was not yet 18 years old, a schoolboy at Eton, but by 1870 both he and Jack were in the army. Tom went on to succeed as 2nd Baron Rathdonnell and became a prominent figure both in the Southern Irish Unionists and the Royal Dublin Society. Jack Bunbury seems to have had a rather unhappy life and died in his 40s. On May 11th 1867, less than a year after her father died, The Gentleman’s Magazine reported on the death ‘At Lisnevagh co Carlow aged 21 Isabella dau of the late Capt McClintock Bunbury RN’. Further detail was provided by the Carlow Post on Saturday 18 May 1867: 'DEATH OF MISS M'CLINTOCK BUNBURY. We regret to have to announce the death of Miss Isabella McClintock Bunbury at the early age of 21 years, which sad event took place at Lisnevagh, on Saturday last, the 11lth inst. The deceased young lady was daughter of the late Capt. Bunbury of Lisnevagh, and for some time had been in a declining state of health. On yesterday morning the remains were removed for interment to the family vault, Rathvilly, enclosed in an oak coffin covered with white velvet, mounted in silver with shields, by special request of Mrs. Bunbury.— Inside is a leaden shell coffin, and the exquisite workmanship displayed, on the whole reflects the highest credit on the skill of Mr. Douglass, cabinetmaker, of this town, who was appointed undertaker for supplying the fnneral. The coffin was on view at his establishment for some days, and was inspected by numbers of people who were attracted by the novelty of the design adopted in the covering, which is, we believe, customary in France under similar circumstances.'

Bella's younger sister, Helen, fared little better, passing on at the age of 16 in early 1870. Their widowed mother, Pauline, died on New Years Day 1876, leaving Tom and Jack as the sole surviving members of the McClintock Bunburys family.


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).