Turtle Bunbury

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Above: Above: John 'Bumper Jack' McClintock
was chief serjeant-at-arms in the Irish
House of Commons during the 1790s.




John 'Bumper Jack' McClintock succeeded to Drumcar on the death of his uncle Alexander McClintock in 1775. Born on 1 January 1743, he was the son of John McClintock of Trintaugh and his wife Susannah Maria, daughter of William Chambers. He was also an older brother of Alexander McClintock of Seskinore and father to John 'Old Turnip' McClintock and grandfather to both the 1st Lord Rathdonnell and Captain William McClintock Bunbury of Lisnavagh.

In 1766, a couple of years after Alexander first acquired Drumcar, Bumper Jack boosted his family interests in County Louth when he married Patience Foster, daughter of William Foster, MP for County Louth. Patience was a first cousin of the Right Hon John Foster, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons (afterwards Lord Oriel), with whom the McClintocks were politically allied. Foster first became Speaker on 2 July 1790 when he defeated rival candiate William Brabazon Ponsonby by 145 votes to 105 in an election. Speaker Foster subsequently appointed Bumper Jack chief serjeant-at-arms of the Commons and his two eldest sons John and William as deputies, for which they later received a joint pension of £2,545.

Bumper Jack was also High Sheriff of County Louth in 1768, of County Tyrone in 1781 and, using an address at Golloon (aka Galloon, by Clones), Co Fermanagh, of County Fermanagh in 1782. From 1783 to 1790, he was MP for Enniskillen in Grattan's Parliament and from 1790 to 1797 he held the seat as MP for Belturbet. [Early plans for a canal linking Lough Erne to the Shannon were in play at this time.] When based in Dublin, Jack McClintock had an address at Dominick Street which was presumably the same house where his uncle Alexander McClintock lived. In a famous painting of the Irish Parliament of 1790 Bumper Jack, MP for Belturbet, is seated close to Speaker John Foster. However, Bumper Jack appears to have fallen fast asleep.

It is not yet certain why he was known as Bumper Jack although I suspect it was because he was either brimming with goodness and positivity or an absolute devotee of Bacchus, or, indeed, both! The Oxford English Dictionary defines a 'bumper' as a cup or glass full to the brim, 1677. Andy McConnell, the glass expert on Antiques Roadshow, concurs that it was a term used to indicate a glass of wine full to the brim, rather than a measure in its own right. I am reminded of Sir Jonah Barrington (1760-1834), his near contemporary, who remarked: "I have heard it often said that, at the time I speak of, every estated gentleman in the Queen’s County (aka Laois) was honoured by the gout. I have since considered that its extraordinary prevalence was not difficult to be accounted for, by the disproportionate quantity of acid contained in their seductive beverage, called rum-shrub, which was then universally drunk in quantities nearly incredible, generally from suppertime till morning, by all country gentlemen, as they said, to keep down their claret.” Sylvia Wright (nee McClintock) likewise recalled meeting an American McClintock who had researched her line back to a McClintock who lived either in or near Philadelphia shortly after the American Revolution and who was OUTRAGED when one of the first taxes that the new US Government imposed, was a tax on whiskey. When this story is told to McClintock relations, their unaminous reaction is "Well, that sounds like a McClintock!"!' All this might also explain why Bumper Jack was asleep in Parliament.

Above: Portrait of Mrs McClintock of Drumcar (nee Patience Foster, d. 1830) by Nathaniel
Hone R.A, (1714-84). She is show at half-length wearing a brown dress and a
black bonnet with a brown ribbon. Strickland in his Dictionary of Irish Artists (1913)
noted a 'Portrait of a Girl' by Hone in the collection of Lord Rathdonnell. With thanks
to William Laffan.

In May 1775, Bumper Jack succeeded his late uncle Alexander McClintock at both Drumcar and Dominick Street. He was in residence at the latter by 1878 as per this notice published in Saunders's News-Letter on 6 August 1778, p. 3.:

THE Creditors of the Rev. Townley Smith, late Coolistown in the County of Lowth, Clerk, and those of Tenison Smith, Esq; his only son, are requested to meet John M‘Ciintock, Esq; at his House in Dominick-street, Dublin, on Saturday the 8th Day of August next to consider of the speediest and most effectual Method, for the Payment of the Debts affecting their Estates. It is also requested, all the Creditors will attend and furnish their Accounts of the different Demands, as Mr. M‘Clintock hopes to lay such a State of their Affairs; before them as will be satisfactory. Dated the 25th of July, 1778.

He duly commissioned the building of the vast mansion at Drumcar House outside Dunleer in 1777, where the McClintock family remained until the 1940s. [Could it have been Francis Johnston? Note that the Linen Hall on Dominick Street, Drogheda, was built in 1774.] Christine Casey described the property as follows in “The Buildings of Ireland – North Leinster” (Buckley, 1993), p. 249-250: 'Originally a large rectangular mansion, enjoying a clear view across country to Dundalk bay. Three storeys over a basement; two rooms deep with a large central hall. Shallow hipped roof hidden behind a cornice and blocking course with central chimney stacks. The entrance front is of five bays with the windows arranged as a pair, a single central window and a pair, an elegant a-b-a rhythm. The proportions of the Central block are now the most enduring aspect of the 18th century house, which originally had a simple tripartite doorcase set in a shallow relieving arch and single-storey walls with niches and sunken panels joining the main block to a pedimented carriage arch on each side. The four-columned Doric porch with balcony is early to mid 19th century, as are the moulded window surrounds and segmental-headed pediments to the ground-floor windows. Later two-storey, three-bay wings with recessed links; yet later ugly mansard roofs.'

In 1794, Captain George Alexander & George Tyner described the new mansion on page 3 of their work, 'The traveller's guide through Ireland: being an accurate and complete companion to Captain Alexander Taylor's map of Ireland' (P. Byrne, 1794) as follows: ‘2 miles from Dunleer to the R and South East side of the Dee river on an elevation beautifully wooded, and commanding a variety of profpect over the Meanders of that river, which here are many and picturesque, is Drumcarr, a new houfe, and feat of John M'Clintock, Esq’.

[John Fitzgerald's MA thesis from UCD (1972) entitled 'The organisation of the Drogheda economy, 1780-1820’ provides a very useful background to the economic status of County Louth at this time, particularly from page 192].

John McClintock was Sheriff of County Tyrone in 1781, the eve of Grattan’s Parliament, as per this notice in the Dublin Evening Post of 20 March 1781:

'To the Gentlemen, Clergy and Freeholders of the County of TYRONE.
AT the desire of a number of Freeholders of your county, I take the liberty to. request you will meet at the Session House of Omagh, on Saturday the 14th day of April next, at eleven o’clock in the forenoon, to put in nomination a proper person to represent you in Parliament, in the room of your late worthy Representative Armar Lowry Corry, Esq; now called up to the House of Peers.
Drumcar, March 14, 1781.'

On 18 February 1782, Dublin Castle announced the new high sheriffs for Ireland, including John M’Clintock of Golloon, Co Fermanagh. [Saunders's News-Letter - Thursday 21 February 1782]. The McClintocks owned land in the parish of Galloon, which woud form part of the substantial Rathdonnell Estate in Ulster.

When John Bellew published William Crawford’s ‘A History of Ireland. From the Earliest Period, to the Present Time: In a Series of Letters, Addressed to William Hamilton, Esq.’ in 1783, the subscribers included Lieut Col James M’Clintock of Trintaugh, Colonel Rob M’Clintock of Dunmore and John M’Clintock esq of Drumcar.

In the summer of 2016 I was inspired to make a trip to Belturbet, Bumper Jack's terrain 220 years ago. The borough had belonged to the Earls of Lanesborough but the Hibernian Magazine of 1784 noted: ‘‘Belturbet contains about 500 inhabitants, 3 electors, a provost and 12 burgesses, few of which are residents. Lord Belmore, patron. NB This claim of patronage was Iately purchased from the Earl of Lanesborough for £8.700, and at another sale is said to have brought £11,000.’ When John Wesley passed through Belturbet in 1760, he described it in his journal as ‘a town in which there is neither Papist nor Presbyterian; but, to supply that defect there are, Sabbath-breakers, drunkards, and common swearers in abundance.’ That said, I thought Belturbet was rather charming town when I explored it with my daughters and our Nepalese friend Karmendra on that sunny Saturday morning in July 2016. We strolled a good chunk of Turbet Island, passing straight through the earthen remains of a motte-and-bailey built by the Anglo-Norman baron Walter de Lacy eight hundred years ago as one of seven such fortresses (including Clones) on the north-west frontier of the Ulster territory that the Normans briefly claimed ownership of. From the island we returned to the town where the children swung and span in a playground sited within the premises of Belturbet’s early eighteenth century barracks; the redbrick ruins of a riding school stand yet. Glancing over the wall from the barracks we watched canoeists racing along the River Erne, while people on board the moored barges and motorboats clapped and whistled them along. We walked up to the Diamond and lunched on paninis in the Yummy Yum café; a plaque on a nearby building marked it as the site of Butlers Castle, a defensive structure built by Sir Stephen Butler, ancestor of the earls of Lanesborough, who was awarded 2000 acres of land in the vicinity in 1610. Three years later, King James awarded Belturbet its first charter and incorporated into a borough, in response to a petition by the inhabitants seeking Royal support for their efforts at furthering the plantation of Ulster. Sir Stephen’s descendant Theophilus Butler represented County Cavan and Belturbet in the Irish House of Commons. In 1715 he was raised to the Peerage of Ireland as Baron Newtown-Butler, of the County of Fermanagh, while his son, Humphrey was elevated to an earldom in 1728. The titles became extinct on the death of the ninth Earl in 1998.

John McClintock’s 1786 copy of Young’s Tour of Ireland was for sale (Lot 119) by Mealys in July 2007 and realized a price of €650, plus buyers premium.

Dublin's population in 1610 is estimated at between 6-10,000. By 1800, it was the sixth largest city in Europe, with a population of 200,000. The biggest was London, with 1 million, followed by Paris, then surprisingly Naples with 400,000 (much bigger than Rome), Amsterdam, Vienna and then Dublin… so Dublin was way bigger than all other cities in Britain aside from London. The creation of the Wide Streets Commission in 1757 was followed by the establishment of the new Custom House. In this post-Enlightenmeat world, much of Dublin's architecture came about including the new Parliament, the Exchange, Gandon’s buildings, the Rotunda, Kilmainham, the Blue Coat hospital and Chesterfield opening up Phoenix Park to the public. By 1820 Dublin city is essentially as it is today; much of modern Dublin would be recognisable to a Georgian.

John McClintock died in February 1799. Patience McClintock outlived him by 30 years, dying aged 84 on 18 July 1830. Three weeks later, their son John was elected MP for Co. of Louth (13th August 1830).

Saunders's News-Letter published these details of an auction of his property on Friday 15 March 1799, p. 4.

The late JOHN M CLINTOCK, Esq's Sale.
On Monday the 18th March, 1799,
By JOHN MACK, Upholder and Auctioneer,
The entire household furniture, china, delft, glass, and books, of the late JOHN M'CLINTOCK, Esq. No. 9, Dominick-street.
For particulars of furniture, see hand bills.
The china consists of a table service of blue china; some broken sets of coloured do. [ditto?]; one table service of English china, edged blue, and some common delft; one long tea service of Nankeen china, blue and gold, with variety of glass &c.
Sale to begin at twelve o'clock each day.



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Above: Drumcar House, County Louth

Select Events

It's always good to have context. For much of these events below, I am indebted to the excellent Stair na hÉireann website.

1767 Oct 14 – George Townshend, 4th Viscount Townshend, becomes Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
Sept 5 Benjamin Franklin commences a visit to Ireland where he would later report he had ‘a good deal of Conversation with the Patriots; they are all on the American side of the Question’. He attended two sessions of Irish Parliament as an observer, and wrote: 'The people in that unhappy country, are in a most wretched situation. Ireland is itself a poor country, and Dublin a magnificent city; but the appearances of general extreme poverty among the lower people are amazing. They live in wretched hovels of mud and straw, are clothed in rags, and subsist chiefly on potatoes. Our New England farmers, of the poorest sort, in regard to the enjoyment of all the comforts of life, are princes when compared to them. Perhaps three-fourths of the Inhabitants are in this situation.
1777 Jan 25: The Earl of Buckinghamshire, who eventually conceded free trade and some relief from the Penal Laws to Catholics and Dissenters, is sworn in as Lord Lieutenant.
1778 Aug 14: Gardiner’s Catholic Relief Act is enacted and grants rights of leasing and inheritance to those who have taken the oath of allegiance: the first rolling back of the penal laws. Later in 1778, it was also enacted by the Irish parliament.
Tipu, Sultan of Mysore, kills 3000 British at battle of Pollilur.
1780 May 4: Diomed, foaled in 1777, bred by the Hon. Richard Vernon and owned by Sir Charles Bunbury (1740–1821),, wins the inaugural running of The Derby. Sir Charles, who collects prize money of £1,065 15s, served as the Senior Steward of the Jockey Club and later introduced both of the Classics held at Newmarket, the 1,000 Guineas and the 2,000 Guineas.
1781 Mount Stewart on Strangford Lough built for linen merchant Alexander Stewart in 1781. Lady Rose Lauritzen grew up there. Edith, wife of 7th Marquess, was main player.
1782 10 Feb Collapse of the Music Hall at Fishamble street. Among those who died was Robert Deey,a 60 -year-old Chancery Lane attorney who lived at Grottoville near Naas. His son Christopher Deey, a stockbroker and notary public who served as secretary to the Ouzel Galley Society, the Royal Exchange and Simpson's Hospital before becoming senior secretary to the newly formed Irish State Lottery in 1780.
April 12 Admiral Sir George Rodney reigns supreme in battle of the Saints.
1782 May 4 – Second Catholic Relief Acts allow Catholics to own land outside parliamentary boroughs, to be teachers, and to act as guardians. On the same day, other acts establish the Bank of Ireland, and validate marriages by Presbyterian ministers.
1782 June 26 - The Relief Act gives Catholics rights concerning their education.
1782 July 27 - Poynings’ Law is amended by Yelverton’s Act which was passed on this date: only bills passed by both houses of the Irish parliament will be forwarded to England for assent. Third Catholic Relief Acts further allow Catholics to own land outside parliamentary boroughs, to be teachers and to act as guardians.
1783 June 25 - The Bank of Ireland is established in Dublin, by Royal charter. It issues its first notes, and opens to the public on this date; the Irish pound is worth £12/13 sterling.
1783 Oct 14 - Edmond Sexton Pery is unanimously re-elected as Speaker of the Irish parliament.
1784Foster’s Corn Law regulates the corn trade; the Irish Post Office, distinct from English and Scottish services, is established by statute.
1784 Aug 14 – Nathaniel Hone, painter and member of the Royal Academy at the time of its founding in 1768, dies.
1787 May 10 - Tullamore is seriously damaged when a hot air balloon crashes causing a fire that burned down as many as 130 homes, giving the town the distinction of being the location of the world's first known aviation disaster. The town shield depicts a phoenix rising from the ashe and te event is commemorated by the annual Phoenix festival.
1785 Sept 5 - Edmond Sexton Pery resigns as Speaker of the Irish parliament on grounds of ill-health. Bumper Jack's cousin John Foster is unanimously elected to replace him.
1787 The Theatre Royal at Smock Alley closed down. Used for a time as a whiskey store, it was purchased by Fr Michael Blake in 1811 who built nearby St Michael and John's Church.
1790 March 31 - A quarrel between John Philpot Curran (MP for Kilbeggan) and Robert Hobart (MP for Portarlington) resulted in a duel in which Hobart allowed Curran to fire and then refused to return fire.
1790 - 3,944 men reported as working on the Grand Canal, while some 2,000 men were reported as working on the Royal Canal, upon which work had commenced that year.
1790 July 5 - The Irish mail coach makes its first run from Dublin to Waterford. A twice-weekly stage-coach service operated between Dublin and Drogheda to the north, Kilkenny to the south and Athlone to the west as early as 1737 and for a short period from 1740, a Dublin to Belfast stage-coach existed. In Winter, this route took three days, with overnight stops at Drogheda and Newry. In Summer, travel time was reduced to two days. In 1789 mail coaches began a scheduled service from Dublin to Belfast They met the mail boats coming from Portpatrick in Scotland at Donaghadee, in Co Down. By the mid-19th century, most of the mail coaches in Ireland were eventually out-competed by Charles Bianconi’s country-wide network of open carriages, before this system in turn succumbed to the railways.
1790 July 9 - Death of James Bernard, MP for Cork, of whom the Gentleman’s Magazine reports: ‘Though he had an immense fortune, he did not live at the rate of £300 a year. His tailor’s bill never amounted to £61 per annum. He did not absolutely starve himself to death, as he lately showed himself a mere voluptuary, having a few months since married a fortunate girl of tender years, to whose tender embraces, it is feared, he fell a sacrifice’.
1791 Oct 14 – Society of United Irishmen founded at a meeting in Belfast attended by Wolfe Tone, Henry Joy McCracken, Thomas Russell and Samuel Neilson. France is becoming increasingly radical.
1791 Nov 7 – The Customs House (Teach an Chustaim) opens in Dublin.
1792 Lord MacCartney’s failed mission to negotiate better trading terms with the Chinese.
1792 24 March - Under the tutelage of Tommaso Giordani, the Dublin composer John Field made a successful debut in Dublin at the age of nine.
1793 April 9 – The Relief Act grants Catholics parliamentary franchise and certain civil and military rights.
1793 Aug 16 - "The Convention Act (1793) was aimed at preventing the recurrence of events like the Convention of the Volunteers in 1782 where armed groups of Protestants from various parts of Ireland assembled in Dublin and were able to overawe the Government at a time when there were few troops in the country. Contrary to what has been sometimes stated, this Act was not aimed at delegates to the Catholic Committee in 1793 but at delegates to meetings of the newly formed United Irishmen, in particular a proposed National Assembly of United Irishmen at Athlone."
1794 Feb 4: French Assembly declares emancipation of all slaves throughout the French Empire; Bonaparte reverses his eight years later.
1794 Sept: Death of John Hely-Hutchinson, lawyer, statesman, and Provost of Trinity College, Dublin. Born at Gortroe, Mallow, son of Francis Hely, a gentleman of Co Cork, he was educated at Trinity College (BA 1744), Dublin, and was called to the Irish bar in 1748.
1795 May 5: House of Commons rejects Grattan’s Catholic relief bill.
1796 Aug 12: Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin receives its first prisoners. Adopting the reform ideas put forth by John Howard, the new gaol focused on silence, separation, and supervision. The prisoners went from being held in one large room to being separated into individual cells. They were required to remain silent and the gaol was designed so the guards could easily supervise all of the prisoners.
1796 Nov 3 - First court sittings at the Four Courts, Dublin.
1797 July 9 - Death of the political theorist, Edmund Burke, in Dublin. He is regarded as one of the most important figures in the development of parliamentary democracy.
1798 French invade Malta.
1799 March 3-7: French forces under Napoleon capture Ottoman-controlled city of Jaffa (in present day Israel). After its surrender, he shocks even his most devoted fans when he does a Danerys and has circa 2000 prisoners, mostly Albanian, shot or bayoneted to death. One reason he lost his cool is because he had just discovered Joséphine was having an affair. His reaction was, one might say, somewhat OTT. Also, trivia buffs might like to know that Joséphine was not called Joséphine. Her name was Marie Rose. Napoleon called her Joséphine as a pet name.


With the Irish government weakened by the revolutionary war in North America, members of the Ascendancy parliament in Dublin united with Presbyterian merchants to raise the Volunteers. This was effectively a private army, free from government control, but recruited to stall a French invasion – ostensibly in the name of the government. In 1782 the musket-power of the Volunteers combined with Grattan’s persistence in parliament secured some short-lived economic and parliamentary reforms for Ireland – free trade and legislative independence. The Irish Parliament – which included Bumper Jack and, later, George Bunbury - could now pass laws without requiring Westminster’s approval. On the downside, they still could not control the Irish executive which, along with the Lord Lieutenant, continued to be carefully chosen by the government in London.

The Volunteers initially supported the French Revolution and the Storming of the Bastille but quickly grew alarmed by its godless and violent anarchy. By 1793 the government had suppressed the Volunteers and replaced them with a government-controlled Irish Yeomanry, specifically recruited for the defence of the realm.


Jack and Patience McClintock had four sons and four daughters, who were the uncles and aunts of Captain William McClintock Bunbury and the 1st Lord Rathdonnell:

1. John McClintock, aka Old Turnip, who succeeded to Drumcar and married Jane Bunbury.

2. Rev. Alick McClintock, (or Alexander), Rector of Newtown Barry, who was born circa 1775 and married (so young?!) in 1790 (more likely 1799 proposes Sylvia McClintock) to Anne Pratt, daughter of Mervyn Pratt, with whom he had 3 sons and 6 daughters. He was the clergyman caught up in the Tithe Wars.

3. William Foster McClintock, born 17th October 1777, sometime deputy serjeant at Parliament House (with his brother). In 1803 he married Mary Helden, daughter of Major General Helden, with whom he had four sons and five daughters. Their eldest son was William Charles Helden Foster McClintock was born in 1805 and died unmarried in January 1890. With a postal address at Reliance, Essequibo, Dememrara, British Guiana, he appears to be the William C. F. McClintock referred to in ‘Experiences of a Demerara Magistrate’ (Daily Chronicle: Georgetown, British Guiana, 1948), a series of letters dated 1863-1869 by Sir G. William des Voeux, GCMG, to the Secretary of State for the Colonies regarding the treatment of East Indian immigrants on Sugar estates in Demerara. In the book, Sir William recalled meeting William McClintock who served initially as the first Postholder in Berbice and then as Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks in the extreme west of the colony for 33 years, before finishing up as a Special Magistrate. Records of his time describe him variously as ‘outstanding’ and ‘exemplary.’ Sir William states that McClintock’s 'knowledge of Indians was unsurpassed among white men.’ He later wrote: ‘After leaving Anna Regina, the only white man seen was Mr McClintock, the Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks of the Pomeroon district, at whose house on that river we spent our night both going and returning. McClintock was a singular character, who, however, and likely and respect from all the came in contact with him. As he was the only educated man in the colony with similar experience, I always regretted that I was able to see so little of him. His visits to the civilised part of the colony were very rare; and so this was the first as well as the last time we ever met.’ It is to be noted that Sir William also referred to the work of the magistrate Mr Everard Im Thurn ‘who seems in later days to have equalled, if not surpassed, my friend McClintock in his knowledge of the Guiana interior and its inhabitants.’ Everard Im Thum was later the boss of my father’s grandfather, T.L. McClintock Bunbury, 3rd Baron Rathdonnell.

4. Henry McClintock who was known as Harry, according to the archives of the Northern Rangers. He was the Collector of Customs in Dundalk and married Elizabeth Melesina Fleury, a descendent of the Protetsant Pastor of Tours and daughter of the Ven. George Fleury, Archdeacon of Waterford. I have covered the story of his descendants, including the Arctic explorer Admiral Sir Leopold McClintock, Dr Alfred McClintock of the Rounda and others at this page.

5. Marianne, m. 1 Jan. 1787, Mathew Fortescue, of Stephenstown House, Dundalk, Co. Louth. The last deeds in Box D1 of the Rathdonnell Papers are a conveyance to John McClintock of Drumcar of the advowson of Kilsaran, Co. Louth [near Drumcar], 1785, and the settlement made on the marriage of his daughter, Mary Anne (aka Marianne) with Mathew Fortescue. Marriane Fortesues portrait was painted in 1796; a Mrs Joan Mulcahy bought it at the Stephenstown auction on 16.7.1975. Mathew Fortescue's portrait was painted in 1810 by Sir Henry Raeburn.
Mathew and Marianne had issue, a son, Mathew Fortescue (1791-1845) of Stephenstown (father to Lt. Col. John Charles William Fortescue, Major Frederick Richard Norman Fortescue (see below) & others) and three daughters, Anna Maria (who married in 1817 Sir George Forster, Bart, DL, MP), Harriet (who died young) and Emily (1797-1870) who was married on 11 Nov 1818 to J. Harvey Thursby (d. 1860), of Abbington Abbey, Northampton. She wrote a diary that has been published - see here for more. ['Mathew Fortescue, of Stephenstown, county Louth, Efq; to Miss M'Clintock, daughter John McClintock, of Drumcar, M. P. for Ennifkillen'. Dublin Evening Post, Thursday 4 January 1787.]
Among Marianne's grandsons was Major Frederick Richard Norman Fortescue (1823-1867) who was in the East India Army in India where he died of cholera in 1867. He had two children out of wedlock to a Elizabeth Albertina Quin - a son, Henry Norman Anstruther Ebrington Fortescue (born in Meerut in 1851, moved to Australia in 1880 and became an accountant), and a daughter Florence Eglantine Fortescue (born in Agra in 1854, fate unknown; her brother Henry named his first daughter after her). These details provided by Henry's great-granddaughter Janice Gregory of Sydney in July 2018. On 6 November 1860, Major Fortescue married Marion Jane Comm, eldest daughter of General John Garstin (1756-1820), Comm, Royal Engineers, Bengal, and architect of the Golghar in Patna. The Major and Marion Jane had a son Matthew Charles Fortescue (b. 1861, who later succeeded to Stephenstown and married Edith Magdalen Fairlie-Cunninghame), Frederick Richard Norman (who died in infancy) and Kathleen Mary Geraldine (who was married in 1894 to Eastwood J. J. Biggar, jun., of Falmore Hall, Louth). Marion Jane died on 15 June 1901.

6. Elizabeth, m. 31 Dec. 1801, Lieut.-Col. Henry Le Blanc. Major Le Blanc was born in Suffolk in 1776 and commissioned as a Major in the 71st Foot on 12 June 1806. He served in South America in 1806 but lost a leg in a fight at at the village of Reduccion during General Beresford's ill-fated attack on Buenos Aires. He was made Lieutenant-Colonel of the 5th Royal Veteran Battalion on 5 February 1807, and reduced in 1815. The bell in St. Tanwg's church, Harlech, Wales, was a gift from Lt Colonel Henry Le Blanc in thanksgiving for the rescue of himself and his family attempting to cross the estuary at Traeth Bach on August 14th 1844. He died in London in 1855.

7. Rebecca was married at Drumcar on 21 August 1799 to Edward Hardman (1768-1854), eldest son of Edward Hardman, M.P. ['On the 23rd instant, at Drumcar. county Louth; Edward Hardman, jun. Esq, to Miss M'Clintock, daughter the late John M'Clintock, of Drumcar, Efq.' Saunders's News-Letter, Wednesday 28 August 1799] Mr. Hardman senior was a heavyweight Drogheda linen, grain, wine and general merchant who became one of Speaker Foster's protoges and, like McClintock and Foster, opposed the union. Edward Hardman jun. was a confidential secretary in Lord Minto’s missions to Toulon and Corsica, and a captain in the Louth Militia. In 1807, Foster’s ‘persevering friendship’ secured him the place of secretary to the board of excise, which gave him an income of £1,200 a year. Further details o the Hardman family's politics can be found here: http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1790-1820/member/hardman-edward-1741-1814 while Edward Hardman's business interests in Drogheda and his friendship with John Foster forms the nucleus of John Fitzgerald's excellent, unpublished MA thesis from UCD (1972) entitled 'The organisation of the Drogheda economy, 1780-1820’.

8. Fanny, m. 6 June 1798, Theophilus Clive esq of the Isle of Wight, the son of George Clive and Sidney Bolton and a brother of Edward Bolton Clive esq, MP for Hereford. He was a grandson of Benjamin Clive, Vicar of Duffield, Co. Derby, and a cousin of the celebrated Clive of India (1725-1774). See Earl Powis. Theophilus had been married before to Mary Anne Kelly, daughter of Admiral W. H. Kelly. Theophilus and Fanny had at least two sons. One son was Lieut. John McClintock Clive of HMS Challenger who was 'drowned by the upsetting of a boat on the South American coast ... together with the purser's steward and two boys' on 19th January 1834. (The Annual register, or, A view of the history, politics, and literature for the year 1834, Volume 76, J. Dodsley, 1835). According to The Nautical Magazine, quoting news from the Devonport Telegraph, the young lieutenant 'went out boating in Berkeley Bay, Falkland Islands, accompanied by a gunner, steward, and two young persons belonging to the Challenger. Finding that a considerable time had elapsed without the parties returning, the officers of the Challenger, fearing that some accident had occurred, sent another boat in the direction they had steered. Their boat was found upset and nothing belonging to the party but one hat. When the accounts came off, diligent search was making for the bodies.' (The Nautical magazine: a journal of papers on subjects connected with maritime affairs, Volume 3, Brown, Son and Ferguson, 1834). Another son was Theophilus Clive jun. who was married in Florence on 23 April 1840 to Frances Caroline Somerset, second daughter of General Lord Edward Somerset, GCB, (1776-1842) who was himself the fourth son of the 5th Duke of Beaufort. Theophilus jun. died on 1 August 1875, leaving a son Colonel Henry Somerset Clive (b. 9 January 1841) who married (1) Ada Blanche Thomas, December 1862 and (2) Ellen Lizzie Lugard, daughter of Lt.-Col. H. W. Lugard, 19 June 1879.


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Above: An epic portrait of the Last Parliament of Ireland, elected 1790, by H. Barraud and J. Hayter. This parliament was hosted in Parliament House on College Green, the same building where US President Barack Obama addressed the people of Ireland in 2011.

Below left: Clad in a scarlet coat, knickerbockers and possibly a black cap, Bumper Jack, aka John McClintock, MP for Belturbet, appears to have nodded off to sleep. To his left, John La Touche converses with Thomas Whaley. To his immediate right, the bewigged F.J. Falkiner, MP for Dublin City, stares into the middle distance. To the right of Falkiner, John Finlay whispers into the ear of Sir Barry Denny.

Middle: The same view, but with John Philpott Curran standing up addressing the House; George Ponsonby and the Hon. Denis Browne are to be seen below Curran's outstretched arm, whilst just above his hand is the face of Henry Bruen, MP for Carlow, whose great-granddaughter Kate would marry John McClintock's great-grandson, Tom McClintock Bunbury, later 2nd Baron Rathdonnell.

Bottom right: Another scene from the same painting shows John McClintock's cousin John Foster, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, seated high above a table, attended to by Sir Henry Cavendish and two clerks, Robert Thornton and Edward Tresham. McClintock and Foster were united in their opposition to the Act of Union which abolished the Irish House of Parliament.


In May 2014, I met Bryan Rogers of County Louth who asked me if I knew anything of a black servant called John Suttoe employed by the McClintocks of Drumcar in the late 18th century. I said I did not and was most astonished to hear this. It transpired that a two-masted cargo ship called the Mary Ann had been making her way from New York to Liverpool under its master Thomas Quill when she ran aground at Dunany on the coast of County Louth. [1] The Sibthorpe family, who lived at Dunany, quickly rallied to save the cargo in a manner that brings Poldark to mind. The conceit is that John Suttoe was a crew member on board the Mary Ann an that he subsequently stayed in Ireland, married a local woman and went to work for the McClintocks. Bryan subsequently sent me the following three extracts:

"The Mary Ann of New York bound for Liverpool stranded on the beach opposite the house of Robert Subthrope [sic] at ‘Dunneany’, County Louth, on 14-3-1783. She carried rum, tobacco and staves.* The crew mutinied and a large crowd of country people assembled. The captain tried to prevent them boarding the ship. Mr Subthorpe armed his servants and went to the assistance of the captain. He personally dealt with the ringleader and saved the cargo from pillage”.
Extracted from Saunders Newsletter, 14th March 1783.

* 'Staves' was initially construed as 'slaves' which would have been rather more exciting and dreadful, but I am content that it was 'staves' not 'slaves' on board.

'The following extraordinary match took place last week at Drumcar, near Dunleer. About two years ago a ship was wrecked near that place, on board of which there was a Black, who very soon afterwards became a servant at Drumcar; he often expressed a desire of marrying a white woman; this coming to the ears of Miss Margaret Brien, of Clintonstown, in that neighbourhood, she took several opportunities of dancing with him at the little parties in the neighbourhood; this encouraged him to propose for her, and he got some friends to interfere; they had several meetings, and at last settled everything and they were married before a vast crowd of people. No young girl could behave with more propriety, or modesty; there was a very elegant supper prepared, and the bride and bridegroom seemed as happy as possible, and are now enjoying all the comforts of a married life.'
Faulkner’s Journal, quoted in Dublin Evening Post, Saturday 23 April 1785. The Freeman’s Journal, 21-23 April 1785, also published the above and described the bride as Margaret O’Brien.

“Very cold stormy day – I went as usual to the Custom House – I have a painter, a carpenter & two labourers at work at my house – poor old John Suttoe (the black man who lived so many years with my father) is one of my labourers – I walked out for an hour or two before dinner with my gun and killed one plover and three staires – dined at home with my mother and Betsy – Louis much better.”
Wednesday 16th December 1812, Dundalk. From ‘The Journal of Henry McClintock, 1783-1843’, edited by Padraig O’Neill (2001).

In sending the above, Bryan Rogers added: '‘There is no evidence that John Suttoe came from the ship stranded at Dunany but the dates and descriptions fit and I think it is pretty certain that it was from this ship that he came. For his help in dealing with the mutiny etc, Robert Sibthorpe may have received one or more of the slaves from the ships captain. Robert was however deeply in debt and he may have sold on the slave or slaves to realise some badly needed cash. A search of the marriage and birth records did not produce any results for Margaret O'Brien and John Suttoe. Maybe some further research might turn up some more information on this fascinating story.’

As I say, I think the ship was carrying staves not slaves. There was certainly no mention of slaves in my subsequent research, For instance, the following:

“On Thursday last in a violent storm a ship named the Mary Ann of New York laden with rum, tobacco and staves, bound for Liverpool, was stranded opposite the House of Robert Sibthorpe, Esq, at Dunneanny in the co Louth; when the vessel struck, great part of the crew mutinied and quitted the ship, being intimidated by the country people, who they discovered assembling on the shore in great numbers, with intent to plunder the vessel, and soon after boarded her, and threatened to throw the captain and the remaining hands overboard if they made any resistance. In this dilemma the captain continued for some time until he was relieved by the appearance of Stephen James Sibthorpe Esq., whose spirited and prudent conduct on this occasion cannot be sufficiently applauded. This young gentleman, upon hearing the account, immediately armed himself and his servants and repaired to the vessel, where he found a great number of the country people aboard in a state of ebriety, having before his arrival broke open the locks, and tore all before them in plundering the vessel, and were preparing to carry away part of the cargo, but Mr Sibthorpe, at the hazard of his life obliged them immediately to desist, and took one of the ringleaders with his own hand, who had the audacity to make a blow at him with a drawn hanger, and sent for the proper officers, put the ship and cargo under their care with a sufficient guard to assist the officers, and attended in person both day and night, by which means the snip and cargo have been preserved for the benefit of the owners. The fatigued passengers were also taken care of, having been conducted to Dunneany where they met with proper refreshment and attention.”
The Hibernian Magazine, Or, Compendium of Entertaining Knowledge, 15 March 1783.

A similar report can be found in The Gentleman's Magazine (London, England), Volume 53 via at and the London St James Chronicle or British Evening Post of March 18, 1783, p. 4.

Stephen Sibthorpe [Saunder's printed his name as Simthorpe] and Thomas Quill, master of the Mary Ann, held an auction of her cargo at Sibthorpe’s house in Dunany, on Tuesday 25 March 1783. An advertisement for the auction in Saunders's News Letter of 23 March, describes the cargo as including Tobacco, 61 barrels of Turpentine, 4 bags or bales of Sassapirella [perhaps the Smilax regelii plant, from which the soft drink Sarsaparilla was made; the plant is native to Mexico and Central America and was regarded as a medicinal cure for syphilis], a Parcell of ’70 Pieces’ of Saffaras [presumably sassafras, another native American plant used for culinary, medicinal, and aromatic purposes], one cask of Snuff, 760 White Oak Logs for Hogshead, 194 Oak Barrel Staves, 139 Hickory Hand Spikes, Gun Swivels, and Anchors. Also for sale was the vessel itself, ‘built of live Oak, and all the Materials that were saved out of her, as she now lies at Dunany Bay.’ It does not appear that the sale was wholly successful as there was a second auction advertised in Saunder’s in May. Indeed, the Dublin Evening Post of 1 January 1785 carried an advertisement for a sale at the Custom House in Drogheda on 11 January, nearly two years after the accident, of many of the above named goods, which was being orchestrated by Colonel Thomas Shepherd.


[1] The Mary Ann was described as a snow, meaning she was a square rigged vessel with two masts, complemented by a snow- or trysail-mast stepped immediately abaft (behind) her main mast. Audrey Dewjee found Quill, the name of the ship’s captain: ‘The Mary Ann, Quill, from New York and Cork to Liverpoole [sic], is lost in Dublin Bay.’ From The Public Advertiser, Tuesday 18th March, 1783, Issue 15226.

[2] Pauline Scarborough alerted me to the story of John Mulgrave, an African boy recalled on a plaque in St Werburgh's church in Dublin, see http://comeheretome.com/2012/05/17/john-mulgrave-the-african-boy/

[3] Sarah Maguire told of the black servant boy in the Angelica Kauffmann 'The Ely Family' (1771) while Audrey Dewjee also noted, in reference to Lord Edward Fitzgerald's servant Tony Small, the burial of an Anthony Small, "a black aged 40", in Wimbledon in 1804. She wondered could this by Lord Edward's Tony Small, husband of Julie and father of Moirico (born c.1797/8)?

[4] Sylvia McClintock adds: 'In La Belle Pamela, the biography of Pamela, Lady Edward Fitzgerald, by Lucy Ellis & Joseph Turquan, publ. 1924, it says that Tony Small - a black man - rescued Lord Edward at the battle of Eutaw Springs, 1781, by carrying him on his back off the battlefield. Lord Edward, in gratitude, took him into his service and Small remained with him until Lord Edward's death. His wife, Julie, was Lady Edward's French nurse-maid for little Pamela, later Lady Campbell (an ancestress of Sylvia). After Lord Edward's death in 1798, Lady Pamela went to the Continent with Tony & Julie Small and their child, a son called Moirico, also her daughter, little Pamela. She had to leave her son and baby daughter behind. She settled in Hamburg, where she married Joseph Pitcairn. The Smalls went back to England shortly afterwards. On 7 Decemeber 1798, Tony and Julia [sic] Small had a daughter Harriet Pamela Small who was christened at St. James's, Westminster, London, on 2 January 1816. It is not clear why it took 18 years to christen her. Audrey Dewjee also found a reference to a marrage between Harriet Pamela Small and Henry Anthony Tucker at Marylebone, Middlesex, England, on 22 June 1817.

On the excellent Come Here To Me blog, Audrey also found the following, in which Tony refers to his children: At the time of the passing of Edward, Tony was staying with Pamela in England. Both were naturally devastated, and the passing of the aristocrat-turned-revolutionary brought an unexpected twist in Tony’s life, as Pamela would in-time remarry and Tony and Julie felt it time to move on. Setting themselves up in London off the back of their savings, Tony died there following a period of illness. Not much was known of this period in Tony’s life, but recently released letters from the Fitzgerald family have shined a light on the period. Kevin Whelan has noted in a feature for History Ireland magazine (Vol 7, Issue 4) that:

"After 1798, Tony drops out of view but these new letters pick him up again. He had moved to London, and set up in trade in Piccadilly. Falling ill in 1803, he appealed to the Fitzgerald family for assistance which was quickly forthcoming (according to Lucy). The letter demonstrates Tony Small’s accomplished literacy. He talks of having spent money on doctors and asks ‘the family to make up a sum of money for me so that I might be able to keep on business for my wife and children which is my greatest trouble’. Small was obviously in contact with Arthur O’Connor’s peripatetic servant, Jerry O’Leary, because O’Connor wrote from Fort George that he had heard that Tony had fallen on hard times and was not being helped. Lucy Fitzgerald adds an indignant annotation that the family were indeed assisting him."

[5] For further information, see ‘The Sibthorpe Families of Co. Louth and Dublin City’ (a project by Joan O’Mara for certificate in genealogy/family history at University College Dublin) and ‘The Massereene and Ferard Collection, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland’, as well as 'Africans in 18th century Ireland’ (Hart, Irish Historical Studies).

As regards Irish families who owned slaves, see Ian Cantwell's study.

With thanks to Luke Torris, Bryan Rogers, Maria O'Brien, John Caffrey (Sibthorpe family historian), Pauline Scarborough, Sylvia McClintock and Audrey Dewjee.

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This long-case clock is said to have been built for the Irish House of Commons in 1795 and
reputedly stood in Parliament House on College Green, Dublin, during the last five years of
John McClintock’s term as Serjeant-at-Arms. However, John Magrath, the eloquent and wise
Premises Manager and Custodian of the building, advised me in 2020:

'Having chimes, it is unlikely to have been a chamber clock and would be likely to be placed in
a prominent and lofty hall. You would expect it to feature in either of the two paintings of the
House of Commons and yet it is not there. For my money, if it was here, it was in the West Hall
or Court of Requests but I am very sceptical. The chimes are redolent of a gentleman’s curiosity
manufactured to be a talking point or marvel in a grand home or possibly a Club. I find it difficult
to believe that the members of Parliament would crowd around to hear the different tunes
come from the clock or indeed that something so frivolous would have been entertained in a
place which took itself so seriously. I also understand that in the entire body of Irish C18
writing no MP mentioned the clock or kept a record of its acquisition or disposal.'

It was eitehr designed by or belonged to the architect Francis Johnston whose family motto
‘Nunquam non paratus’ (Never Unprepared) and arms were added later to the top of the clock.
When the Act of Union was passed, important furniture and tapestries were brought from
Parliament House to Dublin Castle for storage. Johnston later became chief architect of the
Board of Works, at which time he rediscovered the 'Derry' and 'Boyne' tapestries and had them
returned to the House of Lords Chamber. He may then have acquired the clock for himself. In
1803 Johnston won the contract to convert the Irish Parliament House into the Bank of Ireland,
while his later work included the Chapel Royal at Dublin Castle (1807-14) and the General Post
Office (1814-18).

It was feasibly commissioned by John Foster, last Speaker of the Irish House of Commons.
Johnston had lived for a time in Drogheda, close to both Foster and McClintock, designing
Townley Hall for Blayney Townsend Balfour.

The clock was briefly kept at Leinster House where it was placed beside a heater and cracked.
It then went to auction at Fonsie Mealy’s in 2015 and was in danger of leaving Ireland when a
venerable Roscommon voice (aka Jim Callery) piped up and bought it for €115,000; the clock is
now secure in Strokestown Park where it had been fixed up by a horologist. It plays five pieces
of music, one of which is ‘God Save the King.’ One imagines the clock’s ominous ticking as
Parliament prepared to vote itself out of existence.

Identifying the tunes in the carillion may shed critical light on the true location for which
it was made.


John McClintock was one of original 25 founding members (as was a Filgate) of the Northern Rangers Hunt Club, which was founded on 23 March 1774 in Dundalk at Simon Baileys Inn. The inn was used as a clubhouse for many years to follow; bills were frequently overdue to the long-suffering Mr. Bailey. The object was to come together for a week or two and hunt, using various members hounds and a "bagged fox". John became its Treasurer in 1783. By the 1790s they started horse matches on the Clermont course and later when the Louth Pack was started as a professional hunt, the Northern Rangers kept together as a dining club to support it. When the rebellion broke out in ’98, all hunt clubs like the Rangers quickly became Militia. That said, there seems to have been no religious bias and, from the beginning, old Catholic families such as the Bellews of Barmeath ((RCs until 1920s when they married a Jameson and turned CofI) and Lord Louth were to the fore. An early rule states that no talk of politics or business is allowed in the club house. They sported dark brown coats with silver buttons. You were fined 5 shilling if you weren’t in costume and if you were caught not wearing britches, you risked being fired. I’ve seen the Rangers book and you can almost smell the claret on their blotchy signatures although the calligraphy is rather beautiful. By 1810, they were gambling big time.

The next generation of McClintocks were also members – John (elected 1792), Alick (elected 1799) and Henry [Harry] the diarist, as well as the Foster and Fortescue cousins. On 20 October 1816, William McClintock won a big race. Presumably when they met after a day’s hunting, all fired up, a few politicians among them and some hot young bloods, it could get quite aggressive? In 1823, it was noted that Dundalk was the ‘the centre of the rank and the fashion of that district of the Irish coast that extends from Castle Bellingham, to Jonesborough and Ravendsdale, in the neighborhood of Newry – The northern rangers, a celebrated hunt club, assemble in this place; and some of the gentry of the surrounding country exhibit, in their manners and appearance, a degree of taste and elegance that would not disgrace a court’. (Ireland Exhibited to England by A. Atkinson). The 2nd Baron Rathdonnell was in the Rangers from 1881 to 1904. I was after-dinner speaker at the Northern Rangers dinner in March 2016. (With thanks to Nick Nicholson and Edward Galvin).


Freemans Journal (Saturday, September 8th 1792):

‘We the High Sheriff and Grand Jury of said county [Louth] assembled at Summer Assizes, 1792, cannot express in terms too strong our abhorrence of the wicked and daring attempt made by a printed letter from persons calling themselves the Sub-Committee of the Catholics of Ireland, signed Edward Byrne, and circulated through this kingdom, to excite a spirit of discontent among the Catholics, and rouse their animosity against the Protetsants and the Constitution. A letter which most falsely tells them that they are not secure of an impartial administration of justice – that they are oppressed even to slavery – that a change of that part of the Constitution which secures I the Protestant establishment is essential to their existence; and then endeavors to induce them to disturb the tranquility of the kingdom by urging them to illegal and unconstitutional associations, and to elect a Popish Congress to meet in the metropolis, with the vain expectation that it can overawe the Parliament, and that the Constitution is not strong enough to repress and punish so daring a violation.

Though we have a strong reliance upon the good sense and loyalty of the Roman Catholics at large, that the seditious views of the authors and propagators of the said Letter will be disappointed, yet we feel it a duty particularly incumbent on us at this time to declare our sentiments fully and decidedly in the following resolutions.

Resolved, That under the laws which vest the elective franchise in Protestants only, this kingdom has improved, and is rapidly improving in trade, wealth, and manufactures; its freedom has been vindicated and secured; its population encreased [sic], and that since those laws have been called frequently into operation, the progress of the national prosperity has been more vigorous and rapid.

Resolved, That the allowing to Roman Catholics the right of voting for Members to serve in Parliament, or admitting them to any participation in the Government of the kingdom, is incompatible with the safety of the Protestant establishment, the continuance of the succession to the Crown in the illustrious House of Hanover, and must finally tend to shake, if not destroy our connexion with Great Britain, on the continuance and inseparability of which depends the happiness and prosperity of this kingdom.

Resolved, That we will oppose every attempt towards such a dangerous innovation, and that we will support with our lives and fortunes our present Constitution, and the Settlement of the Throne on his Majesty’s Protestant House.

Mathew Plunkett, Sheriff
John Foster,
Thomas Henry Foster,
Richard Dawson,
John Wm. Foster,
John McClintock, Jun.
Mathew Fortescue,
Wm. Ruxton,
James Tisdall,
O’Brien Bellingham,
Francis Tipping,
Wm. Brabazon.


On 7th May 1794, with John McClintock’s nod, William Woolsey, LL.B., was installed as the new Rector of Kilsaran. According to Leslie, he was the son of John Woolsey, of Priorland, Dundalk, and had at first entered the army, becoming a Lieutenant in the 61st Regt., but he afterwards took Holy Orders. He had been a Curate in Kent before 1790, when he became H. Heynestown (1790-1810). He was also C. of Dromiskin 1800-1810 at £75 per annum.

In May 1777, he married Mary Anne, third daughter of Alan Bellingham, of Castlebellingham and had issue, inter alias, John Woolsey, of Milestown, whose surviving children are Major-Gen. Woolsey, D.L., Milestown, and Mrs. Wm. Thornhill, of Eastgate. He resigned Kilsaran in 1797, when John McClintock’s son Alexander filled the position, but was re-appointed in September 1810. He seems to have been allowed in later years to live in Dublin on account of his advanced age and infirmity (Via. B. 1820), but he kept a Curate at Kilsaran. He died in 1832.