Turtle Bunbury

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Above: John 'Old Turnip' McClintock, father of the 1st Lord Rathdonnell, Captain William
McClintock Bunbury and Kate Gardiner, as well as eight children by his seconf wife,
Lady Elizabeth McClintock, daughter of the Earl of Clancarty.

John McClintock was born in Dublin on 12 August 1769, the eldest son of John 'Bumper Jack' McClintock esq of Drumcar by his marriage to Patience Foster, first cousin of John 'Speaker' Foster. He was apparently known as 'Old Turnip'. One suggested origin for his nickname is that he used the expression "I don't give an old turnip what he / she thinks / says" etc. It occurs to me that another, more practical reason may be connected to the Agricultural Revolution then underway across Britain and Ireland. Among those who had spear-headed it was Viscount Townshend, a brother-in-law of prime minister Robert Walpole, who was known as Turnip Townshend because of his strong interest in farming turnips. Townsend, who died in 1738, had promoted the adoption of the Norfolk four-course system, involving rotation of turnips, barley, clover, and wheat crops. He was also an enthusiastic advocate of growing turnips as a field crop, for livestock feed. Could Old Turnip McClintock have been similarly inclined?

His son Stanley McClintock recalled this anecdote about one of his tenants. "My father was in his early days very fond of theatricals, and one day in Dublin he recognised a countryman, named Shelburne, who lived near Drumcar, a lame man, who had been shot through the thigh by one Hughey Meleady, a tenant of my father's, while stealing yarn which had been put out to bleach; he had also filled the proud position of a fifer to the 'Defenders,' during the rebellion of '98. Of course he was hard up, so my father helped him, and, moreover, gave him money to get a ticket for the theatre, and an extra coin to buy oranges, which were always industriously sucked by the audience during the performance. As it so happened, Shelburne could not get oranges, having been rather late, so the next best thing would be lemons, which he sucked unceasingly till the curtain fell.” (Major H. S. M’Clintock, `Random Stories, Chiefly Irish,’ Belfast: Marcus Ward & Company, late Nineteenth Century).

John was five years old when his father succeeded Alexander McClintock at Drumcar in 1775 and began building the new house. John initially went to school in Drogheda. In 1787, while French Revolutionaries were polishing their bayonets, 17-year-old John McClintock entered the University of Dublin, aka Trinity College, as a fellow commoner. The Provost at this time was the Cork-born duelling lawyer John Hely (later Hely-Hutchinson) while the Chancellor was Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, a younger brother of George III. John remained at Trinity for three years and a half, and took a degree of Bachelor of Arts. He entered Lincoln's Inn in 1790.


On 21 July 1793, the execution of Louis XVI, king of arguably the most Royalist country in Europe, by radical leftist revolutionaries was the equivalent of Maoists murdering and taking over the government of the United States in the 1960s. It was unthinkable, and unacceptable, which is why all other Royal states in Europe joined forces and attacked this new Republic with their private mercenary armies. France was hit hard until the government persuaded the French people that this was total war, do or die, that their future survival depended on their ability to unite and arm and defeat the invaders. On 23rd August 1793 the National Convention places France on a total war footing with a Levée en Masse that stated:

1. Henceforth, until the enemies have been driven from the territory of the republic, the French people are in permanent requisition for army service. The young men shall go to battle; the married men shall forge arms and transport provision; the women shall make tents and clothes, and shall serve in the hospitals; the children shall turn old linen into lint; the old men shall repair to the public places, to stimulate the courage of the warriors and preach the unity of the Republic and hatred of kings
2. National buildings shall be converted into barracks; public places into armament workshops; the soil of cellars shall be washed in lye to extract saltpeter therefrom.
3. Arms of the caliber shall be turned over exclusively to those who march against the enemy; the service of the interior shall be carried on with fowling pieces and sabers.
4. Saddle horses are called for to complete the cavalry corps; draught horses, other than those employed in agriculture, shall haul artillery and provisions.


He had originally intended himself for the profession of the law, and had actually kept several Terms for that purpose, but his intentions in this respect were changed by a vacancy having occurred in the office of Serjeant-at-Arms to the Irish House of Commons’.[x] One wonders whether the vacancy was in any way connected to a fire at Parliament House in 1792. John McGrath, the inimitable Premises Manager of what is now the Bank of Ireland at 2 College Green related this tale to me in August 2017:

"The “gallery space [at Parliament House] was grievously curtailed in 1789, but it could still seat two hundred and eighty persons conveniently until the reconstruction of the Chamber after the fire of 1792. At this date a certain Nesbit, a smoke doctor, had been introduced to the Speaker, proposing himself as a fit person to warm the House with flues under the floor and around the corridor, ceiling and dome. One of his flues opened, through the vaults, at the head of the table where the mace lay and 'here many a bashful young member coming to be sworn was 'kept dancing on the hot grating at the mouth of the flue in the utmost 'agony amongst sulphurous vapour and smells'. This was a slight inconvenience compared to the ensuing disaster. On the 27th February, 1792, a defect in one of the wall flues set fire to the splendid timber construction of Pearce's roof. An eyewitness describes how between five and six o'clock, just as the Speaker had taken the Chair after prayers, smoke was seen issuing from the roof and soon filled the space between roof and gallery. 'The fire ran round the base of the dome and appeared to raise it up and support it on a column of flame. For a short time it appeared to remain suspended, hovering in the air when the fiery columns appeared to give way and the vast dome sank within its walls. The massive walls protected the other part of the magnificent building and the damage of the fire was entirely confined to the seeming volcano in the centre'. So perished Pearce's House of Commons.”

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Above: Young 'Old Turnip'.

21-year-old John McClintock was appointed to this post in 1794, in conjunction with his younger brother, William Foster McClintock esq, who died in 1839. [NB: Writing in 1832, Hamilton, FB, says John was appointed Serjeant in 1791 but both his obituary in the Gentleman’s Magazine, 1855, and his memorial at Drumcar state ‘1794’] He remained Serjeant-at-Arms for the next six years. As Serjeant one of his roles involved looking after the Speaker’s mace. On this subject, FB Hamilton advises: ‘When the mace lies on the table, it is a house. When under the table, it is a committee. When out of the house, no business can be done When from the table and on the Serjeant's shoulders, no motion can be made'. This was still the golden age of Grattan's Parliament.

It evidently paid well. On Wednesday February 5th 1794, Resolution No. 43 of the House of Commons in Dublin resolved ‘that it is the opinion of this committee, that a sum of £670 be given to John M'Clintock, Serjeant at Arms, as a reward for his attendance and service this session of Parliament’.

Was John the Serjeant at arms during the Kingston Trial in which case it was a lucky escape for the United Irishmen were all set to storm Parliament and hold everyone therein hostage! See p. 44 – 45 of White Knight, Black Earl. [18 May 1798 – The 2nd Earl of Kingston is tried amid great pomp by the Irish House of Lords for the murder of Colonel Henry FitzGerald. An executioner stands beside Kingston with an immense axe, painted black except for two inches of polished steel, and held at the level of the defendant’s neck. However, no witnesses appear for the prosecution, and Kingston is acquitted. The Directory of the United Irishmen had planned to use the occasion to kill the entire government and all the lords, but one vote cast against this scheme (by the informer Francis Magan) causes it to be abandoned. See here for more]

Box D/4 4 of the Rathdonnell Papers includes an addendum to the foregoing settlement, dated 10 July 1797, John McClintock Senior (aka Bumper Jack) covenants that this third son, William Foster McClintock, now a minor and named in John McClintock Senior's patent as Serjeant-at-Arms in the Irish House of Commons, will on attaining the age of 21 surrender his rights and emoluments under the patent to the trustees of John McClintock Junior's and Jane Bunbury's marriage settlement [ie the emoluments will be settled on the issue of the marriage. In the event, the office was abolished under the terms of the Act of Union before William Foster McClintock's coming-of-age, so some alternative arrangement must have been made over the compensation money paid following its abolition.]

[1] Volume 14 of The Parliamentary Register, Or, History of the Proceedings and Debates of the House of Commons of Ireland, p. 23. Printed for J. Porter, P. Byrne, and W. Porter, 1795.


In April 2021, my cousin Andrew McClintock alerted me to a valuable archive of 12 letters written by his forbear Mary-Anne Delap to her two sons James (17) and William (16) between the autumn of 1796 and the summer of 1797. The boys were studying at the Rev Weichmann’s academy at Zell/Celle near Hamburg in Hanover, North Germany. The letters offer interesting historical observations on social mores and about Dublin’s alarm in 1796-97 when threatened by Wolfe Tone and the French fleet. The Delap's older brother Sam, a student at Trinity College at this time, joined the Lawyer’s Cavalry Corps. As to why the boys were in Hanover, Andrew postulates that it was to do with networking, trade and commerce - Mary Ann hoped the boys would find employment in a counting house (perhaps Messrs. Nesbitt), or with a Baltic shipping business that might connect to the families sugar plantations.

1-3 August 1798: Battle of the Nile - Nelson’s victory was not well received by the Whig opposition who were hoping to negotiate a compromise with the French. Gillaray depicted them all crying into their soup. Another knock-on effect of the destruction of Napoleon's fleet is that it compelled him to stay in Egypt where he learned how to master absolute power and became a virtual dictator. During this time to light, he brought light to the streets of Cairo and established the first sewage system, amongst other things.

June 1799: Legend holds that Nelson went to Naples to see Lady Hamilton. In fact, he he went because he needed to fix his fleet and the King of Naples, Britain’s only ally at this time, had the only decent dry-dock in the Mediterranean. He would later be castigated for helping the conservative King of Naples defeat the rebels in a civil war, but he was not really in a position to alienate the King.


Jane McClintock Bunbury

Above: Jane McClintock (nee Bunbury) who was thrown from her horse and killed aged 22.
Below: Jane's tomb at St Swithun's Church near Bath, where her mother Katharine Bunbury
and brother Thomas Bunbury also lie. (Photo: David Howells, 2018)

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Jane Bunbury married John McClintock on 11th July 1797. She was the only daughter of William Bunbury esq of Moyle, MP for co Carlow, and sister to Thomas Bunbury esq, also MP for that county.

When Bumper Jack first met his new daughter-in-law, he made the mistake of greeting her maidservant first. That evening he may well have ruminated on Daniel Defoe's similar encounter which prompted the 'Robinson Crusoe' author to write: 'I remember I was put very much to the Blush, being at a Friends house and by him required to salute the ladies, and I kiss'd the Chamber Jade into the bargain, for she was as well dressed as the best. Things of this Nature would be easily avoided if servant maids were to wear Liveries'.

I do not know whether the wedding took place in Rathvilly, Dunleer, Bath or somewhere else. I presume the young couple then embarked on some form of a honeymoon before settling down somewhere near Drumcar where Bumper Jack was entering the final years of his life. On 26th August 1798 Jane gave birth to a boy, John McClintock, later Baron Rathdonnell.

In February 1799, Bumper Jack passed away aged 57 and John succeeded to Drumcar House. [His will is recorded in Sir Arthur Vicars 'Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland, 1536-1810’ (1897), p. 300.]

A second son, William (later McClintock Bunbury of Lisnavagh). followed in September 1800. A daughter, Catherine, was born early in 1801 but the baby can hardly have been off the bosom when her mother was killed in a horsefall. I have further details of this on the above-linked page to her son. The tragedy happened as she was riding up Box Hill, some 6 miles north-east of Bath. I think the hill leads up from the river By-Brook (also known as The Weaver and Withy Brook) to a ridge, from where there are famously excellent views of the the Avonvale Valley below and nearby Solsbury Hill with its Iron Age fort. She was buried beneath an urn-topped tomb in the graveyard of St Swithun's Church, Bathford, a village 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Bath [on the A363, approx. 1km south of the A4], where her mother erected a memorial to her with this rather terrifying message:

On the Tomb of the much-lamented and accomplished
In the Burial-ground at Bathford.
Underneath is Interred the Body of
Who departed this Life on the 18th day of April, 1801,
In the 22nd Year of her Age,
This is erected as a small, but affectionate Token of Regard, by her afflicted Mother.

"Oh, ye Sons of Men! In the of midst life, ye are In death!
No state, no circumstance, can ascertain your preservation a single moment:
so strong is the tyrant’s arm, that nothing can reject its force;
so true his aim, that nothingcan elude the blow: -
Sometimes sudden as lightning is his arrow launched,
and wounds and kills
In the twinkling of an eye;
- Never promise yourselves safety in any expedient, but
The fatal shafts fly so promiscuously, that none can guessthe next victim; therefore,
"Be ye always ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the final summons cometh."

(Published in the London Courier and Evening Gazette, Monday 20 July 1801)

In September 2018, Jon Cooper, Clerk to Bathford Parish Council, very kindly forwarded me further deatils via David Howells of the Bathford Historical Society. This comprised of the above inscription (the top part, not the scary bit) and was compied from the “Monumental Inscriptions" volume created by the late Cmdr. Alan Craig (where it was recorded as Grave 60). The added details refer to Jane's mother Katharine and her brother Thomas Bunbury. Her other brother Kane lies in Rathvilly.

Underneath lies interred in the same grave with her daughter, Jane McCLINTOCK, the mortal remains of Katharine BUNBURY, relict of William BUNBURY B.A. of Lisnavagh, County Carlow, Ireland. She departed this life in the city of Bath August 9, 1834 in the 82nd year of her age.

Within this vault repose the mortal remains of Thomas BUNBURY Esq., M.P., for the County of Carlow of Moyne and Lisnavagh, in the same county, eldest son of William BUNBURY Esq. of Lisnavagh who also represented the Co. of Carlow and the above named Katharine BUNBURY. He departed this life in London on the 28th of May 1846 aged 71.


"By that lady, who died in 1801 by a fall from her horse, he had issue two sons:
1. John McClintock, the future Lord Rathdonnell.
2. William Bunbury McClintock Bunbury, Capt RN, and MP for co Carlow: he married Pauline Caroline Diana Mary, second daughter of Sir James Mathew Stronge, Bart of Tynan Abbey co Armagh and has issue.
3. Catherine, who married the Rev George Gardiner MA of Bath and died in 1834."



'AT a numerous and respectable meeting of the Freeholders of the county of Louth held at Dundalk, Monday January 14 1799, the following Resolutions were unanimously agreed to John M’Clintock jun, Esq, High Sheriff in the chair.

Resolved - That it is the duty, as well as the right, of the freeholders and burgesses of Ireland to express their sentiments on the subject of a Union - That our Representatives were not empowered at their election to surrender the constitutional privileges of their constituents - That the rapid improvement of this kingdom since the date of her legislative independence clearly evinces that an independent Irish Legislature is as necessary as British connexion to the prosperity of Ireland - That a Union would not only deprive us of many of our dearest rights but render the enjoyment of the remainder precarious and uncertain, and would for ever destroy the security that Ireland now possesses for their continuance - That it is impolitic and unwise to agitate at this time a question that may lead to a recurrence to first principles - That firmly attached as we are to British connexion, we do totally disapprove of the plan of a Legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland - That these our sentiments be communicated to our Representatives, in whose attachment to the constitution and true interests of Ireland we have the most firm reliance.

When John's cousin Speaker John Foster received this communication, he was much heartened and replied:

‘Gentlemen, I thank you for your sentiments and it is a great satisfaction to me to find my opinions strengthened by your explicit declaration that an Irish independent Legislature is as necessary as British connexion to the prosperity of Ireland. The House of Commons have said so, in strong language, when they stated to his Majesty in 1781 that the very essence of our liberties exists in the right of a sole Legislature, the Parliament of Ireland, a right which they then claimed on the part of all the people as their birthright, and which they declared to his Majesty they could not yield but with their lives. I joined in that statement and we were afterwards told from the Throne that both countries had pledged their good faith to each other; that their best security would be an inviolable adherence to that compact and we were desired to convince the people that the two kingdoms were then one indissolubly connected in unity of constitution and unity of interest. Nothing then remains to strengthen our Union; we have adhered to that compact; so has Great Britain and we have risen to prosperity with a rapidness beyond example since it was made.
I see no circumstance, either of imperial concern or local necessity, which can justify our attempting a change, much less such a change as would annihilate that birthright by the confirmation of which our trade, and manufactures, felt a security that immediately roused a happy spirit of exertion, the surrender of which would not only make the employment of those exertions precarious, but would equally take away all security of permanence, from every advantage, which any persons might be ignorantly deluded into a hope of from the projected measure of a Legislative Union. In truth, I see much danger and a probable decrease to our trade and manufactures from the measure, and I cannot conceive any one advantage to them from it. If the linen manufacture rests at all on any compact, that compact was made with the Irish Parliament, the extinction of which takes away a security we have found adequate, and leaves it without the protection of its natural guardians who, by their vigilance, their regulations and their bounties, have more than doubled its exports within a few years past. As an Irishman then I should oppose the measure, and as a member of the empire, I should not be less averse to it, for the innovation which it would make in the constitution of Great Britain, with whom we must stand or fall, may so endanger that constitution as in the end to overturn it, and with it the whole of the empire. Nor can I look on the circumstances of the times, without deprecating its being proposed, when the French proceedings teach us the danger of innovating on established constitutions, and when it must be peculiarly alarming to Ireland, scarcely rested from a cruel and unprovoked rebellion, to have the public mind again agitated by an unnecessary, unprovoked and unsolicited project. These are my sentiments. The entire confidence you repose in my attachment to the constitution, and the true interest of Ireland, call upon me to state them fully to you; you shall not find that confidence misplaced. I shall oppose the measure and I remain with the most perfect esteem and affection, Your very obliged and faithful humble servant, John Foster – Jan 15’.

(The details of the Louth meeting and the Speaker's reply appear in Union pamphlets, Volume 4, p. 189-190. NB: Wales is only a principality which is why it wasn’t part of the Union.).

As a Serjeant in Grattan’s Parlieament, remarks the Carlow Sentinel, Mr McClintock was: 'The contemporary of the most distinguished men at the time when the brilliancy of Irish genius was the theme of admiration throughout Europe. He was a patriot in the true sense of the term, being consistently opposed to the Union - when peerages honours and decorations were lavished on those who supported the measure.'

John McClintock served the office of High Sheriff of the county Louth in the eventful year 1798 and was present in that year at the battles of Arklow and Vinegar hill. His father died in February 1799.

According to Sir Jonah Barrington, John was the last person to leave the House of Commons, accompanied by Speaker Foster, on the night the abolition measure was passed in March 1800. ‘Both seemed impressed with the solemnity of the occasion when at the door they turned around and took a last view of that house which had been, as Grattan observed, the glory, the guardian and the protection of the country’. Sir Jonah was himself opposed to the Union and it seems likely that he was the gentleman named as Mr Barrington who was riding with John and Jane McClintock when the latter was fatally thrown from her horse in the spring of 1801.

Speaker Foster famously refused to surrender the Mace and, as John McGrath at Parliament House told me in April 2017: 'Foster hooked his chair under one arm, the Mace under the other, made the announcement about "these items being entrusted to him for the government of a free Parliament of Ireland and until such time as he was asked for them he would hold them in trust" (or some such phrase). He then harrumphed off to his home (Molesworth St I believe) and forgot about the Mace. When Antrim Castle burned the family sold the Mace at auction and we [Bank of Ireland] bought it for £3,100.'

After the Act of Union, the names of the McClintock brothers were put upon the pension list. £2545 was assigned to them in compensation for the loss of the office. According to his obituary in The Nation (Saturday, July 14, 1855, p. 12), John was in receipt of a pension of £2,000 a year for upwards of half a century. ‘The deceased had attained the patriarchal age of 85’, noted The Nation, heading their obituary ‘A RELIC OF THE IRISH PARLIAMENT’ and quoting the Carlow Sentinel’s passage about how he was ‘a patriot in the true sense of the term, being consistently opposed to the Union.’

[Most people who supported the Act of Union did so in the belief that it would be very quickly followed by Catholic Emancipation. I assume that is one reason why McClintock and Foster opposed it!? The 4th Earl of Dunraven has a point when, observing that his earldom was a "Union Peerage”, he writes: 'among the many misstatements made about facts and motives in Ireland, few are more glaring than that the Union was consistently and universally detested in the country, and that the support given to it in Parliament was entirely venal. I am not defending the Union. It was scandalously brought about, more especially in that the Irish Parliament was not allowed to appeal to the people ; but the proposal met with considerable honest support, especially among the Roman Catholic clergy. The strongest opponents were to be found among the people of Dublin and the Northern Orangemen; otherwise, counties vacillated … The assumption that every man was venal who supported the Union is outrageous.’ [Dunraven, 4th Earl of, ‘Past Times and Pastimes’, in 2 volumes, Hodder & Stoughton: London]. In any event, it took nearly 30 years, a whole generation, before the dream of emancipation was realised.

[The 1801 Act of Union may have caused havoc by abolishing the Irish Parliament but it was good for Irish Presbyterians. It relaxed the Penal Laws against Presbyterians who became instrumental in industrializing Belfast and building water-powered mills across the north. Many Presbyterians, boosted by the Union, henceforth became ardent Unionists, viewing themselves as an enlightened generation. Thus, while many Presbyterians were prepared to go along with O’Connell’s campaign for emancipation, they drew the line at Repeal which would have undone much of the benefits they accrued in 1801. ]


On Tuesday 28th April 1801 she was thrown from her horse while hunting near the Lefroy residence at Ashley in Bath and died. Her death notice appeared in the Bath Chronicle on 30th April 1801. ‘Yesterday morning at five o’clock died, at the village of Box, near this city, in consequence of a fall from her horse, Mrs M’Clintock, wife of John M’Clintock, esq; of Drumcar, county of Louth, Ireland --- thus snatched in a moment, at the age of twenty-three, in the full bloom of youth and beauty, from the society of her husband, children, parents, family and friends; attached to her by those virtues which will ever endear her memory to them, but which cannot fail to ensure to herself a happier life in a happier state'. [1]

The Edinburgh magazine: or literary miscellany, Volume 17, p. 330 (J. Sibbald, 1801) gave these further details: ‘Tuesday morning the following melancholy accident took place on the London road near Bath: - as the Lady of P M’Clintock Esq was riding with her husband and Mr Barrington, her horse set off at speed up Box Hill; her companions not increasing their pace, for fear of accelerating that of Mrs M were, on coming to the turn of the road at Afhlay [Ashley] made miserable spectators of that Lady extended speechless on the road, and the horse grazing by her side. The best medical assistance was immediately procured from Bath, but we are concerned to say that their endeavours were not likely to prove successful. Her skull was fractured and her shoulder dislocated.’

Jane was just 23 years old. Her death mirrored that of her father's so closely that one can't help but think of 'Gone With the Wind'. It is also notable that one of her uncles, Master Kane, was killed when his robes were caught in the spokes of a passing carriage. It's certainly enough to have given me a lifelong fear of horse-riding, although I do enjoy the occasional flutter. Jane's body was laid to rest in the churchyard in Bath.

The Mr. Barrington who was with her may well have been Sir Jonah Barrington, the writer, who was an anti-Union colleague of John McClintock and Speaker Foster at this time.

There is a coat of arms in Drumcar Church representing the marriage of Jane Bunbury and John McClintock. The coat of arms is that of McClintock impaling Bunbury. However the Bunbury one is quartered with the Bunbury arms in the 1st and 4th quarters (three chess rooks etc) the other quarters have what looks like three dogs or stoats or weasels. It probably represents some heiress who married into the Bunbury family. Seamus Bellew tried such names as Stanney and Aldersey from the pedigree but none seems to fit.




[1] In a similar report her death was noted in The Monthly magazine as follows: 'In consequence of being thrown from horse Mrs McClinton [sic], wife of J McClinton esq of Drumcar in the county of Louth, thus snatched in a moment at the age 23 in the full bloom of health, youth and beauty, from the society of her husband, children, parents, family and friends attached to her by those virtues and accomplishments which will ever endear her memory so them.' p. 474. The Monthly magazine, Volume 11, by Sir Richard Phillips (Sherwood, Gilbert and Piper, 1801). Ashley falls within the boundaries of the present day Avon Vale Hunt although its secretary, John Adderley, pointed out that the Avon Vale Hunt came into existence long after 1800. Jane was most probably hunting with the Spye Park Foxhounds near Bromham village, Wiltshire, which pack belonged to the Spicer family.

Peter Hughes, editor of the Avon Vale newsletter, the Newshound, tells me that Box Hill 'is a beautiful entry into Bath from the east.' Of you look at this link, you can see where Box is; Ashley is at the bottom of the hill in the west, and Box Hill is shown as going up the A4 towards London. As a matter of interest, this is the location of Box Tunnel, probably the crowning glory of Brunel's Great Western Railway. The tunnel mouth emerges part way up the hill. However,Peter reckoned that in 1801 the main A4 road shown on the map did not exist. It is possible that Jane would have been riding on the old coach road, which took a more southerly route up through Kingsdown towards Chapel Plaister (shown as Wadswick).

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Above: This portrait of Lady Elizabeth McClintock (nee Le Poer Trench)
was drawn in about 1799 by Lady Caroline Stewart, who became
Lady Caroline Wood in 1801. Lady Elizabeth married John ‘Old Turnip’
McClintock in 1805, following the tragic death of his first wife Jane
Bunbury four years earlier. She gave him eight children, five sons
and three daughters. Her niece, Lady Harriet Kavanagh was
mother to the Incredible Arthur Kavanagh.
(Image courtesy of Andrew McClintock.)

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Above: Lady Elizabeth McClintock (nee Le Poer Trench) as a rather more
formidable looking family matriarch. She passed away aged 97 in May 1877.

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Above: Rev. Robert McClintock, BA, MA, Rector of Castle Bellingham and half-brother
to Captain William McClintock Bunbury, RN, of Lisnavagh. Robert attended Trinity College
Dublin, where he received a BA, in 1832 and an MA in 1835. He was ordained a deacon in
1834 and became a “priest” in the Church of Ireland the following year. In 1856, he
married Maria Susan, the only daughter of Alexander Charles Heyland. He lived at Spencer
Hill, Castlebellingham. He died in London on 30 June 1879, and was interred in Drumcar.

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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 passing of Jane Bunbury was followed by the failed insurrection of Robert Emmett in 1803 and the news from France in 1804 when Napoleon declared himself Emperor.

On 15th April 1805, John was married secondly in St. George's chapel, Dublin. [1] His new bride was Lady Elizabeth Le Poer Trench, third daughter of William Poer, 1st Earl of Clancarty, a wealthy Galway landowner and Whig politician who had been raised to the peerage in February 1803. I don't know how well John McClintock knew Clancarty but he didn't get to share too many glasses of port with his father-in-law for the 64 year old Earl died on 27th April, twelve days after the wedding.

The Clancartys were a curious family, with a zest for Potestant evangelicalism, and I have dealt with them briefly elsewhere. Their forbears, Huguenots from France, fought alongside William of Orange during the Jacobite Wars of 1689-1691 and at the conclusive battle of Aughrim near their home in Ballinasloe, County Galway. For more, see History of the Clancartys. The 1805 wedding ceremony was conducted by Elizabeth's brother, the Hon. Power Le Poer Trench, Bishop of Waterford & Lismore, who would go on to lead the evangelical revival which became known in Connaught as the Second Reformation.

[1] 'By special licence, in St. George's chapel, Dublin, by the Bishop of Waterford, John M'Clintock, esq. of Drumcar, co. Louth, to Lady Elizabeth Trench, daughter of the Earl of Clancarty.' p. 383, April 15 1805, The Gentleman's magazine, Volume 75, Part 1 (Google eBook)



By his marriage to Lady Elizabeth, John McClintock had further issue five sons and three daughters, who were thus the half-siblings of Captain William McClintock-Bunbury, the man who built Lisnavagh:


1. Frederick (William Pitt) McClintock, a barrister at law, who died unmarried in 1834. He entered Trinity College Dublin from Eton in 1822 aged 16 years. He passed his B.A. at Easter 1826, had it conferred in 1829 and he became M.A. in 1832. He was admitted to the Bar at King’s Inn, London, in 1829. There is a suggestion that he was also a mathematical whizz known as Phi Mu, as per this link in the Proceedings of the Royal Academy (Royal Irish Academy, 1964 (Vol. 64), p. 22) from which I extract: '"Being a friend of Miller of Portaferry would account for one of his [ie: FWP McClintock's] contributions to the Mechanics' Magazine being addressed from Portaferry, but his passion or fondness for anonymity would preclude his giving his true home address, which was also near Strangford Lough and not far from Portaferry. We infer he lived in Dublin at the time he wrote several of his papers, since some of them involved him in controversy with Robert Mallet of Dublin [aka the geophysicist, civil engineer & father of seismology), and the editor remarked that Phi Mu and Mallet then lived near each other while unknown to each other ….” Elsewhere, the same source remarks: 'Neither was an outstanding student, academically speaking, but McClintock had the edge over O'Beirne in scientific subjects. The combination of clues all point to Phi Mu being McClintock.'

The Royal Academy editor adds: "Mr. H. F. McClintock, son of the explorer, tells me there is no truth in the contemporary newspaper story that nearly all Frederick William's family died tragically in the year 1834.” True, they did not ’nearly all” die but enough of them did to make 1834 a full-blown annus horribilis. He drowned in Strangford Lough but need to check that.

2. Charles Alexander McClintock, a Captain in the 74th Foot, who died on 9 December 1833. As the Belfast Newsletter reported on Friday 13th December 1833: "On the 9th inst. at Drumcar, county Louth, after a short illness of five days, of malignant scarlitina, Captain Charles McClintock, of the 74th Regiment, son of John McClintock, Esq. and Lady Elizabeth McClintock. Captain McClintock only arrived at Drumcar, on Wednesday last, on leave of absence from his Regiment, and was taken ill on the following day. He was in his 27th year."

3 Rev Robert le Poer McClintock, MA. (1836), B.A. (1832), Rector of Castle Bellingham, Co Louth, was born on 10 August 1810. Ordained in 1834, he was installed as Rector of Kilsaran on 26th May 1835 by John M'Clintock. [Inducted May 31. Certificate of "Went and Consent " Signed by Thomas Trouton and Wm. Branagan, jun. (D.B.)] A letter from the Rev. Robert Le Poer McClintock to Captain McClintock Bunbury, dated 1847, is about 'Henry's threshing machine' which is to be seen in operation somewhere near Drumcar. On 29 July 1856, he married Maria Susan Heyland, only daughter of Charles Alexander Heyland (late Indian Judge) and Maria Montgomery. He lived at Spencer Hill by Castle Bellingham. In 1874 he officiated at the marriage of Thomas Kane McClintock Bunbury (later 2nd Baron Rathdonnell) to Catherine Anne, eldest daughter of Henry Bruen Esq, MP, Oak Park. He died in London on 30 June 1879 aged 68, without issue, and was buried in the family mausoleum at Drumcar, where he is commemorated by a memorial window in the Parish Church, as also by one in the Parish Church, Castlebellingham.

MARRIAGES. On the 13th inst., by special license, at the Castle, Ballyraggett, the residence of Lady Harriet Kavanagh, by the Bishop of Ossory, assisted by the Rev Robert le Poer McClintock, Rector of Castle Bellingham, cousin of the bride, James Peddie Steele, Esq., B.A . M.D., Edin., to Sarah Louisa, youngest daughter of the late Rev. William and Lady Louisa le Poer Trench.
Illustrated London News - Saturday 29 September 1877

'The Rev. Robert Le Poer McClintock, of Spencer Hill, Castle Bellingham, in the county of Louth, on the 30th ult., London He was the son of John McClintock, Esq., of Drumcar, in the county of Louth, by his second wife, Lady Elizabeth, daughter of William Power, Earl of Clancarty, and was thus half-brother of John, Lord Rathdonnell, who died on May 17 last.'
Illustrated London News - Saturday 12 July 1879

His widow Susan was married, secondly, on 1 February 1883 to Francis Burton Owen Cole, eldest son of Denbigh-based Owen Blayney Cole (1808-1886), Esq., D.L., and Lady Fanny Cole, a daughter of the Earl of Rathdown who grew up at Charleville, County Wicklow. Educated at Oxford, Owen Blayney Cole was a well-known poet in his day but suffered from mental illness. He was the son of the London brewer and 1798 veteran Henry Cole (1770-1815). As well as Francis, he and Lady Fanny had two daughters. In 1836 Owen’s older sister Eliza Ibbetson Cole married John Metge of Athlumney, near Navan, County Meath, while his younger sister Henrietta Isabella Cole was married on 1st June 1837 to the Rev. John William Finlay. The Finlay’s son Henry Thomas Finlay (born in 1847) was my great-great-grandfather. Susan died on 14 January 1925.

[Illustrated London News - Saturday 29 September 1877: "On the 13th inst., by special license, at the Castle, Ballyraggett, the residence of Lady Harriet Kavanagh, by the Bishop of Ossory, assisted by the Rev Robert le Poer McClintock, Rector of Castle Bellingham, cousin of the bride, James Peddie Steele, Esq., B.A . M.D., Edin., to Sarah Louisa, youngest daughter of the late Rev. William and Lady Louisa le Poer Trench."]


4 Major Stanley McClintock (1812-1898), was the ancestor of the McClintocks of Kilwarlin House, County Down, and Glendarragh, County Antrim. He was married in 1839 to his first cousin Gertrude La Touche, a niece of Lady Elizabeth McClintock (nee de la Poer Trench). In the late 1840s Major McClintock was living at Newberry (formerly Carnalway House), outside Killcullen, Co Kildare, where he bred pigs, one of whom was named Lady Bunbury. He later became land agent to the Marquess of Downshire's estate at Hillsborough, County Down, which boasted one of the finest shoots in Ireland. Click here for more on this line.

i) Very Rev. Francis George Le Poer McClintock, M.R.S.A.I. (1853-1924), Rector of Drumcar and Dean of Armagh. The (third?) son of Major Stanley McClintock and his wife Gertrude (La Touche), Frank McClintock was educated at Eton and entered Trinity College Cambridge in 1875, graduating with an MA in 1879, a decade after the disestablishment of the church. He was also a BD of Dublin University (ie: Trinity), 1903. He was ordained Deacon 1878, at which time he became a curate in Kilsaran,and Priest in 1879. On 25th September 1879, he was elected Rector of Kilsaran (which, I think, includes Castle Bellingham) by the Board of Nomination. He remained at Kilsaran until 1886 when he was "promoted" to the rectorship of Drumcar. He was apparently a muscial man. In 1894 he was appointed Prebendary of Ballymore, and in 1896 Precentor of St Patrick's Catedral, Armagh. He was sometime Private Chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, as well as to the Archbishop of Armagh. He was Precentor of St Patrick's Catedral, Armagh, by 1905, as well as Rector of Drumcar, and fetched up as Dean of Armagh. He died at Dunleer, Co. Louth, on 3 Feb 1924. A short obituary to him appeared in the Gloucestershire Echo on Wednesday 6 February 1924. Colonel Bob McClintock recalled: "Frank [was] a most excellent man in every respect who combined the duties of Rector of Drumcar and Dean of Armagh. He bought Drumcar House from the 2nd Lord Rathdonnell and established his twin sisters there while he himself, being a bachelor, lived at the Rectory." Bishop D’Arcytook office as Archbishop of Armagh in 1920, he described Dean McClintock, as ‘a man of wide cultivation and a musician of high attainments [who] was a member of a family long seated in County Louth of whom Lord Rathdonnell is the head. No more warming personality than the dean could be imagined. He was a pianist of extraordinary gifts. He seemed to lose himself in the sheer joy of the performance. Perhaps too sensitive for the rough and tumble of ordinary life, he kept aloof from many of the things which interest the multitudes. Yet he was always most kindly and sympathetic’. [Charles Frederick D'Arcy, ‘The adventures of a bishop: a phase of Irish life: a personal and historical narrative’ (Hodder & Stoughton, 1934), p. 297.]

image title   image title

Above: Gert McClintock (left) and Emily McClintock (right), the twin daughters of Major Stanley McClintock
and his wife, Gertrude. In later life, they were reputedly the oldest twins in Ireland. These photos are from
the album of Lord George A. Hill of Ballyare, County Donegal.
(Photo courtesy of Karen Ievers)

ii) Emily who died unmarried in the autumn of 1930.

iii) Gertrude, known to some as Gert, who died unmarried in 1942. At the time of David McClintock's visit to his aunts at Drumcar in the 1920s, they were reputedly the oldest twins in Ireland! Colonel Bob McClintock recalled them thus: 'These two sisters, Emily and Gertrude, as I remember them, were elderly ladies of different but pronounced characters with no pretensions to good looks, and I can recount one story of their regime at Drumcar. On the walls of the dining room there still hung two full-length and life-size portraits of the first Lord Rathdonnell and his wife: they were probably the work of a fashionable portrait painter for I cannot believe that any couple could really have been so handsome as they were depicted. My brother was staying at Drumcar when the butler gazing at these portraits remarked “I do believe the family gets more beautiful each generation”. My brother realized that he was animated by the blind loyalty of the old Irish family servant.'

5. Lt. Col. George (Augustus Jocelyn) McClintock (1822-1873), an officer in the 37th Regiment, who settled at Rathvinden, Co. Carlow. (See here for more).

1. Anne Florence McClintock, known as Nancy, was born on 17 June 1808. On 21 April 1828, she married the Very Rev Hugh Usher Tighe, MA, DD, Dean of the Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle, and Rector of Clonmore, Co. Louth. The Waterford Mail of 30 April 1828 recorded: 'On the 21st inst., in Dunleer Church, the Rev. Hugh Usher Tighe, second son of Robert Sterne Tighe, Mitchelstown, county of Westmeath, to Anne Florence, second daughter of John M'Clintock, of Drumcar, in the county of Louth, Esq.' Notice of the marriage in The Star (London) of 14 May 1828 added that the groom was 'the Rev. Hugh Usher Tighe, B.A. of Corpus Christi College, Oxford,’ while the Westmeath Journal of 1 May 1828 indicates that his father spelled his name 'Robert Stearne Tighe, Esq.' In May 1826, he was appointed one of the Domestic Chaplains to the Marquis of Clanricarde. On 21st October 1829, Hugh Tighe Usher was registered as a Freeholder of County Louth. His brother Robert Usher was living at 5 Harcourt Place, Dublin, in 1827. Dean Tighe is the author of a journal, dated 1827-1831, which was transcribed in 2021 by Audrey Arthure. It has lots of references to Dunleer, Beaulieu, Barmeath, Stabannan, Drumcar area. Hardmans, Smyth, etc. Hugh and Nancy's first son Robert (Bobby) Usher was born on 2 February 1829 and baptised in Dunleer Church on 14 June 1829. Their first daughter Elizabeth Usher was born on 23 August 1830. Nancy Tighe died on 21 February 1893 at age 84.

2 Harriet (Elizabeth) McClintock married in 1821 to Richard Longfield, esq, of Longueville, Co Cork, MP for that county in 1835.

3. Emily (Selina Frances) McClintock married in 1841 to John Butler Clarke Southwell Wandesford, esq, of Castlecomer, nephew to Walter 17th Marquess of Ormonde.



'We are happy in having the pleasing task of making public the laudable practice, followed by John McClintock, Esq, of crowning the labours of the year at this season, with a convivial meeting for the amusement of the peasantry. On Wednesday, the 5th inst., nearly one hundred persons were assembled at two o'clock on the lawn opposite Drumcar House, and exhibited in grotesque figures, decked in the usual way on such occasions; after sporting some time in this manner, they were summoned to an excellent and plentiful dinner, with ale, punch, &c. after which the joyful sound of fiddles and pipes inspired the happy group to quit the pleasures of the table, and join in a round of merry dancing they continued some hours, and all appeared much delighted by the kindness of Mr. and Lady Elizabeth M'Clintock who, with many of the surrounding neighbourhood, beheld, with infinite satisfaction, the happy throng.'
[Freemans Journal, Tuesday, October 11, 1814, p. 3]


The 2nd Earl of Clancarty, brother of Lady Elizabeth McClintock, became one of the most influential men in Europe after the victory over Napoleon. Lord Clancarty was one of the main British representatives at the Congress of Vienna (November 1814 - June 1815), a meeting of ambassadors of European states chaired by Austrian statesman Klemens von Metternich, which sought to provide a long-term peace plan for Europe after the Napoloeonic Wars. As British Ambassador at the Dutch court, he is credited with resolving various border disputes in Holland, Germany and Italy at the Congress of Vienna. In the last weeks of the Congress, he took charge of the British delegation when Wellington left to face Napoleon during the Hundred Days. His daughter Lady Harriet Le Poer Trench (who later married Thomas Kavanagh of Borris) danced at the Duchess of Richmond's famous ball the night before the battle of Waterloo.



In 1815 John McClintock wrote twice to Peel, the Irish secretary, to recommend a man for a vacancy as a boatman ‘at the little port of Annagassan near my house’. On 27 Jan. 1817 he warned William Gregory, the Irish under-secretary, of the ‘alarming state of the country’:

If we do not partake of the benefit likely to result from an Insurrection Act, you may expect to hear of dreadful results ... As government refused us the advantage of this law, the general observation among the people is that it will never be resorted to. We must have it, as every hour the lawless and diabolical spirit becomes worse. (1)

(1) Philip Salmon, John McClintock (1769-1855), of Drumcar, co. Louth, in 'The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832', ed. D.R. Fisher (Cambridge University Press, 2009).


The Registered Papers of the Chief Secretary's Office include a letter (CSO/RP/1818/632) dated between 13 Aug 1817-12 Sep 1818 from John McClintock, Drumcar, County Louth, to William Gregory, Under Secretary of Ireland, Dublin Castle, with a report on Frances Vickers, 105 Dorset Street, Dublin, whom he claims ‘has so many near relatives well able and I believe willing to assist her’. The letter accompanied a letter from Frances to the Chief Secretary’s office at Dublin Castle, requesting her inclusion on a concordatum list for pension.


One night in October 1816, eight people were burned to death in a vengeance killing that took place in a house in a remote part of County Louth, known locally as Wildgoose Lodge, the property of William Filgate of Lisrenny. Among the dead were the Catholic flaxgrower Edward Lynch and a five-month old baby. Eighteen local men were subsequently rounded up and executed for the crime, as explained in Terence Dooley’s book: ‘The Murders at Wildgoose Lodge.’ As a local gentleman and member of the yeomanry, Henry McClintock attended the trials & recorded in his journal:

Wednesday 23rd July 1817 - Very fine day – I attended a yeomanry parade at eight O Clock in the morning and at ten we escorted a prisoner Patrick Devan to Wildgoose Lodge Reaghstown in this County where he was hanged inside the walls of Wild Goose lodge from a board that was placed on the two chimneys of the house-his crime was being the commander of a party of near a hundred men who on the night of October 31 had set fire to Wildgoose Lodge and burned eight people in it –men women and children –he fully confessed his guilt on the gallows-after he was hanged his body was put into iron chains and conveyed to Corcria and hung there on a gibbet –Corcria was his native place and a party of soldiers are stationed there which will prevent the gibbet being taken down. This Devan was a schoolmaster and clerk to the popish chapel at Stonetown very near Corcria –this chapel was the place where he and his associates met at night to plan their diabolical act-almost every gentleman in the county attended the execution."

October 11th 1818 "Morning Fine , day wet ……..then Bessy and I rode to Hackballscross and saw three gibbets there of men executed for the burning of the Wildgoose Lodge. We got wet to the skin and rode there and home in under an hour and a half-Surgeon Noble and his son Wm Dined with us."

A grand day out, I’m sure! Mr Filgate, owner of the lodge, lived to the ripe old age of 101.


The Registered Papers of the Chief Secretary's Office include a page account (CSO/RP/1818/810), dated 22 Jun 1818, written by Donough O'Brien, Office of Public Accounts, Dublin, detailing a reduction in fees and emoluments paid to John McClintock and William Foster McClintock, Chief Sergeants at Arms in Ireland, over the period from Easter 1817 to May 1818. His report incorporated a declaration by Commissioners of Public Accounts that the Chief Sergeants at Arms are entitled to a sum of £1,557.8.1, signed and sealed by three officers.

A second letter from the same Donough O'Brien (CSO/RP/1819/1118), written in his capacity as secretary to commissioners for auditing public accounts was directed at Charles Grant, Chief Secretary, Dublin Castle and dated 14 September 1819. It enclosed an account of the reduction in the fees and emoluments of the McClintock brothers from the end of Easter term 1818 to 30 June 1819. The account and report were signed by O'Brien; and signed and sealed by Richard Townsend Herbert, Maurice Cane, and John Mahon, commissioners of public accounts, 14 September 1819.

I am none to sure what these reductions mean. Anyone else know? John was clearly cementing his credentials at this time as he filed the pedigree of the McClintock family with the Ulster King of Arms in 1815.


On October 23rd, 1819, Henry McClintock plucked up his quill and penned the following:

"Fine day – Geo Foster rode on a velocipede from the Barrack yard to the Market House in Dundalk in three seconds under eight minutes, winning his wager (that he had made with Colonel Teesdae of the 1st Dn.Gds.) by three seconds only – he started at about half past ten in the morning."

This event is set to inspire one of Dundalk’s most remarkable sporting events with the bicentenary of this speed-test scheduled for October 2019. George Foster's velocipede was probably one of 320 velocipedes made in 1819 by the London coachmaker Denis Johnson. (These included a dropped-frame version for ladies to accommodate their long skirts). The term 'velocipede' was coined by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce to describe his 1818 creation. His invention was based on the 'Laufmaschine', the earliest known form of bicycle, invented by a German baron in 1817.

Also known as a dandy-horse, the velocipede was all the rage for Regency bucks across England & Ireland in the summer / autumn of 1819. The craze died out when surgeons warned that it damaged health, while many local authorities prohibited the pastime as it caused too many accidents, either by collisions with pedestrians or by simple falls. The bicycle would not be invented until the 1860s.



The death of George III in 1820 triggered a General Election in which Mr McClintock, on the side of Lord Liverpool's victorious Conservatives, was returned to the Parliament of the United Kingdom as Member for for the borough of Athlone. For reasons unknown, he resigned his seat in May of the same year and David Ker filled the vacany. In May 1820, he was appointed to the Escheatorship of Munster (in which he was joined by Sir Ross Mahon of Castlegar, MP for Ennis, in June), which he held until it was abolished in 1838. (The Irish Times, 5 May 1904, p. 5).

'At the 1820 general election John served as a locum at Athlone for its patron Lord Castlemaine, a kinsman by his second marriage. He did not take his seat and by 16 May 1820 had vacated. A Protestant proselytizer, throughout the 1820s he and his brother Henry, collector of revenues at Dundalk, regularly attended the local Bible meetings of Robert Jocelyn, 3rd earl of Roden, with their kinsman John Leslie Foster.' (Samuel).

A member of the Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor of Ireland (1827)

Box 3/3 of the Rathdonnell Papers includes a lease, for 21 years from February 1820, from Lord John George, Bishop of Clogher, to John McClintock of Drumcar of the lands of Galloon, Co. Fermanagh.

In October 1826 John McClintock Junior spoke at at an aggregate meeting of the Roman Catholics of Co. Louth held in Dundalk.


On 18 June 1830 John and Lady Elizabeth McClintock bought a house in Dublin. John's mother Patience McClintock, wife of Bumper Jack, died aged 84 on 18 July. Three weeks later, on 9 August, John stood for election for Co. of Louth. He was elected on 13th August 1830 with 256 (257?) votes.

In the 1835 edition of Burke's 'Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland', it was noted that John McClintock, the former MP for Athlone, had been 'returned, after a severe contest of five days' duration, for the county of Louth, which he continued to represent until the dissolution of that parliament.'

Between 29th July and 1st September 1830, a General Election triggered by the death of George IV resulted in a moderate victory for the Duke of Wellington's Tory government. In Louth, Dawson and McClintock were elected for the Tories after the following poll:

1830 Results:
Alexander Dawson esq 296
John M Clintock esq 257
Richard Lalor Shiel esq 213
Richard M Bellew esq 124

However, the Tories did not have a stable majority and, following an inquiry triggered by Henry Parnell, the government collapsed. The ensuing General Election of 28 April - 1 June 1831 was a landslide win for supporters of electoral reform.

'At the 1830 general election McClintock came forward for Louth on the Foster interest, headed since 1828 by the 2nd Baron Oriel, with the support of Roden, who was now vice-president of the Protestant Reformation Society. He described himself as a ‘constant resident in the county’, where his ‘ancestors had been long established’, and a ‘constitutional representative, anxious to improve every description of oppressive taxation’. On learning of his candidature the Wellington ministry’s Irish secretary, Lord Francis Leveson Gower, notified the popular Catholic candidate Richard Sheil that ‘as a representative of the Foster interest’, government would have to give McClintock ‘such support as it has to give’. After a turbulent three-day contest, in which the Catholic vote was split between two ‘belligerent’ candidates, McClintock finished in second place, his brother Henry noting that it was ‘rather a remarkable circumstance that ... John is 61 years old this very day on which he is returned’. Following the widespread circulation of a list of ‘Brunswick Papists’ who had voted against Sheil, McClintock subscribed £30 towards the fund established to ‘protect and assist ... the individuals named’. Speculation that he would be ‘turned out’ on petition came to nothing.' He was, of course, listed by the Wellington ministry as one of their ‘friends’, although this was later queried. He presented a petition for the abolition of slavery from the Wesleyan Methodist Society of Dundalk, 5 Nov. 1830. In his only known speech, 11 Nov., he rejected the charges contained in a petition presented by Daniel O’Connell against the Dundalk magistracy, who he insisted were ‘extremely active and zealous in discharging their duty in a proper manner’. He voted in the ministerial minority on the civil list, 15 Nov. He was granted a month’s leave on urgent private business, 2 Dec. 1830. He divided against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 22 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 19 Apr. 1831. At the ensuing dissolution he retired from Louth, where the Catholics had reunited, without explanation. Expectations that he would be Roden’s nominee at Dundalk proved to be false.' (Samuel)

John McClintock did his bit to try and uphold the Duke of Wellington's Conservatives in Co. Louth, taking the place of his cousin, John Leslie Foster. Although Earl Grey's Whigs swept to power (with O'Connell's Irish Repeal party in third), John McClintock withstood 'the attack of the great Liberal orator', Richard Lalor Shiel and to be elected.

Sheil, a man deemed to be second only to O'Connell in popular estimation, first began to attack John McClintock when the Master of Drumcar had decided to attend the Catholic chapel in Dundalk circa 1825 and lecture the congregation on the strictures of the Catholic religion. [NB: Presumably this is related to 'A Letter addressed to the Roman Catholics of the County of Louth, John McClintock of Drumcar', 16pp, 8vo, Drogheda pr 1826. P583?] Shiel delivered an extraordinary, often witty reply, worth reading in the whole. He made McClintock a subject of some ridicule and brought to attention the dour Calvinistic nature of McClintock's evangelical bible-thumping anti-Jesuit paranoia. Sheil rose from his seat immediately after McClintock finished speaking and kicked off with the following, presumably off-the-cuff paragraph.

''The speech of Mr M'Clintock, (and a more singular exhibit of gratuitous eloquence I have never heard), calls for a prompt and immediate expression of gratitude. He has had the goodness to advise us (for he has our interests at heart) to depute certain emissaries from the new Order of Liberators to his Holiness at Rome, for the purpose of procuring a repeal of certain obnoxious canons of the Council of Lateran. If Mr M Clintock had not assured us that he was serious, and was not actuated by an anxiety to throw ridicule upon the religion and proceedings of those whom he has taken under his spiritual tutelage, I should have been disposed to consider him an insidious fanatic, who, under the hypocritical pretence of giving us a salutary admonition, had come here with no other end than to fling vilification upon our creed and to throw contumely upon the persons who take the most active part in the conduct of our cause. But knowing him to be a person of high rank and large fortune, and believing him to possess the feelings, as well as the station, of a gentleman, I am willing to acquit him of any such unworthy purpose and do not believe that his object in addressing us was to offer a deliberate and premeditated insult. He did not, I am sure, for it would be inconsistent with the character which I have ascribed to him, enter this meeting for the purpose of venting his bile into our faces, and voiding upon his auditory the foul calumnies against the religion of his countrymen, which furnish the ordinary materials of rhetoric in the Bible Societies of which he is so renowned a member'.

'I have occasionally attended meetings of the Bible Society', continues Sheil, 'and observed that whoever ventured to remonstrate against the use of the Apocalypse as a Spelling Book incurred the indignation of the assembly'. . ‘Mr M'Clintock seems to belong to the Calvinistic department of Christianity', declared Sheil. 'I believe the church to be infallible', says Shiel, 'and he [McClintock] believes himself to be so'. McClintock, he says, is an uncle of Lord Roden, a kinsman of Lord Oriel and ... he is besides nearly allied to the Archbishop of Tuam of Biblical renown and has obtained no little notoriety by his epistolary controversies with Doctor Curtis'. Sheil claims he is nonetheless a lesser evil than Mr Leslie Foster. While M'Clintock sat reddening in his seat with 'some appearance of displeasure', Sheil remarked: 'I perceive that Mr M Clintock does not take the remarks which I have presumed to make in very good part. In the Evangelical Societies where he makes so conspicuous a figure, he has it all his own way. He is not much accustomed to the collisions of intellect which are incident to popular debate'. "The Speeches of Richard Lalor Sheil' By Richard Lalor Sheil, Thomas MacNevin (1865).

On 14 August 1831, after ‘a very warm contest’ which lasted four days, 61-year-old John McClintock was returned for Co Louth, with his old college friend Alexander Dawson Esq.[xi] Together they defeated Sir Patrick Bellew and Richard Sheil.

1831 Results:
Dawson (295),
McClintock (256)
Sheil (213)
Bellew (131).

It was noted that while Mr. McClintock, like the Duke of Wellington (?), voted against Lord John Russell’s bill for reform, he was 'a man of clear vigorous understanding, and of the kindliest dispositions in private life’.

When Dawson died in office, it looks like Sheil was a shoe-in at the bye-election so he must have stood alongside John for Co Louth although John retied after the next election?

"LOUTH COUNTY. Late members, Alexander Dawson, and JL Foster: present, A Dawson, of Riverstown, county of Louth, and 22, Downing Street, London.- 2nd. And John M'Clintock, of Drumcar, county of Louth.- 1st. This county was contested. It is 22 miles by 14; contains 110,750 acres; 101,011 population; 5 baronies; 61 parishes; 307 £50, and 102 £20 freeholders; there voted, at the late election, 176 £50, 68 £20, 293 £10, and 28 clergymen; in all, 565. Governors, Lord Oriel and Viscount Ferrard. Lord Roden and the Foster family have extensive influence in this county. Louth sent ten members to the Irish Parliament; it now sends but four. Bedfordshire, with a population of only 85,400, returns six.
F. B. Hamilton published 'The Picture of Parliament, Containing a Biographical Dictionary of the Irish Members' (B. Stein: London, 1831)



G3/1 1838: 1850 Two letters to John McClintock, later 1st Lord Rathdonnell, from his father, John McClintock Junior of Drumcar, about the McClintock estate in Co. Fermanagh (Cleenagh, Clontaverin, etc), in-roads made upon it in connection with the Ulster Canal, 1838, the difficulties attendant upon its being held under a lease from the bishops of Clogher/the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for Ireland, etc.

G3/2 1840-1841 Correspondence of John McClintock [either Junior or the future 1st Lord Rathdonnell?] about a row over the running of the Dunleer dispensary, and particularly over the election of Dr Delap as dispensary doctor, vice Dr Ball. The principal correspondent is Charles Coote of Baggot Street, Dublin, and there are also a number of letters from the McClintocks' cousin and neighbour, Thomas Henry Skeffington, 2nd Viscount Ferrard, Oriel Temple, Collon, Co. Louth.

G3/3 1844-1846 Correspondence of John McClintock, the future 1st Lord Rathdonnell, about buying out the chief rent payable out of Drumcar. This is complicated by the fact that the head landlord, Charles Fortescue [of Stephenstown, Dundalk?], has run up debts of an alleged £80,000 on his property, and therefore has difficulty in making a good title.



'Lady Louisa Trench and Miss Latouche are on a visit at Drumcar, the seat of John M’Clintock, Esq'.
(Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent, 20 August 1833)

'The Most Noble the Marquess of Ormonde has left the Sackville-street Club House for Drumcar, the seat of John M’Clintock'
(Saunders's News-Letter, 22 October 1839)

'The Earl and Countess of Clancarty have, with their usual hospitality, been entertaining, during the great fair of Ballinasloe, a select circle ; amongst whom were the following distinguished persons - Lord and Lady Castlemaine, and the Hon. Miss Handcock; Mr. [ie: John McClintock], Lady Elizabeth, Mr. George, and Miss McClintock, of Drumcar; Mr. and Mrs. St. George, of Hedford Castle ; Mr. Mandesforde (Wandesforde?) ; Mr. Edward Butler, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gregory, of Cool Park; Rev. Mr. Fowler and son, &c. &c.
( Statesman and Dublin Christian Record
- Tuesday 12 October 1841)
[Robert Gregory was later Governor of Ceylon.].

'On Sunday evening week a body of men proceeded to the house of Mr. Marmion, of Killaley, County Louth, and threatened his life, unless he would give up a farm of land he had lately taken, from which a person named "The Glazier" had been ejected. There were upwards of two hundred persons present. Three of the party have been committed to Dundalk gaol by J. M'Clintock, Esq., of Drumcar.’
(Morning Post, 28 December 1842)

"A Resident Landlord—A correspondent states that John M'Clintock, Esq., of Drumcar, has employed during the past season, and still continues to do so, upwards of two hundred labourers. This is surely an exemplification of the benefits resulting from a resident landlord— Drogheda Conservative.”
(Quoted in Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent - Thursday 17 June 1847)

'At Drumcar, the demesne of John M‘Clintock. Esq., within the last few days, a black ewe produced four lambs, all of which are black, and strong, and healthy.’ (Newry Examiner & Louth Advertiser, 28 April 1849)


1852 petition

In 1852, there was a petition from 114 people describing themselves as ‘the Roman Cathlic Farmers, Tradesmen and Labourers of John McClintock’s estate at Drumcar’ who denounced accusations that he was a bigot and pointed out that he had contributed to the construction of Dillonstown Church, never favoured Protestant tenants over Catholic, employed a large number of both religions and had never evicted any tenants who fell into arrears. According to Christine Casey and Alistair Rowan, “The Buildings of Ireland – North Leinster” (Buckley, 1993), p. 249-250, the present-day St Finian's Church at Dillonstown Cross was built between 1862 and 1875 by John Murray to terminate a long vista from the Drumcar Road.


image title

Above: Arthur Hill (1812-1868) became 4th Marquess of Downshire in 1845 on the death of his
father, and was appointed to his father's colonelcy of the Royal South Down Militia that same year.
He supported John McClintock’s unsucessful campaign to secure a title, while his son, the 5th
Marquess, employed John’s son Stanley McClintock as his agent.


The Lisnavagh archives contain the copy of a letter, dated 12 September 1852, from the 4th Marquess of Downshire, Blessington, Co. Wicklow, to Lord Derby, recommending 'Old Turnip' for a peerage. The letter reads as follows:

'My dear Lord Derby,

I hope you will excuse my writing to you in favour [of] Mr McClintock's claims to a peerage, which I have reason to think have been submitted to you, and which I am happy to say

I can bring my testimony in favour of. Mr McClintock has for a long period of time steadily and in the most undeviating manner supported the Protestant and Conservative cause, and has expended large sums of money in Louth, where in 1830 he beat Sheil and Bellew, and sat in that parliament at great inconvenience to himself, to keep the former (a great political card at that time, as we know), out, as well as the latter, afterwards a Lord of the Treasury.

One of his sons, Mr Bunbury, sat for many years for the county of Carlow, and succeeded his uncle, who rescued that county after many a fight from the Whigs.

The possessions of Mr McClintock and Mr Bunbury lie in ten different counties and must soon be united in the person of one of the family, and which will make a noble property and enable him to support the dignity of a peerage.

In addition to the expense he has undergone which, with his unswerving principles and high respectability, constitute I think a fair claim for the honour he seeks, I beg to remind you that Lord Bellew and Lord Clermont were latterly raised to the Upper House without a tithe of his property [incorrect in Lord Clermont's case], and I certainly think that the claims of a Protestant for reward are at least as good as those of a papist of a radical republican (as is Lord Clermont), who have done their best to produce the present awful state of Louth by their backing the priests and Whig measures for many years. They have been paid for ravaging the country. Let a loyal man receive this well-earned mead of praise for upholding, at his own expense, the crown and the principles by which the Queen governs.

Many years ago he was considered so highly by our party in Ireland that the common voice of the country pointed to him as one of those who were to be made a peer. On that occasion neither he nor his friends made application to the Minister. Now, he thinks it due to his advanced age to lay his services before your Lordship, should you find it advisable to make additions to the peerage; and I beg to assure you that you can make no selection that will carry more justice with it.

Our party are deeply offended with two above-mentioned appointments, and I question very much if the radicals are so much pleased with them, for they are both men neither honoured nor respected.

I hope I shall be excused for venturing to interfere in this matter, but the greatest regard and esteem for the individual as well as for his family demand it from me, as well as my great anxiety that you should do a proper as well as a popular act, and I hope therefore you will excuse this letter.'



John 'Old Turnip' McClintock, 'formerly Serjeant at Arms in the Irish House of Commons', died on 5th (or 12th?) July 1855, at Drumcar, in his 85th year. The Gentleman's Magazine 1855 published his obituary on page 204, which I may need to look at again.

He was succeeded by his eldest son John (1798-1879), Conservative Member for Louth, 1857-9, who was created Baron Rathdonell [I] in 1868. However, a letter written by Sir John H Lefory suggests that all was not well in the McClintock family at the time of Old Turnip's death. Had he turned against his firstborn son in favour of his family by his second wife? Go to this page for more on this.

Lady Elizabeth, his wife for over half a century, later moved to Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) and survived him for many long years, dying aged 97 in May 1877. She outlived all thirteen of her siblings who included the last Countess of Rathdown, the last Viscountess Castlemaine and the last Archbishop of Tuam (Dr Trench). Details of her funeral can be found in the Belfast News-Letter of 7 June 1877.


Full details about John McClintock, 1st Lord Rathdonnell, and his wife Anne Lefroy, can be accessed here.