Turtle Bunbury

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The Gough Family - Irish War Heroes

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Above: Published in July 2017, Christopher Brice's
biography tells the story of Field Marshal Sir Hugh
Gough, Commander- in-Chief of British India, and a
son of Letitia Bunbury of Lisnavagh House,
County Carlow.


1. General Gough: The Irishman who Conquered the Punjab (aka Field Marshal Sir Hugh Gough, 1st Viscount Gough)

2 Family Origins

3 The Move to Limerick

4 The Bunbury Connection

5 The Sons and Daughters of Colonel George and Letitia Gough

6 Gough's Statue

7 Patrick Gough - The Black Sheep?

9 The 2nd Viscount Gough & the Arbuthnot Abduction

10 The Dean of Derry & Two Victoria Crosses

11 Sir Hubert Gough & the Curragh Mutiny

12 Brigadier General Johnnie Gough, Victoria Cross


Up arrow 1. GENERAL GOUGH: THE IRISHMAN WHO CONQUERED THE PUNJAB (aka Field Marshal Sir Hugh Gough, 1st Viscount Gough)

On 3rd November 1779, Letitia Gough, sister of William Bunbury of Lisnavagh, gave birth at Woodstone to her fourth son Hugh. He grew up to become one of Kane Bunbury's closest friends. As Field Marshal Viscount Sir Hugh Gough, KP, PC, GCB, GCSI, he was also a military commander of outstanding capability, a Peninsula War veteran who became well known to the Victorians for his activities in Hong Kong during the Opium War (1841-42) and again during the Sikh War (1845-1848) when he led the British Army to victory and captured the Punjab.

Here is a story I wrote about him in September 2014:

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Above: Photograph of Viscount Gough from 1850.

Viscount Sir Hugh Gough

Above: Gough was the subject of
two large (and nearly identical)
works by James Harwood. One is
in the National Gallery of Ireland
(NGI. 306); the other is in the
National Army Museum in London.
A smaller version of this painting
hangs in the Raddisson Hotel in
Stillorgan, formerly the Field
Marshal's retirement home.
(With thanks to Kieran Owens)

As he rode along the lines of his troopers, clad in his long white coat, General Sir Hugh Gough must have felt a lump in his throat. Passing the General Hospital, hundreds of soldiers who lay wounded and dying somehow managed to give out an enormous cheer that was heard all across battlefield. Everyone knew that the battle with the Sikhs had been a close-run thing but the undefeated Limerick man had prevailed over his enemy once again.

Gough’s remarkable victory over the Sikhs is one of the key events recalled in ‘100 Years of War – The Irish Soldier’, an exhibition which opened in September 2014 at the Curragh Military Museum in County Kildare. Among the items on display is a Sikh canon, one of four presented to Gough for a triumph which not only conquered the Punjab Kingdom for the British Indian Empire but also secured Gough’s place in the annals as one of Britain’s greatest generals.

The fighting blood was in his genes for many generations although his earliest known ancestor is thought to have been Iolo Goch, a court poet to the last native Prince of Wales. Another ancestor, a Governor of the Tower of London, was killed defending the city during Jack Cade's rebellion in 1450.

The Rev. Hugh Gough moved to Ireland in the early 17th century and became Chancellor of Limerick Cathedral, Archdeacon of Ardfert and Bishop of Limerick. His son or grandson built a house at Woodsdown "within the liberties of the City of Limerick" where Hugh Gough was born in 1779.

Colonel George Gough, his father, commanded the City of Limerick Militia during the rebellion of 1798. Amongst many notable acts, Colonel Gough utterly routed a force of 4,000 rebels at Johnstown in County Kildare with a flying column of 500 horse, foot and guns. Gough’s mother Letitia was a sister of William Bunbury, MP for Carlow.

Hugh Gough joined the army at the age of 15 and by 1795 he was in the thick of the action when the British captured the Cape of Good Hope.[i] He then transferred to the 87th (Prince of Wales Irish) Regiment of Foot, later the Royal Irish Fusiliers.[ii] Chiefly comprised of recruits from Tipperary, Galway and Clare, the regiment was known as the "Faugh a Ballaghs" (Clear the Way) after their ancient Gaelic battle cry. [I am told there is Faugh a Ballagh wallpaper at Lough Cutra today]

In 1807 the tall and handsome young officer attended a military ball in Plymouth, clad in the green uniform of the 87th. His blue eyes lit upon a young woman in a short, skimpy muslin frock, with curly black hair rolling down her neck. Frances Stephens, the daughter of a general, had dreamed the night before that she would marry a man in a green uniform. When she saw Gough, she whispered to her father, 'that is the man I saw in my dream'. The couple danced together twice that night, married in June 1807 and had five children. [iia]

In 1809, Major Gough, as he now was, led the 2nd Battalion of the 87th to victory at the Battle of Talavera, despite being severely wounded when his horse was shot from under him.[iii]

Two years later, he commanded the regiment at the battle of Barossa where, outnumbered two to one by the French, the Irishmen managed to overwhelm the French with a series of grim but effective bayonet charges.[iv] Gough’s victory was completed when Sergeant Masterton of the 87th captured the Eagle of the 8th French Regiment – the first Napoleonic eagle standard to fall - with the immortal words, "Bejaybers boys! I have the cuckoo!"

Capturing the Standard

Above: "Fight for the Standard" by
Richard Ansdell. In 1815
Sergeant Marston's inspired
capture of the Eagle of the 8th
French Regiment eagle at
Barossa was echoed when
Sergeant Charles Ewart secured
the standard of the 45th French
regiment at Waterloo after the
charge of the Scots Greys.

The victory at Barossa was a huge morale booster for Britain and her allies, paving the way for Waterloo and total victory. Amongst many honours bestowed in its aftermath was the right for Gough and his descendants to use "Faugh-a-Ballagh" as an additional motto to their arms.

Twice wounded in the Peninsula War campaign, Gough lead his men to several more victories, including the Battle of Vittoria where his men captured Marshal Jourdan’s Baton. [v]

Gough returned home to a hero's welcome. He was awarded the Peninsular Gold Cross - the gateway to a knighthood - and knighted in 1816, presumably by the Prince Regent. He was promoted to Colonel in August 1819.

[Lieutenant-Colonel Gough, of the City LimerickMilitia, has ordered the Tenantry on that part of his estatesituated in the South Liberties of Limerick, to be allowed areduction of one third of the present Rents, and has forgiven them arrears amounting to upwards of £1,400. Dublin Weekly Register - Saturday 05 October 1822]

Eighteen years later, Major-General Gough was appointed commander of the Mysore Division of the Madras Army in British India. [vi] In March 1841, he was dispatched at the head of an expedition to China where British forces were embroiled in the First Opium War. He subsequently led a series of assaults on China, capturing the forts defending Canton (present-day Guandzhou) and forcing the Chinese Emperor to accept the Treaty of Nanking, by which Britain took possession of Hong Kong and became the predominant European power in the region. For these services, Gough was created a Baronet.

In 1843, General Gough became Commander-in-Chief of India, leading his army to victory over the Mahrattas at Mahrajpur.[vii] His attention then turned to the Punjab, a region roughly synonymous with present-day Pakistan. Internal intrigues and anarchy had anihilated the Royal family, leaving a power vacuum at the Sikh court. A restless Sikh army them marched towards the Anglo-Sikh frontier and crossed the River Sutlej in the winter of 1845. The act prompted a declaration of war by the British East India Company against the Sikhs.

The Sikhs were to prove one of the most powerful foes the British faced during their guest for global supremacy. They were arguably the best natural fighters in India. The army was stronger still having been trained by mostly ex-French Army officers, using a translated copy of Napoleon's drill book. [viii] As well as mastering European tactics, the Sikhs had British-style muskets and rifles, which were every bit as good as British ones. Their uniforms were copies of those worn by the East India Company Army. Perhaps most importantly, their artillery was superior to that of the British, in terms of numbers, calibre, weight and bore, while their gunners were the match, if not the superior, of their British counterparts.

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

Gough hastily marched his army to the volatile frontier. His first battle with the Sikhs took place at Ferozepore (present-day Firozpur) on the banks of the Sutlej where by dint of a brilliant cavalry charge and a ‘cold steel’ infantry advance, the Sikhs were comprehensively defeated with the loss of much life and 17 of their 22 guns.

He subsequently defeated the Sikhs at the battles of Ferozeshah, Mudki and Sobraon, albeit with mounting loss of men from his own rank and file. The First Anglo-Sikh War concluded with the Treaty of Lahore by which the Sikhs ceded the territory between the Sutlej and the Beas to Great Britain, while Kashmir became an independent province that was later sold off by the British for 75 lakh rupees to Raja Gulab Singh for services rendered during the wars.

In 1848, the murder of British officers Lieutenant Patrick Vans Agnew and Colonel William Anderson in Multan ignited the Second Anglo-Sikh War. Lord Gough, as he had now become, led his army this time across the River Chenab, determined to crush the Sikh independence movement. Disturbances had broken out in southern Punjab where the local Sikh governor Dewan Mulraj held the fort at Multan. In the north Raja Sher Singh Attariwala had rebelled against the British authorities collecting vast numbers of disgruntled Sikh soldiers to rebel against the British.

Gough ran into trouble when he met the Sikhs at the battle of Chillianwalla in January 1849. The Sikhs proved much stronger than anticipated, holding the upper hand in terms of both position and guns. His army suffered heavily – the 24th and 29th Regiments lost all their officers in a few minutes, with 757 killed (mostly Englishmen) and another 1700 wounded or missing in the jungle scrub. However, when darkness fell, the British counter attacked in fierce hand-to-hand combat, capturing several guns; the Sikhs later recaptured all of their guns but to no avail. It is believed this battle broke th Sikh's fighting spirit.

After the battle, Gough received an ovation from his troops. Sergeant Keay of the Bengal Artillery wrote: ‘I can never forget the reception Lord Gough got from the troops as he rode along our line on the evening of the battle… I happened also to be at the General Hospital where the wounded and dying were lying in hundreds, and as soon as they caught sight of his venerable white head, there was such a cheer burst forth that it said, as plainly as could say, "You will never find us wanting when you require us".’

However, the excessive loss of life appalled both the British public and the directors of the East India Company, while Gough’s "Tipperary Tactics" were lambasted in London. The excellent fighting skills of the Sikhs undoubtedly increased the casualty figures but the losses were also heavier than usual because, in the absence of any suitable long-range artillery, Gough was obliged to rely on old style tactics of ‘cold steel’ and hand-to-hand combat.

Letters were issued ordering Gough to stand down as Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in India in place of Sir Charles Napier. [ix.a] Had the message reached him on time, perhaps things would have been different. As it happened, he continued unaware and sent his army in for one final battle against the Sikhs at Goojerat on 21st February 1849. This was prompted by the arrival of the long sought for reinforcements, complete with long-range artillery, as well as a strategic withdrawal by the Sikhs who were badly in need of provisions.

As the British prepared to advance on Goojerat, Sergeant Keay recalled the ‘unrestrained’ enthusiasm of his men as he rode down the lines in his white 'fighting coat', helmet in hand. [ix.b]

Another officer recalled: "While we were waiting, our attention was drawn to a curious sound in the far distance on the right. The noise grew louder and nearer, and we saw the regiments, one after another, cheering like mad. It was Lord Gough, at the head of his Staff, riding along the front. He soon passed out of sight, but we heard the cheering till it died away in the distance".

Goojerat was an absolute victory for Gough and forced the Sikh leaders to surrender unconditionally.[x] The Sikh Empire collapsed and the Punjab was annexed to British India - 100,000 miles of fertile soil, destined to become the breadbasket of the British Empire and later the heartland of Pakistan.

We have a mezzotint of Gough directing in (the) Bengal during the Sikh War. It is after a portrait by the Scottish artist Sir Francis Grant (1803 - 1878) from c.1853, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1854 (and elsewhere). [The NPG in London has a copy, with details of where it was shown. Look up www.britishempire.co.uk and search for Gough in the Google custom search window. One of the first few results will highlight Gough's life.]

After his crowning victory at Goojerat in 1849, he was created Viscount Gough of Gujarat and Limerick. Parliament granted him a pension of £2000 a year for himself and his next two successors in the viscountcy. Like the Duke of Marlborough with Blenheim, or the Duke of Wellington with Stratfield Saye, Viscount Gough used some of the money to purchase Lough Cutra, a fine estate in County Galway, as well as a Georgian villa in Booterstown, County Dublin, which is now the Radisson SAS St Helen's Hotel. [xi] St Helen's nearly succumbed to Sean Dunne during the Celtic Tiger, but was saved by the St. Helen's House Preservation Group. The side bedroom wing in St. Helens is now the John McCurdy; the wing of 1865 on the west front was knocked down without permission by Berland. in 1995 St Helen's became the first post-1700 house and garden to be registered under the National Monuments Act 1987, thanks to Michael D Higgins, the then Minister for Heritage.

'Foley's Asia’ by Ronan Sheehan is now being taught at 3rd level in post-colonial studies in some American universities. However, supporters of Gough dispute his characterisation of the general as an opium warlord. One wrote to me in July 2018 stating: 'Lord Gough sent home letters to Frances and kept a journal while in China. He was appalled by the behavior of the soldiers. I believe that many soldiers were sent out but they were undisciplined and badly trained, and not part of Gough's force. Gough's orders were to combat with armed fighters. Civilians were not to be harmed and he also forbade looting. He was so disillusioned afterwards that he retired. Times were different then but worse is going on now and nothing done about it because of vested interests.'

He was later appointed a Field Marshal while his other honours included Knight of the Order of St Patrick and an equestrian statue by the eminent Dublin sculptor, John Henry Foley.[xii] The statue stood in Phoenix Park until it was blown up by the IRA in 1957. The restored statue now resides at Chillingham Castle in Northumberland.

Frances Gough died on 15th March 1863. Isabella McClintock Bunbury, daughter of her husband's cousin, William McClintock Bunbury, kept a journal into which she copied a letter Queen Victoria (whose husband had died 15 months earlier) wrote to Lord Gough from Windsor Castle on 23rd March:

The Queen has heard with much concern of the sad affliction which has befallen Lord Gough, and is anxious to express her sincere sympathy with him. She remembers meeting his lamented wife at Phoenix Park 10 years ago and how kind and amiable she was. Irreparable as his loss is, how blessed to have lived together till the evening of their lives with the comfort and hope of the separation being but a short one. To the poor Queen this blessing so needful to her, has been denied and she can only hope never to live to see old age, but be allowed to rejoin her beloveds great and good husband e’er many years close. The Queen sincerely hope that Lord Gough‘s health may not have suffered and ask him to express her sincere sympathy to his family.

Field Marshal Viscount Gough died at St. Helen's on 2nd March 1869 and was buried alongside his wife in a family vault at St Brigid’s Church, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin. [xiii] There is a copy of his will in the Lisnavagh Archives.

Undefeated in battle, General Gough commanded in more actions than anyone but the Duke of Wellington.

With thanks to Dr Christopher Brice, Commandant Dave Foley, Bobby Singh and Christopher Normand. For details of the Viscount's sons and brothers, or the Gough statue, scroll on down.


[i] As The Irish Times described in 1905, 'he was nurtured amidst the clash of arms'. Raised in his father's Limerick Militia, he was gazetted as an Ensign in the Hon. Robert Ward's corps aged 14 on 7th August 1794. Four months later he was promoted to Lieutenant in the 119th Foot, a regiment raised under Colonel Rochford, and was adjutant of this regiment at the age of 15. In June 1795, he transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the 78th Highlanders (or "Ross-shire Buffs"), and served with that regiment at the capture of the Cape of Good Hope and the Dutch Fleet.

[ii] The 87th (Prince of Wales Irish) Regiment of Foot became the Royal Irish Fusiliers until 1827.

[iia] Gough was married, aged 28, on 3rd June 1807, at Plymouth, Devon, to Frances Maria Stephens, daughter of General Edward Stephens, R.A. At the time of their marriage, as The Irish Times later recalled in a 1905 tribute, 'he was about 25, an eminently handsome young officer, tall and erect, with an intelligent, open expression of coutenance, large wide open blue eyes, light curling hair and an aquiline nose. The couple first met at a military ball in Plymouth. Before the ball, Miss Stephens told her father she had dreamt of the man she would marry and he was to be clad in the green uniform of the 87th Regiment. Standing beside her father when Hugh Gough entered teh room, she whispered 'that is the man I saw in my dream'. They danced twice together and the mutual attraction was intense. With curly black hair rolling down her neck, she was clad in a short-waisted, skimpy muslin frock which was the vogue during the First Empire of Napoleon. Gough's battalion was sent to Guernsey in April but he returned in July to claim his bride.

[iii] Wellington was actually very critical of the perceived performance of the 87th and the 88th (later the Connaught Rangers) in the battle. It is believed that it is no accident that both were 'Irish' battalions and Wellington seems to have had a particularly poor opinion of the discipline of such units during this period. After Barossa, Wellington amended his opinion to praise Gough’s performance at Talavera.

[iv] As Chris Brice observed to me in 2013, Barossa was 'a gruesome slogfest' in which the British overpowered superior French numbers by the sheer determinatio of their cold steel. Victory would implant in Gough's mind an absolute faith in the power of the bayonet charge. For the next forty years, he would effectively subscribe to the view that artillery was merely to soften up the enemy before the charge. And given that artillery was so ineffective in those days, who can blame him? But when he was low on artillery in the Punjab, and unable to soften up the Sikhs, he suffered the consequences. General Sir Charles Napier was similarly inclined to regard muskets as a weapon of decence only. It is curious that Gough and Napier, and Lord Roberts too, were all initimately connected with the Bunbury family.

[v] His younger brother William was severely wounded at Vittoria but survived only to drown off Kinsale in 1822. At the ensuing battle of Nivelle, Hugh Gough himself was again wounded but won a gold cross for his efforts. He was also in command of the defence of Cadiz and Tarifa (where he was slightly wounded in the head).

[vi] He was promoted to Colonel in 1819 and to Major General in 1830. He was Colonel of the 99th Regiment of Foot, 1839-41, and of the 87th Regiment, 1841-55. In 1837 he went out to India to command the Mysore Division of the Madras Army. He was promoted to Lt General in 1841.

[vii] Gough’s force had 797 casualties at Mahrajpur, of which around 110 were killed.

[viii] The officers included as Allard, Court and the Italian-born Ventura and Di Avitabile.

[ix.a] When Napier conquered the Sindh Province in 1842, he is said to have despatched to his superiors the short, notable message, "Peccavi", the Latin for "I have sinned" (which was a pun on I have Sindh). This pun appeared under the title 'Foreign Affairs' in Punch magazine on 18 May 1844. The true author of the pun was, however, Englishwoman Catherine Winkworth, who submitted it to Punch, which then printed it as a factual report.

[ix.b] In another letter, Keay wrote: "It was not as a commander alone that he was respected, but as a kind-feeling and good-hearted man, who took a lively interest in the welfare of all those who were under him, and who took a pleasure in seeing everyone as comfortable as circumstance would permit. As for cavalry, infantry and artillery, I don't think that men ever could have been more attached to any commander than to old Gough. I used to see him in hospital daily, kindly asking after those who were recovering, and cheering up and consoling those who were bad."

[x] Bobby Singh, who visited the battlefield in 2014, writes: ‘It is odd that there is no memorial/obelisk at the battlefield in Gujerat today where Viscount routed the Sikh army in 1849. However, a obelisk stands at Chillianwala.’

[xi] Gough was presented with four Sikh cannons for services rendered once he returned to Ireland. According to Bobby Singh, one is in the National Museum of Ireland, one is in a military barracks (presumably the Curragh), one was sold off by his children to a customer in America and one was presented by Viscount Gough to the Duke of Rutland where it is proudly on display at Belvoir Castle.

In 1851, Gough purchased a handsome estate of 71 acres and a stunning early Georgian villa of St Helen's in Booterstown, south of Dublin City. Formerly called ‘Seamount’, this was one of the first houses, erected in 1750 by Thomas Cooley, a barrister, and MP for Duleek. It was later owned by Sir John Nutting and then by the Christian Brothers, who owned the house from 1925 to 1988. Today its better known as the AA five-star Radisson SAS St Helen's Hotel and snooker world champ Ken Doherty has a full-sized snooker table in the basment. The restaurant is called 'Talavera' after his battle and a full-length portrait of the Field Marshall stands in the hallway. The stables to the left have been converted to bedrooms. During an overnight stay in May 2008 I took a peek at the Viscount's bedroom where he died in 1869. From his balcony he would have had undistrubed view down to the sea although the vista is now obscured by buildings and trees. I chanced to see two fox cubs playing in the distant hedges.

[xii] He was appointed a Field Marshall in 1862. Also he was one of the only two infantry officers to be appointed Colonel of Horse Guards ("The Blues"); the other was also an officer of the Royal Irish Fusiliers - Field Marshall Sir Gerald Templar, K.G., G.C.B., G.C.M.G., D.S.O., H.M.L. His other honours included Knight of the Royal Order of St Patrick, Privy Councillor, G.C.B., G.C.S.I.. and Knight of the Most Distinguished Order of Charles III. In 1856, he was one of the key speakers at the Crimean War Banquet in Dublin's Stack A.

[xiii] The family vault in St Brigid’s Church is also the resting place of the 2nd and 3rd Viscounts, along with the ashes of the present Viscount’s father.

His second daughter the Honble Eleanor Laura Jane married Robert Algernon Persse, J.P. co Galway, a brother of Lady Gregory (who was wife to Sir William Gregory of Coole and co-founded the Abbey). Sir William and Lady Gregory's daughter-in-law Margaret - wife of Yeats' ill-fated Irish airman Robert Gregory - later married the Gregory's widowed neighbour, Guy Gough of Lough Cultra. The 4th Viscount Gough sold the balance of the Lough Cultra estate to Guy [his first cousin] but they had no children. [With thanks to Shane Gough]


'Brave as a Lion: The life and times of Field Marshal Hugh Gough, 1st Viscount Gough’ by Dr Christopher Brice will be published by Helion & Co in 2015.

Robert Rait's second volume of his biography of Gough deals with the two Sikh Wars. Indeed the entire second volume is devoted to them. There is a website where you can download this as a pdf file.

The first chapter of Byron Farwell's 'Eminent Victorian Soldiers' is on Gough.

The early chapters of 'Field Marshal Lord Napier of Magdala' by his son H.D. Napier. He was a young officer on Gough's staff during the first war and chief engineer for the siege of Multan in the second. Despite a popular misconception he is not related to Charles Napier the conqueror of the Scinde and Gough's successor as c-in-c India.


2. Family Origins

The first Goughs are believed to have been lived in Radnorshire near the border between England and Wales. Most authorities ascribe the origin of the name 'Gough' to the Welsh word Coch meaning 'red', although the word Gof meaning 'blacksmith' is also a possibility. (1) Amongst the earliest references to the family is that of Sir John Will Goch or Coch who served as a Captain of the Welsh archers against the Norman army of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings on October 14th 1066. (2)

In 1390, Iolo Goch (c.1320-c.1398) was court poet to Owen Glendower, the last native Prince of Wales. He wrote a famous poem describing the castle at Sycharth - a focus of power in the Welsh Marches in the 14th century. Llewelyn Goch ap Neurin Hen (1360-1390) was a another notable Welsh poet of the period. The main branch of the family traced its roots to Owen Glendower's father, Griffydd Fychan, hereditary prince of Powys Fadog. Gough or Goch, in this case meaning "the red" , might have originated with Eleanor, the red-haired daughter and heiress of Catherine, one of the daughters of Llewellyn, the last Prince of Wales. Owain Lawgoch was a potential Welsh leader, murdered by an assassin, John Lamb.

At any rate, the family prospered in Wales during the Middle Ages, culminating with the knighting of Sir Matthew Gough (1386 - 1450), a prominent soldier in the latter stages of the Hundred Years Wars with France. An English contemporary described him as "surpassing all the other esquires in war at that time in bravery, hardihood, loyalty and liberality". Another spoke of him as "a man of great wit and much experience in feats of chivalry". During Jack Cade's ill-fated revolt against Henry VI in July 1450, Sir Matthew served as Captain of the Tower of London. In this capacity, he was instrumental in suppressing a rebellion that brought some 40,000 rebels from Kent onto the streets of the capital. Part of his defence strategy involved setting the drawbridge alight to prevent rebels gaining access to the Tower; Sir Matthew was killed in the ensuing struggle. Holinshed later described Sir Matthew as "a man of excellent virtue, manhood and zeal for his country and of great renown in the Wars of France, where he served for twenty years and upwards and ended his life at London Bridge in 1450 being appointed by Lord Scales, Governor of the Tower, to assist the Mayor and Londoners in defending the City from Cade . They took post on the Bridge which the rebels attacked that night and got possession of the drawbridge slaying, amongst others, Sir Matthew Gough".

Up arrow3. The Move to Limerick

Sir Matthew's sons prospered in the woollen trade around the town of Staple in Wiltshire. During the reign of King James I, three sons of the Rev Hugh Gough, Rector of All Cannings, near Devizes, Wiltshire, moved to Ireland where they became variously Chancellor of Limerick Cathedral, Archdeacon of Ardfert and Bishop of Limerick. It is not clear which of these brothers was the forefather of the Goughs of Woodstone. Bishop Gough's great-grandson, another Rev. Hugh Gough (1662 - 1730), gained his MA from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1688 and became Rector of Kilfenny, County Limerick. He was subsequently appointed Precentor of Limerick Cathedral, being the fifth member of the family to hold an office of that Cathedral. His grandson was Captain (or possibly Colonel?) George Gough (1720 - 19th November 1783) "of Woodsdown", Co. Limerick. The house of Woodstown burned down some years ago. It was sited "within the liberties of the City of Limerick", but nobody seems able to place it exactly.

In 1748 George married Elizabeth Waller, daughter of Richard Waller, of Castle Waller, County Tipperary, by his wife, Elizabeth Holland, daughter of Admiral Holland. They had five children, two sons and three daughters.

Colonel George Gough of Woodstown and his wife, Letitia Bunbury, were the parents of the Field Marshal.

4. The Bunbury Connection

The eldest son, George Gough, was born in 1750. He joined the Black Horse (later named the 7th Dragoon Guards) as a Cornet in 1768. On 20 January 1775, he married Letitia Bunbury of Lisnavagh House, with whom he had at least six children. In 1793, he was deputy-Governor of the City of Limerick, and became Captain, and afterwards colonel, of the City of Limerick Militia. During the rebellion of 1798, he greatly distinguished himself, commanding 400 men and 30 dragoons in a victory over the rebels, and preventing the town of Edenderry from being burened. He also served at the Battle of Colooney, near Westport, against the French. He also led a flying column of 500 horse, foot and guns during the action at Johnstown, routing a force of 4,000 rebels. His horse was shot from under him and a ball went through his hat. Letitia Gough died on 13 October 1828 and Colonel Gough, as he became, died aged 86 in March 1836. They had at least six children

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Above: George and Letitia Gough are both buried in Fethard, County Tipperay. This photo was taken
by my brother William Bunbury, who has buried two godfathers in the same church - Giles Blundell
in 2000 and Harry Ponsonby in 2018.

Letitia's father, Thomas Bunbury, variously described as 'of Lisnavagh, Moyle and Kill in County Carlow', served as High Sheriff for that county in 1735. That same year, he was married at St. Michans of Dublin to Catherine Campbell, daughter of Josias Campbell of Drumsna, Co. Leitrim. Over the next 18 years, Catherine bore Thomas nine sons and two daughters of whom several died in childhood. We are fortunate indeed to have the diary of Thomas Bunbury which he kept from the 1750s until his death in 1774 which provides some useful detail about his life

When Thomas's elder brother, William Bunbury, MP, of Lisnavagh died without issue in October 1754, he left the property at Lisnavagh to be held by Thomas until his ten-year-old nephew, another William Bunbury, came of age. On 24 November 1754, Catherine Bunbury (neé Campbell) also passed away. Thomas remarried in 1758 Susanna Isaacs, by whom he had three further children. (3) In October 1767, Thomas was asked to stand at the bye-election in Carlow following the death of Benjamin Burton, MP, but he declined to contest against John Hyde (Burton's son-in- law). He died on 13th July 1774 and was succeeded by his son William.

Up arrowIn 1765, Letitia's elder brother William Bunbury (1744-1778) succeeded to the Lisnavagh estates on his coming of age. Four years later, this promising young man served as High Sheriff for County Carlow. On Thursday 28th September 1773, he married 20-year-old Katherine Kane, the daughter and sole heiress of wealthy Dublin businessman Redmond Kane (d. 1779). The couple had four children - two sons and two daughters - before William's tragic death in 1778. Hehad succeeded to the Kill estates on the death of his father on 13 July 1774. In May 1776 he was elected MP for Carlow, an important time with Irish Volunteer forces mustering at home and the American Revolution gathering momentum across the Atlantic Ocean. On 18 April 1778, the 34-year-old was thrown from his horse and killed while hunting at Leighlinbridge, County Carlow. His widow Katherine moved to Bath and transferred the running of her late husband's estate to her brother-in-laws, George and Benjamin Bunbury. The Bunbury family estate was then divided between William's two sons - Thomas and Kane - but ultimately passed down through the female line of his posthumous daughter Jane to her family - the McClintock-Bunburys, Barons Rathdonnell, with whom the Lisnavagh estate still rests today.

Letitia's second brother George Bunbury (1747-1820), a barrister, inherited Rathmore outside Rathvilly and was MP for Gowran and Thomastown. He died unmarried. The third brother, Benjamin Bunbury (1751-1823) was a prominent magistrate in Carlow in the lead up to the 1798 Rebellion. He succeeded (for reasons unclear) to the ancestral Bunbury estate at Killerig, County Carlow. He married Margaret Gowan, daughter of the Rev. George Gowan by whom he had three children, all of whom died unmarried.

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Above: Colonel Kane Bunbury of Moyle,
first cousin and lifelong friend of
the first Viscount Gough.

5. The Sons and Daughters of Colonel George & Letitia Gough

George and Letitia Gough had at least six children - four sons and two daughters. These children were first cousins of Thomas Bunbury, MP, of Lisnavagh, Colonel Kane Bunbury and the ill-fated Jane Bunbury who married John McClintock.

For much of the following paragraphs relating to these younger Goughs I am indebted to the excellent research of Christopher Normand.


Jane Catherine Gough (1776- August 1833), the eldest of George and Letitiua Gough's daughters, married Colonel Richard Lloyd, 84th Regiment. He was serving under the Marquess (later Duke) of Wellington when the Allies captured the city of San Sebastián in northern Spain from the French in 1813 but he was one of nearly 4000 Allied casualties, falling at the head of his regiment during the actual storming of St Sebastián. They had one daughter of whom the Waterford Mail (Saturday 09 August 1834) sadly wrote: 'On Sunday morning last, the inst., in the 22d year of her age, at Ardsallagh, near Fethard, Letitia Bunbury Lloyd, only daughter of the late Colonel Lloyd." Perhaps the young woman was simply unequal to the prospect of life without either parent.

It has been suggetsed that they had a second daughter Elizabeth Gough (1788-1864) who was married, on 22nd March 1810 to Benjamin Frend (d. Jan 1858) of Boskill, County Limerick. They had a family of 5 sons and 6 daughters.' However, the Waterford Mail obituary above seems confident that Letitia was an only daughter.


George and Letitia (nee Bunbury) Gough's eldest son Major George Gough lived at of Woodsdown, County Limerick. Born on 26th December 1775, he joined the 28th Regiment of Foot ("The Slashers"), and greatly distinguished himself in Egypt in the Campaign of 1800, and, later, in the Peninsular War [1810-14], as a Captain. We have not discovered when he was promoted to Major. In 1814, he married Sarah Croker, daughter of Edward Prittie Croker, of Ballynagarde, County Limerick. He died 13 June 1841; she died on 14th February 1870.

George and Sarah Gough had four sons. The eldest, George Gough (1814 - 7th Nov 1894) "of Birdhill", County Limerick, inherited Woodsdown in 1841 and married Mary Bagwell, daughter of Very Rev. Richard Hare Bagwell, Dean of Clogher, Co. Tyrone. In his will, he entailed part of Woodsdown to his nieces Georgina Cobden and Mary Higgins, daughters of his younger brother, Thomas Gough.

The second son, Edward, was born about 1815, joined the 58th Regiment and died young, in India, in 1838.

The third son, Thomas (1815 - 15 April 1885) of "Greenmill, Clonmel, married Elizabeth William (1824 - 21 February 1890). They had 2 daughters and 2 sons. The sons died young - Thomas in his childhood and George on 30th September 1881, aged 30. As such, Thomas was succeeded by his daughters, Mary (1847 - 22 Nov 1929) and Georgina (1849 - 8 July 1881).

The youngest son, Hugh, was born about 1816, became a Lieutenant in the 1st Royal Dragoon Guards and died unmarried. Thus this line died out." (Normand)

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George and Letitia (nee Bunbury) Gough's handsome second son Rev. Thomas Bunbury Gough (pictured above) was born on 13th June 1777. He went to Trinity College, Dublin, where he gained his M.A., and became a Doctor of Divinity. He later became Dean of Derry.

On 19th March 1800, he married 20-year-old Charlotte Bloomfield, daughter of John Bloomfield, of Redwood, Newport, County Tipperary, and granddaughter of Lord Jocelyn, the last Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Her brother Lt. Gen. Benjamin Bloomfield (1768-1846) was the long suffering Private Secretary of the Prince Regent (later George IV) from 1817 until 1822. In 1825 he was enboled as 1st Baron Bloomfield. Lawrence painted a portrait of his son, the 2nd Lord Bloomfield and 1st Lord Ciamaltha; it hung in 10 Downing Street during Margaret Thatcher's premiership: she thought him immensely good looking!

The Rev. TB Gough died on 8th May 1860; his widow passed away on 14th February 1862.


George Gough, the Dean's eldest son, was born at Castleconnel on 7 April 1802. He joined the HEIC, qualified as a Barrister and became a High Court Judge in Bengal. He was married four times. His first marriage was to Anna Maria Birch, in India, in 1823 but she died the following year, aged 18, with no issue.

On 12 February 1825, the 24-year-old George, now Commissioner at Patna, was married (secondly) in Calcutta to Charlotte Hart. Born in 1804, she was the third daughter of Lieutenant-General George Vaughan Hart (1752-1832) of Creeslough, County Doengal (buried in Muff), MP and Governor of Culmore and Londonderry, by his wife Charlotte Ellerker. The Vaughan Harts spent a lot of time in Fort George, Madras. Charlotte’s oldest sister Elizabeth, unmarried, was tragically burned to death when her clothes caught on fire while she was taking private devotions and saying her prayers on Good Friday. unmarried. Charlotte had 11 other siblings. According to the 1907 memoirs of Henry Travers Hart, she: “was engaged to another men; in a fit of pique she broke off the engagement to marry George Gough, who was in the Indian Civil Service. Her father compelled het to marry Gough, and on her way to India to join her husband she died of a broken heart.’

On 11 June 1829, while working with the civil service in Calcutta, George married his third wife, 22-year-old Charlotte Margaret Becher, the third of five daughters born to Charles Grant Becher of the HEIC and his wife Charlotte (nee Humfrays). Their marriage was recorded in the Asiatic Journal & Monthly Register (11 June 1829 p. 603).

He later retired to Rathronan House, Clonmel, in about 1857. The house was owned by Hugh, 1st Viscount Gough, and his son, the 2nd Viscount inherited it so it is assumed the Judge leased the property. Any further clues welcome! For reasons unknown, his wife Charlotte died in Germany in 1862.

His fourth and final wife was Ann Margaret Barton, daughter of William Barton, of Grove House, Fethard, and his wife, Catherine Perry. There was no issue from this marriage. George Gough died at Rathronan House on 18 April 1889 at the age of 87. He is buried in Rathronan Churchyard. Ann Margaret survived him & died in 1915, at Rathronan.

Judge George and his third wife Charlotte were parents to:

1. Major General Sir George Thomas Gough, KCB (1830-1897).
2. General Sir Charles (John Stanley) Gough, VC, GCB (1832-1912) - see below.
3. General Sir Hugh Henry Gough, VC, GCB (1833- 1909). He won a VC during the Indian Mutiny at Alanbagh in 1857 and became a general in 1894. He married Annie Margaret Hill (Dame Gough) in Sept. 1863 and had four sons. He later became Keeper of the Crown Jewels in London. His son William George Kepple Gough (d. 1912) had a son, George Hugh Bomfield Gough (d. 1987) whose son David Gough was born in 1949, works with the Red Cross, specializes in model boats and now lives in Wollongong, New South Wales. He has been most helpful in compiling the family history.
4. Major Percy Pelham Bloomfield Patton Gough (1836-1903) who was born in Hyderabad in 1836. In 1885 this grandson of the Dean of Derry, and grand-nephew of Viscount Gough was named in ‘Converts to Rome : a list of about four thousand Protestants who have recently become Roman Catholics’ compiled by W. Gordon Gorman. He converted after his first marriage to a French woman in India, and all his descendants are Catholic. He may be the father of Richard Gough of Main Street, Fethard, County Tipperary. Born in Birr, County Offaly, he was a whipper-in for the Tipperary Foxhounds. (Thanks to Clare Gough)
5. Charlotte Isabella Gough (1837-1854 ( burned to death at St Helens, Booterstown).
6. Carmina Louise Anne Gough (1841-1842).
7. Georgina Grant Gough (1842-1915).
8. Frances Maria Gough (1844-1933 – married to Savage French of Cuskinny, Co. Cork).
9. Mary Louise Gough (1846-1926) married in Clonmel in 1879 to William Henry MacNaghten (1833 – 1915). They had 2 children: Maura (died in infancy) and Eileen Alberta, who married Maurice Beresford (1886–1959) in Brisbane, Australia on 5 Sept 1929 and, after returning to Waterford finally lived at Annestown where they had an only daughter: Mary Catherine (1930–1999) who had one child in 1947 named John Francis. With thanks to Sean Peare (2015).
10. Katherine Harriet Gough (1848- 1891 – I think! – said to have married ...... Rickard*)

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Above: Charles Gough's VC and other medals are now part of the Lord Ashcroft Collection at the Imperial War Museum in London.


General Sir Charles Gough, VC, second son of Judge George and Charlotte Gough, joined the army in 1848 and went to India where his great uncle, Field Marshal Viscount Gough, was Commander-in-Chief.

Charles was awarded the Victoria Cross for "gallantry in an affair at Kurkowdah, near Rohtuck on August 15, 1857", saving his brother Hugh who lay wounded on the ground, bringing to mind the Rolf Harris song "Two Little Boys". Charles and his brother Hugh quickly emerged as two of the most brilliant members of the upcoming generation of cavalry officers.

In 1869, Charles married Hariette Anastasia de la Poer (died 26 March 1916), daughter of Edmund de la Poer, MP, of Gurteen la Poer, County Waterford. Her father later changed the spelling of his name to Power while her brother was created 1st Count De La Poer.

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Above: General Sir Hubert Gough

Sir Hubert Gough & the Curragh Mutiny

Sir Charles's eldest son, Sir Hubert de la Poer Gough (1870-1963), was born at Gurteen Kilsheelan, Co. Waterford and served with the cavalry in the Boer War. In 1914 he and 57 other officers at the Curragh Camp in Co. Kildare threatened to resign rather than take arms to impose Home Rule against Sir Edward Carson's Ulster volunteers. The event became known as the "Curragh Mutiny". He died, 18 March 1963, aged 92, having survived his wife, who died 23 March 1951.

Up arrow Johnnie Gough, Victoria Cross

Sir Charles and Lady Harriet Gough's younger son was Brigadier General Sir John Edmund Gough V.C., K.C.B., C.M.G. Born on 25 October 1871, at Murree, Punjab, India, he joined the Rifle Brigade, in 1892, as a 2nd Lieutenant. He served in the Expedition against Chikusi and Chilwa in British Central Africa in 1896, the Nile Expedition of 1898, and the Boer War (1899-1902). He then served in the Somaliland Campaign, 1902-3, where, in addition to being awarded the Victoria Cross, he was promoted to Brevet-Lieutenant Colonel. The published account reads:

"During the fight at Darotleh, Major Gough was in command and owing to shortness of ammunition and large numbers of wounded, he decided to retire to Danop; after four hours fighting Capt. Bruce who was with the rear-guard was severely wounded, they were almost surrounded by the enemy and Capt. Rolland ran back for assistance. Major Gough personally directed the rear-guard action and joined Capt. Walker and four men in keeping back the enemy with rifle fire until Capt. Rolland returned with a camel. But for this gallant conduct Bruce would have fallen into enemy hands. Capt. Bruce was hit again and was unconscious and died soon after, but his body was saved from mutilation by the savages. In the account of this action for which Capt. Rolland was awarded the V.C. mention was made of Major Gough, but it was not until sometime afterwards that the great bravery displayed by this officer was brought to the notice of the authorities who promptly awarded him the V.C. Major Gough was at the time in command of the column and although he reported the heroic conduct of Capts. Rolland and Walker, no knowledge of his bravery on the same occasion was brought to light until eye-witnesses of his action reported it to Headquarters."

He served in Somaliland, again, in 1909. He was appointed ADC to King George V. He served in France during the 1st World War, as Chief of Staff to Field Marshall Earl Douglas Haig. He died on 21st February 1915 at Fauquissart, of wounds received while visiting his old Regiment in the front line and is buried in the Estaires War Cemetery, France. The London Gazette published a Posthumous Honour: "It is officially notified .... that the King has been graciously pleased to approve of the posthumous honour of a Knight Commandership of the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, being conferred on the late Col. (temporary Brig. Gen.) John Edmund Gough, V.C., C.M.G., A.D.C., who died on 21st February 1915 from wounds received in action, in recognition of his most distinguished service in the field."

There is a memorial plaque to him at Winchester Cathedral, as well as one at St Patrick's Church, Marlsfield, Clonmel, Co. Limerick, Ireland. He married, 29 June 1907, Dorothea Agnes ("Dorothy") Keyes, eldest daughter of General Sir Charles Patton Keyes, GCB sister of Admiral Sir Roger Keyes, the hero of the Zeebrugge Raid in 1918; her nephew, Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey Keyes, V.C., died leading the assault on Field Marshall Rommel's Headquarters in North Africa, 18 November 1941. They lived at Blandford House, South Farnborough, Hampshire. Their daughter, Diana Gough (1908-1993) became a Communist in 1940 and, as her obituary in The Times noted, subsequently dedicated her life "to mitigating the effects of warfare and injustice - in particular the rending effects of the Greek Civil War (1946-49), which resulted in the imprisonment and in many cases the torture of thousands of anti-fascist Greek Patriots. In 1945, through her contact with the Greek Cypriot community in London, she became secretary of the Greek Maritime Unions. The agency issued the first eyewitness accounts of the prison camps in Eritrea and Sudan, where members of the Greek National Liberation Army (ELAS), taken in Athens while fighting the British in December 1945, were incarcerated. In October 1946 she was appointed honorary secretary of the newly-formed pressure group, the League for Democracy in Greece".



Dean Bunbury's second son General Sir John Bloomfield Gough, Colonel of the Royal Scots Greys at the time his cousin Thomas Kane McClintock Bunbury, 2nd Baron Rathdonnell. Born in 1804, he entered the Army through the Royal Military College in 1820, served in the 22nd Foot and the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and exchanged as captain into the 3rd Light Dragoons.

Sir John proceeded to India with his uncle, Sir Hugh Gough, serving on his staff throughout every battle in his campaigns in China, Gwalior, Sutlej, and the Punjab. He commanded a cavalry brigade at the battle of Moodkee and Ferozeshah, and was very severely wounded whilst accompanying Sir Robert Dick’s Division which led the assault on the Sikh entrenchments at Sobraon. For these services he was promoted through the various grades to the rank of colonel, and was appointed an ADC to the Queen and Companion of the Bath. He was appointed colonel of the Royal Scots Greys in 1864. In 1867 he was made a KCB and in 1876 GCB. He died on Tuesday 22nd September 1891, leaving three sons, all serving in the army. Another son fell at the battle of Abu Klea in 1885.


Dean Bunbury's third son was killed in action at Sebastopol.



Benjamin was the fourth of Dean Bunbury's sons and became Archdeacon of Derry. Born on 20th January 1814 [or 1817?], he married Letitia Frend and was father of Thomas Bunbury Gough and Hugh Henry Havelock Gough (ancestor of James Kingdon), Benjamin Bloomfield Gough (1847-1869), as well as four daughters, Eliza, Mary, Letitia and Emily.


Thomas Bunbury Gough was the eldest son of the Rev Benjamin and Letitia Gough. Born circa 1842, he served in the Royal Navy before settling in Australia. Thomas was the author of "Boyish reminiscences of His Majesty the King's visit to Canada in 1860" which has been reprinted as an historical reproduction. He moved to Australia in about 1873 where he married Evelyn Anna Walker Rigg at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Emerald Hill on 4th. June 1873. He was also Captain of HMVS Cerberus in Victoria, Australia. His 6th child Doris Boyd was the mother of Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd, the most famous member of the Boyd dynasty of Australian artists.

On 31st January 1905, the Adelaide Advertiser carried the following story on page 5 under the heading: ‘AN UNCONVENTIONAL SUICIDE – A BURLESQUE HANGING. A suicide under remarkable circumstances has been reported to the police. A railway fireman on returning to his home in Dudley-street, West Melbourne, tonight found the body of his father, Thomas Bunbury Gough, aged 63, hanging from the stair banisters. The corpse was clothed in female attire, and was suspended by a rope around the waist, bearing the whole weight of the body. A small tape was round the deceased’s neck, but it was quite loose. It was at once apparent that death had not occurred by hanging. The police found a bowl near the body containing a whitish liquid, and they think the deceased first poisoned himself and then suspended himself from the banisters as described. He had never before shown any suicidal tendencies, and had always been regarded as a temperate, cool-headed man.’

His suicide was entirely out of character. He was buried in the St. Kilda Cemetery. (Some of this information was kindly provided to me in September 2012 by TBG's great-granddaughter Alice Perceval, whose mother was the youngest daughter of Merric and Doris Boyd).


HHH Gough was the second and youngest son of the Rev. Benjamin Gough, by his wife Letitia. He was born in Northern Ireland on 14th January 1858 and lived in Canada. I was in touch with his great-grandson, James Kingdon of Canada, in January 2014.


He was sometime recording clerk at Burketown in Australia. [See Appendix 2 of ‘The Secret War: A True History of Queensland's Native Police’ by Jonathan Richard, but Christopher Normand says he was a son of Rev. Benjamin and Leitia Gough]


Percy Jocelyn Gough (1816-1905) of Salisbury, Co. Tipperary, was the youngest son of Dean Bunbury and a nephew of the 1st Viscount Gough. His wife Catherine Fanny was the daughter of Colonel Henry Augustus Langley, of Brittas Castle, and Maria Penton, daughter of Henry Penton, MP, of Pentonville (where the prison is). Percy was secretary of the Irish Royal Show at Clonmel in 1865. According to the Landed Estates database, he owned 724 acres in King's County in the 1870s. He was also Local Inspector for the House of Corection on Richmond Street, Clonmel. He died on 17 January

1905, aged 88, and was buried in the church at Marlfield near Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. His wife died on 3 December 1882, aged 69, and also rests at Marlfield.

Percy had 5 sons and 2 daughters, viz.
1. Elizabeth Mary (1840-1935) When she died on 15 October 1935, aged 95, she was recalled on her tomb in Marlfield as ‘The Last Of Many Gough Once In The County’.
2. Thomas Armstrong Gough (born 23rd October 1841, died 17 August 1892, also rests at Marlfield.
3. Charlotte Anne Gough (1843-1875)
4. Henry Bloomfield Gough (1844-1896) who became a police magistrate in Queensland, Australia, served 29 years on the force and died in Brisbane. [See Appendix 2 of ‘The Secret War: A True History of Queensland's Native Police’ by Jonathan Richard].
5. Hugh George Gough (1846-1923), one of the few Goughs to serve in the Royal Navy.
6. Percy Alexander Gough (1848-1930), who emigrated to USA, where he died.
7. Frederick John Gough (1851-1908).



Dean Bunbury and his wife Charlotte were also parents of Charlotte Anne Gough, born on 26 August 1819. On 5 July 1853, she was married to the Rev. George Smith (1814-1900), Rector of Tamleigh Finlagen, a graduate of Trinity College Dublin. They had four children:

1. Charlotte Bloomfield Smith, born 1863 in Kilrea, Co. Londonderry, she married 1898 in Limavady to Rev. Ernest Herbert Ward, born Jan. 1865 in Islington, London, baptished on 20-06-1866 in Camden, died 10-03-1935 Yorkshire, son of William Henry Ward and Jane Dickey.

2. Thomas Bunbury Smith, died in The Union Club Hotel, Melbourne Australia.

3. George Young Smith, born ca. 1859,died 08-10-1943 Omagh, he married first 1890 in Omagh to Eliza Henrietta Byrne, born on 13-12-1869. daughter of Charles Byrne and Eliza French, he remarried 1899 in Rathdown to Theodora Kate Byrne, born ca. 1862, Co. Laois

4. William Thomas Smith, born 1855 Derry, died 10-06-1927 Bristol, he married ca. 1900 to Eliza Winifred Nolan Russell, born 1872 New Zealand.



WILLIAM GOUGH (1778-1822)

George and Letitia (nee Bunbury) Gough's third son William Gough (1778-1822) joined the 68th Regiment and rose to the rank of Major. According to the headstone over his grave at Templetrine Cemetery, Garrettstown, County Cork:

"Sacred to the Memory of Major William Gough 68th Light Infantry, who died having served his King & country 26 years in Europe, Asia and America, having fought under Wellington at Salamansa [Salamanca], Vittoria, where he was severely wounded, hit by grape shot in the left leg. Was wrecked in the Albion, American vessel, near Garretstown, on the morning of the 22nd April 1822 in the 44th year of his age."

He was returning from America with part of his Regiment when the packet ship Albion was wrecked off the Old Head of Kinsale on April 22, 1822. Of the 54 people on board, only 9 survived. Napoleonic General Charles Lefebvre-Desnouettes was also among the dead.

Contemporary newspapers said Major Gough's body was not found but his watch and seals were located. (Caledonian Mercury, 2 May 1822) Moreover, he was given an elaborate railed grave in Templetrine, the biggest in the churchyard. Shortly before the ship went down, he is said to have endeavoured to calm his fellow passengers with these words: 'Death, come as he would, was an unwelcome messenger, but they must meet him as they could.' (Public Ledger & Daily Advertiser, 12 October 1922, p. 3). The story of the Albion is told in tremendous depth by Raymond White in 'Their Bones are Scattered: A History of the Old Head of Kinsale’ (Kilmore Enterprises, 2003).

It might be noted that Captain Pope, the Redcoat officer in the film 'Black '47' is also in the 68th Regiment.

Although unmarried, it appears William fathered a son called Alexander Gough with an unidentified French Canadian Catholic. The boy was born in the Kingston / Gananoque area of Ontario in 1820. It was believed that William Gough was serving in the area at that time, or shortly before. Alexander later became a Justice of the Peace. Alexander's great-granddaughter Karen Oleson contacted me on the subject in November 2007. Alas, the email address she gave me did not work so Karen, if you get this, please contact me again! Also from this line are Anne Gough Philpot, who visited Lisnavagh with her husband Andy in October 2019, and Anne's brother David.

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George and Letitia (nee Bunbury) Gough's fourth son was Hugh, the Viscount and Field Marshal. After he returned to Ireland from his conquest of the Punjab, the Lord Mayor of Dublin convened a public meeting at which it was agreed to erect a memorial to him, and an equestrian statue was commissioned.

The statue was created by the eminent Dublin sculptor, John Henry Foley. Unfortunately, he died before it was completed and placed in position, in 1880, in the main road of Phoenix Park. As Christoper Normand has noted, "the statue remained for many years, saved, perhaps, by the inscription of him as "a most illustrious Irishman", but even that could not stop the IRA, in the 1950s, from blowing it up". The following article appeared in The Times on 23 July 1957 captioned "Dublin Outrage"

"The equestrian statue of Lord Gough in Phoenix Park, Dublin, was blown to pieces early this morning. The explosion was heard all over the city, and in the police depôt about a quarter of a mile away men were blown out of their beds. The figure now lies on top of a heap of rubble and is damaged beyond all repair. This statue has always been the centre of trouble. Years ago the head was sawn off and the sword removed. Later, after an appeal by art lovers in Dublin, the head and sword were recovered from the River Liffey near by and were replaced. About a year ago an explosion damaged the base of the monument and one of the horse's legs, and the statue was kept in position by the aid of a wooden support."

But the destruction of Gough's statue did at least result in the following excellent and suitably bawdy ballad by Vinnie Caprani:

There are strange things done from twelve to one
In the Hollow at Phaynix Park,
There's maidens mobbed and gentlemen robbed
In the bushes after dark;
But the strangest of all within human recall
Concerns the statue of Gough,
'Twas a terrible fact, and a most wicked act,
For his bollix they tried to blow off!

'Neath the horse's big prick a dynamite stick
Some gallant 'hayro' did place,
For the cause of our land, with a match in his hand
Bravely the foe he did face;
Then without showing fear - and standing well clear -
He expected to blow up the pair
But he nearly went crackers, all he got was the knackers
And he made the poor stallion a mare!

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Above: Viscount Gough's statue by the Dublin-born sculptor John Henry Foley
was badly damaged by a Republican bomber in the 1950s. It is
presently held at Chillingham Castle in Northumberland. I cannot imagine
it would have survived the 2020 purge of public statues in any case.

For his tactics were wrong, and the prick was too long
(the horse being more than a foal)
It would answer him better, this dynamite setter,
The stick to shove up his own hole!
For this is the way our 'haroes' today
Are challenging England's might,
With a stab in the back and a midnight attack
On a statue that can't even shite!

Up arrowThe 2nd Viscount Gough & the Arbuthnot Abduction

George Stephens Gough, 2nd Viscount Gough, was born on 18th Jan 1815 and settled at Rathronan House close to Anner Castle and Clonmel, County Tipperary. On 3rd January 1846, he married, as his second wife, Jane Arbuthnot (1816-1892), a daughter of George Arbuthnot (1772-1843), an Aberdeenshire Scot who had prospered as a banker and trader in Madras in the early 18th century and became 1st Earl of Elderslie.

Nearly eight years later, Jane found herself in an intriguing position when she became witness to one of the most bizarre abductions of the Victorian Age. The following tale, entitled "The Arbuthnot Abduction" is an extract from "My Clonmell Scrapbook" by James White:

About three miles from Clonmell, the beautifully environed capital of Tipperary, stands Rathronan House, in 1854 the residence of Capt. The Hon. George Gough, only surviving son of Field Marshal Lord Gough. Capt. Gough had married an English lady, daughter of Mr. George Arbuthnot of Elderslie, Surrey and at this time the two sisters of Mrs. Gough, Laura and Eleanor resided with her. The fame of these fair Saxons filled the County. Eleanor fairly turned the heads of all the young gallants, yet her heart was obdurate. Among these suitors was the "Lord" of Barane, Mr. John Carden, who formally proposed for her hand. He was refused and set about a dastardly scheme. The following Sunday, 2nd June 1854, Mrs, Gough, Miss Arbuthnot, Miss Eleanor and a Miss Linden attended divine worship at Rathronan Church (Capt. Gough being all this time absent in Dublin). The party was driven to Church on an Irish "outside" car, but scarcely had they entered the Church when heavy showers came on, the coachman, James Dwyer, drove back to Rathronan, put up the jaunting car and returned with what is called a "covered car" in its stead. Meanwhile, there had drawn up outside the Rathronan demesne, a carriage, to which were harnessed a dashing pair of thoroughbreds while six strange men were observed loitering nearby.

Mr. Carden was mounted, and he met Capt. Gough's covered car returning with the ladies. Dwyer, the coachman, received a blow on the head from a skull cracker and was tumbled to the ground. One of the band pulled out a large knife and severed the reins and traces of the Rathronan horse. Mr. Carden, meanwhile rushed over and grasped at Eleanor Arbuthnot, but she happened to be sitting furthest in and before she could be reached the other three ladies had to be pulled out and disposed of. All four showed fight and while Laura held her sister back, Miss Linden struck the undefended face of the attacker a smashing blow - blood spurted everywhere and Miss Linden was torn from her hold and flung out on the side of the road. Mrs. Gough, whose condition of health at the time made a scene like this almost certain death for her, sprang, as best she could, out of the car and rushed towards the house screaming for help.

A young peasant named McGrath was the first to arrive on the scene and together with Dwyer and another, attacked the band. Meanwhile Mr. Carden managed to hurl Miss Linden aside and wildly tore at Miss Eleanor with savage force. Several times he almost succeeded but for the interference at the most critical moment of Miss Linden and the helpers outside. Mr. Carden was finally forced to withdraw by his helpers and forced into the carriage and "like an arrow from the bended bow" off it flew, two of the finest blood horses in all Munster straining in the traces.

Clonmell was the first to receive the alarm and a strong party of constabulary were soon in full chase. At Farney Bridge, some twenty miles from Rathronan, Mr. Carden was finally caught and over-powered, he was led, a prisoner, to Cashel jail.

Later it became known that the measures that Mr. Carden had concerted included carrying Eleanor to Galway Bay to a chartered vessel to sail direct to London, these precautions cost him the sum of £7,000. The judge at the subsequent trial sentenced Mr. Carden to "two years imprisonment with hard labour" in the county jail. To the end of his life Mr. Carden tried to force his attentions on Miss Eleanor and was required, with heavy penalties, to keep the peace for several years.

In fact Miss Eleanor never married.

The 2nd Viscount died on 31st May 1895 leaving two sons and a daughter. (8) The eldest son Hugh Gough, 3rd Viscount Gough, KCVO, DL, was born on 27th August 1849 and educated at Oxford. On 5th October 1889, he married Lady Georgina Pakenham (d. 30th July 1943), elder daughter of the 4th Earl of Longford, GCB.

The 3rd Viscount died on 14th October 1919. He was succeeded by his eldest son Hugh William Gough, 4th Viscount Gough. (9) He was born on 22nd February 1892, educated at New College, Oxford, (BA), served in World War I (wounded, despatches twice, MC). He recieved an MC on the first list of 1/1/15 and was only one of two Guardsmen to feature. He commandeed the 1st Bn Irish Guards from 1930 to 1934, the Training Bn from 1939 to 1942 and then the Inverness Burgh Home Guard form 1942 to 1944. On 12th November 1935, he married Margaretta Elizabeth Maryon-Wilson, only daughter of Sir Spencer Maryon-Wilson, 11th Bt.

The 4th Viscount Gough died on 4th December 1951 and was succeeded by his ten year old son, Sir Shane Hugh Maryon Gough, 5th and present Viscount Gough. (10)



It is possible that the 1st Viscount Gough had a younger brother called Patrick Gough who became the black sheep of the family. I have been in contact with a lady who obtained a copy of a court martial in which Patrick Gough was tried at Oyarzum on 30th August 1813, along with Charles O' Neill and Michael McCahey. All three men were Artillery drivers in Major Lawson’s Brigade. Patrick had reputedly served in the battles of San Sebastian, Salamanca, Vitoria and others. The Irishmen were accused of robbing and plundering from the carriage of General Giron, Chief General Staff of the Spanish Army during the Peninsular War. Giron was a nephew of General Francisco Xavier Castañas, the Spanish general who commanded during the first Spanish victory over French rule at Baylen in 1808. Indeed, both Generals Giron and Castañas had been controversially removed from their posts only six weeks before Gough’s court martial. The Irishmen were accused to robbing money clothes papers and other articles in breach of the Articles of War. They were originally sentenced to be transported as felons for life to New South Wales but this seems to have been commuted to a seven year sentence by request of the Prince Regent.[i] This Royal intervention is what prompts some to believe Patrick must have had friends in high places, such as his war hero brother Hugh.

Horse Guards 3rd November 1813 ,
My Lord,
Having laid before the Prince Regent the proceedings of a general court martial held at Oyarzum on the 30th August 1813 for the trial of the Drivers Patrick Gough, Charles O'Neill and Michael Mc Cahey of the Royal Artillery Drivers, who were arraigned upon the undermentioned charge Viz: for the charge Vide page 244, upon which charge the court came to the following decision- I am to acquaint your Lordship, that his Royal Highness was pleased in the name of and behalf of his Majesty ,to , approve and confirm the finding and so much of the sentence of the court as adjudges the Prisoners to transportation for seven years and to command that they should be transported to NSW. Your Lordship will there fore take the proper steps for the conveyance of the Prisoners to this country.
I am signed Frederick, Commander in Chief, Field Marshall.[ii]
The Marquis of Wellington K.G., or Officer commanding the troups in the Peninsular

It seems that upon arrival in New South Wales, Patrick Gough was recommended to the Governor, Lachlan Macquarie, by Sir William Robe, Colonel of the Royal Artillery. The Governor is said to have appointed Patrick as overseer of the Public Works and had the superintendence over the goal gang for 2 years. In 1827/28, Patrick’s later life was marred by the murder of his wife Esther (nee Webb) and young daughter Alicia by Aborigines. Also slaughtered was their servant Ann Geary. Gough's daughter Mary Ann survived, as did his youngest child, an infant of 13 months old (presumably Esther jnr, baptised Feb 25 1827 ) received 'several concussions, but of a slighter character than those inflicted on the others'. He died in Tasmania in 1855 and was survived by two Mary Ann and Esther. It’s a confusing connection but one of these two daughters was the mother of Annie Maria Crossin, the lady who raised my contact’s mother-in-law. It would be fascinating to find any truth in the story that Patrick and the Viscount were brothers. It is, perhaps, relevant that another of the Viscount's brothers, the Rev. Thomas Bunbury Gough, Dean of Derry, was brother-in-law to Benjamin Bloomfield who became the Prince Regent's Private Secretary in 1817.

With thanks to Susan Baker, Christopher Normand, Richard & Kitty Kinsella-Bevan, J.W Young Tammell and Merril Slater.

See: http://yale.edu/gsp/colonial/downloads/Aborigines_in_Tasmania.doc and http://www.archive.org/details/losttasmanianra01bonwgoog


[i] The Judge Advocate General, who summonsed the proceedings of every trial, sent the summons to the Prince Regent for confirmation.
[ii] Frederick, Duke of York (1763- 1827), second son of George III and brother to the Prince Regent. He was Commander in Chief of the British Army from 1798-1827.


The Dean of Derry & Two Victoria Crosses

The 1st Viscount Gough's elder brother, the Rev. Thomas Bunbury Gough, was sometime Dean of Derry.

Thanks to Viscount Gough, Dr. Christopher Brice, David Gough, Christopher Normand, Daniel Hegarty, Alisa Gough, Andrew Gough, Jenny Stiles, Bobby Singh, Michael Purcell, Rosie Mosie, James Kingdon (Canada) and others for their excellent research and kind assistance.


Up arrowFurther Reading

Beckett, I.F.W. (1989) Johnnie Gough, V.C.Tom Donovan Publishing, London.
Farar-Hockley (1975) Goughie. (Arguably the most objective account of the man).
Gough, R. The History of Myddle, Ed. D. Hey, Penguin, 1981.
Gough, Guy Francis (1990) Thirty Days to Dunkirk - The Royal Irish Fusiliers, May 1940, Bridge Books, Wrexham, Clwyd.
Gough, H. de la P. (1931) Fifth Army
Gough H. de la P. (1954) Soldiering On
Griffiths, R.A. (1981) The Reign of King Henry VI, Ernest Benn Ltd., London.
Rait, Robert, The Life and Campaigns of Hugh, Viscount Gough. (1903)
Winter, D. (1991) Haig's Command - A Reassessment, Viking.