Turtle Bunbury

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Above: Redmond Kane, whose wealth
effectively enabled the Bunbury family
to build Lisnavagh 60 years after his death.




Amongst the family portraits on the walls of Lisnavagh is one of a seemingly benign, well-fed gentleman clad in blue ermine. The note on the back states that he was the attorney Redmond Kane (nee Cahan) of Mantua, Swords, one of the wealthiest commoners in Ireland during the late 18th century. he was also for many years the Solcicitor to the Irish Company entrusted with management of what is now County Derry Londonderry.

It was from him that much of the McClintock Bunbury's landed wealth derived, following the marriage in 1773 of his only daughter and sole heiress, Katherine Kane, to William Bunbury of Lisnavagh. The 1773 marriage was arguably the finest hour of the Lisnavagh Bunburys. William’s father Thomas Bunbury of Kill rather excitedly wrote in his diary: ‘I compute her fortune to be above £40,000', which, using the RPI standards, worked out at nearly £4 million in 2008. It also brought into their possession the substantial Kane estates, including large holdings in Counties Fermanagh and Monaghan (such as Drumsnatt), which had a gross rental of £2,819 in 1840. In time, the Kane estates would pass by marriage to William and Katherine Bunbury's son Colonel Kane Bunbury, from him to their grandson, William McClintock Bunbury ... and from him to the 2nd Lord Rathdonnell.

Obscure Origins

As Art Kavanagh says, behind every great fortune lies a great crime. In 1920, J. E. M'Kenna described ‘the notorious Redmond Kane' as 'a pervert and a lawyer of extensive practice in Dublin'.[1] Redmond's origins are an unknown quantity. It would seem he descended from the O'Cahan's of Limavady, a clan stripped of its possessions for backing Red Hugh O'Neill's fight against the English settlement. One source states that he was a director of the Bank of La Touche and Kane. Peter Collins of PRONI suggests that he 'may have been a convert to the Church of Ireland'. He even suggests Redmond might have been 'a crypto-Catholic', changing his name from Cahan or Keane to Kane whilst changing religion.

There is a reference to an undated deed of lease and release witnessed by Richard Den and 'Redmond Cahan', both of the City of Dublin, Gents, and this memorial [was] witnessed by the said Redmond Cahan and Alexander McClintock of the City of Dublin, Gents’.[2] Another deed from 1731 (see below) shows Redmond Cahan in cahoots with both Alexander McClintock and John McClintock of Trintaugh. The McClintock connection is too notable to be mere coincidence.

‘Redmond Cahan’ was also a witness, with Richard Den and Alexander McCausland, to a memorial registered 7 December 1728 of marriage settlement, dated 28 & 29 November 1728, of the marriage of John McCausland, grandson of Alexander McCausland of Omagh Co. Tyrone esq. with Anne Sampson, daughter of Jane Sampson of Dublin, widow. Jane was the widow and executrix of the will of Michael Sampson of Dublin City esq. deceased. It is to be noted that Michael Sampson's sister Rebecca Sampson was married to Alexander McClintock of Drumcar, indicating a link between the McClintocks and Kanes nearly 50 years before the Bunbury marriage took place.The property settled comprised Colghfin, Drumakilly, Crachencor, Fechary, Ballengally, Racolpagh, Cullycurragh, Fearnagh and Deerpark. It also included a house and surrounding buildings in which Alexander McCausland lived, formerly called Lamberts tenement or John Baird's tenement, in Omagh town, Co. Tyrone, and a place called Hay's Park in Omagh.[3]

The Banking Connection

William Bunbury's father Thomas Bunbury had an account with the Bank of Kane & La Touche which Nathaniel Kane co-founded. As Thomas Bunbury later arranged for William to marry a Kane heiress, it is assumed she was of the same branch as the banking family. There is a strong suggestion that Redmond was a partner in the bank of La Touche & Kane with David La Touche. This comes from one of the O’Connells who wrote the 1892 book, The Last Colonel of the Irish Brigade: Count O'Connell , and who claims his or her uncle married one of Redmond’s nieces and that Redmond was indeed a ‘partner’.[3a]


The Kane family claim descent from Eoghan, Prince of Ulster, eldest son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. See the full O'Cahan family tree here. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Donall Ballach O'Cahan was ‘Lord of the Route, and of Limavady, in the county Derry’ and owned considerable lands in County Derry (including the castles of Limavady, Enagh and Dungiven) and Antrim (Dumseverich Castle). He was also the O'Neill's principal vassal and lived in a substantial castle overlooking the Roe River. On 27 July 1602, Donall - husband of Hugh O'Neill's daughter Una - surrendered to the English (Docwra) the Castle of Oinough (or Eanagh), and all the lands between the river Foghan and Lough Foyle, as far as the Bann. In return he obtained a grant of escheated lands in the co. Waterford and was Knighted at Drogheda, in 1607, by Sir Arthur Chichester, lord deputy of Ireland. Later that same year, Sir Donall O'Cahan, was arrested and incarcerated in the Tower of London where he died, untried, in 1626. His estates were then seized and divided among the civic companies of London; the family were said to be 'firm supporters of the Stuarts in exile' .If Redmond Kane was a crypto-Catholic, he may have had the blood of his ill-fated forbear coursing in his veins. Indeed, it looks increasingly like Redmond may have been Sir Donal's grandson.

Peter Kaine is listed in Donagh parish (Emy townland) in the Hearth Money Rolls, while an Edmund Kaine is mentioned in early leases of the Barrett Lennard estate in Clones in the CHS 2003 journal (1699-1716).

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Above: Colonel Kane Bunbury, grandson
of Redmond Kane, who was born at
Mantua, Swords, Co. Dublin, in 1777.

Bernard & EVANUE O'Kane

In numerous accounts of Redmond’s legal antics, there is mention of Bernard Kane, his brother. Bernard is listed in the Kings Inn Admission papers as an attorney although it does not provide any date as to admission. In 2010, I was contacted by the intrepid Anne Kane of Australia who has tracked down a Bernard O'Kane (1712-1802) who married Martha O'Hara, daughter of Captain O'Hara and Martha O'Kane. If this fits, then Bernard Kane and his brother Redmond are the sons of Evanue O'Kane, son of Sir Donall O'Kane (or O'Cahan) by his wife Una O'Neill. Evanue and Una had another son John Kane who married Sarah Moore in 1728. Florence O'Cahan, mentioned below, must also be close to one of these.

Bernard and Martha's son John Kane was born on 12 December 1734, married Sybil Kent in 1756 and was involved in the linen trade, being dispatched to America. John and Sybil's daughter Martha Kane was born on 21st March 1758 and married on 30th September 1779 to Captain the Rev. Gilbert Robert Livingston. John Kane died in New York in 1808. Martha Livingston died on 17th April 1843. If Anne Kane's theory is true, Redmond Kane's nephew (and William Bunbury III's first cousin) John Kane was a linen trader based in America at about the time of the American War of Independence and became an influential player in New York. Although it sadly reveals no more about Redmond Kane, 'The Story of John Kane of Dutchess County, New York', by his descendant Elizabeth Dennistoun Kane (1836-1909) is certainly worth a read for further clues.


Redmond Kane appears to have been either a brother or a cousin of the Kanes who founded the Bank of Kane & La Touche. Sir Donall O'Cahan’s younger brother Hugh (Aodh) O'Cahan was the ancestor of Kane of Drumreaske, co. Monaghan. He married Mary, daughter of O'Connor Faile. Hugh and Mary’s grandson, John (Shane) married Catherine O’Mulloy and had at least two sons, Alderman Joseph Kane and Mathew (or Ferdorach) Kane, who became a merchant in Dublin and died in 1699. Mathew married his first cousin, Sarah O'Cahan, and according to Burke's 1863, their son Joseph Kane was Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1725. By his wife Mary, Joseph left six daughters but no daughters.[1] For more on this family, see here.

Burke's 1863 states that Alderman Joseph Kane was also the father of Alderman Nathaniel Kane, Sheriff of Dublin in 1720, Lord Mayor in 1734 and co-founder ofthe Bank of Kane & La Touche with David Digues La Touche. He was famously accused by Dr. Charles Lucas, MP, of appropriating some of the City funds while Lord Mayor. He successfully vindicated himself but contemporary accounts suggest there was fire where the Lucas allegations smoked. Nathaniel owned land at Trough, Errigle and Drumreaske, Co. Monaghan.[2] Monaghan County Museum holds a 19th century watercolour view of the demesne at Drumreaske.

I have not yet looked at these papers but PRONI's Source book for Co. Monaghan indicates much involvement of the Kane family in County Monaghan.[3] Redmond Kane certainly had major links with the area while his wife's brother-in-law Barry Maxwell, later 1st Earl of Farnham, was one of the main players in nearby Co Cavan. Barry Maxwell's family had been ruined by the South Sea speculation but this 'proud and difficult' man managed to restore their position (as did his brother, the Bishop of Meath) and, in his old age, opposed the Act of Union.

There is no mention of Redmond Kane in the pedigree of the Kanes of Drumreaske & Mohill Castle in Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland (1958).

Redmond is also referred to in a book called ‘The Last Colonel of the Irish Brigade: Count O'Connell and old Irish life at Home and Abroad, 1745-1833’ by Mrs Morgan John O’Connell (1892). She writes: "A mansion "in vico pellipariorum" or Skinner's Row, which occupied the site of Nos. 13 and 14, Christchurch Place, Dublin, was described as being formerly "part of Joan Segerson's (otherwise Morphe's) dowry nearly three centuries before ... was sold in 1774 by Thomas [Sigerson] of Ballinskelligs, for 900, to David Latouche, the eminent banker, the niece of whose partner, Redmond Kane, married an uncle of the present writer. [G. S.]” So who is G.S.? Or does that mean Redmond and Mrs O’Connell are kin!!?

[1] Joseph was born circa 1679 according to a LDS member or 1685 according to NAof Ire M467/2.
[2] See 'Kane of Drumreaske Papers' held by PRONI at D/3406/E
[3] 'County Monaghan Sources in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland', Peter Collins., p. 175 (PRONI, 1998).


Nathaniel Kane the banker married Martha Thwaites of the brewing family, who died in 1741. They had at least two sons - Nathaniel (who died unmarried in 1750) and Joseph (his heir) – and four daughters.[4] The eldest daughter, Elizabeth Kane married her first cousin Mathew Weld (son of Edmond Weld and Nathaniel's sister Margaret Kane); Mathew and Elizabeth's daughter married the Right Rev. John Brinkley, Astronomer Royal of Ireland, and Lord Bishop of Cloyne.

Nathaniel and Martha’s third daughter Mary married John Walker of Dublin. As to the other daughters, Martha died unmarried in 1778 and Esther died in 1752.

Nathaniel was duly succeeded by his second son, Joseph Kane, a barrister, who lived between Ardgenny, Co Monaghan and Harold's Cross in Dublin. He married Mary Maxwell (nee Church), a widow, with whom he had three sons, dealt with below, and two daughters, Esther and Mary, of whom no more is yet known. Joseph died on 2nd March 1801.[5]

[4] There is reference to a Mathew Kane, son of Nathaniel Kane, buried 24 Dec 1715 at St Kevin and St Peters in Dublin.
[5] NAofI M467/2

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Above: A drawing of the new house at Lisnavagh which Redmond Kane's
son-in-law William Bunbury was planning to buld when thrown from
his horse and killed in 1778.


Joseph and Mary’s eldest son, Colonel Nathaniel Kane, 4th Foot, was born in Dublin circa 1758. [6] On 18th November 1802, he married Elizabeth Margaret Nisbett (d. 1858). [7] He died on 24th June 1826 and is supposedly buried at St Kevin's Dublin. [8a] They had six sons. The eldest Joseph Kane (born c. 1803) married a French lady Eliza Jane De Vismes in 1837 and retained strong links to Monaghan. Jospeh and Eliza's son William Francis de Vismes Kane (1840-1918) of Drumreaske House, Co Monaghan, was a prominent Irish entomologist, with a huge collection of Irish and European insects, as well as global butterflies. He was also a member of the Royal Irish Academy and published two rather speculative volumes on the Black Pig’s Dyke. In 1862, he married Amelia-Maria-Jane, only dau. of the Rev. Charles-James Hamilton, Incumbent of Kimberworth, Yorkshire, England, with whom he had a son Joseph-George-Auriol Kane (b. 1865) and a daughter, Emmeline-Rosa-Margaret. William Francis de Vismes Kane was appointed Sheriff of Monaghan for 1865. In 1901 he abruptly left Ireland and gave his insect collection to the National Museum of Ireland. [8b]

Colonel and Mrs Kane's second son Nathaniel Kane, died in 1844. The third was the Rev. Francis Kane who married Anne Shea. The fourth was John Kane (born c. 1810) who married Matilda Nisbett. The fifth William Kane became a medical doctor and of the sixth, Mathew Kane, we know no more.

Joseph and Mary’s second son Joseph Thomas Kane was born in Dublin in 1760. In 1799, he married Elizabeth Stock who seems to have died before they had any children. She was born Elizabeth Horan, became Mrs Lane, was widowed, and then married Samuel Stock in 1776. [8c] She had at least six children before Samuel Stock’s death in 1791. A note from the 1860s, transcribed by Simon Cochemé, a Stock descendent, says that Elizabeth was "a very pretty woman". On 20th November 1816, JT Kane was married secondly at St Peter's Dublin to Frances Seymour. They had a son, Joseph, and three daughters, Fanny, Catherine and Mary. Their only son, Joseph Seymour was born on 13th July 1819 and married his cousin Catherine E F Seymour in Venice in 1846. Joseph Thomas Kane died on 5th June 1837 aged 77.

Joseph and Mary’s third son John Daniel Kane was born on 20 May 1770. At the age of 25 he married Louisa Phillips (or Small), who was possibly a kinswoman of the sailor Molesworth Phillips, born in Swords in 1755, who became a companion of Captain James Cook. The wedding took place on 11 April 1795. John and Louisa had nine children. John died on 13th August 1847. [9]

More on this family can be found here.

[6] Record M 467/3 at the Archives of Ireland puts his birth year at 1756.
[7] This info from the LDS website from a member - not an extract from originals.)
[8a] M 467/3 NA of I.
[8b] William Francis deVismes Kane was an amateur archaeologist who wrote three academic, if slightly fanciful, papers for the Royal Irish Academy about the Black Pig's Dyke.
[8c] This is proved by A Memorial registry Deed, No. 420022 between her son, Luke Stock, and Joseph Thomas Kane. The document can be seen on the Familysearch web site here. With thanks to Dai Bevan.
[9] M 467/3 NA ofI.


The earliest records we have for Redmond Kane dates to 1731 and is found at the Registry of Deeds in Dublin [Vol. 65, p. 535, no. 46845]. It relates to a purchase of land in Tyrone by Alexander McClintock of Dublin that was witnessed by John McClintock of Trintagh and Redmond Cahan, clerk, to Robert King of Dublin. (Thanks to Laurence Gilmore) I am inclined to think Robert King was a son of John King, 3rd Baron Kingston, but he may have been the Robert King of Drewstown referred to below, or were they one and the same person!? The 3rd Baron Kingston certainly has a fine O'Cahan connection. In 1683, aged eighteen, he stunned his family when he renounced the Protestant faith in favour of Catholicism and married Margaret O'Cahan (c. 1660-1721), a servant in his grandfather's household. Margaret was a daughter of Florence O'Cahan whom contemporaries described as being 'lineally descended from the great O Cahan, who in the Reign of King James I was Propriestor of the County of Londonderry, but lost the same, when the Six Counties were taken away by the said King’ (The Irish Compendium Or Rudiments of Honour, London: Knapton, 1756, p. 493.) Baron Kingston became a Privy Counsellor to James II and was consequently outlawed as a Jacobite. He was forgiven by William and Mary in 1694 when he obtained a free pardon by the Privy Seal.

An oil portrait of either Florence or Margaret O’Cahan, loosely attributed to Garret Morphy (c.1655-1715), was sold by Adams in 2009 for €27,000. It showed her standing in a black habit, and holding a string of rosary beads. The cap worn, known as fontage was popular in France in the 17th Century and never seen after 1710. As the Adams blurb states: 'It was habitually worn at the Court of King James II in France. The lady is certainly Catholic and probably a Jacobite. Professor Crookshank feels that this portrait is quite possibly of Florence O'Cahan, Margaret's mother, and as such is a rare depiction of a member of the old Irish aristocracy in exile. The King family were quick to dismiss Margaret O'Cahan as a papist serving wench and they were aghast at James 3rd Baron Kingston becoming a Jacobite and converting to Catholicism. It was some manoeuvre in damage limitation that enabled the family to regain political acceptance." I can't help but wonder if the curious Spanish looking lady at the foot of the stairs at Lisnavagh might have been on first-name terms with these people ...

So was Redmond a younger cousin or sibling of this 'servant' Margaret who returned from exile in France to become Lady Kingston in December 1693? She died at Mitchelstown on 29 April 1721. Lord and Lady Kingston's firstborn son, Robert King, died without isue, date unknown, at which time his younger brother John King became heir. Was he the Robert whom Redmond served as clerk? The 3rd Baron died in 1727 at which John succeeded; the 4th Baron Kingston was Grand Master of the Freemasons between 1728-1732, 1735-1736 and 1745-1747. On his death, the barony of Kingston became extinct.

In 1736, Redmond was listed as one of the subscribers to Dr Gilbert Burnett’s ‘Life of William Bedell, DD, Bishop of Kilmore in Ireland’. Such patronage clearly appealed to him. In 1745, he was listed as one of the subscribers to Charles Phipps’ page-turning epic, The Doctrine of Vulgar and Decimal Fractions Expain’d and Made Easy to the Meaneft Capacity’.

The Sub-Sheriff & the Rioters

The first major references to him concern his role as sub-Sheriff for the City of Dublin in Trinity Term 1741, only months after the brutal famine of 1740 which killed nearly 20% of the Irish population. He may have been the Alderman Kane referred to in the Assembly Rolls of the Corporation of Dublin, running from January 1741 to 1751, in which case he was on the Committees for both City Accounts and Water Course. (That said, looks like the Alderman could have been Nathaniel Kane who died in 1757. The Hassards were also Aldermen at this time). [10] This was a time when the Earl of Chesterfield was the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Handel was performing his Messiah in the city and Bartholomew Mosse was raising funds for the Rotunda. Dublin's Mayors at this time were Sir Samuel Cooke (1740-41) and William Aldrich (1741-42). Redmond quickly established a reputation as a no-nonsense sort of guy. At the July Sessions in 1741, ‘Mr. Redmond Kane, Sub-sheriff’ was paid £20 ‘for his great care, expense and trouble in suppressing riots in different parts of the County, and for apprehending and bringing in several persons on the process, who had not accounted for the publick money, and for transmitting prisoners, and for discharging several poor prisoners without fees, who were tryed for different offences in this County’. At the October Sessions three months later, he was paid a further £30 ‘for his care in suppressing riots, discharging a great number of poor prisoners without fees, and executing the process against the high and petty constables and other persons for the publick money’. Agsin, in the January Sessions of 1741 (which I guess came after the other two before Chesterfield’s calendar kicked in) he received £20 ‘for his trouble and expenses in prosecuting, convicting and executing several murderers at the commission of Oyer and Terminer, and for exonerating several inhabitants of the County of fines payable by them on the green wax process, and for discharging a great number of prisoners without fees’.

Fn. 10: "The Calendar of the Assembly Rolls of the Corporation of the City of Dublin, is continued, in this ninth volume from October 1740 to October 1751 inclusive. "

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Above: Katharine Kane, daughter of Redmond, who married
William Bunbury and was grandmother of William McClintock Bunbury.

The Transportation of Vagabonds

In 1741, Redmond Kane used his position as Under-Sheriff of Dublin to great effect, earning a neat £175 from the transportation of thirty five ‘convict felons and vagabonds’, receiving £5 for each convict felon. He earned £50 in Trinity term, for transporting William Murphy, John Hill, Edward Graham, John Gogarty, John Redmond, Bryan Mc. Atire, James Walsh, Thomas Hoey, John Dormon and Francis Neal. In Michaelmas 1741, he earned another £50 transporting Mary Maguire, Mary Lawler, John Howard, Edward Wilson, William Shortley, Catherine Delany, Owen Murphy, Thomas Ryder, Hugh Reily and Mary Cologan. In Hillary 1741, he earned £75 transporting Peter Reilly, Teresa Dignam, Elizbeth Hyland, Thomas Kearnan, Patrick Kilkelly, Patrick Johnson, Matthew Tearnan, Sarah Ryan, John Gagarty, William Cane, Walter Hughs, Rachel Everston, John Carroll, John Farrell and George Forster. These monies were paid to him ‘at his Majesty's court of King's-Bench’ in return for ‘the transportation of felons and vagabonds’ by John King, treasurer of the County of Dublin. The merchants he used to transport the prisoners were Thomas Cooke, Samuel Lyons, Mr. Bird and Joseph Weld. They were paid £3 or £4 per convict. That said, Redmond was by no means alone in profiting from such transportation.[4]

Penal Wheelin' with the bishop of clogher

According to Peter Collins, Redmond's 'putative religion notwithstanding, he specialized in acquiring bishops' leases' (since these were usually let at under-value), particularly under the Archbishop of Dublin and the Bishop of Clogher.[5] It is the latter leases which are of immediate relevance, because they were of lands in Counties Tyrone, Monaghan and, to a much lesser extent, Fermanagh. In time, the Kane estates would pass by marriage to William and Katherine Bunbury's grandson, William McClintock Bunbury and from him to the 2nd Lord Rathdonnell, the representative of the McClintock family, formerly of Drumcar, Co. Louth, and the Bunbury family of Lisnavagh, Co. Carlow. The estates which the McClintock Bunbury family owned - and which the Lisnavagh archives documents - were by no means confined to Counties Louth and Carlow. The family owned or leased lands in Cos Fermanagh, Monaghan and, to a much lesser extent, Tyrone. Indeed, Peter Collins of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, believes 'it is probable that the Rathdonnell had possessions in more counties than any other Irish peerage or gentry family'.[6] By a confusing coincidence, the Kane property in Fermanagh, consisting of only two townlands, was beside the McClintocks' manor of Rathmoran, also held under the Bishop of Clogher; and the McClintocks [of Drumcar] owned or held a couple of townlands right in the middle of the Kane estate in Co. Tyrone.

marriage to elizabeth Hassard

In about 1740, Redmond Kane married Elizabeth Johnson, widow of Williams Johnston, clothier, of Dublin and Fermanagh, and a daughter of Captain Robert Hassard of Skea. This was a branch of the old English stock of Hassard of Lyme.[9] Soon after the Norman Conquest a branch became seated in Gloucestershire and afterwards removed to Dorsetshire. During the reign of Charles II, Jason Hassard (of Gardenhill and Toam, 1617–1690, formerly MP and Mayor of Lyme, and a Royalist during the Civil War) and his brother George Hassard went to Ireland with the Caldwells, having previously raised troops in the South of England. They assumed the motto of ‘Fortuna viam ducit’ on landing and George joined Sir William Cole's regiment at Enniskillen. Eventually large tracts of land were granted them in Fermanagh and other counties. The Hassards were distinguished at the sieges of Enniskillen and Londonderry. Elizabeth's granddfather was another Jason Hassard of Skea, County Fermanagh. Her father, Captain Robert Hassard of Mount Hassard, Skea, was "bred attorney" (Betham-Phillips MS) and Sheriff of Fermanagh in 1719.

In about 1709, Captain Hassard married Anne (King), eldest daughter of the Rev. Thomas King, MA, Prebendary of Swords (by Elizabeth, daughter and heir of John Bernard of Dromin, Co Louth, and widow of the Rev John Archdale, Vicar of Lusk). After Captain Hassard's death, Anne (nee King) married secondly her cousin Robert King of Drewstown, an imposing country house near Fordstown in County Meath that is attributed to Francis Bindon and was built for Barry Barry in about 1745. Was this the Robert King whom Redmond had been clerk to back in 1731? Robert and Anne King had two daughters, Catherine King (who married Sir James Nugent, bart, of Donore, Co Westmeath) and Margaret King (who married Barry Maxwell, later 1st Earl of Farnham). As for Elizabeth, she had married Williams Johnson at St. Michan's Dublin on 18 February 1736 and had two daughters, Ann and Elizabeth (later Mrs Dempster), before William's death in 1739.

Elizabeth's older brother was the Dublin woollen merchant Jason Hassard (1706-1745). [7] On 10 March 1731, Jason married Mary Mason, second daughter of Enock Mason by Ruth Ward, younger daughter of Peter Ward, of Dublin, merchant. [10] Jason became involved in the woollen business, along with his father-in-law, and lived at The Golden Fleece on Essex Street, and then at The Golden Fleece on Skinner Row. (Hughes, Church of St John, Dublin, p.91). He asked Dean Swift for a motto in verse for The Golden Fleece, for which the Dean wrote:

'Jason, the valiant prince of Greece,
From Colchos brought the golden fleece;
We comb the wool, refine the stuff
;For modern Jason that's enough.
Oh! could we tame you watchful dragon [ie England],
Old Jason would have less to brag on'.

Jason died in Dublin on 3 June 1745. By his wife Mary (who married secondly 1749-52 Pegwell Burrowes, merchant) he had two children, Robert Hassard and Elizabeth Hassard. Robert later married Jane, daughter of George Nixon of Nixon Hall. Their daughter Catherine married Captain Gerard Irvine of Rockfield, Co. Fermanagh, who served with the 47th Regiment during the American War of Independence and fought at the battle of Bunker Hill. So, for the sake of clairty, Catherine Kane would have been a first cousin of Catherine Irvine's father. It is also to be noted that when the Rev. Adam Nixon died in 1767, he bequeathed £10 to Redmond Kane. (See Appendix II of Rev. Swanzy).

Elizabeth's younger brother Thomas Hassard was also a merchant in Dublin, based in Clondalkin.[8] On 4 May 1743, he married Henrietta Chaigneau, daughter of David Chaigneau, MP for Gowran (1715-27-53), and sometime owner of Corkagh in Condalkin, by his wife Elizabeth Maquarrel. Henrietta's sister Elizabeth was married to James Digges La Touche. On 21 May 1754, Thomas mortgaged Mount Hassard, Kilnemadda and Mullylust to David La Touche for £500. He died at Swords in 1776.



On 10th June 1749, Redmond Kane's name appeared as one of the witnesses to the sale of Castlefin, Co. Donegal, by Oliver McCausland of Strabane, Co. Tyrone, to Conolly McCausland of Fruithill, County Londonderry, and Hodson Gage of Ballymargy. The other witness may have been Phineas [sic] Murray. [Source: PRONI D/673/30]



ON 24 March 1750, the Dublin Journal noted the impending sale of the house, lands and powder mills at Corkagh, later home to my Finlay and Colley ancestors … ‘proposals in writing sealed up will be received before the 1st day of May next, by Mr. Redmond KANE, Attorney, at his house in Stafford Street.’ Now known as Wolfe Tone Street, Stafford Street on Dublin's north-side was where Henry Luttrell was assassinated in 1717. Redmond relocated to Bolton Street sometime after this.



On 1 April 1752 Redmond Kane was named as the 3rd party on a Mortgage of lands of Oughterard etc., county Tyrone and Meath between Wesley Harman and others (1st part) and Henry Brooke (2nd part). Redmond Kane 3rd part. [N.A. Ref. D4878.] A part of the King-Harman dynasty, Wesley was probably the son of Wentworth Harman and Lucy Mervyn. He married Mary Milley and built Killashee House at Middleton, Longford, which later passed to de Montfort. He died in 1758. They had one son, Wentworth Harman Robert Douglas King-Harman. See: 'The Kings, Earls of Kingston' (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, U.K.: W. Hefer & Sons, 1959).

Henry Brooke may well be the novelist and dramatist, Henry Brooke (1703-1783), a Tory hailed by Alexander Pope, who was born in Ireland, the son of a clergyman, and fathered 22 children of whom only one survived, namely Charlotte Brooke, also a celebrated writer. In politics, he was somewhat radical in arguing publicly for loosening the laws persecuting Roman Catholics in the United Kingdom. See also more on the Oughterard lands below at Crossbawn Lease, 1768.



TO be LET or the Interest SOLD, of the House and lands of Drewstown in the County of Meath within two Miles of Athboy, containing 260 Acres profitable land and 200 of Bog, held by a lease of lives, renewable without Fine, from Lenox Dutton Naper, Esq; the House will be Let either furnished or unfurnished. For further Particulars enquire of the Hon Barry Maxwell, Esq; or Redmond Kane, Attorney in Dublin, or of Robert King, at the said House—The said Kane has the Title Deeds. (Pue's Occurrences, 22 March 1757)



The Dempster - Johnson Marriage

Faulkner's Dublin Journal of 12th December 1758 records the marriage of a 'Mr. Dempster to Miss Johnston of Bolton Street, step daughter of Redmond Kane'. John Beatty of Indiana conducted considerable research into this and found a very complex marriage agreement in the Registry of Deeds, drawn up by Redmond, which spelled out all of the Hassard - Dempster - King relationships in great detail. The marriage refers to David Dempster and Elizabeth Johnson, then about 20 years old. They were married in St. Mary's, Dublin on 7th December 1758. David was the son of Samuel and Elizabeth (nee Martin) Dempster of Donaghcloney, County Down. After the wedding, David moved to Carrickduff in the parish of Barragh, County Carlow, which he leased from Lord Farnham while taking charge of Farnham's extensive mill at Newtown-Barry (aka Bunclody). [11] By 1782 he had left there and returned to Donaghcloney. The Farnhams were also the Barry family and are mentioned again below.

The Irish Society

On 9 May 1759, Redmond Kane recorded as Solicitor to the Irish Society [12], aka, the Honorable Society of the Governor and Assistants of London, of the New Plantation in Ulster. This was the consortium of livery companies of the City of London set up in 1613 to colonise County Londonderry during the Plantation of Ulster. This comprised of various London businessmen with vested interests in developing towns like Londonderry and Coleraine, and introducing tillage farming to other plantation areas in Ulster. Under their instruction, the heavily-forested free-range countryside was converted into neat arrangements of arable fields flanked by hedgerows, and mature trees. Roads were built to connect market towns and villages; stone bridges were erected over the fords. During the 17th and 18th centuries four of the twelve livery companies sold their estates, the Irish Society requiring in each case a bond of indemnity.

To this end, Redmond appears to have gone into business with Mr King. Among their apprentices was David Babington who, in about 1771, by how own account, 'entered upon my apprenticeship with the late Messrs Kane and King, who were then, and had been for above half a century before, the law agents of the Society; and as I chanced to have been born within less than a mile of the river Bann, about half way between the Lough and the sea, and had a tolerably good notion of the nature of the fisheries my attention was more particularly directed to the subject in dispute than it might otherwise have been (ie: a dispute between the Society and the Marquis of Donegall over fishing rights) and from thence until now, the case has had my best consideration, especially for the last twenty years, during which time, or rather as much of it as he lived, I was in partnership with Mr King, who survived Mr Kane, and since his death I have had the honour of being myself concerned for the Society in the defence of the cause, and such other general business as they have had in Ireland continued.' (David Babington, Narrative of the Fishery Cause).


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Above: Swords Castle as it was circa 1780s.

Death of Mrs Kane

In 1763, The Gentleman's and London Magazine refers to the death at Swords on August 5th of ‘the wife of Redmond Kane’. This was presumably Elizabeth Hassard mentioned above. However, on 17 Sept 1763, the Freeman's Journal announced that the Besborough Packet had arrived from Holyhead and that its passengers included 'Mrs Cane and her daughter....Messrs Cane and Bunbury and several other passengers with the mail.' So one wonders what was going on here ... were these Canes really Kanes and what were they doing being pally with Bunbury back in those times?! Thomas Bunbury makes no mention of a trip to England in his diary, but that is not to say he did not go. (Presumably they had arrived at the Pigeonhouse .. from there guests were transported to and from Dublin City in a ‘Long Coach', a half hour journey in a rickety carriage capable of ‘holding 16 inside passengers and as many outside, with all their luggage’. A passenger on this Long Coach in 1810 likened his journey to an ‘earthly purgatory’ on board Noah’s Ark, ‘the clean and the unclean’ together, everybody crammed together and smelling of sea-sick. It was, concluded the author, ‘no bed of roses’.

ON THE CIRCUIT 1758-1775

In 1758 Redmond Kane of Bolton Street was recorded as one of two Clerks (with John Heaton of Molesworth Street) on the North West Circuit of Ulster which met at Mullingar, Longford, Cavan, Enniskillen, Omagh, Lifford and Londonderry (Pue's Occurrences, 30 May 1758). In July 1760 he was recorded as a Register on the same circuit, alongside John Rock of Anne Street, Linen Hall. (Dublin Courier, 4 July 1760). In 1761 and 1763, Redmond was recorded as a clerk on the Munster Circuit for the Lent Assizes, along with Charles Flood of Peter Street. The court was to meet throughout March at Blackfriars & the Tholsel (Waterford), Clonmel, King's Old Castle (Cork), Tralee and St Francis's Abbey (Limerick). (Dublin Courier, 11 February 1761) He was also recorded as Register (as it was spelled) of the NW Circuit in 1762, 1764, 1766 and 1773 and may well have been involved in other assizes, as well as the Munster Circuit. As an example, the Freeman’s Journal (21 Feb 1764, pg 3 Col 4) advertised the following seating times and locations for the upcoming North West Circuit of Ulster, listing Redmond Kane of Bolton Street as a Register:


North West Circuit of Ulster

County of Westmeath at Mullengar [sic], Monday March 19
County of Longford at Longford Thursday 22
County of Cavan at Cavan Monday 26
County of Fermangh at Enniskilling Friday 30
County of Tyrone at Omagh Tuesday April 3
County of Donnegal at Lifford Saturday 7
County of Derry at Derry Wednesday 11

Hon Mr Justice Scott and Hon M Justice Tenison - Justices
Redmond Kane Esq Bolton Street and H Cottingham Esq Britain Street - Registers

He also appeared at the Summer Assizes of 1764 (Freeman's Journal, 14 July 1764) and 1765 (Freeman's, 22nd Jun 1765). During March 1766, he served at the Lent Assizes before Baron Mountney and Justice Scott with John Campbell Esq, Peter Street, as his fellow Registers. (Freeman’s Journal, Feb 11, 1766) He was Register for the Summer Assizes of July 1767 (before Lord Chief Justice Clayton and Baron Scott, with Edward Leigh, Freeman’s, Jul 11, 1767). 'Redmond Kane, Esq., Attorney, Skinners Row' (by Christchurch) was again listed as a Register alongside Edward Leigh, Esq., Aungier St, at the 1769 Lent Assizes for the Munster Circuit, under Lord Chief Justice Clayton and Baron Scott.

He was back in action for the Spring Assizes in March 1771 (before Baron Scott and Justice Malone, with Edward Fetherson of Darby Square as his Fellow register, Freeman’s, Feb 12, 1771) and March 1772 (before Baron Scott and Justice Tennison, and Henry Coddington as his fellow Register, Finn’s Leinster Journal, Mar 4th 1772). He was there again for the Summer Assizes of 1772, in which Baron Scott was replaced by Justice Malone. (Finn’s, July 22, 1772). He transferred to the North East Circuit for the Spring Assizes of 1773 (before Baron Scott and Lord Chief Justice Paterson as Justices, with Thomas Tisdall as his fellow Register, Finn’s, February 10, 1773). He stuck to the North East Circuit for the Summer Assizes of 1773 (before the same Justices and Edward Fetherston as his fellow Register, Finn’s, July 07, 1773), the Summer Assizes of 1774 (before Lord Chief Justice Patterson and Baron Scott, and Tisdall as his fellow Register, Finn’s, Jul 13, 1774), the Lent Assizes of 1775 (before Tenison and Scott, with Henry Coddington, Freeman’s, Feb 23, 1775), the Summer Assizes of 1775 (before Lord Chief Baron John Foster and Baron Scott, and Gaynor Barry of Cuffe Street as his fellow Register, Freeman’s, Jul 18, 1775).

In September 2020, I asked Ruth Cannon, BL, if Redmond would have been paid by the judge or the government and she kindly advised me thus: 'A Judge's Registrar at Assizes was another name for the Clerk of Assizes. The post seems to have been a sinecure which could be delegated. (See here) Although the original Clerks of Assize were paid by the judges, by the 17th century the office appears to have evolved into a public one (though possibly still in the gift of the judges as many clerks were family members) (See here) There is a record here of fees being paid to a Clerk of the Crown by the State in the early 19th century. There was then an Act passed which put them on a fixed salary. (See the preamble here). On the basis of the above it seems that he was paid by the the government not the judge.' Pat Crowley adds: 'The Assizes Registrars were solicitors or Barrister often related to the Judge on Assizes. The Clerk of the Crown and Peace was the equivalent of State Solicitor.'


In May 1764, Redmond was listed as one of the agents handling the sale of various lands in the Naul, as well as lands in Swords and County Tyrone. Naul is in the far north of Fingal. It takes its name fro the Gaelic "An Aill" which means "The Cliff" or "The Rock". In Redmond Kane’s day, Naul was an important village on the main road to Drogheda, frequented by the stage coaches. Today Naul is best known because of the astounding archaeological find at Four Knocks. There was also a "White castle", of which nothing now remains, once home of Richard Caddell, who apparently watched the Bellewstown Races through a telescope from a folly. The complete notice read as follows:

TO be sold, an undivided half of the Towns and Lands of Naul, and of the Mill thereon, and also of Bodingtown, Roach, Caddelstown, Flemingtown, Mooresides, Kenroestown, and Clogherstown, situate in the County of Meath, the whole Estates being set for £341. 3s. 10 yearly.
Proposals will be received by Mrs. and Miss Mervyn in Dawson-street, Dublin, and by Mr. Redmond Kane in Bolton-street. -- And also to be sold, a House and Garden, with Coach-house, Stable and Cow-house, and 11 Acres of Land, at Swords in the County of Dublin, formerly in the Possession of Mr. Coles, and held for a Term of Years, whereof 14 or 15 Years are unexpired, at the yearly Rent of £20.
Proposals to be received by the Rev. Mr. Eustace at Swords, and by the said Redmond Kane.
(The Dublin Journal, 19 - 22 May, 1764).

On 28 July 1764, Redmond was named as the fifth party on a Deed of Assignment in Trust of lands of Oughterard and other townlands in County Tyrone and Naul etc., County Meath, also involving Dorothy Enery 1st Part. John Enery 2nd Part. Henry Irvine 3rd Part. Adam Nixon and Richard Hassard 4th Part. (N.A. Ref. D4824.) John Enery is mentioned in the Erne papers as being of Bawnboy in Co. Cavan, close to Knockballymore. His descendents subsequently lived at Ballyconnell House [in Cavan, as opposed to the other Ballyconnell House in Falcarragh, Co. Donegal where the Olpherts lived]. He was a kinsman of the Nesbitts of Lifford.

I may be wrong but, if Thomas Bunbury was buying lands at this point in time (and he was), then presumably he would have heard of Redmond Kane. And didn't the Bunbury family go on to own those very lands sold in the Naul?

Death of Master Keane

Faulkner's Journal and the Belfast Newsletter both state that on the night of Friday 11th October 1765 a "Master KEANE", described as the "only Son of Redmond KEANE, Esq." was killed at Castle-Bellingham "by his Cloathes getting into the Wheels of a Post-Chaise".

Master Keane’s only sister Katherine thus became sole heiress to the considerable Kane fortune and, by her marriage to William Bunbury of Lisnavagh, she was my direct ancestress. In fact, the Kane money kind of paid for Lisnavagh House … there but for a post-chaise wheel go I? In an email to me in April 2018, Dr Pat Wallace, who is compiling a book on Horse-drawn transport in Georgian and early Victorian Ireland, remarked on the speed potential of the post-chaise and its tall wheels, describing it as 'the Ferrari of its day.'

The use of the 'Keane' spelling is not unsuual. In numerous books, Mantua - Redmond's villa in Swords - is described as belonging to the 'Keane' family. The 1801 Dodds Traveling Directory, compiled 23 years after Redmond's death, mentions Mantua as having been the property of a Redmond Keene. But then there is also a reference to a Redmond Kane who was married in St Paul's (Roman Catholic) Church on Arran Quay to a Margaret Curren in 1790.


Also, while we are on a Kane-Keane-Keene-Kean roll, it should be noted that one of those embroiled in the 1798 Rebellion was John Kean, a Dubliner who fled to France for a while and then returned with the name 'Kane' and established the Kane Company in the Docklands which manufactured sulphuric acid. His son was the renowned chemist Sir Robert Kane. It is not clear how this branch are related but Sir Robert Kane and his son Henry Coey Kane (who became an Admiral) appear to have been connected to a Nathaniel Kane who went out to Australia in 1836 as a Captain in the 80th Regiment of Foot on the ‘Lady Nugent', a convict ship. He subsequently became a Magistrate of the Territory and died in Mudgee on 6th June 1843. (Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 16 June 1843) Nathaniel's daughter, Mary Catherine Kane, who was born in 1838 in Mudgee NSW, Australia, lived in a house called 'Calliope'. That was the name of the ship that Admiral Henry Coey Kane brought safely into Apia harbour Samoa in a hurricane. The place and date of Nathaniel's birth remain unknown but his descendant Mrs. Marvin Dean of Sydney has traced his move through the Foot Regiments. He originally enlisted as an ensign in the 91st in 1825, but also served in the 62nd, 59th and 80th. It seems plausible he was a brother or nephew of Sir Robert Kane. As well as his daughter, Nathaniel had a son who died as an infant and who was called "Henry Cocy Kane" (spelt differently as happened in the 1800s).


On 9 March 1768, Redmond Kane leased Crossbawn in County Monaghan to Armar Lowry Corry. This is likely to have been the future first Earl of Belmore who, born on April 7th 1840, became MP and High Sheriff for County Tyrone in 1769. See Anthony Malcomson. Confusingly, Crossbawn may now be in Armagh. [N.A. Ref D4826.]

In 1781, Armar Lowry Corry was created Baron Belmore in the Peerage of Ireland. He inherited various family estates totalling some 70,000 acres (with a rent roll of at least £12,000) and promptly commissioned James Wyatt to build Castle Coole, regarded as the most palatial late 18th century house in Ireland. On 6 December 1789 he was further created Viscount Belmore and on November 20, 1797 became Earl Belmore. He was High Sheriff of County Tyrone from 1769 and of County Fermanagh from 1779. He was married firstly on October 3, 1771 to Lady Margaret Hamilton (who died in April 1776), eldest daughter of Somerset Hamilton, 1st Earl of Carrick, with whom he had two sons Galbraith Lowry-Corry (1772-1773) and Somerset Lowry-Corry, 2nd Earl Belmore. He was married secondly on 2 March 2 1780 to Lady Henrietta Hobart, eldest daughter and co-heir of John Hobart, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire, who was at the time the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, with whom he had a daughter Lady Louisa Mary Anne Julia Harriet (1781-1862), later wife to the 6th Earl of Sandwich. After his second marriage was dissolved by an Act of Parliament in 1793, Lord Belmore married thirdly on 1 March 1794 Mary Anne Caldwell, eldest daughter of Sir John Caldwell, Bt., of Castle Caldwell, County Fermanagh, who died on December 13, 1841. Lord Belmore died on February 2, 1802.



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Above: Mantua, Swords, County Dublin, taken by Maurice Craig in the book, “Vanishing Country Houses of Ireland." This was Redmond
Kane’s house in the 1770s and is where his grandchildren, including the future Jane McClintock (Bunbury), were born. Sadly it was
subsequently demolished, but it looks like rather a remarkable pile. Mantua Road is still there, being a business park located
between the old Belfast Road and the Malahide Estuary.


There is record of a Redmond Kane joining the Freemason's Lodge 269 (Newry) in 1769. That was the year in which the Newry Ship Canal was completed, providing access to the coal deposits of Coalisland in East Tyrone and paving the way for Newry to become a major port. Was Redmond one of the merchants who invested in the canal?


Swords in Redmond Kane's Day

Redmond Kane lived between his city residence on Bolton Street and the three storey seaside villa of Mantua in Swords, Co Dublin. In the 18th century, Swords was a small town, containing a 12th century Norman castle, a few townhouses and many handsome cottages which were chiefly let in summer for sea bathing. It had a Constabulary Police and a Coast-guard Station. St. Colmcille founded a monastery there in the 6th century and a 9th century round tower survives today, along with a 13th century square Norman tower. On a clear day you can see the Mountains of Mourne from the top of the Round Tower. One wonders did Redmond Kane ever clamber up those stone steps and gaze north to where his new lands lay? John Sweetman, the United Irishman and friend of Wolfe Tone, was buried in the shadow of the two towers. The Molesworth family acquired much of the neighbouring land during their rise to power in the wake of the Boyne. The 1st Viscount Molesworth built Brackenstown House in the early 18th century; Jonathan Swift was among his regular visitors.

Swords in Redmond Kane's day was a notoriously corrupt borough. For most of Dublin City, the canvassing of individual voters was normally frowned upon. Instead, political candidates solicited the endorsement of each of the 23 guilds whose members tended to vote in a body. However, in Swords, the individual householders were determined to vote as they saw fit and were thus wide open to the concept of selling their votes to the highest bidder. I have little doubt Redmond learned his craftiness in such an environment! In 1788, ten years after Redmond Kane's death, an inspired businessman named M'Intyre secured the passing of an Act through the Irish Parliament enabling him to build a canal from Malahide to Swords and neighbouring Fieldstown. Unfortunately the scheme failed, as did the same mans' cotton manufacture which had been granted £2,000 from the Irish Parliament.

Also of note was Major General Richard Montgomery, born in Swords in 1738, who led the Continental Army in a failed attack on Quebec city in 1775, and was killed during the battle.

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Above: William and Katherine Bunbury's
second son, Colonel Kane Bunbury,
was born at the Kane family
residence of Mantua, Swords. He
lived to be 92 years old.


Bodington, Co. Meath

In 1752 the Kane demesne in County Meath included 100 mesuages, 600 cottages, 600 gardens, 10 orchards, 2 mills, 1000 acres of arable land, 1000 acres of meadow, 1000 acres of pasture, 50 acres of wood and underwood, 50 acres of heath and 50 acres of marsh at Bodington, just south of Flemingtown. (Is it possible that the Kane's owned Bodenstown in County Meath when Wolfe Tone was buried there?) These lands had been seized in 1731, an act contested by Bernard Kane and Redmond Kane in 1752 as an "unjust seizure". Who was Bernard?! Malcolmson suggests a scam whereby Kane, a possible Catholic, would deliberately have his lands confiscated so a friend could buy them cheap and sell them back to him even cheaper. The 1704 Act of Popery stated that if a Protestant came forward in Court and proved that a Papist had acquired anything greater than a 31 year leasehold interest in a property, those lands would be granted to the "Discoverer". In this case, the Protestant Discoverer was Mr. Charles King of Dublin. After King's death, his son and heir sold the lands back to Kane for a nominal sum. Malcolmson believes this was a deliberate ploy to confirm Kane in his lease.

Redmond Kane of Bolton Street was also Clerk to Justice Baron John Scott of the King’s Bench from at least 1772 until his death in 1778. His fellow clerks were Charles Doyle of Bramblestown, Co Kilkenny, Mathias Reily and John Kirwan, but Patrick Fagan suggests that Redmond lasted longer than any of them.[1]

[1] Catholics in a Protestant Country: The Papist Constituency in Eighteenth-Century Dublin, Patrick Fagan (Four Courts Press, 1998). See: Gentleman's and Citizen's Almanack (1772); The Court and City Register Or Gentleman's Complete Annual Kalendar ( Joliffe, 1776).

The Monaghan Estates & DRUMSNATT

As regards the Monaghan estates, there are two deeds at Lisnavagh, dated 1761 and 1764, which reveal that some of Redmond Kane's estates were subject to a successful lawsuit by Charles King which were, again, sold back to Kane by King's successor for practically nothing. The interpretation of these deeds is unclear; probably, because the sum paid was nominal, the lawsuit was collusive and designed to pre-empt a genuine attempt at "discovery" under the Penal Laws. The leases concerned those to and from Redmond Kane, dated 1762-1776, relating to the lands and lake of Drumsnaught, or Drumsnatt, in the parish of Donaghmoyne, barony of Farney, and parish of Errigle in Barony of Trough. The land and its shallow lake were first acquired by Redmond Kane under a lease from the Bishop of Clogher in 1760. Located 4.5 miles south-west of Monaghan, and close to the Monaghan-Clones road, Drumsnatt (aka Drumsnaught, or Druim Snechta, meaning 'snowy ridge') was the site of a monastery apparently established by St Molua in 600AD that evolved into an important intellectual centre under the abbot St Cummein. Both the Book of Leinster and the Book of the Dun Cow refer to the Book of Drumsnatt which, now lost, is considered the earliest Irish literary codex. The Life of Molua may also have been written there.

The following tale of the Drumsnatt Monster was published in the 'Parochial Records of the Diocese of Clogher', Volume 1 (Fermanagh Herald Office, 1920) by the Rev. J. E. M’Kenna: "St. Molua, walking one day by the shore, saw two boys bathing, and at some distance a huge monster peist [beast] rose from the waters and directed its course towards the boys. Molua urged them to swim towards him, promising a reward to the boy who first reached the shore. Influenced by the spirit of emulation, the boys struck out manfully, but unknown to them the peist pursued them. As they were coming ashore one of the boys looked back, and seeing the monster, dropped dead through fear. Molua made the sign of the cross towards the monster, and it disappeared for ever. The boy he restored to life."

The church is now recalled by an especially lovely graveyard which features some splendid medieval fragments as well as the graves of Oscar Wilde's half-sisters, Emily and Mary "Wylie", who died tragically while dancing by the fire at nearby Drumaconner House in 1871. One thinks of 'The Dreadful Story of Harriet & Her Matches'. It is said they were illegitimate and thus their deaths were kept quiet so as not to shame Sir William Wilde. Oscar was 17 at the time, just about to start at TCD. See Theo McMahon, 'The Deaths of Emily and Mary Wilde, 1871', Clogher Historical Society (2003) or click here and scroll to 1871. The Ulster Canal runs nearby.

Katherine Bunbury's marriage settlement of 1773 included £3000 as a portion of cash and immediate possession of some of her father's landed property". There are also two files of correspondence, 1896, 1889, 1898 and 1925-1939, about the Monaghan property, one labelled 'Crowbane', the other 'Donaghmoyne' and 'Mulinnavannoge'.

Kane Bunbury is listed in Griffith's for the townland of Mullanacross, Drumsnat.

The Irvine Estates

The Lisnavagh Archives include the will of a once prosperous lady named Eleanor Irvine dated to 1767. It seems she had got into serious debt and was unable to pay this off without selling her lands at Flemingston, Meath, Tyrone and Omagh. As the executors holding land in trust for her daughter, Olivia, Malcolmson believes Robert Nugent and Redmond Kane probably bailed her out and then took all the property as payment.


The Bunbury Marriage

On 2nd October 1773, Finns Leinster Journal informed its readers of the following news:

MARRIED. A few days ago at Swords, near Dublin, William Bunbury of the county of Carlow, Esq, to Miss Kane, daughter of Redmond Kane, a most accomplished young lady, with a fortune of 20,000l.

The wedding was also noted in the Freeman’s Journal which did not include the size of Catherine’s fortune, and Saunders Newsletter, which did. But sure enough it was a mighty coup for the Bunbury family, not least when Redmond Kane's will of 30/9/1777 gave, devised and bequeathed all his messuages, lands, tenements and hereditimants "in the kingdom of Ireland" to William Bunbury of Lisnavagh in accordance with William's marriage (28th September 1773) to his only surviving child, Katherine Kane. He made many more generous endowments to his daughter during his lifetime, settling lands on the couple and giving her a substantial £3000 fortune. The suggestion is that Kane was somewhat obliged to pay the Bunbury family for the privilege of marrying into the landed gentry!

Redmond's Will

A codicil dated 9th May 1778 appointed Sir James Nugent, the Hon. Barry Barry and Charles King trustees. Nugent and Barry were also beneficiaries. Under the wills of Redmond and Katherine Kane, these estates were to be held in trust for the use of William and Katherine's second son, Colonel Kane Bunbury and his heirs. Otherwise they were to go to their firstborn son, Thomas Bunbury and his heirs. Otherwise they were to be divided between the daughters Jane (later Jane McClintock, mother of Captain William McClintock Bunbury and the 1st Baron Rathdonnell) and Katherine (later Katherine Gardiner) as Tenants in Continuity. If none of this worked out, Redmond left it to the children of his sister Sophia Kane.

Prerogative Will Redmond Kane 1778.

Desiring interment in Swords Parish Church should he die in Dublin and at Kilskeery If he dies in Tyrone.
Appoints Charles King and James Lendrum of Jamestown in the County Tyrone to act as Trustees. Had an estate at Swords.
Left a life interest on £600 at five per cent to his sister Mrs. Sophia M?Kenna, and his sister-in-law Anne Hassard, an annuity of £22-15-0 payable out of lands of Bal??? Co. Dublin.
Bequest to Lady Nugent £52-10-0 and to Sir James Nugent £5
Left to his sister Mary O?Neill live interest on £100
Left to sister-in-law Harriet Hassard, widow of Thomas Hassard, and to his nephews ? M?Kenna and Thomas Campbell£500 Equally between them.

Barry Barry, 1st Earl of Farnham

Barry Barry was born Barry Maxwell and was the second son of John Maxwell, 1st Baron Farnham. His father represented Co. Cavan in the Irish Parliament from 1727 until his elevation to the peerage in 1756 as 'Baron Farnham of Farnham, Co. Cavan'. The 1st Baron had an address at Munny, Co. Carlow (now the Bielenbergs), as well as at Newtownbarry. Barry's mother was Judith Barry, daughter and heiress of James Barry of Newtown Barry (aka Bunclody), Co. Wexford. (a) The 1st Baron died on 6th August 1759 and was succeeded as 2nd Baron by his eldest son Robert. Just over two months later, on 11th October 1759, the 2nd Baron married Henrietta, Countess Dowager of Stafford, sole daughter and heir of Philip Cantillon. She bore him a son, John, Viscount Maxwell, and a daughter, Henrietta, before her premature death on 30th August 1761. (b) That same year, Robert was elevated to Viscount Farnham and, in 1863, he was created Earl of Farnham. On 1st December 1771, the Earl took a new bride, Sarah, widow of Arthur Upton, sister of Lord Sydney and the only daughter of Pole Cosby of Stradbally Hall, Queen's County (now Co. Laoise). His only son, Viscount Maxwell, died a minor in 1777 and the 1st Earl passed away on 11th November 1779. In the absence of any male children, the honours conferred upon him died and the Barony devolved upon his brother, aka Redmond Kane's friend, Barry Barry.

As 3rd Baron Farnham, Barry's principal achievement was to win back the Viscountcy (10 Jan 1781) and Earldom (22 June 1785) bestowed upon his elder brother. Barry was twice married. He married his first wife, Margaret King, on 15th January 1757. She was co-heir of Robert King of Drewstown, Co. Meath, another of Redmond's cronies. Margaret bore Barry a son, John James, 4th Baron Farnham, and two daughters, Anne and Judith. (c) Barry was married secondly in 1771 to Grace, daughter of Arthur Burdett of Ballymaney, by whom he had two daughters, Grace (wife of Sir Ralph St. George Gore, died 19th June 1866) and Elizabeth (died unmarried January 1782). Barry, 1st Earl of Farnham, died on 7th October 1800 and was succeeded by his only son, the 40-year-old James Barry. The 2nd Earl 's wife was Grace Cuffe, only daughter of Thomas Cuffe of Grange, Co. Kilkenny. He had no issue by her and so, on his death on 23rd July 1823, the Viscountcy and Earldom expired, while the barony reverted to his kinsman John Maxwell Barry, 5th Baron Farnham (1767 - 1838), son of Barry's younger brother Rev, Henry Barry, Bishop of Dromore, by his marriage to Margaret Foster, daughter of Rt Hon Anthony Foster and sister of the great Speaker John Foster, Lord Oriel.

(a) James Barry was son and heir of Richard Barry by Anne, his wife, daughter of Charles Meredyth, MP.
(b) Henrietta was married in 1780 to Rt. Hon. Denis Daly of Dunsandle, Co. Galway. Denis died on 10th October 1792 and she survived until 6th March 1852, leaving issue.
(c) Anne was married in 1787 to Richard Fox of Fox Hall, Co. Longford. Judith died unmarried in 1818.

Katherine Bunbury's Succession

Following Redmond's death in 1778, Katherine duly entered possession and secured the rents and profit of lands as a tenant for life until her death. Her will, dated 27th June 1834, bequeathed all the Kane lands, including those at Cloghna (1) and Dublin (2) to her second son, Kane Bunbury. He is assumed to be the Mr Bunbury mentioned by William Wilson in 'The Post Chaise Companion, Or, Traveller's Directory Through Ireland’(J.& J.H. Fleming, 1803), viz. "About a quarter of a mile on the R[ight] of Swords is Mantua the seat of Mr Bunbury."

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Above: Redmond Kane's eldest grandson,
Thomas Bunbury of Lisnavagh
MP for Co. Carlow

Thomas Bunbury of Lisnavagh

From the death of his mother in 1834 until his own passing in 1846, Thomas Bunbury, MP for Carlow, was in possession of the Kane estates under the limitations & conditions of the settlement made on the marriage of William and Katherine. On his death, this all passed to his brother Colonel Kane Bunbury. Thomas's will, dated 26th May 1846, gave, devised and bequeathed all his estates, freehold and copyhold, as well as his leasehold estates (whether held for lives or years) to trustees therein named upon trust for his brother Kane Bunbury, for life, with remainder to his nephew Captain William McClintock Bunbury and his heirs (who got 2/3) and John McClintock (1st Baron Rathdonnell) (who received 1/3). Captain McClintock Bunbury and William Elliot were executors. I think Colonel Bunbury retained the lands until his death at a great age in 1874. In his will, his great-nephew, the Hon. Jack Bunbury was appointed residuary legatee.

Up until 1891, the Kane estates in all counties were administered separately and estate business was recorded in a separate series of rentals (for no logical reason, since they had merged with the Bunbury estates in 1846 and then merged with the McClintock estates in 1879). In 1891 a reorganization must have taken place (probably following the dismissal of the agent for the Kane estates), and 'Fermanagh, Kane and Louth' came to be administered as one unit, and the Bunbury estates as another.

Fate of Mantua

The Lisnavagh Archives contains a map of Mantua, dated October 1839, by Daniel O'Reilly of Swords. The map shows an extensive garden, a haggard, a front lawn and a yard, set up an avenue off the main road between Swords and the sea. The lands are described as belonging to Joseph St. Clair-Mayne, Esq but curiously there is no house on this map. In Vanishing Country Houses of Ireland, Mantua is described as "a three story, bow ended mid 18th century house with single storey 20th century porch, similar to nearby Lissen Hall. In 1783 the seat of Mr. Keane." (p. 60). Mark Bence-Jones adds that the bow-ends were curved, "the silhouette of their roofs exactly prolonging that of the main roof, five bay front; Venetian window above rusticated and pedimented tripartite doorway" (p. 200). He further states that by 1814 the house had become the residence of a Dr. Daly whose widow or daughter, Mrs. Daly, was living there in 1837. It later belonged to Patrick and Hannah Cuffe.

The villa - where Colonel Kane Bunbury was born - was built in the mid 18th century but demolished in the 20th century. The exact date of its demolition is presently unknown. A housing estate by name of Mantua exists in Swords today, while another of the new housing estates in Swords is called Bunbury Gate.

With thanks to Anthony Malcolmson, Mark Bence Jones, John D. Beatty, Grace Moloney, Kate Wingrove, Aidan Walsh, Anne Kane, Simon Cochemé, Gerry McKenna, Sally Lloyd & the Clogher Historical Society.

There is a genealogy of the Kane family of Drumreaske (nr Ballinode) in the Genealogical Office, Ms. 388-9. There is a bit about them on the PRONI website and they have some papers there and a good bit of material in the county museum in Monaghan.



[1] J. E. M'Kenna, ‘Diocese of Clogher: Parochial Records, Monaghan’ (1920)

[2] The McCauslands of Donaghanie and Allied Families, Merze Marvin (s.n., 1911, p. viii).

[3] PRONI T808 - Register of Deeds Office Dublin. Vol 58 p 246 No 39337. Memorial. The trustees were the Rev. Wm. Hamilton of Caledon Co. Tyrone, Archdeacon of Armagh and Oliver McCausland of Rash Co. Tyrone esq.

[3a] The Last Colonel of the Irish Brigade: Count O'Connell, and Old Irish Life at Home and Abroad, 1745-1833, by Mary Anne Bianconi O'Connell, Morgan John O'Connell, Mary Anne O'Connell (K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & co., ltd., 1892)

[4] ‘An account of what money was received by Redmond Kane for transporting felons and vagabonds, with a list of such felons and vagabonds for seven years last past, and the names of the merchants by whom they were transported’ in ‘A List of Deported Convicts and Vagabonds, 1737-1743’, Journals of the Irish House of Commons. See also ‘Proceedings and Debates of the British Parliaments Respecting North America’ by Leo Francis Stock (1924, Carnegie Intuition of Washington), p. 607:

[5] The see of Clogher, having been suppressed, was vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissions (in accordance with the laws of 1851) to at once and forever fix the time and manner of renewal, thereby converting into a lease for limited terms only during the lifetime of Kane Bunbury and without being moved thereto by him. The see of Dublin was not vested as it was not suppressed. The Irish Church Act seems to have contradicted Redmond Kane's will as regards the chattel interests contained in the sees of Dublin and Clogha. Questions were posed as to who now was entitled to the title of these lands. Could John McClintock, by execution of any deed or act on his part, acquire a valid title? Could he purchase the sees from the Commissioners? Or could he recover from Kane Bunbury's residuary legatee, Jack Bunbury?

[6] The Rathdonnell Papers (D/4132 AND MIC/632), PRONI, A.P.W. Malcomson (1997). The provenance of these bits and pieces is actually immaterial, because what has been deposited in PRONI is the 'Northern' (including Co. Monaghan) material of whatever provenance.

[7] It is surely relevant to note that the Hassards and La Touche families were also related. Further links to a La Touche-Kane-Hassard connection can be ascertained through EXTRACTS FROM THE OLD VESTRY BOOKS OF CLONDALKIN which show that James Digges LATOUCHE and Elizabeth CHAIGNEAU were married by his Grace ye Archbishop of Dublin on the 7th day of April, 1735. Furthermore, ‘Thomas HASSARD and Henrietta CHAIGNEAU were married by his Excellency the Lord Primate on ye fourth day of May, 1743 by virtue of a licence from ye Consistorial Court of Dublin directed to me. Francis WILSON, Vicar of Clondalkin’.

[8] Rev. Henry Swanzy, "The Families of French of Belturbet and Nixon of Fermanagh and their Descendants" (Dublin: Alex. Thomas & Co., Ltd., 1908). Josi/Hazard Nexus, by James Hazard, Ruth Josi Hazard (1997, Googlebooks).

[9] see Hassard of Gardenhill

[10] Jason Hassard, Esq, of Skea, Co. Fermanagh, married Anne, daughter of Colonel Johnston. He had at least one son, Robert Hassard, Esq of Skea who was married in1762 to Jane, daughter of George Nixon Esq of Nixon Hall, Co Fermanagh. Robert died in 1800 leaving issue viz:

1. JASON m a dau of Dr Murray, late of Dungannon and niece of the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, and is deceased

2. GEORGE, of whom presently

3. Catherine m to Capt Gerrard Irvine (note the Irvine connection below to The Naul and 1752 deeds)

4. Anne

5. Letitia

6. Rose m to Mr. Adkins Esq.

The 2nd son GEORGE HASSARD Esq of Skea was born in May 1775 and died on 10 August 1847. He was a JP and served as high sheriff of co Fermanagh in 1818 and 1828. He m 1799 Miss Jane Maguire and by her (who d. March 1846) had issue:

1. THE REV EDWARD HASSARD, present head of the Skea family, Rector of Rathkeale and Chancellor of the diocese of Limerick. He succceeded to the representation of the family of Hassard of Skea at the death of his father on 10 Aug 1847. On 15 Sept 1855, he married Miss Mary Anne Gibb of Norfolk Square Brighton.

2. Henry barrister at law dunm.

3. William of Mountjoy Square

4. George of Mountjoy Square Dublin barrister, b 10 Sept 1811

5. Richard dunm

6. John who went to Australia

7. Charles

8. Francis, in holy orders, Rector of Fuerty co Roscommon

9. Mary m 1823 to George Campbell Williams Esq

10. Anne m to Samuel Gale Esq barrister of Battledown near Cheltenham

11. Elizabeth

12. Jane d young

13. Charlotte d young

From: A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland By Bernard Burke.

[11] John D Beatty believes Dempster or his wife were somehow related to his 4th great grandfather, James Beaty, of Ballycanew, County Wexford, who was also a miller and named one of his sons Dempster Beatty.

[12] A Concise View of the Origin, Constitution and Proceedings of the Honorable Society of the Governor and Assistants of London of the New Plantation in Ulster, within the realm of Ireland, commonly called the Irish Society (Gye and Balne, 1822), p. 120.