The Mansion House, London

There are a number of reasons for including this. Partly it is a great article, and part of English Catholic triumphalism as the community starts to feel more secure in itself. It is also included because there are almost a dozen members of the wider family there. In no particular order:

  • Mr. W. Smith, M.P, He is Alfred O’Bryen’s father-in-law.
  • Judge Bagshawe, appears at a lot of family weddings,and his brother,the Very Rev. Canon Bagshawe, D.D., the Bagshawes are referred to as “cousins” in Fr. Philip O’Bryen’s obituary. Quite what the relationship is I’m still not sure because I can find no evidence to date. 
  • Sir (George) Sherston Baker, Bart., is Irene Roper Parkington’s father in law, and she is Dorothea Bidwell (nee Roper Parkington)‘s sister.
  • Sir H(enry). W(atson). Parker, is Charlotte Purssell’s father in law.
  • Mr. F(ield). Stanfield, is the brother-in law of both the Bagshawes, and his daughter Henrietta marries Joseph Walton’s son, Joseph Arthur.
  • Mr. A(lfred). Purssell, – Alfred Purcell is already quite a major character. His daughter (Frances) Charlotte marries Wilfred Parker, Sir Henry Watson Parker’s son, and his grand-son Alan O’Bryen marries Marie Bidwell, whose mother is Dorothea Bidwell (nee Roper Parkington). 
  • Mr. H(erman). Lescher, His sister-in-law Mary O’Connor Graham Lescher (nee Grehan)  married her father’s step-mother’s nephew, Frank Harwood Lescher. She is a first cousin to the O’Bryens (Alfred, Philip,Ernest, Rex, and Mary) because her father Patrick Grehan III is Celia O’Bryen’s brother.
  • Mr. Cary-Elwes, This could be a number of people because there are quite a few Cary-Elwes. The most likely candidates are either Charles Cary-Elwes who married Edythe Roper Parkington in 1897, and  is one of John Roper Parkington’s sons in law  or possibly his uncle Arthur. If it is Charles, he would be very young, twenty four, to be attending such a grand gathering. It is unlikely to be his father, who is almost always referred to as Capt Cary-Elwes.
  • Major Roper Parkington, Good old JRP has a habit of turning up to practically anything. By this point he was a highly sucessful wine importer, and City business man. As seen from above, one of his daughters married George Sherston Baker’s son, and another married Charles Cary-Elwes, and his grand-daughter Marie married Alan O’Bryen, Ernest’s son.
  • Mr. J. Walton, Q.C.Joseph Walton’s son, Joseph Arthur marries Field Stanfield’s daughter Henrietta

What it also does is give a clear idea of a tight social circle, that is also very inter-related.

The Tablet Page 5, 15th April 1893


Banquet Mansion House
Egyptian Hall, Mansion House, London

The brilliant scene at the Mansion House on Wednesday night marked at once the crowning hour of an honourable career, and in some sort the closing of a chapter in the story of English Catholicism. A very sympathetic audience listened to the Lord Mayor, when, lapsing for a moment into a strain of personal reminiscence, he told how from earliest manhood onwards he had laboured in silence for the good of the city, and all the world has now witnessed his great reward. And when we speak of the reward which has come to him in his 70th year, for all his patient service of the City of which to-day he is the Chief Magistrate, we are thinking less of the proud position he has won than of those golden opinions which the manner of his winning it has brought to him from all sorts and conditions of men,.

If ever a man in the hour of realized hope could look back upon a stainless record, or attained the object of a long and honourable ambition with the knowledge that in the pursuit of it he had never swerved, even by the hesitation of moment, from the path of the highest right, that man is the present Lord Mayor. In his case the battle of duty was fought in the open, steadily and unflinchingly, and his conduct has earned the recognition and the gratitude of men, of whatever creed, who care to see the triumph of truth and principle over shuffling and insincerity. But it will do more than that, it will do more than add to the general esteem in which Mr. Alderman Knill is held by all who know him. His steadfast constancy to Catholic principle upon that large and public stage, where all the greatness of the City was behind him to act as a sounding-board to his words, will give new heart to many a poor co-religionist for whose obscure trial or sordid troubles the world has neither heed nor care.

Many a little hidden tragedy and loss of self-respect, away in villages and remote country towns, as well as here in London, may be averted by this one conspicuous example of Catholic faithfulness ; and long after Mr. Alderman Knill has passed away the memory of that famous day in the Guildhall when he risked the ambition of a life-time, for many a tempted man may help to dip the trembling scales on the side of fidelity and truth. But, as the Cardinal hinted the other night, the career of the Lord Mayor offers another lesson. In his case, to the tenacity and courage which make, perhaps, the groundwork of his character, have been added not only a singular simplicity and directness of purpose, but also qualities which are less often associated with that resoluteness of which he has given such signal proof.

Throughout all this quarrel Mr. Alderman Knill has borne himself not only as a fearless and honourable man, but always with the considerateness and the unvarying courtesy of a Christian gentleman. The silken glove has been oftener felt than the iron hand, he has never fought for trivialities or shown himself unbending except for essentials, and he has been ever ready to respect the scruples, and, when that was possible, even the prejudices of his opponents. It was impossible not to think of these things on Wednesday evening, and not to regard that glittering scene as in some sort the fulfilment of a career. The time of struggle and doubt, indeed, was over long ago, and for many months the Lord Mayor has held with assured ease, his office of Chief Magistrate of London. He has offered his splendid hospitality to all that is famous and distinguished in the land, and looked down upon more brilliant crowds. But the sight of the guests who had gathered at his bidding on Wednesday night to do honour to the Cardinal must have affected him in a different and a quite separate way.

In that famous banqueting hall, officially presided over by the Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs of the City were the representatives of all Catholic England. The Cardinal and the Bishops, Peers and Members of Parliament, the clergy, Judges and leaders of the Bar, journalists, architects, naval and military officers, country gentlemen, artists, merchants, the officers of the leading Catholic associations—all that goes to make up the world of English Catholicism was there. Never since Cardinal Pole was invited by the Mayor and citizens in the year 1554, had a Prince of the Church been thus officially received, and never assuredly for three hundred years and more had there been such an assemblage of Catholics within the walls of the city.

To many that scene seemed like a visible triumph spread out before the eyes of the man who presided there so quietly and graciously and yet had risked so much for conscience’ sake, and risking it had struck such a signal blow for religious freedom and so vindicated for Catholicism its rightful position before the people. But whether considered, as it was designed, as an opportunity for offering public welcome to the Cardinal, or as, in fact, it also became a demonstration of regard for a host whom his guests delighted to honour, this memorable banquet was an unqualified success.


Bennison, E. R.; Lady Knill, Wife of Sir Stuart Knill, Lord Mayor of London (1892-1893); City of London Corporation;
Lady Knill, Wife of Sir Stuart Knill, Lord Mayor of London (1892-1893); copyright.City of London Corporation;

The banquet accordingly took place on Wednesday evening, when Cardinal Vaughan and the Bishops of the English Catholic Hierarchy, and a large gathering of the Catholic clergy and laity, met at the Mansion House. The guests, who numbered upwards of three hundred, were received by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress in the Reception Hall. Cardinal Vaughan, on entering, was met by the City Marshal, and, preceded by two torch-bearers carrying lighted candles, was conducted into the building. Here he was received by the Lord Mayor, who, with his mace and sword-bearers, advanced to meet his Eminence. All the Bishops wore their silk robes and chains. After the greeting, the guests passed into the Egyptian Hall, where the banquet was served. On the left side of the Lord Mayor sat the Cardinal, and on the right side the Duke of Norfolk.

Besides these, the invited guests were : The Earl of Denbigh, the Bishop of Clifton, Archbishop Scarisbrick, 0.S.B., the Earl of Albemarle, K.C.M.G., the Bishop of Liverpool, the Earl of Westmeath, the Earl of Gainsborough, Lord William Nevill, the Bishop of Nottingham, Lord Braye, the Bishop of Birmingham; the Right Rev. Lord Petre, the Bishop of Newport and Menevia, Lord Norreys, Admiral Lord Walter Kerr, the Bishop of Shrewsbury, Lord Beaumont, Lord North, the Bishop of Emmaus, Lord Arundell of Wardour, the Bishop of Northampton.

Lord Herries, the Bishop of Southwark, Lord Emly, the Bishop of Leeds, Lord Morris, the Right Hon. the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, the Bishop of Middlesbrough, Lord Clifford of Chudleigh, the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, Lord Acton, the Bishop of Cisamus, the Bishop of Salford, the Right Hon. the O’Conor Don, the Bishop of Priene, Mgr. Gilbert, Mr. Justice Matthew, the Hon. Mgr. Talbot, D.D., the Very Rev. Provost Wenham, Mr. Austin, M.P., the Very Rev. Canon Bamber, Count de Torre Diaz, the Very Rev. Canon Purcell, the Hon. A. Petre, the Very Rev. Canon Keens, Mr. W. Smith, M.P., the Rev. Father Sidgreaves, F.R.A.S., Sir Walter de Souza, the Rev. Dom Gilbert Dolan, Sir G. Errington, Bart., the Very Rev. F. A. Gasquet, D.D., Sir G. Clifford, Bart., Mgr. Carroll, Sir Philip Rose, Bart., the Rev. Bernard Vaughan, S.J.

Sir W. Vavasour, Bart., Mgr. Cahill, Sir Percy Grace, Bart., Mgr. Carr, Judge Stonor, Mgr. Johnson, D.D., the Rev. G. S. Delaney (chaplain), Colonel Vaughan, Mgr. Howlett, D.D., Judge Bagshawe, Mgr. Fenton, Sir C. M. Wolseley, Bart., Mgr. Clarke, D.D., Sir W. Blount, Bart., Mgr. Motler, Sir W. Hamilton Dalrymple, Bart., Mgr. Williams, Sir Sherston Baker, Bart., Mgr. McKenna, Sir R. Bamewell, Bart., General Sir A. Herbert, K.C.B., Sir H. W. Parker, the Very Rev. G. Callaghan, the Very Rev. Canon McCave, D.D., the Very Rev. W. T. Gordon, the Very Rev. R. Butler, D.D., the Rev. F. Rymer, D. D., the Very Rev. F. M. Wyndham, Mr. R. Berkeley, the Mayor of Barnstaple, Mr. Percy Fitzgerald, the Very Rev. Canon Barry, Mr. C. A. Scott-Murray, the Very Rev. Canon Akers, the Mayor of Gravesend, the Very Rev. Canon Murnane, Mr. J. S. Croucher, Mr. Hussey Walsh, the Very Rev. Canon Bagshawe, D.D.,

Chevalier Sperati, the Very Rev. Canon Fannan, Mr. N. Synott, Mr. Britten, Mr. E. Wolseley, Mr. J. P. Wallis, the Very Rev. Canon O’Callaghan, Mr. J. Hunt Lilly, the Very Rev. Canon Moore, the Very Rev. Canon O’Halloran, the Very Canon Lalor, Captain Richey, Mr. G. W. Winzar, Mr. James Coen, Mr,. John Knill, Mr. Soulsby, Colonel E. Burnaby, Mr. R. Pargeter, Mr. S. J. Nicholls, F.S.A., Mr. B. F. Costelloe, the Very Rev. Canon Franklin, Mr. G. Whitlaw, the Very Rev. Canon Wilson, 0.S.B., Mr. J. Kenyon, Mr. J. T. Perry, the Very Rev. Canon Randerson, Mr. G. A. Bouvier, Mr. W. Farren, Mr. E. W. Beck, the Rev. G. Richardson, Mr. S. Gatti, Major Gape, Mr. F. de Bernhardt, the Rev. A. B. Gordon, Mr. J. Wallace, Mr. A. Hornyold, Mr. H. W. Bliss, Mr. J. Borrajo, Mr. F. Whitgreave, Junr., Mr. J. Dunn, the Very Rev. Canon Grady, Mr. L. T. Cave, The O’Clery, the Very Rev. M. Kearney, the Rev. C. Tochetti, Mr. Arthur A’Beckett, Mr. A. J. Blount, the Very Rev. M. Gaughren, the Rev. J. Holder, Mr. E. de Lisle, F.S.A., Mr. A. Boursot, the Very Rev. Canon Scott, D.D., the Rev. Dr. W. Barry, Mr. S. Tapprell Holland, Mr. R. A. Harting, the Very Rev. Canon Luck, the Rev. T. F. Gorman, Mr. W. Hays, Mr. P. Wittan, the Rev. G. B. Cox, the Rev. E. J. Watson, Mr. W. M. Honneybun, Mr. E. Tegart, Mr. W. Langdale, Mr. T. Rawlinson, Mr. Edward Petre, Mr. L. Eyre, the Very Rev. J. Procter, Mr. J. H. Pollen, the Rev. Bernard Ward, Mr. J. H. Powell, Mr. F. Stanfield, Mr. A. Purssell, the Very Rev. Provost Dawson, the Very Rev. M. Kelly, D.D., Mr. F. R. Ward, Mr. W. S. Lilly, the Very Rev. Canon Brownlow, the Very Rev. J. P. Bannin, Mr. Lane-Fox, Mr. Wegg-Prosser, the Rev. J. Minnett, the Very Rev. F. Henry, Mr. J. St. Lawrence, Mr. Wilfrid Ward, the Very Rev. Canon Mackintosh, the Rev. D. E. Dewar,

Mr. H. Lescher, Mr. S. Lickorish, Mr. Fitzherbert Brockholes, Mr. Bolton, Mr. Cary-Elwes, the Rev. F. J. Sheehan, the Rev. M. Fanning, Colonel H. Walpole, the Rev. Father E. Badger, Mr. Snead Cox, Mr. H. Stourton, Mr. C. R. Parker, the Rev: E. Pennington, the Rev. Father Eyre, S.J., Mr. J. B. Hardman, Mr. W. Meynell, the Rev. F. Skrimshire, Mr. C. A. Buckler, Mr. Lister Drummond, the Rev. A. White, M.R., the Rev. Dr. W. J. B. Richards, Mr. Everard Green, the Rev. C. A. Cox, the Rev. W. Barry, Mr. Santley, the Rev. E. Buckley, Mr. A. Oates, the Rev. E. Martin, Major Roper Parkington, Mr. J. McAdam, Mr. Borff, Mr. E. Bellasis, Mr. E. D. Purcell, the Rev. W. Fleming, M.R., Colonel Tully, Mr. Murphy, Q.C., Mr. L. C. Lindsay, the Rev. T. Graham, D.D., Mr. G. Blount, Mr. J. Walton, Q.C., Mr. W. Wilberforce, the Rev. D. Skrimshire, Mr. A. B. Glewy, the Rev. R. Buckler, Mr. E. J. Fooks, Mr. C. Gasquet, Mr. T. Meyer, Mr. A. B. Kelly, Mr. F. R. Langton, Mr. Basil Fitzherbert, the Rev Dr. Moyes, Mr. St. George Mivart, F.R.S., the Rev. R. C. Bone, the Rev. W. Ignatius Dolan, the Rev. J. S. Vaughan, Major Trevar, the Rev. Father Hayes, S.J., Mr. J. Brand, Mr. Ogilvie Forbes, Mr. S. D. Williams, Mr. J. Steuart, Mr. W. H. Bishop, Mr. J. S. Purcell, C.B., Mr. J. V. Hornyold, Mr. J. Incledon, Mr. Albert A’Beckett, Mr. W. D’Alton, Mr. C. Kegan Paul, Mr. W. H. J. Weale, Mr. A. R. Dowling, Mr. A. C. Wood, F.S.A., Mr. Hillier Gosselin, Mr. W. H. Lyall, Mr. H. D. Harrod,F.S.A., Mr. C. R. Parker, Jun., Mr. R. Cafferata, Mr. R. Woodword, Mr. W. S. Craig, Mr. Wilfrid Herbert, Mr. W. Pyke, Mr. J. Hosslacher, Dr. O’Reilly, Mr. P. P. Pugin, Mr. Washbourne, Mr. F. T. Silvertop, Mr. W. Keatinge, Mr. E. Hibbert, Mr. W. Keane, Mr. R. H. C. Nevile, Mr. Casella, Mr. W. G. Freeman, Mr. J. S. Hansom, Mr. F. M. Lonergan, Mr. J. P. Munster, Mr J. F. Caulfield, Mr. C. Kent, Mr. R. Sankey, Mr. R. W. Berkeley, Mr. J. B. Carney, Mr. R. J. Walmesley, and Mr. C. T. Layton.

After the tables were cleared, The LORD MAYOR rose to propose the first toast,—That toast, he said, always uppermost in the hearts of Englishmen, and especially citizens of London, the health of the Sovereign, under whose gentle sway the country has lived and prospered for more than fifty years—her Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria. Since the very commencement of her reign, said Alderman Knill, all have been fully conscious that she has entered into the griefs and joys of every one of her subjects, and that she has the desire to alleviate those sorrows, and to participate in their rejoicings. Their loyalty was almost warmed to love when they recognized her great sympathy with her Catholic subjects in all their troubles. To her all homage was due ; and their prayers were, that she who had ever been an example in the acknowledgment of her dependence upon a Higher Power, might be long spared to rule over them and see her people united and contented. Following the old tradition still retained in the great city’s walls, he prefixed the health of him, the great Head of the Church, Christ’s Vicar, who, seated on Roman Heights in incense laden atmosphere, kept an ever watchful eye on every portion of his vast flock ; to him who raises up his mighty voice to lead in all emergencies—the Holy Eather who speaks to all as children. He asked them to drink to the” Pope and the Queen.” The LORD MAYOR proposed the second toast—” The Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales, and all the Royal Family.” We love and reverence them, he said, as our fellow-citizens. Almost every one of our Princes has connected himself with one of our Guilds, and like our much loved Queen, they are always ready and willing to do all in their power to help the needy and suffering. Whenever any dire calamity strikes the land,one of our Princes or Princesses comes forward to assuage the grief and remedy the evil. He trusted that H.R.H. the Princess of Wales might soon again be restored to health—she, our Peerless Princess whom all loved and honoured.

In rising to propose the third toast, that of “His Eminence Cardinal Vaughan,” the LORD MAYOR said that it was customary at this juncture to say something about our Defensive Forces and Legislative Houses, but their special purpose of meeting together was to do honour to Cardinal Vaughan. Let him do that. He (the Lord Mayor), had endeavoured to bring together not only representatives of one body, but representatives of trade and guilds, of art and science and literature, peers, commoners, sculptors, poets and historians, our professors and scholars —all had come to pay their tribute of love and homage to his Eminence. He (the Lord Mayor), as Chief Magistrate of the great City of London, felt unworthy in this, his 70th year, of being allowed such an honour as to entertain his Eminence, and he assured his guests that he should never forget that honour. It was with the greatest pleasure that he wished his Eminence the best of blessings and the best of health to contend with the work he had before him. He had the virtues and actions of all his predecessors, and he invited all to drink, with all sincerity of heart, the health of his Eminence Cardinal Vaughan.

CARDINAL VAUGHAN, who was warmly greeted on rising to reply, said that he heartily thanked the company for the great honour they had paid to his colleagues and himself. He felt conscious of his unfitness in many ways for the post in which he had been placed. But he could assure them that he felt in no manner discouraged, and that he should always do his very best. (Cheers.) The honour paid to him and his colleagues that night was the greater and the more acceptable when they recognized in the Lord Mayor not only a genuine Englishman but a typical Catholic layman. (Cheers.) He had upheld his great religious principles in a way that had won for him the admiration of the whole world. (Cheers.) That great municipal hall had from time to time been placed at the disposal of various religious bodies, who, by their position and by their work, had a claim to an opportunity of furthering projects which they wished to carry out for the good of their fellow creatures. He rejoiced that an opportunity had now been afforded to the religious body to which nearly all those present belonged of meeting together in the same place. They, too, had at heart the interests of the community at large. (Cheers.) Their history was bound up with the history of England ; their religion was at the basis of civilization; they represented, as strongly and as consistently as any body of men to be found in the country, the vital and noble principle of Christian education. (Cheers.) They contended not merely for the traditions of their creed, but for the great principle of natural law that parents ought to be able to educate their children in such schools as they decided upon and thought fit. (Cheers.) In doing this no one ought to be subject to any loss or deprivation. (Cheers.) They demanded a jealous watchfulness over parental liberties, and they would withstand any education system which they believed to be destructive of those liberties. In this they felt that they were acting in common with the great majority of the people of this country. (Cheers.) He was glad, in replying to the compliment which the Lord Mayor had paid them, that he should have been enabled to declare in that great hall how devotedly attached the whole Catholic body in England were to the civil institutions of the country and to the maintenance of Christian and parental liberties. (Cheers.) They all feel deeply grateful to the Lord Mayor for his kindness to them on that memorable occasion. (Cheers.)

The DUKE OF NORFOLK, in proposing ” the health of the Lord Mayor,” said all Catholics were grateful to him for the kind thought that prompted him to bring them together in that splendid hall in this Low Week. That week had, as far tack as he could remember, been the traditional week for Catholic reunions. The Bishops had always met then to take counsel with one another, and for the arrangement of their pastoral work. The Catholic School Committee, the body to whose special care had been entrusted all that concerned the vital’ work of Catholic primary education, had also chosen that week for their deliberations. So too the annual reception at Archbishop’s House had been timed to suit the convenience of the many Catholics who came to town for Low Week. In other years, however, they had done their several work and then gone their several ways without thought of any common trysting place. This year the kindness of the Lord Mayor had led him to offer them his splendid hospitality, and afford them one more common meeting ground, at the Mansion House. He eulogized the qualities of the Lord Mayor, saying that he represented— and represented well—the beating heart and centre of that vast empire to which they all belonged. He concluded with a reference to the fact that the Lord Mayor had just entered upon his 70th year, and then went on to say that his hearers might not be so well familiar with another little piece of family history. Mr. Alderman Knill had a grandson who had had the temerity to begin his seventh year precisely when the Lord Mayor was beginning his 70th. He (the Duke) thought they were well justified, therefore, in hoping that another generation of citizens might be ruled from the Mansion by a scion of the house of Knill. The LORD MAYOR, in reply, said he felt the great honour that the Duke of Norfolk had paid him. He was indeed proud to be at the head of this dear city of London, and loved his name to be connected with its name. He had endeavoured, as every one in his position would, to do his duty, and he trusted that to the last day of his life he would act on the principle of doing openly what his conscience ordered him. He loved his fellow-citizens and had endeavoured and would endeavour to put away any prejudice in favour of his co-religionists, and act justly and impartially by all.

The following was the Menu :

POTAGES. Tortue et Tortue Claire.

POISSONS. Tranches de Saumon a la Morny,Turbot. Blanchaille

RELEVES Timbale a la Bayonne, Escalopes de Cailles a la Monte Carlo.

ENTREES. Cote d’Agneau. Canetons aux Petits Pois. Jambon au Madere.

ENTREMETS. Chaudfroid a la Strasbourg. Bavarois aux Conserves. Gelees aux Pistaches.

RELEVES Fanchonettes a la Biscottini. Supremes d’Abricots a la Creme.

DESSERT.Bombe a la Francaise. Crotites a L’Indienne.

The following was the programme of music performed during dinner by the Coldstream Guards’ Band (by permission of Colonel J. B. Sterling) :

GRAND MARCH “The Silver Trumpets’ Viviani.

SELECTION “Haddon Hall” Sir A. Sullivan.

VALSE ” Serenade ” O’Meta.

SELECTION ” Cavalleria Rusticana” Mascagni.

ENTR’ ACTE “La Colombe” Gounod.


SELECTION “La Mascotte” Audran.

VALSE “Espana” Waldteuftl. PART SONG “Sweet and Low” Sir, J. Barnby.

SELECTION “II Mercante de Venezia” Pinsuti. CONDUCTOR: MR. C. THOMAS.

The following was the programme of vocal music sung after dinner by Master Ernest Howland, Master Harold Ohlson, Mr. John Bartlett, Mr. Edgar Pownall, Mr. A. Sinclair Mantell, and Mr. Charles Radburn, of the choir of the Pro-Cathedral, Kensington :



“The Crusader” ” Spring” “Sing we and chaunt it” “Village Blacksmith” “Stars of the Summer Night” “When Evening’s Twilight”  Pinsuti. Macfarren. Pearsall. Hatton. Hatton. Hatton.


At a meeting of the Court of Common Council on Thursday afternoon, Mr. W. 0. Clough, M.P., asked the Lord Mayor if he was correctly reported in that morning’s paper, as having, at a banquet at the Mansion House the previous night, placed the name of the Pope before that of the Queen in submitting the first toast to his distinguished guests. The Lord Mayor, who was cheered on rising, said he had very great pleasure in answering the question put to him. When he accepted the office of Lord Mayor he assumed that every one understood that he would not allow anything whatever to interfere with his conscientious convictions. He had taken care ever since he had been at the Mansion House to do nothing whatever to interfere with the scruples, or even the prejudices, of his fellow-citizens, and he had cordially given the use of the Mansion House to every religious body which was doing work in this great metropolis. While saying that, he believed that, as a Catholic, he had a right to receive as his own honoured guests those of his faith to whom he looked up with high reverence and respect. It was his original intention to make the banquet a private one, and not to invite the press, but it was represented to him that if that were done it might be thought that he was ashamed of what he was doing. That was certainly not the case. In regard to the particular toast, he said he was glad to follow the example of the City Guilds and others, who invariably recognized a High Power, and gave their first toast in the form of “Church and Queen.” He gloried that that was so in the City of London, and though he had not been able to take part in the spiritual devotions of his fellow-citizens, he rejoiced in their manifestations of religious devotion. Following that principle, he, addressing guests who looked upon the Holy Father in Rome as the head of their Church, as he did, coupled the name of the Pope with that of the Queen, not abating in so doing one jot of the loyalty and affection which they entertained for her gracious Majesty. The Lord Mayor was loudly cheered on resuming his seat.

Mr. Clough reserved the right to raise the question on another occasion.

The Coronation Anniversary – Rome 1881

Yet again, in a slightly Zelig-like way Mgr HH is lurking in the background

The Tablet Page 17, 12th March 1881


Vatican City Bridge and St Peters
Vatican City Bridge and St Peters

March 6, 1881.


On Sunday, Feb. 27, and on several other days last week, the Holy Father admitted to his private Mass a number of distinguished personages. On the 28th, audience was given to the Councillors of the Italian Catholic Young Men’s Society, headed by the President-General, Professor Commendatore Filippo Tolli, who presented Peter Pence to the amount of 6,000 francs, and addresses from the branches of the society in various Italian cities, including Sorrento, Ancona, Brescia, Parma, Lucca, Turin, Benevento, Viareggio, Verona, Viterbo, Padua, Siena, Genoa, Venice, Pisa,, Bologna, and Milan. Among the recent offerings of Peter Pence was the sum of 20,000 francs in gold presented by a deputation of the managers of the Bank of Rome, consisting of Prince Gabrielli, President ; Marchese Mereghi and Cavaliere Rosellini.

On the occasion of the anniversaries of his creation and coronation the Holy Father expended by means of his Private Almoner 10,000 francs in the purchase of beds for poor families in Rome.

On the first of March the members of the College of Masters of Apostolical Ceremonies, headed by the prefect, Monsignor Cataldi, were received in private audience.

Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich

On Ash-Wednesday several families of distinguished strangers were admitted to the Pope’s private chapel and received communion from the hands of his Holiness, who subsequently distributed the ashes. At twelve o’clock the same day the Grand Duke Constantine, nephew of the Emperor of Russia, visited the Vatican in state. His Highness wore a military uniform and was accompanied by a brilliant suite. The pontifical officials wore full dress uniforms and the Russian Grand Duke was received with all due honours and remained some time in private audience with his Holiness. He then proceeded to pay the customary visit of ceremony to Cardinal Jacobini.

Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich
Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich

The Grand Dukes Sergius and Paul likewise paid visits to Leo XII. and the Secretary of State. They were attired in military uniforms.

In a rather tragic footnote: The Grand Dukes’ visit to the Holy Father was eleven days before the assassination of their father Tsar Alexander II in St Petersburg on 13 March 1881.


On the 3rd of March, the third anniversary of the coronation of Leo XIII., solemn High Mass was celebrated in the Sistine Chapel. His Holiness, wearing the Tiara and preceded and followed by the officials of the Noble Ante-camera, entered the chapel at a quarter past eleven a.m., and took his seat on the throne.

Prince Oscar Bernadotte
Prince Oscar Bernadotte

The Mass was pontificated by Cardinal Alimonda, the first creation of his Holiness present in Rome. The music consisted of Fazzini’s Mass, with the afifiaruit and Benedictus of Baini. In the Royal tribune sat the Grand Dukes Sergius, Paul and Constantine, of Russia, arid the Princes Oscar and Charles of Sweden.

Prince Carl of Sweden
Prince Carl of Sweden

The Grand Master of the Order of Malta and two Knights Commendatori were in another tribune. All the Ambassadors and Ministers accredited to the Holy See, with the members of their several Legations, were also present. Great numbers of the Roman nobles and their wives occupied reserved seats. The benches for ladies were crowded. Prince Ruspoli, Master of the Sacred Hospice, was unable to attend on account of illness. All the Cardinals in Rome, and an extraordinary number of Patriarchs, Archbishops, and Bishops, including the Archbishop of Halifax, the Bishops of Clifton, Salford, Maitland, Ossory and Dubuque, were in seats behind the Cardinals. Monsignors Stonor, Kirby, and O’Bryen were also present. In the posts allotted to visitors I noticed Sir George and Lady Bowen, Lady Eyre, Marchesa Murphy and daughter, Mrs. K Airlie, Miss Fane, Miss Gillow, Mr. Garstin, High Sheriff of county Louth, Prince Windischgratz, Hon. and Rev. Algernon Stanley, Mr. Sweetman, Mr. and Mrs. Smithwick, Mr. and Miss Donahue, Mrs. Meynell, Mr. Meagher, Mr. and Mrs. Butler, &c. Among the Chamberlains were Messrs. Winchester, Fairlie, Grissell, De Raymond, and O’Gorman. Before descending from his private apartments the Pope received in private audience Prince Altieri, Commandant of the Noble Guards, and the higher officials of that corps, the Commandants of the Swiss Guards and of the Palatine Guards, and Gendarmes. In the Throne-room, the room of the chapel, and in the Tapestry-hall the other officers of these corps were drawn up to receive his Holiness. After the Mass special audience was given to the Grand Master of the Order of Malta, who subsequently paid a visit of ceremony to Cardinal Jacobini, Secretary of State. In the evening Monsignor Rotelli, formerly Archdeacon of Perugia, and now Bishop of Montefiascone, was received in private audience, and remained some time in conversation with his Holiness.

The Carnival – Rome 1881

This is included because it makes me smile, and even though he’s nor directly mentioned because Mgr O’Bryen was there. Once again, it’s the Tablet coming up trumps…….


Piazza delle Quattro Fontane
Piazza delle Quattro Fontane, Roma

Few persons resident in Rome regret the termination of, the Carnival, except perhaps the very thoughtless and foolish who desire perpetual excitement. The extension of the Carnival on Sunday February 27th, to the Via Nazionale and Maccao was a novelty. Between the Via Quattro Fontane and the upper end of the Via Nazionale thirteen arches, each furnished with 120 jets of gas, were erected so as to form a tunnel of brilliant light ending in a large star of Italy. The cost of this gas illumination was 200 lire per hour.

Stazione Termini Roma c.1890
Stazione Termini Roma c.1890

The façade of the railway station was splendidly illuminated, and the Piazza dell’ Independenza was a garden of coloured lanterns. The procession of carriages in the Via Nazionale was a fiasco, and the line of rails for the trams (which were, of course, stopped for the time) was an evident nuisance. The throwing of cauliflowers or cabbages, for such were many of the so-called bouquets of flowers, was more violent than usual, in spite of a notification to the public that violent throwing either of confetti or flowers was an offence punishable by the Questura.

Via Nationale Roma
Via Nationale Roma

Five persons were wounded in the Via Nazionale on that Sunday, not reckoning the contusions and lacerations inflicted on the eight or ten persons flung down by the horses of the Duca di Fiano. The last day of the Carnival was somewhat wet. During the previous night heavy showers of rain fell and reduced the Corso to a lane of mud. The afternoon cleared up and there was nothing to prevent the moccolletti, and the cremation of Father Carnival, whose wife, to judge by her tottering steps guided by a pair of stalwart supporters, seemed to feel deeply the fate of her spouse. The cremation of Corso Forzoso, represented by a sarcophagus containing paper money, excited much applause. Lanterns of various colours, labelled twenty franc pieces, were carried round in triumph.

Piazza del Popolo from the Pincio
Piazza del Popolo from the Pincio
The Pincio
The Pincio

The Pincio was at the same time illuminated. The theatres, especially the Costanzi, which were turned into dancing saloons, were crowded to excess, and were kept open almost all-night. The pawn offices were in great request, more articles being put in pledge in the Carnival week than during the three previous months.

Grehan of Clonmeen

Clonmeen House

 Technically the Grehans of Clonmeen are the senior branch of the family, because Peter Grehan is Thady Grehan’s eldest son  by his first wife. The introduction to the Grehan Estate Papers at  the Boole Library, University College Cork helps explain the origins of the estate.

“The Grehan’s, originally prosperous Dublin wine merchants, first acquired land in Co. Cork through a legacy of the lands of Clonmeen left by one John Roche in about 1830.”  John Roche was Stephen Grehan Senior’s uncle twice over. His wife Mary Roche (nee Grehan) was Stephen’s aunt, and his sister Mary Grehan (nee Roche) was Stephen’s mother.Stephen Grehan Senior ([1776] – 1871), the main beneficiary of Roche’s will, then set about acquiring more land in the area and also in County Tipperary. This work was carried on by Stephen’s son George ([1813] -1885), who in about 1860 moved from his Dublin home at 19 Rutland Square, to take up permanent residence at Clonmeen, where his son Stephen Junior(1859 – 1937 ) was raised.

Clonmeen Lodge
Clonmeen Lodge

When the Grehans first moved to their property in Co. Cork they lived in a small Georgian house now known today as Clonmeen Lodge.

Clonmeen House
Clonmeen House

In 1893, Stephen Grehan who had married a fellow member of the Ascendancy, Esther Chichester in 1883, built the present day Clonmeen House. Large tracts of land were sold off by Stephen Grehan through the auspices of the Land Commission throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, but Clonmeen remained a working farm until the death of Major Stephen Grehan in 1972, after which the property was sold.”

Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O’Connell

To provide the family context; Stephen Grehan Senior is Celia O’Bryen’s first cousin, once-removed on the Grehan side. He is also a second cousin on his mother’s side of Charles O’Connell, who was the MP for Kerry from 1832-1835, and married Catherine(Kate) the second daughter of Daniel O’Connell in 1832. Stephen is also a second cousin on his mother’s side of Garrett Standish Barry,elected to the House of Commons for county Cork in 1832, Garrett was the first Catholic Member of Parliament elected after the Emancipation Act of 1829.

Stephen Grehan Junior and Ernest O’Bryen are third cousins. This is quite a good illustration of how often families intermarried, and how strong their instincts were to keep the money within a tight circle.

It also entertaining that while Peter Grehan’s descendants made the move from trade to land, and it has to be said, kept the estate in the family for more than one hundred and fifty years right up until the 1970’s, it was his younger brother Patrick who married into the Old English and Gaelic aristocracy through his marriage to Judith Moore. Either way, I think it fair to say that the whole family is not “Ascendency” as described above, but are better described as prosperous, landed, upper-middle Catholic Irish.

This is the entry for a branch of the Grehan family from Burke’s Landed Gentry published in 1912.

STEPHEN GREHAN, of Clonmeen, co. Cork, J.P. and D.L., High Sheriff 1883, born. 1858 ; married. 1883, Esther, daughter of Col. Charles Raleigh Chichester, of Roscommon (see CHICHESTER- CONSTABLE of Burton-Constable, Yorks.). She died 11 April, 1900, having had issue,

1. George, died an infant, 1892.

2. STEPHEN ARTHUR, b. 1896.

1. Mary.

2. Magda.

3. Kathleen, m. 18 Aug. 1910, Richard, only surviving son of George Edward Ryan, of Inch, co. Tipperary (see that family).

4. Aileen.


THADY GREHAN, of Dublin, died in 1792, leaving, with a daughter, Mary, who married John Roche, three sons,

1. PETER, of whom below.

2. Andrew, who married the daughter of Patrick White.

3. Patrick (Senior), who married  Jane (sic) Moore, of Mount Browne, and had a son,

Patrick (Junior),who married Catherine, daughter of George Mecham, and had,

Patrick (III)who married in 1842, Frances, daughter of John Pitchford, and

left issue.

The eldest son,

PETER GREHAN, married Mary, daughter, of Stephen Roche, of Limerick

(see ROCHE of Granagh Castle), and had issue, two sons and five daughters.,

1. Thady.

2. STEPHEN, of whom next.

1. Margaret, who married  John Joyce.

2. Anne, who married in January 1800, Thomas Segrave, of Dublin, who died in 1817, having had issue (see SEGRAVE of Cabra).

3. Mary, who married in 1804, Hubert Thomas Dolphin, of Turoe, co. Galway, and had issue (see that family) . He died 1829.

4. Helen, who married Alexander Sherlock.

5. Lucy, who married Christopher Gallwey.

The 2nd son,

STEPHEN GREHAN, of 19, Rutland Square, Dublin, married in May 1809, Margaret, daughter of George Ryan, of Inch, co. Tipperary (see that family), and had issue, a son,

GEORGE GREHAN, of Clonmeen, Banteer, co. Cork, High Sheriff 1859, born 1811, married 1855, Mary, daughter of Philip O’Reilly, of Colamber, co. Westmeath (see that family). She died in 1859. He died in 1886, leaving issue, an only child,

STEPHEN, now of Clonmeen.

Seat Clonmeen, Banteer, co. Cork.

Clubs Windham and Kildare Street.

Burke’s Landed Gentry 1912

Charles Joseph Penn 1814 -1884

Newington Workhouse
Newington Workhouse

Charles Joseph Penn (1814 -1884) is the father of Charles Penn Jnr, b.1848, and grandfather of Esther Penn,b.1872. He died in 1884 of “apoplexy”, in Newington Workhouse. He seems to have been admitted to the Workhouse in Westmorland Road on Wednesday 2nd January 1884, some time after lunchtime because his admission record shows the next meal is supper. At that date the workhouse also acted as a hospital, and a number of London hospitals are still in the original Victorian workhouse buildings – Hammersmith springs to mind – beautifully placed next to Wormwood Scrubs prison.

St Mary's NewingtonHe was born in about 1814 in Keston, which was a suburb of Bromley, in Kent, at that time a village on the fringes of London; with his parents recorded as Richard and Susan Penn. He married Ellen Wilmott Miles(1831-1896) on the 13th October,1846 at St Mary’s, Newington. Ellen appears to be about 16, and he appears to be 30. She is explicitly referred to as a minor on the marriage licence.

Ellen’s father, Robert Miles (1798 -1844) had died in 1844, aged forty six. Her mother Jane (nee Corney) died in 1832, about a year after Ellen’s birth. Rob remarried on the 26th Jun 1837 to another Jane – this time to Jane Lowe at St Mary’s, Lambeth. So by the time Ellen was fourteen, both her parents were dead, and her closest relative was probably a step-mother.

Robert Miles also had the distinction of having been transported to Australia in 1818, and then returned to London by 1826, when he married Ellen’s mother in Tottenham. By 1841, he seems to be fairly respectable, and working as a mill-wright.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this marriage. The age difference between the two is pretty stark. Charles is close to twice Ellen’s age, and whilst a fourteen year age gap is considerably less extreme than some others, she is a teenage girl, and he is a thirty year old man. But there are any number of possibilities, it could be love, it could be predatory, it could be protective, or it could be practical. At the moment I’m not sure it’s bad, but it’s maybe iffy.

But to put it in context in the story, James Herbert, Esther’s other grandfather is sixteen years older than his wife; and, of course, John Gray, the father of Esther Penn’s son-in-law, is forty years older than his second wife, and twelve years older than Esther, and only two years younger than Charles Penn Senior. Put another way, when Walter Gray, and Ella Hayward marry, her father is thirty years younger than his is (except his is dead).

By 1851, Charles and Ellen are living at 5 Victory Place, in Newington, South London. It’s a fairly rough part of south-east London, off Elephant and Castle, and the New Kent Road. Later on in the century, Charles Booth classified it as poor, and ” tenanted by labourers, and car-men, always shifting”, and noted ” 2 brothels here – windows dirty, blind half down, pinned up, everything dingy and dirty”. So a tough area on the edges of the London docks. Charles and Ellen are bringing up their first two children, Charles Junior, who is three, and one year old Elizabeth

Charles Senior is thirty five and working as a  gardener, a job he continues right up to his death aged seventy. Ellen is twenty, and a mother of two toddlers.

Chas and Ellen live at 5 Victory Place for the best part of twenty years, and have twelve children over twenty five years. When they start Charles is thirty four, and Ellen is eighteen; by the time Harriet, the youngest is born, Ellen is forty three, and Chas is almost sixty.

  • Chas Penn Junior b 1848
  • Elizabeth Penn b1849
  • Joseph Penn b1853
  • Richard Penn b1855
  • Emily Penn b 1857
  • Sarah Penn b 1859 – not certain.
  • Thomas Penn b 1860
  • John Penn b 1862
  • Ellen Penn b. 1862 
  • Mary Ann Penn b.1868
  • William Penn b 1870
  • Harriet L. Penn b 1873

By 1861, they are still at 5 Victory Place, with Charles still working as a gardener. The family has grown to three boys, and three girls ranging in aged from thirteen year old Charles Junior to two year old Sarah. Charles is now forty seven, and Ellen is twenty nine.

Ten years later, in 1871, the eldest two children Charles Junior, and Elizabeth have moved out. In fact, Charles marries some time in the first three months of 1871, shortly after the birth of his first child, Amy, who was born on the 15th December  the previous year. Esther was born about a year later in February 1872.

Charles Senior, and Ellen are still in Newington, in South London. The address is unclear, and, rather improbably, seems to be Little Lane Street. They have had four more children;  John, and Ellen who were born in 1862, followed by Mary Ann in 1868, and then two years later by William in 1870. Eighteen year old Joe is working as a coal and sand seller, and fourteen year old Richard is  an errand boy.

In 1881, the majority of the family have moved out and Charles Senior, and Ellen are living at 9 Eltham Street, Newington, with the three youngest children.  Mary Ann is fourteen, William is eleven, and Harriet the youngest is only eight, fifty nine years younger than her father. Charles senior lives another two and a half years before dying in January  1884.

The Chiefs of Leix from 1016 to 1600 A.D


The listing of the Chiefs of Leix is as follows:  (Note:mac  means son of..)

Year:       Chief:
1016       Gahan O’More, (?) lord of Leix, slain.
1017       Cearnach O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1026       Aimergin mac Kenny mac Cearnach O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1041       Faelan mac Aimergin O’More, lord of Leix, blinded; died in 1069.
1042       Cucogry O’More, lord of Leix, living.
1063       Lisagh mac Faelan O’More, lord of Leix, slain
1069       Macraith O’More, (?) lord of Leix, slain.
1091       Kenny O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1097       Aimergin O’More, lord of Leix died.
1098       The son of Gahan O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1149       Lisagh mac Aimergin mac Faelan O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1153       Neill O’More, lord of Leix, blinded.
1158       Macraith O’More, lord of Leix, living.
1183       Cucogry mac Lisagh O’More, lord of Leix, living.
1196       Donnell O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
[It is a remarkable fact the “The Irish Annals” make no mention of an
O’More, Chief of his name, during the thirteenth century]

1319       Shane mac Donough O’More, (?) lord of Leix, slain.
1342       Lisagh O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1348       Connell O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1354       Rory mac Connell O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1368       Lisagh mac David O’More, (?) lord of Leix, died.
1370       Murtough O’More, (?) lord of Leix, slain.
1394       Donnell O’More, lord of Leix, living.
1398       Melaghlin O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1404       Gillpatrick O’More, lord of Leix, living.
1464       Kedagh O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1467       Donnell O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1477       The son of Owny O’More, (?) lord of Leix, slain.
1493       Connell mac David O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1493       Neill mac Donnell O’More inaugurated lord of Leix.
1502       Melaghlin mac Owny mac Gillpatrick O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1523       Kedagh mac Lisagh O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1537       Connell mac Melaghlin mac Owny O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1538       Peirce mac Melaghlin mac Owny O’More, lord of Leix, (?) died.
1542       Kedagh roe mac Connell mac Melaghlin O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1545       Rory coach mac Connel mac Melaghlin O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1548       Gillpatrick mac Connell mac Melaghlin O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1557       Connell og mac Connell mac Melaghlin O’More, lord of Leix, hanged.
1578       Rory og mac Rory coach mac Connell O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1584       (circa).James mac Kedagh O’More, alias Meaghe, lord of Leix, died.
1600       Owny mac Rory og mac Rory coach O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1600       Owny mac Shane O’More, appointed lord of Leix.”

The submission of Rory Caoch O’More – 1543

The submission of Rory Caoch O’More reads:

Rory O’More of Lex, brother as he asserts to Kedagh (Roe) O’More, lately deceased, now admitted to the Captainship of the same country by the consent and election of all the noblemen and inhabitants of the country, appeared before us the Deputy Council, and submitted himself to the King.He promises that: –

  1. He will be faithful and liege subject; and he and the other gentlemen of his country will receive their lands from his Highness.
  2. He will reject the Roman Pontiff’s usurped primacy.
  3. He will deliver Kedagh mac Piers mac Melaghlin O’More as his hostage to the Deputy into the hands of Thomas Eustace, Viscount of Baltinglass, for the observance of his agreements and promises, and for the restitution of all damages done to the subjects of the King, during the time of Kedagh O’More’s government.
  4. He will have 72 kerne, horseboys being computed in that number, for the rule of the said country of Leix; and will maintain no other kerne there.
  5. He will rise up with the Lord Deputy in every great journey, called “Hostings.”For any sudden journey of two days and nights he will find 24 horsemen and all his aforesaid kerne; and in every great hosting 8 horsemen and 20 kerne.
  6. Donnamase with the demesne lands, Tymooge and other lands of the late Earl of Kildare in Leix, shall be restored to the King.The demesnes of Donnamase shall be surveyed and their extent declared by indifferent men (as jurors on the Inquisition), and the lands and rents of the said Earl of Kildare by Thomas Wolf senior; and both those lands, and the possessions of (the Nunnery of) Grayne (Graney, Co. Kildare), of the Monasteries of Saint Mary of Dublin, of Connall (Co. Kildare), and of other religious Houses, with the lands of Kyllberry (Co. Kildare), are at the disposition of the tenants and farmers of the King.
  7. When the Lord Deputy requires any Scots (Galloglasses), to be imposed the Counties of Kildare, Kilkenny or Tipperary, the Leix shall support 60 Scots, and shall be exempt from all subsidies for that year.
  8. The King shall have 20 marks yearly as a subsidy.
  9. The Lord Deputy and Council shall have 100 Cows for his (Rory’s) nomination and admission to the Captaincy of the aforesaid Country.
  10. He shall have the goods of his brother Kedagh, by paying Kedagh’s debts, and the profit and produce of all his possessions, saving Kedagh’s wife’s portion, until he be recompensed for the debts which he shall ratify the same; otherwise not.”

This was Rory Caoch O’More son of Connel O’More son of Melaghlin O’More. Doonamasse is the Castle Dunamase.

Indenture, Dated 13th May, 34 Henry VIII.[“Carew Mauscripts,” 1515-74]

From Lord Walter Fitzgerald,the Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society, Volume VI . The  edited papers were published in Dublin in 1911.

The Rock of Dunamase

The Rock of Dunamase partially reads:

“Dunamase from prehistoric times was the stronghold and chief residence of the rulers of Leix.About the time of the Christian era there flourished in Ulster a leader of the Red Branch Knights, called Conall Cearnach.the Knights under him waged war against the men of Leinster to enforce the payment of the Burumean tribute.They defeated the Leinstermen at the battle of Ros-naRigh (Rosnaree), and settled Leix, which they divided into seven tribe lands.This Celtic heptarchy was subject to the jurisdiction of an arch-king, claiming descent from Canall Cearnach, and called the O’More, with his chief residence at Dunamase.”Dunamase changed hands several times and “In 1342 Lysaght O’more, of Dunamase was killed by his servant. . . . Two years after his death the O’mores were dipossessed of Dunamase by De Mortimer.”. . . The O’mores controlled it around 1538 and 1542 . . .“In 1642 the Confederate Catholics were in Possession of Dunamase; . . .”

From Lord Walter Fitzgerald,the Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society, Volume VI . The  edited papers were published in Dublin in 1911.

When cutting seaweed was a crime – 1843

James Joseph Roche, the Chairman of the magistrates in this case, is the nephew of John Roche, and in 1843 was living in Aghada Hall. He’s Ernest O’Bryen‘s first cousin twice removed.

(Cork Examiner 5/5/1843) –


Glengarriff-Harbour-Co-Cork-Ireland-RP-Postcard-0835This being the day appointed by the Magistrates to investigate into the right of the public at large to cut sea-weed on Corkbeg and Trabolgan strands, great numbers of country-people assembled at the Court-house, and appeared most anxious to be present at and be informed as to the result of the trial. At an early hour the Court-house was thronged with listeners, and but for the judicious arrangements made by the magistrates, great inconvenience might have resulted from the vast number present on the occasion.

Besides the Magistrates on the bench several other respectable persons were in attendance, amongst whom were E. B. Roche, Esq., M. P., and Robert U. Penrose Fitzgerald, Esq. 

Bartholomew Dennehy, John Hart, Michael Cotter, Patrick Kirby, Simon Kennedy, William Hart, J. Dennehy, William Cronin, and John Cronin, appeared on the summons of Michael Hallinan to show cause why a penalty not exceeding £5 should not be inflicted on them, under the provisions of the malicious trespass Act, 9 Geo. 4, cap 56, for having cut seaweed on the 13th of April at Corkbeg strand.

Mr. Scannell appeared as Counsel for the complainant, and Mr. Nagle as Agent, and Mr. Walsh appeared on behalf of the defendants. – Mr. Scannell said that this was a prosecution instituted under the , 9 Geo. 4, cap 56, sec. 30, which was framed for the purpose of enabling parties to punish persons for committing a malicious injury who would not be solvent marks for an action in the higher Courts. That section enabled the Magistrates to award a reasonable compensation for the injury sustained, but it should not exceed £5. That Act however, contained a proviso, that the party complained of should not be fined or punished, if he did the act under a reasonable supposition that he was authorised in doing it. Sea Weed was becoming a most valuable property and he was ready to prove Mr. Fitzgerald’s title to the weed growing on the Corkbeg strand, by a patent granted by Charles the II. Mr. Scannell then cited several cases from the 5th Term Reports, Nunn and Walsh and several other law authorities, to prove that the case came within the malicious trespass act.

Carrigline beachMichael Hallinan was called and examined at some length by Mr. Scannell. He proved that the defendant had cut seaweed above low-water mark; he saw them go to the place in boats. Cross-examined by Mr. Walsh – I often saw men cutting weed there for the last 30 years; will not swear that other boats were on the same spot and cut weed, but as long as I remember, I have seen boats coming from Seamount cutting weed below low-water mark; the description of weed they cut was lawn clout; each of those men were cutting lawn clouts on that day; they grow high and dry on the rock when the tide is out and some of them are a foot and some two feet long, the same as ourselves grow (laughter); I did not see slings there on that day, but boys had them the day after. To Mr. Scannell – Power was not looking at the persons cutting the weed within low-water mark nor did he know they were cutting it. To Mr. Walsh – I would not swear that within 30 years Power or his people did not see them cutting the weed.

Maurice Uniack examined by Mr. Scannell – I know the strand under Carlisle over 20 years and the line of rocks lying above low water mark; was taking care of the weed for the late Col. Fitzgerald and when any boats took it, it was against my consent. Cross-examined by Mr. Walsh – I don’t know the spot where those boats were cutting the weed; the people were prevented for the last 20 years from cutting weed there by Colonel Fitzgerald; as I never saw any person cutting weed there who did not pay for it; Mr. Fitzgerald lets the strand early in the season, and any person that cut it, took it from the tenant. To Mr. Scannell – The strand has been let for the last 20 years.

The case for the prosecution having closed, Mr. Walsh put it to the Bench whether they had evidence of Power having the strand from any person or that he let it to Hallinan. The Chairman thought there was not sufficient evidence of it.

John Power proved that he took part of the strand from Mr. Cox for £7 a year, who got it from Mr. Fitzgerald. Cross-examined by Mr. Walsh – I kept part of the strand and let the remainder to Hallinan; they were cutting the weed against my will, but as the boat was not marked, I could not tell the names of the owners. Mr. Cox examined by Mr. Scannell – I know this strand which I took from Mr. Fitzgerald, and let part of it to Power. Cross-examined by Mr. Walsh – There was writing between me and Mr. Fitzgerald, on taking it.

Mr. Scannell then produced a lease which Mr. Walsh contended was but an agreement for a lease and that as the rent was £100, there should be £1 15s. stamp to it. Mr. Scannell stated that it was stamped within the last six days in Dublin. The validity of the lease was allowed after a long argument. Mr. Cox, cross-examined by Mr. Walsh – It was for the purpose of establishing the right I took the strand; I had the strand three years before this prosecution.

Mr. Walsh said that his clients were only summoned last night, and he had not time to look at his papers or prepare for the defence. Mr. Adams – Do you claim an adjournment? Mr. Walsh – Yes, until next court day, that I may consult with the law officers of the Crown. Mr. Fitzgerald – But the weed will be cut in the interim. Mr. Walsh – But the poor people must have fair play. Mr. Fitzgerald – I will give them no fair play when they have no title to it.

Mr. Walsh wished to have time to frame their defence, and he would undertake that the persons from that district would not cut the weed until this day week. His object was to get the advice of the law officers of the crown on the matter. Mr. Fitzgerald – Here is the opinion of the law officer of the crown (handing a paper). Mr. Walsh – But you should remember that the opinion of Mr. Green is at variance with Mr. Monaghan who gave an opinion on a case similar to this which Mr. Jagoe admitted was a failure. Mr. Nagle – Mr. O’Connell’s opinion is that the weed growing between high and low water mark is private property. Mr. Jagoe said that in cases of this description, where a patent was produced or a judgement against the parties, the Magistrates were bound to receive it. Mr. Scannell – And that is just what I am going to do. Mr. Scannell then produced a grant of Charles the 2nd to Garrett Fitzgerald of the lands of Corkbeg.

Mr. Nagle produced a conviction granted at the suit of Patrick Geary against James Corkeran for a trespass on that strand, for which he was fined 7s. 6d. Mr. Walsh contended that the patent did not grant the sea shore, but 600 acres profitable land. Mr. Adams did not see what land could be more profitable than the strand. Mr. Walsh objected to their reading the sea shore as profitable land, but land which is cultivated.

Mr. Fitzgerald – What do you say to the right of fishing? Mr. Walsh – That is an appurtenance to the land because it is on the sea. Mr. Nagle – There are 971 acres mentioned in another part of the patent.

Mr. Walsh said there were three kinds of land, terra firma, sea-shore and bottom; the subject can exercise a right over the sea shore between high and low water mark. Mr. Adams stated that Mr. Green’s opinion said that the shore was the property of the Crown between high and low water mark, but it was sometimes vested in the subject. Mr. Walsh agreed with him, but a grant had been produced in this case. If no grant had been produced they might assume that it was his property by exercising an ownership over it. That patent being produced, the Crown granted only 600 acres of profitable land by it. They were well aware that in old grants, the sea shore was not denominated profitable land, and the sea shore being land it could not be held as an appurtenance to land. Mr. Walsh then cited several cases from Barnwall and Creswell, Hall and Butler’s Reports, to prove that land could not be held as an appurtenance to land. He then contended that they could not assume, from his exercising acts of ownership, that the patent granted more than it was found to grant on its production. He submitted that as the sea shore was not granted by the patent, it raised the magistrates right of jurisdiction. Mr. Adams – You will not say that your client could go there against the prescriptive right in the Corkbeg family.

After some further arrangement, Mr. Walsh then contended that they should dismiss the case without entering into the claim of right at all. Were they to assume that those parties who cut the weed for thirty years would now ipso facto set up a fictitious supposition to having a right. He called on them to let the party try their civil right in another Court. Notwithstanding what has been said in the law books respecting their jurisdiction, they sat there like so many chief justices and tried the prescriptive right and a patent; and he called on them to adjudicate on the matter without legal assistance. It was better for them either to let the party try his civil right or else take informations and return them over to the Assistant Barrister’s Court.Mr. Adams suggested that the men should go and cut the weed tomorrow and let them be tried at the Sessions. Mr. Walsh was satisfied. Mr. Scannell – But no indictment could be framed unless there was a charge of violence.

Mr. Walsh was satisfied to allow information to be taken for using violence, and let the right be tried by the Assistant Barrister. The Court would not allow this and, Mr. Walsh said, he would now call on John Harty to give evidence. Mr. Scannell objected to his being examined as he was one of those summoned. The Court after a long argument would not permit the examination of the witness. The Chairman at length announced the decision of the Bench to be that they should be fined 10s. each or in case of non-payment to 1 month’s imprisonment in the House of Correction. Mr. Walsh requested them to impose a lighter fine. The Chairman declined doing so, as they would fine them much more heavily but for something that appeared on the trial.

Timothy Kiely, John Scannell, John Flynn Jun., John Enright, J. Flynn Sen., Thomas Barry and James Sliny, appeared on the summons of Richard Collins, to shew cause why they should not be convicted in a penalty of £5 under the malicious trespass act, for having cut a weed at Trabolgan on the 15th of April. Mr. Jagoe said that in this case he would proceed to prove his prescriptive right.

Michael Fitzgerald examined by Mr. Jagoe – Swore that he was at the strand of Trabolgan on the 15th of April and saw Enright pulling the weeds of the rock at half ebb tide; I desired him to go away but he desired me to mind my own business. Cross-examined by Mr. Walsh – He was standing on the dry rock pulling the weed and throwing it into the boat; John Scannell, Timothy Kiely and Thomas Barry were in the boat; when the tide would be out the place the boat was would be dry; I saw him push away the boat which was in, raised there by the water; he pushed her away with an oar; there were other boats there but they were further out to sea; Paddy Cashman and I went out to see if the strand under the rock would be dry at low water; he went off the rock almost immediately after being desired; would not swear that the weed he took was worth a halfpenny.

James Collins proved having seen Enright cutting the weed on the 15th of April, but did not think he cut 6d worth; he was cutting it on the strand about half way between high and low water mark.

Edward Sisk stated that he was never six months out of Trabolgan since he was born, and remembered Col. Roche setting the strand to Ahern in 1777, and no person ever attempted to trespass on it; it was held since by several persons and then the Ahern’s got it again; since 1837, when it was given up by Russell it was set in lots. To Mr. Walsh – Does not know on what part of the strand those men were cutting the weed.

The case for the prosecution having closed, Mr. Walsh considered that the evidence was clear that what the defendant cut was above low water mark, and he had no case on which he could raise an objection as to Mr. Roche’s right to the strand. However there was no evidence as to the value of the weed cut. The Chairman said that he conjectured that it was worth 2d. Mr. Walsh contended that in a criminal case they could not convict on a conjecture. Mr. Scannell believed the witness swore it was worth 2d at least.

Mr. Roche confessed he was anxious to convict Enright because he was one of a body he convicted before, and let off on a promise of not coming again. He was ready to let off the others on the conviction of one, as they were instigated to do the act in consequence of the feeling being abroad that it was not firm property. If they would plead guilty, he would let them off on a nominal penalty, as he had proved his property, and was not anxious to punish them.    Mr. Scannell wished to have them plead guilty and not be called in for judgement unless they trespassed again. Mr. Walsh would have no objection to that course, if Mr. Roche’s own eyes were on them, and could decide whether they were above or below low water mark. He would consent to Mr. Roche’s proposition to have them fined a penny each on a promise they would not go there again. Mr. Roche – That is what I have done.

The Court then fined the parties one penny each, and then being informed that six of those who were fined 10s. each had declined paying the penalty, warrants were made out, and they were transmitted to the County gaol to be imprisoned for one month.

Fr Philip O’Bryen 1861 – 1913

Philip O’Bryen is one of Ernest O’Bryen‘s older brothers. To be precise, he is four years older.

Philip, Celia, and Alfred OBryen
Philip, Celia, and Alfred OBryen

He was born 25th Jun 1861 in South Kensington, and died 7th Nov 1913. He is the third son of John Roche O’Bryen and Celia Grehan, one of their six children. He is a half brother of Mgr Henry O’Bryen, and Corinne and Basil O’Bryen by his father’s marriage to Eliza Henderson.

His obituary from the Tablet gives some clues.

The Tablet 15th November 1913


We regret to record the death of the Rev. Philip Augustus O’Bryen, rector of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Princes Park, Liverpool which occurred on Friday afternoon, November 7, with startling suddenness. His morning had been spent in active work in the parish. After saying an early Mass at 6.45, he heard confessions and took Holy Communion to eight sick people. Between breakfast and noon he visited the sick in the Consumption Hospital, and returned home about midday. Feeling unwell and in considerable pain, he took to his bed. A little before three he was visited by one of his curates; at three he was found dead, having succumbed to heart failure, arising from rheumatism, to which he had, been subject since an attack of rheumatic fever in his student days at Ushaw.

Father O’Bryen, who was a cousin of Archbishop Bagshawe, was born in Westminster in 1861. He received his early education under the Christian Brothers, at Clapham, and went in 1872 to Ushaw, where he remained eighteen years, four of which were occupied in teaching. He was a B.A. of London University. Ordained at the English Martyrs’, Preston, in 1889, by Bishop O’Reilly, he was immediately appointed Professor of Mathematics and Science at St. Edward’s College, Liverpool, where he remained until his appointment as assistant priest at the important mission of the Sacred Heart, Liverpool, in 1895. Towards the end of the following year he was placed over the Mission of St. Joseph, Skerton, near Lancaster. On his arrival he found only a school chapel, but through the generosity of the late Miss Margaret Coulston he was able to build the present magnificent church and presbytery. In 1902 he succeeded the Rev. Father Pyke, now of the English Martyrs’, Preston, at Mount Carmel, Liverpool, and applied the funds raised by his predecessor in connection with the silver jubilee of the mission to erect a roodscreen and effect other improvements. His first important work in his new sphere was the division of his parish, and he superintended the building of St. Malachy’s Church, the foundation stone of which was laid some ten years ago by Cardinal Logue.

Requiem Masses for the soul of the deceased priest were said in several Liverpool churches. On Sunday evening the remains were taken to the church, where a crowded congregation had assembled. A solemn dirge was recited on Monday evening. The funeral took place on Tuesday, when a High Mass of Requiem was sung at the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel by the Archbishop of Liverpool, the deacon being Father Newton (Eccles), and the subdeacon Father J. Fitzgerald. Dean Goethals and Father J. Broadhead (vice-president of Ushaw) were deacons at the throne, and Father H. Blanchard was master of ceremonies. The music of the Mass was sung by the clergy diocesan choir, under the direction of Father A. Walmsley (Great Crosby.) The relatives present were Mr. and Mrs. Alfred O’Bryen, Mr. R. O’Bryen and Mr. B. Smith. The clergy present included Canons Kennedy and Hennelly (Birkenhead), Prior Burge, 0.S.B., Dom Wilson, 0.S.B., and Dean O’Donoghue (Wigan). The sermon was preached by the Rev. Father J. Hughes, who spoke highly of the character and work of the deceased.

The remains were taken to London, and the interment took place at Fulham Catholic Cemetery on Wednesday.—R.I.P.