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Raising funds for the Patriotic Fund in 1854.

” The Patriotic Fund was raised to assist the widows and children of those killed in action or dying on active service during the Crimean War. ”  – Hansard (HC Deb 26 February 1901 vol 89 cc1187-8). The idea of fundraising seems to be fairly forward looking, given that the Allied invasion of the Crimea had only begun on the 14th of September 1854. Having said that, by the time of the meeting in Cobh  there had already been three battles [Alma, Balaclava, and Inkerman] and British casualties were approaching 8,000 with approximately 1,500 dead.

There is a gaggle of family at the meeting, though it’s unclear how many O’Bryens are there. Henry H. O’Bryen is definitely there because of the reference to Capt. O’Bryen. But the reference to R. H. H. O’Bryen confuses things a little. Robert is R.H. O’Bryen, and Henry is H.H O’Bryen so they could well both have been there. Both were in Cobh at the time, aged forty, and thirty-nine respectively. Dr. Verling, R.N. is James Roche Verling who is their rather older [aged 67] first cousin once removed. His first cousin James Ronayne is there, who is also their second cousin.

 

MEETING AT QUEENSTOWN—THIS DAY. ( FROM OUR REPORTER.)

A meeting of the inhabitants of Queenstown was held in the Court-house, at 12 o’clock to-day,(13th November 1854)  for the purpose of receiving subscriptions in aid of the ” Patriotic Fund,” and appointing a committee to collect subscriptions through the town. The attendance was rather thin, and amongst those present were :- Rear Admiral Sir Wm. F. Carroll; W. M. Drew, J.P.; Captain Purvis, R.N.; Rev. Mr. Lombard; Wm. Cronin, M.D.; Lieutenant Williams, R.N.; John Cronin, M.D.; James Seymour;  Horace T. N. Meade, M.D.; S. Harman; Dr. Verling, R.N.; Rev. Mr. Conner, Michael Graham, Dr. Scott, Mr. Sheppard, Rev. Mr. Pounce, James Ronayne, Hugh Cole, R. H. H. O’Bryen, James Hammond.

On the motion of Dr. Meade, seconded by Capt. O’Bryen, the chair was taken by Rear Admiral Wm. F. Carroll.

Mr. S. T. French and Dr. Meade were requested to act as secretaries to the fund, and Mr. Hammond consented to act as treasurer.

The Chairman said, on such an occasion as the present it was unnecessary for him to address the meeting at any length. They all knew the purpose for which they had assembled – to assist the widows and orphans of those who had perished gallantly fighting for the cause of their country (hear, hear).

A committee was then appointed, consisting of the magistrates of Queenstown Petty Sessions, the local clergymen of all denominations, together with Capt. H. H. O’Bryen, Capt. de Courcey, Dr. Scott, and Dr. Meade.

The Chairman begged to observe that, wherever the committee might happen to go throughout the town, he hoped even the smallest subscriptions would be thankfully received ; for such sums would, from persons in humble circumstances, as expressively show the feeling that existed abroad in the cause of those who were suffering from the loss of their husbands, and the poverty of their fatherless children, as larger sums received from wealthier people (hear, hear).

A subscription list was then opened, and in the course of few minutes a sum amounting to £87 was collected ; but it expected when the returns from the committee of solicitation are received, that a large sum will be realised.

Cork Examiner Monday 13th November 1854  © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Portadown News – Interesting Items 1905

Portadown News Saturday 14th October 1905

INTERESTING ITEMS.

A constable returning from a police football match at Pontypridd travelled in the same railway compartment as a clergyman, who got out with the wrong bag. The cleric went home with football boots and jersey, and the policeman with cassock and surplice!

A terrier jumped up at Mrs. F. D. Walker in Regent-street, and tore her feather boa, the sleeves of her dress, and her skirt. The lady recovered three guineas damages in the Bloomsbury County court, when the dog’s owner admitted that the animal had “a silly – perhaps nasty – habit of playfully dying at the lace or frills of a lady’s dress.”

Edward Murphy, lodge-keeper to General Thackwell, of Aghada Hall, was injured by being shot while the general and a party of guests were snipe-shooting over the bogs at Ballymacandrick, Co. Cork.

Rory Oge O’More/Ruaidhri og ua Mordha

O’MORE, RORY or RURY OGE (d. 1578), Irish rebel, called in Irish Ruaidhri og ua Mordha, was second son of Rory O’More, captain of Leix, by Margaret, daughter of Thomas Butler, and granddaughter of Pierce or Piers Butler, eighth earl of Ormonde [q. v.] (cf. Lodge, Peerage of Ireland, ed. Archdall, iv. 19; and Harl. MS. 1425, f. 119b). Sir Henry Sidney once called him ‘an obscure and base varlet,’ but his family was one of the most important of the minor Irish septs, and also one of the most turbulent.

Rory O’More (fl. 1554), the father, was son of Connell O’More (d. 1537), and early acquired the character of a violent and successful chieftain. On the death of Connell a fierce dispute broke out between the three sons—Lysaght,Kedagh, and Rory—and their uncle Peter the tanist. Peter was for the time a friend of the Butlers. Consequently the deputy, Lord Leonard Grey, supported the sons; and, although Peter was acknowledged chief, Grey got hold of him by a ruse, and led him about in chains for some time, Kedagh then seems to have secured the chieftainship, Lysaght having been killed; but he died early in 1542, and Rory, the third brother, succeeded. He, after a period of turmoil, agreed on 13 May 1542 to lead a quieter life, and made a general submission, being probably influenced by the fact that Kedagh had left a son of the same name, who long afterwards, in 1565, petitioned the privy council to be restored to his father’s inheritance. Like other Irish chiefs of the time, O’More was only a nominal friend to the English. In a grant afterwards made to his eldest son his services to King Edward VI are spoken of; but they must have been of doubtful value, as an order of 15 March 1550-1 forbade any of the name of O’More to hold land in Leix (App. to 8th Rep. Dep.-Keep. Publ. Rec. Ireland). At some uncertain time between 1550 and 1557 Rory O’More was killed, and was succeeded by a certain Connell O’More, who may be the Connell Oge O’More mentioned in 1556 in the settlement of Leix (cf. Bagwell, Ireland under the Tudors, i. 400, and Cal. State Papers, Irish Ser. 1509-73, pp. 135,414). He was put to death in 1557 (Annals of the Four Masters, ii. 1545). Rory left two sons, Callagh and Rory Oge. Callagh, who was brought up in England, was called by the English ‘The Calough,’ and, as he describes himself as of Gray’s Inn in 1568, he may be assumed to be the John Callow who entered there in 1567 (Foster, Reg. of Gray’s Inn, p. 39). In 1571 Ormonde petitioned for the Calough’s return, and soon afterwards he came back to Ireland, where in 1582 he was thought a sufficiently strong adherent to the English to receive a grant of land in Leix (Cal. State Papers, Irish Ser. 1574-85, pp. 392, 412).

Rory Oge O’More, the second son, was constantly engaged in rebellion. He received a pardon on 17 Feb. 1565-6, but in 1571 he was noted as dangerous, and in 1572 he was fighting Ormonde and the queen at the same time, being favoured by the weakness of the forces at the command of Francis Cosby, the seneschal of Queen’s County, and the temporary absence of Ormonde in England. In this little rebellion the Butlers and the Fitzgeralds were united against him; but when, in November 1572, Desmond escaped from Dublin, it was Rory Oge O’More who escorted him through Kildare and protected him in Queen’s County (cf. 12th Rep. Dep.-Keep. Publ. Rec. Ireland, p. 78). He was mixed up in Kildare’s plots in 1574, and taken prisoner in November. But he was soon free, and Sidney, when on his tour in 1575, wrote of him: ‘Rory Oge O’More hath the possession and settling-place in the Queen’s County, whether the tenants will or no, as he occupieth what he listeth and wasteth what he will.’ However, O’More was afraid of the deputy, and when Sydney came into his territory, he went to meet him in the cathedral of Kilkenny (December 1575), and ‘submitted himself, repenting (as he said) his former faults, and promising hereafter to live in better sort (for worse than he hath been he cannot be).’ Hence we find a new pardon granted to him on 4 June 1576 (ib. p. 179). But in the next year he hoped for help from Spain, and, pushed on by John Burke, his friend, he made a desperate attack on the Pale. He allied himself with some of the O’Connors, and gathered an army. On 18 March 1576-7 the seneschal of Queen’s County was commanded to attack Rory Oge and the O’Connors with fire and sword (13th Rep. Dep.-Keep. Publ. Rec. Ireland, p. 25). There was good reason for active hostilities, as on the 3rd the insurgents had burned Naas with every kind of horror. Sidney wrote to the council the same month: ‘Rory Oge O’More and Cormock M’Cormock O’Conor have burnt the Naas. They ranne thorough the towne lyke hagges and furies of hell, with flakes of fier fastned on poles ends’ (Cal. State Papers, Irish Ser. 1574-85, p. 107; cf. Carew MSS. 1575-88, f. 110). Later in the year O’More captured Harrington and Cosby. They were rescued by a ruse. O’More’s wife and all but O’More himself and one of those who were with him were killed. Infuriated at being caught, O’More fell upon Harrington, ‘hacked and hewed’ him so that Sidney saw his brains moving when his wounds were being dressed, then rushing through a soldier’s legs, he escaped practically naked (Carew MSS. 1575-88, f. 356). He soon afterwards burned Carlow; but in an attempt to entrap Barnaby Fitzpatrick, baron of Upper Ossory, into his hands, he was killed by the Fitzpatricks in June 1578, and his head set up on Dublin Castle. He left a son, Owen McRory O’More, whom John Burke, son of the Earl of Clanricarde, took charge of. The English got hold of him after some difficulty, and foolishly allowed him to return to his own country. He became as great a rebel as his father, and, after a life of fighting and plundering, in which, however, he recovered almost all Leix, was killed in a skirmish near Timahoe, Queen’s County, 17 Aug. 1600. Moryson called him ‘a bloody and bold young man,’ ‘The Four Masters’ an ‘illustrious, renowned, and celebrated gentleman.’ After his death the importance of the O’Mores as a sept was gone.

[Bagwell’s Ireland under the Tudors; Webb’s Compendium of Irish Biogr.; Cal. of State Papers, Irish Ser., and of the Carew MSS.; State Papers; Annals of the Four Masters, ed. O’Donovan, vols. vi. vii.; authorities quoted.]

Source: Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 42 O’More, Rory (d.1578) by William Arthur Jobson Archbold

England in 1819 by Percy Bysshe Shelley

An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying King;
Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow
Through public scorn,—mud from a muddy spring;
Rulers who neither see nor feel nor know,
But leechlike to their fainting country cling
Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow.
A people starved and stabbed in th’ untilled field;
An army, whom liberticide and prey
Makes as a two-edged sword to all who wield;
Golden and sanguine laws which tempt and slay;
Religion Christless, Godless—a book sealed;
A senate, Time’s worst statute, unrepealed—
Are graves from which a glorious Phantom may
Burst, to illumine our tempestuous day.

Peterloo – The Masque of Anarchy – September 1819

This was Percy Bysshe Shelley’s response to the Peterloo massacre in Manchester that took place 200 years ago today.

1

As I lay asleep in Italy

There came a voice from over the Sea,

And with great power it forth led me

To walk in the visions of Poesy.

2

I met Murder on the way–

He had a mask like Castlereagh–

Very smooth he looked, yet grim;

Seven blood-hounds followed him:

3

All were fat; and well they might

Be in admirable plight,

For one by one, and two by two,

He tossed them human hearts to chew

4

Which from his wide cloak he drew.

Next came Fraud, and he had on,

Like Eldon, an ermined gown;

His big tears, for he wept well,

Turned to mill-stones as they fell.

5

And the little children, who

Round his feet played to and fro,

Thinking every tear a gem,

Had their brains knocked out by them.

6

Clothed with the Bible, as with light,

And the shadows of the night,

Like Sidmouth, next, Hypocrisy

On a crocodile rode by.

7

And many more Destructions played

In this ghastly masquerade,

All disguised, even to the eyes,

Like Bishops, lawyers, peers, or spies.

8

Last came Anarchy: he rode

On a white horse, splashed with blood;

He was pale even to the lips,

Like Death in the Apocalypse.

9

And he wore a kingly crown;

And in his grasp a sceptre shone;

On his brow this mark I saw–

‘I AM GOD, AND KING, AND LAW!’

10

With a pace stately and fast,

Over English land he passed,

Trampling to a mire of blood

The adoring multitude.

11

And a mighty troop around,

With their trampling shook the ground,

Waving each a bloody sword,

For the service of their Lord.

12

And with glorious triumph, they

Rode through England proud and gay,

Drunk as with intoxication

Of the wine of desolation.

13

O’er fields and towns, from sea to sea,

Passed the Pageant swift and free,

Tearing up, and trampling down;

Till they came to London town.

14

And each dweller, panic-stricken,

Felt his heart with terror sicken

Hearing the tempestuous cry

Of the triumph of Anarchy.

15

For with pomp to meet him came,

Clothed in arms like blood and flame,

The hired murderers, who did sing

`Thou art God, and Law, and King.

16

We have waited, weak and lone

For thy coming, Mighty One!

Our purses are empty, our swords are cold,

Give us glory, and blood, and gold.’

17

Lawyers and priests, a motley crowd,

To the earth their pale brows bowed;

Like a bad prayer not over loud,

Whispering — `Thou art Law and God.’ —

18

Then all cried with one accord,

`Thou art King, and God, and Lord;

Anarchy, to thee we bow,

Be thy name made holy now!’

19

And Anarchy, the Skeleton,

Bowed and grinned to every one,

As well as if his education

Had cost ten millions to the nation.

20

For he knew the Palaces

Of our Kings were rightly his;

His the sceptre, crown, and globe,

And the gold-inwoven robe.

21

So he sent his slaves before

To seize upon the Bank and Tower,

And was proceeding with intent

To meet his pensioned Parliament

22

When one fled past, a maniac maid,

And her name was Hope, she said:

But she looked more like Despair,

And she cried out in the air:

23

`My father Time is weak and gray

With waiting for a better day;

See how idiot-like he stands,

Fumbling with his palsied hands!

24

`He has had child after child,

And the dust of death is piled

Over every one but me–

Misery, oh, Misery!’

25

Then she lay down in the street,

Right before the horses’ feet,

Expecting, with a patient eye,

Murder, Fraud, and Anarchy.

26

When between her and her foes

A mist, a light, an image rose,

Small at first, and weak, and frail

Like the vapour of a vale:

27

Till as clouds grow on the blast,

Like tower-crowned giants striding fast,

And glare with lightnings as they fly,

And speak in thunder to the sky,

28

It grew — a Shape arrayed in mail

Brighter than the viper’s scale,

And upborne on wings whose grain

Was as the light of sunny rain.

29

On its helm, seen far away,

A planet, like the Morning’s, lay;

And those plumes its light rained through

Like a shower of crimson dew.

30

With step as soft as wind it passed

O’er the heads of men — so fast

That they knew the presence there,

And looked, — but all was empty air.

31

As flowers beneath May’s footstep waken,

As stars from Night’s loose hair are shaken,

As waves arise when loud winds call,

Thoughts sprung where’er that step did fall.

32

And the prostrate multitude

Looked — and ankle-deep in blood,

Hope, that maiden most serene,

Was walking with a quiet mien:

33

And Anarchy, the ghastly birth,

Lay dead earth upon the earth;

The Horse of Death tameless as wind

Fled, and with his hoofs did grind

To dust the murderers thronged behind.

34

A rushing light of clouds and splendour,

A sense awakening and yet tender

Was heard and felt — and at its close

These words of joy and fear arose

35

As if their own indignant Earth

Which gave the sons of England birth

Had felt their blood upon her brow,

And shuddering with a mother’s throe

36

Had turnèd every drop of blood

By which her face had been bedewed

To an accent unwithstood,–

As if her heart had cried aloud:

37

`Men of England, heirs of Glory,

Heroes of unwritten story,

Nurslings of one mighty Mother,

Hopes of her, and one another;

38

`Rise like Lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number,

Shake your chains to earth like dew

Which in sleep had fallen on you —

Ye are many — they are few.

39

`What is Freedom? — ye can tell

That which slavery is, too well —

For its very name has grown

To an echo of your own.<

40

`’Tis to work and have such pay

As just keeps life from day to day

In your limbs, as in a cell

For the tyrants’ use to dwell,

41

`So that ye for them are made

Loom, and plough, and sword, and spade,

With or without your own will bent

To their defence and nourishment.

42

`’Tis to see your children weak

With their mothers pine and peak,

When the winter winds are bleak,–

They are dying whilst I speak.

43

`’Tis to hunger for such diet

As the rich man in his riot

Casts to the fat dogs that lie

Surfeiting beneath his eye;

44

`’Tis to let the Ghost of Gold

Take from Toil a thousandfold

More than e’er its substance could

In the tyrannies of old.

45

`Paper coin — that forgery

Of the title-deeds, which ye

Hold to something of the worth

Of the inheritance of Earth.

46

`’Tis to be a slave in soul

And to hold no strong control

Over your own wills, but be

All that others make of ye.

47

`And at length when ye complain

With a murmur weak and vain

‘Tis to see the Tyrant’s crew

Ride over your wives and you–

Blood is on the grass like dew.

48

`Then it is to feel revenge

Fiercely thirsting to exchange

Blood for blood — and wrong for wrong —

Do not thus when ye are strong.

49

`Birds find rest, in narrow nest

When weary of their wingèd quest;

Beasts find fare, in woody lair

When storm and snow are in the air,1

50

`Asses, swine, have litter spread

And with fitting food are fed;

All things have a home but one–

Thou, Oh, Englishman, hast none!

51

`This is Slavery — savage men,

Or wild beasts within a den

Would endure not as ye do–

But such ills they never knew.

52

`What art thou Freedom? O! could slaves

Answer from their living graves

This demand — tyrants would flee

Like a dream’s dim imagery:

53

`Thou art not, as impostors say,

A shadow soon to pass away,

A superstition, and a name

Echoing from the cave of Fame.

54

`For the labourer thou art bread,

And a comely table spread

From his daily labour come

In a neat and happy home.

55

`Thou art clothes, and fire, and food

For the trampled multitude–

No — in countries that are free

Such starvation cannot be

As in England now we see.

56

`To the rich thou art a check,

When his foot is on the neck

Of his victim, thou dost make

That he treads upon a snake.

57

`Thou art Justice — ne’er for gold

May thy righteous laws be sold

As laws are in England — thou

Shield’st alike the high and low.

58

`Thou art Wisdom — Freemen never

Dream that God will damn for ever

All who think those things untrue

Of which Priests make such ado.

59

`Thou art Peace — never by thee

Would blood and treasure wasted be

As tyrants wasted them, when all

Leagued to quench thy flame in Gaul.

60

`What if English toil and blood

Was poured forth, even as a flood?

It availed, Oh, Liberty,

To dim, but not extinguish thee.

61

`Thou art Love — the rich have kissed

Thy feet, and like him following Christ,

Give their substance to the free

And through the rough world follow thee,

62

`Or turn their wealth to arms, and make

War for thy belovèd sake

On wealth, and war, and fraud–whence they

Drew the power which is their prey.

63

`Science, Poetry, and Thought

Are thy lamps; they make the lot

Of the dwellers in a cot

So serene, they curse it not.

64

`Spirit, Patience, Gentleness,

All that can adorn and bless

Art thou — let deeds, not words, express

Thine exceeding loveliness.

65

`Let a great Assembly be

Of the fearless and the free

On some spot of English ground

Where the plains stretch wide around.

66

`Let the blue sky overhead,

The green earth on which ye tread,

All that must eternal be

Witness the solemnity.

67

`From the corners uttermost

Of the bonds of English coast;

From every hut, village, and town

Where those who live and suffer moan

For others’ misery or their own.2

68

`From the workhouse and the prison

Where pale as corpses newly risen,

Women, children, young and old

Groan for pain, and weep for cold–

69

`From the haunts of daily life

Where is waged the daily strife

With common wants and common cares

Which sows the human heart with tares–

70

`Lastly from the palaces

Where the murmur of distress

Echoes, like the distant sound

Of a wind alive around

71

`Those prison halls of wealth and fashion,

Where some few feel such compassion

For those who groan, and toil, and wail

As must make their brethren pale–

72

`Ye who suffer woes untold,

Or to feel, or to behold

Your lost country bought and sold

With a price of blood and gold–

73

`Let a vast assembly be,

And with great solemnity

Declare with measured words that ye

Are, as God has made ye, free–

74

`Be your strong and simple words

Keen to wound as sharpened swords,

And wide as targes let them be,

With their shade to cover ye.

75

`Let the tyrants pour around

With a quick and startling sound,

Like the loosening of a sea,

Troops of armed emblazonry.

76

`Let the charged artillery drive

Till the dead air seems alive

With the clash of clanging wheels,

And the tramp of horses’ heels.

77

`Let the fixèd bayonet

Gleam with sharp desire to wet

Its bright point in English blood

Looking keen as one for food.

78

`Let the horsemen’s scimitars

Wheel and flash, like sphereless stars

Thirsting to eclipse their burning

In a sea of death and mourning.

79

`Stand ye calm and resolute,

Like a forest close and mute,

With folded arms and looks which are

Weapons of unvanquished war,

80

`And let Panic, who outspeeds

The career of armèd steeds

Pass, a disregarded shade

Through your phalanx undismayed.

81

`Let the laws of your own land,

Good or ill, between ye stand

Hand to hand, and foot to foot,

Arbiters of the dispute,

82

`The old laws of England — they

Whose reverend heads with age are gray,

Children of a wiser day;

And whose solemn voice must be

Thine own echo — Liberty!

83

`On those who first should violate

Such sacred heralds in their state

Rest the blood that must ensue,

And it will not rest on you.

84

`And if then the tyrants dare

Let them ride among you there,

Slash, and stab, and maim, and hew,–

What they like, that let them do.

85

`With folded arms and steady eyes,

And little fear, and less surprise,

Look upon them as they slay

Till their rage has died away.

86

`Then they will return with shame

To the place from which they came,

And the blood thus shed will speak

In hot blushes on their cheek.

87

`Every woman in the land

Will point at them as they stand–

They will hardly dare to greet

Their acquaintance in the street.

88

`And the bold, true warriors

Who have hugged Danger in wars

Will turn to those who would be free,

Ashamed of such base company.

89

`And that slaughter to the Nation

Shall steam up like inspiration,

Eloquent, oracular;

A volcano heard afar.

90

`And these words shall then become

Like Oppression’s thundered doom

Ringing through each heart and brain,

Heard again — again — again–

91

`Rise like Lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number–

Shake your chains to earth like dew

Which in sleep had fallen on you–

Ye are many — they are few.’

Great-grandpa is 200 yrs old today…

John and Emily Gray in 1889, with George, Jesse, and Kitty.

 

John Gray III, (1819 -1893) was born on Wednesday the 13th January 1819, four months before Queen Victoria, and almost seven months before Prince Albert. He was born in a house in Broad Street, in the City. The house was demolished in the early 1860’s to build Broad Street Station, which in turn was demolished in 1986.

Broad Street Station, 1865

Broad Street station was next door to, and to the west of Liverpool Street Station. In fact one of the original entrances to Liverpool Street tube station is still in Broad Street. The remainder of the old Broad Street station  is now the part of the Broadgate office complex.

 

He is one of the more fecund ancestors, fathering thirteen children, nine of whom lived to adulthood; though he was beaten in those stakes by his father who had fourteen, starting at the age of nineteen with a wife who was pregnant when they married on Christmas Day 1816. She was nineteen, and John Gray II (1798 – 1868) was just eighteen. He carried on fathering children for the next thirty-nine years.

Both rather put John Gray I (1763 – 1821), respectively father, and grand-father, to the younger two men to shame, who only had two children apparently.

John Gray III was married at the age of twenty-two, a father at twenty-four, and fathered his youngest child – Walter – my grandfather when he was seventy. Grandpa was born a month after his father’s seventy-first birthday in 1890.

My great-grandmother was younger than all her four step-children.

According to more recent family history un-earthed, John worked for S.W.Silver & Co. in Cornhill for over fifty years. They  began in the 18th Century as Colonial and Army agents, clothiers and outfitters principally to those in the Army and Colonial Service, as well as acting as shipping agents for such people travelling overseas; and John always described himself as a “hosier” – i.e. dealing in hosiery.

S.W.Silver expanded into waterproof clothing, and then waterproof and insulated cables. eventually setting up a factory on Woolwich Reach on the north bank of the Thames in 1852. The factory continued to expand, employing most of the local population, and the area became known as Silvertown, a name that still exists today.

John and family moved out of the City, and south of the river by the 1840’s, living at various addresses in Lambeth, and Southwark, until finally moving to Croydon. By 1891 he is living at 186 Selsdon Road, Croydon next to the Pack Horse pub with Nelson Gray his 38 yr old widowed son, and his second family. Two years later he is dead.

So Happy Birthday.

Silver Jubilee of a Sister of Mercy (Agnes Bellord)- September 1910.

This is a revision and addition to an old post from almost two years ago. It was originally included because the Bellord siblings are all brothers and sisters-in-law of the other Agnes Bellord (neé Purssell) who is one of Lady O’Bryen’s sisters.  They are all almost twenty years older than she (Agnes) is. What hadn’t struck me at the time was some of the other connections in what is initially a very simple paragraph.

Both Elizabeth and Josephine Bellord were Sisters of Notre Dame in Liverpool and are the direct successors of Sister Mary of St. Philip [Fanny Lescher] at Mount Pleasant, and Sister Mary of St. Wilfrid [Adela Lescher] at Everton respectively. So in one of those nice twists and turns, Ernest O’Bryen’s cousins are replaced by his wife’s brother-in-law’s sisters in Liverpool, and another of the sisters is a nun at the Convent of Mercy in Crispin Street, in the East End. The nuns also helped support the Providence Row Night Refuge which provided nearly 2,600,000 free nights’ lodgings, and 5,200,000 free meals between 1860  and 1931. Providence Row was run as charity separate from the convent, and heavily supported by the Purssell family, with Alfred Purssell chairing the committee, followed at various times by his son Frank, and two sons-in-law Wilfred Parker, and another of the Bellord siblings Edmund.

It’s all a long way from the Original Red Cow, at 22 Long Lane in Smithfield where all the children were born.

 

On September 1, Mother Mary Aquinas,[Agnes Bellord] of the Convent of Mercy, Crispin-street, E., celebrated the Silver Jubilee of her profession. In addition to the blessing of the Holy Father, the jubilarian was the recipient of many congratulations from clergy, convents, the friends of the Night Refuge and Homes in Crispin-street, with which she has been so long connected, and the past and present pupils of St. Joseph’s School. Mother M. Aquinas is a sister of the late Bishop Bellord. Three of her sisters, two of whom survive, became Sisters of Notre Dame, one being at present Sister Superior at Mount Pleasant Training College,[Elizabeth Bellord – Sister Edburga of the Cross] and the other Sister Superior at Everton Valley, Liverpool. [Josephine Bellord – Sister Gilberta of the Blessed Sacrament]

The above text was found on p.21, 10th September 1910 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

Dolphin, of Turoe, co. Galway.

This post started very differently. Sometimes it becomes much more interesting following the female line – it’s often more difficult because things like Burke’s Landed Gentry often only list the girls by name, or just as  ” had issue, two daus.” but it can throw up some surprising results.

This started with a search for more information about Thady Grehan II (1775 – unknown) who was Peter Grehan (1749 – unknown) and Mary Roche’s eldest son. Why Thady was in the West Indies, and why his younger brother was the main beneficiary of their uncle’s will is another story.  The search led to their sister Mary who married ” Hubert Thomas Dolphin, of Turoe, co. Galway, and had issue.” and the splendidly named Dolphin family is where this all comes from.The Dolphins were one of the original Anglo-Norman families in Ireland, so by the time of Hubert and Mary Grehan’s marriage they had been in Ireland for about six hundred years. The family ” sustained great losses by confiscations and forfeitures” during the seventeenth century. But they still had land, and Hubert Thomas inherited the estates of his uncle John Dolphin, who had seven daughters. Two became nuns, and the rest all married in a very close circle.

Hubert Dolphin’s first cousin Eleanor Dolphin married Thomas Reddington, and Eleanor and Tom’s daughter Eleanor Reddington married Stephen Roche who is Mary Dolphin’s [nee Grehan] first cousin.  Another of Hubert Dolphin’s first cousins Celia Dolphin married John McDonnell and their daughter Cecilia marries into the O’Conor family. In this case to Roderic O’Conor, who is a fourth cousin of Owen O’Conor (1763 – 1831) who became the O’Conor Don in 1820 having succeeded to the title on the death of his fourth cousin Dominick O’Conor (d. 1795).  So lots of cousins marrying cousins, and some great -uncles and aunts in the picture, specifically 5x Great-Uncles and Aunts Peter Grehan, Mary Roche, and  Jane Moore, and Owen O’Conor. Owen is also Patrick Grehan I’s brother-in-law.

But it also brings us Maria O’Conor – Roderic O’Conor’s sister, her husband John Kelly, their children, and most specifically two of their grandsons Gerald and Arthur Neilan.

On either side in the Easter Rising 1916

” Gerald Neilan was the first British officer to die in the Rising; his brother was a rebel.” – Irish Times. The shot that killed him was fired from the Mendicity Institute on the banks of the River Liffey.

Mendicity Institute, Dublin

I came across three extraordinary articles recently. Two from the Irish Times, and one from the Irish Mirror, they were all written about two years ago, on the centenary of the Easter Rising, and I’m not going to quote them entirely. You can read them here – Irish Mirror – 26 Mar 2016Irish Times – Mon, Mar 28, 2016, – Irish Times – Sun, Apr 24, 2016,

I’ll let the Irish Times tell the next part of the story.

 

” In Glasnevin Cemetery there is a faded headstone over the Neilan family plot. Husband and wife John and Eva Neilan are buried there. They came originally from outside Roscommon town. After her husband died, Eva Neilan moved to Dublin. She died in 1930, outliving the first of her children listed on the headstone Lieutenant Gerald Neilan R.D.F (Royal Dublin Fusiliers).”

” His date of death is instructive as to when and why he died — “killed in Dublin, Easter Monday 1916, aged 34”. Neilan was the first British officer to die in the Easter Rising. He was an Irishman so “strongly nationalistic in his sympathies as to be almost a Sinn Féiner”, according to the author Stephen Gwynn. He was one of four Neilan brothers who served in the army during the first World War, three of them as doctors in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC)……. One Neilan brother though took a different path. Arthur Neilan was sworn into the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) in 1913 and joined the Irish Volunteers shortly afterwards. He was only 18. On Easter Monday, Arthur Neilan was told by Patrick Pearse to proceed to the Four Courts garrison which needed reinforcements and found himself fighting in the same garrison that had killed his brother earlier that day. ” – Irish Times

All the stories reflect quite strongly on the tragic irony of Arthur Neilan serving along side the men who killed his brother, and the story of Irishmen fighting Irishmen on the streets of Dublin. What they don’t do is look in greater depth at what and who these men were, and I suspect the real story is a great deal more complicated than it looks at first sight.

The second Irish Times article, and the Irish Mirror article both quote a niece of both men, and the overall tone of the articles creates a very different picture from what is actually the case. As is often the way, the family folklore takes on a life of its own, and doesn’t appear to quite tell the real story. The first real clues to look at are the sentence ” He (Gerald)  was an Irishman so “strongly nationalistic in his sympathies as to be almost a Sinn Féiner”, according to the author Stephen Gwynn.”  and “ It is so, so sad because they should have been a happy co-operative family. They were loyal to the British. They looked on Arthur as a rebel.”. – S.M. –  Gerald and Arthur Neilan’s niece

Stephen Gwynn (1864-1950)

The two seem to contradict each other quite strongly. So let’s look at them in a little more depth. The quote from Stephen Gwynn seems to have been added to the Irish Times article from a book ” According to their Lights by Neil Richardson “ The Collins Press, 2015. A fuller quote is below.

” Stephen Lucius Gwynn – Irish Party M.P. , and also a Connaught Rangers officer later wrote in John Redmond’s Last Years (1919) about the ambush that killed Gerald Neilan on Ellis Quay. He recalled that Neilan “was so strongly Nationalist in his sympathies as to be almost a Sinn Féiner”, and that among the other Royal Dublin Fusiliers casualties “Others had been active leaders in the Howth gun-running. It was not merely a case of Irishmen firing on their fellow countrymen; it was one section of the original Volunteers firing on another. “

So the question now is how ” British ” were the Neilan brothers. The family folklore continued in an interview in the Irish Mirror  “The family had always lived in Roscommon. My grandfather was a Justice of the Peace and a loyal British subject. Of course a lot of the people were then – they were in Great Britain. I never met my grandmother because she died in 1930. My grandfather John Alexander Neilan had sadly died in 1903, so I didn’t meet him either. But seven of their children survived to be grown-ups, and I knew all but two quite well………But because they had been brought up to be extremely British, and my grandfather was a Justice of the Peace, I think they were terribly hurt when Arthur went and fought for the rebels.”

This part of the story of the two brothers is starting to cause some problems. It’s told from a very British perspective, and almost certainly reflects the side of the family that had either moved to co. Durham before the First War, or settled there after the War. I think the bigger question is how Irish were the Neilan brothers, and the answer is very.  Maria O’Conor their maternal grandmother was a fourth cousin of Owen O’Conor (1763 – 1831) who became the O’Conor Don in 1820. He was Patrick Grehan I’s brother-in-law, so stretching things almost to breaking point there is a family link. So the Neilan boys are fourth cousins twice removed from great-uncle Owen.

Will of Patrick Grehan I,

Source: National Archives Kew England

Written: January 14, 1830

Recorded: June 17, 2017

In the Name of God Amen. I Patrick Grehan formerly of Saint James Street Dublin Brewer being of sound mind do publish & declare this to be my last Will & Testament revoking all former ones I direct that my body may be interred in the most private manner in St James St Church Yard should I happen to die in Dublin or within three miles from it but not otherwise I direct all my just Debts to be paid if not more than four years standing I leave to my dear Daughter Jane Grehan now a member of the Religious Community residing at New Hall Essex the Dividends on one thousand five hundred pounds three P Ct reduced Stock or Annuities part of a sum now standing in my name for & during the term of her natural life I leave to my dearest sister Mary Roche fifty pounds as a token of my affection and regard I leave to my nephew Andrew Grehan and my niece Mrs Butler fifty pounds each for mourning I leave to Thomas Lynam formerly my Clerk fifty pounds I direct also my Executors to pay him two hundred pounds to be distributed by him amongst the most necessitous of my father’s Relations at his discretion taking into Consideration those who now receive an allowance at my hands if alive at the time of my Death I direct the sum of One hundred Pounds to be given for Masses for the Repose of my soul I leave Fifty Pounds to the Catholic Schools of St James Parish and fifty pounds to be distributed amongst the poor of the said parish as the Revd Doctor Lube or his successors think fit I leave to the Catholic Schools of St Catherines Parish thirty pounds to the Catholic Schools of the parish of St Andrews Townshend Thirty Pounds to the Catholic Schools of St Mary & Thomas Thirty I leave to my grandson Patrick Grehan one thousand pounds As to all the Residue & Remainder of my property I leave it share and share alike to be equally divided between my two sons Edwd Grehan or Graham and Patrick Grehan lastly I do appoint my two sons to be Executors to this my last Will and Testament written with my own hand this fourteenth day of January one thousand eight hundred and thirty _ Patrick Grehan Done at my sister’s Mrs Roche’s house No 50 Harcourt Street Dublin (Appearance by John Donnelly of No 28 Denmark Street Dublin as to manner and character of the handwriting of the deceased on 29 March 1832)

Proved at London 14 June 1832 PCC Prob11/1801