Mary I.E.Fetherstonhaugh/Blood (nee O’Bryen)1867-1947- another orphan

mrs-jordan
Dora Jordan

Mary Isabel O’Bryen is another splendid character. Pauline Roche was a definite ace, Mary Isabel, her first cousin is another. Not only is she another orphan, but very  entertainingly her great, great aunt was Mrs Jordan, the mistress of William IV.

Mary Isabel Emily O’Bryen was born in 1867, probably in February,  in Gibraltar, and died in 1947, in the Hall, West Farleigh, Kent  leaving  £15,769. Her executors were Henry Pollock (her son-in-law) and her step-son, Horace Blood. The Hall was her daughter Mary Corinne O’Bryen Margetts’ [nee Fetherstonhaugh] house.

Mary Isabel is Stephen Hewitt O’Bryen’s daughter, and was orphaned in 1872, at the age of five. She is a first cousin to Pauline Roche, Mgr HH O’B, Ernest O’Bryen, et al. She seems to be about seven months older than Rex O’Bryen, who was the youngest of the sixteen children of John Roche O’Bryen. She was also thirty years younger than her eldest cousins, Pauline Roche and Mgr Henry O’Bryen

Stephen Hewitt O’Bryen, (about 1816  -1872) is one of the seven children of Henry Hewitt O’Bryen Senior, and Mary Roche. He was the collector of revenue at Gibraltar. He had married Mary Hewson (1841- died before 1872) in Dublin in 1866. She would have been about 25, and he was about 50,  and Mary Isabel seems to be their only child. It is unclear whether Stephen and Mary died at the same time, but on Stephen’s death on 26th April 1872 in Gibraltar, Mary Isabel’s aunt Fanny became her guardian.

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Rock of Gibraltar c.1810

“18 July 1874. Administration of the effects of  Stephen Hewitt O’Bryen late of Gibraltar in Spain late Collector of Her Majesty’s Revenue there who died on or about 26 April 1872 at same place granted 6 July 1874 at Dublin under the usual Limitations to Fanny Augusta Fetherstonhaugh [wife of Capt Henry Fetherstonhaugh] of Tullamore Kings County the guardian of Mary Isabella Emily O’Bryen a Minor the Daughter and only Next of Kin. Effects in England under £ 3000.”

Fanny is probably the most obvious, and logical choice as a guardian. She is twenty-three years old when Stephen dies, and Mary Isabel is orphaned, and has been married for just over three years. She has had two daughters, although Mildred died aged eight months in 1871. By 1875, Fanny and Henry have four children, two boys, and two girls.

  • Emily Cecilia Fetherstonhaugh 18 Jan 1870 – died 30 Jul 1938 in Belfast
  • Mildred Elizabeth Fetherstonhaugh 13 Apr 1871- died 5 Dec 1871 aged eight months
  • Laura Hardy Fetherstonhaugh 11 Sept 1872 – died 15 Jan 1938 Belfast
  • Henry Hewson Fetherstonhaugh 10 Jan 1874 – died 1939 London
  • Rupert John Fetherstonhaugh 9 July 1875 – died 20 July 1954 Ireland
  • and Mary Isabel O’Bryen became part of the household.

There was no obvious candidate to be a guardian amongst her O’Bryen uncles and aunts. Indeed, all but two of the seven were dead; Henry Hewitt O’Bryen Junior died eleven months after his brother Stephen in February 1873, leaving only Robert O’Bryen who was fifty eight.

The Hewsons were similarly complicated, there were four sons and five daughters. By 1873, Laura, Robert, and Mary herself were dead, John and Conrad were unmarried. Of the remainder, Dora was married to Richard O’Connor who was serving as the Chief Magistrate in Singapore, so not really a candidate. Cecilia was married to the splendidly named  Xaverius Blake Butler; she was, apparently, a secret drinker, and he had also taken to drink following the death of their three year old son in 1873, so that probably ruled them out. That left only two remaining Hewson uncles and aunts, Francis was recently married, and his wife Jane was expecting their first, and only, child, and then there was Fanny, the logical choice, as the only suitable one of Mary’s sisters, the unfortunate choice, in as far as, she died on the 5th November 1875.

tullamore-gaol
Tullamore Gaol

Henry Fetherstonhaugh (1826-1898) seems to have died in the summer of 1898 aged 72 in Tullamore, co.Offally.  He and Fanny Hewson had married on the 19th January 1869,  in Tullamore, when he was forty-three, and she was twenty. He had been a Captain in the Westmeath Rifles, and then served as the governor of Tullamore gaol, co.Offally, it appears right up to his death.

He and Fanny had four children who lived to adulthood, Emily, Laura, Henry Hewson, and Rupert. Mary Isabel Emily O’Bryen seems to have been part of Henry Fetherstonhaugh’s family, and household until she married  Alfred Joseph Fetherstonhaugh, who is a cousin on her mother’s side, in 1888. It was a relatively short-lived marriage, and Alf died on the 12th February 1894 in Biarritz, aged thirty-one.  They had a daughter Mary Corinne O’Bryen Fetherstonhaugh (1890-1973).who was born on the 21st Dec 1890 in Dublin, and died on the 29th November 1973 at Malling Place, West Malling, Kent.  She married Arthur Pearson Margetts in the summer of 1916 in Dublin.

Mary’s husband Alf is her uncle (and presumed guardian) Henry Fetherstonhaugh (1826-1898)’s first cousin once removed.  Or to put it another way, Henry’s great grandfather,William Fetherstonhaugh (????-1770)  is Alf’s  great, great, grandfather. And to make things even more complicated, Henry’s elder sister Jane is Alf’s aunt, having married his father’s  eldest brother, another William Fetherstonhaugh (1828-1914) . So her uncle’s sister is her husband’s aunt.

Alfred Joseph Fetherstonhaugh was the son of Stephen Radcliffe Fetherstonhaugh (1830 – 1895)  and Jane Boyce who had eleven children.  Jane was the daughter of Joseph Boyce who was a Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1855, and a ship owner

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William IV

Mary Isabel’s maternal grandfather Frank Hewson was the nephew of  Dorothy Bland, (1761-1816). known as the actress Mrs Jordan. She was the mistress of William, Duke of Clarence (later William IV), who she had five sons and five daughters with; she had previously had a daughter by Richard Daly (1758-1813), an Irish actor and theatrical manager. She was then the mistress of Sir Richard Ford (c.1759-1806), having three more children, two daughters and a son (who died at birth). She died unmarried at 1 Rue d’Angouleme, Saint-Cloud, Paris, 5 July 1816.

Mary Isabel’s second husband was Alexander Findlater Blood, who she married in 1897. They both had children from a previous marriage, he had three, she had one and they then had a daughter, Millicent Alix Blood, born 1898. She married Lt.-Col. Jack Gronow Davis in 1932, and they had three sons. He served in the Indian Army, and retired to Sussex. Both died in Kensington in the mid 1980’s

Alexander Findlater Blood was born in Dublin, on 25 July 1853, the son of John Lloyd Blood and Margaret Findlater. He was a barrister in Dublin, and came from a Dublin brewing family.  The Bloods were distantly related to Colonel Thomas Blood (1618 –1680) best known for his attempt to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London in 1671.

Alexander’s first wife was Rachel Anne Park, the daughter of Lt.-Col. Archibald Park, who he married  on 28 September 1880; and the granddaughter of  Mungo Park (1771 – 1806) who was a Scottish explorer of West Africa. He was the first Westerner known to have travelled to the central portion of the Niger River.  His second wife was Mary Isabel O’Bryen, who he married on 23 April 1897, in Dublin. He died in Dublin, on 13 June 1933 aged 79.

trinity-college-dublin
Trinity College Dublin

Alexander Blood went to Trinity College, Dublin, and was admitted to the Irish Bar in 1877. He then practised as a barrister, and solicitor in New Zealand between 1878 and 1883. On his return to Ireland he was admitted to the Inner Bar in 1899. He was a member of the Senate of Dublin University, a practising Bencher of King’s Inns, Dublin and eventually a King’s Counsel (K.C.)

The Bloods lived in some style in Dublin in the early 1900’s. In 1901, they were at 7 Gardiners Row, in a thirteen room house, with a governess, nurse, cook parlourmaid, and a housemaid. 13 rooms. By 1911, they were in a larger house at 43 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin; this time with nineteen rooms, and a stable at the back. There were fewer staff, only a cook parlourmaid, and a housemaid, but the children were older so there was no longer a need for the governess, and nurse.

Alex had three children from his first marriage to Rachel Anne Park. Her father served in the 24th Bengal Native Infantry, and 29th Bengal Native Infantry, and his father was Mungo Park (1771 – 1806) the African explorer. Alex and Rachel’s children were

  • Dorothy Margaret Blood (1882-1973).  She was born in New Zealand, married Henry Brodhurst Pollock (1883-1952) They both lived at Castleknock Lodge, Castleknock, County Dublin; and are buried in St Brigid’s  Church of Ireland churchyard in Castleknock.
  • Horace Fitzgerald Blood (1885- unk). He was a doctor, and served as a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps in the First War. he seems to have lived in co. Wicklow, having had two sons in 1915, and 1917.
  • Brigadier Jeffrey Armstrong Blood (1893-1966) . he served in the Indian Army, and seems to have settled in London on his retirement. He married Mildred Mary O’Connor, in London, on the 12th  June 1926. Charles O’Connor was the last Master of the Rolls in Ireland, and one of the first judges of the Supreme Court of Ireland. 

In another of those curious twists about quite how close families were inter-linked,  Jeffrey Blood’s  sister-in-law  Evleen O’Connor, married Percy John Vincent MacDermot  (1875- 1955) the son of Rt. Hon. Hugh Hyacinth O’Rorke MacDermot.  Hugh MacDermot was a J.P. , and  Deputy Lieutenant (D.L.) in co. Sligo, and was Solicitor-General [Ireland] in 1886, and then Attorney-General [Ireland] in 1892. He also became a Privy Counsellor (P.C.) that year.

Percy MacDermot, was a Captain in the West Indian Regiment. He lived and died at Drumdoe, co. Roscommon. Percy married twice, they married in 1927,  and his second wife was Amy Mary French. She was the daughter of Charles French and Constance Ellinor Chichester.  Constance Ellinor Chichester, was  Mary Esther Grehan (nee Chichester)’s sister. She is married to Stephen Grehan Junior, who is Ernest O’Bryen’s third cousin.

So Mary Isabel O’Bryen’s step-son’s second wife is the niece of her first cousin’s third cousin by marriage. Do keep up……God, these people make my head hurt at times.

Charles French, Amy’s father was the M.P for co. Roscommon between 1873 and 1880, and in a curious case of inheritance was passed over from inheriting his father’s title. Charles French,(1790-1868) was the 3rd Baron De Freyne, . His [Catholic] marriage to “Catherine Maree, a peasant girl (b. c. 1827; d. 13 Oct 1900)” in 1851 was held to be invalid under the laws of Ireland at the time – as a consequence his eldest son, Charles and his two immediately younger brothers were held to be illegitimate hence incapable of inheriting the title, which accordingly passed on their father’s death to the fourth son.”  [ all from cracroftspeerage.co.uk].  Charles and Catherine had a second [Church of Ireland] marriage in 1854, and the fourth son Arthur (1855-1913) inherited the title.

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