County of Cork.—Mr. O’Connell a Candidate. 12th July 1841

This has been buried in a mass of information about the election in 1841 for a couple of years whilst I worked out how to best deal with it. This specific post caught my eye whilst I was trying to deal with which Bartholomew Verling was which. What it really did spark was the whole series of posts on the 1841 election.

The important thing to know is the election was stretched over almost a fortnight. So when Daniel O’Connell wasn’t elected in Dublin City, he was still able to stand in Cork County. He was also on the ballot, and elected in Meath.

What is quite so surprising is how many of the family are in this one, all detailed at the end of the post.

COUNTY OF CORK.—MR. O’CONNELL A CANDIDATE;—THE NOMINATION.—CORK,

Monday Night, July 12th .—Mr. O’Connell, the victim of foul play and Orange chicanery in Dublin, is now the leading candidate for the representation in Parliament of the Yorkshire of Ireland,—of the county of Cork,—with its million of inhabitants. Authorized by the two gentlemen—Messrs. Roche and Barry, the former members—the committee in the direction of the Liberal electoral interests despatched on Saturday night a gentleman, Bartholomew Verling, Esq., of Cove, with full power to announce to Mr. O’Connell the retirement of one, or, if necessary, of both the gentlemen by whom the county had been represented, in order that the interests of the country might be promoted, and the successful machinations of the Tories in other places met and counterbalanced. Mr. Verling arrived at Carlow yesterday, where he met Mr. O’Connell, and at full work for the independence of that proverbially Tory-Orange county. The liberator of his country received the communication with delight. Mr. Verling posted to Cork, and arrived at seven this morning. The committee sat at eight. Mr. O’Connell’s letter was then read, and before nine o’clock the city was all commotion. Placards were posted in every direction. In the mean time, the Tory arrivals were incessant and numerous; and when, at twelve o’clock, the county court was thrown open, and-the usual frightful crush and crash of the populace took place, the appearance of things rightfully indicated how, as it is said here, “the cat hopped.’ Mr. G. Standish Barry presented himself. Greatly did he regret that circumstances had arisen that placed him in the position of retiring from the high and distinguished honour of being a.candidate for the fourth time, for the representation of the county. But the temporary defeat of Ireland’s liberator required that some one, should make the sacrifice ; and in his person that sacrifice was now made. He had pleasure in retiring for Mr. O’Connell (tremendous cheering), not simply of retiring, but he had the great gratification of proposing as the representative of the county of Cork in Parliament, Daniel O’Connell, Esq. (Awful cheering.) In an excellent speech, well delivered and well received, the nomination was seconded by Francis Bernard Beamish, Esq., our late representative for the city .of Cork. Nothing could exceed the wild enthusiasm of the people at having before them as a candidate Mr. O’Connell. The scene was at times terrific. Proposed by Daniel Clanchy, Esq. J.P. of Charleville, and seconded by Eugene M’Carthy, Esq., Of Ruthroe, Mr. Burke Roche was introduced to the constituency. The reception was enthusiastic. The Conservative candidates Messrs. Leader and Longfield, met with a sorry reception. The high sheriff (Mr. Barry) appealed in their behalf in vain. The Tories will persevere to the last. But such a defeat as awaits them

The above text was found on p.6, 17th July 1841 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 .

The text below is taken from the Spectator also on 17th July 1841. Both papers took a strongly anti-Tory stance

The Spectator 17 July 1841: CORK COUNTY has been a candidate for the honour of returning Mr. O’Connell. As soon as it was known that he was thrown out at Dublin, Mr. Standish Barry retired to make room for him. Mr. Burke Roche stood with him. The Tory candidates were Mr. Phillpotts Leader and Mr. Longfield.

In the letter accepting the invitation of the electors to stand, Mr. O’Connell says-

” We cannot disguise to ourselves the fact, that my defeat in Dublin will give an insolent confidence to our enemies—to the bigoted enemies of Ireland. They will gladly hail it as a proof of the declining strength of the popular power, a proof which would be annihilated by a victory in my name in such a county as Cork. It strikes me that we should thus counteract time Dublin loss. It is quite true that such loss was occasioned by means which betoken the depravity of our adversaries, and not any alteration in popular opinion or in popular determination. Still, it requires to be counteracted ; and such counteraction would be only the more powerful by my being unnecessarily returned for your county. But I do not think I could be personally present in Cork before Wednesday morning. Under these circumstances, I leave myself in sour hands. You command my services—you command my political action. If it is thought fit to elect me for Cork county, I will sit for that county, and none other, in this Parliament. The coming into operation of the Municipal Bill, however insufficient in other respects that bill may be, will enable me to regain Dublin.”

CORK CITY. The Liberals, Daniel Callaghan and Francis Murphy, triumphed here, over Colonel Chatterton and Mr. Morris. The Tories complain of intimidation and obstruction. On the 8th, an elector was killed. The Cork Constitution says-

” The organization was complete. Every ‘enemy ‘ was known and marked; and, as he quitted the booth, a chalk on his back commended him to ‘ justice.’ If the military were outside, execution was deferred ; but they ‘ dogged ‘ him till the danger was past, and then a shout or a wink pointed him for vengeance. The women were usually the first ; the courageous men came after, and the unfortunate fellow was beat, and cut, and trampled. Then is the triumph of diabolical enmity. A demoniac shout is raised, and even a woman dances in the blood! We write a literal fact : when Mr. Norwood’s skull was broken in the manner described on Thursday, one of the female followers of Murphy and Callaghan actually danced in the blood that lay red upon the ground.”

The family bits.

Just to recap, Bartholomew Verling of Cove has two grandsons also called Bartholomew Verling who are first cousins. The elder Bartholomew Verling (1786 – 1855) of Cove is John Roche of Aghada’s nephew twice over. His mother is John Roche’s sister, Ellen, and his father is Mary Roche’s (nee Verling) brother, John Verling. His brother is Dr James Roche Verling (1787 – 1858) was one of Napoléon’s doctors on St. Helena [making both of them 1st cousins 5x removed].

Roche and Barry” are Edmond Burke Roche, and Garrett Standish Barry. Barry was the first Catholic MP elected to represent Cork County after the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, and was elected in 1832. Roche was elected in 1837.  

Garrett Standish Barry (1788-1864) is the 1st cousin 1x removed of 5x great aunt Mary Grehan, and his great-nephew Henry Standish Barry was at Downside with 2x great uncle Frank Purssell, and a guest at his wedding.

Edmond Burke Roche is slightly more complicated. He is the 1st cousin 1x removed of General Edmund Roche whose wife Anna Austin was Charles Cooper Penrose-Fitzgerald’s aunt. Charles C P-F’s wife was Henrietta Hewson which made her a 2nd cousin of 3x great aunt Mary O’Bryen. 

Edmond Burke Roche also has the distinction of being Prince Harry’s great, great, great grandfather. 

Dan Callaghan was the M.P for Cork City for nineteen years from 1830 until his death in 1849 aged 63. His sister Catherine was married to James Joseph Roche another 1st cousin 5x removed, and a 1st cousin of the Verling boys.

And finally, Dan the man himself is the father-in-law of a 1st cousin 1x removed of 5x great aunt Mary Grehan.

Aghada Hall, co. Cork.

Aghada  Hall was, apparently, a large  Georgian house designed by the Cork architect  Abraham Hargrave (1755-1808); though it seems to bea comfortable gentleman’s residence rather than a vast mansion.” It was completed in 1808. John Roche was also responsible for the start of the Aghada National School in 1819.

It’s time to revise this post quite a lot, and I am extremely grateful for a Thackwell grandson for the photos of the house. For the purposes of clarity, I’m going to call it Aghada Hall. John Roche, (17??- 1829) who had it built referred to it as Aghada House, but it was later referred to as Aghada Hall. Tony Harpur, a local historian in Cork sent me the following:

“The first edition Ordnance Survey map names the house as Aghada House (c1840). The house was named in the Ordnance Survey map of the early 20th century as Aghada Hall and was noted as being ‘in ruins’ – this is probably some time in the early 1930s because although a major survey was carried out by the Ordnance Survey before 1914, additional information was added to the map from a survey of 1935-1938.”

aghada-hall
Aghada Hall, side view

In the 1911 Irish census, Aghada Hall  was described as a first class house with 9 windows in the front, and 8 rooms occupied by the family, and 15 outbuildings. Edwin (or Edward – he used both) Penrose-Thackwell was also listed as the owner of a two room cottages, one three room, and one four room cottage, nearby.

The estate seems to be a substantial working farm. The main house had two stables, a coach house, harness room; three cow houses, a calf house, and a dairy. It also had a piggery, fowl house, boiling house, barn, shed, and a store. 

Fifty-four year old Edwin was living in the main house with a substantial staff, Thomas and Lavinia Buckley, who were married, were the butler, and housemaid respectively. They also had fifty-five year old Mary Flynn, the cook, and a dairymaid, parlourmaid, and kitchenmaid, all in their twenties.

In addition, to the main house, James Scanlon the gardener (48) and his wife were in the two room cottage. Ernest Jones (32), and his wife Gertrude (30) and their eight year old son were in the four room cottage, along with Gertrude’s twenty-five year old sister. Ernest was the chauffeur, and Ernie and Gertie had been married 11 years.  Finally, there were eight members of the Murphy family in the three room cottage. Edmond Murphy and his wife with three daughters, and three sons. All four men, Edmond (50), Denis (22), Edmond (16), and Patrick (15) are general labourers, presumably working on the estate.

The gardener and chauffeur’s houses, both had a shed and fowl house, and the Murphys had a piggery, and fowl house.

aghada-hall-2
Aghada Hall, front

John Roche who built the house,  “amassed great wealth during the French wars”, according to “Barrymore Records of the Barrys of County Cork”  published in 1902. He was Ernest O’Bryen’s great grandfather, and made quite significant efforts to establish some sort of Roche dynasty to maintain the family name, and the house that he had built for himself.

There were three significant beneficiaries of John Roche’s will of 1826, with a later codicil. They were his nephews James Joseph Roche, and William Roche; they seem to be cousins rather than brothers. The third main beneficiary was John Roche’s eldest grandson, John Roche O’Bryen. The total estate amounted to about £ 30,000 when John Roche died in 1829, the modern day equivalent of £45,720,000.00.

The house and land was left to James, and his male heirs, first of all, and then William, who also inherited £ 10,000, “in case of his not coming into possession of the estate by the means before-mentioned,  I leave him  £6,000″ plus John’s grand-daughter, Jane O’Brien’s ……  £4,000 £4 per cent. stock ;” . Jane O’Bryen, John Roche’s granddaughter was married to his nephew William Roche, and their daughter Pauline Roche inherited their share as a one year old orphan. The final third was John Roche O’Bryen’s  £ 10,000, presumably in the expectation that a male Roche heir would inherit the house and land.

John Roche O’Bryen,  and Jane O’Bryen were Catholic. All their  five remaining younger siblings were Church of Ireland. JROB and Jane/William Roche are the only O’Bryen beneficiaries of John Roche’s estate. The O’Bryen siblings are John Roche’s only grandchildren.

John Roche also left  a series of £ 100 legacies (present-day £ 150,000)  to various sisters, and nephews and nieces, and “To the parish of Aghada, I leave the school-house, and £20 ( £ 30,000) a-year for its support, and also the chapel and priest’s house  I leave to the parish rent-free for ever, as long as they shall be used for such qualified purposes ; the five slate houses I built in the village, I leave to five of the poorest families rent free ; to David Coughlan I leave the house he now lives in during his life ; to my servant, James Tracy   I leave the house his wife now lives in;  and to my wife’s servant, Mary Ahearne, otherwise Finne, her house rent-free during their lives ; and to each of those three, viz.,David Coughlan, James Tracy, and Mary Ahearne,  otherwise Finne, I leave £10 (£15,000) a-year during their lives :”

Lower Aghada
Lower  Aghada

Aghada  is a small fishing town situated to the south-east of Cork city in County Cork, Ireland. Aghada parish consists of several small villages and townlands including  Rostellan, Farsid, Upper Aghada, Lower Aghada, Whitegate, Guileen and Ballinrostig.

The estate, and the provisions of John Roche’s will were part of a court case, and appeal in 1848, and 1849. (Hillary Term 1848, Mary O’Brien v James Roche and William Roche…lands of Aghada [Mitchelstown Cork]… and Roche v. O’Brien —Feb. 1, 2. 1849) following the death of James Joseph Roche in 1847.  William Roche had died in 1836, and James Joseph Roche, and his family were living there until James’s death in 1847. The house appeared to have briefly in the possession of Henry Hewitt O’Bryen Junior, one of the younger O’Bryen siblings in the early 1850’s.

The house and land were sold in July 1853 in the Encumbered Estates Court, as part of the estates of James Joseph Roche, and William Roche, with Mary (Maria Josepha)  and Eleanor Roche listed as owners, and Pauline Roche as ex parte.  [The Encumbered Estates’ Court was established  to facilitate the sale of Irish estates whose owners were unable to meet their obligations. It was given authority to sell estates on application from either the owner or an encumbrancer (somebody who had a claim on it) and, after the sale, distribute the proceeds among the creditors, granting clear title to the new owners.]  The house was bought by Major General Sir Joseph Lucas Thackwell in 1853, and remained in the Thackwell family until at least 1911. Henry Hewitt O’Bryen does still seem to be a significant landowner in the area, so may well have kept some of the land.

thumb_entrance-to-aghada-hall_1024Most traces of Aghada Hall seem to have disappeared, apart from signs of a walled garden, half  an entrance and a small gatehouse.  The old sheds and stables have apparently been converted into houses.

Major General Sir Joseph Lucas  Thackwell had married Maria Audriah Roche (from the Trabolgan branch of the Roche family) in 1825. She was the eldest daughter of Francis Roche of Rochemount, County Cork (an uncle of Edmond Roche, 1st Baron Fermoy). This, incidentally, made Maria Thackwell, a first cousin, five-times removed of Diana, Princess of Wales. They had four sons and three daughters.  She should not to be confused with Maria Josepha Roche, who was James Joseph Roche’s daughter, and one of the parties to the 1848/9 court cases.

In a final twist, The Cork Examiner,reported on the 25th January 1860, having picked up the story from the Illustrated London News that:

“The will of the late celebrated General Sir Joseph Thackwell, G.C.B., has just been proved. By a codicil, dated the day before his death, he deprives his eldest son, Captain (Edward Joseph) Thackwell, the author of the “Second Sikh War, in 184-89,” [sic] and now a barrister at law, of all the property left him in a former will, including Aghada Hall, Cork, and Conneragh House, Waterford, and gives it to trustees in trust for his grandchildren, who must be educated in the tenets of the Protestant religion. Captain Thackwell had been received into the Roman Catholic Church only a short time previous to Sir Joseph’s decease.”

There seem to have been about nine grandchildren; all either the children of Edward Joseph Thackwell (1827, d. 1903), or his younger brother Major-General William de Wilton Roche Thackwell (1834–1910).  Edward Joseph’s son, Lt.-Col. Joseph Edward Lucas Thackwell (1853-1886) had four sons, and one daughter, who seemed to be the major beneficiaries, or users of the Irish houses. His son Walter Joseph de Rupe Thackwell was described as “now of Aghada,” in Burke’s Landed Gentry in 1894, and a younger son Captain Edward Hillyar Roche Thackwell, was living at the house in Waterford in 1911.

However Major William de Wilton Roche Thackwell (1834-1910), and his wife Charlotte Tomkinson seem to have lived in Aghada Hall, at least some of the time until 1894. Their eldest daughter Katherine Harriet Thackwell (1866 – 1950) married Col. Edward (or Edwin) Rawdon Penrose  in 1891, and they celebrated their wedding there. Katherine, and Edward added Thackwell to the family surname by 1911, most probably after the death of Katherine’s father in 1910, becoming Penrose-Thackwell from then on.

Kitty_Pope_Hennessy
Kitty Pope Hennessy

The only significant grandchild not to have a notable link to the house is William WR’s  only son Edward Francis Thackwell (1868 -1935) but that was most probably because he had married Kitty Pope-Hennessy on Feb 3 1894 at Rostellan Castle in Cork. She was a forty-four year old widow, and he was twenty six. He was a year older than her eldest son who died young, and three, and seven, years older than his step-sons.

It was probably a Catholic wedding, thus excluding Edward from the provisions of his grandfather’s will, but the pain may have been slightly ameliorated by his wife’s thirty room castle, with the sixty one outbuildings, including  seventeen stables, three coach houses, two harness rooms, and twenty cow houses. All of two and a half miles from Aghada Hall.

It is still not entirely clear when the house was demolished.

Poor little rich girl – Pauline Roche 1835 – 1894

I love Pauline Roche, she’s the sort of relation everyone should have in their family history. Her story is so bizarre that it reads like a novel.

She is John Roche’s great-granddaughter, and in an unintended way, one of the major beneficiaries of his will, at her marriage, she was said to have about £7,000 (roughly £ 7.5m today). So to set her in context; Pauline Roche is Ernest O’Bryen‘s first cousin on her mother’s side. Her mother Jane is John Roche O’Bryen‘s eldest sister. She is also his second cousin on her father’s side, because William Roche, Pauline’s father is their ( Jane and John Roche O’Bryen) first cousin once removed.

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

Pauline was born in Rome in 1835, and her father died the same year, when she was three months old. Her mother died the following year (1836) when she was eleven months old. She becomes John Roche O’Bryen’s ward for not entirely clear reasons.

However, JROB is her uncle, and only he, and Jane O’Bryen were Catholic. All their remaining siblings are Church of Ireland. JROB and Jane/William Roche are the only O’Bryen beneficiaries of John Roche’s estate. It is also reasonable to consider other factors.  In 1836, John Roche O’Bryen is married with two young children, Emily who is four, and Henry (the future Mgr O’Bryen) who is almost exactly the same age as Pauline. None of the other O’Bryen siblings have established families, Robert marries that year, and Stephen the year after. 1836 is also the year that Henry Hewitt O’Bryen Senior dies, so Pauline’s grandmother Mary O’Bryen is a recent widow.

It may also be as simple as the fact that John Roche O’Bryen is almost twice as rich as all his remaining siblings, and mother put together.  Robert, Stephen, and Mary O’Bryen were the main beneficiaries from their father’s will, but the majority of their inheritance was from their parents’  £4,000 marriage settlement, which Mary (Roche) O’Bryen was still benefitting from until her death in  1852; whereas JROB had inherited £ 10,000 from his grandfather in1829. Well, technically he received the income from the money in 4% stock, with his children being the ultimate beneficiaries of the capital on his death, with a number of caveats regarding him receiving the full benefits until he was twenty five, or married. In part, that might explain, his marriage at the age of twenty one, in Bordeaux. Wealth comparisons are notoriously complicated, the measuring worth website can be useful because it provides a range of calculations and comparisons depending on what you are looking for. Using their income value calculation, JROB’s annual income was, a present day equivalent of, over £ 500,000 a year.

Anyway, for what ever reasons, Pauline is part of the O’Bryen family, and is shown living with them in Bristol in 1841, and again in 1851.

Lower Aghada
Lower Aghada, co . Cork
Bellevue, Clifton, Bristol

However in 1847, James Joseph Roche dies, triggering a dispute in the family that culminates in Roche v. O’Brien which goes through the courts in 1848, and 1849. James Joseph Roche was the main beneficiary of John Roche’s will from 1826. It is quite clear that John Roche was attempting to build a Roche dynasty to maintain the family name, and the house that he had built for himself  (Aghada House).   James Joseph Roche, who inherited Aghada from John Roche, married Catherine Callaghan. The marriage itself has all the appearances of being at least in part a commercial link between two merchant families. John Roche’s will refers to his contribution of £4,000 to a marriage settlement in 1821. Coincidently, the same amount, that he contributed to his own daughter’s marriage settlement in 1807.  John Roche “amassed great wealth during the French wars”, and Daniel Callaghan Senior was, “one of the most enterprising and successful merchants of Cork”.  Pauline as a minor of 12 or 13, is a party to the case. Aghada House, and the land was sold in 1853 in the Encumbered Estates Court, with Pauline Roche listed ex parte.

This is where the story gets much, much, more interesting. In 1854, aged about 19, Pauline runs away from home in Bristol, crosses the Irish Sea to her uncle Robert O’Bryen in Cork, and goes to court seeking a change of guardian. It all sounds relatively straightforward, and even better it’s all over the papers, well some of them anyway, The Daily News, in London, the Dublin Evening Post, The Liverpool Mercury and Supplement, and  The Tralee Chronicle.

The Daily News called it a “A singular minor case, involving charges of cruelty against a guardian”, The Dublin Evening Post said it was an “EXTRAORDINARY CASE…..the question at present before the court being whether the guardian of the minor should pay the costs of proceedings consequent upon an alleged system of cruelty practised towards her.”  The Liverpool Mercury headlined the story the “PERSECUTION OF A WARD IN CHANCERY” and the Tralee Chronicle said  “The general nature of the charge against the late guardian appeared to be this – that although he was allowed from 1850 a maintenance of £ 130 per annum, this young lady was not properly fed – had been most cruelly treated and subjected to personal violence.”

Pauline Roche’s maintenance allowance of £ 130 per annum, was a huge sum of money. In modern day terms, it is about £ 180,000 a year. Not bad for a teenager, and possibly quite irritating to your uncle that you are entitled to an equivalent of about thirty per cent of the O’Bryen household income. JROB’s income from the interest on capital is about £ 500,000 p.a.

The reporting is amusing, and shows the Victorian press weren’t so different from todays. The  Dublin Evening Post  manages to muddle up which uncle Pauline runs off to, and the Tralee Chronicle not only gets the uncles wrong, but also has Pauline being mistreated by ” Dr Robert O’Brien, of Belfast”.

However, the gist of the story is still Pauline wants a new guardian, and she says she’s been mistreated. Actually, if her story is true, it’s much worse than that. According to the Daily News, “Miss Roche was a young lady whose constitution was delicate, and therefore, it was contended she required great care and attention, instead of which she was provided with bad food, bad clothes, and was deprived of such necessaries as sugar and butter; she was likewise deprived of horse exercise, which was indispensable to her health. A pony, the bequest of a dying patient…….” –  I particularly like the fact that this was a gift from a dying patient – “was given to her; and when she was deprived of this, a carriage horse was procured, which kicked her off his back, and she refused ever again to mount him. She also complained that upon two occasions he (guardian) beat her severely – that he made her a housekeeper and governess to the younger children, that he led her to believe she was dependent upon his benevolence; and further, that she was not permitted to dine with him and his wife, but sent down to the kitchen with the children and the servants.”

carriage horseThe Dublin Evening Post told us ” she was provided with bad food, bad clothes, and was deprived of such necessaries as sugar and butter; she was likewise deprived of horse exercises which was indispensable to her health………..” and in his answer to the allegations.. “Dr O’Bryen replied that he had treated his niece with kindness – that her preservation from consumption was solely ascribable to his judicious and skilful treatment – that he caused her to be well educated, had given her many accomplishments and a horse to ride, which was not a carriage horse but an excellent lady’s horse – that she upon two occasions told him untruths which required correction, and that he would have punished his own children much more severely.”

And in a fairly un-subtle piece of character assassination;  It was likewise contended that she would have better consulted her own respectability and displayed better taste, if she had abstained from taking such proceedings against her uncle and guardian with whom she had been for so many years.”

The Dublin Evening Post continues, and the story just gets worse. From the reporting, the (Irish) Master of the Rolls, is clearly on Pauline’s side. He “said that a petition was presented by Mr Orpin, the solicitor for the minor, for the purpose of removing the late guardian for misconduct. His lordship made an order on that occasion to the effect that the minor should reside within the jurisdiction of the court, which was indirectly removing her from the protection of the late guardian.”

It continued “The general nature of the charge against the late guardian appeared to be this – that although he was allowed from 1850 a maintenance of  £139 per annum, this young lady was not properly clothed – that she had not been properly fed – had been most cruelly treated and subjected to personal violence. Six or seven years ago she was actually driven to run away, which of course she had since been obliged to repent, and even if she did get education it was the education of a poor relation of the family. The governess who was employed to educate her cousins swore, as he (the Master of the Rolls) understood, that if the minor did get education it was at the expense of the guardian, and that she gave her instructions as a matter of charity. This young lady was obliged to run away, and conceal herself in a neighbouring village, and no person who looked at the subsequent transactions could entertain a doubt but that she had been treated with cruelty. It was sworn by Mr Sweeny, a solicitor of the court, that he was ashamed to walk with her she was so badly dressed.”

The mauling from the Master of the Rolls continued, ” The Master found, and it was actually admitted by the respondent ( JROB) , that he told her on one occasion, her father had left her nothing; that she would be in the poorhouse but for his generosity. He (the Master of the Rolls) adverted to this circumstance  for the purpose of asking this gentleman who struck this young lady, in delicate health, with a horsewhip for having told him, as he represented an untruth – what punishment he deserved for having told her the falsehood that her father had left her nothing?”

letterAnd it just goes on, and on.. ” On the morning of the 4th of May 1854, the transaction took place which led her to write the first letter to her uncle who was now her guardian. It appeared that one of her cousins brought her a piece of leather which the child had got in the study of the late guardian, but not telling her anything about it she asked her to cover a ball, and she did so. He interrogated her on the subject, and having denied she took the leather, he took his horsewhip and struck this delicate young lady a blow which left a severe mark on her back to the present day. His lordship then read the letter of the minor to her uncle in Cork inquiring about her father’s circumstances, and complaining bitterly of the treatment she had received, and stating that, though she was then nineteen years of age, she had no pocket money except a little which had been supplied by friends. His lordship continued to say that the facts contained in that letter were corroborated by the statements of the guardian himself. On another occasion, the minor being in the room with her uncle, his powder-flask was mislaid, and being naturally anxious about it, as there were younger children living in the house, he asked this young lady respecting it, but she laughed at his anxiety, and he struck her a blow, according to his own version, with his open hand, but after the blow of the horsewhip, he (the Master of the Rolls) was inclined to think it was with his fist as she represented.”

So, a doctor in Bristol, in his mid-forties, who admitted in court that “she, upon two occasions, told him untruths which required correction” which seems to have been using his horse whip, and fists, and that  ” he would have punished his own children much more severely.” basically attacks  a teenage girl.

Now the Dublin Evening Post continues in the same vein, ” The general nature of the charge against the late guardian appeared to be this – that although he was allowed from 1850 a maintenance of £ 130 per annum, this young lady was not properly fed – had been most cruelly treated and subjected to personal violence. This young lady was obliged to run away, and conceal herself in a neighbouring village, and no person who looked at the subsequent transactions could entertain a doubt that she had been treated with cruelty. It was perfectly clear that this young lady had been kept ignorant up to a late period of the state of her circumstances.”

And the catalogue of criticism from the Master of the Rolls just continues, and continues. More from the Dublin Evening Post:

  • “Six or seven years ago she was actually driven to run away, which of course she had since been obliged to repent,”
  • “The Master (of the Rolls)…..found that the minor, who was in her nineteenth year,  dined with the servants.”
  • “The Master (of the Rolls) found, and it was actually admitted by the respondent, that he told her on one occasion her father had left her nothing; that she would be in the poorhouse but for his generosity.” 
  • “She got half a pound of butter for a week, but no sugar or any of those matters which were considered by mere menials to be the necessaries of life.”
  • “On the 9th of October a letter was written, by the dictation of this young lady, giving the most exaggerated account of her happiness, and this was alleged to be her voluntary act, though by the same post Mr Orpin (her solicitor) received a letter from her stating that she was under the influence of her aunt when she wrote it.”

And finally, though they get the uncles the wrong way round:

  • “Ultimately, in the absence of her uncle, and late guardian, and apprehending his anger when he returned, she left the house and went to reside with her uncle John (sic) in Cork, her present guardian. A circumstance occurred when Mr Robert O’Bryen (sic) went to recover possession of his ward, which corroborated strongly the minor’s statement. When he was passing through Cork, she was looking out of the window and fainted upon seeing him – so much frightened was she at his very appearance.”

There is a full transcript of the newspaper reports, here.  JROB’s defence of his behaviour is quite extraordinary,and also included in the transcripts. It is something I’ll come back to in another post. It is quite clearly carefully planned, and done with the support of the editor of the Bristol Mercury. The italics for inference are printed in the paper, so it is definitely planned with some care, and not just a letter to the editor.

It’s also a classic example of bad PR probably making things worse. In a taster of things to come, JROB starts his letter with the Latin tag “Audi alterum partem” best translated as “let the other side be heard as well”, and finishes with “Fiat Justitia, ruat caelum”  – “Let justice be done though the heavens fall”. This was most famously used by Lord Mansfield in 1772 in the first major English case on the legality of slavery.

So pompous, self-serving, and an astonishing attack in print on a teenager. Still, greater consideration of that is for another time.

Back to Pauline; she stayed in Ireland, and was married two years later in 1857, aged about 21. According to the “Barrymore Records of the Barrys of County Cork”   “Pauline Roche, (is the) only child of William Roche, son of Lawrence Roche, whose brother, John Roche, amassed great wealth during the French wars, and built Aghada House. John Roche’s only daughter, married to ” O’Brien, (sic) [Henry Hewitt O’Bryen]  of Whitepoint, Queenstown, J.P., left a daughter, who married her cousin, William Roche, and with her husband died shortly after the birth of their only daughter, Pauline, who was entrusted to the guardianship of her uncle, Dr. O’Brien, of Liverpool, and at marriage had a fortune of  £ 7,000.”

Pauline Roche married William Henry Barry, of Ballyadam, who was described as a gentleman. He was also a Justice of the Peace. William was his uncle Henry’s heir and was for many years postmaster of Cork. The Barrys of Ballyadam were part of the vast, interconnected Barry family in Cork. William Henry was  the grandson of William Barry (1757 -1824) , of Rockville, Carrigtwohill, in county Cork. Various branches of the Barry family trace themselves back to the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland in the C12th.

In a slightly curious irony, the Master of the Rolls who sat on Pauline Roche’s case in 1855 ( Sir Thomas Berry Cusack-Smith) married into the Smith Barry family, as did Pauline and William’s daughter Mary, making him and Louisa Cusack-Smith, Mary Barry’s husband’s great-uncle and aunt. It’s a small, small world…

Pauline and William Henry Barry had seven children, including William Gerard Barry – the Irish painter, Mary who married into the Smith Barry family of Ballyedmond, and Edith, whose second husband, William Babtie won a Victoria Cross in the Boer War.

Pauline appears to have died in 1894, and various of her children were still living at Ballyadam almost twenty years later.

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) –

CLOYNE PETTY SESSIONS – WEDNESDAY – CUTTING SEA-WEED – (FROM OUR REPORTER) – Presiding Magistrate-SAMUEL W. ADAMS, Chairman, JAS. J. ROCHE, R. G. ADAMS, THOMAS G. DURDIN, and JOSEPH HAYNES, Esqrs.

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.

The mysterious John Roche d. 1829

John Roche c.1755 – 1829 is the father of

Mary, 1780 – 1852  m. Nov 1807 Henry Hewitt O’Bryen (1780 – 1836)

and the grandfather of John Roche O’Bryen, Jane Roche (nee O’Bryen), and at the same time both the great-grandfather, and great uncle of Pauline Roche. Pauline Roche’s mother is John Roche’s grand-daughter Jane O’Bryen, and her father is his nephew William Roche.

 John Roche appears to have two brothers, and two sisters:

Hugh, who is the father of

James Joseph Roche

Hugh Roche  

Lawrence who is the father of

William m. Jane O’Bryen and father of Pauline Roche

Ellen m. John Verling and mother of

Bartholomew Verling

James Roche Verling

Catherine Ellis (nee Verling)

Ellen Verling Jnr.

Julia m. ? Enery

Sources:

Irish Journal of Medical Science, January 1971, Volume 140, Issue 1, pp 30-44 – regarding the Irish doctors who attended Napoleon on St Helena including James Roche Verling

References to (Ellen Verling??) and her brothers John and Laurence Roche of Aghada as members of the council of Cork. Also refers to James Roche Verling having a brother Bartholomew who was a J.P.

From Roche v O’Brien, and his will, we know that John Roche has two sisters

Julia Enery, Ellen Verling

And at least four nephews

James Joseph Roche, William Roche, Bartholomew Verling, and Doctor (James Roche) Verling

And at least two nieces

Ellen Verling jnr, and Catherine Ellis (nee Verling)

From the BLG 1847 entry we know there is another brother Hugh, who is the father of James Joseph Roche, and Hugh Roche jnr

From Barrymore Records we know William Roche is the son of Laurence Roche

Aghada Co. Cork, in 1837

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, by Samuel Lewis 1837

AGHADA, or AHADA, a parish, partly in the barony of BARRYMORE, but chiefly in that of IMOKILLY, county of CORK, and province of MUNSTER, 4 miles (S. W. by W.) from Cloyne; containing 2512 inhabitants. This parish, which includes the small fishing village of Whitegate, is situated on the south side of Cork harbour, and on the road from Cloyne to Carlisle Fort. The village of Aghada occupies an elevated site, and contains the parish church and R. C. chapel. The village of Whitegate is a small fishing port, where several boats are employed in raising sand from the harbour, which is used for manure. On the north side of the parish a neat small pier has been constructed by subscription, where a steam-boat from Cork or Cove calls every Tuesday during the summer, and where coal and sand are occasionally landed. About 50 females are employed in platting Tuscan straw for exportation, and a few in platting the crested dog’s tail, or “traneen,” grass found here. The parish comprises 2331 statute acres, as applotted under the tithe act: the greater part is under tillage, and nearly the whole of the remainder is pasture; there is very little waste land or bog.

At Whitegate are two quarries of stone used for building. There are several handsome houses within its limits: the principal are Aghada House, the residence of J. Roche, Esq.(James Joseph Roche); Whitegate House, of Mrs. Blakeney Fitzgerald; Careystown, of Mrs. Atkin; Hadwell Lodge, of J. Penrose, Esq.; Hadwell, of the Rev. Dr. Austen; Maryland House, of J. Haynes, Esq.; Rathcourcy, of J. Smith, Esq.; and the glebe-house, of the Rev. J. Gore. There is a coast-guard station at East Ferry. The living is a rectory and vicarage, in the diocese of Cloyne; it was united in the reign of Chas. II. to the rectories and vicarages of Corkbeg, Rostellan, Inch, and Kilteskin or Titeskin, which, from the time of Bishop Crow, in the reign of Anne, were held in commendam by the Bishop of Cloyne, till the death of Dr. Brinkley in 1835, when they were disunited by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and made separate benefices, in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes amount to £292. 15. 6. The church, a neat structure, situated on an eminence above the harbour of Cove, was erected in 1812. The glebe-house adjoins it, and for its erection the late Board of First Fruits, in 1814, granted a loan of £1000 and a gift of £100: the glebe comprises 20 acres of profitable land.

In the R. C. divisions the parish forms the head of a union or district, also called Saleen, which comprises the parishes of Aghada, Rostellan, Corkbeg, Inch, and Garranekenefeck, and contains three chapels, situated respectively in Aghada, Rostellan, and Inch; the first is a small plain edifice, built by the late John Roche, Esq., who, in 1818, founded a school. The parochial school at Farcet was founded by the late Bishop Brinkley, who endowed it with two acres of land from the glebe, and is further supported by the Marchioness of Thomond. A school at Whitegate Hill was founded in 1827, for 50 boys, by the late R. U. Fitzgerald, Esq., who endowed it with £500; and female and infants’ schools have been built and are supported by his widow, Mrs. Blakeney Fitzgerald. In these schools about 100 boys and 50 girls receive instruction: there are also two private schools, in which are about 50 boys and 40 girls. In the village of Aghada are the picturesque ruins of the old church.