The Callaghans

Callaghan arms
Callaghan: Arms – Az in base a mount vert on tb sinister a hurst of oak trees therefrom issaant a wolf passant pp

The reason the Callaghans feature is that Catherine Callaghan married James Joseph Roche who inherited Aghada from John Roche. 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. 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. John Roche “amassed great wealth during the French wars”, and Daniel Callaghan Senior was, “one of the most enterprising and successful merchants of Cork”. This branch of the Callaghan family seem to have risen to prominence fairly recently, as can be seen from their entry in Burke’s Landed Gentry which only takes the lineage back as far as Daniel Callaghan Senior.

Having said that, to quote from the History of Parliament, ” This branch of the Callaghans, distant kinsmen of Lord Lismore, had remained Catholic, thereby enduring ‘confiscations’ and marriages ‘beneath their rank’ until their fortunes were restored by Daniel Callaghan’s father, who established a ‘monopoly of trade’ supplying the navy in Cork during the Napoleonic wars and became one of Ireland’s ‘most successful merchants’. Daniel Callaghan appears to have been the most active of his six brothers in the family business, and on his father’s death to have assumed control.”

Of the six brothers, John and Patrick seem to have concentrated on business.  Daniel and Gerard  were MP’s, and the youngest two, Richard and George were a barrister, and a soldier respectively.

Dan appears to have been a reasonable M.P., having first stood in a by-election in 1830 caused by Gerard being unseated because he was a government contractor. Gerard on the other hand seems to be a prize-winningly awful person.

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