Captain Horatio Townsend RN (104)

Date of Birth: between 1648-64
Date of Death: 1697
Generation: 2nd
Residence: Unknown
Father: Colonel Richard Townsend [100]
Mother: Hyde, Hildegardis
  1. Becher, Elizabeth
  1. Penelope [119]
See Also: Table I ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Captain Horatio Townsend RN (Captain Horatio Townesend)

Under the heading 'Townesend', page 127 of Gillman's 'Index to the Marriage Licence Bonds of the Diocese of Cork and Ross' records a Marriage Bond dated 1697. Elizabeth Becher (1) was the eldest daughter of Colonel Thomas Becher MP for Sherkin and Aughadown, Co Cork.(2) Thomas Becher was one of the richest men in West Cork. He was an officer in Lord Orrery's militia in 1666, and received a salary of ten shillings a day as Governor of Sherkin Island. Later, he acted as aide-de-camp to William III at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, when the King presented him with his own watch.

Family tradition holds that Horatio landed on Sherkin Island, and, on his way to visit the Bechers at Dunalong, he saw Mrs. Becher combing the long hair of her fair daughter, Elizabeth. It was a case of love at first sight, but as he was only the fourth son, and had poor prospects, his suit was not welcomed, but persistence succeeded, and he married her.

Along with his brothers Bryan Townsend [200], Francis Townsend [102] and Kingston Townsend [105] Horatio's name appeared in the list of those proscribed under the terms of the Act of Attainder 1689 (3) passed by James II's Irish Parliament and he fled to England with his family. The Trinity College, Dublin MS list of fugitives shows his estates as worth £100.

Horatio was Captain of the sloop 'Lynn' that carried the Duke of Schomberg to Ireland in 1690 to take up his command. For this he was presented with a gold watch and King William III gave his widow £1,000. Horatio was also probably Captain of the frigate 'Swift' in 1689.

Horatio died of fever on board his ship in the West Indies. His will is dated 1697 and was proved in 1705.

Elizabeth married secondly in 1701 Rt Rev Dive Downes, Bishop of Cork and Ross. She had further issue (Elizabeth). Her will is dated 12 March 1705 and was proved 4 August 1707. She left £900 and all Horatio's effects to her daughter Penelope.

(1) Elizabeth was born on 17 February 1670.

(2) The entry for Becher in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "Burke's ''Irish Family Records'' and Smith both indicate that the Beechers were originally a Kent family. Fane Becher was granted over 12,000 acres in county Cork during the reign of Elizabeth I. Henry Beecher was granted land in West Carbery in 1669 and is recorded as the purchaser of land from Lord Kingston and Sir William Petty. In 1778 Mary daughter of John Townshend Becher of Creagh and Annisgrove, county Cork, married William Wrixon of Cecilstown, county Cork. She succeeded to the estates of her brother Henry Becher of Creagh. Their eldest son William Wrixon of Ballygiblin assumed the name of Becher and was made a baronet in 1831. He married an actress Miss O'Neill and had a number of children. Griffith's Valuation records Sir William Wrixon Beecher holding an estate in the parishes of Castlemagner, Clonfert, Kilmeen, Knocktemple and Subulter, barony of Duhallow, county Cork. Sir Henry Becher, who succeeded his father in 1850, was among the principal lessors in the parishes of Castlehaven, Aghadown, Creagh and Tullagh in the barony of West Carbery, county Cork. Sir William Becher also held land in the parish of Kilvellane, barony of Owney and Arra, county Tipperary. The estate of Sir Henry Wrixon Becher of Ballygiblin amounted to 18,933 acres in county Cork and 358 acres in county Tipperary in the 1870s. Michael A Becher held townlands in the parish of Kilmeen, barony of East Carbery and in the 1870s Michael R. A. Becher of Ballyduvane, Clonakilty owned over 2,000 acres in county Cork. In 1854 lands and mining interests, the property of Edward Baldwin Becher, were offered for sale in the Encumbered Estates Court, and includes a report on the mines of Coolaghmore and Coolaghbeg. In the 1870s the Becher estate in Cork (a combination of the Wrixon and Becher estates) amounted to over 18,000 acres while he also held lands in Tipperary. The estate of the representatives of the late John Beecher amounted to over 1600 acres in the 1870s. At the time of Griffith's Valuation, Edward and George Beecher were among the principal lessors in the parish of Kilcoe while Richard Beecher was the lessor of townlands in the parish of Skull. Eliza Beecher held several townlands in the parish of Kilgarriff, barony of Ibane & Barryroe, at the same time. In October 1851, 17,000 acres, the estate of Richard H. Hedges Beecher, was offered for sale in the Encumbered Estates Court. Lot 1 included the owner's house at Hollybrook. A sale of the remaining lots took place in February 1852 and included the house at Lakelands, leased to Richard O'Donovan Beecher. In April 1858, the house and demesne at Hollybrook were again offered for sale. An extensive family history of both the Becher/Beecher and Wrixon families is given by Grove White and published in the ''Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society'' (1907) under Ballygiblin. The spelling Becher and Beecher are used almost interchangeably throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries."

(3) The Act summoned all who were in rebellion against James II's authority to appear for trial on a given day, or be declared traitors, hanged, drawn and quartered, and their property confiscated. Page 329 of Francis Tuckey's "Tuckey's Cork Remembrancer" lists extracts from a manuscript in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, which records the names, with the yearly value of their estates, of Protestants of the County and City of Cork and their families, who fled from King James II; amongst these can be found "Townsend, Brian. Wife. 4 children. £300. Townsend, Francis. Wife. 5 children £340. Townsend, Horatio. £100." Kingston is not shown in Tuckey's list but is shown on page 120 of 'An Officer of the Long Parliament'.

'An Officer of the Long Parliament' Ch VIII p. 203-205 refers.

Much of the information on the Becher Family has been provided by Jenny Stiles from Australia who is a descendant of John Becher (b. 6 Apr 1700 d. 1738) of Creagh and Mary Townsend [121] through their son Michael (b. ca 1735 d. Aug 1778).

For other Becher connections see Mary Townsend [121], Richard Townsend [201], Barbara Townsend [306], Edward Mansel Townsend [401], Samuel Townsend [412] and Anne Townsend [417].