Richard Boyle Townsend (219)

Date of Birth: 1756(53?)
Date of Death: 26 Nov 1827
Generation: 5th
Residence: Castletownshend
Father: Colonel Richard Townsend [213]
Mother: FitzGerald, Elizabeth
  1. Newenham, Henrietta
  1. Richard [229]
  2. Colonel John [230]
  3. Reverend Maurice FitzGerald Stephens [231]
  4. Captain Henry [232]
  5. Reverend Abraham Boyle [233]
  6. Henrietta Augusta [234]
  7. Elizabeth Anne [235]
See Also: Table II ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Richard Boyle Townsend MP JP (or Richard Boyle Townshend)

Married 14 (16?) May 1784. Henrietta Newenham (1) was the daughter of John Devonsher Newenham (2 & 3) of Maryborough,(4) Carrigaline, Co Cork. His will is dated 8 May 1784 and was proved on 5 May 1787.

There is confusion about Richard's tertiary education. According to 'An Officer of the Long Parliament' (page 159 - see below) Richard was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford. Alumni Trinity College Dublin from Co Cork and Kerry 1593-1860 in Dr Casey's Collection records that Richard was educated at Eton before he entered Trinity College, Dublin, on 3 July 1773 aged 16 as a fellow commoner paying double fees and enjoying several privileges. The TCD Graduation List records that he qualified BA in Spring 1778.

After he graduated, be it from Magdalen or Trinity, he embarked on the Grand Tour with his kinsman Horatio Townsend [5D00]. No sooner had they sailed from Waterford bound for Milford Haven than they were chased by a French privateer, which they finally managed to evade under cover of darkness and returned to Waterford. Ten days later they were in Ostend and there met the crew of the privateer that had chased them!

Appointed JP in 1773, Richard was elected MP for Dingle in 1782 (5) and again in 1790, as was his uncle John Townsend [214] (6). The Parliament in which he sat was much taxed over the issue of Union as a measure of checking Irish trade competition. Like his father, Richard was a staunch Tory who refused to vote for measures, such as Union, which he felt were not in the interests of Ireland. Not even the offer of an English peerage could bribe him into supporting Union and for this he lost the favour of his party and the Borough of Dingle was disenfranchised. He was, however, paid £15,000 in compensation by the Government (see page 4).

Richard was admitted a Freeman of the City of Cork on 7 November 1777 (7).

The list of Freemen and Freeholders who voted in the election of 13 August 1783 for two members to sit in Parliament for the City of Cork shows that Edward Mansel Townsend [401] and Cornelius Townsend [139] voted for Augustus Warren and John Bagwell; Richard, Richard Townsend [213] (or possibly [6A00]) and Rev Horatio Townsend [5D00] all voted for John Hely Hutchinson and John Bagwell. John Hely Hutchinson and Richard Longfield were duly elected.

The article ‘A Contemporary Account of the Rightboy Movement: the John Barter Bennet Manuscript’ in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archeological Society 1983 ( Series 2 Vol 88 No 247.) records on page 40, Note 23 “Richard Townsend of Castle Townsend, high sheriff of County Cork, 1753; M.P. for County Cork, 1776-83; appointed colonel of county militia, 1793". Page 318 of Francis G Tuckey's "Tuckey's Cork Remembrancer" records that he was appointed High Sheriff of Cork on 22 January 1785 (8) and was made a Freeman of Limerick on 2 April that same year.

Having inherited Castletownshend in 1783, Richard went to great expense in 1796 to fortify the village and equip a flotilla to protect it when under threat of a French invasion. However the foggy weather veiled the harbour entrance and the French passed on to Bantry. News of their arrival there was carried to Cork by Henrietta's sister, Mrs White of Glengariff, and from Cork it was taken by sea to Bristol in the small ship commanded by Commander John Townsend [316].

At a meeting in the King’s Arms Tavern in Cork on 15 November 1791 (8a) the “Gentlemen of the city and county of Cork” resolved to “assist the Civil magistrates in the execution of the law” by forming a society, called the ‘Hanover Association’, to apprehend Whiteboys (8b) who were attacking both property and people. Members of the Association paid a subscription for the “purpose of procuring information and carrying on prosecutions, where the means of the aggrieved parties are insufficient”. Members were also required to arm themselves to assist the magistrates. A further meeting of the Association was held at the King’s Arm’s on 7 December 1791 at which it was resolved to pay £50 to anyone who within 12 months provides information that leads to the discovery, apprehension and conviction of Whiteboys. The following members of the family are shown as attending the meeting: John Townsend [214], Richard Boyle Townsend [219], Richard Townsend [221], Samuel Townsend [405], Thomas Townsend [502], John Sealy Townsend [507], Rev Horatio Townsend [5D00], Rev Edward Synge Townsend [601], Richard Townsend [6A00] and Samuel Philip Townsend [6B00]. Additionally, Adam Newman, husband of Mary Townsend [605] and Thomas Warren, husband of Anna Townsend [408] are also shown on the list.

Richard's uncle, Henry Townsend [215], died in February 1788 and in his will he bequeathed his belongings and property to his brother and several nephews and nieces including Richard - "Richard Boyle Townsend, Esquire (nephew): horizontal gold repeating watch, chain and seals." A transcription of Henry's will can be seen in his 'Scrapbook' or in Swanage Wills. (Scroll down to his entry.)

Shortly after 1805 when her son, Richard Townsend [229], a fellow-commoner at Christ Church, Oxford died (9) suddenly aged 19, Henrietta, felt that their house in Castletownshend was not healthy. She thought that the rooms were not high enough and it was decided to lower the floors. This done, the foundations could not take the strain, the house was a ruin and Richard and Henrietta thereafter lived for a time at 8 Montague Square in London or at his house in Wiltshire. It is not known whereabouts in the county this was though an entry in the London Gazette dated 23 October 1803 (9a) provides a very positive guide. The entry shows Richard appointed a Captain in the Dinton and Compton (Compton Chamberlayne) Volunteers; these two small villages are close together some 10 km to the west of Salisbury. It would seem that Richard owned a house close by though in 'An Officer of the Long Parliament' he is shown as owning a house near Bowood in North Wiltshire and one at Hurdcott, near Winterbourne Earls and north of Salisbury.

It would appear that Richard was back in Ireland by 1812. Page 102 of Ambrose Leet's Directory of Cork 1814 shows Rich. B Townsend Esq living at Castle-townsend.

In the pamphlet “The Leading Speeches Delivered at the City of Cork Election Held at the Tholsel Court on 19 October 1812 and subsequent days” reported by Michael Mathews and printed in Cork 1812, Thomas Townsend [509] is recorded as casting his vote for the Hon CH Hutchinson, Richard and Horatio Townsend [6B01] are both shown as casting their vote for Colonel Longfield and Sir Nicholas Colthurst. Colonel Longfield and Sir Nicholas Colthurst were duly elected. Nicholas Colthurst was a fellow contributor with Horatio’s brother, William Robinson Townsend [6B02] to the cost of building a new church tower at Inniscarra in 1819, where William was Curate.

In Memorial 471216 dated 19 January 1814 in the Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland 'Richard Townsend of City of Dublin' is shown in the Indented Deed of Sale of the tythes of Abbeystrowry. It would also appear that he was living again at Castletownshend sometime before 1817.

An extract from the early history of Masonic Lodge 15 (Skibbereen) records that "Bro. Richard Boyle Townsend of Lodge No.l (12) also appears as a visitor in those early days (1817)." In a letter to Dorothea, wife of Richard Baxter Townsend [5D15], dated 31 July 1896 Hildegarde Coghill wrote the following about the 'Lodge of CastleT' - "Papa does not know who started it; they all drank like fishes and ended up in debt to my grandfather which, being unable to pay, they gave him the old masonic chair in the hall at home and some tall wooden candle sticks. The number of the lodge was 27 and it was called the Shamrock Lodge of Ireland. On the chair are painted a sun and moon with faces." (12a) This lodge was warranted on 8 July 1835, in lieu of No. 167, which presumably was the one of which Richard was a member. Lodge No 27 is now based in Cork.

The registered papers of the Office of Chief Secretary of Ireland in the National Archives of Ireland, include three letters written by Richard between 1821 and 1831

The first letter (CSO/RP/SC/1821/1438) was written by Richard to Charles Grant, Chief Secretary, Dublin Castle, on 3 December 1821 offering his services to government, should the unrest in remoter parts of County Cork, spread to his neighbourhood. In his letter he also recalls his efforts against the rebels during the 1798 rebellion.

The second letter ((CSO/RP/1826/429)) from Richard is dated 20 March 1826 and recommends that a proposed new road between Skibbereen and Bantry be constructed on the western side of the River Ilen instead to the eastern side. He also requests Mr Griffith’s assistance in examining a copper mine on his estate near Skibbereen.

The third letter (CSO/RP/1831/3099) dated 19 November 1831 concerns outbreaks of typhus and cholera in 1831 and 1832. In it Richards encloses a copy of a letter from the Rev Richard Boyle Townsend [332] concerning a local outbreak of typhus: he seeks assistance to prevent the threat of cholera and the formation of a board of health to enforce cleanliness and hygiene in dwellings occupied by the poorer classes. There is an inconsistancy here as Richard died in 1827.

In his book 'Statistical Survey of the County of Cork' (10) Horatio Townsend [5D00] comments rather tersely on page 338 about the absence of Richard - "Castle-Townsend, the first and principal seat of the family, whose name it bears, was nothing more than a neat and well built village adjoining the mansion-house, on the west side, until improved and extended by its late possessor, Richard Townsend, a short space of time a new town arose, numbering among its inhabitants more persons of respectability than are usually found in such a situation. In this respect it still continues to maintain its character, even under the disadvantage of the present proprietor's seclusion from his country and friends, a circumstance, whether arising from actual or supposed necessity, always to be lamented."

The Statistical Survey on page 337 describes Skibbereen and ownership of surrounding lands as follows - "the general appearance of the town, however, is not very indicative of either riches or comforts. The middle part has some good houses, but the approaching streets, or rather lanes, hardly passable in winter, are lined with rows of thatched cabins of the worst and dirtiest description. The town stands on the south side of the river Ilen. On the north side is a considerable tract of good level land, with which there is at present but little communication. A bridge thrown across here would afford an opportunity, which the proprietor will probably hereafter embrace, of improving and enlarging the town, as well as increasing most considerably the value of the estate. Half the old town belongs to William Wrixon Becher, Esq. and half to Samuel Townsend (11) and Samuel Wright, Esqrs. That part on the west side, called Bridgtown, is the estate of Richard Boyle Townsend, Esq. who is also, Proprietor of the land on the north side of the river."

These comments about Skibbereen by Horatio Townsend are reflected in ‘Extracts from the Correspondence of the Agents’ on pages 117 and 118 of The Report of the Committee for the Relief of the Distressed Districts in Ireland which contains some interesting comments from Mr Warmington in his report from Castletownshend on 7th August 1822 about deprivation and poverty in West Carbery as a whole.

When Richard's maternal uncle, Maurice Fitzgerald, 16th Knight of Kerry, died in June 1779 everything was left in trust to Lord Doneraile and John Townsend [214?] for the benefit for life of Lady Anne Fitzgerald, Maurice's wife, with the remainder for life to Richard. From this inheritance Richard settled £300 per annum on his wife. Shortly afterwards Thomas Mullins claimed that Maurice Fitzgerald owed him various sums of money and filed against Lady Anne, Richard and the trustees created under the deed of settlement made on Maurice Fitzgerald's marriage. Thus began a saga of claim and counter-claim that continued until 1831 when the case was brought by children of Thomas Mullins (the appellants) before the House of Lords for judgement against Richard's son, John Townsend [230] (the respondent). This was reported in 'New Reports of cases heard in the House of Lords' 1831 Volume V pages 567 to 592. Thomas Mullins, later 1st Lord Ventry, who married Elizabeth Gunn, great granddaughter of Katherine Townsend [109].

Richard was a witness to the Marriage Settlement (13), dated 5 July 1790, of his cousin Richard Townsend [221] and Babara Mellifont. The Settlement was drawn up by John Sealy Townsend [507]. He was also a party to the marriage in 1798 of John Becher of Hollybrook and Susanna Hungerford daughter of Thomas Hungerford of The Island - Memorial 4712126 dated 24 April 1798 in the Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland.

'The Post Chaise Companion or Traveller's Directory through Ireland 3rd Edition 1804' page 333 records "At Castle-townsend is the seat of Mr Townsend, Esq. most beautifully situated by Glandore Harbour."

The seventh edition of “The History of the General Rebellion in Ireland: Raised upon the Three (sic) and Twenty day of October 1641” published by Phineas and George Bagnell, Castle Street Cork in 1766 shows “Mr Richard Townsend jnr” as a subscriber. It is not clear to whom this refers, be it Richard (only aged 10 at the time) or Richard Townsend [213] (whose father died in 1742) or Richard Townsend [6A00]. Ten other members of the family are shown in the list of subscribers; Francis Townsend [125], Cornelius Townsend [139], John Townsend [214] or John Townsend [303], Rev Richard Townsend [301], Philip Townsend [500], Dr Richard Townsend [501], Thomas Hungerford Townsend [502], Rev Horatio Townsend [5D00], Rev Horatio Townsend [600], Rev Edward Synge Townsend [601].

Richard is listed as a subscriber to the book 'The Poetical works of `William Collins', published in Glasgow in 1787.

In the entry for Skibbereen 'Pigot's Provincial Directory 1824' records "Townsend Richard Boyle Esq, Castle Townsend".

Until the mid-eighteenth century there was little incentive for tenants to plant trees on the land they leased, for the trees were legally the property of the landlord. However, by 1765, the tenant’s position had changed in that he was entitled to all the trees he had planted, or their value, on the expiry of his lease. To prove ownership tenants had to register the trees they planted and this was eventually published in a register for the particular county in which they lived. Details of the ‘Register of Trees, Co Cork, 1780 - 1860’ are contained in Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society 1976 Vol. 81, Nos 233-234, pages 39-60 and seven members of the family are shown as part of the scheme. Between them they planted 63,500 trees of which "Rich Boyle Townsend" planted 1,540 in Abbestrewry Glebelands in 1826-27. Other members of the family who subscribed to the scheme include Rev Richard Boyle Townsend [332], John Townsend [316], Samuel Townsend [412], Samuel Philip Townsend [6A03], Samuel Philip Townsend [6B00] and William Townsend [6B02].

Those who saw Richard shortly before his death described him as having snow white hair, deep sapphire eyes and fine features with impeccable manners of the old school. He was a great classical scholar with a retentive memory and could quote Horace freely. He could also name every winner of the Derby without a pause.

Richard died in Stephen's Green, Dublin and is buried in Castletownshend. His death was reported in The Kilkenny Independent of 2 December 1826. Henrietta lived in Castletownshend for the rest of her life.

In 1787/88 a survey of the Estate of Sir John Freke of Castle Freke, near Rosscarbery, Co Cork was undertaken by the noted 18th-century Dublin land surveyor Thomas Sherrard. The surveyed lands stretch from Durrus at the mouth of Dunmanus Bay to Ballincollig near Cork City and consist of maps of 46 townlands covering 15,000 acres of land comprising the Cork holdings of the Freke estate; later to become known as the Carbery estate after John Freke inherited the title of Lord Carbery in 1807. Table 5 of the survey shows adjacent lands (not belonging to the Freke Estate) and their owners. Map 26, also reproduced in his ‘Scrapbook’, shows the Drishanemore and Boaleybaune townlands that Richard owned. Map 29 shows his holding the townland of Skai.

(1) Henrietta was born in 1764 and died on 11 December 1848. Entry in the diary of Agnes Townsend [334] - 'Dec 11 1848 Mrs Townsend of Castle Townsend died.' Her mother was Henrietta Vereker of Roxborough, Co Limerick. Beautiful with large grey eyes, small and slight Henrietta was a great horsewoman and was celebrated for her dash and daring in the saddle. The 1841 England Census shows that Henrietta was staying with her son, Maurice,in the vicarage at Thornbury, Gloucestershire.

(2) The Newenham family was wealthy; U.H. Hussey de Burgh's ‘Landowners of Ireland 1878' records three entries for the family owning between them a total of 5811 acres in Cork, Limerick and Tipperary valued at £6310 - "NEWENHAM, EDWARD EYRE, J.P. co. Cork; Maryborough Park, Douglas, co. Cork. NEWENHAM, Rev. EDWARD HENRY. Educated at Trin. Coll Dublin ; (M.A. 1849) J.P., Coolmore, Carrigaline ; Kildare Street Club, Dublin. NEWENHAM, WILLIAM H., Monkstown, Dublin ; Kildare Street Club, Dublin."

(3) The entry for Newenham (Maryborough) in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "The Newenhams were established in county Cork from the early 17th century. This branch of the family was descended from Richard Newenham, a Cork merchant, who built Maryborough, in the early 18th century. In 1801 Simon White brother of the 1st Earl of Bantry married Sarah daughter of John Newenham of Maryborough. His sister Helen married Richard Devonsher Newenham of Maryborough. She died in 1808 in childbirth. The Whites were children of Simon White and Frances Jane Hedges Eyre (see Peerage). Richard Devonshire Newenham died in 1835 aged 72. He was a brother in law of Viscount Gort. Henrietta daughter of John Devonsher Newenham married a Townshend in 1784. Griffith's Valuation records the Reverend Edward Eyre Newenham holding land in the parishes of Ballydeloher, barony of Barrymore and Carrigaline, barony of Cork. In county Tipperary Edward Newingham held land in the parishes of Kilbragh, St Patricksrock and Tullamaine, barony of Middlethird. In November 1865 the estate of Edward Eyre Newenham amounting to over 1,600 acres in the barony of Cork, premises in the city of Cork and over 780 acres in the barony of Middlethird, county Tipperary, were advertised for sale. The county Tipperary lands were held on a lease dated 1702 from James Duke of Ormonde to Andrew Roe. In the 1870s Edward Eyre Newenham of Maryborough owned 500 acres in county Cork, 238 acres in county Limerick and 742 acres in county Tipperary."

(4) 'The Post Chaise Companion or Traveller's Directory through Ireland 3rd Edition 1804' page 491 records "Two miles and a half from Cork on the R. is Maryborough, the seat of Mr Newenham, Esq." The entry for Maryborough in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "A Newenham home in the 19th century, occupied by R. Newingham in 1814, by Edward Eyre Newenham in 1837 and at the time of Griffith's Valuation. He held the property in fee and the buildings were valued at £80. Thomas Sherrard held a mansion house valued at £61 in this townland in 1906." See ‘A Guide to Irish Houses’ by M. Bence-Jones, London, 1988 – “CARRIGALINE cor Coolmore. Newenham 1680+. Newenham family since 1680. Rebuilt ca. 1790 by W.W. Newenham. Owned by William Henry Worth Newenham.” See also “DOUGLAS cor Maryborough. Newenham 1750+. Library. Enlarged ca. 1800.”

(5) London Gazette 12473 page 2 dated 6 September 1783.

(6) London Gazette 13206 page 50 dated I June 1790.

(7) From Dr Casey's Collection. Between 1710 and 1841, when the power of admitting Freemen only by birth or right ceased, a total of thirty three members of the Townsend family were admitted as Freemen.

(8) London Gazette 12615 page 50 dated 22 January 1785.

(8a) Reported in the Dublin Evening Post 31 January 1792.

(8b) Whiteboys were a secret 18th century Irish agrarian organization which used violent tactics against landlords and tithe collectors to defend tenant farmer land rights. They wore white smocks on their nightly raids and sought to address rack-rents, tithe collection, excessive priests' dues, evictions and other oppressive acts.

(9) His death was announced on page 255 of Walker's Hibernian Chronicle of April 1805 - "At Oxford university, Richard Townsend Esq, eldest son of Richard Boyle Townsend of Castletownsend Co Cork Esq."

(9a) London Gazette 15634 page 1460 dated 22 October 1803.

(10) Sponsored by the Royal Dublin Society and published in 1810 it covers historical sketches, agricultural and trade statistics, notices on education, fisheries, antiquities, manufactures, etc. A large appendix and section of addenda includes a variety of interesting documents, on matters social, scientific, political, religious and other matters. The book criticised the Roman Catholic clergy, particularly its role in education and this generated considerable controversy. A copy of the book can be found in the Trinity College, Dublin, library and the Library of Herbert Bell, Belfast.

(11) Samuel Townsend [405].

(12) Lodge No 1 would appear to be Cork.

(12a) RBT Papers 219/1.

(13) Lovera Papers 221/1.

'An Officer of the Long Parliament' Ch VII p. 160-4 refers.