Jonas Morris Townsend (222)

Date of Birth: ca 1790
Date of Death: 1844
Generation: 5th
Residence: Shepperton (1), Skibbereen
Father: John Townsend [214]
Mother: Morris, Mary
  1. Digby, Jane
  1. John Morris [246]
  2. Digby [247]
  3. Frances Georgiana [248]
  4. Louisa Jane [249]
See Also: Table II ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Jonas Morris Townsend JP

Married 24 May 1815. Jane Digby was the eldest daughter of Richard Digby (2) of Cork and his wife, Frances, daughter of the Rev Arthur Herbert of Cahernane, (3) Co Kerry. There is a connection here with Helena Townsend [218]. The marriage was reported on page 642 ‘Marriages of Eminent Persons’ in ‘The Gentleman’s Magazine’ January to June 1815’ - “At Cork, M. Townsend Esq of Shepperton, Cork, to Jane, eldest daughter of R. Digby Esq, and cousin to Earl Digby”.

When Jonas' uncle Henry Townsend [215] died without issue in February 1788 his lands at Dunbeacon, Ardra and Ballintona passed to Jonas's brother Richard Townsend [221]. Thus when Jonas's father died in 1810, knowing Richard was cared for, he left his estate to his other sons - Shepperton to Jonas, the Kilcoe and Myro6s lands to Henry Townsend [223] and the Drishane and Glannafoyne lands to Abraham Townsend [224].

The County and City of Cork Almanac 1843 shows on page 132 that Jonas was a Justice of the Peace "Townsend Jonas M. Shepperton, Skibbereen". His brothersHenry Owen Townsend [223], Richard Townsend [221], nephew Richard Townsend [236] and cousin or Edward Townsend [411] are also listed as Justices in the Almanac. ‘A List of Justices of the Peace in Ireland’ published in Dublin in 1844 omits to show Jonas as a Justice. As will be seen from the following paragraph Jonas was already a JP in 1828.

‘The Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier’ carries a letter dated 16 December 1828 from Lord Francis Leveson Gower, Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, addressed to ‘JM Townsend and T Somerville Esqrs, Her Majesty’s Justices of the Peace, Skibbereen’. In it he commands them to hold a meeting for the purpose of “carrying into execution” the ‘Act to make Provision for the Lighting, Cleansing and Watching of Cities, Towns Corporate and Market Towns in Ireland of 25 July 1828’ in Skibbereen. 'T Somerville' presumably refers to Jonas' nephew, Colonel Thomas Somerville of Drishane, Castletownshend. He married Jonas' second cousin once removed, Henrietta Augusta Townsend [234], and was the eldest son of Thomas Townsend Somerville of Drishane and his wife Elizabeth Henrietta Becher Townsend [225] - Jonas' sister.

The Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier of 15 July 1828 records that Jonas, Richard Townsend [236] and Edward Townsend [411] were members of the ‘Record Jury’ at the County Cork Summer Assizes. Ten years later the same newspaper, dated 5 July 1838, shows Jonas, Samuel Townsend [412] and Samuel Philip Townsend [6A03] as members of the 'Record Jury' at the Summer Assizes 1838. The articles are reproduced in his ‘Scrapbook’.

The Tithe Applotment Books in the National Archives of Ireland were compiled between 1823 and 1837 in order to determine the amount which occupiers of agricultural holdings over one acre should pay in tithes to the Church of Ireland. The 1831 record for the Townland of Aghills in the Parish of Castlehaven shows Jonas owning 32 statute acres with a rateable value of £7-1s-2d.

When Jonas died in 1844, he left the estate to his son John [246]. However John pre-deceased his mother Jane who inherited the estate when he died in 1853. Jane died in Dublin on 30 October 1878 and left the Shepperton Estate to Hubert de Burgh Townsend [264]. Page 707 of the Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that the will of "Jane Townsend otherwise Townshend late of Shepperton County Cork", who died on 30 October 1878 at 55 Fitzwilliam Square Dublin was proved at the Principal Registry on 13 December 1878 by the oath of "Frances Georgina Browne (wife of Andrew Browne of Mounthazel Galway and 55 Fitzwilliam Square Dublin) and Denis M'Carthy of Conlagh Cottage County Cork JP the Executors ". Effects under £12,000. Frances Browne was Jane's daughter.

The County and City of Cork Almanac 1843 shows on page 132 that Jonas was a Justice of the Peace - "Townsend Jonas M, Shepperton, Skibbereen". His brothers Henry Townsend [223], Richard Townsend [221], nephew Richard Townsend [236] and cousin Edward Townsend [411] are also listed in the Almanac.

Both Jonas and Jane are buried in St Barrahane's Church, Castletownshend.

(1) The entry for Shepperton in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "John Townsend held this property in fee at the time of Griffith's Valuation, when it was valued at £20 10s. Noted by Lewis as the seat of M. Townsend in 1837 and by Leet as the residence of Jonas M. Townsend in 1814 (page 353 of Ambrose Leet's Directory of Cork 1814). Shepperton is still extant but in poor repair."

(2) He was quite possibly the son of John Digby, of Landenstown, co. Kildare.

(3) The entry for Cahernane in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "Cahernane House was the property of Rev. Richard Herbert at the time of Griffith’s Valuation, when it was valued at £22. Lewis mentions it as the seat of H. Herbert in 1837. Bary indicates that this house, originally built in the early 18th century, was replaced in the 1870s when the present building was constructed. The property was sold by the Herbert family at the end of the 19th century and is now a luxury hotel. See Cahernane."