Elizabeth Anne Townshend (235)

Date of Birth: 1790
Date of Death: dsp 12 Jan 1885
Generation: 6th
Residence: Murragh, Brussles and Castletownshend
Father: Richard Boyle Townsend [219]
Mother: Newenham, Henrietta
  1. St Lawrence, Robert Kingsborough
Issue: None
See Also: Table II ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Elizabeth Anne Townshend

Married 3 September 1850. Rev Robert Kingsborough St Lawrence (1) Rector of Murragh, Bandon, Co Cork. See Burke's Irish Landed Gentry 1912 - Gaisford St Lawrence.

According to page 184 of 'An Officer of the Long Parliament' Elizabeth and her sister Henrietta Augusta Townsend [234] where famed for their beauty. When they were presented at Court, Anthony St Leger (2), the Queen's Chamberlain, standing by said " Those are the two young ladies from Ireland I mean to marry". To which Queen Charlotte replied "You have very good taste Mr St Leger". Elizabeth was also renowned for her wit as well as her beauty.

According to Edward Mansel Townshend [630] (2) Elizabeth conducted an 'incessant correspondence' with Elise Townshend, wife of Samuel Thomas Townshend [443], who had "a system of secret enquiry, into the lives and doings of others, which was as unhappy, as it was misleading and unprofitable".

Robert was appointed Rector of Murragh on 7 July 1826 and remained in the Parish until 1860.

As explained in the ‘Background History’ page, the Act of Union in 1801 and successive reforming measures in the early years of the century drove the Anglo-Irish Protestant community into a position of permanent political minority. Fearing that their ascendancy was being eroded, meetings were held during the early decades of the century seeking to affirm and uphold the integrity of the ‘Protestant Constitution and State’. Reports of these meetings in County Cork between December 1828 and October 1834 can be seen in the record for John Sealy Townsend [333] and those members of the family who attended them are shown at Footnote 3. In addition, the Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier of 20 March 1827 reports that the Bishop and seventy seven members of the clergy, including Richard Townsend [332], Chambre Corker Townsend [5D01] and Elizabeth’s husband, Robert, signed a “Petition of the Protestant Clergy of the United Dioceses of Cork & Ross against Catholic Emancipation” which was submitted to the House of Commons on 2 March 1827. The list of signatories also includes a ‘Thomas Townsend, Prebendary of Island’; this is wrong as page 487 of Volume 2 Brady’s Clerical and Parochial Records shows Rev Horatio Townsend [5D00] as the incumbent!

The Cork County Election of 16 July 1841 returned Daniel O’Connell and Edmund Roche as MPs. This result was challenged by Nicholas Leader and Robert Longfield who claimed there were serious irregularities during the election. The Select Committee set up to investigate this published their report 27 May 1842 and found in favour of O’Connell and Roche. The Poll Books, recording how electors had voted, were included with this report and show that John Townsend [316] (entry 48 on page 182), Richard Boyle Townsend [332] (entry 62 on page 183]), Thomas Townsend [319] (entry 38 on page 182), Edward Henry Townsend [411] (entry 40 on page 182), Chambre Corker Townsend [5D01] (entry 70 on page 183), Philip Townsend [613] (entry 75 on page 200) and Robert St Lawrence (later husband of Elizabeth Townshend [235] {entry 110 on page 183}) all voted for Nicholas Leader and Robert Longfield. The report shows that the value of Murragh Glebe, where Elizabeth and Robert were living, was £50.

Elizabeth and Robert later lived in Brussels where her charming manners and conversation made her most popular. Robert died there on 21 June 1886. Page 206 of The Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that Letters of Administration of the personal estate of "the Reverend Robert Kingsboro St Lawrence late of Brussels, Belgium", who died on 21 June 1866 at same place were granted at the Principal Registry on 26 November 1866 to “Frances Elizabeth Tighe of Grove Passage West in the county of Cork Widow the Sister and one of the next of kin.” Effects under £600.

Elizabeth returned to Ireland and was living at Shanna Court, Castletownshend when she died (4). In her will she left £5,000 (2005 equivalent about £313,250) to her great nephew Maurice Fitzgerald Townsend [263].

(1) Robert was born on 29 September 1797 and died in June 1886. He was the third son of Rt Rev Thomas St Lawrence DD Bishop of Cork and Ross who was born in 1755 and married Frances, eldest daughter and co-heir of Rev Henry Coglan DD.

(2) 'A Protestant Auto-Biography by the Rev E Mansel Townshend'.

(3) John Sealy Townsend [333] and Samuel Townsend [412] can be positively identified. The other contenders are Samuel Townsend [405] or Samuel Townsend [6A03], Thomas Townsend [319] or Thomas Townsend [509], Thomas Somerville (probably the husband of Henrietta Augusta Townsend [234]) and George Digby Daunt (husband of Helena Herbert Townsend [619]). Not all members of the family shared such views and press cuttings from the Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier and Dublin Evening Packet & Correspondent in 1828 and 1829 respectively show that Horatio Townsend [6B01] and Edward Richard Townsend [6C00] were among the many Protestant Liberals who took a much more conciliatory approach to Roman Catholic emancipation.

(4) Entry in the diary of Agnes Townsend [334] - 'Jany 1885 Mrs St Laurence died.'