John Townsend (303)

Date of Birth: ca 1730
Date of Death: ante 1783
Generation: 4th
Residence: Skibbereen? & Courtmacsherry
Father: John Townsend [300]
Mother: Barry, Katherine
  1. Reddish, Elizabeth
  1. Reverend John [309]
  2. Reverend Richard [310]
  3. James [311]
  4. Barbara [312]
  5. Dorothea [313]
  6. Mary [314]
See Also: Table III ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for John Townsend

Elizabeth Reddish was the daughter of Colonel Reddish of London. Elizabeth was born in 1725.

It would appear that when John's father died in 1756 he inherited the Skirtagh property. Evidence for this is contained in an article entitled ‘1798 Leader in Clonakilty: Interesting story of Dr William Callanan’, published in the West Cork newspaper ‘The Southern Star’ in 1978. It records that ‘On February 1st, 1783, John Townshend of Courtmacsherry leased the ‘house, houses, land and glebes in Skirtagh’ to William Callanan’. (1) As noted below Dr Callanan was arrested in 1803 and it would appear that Skirtagh reverted to the family but it is unclear to whom it passed after John died. However, the ‘Register of Trees, Co Cork, 1780 - 1860’ in Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society 1976 Vol. 81, Nos 233-234, pages 39-60 records that "John Townsend" planted 200 trees in Maulnaskehy in 1810 and 1,900 trees in Skirtagh in 1815. It is not clear whether this refers to John's grandson, John Townsend [318] or his nephew John Townsend [316], who was living in Clonakilty at that time.

In ‘An Officer of the Long Parliament’ on page 241 there is a comment that when Philip Townsend [500] was serving with the 22nd Regiment in North America he was constantly sending messages to "Jack Townsend at Mardyke". No other John Townsend fits the parameters. The National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database shows a Mardyke House in Skibbereen belonging to the Townsend estate at the time of Griffith's valuation (1850-58) - "John Sweetman was leasing this property from the Townsend estate at the time of Griffith's Valuation when it was valued at £13 5s. In 1814 Leet refers to it as the seat of Thomas Baldwin. It is no longer extant."

The Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland contains two memorials that refer to 'John Townsend of Mardyke'. Memorial 144451 dated 26 October 1762 concerns settlement of the will of Stephen Bowen of Tanahyin, Cork, with Margaret Bowen, Grace Bowen and Sarah Bowen entitled to £200 each from the estate 'including lands of Killbraker and Ahauren, Co Cork'. John's cousin Edward Mansel Townsend [401] and his wife Anna are also shown as Party 3 in the deed. Memorial 160810 dated 6 April 1766 is an Indenture concerning John's acquisition of 'the 3 plowlands of Dunbaren' from the Driscoll family.

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 records “John Townsend” and ten other members of the family in the list of subscribers: Francis Townsend [125], Cornelius Townsend [139], Richard Townsend [213] or Richard Townsend [219], 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]. This entry might also refer to John Townsend [214].

“John Townsend Esq” is shown as a subscriber to the book ‘The State of The Protestants of Ireland under the late King James’s Government' by William King, Lord Archbishop of Dublin and published by Phineas Bagnell, Cork, in 1768. “In which their carriage towards him is justified, and the absolute necessity of their endeavouring to be freed from his government, and submitting to their present Majesties is demonstrated.” This entry might also refer to John Townsend [214]. Other members of the family who subscribed to this book include Richard Townsend [213], Edward Mansel Townsend [400], Philip Townsend [304], Captain Thomas Townsend [502], Rev Horatio Townsend [600] Rev Edward Synge Townsend [601] and Richard Townsend [6A00].

The Council Book of the Corporation of the City of Cork 1690-1800 by Richard Caulfield records on page 1076 “1 June 1792. That ….. Richard Townsend, Esq., eldest son of John T., Esq., Council- at-Law… be admitted freemen at large”. It is not clear whether or not this refers to John's son Richard Townsend [310]. If it does it indicates that John, like his father, was a barrister. It is thought that John's will was proved in 1783 (2) which predates this entry in the Council Book.

(1) Dr. William Callanan was a well known doctor, prosperous merchant and noted leader of the United Irishmen of the time. Surprisingly, he identified himself with the men of property in their fight against the Whiteboys and took a prominent part in the formation of the Carbery Union in Clonakilty on February 1st, 1792, ‘to keep peace and good order in the neighbourhood.’ However, he was clearly associated with the 1798 Rebellion and was nearly arrested by Samuel Townsend [405] for spreading rumours in Skibbereen that a French invasion force, under the command of General Humbert, had landed at Killala in Co Mayo on 22 August that year. Five years later Dr Callanan was arrested for his association with the United Irishmen movement after Robert Emmet's ill-fated rising in Thomas Street, Dublin, on 23 July 1803.

(2) ' Cork and Ross Wills 1548-1800'. 'An Officer of the Long Parliament' Ch IX p. 217 and 'Pooles of Mayfield' p. 70 refer.