John Sealy Townsend (333)

Date of Birth: 25 Jun 1805
Date of Death: 27 Apr 1883
Generation: 6th
Residence: Blessington Street, Dublin
Father: Commander John Townsend [316]
Mother: Eleanor Townsend [510]
  1. Fleming, Martha
  2. Daunt, Eliza Alicia
    • Judith Eleanor Anne [372]
See Also: Table III ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for John Sealy Townsend

Married 1st 15 December 1838. Martha Judith Fleming (1) was the daughter of Becher Fleming (2) of Newcourt (3), near Skibbereen. See 1958 Edn Burke's Irish Family Records - Fleming. Married 2nd 25 April 1867 in Christchurch, Kilbrogan, Bandon. Eliza Alicia Daunt (4) was the daughter of George Digby Daunt (5) of Broomley (6), Tracton and Helena Townsend [619]. Eliza's great-great grandmother was Penelope Townsend [119].

Alumni Trinity College Dublin from Co Cork and Kerry 1593-1860 in Dr Casey's Collection records that John taught himself before he entered Trinity College, Dublin, on 16 October 1826 aged 20 as a pensioner who paid a fixed sum annually for his studies. The TCD Graduation List records that he qualified BA in Summer 1831. John FitzHenry Townsend [250] and Thomas Townsend [5A00] were undergraduates at Trinity at the same time.

'Gray's Inn Admissions Register 1551-1889' records on page 443 that John was admitted on 19 November 1831; he qualified as a Barrister in Trinity 1834 (7), like his distant cousin John FitzHenry Townsend who was an exact contemporary. Similarly, like John FitzHenry, John was also a major contributor to 'An Officer of the Long Parliament'.

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’. Press cuttings covering these meetings (all shown in John’s ‘Scrapbook’) between December 1828 and October 1834 include (with attendees shown in brackets):

Bandon Brunswick Constitutional Club (7a) Meeting on Monday 22 December 1828 - Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier of 23 December 1828 and Dublin Evening Mail of 31 December 1828. (John S. Townsend, Samuel Townsend jnr and Thomas Somerville)

Protestant Conservative Society of Cork Meeting in the Imperial Clarence Rooms, Cork in August 1832 - Dublin Weekly Mail of 11 August 1832. (Samuel Townsend, Samuel Townshend and Thomas Townsend)

County and City of Cork Protestant Meeting in June 1834 - Dublin Evening Packet & Correspondent of 1 July 1834. (Thomas Townsend and George Digby Daunt)

Protestant Meeting in Bandon on Tuesday 7 October 1834 - Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier of 11 October 1834. (Samuel Townsend, Samuel Townshend, John Townsend and Thomas Townsend)

The common theme throughout was affirmation of Protestant loyalty to the crown and a commitment to take whatever measures were necessary “to preserve the remnants of the constitution and maintain the integrity of the United Kingdom” in “defence of our liberties and the safety of the Glorious Constitution under which we live”. As shown above, several members of the family (7b) attended these meetings but it is not possible to identify them precisely in every case, though eloquent statements by “John Townsend Esq son of the Recorder of Clonakilty” are reported verbatim in the press reports of the meetings in Bandon and these can certainly be ascribed to John.

Opposition to Roman Catholic emancipation was not confined to the laity. The Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier of 20 March 1827 reports that the Bishop and seventy-seven members of the clergy, including Richard Boyle Townsend [332], Chambre Corker Townsend [5D01] and Robert St Lawrence (husband of Elizabeth Townsend [235]), 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 Horatio Townsend [5D00] as the incumbent!

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.

The Derry Papers show that between 1800 and 1823 the advice of John's namesake, John Sealy Townsend [507] was frequently sought on a wide range of legal issues relating to the lands at Derry by Thomas Hungerford Townsend [502], Horatio Townsend [5D00] and Chambre Corker Townsend [5D01]. John Sealy senior retired in 1846 aged 82 and it was in May of that same year that Chambre Corker Townsend wrote to John Sealy junior at 11 Hardwick Street, Dublin, with directions on the provisions of his will (8). The papers show that contact was maintained with the Derry Branch of the family for many years after.

'Pettigrew & Oultons Directory 1842' records "Townsend John Sealy jun. 20 Hardwick Street. T 1834."

Shaw's Dublin City Directory, 1850’ records “Townsend. John Fitzhenry, 26 Hatch Street [250]; John Sealy Esq, Kilvare, Templeogue [507]; John Sealy, jun, 11 Hardwicke Street”.

John died at 29 Blessington Street, Dublin. Thom's Dublin Street Directory 1862 shows the rateable value as 38 shillings. Entry in the diary of Agnes Townsend [334] - 'April 27 1883 JST died'.

Page 854 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 "John Sealy Townsend late of 29 Blessington Street Dublin BL", who died on 27 April 1883, were granted at the Principal Registry on 5 July 1883 to "Judith Eleanor Anne Townsend Queens College Galway (wife of Edward Townsend Professor in said College) the Child". Effects Nil. How strange that a barrister should die without making a valid will and without any effects!

Eliza was living at 94, Drumcondra Road, Dublin in 1898 (9) and the April 1901 Irish Census shows her still living there as a lodger living off the income from investments. She died there on 17 June 1904. The Times of London dated June 20 1904 records: “Deaths – Townsend – On 17 June at 94, Drumcondra Road, Dublin, Elizabeth Alicia Townsend, age 85, widow of the late John Sealy Townsend, Barrister, and last surviving child of George Digby Daunt of Kinsale and the old 97th Regiment. Funeral today (Monday) at Mount Jerome.”

Page 482 of The Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that Probate of the will of "Elizabeth Alicia Townsend late of 94 Drumcondra Road Dublin Widow”, who died on 17 June 1904, was granted at Dublin on 16 July 1904 to "Elliot Daunt MD". Effects £1,344 0s 8d.

(1) Martha's grandmother was Mary Townsend [506] who married Thomas Somerville of Castlehaven; Martha's brother, Lionel Fleming, married Eliza Townsend [5D05]. The entry for Fleming in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "The Fleming estate in county Cork amounted to over 3000 acres in the 1870s. Lionel B. Fleming was one of the principal lessors in the parishes of Aghadown and Kilmoe, West Carbery, at the time of Griffith's Valuation."

(2) U.H. Hussey de Burgh's ‘Landowners of Ireland 1878' records "Fleming, Becher Lionel, BA (Dublin): JP - Newcourt, Skibbereen; County Club, Cork; Irish Chapel Club, Dublin."

(3) The entry for Newcourt in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "At the time of Griffith's Valuation, Lionel Fleming held this property in fee, when it was valued at £22. Both Lewis, in 1837, and Leet in 1814, noted it as the seat of Beecher Fleming. It is shown on Taylor and Skinner's 1783 map apparently the residence of a Tenson family. It was owned by the representatives of Beecher Fleming in 1906 when it was valued at £28 5s. Bence-Jones notes that this house is now demolished though a farm exists at the site."

(4) Eliza was born 17 November 1818.

(5) The entry for Daunt (Kinsale) in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "Originally a Gloucestershire family, the Daunt family appear in county Cork in the early seventeenth century, notably Thomas of Owlpen Manor in Gloucestershire and Tracton Abbey, county Cork. Several members of the family owned property in the Kinsale area in the 1870s. These included the representatives of Achilles, who owned over 2000 acres and George A. who owned over 1000 acres. George A. Achilles and Arthur Daunt were among the principal lessors in the parishes of Ballyfeard, Ringcurran and Tracton, barony of Kinalea, at the time of Griffith's Valuation. Thomas and George held townlands in the parish of Cullen at the same time while Thomas was also a lessor in the parish of Carrigaline, barony of Kerrycurrihy. William Henry Daunt of Fahalin, Carrigaline owned 1,372 acres in county Cork in the 1870s."

(6) The National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "George Daunt was leasing Broomley from Rev. Thomas Townsend at the time of Griffith's Valuation, when it was valued at £18. Lewis refers to it as his seat in 1837." This is Thomas Townsend [6B03].

(7) The following were also barristers practicing in Dublin in this period: John FitzHenry Townshend [250], John Sealy Townsend [507], Richard Townsend [513] and Horatio Townsend [623]. Horace Payne Townshend [5D12] qualified as a barrister but does not appeared to have practiced.

(7a) First conceived in September 1828 Brunswick Constitutional Clubs were established in Ireland to deny Roman Catholics the right to enter both Houses of Parliament. About 200 clubs were established with a total membership of about 150,000 but they became defunct following the Catholic Relief Act 1829.

(7b) 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], and Thomas Somerville (probably the husband of Henrietta Augusta Townsend [234]

(8) Derry Papers 5D01/5. Letter dated 16 May 1846 from Chambre Corker Townsend to John Sealy Townsend.

(9) Llanvapley Papers. Letter to Edward Mansel Townsend [630] dated 1 April 1898.

'An Officer of the Long Parliament' Ch IX p. 224-25 and 'Pooles of Mayfield' p. 225, where his life span is shown as 1803-1885, refer.

Judge John FitzHenry Townsend [250] shows John's birth as 1810.

Agnes Townsend [334] shows the birth of a stillborn son on 2 August 1843. - "Matty Townsend has a stillborn son."

For other Fleming connections see Eliza Townsend [5D05] and Horatio Hamilton Townsend [6B05].

For other Daunt Connections see Penelope Townsend [119], Maria Margaretta Townsend [212], Helena Townsend [218], Helena Herbert Townsend [619], and Richard Townsend [6A00].