Samuel Townsend (400)

Date of Birth: 23 Sep 1692
Date of Death: 1759
Generation: 3rd
Residence: Whitehall, Skibbereen, Co Cork
Father: Colonel Bryan Townsend [200]
Mother: Synge, Mary
  1. Mansel, Dorothea
  1. Edward Mansel (Splendid Ned) [401]
  2. John [402]
  3. Lieutenant General Samuel [403]
  4. Dorothea [404]
See Also: Table IV ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Samuel Townsend JP

Samuel's date of birth is taken from an entry, in contemporary writing, on the fly leaf of a copy of 'The Christian Pattern or Imitation of Jesus Christ' - London 1707 and this is confirmed in 'Pooles of Mayfield'. Judge John FitzHenry Townsend [250] shows Samuel's birth as September 1689/92.

Married ca 1725. Dorothea Mansel was the daughter of Sir Edward Mansel, 4th Baronet of Muddlescombe, Carmarthenshire. She was godmother to Mary Townsend [506].

Samuel's brother, Richard Townsend [201], stipulated in his will that if he died before his son Richard [213] had come of age, his wife Elizabeth was to act as the sole legatee and guardian of the children. If she were to die before young Richard came of age then Samuel and his brothers Philip Townsend [500] and Horatio Townsend [600] were appointed guardians. Richard died in 1742 and Elizabeth died the following year when her son Richard was about 17 years old. Thus Samuel and his brothers had responsibility for the children for the next 4 years when nephew Richard came of age in about 1747.

Samuel settled at Whitehall (1), formerly Rincolisky (2), a substantial property with stunning views overlooking Roaring Water Bay. The house previously belonged to Samuel's cousin, James Copinger, the son of Dominic Copinger and his wife Dorothea Townsend [112] but was forfeited by James in 1690 because of his loyalty to the Catholic cause. Thus it must have been strange for Samuel, the grandson of a Parliamentarian (Colonel Richard Townsend [100]), and his wife Dorothea, the grand-daughter of a man who died fighting for the Royalist cause, to own an estate that had been forfeited by Samuel's cousin.

It is not known exactly when and how Samuel acquired Whitehall. However, the Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland records three entries relating to the acquisition and disposal of various lands between 1717 and 1754 involving Samuel. Memorial Number 64377 dated 17 July 1738 - a complicated lease of forfeited land to the Earl of Barrymore by 'Samuel Townsend of Kincoolisky,Cork'. (3) Memorial 112656 dated 4 February 1754 - purchase of some 10000 acres for £1,000. Memorial 112551 dated 12 April 1754 - raising of a mortgage of £800 from Samuel in respect of 'Shane Gashill, By Muskerry'.

Page 229 of The Council Book of the Corporation of Kinsale edited by Richard Caulfield records that Samuel was elected a Burgess of the town on 29 May 1726(?) And his brother Richard Townsend [201] was elected a Burgess on 18 November that same year.

According to his great, great, great grandson, Samuel Nugent Townsend [432], being a man of culture and taste, and much influenced by the prevailing Italian style following his extensive travels in Italy, Samuel made many alterations to Whitehall to reflect this - in particular a double staircase and pilasters painted to look like marble. A miniature painted in Italy shows he must have been a singularly handsome man looking very splendid in a blue velvet coat and powdered wig with large blue eyes and a short, proud upper lip.

In 1896 Dorothea Townshend, the wife of Richard Baxter Townshend [5D15], wrote six articles entitled ‘Notes on the Council Book of Clonakilty’ for inclusion in the ‘Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society’ that year. (4) Thirteen members of the family were elected to serve on the council between 1686, when Colonel Richard Towensend [100] was elected Sovereign (Portreeve) and 1802 when the Rev Horatio Townsend [5D00] was the last Sovereign; of these, seven served as Sovereign. The Council met on average about four times each year with St James’ Day on 25 July and St Luke’s Day on 28 October as regular fixtures. There is a gap in the records between February 1730 and 1802 though it is recorded that Philip Townsend [500] was Sovereign in 1764 and 1765.

Samuel, like his cousin Philip Townsend [500], was elected a Freeman of the borough on 3 October 1717. (5) This was the last time that their father, Colonel Bryan Townsend [200], attended a council meeting. Samuel seems to have taken no part in any meetings thereafter, unlike his kinsmen. His cousin John FitzCornelius Townsend [122], his brothers Richard Townsend [201] & John Townsend [300] and his nephews Francis Townsend [125], the Rev Butler Townsend [126], Cornelius Townsend [128] & Horatio Townsend [130] were all freemen of the Borough.

Appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1737, page 317 of Francis G Tuckey's "Tuckey's Cork Remembrancer" records that Samuel was High Sheriff of Cork in 1742.

The book “The Ancient and Present State of the County and City of Cork” was published in 1749 in Dublin and was dedicated to John, Earl of Orrery. The list of subscriber’s names on page xii includes ‘Horatio Townsend Esq’, ‘Samuel Townsend Esq’ and ‘Cornelius Townsend Esq’. These refer to Cornelius Townsend [128], Horatio Townsend [130] and Samuel Townsend [400]. The list of "Gentlemen now in the Commission of the Peace in this County" on page 69 includes 'Townshend Corn Esq', 'Townshend Horatio Esq' and 'Townshend Revd. Horatio' (Horatio Townsend [600]). The spelling of 'Townsend' varies even in the same book!

In his autobiography (6) Edward Mansel Townshend [630] describes Whitehall as he saw it when he visited in 1882. “Whitehall, is a delightfully romantic old House, looking out to Cape Clear, from a Cove of Roaring Water Bay, amid ‘Carbery and its Hundred Isles’, The rooms are almost palatial in size, all of them 15 ft., high, on the ground floor, and the Drawing Room and Dining Room, each 25 ft., long, by about 18 ft., wide, preceded by an Ante room, about 15 ft. square and as high."

Samuel's will was proved in Cork in 1759 and Dorothea's was proved in 1768(7).

(1) The entry for Whitehall in the University of alway Landed Estates Database records "Edward Townsend held this property in fee at the time of Griffith's Valuation, when it was valued at £22. Lewis noted it as the residence of S. Townsend in 1837. In 1906 it was owned by the representatives of Samuel R. Townsend and valued at £21. Bence-Jones indicates that it later became the property of the Alleyne family." Horatio Townsend [5D00] describes Whitehall on page 342 of his book 'Statistical Survey of the County of Cork' - "Whitehall, the seat of Samuel Townsend, Esq. stands on the east side of Rincolisky, or Roaringwater Bay. It enjoys every advantage of land and water, but from the nature of its situation is unfavourably circumstanced for the growth of trees. The upper part of the ground commands one of the grandest prospects to be found any where, an immense expanse of water extending from Cape Clear on one side to the Mizen-head upon the other. The depth of this great bay is proportioned to its breadth, its shores are diversified by many jutting points and headlands, on several of which are ruined castles, and its ample bosom is inlaid with a great number of verdant islands, of different sizes and shapes. The cape forms a fine termination to the land view on the left, and the rocky summit of Mountgabriel appears to great advantage in the back ground on the right. Some of the islands are large, and contain a great many inhabitants; others small, and used only for summer feeding, are remarkable for the richness of their pasture. Exclusive of these considerations, they are extremely useful in breaking the force of the sea, and forming many secure stations for vessels." The property was sold out of the family in the early 20th century by Piers Townsend Hughes-Townsend son of Charlotte Frances Townsend [422].

(2) In the Townsend family there is a legend of a tunnel connecting the house with the old castle. When one of the family tried to explore it two servant boys ran ahead and were lost in the darkness, never to be seen again.

(3) Abstract of the deed - In 1717 Francis Bernard and his son leased land to James O'Shea (died 16 May 1717) of Kilkerane (Kilcrohane?) who willed the land to his son, Matthew O'Shea of Kilkerane. John English of Castletownshend presented a bill in the court complaining that the Bernards had leased these lands to "a papist" contrary to the statute to prevent the growth of popery. John English claimed the lands leased to Matthew O'Shea for Samuel Townsend of Kincoolisky (Rincolisky) who leased them to James, 4th Earl of Barrymore and his son, David. Is there a connection here with the lands at Kilcrane settled on Samuel's uncle Cornelius Townsend [108] at the time of his marriage by his father Colonel Richard Townesend [100]?

(4) They can be read in the Journal at pages 79-84, 129-135, 172-177, 22-224, 270-273 and 320-322. Dorothea’s interpretation of the election of individuals differs from that in these records, particularly in references to “John Townsend”. Since 1896 evidence has come to light that makes identification of him more plausible and this is explained in the records for John FitzCornelius Townsend [122] and John Townsend [300].

(5) The entry in the Council Book reads - "At a court there held, and pursuant to a warrant to the suffrain, directed and grounded on His Majesty’s writ of summons for electing a burgess out of the most discreet men of this borough to appear in this present parliament now sitting in Dublin, in the room of Sir Ralph Freke deceased, we, burgesses and freemen, have elected and chosen Richard Cox Esq to be our representative in this present parliament in the room of the said Sir Ralph Freke. Dated this 3rd day of October 1717. At the same court Capt Morgan Donovan, Mr Samuel Townsend and Mr Philip Townsend are sworn freeman. Arnold Gookin, suffrain.”

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

(7) 'Cork and Ross Wills 1548-1800'.

'An Officer of the Long Parliament' Ch X p. 230-32 refers.