Samuel Richard Townsend (421)

Date of Birth: 12 Jul 1833 (32?)
Date of Death: dunm 27 Feb 1879
Generation: 7th
Residence: Whitehall (1), Co Cork
Father: Edward Henry Townsend [411]
Mother: Warren, Mary Cordelia
Spouse: Unmarried
Issue: None
See Also: Table IV ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Samuel Richard Townsend

Samuel was commissioned in the North Cork Regiment of Militia (Rifles) on 12 April 1864. He was last mentioned in the Army List in 1874 and the London Gazette 24055 of 20 January 1874 shows him resigning his commission as a Lieutenant on 21st January. The North Cork Rifles were raised in 1793 and based in Mallow and later became 9th Battalion The Kings Royal Rifle Corps

Other than the vague details of his service with the North Cork Rifles, nothing is known about Samuel except what was written about him by Edward Mansel Townshend [630] in his autobiography (2) after he visited Samuel's sister Anna Townsend [423] at Whitehall in 1882. "When visiting the old place, as a boy of 22, I managed to rummage out the old Family Portraits, at Whitehall.....The sad thing was, that my Cousin Annie’s only Brother, Samuel, had been a foolish, dissipated fellow, and he and his friends, when half intoxicated, had badly damaged these interesting old Pictures with their Revolvers! I was successful, some time after this visit, in persuading Mr. Hill, the well known Picture Restorer of Bath, to agree to restore and re-frame these interesting old Pictures, for a nominal sum, to which my Cousin Anna agreed......It was small wonder that poor Samuel Townshend died young, leaving no son to carry on the name. I felt very sorry for this unfortunate Sister (Anna). She had a married Sister, a Mrs. Hughes (Charlotte Townsend [422]), whose son, Piers Townshend Hughes, seemed likely to inherit the property, and came on a visit there, shortly after my arrival. I was very fond of bathing, and used to go out for a swim, off the big Boat in the Harbour, every day, before Breakfast, and while there, Piers accompanied me, though I think he bathed off the shore".

In his book “The Irish Country House” Peter Somerville Large wrote about Samuel, in similar vein as Edward Townsend – “Sam, known as the good drunkard, had among his other sins, shot out the eyes of the family portraits”

Samuel inherited Whitehall from his father in 1857. In another part of his autobiography Edward Mansel describes the property. "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."

There is a curious tale reported in the Zoologist Vol 19, 1861, p 7354. There were a number of hoax tales around about serpents at the time and this seems to have been one of them! "A Sea Serpent. - As Samuel Townsend, Esq., J.P., of Whitehall, was sailing in Whitehall Harbour, he saw, following his wake, what appeared to him (from the many descriptions he had read of the monster) to be a sea serpent about twenty-five or thirty feet in length ; and being in a small boat he endeavoured to keep as respectful a distance as possible. There was, however, another boat in the harbour at the time, in which was Mr. Samuel Hingston, his brother, Mr. John Hingston (of Trinity College, Dublin), and a party of ladies. These parties also saw the huge monster; and upon raising its neck about six feet above the surface the females became greatly alarmed, when Mr. John Hingston, who is a remarkably good shot, fired at it, upon which it immediately disappeared. Mr. Townsend informed us the serpent presented a beautiful appearance, having large, brilliant scales of a yellow hue, and is of opinion it was struck by the shot fired by Mr. Hingston. It was likewise distinctly seen from the windows of Whitehall House. Mr. Robert Atkins told us he saw it the day before off Barlogue.-' Skibbtreen Eagle,' as quoted in the ' Cork Constitution of Sept., 1860."

'Thom's Irish Almanac and Official Directory for the Year 1862' shows in the section headed 'Magistrates' "Townsend, Samuel Richard, White Hall, Skibbereen". Robert H Laing’s Cork Mercantile Directory 1863 records on page189 the following as Magistrates: ‘Townsend Henry J, Castletownshend’, ‘Townsend, Horace, Derry, Rosscarbery; Union Club, London SW’, ‘Townsend, Horatio DL, Woodside, Cork’, ‘Townsend, J Handcock, Myross Wood, Leap’, ‘Townsend, John Henry, Dunbeacon, Ballydehob’, ‘Townsend, Richard, Clontaff, Union Hall, Leap’, ‘Townsend, Saml, Blackrock, Cork’, ‘Townsend, Samuel Richd, Whitehall, Skibbereen’.

The 'Register of Landowners in County Cork 1876' shows that Samuel's estate of 741 acres was valued at £685 - 10s. (2005 equivalent - £49,525).

An article in The Skibbereen and West Carberry Eagle records that a Grand Masonic Concert in aid of the Masonic Female Orphan Asylum Cork was held in the New Lecture Hall, Mardyke, Skibbereen on 9 April 1863. The following members of the family were amongst those who patronised the concert. Thomas Somerville, husband of Henrietta Augusta Townsend [234], Thomas Somerville of The Prairie, son of Henrietta Anna Townsend [242], William Warren of Clontaff, husband of Elizabeth Hildegardis Townsend [244], Samuel Richard Townsend [421], Lionel John Fleming of Newcourt, husband of Eliza Townsend [5D05] and Horace Townsend of Derry [5D12]. The cutting is reproduced in individual ‘Scrapbooks’.

Samuel died at Whitehall. Page 716 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 "Samuel Richard Townsend late of Whitehall", who died on 27 February 1879, were granted at Cork on 30 May 1879 to "Anne Mercy Townsend of the same place (Skibbereen) Spinster Sister of the deceased". Effects under £1,500.

(1) The entry for Whitehall in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster 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) 'A Protestant Auto-Biography by the Rev E Mansel Townshend'.