Captain Philip Townsend (500)

Date of Birth: 3 Aug 1700
Date of Death: 20 Jul 1786
Generation: 3rd
Residence: Derry, Rosscabery, Co Cork
Father: Colonel Bryan Townsend [200]
Mother: Synge, Mary
  1. Hungerford, Elizabeth
  1. Doctor Richard [501]
  2. Captain Thomas Hungerford [502]
  3. Reverend Horatio (Horace) [5D00]
  4. Philip [503]
  5. Captain William [504]
  6. Samuel [563]
  7. Susannah [505]
  8. Mary [506]
See Also: Table V ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Captain Philip Townsend

Philip'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.

Page 127 of Gillman's 'Index to the Marriage Licence Bonds of the Diocese of Cork and Ross' records a Marriage Bond dated 1733. Married 25 November 1733 (1) at Brade (Braad) Church near Myross, Co Cork. Philip's younger brother, Horatio Townsend [600], took the service. Elizabeth (Bess) Hungerford was the elder daughter of Thomas Hungerford (2) of The Island (Inchydoney), (1b) Clonakilty, Co Cork and his wife Susannah Becher, whose sister, Elizabeth, married Captain Horatio Townsend [104] in 1670. Elizabeth's sister, Mary Hungerford, married Philip's brother Horatio Townsend [600]. See Burke's Irish Landed Gentry 1912 - Hungerford. See also ‘A Guide to Irish Houses’ by M. Bence-Jones, London, 1988 – “CLONAKILTY cor Inchydoney House. Hungerford 1810? Owned by Col Richard Hungerford, 1690. Owned 1855 by Thomas Hungerford. Rebuilt ca. 1810.”

Philip's eldest 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 Philip and his brothers Samuel Townsend [400] 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.

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.

Philip, like his cousin Samuel Townsend [400], 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. Philip seems to have taken no part in any meetings until 1764 when he was elected Sovereign for that year and again in 1765. 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] and Horatio Townsend [130] were all freemen of the Borough.

In 1726 Philip inherited Derry (6) from his father, who had purchased the property in 1686. It is not known how much land there was attached to the property at that time but the Derry Papers show that Philip signed a 999 lease on 26 March 1740 for lands at Gurranaslotty and Derryanalane at a cost of £1,200. In the lease Philip is shown as "Philip Townsend of Castletownsend, gent". Seven years later he bought these lands for £1,805 and then leased them to his second son, Thomas Hungerford Townsend [502] in October 1769 following his service in the army (7).

An Officer of the Long Parliament' records that Philip was a Captain in General O'Farrel's Regiment 22nd of Foot (The Cheshire Regiment) during the struggle between England and France for supremacy in America (Seven Years War 1756-63) (8). Having previously been stationed in Minorca for 18 years the 22nd Regiment arrived in County Cork in 1749 for garrison duties. According to the Regimental History there were detachments in Cork, Youghal, Macroom, Clonakilty and Kilmeedy. Exactly when Philip joined the regiment is not known and it is strange that, in his middle years and married for many years, he should do so. It could be surmised that the land he bought in 1747 overstretched him financially and he was forced to seek his fortune. One of his letters from America speaks of clearing his debts (see below) and in his will he refers to being indebted to his son Richard for two bonds, totalling £1200.

The 22nd embarked for America at Cork in November 1756 and Philip took with him his son Thomas, then aged 19, as a volunteer leaving the rest of his family in the care of his brother Horatio Townsend [600] whilst he was away. Philip was a prolific writer of letters, many of which are reproduced in 'An Officer of the Long Parliament' and they are fascinating reading. The first of these letters dated 'New York Feb 11 1757' and addressed to 'My Dearest Dear Life' tells of their passage 'of almost fourteen weeks and a great deal of bad weather'.

Just over a year later, in another letter to his wife dated 'Halifax May 2 1758' Philip wrote of a persistent cough that he had contracted the previous winter as well as failing eyesight "I am in good health except a cough I got last winter in that excessive cold. I find no other disorder other than my eyes being so weak that I am forced to use spectacles..." Four months later he wrote from Louisburg to his brother about his illness (9) and the cause of it. Later in the same letter he wrote "I intend applying to General Abercrombie (10) for leave to sell (his commission). I have my Colonel's leave to do so.....Commissions here, when allowed to be sold, sell for about twelve hundred pounds, but the expenses of going home might perhaps reduce it to eleven. This will near clear my debts and if a good farm (11) is to be had I might be able then to live, but as I have them two boys (12) to educate, I don't know but a town life would be best..." The remainder of the letter is a detailed account of the Siege of Louisburg on 8 June 1758. Philip last wrote from America in June 1759 and he sold his commission sometime shortly after on account of poor health, brought about by what he had suffered at Louisburg.

In addition to his letters about his experiences in America, Philip maintained a diary (National Army Museum MSS 8001-30) from 1756 to 1758. Extracts of this can be found in the book Paths of glory: the life and death of General James Wolfe' and the book 'Redcoats: The British Soldier and War in the Americas, 1755-1763' both by Stephen Brumwell.

Philip was elected a Freeman of Youghal in July 1760 along with his kinsmen Richard Townsend [213], John Townsend [214], Richard Townsend [301] and Edward Townsend [401].

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 shows “Philip Townsend of Derry Esq.” as a subscriber. Ten other members of the family are shown in the list of subscribers; Francis Townsend [125], Cornelius Townsend [139], John Townsend [214] or [303], Richard Townsend [213] or [219] or [6A00], Rev Richard Townsend [301], Dr Richard Townsend [501], Thomas Hungerford Townsend [502], Rev Horatio Townsend [5D00], Rev Horatio Townsend [600], Rev Edward Synge Townsend [601].

Philip's will is dated 3 June 1781 and it was proved in Cork on 23 August 1788. (13) In it he declared "I am indebted to my son Richard Townsend by two bonds one in the sum of eight hundred pounds and the other in the sum of four hundred pounds" and he instructed that these were to be repaid from the Derry estate. To his daughters Susan French and Mary Hungerford he left £300 each; these bequests were additional to the £300 the daughters had each received as part of their marriage settlement. To his sons Thomas and Horatio, in his own words he declared - "all the rest and residue of my real estate that I have in the lands of Derry and all my personal fortune I give leave and devise to my two sons Thomas Hungerford Townsend and the Rev Horatio Townsend and their heirs for ever in manner hereinbefore mentioned" (i.e as tenants in common). The only mention of an inheritance for Philip's son William is contained in the phrase "And whereas I have made ample provision for my son William as my circumstances would admit of". A transcription of the will is given in Philip's 'Scrapbook'.

An entry in the Church of Ireland Parish Records Ross Cathedral 1690–1823 records on page 35 under the heading ‘Burials’ "1764 July 26th Elizabeth wife of Captain Phillip Townsend of Derry". A further entry on page 40 records "Burials. 1786 July 20th Captain Phillip Townsend of Derry."

Rather surprisingly, Philip's wallet survives and is in the possession of John Townsend [5A26] (2015) having been passed down by Mary Townsend [506], Eliza Townsend and Rev Thomas Townsend [5A00] - a picture of it can be seen in Philip's 'Scrapbook'.

(1) Given as 28 April 1733 in 'An Officer of the Long Parliament'; 'Burke's Irish Family Records' shows it as 28 November 1733. The service was held at Brade church because, following the early death of her father, Elizabeth's mother, Susannah, married Samuel Jervois of Brade; the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "John Swanton was leasing this property from Rev. Maurice Townsend at the time of Griffith's Valuation, when it was valued at £15 10s. Lewis had noted it as the seat of Rev. E.P. Thompson in 1837. It was the residence of Samuel Jervois in 1814. Taylor and Skinner's 1783 map also indicate it as a Jervois residence. In 1906 it was owned by Katherine Townsend and valued at £44 5s. There is still an extant house at the site. (Maurice Townsend [231] & Katherine Townsend [523])

(2) The entry for Hungerford in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "Burke indicates that this family traditionally claimed descent from the Hungerford family of Farley in Somerset. Captain Thomas Hungerford settled in west Cork in the later seventeenth century.The Hungerfords married into many other influential families in the area including Beecher, Jones and Daunt. Both Mary Sandes Hungerford and Francis Hungerford, of The Island House, Inchydoney, were the owners of over 500 acres in county Cork in the 1870s. Thomas Hungerford was among the principal lessors in the parishes of Castleventry, Island and Ross, barony of East Carbery, at the time of Griffith's Valuation. Both Richard and Beecher Hungerford held townlands in the parish of Kinneigh at that time. Much of this land was held on lease from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. In July 1852 over 800 acres in the parish of Kinneigh, barony of East Carbery, the property of Richard Hungerford, deceased, was offered for sale in the Encumbered Estates Court. Over 300 acres, the property of Alexander George Hungerford, was offered for sale in the court in June 1856 while 560 acres of Thomas Hungerford's estate, located in the barony of East Carbery, was offered for sale in the Landed Estates Court in October 1859."

(3) The entry for Inchydoney in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "At the time of Griffith's Valuation, Thomas Hungerford was leasing this property from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners when it was valued at £22. Described by Lewis as "Island House" and the seat of T. Hungerford in 1837. In 1906 it was owned by Mary Sandes Hungerforde and valued at £31 15s. There is still a house at this location."

(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) The entry for Derry in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "Family records indicate the original house at Derry was bought by Bryan Townsend, son of Richard, the Cromwellian officer, in the 1680s. This house was a short distance from the current house which was built by Reverend Horatio Townsend in the early years of the nineteenth century and was held in fee by Reverend Chambre Townsend in 1851 when it was valued at £44. Earlier, in 1786, Wilson referred to Derry as a Townsend seat. It was substantially damaged when it was burnt in April 1921 during the War of Independence. . At the time it was the residence of Alexander Sullivan, a well-known barrister. In 1944 the Irish Tourist Association Survey noted that it was still derelict following the 1921 burning. The centre portion of the house and a substantial farm still exist at the site."

(7) Derry Papers DD/30, DD/35 and DD/37.

(8) Philip's nephew Samuel Townsend [403] also saw active service during the Seven Years War at the Siege of Belle Isle on 7th June 1761, when he was ADC to Major General Kingsley.

(9) Later in the letter he wrote "my disorder was so lingering that until within this fortnight or three weeks I had such a tremor that I could scarce write..."

(10) He must have got this wrong because General Amherst was the commander at the Siege of Louisberg.

(11) Why Philip should wish to buy a farm when he had the property at Derry is enigmatic.

(12) Horatio Townsend [5D00] aged 9 and William Townsend [504] aged 7.

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

For other Hungerford connections see Barbara Townsend [210], Richard Townsend [315], Richard Boyle Townsend [332], Horatio Townsend [600].

'An Officer of the Long Parliament' Ch XI p. 240-54 refers