Thomas Townsend (509)

Date of Birth: 1770
Date of Death: 13 Apr 1847
Generation: 5th
Residence: Clyda, Mallow, Co Cork and Dublin
Father: Doctor Richard Townsend [501]
Mother: Sealy, Eleanor
  1. Uniacke, Martha
  1. Doctor Richard Uniacke [517]
  2. Reverend Thomas Uniacke [5A00]
  3. Horatio Uniacke [5B00]
  4. William Uniacke [5B01]
  5. Sealy Uniacke [518]
  6. Philip Uniacke [519]
  7. Charles Uniacke [5C00]
  8. Elizabeth [520]
  9. Eleanor [521]
  10. Mary [522]
  11. Redmond Uniacke [5A44]
See Also: Table V ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Thomas Townsend

Married 1799. Martha Uniacke (1) was the daughter of Redmond Uniacke (2 & 3) of Old Court (4), Co Cork. See Burke's Irish Landed Gentry 1912 - Uniacke of Mount Uniacke.

In an undated letter to Dorothea, wife of Richard Baxter Townsend [5D15], the Reverend HJ Fleming, Dean of Cloyne, wrote "Mr Thomas Townsend married a Miss Uniacke and from him the large and clever clan of Uniacke Townsends are descended."(5)

Known as Thomas of Clyda in the family, details of his early life are sketchy. At the bottom of theses notes are several references to ‘Thomas Townsend’ but they cannot be corroborated. Clyda is situated on the western outskirts of Mallow, Co Cork (6). The entry for Mallow in Pigot's Provincial Directory 1824 shows "Townsend Thomas Esq. Retreat.” Clyda, a single story hipped-roof lodge, belonged originally in the early nineteenth century to the Haines family but was sublet to a succession of tenants; in 1814 to Joseph Barry, later to Thomas and by 1837 to the Rev Michael Henry Becher.

As described on the page ‘Background History’, events in Ireland in the last decade of the 18th century convinced the Prime Minister in Westminster, William Pitt, that the only way to solve unrest in the country was to get the Irish Parliament to pass an Act of Union. He thought that Irish Catholics would be better off as a minority in the United Kingdom, rather than a majority in Ireland. Thomas, and six of his kinsmen (7), supported this and they, along with several hundred fellow landowners in Co Cork, published a proclamation supporting union in The Belfast Newsletter dated Tuesday 30 July 1799. A copy of the proclamation is reproduced in Thomas’s ‘Scrapbook’.

It would appear from the following entry in The Gentleman’s and Citizen’s Almanac compiled by John Watson Stewart, published in Dublin in 1800, that Thomas qualified in law in 1797, when he would have been 27. The Almanac records on page 120 under the heading ‘Judges and Barristers’ - “T. 1780 Townsend (James) London, M.1767 Townsend (John) Cork, M. 1787 Townsend (John Sealy) Baggot Street and H. 1797 Townsend (Thomas)”. A facsimile of the Almanac is shown in Thomas’s 'Scrapbook'. (8)

On 31 January 1831, aged 61, Thomas wa enrolled as 'Examiner' to his brother John Sealy Townsend [507]. The Abstract and Miscellaneous Rolls of Chancery 1830 to 1837 records on page 12 “44. Appointment by John Sealy Townsend, Master in Chancery, of Thomas Townsend to be his Clerk and Examiner, during pleasure; with all fees and emoluments. - Dated 29th, and enrolled 31st January 1831. Page 137.” 'The Belfast Street Directory 1843' (Dublin entries) records "Master in Chancery. John S. Townsend, esq., 24 Merrion Square, South. His Examiner, T. Townsend, Sandford." Thomas would have been 73 in 1843.

In 'Parliamentary Papers: 1780-1849 Volume 48', Schedule 1 Entry No 6 on page 8 of Returns from The Several Officers of The Court of Chancery in Ireland June 1834 records Thomas’s income and expenditure for the years 1831 to 1833; net income for these years respectively was £491-17s-3d, £520-2s-0d and £545-15s-4d. A return for John Sealy Townsend [507] is shown at Entry No 5.

An Indenture of 28 March 1818 in the Derry Papers (9) records:-

"Whereas under and by virtue of certain settlements executed in the year 1808 on the marriage of Dr Richard Townsend ..... two charges affecting the lands of Derry, part of the estate of the Rev Horatio Townsend and amounting together to the sum of £1,000 were amongst other sums duly vested for the trusts and purposes therein mentioned … and whereas the account trusts now being fulfilled and at an end, the said sums have been distributed and the lands handed (?) over to the Rev Horatio Townsend. Now know ye all men that we John Sealy Townsend and Thomas Townsend ..... in our capacity as trustees .. do discharge our duties."

The Tithe Applotment Books in the National Archives of Ireland were compiled between 1823 and 1837 in order to determine the amount which occupiers of agricultural holdings over one acre should pay in tithes to the Church of Ireland. The 1823 entry for the Parish of Mallow shows Thomas owning a very small plot of land rated at 3 shillings and one penny in the townland of Ballydaheen .

The archives of the Royal Cork Yacht Club record that Thomas was living at Mallow in 1828 for they show "Thomas Townsend – admitted a member in 1812" and "Thomas Townsend – requested to attend a committee meeting in October 1828." This could refer to Thomas Townsend [319] or a different 'Thomas Townsend' outside the family.

Freemason records show that a 'Philip Townsend' and a 'Thomas Townsend' were masons in the Mallow Lodge (No 99) in 1808. Freemasonry runs quite strongly in the family and these entries probably refer to Thomas and his kinsman Rev Philip Townsend [613]

Birth, marriage and death records in the Mallow Heritage Centre show the birth of all Thomas' children except Eleanor, Sealy and Horatio; the latest of these births is that of Charles Townsend [5C00] in 1829 when Thomas would have been 58.

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’. Thomas attended several of these meetings, between December 1828 and October 1834, which are shown in the ‘Scrapbook’ for John Sealy Townsend [333]). 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”.

The book ‘ Picturesque Views of the Antiquities of Ireland’ by James Harding, from the sketches of Robert Newenham, published by Thomas and William Boone, Strand, London, in 1830 shows the following members of the family amongst the list of subscribers. Thomas Townsend Esq. Mallow, Richard Townsend Esq. MD. Clare Street and John Sealy Townsend Esq. M.Cy. Merrion Square. (John Sealy and Thomas were brothers and Richard was the son of the latter.)

Thomas died in Dublin and is buried in the Mount Jerome Cemetery.

Uncorroborated references to ‘Thomas Townsend’.

The records of the South Cork Light Infantry Militia show a 'Thomas Townsend’ commissioned as Ensign in 1806 - this is unlikely to be Thomas as he would have been 37 at the time. The Militia Act of 1793 sets forth that-"Every person who has been or shall hereafter be appointed an Officer of the Militia of any of the ranks following, shall be in possession of an estate for his own life or the life of another, or for some greater estate in land or heritage's in the United Kingdom of the yearly value hereinafter mentioned in connection with such respective rank, or be heir apparent of some person who shall be in possession of a life estate in property of the like yearly value. For an Ensign the sum was £20 a year, or heir to £200 personal property a year.”

It appears that Thomas was admitted a Freeman of the City of Cork on 20 November 1798; The Council Book of the Corporation of the City of Cork 1690-1800 by Richard Caulfield records on page 1130 “20 Nov 1798. That Robert Laryford Besnard, gent. ; Thomas Townsend, Esq. …. be admitted freemen at large”. Between 1710 and 1841, when the power of admitting Freemen only by birth or right ceased, a total of thirty three members of the Townsend family were admitted as Freemen.

The Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier of 11 June 1831 lists those appointed to conduct a census of the population in the West Riding of County Cork. 'Thomas Townsend' is shown as one of three people appointed for ‘East D West Carberry’ and his address is shown as ‘Southfield’. Page 4 of the Account of Expenses Incurred making the Census of 1831 in the ‘Enhanced British Parliamentary Papers on Ireland’ shows that 'Thomas Townsend’ was paid £35-2s-6d for his expenses. Is this Thomas or Thomas Townsend [319], whose address should read 'Smithville'?

In the National Library of Ireland there is a document entitled ‘State of Assessment at Spring Assizes, 1815’ relating to the disbursement of funds in the County of Cork for the improvement of the road network in the county. On the second page there are three entries for various roadworks in the area of Monard/Kilcronin (about 6km due north of Cork ) on the “new Mail Coach Road from Charleville to Cork” with a total sum of £383-11s-6d allocated for the work. The grant was made to “George C Jeffreyes, JN Wrixon, Thomas Townsend, Chas D Oliver and others”. This could relate to Thomas or Thomas Townsend [610] but there is no evidence to support this.

(1) Martha was born ca 1778 and died 31 May 1839. Her sister, Isabella Uniacke, married Philip Somerville (b.1782 d. 1861) of The Prairie, Schull, Co Cork, as his third wife. He married first 1815, Maria Townsend [5D07], fourth daughter of the Reverend Horatio Townsend [5D00] of Derry, and died without issue and married secondly Henrietta Anna Margaretta Townsend [242] in August 1816. Philip's mother was Mary Townsend [506] - Thomas' aunt. See Burke's Irish Landed Gentry 1912.

(2) Redmond was the son of Richard Uniacke, of Coolegorragh, co. Cork. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Lionel Fleming of Green Park, Skibbereen, Co. Cork in 1782 and died on 3 January 1803.

(3) The entry for Uniacke in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "''Burke's Irish Family Records'' gives a very detailed genealogy of this family, established in the Youghal area of county Cork from the 16th century. James Uniacke, who died in 1733, purchased the Mount Uniacke (Coolegaragh) estate from James FitzGerald of Glenane, county Cork and built the house. From his eldest son Richard descend the Uniackes of Mount Uniacke and from his third son the Uniackes of Castletown. At the time of Griffith's Valuation Norman Uniacke's estate was mainly in the parishes of Mogeely, barony of Kinnatalloon and Ardagh, Dangandonovan and Killeagh, barony of Imokilly, county Cork. At the same time Crofton Uniacke of Ballyre held land in the parish of Dangandonovan as did Robert Uniacke of Castletown. Thomas Uniacke was also one of the principal lessors in the parish of Skull at the time of Griffith's Valuation. In 1851, Robert Uniacke was among the principal lessors in the parish of Stradbally, barony of Decies-without-Drum, county Waterford. In October 1854 the Mount Uniacke estate of 7,754 acres in the baronies of Imokilly and Kinnatalloon was advertised for sale. A note on the rentals shows that two lots were bought by Robert W.F. Uniacke. 1,305 acres were re-advertised in June 1864. In the 1870s Norman Uniacke of Mount Uniacke owned 1,559 acres and Robert Uniacke of Castletown owned 1,222 acres in county Cork. This family was related to the Penrose Fitzgeralds and Judkin Fitzgeralds."

(4) Ordnance survey of Ireland. Discovery Series. 1:50,000. Map sheet 87, grid reference: W738679. Possibly from Mount Uniacke, Killeagh, Co. Cork.

(5) RBT Papers 509/1.

(6) There is a strong 'Mallow' connection here. Thomas' eldest son, Dr Richard Townsend [517], married Mary Newman from Dromore, Mallow and was buried there in Killeens Cemetery in 1843, predeceasing his father by three years. Richard's son, Dr Richard Newman Townsend [530], was living at Glountane Cottage, near Mallow in 1863 and appears to have practiced there before he moved to Cobh. Thomas' second son, Thomas Uniacke Townsend [5A00], was ordained Deacon at Dromore, Mallow, in 1837. The Rev Michael Becher, whose grandmother was Mary Townsend [121], lived at Clyda House from 1805 until at least 1827 during which time he was the Rector at Kilshannig. In his book 'A Scottish Whig in Ireland 1835-1838' Robert Graham of Redgorton describes his visit to Clyda to visit the Rev Becher in July 1835.

(7). John Townsend [214] shown as ‘John Townfend MP Shepperton’, Rev Richard Townsend [310] shown as ‘Richd Townfend clk Skull’, William Townsend [504] shown as ‘William Townsend Derry’, Rev Horatio Townsend [5D00] shown as ‘Horace Townsend Courtmacsherry’, Richard Townsend [6A00] shown as ‘Richard Townsend Palacetown’, Samuel Philip Townsend [6B00] shown as ‘Samuel T(?) Townsend Firmount’ .

(8) Rather confusingly, ’Gray’s Inn Admissions Register 1551-1889' records on page 399 a "Thomas Townshend fourth son of John T. of Thornhill, Co Cork, Esq" admitted on 4 July 1794. This does not match against these records. However, 'The Post Chaise Companion or Traveller's Directory through Ireland 1786' 3rd Edition 1804 page 351 records "Within a mile and a half from Skibbereen, on the R. is Hollybrook, the seat of Mr John Becher, Esq and about a mile further to the R. is Thornhill, the seat of Mr Townsend". John Becher married Barbara Townsend [306] and her brother Philip Townsend [304] of the 'Scartagh' branch of the family might have lived at Thornhill for the 'NUI Galway Landed Estates Database' shows Thornhill as part of the 'Townsend Scartagh Estate'. Page 371 of Ambrose Leet's Directory of Cork 1814 shows Mr Thomas Townsend living at Thorn-Berry, Cork. A mystery!

(9) Derry Papers DD/46.

Was Thomas presented with a fine sword in 1797 in recognition of his service as Adjutant of the Royal Cork Volunteers? And what is the Swete Cup? Click on his Scrapbook.