Richard Townsend (513)

Date of Birth: 1800
Date of Death: 29 Nov 1839
Generation: 6th
Residence: Myross Wood, Leap, Co Cork
Father: John Sealy Townsend [507]
Mother: Hancock, Anne
  1. Trench, Helena
  1. John Hancock [523]
  2. Colonel Frederick Trench [524]
  3. Helen [525]
  4. Anna Jane [526]
See Also: Table V ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Richard Townsend

Married 5 June 1827. Helena Trench (1 & 1a) was the youngest daughter of The Hon and Very Rev Thomas Trench DD of Clenmalyre, Ballybrittas, Queen's Co (Offaly), Dean of Kildare and younger brother of 1st Baron Ashtown. See Burke's Peerage - Ashtown.(2) Richard's sister, Elizabeth Susannah Townsend [514], married Helena Trench's brother, Richard Trench.

Page 62 of the Abstract of the Deeds Enrolled in Chancery 1834-1839 records a deed (number 283) dated 17 September 1836 in which William Morris of Castle Salem sold to John Sealy Townsend [507] for the benefit of his son, Richard, the lands of Knocknamadoge, Mount Salem, Benduff, Keamnabrickey, Dungannon and Ballinagornan in the barony of East Carbery for the sum of £50. This deed relates to an indenture executed on the day of Richard’s marriage. (2a)

Alumni Trinity College Dublin from Co Cork and Kerry 1593-1860 in Dr Casey's Collection records that Richard was taught by Mr Craig before he entered Trinity College, Dublin, on 3 June 1816 aged 15 as a fellow commoner paying double fees and enjoying several privileges. The TCD Graduation List records that he qualified BA in Summer 1820. Richard Townsend [236], Richard Townsend [332], Chambre Corker Townsend [5D01] and his cousin Richard Uniacke Townsend [517] were undergraduates at Trinity at the same time.

Nothing is known of Richard other than, like his father John Sealy Townsend [507], he was a barrister (3). Page 318 of Francis G Tuckey's "Tuckey's Cork Remembrancer" records that 'Richard Townsend of Saros' (Myross) was High Sheriff of County Cork in 1837; he was also a Freeman of the City of Cork. 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 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. An 1833 entry for the Parish of Rathclarin shows a "Richard Townsend Esq" owning 24 acres of land rated at £4-18s-6d. This could also be Richard Townsend [221] or Richard Townsend [236].

Richard was buried in Brade Church, Myross, and the inscription on his headstone reads “HERE LIE THE REMAINS OF RICHARD TOWNSHEND LATE OF MYROSS WOOD WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE NOVEMBER 29TH 1839 AGED 39 YEARS.” His will is dated 14 July 1836 and was proved on 31 December 1839.

Richard predeceased his father, and thus the Myross (4) estate passed to Richard's son, John Hancock Townsend [523], on the death of John Sealy in 1852. Myross remained in the family for the next 90 years or thereabouts. Questions about compulsory purchase of the estate were asked in the Dail on 8 May 1940. The Minister for Lands was asked if "Mr. W. Tower Townshend" (5) was going to "offer the lands for sale at an early date" or whether the "Land Commission will proceed with negotiations for the acquisition of the lands". The reply was that the Land Commission "have not yet come to a decision on the question of their acquisition." William sold the estate to Mr Cleary in 1940 or 1941 (6); in 1947 it was acquired by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and is now a Retreat Centre and Community Residence.

(1) Helena was born on 17 June 1807, baptized at Lea, Queen's County and died on 21 March 1874. She was buried at Tallaght, near Dublin, on 25 March 1874. Page 647 of the Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that Letters of Administration on the personal estate of "Helen Townshend late of Ballintyre Dundrum Dublin", who died on 21 March 1874 were granted at the Principal Registry on 23 May 1874 to "Frederick Trench Townshend Captain HM 2nd Life Guards London the Son of the Principal Legatee ". Effects under £5,000.

(1a) Helena's cousin, Frederick Mason Trench 2nd Baron Ashtown, owned several estates including that at Castle Oliver (through his 2nd wife Elizabeth Oliver-Gascoigne). Amongst the estate records in Limerick City Museum (LM1999.0001-0005 ) relating to the Castle Oliver estate there are "account books for years ending 30 April 1886 & 1889, William Uniacke Townsend and Charles Eyre Townsend for Lady Ashtown.” William Uniacke Townsend [5B01] was fist cousin to Helena’s husband and Charles Eyre Townsend [5B14] was his nephew. Doubtless family networking helped secure their appointment as agents to this estate 1886-89.

(2) The entry for Trench Woodlawn (Ashton, Baron) in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "The Trench family at Woodlawn were one of a number of Trench families who came to prominence in county Galway in the 17th century. They were all descended from Frederick Trench who came to Ireland early in the 1600s. Strategic marriages into the Warburton and Power families led to the acquisition of more lands in East Galway. Much of the Woodlawn estate was originally Martin and Barnewall lands which were purchased by the Trenches in the early eighteenth century. Lord Ashtown is recorded as a non-resident proprietor in 1824. At the time of Griffith's Valuation he was one of the principal lessors in the parish of Ballymacward, barony of Kilconnell. In county Roscommon he held over a thousand acres in the parishes of Cam and Tisrara, barony of Athlone and in county Tipperary he held at least 21 townlands in the parishes of Ballingarry and Uskane, barony of Lower Ormond, inherited from the Sadleir family of Sopwell Hall. In the 1870s Lord Ashtown's estate in Galway amounted to over 8000 acres and he also held land in 7 other counties including county Waterford where he had purchased lands in the barony of Glenahiry from the Earl of Stadbrooke in the 1870s. These townlands remained in Trench ownership until purchased by the Land Commission in the 1930s. At the time of Griffith's Valuation, Rev. Frederick Trench was leasing a house valued at £11 in the townland of Carrownamanagh, barony of Kilconnell, to Crawford Allen. The OS Name Books state that Mr. Birmingham acted as agent for the Trench estate. Lands at Carrowbane, the property of William Wallace Trench, were offered for sale in the Landed Estates court in November 1863. In 1852 Lord Ashtown married as his second wife Elizabeth Oliver Gascoigne, an heiress with large estates in county Limerick and Yorkshire. In the 1870s Lord Ashtown is recorded as the owner of 11,273 acres in county Limerick and 4,526 acres in county Tipperary. At the same time the Honourable Charles James Trench of Merrion Square, Dublin, owned 712 acres in county Tipperary. He was a brother of the 2nd Baron Ashtown. A nephew of the 1st Baron Ashtown Henry Trench of Glenmalyre, Queen's County (Laois) owned 699 acres in county Cork aand 671 acres in county Laois."

(2a) There is a connection here with Elizabeth Townsend [326] who married Edward Morris, the son of William Morris of Castle Salem on 6 February 1820. Edward's grandmother was Katherine Townsend [307].

(3) The following were also barristers practicing in Dublin in this period: John Sealy Townsend [333], John FitzHenry Townshend [250], John Sealy Townsend [507] and Horatio Townsend [623]. Horace Payne Townshend [5D12] qualified as a barrister but does not appeared to have practiced.

(4) The entry for Myross Wood in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "John Townsend held this property in fee at the time of Griffith's Valuation, when it was valued at £45. Eugene Daly writes that the house was built by the Reverend Arthur Herbert, Vicar of Myross, who married Helena Townsend of Castletownsend. In the late 18th century the house was bought by the Earl of Kingston who enlarged it and lived in it while Mitchelstown Castle was being built. It reverted back to Townshend ownership in 1826 when purchased by John Sealy Townsend and remained in Townsend ownership until 1943. In 1944 the house was bought by the Cleary family. Sold to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in 1946, who now use the building as a Retreat Centre." There is a short history of Myross Wood on the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart website. The Irish name for Myross is Blath na Greine which literally means Flower of the Sun.

(5) Richard's grandson, William Tower Townsend [535].

(6) Confirmed by William's granddaughter, Mollie Valerie Townshend Garratt (see entry for Blanche Townsend [560]), who remembers staying at Myross with much happiness.