Captain Richard Harvey Townshend (534)
|Date of Birth:||23 Feb 1854|
|Date of Death:||dunm 30 Aug 1899|
|Residence:||Myross Wood, Leap, Co Cork|
|Father:||John Hancock Townshend |
|See Also:||Table V ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree|
Nothing is known about Richard except what can be deduced from entries in the London Gazette and Cork Directories. He was commissioned from the Royal Military Academy on 15 November 1879 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st West India Regiment (1). In April the following year he transferred to the 2nd West India Regiment and remained with the Battalion until 14 July 1883 when he transferred to the 88th Regiment of Foot (1st Battalion The Connaught Rangers) (2) who were based in Bengal, at the time. However, page 83 of Francis Guy's City and County Cork Almanac and Directory shows that Richard was serving with 2nd Bn The Connaught Rangers in Fermoy in 1884.
Richard resigned his commission six years later on 26 October 1889 (3) just before the 88th departed India in 1890 for Aden. Coincidentally Richard's father died the same day he resigned. Being the eldest son the Myross Estate would have passed to Richard. It would appear though that he handed over management of the estate to his brother William Tower Townshend  in 1890 for a Hansard report dated 18 July 1890 records that “Mr. Townshend is reported to represent large properties in the two Baronies referred to as agent for his brother and other owners”.
Francis Guy's City and County Cork Almanac and Directory 1891 records on page 113 that Richard was an ex officio Poor Law Guardian for Skibbereen and on page 125 that he was a Justice of the Peace and living at Myross Wood.
The report of proceedings, lists of committees, delegates, etc in June 1892 of the Munster & Connaught Unionist Convention for Provinces of Leinster shows ‘Richard H Townsend JP’ as a representative of the County of Cork. Several of his kinsmen were also listed as members – Thomas Courtenay Townsend [5B02], Charles Eyre Townsend [5B14], Charles Uniacke Townshend [5C00], Charles Loftus Townsend [5C01], Horace Webb Townsend  and Horatio Hamilton Townsend [6B05].
Aged 41, Richard rejoined the Army on 16 May 1895 when he took a Captain's commission in the 3rd Battalion Munster Fusiliers (4).
‘Slater’s Royal National Directory of Ireland, 1894’ records under the heading ‘County Magistrates for the Province of Munster. Co Cork.’ - “Townshend Richard Harvey, Myross Wood, Leap R.S.O” and under the heading ‘Munster Parishes - Myross. Private Residents’ - “Townshend Richard H.JP. Myross wood.” The Directory also records under the heading ‘Munster Parishes – Rosscarbery’ - “Midway to Skibbereen is the elegant mansion of John Henry Townsend esq” and under the heading ‘Rosscarbery. Private Residents’ - “Townsend John Henry, Miros wood.” This is clearly wrong as Myross was owned by Richard's father, John Hancock Townsend , and not John Henry Townsend . Furthermore, John Hancock died in 1889.
Under the Heading “Townsend Title to Cork Lands” in the Irish National Archives - Small Accessions there is an entry that reads ‘Townshend, John Handcock, Bromley Lodge nr Roehampton, Co Surrey, Esq. 1st part. Townshend, Richard Harvey of same, Esq. 2nd part. Reeves, Robert, Merrion Square East, Dublin, 3rd part. 29 July 1878. Disentailing Deed. Enrolled Record and Writ Office, Chancery Division. 12 August 1878. No 6577 (Copy)'. This must refer to the Myross estate, but it is not known why it was converted into an estate in fee simple.
Richard was only 45 when he died whilst undergoing treatment at The Priory, Roehampton in Surrey. His death was recorded in the diary of Agnes Townsend  - 'Aug 30 1899 Mr Richd Harvey Townshend died (of Myross Wood)'. He is buried in Brade Church, Myross Wood and the inscription on his headstone reads “SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF RICHARD HARVEY TOWNSHEND OF MYROSS WOOD WHO DIED ON AUGUST 30TH 1899 AGED 45 YEARS.”
Page 511 of The Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that probate of the will of " Richard Harvey Townshend late of Myross Wood Leap County Cork Esquire JP", who died on 30 August 1899 at The Priory Roehampton County Surrey, was granted at Dublin on 11 May 1900 to "Richard S Reeves Solicitor and James A Whitla Major”. Effects £2,965 9s 7d. James Whitla was the husband of Richard’s sister Honoraria Maria Townshend .
(1) London Gazette 24783 page 6427 dated 14 November 1879.
(2) London Gazette 25250 page 3532 dated 13 July 1883.
(3) London Gazette 25987 page 5666 dated 25 October 1889.
(4) London Gazette 26629 page 3085 dated 28 May 1895.