Caroline Mary Townshend (5C08)

Date of Birth: 31 Jul 1859
Date of Death: dunm 15 May 1951
Generation: 7th
Residence: Castletownshend, Shorecliffe and Dublin
Father: Charles Uniacke Townshend [5C00]
Mother: Tottenham, Anna Maria Sarah
Spouse: Unmarried
Issue: None
See Also: Table VC ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Caroline Mary Townshend (Carrie)

Carrie, as she was known. was born in Dublin and baptized at St Peter's Church on 14 September 1859. She received an inheritance of £3,500 pounds on the death of her father in 1907.

Nothing was known about Carrie until 2018, when Angela Frewen (1) of Warsaw, Poland, researched her life and discovered a lady of amazing talent who left a legacy that will live forever. These notes serve only to paraphrase details of her life which are contained in a paper written by Angela, which is reproduced in Carrie’s ‘Scrapbook'.

Carrie was intensely musical and described by those who knew her as an accomplished pianist and singer; her particular interest lay in singing Irish songs and accompanying herself on the Irish harp.

In 1912 Carrie was living in Castletownshend teaching Irish to anyone willing to learn; she herself probably learned Erse through the Gaelic League, which was founded in Cork in 1897. In or around 1914 she moved to Shorecliffe,(2) Leap, Glandore, Co Cork, where in 1919 she hosted an Irish summer school, which was in fact a cover for an Irish Volunteers training camp. The men were housed in the gate lodge and in tents on the front lawn. The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) received a tip off and raided the house one night, finding revolvers and rifles hidden in the bushes in the garden. The 1926 Cork street directory shows Carrie as still living in Shorecliffe.

When Carrie learned the Irish harp is not known, but in the 1930s she moved to Dublin and began to teach pupils who would go on to make harping history, not only in Ireland but on the world stage. Such was her renown that she presented a cup for the singing of two songs in Irish, to one’s own accompaniment on the Irish harp at the Feis Ceoil music competition in Dublin.

Carrie died in Dublin. She suffered a major stroke which left her paralysed down one side and died within the week at Coolock House, a private nursing home. The executor of Caroline's will was Mildred E Townshend [5C11].

(1). Angela Frewen is descended from Captain Thomas Frewen, one of three Frewen brothers who went to Ireland with Cromwell. Originally they came from Sussex where their father was a Puritan clergyman and author of many anti-Catholic works.  Of the three brothers who came to Ireland, one was killed at the Siege of Kilkenny, one died of the plague at the Siege of Limerick and the third, Thomas Frewen, settled in Castleconnell, Limerick. There are still some Frewens farming what remains of the original lands at Castleconnell.

(2). One time home of John Henry Townsend [238], Richard Arthur Herbert Townsend [259] and Maurice FitzGerald Townshend [263].