Eliza (Dizzie) Townsend (5D05)

Date of Birth: 1789(90)]
Date of Death: 8 Mar 1863
Generation: 5th
Residence: Newcourt, Co Cork
Father: Reverend Horatio (Horace) Townsend [5D00]
Mother: Corker, Katherine
  1. Fleming, Lionel John
  1. Katherine Townsend (1820-26)
  2. Becher Lionel (1821-89)
  3. Horace Townsend (1824-1911)
  4. Judith Isabella (1826-61)
  5. Lionel John (1828-62)
  6. Elizabeth Lionella (b. 1834)
See Also: Table VD ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Eliza Townsend (Dizzie)

Married 10 January 1819. Lionel John Fleming (1) of Newcourt (2) was the son of Becher Fleming (1760-1837) of Newcourt (3), Co Cork and a barrister. Lionel's grandmother was Mary Townsend [506] who married Thomas Somerville of Castlehaven. Lionel's sister, Martha Fleming, married John Sealy Townsend [333]. See 1958 Edn Burke's Irish Family Records - Fleming.

Dizzie attended school at Clifton, Bristol ca 1807 with her sister Katherine Townsend [5D06].

According to the book “The Irish Country House” by Peter Somerville-Large, Lionel’s father sent the couple after their marriage to Ballydevlin House, near Goleen on the north side of Roaring Water Bay, in order to keep Lionel occupied until he inherited the Newcourt estate. The entry for the parish of Kilmoe in Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Ireland 1837 reflects this. Life at Ballydevlin was very basic and all supplies had to come from Skibbereen, thirty miles away, and the couple found themselves very isolated. Although she ran a school and helped the poor, Dizzie found life at Ballydevlin very lonely compared with the hustle and bustle of Derry and implored her father to persuade her father-in-law to relinquish the Newcourt estate in favour of Lionel. This cut no ice and it was not until 1837 that Lionel inherited the estate.

Lionel and Dizzie had to go all the way to Crookhaven to attend church. It was with the vicar, the Rev O’Grady, that they entertained themselves playing music with Dizzie at the piano, Lionel on the violin or cello and the Rev O’Grady on the flute. In addition to his appointment as a magistrate, Lionel oversaw an unproductive copper mine on the Mizen Peninsula belonging to the family, built a court-house and acted as an unofficial customs officer. An extract is included in Eliza's 'Scrapbook'.

An item (Ref RLFC/3/1/2964 in the National Archives of Ireland) shows that in 1846 Bryan Townsend [323] was living in Kilmoe parish and was involved in famine relief, but it cannot be verified whether he and Dizzie & Lionel knew each other.

In the first two decades of the19th century the Roman Catholic population of Ireland suffered massive deprivation caused by the failure of the potato crop and the knock-on effect on agriculture in general and the fishing industry. In response a Committee was established to raise funds for the relief of this distress and the Report of the Committee for the Relief of the Distressed Districts in Ireland was published in London in 1823. £60,000 was raised of which £5,000 was earmarked for improvements in fishing. As Secretary to the Board of Fisheries several letters between March 1822 and August 1823 from Henry Townsend [223] are included in the Report. As part of the plan for administering the relief in County Cork the coast was divided into eight districts each with a nominated committee. Samuel Townsend [405] was a member of the Baltimore Committee (Toe Head to Roaring Water Bay) and Lionel was a member of the Crookhaven Committee (Roaring Water Bay to the Mizen Head).

The Cork Examiner of 12 May 1845 reported the formation of a Committee of Management to oversee the construction of the Bandon to Bantry Railway with branches to Clonakilty and Skibbereen. The estimated cost was £100,000 to be raised in 20,000 shares of £25 each with a deposit of £1-7s-6d per share. There were some sixty-six members of the committee including Eliza's husband, Henry Owen Becher Townsend [223] and Horatio Townsend [6B01]. The railway was eventually built in the 1880s by William Martin Murphy.

Lionel is shown as a JP in Thom's Irish Almanac and Official Directory for the Year 1862 – “Fleming, Lionel John, Newcourt, Skibbereen JP”. Robert H Laing’s Cork Mercantile Directory 1863 records on page 185 ‘Fleming, Lionel John, Newcourt, Skibbereen’ as a magistrate. Page 189 lists his kinsmen who were also magistrates ‘Townsend Henry J, Castletownshend’, ‘Townsend, Horace, Derry, Rosscarbery; Union Club, London SW’, ‘Townsend, Horatio DL, Woodside, Cork’, ‘Townsend, J Handcock, Myross Wood, Leap’, ‘Townsend, John Henry, Dunbeacon, Ballydehob’, ‘Townsend, Richard, Clontaff, Union Hall, Leap’, ‘Townsend, Saml, Blackrock, Cork’, ‘Townsend, Samuel Richd, Whitehall, Skibbereen’.

An article in The Skibbereen and West Carberry Eagle records that a Grand Masonic Concert in aid of the Masonic Female Orphan Asylum Cork was held in the New Lecture Hall, Mardyke, Skibbereen on 9 April 1863. The following members of the family were amongst those who patronised the concert. Thomas Somerville, husband of Henrietta Augusta Townsend [234], Thomas Somerville of The Prairie, son of Henrietta Anna Townsend [242], William Warren of Clontaff, husband of Elizabeth Hildegardis Townsend [244], Samuel Richard Townsend [421], Lionel John Fleming of Newcourt, husband of Eliza Townsend [5D05] and Horace Townsend of Derry [5D12]. The cutting is reproduced in individual ‘Scrapbooks’.

Page 176 of The Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that Letters of Administration of the personal estate of "Lionel J Fleming late of New Court County Cork Esquire", who died on 9 May 1869 at same place were granted at Cork on 22 November 1869 to “Becher L Fleming of Newcourt and Horace T Fleming of Kilnagross the sons of the deceased and Legatees.”, Effects under £1,400.

The son Becher Lionel Fleming graduated from Trinity College, Dublin as a Bachelor of Law in 1837. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace and lived at Newcourt, Skibbereen, County Cork. He died in 1889 leaving three daughters - Rebecca, Judith and Elizabeth who married Horatio Hamilton Townsend [6B05] in 1894. Page 252 of The Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that Letters of Administration of the personal estate of "Becher Lionel Fleming late of New Court County Cork Esquire", who died on 31 December 1889 at St Anne’s Hill Blarney County Cork were granted at Cork on 25 April 1890 to “Elizabeth Morrison Fleming of New Court Skibbereen Widow the Residuary legatee.” Effects under £219 14s.

(1) He was born in 1791 and died on 9 May 1869. Entry in the diary of Agnes Townsend [334] - 'May 9th 1869 Lionel Fleming died.' The entry for Fleming (Cork) in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "The Fleming estate in county Cork amounted to over 3000 acres in the 1870s. Lionel B. Fleming was one of the principal lessors in the parishes of Aghadown and Kilmoe, West Carbery, at the time of Griffith's Valuation.

(2) The entry for Newcourt in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "At the time of Griffith's Valuation, Lionel Fleming held this property in fee, when it was valued at £22. Both Lewis, in 1837, and Leet in 1814, noted it as the seat of Beecher Fleming. It is shown on Taylor and Skinner's 1783 map apparently the residence of a Tenson family. It was owned by the representatives of Beecher Fleming in 1906 when it was valued at £28 5s. Bence-Jones notes that this house is now demolished though a farm exists at the site."

(3) U.H. Hussey de Burgh's ‘Landowners of Ireland 1878' records "Fleming, Becher Lionel, BA (Dublin): JP - Newcourt, Skibbereen; County Club, Cork; Irish Chapel Club, Dublin."

For other Fleming connections see John Sealy Townsend [333] and Horatio Hamilton Townsend [6B05].