Horace Payne - Townshend (5D12)

Date of Birth: 28 Nov 1824
Date of Death: 2 Feb 1885
Generation: 6th
Residence: Derry, Edstaston House, Wem, Salop & London
Father: Reverend Chambre Corker Townsend [5D01]
Mother: Stewart, Frances Vere
  1. Kirby, Mary Susannah
  1. Charlotte Frances [5D27]
  2. Maria Stewart (Cissie) [5D28]
See Also: Table VD ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Horace Payne - Townshend JP (1)

Married 20 October 1855 in Ross Cathedral (St Fachtna’s), Rosscarbery, Co Cork. Mary Susannah Kirby (2) was the daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Cox Kirby (3) an officer of the Horse Guards. The family had an estate at Edstaston in the town of Wem in Shropshire but were living at Glandore, Co Cork when Horace and Mary met

Alumni Trinity College Dublin from Co Cork and Kerry 1593-1860 in Dr Casey's Collection records that Horace was privately taught before he entered Trinity College, Dublin, on 13 October 1843 aged 18 as a pensioner who paid a fixed sum annually for his studies. Page 638 of the Dublin University Calendar 1893 shows that he qualified BA in Spring 1847 and MA in Summer 1849. Samuel Thomas Townsend [6B13], Horace Townsend [5B00], Aubrey de Vere Townsend [621] and William Hotham Townsend [6B18] were undergraduates at Trinity at the same time, whilst Rev Richard Townsend [337] was teaching at the university.

Qualified as a barrister at Lincolns Inn in 1851, it is not known to what extent Horace practiced law (4) but he was a most shrewd investor and made a considerable fortune on the Stock Exchange. His distant cousin Richard Mellifont Townsend [236], whom he knew very well, was also a successful investor and there is no reason to suppose that they did not share market intelligence. They lived quite close to each other – Derry and Clontaff – and when Richard moved to France Horace visited him on at least two occasions (see below).

The Derry Papers show that, after consultation with John Sealy Townsend [333] (5), Horace's father, Chambre, drew up a Deed in July 1846 in which he gave the lands of the Derry estate (5a) to Horace with a proviso that should Horace die without male issue then all the lands of the estate were to pass to Horace’s younger brother, Nathaniel Wilmot Townsend [5D13]. When his father died in 1852, Horace inherited Derry itself and the balance of the estate, together with half his father’s books, plate and a set of Hogarth cartoons.

Horace took an active interest in the estate and the house; he spent much time and money improving the latter, adding the half-timbered gable on the left hand side. The Derry Papers show that between 1854 and 1882 he leased out eight parcels of land totalling 952 acres (6). Some of these leases were signed by Samuel Lane ‘Agent and Steward to Horace Townsend Esq’.

Living at Derry after his marriage Horace was content to let his wife, Mary, re-decorate the inside of the house in the latest English fashion. Sadly, over time Mary became disillusioned with and frustrated by life at Derry which she found to be socially limited and rather parochial. Her true self came to light and it was clear that she was a snob and social climber ‘par excellence’ who tried to persuade Horace to leave Derry and set up home in London. This he refused to countenance as he loved his home and the large extended Townsend family that lived in southern County Cork.

In about 1870 Horace, determined to improve the lot of his tenants and those who lived in the Rosscarbery area, proposed an extension to the Cork to Skibbereen railway that became known as the The Clonakilty Extension. Despite much local support the scheme was met by strong opposition and had to be set aside. (It was not until August 1886, a year after Horace died, that the extension finally was opened.)

At about the same time that Horace was lobbying for support for the Clonakilty Extension, Mary, unable to endure living at Derry any longer, took a house in Cork as she wished Charlotte and Maria to be seen in ‘society’. In her opinion this was the only way that they were likely to meet a suitable husband. Sadly over the subsequent years, incapable of understanding that Horace did not wish to become involved in smart ‘society’, Mary became increasingly domineering and disparaging about his wish to remain at Derry; in public she frequently belittled him and derided his lack of ‘social’ polish. The effect of this was to make the kind, gentle Horace retreat into his shell. Many year’s later his daughter, Charlotte, told TE Lawrence that she “had a perfectly hellish childhood and youth” on account of her mother’s domineering and forceful character and the appalling way she treated her father. (6a)

Mary soon tired of Cork and next rented a house at 25 Merrion Square, Dublin; next door to Horace's distant cousin John Sealy Townsend [333], a barrister in Dublin. There were at this time several other Townsends living in Dublin who would have welcomed them to the City. Still this was not good enough for Mary who took a house at 21 Queen’s Gate, London in 1877, (7) dragging a most reluctant and dispirited husband with her, whom she constantly snubbed and derided. According to the book ‘Mrs GBS’ Derry was left in the care of Horace’s distant cousin William Tower Townsend [535] (Willie) (8).

Over the next eight years, until his death in February 1885, Horace had to endure the annual round of ‘society’ engagements and frequent trips abroad. The latter included visits to Nice in January 1879 and Spring of 1884; on each occasion Horace and Mary stayed with Richard Mellifont Townshend who was then living at 5 Promenade des Anglais. The evidence for this is contained in letters (9) to John FitzHenry Townshend [250], written from Derry after Richard died on 17 September 1884. In them Horace recalled how during these visits Richard discussed the provisions of his will and the unique manner of opening his safe where it was kept (10). In the last of these letters, dated 7 October 1884, Horace asks John, rather presciently as it transpired, to release him as an executor as he did not wish to be a trustee for the various legacies left by Richard (11). These letters are written in Horace’s very clear, neat hand and this was the last time that he was to see his beloved Derry. He returned to London with his family, died in London and was buried at Wem on 8 February 1885. In her letter dated 12th February 1885 to Aubrey Townsend Mary wrote "The blow was very sudden; and though we all knew it must be so in the end, as the doctors always warned us there was extensive heart-disease besides the disease of the liver, he seemed so well and strong it was hard to believe that he would not live many years."

When Horace died in February 1885 he left Derry to his eldest daughter Charlotte Payne-Townshend [5D27] and Edstaston to Marie as well as sufficient funds for her and the two girls to live on very comfortably. He also left £2,000 to Maurice Fitzgerald Townsend [263]. The lands of the Derry estate passed to Nathaniel Townsend under the terms of the Deed of July 1846 and their father’s will. It is not entirely clear from the Derry Papers what forced the issue, but in September that same year notice of compulsory sale was served upon Nathaniel by the High Court of Justice Ireland, Chancery Division - “It is ordered by the court that the lands of Derry…..shall be sold for the purpose of discharging the encumbrances thereon” (12). According to the notice 3035 acres were to be sold with an annual rental value of just over £626 (over £50,000 in 2008). Matters dragged on for the next four years and were brought to a surprise conclusion when Horace’s wife bought 493 acres of the land in question for £6,000. It would appear that this money was then used to clear the encumbrances upon the remaining lands.

The archives of the Royal Cork Yacht Club show that Horace was an active member in 1860.

Robert H Laing’s Cork Mercantile Directory 1863 records on page189 the following as 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’.

Horace was godfather to Edward Mansel Townshend [630] and it can be deduced from family correspondence (14) that he helped fund Edward at Clare College, Cambridge with an annual grant of £25.

Horace assumed the additional surname of Payne and the spelling Townshend by Royal License 24 November 1863 under the terms of the will of his wife's uncle. London Gazette 22791 pages 5750/51.

The 'Register of Landowners in County Cork 1876' records "Townsend, Horace P. Derry. 1,420 acres. £725 10s" in the Parish of Rosscarbery (2005 equivalent - £52,417).

Thom's Irish Almanac and Official Directory for the Year 1862 shows "Townsend, Horace, Derry, Rosscarbery; Union Club, London, S. W." as a Magistrate. Page 456 of Francis Guy’s County & City of Cork Directory 1875-76 reflects this and also shows Horace as a member of the Clonakilty Board of Guardians and Rural Sanitary Authority along with his kinsmen John Hancock Townshend [523] and Edward Hume Townshend [626]. Francis Guy’s Directory for 1884 records that Horace was a Poor Law Guardian for Clonakilty of which his cousin Horace Townshend [5D23] was Vice Chairman.

An entry in Francis Guy’s Directory for 1891 reads “Townshend Mrs S, Derry house”. This probably refers to Horace’s wife, Mary Susannah.

Horace's death was recorded in the diary of Agnes Townsend [334] read - 'Feb 2nd 1885 Horace Payne Townshend died'. Page 835 of The Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that probate of the will of "Horace Payne Townshend late of Derry County Cork and of 21 Queen’s Gate South Kensington County Middlesex Esquire”, who died 2 February 1885, was granted at London on 21 April 1885. Resealed at the Principal Registry Dublin on 5 May 1885. Effects in Ireland £3,507 8s 2d.

(1) Much of the detail about Horace is drawn from the book ‘Mrs GBS’ by Janet Dunbar. Published in London 1963 by George Harrap. This is the biography of Horace’s eldest daughter, Charlotte, who married George Bernard Shaw.

(2) Mary was known as Aunt Minnie. She was living at 21 Queen's Gate, London at the time she died on 9 September 1891 - London Gazette 26234. Entry in the diary of Agnes Townsend [334] - "Sept 9 1891 Mrs Townshend Derry died". Page 762 of The Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records "Mary Susannah Payne Townshend late of 21 Queens Gate County Middlesex Widow. Died 9 September 1891”. Probate granted at London 22 October 1891." Resealed at the Principal Registry Dublin on 1 December 1891. Effects £89 6s 8d.

(3) Devisee of Thomas Payne of Edstaston - Mary Susannah's uncle. He is buried at St Peter's Church, Leckhampton near Cheltenham. The inscription on his tombstone is "IN LOVING MEMORY / LIEUT COLL THOMAS COX KIRBY. K.H. / 86TH REGT / BORN 1783, DIED 1850. / OF / MARY ANN KIRBY HIS WIFE. / DAUGHTER OF JOHN KNIGHT ESQRE / OF WHITCHURCH SALOP, / BORN 1792, DIED 1861.

(4) The following were barristers practicing in Dublin in this period: John FitzHenry Townshend [250]. John Sealy Townsend [333], John Sealy Townsend [507], Richard Townsend [513] Horatio Townsend [623].

(5) Derry Papers 5D01/5. Letter from Rev Chambre Corker Townsend to John Sealy Townsend, 11 Hardwick Street, Dublin.

(5a) The entry for Derry in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "Family records indicate the original house at Derry was bought by Bryan Townsend, son of Richard, the Cromwellian officer, in the 1680s. This house was a short distance from the current house which was built by Reverend Horatio Townsend in the early years of the nineteenth century and was held in fee by Reverend Chambre Townsend in 1851 when it was valued at £44. Earlier, in 1786, Wilson referred to Derry as a Townsend seat. It was substantially damaged when it was burnt in April 1921 during the War of Independence. . At the time it was the residence of Alexander Sullivan, a well-known barrister. In 1944 the Irish Tourist Association Survey noted that it was still derelict following the 1921 burning. The centre portion of the house and a substantial farm still exist at the site."

(6) Derry Papers 5D13/10. 7 January 1888. Townshend Estate. Final Notice to Tenants.

(6a) Before his death in 1950 Admiral Sir Richard Webb, K.CM.G, C.B. wrote a memoir in which he described with great affection his life living with Mary and Horace at Derry and 21 Queen’s Gate. Mary was his mother’s sister and when she died in 1873 Mary took him and his four siblings into her care, when Richard was aged three. He clearly loved his aunt very much and remarked on the occasion of her death "I learnt more from her than I think from anyone else”. This image of Mary contrasts strongly with that described by his cousin, Charlotte. Strangely, the book ‘Mrs GBS’ by Janet Dunbar which covers Charlotte’s early life in some detail, focusing in particular on the way her mother treated Horace, makes no mention of Mary bringing up her nephew and his siblings.

(7) In a letter from Cuilnaconartha, Clonakilty and dated 16 April 1874 Edward Hume Townsend [626] wrote to John Townsend [622] ]). "The Derry family have migrated to England - for how long, we do not know."

(8) In 1877 William was 22 and newly commissioned into the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment! He retired from the army in 1882, became a land agent and by 1890 was managing no less than nine properties. In a letter dated 1 December 1890 and addressed to The Chief Secretary for Ireland he wrote “As a land agent in West Cork representing nine different landlords…” There may be some confusion about the management of Derry in 1877 – William Uniacke Townsend [5B01] (aged 51) and William Charles Townsend [5B05] (aged 23) were both land agents at the time.

(9) Lovera Papers 236/18

(10) “He also told me that his securities, coupons etc were principally locked up in his fire proof safe, which was opened in a very peculiar way, being what is called I believe an alphabetical safe. He showed me how it was opened as doubtless he showed or told you also.” Horace to John FitzHenry Townshend, Derry, Rosscarbery 26th September 1884.

(11) Lovera Papers 236/19

(12) Derry Papers 5D13//4. 3 September 1885. High Court of Justice Ireland, Chancery Division. Conditional Order for Sale.

(13) Derry Papers 5D13/14. 14 March 1890. Townshend Estate. Memorial of Deed of Conveyance.

(14) Llanvapley Papers.0