Nathaniel Wilmot Oliver Townshend (5D13)

Date of Birth: Feb 1836
Date of Death: 18 Jun 1896
Generation: 6th
Residence: Finchley, London
Father: Reverend Chambre Corker Townsend [5D01]
Mother: Oliver, Eliza Wilmot
  1. Strawson, Maria
  1. George Chambre Wilmot [5D33]
  2. Horatio Baxter [5D34]
  3. Captain William Pearson [5D35]
  4. Captain Dudley Ryder [5D36]
  5. Herbert Oliver [5D37]
  6. Harriet Elizabeth Barrington [5D38]
  7. Katherine Disney (Katy) [5D39]
  8. Helena Strawson (Lena) [5D40]
  9. Florence Maria [5D41]
See Also: Table VD ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Nathaniel Wilmot Oliver Townshend

Married at St John's Church, Cardiff in June 1862. Maria Strawson (1) was the fourth daughter of George Smith Strawson (2) CE of Cardiff.

When his father died in 1852, Nathaniel was only 16 and his mother, maternal grandparents and aunt, Katherine Townsend [5D06], acted as guardians to him and his siblings until they came of age. Under the terms of his father’s will (3) dated 2 September 1846 he became entitled to an equal share of £2,000 devised to all the children, except his half-brother Horace Payne-Townsend [5D12]. Horace inherited the house at Derry and all the lands of the estate under the terms of a deed drawn up in July 1846 between himself and his father. The deed stipulated that should Horace die without male issue the lands of the Derry estate were to pass to Nathaniel.

Nathaniel started his career in banking with the Birkbeck Bank in Cardiff. After his marriage he transferred to Burton on Trent and later to Uttoxeter, Staffordshire.

Shortly before resigning from the bank in 1870, and moving to Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park, London, Nathaniel signed a deed (4) in which he settled all his real and personal estate in favour of his wife, Maria, and his children. This deed also covered anything that he might inherit from his mother (5). It would appear that he executed this deed to cover himself for he had authorised loans at the bank where he worked and he feared that claims might be made against him.

In 1879 Nathaniel moved to 41 Adolphus Road, Finsbury Park and, after various jobs, was appointed Secretary to Lord Strathnairn, then living in Berkley Square, London. Following the death of his Lordship in 1885, Nathaniel became Secretary to his brother, Sir William Rose, Clerk to the House of Commons. After Sir William died he managed the affairs of Lady Mexborough.

Under the terms of the deed drawn up in July 1846, when his half-brother Horace died in February 1885 without male issue, the lands of the Derry estate (5a) passed to Nathaniel and hence his wife, Maria in accordance with their deed of 1869. The lands in question consisted of Derryanalane, Ballinagorna, Knockavoher, Knockmore, Kilnacally, Corran South, Corran Middle and Corran North.

It is not entirely clear from the Derry Papers what forced the issue, but in September 1885 notice of compulsory sale was served upon Nathaniel’s wife 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” (6). 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 (7) 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.

Nathaniel died at Church End, Finchley, London having moved there in September 1895 and his death was recorded in the diary of Agnes Townsend [334] - '1896 June N. Oliver Townshend died suddenly'. He was buried in Marylebone Cemetery.

In March 1898 William Tower Townshend [535] wrote a note headed ‘Estimate for Succession Duty’ (8) to Nathaniel’s son, George Chambre Wilmot Townshend [5D33]. In it he listed all the tenants on the Derry Estate, their yearly rental, all other income, charges and outgoings. The annual total gross income from the estate was £305-9s-10d (9). That the lands of Derry should be shown as part of Nathaniel’s estate is strange for there is nothing in the Derry Papers to show that he revoked the deed of 29 December 1869 in which he passed these lands to his wife. There is also nothing in the Derry Papers to shown how the estate was finally disposed of. It can only be assumed that the lands were sold off following the Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act 1885, also known as the ‘Ashbourne Act’, which allowed limited tenant land purchase (10).

Nathaniel’s grandfather, Major General Oliver died on 11 January 1854. In his will, dated 25 February 1853 (5), he devised his personal estate to his trustees who were to invest the same and pay the interest to his wife, Marianne, during her lifetime and after her death to his daughter Eliza Townshend (Nathaniel's mother). After her death the residue was to be divided equally amongst her surviving children share and share alike.

Likewise he devised his real estate in Suffolk and Kerry to his trustees who were to pay the yearly rents to his wife during her lifetime and after her death to Eliza. After her death when the children came of age, or if the daughters married before then, they were to receive their share of the real estate or the rents thereof, or if the real estate was sold they were to receive their share of the principal or the interest of the proceeds.

Nathaniel’s mother died on 17 August 1906 and thus his share (£2,449) of the Oliver estate passed to his executors, JB Somerville, GB Winkworth and George Chambre Wimot Townshend [5D33].

Maria moved to Chester Road, Branksome Park, Bournemouth in 1901 and in 1907 moved to a smaller house in Branksome Wood Road, Bournemouth. She died on 18 March 1911 at 31 Richmond Road, Bournemouth and is buried alongside her husband in Marylebone Cemetery.

(1) Maria was born on 2 November 1840.

(2) In his notes on the family Horatio Baxter Townshend [5D34] records that he participated in the design of Cardiff docks and constructed a bridge for the Marquis of Bute. He was also involved in the construction of the Regent Quadrant, London. He married Ann Wride on 30 Jul 1833 at Lanishan, Glamorganshire, Wales.

(3) Derry Papers 5D01/6. Will of Chambre Corker Townsend dated 2 September 1846 with codicil dated 5 April 1851. Probate 9 Sep 1852.

(4) Derry Papers 5D13/2. Settlement of Reversionary Interest in Real and Personal Estate in Favour of his Wife and Children dated 29 December 1869.

(5) Derry Papers OL/8, 8A, 8B, 9, 9A. The wills of Major General Oliver and his wife, Marianne, and the disposal of their estates.

(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 5D13/4. Townshend Estate Conditional Order for Sale dated 3 September 1885. Owners - Maria Townshend, Nathaniel Wilmot Oliver Townshend and others.

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

(8) Derry Papers 535/2. March 1898. Particulars of Tenants Holdings. William Tower Townshend to George Chambre Wilmot Townshend.

(9) The drop of £321 in annual income from rent is probably a result of legislation brought in to guarantee fair rents for tenants. The Land Law (Ireland) Act 1881 created the Irish Land Commission and gave tenants real security. Increasingly they turned to the Irish land courts to cut their rents.

(10) The Government set up a £5 million fund and any tenant who wanted to buy land could do so. The loans would be paid back over 48 years and the rate of interest would be fixed at 4% per annum.