Helena Herbert Townsend (619)

Date of Birth: 1785
Date of Death: 6 November 1846
Generation: 5th
Residence: Fahalea, Tracton & Kinsale
Father: Reverend Edward Synge (The Apostle) Townsend [601]
Mother: Elizabeth Townsend [144]
  1. Daunt, George Digby
  1. Thomas Townsend
  2. Eliza Alicia
  3. Edward Synge
  4. Rev Edward Synge
  5. Henry Townsend
See Also: Table VI ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Helena Herbert Townsend

Married 8 June 1815 in Cork. George Digby Daunt (1) of Broomley (2), Tracton, was the son of Thomas Daunt (3) of Fahalea.(4) His paternal great grandmother was Penelope Townsend [119].

In his journal covering the first 25 years of his life, written in 1869, Edward Hume Townsend [626] recorded that whilst in Kinsale visiting his grandmother and before the arrival of his aunt Elizabeth Townsend [410] in 1815 from London with her family, his.....'aunt Helena married Lt George Digby Daunt a retired officer who had served under Wellington in the Peninsula; a highly reputable, worthy man. He lived in Kinsale.'

Nothing is known about Helena and George except that they lived in Kinsale. She died in Kinsale and her death on 6 November 1846 was announced in the Cork Examiner. In her diary Agnes Townsend [334] shows Helena's death as 6 November the same year - '1846 Nov 6 Mrs Digby Daunt died'.

George Digby Daunt is shown as a subscriber in the book “An Inquiry Concerning the Primitive Inhabitants of Ireland” by Thomas Wood (MD), published by Edwards and Savage, Castle Street, Cork in 1821 and dedicated to members of the Royal Irish Academy. Chambre Corker Townsend [5D01] and his kinsman Horatio Townsend [6B01] are also shown as asubscribers.

As explained in the ‘Background History’ page, the Act of Union in 1801 and successive reforming measures in the early years of the century drove the Anglo-Irish Protestant community into a position of permanent political minority. Fearing that their ascendancy was being eroded, meetings were held during the early decades of the century seeking to affirm and uphold the integrity of the ‘Protestant Constitution and State’. Press cuttings covering these meetings (all shown in the ‘Scrapbook’ for John Sealy Townsend [333]) between December 1828 and October 1834 include (with attendees shown in brackets):

Bandon Brunswick Constitutional Club (4a) Meeting on Monday 22 December 1828 - Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier of 23 December 1828 and Dublin Evening Mail of 31 December 1828. (John S. Townsend, Samuel Townsend jnr and Thomas Somerville)

Protestant Conservative Society of Cork Meeting in the Imperial Clarence Rooms, Cork in August 1832 - Dublin Weekly Mail of 11 August 1832. (Samuel Townsend, Samuel Townshend and Thomas Townsend)

County and City of Cork Protestant Meeting in June 1834 - Dublin Evening Packet & Correspondent of 1 July 1834. (Thomas Townsend and George Digby Daunt)

Protestant Meeting in Bandon on Tuesday 7 October 1834 - Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier of 11 October 1834. (Samuel Townsend, Samuel Townshend, John Townsend and Thomas Townsend)

The common theme throughout was affirmation of Protestant loyalty to the crown and a commitment to take whatever measures were necessary “to preserve the remnants of the constitution and maintain the integrity of the United Kingdom” in “defence of our liberties and the safety of the Glorious Constitution under which we live”. As shown above, several members of the family (4b) attended these meetings but it is not possible to identify them precisely in every case, though eloquent statements by “John Townsend Esq son of the Recorder of Clonakilty” are reported verbatim in the press reports of the meetings in Bandon and these can certainly be ascribed to John Sealy Townsend [333].

Opposition to Roman Catholic emancipation was not confined to the laity. The Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier of 20 March 1827 reports that the Bishop and seventy-seven members of the clergy, including Richard Boyle Townsend [332], Chambre Corker Townsend [5D01] and Robert St Lawrence (husband of Elizabeth Townsend [235]), signed a “Petition of the Protestant Clergy of the United Dioceses of Cork & Ross against Catholic Emancipation” which was submitted to the House of Commons on 2 March 1827. The list of signatories also includes a ‘Thomas Townsend, Prebendary of Island’; this is wrong as page 487 of Volume 2 Brady’s Clerical and Parochial Records shows Horatio Townsend [5D00] as the incumbent!

Not all members of the family shared such views and press cuttings from the Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier and Dublin Evening Packet & Correspondent in 1828 and 1829 respectively show that Horatio Townsend [6B01] and Edward Richard Townsend [6C00] were among the many Protestant Liberals who took a much more conciliatory approach to Roman Catholic emancipation.

'Pigot’s Provincial Directory of Ireland 1824 - Kinsale’ records “Nobility, Gentry & Clergy – Daunt, George Digby Esq”.

'Slater’s Commercial Directory 1846' records “Daunt, George Digby Esq, Friar Str”.

George is listed as a subscriber to 'Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary of Ireland'.

Of the children:

Thomas Townsend Daunt was born 31 December 1816 in Kinsale, married Jane D'Esterre (5) and died 1892 in Stoke Damerel, Devon. Page 180 of The Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that the will of "Thomas Townsend Daunt late of 7 Mount Edgecombe Terrace Stoke County of Devon", who died on 30 October 1892 at the same place, was proved at the Principal registry on 25 May 1893 by "George Digby Daunt of 7 Mount Edgecombe Terrace Esquire the sole Executor”. Effects £253 18s 7d.

Eliza Alicia Daunt was born 17 November 1818 and married John Sealy Townsend [333] as his second wife on 25 April 1867 in Christchurch, Bandon Union. She was living at 94, Drumcondra Road, Dublin in 1898 (6) and the April 1901 Irish Census shows her still living there as a lodger living off the income from investments. She died there on 17 June 1904 (7).

Edward Daunt was baptized 29 September 1820 in St Multose, Kinsale, died in early April 1821 and was buried on 18 April 1821.

Rev Edward Synge Townsend Daunt was born on 19 March 1823. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin and was ordained. He married Maria Jessie Elliot ((1820-1879) on 14 April 1847 at St Peter’s Church in Dublin. The 1851 census taken on 30 March 1851, recorded that he and his family were living in Prospect Street, Wragby, Horncastle, Lincolnshire where he was the curate. In 1853, Edward was appointed vicar of St Stephen’s Church, Launceston, Cornwall George Orchard, a Launceston resident at the time, later wrote ’ Some of your readers would still remember Rev EST Daunt. I believe he was an Irishman and a striking personality. He lived at Newport, and right opposite was his garden where every Sunday morning he hoisted a flag. He was very fond of dogs and used to go to church up the old Zulu Road (Royden Road), leave them during service at the Public-house opposite (The Northumberland Arms), fetch them after and return home. He smoked a long churchwarden pipe, and in his black skull cap was a most picturesque and striking figure. He was of a very combative disposition.’. In January 1888, Edward became unwell and his bishop granted him a two-year leave of absence from St Stephen’s, during which time he was temporary incumbent of a church in Liss, Hants and then temporary incumbent of a church in Ullenhall, Warwickshire. In October 1889, Edward returned to St Stephen’s, resigned the living two months later and sold his furnished house in Launceston in May 1890. The 1891 census recorded Edward as a visitor in Ilford, Essex. He died on 13 February 1896 in Islington, London and was buried on 14 February 1896 in Camden. (8)

Henry Daunt of Kinsale was born in 1824 and died in August 1861. His death was reported in the Cork Examiner of 19 September 1861.

Helena is buried alongside her husband, her father and her sister, Mary Townsend [614] in St Multose Church, Kinsale.

(1) George was born in 1783 and served with the 97th Regiment of Foot (Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regt) and is listed on the Peninsula Medal Roll 1793-1814.

(2) The University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "George Daunt was leasing Broomley from Rev. Thomas Townsend at the time of Griffith's Valuation, when it was valued at £18. Lewis refers to it as his seat in 1837." This is Thomas Townsend [6B03].

(3) The entry for Daunt (Kinsale) in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "Originally a Gloucestershire family, the Daunt family appear in county Cork in the early seventeenth century, notably Thomas of Owlpen Manor in Gloucestershire and Tracton Abbey, county Cork. Several members of the family owned property in the Kinsale area in the 1870s. These included the representatives of Achilles, who owned over 2000 acres and George A. who owned over 1000 acres. George A. Achilles and Arthur Daunt were among the principal lessors in the parishes of Ballyfeard, Ringcurran and Tracton, barony of Kinalea, at the time of Griffith's Valuation. Thomas and George held townlands in the parish of Cullen at the same time while Thomas was also a lessor in the parish of Carrigaline, barony of Kerrycurrihy. William Henry Daunt of Fahalin, Carrigaline owned 1,372 acres in county Cork in the 1870s."

(4) The entry for Fahalea in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "Thomas Daunt held this property in fee at the time of Griffith's Valuation, when it was valued at £10."

(4a) First conceived in September 1828 Brunswick Constitutional Clubs were established in Ireland to deny Roman Catholics the right to enter both Houses of Parliament. About 200 clubs were established with a total membership of about 150,000 but they quickly became defunct following the Catholic Relief Act 1829 which repealed the Test Act.

(4b) John Sealy Townsend [333] and Samuel Townsend [412] can be positively identified. The other contenders are Samuel Townsend [405] or Samuel Townsend [6A03], Thomas Townsend [319] or Thomas Townsend [509], Thomas Somerville (probably the husband of Henrietta Augusta Townsend [234]) and George Digby Daunt (husband of Helena Herbert Townsend [619]).

(5) The entry for D'Esterre in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "A French Hugenot family, who came to Ireland via Holland in the late 17th century and were granted land by the Earl of Thomond. The D’Esterres lived at Rossmanagher near Sixmilebridge, barony of Bunratty Lower, county Clare, during the 18th and 19th centuries. They bought some of the Mount Ievers estate in the mid 1850s. Their county Clare estate amounted to 2,833 acres and their county Limerick estate to 314 acres in the 1870s. Henry Vassall D’Esterre of Rossmanagher was the eldest son of Robert Kerr D’Esterre. H.V. D’Esterre was born in 1840 and married Mary Elizabeth Sandes of Mount Pleasant, county Limerick in 1867. Their eldest son Henry William D’Esterre was a captain in the Munster Fusiliers at the beginning of the 20th century. The estate was sold to the Land Commission in the 1910s. Weir records some of the more colourful sides to this family’s history in his book on county Clare houses."

(6) Letter to Edward Mansel Townsend [630] dated 1 April 1898 thanking him for sending her a copy of his book 'A Protestant Auto-Biography'. Llanvapley Papers

(7) Times of London June 20 1904: “Deaths – Townsend – On 17 June at 94, Drumcondra Road, Dublin, Elizabeth Alicia Townsend, age 85, widow of the late John Sealy Townsend, Barrister, and last surviving child of George Digby Daunt of Kinsale and the old 97th Regiment. Funeral today (Monday) at Mount Jerome.”

(8) Most of these details were drawn from the book 'Bryanstone House: A century of History’ by Dawn Holloway-Reeves, of which a chapter is entitled 'Daunt family (1895-1898)’.

For other Daunt Connections see Penelope Townsend [119], Maria Margaretta Townsend [212], Helena Townsend [218], John Sealy Townsend [333] and Richard Townsend [6A00].