Rev Canon Horace Webb Townsend (634)

Date of Birth: 26 September 1838
Date of Death: 10 January 1915
Generation: 6th
Residence: Abbeystrewry, Skibbereen, Co Cork
Father: Edward Hume Townsend [626]
Mother: Susan Townsend [5D09]
  1. Crawford, Charlotte Anne
  1. Edward Hume Steele [642]
  2. Reverend Horace Crawford [643]
  3. Maud [644]
  4. Susan Henrietta Murray [645]
  5. Annie Kathleen [646]
  6. Frances Emilia [647]
  7. Florence Hilda [648]
  8. Lilian Alice [649]
See Also: Table VI ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Reverend Horace Webb Townsend. FRGSI.

Married 1867. Charlotte Anne Crawford (1) was the daughter of Matthew Crawford of Rockfield, Co Westmeath.

Horace was born at Belgaum, Karnataka, India, where his father was the Collector and Political Agent for the East India Company and later Secretary to the Bombay Government and Revenue Commissioner to The Presidency.

Horace was educated at Bath Grammar School at which time his father's cousin, Cdr John Townsend [622] was living at 11 Burlington Street, Bath. Following this Alumni Trinity College Dublin from Co Cork and Kerry 1593-1860 in Dr Casey's Collection records that Horace was taught by Dr Stacpoole before he entered Trinity College, Dublin, on 26 June 1857 aged 18 as a pensioner who paid a fixed sum annually for his studies. Dr Stacpoole also tutored Horace's distant cousins, the brothers Richard Horatio Townsend [6A10] and Samuel Philip Townsend [6A11], who entered the University in 1858 and 1860 respectively.

The TCD Graduation List records that Horace qualified BA in Winter 1860 having completed a degree on Civil Engineering. He started his career under the guidance of Mr Barton of Dublin and subsequently practised for some years in Australia. Following a bout of ill health he returned to Ireland in 1869, re-entered TCD, where he read Divinity and was ordained Deacon in 1870 and Priest in 1871 by Archbishop Trench of Dublin. Henry FitzJohn Townsend [260] was an undergraduate at the same time and the Rev Richard Townsend [337] was teaching at the university.

Horace spent the early years of his ministry as Curate of Blessington, Co Wicklow, 1870-72 and Incumbent at Donoughmore I872-74. He was nominated incumbent of Leixlip Union on 2 September 1874 (scroll down to the last entry for 1874). Within a month of his appointment at Leixlip he had obtained the archbishop's permission to reside at Esker Glebe in Lucan parish. Horace remained as Rector of St Mary's, Leixlip, until he resigned on 10 March 1879 to take up the appointment of Clerical Secretary and Superintendent of the International Christian Mission, London. (Page 672 of the Dublin University Calendar 1893 shows his address as 16, Buckingham-street, Adelphi, London, WC.) He remained there until 1890 when he returned to Ireland as Rector of Kilmeen, Co Cork. The Ecclesiastical Directory on page 73 of Guy’s City and County Cork Almanac and Directory 1891 shows him living there – though on pages 159 and 178 the Directory also show him resident at Cuilnaconartha. ‘Slater’s Royal National Directory of Ireland, 1894’ records under the heading ‘Munster Parishes - Kilmeen, Co Cork. Church of Ireland ‘ - “Rev. Horace Webb Townsend MA, FRGSI” and under the heading ‘Kilmeen, Private Residents’ - “Townsend Rev. Horace Webb MA, FRGSI.” (Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of Ireland).

Following his ministry in Kilmeen, Horace was appointed Rector at Abbeystrewry, Skibbereen in 1896, where he remained until his death. Page 261 of Reverend John Harding Cole's Church and Parish Records records that Horace's kinsman, Rev Richard Boyle Townsend [332], built a new Glebe House in 1847 - "Abbeystrewry Glebe House was built in 1847, by Revd. R. Boyle Townsend. It stands in about fifteen acres of glebe land , subject to a rent of £14 a year. It has been enlarged by Revd. H. W. Townsend, at a cost of £200 borrowed from R. C. B."(2)

Entries in Guy's City and County Cork Almanac and Directory for 1907 show that he was a busy man. Pages 65 to 68 record that he was the Archdeacon of Ross, a Diocesan Nominator for the United Diocese Cork, Cloyne & Ross, was a member of the Diocesan Board of Education, was a Canon representing Inniskenny in the Dean and Chapter of The Cathedral Church of St. Finbarre, Cork was a Precentor in the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral Church of St Fachtna, Ross and Rural Dean.

Later sections of Guy’s 1907 Almanac record that Horace was Vice Chairman of the Skibbereen Branch Technical Instruction Committee with classes on art, mechanical drawing, building construction, carpentry and joinery, business methods, typewriting and shorthand. Page 109 records that he was a member of the Cork Committee of the Irish Temperance League and on page 443 he is shown as President of the Skibbereen Branch of the Church of Ireland Temperance Society and Church of Ireland Young Men's Christian Association.

Entries relating to Horace in Guy's City and County Cork Almanac and Directory for 1913 are virtually identical to those of 1907.

The April 1901 Irish Census records that Horace lived in house 8 in Carrigfadda, Skibbereen, Cork, with his wife, three unmarried daughters, his sister in law and two domestic staff; the house consisted of 12 rooms, a stable, coach house and nine further outbuildings. The 1911 Irish Census shows that Horace lived in house 5 in Carrigfadda with his wife, all five of his unmarried daughters, his sister in law and two female domestic staff. The house consisted of 14 rooms, a stable, coach house and eight further outbuildings.

The report of proceedings, lists of committees, delegates, etc in June 1892 of the Munster & Connaught Unionist Convention for Provinces of Leinster shows ‘Rev HW Townsend’ as a representative of the County of Cork. Several of his kinsmen were also listed as members – Richard Harvey Townsend [534], Thomas Courtenay Townsend [5B02], Charles Eyre Townsend [5B14], Charles Uniacke Townshend [5C00], Charles Loftus Townsend [5C01] and Horatio Hamilton Townsend [6B05].

Horace was a witness at the Royal Commission on Congestion in Ireland: Eighth Report 1907. A digest of his evidence, is at Pages LXVIII - LXIX of the Report and the record of his evidence is at Pages 193-195 of the Report. In it he states that "I have been farming the land several years in this district, so that I am accustomed to the way of farming. I have been trying to promote farming and tillage by trying to give land to schools for school farms, but I have found that the parents would not avail themselves of it. They said their boys would only be working for the benefit of the schoolmaster, and I did not succeed." The Report is contained in the Enhanced British Parliamentary Papers on Ireland.

In his unpublished autobiography (3) Edward Mansel Townshend [630] recounted his visit to Ireland in 1880 and again shortly after his marriage in 1890. On both occasions he stayed with Horace and his wife then living at Cuilnaconartha, Clonakilty; presumably having inherited the property when his father died in January 1880. Francis Guy's City and County Cork Almanac and Directory for 1884 shows him living at Cuilnaconartha.

In his autobiography Edward also wrote "I had last met them at Blackheath, so it was a great pleasure to see them again" He goes on to record that "For many years Horace was Secretary and Superintendent of the Irish Church Mission Society......My Cousin Horace had much to tell of his long and arduous fight with the Irish Land League. A man of high standing and a clergyman, they did not dare to touch him personally but tried to boycott him and others by preventing their dealing with him. So my cousin set up a good sized shop and got a man from a distance to open it as a bakery and general store where good cheap bread could be had and every other kind of thing needed. He found it quite easy to undersell the village shop, where the prices were exorbitant, and in the end the RC Priest, the Secretary and the Treasurer of the Land League become customers at his shop."

In a letter from Wimbledon dated 19 August 1879, Elizabeth Townsend [5D01] wrote that Horace "seems to know a great deal about medicine and is a strong homoeopathist and has affected many cures".

Page 697 of The Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that Administration of the estate of "The Reverend Horace Webb Townsend late of Skibbereen County Cork Clerk" who died on 10 January 1915, at Castletownshend was granted at Dublin on 20 July 1915 to " Edward H Townsend CE". Effects £2,315 9s 5d. (Edward Hume Townsend [642])

Horace and Charlotte are both buried in the graveyard at Creagh, Skibbereen and a picture of their headstone is shown in Horace's Scrapbook.

For other connections with Abbeystrewry see Richard Townsend [310], Mary Townsend [314], Richard Boyle Townsend [332], Horatio Thomas Townsend [334], Dorothea Townsend [404], Charlotte Frances Townsend [422], Horatio Townsend [5D00].

Horace's biography can be seen on page 293 of ‘Cork and County Cork in the Twentieth Century - Contemporary Biographies’ by the Rev Richard J Hodges and the ‘Church and Parish Records of the United Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross’ by the Rev John Harding Cole are reproduced his “Scrapbook’.

(1) Charlotte Anne was born in 1837 in Westmeath, Ireland and died on 31 May 1913.

(2) He was preceded in the living at Abbeystrewry by Rev Horatio Townsend [5D00] 1770-1781; Rev William Robinson husband of Mary Townsend [314] 1781-1819; Rev Richard Boyle Townsend [332] 1819-1850 and Rev Horace Thomas Townsend [334] 1850-1867 - in all 96 years of Townsend or Townsend connections with the parish. See page 454 et seq of Brady's Parochial and Clerical Records Volume 2.

(3) 'A Protestant Autobiography by the Rev E Mansel Townshend’