Richard Townsend (6A00)
|Date of Birth:||1750|
|Date of Death:||8 Apr 1805?|
|Residence:||Pallastown, Kinsale, Co Cork|
|Father:||Reverend Horatio Townsend |
|See Also:||Table VIA ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree|
Notes for Richard Townsend
Richard was christened at Macroom, Co Cork on 1 August 1784
Married 29 September 1772. Mildred Daunt (1) was the daughter and co-heiress of Achilles Daunt (2) of Gortigrenane House] (3), Co Cork and Owlpen Manor, Gloucs (4). See Burke's Irish Landed Gentry 1912 - Daunt and 'Pooles of Mayfield' p.156. See also ‘A Guide to Irish Houses’ by M. Bence-Jones, London, 1988 - “MINANE BRIDGE cor Gortigrenane. Daunt - Stoughton 1780+. Passed by marriage to the Stoughton’s early 19 cent. Derelict.”
In her autobiography, 'Anything Once' Richard’s great granddaughter, Dorothy Petrie Townsend (Carew) [6A29] recalls her father telling her of his many happy childhood days playing at Pallastown. “My father remembered his childhood as a very happy time and one of great freedom. Summer holidays were spent at Pallastown, a property belonging to my great grandfather Richard Townsend, where my grandfather lived before he bought Garrycloyne as well. It is near Kinsale, a rocky coast with steep cliffs, and my father remembered the pack of children dashing about these cliffs, falling into the sea, boating in makeshift craft and often wondered why they were not all killed.”
Following the outbreak of the American War of Independence in 1775 the largest army ever to leave Britain was sent to America, and, when France entered the war on the American side, Ireland was left open to attack from France. Inspired by events in America, and later in revolutionary France, the Society of United Irishmen agitated for reform and this raised fears in the Protestant Ascendancy about internal disorder in Ireland. In 1778 the City of Cork Corporation made a grant of three hundred guineas for the raising of Protestant militia volunteer corps in response to this turn of events and Protestant Militia and Volunteers 1778 lists the 48 Militias raised in the county numbering between one and four companies each strong. Richard Townsend  and some 126 of his fellow Protestants signed the resolution on 26th March 1778 and it appears that Richard was a Captain in the "Kinnelea and Kirrech Union. Enrolled 1779. Force: 3 companies.Uniform: blue, edged white, white buttons. Officers in 1 782 - Colonel, Thomas Roberts; Lieut.-Col., Thomas Herrick; Major, John Roberts; Captains, Richard Townsend, Thomas Daunt and Michael B. Westrop; Lieutenants, George Daunt William Daunt and - Carey; Ensign, - Peed." This most probably refers to Richard; the three named Daunt officers are cousins of Richard's wife.
There are three entries in the Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland where Richard is mentioned. Memorial 227624 dated 23 April 1779 contains very complex Articles of Agreement about an entitlement of £2,000 with George and Mary Daunt as Party 1 and 2 respectively and 'Richard Townsend of Palacetown' and 'Jonas Travers of Butlerstown' jointly as Party 3. In Memorial 232541 dated 1 May 1782 Richard is shown as a witness in the deed concerning the will of Lord James Tracton. Memorial 271881 dated 13 October 1789 is an Indenture of Release by Thomas Daunt of Fahalea (Party 1) to Richard and George Daunt of Newborough (jointly Party 2) 'to hold forever upon trust' the lands of Conybegg, Cork.
The list of Freemen and Freeholders who voted in the election of 13 August 1783 for two members to sit in Parliament for the City of Cork shows that Edward Mansel Townsend  and Cornelius Townsend  voted for Augustus Warren and John Bagwell; Richard Boyle Townsend , Richard (or possibly Richard Townsend ) and Rev Horatio Townsend [5D00] all voted for John Hely Hutchinson and John Bagwell. John Hely Hutchinson and Richard Longfield were duly elected.
The article ‘A Contemporary Account of the Rightboy Movement: the John Barter Bennet Manuscript’ in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archeological Society (1983 Series 2 Vol 88 No 247) records on page 33 an incident involving Richard. “The Rev John Gibbs, curate of Donaghmore, was a man very irregular and immoral in his conduct. Drunkenness was his favourite vice; he likewise was a man of a violent and vindictive disposition. …. Mr Gibbs being a magistrate of the county and having done (though perhaps not intentionally) something wrong in that capacity, a tenant of Mr Richard Townsend of Palacetown applied to the Court of King’s Bench for an attachment against him, but the dispute between them being apparently adjusted, Mr Townsend’s tenant ceased proceeding. Some time after this, Mr Townsend and Mr George Davies of Dawstown, returning from grousing on the 15th of August l785, were met on the road by Mr Gibbs. Mr Gibbs’s first address on seeing them was ‘God damn all poachers and all scoundrels’. The gentlemen naturally asked if he alluded to them. Some altercation of course passed between them; at length Mr Gibbs rode home through the fields for a pistol, returned with it in his pocket, rode up to Mr Townsend and, using abusive language, raised up the butt end of a loaded whip to strike him, which Mr Townsend prevented by forcing the whip out of his hand, on which Mr Gibbs took out the pistol and swore ‘he would kill that scoundrel Townsend’, when Mr Davies interfering, he put it aside, and Davies asked Mr Gibbs if ‘he could be such a villain as to kill Mr Townsend’. He swore ‘he would’, and when Mr Davies refused to go out of the way, he bade him ‘take that and be damned’, and firing at Mr Davies, wounded him in the forearm most severely. For this Mr Gibbs was tried, convicted, and fined at spring assizes, 1786, and Mr Davies afterwards obtained £200 damages against him.”
On 7th April 1787 Lieut General Samuel Townsend  wrote to his cousin Richard from his home in Wimpole Street about a demand for payment of £6,000. The envelope is addressed 'Richd. Townsend Esq; Pallace town; near Kinsale. to be forwarded by Doctor Townsend with dispatch'. It is presumed that 'Doctor Townsend' refers to Richard Townsend , Richard and Samuel's cousin and the only 'Dr Townsend' living at this time. The letter is reproduced in Richard's 'Scrapbook' with a transcription. Without knowing further details about the matter it is difficult to make much sense of it.(4a)
At a meeting in the King’s Arms Tavern in Cork on 15 November 1791 (5) the “Gentlemen of the city and county of Cork” resolved to “assist the Civil magistrates in the execution of the law” by forming a society, called the ‘Hanover Association’, to apprehend Whiteboys (6) who were attacking both property and people. Members of the Association paid a subscription for the “purpose of procuring information and carrying on prosecutions, where the means of the aggrieved parties are insufficient”. Members were also required to arm themselves to assist the magistrates. A further meeting of the Association was held at the King’s Arm’s on 7 December 1791 at which it was resolved to pay £50 to anyone who within 12 months provides information that leads to the discovery, apprehension and conviction of Whiteboys. The following members of the family are shown as attending the meeting: John Townsend , Richard Boyle Townsend , Richard Townsend , Samuel Townsend , Thomas Townsend , John Sealy Townsend , Rev Horatio Townsend [5D00], Rev Edward Synge Townsend , Richard Townsend [6A00] and Samuel Philip Townsend [6B00]. Additionally, Adam Newman, husband of Mary Townsend  and Thomas Warren, husband of Anna Townsend  are also shown on the list.
Richard was admitted a Freeman of the City of Cork on 16 September 1794. The Council Book of the Corporation of the City of Cork 1690-1800 by Richard Caulfield records on page 1096 “16 September 1794. That…..Richard Townsend, of Pallace Town, Esq…..be admitted freemen at large”. Between 1710 and 1841, when the power of admitting Freemen only by birth or right ceased, a total of thirty three members of the Townsend family were admitted as Freemen.
Catherine Fitzmaurice records in her list of Known Freemen of Bandon Bridge appointed in 1797 Richard Townsend of Palace Anne (probably Palllastown), William Townsend Esq of Derry , Captain of Clonakilty Cavalry, and Rev Horace Townsend of Courtmacsherry [5D00]. There is also a reference to Rev Horatio Townsend appointed in 1805 but identification has not been possible.
As described on the page ‘Background History’, events in Ireland in the last decade of the 18th century convinced the Prime Minister in Westminster, William Pitt, that the only way to solve unrest in the country was to get the Irish Parliament to pass an Act of Union. He thought that Irish Catholics would be better off as a minority in the United Kingdom, rather than a majority in Ireland. Richard, and six of his kinsmen (7), supported this and they, along with several hundred fellow landowners in Co Cork, published a proclamation supporting union in The Belfast Newsletter dated Tuesday 30 July 1799. A copy of the proclamation is reproduced in Richard’s ‘Scrapbook’.
Page 318 of Francis G Tuckey's "Tuckey's Cork Remembrancer" records that 'Richard Townsend' was High Sheriff of County Cork in 1807; there is no supporting evidence to show that this refers to Richard - it could equally apply to four others named Richard , , and  or to someone from another family. On balance of probability it is most likely Richard Townsend .
Page 70 of ‘The Report of the Select Committee on the Public Income & Expenditure of Ireland’, published in 1815, records that “Mrs Townsend (Palacetown)” was a regular subscriber to the ‘South Cork Infirmary’; her annual subscription of £3 – 8s – 3d is shown as due for payment on 5 January 1814. Other subscribers include Horatio Townsend [6B01], Rev John Townsend  and Rev William Robinson Townsend [6B02].
The seventh edition of “The History of the General Rebellion in Ireland: Raised upon the Three (sic) and Twenty day of October 1641” published by Phineas and George Bagnell, Castle Street Cork in 1766 shows “Mr Richard Townsend jnr” as a subscriber. It is not clear to whom this refers, be it Richard or Richard Boyle Townsend  (only aged 10 at the time) or Colonel Richard Townsend  (whose father died in 1742). Ten other members of the family are shown in the list of subscribers; Francis Townsend , Cornelius Townsend , John Townsend  or John Townsend , Rev Richard Townsend , Philip Townsend , Dr Richard Townsend , Thomas Hungerford Townsend , Rev Horatio Townsend [5D00], Rev Horatio Townsend , Rev Edward Synge Townsend .
“Richard Townsend, Coolmona, Esq.” is shown as a subscriber to the book ‘The State of The Protestants of Ireland under the late King James’s Government' by William King, Lord Archbishop of Dublin and published by Phineas Bagnell, Cork, in 1768. “In which their carriage towards him is justified, and the absolute necessity of their endeavouring to be freed from his government, and submitting to their present Majesties is demonstrated.” Other members of the family who subscribed to this book include Richard Townsend , John Townsend  or , Philip Townsend , Edward Mansel Townsend , Captain Thomas Townsend , Rev Horatio Townsend  and Rev Edward Synge Townsend .
(1) Mildred was born in 1747.
(2) The entry for Daunt (Kinsale) in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster 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."
(3) The entry for Gortigrenane House in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "At the time of Griffith's Valuation, this house was being leased by Anthony Savage from the Staughton estate, when it was valued at £40. Lewis refers to it as the seat of Luke Shea in 1837. Thomas A. Staughton owned a second property in this townland [W777575], valued at £10 and leased to David Drinan. Gortigrenane had originally been a Daunt property, which came to Staughton through marriage with Mary Daunt, of Owlpen, Gloucestershire. It is believed to have been remodeled in 1817. See www.owlpen.com. The house was destroyed during the War of Independence and is now a ruin."
(4) The de Olepenne family settled at Owlpen (pronounced locally "Ole-pen") around 1174. In1464 the male line failed after twelve generations and the manor and lands passed to the Daunt family on the marriage of Margery de Olepenne to John Daunt of Wotton-under-Edge. The Daunts were clothiers who settled in Wotton in the 14th century. They later acquired land in Munster, Ireland, where by 1595 they had their principal estate at Gortigrenane Castle*, near Carrigaline in County Cork. The Daunt family in the male line died out in 1803 on the death of Thomas Daunt VI.
(4a) The letter was found on eBay by Nicholas Cook of Kinsale in 2020. He is a local historian who has researched the "Heard" family who purchased Pallastown from the Townsends in 1864.
(5) Reported in the Dublin Evening Post 31 January 1792.
(6) Whiteboys were a secret 18th century Irish agrarian organization which used violent tactics against landlords and tithe collectors to defend tenant farmer land rights. They wore white smocks on their nightly raids and sought to address rack-rents, tithe collection, excessive priests' dues, evictions and other oppressive acts.
(7). John Townsend  shown as ‘John Townfend MP Shepperton’, Rev Richard Townsend  shown as ‘Richd Townfend clk Skull’, William Townsend  shown as ‘William Townfend Derry’. Thomas Townsend  shown as ‘Thos Townfend Mallow’, Rev Horatio Townsend [5D00] shown as ‘Horace Townfend Courtmacsherry’, Samuel Philip Townsend [6B00] shown as ‘Samuel T(?) Townfend Firmount’ .
’An Officer of the Long Parliament' Ch XII p. 268.