Dorothea Petrie Townshend (6A29)

Date of Birth: 8 May 1895
Date of Death: 3 Feb 1968
Generation: 7th
Residence: Ballinamona, Co Waterford
Father: Colonel George Robert Townshend [6A15]
Mother: Wisdom, Petrie
  1. Carew, Robert John Henry
  1. Roberta Oonagh
See Also: Table VIA ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Dorothea Petrie Townsend. See also her entry in Wikipedia

Dorothea was born at ‘Garrycloyne’, Westcombe Park Road, Woolwich, London. Her parents moved to there just before her birth and, being the first occupants of the house, they were asked by the landlord to name it – this they did and called it Garrycloyne!

Married 25 July 1936 at St Mark's Church, North Audley Street, London as his second wife, Major Robert John Henry Carew (1) MC. DL. JP of Ballinamona Park (2), Co Waterford son of Lt Col Robert Thomas Carew (3), Ballinamona Park, Kilbarry, Waterford. See 1958 Edn Burke's Irish Family Records – Carew.(4) The reception, which was held at Lady Ellerman’s home at 1 South Audley St, London, was hosted by Dorothea’s brother Hugh Townsend [6A28]. Dorothea was living at 16 Hertford Court, Mayfair, London at the time of the announcement of her engagement on 30 April 1936.

Dorothea started her formal education at the Ursuline Convent in Dover. In 1909 she went to Queenswood School, Eastbourne, where she remained until 1912. It was here that she became close friends with Annie Winnifred Ellerman, who was later to become a well known novelist, poet, memoirist, and magazine editor, writing under the pen name ‘Bryher’. Her father, Sir John Ellerman, was reputedly the wealthiest man in the country. Both he and Lady Ellerman were extraordinarily kind taking Dorothea and her mother to Paris during the Christmas holidays in 1910 and on cruises in their yacht to Scandinavia in 1911, the west coat of Scotland in 1912 and the Mediterranean in 1913.

Dorothea started at Cheltenham Ladies College in the autumn of 1912 and went up to Somerville College, Oxford, in October 1914. Whilst there she kept in close touch with her distant cousins Richard Baxter Townsend [5D15] and Sir John Sealy Townsend [6B30].

After matriculating in 1917 Dorothea took a job as a Civil Servant with the Crown Agents for the Colonies which she found unbearably dull. She only stayed one month before she was offered a position as editorial assistant on ‘The New Witness’ – a literary weekly owned by GK Chesterton and founded by his brother Cecil. More exciting journalistic jobs followed; Assistant editor The Queen, editor of the women’s page on the Sunday Dispatch and others. In 1935 Bryher bought a literary magazine called ‘Life and Letters’, renamed it ‘Life and Letters To-Day’ and installed Robert Herring and Dorothea as editors.

After the death of her parents Dorothea went to Ireland to visit those places that her father had spoken about and to meet some of her many cousins. She recounts her experiences in her book 'Anything Once: An Autobiography' which was published in 1971 after her death. In particular she recalls visiting Dr Thomas Henry Denny Townsend [5A10] “who lived in a house, Merton, situated at the mouth of Cork harbour with a wonderful garden , the delight of my cousin’s wife, Mrs Denny Townsend, from which one could see the liners passing by…” Dorothea also tells of the kindness of her cousin Thomas Loftus Townsend [5C02] who lived in Dublin, as well the hospitality and warmth of all those she met when she went to Castletownshend.

In about 1933/4 Dorothea decided to spend a small legacy she had inherited from an aunt on a trip to North America. In Chapter X of her book ‘Anything Goes’ she gives a vivid description of her experiences, getting ever more adventurous as she approached the mountainous West. On returning to England Dorothea decided to further her developing interest in psychoanalysis with particular interest in disturbed children. This continued throughout the rest of her life.

Following her marriage Dorothea moved to the family residence at Ballinamona where she had the new experience of running a large house without any staff or other luxuries that she had previously enjoyed. She maintained her contacts with the literary world and continued her social work with deprived children. She also found time to write a history about her first school entitled 'Many Years, Many Girls'- a story about Queenswood Ladies College in Eastbourne.

Dorothea died of heart failure.

The daughter Roberta Oonagh Petrie Carew was born on 5 July 1938. She married David Brian Parkes, son of Sydney Edward Parkes, on 28 June 1957 and divorced in 1969. They had a son and three daughters.

(1) Robert John Henry Carew was born on 7 Jun 1888 in Ballinamona, Co. Waterford, Ireland. He was educated at Marlborough College, Marlborough, Wiltshire, and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Berkshire. He fought in the First World War with 1st Battalion, Dublin Fusiliers and was awarded the Military Cross in 1917. He was appointed Deputy Lieutenant Co Waterford in 1919 and a Justice of the Peace in 1920. He succeeded his father in the living at Ballinamona Park. Robert married first Leila Vernon Macan on 3 April 1915.

(2) The entry for Ballinamona Park in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "In 1848 Ballinamona was held in fee by Thomas Carew when it was valued at £51. In 1814 Leet notes it as the residence of Robert Carew. Lewis refers to it as the seat of T. Carew in 1837. Smith, writing in 1774, describes it as a "well-built house". Brady notes that it was rebuilt following a fire in the late nineteenth century. By 1906 it was owned by Robert Thomas Carew (jun) and valued at £70. It is still extant."

(3) ‘Slater’s Royal National Directory of Ireland, 1894’ records under the heading ‘County Magistrates, Co Waterford’ - “Carew Capt. Robert Thomas, Ballinamona Park, Kilbarry, Waterford.”

(4) The entry for Carew (Ballinoma Park) in the University of Galway Landed Estates Database records "This branch of the Carew family descend from the family established at Castleboro, county Wexford. Robert Carew, of that family, married Anne Lynn, daughter of Andrew Lynn, of Ballinamona Park, county Waterford. Andrew Lynne was granted lands in counties Waterford and Tipperary in 1666. Robert and Anne's second son Andrew inherited the Lynn estates in county Waterford from his maternal grandfather. Walter Carew was among the principal lessors in the parish of Ardmore, barony of Decies-within-Drum, county Waterford in 1851 while Thomas Carew held townlands in the parish of Kilbarry, barony of Gaultiere at the same time. In the 1870s the estate of Robert Thomas Carew amounted to over 2300 acres in county Waterford."