Reverend Thomas Townsend (6B03)

Date of Birth: 1787
Date of Death: 20 Mar 1860
Generation: 5th
Residence: Mayo
Father: Samuel Philip Townsend [6B00]
Mother: Robinson, Helena
  1. Jeynes, Caroline
  1. Samuel Peter [6B17]
  2. William Hotham Robinson [6B18]
  3. Reverend Thomas [6B19]
  4. Professor Edward (Iney) [6B20]
  5. Rose Anne Hotham [6B21]
  6. Helena [6B22]
  7. Mary Young [6B23]
  8. Caroline [6B59]
See Also: Table VIB ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Reverend Thomas Townsend

Married 13 August 1814 at Queenstown. Caroline Jeynes (1) was the daughter of Sir Edwin Jeynes (2) Knt, Alderman of Gloucester.

Alumni Trinity College Dublin from Co Cork and Kerry 1593-1860 in Dr Casey's Collection records that Thomas was taught by Mr Coglan before he entered Trinity College, Dublin, on 2 November 1804 aged 17 as a pensioner who paid a fixed sum annually for his studies. The TCD Graduation List records that he qualified BA in Spring 1809 and MA in Winter 1832. John Townsend [318] and his brother, William Robinson Townsend [6B02], were undergraduates at Trinity at the same time. Richard Uniacke Townsend [517], Chambre Corker Townsend [5D01] and Horatio Townsend [5D02] read for their MA in the same year as Thomas.

Ordained Deacon on 10 February 1811 and Priest on 29 September 1812, both at Cork, Thomas was licensed to the Curacy of Tullagh, near Skibbereen on 11 February 1811; to that of Clonmel on 13 March 1812 and to that of Farihy (Farrahy), near Mitchelstown on 8 March 1817. He was Rector Mayo, Diocese Tuam from 1823 to 1860. See page 188 of Brady's Parochial and Clerical Records Volume 2.

Amongst the catalogue of the registered papers of the Office of Chief Secretary of Ireland from 1818 to 1852, in the National Archives of Ireland, there are three items relating to Thomas. The first is a letter dated 23 July 1822 from an anonymous writer in County Cork, alleging misuse of relief payments by clergymen. In it he alleges that ‘Townsend, curate of Farahy, near Kildorrey, who would do any thing for Money’, misappropriated funds provided for the alleviation of local poor on public works schemes. The second item is a petition dated 26 July 1822 submitted by the parochial committee of Farahy and Kildorrery, County Cork, to Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquis Wellesley, Lord Lieutenant, detailing the advantages of a new road between Farahy bridge and Farahy mill and requesting government funds for the work. The petition was signed by seven individuals including John Lawton, parish priest of Kildorrery, and Reverend Thomas Townsend, Church of Ireland rector, Farahy glebe.

The third item is a file of papers relating to a request from Thomas to be moved to an alternative church living as his wife was afraid to remain in the area, she and their young son having identified and prosecuted the Whiteboy perpetrators involved in an attack on their home on 16 July 1823. (2a) Following this Thomas was appointed to the church living of Mayo on 15 September 1823. Three days later Thomas wrote from Tuthill's Hotel, Dawson Street, Dublin, to Henry Goulburn, Chief Secretary, Dublin Castle, emphasising his wife's ongoing concerns about the family's security, and stated his reservations with the remoteness of Mayo. He also requested consideration for appointment to the parish of St. Nicholas in Cork city.

The archives of the Royal Cork Yacht Club show entries "Thomas Townsend – admitted a member in 1812" and "Thomas Townsend – requested to attend a committee meeting in October 1828." They also show "Revd. Thomas Townsend – yacht 'Naiad' (9 1/2) tons" as being a member in 1828 and "Rev Thomas Townsend. 'Kathleen' (15 tons)" residing at Castle Townsend as being a member in 1829. These entries probably refer to the Thomas Townsend and his son, Dr Thomas Stewart Townsend, who was Curate at Castletownshend at about this time, both of whom are shown on page 528 of Brady's Parochial and Clerical Records Volume 2. In November 1850 Dr Thomas Stewart Townsend was appointed Bishop of Meath and died at Malaga on 1 September 1852.

There are several references to 'Rev Thomas Townsend' in 'Griffiths Valuation of Ireland 1848-1864'. Ownership of the land is spread over quite a large area and some of the entries might refer to Thomas' son, Rev Thomas Townsend [6B19] or the Townsends referred to in the last paragraph. The Directory shows ownership of land in the following Parishes; Kilpatrick (3) near Tracton, - "Townsend Rev. Thomas", Ringcurran near Kinsale, - "Townsend Rev. Thomas. Main Street Cove & Knockduff" and Clonpriest - "Townsend Rev. Thos. Beanfield ". To confuse matters still further the list of subscribers to Samuel Lewis. Topographical Dictionary of Ireland 1837' records "Townshend, Rev. Thomas, Curate Nathlash, Rock-mills, Cork." This Thomas, also shown on page 258 of Brady's Parochial and Clerical Records Volume 3, is not one of the family.

Unable to meet his financial obligations, like several others in the family who owned property in Ireland, Thomas appears to have sold off part of his estate in the Land Court established under the Encumbered Estates Acts of 1848 and 1849. (4) The Landlord Index of County Cork Encumbered Estates records "TOWNSEND, Rev. Thomas, 10, 258799."

The Tithe Applotment Books in the National Archives of Ireland were compiled between 1823 and 1837 in order to determine the amount which occupiers of agricultural holdings over one acre should pay in tithes to the Church of Ireland. The 1823 entry for the Parish of Kilshannig shows Thomas as a Commissioner for the collection of tithes.

The University of Galway Landed Estates Database shows Thomas letting Broomley, Tracton to George Daunt who married Helena Herbert Townsend [619] - "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." The NUI website also records in an entry for Harbour Hill House "Harbour Hill House was being leased by Charles Newman to Rev Thomas Townsend at the time of Griffith's Valuation, when it was valued at £8 15s. Harbour Hill is still extant."

Thomas died at Tivoli Gardens, Cork and was buried at Donoughmore on 24 March 1860.

(1) The death of Caroline at Chiselhurst Common, Kent, was reported in the Cork Examiner on 5th March 1866.

(2) Sir Edwin Jeynes was a Gloucestershire banker with an interest in the forges at Lydbrook and Redbrook in Gloucestershire.

(2a). The Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier of 17 July 1823 reports a case in the County Court brought against William McDonnell, Thomas Sullivan and David Nagle for “having forcibly compelled Mrs Caroline Townsend, the wife of the Rev Thomas Townsend, to deliver to them certain fire arms” on 20 May 1823. During the trial Caroline, her son William and three female servants, Mary Fox, Anne Roche and Nancy Roche were all cross examined. An account of the trial of these ‘Whiteboys’ is included in Thomas’ ‘Scrapbook’. McDonnell and Nagle were found guilty but it is not known what their sentence was, as the article is cut short. Sullivan was found not guilty.

(3) Ordnance Survey of Ireland, Discovery Series 1:50,000, Map Sheet 87. Grid reference W7357.

(4) The Encumbered Estates Acts enabled the sale of Irish estates which had been mortgaged and whose owners found themselves in difficult financial circumstances. Unable to meet the demands of their creditors owners sold their estates, or portions of them, to settle their obligations. During and after the potato famine many tenants could not pay their rents, and this left landlords with little choice. However, the sale of land was difficult until the introduction of the Encumbered Estates legislation. Between 1849 and 1857 the Landed Estates Court oversaw the sale of more than 3000 Irish estates. Others in the family who were forced to sell include Jonas Morris Townsend [237], John Henry Townsend [238], Samuel Townsend [412], John Handcock Townsend [523], John Townsend [622], Samuel Philip Townsend [6A03], Edward Richard Townsend [6C00].