Lieutenant Colonel Henry FitzJohn Townshend (260)

Date of Birth: 18 Feb 1841
Date of Death: 9 Aug 1912
Generation: 7th
Residence: Seafield, Castletownshend
Father: John FitzHenry Townshend [250]
Mother: Armstrong, Ellen
  1. Bushe, Mary
  2. Sawyer, Elizabeth
    • Lieutenant Colonel Arthur FitzHenry [267]
    • Sylvia Rosalie [268]
See Also: Table II ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Lieutenant Colonel Henry FitzJohn Townshend JP.

Henry's biography can be seen on page 294 of 'Cork and County Cork in the Twentieth Century - Contemporary Biographies' by the Rev Richard J Hodges and published by W T Pike & Co in 1911. It has also been reproduced in his 'Scrapbook'.

Henry was born in Cork and baptized in Frankfield Church, Cork. Alumni Trinity College Dublin from Co Cork and Kerry 1593-1860 in Dr Casey's Collection records that he was taught by Mr Crosthwaite before he entered Trinity College, Dublin, on 1 July 1859 aged 18 as a pensioner who paid a fixed sum annually for his studies.

The TCD Graduation List records that Henry qualified BA in Winter 1863. Horace Webb Townsend [634] and the brothers Richard Horatio Townsend [6A10] and Samuel Philip Townsend [6A11] were undergraduates at Trinity at the same time, whilst Rev Richard Townsend [337] was teaching at the university.

Married 1st in St Stephen's Church, Dublin, on 15 November 1870 (1). Mary Caroline Bushe (2) was the eldest daughter of Arthur Bushe,(2a) Master of the Queen's Bench. Married 2nd 27 September 1900 (3). Elizabeth (Bessy) Sawyer (4) was the widow of Major Edward Sawyer and daughter of Major Richard James Martin,(4a) King's Dragoon Guards, Clareville,(4b) Oughterard, Co. Galway.

Henry purchased his commission (London Gazette 22865) as an Ensign on 21 June 1864 in the 26th of Foot (Cameronians) (5) and served in India and Abyssinia under Lord Napier of Magdala. On promotion to Lieutenant (London Gazette 23516) he transferred to the 27th of Foot (Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers) on 14 July 1869 and 'retired from the Service receiving the value of his commission' on 29 October 1873 (London Gazette 24029). Twelve years later on 10 June 1885 Henry was appointed Captain in the 3rd/4th Battalion The Cameronians (London Gazette 25486). It is not known when he was promoted Major but documentary evidence in the Lovera Papers shows him as a Major in 1891. He was granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel on 22 January 1896 (London Gazette 26701) and on 24 October that same year retired - "Major and Honorary Lieutenant - Colonel H. FitzJ. Townshend retires, with permission to retain his rank, and to wear the prescribed uniform on his retirement" (London Gazette 26788).

By 1877 Henry was living at Seafield, (5a) Castletownshend, formerly his father's house and that same year he was appointed a Justice of the Peace. This is reflected on page 108 of Francis Guy's City and County Cork Almanac and Directory for 1884, page 125 of Guy’s City and County Cork Almanac and Directory 1891 and page 158 of Guy's City and County Cork Almanac and Directory for 1907.

Henry's father transferred (6) the lands of Kilcoe (498 acres) and East & West Myross (189 acres) to him in 1881 - the indenture shows Henry living at Seafield. The account for rental income from Kilcoe/Myross and other lands for the period 1 November 1912 to 8 May 1913, headed "Rental of the Property of the late Colonel HF Townshend" (7), amounted to £383-7s-5d gross; £161-17s-8d after tax and charges - equivalent to £11,485 in 2007.

Page 113 of Guy’s City and County Cork Almanac and Directory 1891 records that Henry was an elected Poor Law Guardian for Skibbereen whilst page 95 of Guy's City and County Cork Almanac and Directory for 1907 records that he was a Board Member of the Ilen Valley Railway Co.

‘Slater’s Royal National Directory of Ireland, 1894’ records under the heading ‘County Magistrates for the Province of Munster. Co Cork.’ – “Townshend Major Henry Fitz-John, Seafield, Castle-Townshend, Skibbereen.” and under the heading ‘Munster Parishes - Castletownshend. Private Residents.’ – “Townshend Major Henry F. JP. Seafield”. The Seafield address is reflected throughout in Francis Guy’s 1884, 1891 and 1907 Almanacs.

When Horace Payne-Townshend [5D12] withdrew as an executor to the will of Richard Mellifont Townshend [236], leaving Henry's father as the sole executor, his place was taken by Henry under a Declaration of Trust (8) dated 18 May 1885. When Henry's father died in 1893 his place was taken by Mr Robert Hall, a Solicitor of 39 South Mall, Cork.

At the sale of the Castletownshend Estate on 25 June 1897 Henry purchased Lot 83 ("Houses and premises in the village of Castletownshend held in fee simple") for £225. His very distant cousin Charles Loftus Townsend [5C01] purchased Lot 87 (the Castle and demesne) for £14,000.

The April 1901 Irish Census records Henry, aged 60, living at house 65 in Castletownshend with his second wife, Elizabeth, and two domestic staff; the house consisted of twelve rooms and no outbuildings. However, the April 1911 Irish Census shows him living at house 53 in Castletownshend with his wife and a parlour maid. The census shows that the house had 13 rooms, a stable, coach house, harness room, fowl house and three other outbuildings.

The records of the Royal Cork Yacht Club show in the Lloyds Yacht Register 1900. "Lt-Col Henry F Townshend. Seafield, Castletownshend, Co Cork. 'Alyn' (9 tons)".

Henry’s second wife Elizabeth received half yearly interest from the Estate of John Blakeney in Co Galway but it is not known how she was related to him.

Henry died of heart failure at Castletownshend and is buried in St Barrahane's Church, Castletownshend.

Page 632 of The Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that Probate of the will of "Henry Fitzjohn Townshend late of Seafield Castletownshend County Cork Lieutenant Colonel”, who died on 9 August 1912, was granted at Dublin on 19 September 1912 to "Arthur F Townshend Captain." Effects £3,037 13s 6d. Re-sworn £4,118 15s 0d. Arthur Townsend [267] was Henry’s son.

(1) Entry in the diary of Agnes Townsend [334] - 'Nov 1870 Mr Henry Fitzjohn T married'.

(2) Mary died intestate on 21 February 1890 in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin and is buried in St Barrahane's Church. Entry in the diary of Agnes Townsend [334] - '21 Feb 1890 Mrs H FitzJ Townshend died'. Page 884 of The Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that Letters of Administration of the personal estate of "Mary Christina Townshend late of Seafield Castletownshend County Cork" who died on 21 February 1890 at the Shelbourne Hotel Dublin”, were granted at the Principal Registry on 30 April 1892 to " Henry FitzJohn Townshend of Seafield Esquire the Husband". Effects £252.

(2a) The entry for Bushe in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "Col. John Bushe, originally from Somerset, was granted lands at Kilfane in county Kilkenny following the Cromwellian settlement. His descendent, Henry Amyas Bushe inherited the Gumbleton of Glencairn estate through his marriage with Lavinia Gumbleton. Their son Gervase (or Jervis) was the owner of over 600 acres at Glencairn as well as over 1700 acres at Kilfane in the 1870s."

(3) Entry in the diary of Agnes Townsend [334] - 'Sep 27 1900 Col (?) Townshend to Mrs Sanders' (sic).

(4) Elizabeth was born in Galway in 1846.

(4a) The entry for Martin (Ballynahinch) in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "A branch of the Anglo Norman family of Martin, one of the Tribes of Galway, was granted the O'Flaherty lands in the Connemara region in the mid 17th century. This family were a junior branch of the Martins of Ross and under the Acts of Settlement were granted vast estates in counties Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Clare and Sligo. By a patent dated 1698 they were confirmed in the possession of their Connemara estate known as the Manor of Claremount by King William. The Westport Estate Papers document the sale of over 27,000 acres in the baronies of Moycullen and Ballynahinch by the trustees for the sale of Colonel John Browne's estate to John Edwards for Richard Martin in 1699. The early generations of Martins lived at Birch Hall and Dangan, in the townland of Oranhill, parish of Rahoon, near Galway city. Richard Martin, better known as 'Humanity Dick', was the first member of the family to be reared as a Protestant. He was a famous duellist and founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Ballynahinch Castle was built in the centre of his estate. His son Thomas Martin died in 1847 during the Famine and Thomas's only daughter and heir inherited a heavily encumbered estate. She married her cousin Arthur Gonne Bell and died in New York in 1850. The Martin estates were offered for sale in 2 sections in 1849. Their property close to Galway town included Dangan, Corcullen, Bushypark and Killeen. Their Connemara estate was acquired by the Law Life Assurance Society in 1852, to whom it was heavily mortgaged. In 1853 the estate of almost 200,000 acres was surveyed by Thomas Colville Scott for a prospective buyer. Richard Martin, second son of Richard 'Humanity Dick' Martin of Ballynahinch, is recorded as holding 5 townlands in the parish of Killannin, barony of Moycullen, county Galway, at the time of Griffith's Valuation although he emigrated to Canada in 1833. He was also recorded as the occupier of Clareville, a Martin home in the village of Oughterard. Many of his descendants still reside in Canada."

(4b) The entry for Clareville in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "Built in the mid 18th century by Robert Martin of Dangan, it was used as a winter residence by the Martins of Dangan and Ballynahinch Castle. Occupied by Richard Martin at the time of Griffith's Valuation and held from the Law Life Assurance Society."

(5) Henry's son Arthur Townsend [267] followed his father and joined the Cameronians.

(5a) The entry for Seafield in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "Judge John Fitzhenry Townsend, of Seafield, Castletownsend, owned over 600 acres in county Cork in the 1870s. He was one of the principal lessors in the parish of Kilcoe, barony of West Carbery, at the time of Griffith's Valuation." The entry gives details of Squince House and Roaring Water Cottage but there is no specific mention of Seafield.

(6) Lovera Papers 250/17.

(7) Lovera Papers 260/8.

(8) Lovera Papers 236/24.