Samuel Townsend (412)

Date of Birth: 1800
Date of Death: 11 Dec 1865
Generation: 6th
Residence: Dereeny House (1), and St Kames Island (1a)
Father: Samuel Townsend [405]
Mother: Baldwin, Mercy
  1. Becher, Charlotte Augusta
  1. Samuel Nugent [432]
  2. Edward Becher [433]
  3. Lionel Becher [434]
  4. Henry Becher [435]
  5. Mary Alice [436]
  6. Mercy Baldwin [437]
  7. Charlotte Becher [438]
  8. Annie Johnson [439]
  9. Alice Maud [440]
  10. Elizabeth Victoria Becher [442]
See Also: Table IV ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Samuel Townsend JP

Judge John FitzHenry Townsend [250] shows Samuel's birth as 1809.

Married 20 February 1844 (2). Charlotte Anna Becher (3) was the daughter of Edward Becher of Rock Castle,(3a) Bandon, and Hare Island, Co Cork. See 1976 Edn Burke's Irish Family Records - Becher. It is reasonable to assume that Charlotte is a sister of Edward Becher who married Anne Townsend [417].

The Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier of 14 May 1829 lists the applications submitted to James Chatterton, ‘Clerk of the Peace for the County of Cork’ on 9 May 1829 for the registration of freeholds in Bandon on 30 June 1829. They were also published in ‘The Cork Constitution’ between 12 May and 8 August 1829 Names & Applications for the Registry of Freeholds. In the section ‘Carbery West’ it records “Townsend, Samuel, jun., Whitehall. Part of the lands of Rincolisky, parish of Aghadown. £20.” Thomas Townsend [319] is also listed registering his property at 'Smithville'.

The Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier of 10 August 1830 records that “Samuel Townsend of Whitehall” voted in ‘Freeman’s Booth No 2’ for Mr Boyle in the 1830 Cork City Election. It is not clear whether this refers to Samuel or to his father Samuel Townsend [405]. The report also shows “SLC Townsend of Thornberry Cottage” voting for the same candidate in the same booth.

As explained in the ‘Background History’ page, the Act of Union in 1801 and successive reforming measures in the early years of the century drove the Anglo-Irish Protestant community into a position of permanent political minority. Fearing that their ascendancy was being eroded, meetings were held during the early decades of the century seeking to affirm and uphold the integrity of the ‘Protestant Constitution and State’. Press cuttings covering these meetings (all shown in the ‘Scrapbook’ for John Sealy Townsend [333]) between December 1828 and October 1834 include (with attendees shown in brackets):

* Bandon Brunswick Constitutional Club (5) Meeting on Monday 22 December 1828 - Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier of 23 December 1828 and Dublin Evening Mail of 31 December 1828. (John S. Townsend, Samuel Townsend jnr and Thomas Somerville)

* Protestant Conservative Society of Cork Meeting in the Imperial Clarence Rooms, Cork in August 1832 - Dublin Weekly Mail of 11 August 1832. (Samuel Townsend, Samuel Townshend and Thomas Townsend)

* County and City of Cork Protestant Meeting in June 1834 - Dublin Evening Packet & Correspondent of 1 July 1834. (Thomas Townsend and George Digby Daunt)

* Protestant Meeting in Bandon on Tuesday 7 October 1834 - Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier of 11 October 1834. (Samuel Townsend, Samuel Townshend, John Townsend and Thomas Townsend)

The common theme throughout was affirmation of Protestant loyalty to the crown and a commitment to take whatever measures were necessary “to preserve the remnants of the constitution and maintain the integrity of the United Kingdom” in “defence of our liberties and the safety of the Glorious Constitution under which we live”. As shown above, several members of the family (6) attended these meetings but it is not possible to identify them precisely in every case, though eloquent statements by “John Townsend Esq son of the Recorder of Clonakilty” are reported verbatim in the press reports of the meetings in Bandon and these can certainly be ascribed to John Sealy Townsend [333].

Opposition to Roman Catholic emancipation was not confined to the laity. The Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier of 20 March 1827 reports that the Bishop and seventy-seven members of the clergy, including Richard Boyle Townsend [332], Chambre Corker Townsend [5D01] and Robert St Lawrence (husband of Elizabeth Townsend [235]), signed a “Petition of the Protestant Clergy of the United Dioceses of Cork & Ross against Catholic Emancipation” which was submitted to the House of Commons on 2 March 1827. The list of signatories also includes a ‘Thomas Townsend, Prebendary of Island’; this is wrong as page 487 of Volume 2 Brady’s Clerical and Parochial Records shows Horatio Townsend [5D00] as the incumbent!

Not all members of the family shared such views and press cuttings from the Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier and Dublin Evening Packet & Correspondent in 1828 and 1829 respectively show that Horatio Townsend [6B01] and Edward Richard Townsend [6C00] were among the many Protestant Liberals who took a much more conciliatory approach to Roman Catholic emancipation.

Samuel was appointed a Justice of the Peace on 31 January 1833 and Aldwell's General Directory 1844-45 records this on page 306 under the entry for Skibbereen - "Townsend, Samuel J. P. Whitehall". (4) In his pedigree John FitzHenry Townsnd [250] records that he was later appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Co Cork.

Page 299 of the Appendix to the First report of the Commissioners Part 1 - Municipal Corporations (Ireland). Published by William Clowes, Stamford Street, London in 1835 concerns the Borough of Dingle. In the section headed ‘Burgesses’ it records that “Several of the burgesses are nearly connected with the patron of the borough. The following are the present burgesses:

- John Townshend Esquire, Lieutenant Colonel 14th Light dragoons, patron of the Borough and principal proprietor of the town. (Colonel John Townsend [230])

- Rev Thomas Townshend, his brother. (Should read Maurice Fitzgerald Townsend [231])

- Rev Boyle Townshend, ditto. (Abraham Boyle Townsend [233])

- Richard Townshend Esq., second cousin. (Richard Townsend [236])

- Samuel Townshend Esq., Whitehall Co Cork.”

None of them lived within the limits of the borough and it would appear that they rarely, if ever, attended borough meetings.

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. An entry in 1829 shows Samuel U(?) Townsend owning land at Skeem East (St Kames Island) with a tithe value of £1-15s-9d. This entry could refer to Samuel Townsend [409]. An 1833 entry for the Parish of Drinagh records tithes due as follows - John Townsend (Myross) £11-11s-1d, Samuel Townsend £5-7s-3d and Rev Wm Townsend £2--14s-11d. John Townsend refers to [507], Samuel T could also refer to [409] or [6A03] and Wm T refers to [6B02].

In November 1837 a Select Committee was set up to “Inquire how far the Intentions of the Reform Bill are defeated by Creating and Registering Fictitious and Improper Votes in Ireland.” The Committee’s Final Report was published on 28 March 1838 and Appendix No. 6 shows the “List of Non-Resident Freemen, County of the City of Cork, with those who voted at the Election of 1837 marked off”. Samuel is shown on the list as having NOT voted along with his kinsmen Chambre Townsend [5D01] and Richard Townsend [236].

'Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary 1837' records in the list of subscribers "Townsend, Samuel, Esq. White-hall, Skibbereen." This could also refer to Samuel's father, Samuel Townsend [405] who died in 1836.

The Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier of 5 July 1838 shows Samuel, Jonas Morris Townsend [222] and Samuel Philip Townsend [6A03] as members of the Record Jury at the Summer Assizes 1838. The article is reproduced in his ‘Scrapbook’.

Until the mid-eighteenth century there was little incentive for tenants to plant trees on the land they leased, for the trees were legally the property of the landlord. However, by 1765, the tenant’s position had changed in that he was entitled to all the trees he had planted, or their value, on the expiry of his lease. To prove ownership tenants had to register the trees they planted and this was eventually published in a register for the particular county in which they lived. Details of the ‘Register of Trees, Co Cork, 1780 - 1860’ are contained in Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society 1976 Vol. 81, Nos 233-234, pages 39-60 and seven members of the family are shown as part of the scheme. Between them they planted 63,500 trees of which "Sam Townsend" planted 17,500 in Bawngare & Drummacathara in 1842. Other members of the family who subscribed to the scheme include Richard Boyle Townsend [219], Rev Richard Boyle Townsend [332], John Townsend [316], Samuel Philip Townsend [6A03], Samuel Philip Townsend [6B00] and William Townsend [6B02].

An article in the Cork Examiner of 26 August 1846 records that Samuel attended a meeting in the Conservative Hall in Dunmanway the day before, along with several other landowners, to discuss what could be done to alleviate the suffering of those affected by potato blight.

'Griffith Valuation of Ireland 1848 - 1864' records severally "Townsend Samuel Esq. Bawnnahow North", "Townsend Samuel. Derreeny" and "Townsend Samuel. Calf Island, Illaunapisha" owning land in the parishes of Dromdaleague, Caheragh and Aghadown respectively.

Unable to meet his financial obligations, like several others in the family who owned property in Ireland, Samuel sold off part of his estate in the Land Court established under the Encumbered Estates Acts of 1848 and 1849. Entry numbers 3 & 12 of Volumes 4 & 12 of County Cork Encumbered Estates records respectively “3. Edward Baldwin BECHER, Esq. And of George BECHER, Esq. (deceased), continued in the name of the said Edward Baldwin BECHER, Owner, exparte Alicia Gahan BECHER, continued in the names of Samuel TOWNSEND, and Patrick RONAYNE, Esq., petitioners- Lands of Hare Island and Mutton Island (a subdenomination); Curravoley; Lisaclarigmore; Lisaclarigbeg; East Skeams & South Marahin, barony of West Carbery; also Lands of Rathruanemore; Rathruanebeg; Quoleaghmore; Quoleabeg & Banaknuckane- 5 May 1854- (lot maps)” and “12. Sir William JARDINE, Rev. Wm. DUNBAR, John GIBSON, Samuel TOWNSEND, and of John Handcock TOWNSEND, owners, Sir Anthony WELDON, petitioner- Lands of Lisbiallet and Raharoon, in the Barony of East Carbery- 22 April 1858." (7)

Thom's Irish Almanac and Official Directory for the Year 1862 shows “Townsend, Samuel, Blackrock, Cork” as a Magistrate. Robert H Laing’s Cork Mercantile Directory 1863 records on page 170 ‘Samuel Townsend of Blackrock’ was an ex officio guardian for the Cork Union. (Poor law unions and their workhouses were established by the Poor Law (Ireland) Act, 1838, as a response to widespread poverty, and were each governed by a Board of Guardians.) It also shows him as a Magistrate on page 189 along with his kinsmen ‘Townsend Henry J, Castletownshend’, ‘Townsend, Horace, Derry, Rosscarbery; Union Club, London SW’, ‘Townsend, Horatio DL, Woodside, Cork’, ‘Townsend, J Handcock, Myross Wood, Leap’, ‘Townsend, John Henry, Dunbeacon, Ballydehob’, ‘Townsend, Richard, Clontaff, Union Hall, Leap’, ‘Townsend, Saml, Blackrock, Cork’, ‘Townsend, Samuel Richd, Whitehall, Skibbereen’.

The Preston Collection IE CCCA/U195 in Cork City and County Archives has an entry in section B.16 Skibbereen and Coronea. 1869 - "82. 4 May 1869 Release. Edward Becher Esq and his wife Anne Becher nee Townsend (Anne Townsend [417]) of Arcola, Douglas County, Illinois, USA, and Samuel Richard Townsend Town and lands of Skibbereen and Coronea, Barony of West Carbery County Cork, in consideration of £692 6s 2d."

Page 331 of the Calendar of Wills and Administration 1858-1922 in the National Archives of Ireland records that the will of "Samuel Townsend formerly of Blackrock and late of South Terrace, Cork", who died on 11 December 1865, was proved at the Principal Registry on 18 January 1866, by "the oath of Charlotte Augusta Townsend of South Terrace, widow the sole executrix". Effects under £6,000.

(1) The entry for Dereeny House in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "This property was built sometime after the 1st edition Ordnance map was published. In the 1850s Samuel Townsend held a property in fee at Derreeny, valued at £6 10s. Labelled Derreeny House on the 25-inch Ordnance Survey map, it is still extant and occupied." Table X of 'An Officer of the Long Parliament' show Samuel's brother, Walter Townsend [414], as being 'of Dereeny' - this is almost certainly wrong as the announcement of the engagement of Samuel's daughter, Elizabeth Townsend [442], records ".....Victoria Becher Townsend, fourth daughter of the late Samuel Townsend Esq, Dereeny House & St Kames, Ireland, Co Cork."

(1a) St Kames Island. It is generally thought that the Skeam Islands in Roaring Water Bay got their name from St Ceim, supposedly a brother of Ciaran of Cape Clear, though no such person appears in the ‘Calendar of Irish Saints’. The islands were assessed in 1614 as ¾ of a ploughland and were granted to Sir Walter Coppinger. In the ‘Book of Survey and Distribution’ of 1641 they are shown as East and West Eniscame but are shown as Iniskeam in the Coppinger Inquisition of 1694 when they were forfeited by James Coppinger, the son of Dorothea Townsend [112] and Dominic Coppinger, and later acquired by Samuel Townsend [400].

(2) Entry in the diary of Agnes Townsend [334] - '20 Feby 1844 Miss Charlotte Becher married to Sam Townsend'. The Becher website shows the marriage as 2 May 1844.

(3) Charlotte was born about 1827 and died in Skibbereen in June 1881. Entry in the diary of Agnes Townsend [334] - '1881 Mrs Sam Townsend died about June'.

(3a) The entry for Becher in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "Burke's ''Irish Family Records'' and Smith both indicate that the Beechers were originally a Kent family. Fane Becher was granted over 12,000 acres in county Cork during the reign of Elizabeth I. Henry Beecher was granted land in West Carbery in 1669 and is recorded as the purchaser of land from Lord Kingston and Sir William Petty. In 1778 Mary daughter of John Townshend Becher of Creagh and Annisgrove, county Cork, married William Wrixon of Cecilstown, county Cork. She succeeded to the estates of her brother Henry Becher of Creagh. Their eldest son William Wrixon of Ballygiblin assumed the name of Becher and was made a baronet in 1831. He married an actress Miss O'Neill and had a number of children. Griffith's Valuation records Sir William Wrixon Beecher holding an estate in the parishes of Castlemagner, Clonfert, Kilmeen, Knocktemple and Subulter, barony of Duhallow, county Cork. Sir Henry Becher, who succeeded his father in 1850, was among the principal lessors in the parishes of Castlehaven, Aghadown, Creagh and Tullagh in the barony of West Carbery, county Cork. Sir William Becher also held land in the parish of Kilvellane, barony of Owney and Arra, county Tipperary. The estate of Sir Henry Wrixon Becher of Ballygiblin amounted to 18,933 acres in county Cork and 358 acres in county Tipperary in the 1870s. Michael A Becher held townlands in the parish of Kilmeen, barony of East Carbery and in the 1870s Michael R. A. Becher of Ballyduvane, Clonakilty owned over 2,000 acres in county Cork. In 1854 lands and mining interests, the property of Edward Baldwin Becher, were offered for sale in the Encumbered Estates Court, and includes a report on the mines of Coolaghmore and Coolaghbeg. In the 1870s the Becher estate in Cork (a combination of the Wrixon and Becher estates) amounted to over 18,000 acres while he also held lands in Tipperary. The estate of the representatives of the late John Beecher amounted to over 1600 acres in the 1870s. At the time of Griffith's Valuation, Edward and George Beecher were among the principal lessors in the parish of Kilcoe while Richard Beecher was the lessor of townlands in the parish of Skull. Eliza Beecher held several townlands in the parish of Kilgarriff, barony of Ibane & Barryroe, at the same time. In October 1851, 17,000 acres, the estate of Richard H. Hedges Beecher, was offered for sale in the Encumbered Estates Court. Lot 1 included the owner's house at Hollybrook. A sale of the remaining lots took place in February 1852 and included the house at Lakelands, leased to Richard O'Donovan Beecher. In April 1858, the house and demesne at Hollybrook were again offered for sale. An extensive family history of both the Becher/Beecher and Wrixon families is given by Grove White and published in the ''Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society'' (1907) under Ballygiblin. The spelling Becher and Beecher are used almost interchangably thoughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries."

(4) The entry for Whitehall in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "Edward Townsend held this property in fee at the time of Griffith's Valuation, when it was valued at £22. Lewis noted it as the residence of S. Townsend in 1837. In 1906 it was owned by the representatives of Samuel R. Townsend and valued at £21. Bence-Jones indicates that it later became the property of the Alleyne family."

(5) First conceived in September 1828 Brunswick Constitutional Clubs were established in Ireland to deny Roman Catholics the right to enter both Houses of Parliament. About 200 clubs were established with a total membership of about 150,000 but they quickly became defunct following the Catholic Relief Act 1829 which repealed the Test Act.

(6) John Sealy Townsend [333] and Samuel Townsend [412] can be positively identified. The other contenders are Samuel Townsend [405] or Samuel Townsend [6A03], Thomas Townsend [319] or Thomas Townsend [509], Thomas Somerville (probably the husband of Henrietta Augusta Townsend [234]) and George Digby Daunt (husband of Helena Herbert Townsend [619]).

(7) 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], John Handcock Townsend [523], John Townsend [622], Samuel Philip Townsend [6A03], Rev Thomas Townsend [6B03], Edward Richard Townsend [6C00].

For other Becher connections see Horatio Townsend [104] Mary Townsend [121], Richard Townsend [201], Barbara Townsend [306], Edward Mansel Townsend [401], Anne Townsend [417].

Much of the information on the Becher Family has been provided by Jenny Stiles from Australia who is a descendant of John Becher (b. 6 Apr 1700 d. 1738) of Creagh and Mary Townsend [121] through their son Michael (b. ca 1735 d. Aug 1778).