Thomas Townsend (509)

Date of Birth: 1770
Date of Death: 13 Apr 1847
Generation: 5th
Residence: Clyda, Mallow, Co Cork and Dublin
Father: Doctor Richard Townsend [501]
Mother: Sealy, Eleanor
  1. Uniacke, Martha
  1. Doctor Richard Uniacke [517]
  2. Reverend Thomas Uniacke [5A00]
  3. Horatio Uniacke [5B00]
  4. William Uniacke [5B01]
  5. Sealy Uniacke [518]
  6. Philip Uniacke [519]
  7. Charles Uniacke [5C00]
  8. Elizabeth [520]
  9. Eleanor [521]
  10. Mary [522]
See Also: Table V ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Thomas Townsend

Married 1799. Martha Uniacke (1) was the daughter of Redmond Uniacke (2 & 3) of Old Court (4), Co Cork. See Burke's Irish Landed Gentry 1912 - Uniacke of Mount Uniacke.

In an undated letter to Dorothea, wife of Richard Baxter Townsend [5D15], the Reverend HJ Fleming, Dean of Cloyne, wrote "Mr Thomas Townsend married a Miss Uniacke and from him the large and clever clan of Uniacke Townsends are descended."(4a)

Sadly very little is known about Thomas except that later in his life he moved to Dublin and was Examiner to his brother John Sealy Townsend [507]. Exactly when he did so is not known but it appears that it was some time between 1824 and 1843, but see the paragraphs below.

Known as Thomas of Clyda in the family; Clyda is situated on the western outskirts of Mallow, Co Cork. The entry for Mallow (5) in Pigot's Provincial Directory 1824 shows "Townsend Thomas Esq. Retreat." and 'The Belfast Street Directory 1843' (Dublin entries) records "Master in Chancery. John S. Townsend, esq., 24 Merrion Square, South. His Examiner, T. Townsend, Sandford." Thomas would have been 73 in 1843.

The Rev Michael Becher, whose grandmother was Mary Townsend [121], lived at Clyda House from 1805 until at least 1827 during which time he was the Rector at Kilshannig. In his book 'A Scottish Whig in Ireland 1835-1838' Robert Graham of Redgorton describes his visit to Clyda to visit the Rev Becher in July 1835.

An Indenture of 28 March 1818 in the Derry Papers (6) records:-

"Whereas under and by virtue of certain settlements executed in the year 1808 on the marriage of Dr Richard Townsend ..... two charges affecting the lands of Derry, part of the estate of the Rev Horatio Townsend and amounting together to the sum of £1,000 were amongst other sums duly vested for the trusts and purposes therein mentioned … and whereas the account trusts now being fulfilled and at an end, the said sums have been distributed and the lands handed (?) over to the Rev Horatio Townsend. Now know ye all men that we John Sealy Townsend and Thomas Townsend ..... in our capacity as trustees .. do discharge our duties." Does this show that Thomas was Examiner to John Sealy in 1818, or even as early as 1808, or merely a trustee by virtue of being a son of Dr Richard Townsend?

Birth, marriage and death records in the Mallow Heritage Centre show the birth of all Thomas' children except Eleanor, Sealy and Horatio; the latest of these births is that of Charles Townsend [5C00] in 1829 when Thomas would have been 58. The archives of the Royal Cork Yacht Club seem to support the fact that Thomas was still living at Mallow in 1828 for they show "Thomas Townsend – admitted a member in 1812" and "Thomas Townsend – requested to attend a committee meeting in October 1828." This could of course refer to a different 'Thomas Townsend' outside the family.

Freemason records show that a 'Thomas Townsend' and a 'Philip Townsend' were masons in the Mallow Lodge in 1808.

Page 4 of the Account of Expenses Incurred making the Census of 1831 in the ‘Enhanced British Parliamentary Papers on Ireland’ shows that “Thomas Townsend’ was paid £35-2s-6d for his expenses. Is this Thomas?

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. Seeking to affirm and uphold the integrity of the ‘Protestant Constitution and State’ they held several meetings during the first three decades of the century. According to newspaper reports of the time certain members of the family attended some or all of these meetings but it is difficult to pinpoint all of them (7).

The Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier of 23 December 1828 carries a report of a meeting in Bandon on Monday 22 December 1828 for the purpose of forming a Bandon Brunswick Constitutional Club (8) “in defence of our liberties and the safety of the Glorious Constitution under which we live”. The Meeting was chaired by the Hon William Smith Bernard and ‘John Townsend Esq son of the Recorder of Clonakilty’, ‘Samuel Townsend junior’ and Thomas Somerville are recorded as attending. A copy of the newspaper article is included in the ‘Scrapbook’ of John Sealy Townsend [316].

At the meeting of the Protestant Conservative Society of Cork held at the Imperial Clarence Rooms, Cork in August 1832, and reported in the Dublin Weekly Mail of 11 August 1832, ‘Samuel Townshend’, ‘Samuel Townsend’ and ‘Thomas Townsend’ were elected to a committee to carry out the resolutions agreed at the meeting “to preserve the remnants of the constitution and maintain the integrity of the United Kingdom”.

The Southern Reporter & Cork Commercial Courier of 11 October 1834 carries a report of the Protestant Meeting in Bandon on Tuesday 7 October. About 5,000 attended and the purpose of the meeting seems to be an affirmation of Protestant superiority; again ‘Samuel Townshend’, ‘Samuel Townsend’ and ‘Thomas Townsend’ are shown in the list of those attending. Included in the article is a very eloquent statement by 'John Townsend of Clonakilty' (John Sealy Townsend [333]) in support of the cause but proclaiming “Would to God that we could live on terms of political as well as private and personal friendship with our Roman Catholic countrymen!” (This is included in his ‘Scrapbook’.)

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 Mallow shows Thomas owning a very small plot of land rated at 3 shillings and one penny in the townland of Ballydaheen . The 1831 record for the Parish of Castlehaven was signed off by ‘Thos Townsend’ and most probably refers to Thomas Townsend [319], but could refer to Thomas.

The entry on page 290 of ‘Historical and Topographical Notes, etc. on Buttevant, Castletownroche, Doneraile, Mallow, and places in their vicinity’ records that Thomas' son, Dr Richard Townsend [517] who was born in Mallow in 1800, moved to Betsborough, in the Parish of Kilshannig near Mallow, in 1839 and died there in 1843 – "Betsborough, now called Fern Hill by the present occupier, is a good dwelling-house, the residence of Dr. Townsend. There is some ornamental ground surrounding the house. Dr. Richard Townsend, eldest son of Thomas Townsend, of The Retreat, Mallow, lived here from 1839 to 1843, when he died.”

Thomas died in Dublin and is buried in the Mount Jerome Cemetery.

The records of the South Cork Light Infantry Militia show a 'Thomas Townsend’ commissioned as Ensign in 1806 - this is unlikely to be Thomas as he would have been 37 at the time. The Militia Act of 1793 sets forth that-"Every person who has been or shall hereafter be appointed an Officer of the Militia of any of the ranks following, shall be in possession of an estate for his own life or the life of another, or for some greater estate in land or heritage's in the United Kingdom of the yearly value hereinafter mentioned in connection with such respective rank, or be heir apparent of some person who shall be in possession of a life estate in property of the like yearly value. For an Ensign the sum was £20 a year, or heir to £200 personal property a year.”

It appears that Thomas was admitted a Freeman of the City of Cork on 20 November 1798. 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.

(1) Martha was born ca 1778 and died 31 May 1839. Her sister, Isabella Uniacke, married Philip Somerville (b.1782 d. 1861) of The Prairie, Schull, Co Cork, as his third wife. He married first 1815, Maria Townsend [5D07], fourth daughter of the Reverend Horatio Townsend [5D00] of Derry, and died without issue and married secondly Henrietta Anna Margaretta Townsend [242] in August 1816. Philip's mother was Mary Townsend [506] - Thomas' aunt. See Burke's Irish Landed Gentry 1912.

(2) Redmond was the son of Richard Uniacke, of Coolegorragh, co. Cork. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Lionel Fleming of Green Park, Skibbereen, Co. Cork in 1782 and died on 3 January 1803.

(3) The entry for Uniacke in the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Connacht and Munster Landed Estates Database records "''Burke's Irish Family Records'' gives a very detailed genealogy of this family, established in the Youghal area of county Cork from the 16th century. James Uniacke, who died in 1733, purchased the Mount Uniacke (Coolegaragh) estate from James FitzGerald of Glenane, county Cork and built the house. From his eldest son Richard descend the Uniackes of Mount Uniacke and from his third son the Uniackes of Castletown. At the time of Griffith's Valuation Norman Uniacke's estate was mainly in the parishes of Mogeely, barony of Kinnatalloon and Ardagh, Dangandonovan and Killeagh, barony of Imokilly, county Cork. At the same time Crofton Uniacke of Ballyre held land in the parish of Dangandonovan as did Robert Uniacke of Castletown. Thomas Uniacke was also one of the principal lessors in the parish of Skull at the time of Griffith's Valuation. In 1851, Robert Uniacke was among the principal lessors in the parish of Stradbally, barony of Decies-without-Drum, county Waterford. In October 1854 the Mount Uniacke estate of 7,754 acres in the baronies of Imokilly and Kinnatalloon was advertised for sale. A note on the rentals shows that two lots were bought by Robert W.F. Uniacke. 1,305 acres were re-advertised in June 1864. In the 1870s Norman Uniacke of Mount Uniacke owned 1,559 acres and Robert Uniacke of Castletown owned 1,222 acres in county Cork. This family was related to the Penrose Fitzgeralds and Judkin Fitzgeralds."

(4) Ordnance survey of Ireland. Discovery Series. 1:50,000. Map sheet 87, grid reference: W738679. Possibly from Mount Uniacke, Killeagh, Co. Cork.

(4a) RBT Papers 509/1.

(5) There is a strong 'Mallow' connection here. Thomas' eldest son, Dr Richard Townsend [517], married Mary Newman from Dromore, Mallow and was buried there in Killeens Cemetery in 1843, predeceasing his father by three years. Richard's son, Dr Richard Newman Townsend [530], was living at Glountane Cottage, near Mallow in 1863 and appears to have practiced there before he moved to Cobh. Thomas' second son, Thomas Uniacke Townsend [5A00], was ordained Deacon at Dromore, Mallow, in 1837.

(6) Derry Papers DD/46.

(7) 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], and Thomas Somerville (probably the husband of Henrietta Augusta Townsend [234]

(8) 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 became defunct following the Catholic Relief Act 1829.

Was Thomas presented with a fine sword in 1797 in recognition of his service as Adjutant of the Royal Cork Volunteers? Click on his Scrapbook.