Reverend Aubrey de Vere Townshend (621)

Date of Birth: 31 Aug 1812
Date of Death: dunm 20 Aug 1891
Generation: 6th
Residence: Hatfield, Bath, Puxton
Father: Horatio Townsend [607]
Mother: Elizabeth Trelawney Townsend [410]
Spouse: Unmarried
Issue: None
See Also: Table VI ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Reverend Aubrey de Vere Townsend

Aubrey was born in Upper Berkley Street, Portman Square, London and his birth is registered in Marylebone.

Alumni Trinity College Dublin from Co Cork and Kerry 1593-1860 in Dr Casey's Collection records that Aubrey was educated at Dr Burney's School in Greenwich, as was his brother John Townsend [622], before he entered Trinity College, Dublin, on 1 November 1830 aged 18 as a pensioner who paid a fixed sum annually for his studies.

The TCD Graduation List records that Aubrey qualified BA in Spring 1835, MA in Spring 1839 and BD in Spring 1847. Samuel Townsend [6B13], Horace Townsend [5B00], Horace Payne Townshend [5D12] and William Hotham Townsend [6B18] were undergraduates at Trinity at the same time, whilst John Sealy Townsend [333] qualified for his MA in 1834.

Appointed Curate in Godalming in 1837 Aubrey moved to Hatfield in 1838 where he remained till 1841. He undertook ministerial work in Liverpool in 1841 and assumed the curacy of St Michael's, Bath (1) under the Rev John East in January 1844, where he remained until July 1856. Following this he lived with his brother John Townsend [622] at Weston super Mare and served the Curacy of Wick St Lawrence 1861-69 and Locking 1869-74. Aubrey was appointed Rector of Puxton, Somerset, in 1874 and remained there for the rest of his life. The church is famous for its leaning tower.

Throughout his life Aubrey took a keen interest in history, theology and geology. He and his brother John were particularly close and in a letter (2), dated 2 June 1879 to Brian Hodgson, husband of Susan Townsend [5D21], John wrote that "Aubrey and myself have lived a life of intimacy as brothers, such as are not of ordinary occurrence. I have long held the opinion regarding him, that he was of all men I ever met the most unselfish, and the most nobly generous of mortals I ever came across. His unselfishness with regard to others, (not merely his relatives) and his readiness to go to any amount of trouble in order to assist another, has been such as I have never seen equalled in another person."

On the death of his brother Edward Townsend [620] in 1851, Aubrey inherited his freehold properties in Ireland and these he later passed over to his brother John.

In a letter dated 21 April 1859 (3) to his brother John, Aubrey recounts his trip to Kinsale during which he visited the house where his grandfather (Edward Synge Townsend [601]) lived and his meeting with his cousin Eliza Alicia Daunt, daughter of Digby Daunt and Helena Herbert Townsend [619], who married John Sealy Townsend [333].

It would appear from family correspondence (2) that Aubrey's niece, Marion Townsend [632], was looking after him at his home 1890-91, if not before. Aubrey passed away peacefully at Woodbine Farm. An extract from his obituary in the 'Bristol Times and Mirror' reads "His figure, aged beyond his years, was well known at all gatherings of the clergy throughout the diocese and his well weighed words at Ruridecanal Chapters often struck a deeper note than usual, and his hearers felt that they were the words of one who was indeed living very close to his God".

The 'Register of Landowners in County Cork 1876' records "Townsend, Rev. Aubrey. 489 acres. £342 15s - Lona, Weston suer Mar, England." (2005 equivalent - £21,204).

Aubrey's death was recorded by Agnes Townsend [334] in her diary - 'Aug 20 1891 Rev Aubrey Townshend died'.

(1) Following his return from India in 1852, Aubrey's cousin Edward Hume Townsend [626] stayed with him in Bath for a short time.

(2) Llanvapley Papers.

(3) RBT Papers 621/1

'An Officer of the Long Parliament' Ch XII p.268/269.