The Irish Bomfords

Chapter XV

The Bomfords of Rahinstown  1779 - 1800

15.1  The Older Generation  1780

15.1.1  Death of Ann L’Estrange (Bomford)  1784

15.1.2  The Mulock Family

15.2  The Younger Generation  1780

15.3  Lease - Ross  3rd June 1772

15.3 1  Lease - Ross  10th August 1781

15.3.2  Mortgage Re-payment  20th December 1787

15.3.3  Rahinstown House

15.4  Robert Bomford – Army Career  1771 - 1793

15.5  Marriage - Robert Bomford & Maria Massy-Dawson  1794

15.5.1  The Massy Family

15.5.2  Massy v Headfort - A Case of Seduction

15.6  Marriage - Margaret Bomford & John Mockler of Trim   c1778

15.6.1  Trim Parish Records

15.6.2  Military Records

15.6.3  Bomford Documents

15.6.4  Probable Mockler Family Tree

15.7  Locally Raised Forces in Meath

15.7.1  Meath Militia

15.7.2  Meath Volunteers

15.7.3  Meath Yeomanry

15.8  Trevor Bomford   1760-1797

15.8.1  Trevor - An Attorney  12th June 1787

15.8.2  Marriage - Trevor Bomford & Mary Bateman   September 1789

15.8.3  Dublin House lease by Trevor Bomford  3rd August 1795

15.8.4  Trevor’s wife - Mary Bateman

The McDonnell Family

15.8.5  The Bateman Family

15.8.6  The Crosbie Family

15.9  Death of Stephen  1790 - 1791

15.10  Frances Jane Bomford  c1760 - ?

15.10.1  Marriage - Frances Jane and Col Cromwell Massy  November 1800

15.11  Brief Concerning the Disputed Bog of Clonfad   1793

15.11.1  Clonfad

15.11.2  Letter from Richard Dardis

15.12  Case of Bankruptcy   22nd December 1785

15.12.1  Another Case of Bankruptcy  18th December 1787

15.12.2  Deed of Assignment of the Bankrupt  A month later

15.13  Leases & Purchase of Drumlargan  1787 - 1808

15.13.1  John Osborn’s Deed of Settlement  22nd April 1708

15.13.2  Lease - Drumlargan & Knockturin  28th February 1795

15.13.3  Lease - Drumlargan, Knockturin etc  31st October 1803

15.13.4  Lease - Drumlargan, Knockturin etc  1st May 1805

15.13.5  Final Settlement of Drumlargan etc   11th July 1808

15.13.6  Summary of Drumlargan Leases

15.13.7  The Coddington Family

15.13.8  Townland Place Names & Position

15.13.9  The Battle of Drumlargan  8th August 1647

15.13.10  The Church of Drumlargan


This chapter covers the last 20 or so years of the 1700s when most of Stephen the Younger’s children make their appearance, but before introducing them we must complete the story of the ‘older generation’ of Stephen’s brothers and sisters, the children of Stephen the elder, Stephen of Gallow (Chapter 4), the grand-children of Colonel Laurence.  The last family summary was at 11.4.

15.1  The Older Generation  1780

Stephen the Younger and his wife Elizabeth (Sibthorpe) (8.2) are both alive and living at Rahinstown. He is aged about 58, is head of the family, and has an estate of just over 9,500 acres so can be considered to be comfortably off. Their children as at 1800 are summarised at 16.9.

Rev John died in 1776 (16.1) and he left his property to his twin brothers, David and Isaac. His wife Ann (Forster) may be alive but little is known about her and it is unlikely that they had any children.

David and Isaac: see the next chapter; however these two, aged about 50 in 1780, were both married and working in Dublin; David as a merchant and Isaac as an attorney. David's children as at 1800 are summaried at 16.9.

Ann is alive but her husband Samuel L’Estrange has died. She must be in her 60s and probably is living with her unmarried eldest son, Edward L’Estrange who farms the family place of Clowestown (or Clounstown) in Co Westmeath (15.1.1).

Dorcas was last heard of in 1766 and her husband, Edward Williams of Trim, in 1775. Since then they have dropped out of the picture. Their eldest son, Thomas Williams, is now in his 20s but nothing is known about him either. There might have been another son named Stephen Williams (8.4).

Mary and her husband William Coates are both alive at this date, living at Abbeyshrule. William will die in March 1789 (8.6), and Mary later that year or in 1790 when she would be aged about 60 (8.6.4). The Coates family home at Abbeyshrule passed to their only child Anne Jane Coates who by 1780 must have married her cousin, Matthew Coates, since he also died sometime before 1789. Anne Jane and Matthew had a daughter named Ruth who became a ward of George Bomford the Elder.

Esther was last heard of in 1761 (9.7.2) and her husband John Kelly was alive in 1768. He was of ‘Galway’ but became a merchant in Dublin (or vice-versa). Little is known about them.

15.1.1  Death of Ann L’Estrange (Bomford)  1784

Ann died during 1784 when she was in her 80s. According to Burke (in 1857 and still in 1976), she had four sons and apparently no daughters. A fifth son, Francis, has subsequently (Daphne & Don Gregg email 22 Nov 2008) come to light.

1.  Edward L’Estrange born c1751 took over Clowestown from his father who died in 1757. One thinks of his mother Ann living there with him.  Edward never married and died in 1792.

2.  John L’Estrange born c1752 was an officer in the army and was killed in action in Bombay, India. This was most likely during the time when Warren Hastings was Governor (1774 - 1785). John never married.

3.  Samuel L’Estrange was born in 1753 and died in 1807 aged 54.  He became a clergyman and married Louisa, the daughter of Walter Birmingham. A Walter Birmingham of Mylerstown, Co Kildare, made his will in 1772 according to Vicars, and he may be Louisa’s father. Mylerstown was at this date a Bomford property belonging to Ann L’Estrange's brother, Stephen Bomford of Rahinstown.  Rev Samuel and Louisa had no children so it was left to the youngest son to carry on the line.

4.  Thomas St Quintin L’Estrange was born in 1755. He was commissioned into the army in 1774 and served in the War of American Independence (1774-83); became a Lieut-Colonel in 1802 and a Lieut-General in 1830. During his travels he married on 3rd May 1793 Elizabeth, a daughter of John Campbell of Edinburgh. They had five sons and two unrecorded daughters before he died about 1845.

a.  Alfred Henry L’Estrange, grandson of Anne Bomford (daughter of Stephen Bomford) became a Lieutenant in the 7th Royal Fusiliers and saw service throughout the Peninsular War. In 1818 he married Anne Homan Molloy (8.9.1), the eldest grand-daughter of John Molloy and Anne Bomford (8.9) (daughter of Edward Bomford of Hightown). She died, just over a year after the wedding in December 1819 and he died the next year in Paris on 3rd September 1820. They had no children.

b.  Toriano Francis L’Estrange joined the 71st Regiment (Highland Light Infantry) and the Coldstream Guards. He married twice; firstly to Jane Martha Mulock, third daughter of Thomas Mulock of Kilnagarna, Athlone, in December 1820. Jane Martha died on 30th January 1822 just 13 months after her marriage and it has been suggested that she died giving birth to their only child:

i.  Thomas L’Estrange was born in January 1822 in King’s County and educated at Trinity, BA 1844. He married Sarah Garrett, daughter of Thomas Garrett of Belfast. He became a solicitor in Belfast. They had no children.

Toriano, married secondly Alexandra Darby about whom nothing has been found, except that they had children whose names are not known.  Daphne & Don Gregg (email 22 Nov 2008)have information from writing by E W L'Estrange (5 c ii below) that Toriano married secondly Aliereda Darby, only child and heiress of Colonel Darby.  In her right on the death of her father he succeeded to considerable property – real and personal – and by Aliereda he had further issue:

i. William L'Estrange

ii. Augustus L'Estrange

iii. Constantia L'Estrange

iv. Julia L'Estrange

v. Maria L'Estrange.

c.  George Bomford L’Estrange died unmarried.

d.  Lionel L’Estrange was born in 1800 in Westmeath and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, (BA 1822). He died unmarried.

e.  Hilary Frederick L’Estrange, born 1803 in Westmeath, educated at Trinity, BA 1823, MA 1832, and became a barrister. He lived at Conna near Fermoy, Co Cork, where in 1878 he owned 936 acres valued at £778, however at this date he was living at Clifton, near Bristol. In 1831 he married Mary, daughter of William Mulock of Ballinagore, Co Westmeath. Mary was a cousin of Jane Martha Mulock who married the older brother Toriano. They had one child, a son, before Hilary died in 1881 and Mary in 1905.

i.  Alfred Guy Kingham L’Estrange was born in 1832 and became a clergyman and an author.  He was left Conna when his father died and lived there unmarried until his death in 1915.

5. Francis L'Estrange, the youngest, was born in Auburn, Co Westmeath, in about 1756, became a surgeon and physician, and died on 13 August 1836.  He married Sarah Shiels, known as Sally, daughter of John Shiels JP of Westmeath, and by her he had a numerous family of children, all of whom except one he survived. He resided in No 49 William St., Dublin, at that time a fashionable street. There were only 2 houses of business in it: Ferrier and Pollocks, wholesale soft goods warehouse; and Green, a Fishmonger. Both of those houses of business were at the St. Andrew St end of William St.  Number 49 is at the King St end, within reasonable distance of Mercer’s Hospital, of which he was Senior Surgeon. He was also surgeon to the Marine School, and other institutions, and between these appointments, and his private practice, he was in receipt of rather a large income; and being a prudent man he had realized a fair independence before he retired from practice; which he did when he was about 73 years of age; He was in his 81st year when he died. He was one of the oldest members of the ‘Friendly Brothers’ Club, and, for some years before his death, he was the oldest ‘Perfect’ living.  He was President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1796. In a history of the College (Cameron, 1916, p 384) there is the following note on Francis: 'F L’Estrange was born about the year 1756 at Adburn [Auburn] (Boarstown), in the County of Westmeath.  He was the youngest of the four [sic] sons of a country gentleman [Samuel L’Estrange]. The eldertwo died without issue; the third, a lieutenant-colonel, succeeded to the property, and Francis was educated as a surgeon. He began to practise in Chatham Street about 1778, and was in 1779 appointed Assistant Surgeon to Mercer’s Hospital, of which institution he subsequently became surgeon.  On the 12th June, 1786, he was appointed Assistant Surgeon to the House of Industry Hospitals, and was for many years Surgeon to the Marine School.  L’Estrange engaged in surgical and obstetrical practice. He acted as accoucheur at the birth of the poet, Thomas Moore, which event took place in Aungier Street on the 28th May, 1779.  He married a Miss Spiels [Shiels];  . . .  He was made a Justice of the Peace (for Westmeath) at a time when surgeons rarely held such a position.  L’Estrange died at the age of 80, on the 13th of August, 1836, in William Street, where he had resided for many years, and was interred in St. Ann’s church yard'.  Francis’ will was dated 24 June 1833, with three codicils dated 18 April 1835, 14 May 1835 and 23 May 1836. His 1833 will provided for the payment of £500 each to his granddaughters Sarah Hughes (née L’Estrange) and Elizabeth Ledwich (née L’Estrange), but this was revoked by the codicils as he had already given them £400 each. His estate, including his lease of ‘Lands of Glascorn’, Co Westmeath, was left to his youngest son Robert Augustus L’Estrange, solicitor of Dublin (Glascorn House is 6 miles west of Mullingar on the Mullingar to Ballymahon Road, R392). An annuity of £100 a year was left to his daughter-in-law Ann, the widow of his eldest son Samuel, with the proviso that she pay for the education, clothing and maintenance of his four grandchildren (children of Samuel and Anne).  A further annuity of £50 a year was left to Anne, wife of his son Francis, and one of £47.4.3 to his granddaughter Maria McDonnell, daughter of Francis and Anne.

a. Samuel L'Estrange, his eldest son, was born about 1784 in Dublin and became a member of the Irish Bar.  He married Ann Smith, one of the family of Smiths of Violetstown, and had issue

i.  Francis L'Estrange, who married Frances Louth, the daughter of a County Cork gentleman.

ii. Sarah L'Estrange, married her cousin German Charles Quinlan. 

iii Emily L'Estrange, died unmarried

iv Eliza L'Estrange, married the Rev Charles Macdonnell DD, Professor of Biblical Greek in the University of Dublin. He was brother of the Rev Richard Macdonell DD, a provost of that university.  By him she had four children, three sons and one daughter.

b. Francis L'Estrange was born about 1786 in Dublin and became a major in the army (3rd Buffs).  He married Ann Mathews, the eldest daughter of John Matthews, one of the Vicars Choral of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, and had issue, with descendents still living (Daphne & Don Gregg email 22 Nov 2008).  He entered Trinity College on 1 November 1802, aged 16, and Mr Sheils (probably his grandfather) is listed as his teacher (Alumni Dublinenses, 1593-1860, on internet, 24 November 2000).  He served in the Peninsular war.  He was wounded in one of the engagements.

i. Maria L'Estrange, the eldest daughter married the Rev Luke Gardiner Macdonnell, (cousin of the aforementioned Rev Charles and Richard Maconnell) one of the curates of St Michan Parish, Dublin.  (He was afterwards rector of the parish of Glankeen County, Tipperary).  By him she had 3 sons and 3 daughters. 

ii. Sarah L'Estrange, the second daughter married Henry George Hughes QC an eminent county lawyer (he was raised to the bench as a baron of the court of Exchequer) and by him she had two daughters, Anna and Margaret.  Anna Hughes, the elder daughter, married Michael Morris QC, who was afterwards created Lord Morris of Spiddal, County Galway. E W L’Estrange in his Pedigree and Historical Records... (1901, p31) describes Morris as ‘an insufferably vulgar Papist, of low birth; who owned a small property at Spiddal, Co. Galway. He had an exaggerated Galway accent, which he cultivated to such an extent, that he appeared ridiculous. He indulged in low meaningless witticisms...'. Margaret Hughes, the second daughter, married Edward FitzGerald a nephew of the right honourable John Fitzgerald, one of the Lords Justice of the Court of Appeal in England.

iii. Bessie L'Estrange, the youngest daughter married William Lidwick [William Ledwich], who on the death, unmarried, of his eldest brother Edward Ledwich, succeeded to the small estate, of about £300 a year, in the county Kildare.  By him she had 2 sons, William and George, and 2 daughters, … and Lydia.

c. Robert Augustus L'Estrange was born about 1799 and became an attorney.  He married Elizabeth Matthews (Bess), the second daughter of John Matthews of St Patrick’s Cathedral. They had seven children, of whom five died in childhood. Robert Augustus died in 1838.  See also 23.2.1 #1.

i. Robert Augustus L'Estrange, the elder surviving son, became a surgeon and physician at the Wicklow Infirmary.  He married Isabella, daughter of Isaac Todhunter, and by her he had three sons, Robert, Edgar and William, and three daughters, Gertrude, Augusta and Fanny. 

ii. Edgar William L'Estrange, the younger surviving son, was born at 49 William Street, Dublin, on 5 November 1826. He became a solicitor of the High Court of Justice in Ireland. On 19 Sep 1855 he married Frances Mary Henderson (Fanny) (1833-1907), the elder of two (Suzanne Farrelly email 10 Nov 2019) daughters of John Henderson, a Captain in the 10th Veteran Battalion, baptised Jan 1793, d 1835 (Suzanne Farrelly emails 10 Nov 2019, 14 Jan 2020: see They had seven children, two of whom died in infancy, the surviving five were Robert Augustus Henry L'Estrange (1859-1941), John Henderson L'Estrange (Jack) (born 1864; may have died in New Zealand: Daphne & Don Gregg email 28 Nov 2008), William Mandeville Ellis L'Estrange (1868-1951), Emily Francis Evangeline L'Estrange (1871-1959) and Edgar Francis Quinlan L'Estrange (1872-1958).  Edgar William  L'Estrange emigrated to Brisbane, Queensland, in about 1900, to join his three sons, Robert, John and William.  He died in Brisbane on 17 April 1913 and was the source of most of this history of this branch of the L'Estrange family.  In his Chronicles of the L’Estrange Family, compiled and handwritten for his daughter Emily he wrote:

'... I devoted much time in endeavouring to make the narration pleasurable, and now that it is completed I believe I have laboured to little or no purpose. As for my children, three of them at all events (I allude to the 3 oldest) have been for so many years associated with and acquired the habits and ideas of descendants of criminals of the worst type: criminals who for the betterment of their native land, were forcibly escorted from it, and transplanted into the colony of Australia, a country fitting only to its barbarian Aboriginals, but also well suited as a place of punishment for the atrocious persons such as were transplanted into it. Of all the Australian states, Queensland is the vilest, but notwithstanding that three of my sons selected it as the place in which to pitch their tents: they will probably not appreciate my trouble...'

Edgar William L'Estrange also compiled in 1901 a Pedigree and historical records of the Le Strange family extracted from Genealogical works by Sir Bernard Burke (Ulster King at Arms); Lodge; Nicholas; and other genealogists, —also from the following—Record of great events by Sir William Dugdale; Men of Wit and Enterprize by Lord Carlisle; Comments on Works of Literature, by Great Authors; by Winstanley: Stows Survey; Ancients Family Residences in England, by Camden; D’Alton History of Ireland and other works.

d. Susan L'Estrange, known as Ellen, was the only daughter and married Matthew Quinlan, MD, of Ballyrafter House, Lismore, Co Waterford, and had issue.

i. Francis Quinlan graduated from the University of Dublin and became a surgeon.

ii. Charles Quinlan, the younger son, also graduated from the University of Dublin and was a member of the Irish Bar and later became a clergyman. He married his cousin, Sarah L’Estrange, the eldest daughter of Samuel L’Estrange (a. i. above).

iii. Ellen Quinlan, the eldest daughter, married a Quinlan from Co Limerick.

iv. Caroline Quinlan died unmarried.

v. Susan Quinlan died unmarried.

Clowestown, Clounstown or even Clownstown, is 2½ miles southeast Mullingar and just north of Violetstown. In 1836 it consisted of 340 acres all under cultivation except for about 10 acres of bog; “there is a good dwelling house with planting about it near the south end. The soil is good for tillage and the fences in general are covered with trees”.

The L’Estrange family still owned the place in 1854 but the property had been split; Toriano had 200 acres and might have been living in the house with his second wife, and his youngest brother Hilary had been left 30 acres.

15.1.2  The Mulock Family

The Mulocks have appeared a number of times and are Bomford connections.

Thomas Mulock (originally Mullock) of Moate, Co Westmeath had three sons by his second wife, Margaret Conran.

1.  John Mulock of Kilnagarna, southeast of Athlone, married Ann Drought in 1720 and died in 1757. He had no children and his brother inherited.

2.  Thomas Mulock of Kilnagarna was born in 1700, married in 1744 and died in 1777. He was involved with Thomas Bomford’s £2,000 mortgage when he was a public notary in Dublin in May 1750 and October 1761. He had 3 sons:

a.  Thomas Mulock of Kilnagarna, born 1746, married 1790 and died 1827. He became a barrister. There were a number of children and it was his third daughter who married Toriano L’Estrange (see above) the great-grandson of Stephen Bomford of Gallow.

b.  Robert Mulock married and had four children, and died in 1831. He and his family initially lived in Dublin but moved to Bath in England.

c.  William Mulock of Ballinagore married Alicia Holmes in 1806 and had issue, and died in 1827. Ballinagore lies 2½ miles northeast of Kilbeggan on the road to Mullingar; in 1838 it was the property of W.H. Mulock together with an extensive bleach-green with a fulling mill on the River Brosna. He had several children, including

i.  Mary Mulock, who married Hilary Frederick L’Estrange (above) in 1831.

3.  Robert Mulock, married Katherine and had issue, a son and three daughters, and died in 1791.

a.  Rev John Mulock, of Bellair, near Moate and Kilnagarna, King’s Co, was born in Westmeath about 1729. He entered Trinity aged 15 in November 1744, became a scolar in 1747 and gained a BA in 1749. He married twice; his first wife was Emily Frances Wetherall and with her he had two sons and two daughters.  His second wife was Anne Homan, daughter and heir of Richard Homan of Moate and Surrock, Co Westmeath, with whom he had a further son and two daughters. The Rev John was Rector of Portnashangan 1785 - 1803 (north of Mullingar) and he died in 1803.  Emily Frances Wetherall had a sister Margaret Johnston, otherwise Wetherall, great aunt of Frances Margaret Pilkington who married John Swift Emerson (deed 506-455-333013 of 8 & 9 Dec 1797: 23.2.1)

i.   Hurd Augustus Mulock, d 1806.

ii.  John Mulock, married Elizabeth Vance and had issue, five sons and one daughter.  The daughter,

a.  Emily Mulock or Emily Wetherall Mulock (see North family tree) married Horatio Emerson in 1825 (23.2.1). In 1850 their only son John Emerson married Mary Jane North-Bomford, a daughter of Isaac North-Bomford (23.2.1).  An Emily Emerson was buried on 24 November 1853 at St Peter's, Dublin

iii. Sarah Mulock, died unmarried in 1806.

iv. Frances Emilia Mulock married 19th May 1778 Henry Pilkington, 1756 - 1810, of Tore, Co Westmeath, son of Abraham Pilkington (23.2.1). Their daughter Frances Margaret Pilkington married John Swift Emerson in 1797 (23.2.1), their grand-daughter Belinda Pilkington married Isaac North-Bomford (23.2) and their great granddaughter Mary Jane North-Bomford married John Emerson (27.4.1).

v.  Thomas Homan Mulock who inherited Bellair and, one assumes, his mother’s estates. When he died in 1843 he passed his property to his nephew Thomas Edward Molloy (see 8.9), great grandson of Edward Bomford of Hightown.

vi. Mary Mulock, died unmarried in 1828.

vii.Elizabeth Mulock, youngest daughter, married 22nd February 1788 Laurence Bomford Molloy (1760 - 1805) (8.9.1) son of John Molloy and Anne Bomford, the daughter of Edward Bomford of Hightown (8.9).  She died in 1804.

A full Mulock Family Tree.

The present Bellair was built in the early 1800s probably by Thomas Mulock. It is a two storey ‘villa’ dominated by a remarkable deep arched recess in which the front door is set.

15.2  The Younger Generation  1780

Stephen's children were introduced at 11.10.1. We do not know the birth dates of all Stephen’s children but the age of some of them is given in the land deeds and we can estimate the dates of the others. The more doubtful ones are the daughters who are not included in Burke but three appear in the documents; there may have been others. Margaret has been placed as the second child in view of the probable date of her marriage (15.6). In 1780 the youngest child, Mariana, would be about 13 so some of the older ones would be away from home earning their living.


15.3  Lease - Ross  3rd June 1772

The Right Honourable Peter, Earl Ludlow, leases the land of Rassnon (Ross) containing 283 plantation acres (458 statute) in the Barony of Skreene to Robert Sibthorpe of the City of Dublin for the yearly rent of £155.15.9 during the natural lives of:

or, if they all die early, for 17 years.

Robert Sibthorpe is to build a farmhouse within seven years (i.e. by 1779) of brick or stone, 40 feet long, 20 feet wide and 20 feet high, roofed with foreign timber and slated or tiled; and will enclose one acre for an orchard with one tree for every square perch.

Signed:  Ludlow;  Robert Sibthorpe

(Book 291 Page 589 No 193031)

On the back of this deed is an endorsement dated 1781.

15.3 1  Lease - Ross  10th August 1781

Robert Sibthorpe leases the house and lands of Ross (as above) to George Bomford, son of Stephen Bomford, at a rent of £165.16.3, in trust for the sole use of Elizabeth Bomford, wife of Stephen Bomford of Rahinstown. If  George should die then the trustee will be his brother Trevor, or, if he dies, his brother Ephraim.

Signed:    Robert Sibthorpe;   Geo Bomford

Witnessed:    Henry Moore;  Wm Bayly

(There is no record of this endorsement being registered).

This is the deed which gives the birth dates of three of Stephen’s sons. It is interesting that George Bomford, the 5th son, was selected as the trustee of his mother’s house. The eldest son Thomas probably died in the 1770s (see also 16.9); the second son, Robert, was in India; both Stephen and Antony, the 3rd and 4th sons, were at home but for some reason were not selected.

It is thought that Robert and his father did not agree with each other and this might be the cause for Robert going off to India (16.9), but it is apparent that it was George who was being trained to take over his father’s estates and indeed his father did actually leave them to him in spite of them being entailed. So it was George who was to take care of his mother’s new house and, by implication, his mother herself should his father Stephen die.

Robert Sibthorpe was Elizabeth’s brother [father], of Dunany Co Louth, and was one of the executors of her marriage settlement. Her [grand]father, Stephen Sibthorpe [at 8.2.1 Robert is Elizabeth's father, the only son of  Stephen who is her grandfather and did die c 1776], had died in 1776 (probate) and Robert no doubt felt that he should make a further settlement on his sister [daughter]; he probably leased Ross with this in mind, and the house he had to build was perhaps to be her dower house when her husband died. This indicates that Stephen Bomford’s health was not good, but actually he did not die until May 1806 (18.1.1) and Elizabeth the next year (18.1.3), so it is unlikely that she ever occupied the house.

The Ordnance Survey Field Notebook of 1836 lists no occupiers for Ross in the Parish of Skreen, but it does state “In the east end is a gentleman’s seat called Maryville, a neat cottage; it is surrounded by a small piece of pleasure ground.”

At first it was thought that Maryville was the house that Robert Sibthorpe built, but Maryville was in the townland of Thorntown which became part of Ross townland prior to 1836, and was then owned by William Bomford of Cushenstown.  Sibthorpe’s house may have been Ross House which lies to the north of the Tara to Skreen road in the middle of Mr John Lynch’s farm.  The 1836 Survey shows the present Navan – Dublin and Dunsany – Drogheda roads crossing at ‘Ross Crossreads’ situated on the borders of Ross and Thorntown.  Neither of these roads had been built in 1774. Moving ahead to the 1854 Valuation, no Bomfords or Sibthorpes are listed in Ross so this lease must have terminated by then. Actually the three lives have expired: Trevor in 1797, George in 1814 and Ephraim was last mentioned in the Dublin Almanack of 1815 but the date of his death is not known. For want of a better date I have placed the termination of the lease of Ross as c18l5.

Peter Ludlow, elder son of Stephen Ludlow, Clerk in Chancery, MP, 1710 married Mary Preston (18.7.4) who from her brother Phineas inherited Ardsallagh, near Navan. He died 1750. Their eldest son Peter, MP for Co Meath, in 1755 created Baron Ludlow of Ardsallagh, in 1760 created Viscount Preston and 1st Earl of Ludlow.

His eldest son Peter, 2nd Earl of Ludlow, born 1730, MP for County Huntingdon. Leased Ross in 1772 (above).  The title is now extinct.

In 1774 Robert Sibthorpe had the land of Ross surveyed which showed an increase of 3 acres on the lease of 1772 (i.e. 286 Irish acres or 463 statute). The three maps of the survey are amongst the documents, one map for each tenant, but no houses are shown. The three tenants were:

These three neighbouring farms making up Ross are bounded to the West by Belper, Northwest by Castleboy. North by Brabazon Lodge, East by Baronstown and South-east by Thorntown and Clounstown.

At this date Thorntown (7.6) was owned by William Bomford of Cushenstown, and Clounstown by William’s brother Thomas Bomford who was living in Clounstown House with his wife Alice (Jessop), but they had to sell it in 1784. The Wilkinson family occupied Baronstown and their descendants, Jock and Mary, are still there.

Maps of Ross and Thorntown.

Ross Map.  Click to see larger version 

“In the Barony of Skreen surved in 1774 by Jno Magennis. Leased to Robert Sibthorpe of Dunkany, Co Louth, 1772 – 1781, by Peter 2nd Earl of Ludlow, then to George Bomford of Rahinstown 1781 – 1815.”

The map of Thorntown June 1749 by Thomas Reading Surveyor Leased by Thomas Bomford of Clounstown 1752 – 1757, then by William Bomford of Cushenstown 1757 – 1783.

Original scale: 40 perches to an inch

15.3.2  Mortgage Re-payment  20th December 1787

This deed concerns the re-payment of a mortgage by Susanna Ledwich widow of the Rev Edward Ledwich, the Dean of Kildare, to Stephen Bomford of Rahinstown. The two sums involved were £l,000 and £2,000.

Witnessed  Trevor Bomford  (Book 394 Page 482 No 260980)

Edward Ledwich (1701-1782) was Dean of Kildare from 1772 until his death in 1782. He married Susanna (Bernard) in 1746 and she died in 1797. They had six children.

This mortgage would probably have been granted to the Dean by Stephen during the 1750s or 1760s, and now that the Dean has died his widow pays back the £3,000.

15.3.3  Rahinstown House

£3,000 was a very considerable sum for those days and this mortgage confirms that Stephen was pretty well off. One cannot help wondering whether Stephen made any long-term use of this money, and one immediately thinks of Rahinstown House.

The Survey of 1654 shows no house on the townland of Rahinstown, and at this date the ‘proprietor’ Francis Macwey (or Macawey, or even Mackewye) lived at Ballynaskea, the townland to the west of Rahinstown where there was ‘a castle’. It is safe to assume that there was no house on Rahinstown when it became a Bomford property in 1691, and that Thomas the elder (1.6) built one there before 1702 when he is recorded as being of ‘Rainestowne’. My guess is that Thomas built the house just prior to his marriage in 1691 to Elizabeth Tew.

A drawing of Rahinstown House of about 1830 shows a six bay house of three storeys above a basement. The top floor has steeply pointed windows in gables along the roofline and the whole effect is handsome and very pleasing to the eye, particularly the mullioned windows. However it appears to be lop-sided since the entrance is to the left; indeed it seems to have been built in two halves, an original three bay front with a central entrance up steps over the area and an additional three bays to the right. From this it is suggested that the Rahinstown of Thomas the elder was of three bays only and that Stephen the younger with his large family, available money and a wife from a well-established family, added on the extra three bays to the right, perhaps around this date.

By 1808 Rahinstown had replaced Gallow, as the ‘senior’ Bomford house and so presumably was the better of the two, indeed the 1836 survey remarks that it ‘is a very good one’. None of this would apply to a house built about 1700 or before. The present Rahinstown House was built about 1875, some time after the place was sold by the Bomfords, and after the Bomford house had been damaged by fire. The new house was built on the foundations of the previous house; one enters a hall and from there one moves from room to room around the house through the six large rooms of the ground floor, there is no passage. Perhaps the Bomford house had the same arrangement; however the attractive and unusual gabled windows of the top floor have disappeared.

15.4  Robert Bomford – Army Career  1771 - 1793

Officers of the Bengal Army 1758 – 1834 by Major V.C.P. Hodson records “Bomford, Robert, Captain, Infantry, Cadet 1771, Ensign 1772, Lieutenant 16th March 1777, Captain 16th March 1781, Struck off 1793.”

In 1771 when Robert joined the East India Company he was 20 and his elder brother Thomas was still alive; these were the days when the eldest son inherited the estates and the other sons went into the army, the Church or into law. Thomas did not die until sometime after 1774 and probably whilst Robert was in India, he had certainly died before his father did (see 16.9). Robert was married in 1792 so it is thought that he had a long leave from India that year, did not return to the Bengal Army and resigned at the end of his leave in 1793. On his return he was aged 41, probably the eldest son after the death of Thomas, and so heir to the entailed estates.

15.5  Marriage - Robert Bomford & Maria Massy-Dawson  1794

A record of this marriage is in Burke, which states, “Robert, of Rahinstown, married 1792, Maria (died 10th July 1848) younger daughter of the Honourable James Massy-Dawson.”

With no other information about the marriage Peter Bamford assumed that it took place from Ballynacourty, the house of Maria’s parents; an alternative might be Dublin but this has been discounted as the records of marriage licences in Dublin are well documented. Ballynacourty is in the Glen of Aherlow in Co Tipperary, a lovely site with a fine view of Galtimore. The house was still in the hands of the Massy-Dawsons in the early 1900s but in the early 1920s it was taken over as a Civil War headquarters by Eamon de Valera. As such it naturally became the target for attack. The house was destroyed in fighting and later the ruins were demolished. However the stone stables surrounding a cobbled courtyard have been converted recently into a picturesque luxury home, restaurant and holiday centre.

Familysearch records that Robert Bomford married Maria Massey Dawson at St Pancras Old Church, Saint Pancras, Middlesex, England, on 19 July 1794. The Massy-Dawson and Poore Pedigrees also date the marriage as 19 July 1794.

No marriage settlement has been discovered. For some time there had been friction between Robert and his father, indeed some members of the family are of the opinion that he was disinherited, so it is likely that he received virtually nothing from that source (see 19.1). To anticipate, Robert was left 5/- in his father’s will of 1800 (18.1.2) and brother George (18.8) was left the land. Because the land was entailed George had to hand it over to Robert after their father had died in 1806 (18.8.3). In 1811 Robert himself made a settlement for his wife and children (19.2.2) so it does therefore look as though there was no marriage settlement in 1792.

15.5.1  The Massy Family

The Massy family claim descent from Hamon, one of the Companions in Arms of William the Conqueror. General Hugh Massy had a military command to repress the rebellion of 1641 in Ireland. His only son Hugh settled at Duntrileague in Co Limerick and his son, Colonel Hugh of Duntrileague, was born in 1635 and died in 1701. The Colonel had a number of children and his eldest son was the grandfather of Maria.

Hugh, Maria’s grandfather, was MP for Co Limerick in several parliaments and was made a peer on 4th August 1776, the first Baron Massy. He was born in 1700 and died on 30th January 1788 having been twice married firstly to Mary Davison in 1733 and secondly to Rebecca Delap in April 1754. One of his brothers was Field Marshall Eyre Massy who fought at Culloden in 1746 and was made Baron Clarina

Hugh’s first wife Mary Dawson, Maria’s grandmother, inherited Ballynacourty when her father Colonel Dawson died in 1737, and it became the home of her second son James, Maria’s father. Mary must have died about 1750.


1.  Hugh the second Lord Massy, Maria’s uncle, was born 14th April 1733, married September 1760 and died 10th May 1790. His line continues. Maria’s first cousin was therefore the third Lord Massy (1761 - 1812). It was the second son of the 3rd Lord who married Mary Jane Crosbie, the daughter of Jane Maria Bateman, Trevor Bomford’s stepdaughter. (See also 19.2.2)

2.  James Massy, born 10th October 1736, inherited his mother’s estate of Ballynacourty where he lived and so took the name Dawson becoming the Honourable James Massy-Dawson. He died in December 1790 so did not live to see Maria and Robert Bomford marry.

3.  Maria Leonard, officially Mary but known as Maria, was the daughter of John Leonard who died late in 1776 (notice in the Hibernian Journal of 4 Dec 1776; will - Richard H Leonard email 13 Jan 2017) of Carha in Co Galway and of Brownstown in Co Kildare. He (may have) got Brownstown between 1757 and 1759 from David Burtchaell, the father of Sarah who married David Bomford. (Deed Book 334 pg 418 No. 224320 in the Registry of Deeds has a reference to a 'Lease of the Town & Lands of Brownstown in the sd County adjoining the Curragh of Kildare contg Sixty Three acres or thereabout made by the Right Honourable Wellbore Ellis Esqr to the sd John Leonard Bearing date Eleventh Day of December one thousand Seven hundred and Sixty at the yearly Rent of Forty Pounds Stg'. The original deed for the 1761 lease does not appear to be recorded the Registry. No deed has been found re a lease from Burtchaell: Richard H Leonard email 12 Jan 2017). The date of Maria’s marriage is not known but it must have been about 1760. Maria was probably a domineering woman who was ‘the cause of most of the damage as Brig-Gen Poore said’ (see 19.1) between Robert and his father. She died on 26th May 1805.

Richard H Leonard (email 12 Jan 2017) has found documents re Maria's marriage to James Massy-Dawson:

Mary’s Marriage date I can state to be 19 November 1757 in St Mary’s Church Dublin. The entry states: Novbr 19 1757 James Mafsy Dawson of the City of Dublin Esqr to Mary Leonard by Consistory License. While this seems straight forward there is as usual a fly in the ointment. Let me explain. There is an old oral tradition in the family that the marriage of James and Mary was a love match. This is possible as no marriage agreement exists while marriage agreements exist for [her sisters] Catherine and Elizabeth. This tradition is further strengthened by my discovery of an earlier marriage between James & Mary in 1755. In the 25th of October 1755 edition of the Dublin journal known as Pue’s Occurrences they record a marriage: ‘Last week James Dawfon of the County of Tipperary Esq to Mifs Leonard of Carah in the County of Galway Efq.’ This confirms the oral tradition but why did they remarry in 1757 only two years later? A deed [Deed Bk 214 Pg 603 deed 143071] executed between John Leonard and James Massy Dawson dated 17 June 1762 states ‘. . . reciting several Deeds whereby the said James Massy Dawson and Mary his wife hath agreed to live Separate and apart and further reciting that the said James Massy Dawson and Mary his wife have Mutually agreed to put an end to all Differences and Disputes between them and to live and cohabit together in Consideration whereof the said James Massy Dawson did . . .’ From this we can reasonably assume that both families insisted on a proper marriage and chose not to register the several deeds mentioned as they wished to keep any difficulties within the family.

4.  John Massy married Elizabeth Baker in May 1759. They had no children. The Baker family intermarried five times with the Massy family around this period, and one of these was Elizabeth’s brother, Colonel William Baker of Lismacue, Co Tipperary, who married Elizabeth Massy the sister of Sir Hugh Dillon Massy, the first Baronet of Doonass.

5.  Elizabeth Rose married firstly John Arthure of Seafield, Co Dublin, who died in 1757. Their two sons, John and Benedict, became involved with the settlements and deeds of Robert Bomford and Maria, and of their son Robert George Bomford (22.5.1). Elizabeth’s second marriage was to Rev Sir Michael Cox of Dunmanway Co Cork and later Castletown Cox in Kilkenny, which he built in 1767. This was one of the most beautiful Palladian houses in Ireland, built when he was Archbishop of Cashel. He was the son of Sir Richard Cox, Commissioner of H.M. Customs in Ireland. Elizabeth had another son, Sir Richard Eyre Cox.

6.  Rebecca, 1st Lord Massy’s second wife, was the daughter of Francis Delap (or Dunlap) of Antigua, West Indies. She had three sons and five daughters. Her eldest son, Lord Massy’s fourth son, was Francis Hugh Massy, born on 13th January 1755, of Suir Castle on the opposite bank of the Suir to Athassel Abbey, south of Cashel. He married in 1777 and his only son was another Francis Hugh Massy, born 179-, Captain 19th Foot, who inherited Suir Castle. About 1820 he married Anne Bomford Molloy, grand-daughter of Anne Bomford the daughter of Edward Bomford of Hightown 8.9).  Their children were: -

a.  Francis Hugh Massy, born 1824, BA TCD 1846, married 14th February 1889 Gertrude Masterson Walter, and died 3rd March 1901. They had children.

b.  Daniel Molloy Massy, born 1850 (? error), Colonel Tipperary Artillery Militia, and married 21st October 1876 Sophia, widow of William Massy of Ballyglasheen, Co Tipperary, and daughter of Alexander Grant of New Brunswick. He died 13th October 1908 without children but Sophia had children from her previous marriage.

c.  Anne Bomford Massy married 21st September 1871 John Henry Whitty of Ballintobber, Queen’s Co.

d.  Jane Adelaide Massy married 29th April 1886 Austen Damer Cooper of Drumnigh House, Co Dublin, (1831-1900). She died his widow on 3rd April 1906. They had no children but Austen had children by his previous marriage.

7.  Elizabeth Massy-Dawson, Maria’s sister, married Robert Compton Bolton of Brazeel, Co Dublin (see note at 19.2.3 re his descent), and 'must have' died in the late 1770s [wrong]. Robert Bolton 'then' married again, his second wife being Charlotte daughter of Joseph Neynoe. The second wife is correct, but that marriage was in 1799 (Bolton tree) or 1800 (Burke, 1862 page 124) or may have been earlier because a son of that second marriage, John Bolton (or Robert Bolton), is said (Pedigrees) to have been born in 1797. So Elizabeth had died by 1799, maybe by 1797. Robert Compton Bolton had children, but it is difficult to decide which child belonged to which mother; one source [which?] states that Elizabeth had no children, but the Pedigrees say she had five (see 21.6.3) and the Bolton tree also says she had five. Burke (1862) records further issue from Robert Compton Bolton's second marriage: (a) Anne Bolton who m Loftus Neynoe, (b) Richard Bolton 'now [1862] of Bective Abbey' and (c) Robert Bolton m Maria Arthur, dau of John Arthur of Seafield, Co Dublin. Richard Bolton of Bective Abbey married his cousin, the 5th daughter of Robert and Maria Bomford (21.6.2). John Massy Bolton changed his name to John Bolton Massy and figures largely in later deeds. The Pedigrees say Elizabeth was born 'about 1770', married 'about 1783' (so she would have been 'about' 13 when she married) and died in 1851. The Bolton tree, however, states (source not stated) that Elizabeth married in June 1779. Her parents married in 1757, and the 1762 deed (Note 3 above) makes no mention of existing children, only makes provision for future issue, so it seems unlikely Elizabeth was born before 1762. The 1762 deed re the reconcilliation of her parents (Note 3 above) may have come about because her mother was pregnant, and provision needed to be made for mother and children. So it seems that Elizabeth was likely born in the second half of 1762 or early 1763, she married aged 17 or 18 in June 1779, and she died before 1799, possibly before 1797, probably after having five children. But she was not the mother of Richard Bolton of Bective Abbey.

8.  James Hewitt Massy-Dawson, MP, Maria’s only brother, was born on 13th September 1779, married 11th March 1800 and died on 2nd October 1834 (Pedigrees). He inherited Ballynacourty and obtained nearby New Forest. His wife was Eliza Jane Dennis, a daughter of Francis Dennis of Jamaica; she died on 14th March 1834. They had five sons and seven daughters. With these numbers of children it is not surprising that Maria and Robert had around two dozen nephews and nieces including the Bomford ones, furthermore the previous generation of Bomfords also had about the same number; it is not surprising that a family tree becomes very involved.

9.  Children of Robert Bomford and Maria (Massy) (see also 19.1, and Chapter 21, and the Massy-Dawson and Poore Pedigrees).

a. Mary Dawson Bomford, baptised 20 July 1795 at St Marylebone, Middlesex, UK, buried 27 January 1796 at St Marylebone, Middlesex, UK (familysearch index)

b. Elizabeth Carol Bomford, christened 4 January 1797 at Marylebone, London, England (familysearch)

c.  Annette Maria, the eldest daughter, was probably born before Robert George but her birth date is not known, perhaps in 1799.

d.  Robert George Bomford, the only son, was born in 1801 in Co Meath probably at Rahinstown.

e.  Jane Rosetta was born 13th March 1802.

f. Frances Georgina, b 25 March 1804, baptised 24 April 1804 (familysearch).

g.  Jemima Letitia was born about 1805.

h.  Susan Margaret was born in 1806 and probably on 29th January.

i.  Sarah Maria, possibly twin to Susan Margaret

j. Maria Susanna, baptised at Rathcore Church on 5th November 1810, d 1813.

From all this, Burke can be updated to read:

Robert Bomford, of Rahinstown, born 1751, Captain E.I.C.S. Bengal Army 1771 - 1793, married 1792, Maria (born 1769, died 10th July 1848) younger daughter of the Honourable James Massy-Dawson and Mary his wife of Ballynacourty, Co Tipperary. He died 18th April 1817 (19.2.3) and was buried at Rathcore having had issue….”.

Debrett's has a family tree. Taking it as a base and adding information here we can draw up the following.

1a Hugh Massy b 1700, d 30 Jan 1788, m(1) Mary Dawson, heiress of Ballinacoutry Co Tipperary, and had issue; became Baron Massy in 1766

2a Hugh Massy, b 13 Apr 1733, d April 1790 or 10 May 1790 (Note 1 above), m Catherine Taylor of Ballymore Co Limerick, d 1791, and had issue (including the third Lord Massy); became 2nd Lord Massy (briefly) in 1788 when his father died

2b James Massy, b 10 Oct 1736 (i.e. when his father was 36) (Note 2 above), will (which in 2017 we can't find) dated 1790 (19.2.2), d Dec 1790 (Note 2 above), renamed himself James Massy-Dawson, m 19 Nov 1757 in Dublin (Note 3 above) Mary/Maria Leonard/Lennard, had marital difficulties but had issue at uncertain dates

3a Elizabeth Massy-Dawson, or Elizabeth Rosetta Massy-Dawson (Pedigrees), b c1762 (Note 7 above), m Robert Compton Bolton in 1779, and had issue (Note 7 above, 19.1.1, 21.6.3); and died before 1799 when her husband remarried.  Robert Compton had a sister, Maria Elizabeth Bolton who m John Arthur (2d>3a below).

4a Elizabeth Rose Bolton (named in deed at 19.1.1)

4b Captain Robert Bolton or Robert James Bolton (named in deed at 19.1.1), d 1814, eldest son of Elizabeth Rosetta Bolton, 18th Hussars, Cornet 18 Jun 1801, Lieut 26 May 1803, Capt 4 Mar 1807, d 27 Feb 1814 from wounds received while on outpost duty at the Battle of Orthes in the Peninsular War (Pedigrees: 21.6.3)

4c John Massy Bolton (named in deed at 19.1.1), later John Bolton Massy, of Ballywire, Co Tipperary and Clareville, Co Dublin, 1785-1871, b 1785, second son of Elizabeth Rosetta Bolton. Took the surname Massy on inheriting (including Ballywire) from his grand uncle the Hon John Massy, third son of the first Baron Massy (1700-83). Married 3 Aug 1815 Jane Greene (b 1793, d 21 Feb 1879: 19.2.2) first daughter of Major William Greene by his wife Jane who was daughter of Hugh, 2nd Baron Massy (1733-90). He died at Clareville, Black Rock, Dublin, 4 Feb 1871 (Pedigrees; 19.2.2)

4d James Bolton,third son of Elizabeth Rosetta Bolton, died when about 20 years old (Pedigrees: 21.6.3)

4e Kate Bolton, second daughter of Elizabeth Rosetta Bolton, died in infancy (Pedigrees: 21.6.3); or Catherine Margaret Bolton (Bolton tree)

Elizabeth's husband, Robert Compton Bolton m(2) in 1800 (?: their son 4h Robert/John said to have been b 1797) Charlotte Neynoe, and had further issue (Burke), though the Pedigrees say Robert Crompton Bolton disappeared with a band of strolling players and was never heard of again

4f  Anne Bolton who m Loftus Neynoe (Burke)

4g Robert Bolton (Burke), or Lieut-Col John Bolton, b 1797 (Pedigrees), d 7 Dec 1862 (Pedigrees), only and older brother of Richard (Pedigrees), m Maria Arthur, dau of John Arthur of Seafield, Co Dublin (Burke and Pedigrees, shown here as 2d>3a>4a below)

4h Richard Bolton 'now [1862] of Bective Abbey' (Burke), only and younger brother of John (Pedigrees)

3b Maria Massy-Dawson, b 1769?, d 10 Jul 1848 (15.5, Pedigrees), m 1792 (19.1) or 1794 (Pedigrees) Robert Bomford, and had issue

4a  Robert George Bomford, the only son, was born in 1801 in Co Meath probably at Rahinstown

4b  Annette Maria, the eldest daughter, was probably born before Robert George but her birth date is not known, perhaps in 1799

4c  Jane Rosetta was born 13th March 1802

4d  Frances Georgina, no information about her birth but c1803

4e  Jemima Letitia was born about 1805

4f  Susan Margaret was born in 1806 and probably on 29th January

4g  Sarah Maria was baptised at Rathcore Church on 5th November 1810

3c James-Hewitt Massy-Dawson, b 1782 (i.e. when his father was 46), d 2 Oct 1834, m 11 Mar 1800 (i.e. when he was 18) Eliza-Jane Dennis and had issue

4a - 4m: 13 sons and daughters: see entry in Debrett's

2c John Massy, m Elizabeth Baker, no issue. Guardian of Maria Elizabeth Bolton (2d>3a) and of John Massy Bolton (2b>3a>4b) (19.1.1)

2d Elizabeth Massy, d 12 Mar 1825, m(1) John Arthur of Seafield, d 1757, and had issue (22.5.1); m(2) Michael Cox

3a John Arthur (the second), m Maria Elizabeth Bolton (19.1.1), sister of  Robert Compton Bolton and had issue including

4a Maria Arthur, b 1808, d 1889 (Pedigrees) who m Robert Bolton (Burke)/ John Bolton (Pedigrees) (from 2b>3a>4h above)

3b Benedict Arthur, d <1842, became a clergyman, m Jane Bunbury d 1842 a widow

3c Elizabeth Arthur of whom nothing is known

1a Hugh Massy m(2) Rebecca Dunlap and had further issue

15.5.2  Massy v Headfort - A Case of Seduction

A snippet of scandal occurred in 1804 when Maria’s second cousin, the Rev Charles Massy, brought Thomas, the 1st Marquess of Headfort, to court for the seduction of his wife.

Charles Massy was a well-to-do clergyman who in 1796 married a pretty young lady named Miss Rosslewin. The marriage was against his father’s wishes probably because she had no money of her own. They had one child, a son. The Marquess of Headfort of Kells, Co Meath, was married and with an estimated income, enormous for those days, of at least £30,000 a year. In 1803 he was in the Army with his Meath Militia and stationed at Limerick near where the Massys lived. He was over 50 and much older than the Massys. She went off with him on a Sunday shortly after Christmas 1803 and they went to England.

Charles Massy claimed £40,000 damages, and the trial at Ennis Assizes occupied just one day, a twelve-hour sitting. The trial excited great interest, a lot of publicity, and consisted of many splendid and even scurrilous speeches by learned council on both sides. The jury brought in a verdict for £10,000 damages in favour of Charles Massy. I could not discover whether Charles took back his errant wife after the affair, but probably not as he ended up with another three wives before he died in 1822.

15.6  Marriage - Margaret Bomford & John Mockler of Trim   c1778

For some reason none of the daughters of Stephen the younger have been included in Burke. The Bomford documents have recorded three and the oldest of them is probably Margaret. Margaret and her husband, “John Mockler of Trim”, are mentioned a few times, for instance in her father’s will, but no dates are given. However the Trim Parish Records and the Militia Records show a number of Mocklers of whom three or four are named John. All these Mocklers are listed below since there is nothing definite to tie them together, although they are probably from the same family and it is a pity to lose my research notes. 

15.6.1  Trim Parish Records

There are two John Mocklers. The Briddock Charity refers to them as ‘the elder’ and ‘the younger’, whilst the Parish Records show them as ‘Senior’ and ‘Junior’. These imply father and son.

Other entries from the Trim Parish include two other John Mocklers, these are: -

Other Parish Records

A table tombstone now broken into four pieces in Balsoon Graveyard, near Kilmessan, is inscribed, “To the memory of Captain Robert Mockler late of the 56th Reg Foot who on the 16th day of July 1817 and the 36th year of his age closed an Honourable life the last twenty years of which had been devoted to the services of his King and Country. He passed through life unblemished and death set a seal upon his character.”

Finally the Laracor Parish records show that from 1829 to 1832 John Mockler owned 159 acres in the Parish and his Church Tithe was £1.6.6. He was also a member of the Laracor Select Vestry in 1828 and 1829.

To summarize these Parish records:

1.  John Mockler the elder died between 1801 and 1812.

2.  His son was concerned with Trim Church between 1801 and 1812 and could have been either John Alexander Mockler of Ginnetts married 6th September 1816 Eliza (Elliott) died July 1828 (buried at Trim 25th July); or John Mockler of Phillistown died March 1845 (buried at Trim 23rd March).

3.  A possible brother might be Captain Robert Mockler, born 1781 died July 1817 (buried at Balsoon 16th July).

4.  The John Mockler, Laracor vestry-man of 1828 and 1829 who owned land in the Parish until 1832, may also be of Ginnetts as Laracor would have been his Church. But he could not have been a son of John Alexander Mockler who only married in 1816, unless that was his second marriage.

15.6.2  Military Records

About the time of the American War of Independence (1775 - 1783) John Mockler was Treasurer to the Trim and Ratoath Volunteers. This must be John Mockler the elder.

In 1796 a John Mockler was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Trim Infantry.

In 1799 another John Mockler was an Ensign in the Meath Militia, and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1800, to Captain on 28th May 1805. In 1811 he was still a Captain and serving in the Royal Meath or 17th Regiment (Source 1811 edition of The Gentleman’s and Citizens Almanack).

It is not possible to say which John is which, but they would have been not less than say 20 when commissioned and so would have been born about 1776 and 1779 respectively or earlier.

Yet another Mockler, Edward James, was commissioned an ensign in the Militia on 17th May 1806; he would have been born about 1786 and so could be a brother to John and maybe another son of Margaret Mockler (Bomford).

15.6.3  Bomford Documents

1.  Both Margaret and John Mockler were alive and married in the two Bomford wills of Stephen, 1804 (18.1), and Antony, 1805 (18.2). From the marriage settlement of February 1812 it is apparent that Margaret was a widow in 1812. Therefore she must have been married to John Mockler the elder and John Mockler the younger was her son. Margaret was alive in 1814, as George Bomford owed her money when he died.

2.  Recited in the Oakley Park deed of 8th November 1837 is the will of William Graham, Colonel of the Meath Militia. In this will dated 3rd July 1808 (probate 1808) John Mockler was made a trustee of the Colonel’s son also named William Graham who was then a minor. This must have been John Mockler of the Meath Militia and also the younger John. In 1831, when William Graham came of age, the only trustee still alive was John Mockler. Therefore John Mockler the younger cannot be of Ginnetts, he must be of Phillistown, or perhaps the Laracor vestry-man.

3.  In the 1834 Commission of George Bomford as a Justice of the Peace, another JP mentioned was John Mockler and he was a JP until at least 1842. He must be of Phillistown.

15.6.4  Probable Mockler Family Tree

If we put these records together it is apparent that the elder Mockler was Margaret Bomford’s husband, and that they had at least one son also named John Mockler, and because he was born c1779 Margaret’s marriage must be c1778 or before. Another son might be Captain Robert Mockler of the 56th Regiment of Foot who was born in 1781 and died in July 1817.

The family tree might look like this: -


According to Henderson’s Post Office Directory for Meath of 1861, there were no Mocklers in Trim at that date so the family had either moved away or become extinct.

There is an entry in the Trinity College records, which might be the father, or grandfather, of John Mockler the elder:  “William Mockler, Siz. (Sisar means that he received a grant from the College), attended Dr Parker’s school at Trim, entered 27th May 1730 aged 18 (born 1712), son of Edward (Mockler), caupo (Innkeeper), born Co Meath, scholar 1732, BA 1734, MA 1738.”

It is doubtful if any of these Mocklers, who were Protestant, were directly descended from the Catholic Mocklers of Co Tipperary, but the name is not common and there must be a connection.

Deed 290 362 192544 of 13 Aug 1772 concerns an Edward Mockler of Dublin, jeweller.

‘The Great Mockler’, Mocklorough More, built a sturdy castle at Ballyclerahan, four miles southwest of Fethard, Co Tipperary. It was besieged by Cromwell who at first failed to take it, but did so finally after an obstinate resistance. Mockler and his second son were killed in the fighting but the eldest son was captured and hanged at the gate; another son with a few of the family escaped to France but the rest of the garrison was put to the sword.

15.7  Locally Raised Forces in Meath

Much of the information on the Mocklers came from the records of these locally raised forces, and the records include a number of Bomfords and, indeed, a large number of the landed families.

15.7.1  Meath Militia

The County Meath Militia was a totally Protestant force (until after the Act of the Union) which was raised whenever the government of the day felt itself under threat; once the threat diminished it was disbanded. It was raised in 1708, 1715, and 1745 but no lists of officers were found for those years. It was again raised in 1756 because of the Seven Years War and remained in operation for a number of years. In 1756 it consisted of 12 Independent Troops of Dragoons and 6 Independent Company of Infantry. Two Bomfords were found in those lists.

William Bomford, a cornet in the 12th Troop of Dragoons. This must have been William Bomford of Cushenstown (c1730 - l803) (Chapter 13), son of Thomas of Clounstown. His captain was Richard Gorges, senior, of Kilbrew who died in 1778.

Stephen Bomford, an ensign in the 3rd Infantry Company. This was Stephen the younger of Rahinstown, c1722 - l806 (8.2). Sir Hercules Langford Rowley of Summerhill captained his company and the first lieutenant was John Pratt of Agher.

In 1793 the Militia was raised again, this time to oppose the French threat. One of the terms of this raising was that the militia would never serve in the county of origin; the Meath Militia were quartered in Cashel in late 1796 when the French arrived in Bantry Bay and were force-marched to West Cork to meet the threat of invasion; in 1798 they saw active service in Wexford and it was the Carlow Militia which saw active service in Meath that year. No Bomford appeared in these lists, but Mockler did (see above).

15.7.2  Meath Volunteers

Whereas the Militia was a government raised, paid and equipped force, the Volunteers were a locally raised and equipped force, which came into being at a time of panic. The war with the American Colonies was such an occasion of panic when all the regular troops were removed from the country. The landed gentry raised the Volunteers throughout Ireland because they knew that no invasion could be stopped by the militia alone. No Bomford was noted amongst the Volunteers possibly because no Volunteer unit was raised in their area. Two Mocklers appear in the ‘Trim and Ratoath Volunteers’.

15.7.3  Meath Yeomanry

The Yeomanry Corps was locally raised by the Government in 1796 to deal with the increased threat of French invasion and United Irish republicanism. Some units like the ‘Lower Slane Cavalry’ were disbanded after a few years but others seem to have continued long after the French threat and so were presumably to quell the United Irish republicanism, like the ‘Kells Infantry’ which was still going strong in 1833. Among the Yeomanry were:

George Bomford (1759-1814) of Drumlargan, commissioned Lieutenant on 27th August 1803 into the Rathmolion Cavalry which was raised that year by his brother-in-law John Pratt Winter of Agher who was commissioned Captain on 20th July 1803; and

Isaac Bomford (1766-1837) of Gallow and Ferrans, commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Trim Cavalry when it was raised on 31st October 1796. His commission issued by the Lord Lieutenant stated “Izac Bomford to be 1st  Lieutenant”.

15.8  Trevor Bomford   1760-1797

Originally there was not much information about Trevor, 6th son of Stephen the younger. Burke simply recorded “Trevor, married Mrs Bateson (nee Donel), and had issue ….”.

These next few items will correct and enlarge this record, and further information concerning the family will be found in Chapter 18. The lease of Ross (15.3) made Trevor one of the lives and at this date he was aged 12, so he was born in 1760.

15.8.1  Trevor - An Attorney  12th June 1787

Trevor Bomford of Dublin, Attorney to Benjamin Smith of Violetstown Co Westmeath agrees to lease at any time to Patrick and Martin Gorman, farmers of Castletown, on behalf of Benjamin Smith, the land of that part of Castletown, which they now rent at £88.1.3. (Book 388 Page 263 No 258080)

The text of this deed is not important, but it does introduce Trevor as an attorney. Benjamin Smith was the nephew of Anne Bomford (Smith), Trevor’s grandmother, and he had previously had dealings with Isaac Bomford (c1730 - 1793; 5.8, 10.6.1), Trevor’s uncle. At this time the attorney Isaac was 57 and it is thought that he took young Trevor into his office and trained him. This deed indicates that Isaac is now in the process of handing over some of his business to Trevor. Isaac may well have also trained his other nephew Isaac, the son of David, who was six years younger than Trevor. Almanack entries concerning Isaac the elder as an attorney cease in 1790; he died in 1793.

Trevor is first listed in Watson’s Almanack in 1788 as an attorney of the Court of the Exchequer, and living at 19 Drogheda Street, Dublin, for the three years 1788 - 1790. In 1790 he is listed as one of the “Six Clerks” of the Court of the Exchequer. In fact the ‘Patentee Officers in Ireland’ records, “Bomford Trevor, Six Clerk in Court of Chancery, 12th June 1789.”

The ‘Establishments of Ireland,’ Part III, records “1789, Trevor Bomford, Denis Kelly resigned, Patent 12th June 1789, Leinster, 16th June 1797, Matthew Franks, Trevor Bomford deceased.”

So the Almanack got it slightly wrong. Trevor was a Six Clerk in the Court of Chancery from 12th June 1789 and he died in office in 1797, before 16th June, aged 37 (18.5.1).

15.8.2  Marriage- Trevor Bomford & Mary Bateman   September 1789

Marriage licence issued by the Diocese of Dublin: “1789 Trevor Bomford and Mary Bateman otherwise McDonnell, Page 30.”

A fuller version is in Betham’s Dublin marriage licences and reads, “Bomford, Trevor, of the City of Dublin, Esq, and Mary Bateman of the Parish of St Mary, Dublin, Widow. Directed to the said Parish 21st September 1789.” See also at page 6 of 91.

So they were married in September 1789. It might be that they went to live at No 19 Drogheda Street but it is thought that they took a better house after the marriage although none such was found in the Almanack. No 19, as Trevor’s house, only lasted in the Almanack until 1790 and the following indicates that it was then leased to Richard Wood, and in l795 to John Halpin.

15.8.3  Dublin House lease by Trevor Bomford  3rd August 1795

Trevor Bomford leases to John Halpin a house on the east side of Drogheda Street, Dublin, formerly in the possession of Richard Wood for £500 for 43 years from 1762 (i.e. until 1805, a 10 year lease) (Book 498 Page 84 No 315981).

Of course there is no certainty that this house was No 19. Drogheda Street no longer exists and was not listed in the 1835 Almanack, so its name must have been changed sometime before 1835. It is interesting that the house lease started in 1762 at which date Trevor was a baby; it could be that it was originally his father’s town house.

15.8.4  Trevor’s wife - Mary Bateman

Clue by clue a history of Mary Bateman was built up, but even now there are loose ends and further investigation is required. The next deed in the Bomford documents (Photos 2638 - 2640) was not registered and added to our knowledge.

Alexander McDonnell Died Intestate  2nd June 1803

Mary Bomford, otherwise McDonnell, daughter and next of kin to Alexander McDonnell of Dublin, agrees to renounce all her rights in her father’s will in favour of Jane Crosby, otherwise Blenerhassett, wife of Pierce Crosby, grand-daughter of Alexander McDonnell.

One can see how the entry in Burke that Trevor ‘married Mrs Bateson nee Donel’ went wrong; it should have read that he ‘married Mrs Bateman, nee McDonnell (or MacDonnell)’. With the information to date it is clear that Mary, the daughter of Alexander McDonnell whose probate was granted in June 1803, married firstly Mr Bateman whose marriage is recorded in the Hibernian Magazine (page 224) which states that the marriage of John Bateman and Mary McDonnell took place in Mayo in May 1771.

The deed does not state it specifically but the grand-daughter was Jane Maria, the daughter of Mary by her marriage to John Bateman of Dromultin, Co Kerry. This is confirmed in Burke under Blennerhassett and Crosbie, which records Jane Maria’s two marriages.

Jane Maria married (1) Conway Blennerhassett of Reen Lodge, Co Kerry, JP 1785, and ‘who may have married 1779 Jane daughter of John Bateman of Dromultin’. (The date is wrong; it must be later since her mother was married in 1771; I have guessed the date of 1793 when Jane Maria was aged 21).

Jane Maria married (2) Pierce Crosbie of Rusheen, Co Kerry, married March 1803, Jane Maria (d 1833) widow of Conway Blennerhassett, and only daughter of John Bateman, and heiress of Randall McDonnell of Co Mayo, and died 1827.

  A miniature of Mary MacDonnell was found in the estate of Tony Bomford in 2003. The text reads, 'Mrs Trevor Bomford nee MacDonnell. Co Mayo painted by Mr Franklin at Mr Blennerhassett's County Kerry Ireland.' There is a slip of paper attached to the back which says 'Taken out of the frame at Melbourne Australia to be copied by photograph April 1864 by Saml Pratt Winter Jnr [18.7.3]  . . .  [bit missing]  . . .  son.'

Now by using all the facts to date a tree can be made. The ‘circa’ dates are my estimates.

1.  Francis Crosbie, in 1838 was living at Rusheen, later he assumed the name McDonnell when he succeeded to the property of Randall McDonnell. He married and had four children.

2.  Pierce Crosbie died unmarried.

3.  James Crosbie, Royal Navy, married 1st January 1842 and had three children.

4.  Mary Jane married firstly on 1st October 1834 the Hon George William Massy of Bellmont, Co Limerick, (1794-1835), 2nd son of the 3rd Lord Hugh Massy. He was the grand-nephew of James Massy-Dawson. This was his second marriage, which was without children. She married secondly 13th December 1838 Rev Morris Baytum Yescombe, of Truro, Cornwall, (18.7.4). They had children and their third son, Charles Yescombe, married 1867 Frances Elizabeth Preston, great grand-daughter of Mary and Trevor Bomford and grand-daughter of Frances Rose Bomford (see tree above).

Links to 18.5.3  18.6

Of the families allied to the Bomfords with this marriage of Mary, nothing much has been found concerning the McDonnell family. The other families all lived in the same corner of Kerry and inter-married, Bateman, Crosbie, Blennerhassett (see below for these) and Chute; the Chute family comes into the picture shortly when Trevor and Mary’s daughter Mary Anne marries Francis Chute in 1810 (18.5.3).

The McDonnell Family

No family history has been found and only Alexander McDonnell of Dublin and Randall McDonnell of Co Mayo have been mentioned (above). Both left their property to Jane Maria Bateman and they may have been brothers. They had no direct heirs and Jane Maria’s eldest son, Francis Crosbie, took the name McDonnell and the property of Randall McDonnell in the 1830s. It is perhaps noteworthy that the names Alexander and Randall are common at this time in the family of the Earl of Antrim whose name was McDonnell and it is possible that our McDonnells are an offshoot of that family.

15.8.5  The Bateman Family

John Bateman of Killeen, just north of Tralee and later renamed Oak Park, married twice. His first wife was Frances, a daughter of William Trenchard. She died without children.

His second wife was Anne, second daughter of Colonel the Right Hon George Evans of Bulgaden Hall, Co Limerick, MP, Privy Councillor, and sister to George Evans who was made a peer in 1715, 1st Baron Carbery. They had four sons and two daughters:

1.  Roland Bateman, of Oak Park, MP for Kerry, born 1705 and died 1754. He married in 1727 and had at least three daughters

a.  Frances who married Pierce Crosbie of Ballyheigue, Co Kerry, and who was the mother of Pierce of Rusheen who married Jane Maria, daughter of Mary Bomford (then Bateman).

b.  Agnes who married in 1785 Richard Chute. She was the mother of Francis Chute who married Mary Anne Bomford, daughter of Trevor and Mary Bomford.

c.  Ann who married Francis Crosbie, only son of Pierce Crosbie of Rusheen (1684-1761).

2.  George Bateman of Dromultin, Co Kerry, born 1711, married Sarah daughter of Antony Stoughton. They had four children, the younger three being George, Dorothy, and Frances; the eldest being John Bateman of Dromultin (this from Burke 1912 Edition) married 1764 Elizabeth, daughter of William Meredith of Annaghmore, Co Kerry. They had two children:

i.  John Bateman, died unmarried.

ii.  Jane Bateman married firstly Conwey Blennerhassett, and secondly Pierce Crosbie.

(Note: It is clear from other sources that the entry for John of Dromultin is in error, and it should be re-written as:) a.  John Bateman of Dromultin married firstly in 1764 Elizabeth, daughter of William Meredith of Annaghmore, Co Kerry. She died having had one son:

i.  John Bateman, died unmarried.

He married secondly in May 1771 Mary, daughter of Alexander McDonnell and had a daughter:

ii.  Jane Maria who married firstly c1793 Conway Blennerhassett of etc, and secondly in March 1803 Pierce Crosbie of etc.

3.  Thomas Bateman of Mount Catherine, Co Cork, married firstly (not known) and secondly on 22nd January 1740 Alice Sadleir second daughter of Thomas Sadleir (1680-1724) of Sopwell Hall, Co Tipperary. He died in 1756 having had children and she married secondly Mr McCarthy.

4.  John Bateman of Altavilla, near Rathkeale, Co Limerick, married firstly in 1745 Elizabeth Sadleir, eldest daughter of Thomas Sadleir and sister to Alice (above). She died in 1748 having had children and he married again. John built Altavilla about 1745 - 1746; it has a six bay centre block of three storeys over a basement with flanking wings of two storeys. The house was burnt, became a ruin, but has now been restored by the present Lord Daresbury, though without the top floor.

These last two Bateman brothers married two Sadleir sisters. From Alice and Elizabeth’s uncle Charles Sadleir descended Flora Mary McVeagh Sadleir who in 1861 married George Winter Bomford (30.2.3).

Lewis does not appear to record Dromultin and I have been unable to locate it. However it is probable that in 1838 it no longer existed; John of Dromultin would certainly be dead by 1838 and his only son, John, by his first wife died without children and is possibly dead as well, so I am ending the Dromultin branch.

However Lewis does mention Oak Park, originally named Killeen, which in 1838 was the ‘residence of John Bateman (possibly a grandson of Roland) situated in ground well wooded with oak among which are some trees of singular size and beauty, and open to the public’. The present house was built between 1857 and 1860 by Maurice Fitzgerald Sandes of Sallow Glen beside Rusheen with money he had made as a lawyer in India. This Sandes was a relation of Elizabeth Sandes with whom Pierce Crosbie had so much trouble (see below). The Oak Park branch moved to Corbally House near Riverstown, Co Cork, and Oak Park is now the Headquarters of the Kerry Agricultural Committee.

15.8.6  The Crosbie Family

The Chief Bard to the Irish Chiefs of Leix was the title of the family for many generations and they took the name of MacCrossan, which means ‘the son of the rhymer’; the name was anglicized to Crosbie in the 1500s. During the reign of Elizabeth, Doctor John Crosbie was made Bishop of Ardfert and the family settled there; his eldest son was made a baronet but although they were the senior branch of the family they moved elsewhere, the last baronet died in England in 1936; his second son was David Crosbie (died 1658) who had his estates confiscated by Cromwell having withstood a siege in the Castle of Ballingarry on the coast north of Ballyheigue for 14 months. After the Commonwealth and because of David’s loyalty to the Crown, his son, Thomas of Ardfert, was knighted had his estates restored and built Ardfert towards the end of the l600s.

Sir Thomas had three wives, eight sons and three daughters. In 1680 Sir Thomas married his third wife, Elizabeth, daughter of William Hamilton and on that same day his eldest son David married Elizabeth’s sister Jane. This double wedding of father and son to two sisters resulted in a unique marriage settlement in which the family estates were re-distributed. Among the estates were the three main houses of Ardfert, Ballyheigue, and Rusheen.

Ardfert Abbey

Because of the ruined Franciscan Abbey in the grounds, the mansion was named Ardfert Abbey and in the settlement it went to the eldest son David. David died in 1717 and his descendants were successively Lord Branden (Baron), Viscount Crosbie, and the Earl of Glandore, which peerages became extinct in 1815 when the house and lands passed to a nephew, who became Talbot-Crosbie.

The house was described in 1785 by a visitor Caroline, Countess of Portarlington, as “an old-fashioned place in a very bleak country….small low rooms, wainscoted, and the drawing room perfectly antique”; this was the house, which our Jane Maria and her children would have known. In 1838 Lewis reports that the house “contains an extensive library….and a variety of paintings, mostly family portraits. The park is well stocked with deer; the gardens are extensive, and open into several fine avenues of elm, lime and beech trees”. One of the family portraits included the full-length portrait of Lady Diana, the wife of John Crosbie, 2nd Earl of Glandore, by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Lady Diana was a young woman of fashionable tastes whose fondness for gaming and slowness in paying her debts earned her the nickname of ‘Owen Glendower’, (‘Owing Glandore’).

Ardfert Abbey was sold by John Talbot-Crosbie (1873 - 1969) during the 1900s and demolished; the garden gates were re-erected outside the Church in Tralee as a memorial of the Crosbie family.

Ballyheigue Castle

Ballyheigue Castle was a Crosbie house before Ardfert was built and in the settlement it went to Sir Thomas’ 5th son, Thomas Crosbie, MP for Kerry 1708 - 1709 and Dingle 1713 – 1731. It was sited overlooking the sea near Tralee and was long, low, and thatched, facing onto a courtyard in one corner of which was a strong stone tower, part of the original castle built about the time of Henry VIII. It was in this tower that Thomas Crosbie, our Pierce’s great grandfather, during the winter of 1730 placed the chests of silver which he had rescued from the Danish East Indiaman ‘Golden Lyon’. Ballyheigue Bay gives no shelter for vessels and was frequently mistaken for the entrance to the Shannon; it was not altogether the ship’s fault because Loop Head was inaccurately laid down in the charts, but it was not uncommon for wreckers to deliberately entice vessels into the bay. On a stormy night wreckers lured the ‘Golden Lyon’ into the bay and it ran amongst the rocks on the shore. Thomas and his men chased away the wreckers and spent the night in saving the treasure and the crew, but his exertions proved too much for him and he died from exposure and fatigue. Some months later the castle was attacked by the wild Irish wreckers and the treasure carried off. There was a suspicion of collusion and two of Thomas’s nephews were tried for complicity in the robbery; Thomas Crosbie, Colonel of the 19th Regiment, was convicted and outlawed, and Arthur, the Commissioner of Customs in Kerry, was acquitted. However it was alleged that the attack on the castle was organised by Thomas’s widow, Lady Margaret, a daughter of the 2nd Earl of Barrymore because she later obtained the bulk of the treasure.

James Crosbie, the only son of Thomas, inherited and about 1758 built a new house; aided, one wonders, with the proceeds of the Danish treasure. He married Mary his cousin, the daughter of his uncle Pierce of Rusheen, and so Rusheen came into his family. About 1809 James’ grandson, Colonel James Crosbie, Jane Maria’s brother-in-law, turned the house into a romantic castle complete with battlements and towers; William Morrison who was only 15 at the time produced the design. The Colonel married his cousin Elizabeth, daughter of Roland Bateman of Oak Park and died in 1836. Their son and the nephew of Pierce and Jane Maria, another Pierce, inherited Ballyheigue but had a problem with his wife Elizabeth (Sandes); no sooner were they married in 1831 than she started bestowing her favours on all the stable-lads. Not unexpectedly there was a row and she eloped to the Continent with one of the grooms. She was never heard of again and it took Pierce 15 years to get an order presuming her death so that he could marry again.

The house was passed through two more generations until in 1921 it was burnt down during the ‘troubles’ and became a ruin except for one wing, which has been restored recently.


Rusheen went to Sir Thomas’ 7th son, Pierce (1684 - 1761). It lies beside Ballylongford on the Shannon Estuary, to the west of Tarbert. No description of the house has been found. Pierce was a barrister who had a son and a daughter. The son Francis married Ann, a daughter of Roland Bateman of Oak Park (15.8.5), but they had no children. The daughter Mary married her cousin James Crosbie of Ballyheigue and took Rusheen with her. James passed both Ballyheigue and Rusheen to his son, another Pierce, Jane Maria’s father-in-law, and he passed Ballyheigue to his oldest son and Rusheen to his second son, Pierce of Rusheen who married Jane Maria.

 Pierce may have been living at Rusheen before the wedding but after they were married they both lived at Rusheen, indeed Jane Maria lived there for some 30 years of her life and one assumes died there in 1833. In 1838 Lewis records that Rusheen was occupied by Jane Maria’s eldest son Francis Crosbie who later changed his name to McDonnell. It is not known whether Francis remained there or moved to another house from the property he inherited from Randall McDonnell in Co Mayo, but Rusheen drops out of the picture so it is supposed he did move elsewhere.

15.9  Death of Stephen  1790 - 1791

This Stephen is only mentioned in Burke as the third son of Stephen of Rahinstown. He has not appeared in any of the records or documents and his birth date of about 1755 has been estimated. The only reference to his death are these accounts which are undated and titled “George Bomford Esq., the acting trustee in the affairs of the late Stephen Bomford Esq., to Isaac Bomford.”

George Bomford is “the late Stephen’s” younger brother. To date no will or other document has come to light, but if George was the acting trustee then Isaac Bomford must have been the executor and as such would need these accounts to get probate. However there are no clues to indicate when Stephen actually died except that it was George who made the later payments in March 1791 for the rent of Gallow so he may have died towards the end of 1790 or in the first couple of months in 1791.

At this date there were two Bomfords named Isaac; the attorney, uncle of Stephen, but he is elderly being over 60 and is handing over to the other Isaac, David Bomford’s son, who is also an attorney and aged about 30. It is therefore likely that Stephen’s executor was the younger Isaac.

As said above Stephen was born about 1755 so he died fairly young, aged about 35. He never married and may have been sickly, but he did farm about 300 acres of Gallow, which these accounts show he leased from Isaac Bomford, his uncle.

“£63.1.1 paid to Mr I Bomford, half a year’s rent for Gallow ending March 1791 and £10.10.0 -ditto- for Newtown Gallow,” and this entry is repeated in October. Thus Stephen’s yearly rent for his farm was £147.2.2 but this would not be enough to cover the whole of Gallow.  The rent for the Gallow leases of 1758 - 1759 was 10 shillings an acre, which works out at close on 300 acres. This farm must have been Stephen’s main, if not only, source of income.

One of the first things to be done on Stephen’s death was to look after the land and particularly the stock. The livestock was probably sold immediately and the accounts already sent to Isaac. Certainly these accounts show no income from live stock; however the bulk of his income comes in small amounts for ‘meadow on Gallow, oat land, potatoe ground’, and so on, paid by no less than 31 different people; all of which shows that George Bomford stepped in and made the best use of Stephen’s land after his death. It also shows how land hungry the local people were. Alternatively it may be that Stephen did not farm the land himself but acted as a middleman.

The only other large payment in the accounts was “£150 to Mr Thomas Coates being the amount of a bond debt due by Mr Stephen Bomford, which bond I took up,” i.e. George paid the debt. If this was Stephen’s only debt he died just about solvent, actually the accounts show a debt to George of £2.12.7½, which would turn into a credit when the sale of the livestock was included. It is not known which Thomas Coates this was, and there are a few possibilities  (8.6.2); it could be Thomas, one of the nephews of William Coates and Mary (Bomford), Stephen’s aunt, and there were four such nephews all named Thomas and all Stephen’s cousins; it might be William and Mary’s brother, Thomas Coates of Killinboy, or it might even be one of the Knockanally Coates family who lived near Kilcock.

All the other payments were of small amounts:


To Mr Reilly funeral expence

£1. 6.0  

To my mother for Esther’s wages


To my mother to pay Mary’s wages (These were the only wages these girls received in seven months)

£0. 1.1

To Reilly going to Clonfad with heifers. (A walk of about 50 miles there and back)

£0. 9.9

To the slator for 6 days work at 1.7½ (This works out at 8 pence a day and a slator was a highly paid craftsman)

£0. 1.0

2 stone of salt (Large quantities of salt were used to preserve meat and vegetables)

£0. 1.8


£0. 3.3

One pound of onion seed

£0. 1.4

Half pound of  mustard


Half quarter of beef (one quarter would be a quarter of the carcase)


Two quarters of mutton

£3. 8.3

To Watt for his wages being out of his apprenticeship at which time he was to receive 3 Guineas or a heifer. (Watt figures a lot, clothes were made for him and his shoes were mended a few times).

£0. 2.8½

Frize for breeches for Watt.”


Baker, ‘apothicary’, blacksmith, and Mrs Kelly the ‘brewer’ all appear a few times.

Watt’s contract or indenture is not available, but in general apprentices at this time worked for seven years to learn a trade, and the master provided food, lodging and clothing. It would appear that Watt ‘being out of his apprenticeship’ stayed on and had recently started working for wages. I have used the ‘3 guineas or a heifer’ as the price of a heifer to calculate the turnover of cattle at this time.

It looks as though Stephen was staying with his elderly parents; Stephen aged about 68 and Elizabeth, at Rahinstown, which as suggested has recently been doubled in size. He contributed to the household expenses as shown by the payment of 13.7½ (0.68p) “To my mother for the use of the house”, and paid the wages of the two female servants, Esther and Mary. Brother George was also living at Rahinstown so the settlement of Stephen’s affairs was very much a family concern, which was then reported in these accounts to Isaac the younger in Dublin for action concerning probate.

15.10  Frances Jane Bomford  c1760 - ?

Frances Jane was the second daughter of Stephen the younger. It is not known how old she was at the time of the following deed when she bought a house in Dublin, but she was mentioned in Samuel Partridge’s will of 1774 (11.10) and she was probably a teenager then. A birth date of about 1760 would make her about 30 when she bought the Dublin house and this would be a reasonable age for her to leave Rahinstown and live in Dublin.

Frances Jane Buys a Dublin House  22nd June 1791


On 30th September 1774 Sarah Archdale of Mount Eccles, Co Dublin widow, leased to Charles Boyd of Dublin the house on the south side of Denmark Street being part of the land of Mount Eccles in the townland of Ballybough, Co Dublin, for three lives at a rent of £50.

On 13th August (1790?) Nicholas Daniel of Dublin sold the same house to Frances Jane Bomford, spinster of Rahinstown, for £600.  

This is witnessed in this memorial.

Witnessed: Trevor Bomford (her brother).  (Book 438 Page 329 No 182949)

The house in Denmark Street belonged to someone else in 1835, the first year of the Street Directory in the Dublin Almanack.

Frances Jane and her husband (15.10.1) were alive in 1825 and possibly living in Dublin, but it is not known when they died.

15.10.1  Marriage - Frances Jane and Col Cromwell Massy  November 1800

The Marriage Licence Bonds Prerogative and the Hibernian Magazine record Frances Jane’s marriage to Lieutenant-Colonel Cromwell Massy in November 1800.

There is very little information about this couple, but Frances Jane was mentioned in her father’s will of 1800 and they were godparents of Robert George Mansergh, second son of Jane Rosetta Mansergh (Bomford), who was born in April 1825 (21.3.2). Since the baby was born in Dublin it is thought that Frances Jane and her husband, Colonel Massy, lived in Dublin. It is doubtful if they had any children, indeed Frances Jane must have been about 40 when she married. Colonel Cromwell Massy is not included in Burke under ‘Massy’ so he is not a direct relation of Maria Massy who married Frances Jane’s brother Robert. No mention of him could be found in the Army Lists in the Dublin Almanacks from 1777 to 1810 and this was probably because he served with the East India Company.

The British Library Integrated Catalogue (Shelfmarks T 12782(q) and  8023.e.11.(4.)) lists the “Diary of Colonel Cromwell Massy kept while a prisoner at Seringapatam”. This must be our Cromwell Massy.

There were four Mysore Wars in any of which Colonel Cromwell Massy could have been involved and captured.

My guess is that Cromwell Massy was captured early on in the 3rd Mysore War and was released from his prison in Seringapatam in 1792. I doubt that he would have had time to be released in 1799 after the 4th War, take the nine-month journey home by sail and arrange his marriage before November 1800. Someone will have to go to the British Museum and read his diary!

General Sir Eyre Coote who was instrumental in winning the 2nd Mysore War was from West Park, Co Tipperary. He married and his only son Eyre Coote (1806 – 1834) married in 1828 Elizabeth Rosetta Massy-Dawson, one of the daughters of James Hewitt Massy-Dawson of Ballynacourte. James Hewitt was the only brother of Maria who married Robert Bomford in 1792 (15.5.1 para 8). Thus Eyre Coote, who may have rescued Cromwell Massy, was to become related through marriage with both the Bomfords and Cromwell Massy.

15.11  Brief Concerning the Disputed Bog of Clonfad   1793

Petitioner:  John Fairfield, Leasee of Henry Cope Esq.

Defendant: Stephen Bomford Esq.

The petitioner declares that his leassor let to him that portion of Hightown in the possession of Stephen Bomford (i.e. the disputed bog) on 22nd November 1792. He “entered on 23rd November and was possessed of the premises untill the Casual Ejector on 24th November ousted the pet (petitioner), which he lays to his damage of £100 Sterg.”

The Defendant (Stephen Bomford of Rahinstown) claims:

1.  Clonfad, Hightown and Cunnera were formerly the property of Thomas Bomford.

2.  Thomas Bomford died 4th February 1740 (actually the probate date) having made a will and appointed Patrick Sandys and James Tryrrell his executors. They sold Hightown and Cunnera to Mark Whyte Esq. to pay off Debts and Legacies.

3.  Mark Whyte sold Hightown and Cunnera for £1,960 to Mr Cope, father of the petitioner.

4.  Stephen Bomford in “1757 possessed himself of the lands of Clonfad as Heir at Law of the said Thomas and has remained ever since in the quiet and undisturbed possession thereof.”


There is no need to go into the bog dispute, we do not even know the outcome; the question for the court was: Did the 32 acre disputed bog belong to Clonfad (Bomford) or to Hightown (Cope)?

The brief however clarified a number of grey areas concerning the land and was accompanied by an interesting “Copy of a map annexed to a lease made by Mark Whyte Esq. to Edward Bomford, Gent, for 41 years from May 1749” (10.2). Marked in red on the map is the disputed 32 acre bog, “Which upon a late survey was found to be short of the contents of this map, Stephen Bomford Esq. having possessed himself of this bog as part of Clonfad.” The map was ‘Laid down by a scale of forty perches to an inch by Edward Purdon, 1746’; it is to be found in the documents under this date, 1793, and not 1749. 

15.11.1  Clonfad

Although Clonfad may have been a Bomford property as early as 1677, the first lease we have is dated 1708 when Francis Heaton leased it to Thomas Bomford ‘for ever’ for a rent of £135. Later on Thomas leased it to his brother Edward. Edward had it until his death when it was passed on to his brother Stephen. It remained a Bomford property until about 1913, about 236 years.


Hightown was also called Balloughter and included Cunnera or Quinera in the southern corner. It was also leased by Francis Heaton to Thomas, Bomford ‘for ever’ at a rent of £85. The first lease we have is dated January 1731 but there was an earlier one, if not two. Thomas leased it to Edward and Edward lived on the property, he became known as Edward of Hightown. On the death of Thomas it was sold as it says here ‘to pay off debts and legacies’. It was sold to Mark Whyte who leased back most of it to Edward for 41 years. When Edward died in 1756 Stephen inherited and retained it until the lease ran out in 1790, then Henry Cope purchased it.

The following comes from Lyon’s ‘Grand Juries of Westmeath’,

Henry Cope was appointed a Six Clerk in 1772 (Trevor Bomford was one in 1789) and was also MP for Phillipstown in 1790. He purchased the land of Hightown on which he built some houses, which were never finished and are still (Lyon’s time) called Cope’s Houses. He sold Hightown to Samuel Dopping, a barrister, of Lowtown.

15.11.2  Letter from Richard Dardis

Before we close this item, the documents include an undated letter from Richard Dardis.

Hilltown Pass, Rattin 2nd January

Honour Sir

I write you this loine hoping you are well and mistress Bomford and famly. If you could send me the copy of the survey you got don (done) if cors (because) I must go be (by) that when it was the goverment and ..?. I hope your (you) wont disapoint as it is coming of (off) on next wedsday

Your Obedient Richard Dardis

Although the spelling is not up to present day standards, Richard Dardis must have been highly educated for the 1700s, particularly since he was probably an Irish speaker at home. It is likely that he was the Bomford agent covering Rattin, Clonfad and Hightown, their only Westmeath property. He probably leased a farm there as well because in 1854 a Christopher Dardis had a 94-acre farm, which he later split into two for his two sons, one of whom was evicted in 1899.

Without a date it is impossible to be certain to whom Richard was writing, nor about which property. We only know that he is writing from Rattin and so the survey would concern Westmeath land. The letter fits here as it sounds as though a court case is involved – ‘it is coming of on next wedsday’, and ‘the goverment’ is concerned.

15.12  Case of Bankruptcy   22nd December 1785

George Bomford of Rahenstown

William Coates of Staplestown, Co Kildare, merchant. (He might be the husband of Mary, George’s aunt), and

George Holmes of Ann Street, Dublin,

Are all assignees of the goods and chattels of Richard Bryan, a bankrupt of Smithfield, Dublin, salesmaster and chapman, made over to Silvester Manwaring of Ormond Market, poulterer, for £160 two stalls in Water Row in Ormond Market at a rent of £30.  (Book 372 Page 386 No 249254)

On 1st February 1786, they made over to Nathan Cairds, chandler, one stall in Water Row, three stalls in Narrow Row, eleven stalls in Dawsons Row and one shop in Brush Row, all in Ormond Market, Dublin, for the residue of the 31 years at the same terms as in the previous lease.  (Book 369 Page 551 No 249753)

On the same day, they made over for £360 to Charles McKiernan, merchant of Dublin, the stables on both sides of Water Row in Ormond Market for the remaining years at the same terms as in the previous lease.  (Book 371 Page 358 No 249938)

All three deeds were witnessed and registered by Trevor Bomford, George’s younger brother, the attorney.

15.12.1  Another Case of Bankruptcy  18th December 1787

James Coates, of Smithfields in the City of Dublin, salesmaster, dealer and chapman, is declared a bankrupt by the Marquess of Buckingham, Lieutenant General and General Governor of the Kingdom of Ireland. The major debt is to George Bomford of Rahenstown of £l00 and upwards on the sale of cattle.

The Commissioners of Bankruptcy are Ambrose Smith, Brett Norton, Samuel Spencer, James O’Hara and Peter Cantwell.

Signed with the Great Seal of Ireland by the Right Honourable James, Lord Viscount Lifford, High Chancellor of Ireland (who was James Hewitt the first Viscount Lifford, died in 1789).

The circular seal, 15 centimetres across and 1½ deep, is, unfortunately damaged. It appears to show on one side a prancing horse, and on the other a seated figure, presumably King George III, surrounded by at least four other figures and a lion.

15.12.2  Deed of Assignment of the Bankrupt  A month later


1.  William Walker and Gorge Bomford of Rahinstown

2.  The Commissioners to the bankrupt James Coates, namely Ambrose Smith, Brett Norton and Samuel Spencer

3.  George Bomford and John Johnston, sadler of Dublin

James Coates was declared a bankrupt of 18th December 1787. He had become indebted to George Bomford for cattle sales in Smithfield Market for upwards of £100, and also to John Johnston a sadler.

Now, George Bomford and William Walker are empowered to dispose of all the goods and chattels of James Coates in trust for the creditors.

Signed: William Walker, Ambrose Smith, Brett Norton, Samuel Spencer, George Bomford, and John Johnston.

George Bomford, now aged 29, has had his fingers burnt twice over the sale of his cattle, to the tune of £100 from James Coates and probably more from Richard Bryan. £100 represented about 30 beasts calculated from the amount due to the apprentice Watt of ‘3 guineas or a heifer’ (15.9). These sales further confirm that George’s land was primarily under cattle, as was so much of the Bomford property up to now.

It is thought that this James Coates was not a relation of William Coates who married Mary Bomford; George would hardly have had his cousin’s relations declared bankrupt.

15.13  Leases & Purchase of Drumlargan  1787 - 1808

The following five documents give the background to the final purchase in 1808 of Drumlargan, Knockstown, Clonlyon, Monaloy and Ordnellstown by George Bomford. This is a major purchase of over 1,200 statute acres, and Drumlargan House will become the home of many Bomfords.

All those places in the Barony of Deece mentioned in the first deed of 1708 will become George’s.

15.13.1  John Osborn’s Deed of Settlement  22nd April 1708

John Osborn, late of the City of London, Silk Dyer, but now of Ballgeen, Co Meath, and his wife Anne, gave for 120 years, the lands of...(see below) Henry Tennison of the City of Dublin, and to Richard Rogers of Ballgeen for £200 a year to be paid to him or his wife Anne, whichever lives the longer.

However the land is to be farmed by Bryan Osborn and Anne his wife, of Thomastown, Co Louth. Anne is the eldest daughter of John and Anne Osborn (above). Bryan Osborn is to be ‘aided’ by Thomas Kirkwood and Arthur Knox, both merchants in the City of Dublin. (‘Aided’ may indicate that Kirkwood and Knox were executors of daughter Anne’s marriage settlement.)

In the Barony of Deece

Dromlorgan                               }

Dunganstown or Balldungan       }      These 5 are all to become

Ordnellstowne or Edinstowne     }          Bomford properties

Knockbegg or Knockturin          }

Part of Monatry                        }

In the Barony of Duleek

Ballgeene (1 mile west of Ardcalf, now called Ballgeeth)

In the Barony of Slane

Shalvinstowne or Slaveingstowne }   (now Shalvanstown)

Hilltowne                                    }             These 4 townlands touch each other

Tankardstowne                           }              and are near Tankardstown House

Ralangstowne or Rawlingstowne  }

Bathsland in Ardcalfe (east of Tankardstown)

Rabranletemple or Rabran Church (probably Rathbran, north of Tankardstown)

Brownestowne                                        }

Part of Hopkinstowne called Osbornsland }    (Both west of Rathbran)

In the Barony of Morgallen

Willkinstowne called Osbornsbogg (Half way between Oristown and Rathkenny, 4 miles west of Tankardstown).


Signed: John Osborn, Ann Osborn, Hen Tenison, Richd Rogers, Nath Boyes, Bry Osborn

Since they signed the deed, it is thought that perhaps Henry Tennison who died in 1709 and Richard Rogers who died in 1726 got the land by a mortgage to John Osborn. Henry Tennison of Dillonstown, Co Louth, a barrister and MP, whose daughter married Nicholas Coddington in 1722, died the year after this deed of settlement.

15.13.2  Lease - Drumlargan & Knockturin  28th February 1795

Reciting the deed of 15th March 1787 (missing) in which Dixie Coddington leased to George Bomford the town and lands of Dunganstown, Drumlargan, and Knockturn for the life of George Bomford or 41 years whichever is longer at a rent of £796.5.0.

Now Dixie Coddington of Boyne Hill, Co Meath, leases to George Bomford of Rahinstown the above lands with the bog of Drumlargan containing 742 plantation acres (1202 statute) in the Parish of Drumlargan and Killmore for the lives of:

Reciting that when Dixie Coddington has paid off the mortgage of £5,000 on these lands to Charles Furren (Farran) of Dublin, or if George Bomford should do so, then Dixie Coddington will grant a fee farm lease for ever.

Signed: Dixie Coddington

Witnessed: Thomas L’Estrange; John Byers.  (Book 487 Page 206 No 312531)

Thomas L’Estrange is most probably Thomas St Quintin L’Estrange, (1755 - c1845), the fourth son of Ann (Bomford) and Samuel L’Estrange, and so George Bomford’s first cousin. (15.1.1)

15.13.3  Lease - Drumlargan, Knockturin etc  31st October 1803

Henry Coddington the elder of Oldbridge, Co Meath, heir at law of Dixie Coddington late of Boyne Hill (died 28th May 1795), and Henry Coddington of Dublin, second son of Henry Coddington the elder, leases to George Bomford of Rahinstown the town and lands of:

for ever.

Signed: Henry Coddington; George Bomford

Witnessed: Miles O’Reilly of Dublin; William Jones, Dublin Merchant

(Book 562 Page 463 No 375039)

This is the first mention of Myles O’Reilly who is George’s solicitor, and it looks as though he took over from Trevor Bomford when he died in 1797. If this is so, Myles was the Bomford solicitor for 40 years and guided the family until after George’s son came of age. See 24.4 for more on Myles.

15.13.4  Lease - Drumlargan, Knockturin etc  1st May 1805


1.  George Thompson of Dublin, executor of Elinor Wade, late of Batchelor’s Lodge, Co Meath, spinster, and of Christopher Wade of Batchelor’s Lodge

2.  John Wade of Batchelor’s Lodge, nephew and heir of Hamlet and Christopher Wade.

3.  Rev John McCausland of Drumcree Glebe, Co Westmeath, and Hannah McCauseland his wife who was formerly Gerard and Wynne

4.  George Bomford of Rahenstown

5.  Myles O’Reilly of Dublin, Attorney at Law

On 17th May 1788 Dixie Coddington leased to Christopher Wade and Hamlet Wade the lands of Dunganstown, Drumlargan and Knockturin with the bog containing 742 plantation acres (1202 statute) in the Parishes of Drumlargan and Kilmore.

However the Wades could not continue payment so now George Bomford produced £500 and took over their lease  (Book 579 Page 104 No 388758).

I find it hard to reconcile this lease, which recites May 1788 in which Dixie leases the land to the Wades and that of the 1795 lease, which recites March 1787 in which Dixie leases the land to George Bomford. However it is only a question of timing, the outcome remains the same.

According to Lewis, John Wade was living at Bachelor’s Lodge in 1838 and he describes it as a ‘neat residence’. The Wade family are still living there now.

15.13.5  Final Settlement of Drumlargan etc   11th July 1808


1.  Charles Farran, City of Dublin, and

2.  George Bomford, formerly of Rahinstown but now of Clarkstown.


1.  The lease of 31st October 1803 (quoted almost the same as above)

2.  28th August 1792 in which Dixie Coddington, now deceased, mortgaged for £5,000 to Charles Farran the lands of Drumlargan (etc, as listed before)

3.  Charles Farran obtained judgement in court and Dixie Coddington had to pay the penalty figure of £10,000.

4.  Dixie Coddington died on 28th May 1795 and Henry Coddington the elder inherited

5.  Henry Coddington hands over all the lands to George Bomford who is to payoff the mortgage to Charles Farran

6.  George Bomford paid £5,000 to Charles Farran on 3rd June 1806

7.  Charles Farran agrees that the other £5,000 shall remain as a mortgage on the lands.

This indenture states that George Bomford is now the outright owner of Drumlargan and the other land, subject to the £5,000 mortgage. Drawn up by Myles O’Reilly.

15.13.6  Summary of Drumlargan Leases

In 1708 Henry Tenison and Richard Rogers got the land by mortgage from John Osborne and leased it to Bryan Osborne and his wife Anne, eldest daughter of John Osborne. They died and the land passed to Dixie Coddington who was the grandson of Henry Tenison and grand- nephew of John Osborne.

In 1787 Dixie Coddington (1727-1795) leased Drumlargan and Knockturin (Knockstown), to George Bomford for 41 years at a rent of £796.5.0.

In 1788 Dixie Coddington appears to have leased the land to Christopher Wade.

1792 Dixie Coddington mortgaged the lands to Charles Farran for £5,000.

The 1795 lease to George Bomford is for three lives and the acreage is 1,202 statute acres. Dixie Coddington agrees to grant a fee farm lease for ever once the mortgage of £5,000 is paid.

In 1803 Dixie has died, and Henry Coddington has inherited. Now the mortgage penalty figure of £10,000 has to be paid to Charles Farran.

In 1805 George Bomford takes over the Wade lease for £500. Perhaps Wade was a middleman but this is uncertain.

In 1808 George settled the £5,000 mortgage in June 1806 and to cover the other £5,000 he took a mortgage with Charles Farran for that amount. One assumes that the lease is now fee farm and that the £796 rent is no longer paid.

In 1815 the indenture for the final payment gives the agreed purchase price as £16,000 and not £10,000 as appears to be the price from these deeds. The mix-up over the price is because Anne Dallas was owed money by Dixie Coddington as early as 1789, and this debt which only appears in the deed of 1815 (20.8) was also passed to George Bomford.

1202 acres for £10,000 works out at £8.25 an acre, and for £16,000 at £13.35, both of which figures were high for those years, but it is rent-free and is prime land. It used to be said in the family that it was the best land in Meath and that it was a mistake to stop farming Drumlargan and move to Oakley Park where the land was not nearly so good.

15.13.7  The Coddington Family

As can be seen from the Coddington family tree (much from Burke, but with some additions re Anne Warren by Peter Bamford, and see alternative below) the story of Drumlargan was largely a family affair.

Link to 20.8.

Nicholas Dixie Coddington in an email to Rick Smith on 1 May 2006 has an alternative pedigree for Anne Warren. Among the '7 others' Peter has noted in the above tree for the children of Captain Dixie Coddington (1665 - 1728) and his wife Anne Coddington (d 1736) is another Dixie Coddington (1693 - 1776) (see Burke's Irish Family Records 1976 p 252), of Athlumney Castle, who married his 2nd cousin Hannah Waller.  Among their 8 daughters was Frances Coddington who married Joshua Warren on 19 November 1754. They had two children, Hannah Warren and Anne Warren.  Hannah married John Woods of Milverton, Co Dublin.  Anne Warren married Captain John Dallas in 1790, and they had one child Elizabeth Dallas, according to Nicholas' email.  The document summarised at 20.8 clearly recites (photo, 276kB) that Anne and John Dallas had two children, Elizabeth Dallas and Frances Jane Dallas.  Elizabeth has a second name inserted, but it is not readable in the photograph: just possibly Hannah.  The original document is in the National Library of Ireland.

Oldbridge, overlooking the site of the Battle of the Boyne, was bought in 1729 (date in Burke 1976; might be 1725) from the 5th Earl of Drogheda, and was sold by Major Dixie Coddington in the 1980s. 

John Coddington, 1691-1740, had just one son, John, who was drowned in the Boyne the day he came of age, 1736.

Anna Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Nicholas Coddington 1765 - 1837, married in 1826 John FitzHerbert Ruxton of Ardee House.  His nephew was George William Ruxton of Rahanna who in 1865 married Arbella Anna Bomford (30.4).

Gaynor Barry held the mortgage on Clounstown of William Bomford. William had to sell Clounstown in 1784 to repay the mortgage and to settle his father’s legacies.

15.13.8  Townland Place Names & Position

In the hundred years, 1708 to 1808, the place names have changed and much time has been spent identifying and siting them. Even now they have not all been placed, largely because the boundaries have been changed.

1. Dromlorgan

Dromlorgan is Drumlargan, both a parish and a townland. Balldungan or Dunganstown is the only other townland in the Parish of Drumlargan and lies in the southwest corner of that parish. The 1654 Civil Survey states:

“The parish of Dromlargin is bounded on the east with Clonlion, on the west with the land of Knock in the Barrony of Moyfenragh, on the north with the lands of Moynalvy, on the south with the Parish of Gallow. In the sayd Parish are the townes of:

Dromlargine, 336 acres (544 statute) including 100 acres (162 statute) of  bogg, on the premisses a church.

Dunganstowne, 156 acres (253 statute) including 30 acres (49 statute) of bogg”.

A hill in the townland of Drumlargan is known as Dungan’s Hill and the Battle of Drumlargan (1647) is sometimes referred to as the Battle of Dungan’s Hill. The bog into which the Irish retreated is to the west of Dungan’s Hill (15.13.9).

The Church of Drumlargan was falling down in the 1680s according to Bishop Dopping’s Visitation. The last clergyman there was Henry Moneypenny and in 1674 the Church was shut down (15.13.10).

The house on Drumlargan was originally called Bloomfield. At the end of the 1600s it was “of the type with a seperate large stone house on each side of the mansion for male and female servants”. In the early 1700s this winged mansion was either pulled down or adapted, and the result formed the basis for the present Drumlargan House. This building has a plain stone tablet let into the wall high above the front door with the letters ‘B’ above, ‘T’ and ‘E’ on the left and right sides, and with a Tudor five-petalled rose in the centre with ‘1724’ below. It is not known what the letters stand for and they may date back to the original house or even to the Tudor period, 1724 is probably the date of the rebuilding.

The house was still called Bloomfield in the survey of 1836 which says: “Bloomfield is a tolerably good house, at present occupied by a herd, formerly the residence of Mr Purdon, but it is going into a further ruinous state as time goes on.” A Mr P.E. Purdon leased 197 statute acres when George Bomford died and so he was probably living in Bloomfield at this date. (20.10).

Burke’s Guide to Country Houses says of Drumlargan: “A two storey double gable-ended house, probably early c18 but with c19 windows and a c19 two storey gabled projecting porch.” This agrees substantially with the above. George Bomford the younger repaired the house and no doubt made the additions at the same time, but more of that later on (29.3.1).

2. Ornelstown

Ornelstown, Ardnelstown, Edenstowne and Edinstown are all the same place. It is not a townland and the name appears to be lost now. The only reference found is in the 1685 map of Meath, which shows Edenstowne in a vague area south of Kilmore, west of Mullagh, north of ‘Gallo’ and east of ‘Dromlargy’. It is not possible to place it more accurately. My guess is that it was a sub-division of one of these places but not Gallow, and I have included it with Drumlargan.

3. Clonlyon

Clonlyon or Clonlion is in the Parish of Kilmore and joins the east end of Drumlargan. The Civil Survey of 1654 gives its area as 194 plantation acres (314 statute). By 1836 it was all owned by “Mr Magill from whom Mr Purdon of Ardrum holds the whole”. There were no Bomfords listed in the Rateable Properties of 1854 and the house was then occupied by Mr Edward Purdon. It looks as though the ‘part of Clonlyin’, occupied by George Bomford in the 1803 lease, was either sold which is unlikely, or, most likely, the boundaries were changed by 1836.

4. Knockstown

Knockstown, Knock, Knockbegg, Knockturin, Knockturn, Nockturn, and Adamstown are all the same place in the Parish of Kilmore in the Barony of Deece. It is not the Knockstown listed in the 1654 Survey which is in the wrong parish and is too far to the north; nor is it the Knock in the Parish of Laracor which is in the wrong Barony, that of Moyfenrath; this latter Knock was owned by the Rowley family and is situated to the north of Agher and south of Clonmahon.

The 1836 Survey places it correctly between Clonlyon and Moynalvy in the Parish of Kilmore. This confirms that the boundaries were changed and, in 1836, Knockstown consisted of “322 acres the property of Mr George Bomford of Agher and Mr Philips of Dublin, the latter has 60 acres known as Ash Green. Mr Philips last lived in Ash Green House in 1798 since when it has been going to Wrack and Ruin and now only the walls are standing.” (He was chased out of the house during the 1798 Rising, abandoned everything, and fled to Dublin where he died in 1802: 24.8.2).

“George Bomford has the rest (262 acres) in farms at £1.12.6 an acre.”

By 1854 George Bomford the younger must have taken over the 60 acres of Mr Philips because the valuation of that year states, “George Bomford has it all. He farms 123 acres and has leased 199 acres”. The list of tenants will be found in paragraph 29.4.

5. Moynalvy

Moynalvy in the Parish of Kilmore has the largest variety of names -

Moinalvy, Moynaluy, Monloy, Monatry, Moynalvey, Moinaluy, Moneloy, Monahey and Monaley - and this comes about from anglicizing the Irish name which means ‘The Four Masters’. It is also a good example of the difficulty of identifying places, Monloy and Monatry are not easily recognised as the same place, and needs corroborative evidence. In 1654 it consisted of 338 plantation acres (548 statute) and was just north of Drumlargan and Clonlyon.

In 1838 it consisted of 740 statute acres but the townland borders must have been changed because it is now north of Ballygortagh and Knockstown. We are concerned with ‘part of Moynalvy’ and it has been assumed that that part was included in Knockstown. No Bomford was listed in 1838 in the records of Moynalvy.

It is apparent that the townland borders changed between these deeds and 1838, and of all the lands listed in the deeds the only ones I have recorded are those of Drumlargan and Knockstown. This is because Drumlargan consisted of Dunganstown, probably Ordnellstown, and possibly ‘part of Clonlyon’; and Knockstown probably took in ‘part of Moynalvy’. This agrees quite well with the statute acreage of those places:

George Bomford now has a sizeable block of land close to Gallow and Rahinstown, which later will be based on Drumlargan House where many of the family lived later on.

15.13.9  The Battle of Drumlargan  8th August 1647

The 1685 map of Meath shows, “Dromlargy here a ffight Dunganstowne”. The ‘ffight’ was a major battle and the turning point in the Cromwellian War, and occurred really by accident on 8th August 1647.

Colonel Michael Jones (2.5.1) and his Parliamentary Army left Dublin on 1st August to gather reinforcements to attack the town. He collected some reinforcements at Skyrne (Skreen) and travelling by Trimblestown he reached Drumlargan early on the 8th August. There he was surprised to find Richard Preston, Earl of Desmond, and his Confederate Army who had spent the previous night near Agher, having successfully besieged Trim.

Both armies were heading for Dublin, Preston to relieve it and Jones to attack it, but they had to fight each other on meeting face to face. The result was disastrous for the Confederate Army who were all lost except for the Company of Horse. The Confederate Horse were driven off the field and fled, leaving the infantry numbering about 6,000 at the mercy of Jones. To avoid Jones’ cavalry the Irish infantry retreated into Dunganstown bog which was very small, only about 30 acres, and so wet that the men sank in one or two feet making it impossible for them to fight. Jones surrounded the bog and massacred all 6,000.

It was said that ‘more Irishmen were lost in Dunganstown Bog in this battle than were ever lost before or since’. It remains a mystery where these 6,000 men were buried; it was assumed in the bog, but the bog was trenched, drained and planted about 1970 and not one body was found.

15.13.10  The Church of Drumlargan

Drumlargan was a parish and as with all Irish parishes it had its own church at some date. Drumlargan Church was shut down in 1674 during the time when Henry Jones (1605-81), brother of Colonel Michael, was Bishop of Meath from 1661 to 1682 (2.5.1). The next Bishop of Meath was Antony Dopping (1643 - 1697) (9.3.6). It is from the Dopping ‘Visitations’ of 1682-85 that the following was found concerning Drumlargan Church: “The Rector is Henry Monypenny. The Popish schoolmaster is Fitzsimons. No Protestants in the Parish. Church and Chancel are down, and all church furniture and fittings are wanting. Graveyard unfenced.”

After the closure of Drumlargan Church in 1674, Henry Moneypenny became the Rector of Gallow Church from 1674 to 1682 and Drumlargan Parish was combined with Gallow. In 1682 Gallow Church was also shut down and the Parishes of Drumlargan and Gallow were combined with Rodanstown (also called Balroddan or Roddanstown) and Henry Moneypenny became the rector of the united parishes. It was of these combined parishes that John Bomford was Rector from 1755 to 1776.

A church record of 1723 says that Drumlargan “has a popish priest and a mass house, 30 families reside there as well as 17 families of the established religion (Protestant) and two Protestant dissenting families” a total of 49 families which had dropped to a dozen or so in 1854; another illustration of the decrease in population, nearly all due to the famine and emigration.

In 1865 someone fenced the Drumlargan graveyard, according to Dr Beryl Moore. This was most likely to have been George Bomford of Oakley Park who between 1868 and 1871 carried out improvements, costing about £2,500, to Drumlargan lands and the fencing probably took place between those dates rather than 1865.

Next Chapter: Chapter 16

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