The Irish Bomfords

Chapter XIX

Robert of Rahinstown & David of Gallow  1802 - 1817


19.1  Robert of Rahinstown, 2nd son of Stephen the Younger   1751 - 1817

19.1.1  Massy Property  2nd August 1802

19.1.2  Rahinstown Handed over to Robert   10th May 1808

19.2  Settlement to Ephraim Bomford  4th May 1809

19.2.1  Settlement to Chichester Bomford  25th April 1810

19.2.2  Settlement of Robert Bomford  28th June 1811

19.2.3  Death of Robert Bomford of Rahinstown   18th April 1817

19.3  David Bomford - Grandson of Colonel Laurence   1730 - c1809

19.4  Marriage Settlement – Sarah Frances Bomford & John Coates of Culcor  27th April 1803

19.4.1  The Coates Family

19.4.2  Culcor & Bridestream House

19.4.3  The Children of the Marriage

19.5  Marriage Settlement Isaac Bomford and Jane Holdcroft  26th February 1807

19.6  Will of David Bomford  19th April 1807

19.6.1  Death of David Bomford of Gallow  1809

19.6.2  Death of Sarah Bomford, Wife of David  1816

19.7  The Bomford Family & their Estates   1820

19.8  Property Changes since 1800

19.9  The Bomford Estates (Statute acres)  1820


All Stephen’s sons were covered in the previous chapter except for his oldest surviving son Robert who is discussed in this chapter, together with Robert’s uncle David and the early days of his children. The chapter ends with a summary of the Bomfords and their estates about 1820, after Robert, David and George the elder have died.

19.1  Robert of Rahinstown, 2nd son of Stephen the Younger   1751 - 1817

Robert Bomford was born in 1751 (or c1753 according to his headstone: 19.2.3) at Rahinstown and 20 years later (1771) he enrolled in the East India Company Service (15.4). He became a Captain in the Bengal Infantry in March 1781 (15.4) and stayed in India until he came home to get married in 1792 to Maria Massy-Dawson (15.5). His older brother Thomas died (15.3.1, 18.1.2) when Robert was in India so at the time of his marriage he had become heir to his father Stephen and the entailed estates. It is known that he and his father did not get on together (15.3.1) and it would appear that after his return from India and his marriage he did not stay at Rahinstown but in England. Indeed since no marriage licence has been found he may have been married in England. In 1802 he was living in Quebec Street, London, and there he probably stayed until his father had died (18.1.1) and his brother George had handed back Rahinstown to him in 1808 (18.8.3); he was certainly at Rahinstown in 1810 for the baptism of his youngest daughter. He and Maria had one son and nine daughters. They are the subject of Chapter 21, and were:

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

2. Elizabeth Carol Bomford, christened 4 January 1797 at Marylebone, London, England (familysearch); no record of her death

3. Annette Maria, maybe born in 1799 or just before

4. Robert George, born 1801

5. Jane Rosetta, born 13th March 1802

6. Frances Georgina, b 25 March 1804, baptised 24 April 1804 (familysearch, recorded as 'Frances Georgiana Bamford' but with the right parents)

7. Jemima Letitia, also b 25 March 1804, baptised 24 April 1804 (familysearch)

8. Susan Margaret, born c1806

9. Sarah Maria, also born c1806, possibly twin to Susan Margaret (21.9.2)

10. Maria Susanna, born 1809, baptised at Rathcore Church 5th November 1810, d 28 February 1813 aged 3 years and 4 months (headstone; so born Oct-Nov 1809), buried in the graveyard of St. Ultan's Church, Rathcore, County Meath, with her father (19.2.3; 21.10; Moggie Douglas email 23 Jul 2023).

Maria Massy-Dawson was born in 1769 and so was 18 years younger than her husband Robert. There are two miniature portraits of her at Crodara.

Maria Massy-Dawson 1769 - 1848  Maria Massy-Dawson 1769 - 1848, c 1794. Click on image for larger view.

The first miniature in a deep gilt frame portrays Maria wearing an off-the-shoulder white lacey dress. Her head is draped with a white veil, which is turned back from her face and hangs down to her waist. The only touch of colour is a string of amber coloured beads. There is no clue as to the artist except that in the lower right hand corner the shading of the veil seems to include the letter ‘J’. This ‘J’ is rather vague and no importance would have been attached to it but that a similar ‘J’ appears in the portrait of her daughter, Susan Margaret, so it may be a monogram.

Maria Massy-Dawson 1769 - 1848  Maria Massy-Dawson 1769 - 1848, c 1814. Click on image for larger view.

In the other miniature Maria is wearing another off-the-shoulder dress but this time in blue-green. Again she has amber coloured beads but this time in a double string, together with long pendulous amber coloured earrings.

The artists are obviously different, but both show Maria with a similar hairstyle, long lengths of dark ringlets hanging down below her ears. It is difficult to determine the colour of her eyes, in one they look blue and in the other brown. She has an almost sulky look in one, with pouting lips but this is not so noticeable in the portrait in the green dress.

Amongst my father’s letters is one from Joan Clifford written in 1949 from Canterbury. Joan had found a "grand volume of Poore and Massy-Dawson" (probably Massy-Dawson and Poore Pedigrees. [With genealogical tables.] in the British Library Integrated Catalogue, Humanities Collection, Shelfmark 9920.d.2, 178 pp, 'for private circulation', Frome & London, 1937) which gave her much information about the Bomford / Clifford connection. A couple of extracts from the letter which cover this period were:

1.  "We have quite a nice little gallery on the drawing room walls in the corner between the fire and the window which mother privately calls ‘The Stud Farm’. Ten miniature portraits beginning with:

a.  The Hon Massy Dawson, the cause of most of the damage as Brig Gen Poore said; then

b.  her daughter Maria Massy who married Robert Bomford;

c.  Robert Bomford himself (actually it is of Robert George, his son: 21.5.2); and their daughter

d.  Susan Margaret who married Charles Rudinge Martin. ….."

The other portraits are Martins. The last three were bequeathed to my father and are the ones at Crodara. "Maria Massy appears twice, the year after she was married (1793) where she looks like a white faced dying duck, (this is the first one described above), and about 20 years later as a much tougher looking matron quite capable of dealing with 6 beautiful daughters."

2.  "Great-grandmother Susan Margaret eloped with great-grandfather Charles Rudinge Martin, a thing mother did not know. In her youth mother remembers Mansergh and Massy-Dawson cousins visiting them in Dublin."

There is no book by Brig-General Poore and/or Massy-Dawson in the Catalogue of Books in the British Museum so Joan’s ‘volume’ was probably never published (but see Massy-Dawson and Poore Pedigrees. [With genealogical tables.] in the British Library Integrated Catalogue, Humanities Collection, Shelfmark 9920.d.2, 178 pp, 'for private circulation', Frome & London, 1937). Brigadier Poore was a grandson of Robert Montague Poore who in 1833 married Anna Maria, daughter of James Hewitt Massy-Dawson of Ballynacourte. Of the two military grandsons he was probably Robert Montague Poore who was born in 1866, married 1898 the youngest sister of the 13th Duke of Hamilton, and had a distinguished military career.

In another letter my grandmother, Agatha Bamford, writes that her grandfather, John Charles Martin 1797 - 1878, said of Maria Massy "She was a very stern woman", to which General Clifford, commented, "She had to be to control all those pretty daughters". From all this we may conclude that Maria ruled the family and that Robert probably took a back seat.

Charles Rudinge Martin was the great-grand-uncle of my father, Wilfred Bamford who married Evelyn Bomford, and Susan Margaret was the great-grand-aunt of Evelyn; so both sides of the Bamford / Bomford marriage were connected through the marriage of Susan Margaret and Charles Rudinge Martin, but this is anticipating the future.

The Massy-Dawson and Poore Pedigrees state that a window is erected to the memory of Maria Massy Bomford in Rufford Church, Ormskirk, Lancashire (Church of St Mary the Virgin). Moggie Douglas (email 27 Jul 2023) suggests the window was probably erected by Maria's daughter Annette Maria Heskith, wife of Sir Thomas Henry Hesketh, Bt, of Rufford Hall, Lancashire (21.4).

19.1.1  Massy Property  2nd August 1802


1.  Honourable John Massey of Massey Park, Co Limerick, executor of the will of the Honourable James Massey Dawson (his uncle), late of Castle Dawson, Co Dublin, deceased, and also guardian of Maria Elizabeth Bolton, now wife of John Arthur of Seafield, Co Dublin, (22.5.1), and John Massey Bolton

2.  The following who are all legatees of the late James Massey Dawson, (15.5.1):

3.  William Hyland, merchant of Dublin

The Masseys lease land to William Hyland for £175.3.0 a year.  (Book 552 Page 564 No 368505)

The subject of this deed is not important to us, but it does give information about Maria’s relations. Some of them are in the Burke record of the Massy family in 15.5.1; a further tree, which shows the other family connections, will be found after 19.2.2, and this covers those in this deed.

The Hon John Massy of Massy Park is Maria’s cousin, the son of the 2nd Lord Massy.

The Hon James Massy-Dawson is Maria’s father who died in 1790.

Maria Elizabeth Bolton, the wife of John Arthur of Seafield, is the sister of Robert Compton Bolton who married Maria’s sister Elizabeth, and so Maria’s sister-in-law.

John Massy Bolton, Robert James Bolton and Elizabeth Rose Bolton are children of Robert Compton Bolton and Maria’s sister Elizabeth (15.5.1). They are nephews and a niece of Maria.

 It would be nice to be able to say that William Hyland was a son or grandson of James Hyland who married Elizabeth (5.8), the eldest daughter of Col Laurence Bomford, but there is nothing but the name to support this.

19.1.2  Rahinstown Handed over to Robert   10th May 1808

The hand over of Rahinstown and the other entailed lands by George to his elder brother Robert was recorded in the last chapter (18.8.3). One of the consequences of this was that Robert became responsible for the ‘several sums’ to be paid to his brothers according to their father’s will. There were two amounts which were not covered in the conveyance deed, and these were the legacies to Ephraim and Chichester.

19.2  Settlement to Ephraim Bomford  4th May 1809

Between Ephraim Bomford, Major in ‘Ye Marine Force’, younger son of Stephen Bomford of Rahinstown, deceased, and Robert Bomford of Rahinstown, eldest son and heir at law of Stephen Bomford, "Received from Robert Bomford by the hands of George Bomford £1,000 sterling, being my entitlement under my late father’s marriage settlement (8.2), and also from Robert Bomford by the hands of George Bomford £500 Irish money being lent to me by Robert Bomford."

Signed: Ephraim Bomford.   (Book 637 Page 271 No 437759)

[Though this deed is dated 1809, it may be that the funds were transferred a year or more earlier, as the deed of 1808 (as recorded at 18.8.3) says at paragraph 11 that the amount had already been paid by Robert.]

19.2.1  Settlement to Chichester Bomford  25th April 1810

Reciting that Stephen Bomford in his will (18.1.2) granted £1,000 to be paid to Chichester, younger son of Stephen Bomford of Rahinstown, brother of Robert Bomford of Rahinstown eldest son and heir of Stephen. Chichester Bomford, Paymaster of the Waterford Militia, has now received the £1,000 from Robert Bomford.  (Book 637 Page 270 No 437760)

19.2.2  Settlement of Robert Bomford  28th June 1811


1.  Robert Bomford of Rahinstown and Maria (Massy-Dawson) his wife.

2.  John Arthure of Seafield, Co Dublin, and William Leonard of North Baker Street, London. (Maria’s mother was a Leonard; these were the trustees. William Leonard died about 1820 and John Arthure was alive in 1826)

3.  James Hewitt Massey Dawson of New Forest, Co Tipperary (Maria’s brother), and Bartholemew Dillon of Kildare Street, Dublin, Doctor of Physic.

4.  George Bomford of Drumlargan, and John Massey Bolton of Dawson Street, Dublin (Maria’s nephew who before 1821 changed his name to John Bolton Massy)

Robert Bomford has in fee farm the lands of:

(Total 2,358 statute acres)

In order to make provision for his wife, Maria Bomford, and his children after his death, Robert Bomford leases all the above lands to John Arthur and William Leonard as trustees. They are to raise £3,000 for Maria, £3,000 for his son Robert George, and £15,000 which is to be split between his six daughters. George Bomford and John Massey Bolton are to be the executors of the trust.  (Book 637 Page 270 No 437748)

A large number of later deeds concern this settlement and they will be found in Chapter 21.  The bequest was finally discharged in February 1839 with the settlement on the youngest daughter Sarah Maria (21.9.1).

Since this settlement was of prime importance to the Bomford children of Rahinstown it was deemed necessary to trace the trustees, some of whom died well before the trust was completed in the 1830s. In fact the only trustee alive at the end of the trust was John Massy Bolton and he proved to be most elusive. He was elusive because he changed his name to John Bolton-Massy when he inherited Ballywire. Ballywire came into the Massy family through Elizabeth Massy who married Francis Wheeler of Ballywire about 1740.

The first clue concerning John Bolton-Massy was found in Walford’s County Families of 1900, which wrote about his son, "John Bolton-Massy Esq. of Clareville, (Blackrock) Co Dublin, and Ballywire, Co Tipperary. Only surviving son of the late John Bolton-Massy Esq., JP, of Clareville, who was High Sheriff of Co Limerick 1826 and died 1871, by his cousin Jane, daughter of Major Greene, MP; born 1818. Is MA of Trinity College Dublin; called to the Irish Bar 1840; was High Sheriff of Co Limerick 1875."

This led to the Greene family in Burke, which writes: "William Greene of Lota (near Glanmire), Co Cork, and of Janeville, Co Waterford, High Sheriff Co Kilkenny 1823, Major HEICS, MP for Dungarvan 1802-06, born 17th January 1748, married October 1789 Hon Jane Massy who died 4th January 1848, 3rd daughter of 2nd Baron Massy. He died 3rd June 1829. His third daughter Jane Greene married August 1815 John Bolton Massy of Ballywire, Co Tipperary, and died 21st February 1879."

These items were confirmed when the will of 1790 of James Massy-Dawson was found (19.1.1 refers to the will, but in 2017 we were unable to trace the will itself) which recorded grandchildren including John Massy Bolton. Thus John Bolton-Massy who changed his name between 1811 and 1815 was a nephew of Robert and Maria Bomford.

Ballywire, Co Tipperary is in the same parish as Ballynacourty (Ballanacourtry) and is on the border of Co Limerick just north of Galbally; indeed one deed places it in Co Limerick. When John Bolton-Massy married in 1815 he moved from Dublin to Ballywire and so became a close neighbour of his uncle James Hewitt Massy-Dawson at Ballynacourty.

In the next section will be found a tree, which not only covers those relatives in the 1811 settlement and that of the Massy property of 1802 (19.1.1 and 19.2.2) but also shows the major connections between the families of Massy, Dawson, Bolton, Arthur, Greene and Bomford.

19.2.3  Death of Robert Bomford of Rahinstown   18th April 1817

Robert’s will was dated 17th December 1816 (21.2, 21.6.1) but it has not been found. However there are references to it and the settlement of 1811 was included in it. His wife, Maria, was the sole executor.

He died at Rahinstown on 18th April 1817. The Parish register of Rathcore records this and his burial: "Robert Bomford Esq., aged 66, died 18 and was buried at Rathcore 21st April 1817."  He was buried in the graveyard of St. Ultan's Church, Rathcore, County Meath, with his daughter Maria (Moggie Douglas email 23 Jul 2023). The inscription reads:

Maria Bomford

Died February 28th 1813

Aged 3 years and 4


Sacred to the memory of



In the County of Meath

who departed this life

on the 17th of April 1817

in the 65th year of his age

(Moggie Douglas email 27 Jul 2023: photo). If that age is correct, Robert Bomford was born c1753, rather than in 1751 as indicated at 19.1 above.

When Robert died Maria his wife was aged 48 and all her surviving seven children were under 21, the youngest being only 7. Maria died some 30 years later (22.8).

A tree which covers the relatives in the 1811 settlement (19.2.2) and that of the Massy property of 1802 (19.1.1), and shows the major connections between the families of Massy, Dawson, Bolton, Arthur, Greene and Bomford.

Links to 19.1.1  19.2.2  21.6  21.6.3  22.5.1.


1.    Re row 4, Elizabeth 'd c1778', see Note 7 at 15.5.1 and the Bolton tree there.

2.    There is something odd about the descent of Robert Compton Bolton in the diagram above. According to Burke, a Bolton tree and Hendersons Post Office Directory (21.6.3), Robert Compton Bolton was the son of Edward Bolton, and both father and son married twice. In each case the second marriage was to 'a daughter of Joseph Neynoe': Edward to Frances Neyoe, and Robert Compton to Charlotte Neyoe in 1800 or thereabouts (15.5.1), and in each case had further issue (Burke). If the Neynoe women were sisters (i.e. it is the same Frances Neynoe the father), then marrying father and son Bolton is a little unusual (not unheard of though). Further, Edward Bolton's father was Robert Bolton according to the diagram above; and Robert married Elizabeth Blennerhassett in 1754. He then had Edward, and according to the diagram (and the sources), Edward m Ms Donaldson and had Robert Compton Bolton, his heir (according to Burke). But Robert Compton Bolton married in 1779 (15.5.1), presumably aged 20 or so, so born in 1759 or thereabouts, not much later, so around five years after his grandfather Robert married, and when Edward, his notional father, was presumably about 4 years old. Putting those two lines of thought together suggests that Edward was more likely to be Robert Compton Bolton's brother, and Robert Compton Bolton was also a son of Robert Bolton and Elizabeth Blennerhassett. But there may well be other explanations. Possibly compounding the problem, Edward is said (Burke) to have had a daughter Anna Maria, who married W B Neynoe. Anna Maria Bolton is therefore Robert Compton Bolton's sister. Burke also records that Robert Compton Bolton had a brother Edward. Robert Compton Bolton had another sister, Maria Elizabeth Bolton, who married John Arthur (22.5.1) and had a daughter Maria Arthur b 1808, who in turn married Robert Compton Bolton's son by his second marriage (thus her cousin), Robert/John Bolton (15.5.1). So there are some issues to work through there.

1a Edward Bolton b 1695, d 1758

2a Robert Bolton, d 1798, m 1754 Elizabeth Blennerhassett

3a Edward Bolton?? (born, married and had his first child in the 6 year period 1754 to 1760: is he the son 4b Edward below, so delete this generation?)

4a Robert Compton Bolton, b c1760, m(1) 1779 Elizabeth Massey-Dawson and had issue; m(2) Charlotte Neynoe and has issue including

5a John/Robert Bolton, m his cousin 4c>5a below, Maria Arthur

4b Edward Bolton (and/or Edward Compton Bolton in Burke) (is he the same Edward as his father?). If so, he m(1) Ms Donaldson and had issue. Edward the father (but maybe this son) is said to have m(2) Frances Neynoe. If Frances and Charlotte were sisters, then make more sense if Edward is this generation)

5a Anna Maria Bolton, m W B Neynoe (alternatively, she may be 4e daughter of 3a Edward, if he existed)

4c Maria Elizabeth Bolton m John Arthur

5a Maria Arthur, m her cousin, 4a>5a above, John/Robert Bolton

4d Anna Maria Bolton m W B Neynoe

19.3  David Bomford - Grandson of Colonel Laurence   1730 - c1809

We will now return to George’s uncle, David of Gallow, and his wife Sarah (Burtchaell) (8.11) and complete the documents of this branch of the family until their death. The middle of David's life has been covered at 11.6.

David and Sarah had one son and four daughters, all of whom were now grown up except for a daughter, Mary Elizabeth, who ‘died young’. They were introduced at 16.1.2. The eldest was Jane who married Duke Cooper in 1785, then came Anne who married John North in 1786. Their son Isaac (19.5) was born next and the youngest was Sarah Frances (19.4). These last two are about to be married. David’s eldest son Stephen was illegitimate and had died in Madras in South India in January 1782 as a Lieutenant in the Bengal Army (11.9).

19.4  Marriage Settlement – Sarah Frances Bomford & John Coates of Culcor  27th April 1803


1.  John Coates of Coolcor, Co Meath

2.  David Bomford of Gallo and Sarah Frances Bomford, spinster, daughter of David Bomford

3.  Isaac Bomford of Gallo and William Coates of Dublin

4.  Francis L’Estrange of Dublin and Matthew Coates of Knockanaaly, Co Kildare

5.  Mary Coates, widow, executor of Matthew Coates late of Knockanaaly.


1.  On 11th February 1707, William Perm Junior of Co Sussex leased to Rev Daniel Savill, then of Culcoor, Co Meath, (probate 1713, ‘of Roddanstown’), the land of Little Culcoor containing 157 plantation acres (254 statute) for three lives at £4.5.0 (i.e. renewal of a life cost £4.5.0).

2.  On 24th September 1778 George Burdett Savill leased to Matthew Coates the land of Great and Little Culcoor containing 151 plantation acres (245 statute) for £151 for three lives.

3.  The will of Matthew Coates of 23rd March 1782 bequeathed Coolcor to his fourth son, John Coates (the groom), plus a mortgage debt due to him by George Burdett for £1,500. (Must be George Burdett Savill).

Now as a marriage portion for Sarah Frances Bomford, David Bomford gives £1,000; and John Coates sets aside Culcoor and the mortgage money on his death to the trustees, Isaac Bomford and William Coates, for an annuity of £l00 for Sarah Frances.                                       (Book 553 Page 270 No 367779)

The Hibernian Magazine records the marriage, "Miss Bomford of Gallo married May 1803 John Coates of Coolcor."

19.4.1  The Coates Family

This is the second Bomford / Coates marriage. The first one was on 22nd June 1750 (8.6) when Sarah Frances’ aunt and David’s sister, Mary Bomford, married William Coates of Abbeyshrule, Co Longford. William Coates died in 1789 and Mary soon after but before November 1790. Their family tree will be found under 8.6.5.

There appears to be no direct link between the Coates family of County Longford and the Coates family of the Meath and Kildare border, in particular of Knockanally to the east of Dunfierth, but they must be connected somehow because both branches are mentioned in the deed of 1790 (8.6.4) and in the deed of 1750 (8.6.1); probably Thomas of Abbeyshrule and William of Knockanally were brothers.

Using the information from the previous Coates’ deeds, this marriage settlement, and Walford’s County Families of 1900, the following tree can be built to show at least some of the Coates relations.

William COATES of Knockanally, Kilcock, Co Kildare, possibly a brother of Thomas Coates of Abbeyshrule, Co Longford, died 1766 (probate). He had at least two sons: his second son was Thomas Coates who married; and his second son was another Thomas Coates (8.6.1). The eldest son, Matthew Coates of Knockanally married Mary Bomford who was alive in 1803. Matthew’s will was dated 1782. They had at least four sons:

1.  Matthew Coates of Knockanally, one of the trustees of Sarah Frances Bomford, married and had a son:

a. William Lancake Coates, JP, of Knockanally. He died without children and Knockanally was passed to his cousin’s son.

2. or 3.  Arthur of Newtown Prospect, Parish of Rodanstown, Kilcock, died 1846. Married Jane, daughter of George Armstrong of Dublin. In 1900 their oldest surviving son was:

a. Rev Arthur Coates, born 1819, MA Trinity College, of Newtown Prospect. He married in 1847 Frances Judith, eldest daughter of Sir Edmund Gonville Bromhead, 3rd Bart, of Thurlby Hall, Co Lincoln who took part in the Battle of Waterloo. He was Rector of Pemberton, near Wigan, 1849 - 1872, and died in 1906. She died at Clifton in 1917 having had two sons:

i.  Arthur Edward, born 1848

ii.  William Coristine Coates, born 1853 MA Cambridge, of Knockanally which he inherited from his father’s cousin, William Lancake.  In 1878 he owned 1,962 acres in Co Kildare valued at £2,005.

4.  John Coates of Culcor, married May 1803 Sarah Frances Bomford, 4th daughter of David Bomford. They lived at Bridestream House and had four or five children, see below (19.4.3).

According to Burke’s Country Houses, the present Knockanally was built in the middle of the 1800s possibly by Matthew Coates, or his son. It is a two storey Italianate house in a demesne of 515 acres which takes in Ovidstown Rath.

19.4.2  Culcor & Bridestream House

In 1654 the Civil Survey records that "Both the Colcors" in the Parish of Gallow contain 144 plantation acres with "on the premisses a tatch house". Culcor is east of Gallow and north of Ferrans so in their youth Sarah Frances and John Coates were fairly close neighbours and as such probably knew each other. However the Coates house was not on Culcor townland, even present day maps show no house of note there.

Twenty-one years after their marriage Pigott’s Directory of 1824 records, "John Coates of Bridestown, Kilcock."

The Ordnance Survey of 1836 states "Culcor, 246 acres, the property of Mrs Bewly of Dublin from whom Mr Coates of Brides Stream holds it in perpetuity." Two years later in 1838 Lewis lists two Coates in the Parish of Radonstown, Newtown Prospect, A[Arthur] Coates, and Bridestream J [John] Coates; and the Griffiths Valuation of 1854 writes of Culcor that "Matthew Coates has it." So John had died before 1854.

In 1906 the Untenanted Lands Return shows Culcor belonging to James M W Coates containing 246 acres with a valuation of £264 for the land and 15/- for buildings; so there was still no reasonable house on the land. From all this it looks as though Sarah Frances and John lived at Bridestream House about a mile south of Culcor and east of Ferrans. Confirmation of this comes from Burke’s Guide to Country Houses, which states, "Bridestream House, Knocknatulla, Co Meath; a mid-c18 house consisting of a 2 storey pedimented centre block with small, square wings or pavilions. The fenestration (arrangement of the windows) of the centre block has been much altered and a large porch added; but it is possible to attribute the house to the amateur architect, Nathaniel Clements, from the similarity of the wings to the wings of other houses by Clements or attributed to him. In 1814, the residence of John Coates."

So here is the record of John and Sarah Frances living at Bridestream as early as 1814 and there seems to be no reason why they should not have lived there from their marriage in 1803. The record also shows that they or their family continued living there until at least 1906.

19.4.3  The Children of the Marriage

This Coates family is mentioned once again in 1835 in the will of Isaac Bomford, the brother of Sarah Frances Bomford. Sarah Frances was a legatee so she was alive that year (23.4.1); John Coates was mentioned, as having a lease of part of Ferrans but it may be that he is dead, he was certainly dead before 1854. Most of the information about the children comes from the will but it is convenient to include here all that is known of them.

1.  Matthew Coates, the eldest son, was not mentioned in any of the documents, but since he had both Culcor and Bridestream in the 1854 Valuation he was probably the eldest son.

2.  John Coates was recorded as the second son in Isaac’s will.

3.  Stephen Coates was recorded as the third son in Isaac’s will. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and the Register shows that he was born in 1812. He may be Stephen Bomford Coates, who married on 24 September 1857, had issue, and left a will in 1894 (SP email 15 May 2008) (or that Stephen might be a generation younger).  Sylvia Ada Coates, daughter of Stephen Bomford Coates, farmer, married William John Albert Wallace Ireland on 8 October 1890 (St Thomas COI parish records, Dublin).  Claire H Coates and William Coates were witnesses.

4.  A daughter, un-named, gets a bequest of £150 in Isaac's will. This un-named daughter may well have been named Sarah Bomford Coates about whom there are two references, her marriage in 1837 and her death in 1876. Or it may have been Marianne Bomford Coates (see below).

The Marriage Licence Bonds Prerogative record, "1837 Sarah Bomford and Daniel Nugent Coates" and the Diocese of Meath Marriage Licence record, "1837 Coates/Bomford.  Sarah Bomford and Daniel Nugent Coates".

The surnames of both parties are not clear; the groom could be either Coates or Nugent and the bride could be Bomford or Coates. There is no known Sarah Bomford to fit these dates but Elizabeth North-Bomford found the following on a tombstone in Moyglare Churchyard: 

    "Johnathon Nugent Esq. of Killarkin and Barrack died 1862, Also, Daniel Nugent Esq. of Killester Abbey who died 15th Nov 1874 aged 69 years and his wife Sarah Bomford Coates who died 26 Feb 1876."

The tombstone engraving clarifies the situation: Daniel Nugent (1805-74) of Killester Abbey married Sarah Bomford Coates who died in 1876; there is no certainty that she is the un-named daughter mentioned in Isaac’s will.

The James M. W. Coates of Culcor in 1906 must be a grandson of Sarah Frances, probably a son of Matthew Coates. He is not included in Walford’s County Families of 1900 so he probably did not have enough land; two of his relations were mentioned, Rev Arthur Coates of Newtown Prospect, Maynooth, and William Coristine Coates of Knockanally, Kilcock (19.4.1).

More recently (2016), a tombstone has been recorded from the Mount Jerome Cemetery in Dublin:

    "Marianne Bomford Webb, wife of Arthur Webb Esq, and daughter of John Coates of Bridestream, Co Meath, d 16 September 1874."

The tombstone also records that Arthur Webb, son of the late John Webb of Hilltown Co Westmeath, d 4 July 1876, and Mary Frances Dorothea Webb, only child of Arthur and Marianne, widow of Robert Going Willington and wife of James Marin, d 24 November 1932.

The entry in Burke, which reads, "4. Sarah Frances, married 1803, John Coates, of Coolcor, Co Westmeath," can now be changed, with varying degrees of confidence, to read:

4. Sarah Frances, b c1770, married May 1803, John Coates of Culcor and Bridestream House, Co Meath, and had issue::

1.  Matthew Coates of Culcor and Bridestream House, and probably had issue

a. James M W Coates, of Culor in 1906

2.  John Coates

3.  Stephen Coates, or perhaps Stephen Bomford Coates, farmer, b 1812, educated TCD, probably m 24 Sep 1857, and had issue

a. Sylvia Ada Coates, m William John Albert Wallace Ireland 8 Oct 1890

4.  Marianne Bomford Coates, d 16 Sep 1874, bur Mt Jerome, Dublin, m Arthur Webb, d 4 Jul 1876, bur Mt Jerome, Dublin, son of John Webb of Hilltown, Co Westmeath, and had issue

a. Mary Frances Dorothea Webb, d 24 Nov 1932, m(1) Robert Going Willington, m(2) James Martin

5.  (probably) Sarah Bomford Coates, d 26 Feb 1876, m 1837 Daniel Nugent of Killester Abbey, Co Meath, b 1805, d 15 Nov 1874.

19.5  Marriage Settlement Isaac Bomford and Jane Holdcroft  26th February 1807

A marriage is intended to be solemnized between Isaac Bomford of Gallow (16.5) and Jane Holdcroft, only daughter of George Holdcroft of Kells, Co Meath.


1.  On 17th June 1724 Stephen Bomford leased the lands of Tyrrellstown containing 214 plantation acres (347 statute) from John Stoyte of Eccles Grove, Co Wicklow, and Thomas Marley of Dublin, His Majesty’s Attorney General, and Lewis Meares for a rent of £66 for ever

2.  On 29th October 1724 Thomas Bomford of Rahenstown leased to Stephen Bomford of Gallow the land of Ferans or Fennans containing 265 plantation acres (429 statute) fee farm for ever at a rent of £95.3.0 plus 10 guinea pieces in gold at the end of every 21 years.

3.  These lands have passed from Stephen Bomford to David Bomford, father to Isaac Bomford, and so to Isaac.

Now Isaac Bomford gives these lands in trust to Francis Henry Holdcroft and to Francis L’Estrange, both of Dublin, so that Jane Holdcroft can have an annuity of £120 after his death.

Signed: Isaac Bomford

Witnessed: Rev Jason Crawford of Laurencetown (Oakley Park) and Silvester Dempsey of Kells

(Book 583 Page 509 No 399034)

There is no mention of this marriage in Burke, nevertheless it did take place since Isaac refers to his wife, Jane, in his will and she is also mentioned in other documents. None of this gives a clear date for the marriage, nor is it clear where the marriage took place; but, since the bride’s father lived in Kells and those that witnessed the marriage settlement also lived there, one imagines that the settlement and the marriage were about the same date and that the marriage took place in the Church there. Unfortunately there is no such record in the Protestant Church Register, though this does not necessarily mean that it did not take place there, as the records were rather unreliable at that date.

It is not so easy to decide where they lived after the marriage for the first seven or so years. Isaac’s father and his wife Sarah were both elderly and soon to die, and so they may have lived with them at Gallow for a while, but Isaac was an attorney and no doubt had to be in Dublin periodically. By 1815 they had a town house in Dublin (23.1.1). They had no children.

George Holdcroft of Kells, Jane’s father, remained a mystery until his broken tombstone was pointed out to me on the south side of Kells Churchyard. The actual date of his death is not clear because of cracks in the stone, but 1810 is clear; the inscription reads – "Sacred to the memory of George Holdcroft 1810….. in the 60th year of his age and his wife Anne, daughter of the late John Kellett of Rathcin, Esq., died February 18th  1815 aged 78 years".

So he was born in 1750 and she in 1737. In 1777 when he was 27 he became a Kells churchwarden, and again in 1789. In all probability he was a Kells man born and bred. Although no definite trace has been found concerning John Kellett, and Rathcin has not been located, it is thought likely that his daughter Anne Holdcroft (Kellett) came from the Moynalty area where there were at least three Kellett families; around 1760 there were Charles Kellett of  Billywood, Edward Kellett of Bellair (between Moynalty and Carlanstown), and James Kellett of Moynalty village; additionally, around 1815 Richard Chaloner (25.3) in his diary mentions three more Kelletts, Rev William rector of Moynalty 1803-1851, Robert the magistrate who lived at Walterstown, and John who had his own pack of hounds. John Kellett, who died before 1815, and his daughter Anne were surely related to one of these.

Whilst investigating the 1798 Rebellion more about George Holdcroft was found in the Meath Archaeological and Historical Record (Vol IV, No 2). He was the Revenue Officer, postmaster and Magistrate of Kells, and wrote a report to the Dublin Castle authorities describing an attack in 1794 of one of his revenue officers and ten soldiers during a raid for illicit spirits. Another report of his of 1798 concerned rioting in Kells instigated by Napper Tandy; in this later report he describes himself as "The Constable of Kells".

Reverend Jason Crawford has been well documented in the Oakley Park deeds. The Crawfords had been living at Oakley Park since about 1726 and it was Jason’s son who sold the place to George Bomford in 1837. Jason was the curate of Kells and may have officiated at this wedding.

Francis Henry Holdcroft, one of the trustees, was probably a brother to Jane Holdcroft. The other trustee, Francis L’Estrange of Dublin, was also the trustee of Sarah Frances Bomford and John Coates (19.4); it is not clear how he fits into the L’Estrange family.

19.6  Will of David Bomford  19th April 1807

This is a shortened form of David’s will extracted from the Land Commission Offices.

I, David Bomford of Gallow, being of sound mind but very weak in body, make in my own handwriting this my last will and testament.

Whereas by the Settlement of 31st March 1753 made by my father, Stephen Bomford, on my elder brother the Rev John Bomford and since John died a long time ago without issue, I became possessed of half of the land of Ferrans and half of Tyrrelstown in Co Westmeath.

I give to my dear wife the profits, being at least £42, of the land of Newtown Gallow during the life of Thomas Dames, which I purchased from William Dames, deceased, father of Thomas Dames; and I bequeath to her £100 yearly from the lands of Tyrrelstown and Ferrans. I bequeath to her my gold chased watch and all her paraphernalia to dispose of to such of her children or grandchildren, as she shall think fit.

From the two judgements against the estate of Richard Smith, late of Violetstown, the one for the Principal sum of £321.11.0 plus interest at £2.12.6 and costs, the other is for the Principal sum of £174.2.4 plus interest at £2.11.0 and costs, I empower Antony Cooper of the City of Dublin to receive these sums from the executors of Richard Smith (Rev Samuel L’Estrange, David's nephew who died in 1807, and Rev Robinson), and to put out at interest for the use of my grand-daughter, Sarah Cooper, £20 out of the first judgement and the principal sum to be paid to her on her marriage. The remainder of the first judgement to be given to her mother, Jane Cooper. The amount of the other judgement is to be given to my daughter, Anne North.

In addition I bequest to my daughters (Jane and Anne) an annuity of £20, but neither of their husbands are to have any sort of power over these annuities.

To my other beloved daughter, Sarah Frances Coates, having given her a sufficient marriage portion I cannot in justice to my son leave her more than £5 to buy mourning clothes.

I give to my daughter, Jane, in trust for her son Isaac my half of Ferrans and if he does not reach the age of 21 then I leave the same to his brother Duke, and if he does not reach the age of 21 then Ferrans is to be divided equally between the younger children.

I give to my daughter, Anne, in trust for her son David my half part of the land of Tyrrelstown and if he should not reach the age of 21 then I leave the same to his brother Isaac.  If Isaac does not live to 21 then Tyrrelstown is to be divided equally between her younger children.

I bequeath to my daughter Anne my Eight Day Clock made by Raymond and I leave to her son John my silver watch, shoe buckles, stock buckle and gold sleeve buttons.

I leave to Mr Duke Cooper my silver snuffbox. I give to my trustee, Antony Cooper, £10.

I give to my beloved son, Isaac, all my real and personal estate and I appoint him and Antony Cooper my executors.

Lastly it is my wish to be buried in a plain deal coffin in the Church of Gallow.

Dated 19th April 1807 in the 77th year of my age.

Signed:  David Bomford

Witnessed:  James Lennon;  Thos Wickham;  John Wickham.

Codical to Will  11th September 1807

I also bequeath to my wife £600 to be paid for by arrears of rent and what stock of cattle I may have at the time of my decease.

I also leave to her my plate, china, beds, bedding, together with all my household furniture except for my clock, which I leave to my daughter Jane.

The £20 legacy to my daughter Anne shall be only in case her husband will not recover the fortune he is now suing for.

I appoint Antony Cooper and my wife, Sarah Bomford, my executors and annull my son Isaac from the executorship.

Signed:  David Bomford

Witnessed:   Mary Bond;  Richard McEnteer;   Matt Monaghan.

2nd Codical

I bequest to my grand-daughter, Frances Mary Cooper, £100 for her advancement in life

Signed:  David Bomford

Witnessed:  Richard McEnteer;   Matt Monaghan;  William McEnteer.

The People in the Will

The will confirms the names of all David’s Cooper and North grandchildren, except for John and Jane Cooper, and the un-named North daughter. The will also confirms that David was born in 1730.

Rev Samuel L’Estrange, executor of Richard Smith, was David’s nephew, the third son of his sister Ann L’Estrange.

Richard Smith of Violetstown remains a mystery but he must be related to David’s mother, Anne Smith of Violetstown, Co Westmeath, possibly he was the third son of John Smith and Anne (Pratt) and had inherited Violetstown on the death of his two older brothers, John who had died in 1794 and Benjamin who did not marry. If this is the case then David and Richard were first cousins, but it is possible that Richard was a younger man.

No family tree of the Cooper family has been found, so Antony Cooper also remains a mystery, but he was probably an attorney in Dublin. The 1912 edition of Burke does include the Cooper family of Cooper Hill but there appears to be no connection; these Coopers all seem to have called their houses Cooper Hill which are to be found in counties Meath, Carlow, Limerick and Queen’s. David’s eldest daughter Jane married Duke Cooper in 1785 and the will indicates that their children were minors. This will and that of David’s son Isaac of 1835 (23.4.1) give the only information we have on Jane’s children; they were listed in paragraph 16.2.1.

The will also indicates that David and Isaac North, second and third sons of David’s daughter Anne and her husband John North, were minors in 1807.  Their eldest son, John North (23.7), may have been over 21, but David did not leave him land, only 'my silver watch, shoe buckles, stock buckle and gold sleeve buttons'.  There is an implication that there were younger children, plural.  Only one other child is known, an unnamed daughter (23.7, 23.4.1) (others have since come to light: see the North tree).  Similarly, Jane's eldest son, John Cooper (16.2.1, 23.4.1), does not get land: it goes to his younger brothers Isaac and Duke (both minors at the time of the will) or failing them is divided among the younger children - but not the eldest.

The Wickham family first leased Moattown, a part of Gallow, in July 1758 from the Rev John Bomford. No doubt John and Thomas Wickham were of this family, if not sons of the original John Wickham

Similarly the Monaghan family had been tenant farmers of Gallow since March 1731 and Matthew Monaghan might be a son of the original Laurence Monaghan. Another Monaghan, John, was a tenant farmer of over 700 acres of Drumlargan and lived in Drumlargan House in the mid 1800s.

By 1854 the only other tenant of the same name as those who witness the will was Thomas McEnteer of Ferrans, then spelt McEntire.

It looks as though most, if not all, of those who witnessed the will were local people, tenants or servants. For this reason David must have written this will and ended his days at Gallow. This is mentioned because the ‘Post Chaise Companion’ by William Wilson of 1807 records that "Gallow is the seat of Mr Flanagan", but this must be wrong.

Isaac may have been living there with his father, but he was an Attorney and so must have gone to Dublin occasionally. It is thought that Gallow House, which by then must have been about 100 years old, had become out-dated, maybe needed major repairs and was considered less attractive by Isaac. It was probably for this reason that Isaac, or more likely his nephew Isaac North-Bomford, built Ferrans House later (23.3.2).

The Land

This will clarifies earlier deeds and in particular the will of Rev John Bomford of c1776 which has not been found. The Rev John left his property to his two younger brothers, half to David and the other half to Isaac. When Isaac died in 1793 his half was left to David’s son Isaac, and now David leaves his half to his son Isaac. So Isaac ends up with the whole property.

However in this will David places an entail on to his half of Ferrans for the Cooper family, and to his half of Tyrrelstown for the North family. As will be seen later Isaac removes this entail with the agreement of the North and Cooper families.

19.6.1  Death of David Bomford of Gallow  1809

Burke records David’s will of 17th (actually 19th) April 1807 with the probate dated 2nd February 1810. There was no sign of the probate in the box of documents I was given in the Land Commission Offices, nor was it recorded in the Prerogative Wills. However it is safe to assume that David died aged 79 late in 1809, and in accordance with his will that he was buried in Gallow Churchyard "in a plain deal coffin".

His wife Sarah and Antony Cooper were the executors.

19.6.2  Death of Sarah Bomford, Wife of David  1816

Sarah’s will has not been found but according to Burke it was dated 26th August 1814 and probate was granted on 23rd March 1816. Probate was granted pretty quickly in those days so a death date of early 1816 is quite likely.

The Prerogative wills record "1816 Sarah Bomford Portland Place, Co Dublin, widow, will," but the prerogative inventories gives the address as Rutland Place. No Bomfords are recorded in the Dublin Almanacks of this period in either place. However the following deed confirms that Sarah did live in Portland Place from late 1813 or early 1814, though how she came into the property is not known since Everald Ryan was legally entitled to the house; this may account for the omission of Sarah’s name in the Almanack.

Isaac her son was her executor, and Sarah was buried with her husband in Gallow Churchyard.

Lease – Portland Place  23rd April 1816

Everald Ryan of Dublin is legally entitled to the house and Isaac Bomford of Dublin, executor of Sarah Bomford late of Portland Place, Co Dublin, agrees to surrender the lease dated 30 November 1813 between Patrick Campbell of Portland Place, builder, and Sarah Bomford deceased.  (Book 701 Page 96 No 480622)

19.7  The Bomford Family & their Estates   1820

The last family summary was made in 1800 (16.9) and, since most of the older generation are now dead, it is a good time to make another.

Basically we are left with three lots of cousins, Robert’s children, George’s children, and  David’s children plus the more distant cousins of Oliver’s branch of the family about whom little is known at this date.  Robert and George are sons of David's brother Stephen (the younger, married Elizabeth Sibthorpe).  Their grandfather, David's father, is Stephen the elder (married Anne Smith).

Robert’s Children (15.5.1 (Note 9), 19.1)

Robert’s wife Maria (Massey-Dawson), aged 51, is living at Rahinstown with all her family who are all under 21. The eldest son, Robert George now aged 18 will inherit in three years. None of the children are yet married indeed the youngest is only about 10 years old. The story of the children is in Chapters 21 and  22.  Tree at 21.1.

George’s Children (18.8.9)

Both George and Arbella (Winter) have died leaving two young boys, George (the younger) aged 9 and Samuel aged 7. Their guardian is John Pratt Winter and his wife Anne of Agher. The two youngsters will be brought up at Agher but at this date they are in Paris with their guardian. Chapter 20 takes up their story.

David’s Children (16.1.2, 19.3)

David, husband of Sarah (Burtchaell), was an uncle of Robert and George and so these ‘children’ are a generation older than the other children who really are children.

1.  Isaac, aged 54, has been married to Jane (Holdcroft) for 13 years but has no children. He inherited his father’s property in 1809 when David died. His mother died in 1816.

2.  Jane (Cooper), aged about 58, is still alive though her husband Duke Cooper may be dead. Their children consist of three boys and three girls all aged round about 30. Very little is known of the Cooper family but they may be living at Great Down in Co Westmeath. It is possible that two of the daughters are married, Frances Mary to a Mr Colbourn and Jane to a Mr Richardson.

3.  Anne (North), aged about 56, married John North in September 1786. They have three grown up sons and a daughter, all of who appear in later documents. The North family home is Whitewell in Co Westmeath

4.  Sarah Frances (Coates) aged about 50, married John Coates in May 1803. They have three young sons and a daughter, all minors. The Coates are ‘of Culcor’ but they live at Bridestream House just north of Kilcock

David's family's story is taken up in Chapter 23.

The next family summary is at 24.9.1.

19.8  Property Changes since 1800

Stephen the younger of Rahinstown in 1800 had considerable estates in Meath, Westmeath and Kildare. When he died in 1806 he bequeathed all the land to his fifth son, George the elder, but some of the land was entailed so George had to surrender it to his elder brother Robert. Previously Robert had no land.

Robert of Rahinstown died in this period and his land passed to his only son, Robert George, who in 1820 was aged 18. His mother Maria administered his lands until he reached his majority.

George the elder in 1800 possessed in his own right some land including Drumlargan. This land, plus his inheritance from Stephen the younger, passed on his death to his son, George the younger, who in 1820 was an orphan, aged 9. His guardian, John Pratt Winter, looked after all his land for him. The lease of Ross lapsed about 1815 and was not renewed.

David and his son Isaac shared property in 1800, but now that David has died, Isaac owns it all. The lease of Gurteen ran out in 1812 and, since it is not mentioned again, it cannot have been renewed. There were no other changes except that at some stage the acreage of Gallow was increased; this extra land may be that of Newtown Gallow to which David referred in his will, if it is then it was the subject of the deed of 1777 (11.11.1) and should have been brought in to the 1800 summary.

Thomas of Cushenstown and later of Crossmacoole and his sisters had 1,634 acres in 1800. Since then the lease of Kilbrew lapsed about 1805 and was not renewed, otherwise there was no change. However their records have become somewhat sketchy so this may be inaccurate.

19.9  The Bomford Estates (Statute acres)  1820

1. Robert George, of Rahinstown (Administered by his mother)

No new leases

Total of Robert George: 2,358 acres

2. George the younger (Administered by John Pratt Winter of Agher)

New Lease

Total of George: 6,022 acres

3. Isaac of Gallow and Ferrans

No New Leases

Total of Isaac: 1,437 acres

4. Thomas of Cushenstown and Crossmacoole

No New Leases

Total of Thomas: 1,487 acres

Overall Total Acreage (statute): 11,304 acres, about 1,000 acres short of the 1800 total of 12,289 acres.


Next Chapter: Chapter 20

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