The Irish Bomfords
George Lyndon and his Family 1890s - 2004
George Lyndon Bomford, the eldest son of John Francis and Elinor (Bolton) (33.0), was born on Sunday 29th September 1867 at Oakley Park, and baptised at St Columba’s Church, Kells. His two godfathers were his uncles Richard Knott Bolton and William Fleming (30.3.2), and his godmother was his aunt, Margaret Winter Bomford. George was about three when the family moved to Drumlargan and about 11 when he went to Denstone College in England. His early schooling was at home and largely undertaken by the Rector of Agher, his cousin Rev George Henry Martin of Bective (35.6.2). These early days have been covered in Chapter 33.
After leaving Denstone in 1885 George was sent to America. He used to joke that he was given £5 and sent off to make his fortune. It was not altogether a joke since his name is to be found on the Ellis Island Computer as an immigrant of 1892. It is quite possible that all he had was £5 since only steerage passengers were screened on the island. Those passengers with money were screened on the ship and not taken to the Island. As a steerage passenger he would have mixed with the poor in a way to which he was not accustomed (very good for character). He did not talk much about those days but when he did he enthralled us children with tales of the Wild West, now made famous by Hollywood. He was a natural horseman and spent some time in Texas as a Pony Express rider. Whilst there he was made a sheriff and met some of the famous, and infamous, characters. Later he moved to Chicago where he worked in a large livery stable. That job ended one night when the stables caught fire; he was able to rescue many of the horses before the building collapsed. Catherine Holman (email 3 Sep 2010) suggests that his brother Lyndon (33.4) went with him to America - that there is a record of a Lyn Bomford with the right birth date on the same ship.
He then worked in a butcher’s shop, from where, one evening, he set off with the money for the bank and he was mugged in a dark alley. His attackers kicked in his teeth and he was taken to hospital. From that time he had false teeth and, as a little boy, I remember being intrigued by the way he could drop his upper set onto the lower without any change of facial expression, and try as I might I never succeeded in that feat. In the Chicago hospital he became engaged to his nurse, Kate Corbould-Warren. Kate was famous for her temper and the story goes that the engagement was called off after she, in one of her tempers, flung boots at George
Eventually George returned home, probably in 1895 after only three years in the United States, and went to Tacolneston Old Hall, the Corbould-Warren place near Norwich, to try and make it up with Kate. There he met and fell in love with Kate’s younger sister, Maude. There may well have been another temper tantrum because Kate was never mentioned in the family again, and her absence is noted in the wedding photograph. George however had to win Maude over as she was attached to a neighbouring clergyman, Evelyn Burnaby. He persuaded Maude to visit his family at Drumlargan and brought her back, suitably chaperoned. In 1896 he popped the question on the Dunsany cricket ground and Maude accepted. It is doubtful if Maude ever forgot Evelyn Burnaby since my mother was named after him and his photograph was found in her bedside cabinet on her death. The Burnaby saga ended happily as he later was to marry Maude’s younger sister, Dorothy.
Maude was a fun-loving and outdoor girl and the family at Drumlargan may have done as much as George to win her over. The house must have been pretty full at this time as four of George’s brothers and two of his sisters were at home, and they ranged in age from 28 down to 11. The meeting was boisterous and the household much more lively than Maude’s Norfolk home where her father was not only the magistrate but the Patron and Rector of Tacolneston, and her only brother was also a clergyman. It was a new life for her and the ‘wild Irish’ came to life before her eyes.
She told a rueful story of her first Sunday at Drumlargan. She was offered a seat in the wagonette to Agher Church, 2½ miles away, for the morning service, but the young men insisted that she should walk with them to the Church. Instead of following the road they took her the short cut through the woods and fields, jumping ditches and scrambling through the undergrowth. This test she passed with distinction as far as the boys were concerned. They arrived late, the sermon had started, and poor Maude was very aware that all eyes were upon her as she was escorted up the aisle upon this her first official outing. She was even more aware that her hair had come down and that her shoes and stockings had suffered badly on the way. However she was no prude and without doubt got her own back at some later date.
The Times of London dated Tuesday, 10th August 1897, recorded the marriage.
“BOMFORD: CORBOULD-WARREN On the 5th Aug., at All Saints’, Tacolneston, Norfolk, by the Revd J. W. Corbould-Warren, father of the bride, assisted by the Revd Evelyn B. Burnaby, Curate of St John’s Church, Hamstead, GEORGE LYNDON, oldest son of JOHN F. BOMFORD, Esqre., of Oakley Park and Drumlargan, Co Meath, Ireland, to HELEN MAUDE MARY, third daughter of the Revd. J. W. CORBOULD-WARREN, Rector of Tacolneston.”
The Family Bible more simply records, “Married at Tacolneston, 5th Aug 1897, Helen Maude Mary, daughter of the Revd. John Corbould-Warren of Tacolneston Old Hall, Norfolk.”
The wedding photograph was taken in front of a creeper covered Tacolneston. Frock coats and Toppers, large flowery hats and long white dresses, were worn. The younger bridesmaids carried beribboned shepherd’s crooks with posies of flowers. The bride wore a tulle veil trimmed with orange blossom which 27 years later was worn by her daughter, Evelyn, at her wedding. Those in the photograph include -
Back Row: Edward Corbould-Warren (cousin), John Francis Bomford (father), and the Rev Evelyn Burnaby
Middle Row: Rev John C-W (father), Agnes C-W (Maude’s sister), Rev John C-W (brother), Rosie C-W (sister), Edith C-W (sister), Elinor Bomford (mother), Mr Todd of Yorkshire (possibly the best man), George Lyndon Bomford (groom), Dollie C-W (sister), Edward C-W senior (uncle), May C-W (cousin), and Rosie C-W (aunt).
Front Row: Winnie C-W (bridesmaid, cousin), Miss Boileau (bridesmaid), Louisa C-W (mother), Maude C-W (bride), Master Boileau (page), Trixie C-W (bridesmaid, cousin), and another Miss Boileau (bridesmaid).
The honeymoon was spent at the Woodenbridge Hotel in Co Wicklow, a delightful spot at the “Meeting of the Waters,” where the Avoca and the Gold Mines Rivers unite at the charming village of Aughrim.
Information about the Corbould-Warrens up to 1935 may be found in George Poulter's book The Corbould Genealogy. A copy is on the internet at http://www.corbould.com/0/0_genealogy.html.
The wedding photograph of 1897 (above) plus contributions by a number of the family, including Diana Pott, assisted in putting together the following.
The three young Boileaus in the photograph were the children of Colonel Francis William Boileau CB who served in the Indian Mutiny 1857/1859, Abyssinian Expedition 1868 and the Afghan War 1878/1879. He was born 11th April 1835 and married 1861 Mary Letitia Bradford, daughter of Rev Bradford. The Colonel is the declared male heir of the Boileau family headed by Sir Francis George Boileau, 1830 - 1900, of nearby Tacolneston Hall (not to be confused with Tacolneston Old Hall of the Corbould-Warrens).
The great-great-grandfather of Maude is John Corbould, 1720 - 1801. He became one of the City Fathers of Norwich and was granted the Freedom of the City in 1789. He amassed a considerable fortune and in 1765 purchased Bracon Lodge at Bracon Ash, and enlarged it in 1798. His son Rev John Corbould, 1768 - 1810, was educated at Cambridge (MA 1793) and ordained 1790. He was appointed Curate of Tacolneston in 1790. In 1794 he married Elizabeth, 1769 - 1852, whose father Rev Thomas Warren was the Rector of Tacolneston, 1764-1796. Tacolneston is about 4 miles south of Bracon Ash.
The Rev John and Elizabeth Warren appeared to be well off, but there must have been some monetary trouble when he died. His will of 1810 was not proved for 20 years and his trustees, his wife being one of them, sold Bracon Lodge in May 1813. However this does not seem to have affected any of their eight children. His eldest son Lieut John RN was lost at sea in 1822; his second son, 1796-1869, was ordained and became Rector of Tacolneston 1858 - 1869.
Charles, his fourth child, 1799 - 1892, had an early recollection of Lord Nelson dining with his father at Bracon Ash Rectory prior to the Admiral’s departure on the voyage that culminated in the Battle of Trafalgar. At the age of 13 he joined the Royal Navy as a midshipman in the Battleship Elizabeth, commanded by Post Captain Gower, and served in the Mediterranean. He met the Duke of Wellington and at Elba was spoken to by the Emperor Napoleon I. After the war he retired from the Navy and entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge. In 1825 he qualified as an attorney and solicitor and practised at Gray’s Inn, London. In 1837 he emigrated to Canada and settled at York Mills, which later became Toronto. He was involved with extensive farming and milling projects. In 1840 he married Mary Durie; her father had been posted to York Mills as Surgeon-General in 1814. The Duries are an old Scottish family, their history going back to the time of Mary, Queen of Scots. Charles and Mary finally settled at Orilla, 50 miles north of Toronto, and had five children, 12 grand-children and a couple of dozen great-grand-children, most of whom are in Canada with many in British Columbia. They call themselves Corbould, omitting the ‘Warren’.
The youngest son of Rev John and Elizabeth was another clergyman. Rev William (1806 - 1858), Rector of Tacolneston 1836 - 1858 assumed the additional arms of Warren from his mother’s family in 1853 under the will of his uncle Rev John Warren. He assumed the name of Corbould-Warren and inherited Tacolneston Old Hall. In 1839 he married Anne Cubitt, 1812 - 1864, and they had ten children who all took the name of Corbould-Warren.
Six of these ten children were:
1. Rev John Corbould-Warren of Tacolneston Old Hall and of Caistor, Norwich was Maude’s father. He was born 28th October 1843 and educated at Norwich Grammar School until 1861, and at Downing College, Cambridge; he matriculated at Emmanuel College in 1862, and at Lichfield Theological College 1867, ordained deacon 1868 and priest 1869 by the Bishop of Ripon, and made curate of Yafforth North, Yorkshire, 1868 - 1869. He was Rector of Tacolneston from 1869 to 1918 and Patron of Tacolneston for 50 years. He was also a Norfolk Justice from 1879 until his death on 19th August 1918. On 14th January 1867 he married Maria Louisa, daughter of Henry Reynes, MD, MRCS, LSA, of Potton, Bedfordshire, and his wife Martha Race. Louisa, Maude’s mother, died in April 1924 having had six children and was the mother-in-law of George Lyndon Bomford:
a. Edith Margaret (Edie) Corbould-Warren born 1867 and died unmarried on 25th September 1943, of Framingham Earl, Norfolk.
b. Elizabeth (Kate) Corbould-Warren born 3rd April 1869 became a nurse who looked after George Bomford in Chicago, She died unmarried at Framingham Earl, Norfolk, on 6th November and was buried at Tacolneston on 8th November 1928.
c. John Warren Corbould-Warren born 30th June 1870 and educated at Felsted and Downing College, Cambridge, BA 1894, MA 1899. He was ordained in 1894 and became curate of Broadwinsor 1895 – 1898, curate of Blechingley in Surrey 1898 - 1901. From 1901 to 1910 he was Vicar of Dersingham and finally from 1914 the Rector of Caistor-with-Markshall. He was Lord-of-the-Manor of Caistor and Patron of the livings of Caistor and Tacolneston, and a Justice in Norfolk. On 15th April 1896 he married Agnes Elizabeth, daughter of James Stephen Edward La Fontaine, JP, of Berkhamstead and of Constantinople, by his wife Helen, daughter of Benjamin Barker. They lived at Caistor Hall, Norwich, and she was thought to be a very grand lady by the Bomford family since she travelled with a lady’s maid and talked about the fine pheasant shoots of Caistor, and so on. She died on 6th November 1948 and he died in 1944. They had two children:
i. John Derek Corbould-Warren born 1899 and educated at Rugby and the RMC Sandhurst. On the 10th July 1917 he was killed in a riding accident at Sandhurst.
ii. Enid Helen Corbould-Warren born 1901 and was married at Caistor on 12th September 1929. Her husband was Lieutenant-Commander Richard Pennell Caesar Hawkins, RN, born 27th December 1899, son of Edward Caesar Hawkins of Shelton Hall, Long Stratton, quite close to Tacolneston. They had one daughter and the marriage was dissolved. On her father’s death, Enid inherited Caistor Hall, which she sold, and it is now a hotel; she and her daughter then went to live in the Channel Islands where she died in November 1983.
1. Diana Elizabeth Hawkins born at Caistor Hall on 24th November 1930. She married Mr Antony Pott in 1953 and had 3 children. In 1998 they were living in Southampton:
a. Helen Pott born in 1955, is married and has sons.
b. Antony Pott born in 1957, is married and lives in Cardiff.
c. Richard Pott, was born in 1966, is married and has a son.
d. Florence Marion Corbould-Warren born in 1872 and died on 25th April 1881 aged 9.
e. Helen Maude Mary Corbould-Warren born on 3rd October 1873 so was nearly 24 when she married George Lyndon Bomford in 1897.
f. Dorothy Ann (Dollie) Corbould-Warren born in 1874 and married at Tacolneston in c1905. Her husband was Rev Evelyn Beaumont Burnaby, MA, born 24th February 1872, son of Rev Sherard Beaumont Burnaby. He died at Tacolneston on 10th November 1912 having had three children. At some later date, c1928, Dollie took her three children to New Zealand and settled at Richmond, Nelson.
i. Sylvia Maude Beaumont Burnaby born 22nd July 1907 and married Milton Glynan of Motueka, Nelson. During WW2 he served with the N.Z. Air Force in the Pacific and then bought a tobacco farm. They persevered with tobacco but the land was unsuitable and they had to sell. Milton died of cancer in 1968. Sylvia visited her aunt Maude at Oakley Park three times, firstly with her mother in 1917 when her uncle George was in France, then in 1920, and again in 1947. Sylvia died on 17 April 2001 (Roger Glynan email 6 Jan 2012). They had three children:
1. Barry Peter Glynan who died in 1996 of emphysema.
2. Pamela Joan Glynan died at Motueka on 6 January 2011. She married and had five children; three sons in Motueka, of whom 2 are married, although one lost his wife in a car crash after the marriage; her other two children are married and live in Australia.
3. Roger Michael Glynan is a travel agent in Auckland. He married Shelagh Maureen Warner and has two daughters and a son, born in the 1970s, who are married and live in Auckland.
ii. Hugo Philip Beaumont Burnaby born 14th October 1909, married Jessie and died in 1971. They had two children:
1. Philip Burnaby born c1950 has an apple orchard near Nelson. He married Julie and has three children: Kim, Mark, and Anna.
2. Barbara Burnaby married Bob and has a girl, Sally.
iii. Patricia (Pat) Margaret Beaumont Burnaby born 23rd December 1910 and married Hugo Pike, a sheep farmer of Canterbury. He died in 1971 and she died in 1973. They had two girls:
1. Judy Pike who married Harvey and had Jonathon and Sarah.
2. Virginia Pike.
2. Edward Corbould-Warren of Bracon Ash was born 15th April 1848 and died 2nd March 1913. On the 28th August 1878 he married Rose Henrietta Mackarness Davis who died 21st August 1927. These two and their children were in the wedding photo of 1897. He became entitled to the residual estate of his uncle Edward Corbould (died 1878) of Weasenham and so re-purchased Bracon Lodge in 1885. He died in 1913 and left Bracon Lodge to his wife and then to his second son, William. Their six children were:
a. Rose Corbould-Warren was born 21st July 1879. Married 25th November 1914 Captain James Sidney Granville Kay. She died in 1951.
b. Edward Corbould-Warren of Bracon Ash Lieut. Colonel, R.A. (ret 1926) of Tideworth was born 21st May 1881 served in the South African War (medal with 3 clasps), 3rd Aug 1912 awarded Royal Humane Society’s Medal for saving life in the Goomtie River at Beslapur 1870, served in the Great War in Mesopotamia at the siege of Kut-el-Amara under General Townshend mentioned in despatches 5 times, 3 medals; created Brevet Lieutenant Colonel 1916. In 1st October 1908 he married Joan Steward and died 1941 They had two children,
i. Margaret Corbould-Warren, known as Peggy, born 11th October 1909 at Srinagar, India died 1st February 1990, married Percival Gerald Hopkins, a pilot who was killed in World War 2 at the age of 28, and had two children. After he died Margaret changed her name back to Corbould-Warren.
ii. Joan Corbould-Warren born 1st October 1910 at Bracon Ash.
c. Willy Corbould-Warren born 3rd May 1883 of Bracon Ash and later of Tacolneston Old Hall. He served with the Essex Militia in the Boer War and in WWI with the Royal Fusiliers, when he was wounded he transferred to the Indian Army Reserve and served on the North West Frontier Campaign in 1919. On 2nd July 1926 he married Jessica Perkins and sometime later emigrated to New Zealand, eventually settling in Tauranga, and died in 1963. They had three sons and the family became known as just ‘Warren’:
i. Edward Warren born, named and died 20th October 1927 in England.
ii. Richard Corbould-Warren born 19th June 1933 and educated at Rugby. In 1960 he visited the Bamfords at Crodara (35.6.5). He married Georgina Langley born 1938. They went to live in New Zealand, where his three daughters were born, before moving to Australia. He died on 28 July 1999.
1. Virginia Catherine Corbould-Warren born 17th July 1964, married Lyndon Campbell Chandler and have three sons:
a. William Chandler born 28th July 1988.
b. Hayden Chandler born 5th February 1992.
c. Lachlan Chandler born 6th September 1993.
2. Laura Elizabeth born 25th June 1967, married Christopher Fraser. They have one son:
a. Alexander Richard Fraser born 10th February 2002.
3. Caroline Margaret born 27th December 1970.
iii. Anthony Corbould-Warren was born 1937 and educated at Rugby. In September 1953 he visited Col G.W. Bomford at Oakley Park. He married Susan Cunliffe from New Zealand. He visited the Davids at the Miramar Hotel in the late 1950s (35.9). They live in New Zealand and have two children, a girl and a boy:
1. Gillian Corbould-Warren born 8th June 1966, married and has one son
2. Simon William Corbould-Warren born 1st October 1967
d. Winnie Alice Corbould-Warren was born 10th July 1885. She married 15th July 1925 Captain Lionel William Campbell Gwyne. Born 16th September 1878. Died 1966.
e. Beatrice Harriet (Trixie) Corbould-Warren was born 8th October 1887 died 1942 unmarried.
f. May Frances Corbould-Warren was born 8th July 1889 married 31st July 1917 Geoffrey Gordon Richardson who died the 5th March 1926, she settled in Christchurch and died c1960.
3. Mary Corbould born 6th May 1850, died 14th February 1851.
4. Mary Corbould-Warren born 19th July 1851, died 4th November 1921. Married 20th February 1874, Lieut Colonel Walter John Boyes, born 18th January 1841, died 12th may 1917. They had seven sons and four daughters.
5. Elizabeth Corbould-Warren born 25th October 1852. Married at Ferozepore, Punjab, India, 23rd December 1873, Colonel Francis Frederick Cotton of Clifton Bristol, born 8th June 1843, died 14th October 1909. They had one daughter.
6. Charles Corbould-Warren born 6th January 1854, died 21st February 1854.
It is curious that the Corbould-Warren of New Zealand became known as ‘Warren’ whilst those of Canada were known as ‘Corbould’.
The following were all cousins of George L. Bomford and were in the wedding-photo of August 1897.
Edward and his wife Rosie of Bracan Lodge at Bracon Ash and their children: Rosie, aged 18; Edward, aged 16 but looks older; Winnie, aged 12; Trixie, aged 10; and May, aged 8.
The Old Hall at Tacolneston has long since been pulled down. In the late 1940s I visited the site which was surrounded by lovely trees and beside the 15th Century All Saints Church. There is a photograph of the house at Crodara; two stories with three windows on either side of the front door, probably late Georgian. It is a pleasant looking house but not particularly outstanding. My mother who used to visit there with her mother thought it a very comfortable house.
George had joined the Land Commission in 1895 on his return from the United States, and he and Maude set up house on the north coast of Antrim, at Portrush. In April 1900 George and Maude moved to Oakley Park with their parents, John Francis and Elinor. Because of his work as a land valuer, which continued until the 1940s, and the difficulty of getting around Ireland in those early days, George was away from his family much of the time. Later on he bought a car, a Model T Ford, so travel became much more convenient but even so, he was often away for a few days each week. He used to say that he had travelled every road in Ireland and he did have encyclopaedic knowledge of the roads.
Shortly after he inherited Oakley Park in 1911 there was a very bad thunder storm when eighteen cows were killed by lightening whilst sheltering in the wood to the east of the house; a big loss which a number of neighbours also suffered. He continued to live there happily in spite of the upheavals of the World War and the later Troubles. He took on all the usual duties of a country gentleman; he was a Justice of the Peace 1908 - 1950, was elected as a committee member of the Meath Protestant Orphan Society 1910 - 1949, was a very active member of the Meath Hunt, and so on. Before World War I, as he travelled around the country, he was ideally suited for another job which he took on for the British Army; that of buying horses for the Remounts. His son George wrote the following about this period:
On the outbreak of war in 1914, I had travelled round Ireland with my father, during the summer holidays, while he purchased horses for the Government. The family coffers were never very flush, so great was my sense of wonder as he signed away vast sums in a cheque book, provided presumably by some Government official. He was a very good judge of a horse. Later I spent another holiday at his first military post at Ormskirk in Lancashire. A few weeks before, we had found him sitting in his chair in the Oakley Park library, minus his beard, clad in a Captain’s uniform. He loved springing a complete surprise on the family.
He did not stay long during the war at Ormskirk but spent most of his time with the Remounts in France, at Dieppe. At the end of the war he returned home and was there for the Troubles of the early 1920s. The Troubles affected the whole family and there is a note on this period in the next chapter.
The remainder of the 1920s and the 1930s were happy, quiet times at Oakley Park, punctuated with bursts of social activity when their children returned on holiday from foreign parts. In the 1930s I knew my grandfather as a country gentleman, neither rich nor fashionable, popular with his neighbours of all ranks of life. He liked country life and all country pursuits; farming was a perpetual interest to him, and he was fond of hunting and shooting and was a good judge of a horse. He was very good-natured, always in good spirits, and with that sort of manner, which made him exceedingly popular with both men and women. He was efficient for all the ordinary purposes of life but had no intellectual interests and did not care greatly for reading or any deep discussion such as politics. There is a glass negative photo of him on a horse in the National Library of Ireland, dated c 1920.
My grandmother was one of the gentlest of human beings and yet, at times, could be quite stern. Generally she shrank from argument and, in order to make life go smoothly was prepared to efface herself but only in cases of secondary importance. This made it possible for the arrangements of a home to work smoothly and my early recollections are of an uneventful and exceedingly happy home. In the usual fashion of such an upbringing I assumed that the world was therefore a happy place, in which no grown-up did anything which was wrong.
The wartime 1940s were however a time of worry for both Maude and George, or as I used to call them “Gaga and Pa,” since, not only were their children engaged in the war in one way or another, but they were becoming old and short of money. As George wrote to his son-in-law Wilfred Bamford, “A thousand a year (from the Land Commission) was sufficient to keep the place going (before the war) but now with rising wages there will be difficulties.” It was therefore a relief when the war ended and their eldest son, George, retired from the Indian army and took the ropes of Oakley Park into his own hands. In 1949 when George was 82 he became very ‘difficult’; for instance he lost all sense of time and might get up at 2 a.m., wake the house and demand breakfast. Maude, who was then 76 and had developed high blood pressure, became very upset at these antics and after a particularly difficult week Doctor Desmond Eustace, a lifelong friend of the family, came to the rescue and George was admitted to Palmerston Convalescent Hospital in Dublin in January 1950. He lived there quite happily and contented for a year. He died, aged 84, at 2.30 p.m. on 2nd March 1951 and was buried beside his parents at Kells on 4th March.
Meanwhile Maude carried on with the help of those of her children who were at home, but her high blood pressure still troubled her although it was held at bay by medication and a day in bed each week. On 22nd July 1950 when she was 77 she had a stroke in the morning with paralysis down the right side. She died in her own bed that evening about 7.15 and was buried in Kells on 26th July, seven months before George died. Needless to say, after 50 years in Kells, they both had enormous funerals, and of Maude, John Carson, the Rector of Kells wrote in the Diocesan magazine:
This brief notice of the death of Mrs Maude Bomford records the passing of one who will be remembered and sadly missed not only by her devoted family but by a very wide circle of friends in this parish and far beyond, and in lands beyond the seas.
She took a leading part in all parish activities, giving not only material aid but also invaluable personal service. Sympathetic and generous, she was ever ready to help anyone in difficulty or distress, and was one of those rare souls who seem to divine when help or sympathy is needed and gave it, with both hands, before it was even asked for, not only as a duty but joyously and warm-heartedly like the true Christian she was. A very gracious lady has passed from our midst but her memory and example will remain as an inspiration and encouragement.
Her will, executed by Wilfred Bamford, was very simple; her possessions were to be divided between her three daughters, Evelyn Bamford, Dorothy Cripps and Joan David.
George and Maude had six children, four girls and two boys, born between 1898 and 1917. They were all born at Oakley Park except for their eldest child:
- Elinor Louise (35.5.1)
- George Warren (35.5.2)
- Evelyn Maude (35.6)
- Dorothy Eileen (35.7)
- John Lyndon (35.8)
- Joan Annella (35.9)
The eldest child was born on 18th September 1898 and named after her two grandmothers. She may have been born in Portrush, Co Antrim, but more probably at Drumlargan. During the summer of 1899 Maude, George and the baby were in England, perhaps visiting Maude’s parents in Norfolk and showing them their first grand-child. They decided to take the comfortable way back from London by sea to Dublin, a journey of three or four days.
This used to be a much easier way to go, particularly with a young child, compared to the cross country train journey followed by a night crossing of the Irish Sea; the boats were cattle-boats returning empty but they had accommodation for a number of passengers. Unfortunately Elinor Louise who had been ailing, developed meningitis on the boat and without proper medical attention she died at sea on 13th September 1899. She had almost reached her first birthday. Her distressed parents buried her at Agher Church alongside two other Bomford infants (25.1). Her headstone below the Church’s east window reads, “In loving Memory of Elinor Louise, dearly loved daughter of George and Maude Bomford, died 13th Sept 1899, aged 1 year. 'Is it well with the child? It is well.' ”
George Warren was born at Oakley Park on 22nd April 1900. His was the first birth there since that of his aunt ‘Annella’ Mrs Longfield, in 1868 (33.2). He was baptised in Kells by Richard Bolton, Rector of Fermoy. The only traceable relative of this name at this date was Richard Knott Bolton, a brother to George Warren’s grandmother Elinor, who died in Dublin in 1909; he was aged 70 at the christening and was also the godfather of George Lyndon, George Warren’s father.
George Warren’s first ten years were at Oakley Park. In 1910 he went to Clifton College as a day boy staying with his aunt, Annella Longfield; already at Clifton and staying with Annella was his cousin John Constable, and they were joined a couple of terms later by Annella’s son Dick Longfield; finally, just before George left, they were joined by another cousin, Leonard Shelford. He left school in 1917 and joined the Indian Army (See 36.2.1 et seq for George’s own account of his early life).
From 1917 to 1947 he served with the Indian Army, being commissioned into the Second Lancers, which he first joined in Syria in 1919. By World War II he had risen to major and was second-in-command of his regiment in India. In 1940 he was detached from the 2nd Lancers to become the liaison officer of the “Ganga Risala” or Camel Corps of the Maharajah of Bikinir, which he took to Aden. In June 1941 he returned to India, picked up reinforcements for the 2nd Lancers and two months later was in Egypt.
He took command of the Lancers in April 1942 and the next month they were rushed to the front line at Bir Hachim to help stem Rommel’s attack, an attack which on the last day of June was to reach El Alamein. The 2nd Lancers were over-run and did well to get back with so few casualties. However they had lost so much equipment that they had to be withdrawn from the battle and were not reformed until late July. George returned to India and joined the 76th Cavalry which he commanded until March 1946. From then until his retirement in November 1947 he had various staff appointments, including commanding an Italian Prisoner-of-War camp at Dehra Dun and a spell in Singapore after its recapture from the Japanese.
He arrived back at Oakley Park as a Colonel in 1948. His mother died there in 1950 and his father in 1951. He stayed on at Oakley Park assisted for a time by his sister Dorothy, but the place was unsuitable for the modern mechanised type of farming as there was too much parkland, and, having spent his life very differently in India, George found farming hard going. After much heart-searching he sold Oakley Park in March 1955.
From 1956 to 1959 he lived in Malta. During a train journey home his pocket was picked whilst passing through Italy; all his documents and money were taken, but he did not realise this until the ticket collector asked for his ticket. Since it was at that time a criminal offence in Italy to travel without a ticket the collector sent for the train policeman. The policeman duly arrived to arrest George but instead embraced him in Gallic fashion and called him “Mon Commandante”. He was one of his Italian ex-prisoners from the camp in India. The eventual outcome of this meeting was that George bought a flat in Rome and his ex-prisoner’s son, Nino de Marco, went to live with him as his ‘major-domo’. During the 18 years in Rome before his death and in between visits to and from the family and friends, he wrote extensively on what he called “A Collection of Notes” for his sisters Evelyn and Joan. These ‘notes’ are too bulky to reproduce here but a few extracts are added in the next chapter. These shed light on the family and on a way of life which has passed, including that of “The Raj” in India. Also included are two letters from George to his parents about Rommel’s break-through at Bir Hachim; the original letters have disappeared but my mother had made copies for my father who was at that time in Nigeria.
George died in Rome on 8th December 1978, aged 78. He had been admitted to a Rome nursing home in November suffering from tachycardia, abnormal rapidity of heart beat, and breathlessness, but this seemed to have been controlled and he returned to his flat for three weeks before he died peacefully in his sleep. He was buried in Rome on 11th December. Of the many letters which his sister Evelyn received after his death, all spoke of his great sense of fun, his kindness and his good temper; his friends from the Indian Army also told how he was loved by those who worked with him, and that this applied to all ranks from officers to the men of his regiment. Many also applied this to his friend Nino who was with him at the end.
Evelyn, the eldest surviving daughter, was born on 13th February 1902 at Oakley Park and baptised at Kells, one of her godmothers being Evelyn L. Nugent. Apart from a term at Lowther College in North Wales with her younger sister, she had no formal education as we know it now, but had a governess. She absorbed all that was necessary from her upbringing at Oakley Park and lived there a very full life. When her father George returned from the war he bought five hunters, including his favourite, Aynak, and hunted all over the county with his teenage daughter and some times with her younger sister, Dorothy. I am amazed at the distances they hacked to and from these meets, often 10 or 15 miles away, and it is not surprising that Evelyn became a excellent horse-woman and developed the technique of sleeping in the saddle. Her horse was named Tony, and she and Tony won many prizes at the showground at Navan. She had a very happy childhood and loved her home and close-knit family. One of the advantages of such an upbringing was that the children of those days were completely innocent of the world outside their sphere of friends. It was therefore an enormous and exciting adventure for a child to go, for instance, to Dublin, a day-long excursion by train; even more so to England, perhaps accompanied by her mother on a visit to her grandmother at Tacolneston in Norfolk. This journey took two days with a night on the Liverpool boat, very comfortable then, and a day-long cross-country train journey; meals on a train without a corridor being arranged by one station master phoning ahead to the next stop for a hamper of food. All these excitements Evelyn never forgot, including those with her aunt Loo, Louisa Martin of Bective, which are recorded in 21.8.5 (4).
One anecdote illustrates this unworldliness. Sometime during the first war the calm of Oakley Park was disturbed by the arrival of a large army detachment of mounted troops and their baggage. After the initial turmoil of making camp, erecting tents and laying out the horse lines on the front lawn, Maude served afternoon tea for the officers in the flower-knot. This was in full swing when Evelyn, far too excited to eat, discovered a most gorgeously dressed and handsome man giving out orders in the yard. To her he had to be a high-ranking officer, so she led him to the tea party in the flower-knot. On seeing his destination the poor man became embarrassed, hung back and would not attend. This completely mystified Evelyn and it had to be explained to her that he was the Regimental Sergeant-Major and so not eligible to have tea with the officers.
On 30th April 1924 she was married by the Rector, Rev Francis Beere, who had just been installed at Kells. Her husband was Wilfred Clifford Bamford, a nephew of the previous Rector of Kells, Dick Clifford (21.8.5). They first met during the war at Church when Wilfred was on leave from France, and it was a case of love at first sight; Wilfred was tall, dark, handsome and in uniform; Evelyn was slim, short, blond and pretty. They met often and it speaks much for the attachment when Wilfred who was no horseman even went hunting with Evelyn; he used to say that he spent more time catching his horse after falling off than he spent in the saddle. They saw a lot of each other in 1920: Wilfred who only recorded bald facts in his diaries, records – “August 7, Bomford tennis; 27th, Bomford dance; September 1st, Bomford picnic; 8th, Bomford paper-chase; and on 13th, Emlagh Bog picnic, Evelyn and I found white heather”.
However in 1920 Wilfred was not earning a living so it was not until his first leave from Nigeria in September 1922 that they agreed to marry and the announcement was made after Sunday lunch at Oakley Park on September 10. The story is that Wilfred proposed during a tennis tournament at Armagh when their male opponent, under stress of losing, removed his wig and hung it on the tennis net post; the young couple, trying to suppress their mirth, lost their concentration and the match, and that, almost as a consolation to Evelyn, Wilfred proposed. Incidentally the tournament organisers mistook the entry of Wilfred and Evelyn, whose tennis standard was only mediocre, for that of Wilfred’s brother Percy and his wife Geraldine who both played a fine game of high standard.
The actual wedding did not take place until Wilfred’s second leave from Nigeria starting in March 1924. Unfortunately Maria Louisa Corbould-Warren, Evelyn’s grandmother, died in early April so the wedding, which could not be put back, was a quiet one. The Church was decorated with primroses and there were two floral arches over the Oakley Park Avenue. My mother loved primroses, they were her favourite flower, but what stuck in her memory was the number of local people who greeted them outside the Church, in Kells and on the road home. She had a great fondness for the cottagers, and they for her, and when she came home from Nigeria spent many hours visiting her friends of the cottages and discussing their affairs and families.
The Drogheda Independent reported the wedding and, as was usual then, recorded the wedding presents and their donors. This list is intriguing as, quite apart from the many items still in common use at Crodara, the donors represent forty-six different families ranging from the maids in the house, the country folk around the place and in Kells, the local gentry and of course relatives on both sides of the family.
Back Row: Olivia Florence Clifford, Edith Eveline Clifford, George Richard Melville Clifford, Agatha Mant Bamford, Elinor Jane Bomford, Helen Maude Mary Bomford, George Lyndon Bomford, Dorothy Maude Bomford, Charles Francis Bomford, and Mary Louise Martin.
Middle Row: Wilfred Clifford Bamford, Evelyn Maude Bomford, Dorothy Eileen Bomford.
Front Row: John Lyndon Bomford, Harriet Eleanor ‘May’ Bomford, Joan Annella Bomford, Charles Powell ‘Bunty’ Bomford.
The wedding photograph taken on the steps of Oakley Park includes one grandmother, Elinor Bomford then aged 84, who was to die two and a half months later; three of the four parents, George and Maude Bomford and Agatha Bamford; the bride and groom with the ‘Best Man’ Melville Clifford, Wilfred’s cousin and the son of Rev Dick Clifford; Uncle Charlie and auntie Bobbie Bomford who were then living at nearby Riversdale, with two of their children, May aged 6 and a bridesmaid, and Charles or ‘Bunty’ aged 9; Aunt Loo Martin of Bective; “The Aunts” Obie and Edie Clifford; Evelyn’s two sisters, Dorothy aged 19, and Joan aged 7 who were both bridesmaids; the other youngster in the photograph was Evelyn’s brother John aged 12. The two youngest bridesmaids, Joan and May, nearly missed the ceremony as they had disappeared during the morning, were finally found playing in the river and had to be scrubbed from head to toe. The only members of the immediate families who were not present were both in India, newly promoted Captain George Bomford, and Percy Bamford of the Indian Police.
And so on April 30th Evelyn only had to make a slight change in her maiden name, a change, which the postman and the local people still find confusing. A confusion which will no doubt continue, since sixty years later I am frequently called ‘Mr Bomford’.
Evelyn and Wilfred left more or less immediately for a honeymoon in Norway where a new sport, skiing, was almost mastered.
Not much has been traced concerning the Bamford family. The earliest document which has been found is the birth certificate of Wilfred’s father, Frederick William Bamford. This certificate tells us that Wilfred’s grandfather was Edmund Bamford, a coal miner who lived at the village of Swallow Nest near Aston in South Yorkshire, and that his grandmother was “Sarah, formerly Brown”.
Subsequently a Bamford entry was discovered in the Church records at Aston: Ellen Bamford was baptised there on 25th October 1866, the daughter of Samuel and Sarah Bamford of Fence Colliery, and Samuel’s occupation was “engine tender”. It is possible that Samuel and Edmund were brothers but only the location definitely links the two. It is more likely that, if they were related, they were cousins, since Wilfred Bamford wrote that he always understood that his father Frederick was an only child and that his grandfather Edmund was an only son and, further, that Edmund and Sarah both died when Frederick was quite young and that he had no near relatives.
Another piece of local information was that a Bamford family of the 1800s occupied a farm then named ‘Aston Common Farm’ but now known as Fox’s Farm. This proves nothing but Wilfred had heard that his father did own land in the vicinity, which he sold during the 1890s.
Another line of investigation concerned the family crest which is a serpent tied in a knot like a figure eight on a chapeau or “Cap of Maintenance” or “Cap of Dignity”, a head-gear of crimson velvet turned up with ermine, and both superimposed on arms consisting of a horizontal silver wavy band on red. The official description being, for the crest “On a chapeau a serpent nowed”, and for the arms “Ar. a fesse wavy gu.”. The Windsor Herald of Arms of the College of Arms was asked to check the crest and arms. The Herald reported that arms and crest had been granted in one isolated case sometime between 1623 and 1633 to John Bamford of Bamford, a village in Derbyshire just across the county boundary from Aston, but that neither were the same as described. The Herald further wrote, “it does not seem that any subsequent confirmation of these arms has been made to any descendant of this John Bamford and no pedigree has been entered”. Concerning the arms and crest described above, the Herald wrote that “no such crest or arms has ever been granted or confirmed or in any way authorized by the King of Arms to anyone with the surname Bamford”. Another dead end had been reached but with the additional information that the family crest and arms passed from Frederick to his sons was in fact unauthorized.
So Wilfred’s grandparents were Edmund Bamford, a coal miner from Swallow Nest, and his wife Sarah whose maiden name was Brown. Wilfred’s father was Frederick William Bamford who was born on 1st June 1858 at Swallow Nest, and according to the fly leaf of his Bible, he was still at Swallow Nest in February 1870 when he was aged 11½; Frederick was an only child whose parents married about 1855 and died about 1865 when he was about 7; this confirms Wilfred’s belief that his father had no near relatives.
Frederick’s intention was to enter the Church and the documents include a testimonial from St Bees College dated 19th April 1883. The testimonial states that he had successfully completed the full college course of two years and that he was considered to be a fit person to be admitted “into the Sacred Ministry”. The belief in the family was that Frederick had been educated at St Bees School, a public school in Cumbria, but the testimonial indicated otherwise, so the Public School was contacted and replied as follows:
“As you guessed, he (Frederick) was not at the School, but at St Bees Theological College which was one of several founded in the 19th Century to educate and prepare men to take Holy Orders. St Bees College was founded in 1816 and closed in 1895. We have a copy of The College Calendar for 1893 which contains a list of all those admitted and the following is the relevant entry: “Bamford, Frederick William, ch (Church) Jhelum, Dio (Diocese) Lahore, Michaelmas term 1880.”
From this we can assume that at the age of 22 Frederick entered the College and left after the two year course was concluded in 1882, and also that prior to entering the college he had been attached in some way to the Church in Jhelum near Lahore in India; he was probably doing some type of Missionary work out there, and had been there for about five years, the duration of a normal tour in India, so had left England around the age of 17.
On leaving the College Frederick was ordained deacon on 2nd April 1882 by the Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh, and the next year on 20th May he was made priest by the same Bishop. His first appointment was in 1882 as Curate of Killashandra and his Rector was the Rev Henry Francis Martin whose father, Archdeacon John Charles Martin, had also been Rector there since 1831. The Archdeacon and Charles Rudinge Martin, who married Susan Margaret Bomford in 1827, were brothers (21.8.3).
The first Martin to settle in Co Cavan was the Archdeacon, John Charles, 1797-1878, and his wife Agatha, 1806-75, the only daughter of Richard Mant, Bishop of Down (background and tree at 21.8.3). They had twelve children all of whom were brought up at Killashandra and many of whom were well known to Frederick Bamford. John M Collins (email 12 Dec 2011) has a John Charles Martin family tree.
1. Elizabeth Mary Adelaide Martin 1830 - 1891, married secondly Doctor G. M. Hearn who may have been a local Co Cavan doctor. They had eight children.
2. John Charles Martin 1831 - 1899, Rector of Killashandra until 1882 when he went as rector to a North Wales parish. He never married.
3. Richard Luther Martin 1833 - 1872, joined the Educational Service in India but had died in Calcutta of cholera. After his death his wife returned to Ireland and settled there with her ten children. Their second son Richard became Rector of Killashandra from 1906 until he retired in 1929, and there brought up six children; he was the last Martin to be Rector of Killashandra and so terminated a continuous Martin connection with the parish which had lasted 98 years.
One of Richard Luther’s granddaughters, Frances Burrows 1885 - 1963, was for many years headmistress of Ancaster House School at Bexhill where Dorothy Bomford worked for a while and where Ann Bamford was educated. As headmistress Frances was the cause of acute embarrassment. On a bus to a total stranger whom she thought was one of her school parents, in a loud voice she asked, “Are you not the father of one of my children?”
4. Edith Agatha Martin 1835 - 1893, married in 1859 her cousin George Henry Martin, 1833 - 1896, Rector of Agher, heir to Bective and son of Charles Rudinge Martin and Susan Margaret Bomford. Their family is fully listed in paragraph 21.8.5, but they had eight children including ‘Aunt Loo’ (Louisa) who inherited Bective estate, and ‘Aunt Fran’ (Frances) who married her cousin Dick Clifford, Rector of Bective and later of Kells.
5. Henry Francis John Martin 1836 - 1906, married in 1865 Barbara Collins (b 13 May 1833, d 2nd quarter 1901), youngest daughter of Doctor Robert Collins (1800 - 1868) of Ardsallagh near Navan. Barbara had a brother Joshua and sisters Isabella and Martha, and Jane who died young (John M Collins emails 4 & 12 Dec 2011 with full family tree). (Dr Robert Collins was a pioneering obstetrician and Master of the Rotunda (1826 – 1833) where he was responsible for significantly reducing maternal mortality. He is remembered to this day in medical circles. He married Barbara Clarke, daughter of a previous Master, Dr Joseph Clarke. He later retired to Ardsallagh where he pursued an interest in agriculture.) Henry Francis John Martin was the Rector of Killashandra from 1882 until his death. No doubt their curate, Frederick Bamford, had something to do with the early education of their five children who were aged between 15 and 10 when Frederick arrived in Killashandra. Two of their children were John Charles Collins Martin and Joseph Clarke Collins Martin (John Davies NTL email 29 Mar 2011 - John is a grandson of John Charles Collins Martin). Robert Martin (emails 6 & 7 Jan 2016) has part of a Martin family tree from Jonathan Mant Martin showing descendents of Henry Francis John Martin.
6. Frederick Walter Mant Martin born in 1838 and died unmarried in 1863 aged 25.
7. Mary Emily Martin 1839-47, was only 8 when she died.
8. Charles William Wall Martin 1841 - 1907, married in 1866 Gertrude, the only daughter of the County Cavan Resident Magistrate William Hickson. Charles served with the Indian Civil Service at Madras, and his twelve children, the eldest in 1882 being 15, were based with the Hicksons in Cavan when not in India. His third son, William Frederick, 1874 - 1947, married Lady Christina Bowes-Lyon, the widow of Major Bowes-Lyon who was brother to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and wife of King George VI.
9. Caulfield Aylmer Martin 1842 - 1915 (or possibly Caulfeild Aylmer Martin: Caulfeild is commonly mistranscribed and the Caulfield/Caulfeild connection is this instance has not been established; see also 21.8.3), became a Director of Public Instruction in Bengal, India. The eldest of his five children was 11 in 1882 but it is not known where they were brought up, perhaps in Co Wicklow with his wife’s parents, the Beattys of Lakeview.
10. Olivia Frances Martin 1844 - 1910, married Richard Henry Clifford, 1831 - 1876 (See 21.8.5 and the spider family tree). He had just completed 25 years service as a Resident Magistrate and Collector in Bengal, India and was about to retire when he died of Jungle Fever in Almora, India. However he owned Greenville, a country house between Ballyconnell and Killashandra in the Parish of Kildallan, where Olivia Frances brought up her seven children.
Their eldest daughter, Agatha Mant Clifford, 1866 - 1951, was to marry Frederick Bamford in 1884, and the other children included the two “Aunts”, Obie and Edie, who were at Wilfred and Evelyn’s wedding; and “Uncle Dick”, the Rev Richard Clifford, Rector of Bective 1898 - 1917 and of Kells 1917 - 1924, whose son Melville was Wilfred’s best man.
11. Adela Neville Martin 1847 - 1900, married in 1881 Edward Dobbs, 1847 - 1918, of the Forestry Department in India.
12. Brownlow Rudinge Martin 1848 - 1923, became a doctor in Hammersmith in London. He married and his seven children were brought up in London.
It can be seen that the families of four of these Martins were brought up at or near Killashandra. In addition there was another Martin, a nephew of the Archdeacon whose name was also John Charles; he was ordained in 1883 and became curate of Killeshandra, 1883-88, so he was there with Frederick Bamford. In 1888 he was made Rector of nearby Dowra where he remained until 1900.
In addition to the Cliffords at Greenville, mention should be made of their cousins of Carn Cottage at the other end of the Parish of Kildallan. Both branches of the Clifford family worshipped at Kildallan Church in which there are a number of Clifford wall memorials and many were buried in the churchyard. Robert Clifford, 1792 - 1855, a Captain of the East India Marine (HEICS), bought Carn Cottage around 1833 and brought up his eight children there, but on his death his wife Mary Jane let the place in 1858. Incidentally the marriage of Captain Robert and Mary Jane in 1825 was an unusual double wedding of two brothers, Robert and Richard Clifford, and two sisters, Mary Jane and Catherine Morgan-Williams. General Robert Clifford, 1839 - 1930, Captain Robert’s second son known as ‘Bob’, of the 22nd Sam Browne Cavalry and the 2nd Punjab Cavalry who served during the Indian Mutiny, settled his family of six children at Carn Cottage in 1881, and lived there himself after his retirement in 1894 until he died in 1930. Carn Cottage was sold in 1933 for £l,900 by the General’s son Jack, 1877 - 1970, and is now derelict. And so two generations of Cliffords, the children of Captain Robert and those of General Robert, were brought up at Carn Cottage and a number died there and were buried at Kildallan Church where General Robert’s brother-in-law, Archdeacon William Creek, was Rector until he died in 1899. Thus in 1882, when Frederick Bamford arrived at Killashandra, there were five unmarried daughters at Greenville and four at Carn Cottage.
Like the Martins, these Cliffords were either living in Co Cavan or working in India. Even the sad death of two Cliffords in the Indian Mutiny of 1857 did not deter them from going out to India. The story of these two from the Carn Cottage branch is worth recording. General Bob’s sister, Mary Jane, had gone out to India to keep house for her brother, Wigram Clifford of the Bengal Civil Service, and also, no doubt, to find a husband. When the Mutiny broke out Mary Jane was in Delhi acting as a bridesmaid for the daughter of the Delhi Chaplain. When the mutineers arrived the girls tried to hide under a sofa but were dragged out and murdered. Meanwhile Wigram heard that the mutiny had erupted locally and immediately set out on horseback on the long ride to Gurgaon south of Delhi to warn the garrison there, only to discover that they had got the news on the previous day. He was soon after murdered at Gurgaon together with many loyal soldiers and civilians. Agatha’s father, Richard Henry Clifford, survived the mutiny but only after many escapes; he finally dressed as an Indian and took refuge with the family of one of his loyal servants. General Bob Clifford just missed the Mutiny because the ship taking him to India as a cadet broke down in the Atlantic and was six months under repair on the east coast of South America. When he arrived in Calcutta the Mutiny was over and he learnt of the deaths of Wigram and Mary Jane. An American missionary told him that his sister was known as “the beautiful Miss Clifford” and that Wigram, being in the ICS, had no business to leave his post and join the troops.
Frederick must have had doubts about going to the middle of Ireland where he knew no one, and these doubts would not have been eased as he arrived in Dublin on the day of the Phoenix Park murders; the assassination of Lord Frederick Cavendish and Under-Secretary T. H. Burke on 6th May 1882 by ‘The Invincibles’. But once in Killashandra he would have been made at home by the numerous Martins and Cliffords of his own age, amongst whom was Agatha Mant Clifford at Greenville, his future wife. After two years as Henry Martin’s curate he was promoted as Rector of Killoughter Parish where he remained from 1884 until 1881. In 1884 he was also initiated as a mason of the Killashandra Lodge.
Once he had his own parish he felt he could propose to Agatha, and on 7th October 1884 they were married by the Rev John Charles Martin, her uncle. In 1940 Agatha wrote to her son Wilfred about the wedding.
Yesterday was the 56th anniversary of my wedding day and I was thinking a lot about it and don’t think I ever told you anything about that. There had been a gap of over 20 years between Cousin Emmie’s wedding [on 24th September 1863, Emilia Templeton Clifford and Archdeacon William Creek, Rector of Kildallon] and mine. We were the only gentlewomen married in all those years in Kildallon so that made quite a stir.
Granny [Catherine Clifford] had a lot of guests, and relations were put up in both Rectory’s [Killoughter and Kildallon] and Carn [Cottage] and Aunt Edith [Edith Agathe Martin, 1835-93, who had married in 1859 Rev George Henry Clifford, Rector of Agher] and Cousin Mae [not placed] at Greenville. Dad [Wilfred’s father Frederick] stayed with Cliffe Tottenham, best man, in Brady’s Hotel, Killashandra. [Cliffe Tottenham, 1858 - 1931, was District Inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary and four years later was to marry Isabella, the only child of Emilia and Rev William Creek]. The Allens, Dick an old family friend whose father had run Croughan School at which Martin and Clifford uncles and cousins started school, with his wife, brother-in-law Billy Halpin [Richard ‘Dick’ Allen married in 1819 Lucy Halpin whose younger brother William ‘Billy’ Halpin was a solicitor in Cavan], Percy French [1854-1920, who no doubt entertained with some of his humorous Irish songs that evening] and a couple of other bachelor engineers on the Belturbet railways came from Cavan and many stayed after the wedding breakfast for dances at night to which near neighbours came back later.
The four aunts, [Agatha’s sisters, Catherine Aunt Kitty, Adela Aunt Della, Olivia Aunt Obie, and Edith Aunt Edie], Gerty whose home was then with us, [she was the eldest daughter, aged 11, of Gertrude and Charles Martin of Madras, India], Isabella Creek [see above], May and Nellie [neither identified, but could be two of the daughters of General Bob Clifford of Carn Cottage] were bridesmaids.
We left in the landau with Charles Darcy driving in time to catch the 5 pm train at Crossdoney for Dublin about 10 miles off, and then had an adventure en route. It was the big Ballinasloe fair day and a cattle train ahead of ours had broken down and we never got to Dublin till about 2 am. Dad [Frederick] had booked a room at Martin’s Hotel then in Baggot Street recommended by the Hamiltons [James and Mary of nearby Castle Hamilton] en route to Woodenbridge next day. It took a lot of knocking before the proprietor appeared in his dressing gown, having stayed up till 12 o’clock and then gone to bed. Then he proceeded to cook some food for us which was badly wanted after all that had taken place in the morning and the early lunch.
On return from their honeymoon at Woodenbridge, they settled into Killoughter Rectory. Their eldest child, a daughter, was born prematurely at Redhills Rectory on 6th May 1885, and survived only a short time. Their second child Percival (Percy) Clifford Bamford was born on 28th April 1886, not in the Rectory, but at Greenville where Agatha’s mother was living. Percy was baptised on 24th June at Kildallon Church by his great-uncle William Creek. Meanwhile Frederick’s health was beginning to deteriorate in the damp climate among the lakes of Cavan and he found it necessary to move. Testimonials from local clergy and dignitaries speak of him as kind, efficient, popular and a good speaker who did much in the Temperance cause. They all regretted his departure and a couple gave the reason, “in consequence of the dampness of this climate affecting his health”. He may have had the early symptoms of consumption or tuberculosis.
In 1887 they left Killoughter for India and remained there until 1892. Not much is known about this Indian period, one record states that he was an ‘Army Chaplain’ but this was not the military army though it could be the Church Army since he was also referred to as a missionary. His son Wilfred wrote that he was “in missionary work on the Jhelum in Kashmir” and it will be remembered that only 10 years previously he was at Jhelum before he went to St Bees College; but Agatha was a constant collector in her later life for the Chota Nagpur Mission indicating that they served there, probably both are true. Frederick wrote a novel, which was published in 1900 called ‘Revengeful Fangs’; the story shows that he had made a study of snakes and knew the country of the River Jhelum just south of Kashmir and near the town of Jhelum.
Generally speaking their time in India was not happy. Two more boys were born out there but both died. Richard Eric was born at Lahore on 18th January 1889 and died almost a year later on 4th December 1889; he was buried in Jhelum so they must have been living there then; Richard Eric’s headstone was photographed in 1949 by Denys Martin. The other boy, Henry, was born on 12th September 1890 prematurely at Sakesur, and survived only six hours and died the same day. However Percy then a 4-year-old seems to have thrived. About this time Frederick sold his property at Swallow Nest in aid, my father had been told, of the missionary work. The other problem was that Frederick’s health did not improve, but completely broke down, and he was advised to take brandy as a cure. No doubt this was on medical advice since he had been such an ardent supporter of the temperance cause in Ireland and had always been considered as ‘the perfect gentleman’. The inevitable occurred and he became addicted. In August and September 1891 he wrote a number of letters from Srinager in Kashmir to Agatha who was perhaps in Ireland recovering from the loss of her two sons; these are good letters, showing no sign of his addiction concerning his holiday on a house-boat on the lake; much of his holiday was spent fishing, a couple of nights sitting on a platform hoping to shoot a bear, at the horse races and playing cricket, and in the bazaar collecting brass-ware as souvenirs; there is only one minor reference to his health but it could not have been too bad in the mountains of Kashmir. However a year later in 1892 his health was in ruins and caused the family to return to Ireland and he became Curate in Delgany Parish, south of Dublin in Co Wicklow. At Delgany their fourth and last son, Wilfred Clifford Bamford, was born on 16th March 1893.
In 1894 he was made Rector of Donabate, north of Dublin. He never recovered his health and developed angina pectoris amongst other things. The addiction to alcohol became worse; nowadays alcoholism is a recognised affliction and he could be dried out, but at that time there was no such care and he and the family suffered social disgrace. In 1899 he gave up his parish and separated himself from his family, He died nine years later aged 50. Agatha wrote in her Bible that he died “July 13th 1908 at Mill Hill Farm, Chelmsford, of Pneumonia” and was “laid to rest close to the church door of Sandon near Chelmsford on July 16th”. His grave headstone records:
In loving memory of Frederick William Bamford, Rector of Killoughter, Ireland, 1884 - 1887, Chaplain in India 1887 - 1892. Born June 1st 1858. Died 13th July 1908. In hope of eternal life, Titus 1.2.
When Wilfred was at school he made a collection of postcards up to about 1908. It is apparent from these and other letters that his parents were not living together from about 1900, but they did meet on occasions. In early 1900 Agatha’s mother, Olivia, and her two sisters, Obie and Edie, left Greenville which was rented to the Kinnear family until 1907, and went to Switzerland for about a year. Agatha was not with them there but she did join them in 1901, when they moved to New Ross to look after ‘Uncle Ardo’, Rev Richard D’Olier Martin, and his three young children when his wife Catherine died. In 1902 another family death occurred, that of Barbara the wife of Rev Henry Martin, so they all moved to Killashandra Rectory and stayed there until Henry died in 1906. At this time Agatha’s sons were at boarding school, Percy at ‘The College’ Navan (1902 - 1903) and then in London studying for the Indian Police exam until 1906 when he left for India, and Wilfred at Castlebar Court, Ealing in West London (1903 - 1908). In 1903 Rev Frederick was living at 3 Grove Road in Epsom, whilst Agatha and her two boys stayed for much of the year with her cousin, Rev John Charles Martin, and his sister Mary Elizabeth at Villa Chimère, Paramé in Brittany. They were joined there by Rev Frederick for a few days in May. The winter of 1903 was spent in Ireland, firstly at Killashandra and then for Christmas with Uncle Dick and Aunt Fran (Clifford) at the Mount Temple Rectory, the new name for Ballyloughloe, near Moate in Westmeath; then back to Killashandra, Agatha’s base in Ireland. For most of 1905 Agatha lived at 233 Kennington Road, near the Oval in London; Christmas that year was spent with Aunt Della and Uncle Walter (Davies) at 37 Village Road, Oxton, Birkenhead. At this time Rev Frederick lived in Norwood in southeast London, and tried to visit Wilfred at school every fortnight. The Norwood postcards mention that he was typing a fair copy of another book, unfortunately this is the only reference to another book, which probably was never published. The postcard collection continued until 1908 when Frederick died and Wilfred went to Mountjoy School in Dublin. Meanwhile in late 1906 Agatha joined her mother, Olivia, and Obie and Edie at Mount Temple where their only brother Dick was the Rector. The next year they all moved back into Greenville.
Olivia died on 10th March 1910 aged 66, and Obie and Edie remained at Greenville until 1920 when the place was sold. That year they bought The Manse in Killylea, Co Armagh, where Obie died in 1952; Edie moved to Bray in 1953 with her nephew Marcus Martin and died in 1959. Agatha was not with them all the time but she did stay at Mount Temple, Killashandra and Greenville, and in 1915 and 1921 at Mount Falcon, north of Borrisokane in Co Tipperary, Amongst her belongings were a couple of letters addressed to Mrs Falkiner and censored by the I.R.A. in 1921. She also stayed with Dick and Fran at Bective, Kells and New Romney.
With limited money Agatha became an authority on wild flowers, pricked out literature for the blind in Braille and was a prolific letter writer. Much of what is written here is quoted from her letters to Wilfred. Her kindly nature led her to such places as St Leonards in Sussex close to her grandchildren at school and, finally, to Rostrevor in Co Down about 1936, which was midway between her sisters at Killylea and a grandson at school at Kilkeel. She liked Rostrevor and died there on 21st June 1951, aged 85. She was buried in Clonallon Churchyard, part of the neighbouring Parish of Warrenpoint.
Percy to some, Paddy to others, was born at Greenville, Co Cavan on 28th April 1886 and baptised on 24th June at Kildallon Church by his great-uncle William Creek. He was taken to India with his parents the next year and returned to Ireland aged 6 in 1892. There he remained until 27th October 1906 when he sailed to India to join the Indian Police. He retired in 1939 as Deputy Director of the Intelligence Bureau in India, having been honoured with the CIE in 1931. On his return to England he continued his intelligence work until 1950, and during this time he lived at Woodstock and worked at Blenheim Palace, and then in 1945 at London. He finally settled in Woodbridge in Suffolk in September 1950.
On 20th November 1919 at St Paul’s Cathedral in Calcutta he married Geraldine Beatrice, daughter of the Hon. F. C. French, CSI, ICS, and at that date Chairman of the Calcutta Improvement Trust. One of the wedding, photographs show Geraldine’s father, Miss Molly Beare (bridesmaid), J. Spenser of the Indian Police (best man), Lady Ronaldshay, Geraldine and Percy, Lord Ronaldshay the Governor (2nd son of the Marquess of Zetland), Mrs French, the Maharajah of Burdwan, Lady Wheeler, Lord Wheeler and little Miss Margaret Wilson (bridesmaid). Geraldine was born on 26th February 1894 , so was aged 24 and Percy 33 when they were married.
In 1972 George Bomford wrote the following entitled:
The Percy Bamfords in Delhi.
About Christmas time I think of Percy some 40 years ago (c1932). The ‘best’ people would congregate in Delhi for a week of Jollity - a polo tournament, the Imperial Delhi Horse Show, not to mention some pig sticking along the banks of the Jumna. Hospitality was indeed open handed. A certain large bungalow with a garden about an acre in extent would have many guests, and the overflow lived in tents among the flowerbeds, and what tents they were - a boarded floor, a fireplace, and electric lights to switch on. The Delhi cold weather provided the best climate in the world and the countryside was filled with partridge, duck, peacock and other delights. Himself was one of the best shots in India, while Herself excelled in knowledge of the old City, and a trip to the Kashmir Gate and round the old walls was indeed a super Cook’s tour under her guidance.
Percy died at Debenhurst, Woodbridge, on 11th March 1960 of cancer, and Geraldine died there on 21st January 1976. They had one child, a daughter,
Patricia Ann Bamford was born at Felixstowe in Suffolk on 5th May 1924 and educated at Ancaster House, Bexhill. She was employed with the War Office and subsequently with the Ministry of Defence. She served in such places as Pakistan and Ghana, but mainly in London. She is now retired and lives in Woodbridge.
Wilfred was born at Delgany on 16th March 1893 and educated at Castlebar Court in Ealing, England from 1903 to 1908, and then at Mountjoy School in Dublin from 1908 to 1912. From 1907 his holidays were mostly spent at Greenville and then later with his Uncle Dick at Bective Rectory. His intention was to join his brother in the Indian Police, but in 1913 he failed the exam and so set his sights on engineering. From 1912 to 1914 he attended what he called ‘WRENS’ in London, which had something to do with the College of Science. In 1914 he started at the Crystal Palace Engineering School in London, but interrupted his studies to enlist on 21st December 1914 as a driver in the Army Service Corps. A month later, in January 1915, he was in France and in March he was promoted sergeant. In December 1916 he joined the Cadet School in St John’s Wood and was commissioned on 28th March 1917 into the Royal (Garrison) Artillery. Apart from leaves, mostly spent in Ireland, he was in France throughout the war, often at the front in the trenches. He stayed in the army in France until he was discharged in April 1919 as a Lieutenant.
In 1919 he resumed studies in the Crystal Palace Engineering School, passing out at the end of 1920 as A. M. I. Struct.E. (Associate Member of the Institute of Structural Engineers) and a couple of years later he became a Member. He applied for and got a job with the Nigerian Railways as an engineer on construction and left for Port Harcourt on 9th February 1921. His engagement to Evelyn took place on his first leave in 1922 and they were married during his second leave in 1924. Evelyn first joined him in Nigeria on 8th August 1925.
Up to 1928 Wilfred was building a new line near Bukuru in the middle of Nigeria. This meant that Evelyn’s initiation to the country was “in the bush” miles from any town. Her first house was of grass, which, as the railway line pushed ahead, was torn down, and another built at the next staging post. The only neighbours were pagans who were normally naked and who had never seen white people before, let alone a blond white woman. It was quite an occasion when they returned to the base camp where other Europeans were stationed. All their stores had to be collected back up the line and if fresh meat was needed Wilfred went out and shot a bird; if he missed they ate tinned food, so by necessity he became a good shot.
Wilfred’s third leave was in 1926 and in June their eldest son, Peter, was born at Oakley Park. Wilfred had to return in July leaving Evelyn and the baby at home. Nigerian tours lasted 18 months as the place was considered a “white man’s grave”, due largely to yellow fever, and children were not allowed out there. Evelyn would follow six months later and stay for a year, both returning together for leave of six months. This meant that Evelyn had a year at Oakley Park and then a year in Nigeria, and this scheme continued until the outbreak of World War II.
Much could be written about their experiences in the early days of Nigeria before the country had been opened up. When they were “on line” they lived in a converted railway carriage and in total many years were spent in their coach which became uncomfortably hot and which was usually shunted into some out of the way siding whilst Wilfred dealt with a derailment or washed out line, both common occurrences. They were in the centre of the “Woman’s War” of 1929, lived amongst cannibals, and had some extra-ordinary meals and entertainments laid on by the local king or headman; but running through these primitive and unusual episodes there was the more normal side. Wilfred diary records parties, tennis tournaments, fishing and shooting trips, and every station had its club which drew its members in from the country each weekend.
1933 was the only Christmas Wilfred had at home in the twenty-five years between 1921 and 1946. During their next leave their second son, Brian, was born on 29th May 1934. The children were left at Oakley Park in charge of a nurse or governess, Miss Walters (Wally), Miss Cousins and lastly Amy White. In Nigeria Evelyn and Wilfred were looked after by two loyal ‘boys’, Dick the head steward boy, and Gabriel the cook; both these boys disappeared during the Biafran war of the late 1960s. There were numbers of other boys like the cook who rolled the pastry on his sweaty naked chest whilst lying on his bed, and the garden boy who was a cannibal and who enjoyed eating ‘monkey’ until Evelyn became suspicious, both were fired. This next letter from a carpenter whom Wilfred fired for laziness is a masterpiece of the English language and worth recording.
Sir, On opening this epistle you will behold the work of a dejobbed person; and a very much bewifed and childrenised gentleman who was violently dejobbed in a twinkling of your goodself. For heaven’s sake sir, consider yourself the catastrophy falling on your own head and remind yourself as walking home at the moon’s end to five savage wifes and sixteen children with your pocket filled with non-existent £.s.d. Not a solitary sixpence. Pity humble state.
Sir, when being dejobbed and proceeding with a heart filled with misery to this den of doom, myself did greatly contemplate culpable homicide, but with him whom protected Daniel, poet, safely through the lion’s den will protect his servant in this home of evil. As to reason given by yourself esquire for my dejobment, the reason was lazyness. No, sir. It is impossible for myself, who has pitched sixteen children into this valley of tears, can have a lazy atom in his moral frame, and the sudden departure of all monthly has left me on the verge of destitution and despair. I hope the vision of honour will enrich your dreams tonight and that the good angel will melt and pulverise your heart with kindness and with much alacrity as may be for satisfaction and safety you will haste to rejobulate your servant.
I am, kind sir, your obedient servant, Joseph.
During the war they had leave in 1940 and, as usual, Wilfred left for Nigeria on his own in July on the ‘Accra’. U-boats attacked the convoy northwest of Ireland and in the middle of lunch they were struck amidships by a torpedo. The ship sunk in 30 minutes with the loss of 19 lives, but Wilfred was lucky as he was able to get into his lifeboat without getting his feet wet. The survivors of the Accra, and another ship which was sunk, were collected from their lifeboats after about four hours by a rescue ship, which, after an uncomfortable four-day journey on deck, returned them to Liverpool. After further leave whilst he bought replacement stores and kit, he set off again in September but had difficulty in getting to Liverpool, which was being heavily bombed. At one stage his blacked out aeroplane from Dublin landed on the Isle of Man and Wilfred, having never heard of the name of the airfield and not being able to see out of the plane, asked the name of the county they were in; this was too much for the inn-keeper, where they were having refreshments, in an island full of German prisoners-of-war and the police were sent for.
Evelyn was not allowed out that tour due to the war and stayed at Oakley Park. Wilfred’s next leave started unexpectedly in April 1943 when he and his brother-in-law John Bomford were ordered to fly to Takoradi within 12 hours. In May they left Takoradi on the “China Mail” and sailed towards the West Indies to avoid U-boats. They broke down in the Sargossa Sea and drifted there helplessly for three days whilst repairs were carried out; every moment they expected to be found and sunk by a U-boat, but they were lucky and eventually were able to crawl into Newport News, Virginia, in mid-June. Thence by train to New York from where they travelled to Glasgow in the Queen Mary. The Queens had been fitted out to carryover over 20,000 troops with 1,000 crew and relied on their speed to avoid U-boats. That leave ended in October 1943 and he set off again leaving Evelyn behind. However she was able to get a passage on 3rd March 1945. Her ship joined a convoy of 72 ships which from the 9th to 14th of March was constantly attacked by packs of U-boats; this was considered to be the longest naval engagement in the North Atlantic during the war and was considered, rather naturally, by Evelyn to be her most uncomfortable and unnerving voyage. After these adventures they decided not to come home for their final leave but to spend it in Africa. They travelled mostly by rail and zig-zagged through the Belgian Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanganyika, North and South Rhodesia to South Africa, and back by boat to Lagos.
Wilfred and Evelyn sailed finally from Nigeria in August 1947 and arrived at Oakley Park on 3rd September with all the furniture and effects from their Nigerian house in fifty-three packing cases. Their leave ended in April 1948 and Wilfred went on pension. Their plan was to build a house on part of the Lower Lawn of Oakley Park but there were delays, mainly due to the shortage of building material as a result of the war. To fill the time before ‘building could be started and to save money which was always short, they raised the gravel from beside the river and made over 4,000 concrete blocks with a hand machine, dug the well and planted the vegetable garden. Wilfred drew up the plans for the house, which Austin McGuire built for just over £3,000. It was first occupied on 22nd June 1950 when Evelyn was 48 and Wilfred 57. The packing cases were unpacked and Wilfred who was a keen carpenter made additional furniture from the African mahogany of which they were made. In 1957 a small additional plot in the front of the house was purchased from Larry McGuinness, the new owner of Oakley Park, and this made the place just over three acres; and in 1961 a wing was added making the house a five bedroom one.
The house was named ‘Crodara’ which in Irish is two words, ‘Cro’ meaning an enclosure, and ‘Dara’ meaning an oak tree; but the intention was simply a play on words indicating a piece of Oakley Park. Quite by chance the 1730 survey (24.6) shows that the house is in a field then called Deeragh which is another way of spelling an oak tree in Irish.
In 1977 Wilfred’s health deteriorated and he developed pneumonia, he never really recovered and needed constant nursing. He was admitted to Desmond Eustace’s hospital in north Dublin and died there on 10th January 1980, aged 87. Meanwhile Evelyn, who was normally fit, had an unexpected heart attack on 11th November 1979 and was taken to the Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. She did not regain consciousness and died there on November 26, aged 77, just seven weeks before Wilfred died. They were both buried in St Columba’s Churchyard, Kells, where Evelyn had worshipped all her life and where Wilfred had held every office in the Select Vestry. In their memory their two sons restored the church bell with automatic electric ringing equipment.
Peter was born on 18th June 1926 in Dublin and baptised in Kells. His godparents were his uncles George Bomford and Percy Bamford and his aunt Dorothy (Cripps). He was educated at Mourne Grange near Kilkeel, Co Down, 1935-40, and Sedbergh School near Kendal, 1940 - 1944. All his holidays were spent at Oakley Park with his grandparents.
His military service during and after World War II started when he was at Sedbergh in the Home Guard, which he joined when he was 16. He enlisted as a volunteer in February 1944 and was called up in September. After initial training in England he was sent to the Officer’s Training School in Bangalore, South India, and was commissioned in January 1946 into the Border Regiment but attached to the Indian Army and posted to Queen Alexander’ s Own 3rd Gurkha Rifles. He remained with the 3rd Gurkhas until after the partition of India, mostly in the Punjab and the North- West Frontier Province in what is now Pakistan.
Soon after he joined the 3rd Gurkhas in Dehra Dun he and three other officers caught typhoid fever which put him on light duties, so he was transferred to 20 Brigade Headquarters as Intelligence Officer and then after a leave at Oakley Park in August 1947 he was appointed ADC to General O (Oz) de T. Lovett, CBE, DSO, GOG 7th Indian Division in Rawalpindi during the time of the India-Pakistan riots prior to the partition of India. Photo left Evelyn and Peter, 1947.
The 3rd Gurkhas was one of the Gurkha Regiments allocated to India after the partition, so he left the Indian Army on the last troop ship out of Karachi and reverted to the Border Regiment based in Carlisle. In February 1948 after leave he was transferred to the 1st Battalion King’s Own Regt, which was stationed in Trieste, and he served there and in Austria until October 1948. Peter was discharged from the Army on 13th January 1949, having served a few days short of five years.
In February 1949 he took employment with the Kuwait Oil Company, which was partly owned by British Petroleum and the American Company Gulf Oil, and which was in its infancy and just beginning to export crude oil. His responsibility became the export of crude oil and he saw the company expand from a very minor exporter to the second largest exporter in the world. When he arrived the town of Kuwait was surrounded by mud walls and the gates were shut at sun-down; the Kuwaitis were either armed Bedouin tribesmen or pearl fishermen and neither had any idea of any trade useful to an oil company; when he left 23 years later the town had expanded out of all recognition and the Kuwaitis had become sleek and rich business men. The Oil Company’s expansion was similar and Peter was engaged with the building of the two piers, the sea island for the loading of giant tankers, the refinery and tank farms; all of which have figured on television as a result of Saddam Hussein’s scorched earth policy after his abortive 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
As time passed a lively social life built up in Kuwait, usually around some type of sport, and Peter played them all but mainly cricket. He travelled to all the Middle Eastern and Gulf countries for a weekend of cricket and returned to many such as Persia, Lebanon, Cyprus and Egypt for his ‘local’ leaves. His longer ‘home’ leaves were spent at Crodara. One of his more adventurous leaves was in 1955 when he drove his little Austin car home to Ireland; the route took him across the desert to Baghdad and Beirut where his mother joined him, and thence through Turkey, Greece, Yugoslavia, and then rather boringly over tarmac roads through Austria and France to England where Wilfred joined them; after nearly 10,000 miles the journey ended with a tremendous welcome from the Davids, Joan and Armine (35.9) who were then at the Miramar Hotel at Herne Bay.
The oil company expansion had virtually ceased in 1970 and Peter left Kuwait in June 1971 and returned home. He was only 45 then so in January 1972 he took a major change in employment and joined the local boarding Preparatory School at Headfort House in Kells. There he taught science until he retired in 1995.
Peter died in Meath on 3 January 2017 after a long battle with diabetes. He was buried in the graveyard of St Columba's Church of Ireland, Kells, on 7 January.
Brian was born in Dublin at 6.45 am on 29th May 1934, and christened on 14th July in Kells. His uncle, John Bomford, his aunt, Joan Bomford (later David) and A. A. (Ack) Allen were his godparents. He was educated at Castle Park, Dublin, May 1943 - 1947, and Sedbergh School, Yorkshire, 1948 - 1952, where he was head-boy of Lupton House and a school prefect. In January 1953 he joined The Army as a Volunteer and in February was posted to the 17th Training Regiment at Park Hall in Oswestry. In April he was selected for a short-term commission and went to Woolwich and then to Mons Officer Cadet School at Aldershot. In September 1953 he was commissioned into the Royal Artillery and posted to the 14th Field Regiment in Hong Kong where he went firstly by air to Singapore and then by sea aboard HMS Newcastle. When his term was completed he did not resign his commission but remained as a Territorial Officer. In June 1955 he sailed to Malaysia as a rubber planter with Boustead & Co who had a number of interests in Malaysia including rubber and oil palm plantations. The War Office asked him to attend training courses in England each year, and each time Brian replied that he would like to attend but that they must send him a ticket; no ticket was forthcoming and he heard nothing more until he was discharged from the Territorial Army as a Captain about 1979.
Brian was Manager of a number of rubber estates, which later branched into oil palms and cocoa. His first estate was at Sungei Patani in Kedah and others were in Province Wellesley, Perak, Johore, Kelantan and Selangor. He had to retire when he was 55 in 1989 and is now living on the island of Penang.
The first five years of Brian’s service in Malaysia were during the “state of emergency”, which had been declared in 1948; Chinese Communists operating from jungle camps attacked lonely police posts and the bungalows of isolated European planters and miners. The worst of this terrorist activity was over by 1954 but a small hard core of extremists continued to give trouble and the state of emergency was not ended until 31st July 1960. In October 1957 Brian and an English friend were ambushed whilst motoring between estates in Kedah; Brian escaped unhurt but his companion was murdered by the gunfire.
On 11th November 1965 Brian married Molly Hong Siew Hun of Penang. Molly’s grandfather, Lee Man Yip, was born in 1874 in Canton, China, became a tin miner and died in 1962 at Serandah, Malaysia; her grandmother, Fong Look, was born in Shanghai in 1881 and died in Hong Kong in 1942 during the Japanese occupation. They had two children, Molly’s uncle, Lee Weng, who in 1991 was living in Kuala Lumpur, and her mother, Lee Ah Loi, who was born in Canton in 1909 and died in Penang in 1956. Molly’s father was Hong Ah Kow, born 1898 in Penang. He was an engineer in the tin mines and died in Penang in 1939 just before Molly was born. Molly was born on 8th April 1940 and died before her husband. Brian died on 20 February 2013 in Penang aged 78.
Brian and Molly had two children:
1. Alice, born 22nd November 1956, was adopted; she emigrated to Australia and married Larry Doyle (was Booth); they live in Perth and have three children (and three grandchildren: Caitlin Doyle, Lily Doyle and Calvin Doyle).
a. Jarrod Lee Doyle, born 4th November 1976.
b. Aaron John Doyle, born 4th October 1979.
c. Amanda Jane Doyle, born 16th June 1981.
2. John Philip Bamford was born at Kuala Lumpur on 26th September 1970 at 6.45 pm. He was christened John after his great-uncle John Bomford (35.8) at his baptism at Kells Church on 3rd October 1971 when his sponsors were his uncle Peter Bamford, and Michael Morris of Dowdstown, Ardee (30.3.2), and godmother was Anne Bamford (35.6.4). John was educated at Headfort Preparatory School, Kells, and at St Columba’s College in south Dublin. In 1990 he started training as a pilot in Perth, Western Australia. He died on 19 March 2016, leaving a wife Ooi Yu Li and a daughter Bella Aloca Bamford.
Dorothy was born at Oakley Park on 7th March 1905. She was educated at Lowther College in North Wales where she became Head Girl. After a spell at home she got a job as house-keeper at Ancaster House, a school for girls at Bexhill, Sussex, around 1930; the Head-mistress was a family connection, Frances Burrows (35.6.2). In 1933 Dorothy worked in a lovely ‘Olde Worlde’ teashop in the main street of Battle with the two Misses Foot. There she met her future husband, Marten Cripps, who was then looking after Mr Krushen of ‘Krushen Salts’ fame.
John Marten Rush Cripps, the son of John Marten Cripps of Novington Manor at Lewes in Sussex, had served in World War I and had been badly gassed which had affected his lungs. He ended the war as a Captain in the Royal Flying Corps.
They were married at Kells on 1st February 1934 by the Bishop of Meath, John Orr. As Wilfred Bamford’s diary relates: “Sandwiches and coffee lunch 12.45; dressed; Church 2.30; over 60 guests at Oakley Park afterwards. John’s going away phaeton a great success”. As a child aged 7, all I can remember about the wedding was the phaeton borrowed from Barnes family of Westlands, cleaned and decorated with suitable signs concocted by John Bomford and Desmond Eustace. This was kept as a surprise and astonished both Dorothy and Marten and, in the excitement of going away neither initially recognised their driver or the postilions, three faithful farm labourers. This vehicle took them, at as smart a pace as the two farm horses were capable, to the train at Kells for their honeymoon in England. The wedding photograph taken on the steps of Oakley Park porch includes with the bride and groom, Joan Bomford (bridesmaid), Desmond Eustance (best man), Bishop Orr, Dorothy’s parents George and Maude, Marten’s sister Miss Cripps, Dorothy’s sister Evelyn with Wilfred and their son Peter Bamford, Dorothy’s uncle Charlie and Bobbie Bamford from Priory Cottage with their children Charles (Bunty), Dick and May, Dorothy’s brother John, and Neville Ambler who was staying at Oakley Park whilst his parents were in India. Also staying for the wedding were Mrs Todd and Miss Rossiter who, one imagines, were relatives of Marten.
The honeymoon ended disastrously since Marten had kept secret the fact that he was absolutely penniless and could not even pay the hotel bill. When Dorothy discovered this she collapsed and Marten took to the bottle, of which he was rather fond, and become completely intoxicated. Dorothy’s father had to come to the rescue and took her home, leaving Marten to complete the honeymoon alone. Dorothy went back to the teashop at Battle for a while but eventually they made it up and Marten got a job on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour. This suited them admirably as Mrs Christie, who owned the island, ran it as a nature reserve and allowed no visitors. Dorothy and Marten had to see that the animals and birds were fed and to keep visitors off the island. However the war put an end to this idyllic island on the south coast. Marten’s health deteriorated and he developed Parkinson’s disease, which put an end to his working life, but Dorothy found a number of jobs. From the end of the war Marten stayed a few years at Oakley Park, but later he was cared for by his sister, but he became worse and died at Exeter Infirmary on 25th August 1950 aged about 58.
Meanwhile George had returned from India in 1948 and had taken over Oakley Park. Dorothy also returned in October 1948 to help George and the two of them stayed there until the place was sold in 1955. She then went to Haslemere in Surry to help her friend Margaret Elphick run a convalescent home and stayed there until she and Margaret retired to a house at Sidmouth in Devon. She made a painting of the Flower Knot at Oakley Park.
Early in 1967 a ‘millionaire’ connection in America died and left Dorothy a sum well in excess of £100,000; this came as a complete surprise and the donor was not even known by the family. The millionaire was John V. Irwin and the legacy indicates that he came from New Canaan in Connecticut.
John V. Irwin was a great-grandson of Lyndon Bolton (21.7.3) who had at least 13 children, four of whom are shown below:
As can be seen John Irwin of Camlin, Co Roscommon, died in 1842 whilst Emily lived on for another 60 odd years, dying in New York of 13th February 1904, aged 87. On 15th June 1852 Emily married secondly the Rev John Hall, D.D, Pastor of 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York. They had three sons and a daughter before he died in 1898. These Hall children with their stepbrothers, the three Irwin boys, were undoubtedly brought up in America, probably in New York. One could speculate about Emily’s movements during those ten years after her first husband had died in 1842. She may have lived on in Camlin, sold the place at the time of the famine (1845 - 1849) and then moved to America to meet and marry John Hall in New York; or she might have met him in Ireland and married him before going to New York; whatever she did, Camlin was sold and she ended up in New York.
Poor Dorothy who never had surplus money was now the richest of the family, but never lived to see it. On 9th September there was a large family gathering at Canterbury for the marriage of Michael David, Dorothy’s nephew. During the reception she had a heart attack and was admitted to hospital and died there eight days later, on 17th September 1967 aged 62. She was cremated on the 20th September and her ashes buried in the Bomford plot at Kells. In her will she gave her inheritance in equal shares to her five nephews and her niece (two Bamfords and three Davids) with some of the interest going to her friend Margaret Elphick during her lifetime.
John was born at Oakley Park on 23rd October 1912 and educated at Arnold House, Llanddulas, North Wales, from 1923 to 1926 from where he passed into the Nautical College at Pangbourne overlooking the Thames in Berkshire, from 1926 to 1929. He wanted to join the Royal Navy but was sadly disappointed when it was found that he was colour blind. However in spite of the slump he managed to find a job with the Celtic Insurance, 1930 - 1933, from where he transferred to the Yorkshire Insurance Company, 1933 - 1936, both in Dublin; he never really cared for the work though he did learn accountancy there, and sat and passed the preliminary examination of the Chartered Insurance Institute in 1933. One of his early investments was a motor cycle and he managed to get home most weekends; later he procured a variety of motor cars and I remember well his 2-seater Delage with a ‘Dickey’, the boot which opened into a back seat from which elevated and exposed position two hardy and well muffled passengers were seated. John was a social type with a lively sense of humour and a large circle of friends in Dublin, many of whom came to Oakley Park for the weekend. Although he never seriously learned to play the piano he had such an ear for music that he only had to listen to a tune once and then could play it with the right hand, the left hand strummed the same bass which the family fondly called ‘dum-dum’; he was truly gifted in this respect and was in great demand for parties.
In December 1936 a vacancy occurred with the Nigerian Railways and he was delighted to be appointed an assistant accountant at the Railway Head Office in Lagos. Wilfred Bamford, his brother-in-law, was also with the Nigerian Railways though he and Evelyn were at this time usually ‘on line’ and it was not until the 1940s when they were in Lagos together that they saw much of each other. John progressed through the ranks of railway accountancy, February 1947 to Senior Accountant, August 1948 to Principal Accountant, March 1949 to Assistant Chief Accountant and in March 1953 he became the Chief Accountant of the Nigerian Railways. In June 1954 he transferred to the Lagos Executive Development Board and became its Finance Officer in 1958. Finally in April 1961 he transferred to the newly formed Western Nigeria Radio-Vision Service at Ibadan as their Chief Accountant. In 1967 he retired from Nigeria due to ill health after 30 years in Nigeria. Like Wilfred he returned to Ireland every 18 months for six months leave, so he was able to maintain his links with Ireland and the family and friends.
On the outbreak of World War II John joined the 1st Nigeria Regiment in September 1939 with the rank of Lieutenant. His battalion as part of the Nigerian Brigade left Lagos and arrived in Nairobi on 1st July 1940. They expected a period of training but were immediately sent out into the desert in the northeast corner of Kenya to stop the advance of the Italians. On 27th July John was in action for the first time at Dobel some miles east of Buna. At this time the white officers were dressed differently to the Nigerians, a fact which the Italians soon spotted; John was the first officer to fall and probably would have died if his orderly, a private, had not returned under fire and carried him to safety; his orderly was awarded the East African Force badge for his gallantry.
On 15th August 1940 a telegram arrived at Oakley Park stating that John had been wounded and was on the danger list; he remained in danger until August 28. He had been hit in the left wrist which in itself was serious, but the main problem was that the bullet had hit his wristwatch and blown pieces of it through the flesh of his lower arm into his upper arm, breaking tendons and muscles as they went. It was thought at first that his arm would have to be amputated but, after he had been evacuated to Nairobi, the surgeon removed the pieces of his watch and reset his wrist. This was a wonderful piece of surgery and eventually John recovered the use of his left hand except for the little finger, although the hand never regained its full strength. He remained in Nairobi where he was placed in command of the pay and allowances for the West African Brigades. On conclusion of the Abyssinian campaign he returned to Nigeria in April 1942 and was posted to the Command Pay Office in Lagos, where he served with the rank of Captain. He was discharged from the army on 2nd March 1943 and resumed his civilian duties with the Nigerian Railway. In April 1943 he was able to take his first home leave since the war started and, joined by Wilfred, he travelled on the ill-fated “China Mail” (35.6.5). He visited Australia in transit on the Southern Cross in Fremantle on 28 June 1957 (arrival record).
In May 1967 whilst in Nigeria he underwent a major operation against cancer. At first it was thought that the surgery was successful but this proved not to be, so he resigned and left Nigeria. In February 1968 he was again operated on at University Hospital in London, but again this was not a success and he was declared incurable. His friend Doctor Desmond Eustace came to the rescue and offered him a bungalow in the grounds of his hospital in Dublin with full nursing facilities. John died there on 26th April 1968, aged 55, and was buried in Kells on the 29th.
Just before he died John was delighted to receive a letter from the Duke of Kent appointing him “Past Grand Standard Bearer in the Grand Lodge of England”. This was a wonderful Masonic honour and much appreciated by the whole family. Like his father and grandfather, John had been a Mason since the early 1930s. In 1963 he had researched and compiled a book on the early history of Freemasonry in West Africa, and the progress of Freemasonry in Nigeria under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of England from 1868 to 1962; the book was to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the District Grand Lodge of Nigeria.
Joan was born at Oakley Park on 17th September 1917, and baptised in Kells by Rev Dick Clifford. Her godparents were her brother, George Warren, her aunt, Anna Arbella (Annella) Longfield and the family governess, Miss Anne Wragg who later married Colonel Hamilton. When she was aged 13 she went to Lowther College for three years and then returned to Oakley Park in 1933. In the fashion of those pre-war days she helped to run the house, dairy and fowl, but afternoons and evenings were often set aside for the social activities of parties, hunting, picnics and so on. It was a pleasantly full life of both work and play; but even the ‘play’ involved much preparation. For instance Hunt Balls were held then in private houses and Oakley Park was the venue of the 1935/36 Meath Hunt Ball. This involved the family in hours of preparation - supper for about 150 invited guests had to be prepared in the house, furniture had to be re-arranged for dancing and sitting out, cutlery and crockery had to be borrowed from neighbouring houses and returned, and of course there was a vast amount of ‘spit and polish’. This particular ball was somewhat dampened in the early hours of the night by the collapse of the Ballroom floor which started to descend into the basement; but the spirits of the revellers were not to be dampened and they continued to dance in the halls along the centre of the house. The faulty floor was jacked up a couple of months later but it was the end of dancing in that room since it could not have withstood another night of the rhythmic stamping of the polka, the gallop and the other energetic dances typical of pre-war hunt balls.
In November 1938 whilst Joan was visiting her ‘Aunt Ann’ (Anna Catherine Bagot, 30.3.2) at Gresford near Wrexham in North Wales, she met Armine David who was Catering Manager to a large firm in Chester, and they became engaged in May 1939. At this time Armine was also an officer in the Territorial Army (Welsh Fusiliers) and so he was called up immediately war was declared. During the initial stages of the “Phoney War” when nobody knew what would happen, Armine was told he was to be posted overseas, so they decided to get married immediately. On 10th October 1939 they were married at Aunt Ann’s Church at Gresford and Joan’s parents, George and Maude, just had time to get to the wedding. During their short honeymoon they were told that the overseas posting was only across the Irish Sea to Belfast, and so their speedy and rushed wedding was not really necessary as they could have been married from Oakley Park at their leisure.
Joan followed Armine around the British Isles in his various army postings whenever possible, but in 1944 his regiment joined the advance into France and Joan and her young baby Michael returned to Oakley Park. Armine was wounded twice by mortar bombs at the end of the Battle of the Bulge near Falaise, when his regiment was trying to close the gap through which the Germans were retreating. His first wound was a messy one to the head in August 1944; as he was going to the aid of a Frenchman wounded in the foot, he heard the mortar shell coming and fell flat, the bomb exploded close by and after the initial shock he managed to walk to the first aid station with blood pouring from his head; later he was sent to the Field Hospital where they discovered that no metal had entered his head and he only had superficial wounds - and a sore head.
A month later he received his second wound; this was more serious and gave him considerable pain and shock. He was in the process of paying the men when two mortar bombs fell amongst them. He was hit by the first one but managed to put the money away and then the second bomb fell and also hit him and a sergeant whom he managed to pull into a ditch for shelter. They were rescued by the doctor who was hit by another bomb and the three of them were evacuated eventually by a carrier. This time shrapnel had entered his lungs and there had to be an operation.
He was demobbed from the Royal Welsh Fusiliers as a Major on 1st Feb 1946. Before the war Armine had been in catering, and so after he had been demobilised he looked around for similar work. In 1946 he was made manager of a hotel in the North-East of England but the place was simply ghastly and they left as soon as possible. They then went to a much nicer hotel at Lochcarron in Ross-shire in the north-west of Scotland; this was beautifully situated on the shore of the Lough but only had guests in the summer and was virtually isolated in the winter, and no place to bring up a young family. In 1949 Armine became manager of the “Slieve Donard”, a large hotel overlooking the golf course and the sea at Newcastle, Co Down, where they remained for four years. By 1954 Armine had raised enough capital to purchase his own hotel and they settled in the Miramar Hotel at Herne Bay in Kent. Over the years they were able to build it up into a very successful concern so that by 1962 they were able to put in a manager and live out. They purchased a delightful old oak-beamed cottage in the country near Lower Hardres, a few miles south of Herne Bay, from where Armine was able to supervise the running of the Miramar.
By 1970, when they were both in their early 50s, they decided it was time to retire, so in 1973 they sold the Miramar and went to live in West Cork. There they bought a gorse-covered site on a steep hillside overlooking the sea at Leap, near Skibbereen, and near Armine’s brother Felix who had also just settled at Leap. Here they built a fine two-storied house which they designed and which made full use of the lovely view down to Glandore Harbour. Over the years the gorse was attacked and they developed a magnificent garden filled mostly with exotic and specimen shrubs which, like their camellias, grew so well in the mild climate of South West Ireland.
As they became older they found themselves isolated from their family, so in 1990 they sold their West Cork house, “Inchera”, and moved to England, at Weobley near Hereford in England. In 1999 they moved to a sheltered accommodation for the older generation in the grounds of a nursing home, near to Ross-on-Wye. Joan often mentions that the grounds are like that of her old home ‘Oakley Park’. Joan died at her nursing home on 4 Aug 2019 (Catherine Holman email 4 Aug 2019).
The surname David goes a long way back into Welsh history. Our branch can trace its origin with certainty to Evan David, 1690 - 1772, of Coity near Cardiff. His son, 1724 - 1761, his grandson, 1755 - 1814, and his great grandson, 1789 - 1862, were all named Evan David, and the last Evan was the great-grandfather of Armine David. He married Anne Williams and had nine children. Their fourth son, the seventh child, was Armine’s grandfather Rev William David, MA (Oxford), BD (Bachelor of Divinity), of St Fagans, Glamorgan, who was born in 1823 and died 1897. He married on the 28th April 1857 Margaret Harriet Thompson, a daughter of Tannatt Houston Thompson of Canada, and they had:
1. Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Tannatt William Edgeworth David, Doctor of Science, Fellow of the Royal Society, Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1920), Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, DSO, born 1858, died 1934.
Of the more recent Davids he is perhaps the most famous, having made his name in Antarctica. He joined the 1908 Shackleton Expedition and before the winter set in he led the first party to reach the summit of Mount Eribus, a feat he achieved on his 50th birthday. The following summer he and two companions sledged to the magnetic pole at an elevation of more than 7,000 feet; they were the first to reach this pole.
During World War I he was going to go back to Antarctica but thought the Western Front would be more exciting; he tried to enlist but was turned down, so he joined the ranks as a private and in 1916 sailed to France with the Australian contingent; he was then aged 58.
He was discovered in France and made Head Geologist of the Western Front with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and put in charge of all tunnelling companies in the trenches. He supervised the blowing up of the Messines Ridge, which was the largest explosion during the war. On one occasion, whilst being lowered in a bucket to the bottom of the shaft to the tunnel, the ratchet broke and he fell 70 feet to the bottom; the Germans, whose attention had been drawn to the disturbance, began shelling and he had to place the remains of the bucket over his head as protection against falling debris; he was lucky to get away with only minor injuries. He was honoured with the DSO for his wartime work, and in 1920 further honoured with a KBE.
After the war he travelled through Australia and discovered much of its mineral wealth. He was in the process of writing a book on the geology of Australia when he died. He died almost penniless as he was never rewarded for his discoveries, but he was given a National Funeral, and a street in Sydney and the Geology Centre of the Sydney University were named after him. He married and had children.
2. Ethel Margaret David 1859-1950, died unmarried.
3. Edmund Ussher David, Armine’s father, see below.
4. Arthur Evan David 1861-1913, Archdeacon of Brisbane, Australia, married and had children.
5. William Ontario David died unmarried.
Armine’s father, the third child, Edmund Ussher David, JP, of Twiniheth, Margam Park Port Talbort, Glamorgan, was born in 1860. In 1899 he married Laura Gwendoline Webber (1877 - 1965), a daughter of Felix Hussey Webber, and grand-daughter of Sir John Armine Morris, 1813 - 1893, 3rd Baronet of Clasemont in Glamorgan. They retired to a smaller country house nearby by the name of Shortlands, where he died in 1942 aged 82. Later Armine’s mother moved to Blackaldern near Narbeth, a beautiful house with magnificent grounds full of rhododendrons and azaleas. They had four boys, the youngest being Armine David.
1. Major Humphrey Edmund David 1900 - 1963, served during World War II. He married Anne Romilly Allen, a daughter of Rev W. B. Allen of Canada. They had 3 children:
a. Sarah Wilmot David, born 1945. She had 2 children:
i. Harriet Bartie born 1985.
ii. Hugh Bartie born 1990.
b. Romilly Edmund Humphrey, born 1947 and married Petronella, a daughter of Rev Simons, Dean of Llandaff. Had 2 children:
i. Tannatt David born 1981, civil engineer.
ii. Lowri David born 1984.
c. Andrew Edgeworth Ussher David, born 1952 married Jacquie Watson. They had 2 children:
i. Madelaine David.
ii. Felix David.
2. Major Rodney David born in 1907 and died in 1964. He served in World War II and married Lois Keitha Ritchie, a daughter of Keith Ritchie of Tasmania. They had two daughters:
a. Susan Joan David, born 10th June 1942 and married Antony Jarman of Yorkshire. They had 2 sons:
i. William Henry Jarman born 1965 Has a degree in Graphic Designing. At Cambourne College, a part of Exeter University.
ii. Benjamin Jarman born 1966 has a degree in Marketing with languages at Salford University in Manchester.
b. Angela Margaret David born 1947 and married Reginald Duquesney. They had daughters are -
i. Lois Duquesney born 1979 has a degree in English at Leeds University.
ii. Celine Duquesney, born 1981, has a degree in Vetenary from London.
3. Major Felix Ussher David was born in 1912 and died at Leap, West Cork, in 1974. He served in World War II and married Jane Elizabeth Piercy, a daughter of Mr Piercy of Swansea. They had three children. After his death Jane married again and lived in Victoria, Australia. Their house was burnt down in a bushfire and they moved to Sydney. Jane died early in 2010 after a bad fall (Catherine Holman emails 24 Jan 2010).
a. John Ussher David, born 1953 married Kathryn, live in the Gower Peninsular, South Wales.
b. Charles Vivian David, born 1956, married Rebecca Roberts, a daughter of J Roberts, and works in Cornwell/Devon nature reserve. They have 2 children:
i. Tom David, born 1985.
ii. Anna David, born 1987.
c. Veronica David born 1959 married David Robertson, into the pottery business. They have two children:
i. Jessica Sian Robertson b 25th December 1990
ii. Benjamin David Robertson b 7th March 1992
4. Captain Armine Edgeworth David born on 13th January 1916 and educated at Wellington. On 10th October 1939 he married Joan Annella Bomford of Oakley Park (above). Armine died 21st January 2005, aged 89 having had three children (35.9.4). (Advice that Armine had the rank of Captain came from Catherine Holman 20 Oct 2005.)
Thus Armine had three brothers, four nephews and four nieces. Although his family is basically from Wales it can be seen that their Christian names commemorate marriages with the Irish families of Ussher and Edgeworth. The connections are shown below.
The Ussher family were living in Co Wexford and Co Dublin in early 1200s and since then, amongst many leaders of the Church, politics and the army, have produced two famous clerics. Firstly Archbishop Henry Ussher of Balsoon in Co Meath who was Primate of All Ireland for 18 years, from 1595 to 1613; he was a noted preacher in the Irish language and obtained the warrant for the foundation of Trinity College Dublin from Queen Elizabeth I in 1591. Secondly his nephew Archbishop James Ussher also Primate of All Ireland for 31 years, 1625 - 1656. It was James who acquired the Book of Kells and presented it to Trinity College, Dublin, on his death.
The connection with the David family is through the marriage of Rev William David, 1823 - 1897, and Margaret the daughter of Tannatt Houston Thompson, Deputy Commissary General in Canada. General Tannatt Thompson married Margaret Anne Ussher, the eldest daughter of Captain John Ussher who emigrated to Chippewa, Canada, and grand-daughter of Christopher Ussher, died 1772 of Eastwell, near Loughrea, Co Galway. Christopher’s eldest son, another Christopher, succeeded to mount Ussher Co. Wicklow, from his uncle, and his son, John who died in 1851 therefore inherited both Eastwell and Mount Ussher. This John married Mary, the younger sister of Margaret Anne Thompson (Ussher), and c1840 sold Mount Ussher to the Walpole family who planted the spectacular river gardens, which are now open to the public. John lived at Eastwell, which was not sold until the death of his grandson c1927.
The Edgeworth - David connection is also through General Tannatt Thompson and his wife Margaret Ussher whose grandfather was Christopher Ussher (died 1772, see above). The David connection is through Christopher’s sister, Martha, who married Rev Robert Edgeworth of Firmont in Co Longford; so Martha was Margaret Anne Thompson’s great-aunt.
The Edgeworth family originated from Cheshire and the first Edgeworth in Ireland was Francis who was granted Cranalagh Castle near Mastrim, Co Longford, which was later, renamed Edgeworthstown. His grandson raised a regiment for King William III during the 1689 - 1692 war in Ireland, and was knighted. His son Colonel Francis commanded his Regiment and inherited Lisard (near Edgeworthstown and demolished c1955); his second son, Robert 1659 - 1730, inherited Kilshrewly; and his fifth son, Rev Essex Edgeworth, was the father of Rev Robert Edgeworth of Firmont who married Martha Ussher. The Rev Robert and Martha had a number of children including Henry Essex Edgeworth, 1744 - 1807, who was born at Edgeworthstown Rectory and become better known as the Abbé Edgeworth de Fermont; he was the confessor to King Louis XVI and attended him on the scaffold in 1793. Another child of Robert and Martha was Elizabeth who married her cousin, Newcommon Edgeworth of Kilshrewly.
Edgeworthstown House was built c1750 by Richard, 1701 - 1769, Colonel Francis’ son, and much enlarged by his second son Richard Lovell, 1744 - 1817, the inventor; he filled the house with his labour-saving inventions including a water hand-pump, which automatically dispensed ½d for beggars provided they pumped for half an hour. Richard Lovell married four times and had seven sons and eleven daughters, including Maria Edgeworth the novelist.
1. Armine Michael David (known as Michael) born at Oakley Park on 15th November 1941 and educated at Sutton Valence School in Kent and the RMC Sandhurst. Michael was commissioned in 1963 and became a Captain in the Royal Artillery. He resigned his commission in 1972 and joined the Territorial Army from which he retired as a Major. He then trained as a teacher but finally became a chartered surveyor and is now living at Gorsley near Hereford. On 9th Sept 1967 at Canterbury he married Marie Priscilla Jane, born 8th August 1943, daughter of Colonel Evan Thomas Rowland-Jones of Bradley Hill House, Wrexham. They had two children before their marriage was dissolved.
a. Simon Armine David, born at Woolwich on 5th August 1969 and educated at Newent School, Gloucestershire. Simon is a partner in a firm of solicitors in Cheltenham. He has three children with his partner Jo Cave-Brown-Cave, born on 20th September 1967:
i. Molly David, born March 10th 1997.
ii. Toby Edward David, born October 7th 1999.
iii. Daisy David, born August 25th 2003.
b. Sara David born at Bangor, Co Down, on 7th May 1971 and educated at Newent School. She has children by her partner Eduardo Beasley:
i. Samuel Edward Beasley born in Cheltenham 25th October 2003.
ii. Jose Manuel Beasley b 8 October 2005.
Michael married secondly, Fay Fort on 4 October 1994, divorced 29 June 2000.
Michae married thirdly, Rhoda Helen Jones on 16th July 2005 at Llangarron; she was born 11th November 1956 in Jerusalem, daughter of Canon Hugh Richard Austen Jones.
2. Philip Edmund David born at Oakley Park on 3rd November 1945 and educated at Wellington and Trinity College, Dublin, where he gained a BA. He has an antique furniture business in Aberystwyth. On 14th June 1966 at Canterbury, Philip married Carol Ann, born 14th August 1947, daughter of Major William Reeves, MBE. They had two children before their marriage was dissolved:
a. Dominic Michael David born on 3rd January 1967 at Canterbury and educated at Aberystwyth. Trained at The London College of Furniture as a musical instrument maker. Lived in Brighton, 2004.
b. Rhian Marie David born on 24th November 1970 at Aberystwyth. Received a BSc (Hons) in Biology at York University. In 1998 she went on to obtain a PhD in Marine Biology at Southampton University. On 29th August 1997 she married James (Hamish) Edward Hunter, born 9th October 1967. Son of Edward Stirrat Hunter of Arbroath, Scotland.
Philip married secondly at Aberystwyth on 11th April 1992 Hilary, born 1953, daughter of Robert and Muriel Tallis, farmer of The Cherry Trees, Windmill Lane, Hockley Heath, Solihull. Both in 2004 living apart.
3. Patricia Catherine David born at Lochcarron in Scotland on 6th April 1948. On 30th May 1969, at Beltinge, Herne Bay, she married Charles William Holman, born 19th September 1945, son of Major William Holman of Silver Birches Barham Kent, 1903 - 1973. Charles went on to become a computer engineer in Manchester. He died peacefully on 19 June 2014 (email 13 Jul 2014). They have two children:
a. Nicholas William Holman. Born 4th September 1973 in Urmston, Manchester. Went to Stretford Grammar school then Royal School of Mines, part of Imperial College, University of London, where he obtained a BSc (Hons) in Mining Geology (1995). Then (2000) obtained a MSc at Cambourne School of Mines, a part of Exeter University. In 2002 he became a Fellow of Geological Society, London. In 2005 worked for a gold exploration consultancy company, based in Ireland and has worked in numerous countries, including Portugal, Malaysia, Australia, Hungary and Angola.
b. Nigel Armine Holman, born 8th October 1981 in Urmston, Manchester and baptised at Leap, Co Cork. He went to Urmston Grammar school, then to Loughborough University where he obtained a BEng (Hons) in Civil Engineering (2003). In 2002 he took a ‘sandwich’ year within his degree and worked in Botswana, constructing houses for a large diamond mine. In 2004 was working in Bristol for a Civil Engineering company, and in 2007 was living in New Zealand. Nigel married in NZ in February 2014.