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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Letters To / From USA

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Continued from previous page

Pat Purcell Papers.

Part 2 -

"Not We From Kings But Kings From Us".

Pat Purcell Papers.

Letter, Genealogical enquiry, Dated,  May, 1931.

From: J. Hallam [ ? ],

Threadneedle Street, City of London, England.

To: Pat Purcell,

Town Hall, Carlow, Ireland.


(Continued, abbreviated extracts edited by Michael Purcell.

Further information on the Hely-Hutchinsons mentioned herein and the famous, busybody, philanthropist, playwright, and religious writer, Hannah More may be sourced via Google.

Having given the foregoing account of my paternal relatives, I must proceed to that of my maternal ones.

My mother was the only daughter of a Carlow gentleman of the name of Whelan, who by his first marriage had a son who married my father's sister Ann Steuart, whose children, of whom, I shall speak presently, were thus doubly connected with myself, as in the case of the Butlers of Broonville.

My grandfather Whelan must I think have been dead at the time of my birth in 1792 or soon after, as I have no remembrance of him, but my earliest childish reminiscences are connected with my venerable grandmother, Anna Maria Whelan, formerly Nickson, who always lived with us till her death, which took place at the advanced age of eighty-five.

She was one of a very large family, her sisters being of the classic number of the muses, and as they all but one married and had families, my connection is necessarily a very large one ; indeed my daughters sometimes jokingly say it must extend over half Ireland.

I have said that this is to be the family chronicle, so I am bound to give the names of my great aunts, and of some of their descendants. Their name was Nickson, (1) Elizabeth, (2) Rachel, (3) Christiana, (4) Anna Maria, (my grandmother, Mrs Whelan), (5) Lydia, (6) Hester, (7) Mary, (8) Letitia, (9) Harriet, (10) Francis.

My eldest great aunt, Elizabeth, married Mr. Bunbury, a gentleman of landed property in the County of Carlow. (of whom more anon). She had but one child, a son, Harry Bunbury, whom I remember as an agreeable oddity; he died unmarried (2) Rachel married the Reverend Christopher Harvey, D.D., of Kyle, in the County Wexford.

She had one son, the late William Harvey, and two daughters, Mrs Freke (mother of the present Lord Carberry, and of the Honourable Mrs Charles Bernard ), and Mrs Randall, whose only child is now Mrs Hastings Parker.

My great aunt Rachel Harvey lived to the age of ninety-one. She used to pay an annual visit to Steuart's Lodge, where her coming was always a matter of rejoicing, and her daughters were two of the most fascinating creatures I ever knew.

(3) My great aunt Christina was named after her great aunt and godmother, Mrs Hutchinson, the wife of her great uncle, Richard Hutchinson, a gentleman of large property, and the possessor of Knocklofty, near Clonmell, County Tipperary.  She, Christina, was adopted by the Hutchinsons, as they had no children, and became their heiress. She married a barrister of the name of Hely, who added the name of Hutchinson to his own name when he succeeded to the estates. He was afterwards Provost of Trinity College, and Secretary of State. He was offered a peerage, which he declined for himself but accepted for his wife, who thus became Baroness of Donoughmore.

The title was raised to that of Earl, in the person of her eldest son,

Richard, and he dying unmarried, her second son, John Hely-Hutchinson, became Earl of Donoughmore. Previous to his accession to his brother's earldom he had received the title of Lord Hutchinson for his services in Egypt, where he commanded the army after the death of Sir Ralph Abercrombie, and achieved those brilliant victories which wrested Egypt from the French.

 I have seen two beautiful boxes given by the Sultan to two brothers of Lord Hutchinson, who had been sent to an Embassy to Constantinople; one was a blood stone with a crescent of diamonds on the lid, the other of purple enamel with a star of diamonds ; they were lined with gold.

This second Earl of Donoughmore was succeeded by his nephew, also named John, who had first distinguished himself in the retreat of Corunna, and afterwards acted a conspicuous part in aiding the escape of General Lavalette.

John was a personal acquaintance of mine, as after his return from Spain he came to visit my mother, who was a favourite cousin of the Hutchinsons.

This John was father of the present Earl ( 1862 ).

My great aunt, Christina, the first Lady Donoughmore, besides the two earls I have mentioned here, had three sons, viz., Abraham, Christopher and Lorenzo. And also three daughters, Honourable Mary, married to a Mr. Smith, Honourable Margaret, and Prudence. The two latter died unmarried.

They were great friends of Hannah More, and in order to enjoy her society took a place near Barley Wood, where during their latter years they always resided.

My fourth great aunt (5) Lydia married John Nunn, Esquire, ...........(to be continued).............

[Note added by Michael Purcell, 2012 -

I have posted some of the letters / enquiries, dating from 1920s to 1980s that were sent to Pat Purcell during his lifetime. Among the 100s of letters in the PPP this letter of 52, double sided hand-written pages, is one of the most interesting.

The above extracts were edited and abbreviated by me, now on page 22 of 52 pages]

 Source: Michael Purcell c.2012

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