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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


Pat Purcell Papers


Watters vs. Beresford dispute

Fashionable Marriage in Bangor 1891

By kind permission of Michael Purcell

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During the Beresford vs Watters dispute Mr Pack-Beresford took himself off to Bangor, County Down to get married in August 1891.

Here is a report preserved in a scrapbook in the PPP.

May 1891, Carlow Morning Post

A marriage has been arranged between Mr Denis Pack-Beresford, of Fenagh House and Alice, only daughter of Mr James A, Lyle of Portstewart House, County Derry, and Glandore, County Antrim.

August 1891.

Fashionable Marriage in Bangor.

The marriage of Mr Denis Robert Pack Beresford D.L., and Miss Alice Lyle was solemnised recently in Bangor Parish Church in the presence of a large and very fashionable congregation.

From an early hour the inhabitants of Bangor were astir and preparations were made to give the happy pair a very cordial welcome.

In the church the cunning hand of the decorator had been at work, with the result that the chancel presented an appearance of exceeding beauty. The decorations which were executed by Lord and Lady Clanmorris, assisted by the head gardener from Bangor Castle.

As guests arrived and as each carriage stopped before the gates the occupants were cheered most heartily.

Amongst the first arrivals were the Marquis of Dufferin and his party and the reception accorded them was of a very flattering character.

Shortly after noon his Grace the Lord Primate of all Ireland entered the church building accompanied by the Very Rev the Dean of Down and the Rev. Canon Lyle (uncle of the bride). The father of the bride, with the bridegroom and his brother the best man, Mr Arthur Pack-Beresford, R.A. shortly afterwards arrived.

Amidst ringing cheers and joyous peals the bride with her mother then approached the church from Bangor Castle, the residence of the bride's uncle.

The bride's gown was of ivory satin duchesse, made in empire style, with flounces and veil of very lovely old Brussels point lace belonging to the bridegroom's mother; she wore a wreath of orange blossoms and white heather, fastened with a diamond spray necklace - one of the bridegroom's gifts - and an old pearl necklace with diamond barrel clasp, an heirloom in the Beresford family for generations.

The four bridesmaids were each presented with a diamond and sapphire ring by the bridegroom.

The bridal bouquet consisted of a cascade posy, composed of white roses, lilies, and heather.

The service which was fully choral was then proceeded with.

At the conclusion of the ceremony the hymn "O perfect love all human thought transcending" was nicely rendered by the choir, and Stainer's sevenfold "Amen" having been sung the bride and groom accompanied by their wedding guests, left the church and returned to Bangor Castle for the wedding breakfast.

After the wedding breakfast, the couple left for Glendore where the father of the bride kindly placed the Fishing Lodge at their disposal for the honeymoon, which over they proceeded to Fenagh House Carlow their future residence.

Amongst the distinguished company invited to the marriage ceremony were Mr. W. Browne-Clayton (uncle of the bridegroom) and Mrs Browne-Clayton of Browneshill House, Carlow.

The arrival of the happy couple at Fenagh House after the honeymoon, was an event marked with the greatest enthusiasm. The happy pair travelled by the 1oc train from Dublin and arrived in Bagenalstown about 4oc.

On their way from Bagenalstown to Fenagh groups of people were assembled to wish them welcome.

At Ballywilliam Cross they were greeted by the Misses Stewart and a number of people who expressed their feelings by the waving of handkerchiefs.

At the outskirts of the Home Farm a large body of people were assembled, including the tenantry, employees, and other residents of the surrounding neighbourhood.

As the carriages approached the crowd formed a barrier through which the horses could not pass.

The horses were immediately unyoked, and vociferous cheers were given for Mr and Mrs Pack-Beresford.

The carriage was drawn by some of the crowd for over a mile and as it passed beneath the numerous flags, banners, and floral decorations cheers were repeatedly given, while bonfires and tar barrels blazed along the way.

A wreath of evergreens and a motto were displayed at Mrs Thomas Jenkinson's gate and further down was another opposite Mr George Parker's residence bearing in large coloured letters "cead-mille-failthe".

Opposite Mr Finn's gate was a wreath of laurels. The wreath in the farm yard was extremely pretty and bore the motto "Welcome" was creditable to the gardener Mr. Murphy.

The arrival at the house was the occasion of general cheering, when Mr Beresford very appropriately thanked all for the enthusiastic reception accorded to his bride and himself.

Immediately after nightfall a grand display of fireworks were set off on the grounds by the steward, Mr Henderson, followed by the bonfire which also lasted till midnight, when the tar barrels also succumbed.

the We must not omit mentioning that dancing was kept up with great spirit as long as the tar barrel and bonfire afforded light to the merry makers.

Mr and Mrs Beresford entertained their employees to a sumptuous dinner, at which over fifty sat down.

When the cloth was removed the health of Mr and Mrs Beresford was proposed by the steward, followed by the health of Queen ,Victoria, and the young ladies and gentlemen of the Beresford family, all of which were drank with enthusiasm. After dinner, which was supplied by Mr McDonald, Bagenalstown, all proceeded to the pleasure grounds in front of the house where a variety of sports were held causing great amusement.

When the sports were over and prizes distributed by Mrs Pack-Beresford, the company adjourned to the spacious barn in the farm yard, where the servants ball was held.

Mr Denis and Mrs Beresford (dressed in a white silk hand-painted dress) graced the proceedings by opening the dance, gaily dancing the Kitchen-Lancers, they were joined by the members of the Beresford family, the general audience then joined in and the dancing was kept up almost till dawn. The intervals of rest were enlivened by humorous recitations and songs contributed by the audience.

The barn was nicely decorated with evergreens and the walls covered in flags. Nothing was left undone to make the evening an enjoyable one and all seemed to take advantage of the cordial welcome extended.

The wedding presents were costly and far too numerous to give a complete list of, and included some splendid gifts from the families and friends on both sides.

Amongst the presents were the following from; Mrs J. Lyle, lapislazuli seal ring; Mr Lyle, silver -backed brushes; Mrs Pack-Beresford, pearl and diamond ring; Mrs Ward, opera glasses; Colonel Thomas, magnifying glass; Mr John Watson, carriage watch; Mr and Mrs W.E. Grogan, silver cigar lamp; Major Alexander, lemon squeezer; Miss Burroughs and Miss A. Fludder, copper breakfast heater; Right Honourable Ion T. Hamilton, photo frame; Lady Victoria Hamilton, mirror; Mrs B. Watson, hunting crop; Browne cousins at Browneshill, silver mustard pot; house servants at Fenagh, silver handled paper knife; Mr T. Peevers, silver mounted hunting crop; Mr Hall-Dare, six silver vases; Miss Watson, silver mounted pocket book; Mrs Robert Watson, silver handled paper knife; Mr Hardy John Eustace, silver tray; Mrs Gray, toby mug; Lady Anson, silver mounted inkbottle; Major-General Sir Archibald Anson, Japanese tray; Mrs Watts, lace handkerchief; Mrs Brownrigg, Bible; Misses Toppy and Nellie Persse, silver comb; Mr A. McClintock, silver mounted pocket book; Fenagh House Cricket Club , clock; Sir C. and Lady Burton, travelling clock; Mr and Mrs J McClintock Bunbury , turquoise and diamond pin;  Miss Evelyn Hall-Dare, one dozen coffee cups and saucers; Mr and Mrs Browne-Clayton, silver tea tray; Mr and Mrs Thorp, case of silver sugar bowl and tongs, cream jug and six spoons; Lord and Lady Rathdonnell, two silver mounted liqueur decanters; Captain Torrens, Scots Grays, pearl and diamond bangle; Mrs Hall, lace handkerchief; Sir John Dickson, antique clock; Lady Pilkington, silver mounted inkbottle; Canon Finlay, Beleek jardinière; Mr and Mrs Bruen, tea table; Mr and Mrs Lecky, beer jug and two tumblers; Mr and Mrs Farrer, screen; Miss C. Vessy, pocket-book; Mr and Mrs Ponsonby, silver-mounted blotter; Mr T.T.P. Purves, cheque; Honourable Mr Bingham, guitar brooch; Honourable Ina Bingham, photographs; Lady Pilkington, silver-mounted inkbottle and pen tray. There are many more presents recorded, the news article also states; The bridegroom's presents were also very numerous.

No mention of a present from Mrs Anne Watters!!!

 The above is a true and accurate transcript of the original document.

Transcribed by Jean Casey, January 2010.


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