Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys,
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Capt. Daniel Guion (see here and here),
Irish Sea Fencibles, 1806-1810:
He became a Captain in the Irish Sea Fencibles (naval militia), whose main job was to defend the coast against the constant threat of French invasion.
[ADM 1/1852/2] is letter from him in Surrey St, Strand, London, 9 Dec 1805, acknowledging appointment to Sea Fencibles, will proceed to Dublin.
[ADM 28/145] says he was Captain in the Irish Sea Fencibles from 12 Jan 1806 to 31 Dec 1806, and 1 Mar 1807 to 28 Feb 1810.
[ADM 28/145] says he operated from Loop Head to Kerry Head, covering the mouth of the Shannon (off the coasts of Co.Kerry and Co.Clare).
He writes in Apr 1807 [ADM 1/1854/205] from Kilrush, S Co.Clare (on Shannon Estuary) about the Sea Fencibles activity off the W coast of Co.Clare.
His headquarters were in Tarbert, Co.Kerry, where Richard Ponsonby was head of Customs 1803-11. He must have met Richard and his brother William Ponsonby, Major in the Kerry Militia (who would have cooperated with the Sea Fencibles).
He fell in love with Sara Harnett, William Ponsonby's step-daughter.
Daniel and Sara's brief marriage:
Daniel dies, 1811:
Sara lived a long life as a widow:
Sara's mother died 1812, leaving her an orphan as well as a widow.
Her brother Thomas Fuller Harnett wasted his inheritance, was put in a debtors prison in 1814, became a drug addict, and was hanged for forgery in 1820. Sara is the only relative named as trying to help him.
lived at some point at Southampton.
She was very educated, and interested in literature.
She possibly visited the poet Lord Byron in Italy in 1821-22.
She was a great friend of the writer Walter Savage Landor.
She is listed in 1861 census at house 5 Rotunda Terrace, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, age given as 69, widow.
She settled in 1866 [according to Robert Burrowes below] in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset.
She stayed in contact with her step-sister Anne Ponsonby (who married Lloyd and died 1866).
In her will of 1867 she refers to Anne's son George Ponsonby Lloyd as her nephew.
Listed in 1871 census at 1 Glentworth, Weston Super Mare, age given as 78, widow.
She died 16 June 1873, Weston-Super-Mare, age given as 80 yrs [London Standard, 12 March 1874].
Probate 2 July 1873.
George Ponsonby Lloyd disputes Sara's will:
Her step-nephew George Ponsonby Lloyd disputed her will in 1874. (He was the only blood relative of hers mentioned in her will, and he was left very little.)
A witness in the dispute, Fanny Burrowes, said that Sara had "often spoken to me of her nephew Mr. Lloyd (the Plaintiff in this cause) before the time of her making her will. She seemed to have a great objection to him - indeed a perfect horror of him. ... she stated that the reason for this feeling was that she was much attached to her half sister Mrs. Lloyd his mother whose life he had not made happy - she told me he was a dissipated character and given to drink. She also told me that it was not her intention that he should benefit by her will."
Fanny Burrowes also said: "I mentioned her nephew every time I called. I asked her if she did not wish to see him. She always said she did not wish to see him. She spoke of him as "that horrid creature"".
Fanny's husband Robert Burrowes was also a witness, and said about Sara's relationship with her nephew: "Mrs. Guion expressed herself hurt that none of her family had gone near her".
George Ponsonby Lloyd failed to overturn the will.
See London Standard, 12 March 1874.
See Western Gazette, 20 March 1874.
Capt. Daniel Guion operated in 1806-10 from Loop Head to Kerry Head, covering the mouth of the Shannon.
His headquarters were at Tarbert, where Richard Ponsonby was head of Customs.
He met Richard's niece Sara Harnett, who lived with her step-father at Crotto near Kilflyn.
Old map from here.
The poet Lord Byron lived in Pisa in 1821 to 1822.
He was visited by "Captain Guion" and "his sister".
The only Captain Guion in the navy at this time was Capt. Gardiner Guion, who did indeed serve in the Mediterranean around this time, except he had no sister. Perhaps it is Sara, his sister-in-law.
From pp.146-150 of vol.2 of The Life, Writings, Opinions, and Times of Lord Byron (1825).
Sara Harnett shown in [Fuller, 1910].
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