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My ancestors - Blennerhassett - Contents


Richard Carrique Ponsonby


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Miniature of an officer of an Irish volunteer or militia regiment.
Apparently same provenance as miniature of William Ponsonby.
Could be his brother Richard.
Sold at auction by Phillips, London, 7 Nov 2001.
See bigger.
Military history expert Peter Walton says about this picture: "This gentleman is plainly in an Irish Regiment as shown by the harp on his shoulderbelt plate."



Richard Ponsonby [descendant of Henry VII],
Richard Carrique Ponsonby, born est c.1773,
of Crotto, Co.Kerry (at least by birth, but his brother inherited it).
Major in the Kerry Regiment (or Kerry Militia).
Note Letitia's brother Thomas Blennerhassett was a Captain in the Kerry Militia at Tralee.
Richard's father died 1796. His brother William inherited Crotto 1796, but Richard got a huge inheritance.

1798 Rebellion and marriage:
Richard fought for the crown against the rebels in the 1798 Rebellion.
[Joseph Lindsay, 1897] says Ponsonby's regiment was ordered to Enniscorthy "in the year 1797 the year of the rebellion".
The Rebellion proper was in 1798, but there were precursors, so he may have been mobilised earlier. Note that Enniscorthy was the site of the major Battle of Vinegar Hill on 21 June 1798.

He mar Letitia Blennerhassett [bapt 10th June 1780, descendant of Edward III].
Mar settlement in Deed dated 29th June 1799.
[Joseph Lindsay, 1897] says they married shortly before the 1798 Rising.
Notes of Rev. Thomas Enraght Lindsay say that Letitia "accompanied him [Ponsonby] through the Rebellion of 1798 as was the not uncommon custom for wives. They acted as A.T.S. etc. in recent times."
However the marriage settlement of 1799 contradicts this. It says they married after the Rising. It refers to "a marriage then [in 1799] intended to be shortly had and solemnized ..."
Note that Letitia's sister (who had married in 1791) did follow her husband Capt. Edward Fuller's camp in the 1798 Rebellion. Perhaps the unmarried Letitia went with her.
The mar settlement and [Deed, 1829] show Richard's inheritance as £4,000, being the remainder of the original £6,000 inheritance. The inheritance comes from the Ponsonby estate, not from Blennerhassett, and Letitia will inherit it if she survives Ponsonby.

[Joseph Lindsay, 1897] says that after the 1798 Rising, the regiment was disbanded.
In [Deed, 1801] he is living Tralee while his brother William is living Crotto.
Their son was bapt Tralee 1801. Richard is listed as of the parish of Tralee.

Surveyor of Tarbert, 1803-11:
He was appointed 1803 as head ("surveyor") of customs service at Tarbert, N Co.Kerry. This was a major centre for shipping and customs. He was in charge of customs and revenue from shipping.
He was appointed 4 Feb 1803 [CUST 1/283] (Irish Revenue Board and Irish Board of Customs: Minutes).
TARBERT in [Lewis, 1837] explains the term "Surveyor". It says that on Tarbert Island there was then: "a revenue station, under the Board of Customs, of which the establishment consists of a surveyor and six boatmen."
[Joseph Lindsay, 1897] says Ponsonby was made "Officer of Coast Guards" at Tarbert.
By 1804 he was living Tarbert Island, just N of Tarbert.
His dau was bapt Feb 1804 in Kilnaughtin par (Tarbert). Richard is described as of "Island" (Tarbert Island).
[Joseph Lindsay, 1897] says he lived Tarbert Island.
Letitia's father died Mar 1804.
Richard is listed at Tarbert Island in [Deed, Oct 1804], which refers to money from the Crotto estate.
He is listed as the "Surveyor", Tarbert, in CUST 20/47 (Salary Books and Establishments - Establishment Book, quarter ending 5 Jan 1805).

Joseph Lindsay (died Feb 1805) worked in the customs service at Tarbert. Notes of Rev. Thomas Enraght Lindsay say Joseph worked under Ponsonby (would be in 1803-05).
Joseph's son William Lindsay started working in customs under Ponsonby in Mar 1805.
[Joseph Lindsay, 1897] says Richard "was too fond of his wine".
In 1806 Deed Richard is described as of Tarbert Island.

There is a Deed of 1806 which seems to re-visit their marriage settlement and the Ponsonby inheritance. It is unclear what it means. It refers to their marriage settlement of 1799, and the inheritance of £4,000 which comes from the Ponsonby side.
The two parties to the deed are (1) Letitia and her husband Richard, and (2) Thomas Blennerhassett of Tralee (would be her brother and her late father's heir).
The deed sets up a modest yearly sum of £40 to be paid to Letitia's brother. This payment is unexplained.
Notes of Rev. Thomas Enraght Lindsay say that Letitia "had an income settled on her of £100 per annum". This sounds like the payment above.

CUST 20/151 (Salary Books and Establishments - Establishment Book, 21 Mar 1809) says that the annual salary of the Surveyor at Tarbert is £120.
Richard is listed at Tarbert Island in [Deed, Aug 1809], which refers to money from the Crotto estate.
He is listed as the Surveyor, Tarbert, in CUST 20/48 (Salary Books and Establishments - April 1809 to Mar 1810). The same document lists William Lindsay as one of the boatmen working under him.
He is listed as the Surveyor, Tarbert, in CUST 20/49 (Salary Books and Establishments - Establishment Book, 5 Jan 1811). He is on an annual salary of £120 (fairly modest compared to his inheritance). The same document lists William Lindsay as one of the boatmen working under him.
Richard is described at his widow's re-marriage in 1811 as the late "Surveyor of Tarbert".

Richard dies, 1811:
Notes of Rev. Thomas Enraght Lindsay say "Major P. drank too much and died".
He died Sat 20 Apr 1811, at Tarbert, age est c.38 yrs.
See death notice in Limerick Gazette, 23 Apr 1811.
See death notice in Leinster Journal, issue of 27 Apr - 1 May 1811, [NLI] microfilm.
See death notice in the European Magazine, and London Review, May 1811, Volume 59, p.395, which says he died 17 Apr 1811.
See death notice in the Gentleman's magazine, June 1811, Volume 81 (also here and here) (NOT Volume 109), p.596, which says he died 17 Apr 1811.
It is possible that he is buried in Ponsonby tomb in Kilflynn churchyard.
No admin found in [NAI].

[Joseph Lindsay, 1897] says that Letitia lost the house that came with Richard's job in Tarbert. She "was obliged to give up the government house and went to Limerick to live".
Notes of Rev. Thomas Enraght Lindsay say "His widow and daughters moved to Limerick city".
Letitia soon re-married to William Lindsay.
Richard and Letitia had issue:


  1. John James Ponsonby,
    after Blennerhassett grandfather and Ponsonby grandfather,
    bapt 18 July 1801 [Tralee Protestant par records],
    not mentioned later, must have died young,
    the £4,000 inheritance is split equally between the two daus, so there must not have been any other surviving children,
    Letitia also had another son John.


  2. Louisa Ponsonby, elder dau,
    born shortly before 1804,
    would be named after grandmother,
    [Deed, 1825, draft] says she has "lately attained her age of 21 years".

    
    
  3. Mary Ponsonby, 2nd dau,
    would be named after grandmother,
    bapt 20 February 1804 [Kilnaughtin Protestant par records],
    described as unmarried, of Crotto, in 1825 (not living with mother, even though father is dead),
    listed as of Crotto in 1828 (still living with her uncle William),
    her uncle William is party to her marriage settlement,
    Marriage settlement is dated 28 June 1828 (the day of the wedding),
    mar Sat 28 June 1828 [newspaper] at Kilflynn parish church (nr Crotto), to William Miller,
    see Chute's Western Herald or Kerry Advertiser, 28 June 1828, [NLI] microfilm, says they married "this morning".






Signature of Richard Ponsonby, 1799 marriage settlement.
See full size.



Baptism of John James Ponsonby, 1801.



Baptism of Mary Ponsonby, 1804.
See full size.




View of Tarbert House and Tarbert Island, Co. Kerry.
Tarbert Island to LHS.
Tarbert House to RHS.
Painted 1795. See details.



Detail of above showing Tarbert Island (where Richard Ponsonby and his wife Letitia lived).
See larger.



Shipping off Tarbert, Co. Kerry.
Tarbert town to LHS, Tarbert House in centre, Tarbert Island to RHS.
Painted 1795. See details.
Richard Ponsonby and his wife Letitia lived on Tarbert Island on the RHS.



Detail of above showing Tarbert Island.
Richard Ponsonby and Letitia probably lived in one of these buildings.
See larger.



Detail of the boat in the painting above.
The UK arms would indicate this is a customs boat.
See larger.






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