Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My ancestors - Blennerhassett - Contents


Deed of 1806, Ponsonby to Blennerhassett

Deed dated 31 Mar 1806, Ponsonby to Blennerhassett.
"Memorial" (1 page summary) registered with [LR] 23 Apr 1806, book 581, p.233, no.391828.
Online here.


Letitia Blennerhassett married Richard Carrique Ponsonby by settlement dated 1799.
Ponsonby has a huge £4,000 inheritance from his family.
Letitia is a vicar's daughter and has no inheritance.
The marriage settlement of 1799 says Letitia will receive the Ponsonby inheritance if her husband dies.
They have three children from 1801 to 1804.
Letitia's father died in 1804.

This deed of 1806 seems to re-visit their marriage settlement and the Ponsonby inheritance.
The other party here, Thomas Blennerhassett of Tralee, would be Letitia's eldest surviving brother (head of the family, her father's heir).
The attorney here is John Blennerhassett, another brother of Letitia.
The signature proves it is Letitia's brother John.


Abandoned speculation

This deed appeared to be strong evidence for the now Abandoned theory that Letitia had an affair around 1806, resulting in a child that was born around 1807, and she and Ponsonby separated. I considered two theories as to what this deed means:
  1. This deed is about Letitia being disinherited for having an affair, as she and Ponsonby separate. Later, after Ponsonby died in 1811, it seems that his children inherited the fortune, but his wife did not. In this deed, Ponsonby expels his wife. So she will not starve, he is setting aside the small yearly sum of £40 for her, to be paid to her brother as her guardian. He is paying her if she goes away (perhaps to Limerick) with the Cashel baby and stays quiet. He does not want a public scandal. He keeps their children.

  2. The other theory is that this is nothing. This deed is simply re-organising the marriage settlement after the death of Letitia's father in 1804. Her brother Thomas is now the father's heir. However, what is the annual payment of £40 about? There is no annual payment of £40 in the 1799 marriage settlement. It only talks about Ponsonby's full inheritance of £4,000. Interestingly, the notes of Rev. Thomas Enraght Lindsay say that Letitia "had an income settled on her of £100 per annum". This sounds like the payment here.

I have now abandoned the idea of an affair since DNA says it is not true.


The missing full deed

This is only the "memorial" (the 1 page summary) of the deed. The deed itself is not deposited in the [LR]. It is clear from the transcript below that there is a missing body of the deed (referred to in yellow) which is separate from the marriage settlement (referred to in green).

"Memorial" (1 page summary) of Deed of 1806, Ponsonby to Blennerhassett
See larger and full size [4 M].
I have seen the original of this. There is nothing written on the back.


To the Register appointed by Act of Parliament for the registry of deeds, leases and so forth.

A Memorial of   an Indented deed of assignment   bearing date [31 Mar 1806] made between:

  1. Richard C. Ponsonby of Tarbert Island, Co.Kerry, and Letitia Ponsonby otherwise Blennerhassett his wife of the one part, and:
  2. Thomas Blennerhassett of Tralee, Co.Kerry, of the other part,
whereby   after reciting as therein is recited,   the said Richard C. Ponsonby   for the considerations therein mentioned,   assigned transferred and made over unto the said Thomas Blennerhassett the yearly sum of £40, being part of the yearly interest of the sum of £4000   therein     and in a certain marriage settlement bearing date [29 June 1799] [written 1795 in error] therein   recited particularly mentioned. To hold unto the said Thomas Blennerhassett, his executors, administrators and assigns, upon the trust and   to and for the particular use and purposes in said deed particularly mentioned.  

Which said deed is witnessed by James Fitzgerald of Tarbert, aforesaid, gentleman, and John Blennerhassett and James Fitzmaurice, attorneys at law, and this memorial as to the execution thereof by the said Thomas Blennerhassett is witnessed by the said James Fitzmaurice and John Blennerhassett.

Signed by:
James Fitzmaurice
John Blennerhassett
Thomas Blennerhassett

The above named John Blennerhassett maketh oath and sayeth that he saw the above named Richard Ponsonby duly seal and execute   the above mentioned deed   whereof the above writing is a Memorial, and also saw the said Thomas Blennerhassett duly sign and seal the above Memorial, and delivered the same to John Griffin, Deputy Register, on [23 Apr 1806].

Signed by:
John Blennerhassett
John Griffin

This is only the "memorial" (the 1 page summary) of the 1806 deed.
  Yellow   refers to the missing full body of the 1806 deed.
  Green   refers to the 1799 marriage settlement.

The deed in the Grantor index in [LR].
From p.486 and p.487 (online numbering) of Grantor index N-Q 1800-1809.

Why is Richard Ponsonby's wife Letitia named in the deed?

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