Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My ancestors - Blennerhassett - Contents


Louisa Ponsonby

A witness statement in [Ms 20608, 1827 document] about the events of 1825.
This says that Louisa's uncle William Ponsonby said she "should make some provision for the unfortunate child she was bearing".
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Louisa Ponsonby,
born shortly before 1804.
She is described as unmarried, of Crotto, in 1825.
That is, she was living with her uncle William Ponsonby, not with her mother, even though her father is dead.
[Deed, 1829, Tyrrell] says that when Louisa reached age 21 (her father dead, mother remarried, her living with her uncle William Ponsonby), she was entitled to an inheritance of £1,000, and "it being inconvenient for said William Ponsonby to pay same", he applied to James Tyrrell, of Lr Mount St, Dublin, to pay her the sum. William Ponsonby later paid Tyrrell back.
[Case, 1852] says that when she reached age 21 she "sold her interest in the £1000 which she was entitled to".

The scandal of 1825: The unmarried Louisa Ponsonby becomes pregnant.
In June 1825, Louisa was unmarried, and became pregnant, which would have been a great scandal.
She was secluded at Crotto House with her uncle William Ponsonby's family.
A later witness (see below) said that in 1825 they believed that "from the peculiar circumstances of her situation she was unwilling to appear much in society".
Her cousin William Ponsonby junior said that in 1825 she was "in deep affliction and mental distress", stayed mainly in her room, would only meet family, would not meet with society.
A witness said "she was ashamed of appearing to visitors or strangers at Crotto house".
In this condition, in [Deed, 1825] she then disinherits her own unborn illegitimate child in favour of her Ponsonby relations (her sister and her uncle's family) who will receive her (huge) inheritance if she has no lawful issue, nothing for her child, and nothing for her mother either.
She signed the deed in Crotto House in June 1825.
[Deed, 1825] is about her inheritance of £2,000, her share of the £4,000 inheritance on Ponsonby lands in Co.Kerry.
She makes over her inheritance unto (must be trustees) James Crosbie of Ballyheige Castle, Co.Kerry, Colonel of Kerry Regiment of Militia, and William Sandes of Pyrmont House, Co.Kerry, witnessed by Pierse Crosbie of Ballyheige, and John Herbert of Crotto, carpenter.
Her uncle William was present when Louisa signed.

She later regrets this deed, and accuses her uncle's family of having pressurised her when she was distressed, and staying in their house.
[Deed, 1829, Crosbie] says Louisa on or about 5 Oct 1825 filed a Bill in the Court of Chancery in Ireland against her uncle William and others, impeaching the deed of 9 June 1825, and asking for it to be cancelled.
She must have left Crotto in 1825 when she sued her uncle, and must have then moved to her mother in Tarbert.
[Ms 20608, 1827 document] is a dramatic document about this dispute, with witness statements taken in Apr 1827 about the events of 1825. Louisa is the plaintiff, and her sister Mary and uncle's family (William, Honoria and Anne) and others are the defendants.
[Deed, 1829, Crosbie] says the case was heard 17 July 1827. Louisa won the case and got her £2,000 inheritance back.

She did not marry her lover. The child is not mentioned as alive in the 1827 case (which would be sorting out its inheritance). It must have died. The child is not mentioned in later documents. The fact that she won her case may indicate that the child died so there were no longer any complications about her inheritance.
In [Deeds, 1829] she is listed as spinster, formerly of Crotto, but now of Tarbert (i.e. no longer living with her uncle, but now living with her mother).
[Deed, 1829, Tyrrell] was witnessed by William Lindsay of Tarbert and John Herbert, of Crotto.
[Deed, 1829, Crosbie] is sorting out her inheritance after winning her case, among the parties are all the Ponsonbys and the above (probable trustees) James Crosbie of Ballyheige Castle, Colonel of Kerry Militia, and William Sandes of Pyrmont House, Co.Kerry.
[Deed, 1829, Crosbie] was witnessed by William Lindsay of Tarbert and W.M. Twiss of Ballyheige Castle.
[Case, 1852] says that John Blennerhassett (must be Louisa's uncle) obtained a judgement in 1831 that Louisa owed him £263. This was apparently not paid before her death, and even in 1852 he was still pursuing it from her heirs.

Louisa mar Fri 14 June 1833 [St.Munchin's parish records, Limerick] to William Monsell [William Rumley Monsell, of Limerick].
See notice in Dublin Evening Mail, 19 June 1833. Posted here. It gets her father wrong.
He might be William R. Monsell, druggist, at House of Industry (see article), North Strand (now Clancy Strand and O'Callaghan Strand), Limerick, in 1830.
[Marriage settlement dated 23 Oct 1833] shows Louisa has inheritance of £3,000.
Marriage settlement says that if she has no heirs, her inheritance is to go to "the favourite stepbrothers of the said Louisa Monsell, namely Joseph Lindsay, Blennerhassett Goddard Lindsay and William Lindsay".
[Case, 1852] is about her heirs needing to pay off her unpaid debts before they can inherit the rest. The case was an attempt to set aside this 1833 deed as "fraudulent and void".
Her will dated Dec 1833 [Case, 1852].

Louisa dies, 1836:
She died in childbirth in Aug 1836 [Case, 1852].
She was buried on the day her child was baptised. She was bur 1 Sept 1836 in St.Munchin's, Limerick [St.Munchin's parish records].
This is St.Munchin's (Church of Ireland), Church St, Limerick (see street view), now no longer used as a church. Not to be confused with St.Munchin's (Catholic).
No Monsell gravestone found in map of St.Munchin's gravestones (map held at Limerick Cathedral).
No admin found in [NAI].

William might be William R. Monsell, Apothecary, House of Industry, North Strand, Limerick, who is listed under Hospitals, Infirmaries, Asylums etc. in [Deane's Limerick Directory, 1838, p.41].
He might be William Monsell, Committee, Limerick Horticultural Society, who is listed in [Deane's Limerick Directory, 1838, p.55].
William Rumley Monsell, of Limerick, is party to [Deed, 1842] about the Ponsonby inheritance.
Can't find him in [Slater's directory, 1846].

The 1852 case:
There was a case, "Blennerhasset v. Monsell", in the Court of Chancery, 9 and 10 May 1851, and 26 Jan 1852.
This was a dispute about Louisa's inheritance, between John Blennerhassett, plaintiff (must be Louisa's uncle) and William Rumley Monsell, Letitia Lindsay and others, defendants. It seems John Blennerhassett was still owed money from Louisa, and needed this paid by her heirs out of her inheritance.
The case says that Louisa's marriage settlement assigned to her an inheritance that was not yet hers at marriage - that her mother Letitia was entitled to part of the Ponsonby inheritance while she lived: "this money she [Louisa] was not entitled to until the death of her mother, now Mrs. Lindsay, who is still alive, and to the interest of which the latter is still entitled for her life."
There is a legal declaration about this dated 25 Apr 1853, printed in Freemans Journal, May 14, 1853. It refers to a decree of the High Court of Chancery, 8 Nov 1852. It says that Letitia is entitled to part of the Ponsonby inheritance.

William is not listed in Limerick in [Slater's directory, 1856].
Louisa and William had issue:

  1. (3 girls, triplets) Monsell,
    born 12 Nov 1834, Limerick,
    died shortly after birth.
    Think these must be their children. They are the children of "W.R. Monsell".
    See notice in Belfast Newsletter, 21 Nov 1834.
    Letitia's mother had twins in 1780. Letitia apparently had twins or triplets in 1822. And Letitia's daughter apparently had triplets in 1834.
    Tendency to release multiple eggs can be hereditary.

  2. William Thomas Monsell,
    born Aug 1836,
    mother died at his birth,
    bapt 1 Sept 1836 [St.Munchin's parish records, Limerick], see copy,
    mother buried on the day he was baptised,
    must have died young, [Deed, 1841] says Louisa died without leaving any issue.

Summary of [Case, 1852].

The 1827 witness statements

Witness statements in [Ms 20608, 1827 document].

A witness said in [Ms 20608, 1827 document] that in 1825 Louisa was in Crotto, and possibly confined to her room and not seeing any visitors.
Witness "believes that from the peculiar circumstances of her situation she was unwilling to appear much in society".
Top: See larger and full size.
Bottom: See larger and full size.
Elsewhere a witness says she "remained principally but entirely by her own wish in her Chamber .. she freely associated with all the members of the family .. but chose to keep herself secluded from the different visitors who happened to call at Crotto".

A witness said that in 1825 Louisa "was under the influence of wounded feelings occasioned by a calamity which had befallen her".
See larger and full size.
Elsewhere a witness says she "was under the influence of wounded feelings at the time in consequence of the calamity which had befallen her. ... She had been crying."

A witness said that in 1825 Louisa appeared "to be in mental distress and dejection for some weeks before she executed said deed" and at the signing "her eyes appeared to be swollen from tears".
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Sources yet to be consulted


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