Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My ancestors - Blennerhassett - Contents

Richard Francis Blennerhassett

Marriage of Richard Blennerhassett, 31 Oct 1798 [Tralee CoI par records].

Richard Francis Blennerhassett,
Richard Blennerhassett, born 23 May 1772.
See Wikitree and thepeerage.
Mary Agnes Hickson in [Hickson's annotated par records, 1880] says he was called "Dicky the Goose".
As you might expect, "goose" was Regency slang for a fool.

He lived when young at father's house, Churchtown, near Killarney.
Richard Francis Blennerhassett of Churchtown witnessed [Deed, 1794].
He was a magistrate of Co.Kerry.
Letter of 1 Mar 1814 seems to say he has been a Magistrate for 19 years (i.e. since 1795).
Richard Francis Blennerhassett of Churchtown is party to his 1st cousin Richard Yeilding's marriage settlement in [Deed of Feb 1796].
Bill Jehan says he was JP for Co.Kerry 1796.
Listed as of Churchtown in his cousin's marriage settlement, May 1798.
Listed as of Blennerville, near Tralee, at marriage Oct 1798.

He mar 31 Oct 1798 [Tralee CoI par records] to Agnes Denny [born 1768].
Marriage settlement in [Deed of 30 Oct 1798].
Listed as of Blennerville in [Deed, 1800] and [Deed of Mar 1804].
He witnessed [Deed, Mar 1804].
"Richard Francis Blennerhassett" of Tralee was elected church warden at Tralee, 23 Apr 1810 [Vestry Minutes Books, St.John's church, Tralee].
He is apparently "Richard Blennerhassett" mentioned in letter to Daniel O'Connell, 10 Feb 1811. See part 1 and part 2. From p.246 (letter 321) of [Correspondence of Daniel O'Connell, vol 1].

Duel with John O'Connell, 1813:
Richard fought a duel in Jan 1813 with Daniel O'Connell's brother John O'Connell (him age 40, O'Connell age 34).
[Letter from Richard Blennerhassett, Tralee, 26 Nov 1812] explains the story.
The background was the argument over Catholic emancipation. There was a riot about the issue in Tralee in August 1812. Richard said that he used his powers as a magistrate to call out the army to quell the rioting mob, and O'Connell used insulting language about him for doing so. Richard demanded a meeting to fight a duel. He says O'Connell repeatedly would not meet him under satisfactory conditions. After much argument, they met but were stopped by the Sheriff. At time of writing (Nov 1812) they had not actually fought.
They finally met to fight a duel with pistols on Tue 19 Jan 1813 at Crotto. Blennerhassett was supported by his friend Thomas Blennerhassett of Caherine [unidentified]. O'Connell was shot in mouth, seriously injured.
The duel is written about in:

Richard wrote a number of letters in 1813-1814 to Dublin Castle:

Seemingly unabashed by the angry response in June 1814, Richard wrote further letters in 1814-1815 to Dublin Castle:

Richard Blennerhassett of Blennerville is party to [Deed, Feb 1816] with his father.
He wrote a number of letters in 1817 to Dublin Castle:

Richard dies, 1817:
He died without issue, Fri 28 Nov 1817 at Cahirciveen of a violent fever, age 45 yrs. Probably died at Westwood Lodge.
See Limerick Evening Post, Thur 4 Dec 1817.
See notice in The General Advertiser, or Limerick Gazette, 5 Dec 1817.
Bill Jehan says he was bur 5 Dec 1817. Where?
See notice in Saunders's News-Letter, 9 December 1817.
(todo) See "The Gentleman's Magazine", Dec 1817.

Agnes is party to [Deed, Mar 1825] and [Deed, Mar 1827]. Listed as of Tralee. Widow of Richard Francis, late of Tralee.
Agnes dies, 1842:
Her will dated 16 Mar 1842. She is described as of Denny St, Tralee.
She died 11 Dec 1842, Tralee, age 74 [death notice]. Think NOT 19 Dec.
See notice in Freeman's Journal, 21 December 1842.
Will proved at Ardfert and Aghadoe, 10 Jan 1843. Executor James Huggard.

Richard Blennerhassett signs his public letter of 26 Nov 1812, explaining the dispute with John O'Connell.

William Gregory, Under-Secretary for Ireland, accuses Blennerhassett of attempted bribery and says he will be dismissed as a Magistrate.
From letter on 6 June 1814. "you may be assured that your corrupt attempt will preclude you from holding any office under the Government."
See full size.
Image used with the kind permission of the British Library.


Westwood Lodge, Caherciveen, Co.Kerry

Richard Francis Blennerhassett writes in May-June 1817 from Westwood Lodge, Caherciveen, Co.Kerry.
He died at Caherciveen in Nov 1817, presumably at Westwood Lodge.
Where this was is uncertain.

Richard writes on 29 June 1817 from Westwood Lodge.
See full size.
Image used with the kind permission of the British Library.

The Observatory in Garranebane townland, SW of Caherciveen. From 1887 to 1913 map.
This Observatory is now called "Westwood House". See modern map and street view. See drone video.
However it is not the old Westwood Lodge. The OSI map shows this building did not exist on the 1829 to 1842 map.

The five entries for Westwood in [Tithe Survey, 1826].
They are beside the entries for Garranebane townland, Caher parish, which makes sense.




British Library letters

Correspondence of Robert Peel. [BL] Add MS 40181-40617.
Robert Peel was Chief Secretary for Ireland 1812-1818.
Letters are bound in volumes (with volume numbers). Each volume is given a Ms number, which is the BL reference (not the volume number).

The Peel papers have letters to and from Richard Francis Blennerhassett of Tralee in 1813-17.
Also correspondence with William Gregory, Under-Secretary for Ireland 1812-1831.
See catalogue.

Images used with the kind permission of the British Library.


Will of Agnes Denny

Will of Agnes Denny, widow of Richard Francis Blennerhassett.
Will dated 16 Mar 1842.
See index of Ardfert wills.
See entry in Irish will index 1842-43.
Will would be burnt in 1922. However notes survive, made before the fire.
See notes on p.20 of [D950/1/9].

Notes from will of Agnes Denny before it was burnt.
From [D950/1/9, p.20].
Used with permission of The Deputy Keeper of the Records, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.


Sources yet to be consulted



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