Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

Abandoned families - Denny - Contents


Sir Edward Denny

Sir Edward Denny (died 1646).
18th century painting. Thought to be a copy of a lost original 17th century portrait.
In possession of Denny family.
See larger and full size.
See other shot.

Sir Edward Denny,
of Tralee Castle,
bapt 30 July 1605.
When he was young, Tralee Castle was in ruins and his family lived at Carrignafeela Castle near Tralee.
His father died 1619.
Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork was his guardian. (Two of his sons ended up marrying grand-daus of the Earl.)

He mar 1625, Dublin, to Ruth Roper [born est c.1607, descendant of Edward I].
He restored Tralee Castle, completed 1627.
He began before 1627 a "Denny Family Diary".
Col. James Ryeves acquired Carrignafeela Castle from him by Deed of 28 Mar 1627 (signed 31 May 1627).
Denny moved into the restored Tralee Castle on 22 Dec 1627.
His diary for 25 Mar 1630 says he began reading the Bible "after dinner and supper".
[Hickson, 14 Apr 1897] refers to his diary entry for 24 July 1633.
MP for Co.Kerry 1639.
He was possibly the original owner of the Denny Bible (dated 1639 and 1640).

1641 Rebellion:
Denny was Royalist, Protestant, in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1639-1651.
Irish Catholic Rebellion broke out in Oct 1641.
Denny left Tralee Castle in the hands of other loyalists. He left Tralee on 27 Dec 1641 to fight the rebels elsewhere.
Denny sent his wife and children to safety in England at Bishop's Stortford with his grandmother.

Siege of Tralee, and burning of Tralee, 1642:
In Denny's absence, the Irish rebels attacked Tralee on 24 Jan 1642 [Smith, 1756] (using new style year). They left, but returned in force on 14 Feb 1642 and laid siege to Tralee Castle. The English settlers fled for safety into Tralee Castle. The siege lasted about 6 months [Smith, 1756].
Denny fought the rebels elsewhere. See letter of 25 Feb 1642 about Denny's victory in a battle against rebels near Dublin.
After months of siege at Tralee, and much hardship, eventually the settlers surrendered. The rebels captured the castle around 20 Aug 1642 [O'Carroll, 2009].
The rebels burnt the castle and destroyed Tralee town.
Mar 1643 statement implies Tralee was burnt when it was captured in Aug 1642.
[Smith, 1756] implies it was burnt in early 1643 to prevent it becoming a headquarters for the crown under the 6th Baron of Inchiquin (later 1st Earl of Inchiquin), who sent a force into Kerry in May 1643.

Sir Edward died before his grandmother.
He died Ballynaulart, Co.Kerry, 1 May 1646, age 40 yrs.
He and his wife are both buried in the Denny vault, Tralee church. See p.367 of [Denny, 1908].
Sir Edward and Ruth had issue:

  1. Sir Arthur Denny, born 21 Sept 1629,
    of Tralee Castle.

  2. Edward Denny, born 15 Nov 1630,
    mar Catherine Barry [descendant of Edward III],
    they are perhaps buried in the Denny vault, St.John's church, Tralee [Denny, 1908],
    had issue:

    1. Barry Denny,
      mar 1691 to Catharine Maynard [sister of Mary Maynard, descendant of Edward I],
      [Ponsonby, 1929] prints a letter of 20 June 1698 from Thomas Ponsonby of Crotto to his brother-in-law, saying: "I spoke to honest Barry Denny ..",
      had issue:

      1. Anne Denny,
        mar Rev. Maurice Connor [or O'Connor],
        he was Rector of Tralee 1725-32,
        wonder if related to this Maurice O'Connor,
        had issue:

        1. Catherine Connor, mar Samuel Blennerhassett and had issue.
        2. Jane Connor, mar Rev. Barry Denny and had issue.
        3. Sarah Connor, mar George Gun and had issue.

  3. Elizabeth Denny, born 25 Feb 1635.
    She would be named after her grandmother Elizabeth Forrest.
    During the 1641 Rebellion, she was sent with her siblings for safety to their great-grandmother Margaret Edgecumbe in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England.
    She mar John Blennerhassett, of Ballyseedy and had issue.

Extracts from the "Denny Family Diary" written by Sir Edward Denny (died 1646).
From p.369 and p.371 of [Denny, 1908].

Sir Edward Denny and his family leave Tralee on 27 Dec 1641, some weeks before the rebels arrive.
From p.303 of [Smith, 1756].

Miniature thought to be of Sir Edward Denny

The following miniature is labelled as Sir Edward Denny (died 1646).
Though the Victoria and Albert Museum is more cautious.

Miniature in possession of Denny family.
See larger and full size.

The label on the above says this is Sir Edward Denny (died 1646).
See larger and full size.

The above is a copy of the original.
The original, shown here, was given by the 4th Baronet to the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Their catalogue only says it is a member of the Denny family.
It gives date about 1646-52, i.e. after death of Sir Edward Denny.
The label (according to the V&A) reads "Sr. Ed. DENNY BANNERET 1524". This is mysterious. I do not know what this means. Maybe it should read "1624" and that is the year Sir Edward was knighted?

Documents about the 1641 war

[Hickson, 1872] prints two documents about the 1641 war that mention Sir Edward Denny.

Letter of 25 Feb 1642 (using new style year).
It references Simon Harcourt, who died Mar 1642 (new style), so this is clearly Feb 1642 (new style) not Feb 1643.
From p.316 of [Hickson, 1872].
This is a letter from 2nd Earl of Antrim (Catholic, Royalist). It describes a victory by Sir Edward Denny, "one of our Captains", in battle near Dublin against rebels led by Thomas Eger. But, as Hickson notes, the language is confusing and there is something wrong with this letter.
Hickson says the original is in a pamphlet in the King's Library at the [BL].
This is transcribed here at Early English Books Online.

Statement in Mar 1643 (using new style) about the burning of Tralee after its capture in Aug 1642.
From p.198 of [Hickson, 1872].

The Tralee baptismal font

The 17th century baptismal font at St.John's church, Tralee.
This was presented to the church in 1623 by John Curlestone, Provost of Tralee.
It has date "1623" on it.
This is in the time of Sir Edward Denny (succ 1619, died 1646).
It survived the destruction of Tralee town and church in 1642 and 1691.
"The church was twice burned over this font." [Denny, 1908].

The Tralee baptismal font.
Photo 2016. See larger and full size.
See wide shot.

Notes on the Tralee baptismal font.
From p.366 of [Denny, 1908].

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