The Irish Bomfords

Chapter II

Mostly Land  1703 - 1721


2.1  Lease - Oldtown. Ardrums and Ferrans  1703

2.2  Lease - Rathfeigh  22nd March 1706

2.3  Lease - Clonfad   22nd February 1708

2.4  Lease - Gallow  5th April 1709

2.4.1  Gallow Lease Re-Assigned  30th April 1709

2.5  Lease Gallow  23rd October 1712

2.5.1  The Jones Family

2.5.2  Jones of Dollinstown

2.5.3  Jones of Clonmoyle

2.6   Lease - Rattin   22nd November 1710

2.7  Lease - Clounstown  8th December 1710

2.7.1  The Wade Family

2.8  Lease - Killeglan  20th December 1710

2.9  Lease - Gurteen and Gainstown  1st February 1711

2.10  Lease – Primatstown, Irishtown & Kilmoon  31st July 1712

2.11  Lease - Cushenstown. Portlester & Bodman  27th March 1719

2.11.1  The Langford Family

2.11.2  The Rowley Family

2.11.3  The Headfort (Taylour) Family

2.12  Mostly Oliver Bomford’s Property  c1720

2.13  Marriage - Stephen Bomford & Anne Smith  1713

2.13.1  Marriage - Edward Bomford & Margaret Charlton

2.13.2  Trinity College, Dublin

2.14  Lease - Ardrums  13th February 1720

2.15  Lease - Pranstown   17th February 1720

2.16  Public Records

2.17  Death of Colonel Laurence Bomford  25th March 1720

2.17.1  The Family Tree

2.18  Lease - Parkstown. Cooleronan & Crossenstown  21st February 1721

2.19  Sale - Dublin Property  1st April 1721

2.20  Death of Oliver Bomford  1721

2.21  Will of Laurence Bomford  10th June 1721

2.22  The Family and their Estates  1722

2.23  The Bomford Estates  1722


2.1  Lease - Oldtown. Ardrums and Ferrans  1703

The following is extracted from the deed dated 10th August 1744 (6.5). In 1703 Isaac Holroide (a Dublin merchant who died in 1706) leased to Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown the town and lands of Oldtown, Ferrans and Little Ardrums containing 447 acres plantation measure (724 statute) fee farm for ever for a rent of £165 per annum and 10 guinea pieces of gold every 21 years.  A transcript of the original lease has since been found in the National Archive in Dublin (document D 16148).

1.  These townlands run in a line from northwest to southeast along the River Ryewater. If the line is started at Rahinstown, next comes Baconstown and then Ardrums, Oldtown and Ferrans. The distance from Rahinstown House to Ferrans House is about 4 miles. Little Ardrums of 198 statute acres lies to the west of Great Ardrums, which was not a Bomford property. Ardrums means a high ridge and there is such a ridge, but the bottom portion of Little Ardrums contains 91 statute acres of bog.

2.  In 1691 Thomas was living in Oldtown so this is likely to be a second lease, the first being dated about 1672.

3.  Benjamin Pratt’s book of receipts of Agher is in the National Library. It includes two items concerning Thomas Bomford dated 4th May 1705. (a) Pratt paid a ½ year’s rent of £7.2.6 to Thomas Bomford. This would be the rent for about 35 acres of land but there is no clue as to the land involved, though it is likely to be one of these lands. (b) ‘Received of Benjamin Pratt by his servant £21.13.10½ by order to Mr Thomas Bomford for my portion of Agherpallice’ (Ms 5245).

4.  There are variations in the spelling of Ferrans which all mean an Elder Tree. Ferrans is the commonest and the present day name but it was also known as Fearns or Fennars, and there are varieties of both.

2.2  Lease - Rathfeigh  22nd March 1706

This lease was found in the Public Records Office together with a second document of 1707, which is similar (National Archives document D11947, lease of Rathfeigh 1706/07).

Lease of Rathfeigh  ( 'also Chasacy [spelt Chafacy in the lease] consisting of the several denominations and known by the several names or farms as Big Dunrean [or Dunreah?], Upper Dunrean, Darcy's old holding, Fanegan's holding, Darcy's new holding, Ryan's holding and White's holding') in the Barony of Skreen, Co Meath, to Oliver Bomford of Cushingstown and to Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown, gents, by William Domvile of the city of Dublin, son and heir of Sir William Domvile deceased, 790 plantation acres (1,280 statute) for 61 years at £0.6.0 an acre yearly (£237).

1.  William Petty’s Down Survey places Robinstown where Rahinstown should be, and Rahinstown is placed between Gallow and Drumlargan.

2.  Rathfeigh is now a small village three miles east of Skreen, just to the west of the Ashbourne - Slane road and one mile south of Balrath crossroads. The makings of a village were there in 1654 with “divers small cottages”, also a castle, a church and a watermill.

3.  The last mention of Rathfeigh in these documents is dated 1761 when Oliver Bomford was living there. This Oliver was the fourth son of the Oliver who had this lease of 1706. In 1761 Oliver the younger was about 57 years old and it is therefore likely that the lease of 1706 was not renewed in 1767 when it expired.

4.  The fact that the lease was not renewed is also implied by the following lease.

5.  The lease was witnessed by Francis North, who we think was a solicitor in Dublin (he appears at 2.4.1, 4.4, 4.4.1 and  5.4.1)

Lease – Rathfeigh  20th May 1745

Laurence Bomford of Rathfeigh Co Meath, farmer, leases for a rent of £80 the land of Rathfeigh containing 105 plantation acres (170 statute) to Arthur Bomford of Rathfeigh, gent, for 22 years being the residue years of the original lease by William Domvile to Oliver Bomford deceased.  (Book 118 Page 404 No 81279)

6.  The younger Oliver and Arthur were brothers. Laurence was their nephew and his father, Laurence, who was the older brother of Oliver and Arthur, had left him Rathfeigh. All this will become clear later.

7.  It looks as though Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown has dropped out of Rathfeigh. Perhaps one of Oliver’s sons bought him out, he was always short of money.

8.  Sir William Domvile (Domville is another family) of Loughlinstown, Santry, Co Dublin, was MP for Counties Armagh and Dublin; his son William died unmarried in Mayfair, London, in 1763.

2.3  Lease - Clonfad   22nd February 1708

The details of this missing document have been put together from the Marriage Settlement of October 1756 and the lease of 20th October 1762.

Francis Heaton of Mount Heaton, King’s Co, leases to Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown for ever the lands of Clonfad containing 721 plantation acres (1,168 statute) in the Barony of Farbill, Co Westmeath, at a rent £135 (only 3/9 an acre).

1.  Clonfad is about 2 miles west of Kinnegad on the Kilbeggan road. It lies between Hightown and Quinera to the north, and Rattin to the south. Clonfad, Hightown or Balloughter, Quinera and Rattin are all to become Bomford properties within a few years, and cover an area of 3,537 statute acres.

2.  On 24th March 1720 Thomas of Rahinstown leased Clonfad to Lawrence Bomford of Killeglan, his younger brother, for £2 an acre.  (Book 29 Page 403 No 18112)

This would give Thomas a considerable profit, £2 an acre against 3/9 an acre. It is thought that, like Rattin in 1720, Thomas leased the land at a nominal rent of £2 a year and not £2 an acre.

3.  The following conveyance dated 23rd June 1703 was found in the Grand Juries of Westmeath and it gives some background information.

Ephraim Dawson of Dublin bought from the Commissioners of Forfeited Estates the town and lands of Clonfad containing 581 plantation acres profitable land and 114 plantation acres of bog, (941 plus 189, total 1,130 statute); Ratteen or Rattin 277 plantation acres profitable land and 154 plantation acres unprofitable, (449 plus 252, total 701 statute); Ballyoughter (Balloughter or Hightown) 474 plantation acres profitable land and 305 acres unprofitable (768 plus 494, total 1,262 statute); for £3,490; it was the estate of Nicholas D’Arcy of Platten, Co Meath, attainted. (i.e. a Roman Catholic who lost his lands either in the Cromwellian or the Williamite settlement).

The amount of acres do not agree with our deeds but in all probability either the acreage in this conveyance is from the Down Survey, and Dawson or Heaton had the land surveyed when Heaton bought it from Dawson, or perhaps the boundaries were changed. The correct acreage of Clonfad and Rattin (2.6) remains a grey area; they appear to have changed a number of times, at least once because the boundaries were changed.

2.4  Lease - Gallow  5th April 1709

Francis Isdell of Gallow assigns the lease of Richard Jones of 198 plantation acres (321 statute) of Gallow to Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown at the yearly rent of:

On the death of these three Isdells, Gallow will become the property of Thomas Bomford. Richard Highland of Patrickstown, Co Meath, is appointed the attorney of Francis Isdell.

Signed: Fran Isdell

Witnessed: John Elliott; Tho Merefield; Tho Sissons (lawyer who died c1716).

1.  This is about half of the Gallow townland, later the whole townland will become a Bomford property. It is situated just north of Ferrans and in 1654 it contained a castle and seven or eight cottages.

2.  The ‘warr’ must be the War of the Spanish Succession which started in 1702 and ended with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. It is interesting that the rent was deliberately kept down during the war.

3.  As has been seen there is no consistency in the spelling of names, which appear to have been left to the clerk to render phonetically as best he could; so ‘Highland’ and ‘Hyland’ could be the same name. It is possible that the attorney, Richard Highland, is a relation of James Hyland who married the oldest sister of Thomas, Elizabeth Bomford.

Just over three weeks later the Gallow lease is re-assigned.

2.4.1  Gallow Lease Re-Assigned  30th April 1709

Thomas Bomford appoints his brother, Laurence, to the ‘town and lands’ of Gallow.

Signed: Tho Bomford

Witnessed: Wm Watts; Fra North; Step Bomford.

It was quite common at this time for signatures to be written with shortened Christian names. Some examples of this were:

Francis (Fra or Fran), Brian (Bry), Ephraim (Ephm), Antony (Ant), Stephen (Ste or Step), Thomas (Tho or Thos),  John (Jno).

Three and a half years later the Gallow lease was further changed.

2.5  Lease Gallow  23rd October 1712

Richard Jones of Dollanstown, Co Meath, leases to Stephen Bomford of Clonmaghan the town and lands of Gallow, then occupied by Stephen Bomford, containing 198 plantation acres (321 statute) at a rent of £80 for three lives from 1st May 1711. The lives were those of:

Stephen Bomford of Clonmaghan

Francis Dennis, son of George Dennis of Summerhills (agent to Hercules Rowley, he has a second son, Arthur), and

William Berwick, son of Simon Berwick of Rathflisk.

Witnessed: John Clarke of Trim in Co Meath; George Dennis

Signed: Stephen Bomford.   (Book 27 Page 361 No 17380)

1.  It now looks as though in 1709 Thomas leased Gallow and passed it on to his brother Laurence almost immediately. After a couple of years Laurence ceased working the land and in May 1711 Stephen took over. Stephen arranged a new lease directly with the head landlord Richard Jones and was able to cut out the two middle men, his brother Thomas and the Isdells, and so save himself £5 a year in rent. The Isdells did not appear to be very interested in the place as they were going to give it to Thomas on their son’s death, and Thomas had already re-assigned it to his brother so it did not matter to him either. This new lease was finally signed in October 1712.

2.  Simon Berwick was Stephen’s brother-in-law. He married Margaret, Stephen’s youngest sister. From this deed we now know that Margaret was married some time before 1711, and that she had a boy named William. We also know that they lived at Rathflisk.

3.  Various Jones appear and reappear throughout these pages and it will help if we devote a little space to them.

2.5.1  The Jones Family

Lewis Jones (died 1646 aged 104), Bishop of Killaloe, married Mabel, sister of the Primate, Archbishop James Ussher (1581 - 1656). They had three sons and a daughter:

1.  Henry, the Bishop - see below.

2.  Michael, Colonel, Commander of the Parliamentary Forces in Leinster. Won the battle of Drumlargan in 1647 against General Richard Preston (see 15.13.9), and beat Ormonde at Ratmines on 2nd August 1749, which left the way clear for Cromwell to land at Dublin 14 days later without Oppostion.

3.  Theophilus, Knight, of Osbertstown, Co Kildare.

4.  Sarah married Rev John Harrison. Their daughter, Susanna, married John L’Estrange of Keoltown, Co Westmeath, and Susanna’s great grandson was Samuel L’Estrange who married Anne Bomford in 1750 (see L’Estrange tree 8.5.2)

Henry, the eldest son, was born in 1605, educated at Trinity College, Dublin, MA and Fellow 1624; Dean of Ardagh 1625 - 1637, Vicar of Killeshandra 1631 - 1633, Archdeacon of Killaloe 1638 - 1661. During the rebellion of 1641 he was sent by the rebels to present the Cavan Remonstrance to the Lords Justices in Dublin, his first wife, Jane daughter of Sir Hugh Collum MP, and his family being kept as hostages. Having returned to Cavan he escaped with his family to Dublin and warned the Government of a projected attack on Drogheda. Whilst in Dublin he became famous for his Puritanical sermons. When Cromwell came over he threw in his lot with him and was employed in various ways, but chiefly as Scout-Master-General for which he received a salary, and in taking depositions and preparing an official account of the Rebellion. It is even said that he fought valiantly in battle and so became known as ‘the Warrior Bishop’.

Henry gained much land at this time, particularly in Deece, and so did his relations; but he sold most of it including Summerhill to Rowley and Agher to Pratt. No doubt Gallow passed through his hands and Richard Jones of Dollanstown may have been a relation, perhaps a son by his first wife.

At the Restoration he transferred his allegiance to Charles II and was by him promoted to the Bishopric of Meath in May 1661 where he remained for 20 years and earned a reputation for “learning, judgement and liberality”.

Henry died in Dublin on 5th January 1681. It is not known what family he had by his first wife, but his second marriage took place on 31st December 1646 to Mary, daughter of Sir Henry Piers of Tristernagh Abbey, Co Westmeath, and niece of Sir James Ware. She died in 1672 having had at least three children:

1.  Doctor Michael Jones born 1660 and died before 1703.  He had:

a.  a son killed at Aughrim, July 1691

b.  Rev Michael, Archdeacon of Killala

c.  Theophilus, a gauger (or excise-man).

2.  Mary married the 1st Lord Piers of Tristernagh Abbey, eldest son of Sir Henry and they had eight sons and six daughters.

3.  Jane married Sir Philip Coote of Mount Coote, Co Limerick.

2.5.2  Jones of Dollinstown

This family must be a minor branch of the above since their land is included in what was originally that of Bishop Jones. Dollinstown is in the Parish of Rodanstown, about l½ miles northeast of Kilcock and not very far from Gallow.

Richard Jones of Dollinstown leased Gallow to Thomas Bomford in 1709 and in 1712 he leased it to Stephen Bomford who lived there. When Richard died, his son Roger inherited Dollinstown. Richard must have died before March 1731 because the lease of Gallow of that date is by Roger Jones. Roger also gave some more of Gallow to Stephen Bomford in May 1735.

Roger Jones was party to the marriage settlements of Thomas Bomford and Mary Foster (6.3), and of Stephen Bomford the younger and Elizabeth Sibthorpe (8.2).

2.5.3  Jones of Clonmoyle

There is nothing to link these Jones to the above. Clonmoyle is in the Parish of Lynn, Co Westmeath, just north of Gurteen. In 1738 Stephen Bomford of Gallow leased Gurteen to David Jones of Clonmoyle. In 1781 this lease was renewed by David and Isaac Bomford to David Jones who must be a son; so there were two David Jones, father and son.

In 1771 David Jones of Clonmoyle married Fanny, a daughter of Alexander Swift (born 1710) of the neighbouring townland of Lynn. Alexander Swift was a cousin of Dean Jonathon Swift (1.8.4) and married Elizabeth, a daughter of Benjamin Pratt of Agher (20.2.1). Alexander’s stepmother was Mary, a daughter of John L’Estrange of Koeltown, Co Westmeath, whose great-grandson was Samuel, husband of Anne Bomford (8.5.2).

2.6   Lease - Rattin   22nd November 1710

Francis Heaton of Mountheaton, King’s Co, leases to Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown the town and lands of Rattin, now in the occupation of William Mottley, in the Barony of Farbill, Co Westmeath, containing 284 plantation acres (460 statute) fee farm forever at a rent of £66.0.0.  (Book 5 Page 250 No 1703)

Lease - Rattin   24th March 1720

Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown leases the land of Rattin in the Parish of Killucan for £2 per annum to Edward Bomford (his brother) of Clonmahon.  (Book 29 Page 399 No 18102)

1.  Rattin lies to the south of Clonfad in the Parish of Killucan. It contains Clonfad House, which was built after about 1750, and the ruins of an ancient Monastery, the grave of one of the Bishops of Clonfad, and some standing stones. Traditions tells us that the monastery is on the site of the Church founded by St Patrick in the year 432, it was not only an original Christian site but pre-Christian as well. Thomas had Rattin for ten years and then passed it over to Edward at a nominal rent of £2. It remained in Bomford hands until 1913.

2.  It might have been the son of William Mottley who married Sarah, daughter of Mark Tew of Culmullen (9.3.7). John Elliott who witnessed the first deed and that of Gallow (2.4) was probably of Lowtherstown, Co Meath, and died in 1729.

2.7  Lease - Clounstown  8th December 1710

John Wade of Clonebreeny, Co Meath, leases to Oliver Bomford of Cushinstowne, Co Meath, Gent, and Stephen Bomford of Woodtowne, Co Meath, Gent, the town and lands of Clownstowne containing 335 plantation acres (543 statute) in the Barony of Skreen, fee farm for ever at a rent of £140.0.0.

Witnessed: Thomas Bomford, brother of Oliver and Stephen, and Thomas Merefield, clerk to Thomas Sissons, notary public of Dublin (of Castle Street, died 1724). (Book 6 Page 176 No 1719)

1.  In 1654 ‘Cloonestowne’ consisted of “two farme thatch howses and some cottages”. It lies on both sides of the present Navan to Dunshaughlin road just south of Ross cross-roads. It is now called Tara Stud. In those days the main Navan - Dublin road went through Skreen and Ratoath to the north of Clounstown, and it was not until the mid 1700s that the present road was driven through Clounstown and it became known as the “New Turnpike Road”.

Some difficulty was found in positively identifying the place because there are a number of spellings in the deeds and there is a neighbouring place called in 1654 ‘Clowanstowne’, which sounds much the same also in the Barony of Skreen but in the Parish of Killeen.

2.  Thomas Bomford, eldest son of Oliver, is recorded as living at Clounstown in 1729. He may have lived in one of the “farme thatch howses” at first, but at this time or perhaps a little later a new stone and slated house was built. It may well have been built for Thomas’ marriage in 1729.

3.  Woodtown, where Stephen Bomford was living, could be any of the many houses of this name in Co Meath. Stephen leased Woodtown in Culmullen some time before 1745. It is possible that this Woodtown was where Stephen was living in 1710 and, if it was, then Woodtown would have been leased before 1710. This is quite possible but it would not be right to claim the lease before 1710 on such slender evidence.

4. Fee farm is a form of fee simple, or freehold, and establishes an inheritable right to the land, except that the land is subject to a perpetual rent to the former owner.  Legislation to extinguish the obligation to pay the perpetual rent has been introduced in some jurisdictions.

 5. The National Archives has a document M 6403/35 which is the original counterpart (seller's copy) of the deed transferring Clownstown to Oliver Bomford and Stephen Bomford.


Oliver Bomford's signature and seal on document M 6403/35 in the National Archives of Ireland, photo by Bill Riley (email 21 Feb 2009), reproduced with kind permission of the National Archives of Ireland (Aideen Ireland email 28 Mar 2009).  Click on image to see enlargement.


Stephen Bomford's signature and seal on document M 6403/35 in the National Archives of Ireland, photo by Bill Riley (email 21 Feb 2009), reproduced with kind permission of the National Archives of Ireland (Aideen Ireland email 28 Mar 2009).  Click on image to see enlargement.

2.7.1  The Wade Family

Like so many of the landed families, the Wades of Clonebraney were related to the Bomfords and other Bomford related families. John Wade, who leased Clounstown to Oliver and Stephen Bomford, inherited Clonebraney at Crossakeel near Kells from his father, Henry. He died c1735 without children and the place passed to his nephew Clotworthy Sheils who changed his name to Wade. In turn Clotworthy died without children, he was killed by a fall from his horse in 1745, and the place went to his cousin John Daniel, another nephew of John Wade; he also changed his name.

A contemporary and possibly a relative was Allen Wade who married Anne Shinton, niece of Jane and Thomas Bomford of Clounstown.

Judith Daniel, a possible cousin of John Daniel Wade inherited the £2,000 mortgage of Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown when she married John Arabin.

A grandson of John Daniel Wade married Agnes Chute, a niece of Francis Chute who married Mary Anne Bomford, daughter of Trevor Bomford.

Another grandson married Elizabeth Chute, stepsister of Francis Chute and Mary Anne (Bomford).

Yet another grandson, Charles Wade, married a daughter of Henry Hamilton who was a trustee of the marriage settlement of 1809 of George Bomford the elder.

The Wades sold Clonebraney about 1911 and it is now a complete ruin although parts of the yard are still in use.

2.8  Lease - Killeglan  20th December 1710

Thomas Carter of Robertstown, Co Meath, leases to Lawrence Bomford of Rahinstown the town and lands of Killeglan, now occupied by Michael Bowyer, containing 439 plantation acres (712 statute) in the Barony of Ratoath at a rent of £2,000 (see note) for the lives of:

(Book 5 Page 283 No 1817)

1.  The rent of £2,000 must be a clerical error for £200. In 1722, when Killeglan was leased to under-tenants, their rent totalled £274.

2.  This Laurence was known as ‘Laurence of Killeglan’ and he married Susannah Wilson (1.10.1). He was the third son of Colonel Laurence.

3.  Killeglan is situated in the Barony of Ratoath on the present site of Ashbourne. Its Church was united with Ratoath in 1682 and some documents refer to various Bomfords ‘of Ratoath’, which was their parish rather than their residence. Killeglan drops out of the picture after 1761 so it is assumed that the three lives lease was not renewed.

2.9  Lease - Gurteen and Gainstown  1st February 1711

John Stoyte of Dublin leases to Stephen Bomford of Galley [sic: i.e. Gallow?] the town and lands of Gurteen and Gainstowne containing, according to the Down Survey, 431 plantation acres (698 statute) in the Barony of Fertullagh, Co Westmeath, now in the possession of Thomas Smith, for 99 years at a rent of 5/2 per acre (£222.6.10) with a clause of surrender on any first day of May during the term of the lease with six months warning. 

Signed: Stephen Bomford.  (Book 7 Page 346 No 2646; Eva North emails 23 July 2009)

A second lease dated 1st June 1715 reads almost the same but it records that the 99 years commences on 1st May 1714.

Signed: Stephen Bomford

Witnessed: George Warburton, Master of the High Court of Chancery; James Smith of Dublin, vintner; Edward Dalton of Dublin, Notary Publick.  (Book 22 Page 527 No 12744)

1.  Gainstown is situated two miles west of Violetstown and 1½ miles north of Tyrrellstown, south-east of Mullingar, on the east of the Mullingar - Rochfortbridge road. Gurteen is opposite Gainstown on the west of this road. A later survey shows Gainstown as 128 acres and Gurteen as 580 acres, so the Down Survey was not very far out.

2.  Stephen’s wife was Anne Smith who came from Violetstown. Thomas and James Smith who are mentioned in this deed may have been her relatives. Stephen does not marry just yet so it is possible that he met Anne when visiting this new property or his other property at Tyrrellstown. It was about 30 miles from Gallow to these places, a day’s journey by horse, and, at a time when the inns were suspect, it was normal for people like Stephen to stay the odd night at houses like Violetstown.

2.10  Lease – Primatstown, Irishtown & Kilmoon  31st July 1712

The Honorable Lieut-General Richard Gorges of Kilbrew, Co Meath, (see 13.3), leases to Oliver Bomford of Cushinstown the town and lands of Primatstown and Irishtown and part of Killmoon, now in the occupation of Oliver Bomford, containing 445 plantation acres (721 statute) in the Mannor of Killmoon, Co Meath, for 31 years at a rent of £167.1.0.

Signed:  Oliver Bomford.  (Book 11 Page 348 No 4696)

1.  Since Oliver was already in occupation of these lands, this must be at least a second lease (though if it is a deed of lease and release, he would may only have been in possession/occupation for a day). The previous lease may have been a lease for a year (or may have been for lives or for 31 years), so on that basis Oliver Bomford might have first occupied these lands about 1681. The next lease tells us he was about 35 years old in 1712, so it is more likely that the first lease was more recent than 1681.

2.  For the situation of these lands see 2.12 which also includes the lands of 2.11 and 3.2.4 [?].

2.11  Lease - Cushenstown. Portlester & Bodman  27th March 1719

By indented deed of lease dated 27 March 1719, Hercules Rowley of Summerhill leases to Oliver Bomford of Cushinstown in the Barony of Skreen the town and lands of Cushinstown and part of Killmoon containing 418 acres plantation measure (677 statute) Portlester containing 100 plantation acres (162 statute), and Bodman containing 69 plantation acres (112 statute) then in the actual possession of the said Oliver Bomford at a rent of £205 sterling renewable for ever to hold from 1 November last past for the lives of:

renewable for ever on payment of a fine as therein mentioned.  The bounds of the above are:

Signed: Oliver Bomford

Witnessed: Thomas Granger, Servant to Hercules Rowley; George Dennis, Agent to Hercules Rowley, and Arthur Dennis, son of the said George Dennis.  (Registerd 17 April 1719, Book 23 Page 190 No 13055 in the Registry of Deeds; Eva North email 13 May 2009)

Irish Land Commission Estates Commissioners Rec No E.C 1708 reportedly includes additional information: 'for the lives of said Oliver Bomford then about 40 years old & his son Thomas Bomford then about 15 and of his son Arthur Bomford then about 11' (Irwin papers in the National Library, Dublin:G.O. MSS (Genealogical Office Manuscripts) 432-435: Will abstracts, pedigrees and other genealogical notes on Irwin and allied families, compiled by Sir Alfred Irwin c. 1900-1920, with indexes of principal surnames: Leonard Reilly email 20 Feb 2009).

1.  This is not the first lease of these lands by Oliver. In 1715 he was mentioned in the will of Sir Arthur Langford as a tenant of Cushenstown.  An earlier lease was in 1710 (National Archives, Dublin, document M 6403/35 - 2.7).

2.  The ‘Head Landlord’ of the leases for Rahinstown, Cushenstown etc, appear to have changed. The landlord for the early deeds was the Langford family of Summerhill (Dec 1691), this was later changed to the Rowley family (March 1719, Dec 1721 and January 1743), and then the Langford’s appear again. What happened was that the Langford family died out except for a daughter who inherited and married into the Rowley family. Later on the Rowleys became Viscounts and took the name of Langford, but they too died out leaving a daughter. This daughter, Frances Rowley, married her first cousin, the third son of Lord Headfort, and he in turn took the name and became Clotworthy Taylour, 1st Baron Langford of Summerhill. So although there appears to be continuity in the name Lord Langford, really three families are involved the Langford family up to 1716 the Rowley family up to 1795, and finally the Headfort family.

3.  As the lease is renewable forever, it is in effect freehold, not a temporary lease.

2.11.1  The Langford Family

Bishop Henry Jones sold Summerhill and many other townlands to Sir Hercules Langford who died in 1683 leaving a son[s] and a daughter[s].

The son, Sir Arthur Langford leased Rahinstown in December 1691 to Thomas Bomford. He died in 1716 and named Oliver Bomford as a tenant in his will of 1 December 1715 (Registry of Deeds Dublin abstracts of wills (3 vols, 1954-84),P Beryl Eustace,vol. i 1708–1745,#103). All his lands and Summerhill went to his sister in 1716. The daughter, Mary married Sir John Rowley in 1671 (see 2.11.2). [Something seems not quite right here: the will of Sir Arthur lists 'brother Henry Langford' and 'sister Susanna Langford', as well as 'nephew Hercules Rowley'.  So he seems to have had a least one brother and two sisters, not just himself and a sister; and the will does not mention a sister Mary (either as Langford or Rowley, but presumably the nephew Hercules Rowley was her son) so if she inherited the lands it was by entail, not by his will.]

2.11.2  The Rowley Family

John Rowley, son of Hugh, son of William, came from Cheshire and settled at Castle Roe in the North of Ireland at the time of James I. His son was:Edward Rowley of Castle Roe, MP for Co Londonderry in the 1630s. His son:Sir John Rowley,  born 1635, MP for Londonderry, married Mary Langford in 1671. When her brother, Sir Arthur Langford, died in 1716 she inherited Summerhill, Rahinstown, and Cushenstown etc. They had one son:Sir Hercules Rowley, MP for Londonderry. He was one of the ‘lives’ in the Rahinstown lease. In 1731 he built Summerhill House and the family moved there from Castle Roe. He died in 1742 having had one son: Rt Hon Hercules Langford Rowley, MP for Londonderry, married Elizabeth Upton in October 1732, the year after Summerhill was built. Elizabeth Upton’s father, Clotworthy Upton of Castle Upton at Templepatrick, Co Antrim, raised a party of men and joined King William’s troops at the siege of Limerick in 1691. He was taken prisoner there having entered a breach in the walls, sword in hand and almost alone, nearly all his followers being cut to pieces. Elizabeth was his only child by his third wife. Hercules Rowley died in 1794. In 1776 his wife was made Viscountess Langford and Baroness of Summerhill in her own right. They had five children:

1.  Hercules Rowley, became 2nd Viscount Langford in 1791 on the death of his mother. He was born in 1737 and died unmarried about 1795. The peerage expired and the estates went to his niece, Frances, daughter of the second son.

2.  Clotworthy Rowley, married in 1775 Elizabeth, grand-daughter of Garrett Wellesley, 1st Earl of Mornington of Dangan Castle. They had one daughter, Frances Rowley, who inherited the estates and married into the Headfort family, see below.

3.  Arthur Rowley, died unmarried.

4.  Jane, married 1754 Thomas Taylour, Earl of Bective, see Headfort below.

5.  Catherine, married 1768 Edward Michael Pakenham, 2nd Baron Longford.

 2.11.3  The Headfort (Taylour) Family

Thomas Taylour, son of John, son of Thomas, of Battle, Sussex, went to Ireland in 1653 with his friend and college companion Sir William Petty to map Ireland. The maps were published as the ‘Down Survey’ and were used to allocate land in lieu of pay to the soldiers and adventurers of the Cromwellian War; I have used them extensively for background information of the Bomford lands. In 1660 he purchased land in Ireland and died in 1682 having had one son: Sir Thomas Taylour, born in 1662 was made a Baronet in 1704 and a Member of the Privy Council in 1726. He died in 1736 having had seven children. His heir was his eldest son:Sir Thomas Taylour, born 1686, Privy Councillor, MP for Kells 1713 until his death in 1757, he married Mary daughter of John Graham of Platten, in 1714. John Graham was the head landlord of Oakley Park (24.6) and it was probably this marriage, which brought additional land around Kells, including Oakley Park, into the Headfort family. They had a son and a daughter:Earl Thomas Taylour, born 1724, married 1754, Jane, eldest daughter of Hercules Rowley (above). Sir Thomas progressed through the ranks of the peerage, 1760 Baron Headfort, 1762 Viscount Headfort and finally 1766 Earl Bective of Bective Castle. He was MP for Kells from 1747 to 1760. He built Headfort House sometime between 1760 and 1770. Prior to the completion of Headfort House they lived in a house in Kells near the site of the Catholic Church. It was the 2nd Earl Bective who in 1798 donated the ground of his father’s garden to the Roman Catholics for their Church. However being MPs and Privy Councillors they must have spent much of their time in Dublin. The name of their house in Kells is not known but it is possible it was called ‘Bective Castle’ which would account for the Earldom title, which had nothing to do with Bective Abbey, a Bolton property between Navan and Trim. He died in 1795 leaving five sons and two daughters:

1.  Thomas, 2nd Earl Bective, 1757-1829, became the 1st Marquess of Headfort in 1800. His descendant, Michael the 6th Marquess, sold Headfort in 1982.

2.  Hercules Langford Taylour, died unmarried in 1790.

3.  General Robert Taylour, died unmarried in 1839.

4.  Clotworthy Taylour – see below.

5.  Rev Henry Taylour, 1768 – 1852 was founder of the Taylours of Ardgillan Castle, Co Dublin, and of Dowdstown, Navan.

The fourth son, Clotworthy Taylour, 1763 - 1825, married in 1794 his first cousin Frances Rowley (1775-1860) who inherited the Rowley/Langford estates. Clotworthy assumed the name of Rowley and in 1800 he became 1st Baron Langford of Summerhill. They had two sons and two daughters. The eldest son inherited:

Hercules, 2nd Baron Langford, 1795 - 1839. He had three sons; the second was the ancestor of the Langfords of Marley Grange, Rathfarnham. The first son inherited:

Clotworthy, 3rd Baron Langford, 1825 - 1854,  …. and so the line continues.

2.12  Mostly Oliver Bomford’s Property  c1720

In 1720 the road from Dublin to Slane had been in existence for some time. By 1750 it had been improved and was a turnpike road with mail coaches travelling each way twice a week. By 1800 the Dublin to Drogheda mail coach also travelled along this road but branched off at Kilmoon and went on to Drogheda through Duleek. In the early 1800s King George IV had the road further straightened so that the royal carriage could speed him to Slane Castle to indulge in a singular lust for its busty mistress, Elizabeth, wife of the 1st Marquess of Conyngham.

The first Bomford property on the way north is Killeglan, a parish of 716 statute acres which was not divided into townlands, and which was leased in 1710 by Laurence Bomford, the third son of Colonel Laurence. Most of Killeglan lies to the west of the road and in 1654 there was there a small village which contained “a castle, a stone house with out houses, a church, a mill and divers cabbins”. The “stone house with out houses” may well have been Laurence of Killeglan’s house. At some time during the 1700s Killeglan village changed its name to Ashbourne.

Bordering Killeglan to the north lies a small townland of 124 acres named Dunreigh, which will become a Bomford property in the late 1700s.

The northern boundary of Killeglan is at Rath crossroads about one mile out of Ashbourne. Then for about two miles there is no Bomford property until one comes to Primatestown. For the next five miles the road passes through Bomford land, which stretches to both sides of the road about a mile on average. This rectangle of 5 miles by 2 miles is Oliver’s land (see Map at end of Chapter 16).

Primatestown, 510 acres, lies mostly on the east of the road. To the southwest of Primatestown away to the left of the road lies Irishtown, 228 acres, and to the north of Irishtown is the townland of Kilmoon. These three townlands, or portions of them, were the first of Oliver’s property in this area, dating back possibly to 1681. In 1654 all this area belonged to Patrick Barnewall of Kilbrew, ‘Irish Papist’, and as such Lieut-General Richard Gorges of Kilbrew, a protestant, ousted him. The Civil Survey of 1654 records:

By 1836 there was a village of 20 cabins on Primatestown.

The Church of Kilmoon remained in operation until about 1870 and no doubt was the church of the Bomfords.

Kilbrew is south of Irishtown, and Smithstown and Thomastown circle Irishtown from the northwest around to the southwest. In 1654 there were “three farme houses and six cottages” on Smithstown and Thomastown which lie about two miles west of the main road on a by-road leading past Kilmoon Church to Skreen or Dunshaughlin. These three places and Reesk belong to Oliver’s eldest son Thomas. Reesk takes this block of land up to the Skreen to Ratoath road, a good two miles southwest of Kilmoon Church.

To return to the main road, after Primatestown it travels through Kilmoon, 241 acres, where there is a crossroads. Turn right and you are on the road to Duleek and Drogheda, which goes through the townland of Roadmain or Bodman. Keep straight on to Slane and you pass through Cushenstown and then Rathfeigh, all Bomford properties.

Bodman or Roadmain, meaning ‘middle road’, 222 acres, contained according to the 1836 survey “at its western end a graveyard and church ruins called Crossmacoole”, but there is no mention of this church in the 1654 survey. However Crossmacoole Church must have been the parish church of the Parish of Cushenstown in which Bodman lies.

The 1654 survey lists Cushenstown and Portlester as one townland of 690 acres with “on the premisses one stone howse and one mill”. In 1836 this is recorded, “The Mail Coach road passes through it. There is only one house in it, at which there is a turnpike at its southeast side, on the coach road”. The turnpike was probably sited just before the fork to Duleek and so catching the carriages on both roads. The 1836 survey also includes “Cushin is a family name of English and highly respectable origin”. The ‘Great House’ of Cushenstown of the 1728 document must have been demolished by 1836.

The last Bomford property on the Dublin - Slane road is Rathfeigh. This townland of 1330 acres is in the Parish of Rathfeigh. In 1836 it is described as ‘poor land’, which is probably why of all the above land only Rathfeigh was passed on to one of the younger brothers of Thomas, firstly to Arthur and then to Oliver.

So Oliver Bomford and his son Thomas had a large rectangle of land amounting to about 5,000 acres along the main road north of Ashbourne.

2.13  Marriage - Stephen Bomford & Anne Smith  1713

Burke states that Stephen Bomford of Gallow married “Anne Smith of Violetstown, Co Westmeath”.

Anne Smith was the eldest daughter of John Smith of Violetstown and his wife Dorcas Wheately or Whately. She was born in 1696 according to Faulkiner’s Dublin Journal of 30th November – 7th December 1765 (9.7.3). Her father died in 1733 and her mother about 1745. Their family tree will be found in 8.5.1.

The first clue to their marriage date comes from the Trinity College Register, which records their third son John: “Bomford John, Pensioner, Mr Butler, 7th July 1744 aged 17, Son of Stephen, Generosus; Born Meath, Scolar 1746, BA Spring 1748, MA Summer 1752.”

John entered Trinity in July 1744 when he was 17, so he was born in 1727. With two older brothers and perhaps an older sister born ahead of him, Stephen and Anne would have been married about 1720.

However the second and more important clue is that the eldest son Thomas signed the Deed of Assignment of February 1738 (5.4.5) and therefore must have been of age then, and so has been born before February 1717. Hence the marriage date of about 1715 when Anne was 19.

The Prerogative bonds records a marriage “1713 John Bomford and Anne Smyth.”

This item was considered for all the John Bomfords available but none were suitable. It was when considering Stephen’s marriage to Anne in about 1715 that it was suggested that the Prerogative bonds had recorded the wrong Bomford not John but Stephen, so “1713 Stephen Bomford and Anne Smyth.”

2.13.1  Marriage - Edward Bomford & Margaret Charlton

Listed under the diocese of Kilmore and Ardagh is the marriage licence bond “Bomford Edward and Margaret Charlton 1715/1716.”

This information has only recently been discovered and supersedes later marriage date estimates and suggestions concerning Margaret’s maiden name [eg that it was Fetherston].

Edward's history continues in Chapter 10.

2.13.2  Trinity College, Dublin

During the first half of the 1700s four Bomfords and a large number of in-laws were educated at Trinity. They were all termed ‘Pensioners’ which meant that they paid a fixed sum for their education. Another group were the ‘Sizars’ who were educated free but had to work in the College by waiting on their betters, serving in the Fellow’s dining-room, keeping the place clean and so on. Dress was according to rank, varying from gowns trimmed with gold or silver for the sons of peers or baronets, to plain black gowns for the sons of shopkeepers; sizars had to wear a conspicuous red cap.

There was considerable esprit de corps amongst the students and fellows and, although the fellows held aloof from fighting, numbers of students would swarm out of college to avenge any insult offered to another student. Dublin was a violent city in those days; it was the age of faction fights, which left whole areas of Dublin desolate. The students, armed with massive keys tied to pieces of cloth, supported the Liberty Boys, the weavers and tailors of the Liberties, in their fights with the butchers of Ormonde Market. During these fights Dublin came to a halt as the battle raged from one side of the river to the other; shops were closed and shuttered; all business was suspended; and anyone not taking part was compelled to shut themselves in their houses. It is hard to believe that these fights were waged all day and often recommenced the next day. John Wesley, the Methodist founder, remarked that “the Ormonde mob and the Liberty mob seldom part till one or more are killed”. Although not many may have been killed, large numbers were seriously hurt often by having the tendon of the leg cut. These fights could only be stopped by literally hundreds of soldiers. There were no police until the next century, and faction fighting went on until well into the next century when the numbers and authority of the police took effect.

The College was considered a sanctuary for debtors and it was a foolhardy bailiff who would enter the place. If they were detected they were placed under the pump in the main court and all but drowned. On one occasion a bailiff was being disciplined under the pump when a Fellow, Doctor Wilder, passed and called out “Gentlemen, for the love of God, don’t be so cruel as to nail his ears to the pump”. The hint was taken and an ear transfixed with a ten-penny nail.

An unpopular Junior Dean, Edward Ford, was actually murdered by students in 1734 and because the students hung together no culprit was found. This Edward Ford was almost certainly one of the middlemen who leased Oakley Park and made £100 a year on the deal from 1724. The signature on the deeds changes in the year 1734, which implies father and son of the same name, so it was highly likely that it was the father who was murdered.

2.14  Lease - Ardrums  13th February 1720

John Fagan of Little Ardrums, Co Meath, farmer, leases to Edward Bomford of Clonmaghan for £35.17.6 the town and lands of Little Ardrums in the Parish of Rathcore for three lives, those of John Fagan and his two sons, Henry and John.

Signed: Edward Bomford

Witnessed: George Dennis of Summerhill; Hugh Charlton of Saint Johnstowne, Co Longford; and Arthur Dennis son of George Dennis.  (Book 27 Page 524 No 18037)

1.  It is good to see that at least one of the family was at Clonmahon for the old man’s death in March. In 1724 Edward was living at Rathflisk, no doubt with his sister and brother-in-law Simon Berwick. He finally settles, at some time before 1740, at Hightown, Co Westmeath. The 1836 Ordnance Survey map shows only one house on Hightown, called Heathstown House, and it may be in this house or its predecessor where Edward lived; indeed with the possibility of a clerical error it could be that Heathstown should read Hightown.

2.  In 1703 a portion of Little Ardrums was leased to Thomas Bomford. It is thought that this lease is not for Thomas’ land, as Edward would hardly rent it from his brother with John Fagan as a middleman. It is thought more likely that Thomas had given up his lease and that Edward had negotiated a new one with John Fagan.

3   Hugh Charlton of Saint Johnstowne, Co Longford is probably a close relative of Margaret Charlton (Edward’s wife), Perheps even her father. If so we now know where she came from.

2.15  Lease - Pranstown   17th February 1720

Charles Campbel [or Charles Campbell] of Dublin leases to Oliver Bomford of Cushinstowne the lands of Pranstowne containing 230 plantation acres (373 statute) in the Barony of Skreen, Co Meath, at a rent of £86 renewable for ever during the lives of Elizabeth Bomford, his wife, and his two sons, Andrew and Lawrence

Signed: Oliver Bomford

Witnessed: Edward Dalton, ‘Notary Publick’.  At Strongbows Tomb Christ Church in Dublin. (Book 28 Page 369 No 17929; also at NAI, 999/385, no. 2 - which may be the deed itself(Stuart Kinsella emails 12 & 13 Feb 2012))

Pranstown remains a Bomford property until at least 1790. It is situated in the Parish of Trevet to the east of Clounstown. There was a ‘farme howse’ there in 1654. It is also called Prancetown and Pranstown.

2.16  Public Records

Apart from the County and National Libraries, the two main sources of information were the Registry of Deeds, originally King’s Inns, in Henrietta Place, and the Public Record Office in the Four Courts over-looking the River Liffey.

Readers may be mystified by the Book, Page and Number, which follow most of the deeds in brackets. Although many Bomford deeds are at Crodara many more are missing, so a search was made in the Registry of Deeds. Here are many rooms crammed with massive tomes in which each deed is recorded by hand in legal jargon and without punctuation; these can be difficult to read, worse to make sense of. To the best of my ability the deeds recorded here are only a summary, with punctuation but keeping to the original spelling of proper names. Sometimes it was necessary to return to check a deed, hence the reference to the book, page and deed number.

The Public Records Office in the Four Courts was nearly completely demolished by fire during the ‘troubles’ of 1922. All the original wills were stored there and were burnt together with other invaluable and irreplaceable documents, as the early parish registers or marriage settlements. There would have been a complete absence of much information if Sir William Betham had not made his ‘Extracts of Wills’, which he wrote in notebooks covering the period up to 1799. A number of Bomford wills are included and Betham listed all the names in each will together with the date of the will and the probate date, but he could not make extracts of all wills.

Luckily in 1897 Sir Arthur Vicars made a complete list of all the wills in the Records Office and this had been published as the ‘Index to Prerogative Wills’ and covers the period 1536 - 1810; but it only gives the name of the person making the will, its date and the date of probate. Without the records of Betham and Vicars virtually no information would be available at all. However between about 1800 and 1922 there is that lack of information and we sadly miss the wills and so on of that period in this history.

Sir Arthur Vicars was the Ulster King of Arms (the chief herald) from 1893 to 1908. He was made the scapegoat and forced out of office as a result of the theft in 1907 of the jewels of St Patrick, known by the inflated name of the Irish Crown Jewels. The loss of the jewels was not discovered until the night before the royal visit to Dublin of King Edward VII. Dubliners enjoyed colourful descriptions of the furious royal reaction to the loss. King Edward was supposed to have shaken his viceroy, the timid and much hen-pecked little Lord Aberdeen, like a terrier a rat, and to have threatened the survival of the vice-regal testicles should the jewels not turn up pretty quickly.

After Sir Arthur was forced to resign he lived at Kilmorna in Co Kerry, a house belonging to his elder half-brother Pierce O’Mahony. During the Troubles in 1921 Kilmorna was burnt and Sir Arthur murdered by the raiders. But the I.R.A. disclaimed responsibility for the outrage, giving rise to the belief that, like the death of Pierce O’Mahony who had been found murdered, it was somehow connected with the theft of the Crown Jewels.

2.17  Death of Colonel Laurence Bomford  25th March 1720

Copied from Betham’s notebook (Vol 5, p 63): “Laurence Bomford Senr of Clonmaghan, Co Meath, Gent, 20th Decr 1718 (date of will), 12th Decr 1747 (date of probate).






Son in law

James Heyland

Simon Berwick









Edward B 

ex  (i.e. Edward Bomford - executor of will)


Rich  and

Thos Barwick”




1.  In the early stages of my investigation this will gave confirmation that, for instance, Oliver was one of the sons, and that the un-named daughter married Simon Berwick (or Barwick). The deeds gave added information and from both sources we now know that Simon Berwick had three sons Richard, Thomas and William the eldest.

2.  The cause of the delay between Laurence’s death on 25th March 1720 (his tombstone, 1.3) and the date of probate, 27 years later, must have been caused by some legal problem and there appears no clue as to what that might have been.  The date of probate is confirmed in the Index of Prerogative Grants: 1747, #176, will.

Death of Eleanor  25th January 1722

Just over a year later Laurence’s wife Eleanor died, aged 89. She died on the 25th January 1722 and they were buried together at Laracor. The tombstone has been described earlier, 1.3.

2.17.1  The Family Tree

There were, probably, other children who died at an early age.

2.18  Lease - Parkstown. Cooleronan & Crossenstown  21st February 1721

Francis Fleetwood of Parkstowne, Co Meath, leases to Thomas Bomford of Rahinstowne for a rent of £231, Firstly the town and lands of Parkstowne in the Barony of Lune containing 225 plantation acres (365 statute), part of the town and lands of Cooleronan, commonly called Great Wood, in the Manor of Portlester in the Barony of Lune, the above were formerly in the possession of Thomas Bomford, together with part of the lands of Colronan formerly in the possession of Richard Brown and before that in the possession of Patrick Moran, together with the corner of the Molefield joining the premises, containing 169 plantation acres (274 statute) all in the Barony of Lune.

Secondly part of the lands of Cornelstown, Co Meath, in the possession of Francis Fleetwood containing 189 plantation acres (306) statute being part of the land of Crossenstown and lying on the west of it, situated in the Manor of  Portlester in the Barony of Lune, Co Meath.

Thirdly the house and garden formerly in the possession of Henry Ossenbrooke in Crossanstowne.

Signed: Francis Fleetwood.  (Book 35 Page 241 No 22199)

1.  We are left guessing about much of this property which amounts to 945 statute acres with a house and garden which does not appear to have been used as a Bomford house, and all attached to each other. It is not clear whether Thomas previously had both Parkstown and Cooleronan or just the latter, neither is it clear how long he had them, but probably for 30 years which would mean that the original lease was dated c1691. There is no further mention of these places so it is likely that the lease was not renewed. If it were a 30-year lease then it would run out in 1751. It is possible that the balance of the lease was sold after Thomas death in 1740 to pay his debts. The Manor of Portlester in the Lune Barony must not be confused with the Portlester in the Manor of Kilmoon which belongs to Oliver.

2.  The land is situated on the Athboy to Ballivor road just south of Earl’s Bridge, which spans the Stonyford River. It is just over ten miles from Rahinstown so it is also likely that Thomas leased both the house and the land of this rather remote property. Ballivor used to be called Killaconnigan and all these places are in this parish. Many ancient battles were fought here between the English soldiers from Trim Castle and the Irish, as the Stonyford River was a natural boundary between them. Parkstown is northeast of Ballivor and southwest of the River Stonyford. The present Parkstown House is just outside Ballivor. Crossenstown is north of Parkstown and south of the river, the road to Athboy runs through it and Crossenstown House is on the west of the road, the house is still there. Coolronan (Colronan) is a large townland, which stretches to Westmeath from the Stonyford River north of Crossenstown. The western end is bog, nearly 500 acres of it, so Great Wood and Mole field must be at the eastern end where in 1654 there was “a wear, a mill and some cottages”.

2.19  Sale - Dublin Property  1st April 1721

Oliver and Stephen Bomford make over to Edward Ford for £431 a corner of Abbey Street and Stafford Street, Dublin.  (Book 29 Page 469 No 18361)

1.  I feel sure that Edward Ford was the same person who at this time was concerned with, and later owned, Laurencetown or Oakley Park, and who was later murdered by the students of Trinity College.

2.  This is the first mention of Dublin property. However almost certainly the Bomfords would have had a town house; it was the general trend during this century and the next, not only for the social and business life of the capital and of the Irish Parliament, but also because travel was so slow, to get to Dublin from Rahinstown Thomas would need about four hours, Oliver from Cushenstown about three hours, and both would be riding fast with a spare horse to travel so quickly and such a distance over the poor roads; so whatever their business they would have a night stop in town.

At some time during the previous century Burke records that Colonel Laurence was Secretary to the Court of Claims in Dublin. I have found no confirmation of this, but it would have been written by George Bomford about 1837 when the first edition of Burke’s Landed Gentry was printed and the information would only have passed through three generations, thus there is no real cause to doubt it. However as the Secretary, Laurence would have lived in Dublin for at least part of each year, so a house would have been a necessity.

Indeed the Bomfords may have owned a number of houses in Dublin. On the Colonel’s death this property might have been split between the sons, and each son would consider the needs of his family and decide whether to sell or not. There is evidence, for instance, that Laurence of Killeglan had a house in the Parish of St Mary and it is interesting that ‘a corner of Abbey Street and Stafford Street’ is in the middle of this parish, Thomas also may have had a town house “where he frequently resided for the attending the market’s and several Law Suits” (10.5).

A house in Dublin would be a minor property as far as these Bomford were concerned. It was customary that the principal estate be passed to the eldest son, or, in the event of a marriage not producing a male heir, to the nominated relative. Many marriage settlements had provision laid down for the younger children, which were often of money to be supplied from the income of an estate. These charges often caused considerable embarrassment to the eldest son who had to carry out the wishes laid down in his parent’s marriage settlement; this may be the reason behind the sale of this particular Dublin property.

In 1720 none of the public buildings, with which we are familiar, had been built. All the Courts, including the Court of Claims, were sited around St Patrick’s Cathedral inside the old walled town, which was naturally very crowded; so the town was expanding into the country. The area north of the river was first laid out during the reign of Charles II and included Capel Street together with four new bridges; then there was a pause and further expansion took place from about the date of this deed. Stafford Street has been renamed Wolfe Tone Street and crosses the west end of Abbey Street. At this time Abbey Street dissolved into fields and there was no Middle or Lower Abbey Street, nor indeed O’Connell Street.

In 1716 there is an Oakley Park lease in which the rent has to be paid “att Strongbow’s Tomb in Christ Church Dublin”. The Law Courts were then right up against the Cathedral walls and the crypt of the Cathedral had been turned into a tavern, the entrance to which was a partly arched and gloomy passage; over the arch was carved in the black oak a horned figure said to be the devil, and so the passage was known as ‘Hell’. The Christchurch hell was lined with taverns and snuggeries and led on into the crypt where lawyers carried out their sepulchral boozing. Above the taverns were apartments for men and there is a memorable advertisement “To be let, furnished apartments in Hell. N.B. they are well suited to a lawyer.”

2.20  Death of Oliver Bomford  1721

Neither Betham nor Vicar’s Index of Wills includes Oliver, but the following two references have been found

The first extract says that Oliver died in 1721 without making a will. The second extract implies that Oliver made a will in 1715, and, at first, it was thought that this was so, but I chanced upon the will of Sir Arthur Langford in Betham and found that it was dated 1st December 1715 which changes the apparent sense of the Eustace Abstract. It has been left in just to show how easy it is to draw wrong conclusions.

The deed of 16th December 1721 (3.2) shows that all Oliver’s children were minors and that their uncle, Thomas of Rahinstown, who was the senior member of the family, was their guardian.

Oliver is mentioned in the will of his brother Laurence (below) so it is likely that Oliver died between 10th June 1721 and November 1721. Since he died without a will it further looks as though he died suddenly.  He was in his early 40s (see 2.11 re his age).

The IGI has a record (as at Jan 2016) from Ireland Landed Estate Court files, event type probate, name Oliver Bomford, event date 1719, event location Meath, alternative event places Cushinstown, Kilmoon, Portlester, Bodman, document 011, volume 010, volume date range Jul-Sep 1851. An image is 'available', but you need a login and it hasn't been seen. The files are in the National Archives, Dublin.

2.21  Will of Laurence Bomford  10th June 1721

This Laurence is the third son of the Colonel.  We know about his will from Betham’s Extracts of Wills, Vol 4, p 31. He died on 10th June 1721 and the will was proved on

“Laurence Bomford 

Killeglan Co Meath


10th June 1721 
6th March 1722

uncle (?)

Andrew Wilson

(The relationship is barely legible, but he was Laurence’s uncle-in-law)


Phil Will Wilson (Ex)

(Philip William Wilson, the executor, must be a brother-in-law)


Thomas B



Stephen B (Ex)



Oliver B







Isabella   Ellinor, Mary, Wilson”.


Another version comes from the Irwin Papers (National Libary GO MS 433: Leonard Riley email 20 Feb 2009): Notes from the will of Laurence Bomford of Killeglan, Co Meath, gent.  Dated 10 June 1721 Probate granted (Prerogative Court) 6 March 1721 (O.S.) to William Wilson ltico and Stephen Bomford fratri naturali et legitime of the Deceased salvo jure Andrew Wilson gen necnon Thomas Bomford et Oliveri Bomford fratrum naturalium et legitimomum.  Executors, my uncle Andrew Wilson, my brother William Wilson, my brothers Thomas, Stephen, and Oliver Bomford.  Wife Susanna.  My children by her Laurence, Isabella, Ellenor, Mary, and Wilson.  Docket in the back “My Bror La [Laurence] Bomford his last will and Testament”.

Using these dates Laurence died between 10th June 1721 and the end of February 1722. His brother Stephen and brother in law Philip Wilson, were his executors. The Index of Prerogative Grants lists 1721 #115: Will, Bumford, Laurence - Killeglan Co Meath Gent.

If the thinking in 1.6.1 is correct, Lawrence was about 37 when he died, though he may have been 15 years older.  As he had time to make a will, he did not die suddenly, but neither did he die of old age.

2.22  The Family and their Estates  1722

Birth dates and ages in this section have been revised as per section 1.6.1.

Colonel Laurence died in March 1720 aged about 83 (2.17), and his wife Eleanor died in January 1722 aged about 69 (2.17). They were both buried in the Churchyard of Laracor (1.3). Their children (1.6, 1.10) and grandchildren were:

1.  Thomas is living at Rahinstown. His wife Elizabeth Tew is dead and there were no children which we know about, so he is probably living alone, aged about 52. He may have remarried to an Eleanor and with her had a daughter Mary, aged 10 in 1722.

2.  Oliver has just died, aged in his early 40s, but his wife Elizabeth Wilson is alive and probably does not die until the 1740s. She and the children who are all minors are living at Cushenstown. Their children are (see also diagram at 7.1.1):

a.  Thomas, who was at Trinity at this date, aged 19. The College Register of Students records “Bumford Thomas, Pensioner, (Mr Sheridan), Feb 28th 1720-21, aged 18, son of Oliver, Generosus, born Cushenstown Co Meath, BA Spring 1725”. This means that Thomas paid a fixed sum annually (Pensioner), was educated at Mr Sheridan’s school (1.8.4), entered Trinity in February 1720 or 1721 aged 18, his father was a gentleman (Generosus), and Thomas got his BA in the Spring Term of 1725. From this he could have been born in 1702 or 1703, but the deed of July 1724 (3.4) shows that he came of age after July that year and so he was born in 1703 sometime after July. Irwin's extract of the deed recorded at Book 23 Page 190 No 13055 (2.11) states that Thomas was aged 'about 15' at the date of the deed 17 March 1719, indicating a birth date around 1704.  Since Thomas, the eldest son, was born in 1703 and the Upton Papers give the order of the other children, we can hazard a guess at their birth dates.

b.  Elinor born c1705, aged 17.

c.  Andrew born c1707, aged 15.

d.  Arthur born c1709 aged 13.  Irwin's extract of the deed recorded at Book 23 Page 190 No 13055 (2.11) states that Arthur was aged 'about 11' at the date of the deed, 17 March 1719, so he was born about 1708.

e.  Laurence born c1711, aged 11.

f.  Margaret born c1713, aged 9.

g.  Oliver born c1715, aged 7.

h.  John born c1717, aged 5. John is not listed in the Upton Papers but there is a reference to him in the deed of January 1764 (7.18.1) in which he is given £1,000 in trust for the two sons of his brother Thomas. The deed is quite clear about John but it is not known when he was born. I have placed him as the 8th child.

3.  Laurence has just died, aged about 37, but his wife Susanna Wilson is alive and living with her five children, all minors (see diagram at 7.1.2). In April 1722, about 2 or 3 months after Laurence died, Killeglan House and lands were leased, so Susanna and the children must have left immediately after Laurence died. They probably went to Dublin; certainly they were there in June 1729 (3.5.1) when the children were still minors. In fact they were still minors in Feb 1731 (7.7.1). The Upton Papers give the order of the children and if Laurence the eldest was a minor in 1731 then he must have been born not later than 1710; so in 1722 the state of the children was along these lines:

a.  Laurence born c1710, aged 12.

b.  Isabella born c1712, aged 10.

c.  Ellinor born c1714, aged 8.

d.  Mary born c1716, aged 6.

e.  Wilson born c1718, aged 4 - two boys and three girls.

4.  Edward and Margaret Charleton 2.13.1 were married in 1715 or 1716. Initially they had no fixed home but lived at Clonmahon and probably stayed there until after his mother Eleanor’s death in 1722. In 1724 Edward was living at Rathflisk, most likely with his sister, Margaret Berwick. He finally settled at Hightown in Co Westmeath and may have moved there about 1725. There is a summary of Edward's family at 10.4.  Their children were:

a.  John born c 1718, so aged about 4 in 1722.

b.  Catherine born c1720, aged about 2.

c.  Lucy born c1722, just born.

d.  Anne born c1724, about to be born.

5.  Stephen, probably in his mid 30s, having married Anne Smith in 1713 (2.13).  In 1722 they were living at Gallow with the first four of their nine children:

a.  Thomas born c1716, aged about 6.

b.  Stephen born c1718 aged about 4.

c.  Ann born c1720, aged about 2.

d.  Dorcas just born.

See 5.8 for the remaining children.

7.  Margaret the elder daughter is probably in her mid 40s. She was married to Simon Berwick probably in the 1690s and they are living at Rathflisk to the west of Clonmahon. The Bomford lease of Rathflisk was due to run out in 1729 and it has been removed as a Bomford property from that date, but it is possible that it was made over to the Berwicks in the Colonel’s will and that they lived on there. However it is also possible that Margaret is dead and indeed Simon may be too, although he was mentioned in the Colonel’s will of 1718 so he was alive then. Edward and his family were at Rathflisk in 1724 the three boys would be in their late teens or early twenties at this time. The order of the children is not known. I have placed William as the eldest because he was a ‘life’. The other two children were recorded in Colonel Laurence’s will.

a.  William Berwick born before May 1711 when he was made a ‘life’ of the lease of Gallow. As a ‘life’ he was probably aged 10 plus in 1711 and so was born about the turn of the century. This further suggests that Margaret and Simon were married in the 1690s.

b.  Richard Berwick born c1702, aged about 20.

c.  Thomas Berwick born c1704, aged about 18.

6.  Elizabeth the younger daughter was probably in her 30s and was married to James Hyland. It is not known where they were living and it is thought that they had no children.

A snapshot of the family in 1740, with additional grandchildren, is at 5.8.

2.23  The Bomford Estates  1722


Property of 1702

 Acres Recent Leases


Thomas of Rahinstown












Oldtown (Meath)





Little Ardrums















































Total of  Thomas of Rahinstown


Thomas (Minor) of Cushenstown






Irishtown     }
































Total of  Thomas of Cushenstown


Laurence (Minor) of Killeglan






Edward of Clonmahon (later of Hightown)


Clonmahon (presumed sold)




 (x - Leased from Thomas of Rahinstown)

x Enniscoffey      }


 Little Ardrums



x Oldtown (W-M)}





x Hightown (or Balloughter)





x Clonfad







 Total of Edward


Stephen of Gallow

















 Total of Stephen









Bomford Total Acreage

Existing in 1702:


New leases:



Making a grand total of 14,809 statute acres.

Next Chapter: Chapter 3

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