The Irish Bomfords

Chapter XX

The Minority of George the Younger 1814 - 1832


20.1  The Winters of Agher

20.1.1  The Early Winters

20.2  Agher, early days, and the Pratt Family

20.2.1  The Pratt Family

20.3  Agher Church

20.4  Samuel Winter and his Children

20.4.1  Lady Arabella Denny

20.5  Agher, and young George and Samuel Bomford in 1820

20.5.1  Agher about 1820

20.6  The Winter Cousins

20.6.1 The Caulfeild Family

20.6.2  Later Winters

20.6.3  The Future of the Winter Houses

20.6.4  Winter Family Portraits

20.6.5  Winter Deed of Assignment  8th May 1827

20.7  Education of George and Samuel Bomford  1817-1832

20.8  Final Payment for Drumlargan etc  4th March 1815

20.9  The End of the Lands in Co Kildare

20.9.1  Mortgage Re-Payment on Dunfierth etc  14th October 1817

20.9.2  Mortage re-payment on Dunfierth ect.  14th December 1817

20.9.3  Sale of Dunfierth & Mucklin etc  17th February 1821

20.10  Rent roll of the Minor, George Bomford  c1828


20.1  The Winters of Agher

In the middle of the triangle of the Bomford properties of Drumlargan, Gallow and Rahinstown lies the 1,150 acres of Agher, the seat of the Winters. Ever since the Winters arrived at Agher in the 1770s they became involved with the Bomfords, and even by 1815 they had inter-married with them twice; firstly in 1809 when Arbella Winter married George Bomford, and secondly when Samuel Pratt Winter married Frances Rose, the daughter of Trevor and Mary Bomford, in 1812.

But now they have become even more deeply involved, for with the death of Arbella and George Bomford (18.8.6, 18.9.3), there are two young orphans, George and Samuel (19.7), to be taken care of. It was the Winters of Agher who undertook the task of bringing up these two little boys, educating them and looking after their considerable property of over six thousand acres. This task mainly fell on John Pratt Winter (20.4) but he could not have seen to it all alone; the two young children of age four and two needed a mother’s care and without doubt his wife Anne filled that position.

Furthermore George was a sickly child since he suffered from a “weakness of the spine” which was treated by sea bathing, and his eyesight was weak; by his late teens he had to wear spectacles. Anne was assisted by her unmarried sister-in-law, Anna Maria Winter the author, and it is a dedication in one of her books, which shows the Winter attitude to young George and Samuel. The book is unimportant and is typical of Victorian moralising as the title indicates: “Thoughts on the Moral Order of Nature.” This mammoth book of over twelve hundred pages in three volumes is dedicated to George and Samuel. An extract from the dedication reads:

My Dear Nephews,

In dedicating this work to you I am actuated by the hope that a careful study of the opinions consigned to it and mature reflections on them may induce you to form to yourselves more steady principles to guide you firmly in the paths of wisdom than youths of your age are commonly directed by at their entrance on life's scene.

Anxious relatives, fully competent to the arduous task, have, indeed, watched over your early years with such enlightened solicitude, that, though deprived of both your valuable parents at an age at which your memory could not serve to fix their images in your minds, you have always enjoyed precisely the same advantages of education, and the same heartfelt satisfaction, that would have fallen to your lot had you been living under the eye of a careful, yet indulgent father, and of a tender mother.

.  .  . 

Your truly affectionate Aunt, Anna Maria Winter.

With this background in mind, the following pages are devoted to the period of the children’s minority, and to the Winter family in particular.

20.1.1  The Early Winters

Much of the Winter history comes from the usual sources, but the more personal and often more interesting items come from the family history written by Samuel Winter Cooke (1847-1929) of Murndal, Victoria, Australia, and later of England. Gordon Forth of Victoria wrote a thesis on the Winter and Cooke families recently (1979) and had access to this history. I have not seen the manuscript but Forth sent extracts to me and to Brigadier Guy Bomford, and from these extracts and the other sources the following has evolved.  Gordon Forth has also written The Winters on the Wannon, Deakin University Press 1991 ISBN 0 949823 21 X, 191pp.  That book lists a number of additional published and unpublished sources. See report by Gordon Forth in The Latrobe Journal, No. 25, April 1980; a photocopy of 'The Winter Cooke papers' is in the State Library of Victoria. The State Library of Victoria also holds 'Reminiscences and papers' by Samuel Winter Cooke

A Winter family tree was prepared by Nora Bomford in 1968 and supplemented by her brother Guy Bomford in the 1980s.

1a Thomas Winter, (c1530 - ?), was born about 1530 of Co Oxford. Burke of 1879 states (c1530) “This family is a branch of the same stock as that from which sprung the Winters of Lydney, Co Gloucester, and was settled in Co Oxford antecedently to 1600”. A cousin was Sir William Winter of Lydney, Vice Admiral of England at the time of the Spanish Armada of 1588. At the time of Cromwell the Lydney branch was for the King, while Thomas’ grandson, Samuel, was for Parliament. Thomas must have had at least three sons because ‘a younger son’:

2b Christopher Winter, (c1570 - ?), born c1570, moved from Co Oxford to Balshall, Warwick. Residence in this area might be a connection with the Winters of Huddington Court and the ‘Gunpowder Plot’ of 1605; Thomas Winter was a cousin of Robert Catesby, the chief instigator of the plot, and a contemporary print in the Encyclopaedia Britannica shows two Winter conspirators, Thomas and Robert. Christopher’s son Samuel inherited.

3a Samuel Winter, (1603 – 1666), was born 1603 at Temple Balshall, Warwick; educated at King Henry VIII’s School, Coventry, and at Queen’s College, Cambridge, where he got a MA. Studied Divinity under John Cotton of Boston, Lincoln. He became Curate of Woolborough, Notts, and later lecturer at York but was forced to leave on the outbreak of the Civil War in 1640. Then Rector of Cottingham near Hull at £400 a year. Extracted from Burke, 1912 Edition:

“In 1650 Dr Winter was obliged to resign the living of Cottingham, York, of which he was Rector, being ordered by the then Government to proceed to Ireland with the Commissioners appointed for the settlement of that country, as their Chaplain, and was soon after (on 3rd June 1652) constituted Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, which the preceding troubles had left almost dissolute. In this office he exerted himself with great zeal and success to reassemble the surviving members, and to re-establish the discipline of the University. He appears to have been removed from the provostship at the Restoration.”

Samuel was removed by a special convention, which met in March 1663, and shortly after he returned to England and lived with his wife’s relations at South Cushing, Co Rutland, and died there in 1666. Whilst in Ireland he acquired estates in King’s County (Castletown, which must include neighbouring Oakley Park, Fea or Feagh 160 acres, Forelacky 99 acres, and Kinnetty 73 acres); in Co Meath (Tullyard 195 acres); and in Co Westmeath. Samuel married twice. Firstly to Anne Beeston of Boston, Co Lincoln, who died at Cottingham in 1645 having had 5 sons:

4a.  Samuel (see below).

4b.  Daniel who inherited a small property.

4c. Ebenezer and

4d.  Gonaught: they inherited only 100 acres between them, and that only on condition that “they should reform their wicked lives”.

4e.  Thomas who apparently received nothing in the will so may have died before his father.

Samuel married secondly in 1648 a widow, Mrs Elizabeth Weaver. It seems likely that John Weaver, Elizabeth’s brother-in-law and one of Cromwell’s four commissioners in Ireland, was responsible for Winter being summoned to Ireland in 1650.

Samuel Winter, (c1630 - 1670), the eldest son, was born c1630 at York. Ex Burke, 1912: “He was confirmed in the estates of his father by letters patent of King Charles II in 1668. He married Elizabeth, daughter or sister of Colonel Sankey”. The Colonel was Elizabeth’s brother since Burke of 1879 lists “Hierom Sankey, born 1621, Colonel of Horse, and Brigade Commander in Ireland, d.s.p. c1687.” He was an officer of considerable note under the Commonwealth. Elizabeth inherited Griffenrath (421 acres) near Maynooth where the family lived, and Ballygorn, both in Co Kildare. Samuel Winter died in 1670 and was succeeded by his son.

5a Samuel Winter, (c1650 – 1694), was born at Griffenrath c1650. He inherited all the estates from his father in 1670 and married c1685. His wife was Mary, daughter of Francis Pywell of Possickstown, Co Kildare, and she was born c1665. They had two sons, Sankey and Francis (below), before Samuel died in 1694 (will 16th February 1692). Later in 1697 Mary married secondly John Pratt of Agher (see below) but she had no more children.

6a.  Sankey Winter was born in 1688 at Griffenrath. His father died in 1694 so Sankey inherited when he was just four. He went to Trinity College and got his BA in 1708 and MA in 1711. He took Holy Orders in 1708, became Archdeacon of Killala 1712 - 1724, and then Dean of Kildare from 1725 until he died on 8th February 1736 or 1737. He probably married when he was at Killala since his wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Right Rev Dr William Lloyd the Bishop of Killala who died in 1716. They had no children and so as his will (probate 1737) states, “His estate of £1,000 a year descends to his brother Francis formerly woollen-draper in Castle Street, Dublin.”   

6b.  Francis Winter (c1690 – 1743)  was born about 1690 and as a younger son had to find his own living which he apparently did as a woollen draper in Dublin. However he was nearly 50 when his elder brother Sankey died and he inherited the Winter estates. Before 1738 but probably after he inherited in 1736/7, he married Margaret Pratt, the eldest daughter of Benjamin Pratt (1689 - 1771) of Agher and his wife Jane Nugent (see below). Francis Winter died in 1743 leaving one son and two daughters, all minors. In 1745 Margaret married secondly to a Captain Richard Pockridge but, according to the Winter history, it was an unsatisfactory marriage since “he was a profligate from whom she was obliged to separate”. She died in 1746.

The children were cared for by her brother John Pratt at Griffenrath.

7a The son, would have inherited the following estates:

In Co Kildare:

In Co Meath: Tullyard or Tullaghard (195 acres) about three miles north of Trim.

In Co Westmeath, some property of which there are no details.

In King’s Co:

The Meath, Westmeath and King’s Co properties were all the original Winter property.

It is convenient if we now break into the Winter history and trace the story of Agher and the early Pratt family which has already included a couple of Winter - Pratt marriages.

20.2  Agher, early days, and the Pratt Family

Before Cromwell, Agher belonged to the Lynch family together with Knock, Dungan’s Hill which was part of Drumlargan, and Summerhill. Lynch’s Wood in Drumlargan was got by Lynch from Baron Hussey of Galtrim by a trick; Lynch asked Hussey to rent it to him for the rotation of three crops; Hussey thought these would be oats or wheat, but Lynch chose oak, beech and elm; it is said that the lease has not run out yet and that the Forestry Department has only just set the third crop; George Bomford probably set the second crop.

Lynch (and Hussey) were removed in Cromwell’s Settlement and in 1650 the land was given to Henry Jones, Bishop of Meath and the brother of Colonel Michael Jones who won the Battle of Drumlargan which is also called the Battle of Dungan’s Hill.

Bishop Jones sold Summerhill to Rowley. A later Rowley or, to give him his proper name, Hercules Lord Langford, built the mansion of Summerhill House in 1731. This house was empty during the troubles of 1921 when the Republican Army burnt it down just before the ‘Black and Tans’ took it over as a depot.

Bishop Jones sold Agher to Pratt at the end of the 1650s. This Pratt was probably Richard of Leicestershire who supported Cromwell with money in 1641 and so was one of the ‘Adventurers’. For his support of the Commonwealth, Richard was given Garadice and his eldest son Joseph was recorded in the Trinity Register as “Armigar De Garradice” (Esquire of Garadice); and Joseph’s four sons were born there between 1666 and 1680. In 1640 the Down Survey records that there was ‘a castle’ in Garadice and this was no doubt the house of the Pratts (photo, sketch, both by Patrick Daly (emails Aug 2011)).  It is a townland of 573 statute acres between Drumlargan and Gallow, with a neck which stretches west almost to Agher, and in 1836 was still a Pratt property.

So Richard Pratt bought Agher at the end of the 1650s when his younger son Benjamin was about 20, and there Benjamin was installed with Joseph in neighbouring Garadice. The 1640 Down Survey states that the Parish of Agherpallice (meaning Agher of the fence but more likely of the ‘Pale’ which at one time ran along its southern boundary) consisted of three townlands, namely Agherpallice, Ballintogher, and the detached townland of Genetts (Ginnetts) near Galtrim to the north. Richard’s grandson is mentioned as being of ‘Agher and Ballintogher’, so both these townlands were included in the purchase from Bishop Jones. Ballintogher was of 81 statute acres in 1640 and had a mill; it lies between Agher, Ferrans, Oldtown and Gallow, the last three places being Bomford property around 1700. There is no definite proof that Ginnetts ever belonged to the Pratts; nevertheless it is thought that the Agher purchase was of Agher Parish, rather than Agher Townland. George Bomford’s account book of 1834 (24.2) includes a list of tenants of Ginnetts and he received just over £80 in rents from them. Certainly Ginnetts was not a Bomford property in 1834, but George may have been collecting the rents for the Winters who had inherited the Pratt property. Equally certainly, in both the surveys of 1837 and 1854, no Pratt, Winter or Bomford had anything to do with Ginnetts, but that does not necessarily prove that Ginnetts was not a Pratt property 150 years previously.

The townland of Agher is bounded by Gallow, Drumlargan and Rahinstown, all Bomford properties, and in 1640 consisted of 688 statute acres, which had increased to 1,147 in 1836 because of a change in boundaries. The survey of 1640, which was actually carried out much later by Sir William Petty, includes the observation that there was “on the premisses a castle, a church, a pigion hous & som cabins”. Benjamin Pratt must have lived in the ‘castle’ initially, but either he or one of his sons built a house on the site in Anglo-Norman style which became known as Agherpallis or, sometimes, Agher Palace; only later was it known as Agher.

20.2.1  The Pratt Family

A more detailed record of the early Pratts follows. Much of the information comes from Burke, the Trinty College Dublin Register; the Pratt documents in the National Library, and the Agher Church records.

Richard Pratt of Leicestershire supported Cromwell in 1641. He had a number of children but we are only concerned with the two younger sons, (the third and fourth), who came to Ireland.

3rd Son, Joseph Pratt

Joseph Pratt of Garadice, and later of Cabra Castle, married firstly Frances Couch, sister and heir of Colonel Thomas Couch of Cabra Castle, Kingscourt, Co Cavan. They inherited Cabra Castle sometime after 1680. This house was on the other side of the road to the present Cabra Castle, which was not built until the 1830s. Joseph married secondly Elizabeth Mervyn, a daughter of Sir Audley Mervyn. There were six children, probably from both marriages since one of the younger children was named Mervyn.

1.  Joseph Pratt, born 1666 at Garadice and educated at Trinity. Probably died before his father since he did not inherit.

2.  Benjamin Pratt, born 1669 at Garadice, BA (TCD) 1689, MA 1692, Fellow 1693, BD 1699, LL D 1702, Professor of Laws 1704, DD 1705, Provost of Trinity 1710, Dean of Down 1717. Married Lady Phillippa Hamilton, daughter of James 6th Earl of Abercorn. Doctor Benjamin inherited Cabra Castle but died without children on 6th December 1721 and Cabra passed to his brother.

3.  John Pratt, born at Garadice 1670, BA (TCD) 1689, became Constable of Dublin Castle and Deputy Treasurer of Ireland. Married Henrietta Clements and had children, but his two sons were drowned in Phoenix Park in 1723. He died in 1740 and Cabra passed to his brother Mervyn.

4.  Thomas Pratt, born at Garadice 1680, BA 1701, and died without children

5.  Mervyn Pratt inherited Cabra Castle in 1740 and it continued in his family for over 200 years. It was sold in 1966 by the present Mervyn (Sheppard) who resides in Kuala Lumpur and became a Muslim and a Tenko. Mervyn also came into Garadice which his family still owned in 1818 (Rev Joseph Pratt) and probably much later.

6.  Margaret Pratt’s 4th son was called Benjamin Pratt

Benjamin Pratt born 1639, was at Trinity in 1653 under Provost Samuel Winter, and inherited Agher. He married c1675 Margaret, eldest daughter of James Mortimer of Lisliman, Co Cavan. She was born in 1655 and died on 26th November 1713. He died on 3rd June 1706 and was buried under the floor of the old Agher Church, having had five children:

1.  John Pratt, born c1677, married 1697 Mary Winter (Pywell), widow of Samuel Winter of Griffenrath (see above). He appears to have lived at Griffenrath with Mary’s children by her first marriage even though, as the eldest son, he inherited Agher when his father died in 1706. However he had no children when he died in 1720 and the Pratt estates passed to his brother.

2.  Benjamin Pratt was not born until 1689 so some of his sisters may be older. Educated at Trinity, BA 1708. Married Jane Nugent on Sunday 14th March 1711 at 6 pm at Agher Church by Rev Moneypenny. Jane was the younger daughter of James Nugent of Clonlost, Co Westmeath, and his wife Jane who was a daughter of John Cooke of Cookestown, Co Westmeath: (8.5.2 Note 1). Jane Cooke had 12 brothers and sisters; one sister, Dorcas, married Richard Reynell and two of their sons, Nicholas and Edward, married the Winter sisters Jane and Mary (see below); another sister, Mary, married Edward L’Estrange and their eldest son married Anne Bomford in 1750. John Cooke’s brother witnessed the earliest remaining Bomford lease, that of Enniscoffey, in 1692 for Colonel Laurence Bomford. 

Although it is stated above that the eldest son John inherited Agher when his father died in 1706, it is possible that the place went direct to Benjamin. Certainly Benjamin lived there from 1712 since his children were all born there. However Agher and the other estates would have come to him anyway when his brother John died in 1720. Jane Pratt died in 1728 having had seven children. Benjamin married secondly Elizabeth Moore, a daughter of Judge Moore of Mopstown, but there were no more children.

Benjamin died 14th March 1771 aged 82 and was buried alongside his parents under the floor of the old Agher Church. He outlived all his children, and he left all the Pratt estates to his grandson Samuel Winter, son of his eldest daughter Margaret. His children were:

a.  Benjamin Pratt born at Agher 14th October 1712 at 9 pm. It may have been this Benjamin, or his father, who became a trustee to the marriage settlement of Stephen Bomford the younger in 1745. If this is so he died between 1745 and 1761.

b.  Margaret Pratt born at Agher 14th December 1713, married around the mid 1730s Francis Winter (c1690 - l743) (see above). She died in 1746 and her three children were cared for by her brother John Pratt at Griffenrath (see below).

i.  Samuel Winter, 1741 - 1811, see 20.4.

ii.  Jane Winter.  They both married into the Reynell family which later became involved with  George Bomford the younger (see 24.5).

iii.  Mary Winter.

c.  Anne Pratt born at Agher 17th March 1715.

d.  Mary Pratt born at Agher 1st April 1717.

e.  James Pratt born at Agher 19th October 1718 and died before 1761.

f.  Elizabeth Pratt born at Agher 2nd December and 1719 married Alexander Swift of Lynn Co Westmeath (2.5.1).

g.  John Pratt born at Agher 25th September 1721, educated at Trinity, BA 1743. Married his cousin Anne Pratt, a daughter of Mervyn Pratt of Cabra Castle; They had no children but were the guardians of the three children of Margaret and Francis Winter and brought them up at Griffenrath. John died of fever on 17th May 1761 and his father wrote of him, “a young gentleman of the strictest honour and integrity”. At this date he was described as an only son, so his brothers must have died before 1761.

3.  Elizabeth Pratt.

4.  Margaret Pratt.

5.  Anne Pratt married twice, firstly to John Smith of Violetstown, Co Westmeath, eldest surviving son of John Smith of Violetstown and his wife Dorcas Wheatley (8.5.1). John’s sister was Anne Smith who married Stephen Bomford of Gallow in 1713. Stephen died in 1759 and John Smith was an executor of his will. They had three children:

a.  John Smith of Anneville, Co Westmeath married Louisa Birmingham and died 1794.

b.  Richard Smith of Violetstown who died in 1807.

c.  Benjamin Smith of Violetstown who died unmarried in 1809.

John Smith died between 1763 and 1766. Anne married secondly Thomas Walpole between 1766 and 1768.

20.3  Agher Church

Agher Church lies just outside the garden of Agher House, and so gives the impression of a private church. It is not known when it was first built but the Down Survey records, “The Rectory consistinge of all the Tythes of the sayd Parish greate & smale was in the yeare 1640 in the Posession of Mr Robert Bunninge as Parson was in the sayd yeare worth Tenn pounds.” After the Commonwealth resettlement it would appear that Agher Church never had a parson or rector to itself, though it sometimes had a curate.

From 1699 until his death in 1745 Jonathan Swift was Vicar of Laracor and was also Rector of Agher, but he lived at Laracor when he was not away in Dublin or London. As seen above Benjamin Pratt was married in 1711 at Agher by the Rev Moneypenny and not by Dean Swift who was in London from 1708 to 1713. Henry Moneypenny was rector of the neighbouring parishes of Gallow, Drumlargan and Rodanstown, and it was no doubt he who took care of Agher during Swift’s absence. Henry was Rector of Drumlargan Church until 1674 when it was shut down, then Rector of Gallow until 1682 when it also was shut down; Gallow and Drumlargan Parishes were then combined with Rodanstown, and Henry became Rector of the combined parishes. Later the Rev John Bomford was Rector of Rodanstown from 1755 until he died in 1776, and no doubt he also took the odd services at Agher.

In the National Library there is a subscription list of 1744 in the Agher Vestry Minute Book. The money was to go to repairs on the roof and amounted to about £30. Both Stephen Bomford the elder and Stephen the younger contributed £1.10.0 each. This book spans the years 1745 to 1800 and there is no record of any Bomford in the Vestry: their church may have been at Rodanstown, although the later Bomfords of Rahinstown attended the Church at Rathcore. However there was one Bomford Agher parishioner from 1790 to 1800: he signed the minute book as ‘Oliver Bomford of Agher’ and cannot be placed in the family tree (17.9.1).

By 1793, when John Bolton was in charge, the Church and walls were “badly out of repair since 1641”. John Bolton lived at Ratoath, eight miles away, and his curate was William Major. The curate lived at the Glebe House beside the school on Agher estate just north of Rahinstown. No doubt this state of affairs continued until, in 1804, a new church was built to seat 100. The money was raised by voluntary contribution and both Stephen the younger and George Bomford the elder contributed, but the cost was mainly born by Samuel Winter who made a gift of £450 and later, to make up the short-fall, a loan of £168. The commemorative wall plaques of the Pratt family (photo) were erected from the old church, but the new church is still famous for its East Window (photo). This window was made in Dublin by Thomas Jervais (or Gervaise, or Jarvis) and is the second earliest known piece of Irish-made stained glass. The unusual subject is St Paul preaching to the Athenians. It was formerly in the private chapel of Dangan Castle, the seat of the Wellesley family, which was burnt down accidentally in the 1790s. The chalice and other Communion silver was presented by Hercules Langford Rowley, Lord Langford of Summerhill, in 1747. Soon after the new church was built Samuel Winter built the Winter Vault (photo) in the churchyard to the right of the gate. He was the first Winter to be buried in it in 1811. Fourteen Winters, seven on each side, are buried there and the last one was Mary Anne Winter who died in December 1906.

The congregation in 1836 was about 40, many of whom were tenants of the Winters; but some must also have been tenants of the Bomfords.  Later Bomfords who lived at Drumlargan went to church at Agher and the records show over a dozen Bomford baptisms, six marriages and three burials.

Laracor was considered to be the Bomford burial ground, although it was too far away to travel for a Sunday service. Unfortunately the Laracor Church records of the earlier days have been lost, and those records in existence only show the burial in 1886 of George Bomford the younger. The graveyard there would be a happy hunting ground for Bomford tombstones by the energetic with spades because it is terribly overgrown - even the grave of Colonel Laurence and Elinor cannot be seen: only the railings are visible through the brambles. (In the mid 1990s much of the bramble had been cleared: 1.3 has a photo.)

20.4  Samuel Winter and his Children

It will be remembered that Francis Winter (20.1.1), c1690 - 1743, married Margaret Pratt (1713 - 1746) and had a son who inherited as a minor and two daughters (20.2.1). This son was Samuel Winter.

Samuel Winter was born in 1741 and was brought up with his two sisters, Jane and Mary, at Griffenrath by his uncle John Pratt (1721 - 1761). Samuel never went to school but was taught farming and estate management at Griffenrath. In 1762 when he came of age he inherited the family property and also in that year, on 4th December, he married Margaret, youngest daughter of Joseph Robbins, who had just died in 1761, of Ballyduff, Co Kilkenny, and his wife Margaret, a daughter of Sir Henry Piers, 3rd Baronet of Tristernagh Abbey, Co Westmeath. Margaret was born on 21st September 1735, died on 17th November 1814, aged 79, and was buried in the Agher vault. Of her the Winter History records, “her strong under-standing had been much impaired and for a considerable time before her death she was in a state of mental imbecility.” Through this marriage her children inherited the Robbins estates in 1819; a deed concerning these estates comes later (20.6.5) and refers to the marriage settlement of 1809 between George Bomford and Arbella Winter (18.8.4) where the Robbins and Blunden history will be found.

In 1771 Benjamin Pratt died and Samuel Winter inherited the Pratt estates, which included Agher, Killeter (c160 acres in Co Cavan) and Killynon (720 acres in Co Westmeath). Thus the Pratt and Winter estates were combined. Samuel then rebuilt Agher House, left Griffenrath and moved to Agher in 1776; but the cost of building a large three storey square house over a basement, and other financial misfortunes, caused Samuel to heavily mortgage the estates and some were sold, (Griffenrath and Moorstown in 1779).

In 1778 and again in 1784 he was High Sheriff of Meath. In 1784 as was the custom he appointed a deputy under-sheriff, Robert Sharman, to perform most of the work; when Sharman misappropriated public funds and fled the country, Samuel was held responsible and obliged to make good the loss. This added financial loss caused him to live quietly at Agher until his death. He died aged 70 on 19th May 1811 and was the first occupier of the Winter vault, which he had built. There were five children who survived to adulthood, altogether there were 13. 

1.  John Pratt Winter (1768 - 1846) of Agher was born on 25th May 1768 at Griffenrath. When he was 10 he was sent to Rev Oliver Miller’s school at St Mary Abbey, and lived with his uncle, Thomas Barnes, at Usher’s Island, Dublin. At 15 he became a fellow commoner at Trinity and there, in 1787, won the College Historical Society’s medal for oratory, and graduated BA. In 1789 he was made a burgher of Dublin Corporation, and in December of that year travelled to London to enrol at Middle Temple. After a European tour in 1791 he was called to the Irish bar in 1792 and carried out magistrate’s duties in the Northern Circuit 1792 - 1793.

John Pratt Winter was 26 when he married Anne Gore at Lewisham Church, Blackfriars, London on 4th August 1794. Anne was a daughter of Captain Arthur Gore of EICS who was the youngest son of William Gore of Barrowmount, Co Kilkenny; her mother was Catherine Pocklington. Anne was born on 26th June 1771, died 28th August 1848 and was buried in the Agher Winter vault. The couple lived in Eccles Street, Dublin, where at least three of their children were born; they also lived at Agher until their own country house at Tullyard was completed in 1808 and it was at Tullyard that their two youngest children were born.

In January 1798, at the time of the threatened French invasion, John Pratt Winter was appointed a captain in the Lawyer’s Corps of the Yeomanry. However he very soon resigned his commission because he felt “great repugnance to aid in any way the coercive measures now adopted by the government and much indignation particularly at the systematic burning of the houses of the peasantry resorted to for the suppression of outrage…..”. This attitude virtually ruined any prospects he might have had in politics or a lucrative government post for which he was trained, and he had to fall back on agriculture for which he had little inclination and no training. Much later he described this act as “a hasty and false step” which he “never ceased to regret” and which apparently “greatly displeased (his) family and friends”. In 1803 he wrote Observations on the temper and spirit of the Irish nation, at the present crisis (copy online; also in the British Library).

So he had to give up his work as a barrister and retire to the country. However five years later he raised his own detachment of the Yeomanry and was commissioned on 20th July 1803 Captain of the Rathmolyon Cavalry; his Lieutenant was George Bomford (the elder, 1759 - 1814) of Drumlargan, his brother-in-law. This must have gone some way to cancel his unpopularity since in 1803 he was appointed a Resident Magistrate (JP) for Meath and Kildare, in 1804 he was made Deputy Governor of Meath and in 1805 High Sheriff.

His father died in 1811 and he inherited Agher and the other Winter estates all of which were heavily charged to provide portions for the younger children under the terms of his parents' marriage settlement. He stayed on at Tullyard until his mother died in 1814 when the whole family moved to Agher.

In 1817 his financial position was so serious that he was forced to lease Agher, auction his stock and furniture, and take his wife and the younger members of the family, including young George and Samuel Bomford to live in a boarding house in Paris. They remained there for seven years, returning in 1824. The decline in the Winter family fortune during this period was one of the major factors which caused younger members of the family to leave Ireland in search of better opportunities, and it was unfortunate that this decline coincided with the slump in prices of agricultural products after the Napoleonic War. John Pratt Winter used his time in Paris to write a number of reformist pamphlets which he published on his return in Dublin. Among his publications was a book The domestic policy of the British empire viewed in connexion with its foreign interests published in 1823. J R Mace (email 21 Jun 2015) has a copy of the second edition, printed for J Ridgway, 170 Piccadilly, in 1824. It is cited, without attribution to an author, in, for example, The Edinburgh Review (Google Books), listed in a publishing list for J Ridgeway, and available in a few libraries. J R Mace's copy has the signature of Benj Pratt Winter dated February 1826 on the contents page, and A Bomford dated 5th April 1847 on the title page - presumably John Pratt Winter's 8th and 9th children (20.6) (photos by J R Mace, email 23 Jun 2015).

Apart from a second term as Deputy Governor of Meath, John Pratt Winter lived quietly for the remainder of his life with his wife at Agher. He died on 31st August 1846 but was not buried at Agher; this is so surprising that one wonders whether he did not die overseas.

2. Francis Pratt Winter was born at Griffenrath on 4th July 1771. He received his BA at Trinity in 1793 and was ordained in 1795. He was installed Vicar of Rathconnell on April 26, 1800, and became known as ‘the hunting parson’; Rathconnell is now part of the Parish of Killucan but in those days the church was 2½ miles from Mullingar on the Kells road. Francis lived either at Killynon (see 18.8.4) another 2½ miles nearer to Kells, or at Clondrisse on the opposite side of the road. In 1819 he resigned the living after a quarrel with his bishop, Dr O’Beirne, Bishop of Meath 1798 - 1823, who was well known for his dislike of hunting parsons. In 1820 Francis joined the rest of the family in Paris, returning with them in 1824 to Agher where he lived for the rest of his life. Around 1826 he leased a portion of Drumlargan from George Bomford and farmed it. In 1831 he became guardian of his brother Samuel’s eight children. He never married and died on 21st July 1847 being buried in the Agher vault.

3.  Anna Maria Winter of Agher, was born on 10th September 1773 at Griffenrath, died unmarried on 22nd January 1837 aged 64 and was buried in the Agher vault. She was the ‘spinster aunt’ who took Frances Rose (Bomford) to Rome in 1810 - 1811; helped care for George and Samuel Bomford from 1815 and went to Paris with the family 1817 - 1825; then from 1831 she helped care for her brother Samuel’s eight orphaned children. She published three books; “Some Thoughts on the Moral Order of Nature”, Dublin 1831; “The Fairies and other Poems”, Dublin 1833; and “The Ideal Confidant”, a poem, Dublin 1836.  Earlier references are at 18.6, 18.6.2, 20.1.

4.  Arbella Winter was born at Griffenrath and named after her godmother, Lady Arbella Denny, The Denny family of Co Kerry were intermarried with the Blennerhassett, Chute, Bateman and Crosbie families and were sort of relations of the Bomfords. It is said that Arbella was born in 1773 but this must be wrong as Anna Maria was born that year and they were not twins; 1773 may have been misread for 1775. Arbella was married at Agher on 22nd March 1809 to George Bomford of Drumlargan (18.8.4). He died in l814, and she twenty months later. It is their two surviving orphaned children, George the younger and his brother Samuel, wards of John Pratt Winter, who are the subject of this chapter.

5.  Samuel Pratt Winter was the youngest, born 25th February 1779 at Agher. In June 1795 he entered Trinity where he got his BA in 1800. On 20 July 1812 he married Frances Rose Bomford, the youngest daughter of Trevor and Mary Bomford and ward of George Bomford of Drumlargan. Their marriage and children have been covered under the entry starting 18.6

20.4.1  Lady Arabella Denny

Lady Arabella Denny, godmother of Arbella Winter, 1707 - 1792 was a daughter of Thomas Fitzmaurice, 1st Earl of Kerry, her mother being Anne, only daughter of Sir William Petty (1.4.1).  Her husband Arthur Denny of Tralee died in 1742 and she devoted herself to works of charity in Dublin.  She looked after many institutions including the Foundling Hospital, but the Magdalen Asylum in Leeson Street (opened in 1767) was her special care.

20.5  Agher, and young George and Samuel Bomford in 1820

In 1820 young George Bomford was aged 9, and his brother Samuel was aged 7. Their immediate relations were the Winter and Bomford uncles and aunts who that year were:

and maybe, if still alive in 1820, a couple of much older aunts:

So effectively they had only one Bomford aunt, Maria, and it makes sense that it was the Winters who were selected to bring up the two children.

Agher House would have been pretty full in 1820 if the family were not in Paris. However it was the base of all John Pratt’s children, five sons and three daughters, ranging in age from 24 down to 10; and it was the ten-year-old Arbella whom young George was destined to marry. There were also youngsters across the fields at Rahinstown; the only boy there was 18, and the six girls were between 20 down to 10. The younger family of uncle Samuel Winter and aunt Frances Rose was even closer at Clarkestown, and by 1820 they had five children, the eldest being 5; and young Samuel Bomford was destined to marry one of these children. Thus there were plenty of youngsters about, and we could include the Coates cousins at Bridestream House near Kilcock, and the young Purdons at Ardrums House just south of Agher.

One would like to think of budding romances occurring between young George and Samuel and the Winter girls in the late 20s and early 30s, but various sources indicate that it was quite the reverse. Agher was severely encumbered with debts and John Pratt had difficulty in making ends meet, so, as was often the case in those days, John Pratt arranged all the marriages as a matter of finance. It was young Arbella’s fate to be married to young George Bomford who, by Agher standards, was a rich and so eligible young man and so very suitable for John Pratt’s plans.

It is reported by Forth that John Pratt Winter kept Arbella “shut in the schoolroom” to prevent her meeting other young men, and then “married her off to George in spite of the young couple’s dislike of each other”. The union was never considered a truly happy one. My grandfather, George Lyndon Bomford, wrote that George was “eccentric and peculiar”.

Agher remained full of children for some years because both Samuel Winter and his wife Frances Rose (Bomford) had died by 1831 leaving their eight children all minors. They came to Agher and were cared for there. Frances Jane, one of these children, was also kept away from possible suitors since John Pratt planned to marry her to young Samuel Bomford, which he did in 1839. Many of these children were shipped off to Australia in the 1830s at ages, which now-a-days would be considered very young. However it was not unusual for marriages to be arranged as a matter of finance, but John Pratt’s action might have been tempered by thoughts of the Rahinstown elopement in 1826 of Susan Margaret Bomford and Charles Martin. Nevertheless Samuel Bomford’s family remembered his attitude and, as Guy Bomford relates, John Pratt Winter was known to their family as “The Ruffian”.

20.5.1  Agher about 1820

But to return to Agher of about l820, the following comes from the Ordnance Survey Field Name Book of 1836, but could be applied to 1820

“The Townland contains 1,147 acres statute measure, plus 24 acres which are in the Parish of Gallow (this is Clarkestown); of this there are 68 acres of trees of different sorts and 15 acres of bog; of the remainder about one third (350 acres) is cultivated and two thirds (710 acres) grazing. It is the property of Lord Langford (of Summerhill) from whom John Pratt Winter holds the whole for three lives renewable forever at the annual rent of £92.6.2. A portion is let to under tenants at £1.12.6 an acre. Near the townland centre is Agherpallis. It is an excellent house with good offices (i.e. out-buildings, yards, etc), orchard and garden with a large portion of ornamental grounds. Just to the West of it is the Parish Church without spire or steeple situated in a graveyard and surrounded with trees, built in 1804 capable of holding 100 but only about 40 attend Divine Service. The houses of the tenantry are nearly all built with stone and about a quarter are Protestants. Kilcock 4 miles is the nearest market town.”

Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of 1837 states “Agher House is the residence of J. P. Winter and occupies a beautiful situation in a demesne of about 360 acres. It contains some fine timber. The gardens are extensive and well laid out. The cottages on the estate are excellent manifesting the proprietor’s regard for the comfort of the peasantry.”

It is hard to visualize now-a-days how the place looked then. The house has gone and the timber mostly felled. Agher House burnt in c1945 and the Land Commission built the structure which now stands between the site of the old house and the farm yardsshortly afterwards (information from Seán Hayes [email 31 Dec 2007], who grew up in the stewards house, the red brick house beside the church, on the Agher estate. His grandparents, Michael and Anne Egan, bought the stewards house and about 60 acres, including part of the yard, gardens and outbuildings,from the Land Commission in c1944).Agher House was on rising ground so the view from the front door must have been considerable, looking across the Rye water and the Royal Canal towards the plains around Naas with the Wicklow Mountains as a backdrop. The ridge of Gallow cuts off the view to the southeast, but woods were planted to enclose that side and also to the west towards Rahinstown. As usual there were two avenues; the back avenue passed the Church and went to the yard, from there it continued on past the back of the house and came out on the road that winds through Drumlargan and Garadice; the front avenue swept up to the house through ‘the plantation’, stands of magnificent trees. All this can be seen on the 1836 ordnance survey map which also shows the other woods and roads, and a number of houses which include two schools, a dispensary, RC Chapel, Glebe House and a number of cottages.

It is interesting that both the survey extract and Lewis should comment on the houses of the tenants, and there is more in the Statistical Survey of County Meath, printed in 1802 for the Dublin Society. Agher and the Winters are cited in this book on a number of occasions for their go-ahead farming techniques; the sowing of winter wheat, manuring of land in winter by deliberate flooding, the rotation of tillage and pasture, the introduction of clover as a crop, drainage by covered sewers, movable fences and hedges of furze were all at least thought about by Samuel Winter and his son John Pratt if they had not actually experimented with them. Many of these ideas are now common practice but in Ireland at that time they were very ‘new’.

This Meath Survey condemns the living conditions of the ‘peasantry’ and the following is an extract in the book from a letter on the subject written by J.P. Winter -

“Here is spacious field for improvement, and one so important and interesting, that, besides the exertions of individuals, it ought, I conceive, never to be omitted in the plan of any Irish society. The contrast between the stately mansion here, and hard by the filthy hovel, so outrages the feelings of human nature: The advantages, in point of moral effect, of a clean, comfortable, and cheerful dwelling, compared with an abode, dismal, dark, and dirty, are so incalculable. ...”.

John Pratt Winter continues in like vein for three pages. Nevertheless on Agher his workmen were housed in stone buildings with slate roofs, and as the survey states “the tenants at Augher have more the appearance of real comfort than those of any estate that I have seen in the county, by the addition of a good kitchen garden to each house.”

Young George Bomford must have been aware of and affected by the enlightened atmosphere at Agher, which was so far ahead of the times. No doubt his later days at Oakley Park reflected those early days at Agher with the Winters. Certainly the ‘good name’ of Bomford around Kells must have been forged initially by George and Arbella; they cared about their people, so did the Winters.

The benevolence of the Winters to their tenants around Agher must have also had a bearing on the behaviour of the people during the troubles of 1798, and indeed all the later agrarian outrages. The area was far from peaceful in 1798; there was the case of Mr Philips of Ash Green House on Knockstown, George Bomford’s property, who was chased out of his house, reputedly ‘in his night clothes’, he was so shaken that he never returned and his house slowly disintegrated; William Major, the Protestant curate of Agher, was attacked twice at the Glebe House and had to fly for his life on both occasions;  one of the ‘rebels’ of 1798 was Laurence O’Conner, the school master at Agher, who was captured and sent to Trim jail where he was publicly hung, drawn and quartered, - the normal sentence for any leading ‘rebel’;  the village of Dunboyne was completely burnt down; the garrison town of Kilcock was partly destroyed and Colonel Michael Aylmer’s house, Courtown, amongst others were burnt to the ground, and this must have been really serious trouble which the troops of the garrison could not contain; but then the troops were so disgracefully undisciplined that the Army Commander declared in a General Order of 26th February 1798 that the army were “in such a state of licentiousness as must render it formidable to everyone but the enemy”.

It is not possible to judge this period by present day standards. Nevertheless for the Bomfords and the Winters to pass through this period of discontent without trouble, with all the upheavals it must have brought, for George Bomford to be so sure of the future that he bought land at this time, and for the troubles to pass without reference in the documents, indicate that both these families must have been sympathetic to the peasantry, and have shown little interest in politics even though they must have become involved with the aftermath of at least some of the incidents. Indeed it is probable that, like so many of the Meath Protestant landowners, they did not favour the government because they were much more liberal in their outlook. No doubt it was this liberal outlook that caused John Pratt Winter to resign from the Yeomanry in 1798, largely because he could not stomach a government which ill treated the poor people; on the other hand it is equally easy to understand why his neighbours, like the Aylmers, who had been burnt out of their houses by that same peasantry, viewed J.P. Winter’s action in a most unfavourable light.

Incidentally Colonel Michael Aylmer could not rebuild the looted and burnt Courtown House because he was not granted sufficient compensation from the State. However in 1815 his son John did build a new house, which was much enlarged in 1900 and finally sold in 1947. Colonel Michael’s father, Charles Aylmer, married Elinor one of the daughters of James Tyrrell of Clonard in 1749; James Tyrrell was the hard worked executor of Thomas Bomford the elder. Another connection with the Bomfords was the Colonel’s great grandfather, John Aylmer; John married Mary, a daughter of Thomas Whyte of Pitchfordstown, just outside Kilcock, in 1705 and it was from Henry Whyte, Thomas’ brother, that Thomas Bomford the elder leased Boycetown in 1725. Thomas Bomford bequeathed Boycetown to Patrick Sandys of Cookstown, the other executor with James Tyrrell.

20.6  The Winter Cousins

The Winter Family Tree may help here.

Young George Bomford’s first cousins were the children of brothers John Pratt Winter and Samuel Pratt Winter (20.4), and the former were to become his brothers and sisters-in-law when he married John Pratt Winter's daughter Arbella Winter.

Young Samuel Bomford’s first cousins were of course the same, but the children of Samuel Pratt Winter were to become his brothers and sisters-in-law when he married Samuel Pratt Winter's daughter Frances Jane Winter (26.2.1). So in both cases the relationship was to become closer.

Samuel Pratt Winter’s children have been detailed under 18.7. It now becomes necessary to detail the children of John Pratt Winter with whom both George and Samuel Bomford were brought up. Some were quite a bit older than our two youngsters but the younger ones were their playmates. John Pratt Winter’s family all lived at Tullyard until 1814, then for three years at Agher where young George and Samuel joined them, then for seven years in Paris (1817 - 1824) and finally back in Agher.

1.  Samuel Winter, the eldest son, was born 2nd August 1796 in Dublin; he was educated at home and then at Trinity, BA 1817, and called to the Irish Bar in 1820. On 18th November 1826, when he was 30, he married Lucy Sanderson, the 2nd daughter of James Sanderson, JP and DL of Cavan, of Cloverhill near Belturbet Co Cavan (24.5). Lucy was born 18th October 1800 and died 11th November 1864.   Before he was married, Samuel lived at Agher until his father returned from Paris in 1825 and he no doubt looked after the place until the family returned. After the marriage Samuel and Lucy lived at Tullyard until 1846 when he succeeded to Agher, and the next year he came into the bulk of the estate of his uncle, Rev Francis. Their seven children were brought up at Tullyard.

Samuel was a JP and Deputy Lieutenant of Meath, in 1837 he was elected High Sheriff of Meath and in 1851 of Cavan. He was a guardian of the Trim Union (Workhouse) and in 1861 was Chairman of the Guardians. He died on 6th November 1867 and was buried with his wife Lucy in the Winter vault at Agher Church.

2.  Arthur Gore Winter, born 24th February 1798 in Dublin, entered Trinity and got his BA in 1818. He then went to Grey’s Inn but gave up law in 1823 and unsuccessfully sought an army commission. He went to Greece as a member of Lord Bryon’s Expedition; this expedition lasted from July 1823 until Lord Bryon died in April 1824. Arthur arrived in time to accompany Bryon’s remains to Zante where he was imprisoned for several months, contracted fever and died in Greece during October 1824. He never married.

Note from John Pratt Winter's history: Agher was badly damaged in February 1813 when these two brothers, Sam aged 17, and Arthur aged 15, “caused a basin of gunpowder to explode in the upper storey”. He goes on about these two: “They had never been at any school or received any instructions with a view to their going to college but from myself and that in a very desultory manner except for a short time when Mr Leaky was employed to read with them for their entrance.” They both entered Trinity in October 1813.

3.  Anna Maria Winter was born in Dublin on 19th June 1799. She married William Humphrys of Ballyhaise on 10th January 1821. William’s father, another William, bought Ballyhaise House about 1800 from the Newburgh family and extended it on both sides. Burke’s Country Houses speaks well of this important house, which is near Belturbet and Cloverhill, the home of her sister-in-law Lucy (Sanderson); it was originally built about 1733. William Humphrys was born in 1798, became a JP and DL of Co Cavan, and died in 1872. They had four children before Anna Maria died on 10th February 1831. William married secondly Clarissa, a daughter of Hugh Moore of Eglantine, Co Down.

a.  William Humphrys, born 1827, inherited Ballyhaise in 1872 but he never married and the place was passed to the second son when he died in 1877.

b.  John Winter Humphrys, born 1829, married 1854 Priscilla who died in 1911 and was a daughter of Rev James Perkins Garrett of Kilgarron or Janeville, Co Carlow. John died in 1884 and Ballyhaise passed to his son William, Anna Maria’s grandson, who served in the Royal Navy. Ballyhaise was sold by William’s second son, Nugent Winter Humphrys, at the beginning of the 1900s, and is now an agricultural college.

c.  Mervyn Archdale Humphrys was born in 1830 and was killed in the Indian Mutiny whilst attacking Delhi in 1857.

d.  Anne Elizabeth Humphrys was married to Amoric Russell McGuire in 1860.

4.  John Pratt Winter (the younger), born 31st October 1800, was educated at Mr Feinaigle’s school and in 1817 entered Trinity, but he failed to qualify. In August 1819 he accompanied his aunt Anna Maria Winter to Rome where he studied drawing and painting for five years. He returned to Paris, where the family was, to study art and stayed on there until he returned to Ireland in November 1832.

On 25th June 1835 he married his cousin Mary Winter at Agher. Mary was the eldest child of Samuel Bomford and Frances Rose Winter and was born at Clarkstown House in 1814. She had two daughters before she died in Paris on 11th November 1856. As a wedding present they were given Ballyduff in Co Kilkenny (20.6.5); Ballyduff was originally part of the Robbins estate but due to lack of male heirs it passed to the surviving children of Samuel Winter (1741 - 1811) in 1819, in 1834 John Pratt Winter bought up the shares of Samuel’s other children and gave the place to the married couple. However as far as is known they never lived there, but lived in Dublin. John became a portrait painter and the 1913 edition of Strickland’s ‘Dictionary of Irish Artists’ records, “Winter John b 1801 d after 1841. Portrait Painter. Born in Dublin in l801 he was painting portraits about the middle of the century, and exhibited in the Royal Hibernian Academy. Nothing is known about his works. He was living at 29 Richmond Place in 1841.”

The Dublin Directories record that he was living at 29 Richmond Place between 1829 and 1841 (the Winter history places him in Paris until 1832, so perhaps his father had this house initially), then at 29 Lower Mount Pleasant Avenue between 1842 and 1844, and finally at Aardeven, Rathgar, until he died [in 1867 according to the Winter family tree; on 11 November 1864 according to the next paragraph; or on 12 May 1885 according to the probate records at the Public Record Office in Belfast (Hawkes and Tait email to Richard Bomford 1 Oct 2006)]. Strickland’s Dictionary has a few dates wrong and two of his portraits have been located; about 1847 he painted twin portraits of his sister Arbella with her eldest son, and the other of his brother-in-law, Arbella’s husband, George Bomford; these portraits are described in 25.4.

Mary Winter was a scholarly woman and had several publications to her name; these include a highly praised translation of Goethe’s ‘Herman and Dorothea’, and a play ‘Where There’s a Will There’s a Way, or, The Old Family Name’ (Dublin 1853), which satirises the circumstances of George Bomford’s marriage to his cousin Arbella in 1832.

John Pratt Winter died on 11th November 1864 [?: see previous paragraph] having had two daughters: 

a.  Frances Rosa, born 25th October 1836 and was named after her grandmother, the daughter of Trevor Bomford. Neither she nor her sister Anne ever married and for some time they lived together in France and returned together to live in Bray, Co Dublin. She died there in 1896.

b.  Anne was named after the other grandmother, Anne Gore. After her sister died she lived at No 1 Belgrave Villa, Bray, where she died in 1904.

Calendars of Irish Wills and Administrations, at the Public Record Office, Belfast: 1885, 9 Jun, Will of John Winter, late of Clonroe, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, d 12 May 1885 at same place, Probate granted to Frances Rosa Winter and Anna Winter, both of Clonroe, spinsters. Effects £1531.8.7 (Hawkes and Tait email 1 Oct 2006)

5.  Margaret Winter was born on 10th October 1802 and ‘died young’ according to Burke. Gordon Forth who had access to the Winter history states that ‘after 1826 (i.e. after the return from Paris) she lived quietly at Agher for the remainder of her adult life’. She was not buried at Agher, which seems strange if the latter is correct; I suspect that she may have died in Paris, or even at Tullyard.

6.  Elizabeth (Eliza) Winter was born on 25th August 1804, married on 4th February 1834, and died that same year (?). The Irish Wills Records of 1886 (probate) has an entry (number 63) for an Elizabeth Caulfeild, widow, who died on 29 December 1885 at 23 Belgrave Road, Rathmines, Dublin, with Arbella Bomford (number 9 below) as Executrix and effects of £696. This seems highly likely to be Arbella's sister Elizabeth, and she also left Arbella £500 in her will (31.3.1). Eliza's husband was the Rev Thomas Gordon Caulfeild (20.6.1 below, & 31.3), b 1801 at Ballyloughloe, Westmeath (, Rector of Ballyloughloe and of Mount Temple, both in Westmeath; he died on 8th November 1875. They had no children.

Major Francis Winter, Anna's husband. Photographer: Dr Wallich's Private Studio, 2 Warwick Gardens, Kensington W7.  Francis Winter was born at Agher on 24th November 1805 and named after his uncle Francis who christened him. Whilst living with his parents in Paris in 1819, a relative, Colonel Hussey, secured him a cadetship in EICS. After a year’s training in England he was posted to Bengal in 1820 to the 59th Regiment of Native Bengal Infantry. When he came of age in 1826 he inherited the proceeds of the sale of his aunt Arbella Bomford’s house in Dublin. He eventually became a major, but left the Bengal Army before his marriage. On 18th April 1850 he married Anna Julia Caulfeild, the eldest daughter of Colonel John Caulfeild (see below). He died in 1883 (1893, see below) and she on 29th January 1909. Neither was buried at Agher and there were no children. Forth states that he died in Ireland but in 1875 he witnessed a mortgage of Samuel Bomford and at that date he was living in Bayswater, London, so it is possible that he died in London, which would account for why he was not buried in the Winter vault at Agher.  It is likely that Francis died in London on 17th May 1893 (not 1883) as his death was Registered at Kensington for the quarter to June 1893. His wife Anna Julia Caulfeild died in London at 23 De Vere Gardens, Kensington, on 29th January 1909 (London Times deaths column 1st February 1909).

8.  Benjamin Pratt Winter was born on 25th August 1808 at Tullyard. After school he spent some years in Paris with his parents. In 1824 he unsuccessfully applied to the Duke of Wellington, who was known by his father as a young man living at Dangan Castle just north of Summerhill, for a commission in the army. In 1827 he entered Trinity and graduated BA in 1832. He then became a surveyor on various railway projects in Ireland and England but he found the prospects were poor, so in 1837 he accepted a surveying post with the South Australian Land Company. In 1842 he purchased a flock of 2,000 sheep and settled on a sheep run in Victoria adjoining Cecil Pybus Cooke’s Pine Hill station (18.7.6). He died unmarried at Bryant’s Creek on 15th December 1844 at the age of 36.

9.  Arbella Winter was the youngest, being born on 22nd March 1810 at Tullyard. She married her cousin George Bomford in 1832 (24.1) and we shall hear much more of her later.

20.6.1  The Caulfeild Family

A note on spelling and sources.  In Peter Bamford's original typed documentation of this history he used the spelling Caulfield.  A number of the original documents have been checked and it is clear the spelling on them is Caulfeild.  Richard Caulfeild Hawkes has provided advice (emails to Richard Bomford, 2006) on the Caulfeild family and it seems that the great bulk of the Caulfields in Peter's original were Caulfeilds.  Except where there is doubt, notably where Caulfield is used as a given name in the Martin family, the spelling Caulfeild has been adopted in this internet version of Peter's work.  Please contact us if you know of instances where that is an error.  For more on the Caulfeild family see

There have been three Winter - Caulfeild marriages:

1.  1834  Rev Thomas Caulfeild and Elizabeth, daughter of John Pratt Winter

2.  1850  Anna Julia Caulfeild and Francis, son of John Pratt Winter,

3.  1865  Augusta Florence Caulfeild and Nathaniel Francis Preston, grandson of Francis Rose (Bomford) and Samuel Pratt Winter.

William Caulfeild of Benown, Co Westmeath, was a cousin to Lord Charlemont the 2nd Earl. c1790 he married Lucy Sanderson of Clover Hill; she is almost certainly a sister of James Sanderson of Clover Hill whose daughter Lucy married Samuel Winter (1796 - 1867). They had three sons and four daughters, we are interested in two of them -

3rd son was Thomas Gordon Caulfeild, the clergyman who in 1834 married Elizabeth Winter (No 6 above).

Eldest son was Lieutenant-Colonel (EICS) John Caulfeild (1792 - 1865) of Bloomfield, near Mullingar, and now a hotel. He had eleven children and two of his daughters were:

1.  Anna Julia who in 1850 married Major Francis Winter ‘late of the Bengal Army’. (No 7 above).

6.  Augusta Florence who in 1865 married Nathaniel Francis Preston of Swainstown, son of Margaret Winter (1817 - 1845) and grandson of Frances Rose (Bomford) (18.7.4).

20.6.2  Later Winters

The only one of John Pratt Winter’s sons who produced sons to carry on the lineage was his eldest son, Samuel Winter (1796 - 1867) and his wife Lucy Sanderson (1800 - 1864) from Clover Hill. These children were the nephews and nieces of George and Arbella Bomford, and cousins of Samuel and Frances Jane Bomford. They were all born at Tullyard and were: -

1.  Elizabeth Anne Winter was born on 24th February 1828 and married on 3rd August 1852. Her husband was George Nugent Purdon of Lisnabin near Killucan, who was born 2nd August 1819, the eldest son of Edward Purdon; about the time Edward Purdon married in 1810 he modernised Lisnabin, which was a mid-1700 house, by means of Gothic additions; its old roof and dormer windows being partly masked by fake battlements and tall narrow towers around the front door. According to Lewis in 1838 the house was “a hansome castellated mansion recently erected”.

Elizabeth died on 6th November 1864, a week before her mother, and her husband on 6th March 1910. They had six children and, since Elizabeth’s brothers and sisters produced no children, they inherited the Winter, Sanderson and Purdon properties (see next paragraph).

2.  John Pratt Winter was born on 6th April 1829. He became a Captain of the 17th Regiment of Light Dragoons (now 17th Lancers) and never married. He was killed in action as the tablet in Agher Church records, “He fell gloriously leading the second squadron of his regiment in the heroic but disastrous charge of the light brigade on the Russian Army at Balaklava before Sebastopol in the Crimea, 25th October 1854 in the 26th year of his age leaving no blot on his name.”

3.  Lucy Adelaide Winter was born on 13th June 1830, died unmarried on 22nd January 1906 and was buried in the Agher Vault.

4.  James Sanderson Winter was born on 15th February 1832. He graduated MA from Trinity, joined the Royal Meath Militia as a Captain, became a JP, was elected High Sheriff of Co Cavan in 1871 and of Co Meath the next year, and became a Deputy Lieutenant of Co Cavan. He inherited Agher when his father died in 1867 and he died unmarried on 10th July 1911. He was the last Winter to be buried in the family vault at Agher, and indeed he was really the last of the true Winters. His estates were passed to his nephew, son of his sister Elizabeth Purdon. In 1878 his estates amounted to 3,647 acres valued at £3,133, these were divided between the four Counties of Meath 1,640 acres, Cavan 940 acres, Kildare 206 acres and Westmeath 861 acres.

5.  Samuel Winter was born on 2nd May 1834. He became a JP and a Deputy Lieutenant of Co Cavan, and High Sheriff in 1876 for the same county. On 1st March 1860 he married Anne Nicholson, the second daughter of John Armytage Nicholson (1798 - 1872) of Balrath, Kells. After his marriage he lived at Clondriss near Killucan and farmed 839 acres. In 1873 he took the surname of Sanderson, becoming Samuel Winter-Sanderson, and so inherited the estates of his mother’s family, including, Clover Hill where he then lived. Samuel died 12th December 1905 and was buried in the Agher vault. They had no children and the estates passed to his nephew, son of his sister Elizabeth Purdon.

6.  Francis Alexander Winter was born 18th February 1836.  He became a barrister and died unmarried on 26th August 1883 and was buried in the Agher vault.

7.  Mary Anne Winter was the youngest, being born on 7th November 1839. She lived at Agher and was a contemporary of George Bomford’s older children. Mary Anne died unmarried on 17th December 1906 and was buried in the Agher vault.

20.6.3  The Future of the Winter Houses

Agher House

When James Sanderson Winter died in 1911 unmarried, his estates were willed to his nephew Lieut-Colonel Edward Winter Purdon, the eldest son of his sister Elizabeth Anne, with the proviso that he took the surname of Winter, which he did in 1912.

Lieut-Colonel Edward Winter Purdon-Winter died in 1927 and Agher was passed to his eldest son, Captain Charles Edward Purdon-Winter (1894 - 1953). In 1936 the latter sold Agher to the Land Commission, which split the estate into separate lots. The house was pulled down about 1970 when a new house was built; the old yard survives as does the seven feet square underground passage leading from the basement of the old house to the yard.

Lisnabin House  The Purdon house of Lisnabin at Killucan passed to Elizabeth’s eldest son when his father George Nugent Purdon died in March 1910. He was Lieut-Colonel Edward Winter Purdon who inherited Agher a couple of years later and had to take the Winter surname, becoming Purdon-Winter.

On his death on 5th January 1927 the place passed to his second son, Samuel Francis Purdon who died in 1953. The latter’s son Denis John Desmond Purdon now occupies the place, and it was he and his wife, Anne Katherine (Cairnes), who kindly stored the Bomford family portraits for a while after Oakley Park was sold.

Clover Hill

The Sanderson house of Clover Hill at Belturbet came to Samuel Winter’s third son, Samuel (1834 - 1905), and he took the name of Sanderson in order to inherit it in 1873. This later Samuel had no children and the place was passed to his sister Elizabeth Anne Purdon’s third son, John James, in 1905. John James died unmarried in 1933 and it was passed to his nephew John Nugent Purdon who sold it c1958.

20.6.4  Winter Family Portraits

No doubt George and Arbella Bomford were pleased to hang a matching pair of Winter portraits at Oakley Park, where they remained until Oakley Park was sold when they were taken to Crodara where they now hang. They are oval portraits, 18” X 14”, in square gilt frames, of Samuel Winter (1741-1811) (2.4), Arbella’s grandfather, and his eldest son John Pratt Winter (1768-1846) (2.4), Arbella’s father and George’s guardian. Both portraits are signed in red in the lower right-hand corner “W. Lawrence, Dublin”.

The brown paper backing is still sealed with the artist’s label reading, “William Lawrence, Artist and Photographer, 5 & 7 Upper Sackville Street”.

Portrait by William Lawrence of John Pratt Winter b 1768 d 1846

Portrait by William Lawrence of Samuel Winter of Agher b 1721 d 1811  Click on image to see enlargement.

Samuel Winter, facing front right, has brown eyes and brown hair going grey perhaps powdered; he is wearing a bottle green jacket with gold buttons, red waistcoat and white stock.

John Pratt Winter, facing front left, has hair and eyes very similar to those of his father, although his nose is not so hooked. He is wearing the same green jacket and red waistcoat, but has on a different white shirt and stock. From this one can judge that the two men were of similar stature and that the portraits were painted at the same time, probably about 1800. This date would match the looks of Samuel, then about 59, and John Pratt about 32. However they could have been painted as early as 1794, the date of John Pratt’s wedding, and this earlier date would fit better into what is known about the portrait painter, William Lawrence.

Strickland’s ‘Dictionary of Irish Artists’ of 1913 record the portrait painter, William Lawrence as flourishing circa 1743. This date comes from his only (then) known work of art, a portrait of one of the Annesleys. To have painted the Winters in 1790 would make him aged about 70, or 80 in 1800. Nevertheless this must be the man as the other listed Lawrences have different Christian names and worked from addresses other than Sackville Street, now known as O’Connell Street.

20.6.5  Winter Deed of Assignment  8th May 1827

For some reason the Bomford documents include one Winter deed. This concerns the lands of the Robbins family, which had been left to the Winter family. This land had been divided into five shares according to the 1809 marriage settlement of Samuel Pratt Winter and Frances Rose Bomford; 18.8.4 gives the background to this legacy. The five shares were to be divided among the five children of Samuel Winter and his wife Margaret (Robbins), and the payment was to be on the death of Frances (Robbins) and of her husband Sir John Blunden. Sir John died in 1818 so the division of the shares would have been completed by this date. Some of the names are difficult to read in this deed so the place names in the 1809 settlement (18.8.4) and the 1834 deed (26.2) have been included in brackets.

Samuel Pratt Winter of Liverpool, Co Lincolnshire gives his brother the Reverend Francis Pratt Winter of Agher, in trust, 1/6th share of the town and lands of:

in Co Kilkenny

not in this deed but in other two

in Co Dublin

in Co Tipperary

These lands are now charged for £1,000 sterling for the sister of Samuel Pratt Winter.

The £1,000, or perhaps the income from it, was to be paid to Samuel’s (not in Registry of Deeds) sister, Anna Maria, now aged 54. This payment to her may have had something to do with the trust Samuel set up for his children (18.6.2) sometime before he died. There is no record of this trust except in the Winter history, but Anna Maria did look after his children and this £1,000 may be her recompense. At this date Samuel and his family were living at Christleton near Chester whilst he was working in Liverpool, later in the year they were to return to Dublin. Four years later, in late 1831, both Samuel and Frances Rose died.

It is thought that the ‘1/6th share’ in the deed is a mistake for ‘1/5th share’. ‘Co Lincolnshire’ is definitely a mistake.

The lands were charged with a further £1,500 in favour of Anna Maria in 1834, on the face of the deed as a 'marriage portion' though that is decidedly unlikely to have been what it was (26.2).

And so we end this rambling episode of the Winters, and return to the time when the two young Bomford boys were removed from Temple Street in 1815 and taken to live at Agher. With them went, one hopes, Arbella’s personal maid, Margaret Curry, who was mentioned in her will with the request that “she should continue to look after my two sons”.

20.7  Education of George and Samuel Bomford  1817-1832

We know that the two youngsters were in Paris from 1817 to 1824 with their guardian and his family; George was there between the ages of 6 and 13, and Samuel from 4 to 11; whilst in France no doubt they both learnt French and this would be a help in their education, but when they returned to Ireland George certainly went to Gregory Feinaigle’s school in Dublin in order to gain entry into Trinity.

These two extracts come from ‘Alumni Dublinenses’, the Register of Students of Trinity College, Dublin, edited by Thomas Ulick Sadleir in 1924.

1.  “Bomford George. Socius Comitatus (paid double fees and enjoyed certain privilages including completing the course in three years instead of four. They were the elite of the college). Mr Feinaigle (from Mr Feinaigle’s school). (Entered) October 20, 1828, aged 17. Son of George defunctus (dead). Born Co Meath. BA Summer 1832,”

2.  “Bomford Samuel. Socius Comitatus. Private Tutor. (Entered) 5th July 1830, aged 16. Son of George Generosus (Gentleman). Born County Meath.”

There is no mention of a degree for Samuel so he did not qualify, and it is not known when he left Trinity, but probably after the three-year course in 1833 when he was 20.

A certificate in Latin relating to George's Baccalaur. in Artibus is among the documents (translation).

At first it was thought that ‘Mr Feinaigle’ was George’s private tutor and no doubt Samuel’s also, but it transpired that he was Gregory von Feinaigle who was married and had at least one son, Charles Feinaigle, who was born c1817. Feinaigle’s school was in North Strand, Dublin in Aldborough House, which had been completed in 1793 for the Earl of Aldborough. The Earl died in 1801 and the house passed to his nephew who had other properties so he leased it to von Feinaigle around 1807. This very successful school was not only in Aldborough House but also in Rossmore House in Kildare Street. It was closed down by von Feinaigle’s widow in 1830.

At least three of the family went there:

1.  John Winter, the artist, George’s future brother-in-law, who was born in 1800 so would have been at the school from about the age of 12 until he entered Trinity, say from about 1812 to 1817.

2.  Charles Walsh of Dundrum Castle who was to become Samuel’s brother-in- law and a Colonel in the EICS. He was a year older than George so at the school from about 1824 to 1827.

3.  George Bomford attended from about 1825 when he was 14 until 1828 when he entered Trinity.

It is surprising that George and Samuel were separated for their initial schooling, and I wonder whether Samuel really did have a private tutor as the Trinity Register suggests, or whether he and George both went to Gregory von Feinaigle’s school. Forth records that when the Winters returned to Ireland from Paris in 1824, both the Bomford brothers were enrolled at the ‘Hemaglian Institute’. Probably what happened was that, with the common copying errors of those days, the word ‘Hemaglian’ should be turned into Feinaiglian, and that both boys went to the Feinaiglian Institute, or, put in another way, both boys went to Gregory von Feinaigle’s school.

1832 was a very important year for George: 11th April was his 21st birthday and his minority ended; and on 23rd July he not only graduated from Trinity with his BA, but also married Arbella (24.1.1).  Samuel's story continues in Chapter 26.

20.8  Final Payment for Drumlargan etc  4th March 1815

One of the first things that John Pratt Winter had to do as guardian of the two Bomford children was, not only execute Arbella’s will, but to complete the final payment on Drumlargan which Arbella had initiated but died before she could finish it. John Pratt Winter signed for the ‘Bomford Minors’ in this deed as the second payment was actually 10 days after Arbella’s death.  Transcript of page 1 of the deed.


1.  Anne Dallas, formerly Anne Warren, widow of John Dallas, Captain 46th Regiment of Foot, and their only children two daughters Frances Jane Dallas and Elizabeth Warren Dallas

2.  Arabella Bomford, widow and sole executor of George Bomford, deceased, of Clarkstown, Co Meath.


1.  Dixie Coddington, late of Boyne Hill, Co Meath, since deceased, possessed previous to 1789 the lands of Drumlargan, Balldungan alias Dunganstown, Ornellstown alias Edenstown, part of Clonlyon, Knock alias Knockturin, and part of Monahey alias Monaley.

2.  Anne Warren, now Anne Dallas, got a judgement in the Court of the Exchequer in 1789 against Dixie Coddington for £2,600.

3.  John Woods, one of the trustees in the marriage settlement of Anne Dallas, obtained a judgement in 1792 in the Court of Common Pleas against Dixie Coddington for £700.

4.  Anne Dallas’ marriage settlement is quoted and included the debt of £2,600. After the marriage Anne’s husband, John Dallas, died leaving Anne a widow with two daughters. Then Dixie Coddington died but in his will of 28th May 1795 he bequeathed to his niece, Anne Dallas the sum of £2,500 over and above the sum of £1,500, which he ‘at that time’, owed her.

5.  George Bomford, formerly of Rahinstown and late of Clarkstown, Co Meath, since deceased, agreed with Henry Coddington, heir of Dixie Coddington, and Henry Coddington the younger, to purchase the fee and inheritance of Drumlargan and the other above quoted lands. This sale was agreed subject to the debts due to Anne Dallas and these debts would be deducted from the £16,000 which was the agreed price of Drumlargan etc, and George Bomford would pay Anne Dallas £2,500 plus interest.

6.  In the marriage settlement dated 20th March 1809 between George Bomford and Arabella Winter, George Bomford settled Drumlargan etc on himself for life and “then to his first and other sons in Tail Male”.

7.  George Bomford afterwards paid some of the money to Henry Coddington but died leaving the debts due to Anne Dallas unpaid. These debts were passed to his wife Arabella Bomford in his will.

8.  Anne Dallas asked for the payments to be made. The amount then totalled £4,050 (i.e. £1,500 plus £2,500 plus £50 interest).

9.  Arabella Bomford agreed to pay this sum to Anne Dallas but could not do so until it was decided whether the money was to come out of her personal estate or from the lands of Drumlargan etc.

Now this indenture witnesses that Arabella Bomford has paid in two instalments to Anne Dallas:

a.  £1,554.4.4 being the ‘sum due on the foot of said recited Judgement for principal and costs’ on 4th March 1815; and

b.  £2,500 on 21st September 1815.

Anne Dallas agrees that there is no further claim on Arabella Bomford or her heirs.  (Book 693 Page 335 No 476070)

The deed was signed for the ‘Bomford Minors’ by John Pratt Winter as the second payment was made ten days after Arbella’s death. It is clear from this deed that it was George Bomford the elder who did entail these lands; thus the land now belonged to George Bomford the younger, aged 4, and which his guardian John Pratt Winter would look after until he came of age.

Although the deed refers to Arabella it is clear from other deeds and the family bible that her name should have been spelt Arbella, as was the name of her daughter-in-law.

Dixie Coddington of Boyne Hill in the deed is presumably Dixie Coddington of Boyle Hill in Burke, (1728 - 1797, m Jane Ormsby).  He was the first son of Dixie Coddington of Athlumney Castle (1693 - 1776), third son of Dixie Coddington (1665 - 1728).

Peter Bamford noted from the deed that Anne Dallas was the niece of Dixie Coddington, and said she is not to be found by name in Burke, either under Coddington or under Dixie’s wife’s name of ‘de Burgh’ [sic]. However Dixie’s father had three sons and seven daughters [Burke 1976 has 2 sons & 8 daughters] and none of these daughters are named. One of these daughters must have married a Mr Warren and Anne must be their daughter (15.13.7).  The 'alternative view' in 15.13.7 clarifies that Anne is the granddaughter of Dixie Coddington of Athlumney Castle (1693 - 1776) by his daughter Frances (one of the eight sisters of the Dixie of the deed) who married Joshua Warren.

20.9  The End of the Lands in Co Kildare

These lands first appeared as a Bomford property in 1761 when Stephen the younger leased them from Lord Boyne (11.2). They represent a block of land of about 3,700 acres and are shown on the sketch map which follows 16.9.2.

The McDonnells have been included in depth here as we still do not have the pedigree of Alexander McDonnell, Mary Bomford’s father, and these McDonnell’s may give us a clue, although there is no apparent connection.

No-doubt a major reason for the sale of these lands was that they had suffered severely from the great Rebellion of 1798. On May 26th, 1798, 30,000 United Army occupied the towns of Kildare, Prosperous, Kilcullen, Rathangan and Newbridge. To those who had property or families in this area it was no consolation that the rebels were fighting for Ireland or were called the ‘United Army’; they were united in name only and were a half-disciplined, poorly led mob with little idea beyond plunder. They were contained in this area of Co Kildare by the government forces, though there were skirmishes beyond the borders, at Mountmellick, Portarlington, Lucan and Kilcock, - and even Trim in Co Meath was threatened. As the government forces regained control the rebels took refuge in the trackless waste of the Bog of Allen, the north end of which covered much of Mucklin, Mulgeeth, Clonkeeran and Ballynemallagh. This was a fearsome summer for the inhabitants who either fled or were massacred, or joined the rebels. The area was fought over a number of times and by the end of the summer there was hardly an unburnt farm-house or cottage; the villages of Prosperous, Timahoe, Carbury and others were burnt on different occasions by both sides.

We have no list of tenants for these lands but undoubtedly if a list was found it would show considerable changes over this period; no doubt the losses were enormous, not only in human lives but in livestock and plundered stores as well; to such an extent that no rents could be expected for a number of years.

20.9.1  Mortgage Re-Payment on Dunfierth etc  14th October 1817

John Pratt Winter of Agher, sole executor of Arabella Bomford, widow deceased, who was the sole executor of George Bomford, deceased, receive £6,897.19.0½  in payment of a mortgage from the deceased (George Bomford) by Frederick Hamilton of Dunfierth, Co Kildare, and Mary his wife.

The mortgage on the land was dated 29th September 1767 by John, Lord Bellew for £5,000.

The full sum now being paid, John Pratt Winter on behalf of the minor George Bomford clears the following estates of all debts:

(This last was not included in the original lease but is shown on the 16.9.2 sketch) Containing 1,823 plantation acres (2,953 statute) excluding a large tract of bog (the north end of the Bog of Allen).  (Book 722 Page 214 No 493349)

20.9.2  Mortage re-payment on Dunfierth ect.  14th December 1817


1. John Pratt Winter of Agher, sole executor of Arbella Bomford, widow deceased, who was the sole executor of George Bomford, deceased.

2.  Frederick Hamilton of Dunfierth, Co Kildare, and Mary his wife.

3.  James Ambrose of the City of Bath, England.

John Pratt Winter has received £6,897.19.0½ in payment of a mortgage given by George Bomford to Frederick Hamilton.

Frederick Hamilton has now settled this debt on the lands of Dunfierth, 476 plantation acres (771 statute); and  Mucklan and Mulgeeth 343 plantation acres (556 statute); both in the Barony of Carberry.

These lands are now leased to Frederick Hamilton free of any claim by John Pratt Winter or the heirs of George Bomford.

Further, John Pratt Winter leases to Frederick Hamilton the land of Killyon, 93 plantation acres (151 statute).

All this is free of the mortgages of 3rd November 1770 and of 19th January 1771.

Signed: John Pratt Winter

Witnessed: Myles O’Reilly, City of Dublin, Attorney at Law; and John Hinchy, his clerk.  (Book 722 Page 213 No 493348)

20.9.3  Sale of Dunfierth & Mucklin etc  17th February 1821


1.  John Pratt Winter of Agher, sole executor of Arbella Bomford, widow deceased, who was the sole executor of George Bomford, deceased.

2.  Frederick Hamilton of Dunfierth, Co Kildare.

3.  Francis McDonnell of Shrubs, Co Dublin.

4.  Major General James Ambrose of Bath, England, and James Baggott of Belchamp, Co Dublin (Balgriffen)

5.  Allen Dowell of Gardiner’s Street, Dublin.

Reciting the (above) deed of 14th October 1817

Now the land is being sold to Francis McDonnell by Frederick Hamilton for £10,500.  (Book 814 Page 206 No 548541)

Sir Francis MacDonnell was the son of James MacDonnell. In 1817 he married Bridgett Mary, eldest daughter of James O’Connor of Madrid died in April 1840. They had seven sons and three daughters, and it was the second son who inherited. 

Francis Edmond Joseph MacDonnell, JP, High Sheriff 1866/7, born 1823, married secondly 1865 Georgina Mary, only surviving daughter of James Gernon of Athcarne Castle, Co Meath. He died 1878 having had one son.

Francis William Joseph MacDonnell of Dunfierth, JP, Captain Royal Dublin Fusiliers, born 1870, married 9th August 1898 Teresa, daughter of Sir John Lawson, and had three children:

Francis Edward Antony MacDonnell, born October 1899. He sold Dunfierth fairly recently [that statement was originally written in the 1970s or 1980s, so refers to a sale about that time].

Edward Henry Patrick MacDonnell, born 22nd February 1902

Joan Agnes Mary MacDonnell.

20.10  Rent roll of the Minor, George Bomford  c1828

There are three lists of tenants among the documents, one has been signed by Myles O’Reilly but none are dated. John Pratt Winter as guardian probably called for the rent-rolls when he returned from Paris in 1825, indeed he may have written the last two himself. On his return he would want to ensure that the affairs of young George were in order. In fact the third rent-roll, which was written after May 1828, shows that all was not in order

List A

Purdon present rate

£   354.  5.  6

£248. 7.11


£   555.10.  9

£512.16. 1

F. P. W.

£   188.12.11

£174.  2. 8¼


£   323.14.  0

£298.16. 0

Knockturin about

£   248.  0.  0



£   340.  0.  0



£    12.   0.  0

£  11. 1. 6½

Millins (? Melling)

£    37. 10.  0

£  34.12. 4


£      3.   5.  0



£2,062. 18.  2



£3.5.6 in G. Bomford’s book page 36


21 years from May 1800 at 15 guineas page 45


three lives or 31 years from May 1807 at
38 the acre - £352. Quit rent, £12.15.0


The back of this sheet of paper is covered with sums concerning the reduction in rents of the second column.

List B

The second one lists the rent-roll “as originally let and without showing the reductions made by orders of court from time to time in the original rents.” There are pencilled notes which give clues to locations and these I have embroidered into the text.

Tenant’s Names Irish Acres Rent per Acre Rent


Drumlargan 569 acres let for
a total of £1,948.16.2½



Charles Drake


£3.  5. 6½

£  479.15.  7½



£3.  5. 1     

£  319.  5.  8½

Thomas Bryan


£3.10. 7½



£4.  3. 1

£  490. 9.   9½

Henry Wrenon (?)

Rev F.P.Winter


£2.15. 4½

£  261. 4.   5½


Nockturn 138 acres let for
a total of £312.10.2½

Hanley & Gresham


£2.  8. 0

£   131.14.  0

Healy & Leonard


£2.  6. 2

£   150.  9.  9½

Thomas Hanley


£1.11. 6

£     30.10.  5





Reps S. Dopping



£   324.18. 5½





William Glennon



£     11.  1. 6½

Reps John Tyrrell



£   201.  9. 3

Clonduchat (Cluide)



£     34.12. 4




£2,833.  8. 0


List C

This list is not really a rent-roll but concerns the tenants of Nockturn (Knockstown) only. It is a single sheet of paper, which lists the tenants together with the amount of rent, which they have paid at various dates. The latest is for May 1828, which means that it was dated soon after that date. I imagine that it was made out to see how much the Knockstown tenants owed. They all appear to be behind in their rents, the worst case being the Healys who owed for six years, their debt amounted to £1,139.14.3. But they seem to have paid off £538.3.1, which leaves them owing £601.11.2. It looks as though they were evicted for this debt because there then comes a note “Stock seized £403.17.5” and the balance of just under £200 must have been written off. The Healys do not appear in the 1854 valuation whilst all the other parties do.

A few interesting matters arise from the rent-roll which also adds to our knowledge of the tenants.

1.  Now that the Kildare properties have been got rid of, the only property belonging to George Bomford is that listed above. It looks as though the acreage in the rent-roll is in plantation acres and this indicates that, with the exception of about 60 acres of bog in Drumlargan, the whole property is let. It makes sense to let the whole property during George’s minority, as that would simplify John Pratt Winters trusteeship considerably. Although no acreage has been given for the Westmeath lands of Clonfad and Rattin, or of Clude in Louth, these lands were leased even in Stephen’s time.

2.  There is considerable agreement in the first two rent-rolls, both of the places and acreage, of the tenant’s names, and of the income. They also agree largely with the ordnance survey of 1836 and the Griffiths valuation of 1854. With this amount of income the purchase of Drumlargan for around £16,000 ought to have been covered easily by the time George comes of age from the Drumlargan rent-roll alone.

3.  Some background information concerning the tenants.

Charles Drake and Thomas Bryan - this is the only mention of these two families.

Henry Wrenon is linked with P.E. Purdon and may be a sub-tenant of Purdon. Wrenon is not mentioned again.

The Hanley, Gresham and Leonard families of Knockstown all continue in Knockstown after the 1854 valuation.

The Healy family is not mentioned again and it does look as though they were evicted as the last list indicates.

The Tyrrell and Glennon families in Westmeath drop out of the picture. The only major difference in the two rent-rolls concerns Tyrrell whose rent per acre of £3.5.0 is given, whereas in the second list his total rent of £201.9.3 is given; this makes the two total incomes very much closer than they appear.

The Millins or Melling family in Louth does not re-appear.

The Rev F.P. Winter is of course Francis, the brother of John Pratt and uncle of young George. He had the living of Rathconnell until 1819 when he retired. He eventually settled at Agher and started farming. He continues to rent the land in ever increasing quantity until his death 1847 when he had a little over 700 statute acres.

P.E. Purdon might be Peter Purdon of Joristown near Killucan, but is more likely to be a brother or son of Henry Purdon of Ardrums. Probably a son since in 1836 according to the Ordnance Survey.

“386 acres of Clonlyon were the property of Mr Magill from whom Mr Purdon of Ardrums holds the whole, all pasture”. The 118 acres leased to P.E. Purdon in the rent-roll may well be that ‘part of Clonlyon’ recorded in the purchase of Drumlargan etc which so far I have been unable to trace. These two parcels of Clonlyon would give Purdon a viable and adjacent acreage.

About this time one of these Purdon’s was living in Drumlargan House but had moved out before 1832. In 1854 a Mr Purdon was living in Clonlyon, House. It is not clear just who all these ‘Mr Purdons’ were, but they were all of the same family who eventually inherited Agher, and there were at least two of them: 

Henry Purdon, who acquired Ardrums in 1800 and died 1845; and his son Bartholomew of Ardrums, 1818 - 1904, who in 1847 married Maria a daughter of Doctor David Trotter of Summerhill (24.2).  Their descendants were there until well into this century, and P.E. Purdon of firstly Drumlargan House and then of Clonlyon House.

The Dopping family of Lowtown in Westmeath beside Clonfad have appeared a number of times, their family tree is recorded under 9.3.6 and there is more about them under 24.4. Samuel Dopping who leased Clonfad in May 1807 died in 1821 unmarried but had children and this interesting situation is recorded in 24.4. However George’s Account Book of 1832 (24.2) records that “Mrs Dopping and Brian” still leased the land. “Brian” might be a son of Samuel or the surname of a tenant.

Next Chapter: Chapter 21

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