Chapter 30

The Irish Bomfords

Chapter XXX

George and his family 1850 – 1890s


30.1 George's Family in 1850

30.1.1  House and Garden

30.1.2  Trees and the Hunt

30.1.3  Duties and Activities

30.1.4  Letters

30.2  George Winter Bomford  1834 - 1884

30.2.1  Affidavit of 20th June 1857

30.2.2  Marriage of George Winter Bomford and Flora Mary McVeigh Sadleir  17th April 1861

30.2.3  The Sadleir Family

30.2.4  The Australian Visit

30.2.5  Indenture concerning £1,000 loan  17th May 1867

30.2.6  Death of George Winter Bomford  22nd June 1884

30.2.7  George Winter Bomford’s Family

30.2.8  Summary of George Winter Bomford and his Family

30.3  John Francis Bomford: His Early Life  1837 - 1911

30.3.1  Marriage of John Francis Bomford and Elinor Jane Bolton  29th November 1866

30.3.2  Elinor Bolton’s Brothers and Sister, and their Families

30.3.3  The Move to Drumlargan

30.3.4  A Wild Oat ?

30.4  Arbella Anna Bomford   (Mrs Ruxton)  1839 - 1910

30.4.1  Marriage Settlement  20th August 1863

30.4.2  The Ruxton Family

30.4.3  The Ruxton Houses

30.4.4  Arbella Anna’s later Life

30.4.5  Summary of Arbella Anna, Mrs Ruxton

30.5  Anne Bomford   1833 - 1912

30.6  Samuel Stephen Bomford  1841 -1872

30.7  Elizabeth Bomford  1843 - 1915

30.8  Victoria Adela Bomford  1849 - ?

30.9  Margaret (Meggie) Winter Bomford  1855 - 1928

30.10  Robert Laurence Bomford  1857 - 1931


30.1  George's Family in 1850

Chapter 25 recorded the birth of George’s children (25.1), the extension of Oakley Park (25.2) and the famine (25.8); let us set the scene for this chapter by recording the state of his family in 1850 – George’s 39th birthday was on 11th April, and his wife Arbella’s 40th birthday was on 22 March. They were both in their prime and no doubt lived full lives; but there have been reports that the marriage was not a truly happy one and that George was ‘eccentric and peculiar’. No doubt in typical Victorian fashion a bold front was put on any differences.

There were seven children alive in 1850, one girl having died in 1837:

  • Anne was the eldest, aged 17 in September, (30.5)
  • George Winter aged 16 in November, (30.2)
  • John Francis aged 13 in December, (30.3)
  • Arbella Anne aged 11 in August, (30.4)
  • Samuel Stephen aged 9 in April, (30.6)
  • Elizabeth aged 7 in May, (30.7)
  • Victoria Adela had just been born in November 1849, (30.8)

Three more were still to be born:

  • Arthur Chichester on 27th July 1851, (25.1)
  • Margaret Winter on 16th October 1855, (30.9)
  • Robert Laurence, the youngest, on 3rd September 1857, (30.10)

Arthur Chichester died aged four (25.1), and so nine children grew to be adults.

Even the newly extended house only had seven bedrooms with three dressing rooms, and these would have been nearly filled by a family of eleven living in the fashion of the mid 1800s. Thus around 1860 a northern wing was added to the house. This was not so high as the rest of the house but it had the same number of floors, basement, ground and first floor.

This addition meant some changes to the back of the house, the most noticeable being the landing half way up the back stairs to make an entry to the top floor of the new wing; this landing had a new and very large window facing north which gave light to the stairs and passages; there must have been a window there before flush with the stairs, but the new one stood back from the stairs and was an attractive addition giving a view of much of the yard. With this additional wing plumbing was first introduced into the house, which now had a bathroom and three toilets, one on each level; it also meant that a new range had to be installed in the basement kitchen to heat the water. My grandfather would never use one of these new-fangled water closets but had his own ancient earth closet hidden in the wood amongst the laurels along the outside of the yard wall; no doubt all earlier males did the same and left the indoor toilets to the ladies. The family never spoke about ‘going to the loo’, it was always ‘going up the nine steps,’ a purely family saying because the ground floor toilet was approached by nine unlit and dark steps.

30.1.1  House and Garden

George and Arbella lived in the ‘grand manner’. They were typical of the time with an up-to-date large house set in parkland where they could entertain the neighbours. Prices were good at this date and remained so for some years; labour was cheap at sixpence a day (ex GLB) or in the present currency, an unbelievable 2½ pence a day, so they could afford to make improvements not only to the house but also to the farm and lands. It was the age of luxurious living with plenty of servants in the house and labour in the yard.

Perhaps the major improvement was a 2½ acre walled ‘Big Garden’ for fruit and vegetables laid out to the west of the house. This garden is shown on the 1883 ordnance survey map but not on that of 1836; it was probably built in 1848 or 49 during the famine to give work to the destitute. The wall was at least twenty feet high and three deep with coping stones on the top sufficiently wide to run along, a form of sport banned to us children but enjoyed nevertheless. It had handsome wrought iron entrance gates of the same height as the wall with matching iron railings on the south wall beside two ponds which were surrounded by a ring of Irish yews; I often wondered why these very fine railings were sited where they could not be seen, and it was only recently, when the timber was felled, that they re-appeared and could be seen to advantage from the front of the house. Mention of the two ponds in the Big Garden reminds me that they were joined to the ditch in the Sixteen Acre field by a beautifully made cut-stone underground stream of about four feet high and four wide; this must have been built at the same time as the garden wall and joined another similar stream from the house and yard with its outfall into the river further down. Another similar but even longer underground stream ran under the Upper Lawn and joined the yard pond to the pond in the wood beside the avenue bridge and so on to the river.

Flower Knot (photo)There was another formal garden between the yard pond and the back lodge which is shown on the 1836 map; by 1883 this had largely disappeared though many of the paths were still there; my mother remembered these paths and the remains of the garden as late as 1910. However yet another garden was to developed alongside the west of the house known as the ‘flower-knot’ (see photo); this is not shown on the 1883 map but was in existence some time before my mother was born in 1902. Here the flowerbeds were laid out in a geometrical design radiating from a raised centre; each bed was surrounded by a low box hedge and the larger ones had matching wrought iron urns, which in summer overflowed with flowers. The space between the flower-knot and the Big Garden was filled by the ‘shrubbery’, which stretched in an arc from the yard down to the river, and many paths meandered through it.

The cobble-stoned yard was filled with carriages and horses belonging to the family, and would have been kept spotless; there were three coach houses filling one side, another side was filled with about twelve loose-boxes for the horses, and the third side was devoted to harness rooms and other equipment. In addition the two corners were designed as two houses, the coachman had one and, later on, the steward had the other. The first floor above the stables were haylofts with hatches in the floor through which hay was thrown, and the very long loft above the coach-houses was where the grain was dried and stored. The cattle yards and cow-byre were to the north of the main yard.

No payroll has come to light so one can only hazard a guess at the staff needed to run the place. In the house there would be a butler and a liveried manservant, all the rest would have been women - a cook, pantry and scullery maids, parlour maid (the pretty one), a couple of house maids, nurse or governess (Miss Chatfield in 1842) and a few ‘boys’ for odd jobs like cleaning the boots; say about 10 who lived in the basement. The house yard would have had a coachman and a couple of postillions or workmen who lived either in the yard or in the two-storied six room house behind the yard with the mystery name of “Mary Anne’s”; this house was still in use in the early 1900s since the upstairs rooms had been carefully papered with contemporary newspapers which gave me much interesting reading on wet days as a boy. Then there would have been a head gardener with a number of underlings to rake and maintain the gravel paths, and the 1883 map shows about three miles of these. In all there would have been a workforce of about fifteen or twenty in or around the house, and this excludes the men on the farm and the extra numbers needed for the harvest.

With all these servants one can see why the family referred to George and Arbella living in “the grand manner”, and one really wonders what they did to occupy the time. Arbella would have organised the running of the house but this probably only entailed the giving of orders. She did have a number of children, but, having had them, they were then looked after by others; children were to be seen but not heard. Provided the nanny or governess was a decent type the children most likely had very happy times about the place; certainly John Francis’ children did, as did all later generations. The place was big enough to get lost in and to do your own thing. After early nursery training the boys would have been sent to boarding school; there is no record of this except for the youngest son but it is likely that the other boys were too.

The documents include Robert Laurence’s school bills from the Royal School at Armagh when he was 15. The fees were £56 a year for ‘Boarding and Lodging’ plus incidental charges of about £21 a year. My grandfather used to reckon that schooling amounted to the sale of a bullock a year per child, and indeed this was true until the 1960s when even a good bullock would not pay the fees. Judging from the books Robert had to buy, the curriculum included arithmetic, Latin, chemistry, French, German, Greek and scripture in Greek. The clothing list starts with “1 Silk Hat” and ends with “a suit of flannel (to be worn during games)”. The Holidays of 1872/3 were not very different to those now, but the previous year they were five weeks at Christmas, one week over Easter and two months in the summer; the latter being determined by the harvest when the children were needed to help.

30.1.2  Trees and the Hunt

At one time it was thought that George was responsible for the planting of the many varieties of oak and other hardwood trees about the place, but when the trees were felled in the 1960s it was found that many were past their prime and were between 150 and 200 years old; a monster beech was blown down at Crodara in 1987 and it had about 165 rings, so it was one of the Crawfords, probably Jason, who planted them. Trees were then very much in vogue and this was the golden age of private planting. The wooded demesne being seen as one of the landscape’s chief embellishments, they protected privacy and announced importance. Undoubtedly George planted many trees and shrubs, but that would not have been his main interest. The only major change in the woods between the maps of 1836 and 1883 was the enlargement of the ‘Big Wood’ on the far side of the Red Bog. A nice idea of the time was that birthday trees were planted; my grand-father, George Lyndon, was proud of his birthday tree planted on 29th September 1867; it was a Wellingtonia or giant sequoia in the shrubbery which has been allowed to stand to this day, although isolated.

Whilst on the subject of trees, during the late 1700s and early 1800s estate owners showed their political party by planting trees, oaks for Whigs and elms for Tories. There were virtually no elms on Oakley Park but very many oaks, indicating that the Crawfords were Whig supporters; this idea may have had much to do with the revival of the name Oakley Park around 1813. Only oaks were planted by Dickie Chaloner at Kingsford and by the Rowleys at Maperath so they, too, were Whigs. Regrettably too many trees have been felled around the other Bomford houses and Agher to indicate to which party they and the Winters belonged, but they were probably Whigs too.

Much of George’s time would be spent out-of-doors about the place with spare time devoted to “huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ “. There was little evidence of fishing in the house in my day but plenty of evidence of hunting and shooting. In 1860 George paid £25.6.0 for a new type of gun, a ‘Lockfast’ breech loader which looks very like the modern 12 bore shot gun judging from the pamphlet. Leases of Oakley Park all contain a clause allowing George the right to shoot over the leased ground; these shooting clauses were actually fairly general and so do not prove that George did shoot, but there were plenty of old guns and gun-cupboards in the house. Even in the 1930s the grounds were good for a rough shoot and many meals were had of rabbit, hare, pigeon, snipe, duck, geese, pheasant, woodcock and partridge. Grandfather remembered punting across the ‘bottoms’ and shooting duck from the Decoy Wood; decoys were put out to attract wild duck or geese and the guns lay up in the Decoy Wood. A gun licence cost George £3 in 1873 with no restriction on the type of game, and he had a “Brown Retriever dog named Zero” according to a dog licence costing 2/- in 1881.

The only mode of transport was the horse and naturally many were kept, not just for the carriages but for riding and the farm as well. One of George’s early horses was named ‘Beelzebub’ and I visualise him inspecting his acres on horseback. The top passage in the house had etchings of famous animals, mostly horses, around the walls; one of these was the bull Sovereign, owned and bred by Richard Chaloner which won outright both the Farmer’s Gazette Plate and the Railway Plate in 1871 at the Royal Dublin Show. I also visualise George and his elder children attending all the hunts in the vicinity.

At the start of the 1800s many families around Kells had their own packs of foxhounds, the Nicholsons of Balrath, Pollocks of Mountainstown, Gerrards of Gibbstown, the Tisdalls and the Everards. About 1816 they amalgamated their own packs and called them the Clonghill Hounds, which in 1832 became the Meath Hounds. The Waller family kept the Meath hounds initially at Allenstown, but around 1880 they were moved to new kennels built by John Tisdall of Charlesfort on his property at Nugentstown; they are still there. When George first arrived in Kells the Meath was the only pack in the district; it was well established then and still has a full programme of hunts all over the county. However between the 1850s and 1870s a number of estates again had packs of hounds not foxhounds but packs for coursing, possibly greyhounds. George had a pack of these hounds which he kept in the dog-houses at the bottom of the yard; his son, John Francis, hunted this pack until he went to live at Drumlargan about 1870, the next year George was 60 and he probably gave them up about then. The Oakley Park pack may have lasted 10 to 15 years.

30.1.3  Duties and Activities

As a landlord George undertook the usual public duties, which normally fell to the landlord’s lot. Chapter 24 includes his commission as a Justice, his membership of the Grand Jury of Meath and the very onerous and unpaid duty of a member and chairman of the Board of Guardians of the Kells Workhouse. He must have undertaken these duties seriously and effectively since in 1860/61 he was made the High Sheriff of Meath (ex Henderson Post Office Guide); being the High Sheriff he was the Queen’s representative in Meath with wide judicial and executive powers.

He followed the family trend of being a successful farmer and was able to cover expenses without having to sell land or take some additional employment. Judging from the books in the Oakley Park library he was well read in agriculture, and horse and dog management. For a number of years he was a member of the Royal Agricultural Society of Ireland; receipts for £1 a year are among the documents covering the years 1866-73. However there is no evidence that he showed produce or animals in the Royal Dublin Society show though I imagine that the family attended the shows which were the core of the Dublin ‘season’; they probably went to Dublin by train on the recently opened branch line running through Kells to Oldcastle

There is a lease of a house in Kells by Thomas Taylour, Marquis of Headfort and others including George Bomford, as Trustees of the Kells Savings Bank, to the Headfort Masonic Lodge number 244 (1881, Vol 8, No 58, image 337 of 463, partial transcript) dated 5th February 1881. Others mentioned are Christopher Armitage Nicholson of Balrath, Thomas Rothwell of Rockfield, John Keating of Cabra, John Tisdall of Charlesfort, John Radcliff of Wilmount, William Arthur Barnes of Westland and John Ringwood MD of Kenlis Lodge; the deed is witnessed by Thomas R. Lynch, solicitor of Kells and George E. Radcliff, Manager of the Hibernian Bank in Kells. The house was in a prime site in Kells being on the corner of John Street and Kenlis Place, and facing the Courthouse. It was a stone-faced two-storey building with a pillared entrance porch, previously an inn and now a commercial office. It does not appear that George was a mason (David Douglas, email 17 Apr 2022, says he can find no evidence in the records of the Lodge that George was a member), but his grandson George Lyndon Bomford, and his great-grandson John Lyndon Bomford certainly were masons.

30.1.4  Letters

There are a few letters of this date but the following one, both damaged and illegible in places, was included in a bundle of receipts of 1874/5. It was written probably about this date to either George or his son, John Francis, by the steward of Oakley Park, Charles Reilly. It is a nice mixture of business, gossip and banter, which to a large degree shows the friendship and easy-going atmosphere between the master and his workforce in the rural Ireland of those days. It is reproduced as written but, for the sake of clarity, it has been punctuated. Photo of first page; the original document is now in the National Library of Ireland.



I recd your cheque for £106.10.0 on acct for labour, herd and ewes; the ringer will be sent home tomorow but the chym wont be [..?.] it is wanted here and more.

I told Mrs Farrilly this day that you said she had no hate [heat] in her for siting [sitting] on eggs, her answer in troth - I have as much heat as Himself.

I will distribute the papers and will inquire for the cloathing at Westland. I will look over the book, I believe you left no mistakes that you did not correct, if you left any the [they] will be corrected, but I think you did not.

[.. illegible words ..] poor Paddy Daly of the [..?.] died on Friday night after going to bed, just as he went to bed he got as well as ever he did, he got very ill in a minute, he sd his hart was broke and would not live, so he died very soon.

I am Sir your obedient

Charles Reilly

The reference to the ‘ringer’ or sheep shearer, a word used in Ireland and taken to Australia, shows that the letter was written in the early summer. The word ‘chym’ has been heard in a farming context but the meaning has been forgotten unless it is the machine used for pulping mangels for cattle fodder. It would be nice to know what caused John Francis (it was probably him rather than his father as he was living at Drumlargan) to observe that Mrs Farrelly had insufficient heat in her for hatching chickens, but the retort with the veiled implication, and the way Charles Reilly disclaims all responsibility with his ‘in troth’, do show the informal atmosphere of the time. The death of heart-broken Paddy Daly also leaves much to the imagination.

It is not surprising that there was a flock of sheep; the Bomfords probably always had some sheep though the main stock was cattle. However in 1874 George bought a “shearling Leicester ram” from John Francis for £8; this was an expensive young ram, being between the first and second shearing, and of the popular breed of Leicester, a heavy fleeced animal. The latter indicates that sheep were bred in earnest and not just as mutton for the house.

30.2  George Winter Bomford  1834 - 1884

George Winter was the second child but the eldest son and so heir of George and Arbella. He was born in Dublin on November 12th 1834, wrote to his mother on 13 February 1842 (page 1; page 2), and was educated at Trinity College in Dublin. He became a barrister and was called to the Bar of Lincoln’s Inn, London. His nephew, George Lyndon, commented that he was “very clever in parts”, but he also said that he was “a most irresponsible person” and “a perfectly irrational man”. With this in mind it is understandable how a legal battle developed in 1857 between George Winter, when he was only 22, and his father who is also reported to be “eccentric and peculiar”.

Many of these quotations come from a letter written in 1936 by George Lyndon Bomford (1867-1951) to his son George Warren who was then in India. The first part of the letter was included in 26.4.3; the second part is to be found in 32.1 and concerns his uncle George Winter.

30.2.1  Affidavit of 20th June 1857  (1857, Book 19, No 227)

George Bomford of Oakley Park, JP, makes oath and swears that on 9th January 1857 in the Court of Common Pleas he obtained judgement against George Winter Bomford also of Oakley Park in the sum of £1,600 plus costs.

He further swears that George Winter Bomford has taken over for his own benefit the lands of Drumlargan. That £800 is still due to him out of the £1,600.

Sworn at Kells before Joseph Clinton and John Barnes of 69 Stephen’s Green.

In the next chapter this affidavit has been placed with other documents and the argument has been put forward that George Winter, perhaps as a minor, borrowed £400; that he was unable to repay this loan, which has now risen in stages to £1,600. He probably tried to get money by taking over “for his own benefit the lands of Drumlargan” and using the rents. Whatever happened he appears to have mismanaged his affairs to such an extent that he has been the cause of considerable friction with his father by the dishonest or at least improper way he went about paying it back.

Indeed there was trouble between George Winter and his father all his life and it has been said that his father “could not abide him”; it led to further trouble with the family later on and indeed it is thought by some of the family that George Winter was actually disinherited; certainly there are no records that he ever visited Oakley Park after this affair and later he takes himself off to Australia. It is doubtful if he was actually disinherited as this would have changed the entail and the entailed lands including Drumlargan, or part of it, did go to his children. He could have been disinherited of everything except the entailed land, i.e. everything that could be dealt with in a will.

30.2.2  Marriage of George Winter Bomford and Flora Mary McVeigh Sadleir  17th April 1861

George Winter Bomford Esq of 97 Lower Leeson St, son of George Bomford, married on 17 April 1861 Flora Mary McVeagh Sadleir of 97 Lower Leeson St, daughter of Francis R Sadleir DD, G W Bomford witness for wife (St Peter COI parish records transcription, original document, Dublin). The marriage was reported in the Morning Post of Tuesday 23 Apr 1861 at page 8 (accessed online 16.11.2014 at; Cindy Hann email 17 Feb 2015): "MARRIAGES. BOMFORD - SADLIER. On the 17th inst., at St. Peter's Church, Dublin, by the Rev. T. G. Caulfield, rector of Mount Temple, assisted by the Rev. R. Sadlier, D.D., rector of Castleknock, George Winter Bomford, Esq., eldest son of George Bomford, Esq., of Oakley-park, county Meath, to Flora Mary McVeagh, second daughter of the Rev. F. Sadlier, D.D., rector of Raddanstown, county Meath."

Two Marriage Settlement deeds have been found and combined.

16th/17th April 1861  Marriage Settlement  (1861, Book 13, No 227 and 228)


1.  That a marriage is intended between George Winter Bomford and Miss Flora Mary McVeigh Sadleir.

2.  The marriage settlement of 21st July 1832 (that of George and Arbella, 24.1). In this the lands of Drumlargan, Ornelstown or Edinstown, Knockturin, parts of Clonlyon and Monaloy were entailed for 300 years “to the use of the first son of George Bomford and the heirs male of his body”.

3.  That there were, two male sons, George Winter Bomford the eldest, and John Francis Bomford and other younger children.

4.  That George Winter Bomford “was desirous of burring the estate tail in the said lands”, (i.e. of changing the procedure of the entail), and that George Bomford “has agreed to join in effectuating such object” as have all parties.

5.  That the entail continues. The land goes to the eldest male heir of George Winter Bomford and Flora Mary McVeigh Sadleir, thereafter other males then females, finally to John Francis Bomford and his heirs. (The inclusion of daughters in the entail was probably the change agreed).

6.  That the lands of Drumlargan (etc) are handed over to the trustees Samuel Bomford and Samuel Reynell for an annuity of £300 for George Winter Bomford during his life and that of his father George Bomford. Flora Mary McVeigh Sadleir to have the £300 as an annuity if she survives George Winter Bomford.

The parties concerned were:

1.  George Bomford of Oakley Park.

2.  George Winter Bomford of Oakley Park, eldest son and heir of George Bomford and Arbella Bomford (Winter), his wife.

3.  Richard Winter Reynell of Killynon, Co Westmeath (1804-1887, the remaining trustee of the 1832 marriage settlement).

4.  John Thomas Hinds, solicitor of 28 Westmoreland Street, Dublin. (Holder of a mortgage on Drumlargan).

5.  Reverend Francis Ralph Sadleir of Leeson Street, Dublin, Doctor of Divinity, and Flora Mary McVeigh Sadleir, his (second) daughter.

6.  Samuel Bomford of No 6 Gloucester Crescent, Hyde Park, London, (George’s only brother now aged 48), and Samuel Reynell of Archerstown, Co Westmeath (1814-1877, George’s land agent and a relation. These were the two trustees covering the £300 annuity on Drumlargan).

7.  John Francis Bomford of Oakley Park.

8.  Ferdinand Francis Sadleir of Leeson Street, Dublin, (1841-1870, Flora’s eldest brother), and Francis Ralph Sadleir (Flora’s father, the other trustees).

In addition to these settlements George Winter carried a life insurance policy for £400 with the Scottish Assurance Co. In 1875 the premium was £11.4.4.

Flora Sadleir's wedding dress was conserved and in 1964 was part of the Mary Ireland costume collection housed at Acrise Place, north of Folkstone, Kent, England.  Photos of the dress being modelled at an exhibition in Folkstone are from the photo collection of Nora Bomford (26.7.3) (Volume 25).  Click on images for a larger view.  It is not known where the dress is now (2010).

Flora Sadleir's wedding dress 1861, modelled in 1964     Flora Sadleir's wedding dress 1861, modelled in 1964

30.2.3  The Sadleir Family

The Sadleir lineage starts in 1400 with Henry Sadeleyer of Hackney, Middlesex. His son Sir Ralph (1507 - 1587) was a Privy Councillor for forty years to Henry VIII, Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth. Twice he entertained Queen Elizabeth at his home, Standon in Hertfordshire. He held many offices including Guardian of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Sir Ralph’s nephew, John Sadleir, was Alderman and High Bailiff of Stratford-on-Avon, 1570 – 1571. A close friend of Shakespeare, father to the playwright William Shakespeare. A relation, Hamnet Sadleir, witnessed William Shakespeare’s will, and with his wife Judith were godparents of Shakespeare’s twin children, Hamnet and Judith, who were baptised at Stratford-on-Avon on 2nd February 1585. It looks as though the young Shakespeares were named after their Sadleir godparents. John Sadleir’s offspring settled in Co Tipperary and his descendants left Ireland only recently.

Sir Ralph’s son, Sir Thomas, was knighted by King James I in 1603 when the King was staying at Standon, and his son, another Ralph, was known as “Noble Mr Sadler” in Walton’s “Compleat Angler”. However this last Ralph died without children and the titles continued through Sir Ralph’s second son Edward. Edward married an heiress and eventually Sopwell Hall in Hertfordshire became the family place.

Sir Ralph’s great-grandson, Colonel Thomas (died c1680), joined the Parliamentary Army in 1643 and went to Ireland with Cromwell as his Adjutant-General. He obtained estates in Co Tipperary and Galway including Kinelagh Castle and Castletown. The family settled in Kinelagh Castle which is still standing, but in 1745 Francis Sadleir, (the Colonel’s grandson, 1709 - 1797), built a new house in the grounds which he renamed Sopwell Hall, near Cloughjordan in Co Tipperary, after the family home in Hertfordshire. Another residence was Sadleir’s Wells just outside the town of Tipperary, about which Lewis writes in 1838 “the residence of W Sadleir Esq., a handsome house in a fine demesne, the grounds and gardens of which are tastefully laid out”.

Our branch of the family stems from the great-great-grandson of Colonel Thomas Sadleir. He was Thomas (1753 - 1815), a barrister who inherited Castletown, one of the original Irish grants. He married twice and fathered six sons and seven daughters. His second son was Francis, a clergyman and the grandfather of our Flora Mary.

The Reverend Francis Sadleir, DD, of Mullagh, King’s Co, born 3rd May 1775, became Provost of Trinity College in Dublin and as such had many other titles as an educator. In 1801 he married Letitia Abigail Grave (1769 - 1850), third daughter of William Grave of Ballynagar, King’s Country. Flora’s grandfather Francis died on 14th December 1851 leaving four sons and a daughter. The second son was Flora’s father, Francis Ralph Sadleir.

Francis Ralph Sadleir, born 22nd April 1806, married Flora Harriet McVeagh, daughter of Ferdinand McVeagh of Drewstown, Kells, on 15th September 1835; her mother was Charlotte Brooke, daughter of Henry Brooke of Brooke Lodge, Co Kildare; Charlotte died in 1883 and Ferdinand McVeagh died in 1866. Francis Ralph was a Doctor of Divinity (Dublin) but he must have started preaching late because it was not until the 1840s that he was the last curate of Killallion Church in the Parish of Delvin which was his first appointment; he then became curate of Paynestown Church in the Deanery of Slane in 1850, and two years later, in 1852 he became Rector of Rodanstown where he remained until 1870. In 1861, the year of the marriage, Henderson’s Post Office Guide gives his address as The Rectory, Rodanstown, and named his curate Henry Burrowes. Almost a century earlier, from 1755 to 1776, the Rector of Rodanstown was George Winter Bomford’s great-great-uncle. According to the 1878 edition of “The Landowners of Ireland”, the Rev Francis was that year living in London at Hyde Park, and leased over 500 acres in Co Meath; Griffith’s Valuation of 1854 places much of this 500 acres in the Parish of Moynalty.

Flora’s mother, Flora Harriet McVeagh, died 14th January 1874, and her father, Francis Ralph Sadleir, died 21st April 1875. They had four sons and eight daughters including Flora. A deed of 1893 (Vol 30, No 96) gives further information about the children, which is not included in Burke and is included now. This deed was the repayment of £13,000 by George Joseph McVeagh of Drewstown (first cousin to Flora) on a mortgage of Rodanstown and Dirpatrick, Flora received a quarter share.

Flora’s Brothers and Sisters

1.  Charlotte Letitia Sadleir - born c1837 married in 1860 Captain Thomas Quin of the 6th Punjab Rifles whose father served in India as a Lancer. No doubt Charlotte spent much of her married life in India. In the 1871 census, Charlotte, her husband, and two children, Thomas Quin aged 9 and Flora Quin aged 8, were staying with Henry McVeagh (Charlotte's great uncle), aged 78, and his wife Mary Uniacke, at Burlington St, St Swithin Walcot, Bath (Kairen Brooke-Anderson email 23 Dec 2015). By 1893 Charlotte was a widow living in London.

2.  Flora Mary McVeagh Sadleir - born in 1839, married George Winter Bomford, and had issue (see below).

3.  Letitia Margery Gordon Sadleir - born c1840 and died unmarried in 1909. In 1893 she was living in Queen Anne’s Gate, London.

4.  Ferdinand Francis Sadleir - born 1841, became a lieutenant in the Tipperary Artillery, and died unmarried in 1870, aged 29.

5.  Josephine Gertrude Sadleir - born c1842, did not marry. She was living in London in 1882 and in 1893 with her brother in New Brunswick.

6.  Francis Digby Henry Wynch Sadleir - born 1843 and died unmarried in 1887, aged 44. In 1882 he was living in London.

7.  Frances Sadleir - born c 1844 and died unmarried. She does not figure in the 1893 deed so may have died before then.

8.  Anne Sadleir - born c1846 and died unmarried in 1871.

9.  Edith Sadleir - born c1848 and died unmarried in 1871.

10.  Isabella Beatice Sadleir - born c1850, was unmarried in 1893 and living in Notting Hill, London.

11.  William Henry Brooke Sadleir - born 1851 and emmigrated to New Brunswick in Canada before 1874. He married out there and had three boys and a girl. In 1893 his address was 66 Pitt Street, New Brunswick, Canada.

12.  Thomas Otway Sadleir - born in 1853 and emigrated to San Francisco where he died unmarried in 1907, the year after the destructive earthquake. In 1893 he was living with his brother in New Brunswick

Thus the only Sadleir nephews and nieces were living in New Brunswick.

Flora married George Winter Bomford on 17th April 1861, and she was probably married from her home at the Rectory of Rodanstown by her father, the Rector, assisted by his curate Henry Burrowes. At the time of the wedding both lots of parents were alive, but the only grand-parents alive were those of Flora’s mother, Charlotte and Ferdinand McVeagh of Drewstown; of the brothers and sisters there were eight Bomfords, the youngest being aged four, and eleven Sadleirs, the youngest also being about eight.

It is not known where they went after the wedding but it is assumed that George Winter continued as a barrister, perhaps at Lincolns Inn in London. In a deed of 1867 (30.2.5) his address was 22 Southampton Street, Bloomsbury Square, London, and he is recorded in that deed as a ‘Barrister-at-Law’.

They had two children, both probably born in London:

1.  Arbella Anne, known as ‘Nellie’ was born on 13th June 1862, and

2.  George Sadleir Bomford was born on 1st December 1864 (30.2.7).

30.2.4  The Australian Visit

The friction between George Bomford and his son George Winter Bomford (30.2) may have continued as this letter from George Winter's father in law Francis Sadleir to George Bomford dated 6th April 1866 might imply.

From 14 Dawson Street.

My dear Sir,

I received your letter last night, too late for yesterday's post. I will take a proper opportunity of conveying your messages with compliments to Mrs. Sadleir. I regret that I was too hasty in laying your former letter before her, as she was far from well at the time in either body or mind, and is at present suffering from derangement of her nervous system, and appears to have little or no control over herself.

I can never forget your perfectly candid, honourable and generous disposition evinced at the meeting I had the pleasure of having with you, to which you allude. If I outlive my wife, or ever have the power, which at present I have not, I will to the utmost of my power, fulfil any promises that either Mrs Sadleir or myself have made. For Flora’s and George’s interest and for my peace and quiet, and therefore the prolonging of my life, the quieter mothers are kept the better. Please to consider this as private and confidential, and with my best compliments and regards to Mrs Bomford and the rest of ... [looks like ‘your girls’] ...

I am my dear sir, most faithfully yours

Francis Sadleir DD

There is probably insufficient evidence to assume that George had written concerning George Winter and Flora, but whatever was in George’s first letter had upset Mrs Sadleir. It may have been, as George Lyndon writes, that George Winter “married Miss Sadleir, leading her to believe, so I have always been told, that he was heir to all the entailed property which was free of all charges” (32.1) and that friction had come about from this pretence. Alternatively it could have been about the impending visit to Australia, a matter that would undoubtedly upset a mother.

George Lyndon’s letter continues, “My uncle took his young family to Australia and deserted them there. He spent the last years of his life on Valentia Island (in Co Kerry) and tried to become a Nationalist Member of Parliament.” GLB gave no opinion about his uncle becoming a Nationalist because it was common knowledge that such a thing was unthinkable by the vast majority of landowners and the result could only cause further estrangement from his parents and family.

It is not known when the Australian visit took place but it was probably in the late 1860s.  Concerning the “desertion” in Australia, Brigadier Guy Bomford (26.7.4), who knew Flora in later life, never heard Flora complaining of this, so it is doubtful if the word ‘desertion’ had the same meaning as it has now.

Cindy Hann (emails 16 & 18 Feb 2015) has uncovered more information. The Bomfords arrived in Melbourne, Australia, from Gravesend, as a family of four on the ship Lincolnshire on 17 Aug 1867 ( A third child, a daughter Charlotte, was born in Melbourne in 1868 but died the following year (30.2.8). Two years after arriving, Flora and the two surviving children, George and Arbella, departed for London on 19 Aug 1869 on the Norfolk ( in circumstances related in a letter from Trevor Winter (18.7.7) to Robert Savage, leaving her husband George in Australia. It is not known when he returned to England or Ireland. Robert Savage's family was long associated with the Winters in Ireland. Robert travelled to Hobart with George Winter, Arbella Winter and Cecil Pybus Cooke in 1839 (18.7.9).

Another reason for placing the Australian visit in the late 1860s was the following loan of £1,000, which may have been for expenses.

30.2.5  Indenture concerning £1,000 loan  17th May 1867


1.  George Winter Bomford of 22 Southampton Street, Bloomsbury Square, London, Barrister-at-Law

2.  George Bomford of Oakley Park, Kells.

3.  Arbella Bomford, wife of George Bomford (and mother of George Winter Bomford).

4.  John Thomas Hinds of 28 Westmoreland St, Dublin, solicitor.


1.  That Arbella Bomford has made advances out of her own money to George Winter Bomford amounting to £1,000.

2.  That according to the marriage settlement of 17th April 1861 of George Winter Bomford and Flora Mary McVeigh Sadleir, a maximum of £1,000 could be raised on the lands placed in trust (Drumlargan etc).

Now therefore George Winter Bomford promises to mortgage the lands, after his father’s death, to John Thomas Hinds for £1,000.

Witnessed by George G Radcliff (died 1905), Manager of the Union Bank in Kells.  (1867, Book 18, No 117)

This debt was still outstanding to Arbella in 1898 and was one of the many items that John Francis had to settle, and of course the mortgage never took place because George Winter died before his father.

Other amounts of money were borrowed by George Winter about this time. His father George paid the interest for which there are receipts covering the year 1874 - 1875. Firstly there was a loan from Charles Reilly, the Oakley park steward, of £100 at 5% interest; the other was a loan of £70 at 5% interest from Catherine Kelly who signed the receipt with a cross, ‘her mark’. These receipts are an added reason for the Australian visit being about this time, but they also show chronic money shortage since George Winter had to borrow from the local people.

In October 1882 a deed concerning the change of trustees of the marriage settlement was registered (1882, Vol 36, No 235). The two original trustees had died, Ferdinand Francis Sadleir in 1870 and Francis Ralph Sadleir in 1875. The new trustees were Robert Laurence Bomford, George Winter’s younger brother of Oakley Park, and Francis Digby Henry Wynch Sadleir, Flora’s younger brother of 18 Southampton Street, Bloomsbury, London; the next house but one to that of George Winter in 1867. This deed adds to the Sadleir information in Burke; Josephine Sadleir was “a spinster of Cambridge Terrace, Hyde Park, London,” and Francis Digby Sadleir’s full name is recorded.

George Winter’s whole family had returned from Australia by 1882. He was living at No 9 Holles Street in Dublin, and Flora at No 7 Cambridge Terrace with her sister in London. One imagines that it was around this date that George Winter was trying to become a Nationalist M.P., hence the apparent separation, or perhaps there really was a separation after he had “deserted” Flora in Australia.

The 1881 census (transcription from Kairen Brooke-Anderson email 21 Dec 2015) records the following at 7 Cambridge Terrace, Paddington, Kensington, London:

First name(s)

Last name


Marital status



Birth year


Birth place








Income derived from
landed property

London, Middlesex, England

Flora M


Grand daughter









Grand daughter







Josephine J


Grand daughter







Isabella B


Grand daughter







Isabella A


Great grand daughter






Barnes, Surrey, England

George S


Great grand son







Possible transcription errors: Isabella B Sadlier was born 1850, so would have been 32 rather than 23; Isabella A Bomford is Arbella Anne Bomford; various Ws have been changed to Ms here.

30.2.6  Death of George Winter Bomford  22nd June 1884

George Winter died two years before his father on 22nd June 1884, aged 49. "DEATHS: BOMFORD - June 22, 1884, at 9 Holles street, Dublin, of laryngitis, George Winter Bomford, B.L., in his 50th year, eldest son of George Bomford, Esq., J P, of Oakley Park, Kells, county Meath. The funeral will leave for Mount Jerome Cemetery on to-morrow (Tuesday) morning at 9 o'clock" (Freeman's Journal, 23 Jun 1884, page 1, accessed online 15.2.2015 at, Cindy Hann email 18 Feb 2015).

A copy of his will of 2nd November 1878 is in the Public Record Office (National Archive, Dublin: Document T/14234). It reads:

This is my last will and testament. I hereby revoke all other testamentary writings. I appoint my mother, Arbella Bomford, to be sole executor and trustee of this my will. I appoint my wife, Flora Mary McVeagh Bomford, her uncle Ferdinand McVeagh of Drewstown and John Radcliff Battersby of Lower Leeson Street, Dublin, to be guardians of my children Arbella Anne Bomford and George Sadleir Bomford during their minority, both of their persons and property. As to my property of which I may die possessed whatsoever and whosesoever it may be, I leave the same after the payment of my just debts to my mother aforesaid, as witness my hand this 2nd day of November 1878.

Signed:  Geo Winter Bomford

Witnessed: Fanny Magee;  Robert Laurence Bomford.”

Probate granted 22nd July 1884 to the will of George Winter Bomford, late of 9 Holles Street, Dublin, Esq., who died on or about 22nd day of June 1884 at the same place, to Arbella Bomford of Oakley Park, Kells, with a gross value of estate of £1,167.19.6.

George was buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin (photo).

Probate is recorded in the Index to Printed Irish Will Calendars 1878-1900

30.2.7  George Winter Bomford’s Family

George Winter died leaving his mother, aged 74, as his sole executor and this shows the state of estrangement with the rest of the family more than anything else. Indeed George Warren Bomford (1900 - 1978) wrote that he was disinherited by his father. The entailed estate of Drumlargan, or at least most of it, passed to his son and later to his daughter. [The entailed estate would be dealt with according to the entail rather than by a will, so he may well have been disinherited of everything else. See]

At his death Flora was 45, their daughter Arbella Anne was just 22 and their son George Sadleir was 20.

George Sadleir Bomford was soon to join the Army. He became a Captain in the Prince Of Wales Own West Yorkshire Regiment. Probably whilst still in the Army he died on 1st December 1894 on his 30th birthday: Index to Printed Irish Will Calendars 1878-1900. George Sadleir Bomford, Captain, 14th Regiment, late of Drumlargan, Co Meath, died on 1 December 1894 at Aldershot, probate to Arrabella Anne Bomford of 50 North Great St George's Street, Dublin, spinster. George died of typhoid, as reported Belfast News-Letter on 1 January 1895 at page 3 (accessed online 15 Feb 2015 at, Cindy Hann email 18 Feb 2015):

Typhoid fever has appeared in households the heads of which felicitated themselves that they knew every sanitary law of nature and had mastered every law laid down by scientists. At Aldershot Captain Bomford has fallen a victim, and two other officers are down, fighting with the same dreaded enemy. The experts are at fault as regards Aldershot, but the War Office, as one of those departmental institutions that believes in wonderful bureaucratic administration, requires to be wakened up considerably.

The theory at the bottom of much of the failure as regard sanitary provision in buildings under Government control is to allow the military element to predominate. A young man who succeeds in becoming an officer of Royal Engineers is supposed to be able to deal with every difficulty for which there is a scientific knowledge required. The civilian expert may not have passed so many stiff examinations, but he has experience of such matters, and has probably devoted his whole life to dealing with practical difficulties. The officers' block at Aldershot was built, comparatively recently, in dangerous proximity to a sewage farm on which experiments are being made in the utilisation, with a view to getting rid of it, of town sewage. The officers still in health are being transferred to other quarters, but the red tape element remains, and will, probably, still remain for future mischief making.

The York Herald of 15 December 1894 at page 5 (accessed online 15 Feb 2015 at, Cindy Hann email 18 Feb 2015) reports:

In consequence of the death of Captain Bomford of the 1st Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment, which took place a few days ago at Aldershot, there is a vacant company command in the corps. This should give promotion to Lieutenant Berney of the 1st Battalion of the Regiment, doing duty with the depot companies at York. Mr. Berney has been over seven and a half years an officer of the West Yorkshire Regiment, having become second lieutenant in May, 1887, and was promoted lieutenant in 1889.

It is not known where the family were living between George Winter’s death in 1884 and 1891, perhaps at Holles Street off Merrion Square in Dublin; however the Dublin Directories for the years 1891 to 1899 place both mother and daughter at No 50 North Great George’s Street in a house valued at £58 near the north end of O’Connell Street, then called Sackville Street. They were there in the only two deeds concerning the daughter Arbella Anne, nicknamed ‘Nellie’.

1.  Dated 3rd August 1901, in which Drumlargan and Knockstown were mortgaged with her consent by the trustees Canon John Heally and Doctor Thomas MacDowell to raise £3,300. The grantee was Charles Pepper of Ballygarth Castle, Julianstown Co Meath, Colonel of the Meath Militia. (1901, Vol 64, No 65). The trustees were those of George and Arbella’s marriage settlement of 1832 (24.1); the original trustees had died and Canon John Heelly had been made one in 1890 and Doctor MacDowell had been appointed during the previous month, July 1901 (see 32.7, letter no. 8). One assumes that this large amount was raised to pay the settlement to George and Arbella’s children, Nellie’s uncles and aunts, but this is discussed at the end of Chapter 32.

2.  Dated 12th February 1903 in which Arbella Anne sold one statute acre of Drumlargan for £33 to the Trim Rural District Council. This was witnessed by Flora M. Bomford, widow.  (1903, Vol 24, No 72)

As a side issue there is a nice story about the Pepper family. At the time of Cromwell the Pepper family was living in a tall tower-house, probably Ballygarth Castle, but since they were Roman Catholics their land had been confiscated and allotted to one of Cromwell’s officers. This officer with the deeds in his pocket had been riding the roads for many days looking for his new estate, and tired and weary he stumbled on the Pepper house late at night. The soldier was politely entertained but, although he was talkative about his search, the Pepper family did not admit that he was staying in the very house he was looking for. In the morning he found his horse unable to continue so he offered the deeds in exchange for a fine white horse belonging to the Peppers. The swap was made and the Peppers were able to retain their lands. For many years they always kept a white horse.

At some later date Flora bought a house in England at Baldock, Hertfordshire, between London and Cambridge. According to Guy Bomford (26.7.4), whose mother and elder sister used to visit them, Flora and her daughter ‘Nellie’ lived there comfortably.

Flora lived to the ripe old age of 95. She died on 16th January 1935 (probate). Her unmarried daughter lived on at Baldock and died there aged 80 on 17th September 1942 (probate).

30.2.8  Summary of George Winter Bomford and his Family

George Winter Bomford, eldest son of George Bomford of Oakley Park, born in Dublin 12th November 1834; educated Trinity College, called to the Bar of Lincolns Inn. He married 17th April 1861 Flora Mary McVeagh Sadleir (born 1839), 2nd daughter of Rev Francis Ralph Sadleir, DD, of Mullagh, King’s County, (1806-75), Rector of Rodanstown, and Flora Harriett McVeagh (died 1874). He died 22nd June 1884 and she died 16th January 1935 at Baldock, Hertfordshire. They had three children:

1.  Arbella Anne Bomford of Drumlargan, knowns as Nellie, born 13th June 1862 and died unmarried at Baldock on 17th September 1942.

2.  George Sadleir Bomford of Drumlargan, born 1st December 1864, Captain in Prince of Wales Own West Yorkshire Regiment, died unmarried 1st December 1894.

3.  Charlotte Bomford, b 9 Jul 1868, Melbourne, 'to the wife of George Winter Bomford, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, of a daughter' (Dublin Evening Mail, 18 Sep 1868, p2, accessed online 15 Feb 2015 at, Cindy Hann email 18 Feb 2015), d 5 Mar 1869, 'at Bank street, Emerald-hill, Charlotte, the infant daughter of George Winter Bomford, Esq' (The Argus, 29 Mar 1869, page 4S, accessed online 18 Feb 2015 at, Cindy Hann email 18 Feb 2015).

30.3  John Francis Bomford: His Early Life  1837 - 1911

John Francis Bomford, from photo albumJohn Francis was the second son and the fourth child of George Bomford and Arbella Winter (24.1.1, 30.1). He was the first of the children to be born at Oakley Park, on 22nd December 1837, and on the 4th March 1838 he was baptised at Agher Church by the Rector, John Kellet.

There is no record of his schooling, and, since he did not go to Trinity, one is left wondering what he did between his school days and 1861 when he started farming in earnest; it is possible that he did some type of training to gain experience not only in farming but to enable him to become a Land Commissioner. One reason for this supposition is that he was 24 when he inherited Clonfad and it would have been more normal for this to happen when he came of age; the implication is that he was otherwise engaged at the age of 21.

In contrast with his elder brother he and his father got on well together and it was John Francis who was groomed to inherit George’s land. Initially he lived at Oakley Park leading the leisurely life of a young man in the country, hunting his father’s pack of hounds, shooting, and so on. However in 1861 he started work in earnest; that year he took over Clonfad and Rattin, leased part of Oakley Park and probably supervised the land improvements there and the building of the new yard; also small parcels of Baltrasna and Knockstown were in his name. Gradually he became more involved and probably his father’s land agent sometime before Arthur Reynell, George’s previous one died in 1877.

Meanwhile in 1866, on 29th November, he married Elinor Bolton. He was then aged 29 and Elinor was three years younger. Elinor’s father was Lyndon Henry Bolton (1801-1869), a younger brother of Richard Bolton (1797 - 1868) who in 1833 married Jemima Letitia Bomford (c1805-1878) a daughter of Robert Bomford of Rahinstown (21.7.3). So Richard Bolton was Elinor’s uncle and his wife Jemima was John Francis’ second cousin. The early Bolton family history will be found in 21.7, and the younger ones are covered below (30.3.2).

Lyndon Henry Bolton, Elinor’s father, married Anna Maria Bourne on 26th January 1826. They had eight children, six boys and two girls, and Elinor was the seventh child and the elder of the two girls. When Elinor was 21 her father became Rector of Drumcondra (Drumconrath), Co Meath, about 12 miles northeast of Kells. It is likely that their boys had left home and that only the two daughters, Elinor and Jane, went to live in the Rectory at Drumcondra with their parents from 1861. Lyndon died aged 68 when he was still the incumbent of Drumcondra, on 22nd November 1869; after his death Anna Maria lived at No 1 Grovesnor Terrace in Monkstown and then, at some later date, she went to live with Elinor and John Francis at Drumlargan, and she died there on 14th May 1886 when she was in her 80s.

30.3.1  Marriage of John Francis Bomford and Elinor Jane Bolton  29th November 1866

John Francis Bomford Elinor Jane Bolton

Marriage Settlement


1.  George Bomford of Oakley Park

2.  John Francis Bomford of Oakley Park, 2nd son of George Bomford.

3.  Rev Lyndon Henry Bolton of Drumcondra Rectory (Drumconrath), Co Meath.

4.  Elinor Jane Bolton of Drumcondra Rectory, spinster, eldest daughter of Lyndon Henry Bolton.

5.  Nathaniel Francis Preston of Swainstown, Co Meath, (nephew of John Francis’ uncle Samuel Bomford: his grandmother was Frances Rose Winter (Bomford) a daughter of Trevor Bomford), and Abraham Irwin Bolton, Assistant Surgeon of Her Majesty’s Royal Navy (brother of Elinor).

6.  George William Ruxton of Rahanna, Co Louth, (married to John Francis’ sister Arbella Anna in 1863), and Rev Richard Knott Bolton of Newbold-cum-Dunstan, Chesterfield, Co Derby, (brother of Elinor).

Reciting that

1.  George Bomford possesses in fee simple the lands of Laurencetown or Oakley Park containing 466 plantation acres (755 statute, but actually 741) in the Barony of Upper Kells, Baltrasna or Baltrasnagh or Baltrasney being part of the townland of Galtrim containing 293 plantation acres (475 statute) situated in the Parishes of Culmullin and Kilmore. Baltrasna was conveyed to George Bomford by deed dated 12th June 1837 in which there is a list of tenants (24.7.5).  Cloodecacagh or Cloodegagagh or Cludochatt, commonly called Clude in the Barony of Ardee. (Drumlargan etc being entailed was not included in the marriage settlement). 

2.  Clonfad containing 721 plantation acres (1168 statute, so must include Rattin) was made over to John Francis Bomford on 4 Feb 1861 and entailed to the male heirs of John Francis Bomford, on payment of £700 (29.7.2).

3.  The entail was removed on 19th April 1865 (29.7.2). 

4.  Clonfad was mortgaged on 20th April 1865 for £3,000 to Robert Neville (29.9).  

5.  On 28th November 1866 (the previous day) Anna Maria Bolton, wife of Lyndon Henry Bolton, settled £500 on her daughter, Elinor Jane Bolton. Also that Lyndon Henry Bolton settled 5/12 of £6,150.10.9 being a portion of the trust fund from his marriage settlement of 25th January 1826 (just over £2,560).

Now George Bomford gives the following land to the trustees, Party 5, Laurencetown or Oakley Park, Baltrasna, Clude, and Clonfad, plus the money mentioned above.  (1866, Book 35, No 84)

The purpose of the trust is not mentioned, but one can assume that the trustees had to raise from the land a set amount of money for the children of the marriage.

Since the settlement is the same date as the wedding, it is safe to assume that all parties to the settlement were present at the ceremony, which may have taken place from the Rectory at Drumcondra with Elinor’s father marrying them. In addition John Francis’ brothers and sisters would have attended with the exception of George Winter Bomford and his family who were in London. They were:

  • Anne, the eldest daughter aged 33.
  • Arbella Anna aged 27 and her husband George Ruxton aged 29; they were living just the other side of Ardee at Rahanna and since he was a party to the settlement almost certainly they were present.
  • Samuel Stephen aged 25 was probably in India.
  • Elizabeth aged 23.
  • Victoria Adela aged 17.
  • Margaret aged 11.
  • Robert Laurence aged 9 were all at Oakley Park.

Two of Elinor’s brothers attended her marriage, as they were party to the settlement; they were Richard with his wife and two young daughters, and Abraham the Royal Navy surgeon who was probably still a bachelor. Hallowes Henry may have been in New Zealand, but her eldest brother Lyndon may have been there with his wife and young son aged 6. Elinor’s sister Jane Mary Anne was married that same year though since we do not know which month we cannot be certain if she was present.

These younger Boltons were not included in 21.7.3 and so are included now together with their children. Many of these Bolton cousins kept in touch with the Bomfords and will re-occur in later chapters.

Cindy Hann (email 1 May 2018) has found this newspaper report:

Marriage of John Francis Bomford and Elinor Jane Bolton

MARRIAGE FESTIVITIES. — A marriage was celebrated, in the parish church of Drumconrath, on the 27th instant, by the Rev Richard K Bolton, Incumbent of Newbold-cum-Dunstan, Derbyshire, brother of the bride, assisted by the Rev Thomas G Caulfield, Mount Temple, County Westmeath, uncle of the bridegroom, between John F Bomford, Esq, second son of George Bomford, Esq., Oakley Park, County Meath, and Elinor Jane, eldest daughter of the Rev Lyndon Bolton, Rector of Drumconrath.

A numerous and fashionable assembly of the elite of the surrounding districts were present at the interesting ceremony, amongst whom were: - Mr. Mrs. and the Misses Bomford, Oakley Park; Mr. Samuel Bomford; Mr. Mrs. and Miss Singleton, Aclare; the Misses Hallowes, Crosthwaite Park, Kingstown; Mr. John Garnet, and Mrs. Garnet; Miss Brabazon Rath, County Louth; Captain and Mrs. Foster, Coolderry; Mr. and Mrs. G. Ruxton, Rahanna; Mr. and Mrs. Henry Thompson, Mrs. Owens, Julianstown, and the Misses Owens, Bird Hill; Mr. W. A. Barnes and Miss Barnes, Westland; Mr. Radcliffe, Mr. T. Radcliffe, and Mr. G. Radcliffe, Killmount; Messrs. Brereton, Keirnan, K. Hallowes, Doctor Jones, W. Bolton, John Irwin, 88th Regiment, and W. Irwin.

The interior of the handsome church of Drumconrath presented a truly imposing appearance on the occasion, having been decorated and festooned, in the most chaste and unique style, with evergreens and the choicest flowers, the whole being singularly in keeping with the splendour and beauty of the bridal costumes. A dejeuner, on a most princely scale, was given at the Rectory to the company assembled, while the domestics and villagers were not forgotten in the festivities. Indeed, a spirit of rejoicing pervaded all parties on the occasion, as the Rev. Mr. Bolton and his family are deservedly popular, the amiable and accomplished bride, in particular, being a universal favourite with rich and poor.

(Newry Examiner and Louth Advertiser, Saturday 1 Dec 1866, page 2, accessed online on 1 May 2018 at

30.3.2  Elinor Bolton’s Brothers and Sister, and their Families

The text below was originally based largely on Burke's published research.  It was revised in March 2006 from referenced notes provided by George R. Stanculescu, grandson of Elsa Bolton, daughter of Abraham Irwin Bolton by his third wife.

1.  Lyndon Bolton, eldest son of Rev Lyndon Henry Bolton b 10 March 1801 d 18 November 1869 and his wife Anna Maria (Bourne) b c 1805 d 14 May 1886, was born 20th November 1826 in Dublin, married 15th December 1858 and died 4th April 1900 at Drumlargan, his sister Elinor’s house. He inherited Burren and Cooleague, Co Cavan, from his father in 1869. His wife was Elizabeth Henrietta, a daughter of Edward Creed of Ballyclough House, Co Cork; she was born on 12th October 1821 and died 17th December 1893 at Ealing in England. They had one son:

a.  Lyndon Bolton of Burren and Cooleague, MA, sometime in the Patent Office in London; born 31st May 1860, married 6th June 1895 and died 8th May 1942. His wife was Gertrude Mary Hunt, eldest daughter of Joseph Hunt, JP, of Canterbury; she was born on 22nd August 1868 and died 8th April 1957 having had four children:

i.  Lyndon Bolton, Brigadier, DSO 1942 and Bar 1945, DL, born 25th May 1899, educated at Bedford and R.M.A. Woolwich, married 17th March 1934. He rode in the Olympics and was trainer of the British Olympic Equestrian team at the Tokyo Olympics. His wife is Elizabeth Inglis, daughter of John Cran of Kirkton, Bunchrew, Inverness. They were both alive in 1983 and had a son, Lyndon Bolton and three grandchildren, Lyndon, William and Timothy.

ii.  Joan Creed Bolton, born 17th April 1896 and died unmarried on 7th January 1975.

iii.  Rachel Gertrude Bolton, born 16th July 1902, married 19th April 1928 and died 21st April 1941. Her husband was Leslie Frederick Ryley who was living in 1983. They had a son, Patrick, and three daughters, Lesley Mary, Jane Ann and Jennifer, all of whom are married and there are eleven grandchildren.

iv.  Elizabeth (Betty) Georgina Bolton, born 3rd September 1908, unmarried and living in 1983.

2.  Walter Stooke Bolton was born on 22nd January 1828, educated at Trinity in Dublin in 1844, surgeon, and died unmarried in East Africa on 23rd April 1855 aged 27.

3.  Richard Knott Bolton, Reverend, BA 1861 TCD, of Carrickrmines, Co Dublin; Rector of Fenny Bently, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, born 1st May 1830, married 17th April 1856 and died 11th April 1909. Elinor’s marriage settlement places him as Rector of Newbold-cum-Dunstan in 1866. His wife was Josephine Ruth Susanne Taylor, daughter of Rev James Taylor, the Vicar of St John’s at Newcastle-on-Tyne; she was born in 1832 and died 11th June 1931 aged 99 having had two daughters and a son:

a.  Evelyn Mary Bolton (‘Bird’), born 1858, married 3rd February 1881 and died 21st September 1951. Her husband was Edmund Wilson Barnes, JP, MA, of Gladwell Hall, Derbyshire, only son of Edmund Barnes of Ashgate House, Chesterfield, who died 2nd June 1920. They had two sons and a daughter:

i.  Rev Richard Barnes.

ii.  Edmund Barnes killed in action in World War I.

iii.  Marjorie Barnes, known as Daw.

b.  Lyndon Bolton. Died aged 7.

c.  Josephine Ann Bolton, known as Fye, born 1864, married 20th May 1886 and died 4th October 1947. Her husband was Rev Ernest Edwin Morris, MA, of Bakewell in Derbyshire in 1888, and became vicar of Ashbourne, Derbyshire; second son of Henry Morris a solicitor of Swan Hill Court, Shrewsbury, and Mary Meeson (1819 - 1895). He died 7th July 1924 and they had six children:

i.  Evelyn Mary Morris born 30th September 1887 became a deaconess and died c1980.

ii.  Lyndon Henry Morris born 1889, served in World War I as a Major, then emigrated to USA and became a fruit farmer in Florida. However he lost everything in this venture so returned to England and was employed as a prison officer. He rose to become Chief Constable of Devon and at the time of his death in 1946 he was Governor of Dartmoor Prison. Around 1924 he married Phyllis and they had three children:

1.  Patrick Morris, born deaf and dumb; he went to Florida and, died in the late 1960s.

2.  Patricia Morris is alive (1992). She married and went to Rhodesia.

3.  Pamela Morris is also alive. She married Peter Holden, a land agent in Totness in Devon.

iii.  Noel Meeson Morris born 19th January 1892 at Bakewell and after service in World War 1, went to India where he became Secretary of the Bombay Port Trust. On 19th October 1930 he married Jessie Bird, born 18th May 1911, daughter of William Bird an engineer who at one time worked on pipelines in Egypt and who died of diabetes and was buried at sea in his 50s. During World War II Noel served with Hodgson’s Horse being demobilised as a Lieutenant Colonel. In 1945 they bought and settled at Dowdstown, Ardee in Co Louth. Noel died in 1977 at Copper Close, Cheltenham, and Jessie finally settled in a house at Knockbridge near Dowdstown. They had three children:

1.  Michael Edwin Morris of Dowdstown, born 3rd  February 1932 and, whilst serving with the Royal Navy, married on 18th December 1965 Evelyn (born 19th March 1929) daughter of William George Illing of Buckinghamshire. Michael gave up farming as the dust affected his lungs and Dowdstown was sold in 1998. Bohernamoe, just outside Ardee was bought. Michael died on 23rd March 2003. There were no children.

2.  Rachel Morris Rachel Morris, born 3rd February 1935, and married in 1960 Doctor Roderick Ingles of Penicuik south of Edinburgh. They emigrated to South Africa and had four children before the marriage was dissolved in 1986:

a.  Alistair Ingles, born 1961 and died 1987.

b.  Amanda Ingles, born 1963, who is a doctor,

and twin boys born 1965:

c.  Ian Ingles who is married and has a son:

Joshua Ingles

d.  Alexander Ingles who is a doctor.

3.  Richard Morris born October 1944, and married in 1967 Anne McGeough. In 1995 he had a heavy trucking business and lived near Dundalk with their five children:

a.  Simone Morris born 1968.

b.  Lyndo Morris born 1971.

c.  Zana Morris born 1973.

d.  Arlene Morris born 1978.

e.  Peter Morris born 1981.

iv.  Ruth Zephine Morris; her fiancée was killed in action during World War I and so died a widow.

v.  Ernest Botton Morris married Madelaine. They are both dead but had a daughter:

1. Joy Morris who is married.

vi.  Francis St Vincent Morris born late 1890s, joined the RFC in World War I and was killed in action in 1917.

4.  Stallowes Henry Bolton born 13th June 1833 and died unmarried in Auckland, New Zealand, on 28th July 1875, aged 42.

5.  Henry Kearney Bolton, born in Dublin on 21st July 1835 and was a student at Trinity College Dublin when he died 15th July 1854 aged 19.

6.  Abraham Irwin Bolton, known as Aby, Doctor (MD) born 28th March 1838 in Dublin and educated at TCD, BA 1860, and MA 1861. He was surgeon in the Royal Navy for about 10 years from October 1861, but later settled as a vice-consul at Constantza (Kustendjie), the chief sea port of Romania; he died there on 25th May 1909. See notes  by George R Stanculescu, grandson of Elsa Bolton, daughter of Abraham by his third wife, for photos and more on Abraham and his family.  Abraham married three times: 

First on 26 March 1866 at the Cloyne Diocese, Queenstown, Ireland, to Frances Geraldine Orpen, second daughter of Doctor Thomas Hungerford Orpen; they had two sons and two  daughters.  She died in Contantza, Romania, after an accidental fall, on 24 March 1879.

Second on 28 August 1879 in Constantza to Terezina Corner. They had seven children. Terezina and three of their children died in Romania in three weeks in 1891, the children in an epidemic of 'diphtheritic scarlatina' and Terezina from anemia.  A fourth child died of consumption in 1897.

Third on 28 September 1895 in Trieste to Ida Aloysia Josepha Hesse from Trieste, b 4 April 1870.  He was then aged 57, she 25.  Ida survived her husband by 45 years and died in Bucharest on 26 March 1954. They had a daughter and a son. The daughter, Ida Ezia Bolton, known as Elsa, was the grandmother of George R Stanculescu. 

7.  Elinor Jane Bolton, born 6th May 1840 died 14 July 1924, the elder daughter, would have been 26 when she married John Francis Bomford.

8.  Jane Mary Anne Bolton born on 11th May 1842 and married the same year as her sister Elinor in 1866; she died in April 1922. Her husband was Lieutenant-Colonel William Fleming of the 95th Regiment (the King’s Own Royal Rifle Regt), of Mayfield, Ashbourne in Derbyshire. He died on 14th December 1917. They had an only daughter:

a.  Anna Catherine Fleming born 1867, and married 20th October 1891 John (Jack) Christopher Bagot of Ballyturin House, Gort, Co Galway, JP, who was born 20th October 1856, third son of John Lloyd Neville Bagot (1814 - 1890) of Ballymoe Castle, Co Galway, who was involved with Samuel Bomford over the Preston mortgage (26.4). Jack’s cousin, Frances, married General Glubb and their only child was ‘Glubb Pasha’, the British Commander of the Arab Legion from 1939 to 1956. Ballyturin House on Lough Cutra came to Jack from his mother’s family, the Kirwans, it is now a ruin. Jack Bagot died 27th April 1935. But Anna, known to us as ‘Aunt Ann’ lived on until 17th January 1963; when she came to Dublin she used to stay at the Standard Hotel where we used to be summoned to tea with her, very grand affairs. She died died in London aged 96 and was buried at Gresford Church near Wrexham, North Wales. The Bagot family of Kilcoursey, King’s County, previously appeared in 16.4 in connection with the North family. There were three Bagot-North marriages according to the Betham will extracts but only one is recorded in Burke. However the two families, Bagot and North-Bomford, were undoubtedly related fairly closely around 1800 but by now rather more tenuously. They had two daughters:

i.  Mary Eileen Lilian Bagot, known as Molly, born 20th October 1896, died 1984 Kensington and Chelsea (Catherine Holman email 8 Aug 2010), married 21st April 1925 Brigadier James Gerald Bruxner-Randall, CBE, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, son of Colonel Richard George Bruxner-Randall of Thurlaston Holt, Hinckley, Leicestershire. The marriage was dissolved in 1947 after they had three children:

1.  Peter Dennis Bruxner-Randall born 25th September 1927, Captain Royal Welsh Fusiliers and now a solicitor, married October 1957 June Caithness of Jamaica. They had children:

a.  Belinda Bruxner-Randall born March 1955

b.  Annabel Bruxner-Randall born 1957

c.  Susan Bruxner-Randall born 1957 in Chester, Cheshire (Catherine Holman email 8 Aug 2010)

d.  Nicola Bruxner-Randall born 1958.

2.  Patricia Ann Bruxner-Randall born 26th August 1930, died 1998 Uckfield, Sussex, married April 1955 Brian Mayhew of Kemmerton House, Tetbury, Gloucestershire. They have a daughter:

a. Alexandra Mayhew born April 1957.

3.  Richard Neville Bruxner-Randall born 8th April 1932 of Leafwood, Frant, Sussex, married in the spring of 1962 at Westminster to Elaine C Redman in Westminster. Richard died 1996 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.  They had two sons:

a. Simon R Bruxner-Randall born 1963 in Hampstead, Middlesex

b. Paul Stephen Bruxner-Randall b 1966 Hampstead, Middlesex.

ii.  Kathleen Anna Bagot born 21st January 1900 and on 26th June 1923 married Kenneth Haldane Watts, son of William Arthur Watts of West Garth, St Ives, Cornwall. He died on 13th August 1953.

9.  William Bolton born 9 January 1846, surgeon and physician, died in London unmarried on 11th July 1882 aged 36.

30.3.3  The Move to Drumlargan

The year after the wedding John Francis and Elinor had their first of ten children and it is thought that by 1870 they had moved out of Oakley Park into the newly restored Drumlargan House. They were the only Bomfords to live in Drumlargan House and they stayed there for 30 years, so all their children were brought up there. Elinor’s mother, Anna Maria Bolton, lived with them after her husband died in 1869 and she died at Drumlargan in May 1886. Later her eldest brother (Lyndon) also lived there with them and died there in April 1900.

A note next to a photo of John Francis in a page from a photo album of unknown ownership states 'lived at Drumlargan after his eldest brother George Winter, who had been disinherited, died there in 1884.  He inherited Oakley Park on the death of his mother Arabella in 1900.'

Meanwhile John Francis continued farming but he also started to work for the Land Commission; the first record of this was in 1884 when he was termed a ‘Sub-Commissioner under the Land Court’, but he must have started with the Land Commission earlier. In addition he was agent for Meath for the Nationa1 Assurance Company of Ireland; the first record of this was in 1874 but, again, he had probably been working for them for some years. According to Thorn’s Directory he became a Justice of the Peace in 1872 and remained one until his death.

30.3.4  A Wild Oat ?

When John Francis was still a teenager and before his marriage, he appears to have had a liaison with a local girl.  Her name was Annie Glennon.

There is no tenant farmer named Glennon on Oakley Park but there is one on Clonfad named Thomas Glennon. Clonfad is too far from Oakley Park for a liaison to develop, but it was not an uncommon name and there may have been a Glennon family nearby, perhaps in one of the Soldier’s Homes.

In about 1858 Annie Glennon gave birth to an illegitimate daughter at Oakley Park and she was christened Elizabeth Mary Bomford. The baby girl grew up on the estate and eventually went to a Kells convent school; but she never did learn to write as she made her mark ‘X’ on the church marriage register and other records.

Meanwhile Thomas Fisher Allan, son of James Allan, cabinet maker and his wife Jane Crewsly, who were both born in Ohio, USA, was born in 1852 and was to became a coachbuilder living in Christchurch, New Zealand. When he was on a world tour in 1876-77 he met Elizabeth Mary in Ireland. It sounds as though they fell in love, and John Francis Bomford gave her a farewell present of £36 which probably covered her fare to New Zealand.  Thomas and Elizabeth married in Barbadoes Catholic Church in Christchurch, New Zealand, on 14 November 1880. Elizabeth had to promise to bring up her children as Catholics. He was about 28 and Elizabeth about 22.  The marriage was officiated by Fr Ginaty, who arrived in New Zealand in 1877; a Thomas McKeogh and E Henry were witnesses.

Elizabeth Mary Bomford died in Nelson on 9 June 1917 and was buried 11 June 1917 in the New Presbyterian cemetery at Wakapuaka, Nelson, in plot No 1 No 036 Block 4.  She left a will.  Thomas Fisher Allan died on 13 Nov 1912 and was buried on 14 Nov 1912 at Sydenham cemetery, Christchurch, block 16C plot 67.  At the time of his death he was living at 9 Angus Street, Christchurch.

There were five children:

1.  Thomas John Allan, b 1881 in Christchurch and married in 1903 and had issue. There were two Thomas John Allan marriages in Christchurch in 1903: [according to the NZ BDM website there were just two in the whole of New Zealand, one to Mabel Mary Maria Perrin and one to Mary Amelia Wood]; one appears to have had three children and the other just one, but it is not clear which was our Thomas.

2.  Lora Jane Allan, b 1883 in Christchurch. She may have changed her name to Laurie Jane Allan, who married Henry Burrell in 1902. If so they went to live in Auckland.

3.  Leonard Andrew Allan, b 1885 in Christchurch.  Leonard became a blacksmith and married July 1911 in Christchurch to Teresa Margaret Fitzgerald b 1886 in Christchurch.  Leonard died 17 May 1963 in Christchurch, New Zealand and was buried on 20 May 1963 at Sydenham cemetery, Christchurch, plot 50 block 24B. Teresa Margaret died 7 March 1944 when they were living at 7 Bunyon St in Christchurch and was buried on 8 March 1944 at Sydenham cemetery, plot 50 block 24B.

4.  James Foster Allan, b 1888 Christchurch, married Dec 1918 at Christchurch Ilma Jane Caroline Styles b 1889 in Christchurch. James fought in World War 1 and became a motor builder. He left a will with photos of his marriage, which was dissolved in 1956. James died on 10 Dec 1966 and was buried 13 Dec 1966 at Sydenham cemetery, plot 41 block 35A.

5.  Harold Fisher Allan, b 1893, was a labourer.  It seems he didn’t marry.  He died 21  Sept 1955, buried 23 Sept 1955 at Sydenham cemetery, plot 67 block 16C.  He was then living at 62 Poulson St, Christchurch .

The information of the deaths came from the Parish Records on the Christchurch website and the births from the BDM of New Zealand (Catherine Holman email 5 Apr 2009).

We must leave John Francis and his family for the time being, in order to bring up to date the remaining children of George and Arbella. Chapter 33 introduces the children of John Francis Bomford.

30.4  Arbella Anna Bomford   (Mrs Ruxton)  1839 - 1910

George and Arbella’s third child was born 17th November 1836 christened Arbella Anna, but she died in infancy three months later on 24th February 1837 and was buried in Agher Churchyard (25.1).

On 19th August 1839 their fifth child and third daughter was born at Agher and christened there with the same name, Arbella Anna, on 29th Sept 1839 by the Rector, John Kellet. The family returned to Oakley Park where Arbella Anna was brought up until her marriage when she was just 24. She married George William Ruxton according to Burke on 20th August 1865 but the marriage settlement is dated 20th August 1863 and it is assumed that 1865 is a clerical error for 1863.

30.4.1  Marriage Settlement  20th August 1863


1.  George Ruxton of Rahanna, Co Louth, formerly a major in the Army, and his eldest son George William Ruxton of Rahanna.

2.  George Bomford of Oakley Park, and his daughter Arbella Anna Bomford, one of the younger children by his wife Arbella Bomford.

3.  John Francis Bomford of Oakley Park, and William Ruxton of Ardee House Co Louth (nephew of George Ruxton). (The trustees).


1.  Samuel FitzHerbert, formerly Samuel Ruxton, late of Swinnerton, Co Meath (uncle of George Ruxton), in his will dated 20th January 1826 bequeathed to the trustees Rev William Lee and Arthur Barlow the sum of £33,000. This sum to be invested and the interest paid to his three (youngest) nephews, Charles, George, and Arthur Ruxton. Out of this sum £11,000 is the portion of George Ruxton.

2.  On 17th September 1835 George Ruxton married Mary O’Dell and set aside the interest of his £11,000 for an annuity for his wife Mary and their children.

3.  They had children, an eldest son and five others (none named), and Mary Ruxton (his wife) is still alive.

Now George Ruxton sets aside £3,000 for his son George William Ruxton.

4.  George Bomford, under the terms of his marriage settlement of 21st July 1832 (24.1), grants £1,500 to Arbella Anna Bomford.

Now the £3,000 and the £1,500 are made over to the trustees John Francis Bomford and William Ruxton, for Arbella Anna and her children when they reach the age of 21 or on their marriage whichever comes earlier.

Signed: George Ruxton, George Wm Ruxton, Geo Bomford, Arbella A Bomford, John F Bomford, William Ruxton.

Witnessed: Samuel R Bomford and John Thomas Hinds.  (1863 Book 29 No 97 & 99)

Enclosed with this document are three letters dated 1901. The first is to John F Bomford of the Land Commission from Mr. Moore Lane who points out that the trustee William Ruxton has died and that Mrs Ruxton (Arbella) would like to appoint Mr John Faxall as the new trustee. In the other letter John Francis agrees provided Mr J Clarke approves the appointment. As will be seen later, by 1901 John Francis and his sister Arbella were hardly on speaking terms and one imagines that all communications were through their lawyers, such as Lane and Clarke.

30.4.2  The Ruxton Family

Captain John Ruxton of Ardee received grants of land in Co Louth and Co Cavan from King Charles II. His great grandson John Ruxton married Letitia who was the sole heir to her brother, William FitzHerbert of Black Castle, Navan. The FitzHerbert family was a junior branch of that of Lord Stafford who was beheaded by Charles II in 1680 for alleged complicity in the ‘Popish Plot’; they had settled in Shercock, Co Cavan. With these two estates John Ruxton was able to leave, when he died in 1785, all the Ruxton estates to his eldest son, William who settled at Ardee House, and split the FitzHerbert estate between his other two sons, John of Black Castle, and Samuel of Swinnerton, Co Meath, provided they took the surname FitzHerbert.

John Ruxton and his father and his eldest son were all members of the Irish Parliament for Ardee. At the Act of Union the two Ardee Members of Parliament were John’s eldest son William, and one of his two cousins, Charles Ruxton or William Parkinson Ruxton of Red House, Ardee; both of these cousins were at some time MPs. The compensation for the two Ardee members was £15,000; half of this sum went to William and the remainder was shared between Charles and William Parkinson Ruxton.

William Ruxton of Ardee House married and had eight sons and four daughters who were the aunts and uncles of George William and Arbella Anna Bomford, but at the time of the wedding only seven were alive.  Four of them were:

1.  John FitzHerbert Ruxton, the eldest son, of Ardee House and Shercock, High Sheriff of Louth (1823) and Cavan (1824). His wife was Anne Elizabeth, a daughter of Nicholas Coddington of Old Bridge and Letitia a daughter of Gaynor Barry of Beau, Co Dublin. Both Nicholas Coddington and Gaynor Barry have appeared in the deeds (15.13.7). John Ruxton died in 1826 leaving his wife to bring up the four children who were all minors:

a.  William Ruxton was born in 1823 and educated at Oriel College, Oxford. He inherited 2,262 acres, became JP and DL and High Sheriff (1848) in Co Louth, and was a JP in Co Cavan. He lived at Ardee House with his wife Caroline (Vernon) whom he married in 1854 and their seven children. He died in 1895 and was one of the trustees of the above marriage settlement.

b.  John Ruxton died unmarried in 1879.

c.  Anna Frances Ruxton.

d.  Elizabeth Henrietta Ruxton married Captain Richard Olpherts, the son of Rev Richard Olpherts Rector of Charlestown, in 1849.

5.  Clarges Ruxton (fifth son) inherited Rahanna. He married Mary Anne, only daughter of Sir Robert Barnewall, 8th Baronet of Crickstown, but they had no children and Rahanna passed to his younger brother, the 7th son.

7.  George Ruxton of Rahanna, JP, DL, High Sheriff of Louth 1851, a Major in the Army born 1804, married 17th September 1835 and died 18th May 1869. His wife was Mary, a daughter of the Hon William Frankland O’Dell, Colonial Secretary to New Brunswick. They had seven children, our George William Ruxton and five other sons and a daughter about whom there is no information:

a.  George William Ruxton, born 1837 in Co Monaghan and educated at Trinity (BA 1858). He became a civil engineer and was a JP. At the time of his marriage to Arbella Anna Bomford he was 26, his father was 59 and his mother was alive.

1.  The eldest daughter Isabella married in 1809 Rev Townley Filgate, the fourth son of William Filgate of Lissreny and the Rector of Charlestown. Charlestown is north of Ardee and of Drumcondra (Drumconrath) Parish where Lyndon Bolton was Rector.

Other uncles and aunts were Henry, William, Roger, Charles, Arthur, Anne, Helena, and Letitia, of whom Roger, Helena and Letitia were certainly dead in 1863.

30.4.3  The Ruxton Houses

Ardee House, the senior Ruxton house, was built in the late 1700s of red brick with three storeys, probably by William Ruxton. It passed to his eldest son John and in 1838 Lewis reports that it was in the hands of John’s wife Anne Elizabeth and that it had a “handsome demesne attached to it”. Their eldest son William lived there until his death in 1895 after which it was sold. It is now a hospital and was probably the hospital in which Victoria Adela Bomford (30.8) died.

Red House, just north of Ardee, was built in the late 1700s for the Parkinson family. William Parkinson Ruxton, whose mother was Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Robert Parkinson, inherited it. In 1838 Lewis reports, “a handsome demesne was attached” to it and that William Parkinson Ruxton then occupied it; in 1861 Henderson reports that Mrs Anne Parkinson Ruxton, William’s wife, occupied it. They left it to their nephew Chichester Fortescue, a politician who became in 1874 the first, and last, Lord Carlingford. Lord Carlingford lived at Ravensdale Park, Dundalk, and Red House was leased to a Ruxton relative Robert Olpherts (see mortgage of 1885 below), son of Captain Richard Olpherts. The house remains a private residence.

Rahanna was originally a square two-storey house built around 1820 by Clarges Ruxton who passed it to his brother George. It was left to George’s son William who married Arbella Anna Bomford and lived there but sold it in the 1890s. It is still a private house.

Black Castle at Navan was originally a single storey “Gentleman’s Cottage” with a thatched roof built around 1760. In 1785 it was left to John Ruxton who had to change his name to FitzHerbert, and in 1791 he added a slated two-storey wing at the back. In turn it was left to his second son Richard and it was probably he who replaced the ‘cottage’ soon after 1826 by a much larger two-storey house. Richard died without children so it was left to his aunt Mary’s grandson, Thomas Rothwell 1814-79, who had to change his name to FitzHerbert. Black Castle then went to his son Richard, 1841-1920, and then to his grandson Bertram, 1871-1939. Bertram never married so finally it was left to another relative Ivo FitzHerbert who was living in Argentine until 1960. Recently it was destroyed by fire.

30.4.4  Arbella Anna’s later Life

After the marriage, which one would expect to have been in Kells but there is no record of it in the Parish records, George William and Arbella Anna lived at Rahanna from where George William carried on his career as a civil engineer. On the death of his father in 1869 he inherited Rahanna where they lived until the early 1890s.

Meanwhile on 8th June 1865 their only child was born; he was baptised Cecil FitzHerbert Ruxton at St Columba’s Church in Kells.

Between January 1878 and November 1879 problems arise for the two trustees, John Francis Bomford and William Ruxton. They concern the purchase of about 3½ acres by the Coleraine Town Council for £1,100 sold to them by George William Ruxton without the knowledge of the trustees, and the mortgage of other Coleraine property for £3,000 to Captain Richard Olpherts, the husband of George William’s cousin Elizabeth Henrietta. Both John Francis and William Ruxton, the trustees, agree that the £1,100 does not belong to George William but to the trust. However George William “is in difficulty” over money and needs it to clear his debts. Rather than go to law the trustees try to get George William to have the £1,100 included in the mortgage and so legalise the matter. As William Ruxton says “I think as trustees we are in great difficulty, for my own part I should be very glad to be out of it”. Reading between the lines George William comes out badly and I cannot make up my mind whether William Ruxton considers him a fool or a scoundrel. The correspondence ends in 1879 but there is a mortgage (1886, Vol 4, No 208) between the two trustees and Robert Olpherts of Red House, Ardee, for £1,000. Although George William is not mentioned in the deed it does look as though the trustees got their way.

It is doubtful if the marriage prospered and indeed George William and Arbella Anna may have separated since at some time during the early 1890s Arbella Anna returned to Oakley Park without her husband. Also since Rahanna was sold about this time it would appear that George William continued to be in difficulties over money. John Francis refers to Arbella Anna in an affidavit, which reads in part “Mrs Ruxton is a married woman with a husband and a grown up son, and as she states an independent income, and I believe that she is not justified in residing at Oakley Park making an additional burden upon the income which has to support Mrs Bomford and four unmarried daughters and a son, and that if she is vested with authority the result would be perpetual family dissention and strife”. The last sentence indicates that in John Francis’ view she was a difficult woman, probably strong willed whereas George William was weak.

George William Ruxton died on Christmas Day 1899, aged 62; there is evidence that he died in a nursing home so he may have been ill for some time. Arbella Anna continued to live at Oakley Park and her son who was then 34 may have been there as well, but if so it would be unlikely that he had a job.

In January 1900 Arbella Bomford, her mother, died and John Francis inherited Oakley Park. There had been friction in the family for some years, which is written about fully later, and John Francis gave Arbella Anna permission to stay at Oakley Park until 19th January; in fact she had to be instructed to leave. She went to live in Dublin and set up house at No 9 Ashfield Terrace in Harold’s Cross with her unmarried sister Elizabeth Bomford who also had been removed from Oakley Park. She died on 19th February 1910, aged 71, presumably in Dublin.

The only child, Cecil FitzHerbert Ruxton, married Helen Bolton Morris, known as ‘Lottie’, on 18th June 1903. Nothing is known about Cecil or ‘Lottie’ except that she was a daughter of Peter J Morris of Dunluce, Bray Co Wicklow. No Morris family tree has been found but to be christened ‘Bolton’ indicates some connection with that family; in 1886 Josephine Anna Bolton, a niece of Elinor Jane Bomford, married Ernest Edwin Morris a son of Henry Morris (see 30.3.2); it could be that the father or grandfather of Peter Morris married a Bolton. This is speculation but it is possible that Cecil Ruxton was a relative of ‘Lottie’. The Dublin Directory of 1928 records “Ruxton, Cecil F. of 4 Sugarloaf Terrace, Bray,” so he was alive that year.

Ruxton v Ruxton

There were indeed problems with the marriage. They separated, George sued for restitution of conjugal rights and Arbella sought divorce.

Before Judge WARREN

RUXTON V. RUXTON. This is a suit by the husband for restitution of conjugal rights. The petitioner is a justice of the peace, residing at Rahanna, in the County of Louth ; and the defendant had been a Miss Bomford. The suit was resisted on the grounds of cruelty and intemperance, the defendant alleging that the plaintiff on one occasion fired a pistol at her through a door. The case came before the Court on application to fix the period and mode of trial. Mr. Chas. Hamilton appeared in support of the application, and Mr. John H. Gerrard for the other side. It was directed that the case should be tried before the Court itself on the 8th November.

Source: Belfast News-Letter, Tuesday 22 July 1879, page 3, accessed online 15.2.2015 at


Before Judge WARREN.


This case was resumed. Mr. George Wm. Ruxton, J P., the petitioner, formerly of Rahanna, County Loath, and at pre-sent residing at 27, Holles Street, Dublin, seeks restitution of conjugal rights from his wife, Mrs, Arabella Anna Ruxton, daughter of Mr. George W. Bomford, of Oakley Park, County Meath.The respondent seeks a divorce a mensa et thoro, on the ground of cruelty. Counsel for the petitioner - Messrs. J. A. Byrne, Q.C; A. M. Porter, Q C; and Hamilton (instructed by Messrs. Hallowes and Hamilton). For the respondent - Messrs. J. Murphy, Q C; S. Walker, Q.C.; and Gerard (instructed by Mr. J. T. Hinds).

The case for the petitioner closed on Saturday. Mr. MURPHY, Q C., opened the case on behalf of the respondent. He said he was quite confident when his Lordship heard his client's evidence that he would not entertain the idea of complying with the demand made by the petitioner - namely, to compel this lady to return to the same house he occupied and live with him. As to the talk about the restitution of conjugal rights and so forth it was out of the question altogether. What he sought was to compel this lady to live with him, so that he might be able to spend the scanty income she had for her own support, and that of her little girl. Her boy was a ward of the Court, and would have something like a competence.

Judge WARREN - Can you afford to give this gentleman anything?

Mr . MURPHY said his client had been paying him to the amount of £70 a year until he chose to institute these proceedings. She was still prepared to supply him with the means of living, but not with the means of drinking. At the time of Mrs. Ruxton's marriage her father and mother were alive. The petitioner was then a civil engineer, and had some hopes of success in profession. Her fortune, which was settled for her separate use, was sufficient to give her the income she now had of £200 a year. Up to 1873 or 1874 the petitioner always had the spending of it. Whatever had been settled on her out of Rahanna was all gone. She never got a farthing of it. About a couple of years after the marriage Mrs. Ruxton discovered how the monster vice of intemperance had taken possession of him. The vice grew on him daily, and led up to the time that he was taken to the asylum what he (counsel) might call a loathsome existence. One could not imagine a more loathsome existence than that for a woman who had a sense of propriety, decency, and cleanliness to be tied to a man who had degraded himself to the position of a wretched drunkard.

In reply to his LORDSHIP, Mr. MURPHY said the petitioner had no home to which the respondent could return if she were compelled to return. He only occupied lodgings in Holles Street.

Mr. BYRNE said the petitioner had a home to which she could return.

Judge WARREN - A woman is not bound to return to live with a man under an arch.

Mr. BYRNE - That is not this case, my Lord. 

Judge WARREN - No, but I use it as an illustration.

Mr. BYRNE - The man has a home, and we ask that his wife should be compelled to return to it. Mrs. Arabella Anna Ruxton, the respondent, was then examined by

Mr. WALKER, Q.C. She deposed that her husband was very intemperate in his habits in November, 1863, and after that he got gradually worse. He was very much worse in 1872. He was in a most disgustingly drunken state, with his face all broken out. She was in good health before being married, but in 1872 she became very delicate, and the doctors told her it was from the life her husband was leading. In April, 1872, the petitioner struck at her in bed. She jumped up and ran away. He ran after her, but she got into another room, and locked herself in. He was drunk at the time. In 1871 he called her a lunatic, and threatened to send for Dr. Jones. She was very much frightened lest Dr. Jones would believe him. He called her a beastly liar and a devil. In October, 1872, the doctors ordered her to Rostrevor. While there he commenced acts of violence towards her. He shook her and threatened to take the children from her and separate them. The petitioner used to be drunk before dinner, and during dinner he was abusive. Their little son frequently interfered to prevent the petitioner from striking her. She was in the habit of locking herself up at night for fear of him. He threatened to shoot himself frequently in 1873, and she concealed his pistols. In June, 1874, he made a blow at her with a stick. He subsequently threatened to strike her with a poker. Previous to her husband going into the Maison de Sante, Dr. Jones advised her to telegraph to her brother and brother-in-law, as he was on the verge of delirium tremens. Her husband was put into the institution on the 23rd of August, and remained there for a week, refusing to remain longer. Major Ruxton told her on several occasions after that that she should separate from her husband unless he went to an institution in Edinburgh.

The case having concluded, Judge WARREN reserved judgment.

Source : Belfast News-Letter, Tuesday 11 November 1879, page 8, accessed online 15.2.2015 at


Before Judge Warren.

Ruxton v. Ruxton. - This was a suit by Major George Ruxton, of Ardee, county Louth, against his wife, Arabella Ruxton, for restitution of conjugal rights. The respondent's defence was founded on alleged cruelty of the petitioner at Holles-street, Rostrevor, and elsewhere, and she prayed by her answer for a divorce a mensa et thoro. The case was tried last November. Judge Warren, in giving judgment, said the question to be decided was whether the respondent had proved the charge of legal cruelty.

The Court was not to be swayed by feelings of sympathy for either party, or to accept habits of intoxication as grounds for interfering with matrimonial relations. The respondent alleged that shortly after their marriage in 1863 the petitioner formed habits of intemperance which increased until 1874, when he had become a habitual drunkard; that when under the influence of drink he became violent, used insulting language and threats of violence; and that her health broke down in consequence of his cruelty. In 1873 she said that there was a dispute about her relations coming to visit her, and that he struck her on the head with a teaspoon. The petitioner said he accidently hit her with an eggspoon while gesticulating. The Court could not accept or act upon Mrs. Ruxton's version of this transaction. The petitioner denied he had continued his habits of intemperace down to the time of the filing of the petition. He admitted the blow with the spoon, but denied all other alleged acts of violence. Having gone through the evidence his lordship made a decree for restitution of conjugal rights, each party to abide their own costs.

Counsel for petitioner - Messrs. J. A. Byrne , Q.C.; A.M. Portor, Q.C.; and Hamilton (instructed by Messrs. Hallowes and Hamilton), Counsel for respondent Messrs. James Murphy, Q.C.; S. Walker, Q.C., and Gerrard (instructed by Mr. J.T. Hinds).

Source : Freeman's Journal, Tuesday 13 January 1880, page 2, accessed online 15.2.2015 at

30.4.5  Summary of Arbella Anna, Mrs Ruxton

Arbella Anna, 3rd daughter of George and Arbella Bomford, was born 19th August 1839 and baptised at Agher, Co Meath. Married 20th August 1863 George William Ruxton, BA, JP of Rahanna, Co Louth, born 1837, son of Major George Ruxton (1804 - 1869), JP, DL, High Sheriff of Louth 1851, of Rahanna. He died 25th December 1899 and she 19th February 1910 having had one son, and 'her little girl' mentioned in the 1879 court proceedings, about whom nothing further is known.

Cecil FitzHerbert Ruxton was born 8th June 1865, baptised at Kells, Co Meath, married 18th June 1903 Helen Bolton (‘Lottie’) Morris, daughter of Peter J. Morris of Dunluce, Bray, Co Wicklow. He was alive in 1928.

The rest of George and Arbella’s children never married and so a short note on each is all that is required. Their personalities evolve in Chapter 32 concerning the death of their mother.

30.5  Anne Bomford   1833 - 1912

The eldest child, born in Dublin on 13th September 1833. She lived nearly all her life at Oakley Park and died unmarried on 8 January 1912, aged 78. In the 1911 census she was living with her sister Victoria Adela (30.8) in Dublin (17.11.3)

It is worth noting that Anne was in her early teens at the height of the famine and at this impressionable age it must have had a considerable influence on her later life. The other children were younger and not so likely to be affected adversely.  She wrote to her mother on 13 February 1842, at the age of 8 (page 1, page 2).

The National Archives has a probate record for Anne in the Calendar of Wills: Probate of the will of Anne Bomford late of Janeville Tivoli Road, Kingstown, Co Dublin, spinster, died 8 January 1912, granted to George L Bomford (35.1), effects £814.8.8.

30.6  Samuel Stephen Bomford  1841 -1872

Samuel Stephen was the sixth child, born at Oakley Park 18th April 1841 and baptised at Agher on 3rd June 1841. When he was 21 his father gave him £1,000, which, according to a deed dated 30th September 1862 (1862, Book 33, No 300) was “in consideration of natural love and affection to enable him to enter as a Cadet in Her Majesty’s Royal Artillery”; this sum was “quite independent of any sum mentioned in the marriage settlement” and was “an absolute gift”. So Samuel went to the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich and was there aged 22 when the paymaster sent his father a bill “of £62.10.0 for the residence of Gentleman Cadet S.S. Bomford at the Academy for the half-year ending 30th June 1863”, to which George has noted “Paid 7th Janr by Bank Order” That must have been his last term at Woolwich since in 1863 he was gazetted a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery; from 1865 to 1872 he was a lieutenant serving with the 22nd Brigade in the Royal Artillery and sometime between these dates he and the brigade went to India. On 22nd August 1872 he died unmarried in India aged 31.

30.7  Elizabeth Bomford  1843 - 1915

Elizabeth was the seventh child, born at Oakley Park 18th May 1843 and baptised at Agher on 30th June 1843. She lived all her life at Oakley Park until 1900 when she moved to No 9 Ashfield Terrace, Harold’s Cross in Dublin, with her widowed sister, Arbella Anna (Mrs Ruxton).

In 1866, when she was 23 George gave her the lease of a 61 acre farm on Knockstown; according to her elder sister Anne she sold it during the winter of 1897/8; one assumes that this came to her as part of George’s marriage settlement and it would have brought in a small annual income. The 1911 Dublin census records Elizabeth Bomford, single, aged 67, annuitant, born Co Meath, living at a house 65.3 Rathmines Road, Rathmine, Dublin.

The National Probate Calendar has an entry for Eliza Bomford of Dublin, died 2nd May 1915 at Adelaide Hospital, with administration granted to Margaret Winter Bomford, spinster.  Margaret was her sister (30.9). The National Archive has a probate record indicating Elizabeth Bomford, late of 37 Rathmines Road, Co Dublin, spinster, died on 2 May 1915 at the Adelaide Hospital, administration (with the will) granted to Margaret W Bomford, spinster.

30.8  Victoria Adela Bomford  1849 - 1928

Victoria was the eighth child born, at Oakley Park on 19th November 1849 and baptised at Kells.  She lived all her life at Oakley Park until; at some date after 1900 she was admitted to Ardee Mental Hospital where she died, possibly from Alzheimer’s disease.  The National Probate Calendar indicates that Victoria died unmarried on 2nd November 1928 at St Patrick’s Hospital, James Street, Dublin.  In 1911 she was living with her sister Anne (30.5) in Dublin (17.11.2)

30.9  Margaret (Meggie) Winter Bomford  1855 - 1928

Meggie was the tenth child, born at Oakley Park on 16th October 1855. There is no record of her baptism at either Agher or Kells Church. She lived all her life at Oakley Park until 1900 when she and her younger brother, Robert, went to live in Kells. Their house in Cannon Street was nearly opposite the Round Tower and below the old Police Barracks and their small garden overlooked one of the bastions of the town wall, which is the only remaining part of the ancient town wall. In her later years she became known as ‘Mad Meggie’ by the family because it was her habit to appear at Oakley Park late at night and trundle the wheelbarrow around the flower-knot.

On 20th November 1928 she died unmarried, aged 73 (probate), and was buried in St Columba’s graveyard in Kells near the wall opposite the Church door.

30.10  Robert Laurence Bomford  1857 - 1931

Robert was the youngest and 11th child. He was born at Oakley Park on 3rd September 1857 and educated at the Royal School at Armagh (30.1.1). He never married and it is doubtful if he ever had a proper job. He lived at Oakley Park until 1900 when he and Meggie moved to the house in Kells. As a child I just remember him as a big man with an enormous white beard.

He died 14th June 1931, aged 73 (probate), and was buried with Meggie in the Kells Churchyard. Their tombstone reads:

Sacred to the memory of Robert Laurence Bomford died June 14th, 1931,
and Margaret Winter Bomford died November 20th, 1928, son and daughter
of George Bomford, Oakley Park.

Next Chapter: Chapter 31

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