The Irish Bomfords

Chapter V

Thomas of Rahinstown  1725 – 1740


5.1  Lease - Whitestown and Boycetown  15th February 1725

5.1.1  Lease - Whitestown and Boycetown  27th June 1737

5.2  Mortgage - Bellewstown (near Trim)  14th April 1725

5.3  Lease - Balloughter (Hightown)  3rd January 1731

5.4  Mortgages of Thomas of Rahinstown  1731 - 1739

5.4.1  Memorial  26th July 1731

The Pakenham (Longford) Family

5.4.2  £2,000 Mortgage to Jacob Pechell  10th May 1733

5.4.3  £1,000 Mortgage on Balloughter  11th  December 1734

5.4.4  Receipts for Bonds  16th January 1741

5.4.5  Deed of Assignment of Land to Nephew  24th February 1738

5.4.6  Mortgage (?) to Richard Connell  21st July 1739

5.5  Letter from Thomas to Richard Connell  11th August 1739

5.5.1  Summary of Thomas’ Debt

5.6  Lease - Rattin and Clonfad   16th January 1740

The Tyrrell Family

5.7  Will of Thomas the Elder of Rahinstown.   20th August 1738

5.7.1  Probate of Will of Thomas Bomford  3rd February 1740

5.8  The State of the Family in 1740

5.9  The Bomford Estates   1740


This chapter concerns Thomas 'the elder', first son of Colonel Laurence Bomford (1.6).

5.1  Lease - Whitestown and Boycetown  15th February 1725

Henry Whyte, eldest son and heir apparent of James Whyte of Pitchfordstown, Co Kildare, leases to Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown for £640 the town and lands of Whitestown and Boycetown containing 296 plantation acres (471 statute) now occupied by Thomas Bomford, in the Barony of Ikeathy and Oughterany, Co Kildare, for three lives at a rent of £120.

Signed: Thomas Bomford

Witnessed: Thomas Whyte, brother of Henry Whyte; and Richard Connell of Dublin.  (Book 87 Page 263 No 61558)

5.1.1  Lease - Whitestown and Boycetown  27th June 1737

Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown leases to Mark Warren of Kilcock, Co Kildare, part of Whitestown and Boycetown containing 36 plantation acres (58 statute), bounded on the east by Phelim McGuire’s holding, on the west by the land of Pitchfordstown and Boycetown, on the north by the turnpike road (the main road from Dublin to the West) and on the south by the land of Castleragg, for three lives at a rent of £25.5.9 renewable for ever.

Signed:  Mark Warren

Witnessed:  Patrick Sandys of Cookstown, Co Dublin; and Christopher Dalton of Dublin, Notary Publick.  (Book 88 Page 37 No 61487)

1.  “Now occupied by Thomas Bomford” in the first deed, indicates a previous lease, which might have been for 31 years and so take us back to 1694. However, since Thomas in his will bequeaths the land to Patrick Sandys, it is in the family for less than 50 years and I have not recorded it from that suspect prior date but from 1725.

The 1737 lease by Thomas covers a small plot of this land, there were undoubtedly other similar deeds, now missing, in which he leases the remainder of the land, for instance to Phelim McGuire; the land is too far from Rahinstown for Thomas to farm it himself.

2.  Boycetown is the first townland to the west of Kilcock on the main road, to the north and east of Pitchfordstown, and south of Ferrans and the River Ryewater. The Royal Canal has yet to be built on its northern boundary. Also to be built was the Midland Great Western Railway, and Kilcock railway station was sited at the east end of Boycetown.

3.  Whitestown has not been found on any map but the second lease places it east of Boycetown. It may have got its name from the Whyte (White) family who had been living there for some time. The senior branch of the Whytes who had first arrived in Ireland with Strongbow in 1170 was living at Leixlip, 8 miles from Pitchfordstown towards Dublin. Walter Whyte of Pitchfordstown died in 1708 and he was probably from a minor branch of the Leixlip family. Walter was succeeded by James Whyte who is elderly according to the 1725 lease. The eldest son Henry no doubt succeeded and he had a brother Thomas who died in 1773 and was then ‘of Kilcock’, so may have in turn inherited. The Civil Survey of 1654 records ‘Whitesttowne and Beestowne’ in the parish of Kilcock, north of Pitchfordtowne. It is probable that Boycetown is the 1654 ‘Beestowne’.

5.2  Mortgage - Bellewstown (near Trim)  14th April 1725

Thomas Bomford leases for £800 to Joseph and Ralph Higgins of Newtown the town and lands of Bellewstown in the Barony of Moyfenrath for 175 years.  (Book 43 Page 356 No 28546)

1.  Thomas gave £800 as a mortgage to the Higgins brothers. Their family occur again and a note on the family will be found under 9.2.1.

2.  This Bellewstown is in the Parish of Trim and borders the north bank of the River Boyne. It lies on the road to Ballivor about 3 miles west of Trim. Another Bellewstown is near Duleek and later will become a Bomford property. The 1654 survey records of Bellewstown: “There being on the premisses one castle, divers out houses and cabbines, and a Tuck Mill and one weare”. Wool is cleaned and finished in a tuck or fulling-mill, the end product being broadcloth or felt. It is likely that this water-mill on the Boyne was closed down by 1698 when the various trade restriction acts had been enforced.

3.  As was common with mortgages no acreage is given, but the 1654 survey records 116 plantation acres (188 statute).

5.3  Lease - Balloughter (Hightown)  3rd January 1731

Francis Heaton of Mountheaton, King’s County, leases to Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown the town and lands of Balloughter, already in his possession, 624 plantation acres (1,011 statute) held by the late tenant Richard Purdon in the Barony of Farbill, Co Westmeath, fee farm for ever at £62.10.0 for the first seven years and thereafter at £85 a year.

The quit rent (a Government tax) for Clonfad, Rattin and Balloughter is £12.13.4 a year.

Signed:  ‘XX’ (his mark) Francis Heaton

Witnessed:  William Curtis of Dublin; and Richard Connell, clerk to Francis North, of Dublin.  (Book 76 Page 95 No 53011)

1.  Balloughter is also called Hightown; Quinera or Cunnera is a sub-division in the southern corner. The road from Killucan to Violetstown in the townland of Vilanstown, the family home of Anne Smith, wife of Stephen Bomford and sister-in-law of Thomas, forms the northern boundary. It lies northwest of Lowtown and north of Clonfad. The 1837 survey says that it is “mostly bog, the rest is tillage and pasture”.

2.  Balloughter must have been a Bomford property for some time. Edward was living there after his parents died, and this agrees with ‘already in his possession’. A 31 year lease would take it back to 1700 and I would expect it to go back even further but will leave it as 1700.

3.  It was also Francis Heaton who leased the adjoining lands of Clonfad and Rattin to Thomas. In 1720 Thomas leased Clonfad to his brother, Laurence of Killeglan. Laurence died the next year and it is thought that Edward now has Clonfad and Rattin as well as Balloughter which give him a block of a little over 2,600 statute acres some of which is ‘bog’.

5.4  Mortgages of Thomas of Rahinstown  1731 - 1739

Thomas mortgaged most of his land and for convenience these are all listed here together. The Dublin Journal of 28 Nov 1732 reported that Thomas Bomford of Meath was a successful applicant for flax seed from the Trustees of Linen Manuafacture.

5.4.1  Memorial  26th and 27th July 1731

Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown leases and releases, subject to redemption, to Francis North of the City of Dublin the lands of Baconstown, Rahinstown, Oldtown, Ferans or Fenners, and Little Ardrums, all in Co Meath, Balrowen, Clonfad, Rathin, Ballyoughter, Clonicully, Keranstown and Gnewbane, all in Co Westmeath, Whytestown and Boycetown, in Co Kildare.  Witnesses Richard Connell and William Foster, both clerks to Francis North (Book 73 Page 98 No 49962; Cyril North email 27 Feb 2009)

1.  No money or time is mentioned in this memorial, but it must be part of a mortgage; it is thought that there is another document somewhere and of course the original lease. It would appear that Francis North was the lawyer in Dublin who looked after Thomas’ legal affairs; he or his clerk, Richard Connell, witness nearly all of Thomas’ deeds of this period.

2.  This is the first mention of three of Thomas’ properties in Westmeath.

Balrowan and Keranstown are the same place consisting of 747 statute acres. Balrowan lies just north of the Killucan to Mullingar road about 2 miles from Killucan and south of Lisnabin.

Clonicully must be Cloncullen. Clonicully is not to be found but Clonicully contains 189 statute acres and its southern boundary is Balrowan. Both these places are in the Parish of Killucan and were the property of Lord Longford (see below).

Gnewbane (also Gnaevebane or Gnewbaron Hill), 527 statute acres, is the name given to the hill, which lies on the border between the Parishes of Castlelost and Clonfad. It straddles the main road between Rochfortbridge and Tyrrellspass and is 1½ miles from Tyrrellspass. The northern boundary is the townland of Oldtown, (not the Oldtown of this deed), which is also a Bomford property. The hill overlooks Torr House (Pilkingtons) to the south, and to the northeast Far View House (Norths); both these families will be closely connected to the Bomfords later. At this time quarries were being opened up on Gnewbane hill for grey limestone; this stone takes a high polish and was being used mostly for mantelpieces in many of the Georgian houses now being built.

3.  It is hard to know when these places first became Bomford properties. It is quite likely that they were on a long lease and were one of the original properties. They need more investigation; meanwhile they have been entered as c1700.

The Pakenham (Longford) Family

Balrowan and Cloncullen were part of the property of Thomas Pakenham, 1st Lord Longford (1713 - 1766). His great-grandfather Henry Pakenham, 1611- 1691, of Pakenham Hall or Tullynally at Castlepollard Co Westmeath, was Captain of a troop of horse and served in Ireland. The troop was disbanded in 1655 and the next year it was agreed that he and his troop were due £4,363 in arrears of pay for which he was granted lands in Co Wexford and Westmeath.

In 1739 Thomas made an excellent marriage to Elizabeth who was not only heir to the Cuff estates but was also the grandniece and heir of Ambrose Aungier, the first and last Earl of Longford. She became the Countess of Longford in her own right and her eldest grandson inherited and became the 2nd Earl of Longford on her death in 1794. Their eldest son was Edward Michael, 1743 - 1792, who became the 2nd Lord Longford on the death of his father, and who in 1768 married Catherine, the 2nd daughter of Sir Hercules Langford Rowley of Summerhill (2.11.2). They had five sons and four daughters –

1.  Thomas, 1774 - 1835, became the 2nd Earl of Longford on the death of his grandmother in 1794. It was largely he who gave Pakenham Hall its present day look of a castle with battlements and turrets; this was very suitable for a family of military tendencies though in the present century the Pakenhams have laid down the sword and taken up the pen. In 1961 Frank, the 7th Earl, changed the name of the house back to its original name of Tullynally.

2.  General Sir Edward, 1778 - 1815, distinguished himself in the Peninsular War and received the unanimous thanks of both Houses of Parliament. He later became commander-in-chief of the British Army in the American War of 1812 and was killed leading his men at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815; his body was shipped to Westmeath for burial pickled in a barrel of rum.

3.  General Sir Hercules, 1781 - 1850, was another general in the Peninsular War and was knighted for his services.

4.  William was a Captain in the Royal Navy but was drowned in 1811.

5.  Henry, the youngest son, 1787 - 1863, went into the Church and became Dean of St Patrick’s. His eldest son, Henry, by his marriage inherited Strokestown Park in Roscommon, another of the fine Irish country houses, and took the name of Pakenham-Mahon.

6.  The second daughter Katherine married Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington of Dangan Castle (1.8.2) in 1806. Arthur had just become M.P. for Trim when he met and fell in love with Katherine, but Lord Longford said that Arthur’s income of £125 a year, was too low so the marriage was put off. Meanwhile Katherine developed chicken-pox, lost her good looks and wrote to Arthur relieving him of his obligation to marry her. He replied that “he wished to marry no one else”, and finally when his income was very much higher they married, after a thirteen-year engagement.

5.4.2  £2,000 Mortgage to Jacob Pechell  10th May 1733

Thomas Bomford of Rahainstowne mortgaged for £2,000 to Jacob Pechell: the lands of

The document of 1761 (6.10.2), which records this mortgage, gives the Penal Sum of £4,000. The ‘Penal Sum’ is that amount to be paid in default of the terms of the mortgage. This 1761 deed also recites that in the Trinity Term of 1733, as a result of a judgement in the Court of Common Pleas, Thomas Bomford was bound to pay the penal sum of £4,000 with costs. Unfortunately we are not told what Thomas did to invoke the penal sum only a few months after the mortgage was granted. The problem must have been a legal one rather than a personal one since Thomas continues to mortgage and borrow money from Jacob Pechell.

5.4.3  £1,000 Mortgage on Balloughter  11th  December 1734

Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown mortgages for £1,000 to Jacob Pechell the lands of Balloughter 624 plantation acres (1011 statute).  (Book 76 Page 349 No 54809)

5.4.4  Receipts for Bonds  16th January 1741

On the back of the following three bonds are receipts for the principal sums of £130, £260 and £610, a total of £1,000. They all have the same wording, date and signatures, and read “Recd from Mr Stephen Bomford adm of his son Thomas Bomford lately decd the within principall sum of …… pounds.”

Signed:  J Pechell

Witnessed:  Ant Foster; and Rich Nelson

These three bonds were given by Thomas the elder who died in January 1740. He left nearly everything to his nephew, Thomas the younger the eldest son of Stephen of Gallow. Thomas the younger died in 1741 without making a will, so everything reverted to his next of kin, his father Stephen. Therefore it was Stephen who paid off Pechell, not only because he was the administrator of his son’s affairs but also because he had inherited the bonds. The three bonds were:

1.  21st November 1735 £130 Bond

The bond of Thomas Bomford of Rainstown to Richard Matthew of the City of Dublin for £260 sterling, with the principal sum of £130.

Signed: Tho Bomford

Witnessed: Bry Fagan and Charles Reilly

2.  24th April 1736 £260 Bond

The bond of Thomas Bomford of Rainstown to Richard Matthew for £520 sterling with the principal sum of £260.

Signed: Tho Bomford

Witnessed: Bry Fagan

3.  12th November 1736 £610 Bond

The bond of Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown to Jacob Pechell of the City of Dublin, Esquire, for £1,220 sterling with the principal sum of £610.

Signed: Tho Bomford

Witnessed: R Hamerton; and Will Dalton, public notary

5.4.5  Deed of Assignment of Land to Nephew  24th February 1738

Thomas Bomford the elder of Rahinstown hands over the rights of the lands mentioned to his nephew Thomas Bomford the younger of Gallow in exchange for £4,000.

The deed of assignment recites

1.  On 10th December 1691 Thomas the elder leased from Sir Arthur Langford of Summerhill the lands of Baconstown and Rahinstown, both places being in the Barony of Moyfenragh, for three lives, those of Thomas the elder, his brother Edward and Mr Hercules Rowley.

2.  Thomas the elder mortgaged these lands to Jacob Pechell of Dublin for the principle sum of £5,200.

3.  Hercules Rowley inherited these lands from Sir Arthur Langford, and on 1st November 1737 Thomas owed £720 back rent to Hercules Rowley.

Now Thomas the elder hands over these lands to Thomas the younger in exchange for £4,000, and Thomas the elder is to find the balance of £1,200 to payoff Jacob Pechell. In addition Thomas the younger agrees to pay the £720 back rent to Hercules Rowley, and to pay his uncle an annuity of £10.

Signed:  Tho Bomford and Thos Bomford

Witnessed:  David Tew (Alderman) and J. Granger

This document was recorded in the Registry of Deeds (Book 94, Page 179, Number 65826) and adds that Thomas the younger did pay the £4,000 to Jacob Pechell.

1.  Thus Stephen’s son Thomas came into Rahinstown and Baconstown. It is this deed, which determines the birth date of Thomas since he would not have been permitted to sign the deed unless he was over 21, he must have been born before February 1717, and so it determines the marriage date of his parents as well, which has been placed as c1715. More recently it has been confirmed that Stephen was married in 1713.

The deed further reflects the sound state of Stephen’s finances as no doubt it was he that had to produce the £4,000; this is quite a contrast to the mess in which his brother Thomas found himself.

2.  Since both Thomas’s signed this deed it has been possible to determine which document belongs to which Thomas. Thomas the elder signs with a very shaky, almost illiterate hand. His signature is on the Gallow re-assignment of 1709 and a number of other deeds. Thomas the younger has a much neater and more literate hand.

3.  David Tew, Alderman of Dublin, who witnessed this deed, was the brother of Elizabeth Tew the wife of Thomas the elder. Elizabeth has certainly died by now; indeed it is probable that she died soon after her marriage in 1691.

5.4.6  Mortgage (?) to Richard Connell  21st July 1739

Memorial of Thomas Bomford the elder of Oldtowne to Richard Connell, Gentleman of Dublin, for £125 per annum coming out of the lands of Oldtowne and Ardrums in Co Meath, and in Co Westmeath the lands of Rattin, Balloughter, Enniscoffy and Oldtowne, for the lives of Richard Connell above and Dorothy his wife.  (Book 96 Page 152 No 66924)

One can speculate just what this £125 a year is for. I have assumed another loan being paid back this way, but it may be ‘for services rendered’, or maybe they are just married and Dorothy might even be an unknown Bomford. However the last two are pretty unlikely and another loan is more likely.

5.5  Letter from Thomas to Richard Connell  11th August 1739

This letter is one of the few early ones surviving. It was written by Thomas Bomford the elder to Richard Connell at Kilkenny. Richard witnessed many documents in his capacity as Clerk to Francis North, Attorney-at-Law in Dublin, and was on the subject of the above memorial dated three weeks previously.

Some of the letter is illegible, the hand is unsteady, the spelling is odd and there is no punctuation. A very free translation into modern English, omitting the Biblical type of verbiage, might be:-

Sir,   Thank you for your letter of the 6th of August. Thank heavens the journey did not trouble your wife as I thought it would. You both deserve so much - being so kind, friendly and loving.

I did as you suggested with Mr Rowley but got no money off. I enclose the receipt for the May rent which he asked for. I spent Monday and Tuesday with Mr Tyrrell trying to sort out my money affairs but we can do nothing, “my doom being determined long since”. I can’t help feeling that he has treated me very badly after all the years when I did what I could for him, and now he has so much and I so little. [This must refer to Mr Rowley].

What I would have done without your kindness I just don’t know. “Envey is a sad neighbour and believe me a worse companion”.

“I am weary with scribling and fear yu will with reading this long incoherent epistle”. I am so glad your wife [he calls her “my dearest royall Highness”] has now fully recovered.

Tho Bomford

1.  Many hours were spent deciphering this letter and even now there are illegible and missing words. My first impression was that it was the letter of a sick man, sick in the mind and mournfully and bitterly complaining of his money matters, and that he would only write such a letter if he were deeply depressed, almost to the state of suicide. Of course he may have been. However my translation quite unwittingly has turned out to be the letter of a much more normal person. It must also be remembered that Thomas was in his eighties [seventies - see 1.6.1] and so was likely to worry more than he did when he was younger. Furthermore he was to die within six months of this letter, maybe sooner, and he might be a sick person.

2.  It seems a pity to pass over the letter without at least giving an extract from its three pages of small writing. To make it easier to read I have added punctuation.

“... Your verry kinde expressiong in yrs to me is giveing life to a poor hartbroken ffellow, given up by all, over run and over come with sorrowe, lossis and dissapointments on all sides, ever to dispair of ever haveing ease or quiett in this life, wich I often hinted to you as opertunity offered, this condition yu ffound me in, no doubt but that my expectation conjured in yr advice and ffreindship, ffor years past, with knoweing not aney one cood extricate me in aney respect like yr. kindeselfe ...”

3.  Mr Rowley must be Hercules Rowley who inherited Rahinstown and Baconstown from Sir Arthur Langford and will shortly inherit the title as well. It will be remembered that Thomas owed him £720 back rent which means that Thomas had paid him no rent for about four and a half years: however this would hardly be the issue since the younger Thomas had undertaken to pay this debt in February of the previous year and should have done so by now. Possibly he was trying to raise yet another loan to payoff his other debts.

5.5.1  Summary of Thomas’ Debt

The confirmed debts we know about were: -

May 1733


Mortgage to Jacob Pechell which eventually passed to the Bishop of Waterford, Richard Chenevix

Dec 1734


Mortgage to Jacob Pechell

Nov 1735


Bond to Richard Matthew

Apr 1736


Bond to Richard Matthew, eventually paid by Stephen of Gallow

Nov 1736


Bond to Jacob Pechell, eventually paid by Stephen of Gallow

Feb 1738


Mortgage to Jacob Pechell. This, plus the Dec 1734 £1,000, makes the £5,200 of the deed of assignment in which Thomas the younger pays £4,000 of the debt.





£8,200 is a huge debt for those days and in addition there is the mortgage of an unknown amount to Francis North of July 1731 (5.4.1).

There are no real clues as to the reason behind all this borrowing. If they were spread through Thomas’ lifetime we might be suspicious of him gambling or that he had an expensive life-style and was living beyond his means, but the debts only cover the five years before his death. Indeed his problems may have been aggravated by old age but that would hardly be the cause; the cause would have occurred in the 1720s or before.

At one time I thought he might have been rebuilding Rahinstown House though even this would cost far less than £8,000; the estimated cost of the centre part of Oakley Park, a similar project of about 1720, was only £3,200. However building is unlikely, for why should a man well over 70 without a wife or children invest in such an undertaking?

Even the document of 1762 (10.5) gives no definite reason for the debts. It does nevertheless put Thomas in a poor light, speaking of his “several law suits and intricate accounts”. I do not want to discuss the document of 1762 until we have dealt with the other facts leading up to it, and so we will leave Thomas’ personality until then, and leave the reason for his debts as a mystery. Suffice it to say that Thomas’ debts led to the sale of much of his land on his death, which resulted in a considerable set back to the finances of the rest of the family.

5.6  Lease - Rattin and Clonfad   16th January 1740

Thomas Bomford of Oldtown leases to James Tyrrell of Clonard, Co Kildare, the lands of Rattin and Clonfad both being 634 plantation acres (1,027 statute) as surveyed by Edward Purdon and James Fleming on 16th January 1738, their map is annexed to the deed, for £260 sterling during the life of Thomas Bomford and then £250.

Signed: James Tyrrell and Patrick Sandys.  (Book 101 Page 199 No 70632)

1.  In his letter to Richard Connell, Thomas says that he was with Mr Tyrrell trying to sort out his money affairs, but could do nothing. It looks as though this was an outcome though it only amounted to a drop in his ocean of debt, and as it turns out, it was the last piece of money raising that he did before he died. He did not sign this deed, it was signed by James Tyrrell and Patrick Sandys, the two executors.

2.  I have placed the death date of Thomas Bomford as January 1740 which matches very well with the probate date of 3rd February 1740. Burke records ‘1740’.

3.  The Tyrrell Family

James Tyrrell must have been well known to Thomas to be selected as an executor. James had a close relative, either his father or his brother, named William Tyrrell. William son of an earlier James was born about 1667 and became Vicar of Rathmolyon from 1701 to 1734 when he died. Apart from Agher, Rathmolyon is the nearest church to Rahinstown so the Bomfords must have known William Tyrrell quite well.

At one time the Tyrrell family possessed very considerable property in Meath and Westmeath, but no connection has been found between James of Clonard, Co Kildare, with contemporary Tyrrells of, for instance, Kildangan, Co Meath, or of Clermont (Cumminstown) in Co Westmeath. These Tyrrells claim descent from Sir Walter Tyrrell, a Norman knight, who came to England at the time of the Conquest. Sir Walter is supposed to have shot King William Rufus with an arrow while out hunting with him in the New Forest. Sir Walter fled the country and one supposes that it was one of his offspring who built the stronghold, now ruined, in the village of Tyrrellspass in Westmeath.

5.7  Will of Thomas the Elder of Rahinstown.   20th August 1738

This is a copy of the will of Thomas Bomford and was extracted from “ye Registry of His Majesty’s Court of Perogative in Ireland”. The document has been reproduced here in full as it gives a good idea of the legal verbiage and spelling of the time. Page 1; page 2; page 3; page 4; Betham's extract.

With regard to spelling it was not until the first major dictionary came into common usage that spelling was standardized, and then it took time for the correct spelling to filter down to the clerks of the day. Samuel Johnson’s dictionary was not published until 1755; Webster’s did not come out until 1828. The spelling of place names relied on usage; for instance Rahinstown is pronounced ‘Rainestown’ and that is how it was spelt in many deeds, by now it is unlikely to find any deeds with spelling other than Rahinstown; that has become the normal spelling of the place. But to return to the will.

In the name of God Amen. I Thomas Bomford of Rahinstowne in the County of Meath, Gent, being of sound disproving mind and memory do make ordain and Publish this my last Will and Testament herebye revoking all former Wills by me made.

IMPRIMIS, I give and bequeath to my Kindest friend Patrick Sandys hereafter mentioned his Exors and Assigns all my right title that I have by Lease or otherwise to the lands of Boycetown in the County of Killdare with right of renewals in as large and beneficiall a manner as I now hold and enjoy, the same to his own use and bennifit as also what Cattle the shall be thereon or Rent or Arrears due at the time of my Death.

I give devise and bequeath all the rest of my real and Personall Estate Leases for Lives and years and fee ffarms unto James Tyrrell of Clonard in the County of Meath Gent and Patrick Sandys of the Citty of Dublin Mercht their Exrs & Administrator to the uses intents and purposes hereinafter mentioned and expressed Viz. In the first place Impower them to sell or lett Mortgage or Demise all or any or such of my Leases as the[y] shall Judge Convenient to pay of my Legall Debts and Legacys, and in the next place that the said James Tyrrell and Patrick Sandys shall and do have and recive out of my said Real or Personal Estate and Premisses the sum of one Hundred pounds a piece over and above all Demand to buy them mourning and also that they and every of them their and every of their Heirs Execrs & Adms should and do retain out of the said Premisses and the Profits there of all and every of their full costs Charges Expenses and Disbursonents, which the[y] shall in any wise be at or Expend in Executing satisfying and discharging this my Last Will and Testament or in prosecuting or defending my suits either in Law or Equity for or on Account of any Demands to me or my said Estate Real or Personnall that I have against any Person or Persons whatsoever.

[The following item was omitted in the copying and written on the back page]

Item    I Devise and bequeath unto my sister Elizabeth Hyland six pounds in money and Six pounds per annum during her naturall life to be paid by four even and equall payments Annually during her life.

Item    I devise and bequeath all the rest and residue of my real and Personnall Estate to the said James Tyrrell and Patrick Sandys their Heirs and Administrators in trust for my brother Edwd Bomford during his naturall Life

Remainder [to] his son John Bomford during his naturall life

Remainder to the said James Tyrrell and Patrick Sandys their heirs During the life of the said John to preserve the Contingent Remainders hereinafter limitted and to make entries as Occasion shall require, but not to take any of the profits to their own use, but as aforesaid.

Remainder to the first and every other Son of the said John Intai1 Male according to their priority of birth and Seniority of Age, the eldest and the Heirs male of his body to be always preferred before the younger and their Heirs of His Body

Remainder to Thos Bomford the son of my brother Stephen Bomford and heirs

Item    I do hereby impower my Exrs to pay of the sum of one thousand pounds out of my effects due by my nephew Thomas Bomford of Clownstown for which I am security if they shall see good and make him not accountable for the same

Item    I do hereby constitute and appoint the said Patrick Sandys and James Tyrrell to be Exrs of this my last Will and Testament

Item    That as soon as my Legall Debts are paid I will and Impower my Exrs by sale or Mortgage of all or so much of my estate Real or Personnall as shall... [crease - illegible] ... of to Raise and Levy any Sum of Money not exceeding sixty pounds Ster apiece for the Portion and Preferment of each and every of the Daughters of my Brother Stephen Bomford and Edward Bomford to be paid to them at their respective Days of Marriage or sooner as my Exrs shall see good

In Witness whereof two parts [?] of this my last Will both of the same Tenor and Date I have put my hand and Seall this 20th Day of August 1738

(signed)        Thos Bomford

Signed Sealed Published and Declared by the Tester as and for his last will and Testament in our presence and by us subscribed as Witnesses in his Presence

Charles Shughrue    Jona: Gee

Thos Robiso-….       [?]

This will was proved and entred Feby 3rd 1740

True Copy

Ambrose Phillips

Summary with notes:

1.  Patrick Sandys was given the lease of Boycetown, Co Kildare. Note. I assume that Whitestown is also included with Boycetown. Neither place appears again in the documents.

2.  The executors were Patrick Sandys, merchant of Dublin, and James Tyrrell of Clonard, Co Meath. They were empowered to sell any property to settle Thomas’ debts, and were given £100 each ‘to buy them mourning’. Note. Clonard, Co Meath, lies between the villages of Longwood and Kinnegad, but Tyrrell’s place is more often recorded in the documents as being in Co Kildare, and even Co Dublin is mentioned on a couple of occasions; we are left guessing. James Tyrrell died in 1767 (probate). Edward Sandys, the son of the executor Patrick, was a linen draper so possibly Patrick the merchant was also a linen draper.

3.  Elizabeth Hyland, Thomas' sister was left an annuity of £6. Note. This implies that her husband, James Hyland, is dead and, indeed, this is quite likely. Using my estimated birth date Elizabeth would be about 72 at this date (but more likely she was younger, perhaps about 50: see 1.6.1).

4.  After the above had been paid and his debts had been settled, Thomas' estate went to his brother Edward, then to Edward’s son John, then to John’s eldest son and Thomas appears to have entailed the land for John and his children. Finally, failing these, the estate would go to his nephew Thomas, the son of his brother Stephen the elder of Gallow. In fact Edward’s son John never came into the estate and is not mentioned again, so we must assume that John died at some date between 20th August 1738, the date of the will, and January 1740, the date Thomas died. I have dated John’s death as c1739. One ought to assume that the estate therefore went to Edward; unfortunately there is doubt about this. Edward certainly retained the Westmeath properties which he had leased from Thomas the elder since about 1720, but Thomas the younger, the son of Stephen, seems to have come into the Meath properties, some of which had been assigned to him in 1738 (see 5.4.5). However Edward does not seem to come into the picture about any of the Meath lands; indeed there is a dispute about the Meath lands which were not assigned to Thomas the younger, and Thomas of Clounstown, son of Oliver, claimed them; but that story follows later (6.7). The fact is that Edward appears to have retained only the Westmeath land when, according to my interpretation of the will, he should have inherited all his brother Thomas’ lands; perhaps he was only a trustee for his son John who was still a minor, and anyway since he was old, and after John’s death without a male heir, he was content and did not pursue the matter.

5.  £1,000 “due by my nephew Thomas Bomford of Clownstown” to be paid to him. Note. No doubt this debt was written off and nephew Thomas, son of Oliver, had to repay nothing. It is to his credit that, with all his money problems, Thomas the elder did not force the £1,000 from his nephew.

6.  After all debts have been paid, up to £60 should be given to each daughter of his brothers Stephen and Edward on their marriage. Note. Edward had three daughters and Stephen had four who were alive at this date and who were eventually to marry. Oliver’s daughters were already married. We know nothing about Laurence’s three daughters, but the fact that they were not included implies that they were either married or had died. There is no further mention of this bequest, and there may have been so little cash left in the kitty that the executors did not “see good” to pay out £240.

7.  The will was disputed by Thomas of Clounstown and the story continues in paragraph 6.7

5.7.1  Probate of Will of Thomas Bomford  3rd February 1740

There are two independent reports on this will.

1. Sir Arthur Vicars’ Index to Prerogative Wills states

“Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown, Gent, 20th Augt 1738 (Date of Will), 3 Feby 1740 (Probate Date), Sister Elizabeth Hyland, Brother Edward B and his son John, Nephew Thomas, son of Stephen B”

Vicars only missed out the names of the two executors, which was his normal policy, but he did miss the name of Thomas of Clounstown.  This seems to be the same information as in Betham's extracts, Volume 4, p 171.

2. Ainsworth Report

“Thomas Bomford of Rahinstown, Gent, leaves his residual estate to James Tyrrell and Patrick Sandys in trust for his brother Edward Bomford, with remainder to his son John. James Tyrrell and Patrick Sandys appointed executors. Will proved 1740 (Prerogative).”

The Ainsworth Report is to be found in the National Library, Dublin, under the heading ‘Bomford’ in the ‘Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilization’ which states: -

“Ainsworth (J.F.) Report on the Bomford Papers (from 1699), formerly the property of Lt Col G. W. Bomford, now in the National Library of Ireland, relating to Ford, Coates, Bomford, and Maxwell families, and to lands in Dublin City, Limerick, and Co Meath.”

Reference: Nat. Libr. Rep. on Private Collections No. 150

Ainsworth visited Oakley Park in March 1948. His report covers all the main documents including those of Oakley Park before it was bought by George Bomford the younger in 1837. These documents were all at Crodara (moved to the National Library in 2006), but the report includes two which are not: one is this will, which is in the hands of Mrs Joan David (Bomford) (as at 2008, it is not able to be found); the other is the will of George the elder of 1814, the whereabouts of which is unknown. When I asked to see the latter will in the National Library I was told it was not available and this makes me doubt that any of these documents are in fact in the National Library but that they are the ones at Crodara.  (That appears to have been the case; the documents that were at Crodara were transferred to the National Library in 2006: Jennifer Doyle email 11 Mar 2006).

Burke (1862) states that Thomas died without issue on 4 February 1740 and was succeeded by his brother, Stephen.

The only problem with Thomas the elder dying early in 1740 is that he is said to have made another will on 17 June 1740 (6.7), and to have been a party to leases and a marriage settlement dated 30 March 1740 (6.3).  The deed which records the will of 17 June 1740 also recites that he died in January 1740 (6.7), so it is internally inconsistent.  The date of the marriage settlement may be the date of the marriage, or the date the settlement was registered in the Registry of Deeds, rather than the date the deed was executed.  There seems to be little room for doubt that Thomas the elder, of Oldtown, died in January 1740.

5.8  The State of the Family in 1740

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

Colonel Laurence’s Children (the older generation) were summarised at 1702 in section 1.10 and in 1722 in section 2.22.  By 1740 the picture had changed.

Thomas ‘the elder’ died in 1740, probably in January, aged about 70. His wife Elizabeth (Tew) is also dead, she died probably before 1717. They had no known children. Thomas’ nephew, Thomas the eldest son of Stephen, inherited the property.

Oliver died in 1721 in his early 40s (2.20) but his wife Elizabeth (Wilson) is probably alive though she died sometime before 1749. They had eight children (see below).

Elizabeth married again on 28th June 1723; her second husband was Reverend John Echlin (1680 - 1763) who at this date was Vicar of St Mary’s Drogheda (1708 - 1763). There were no children from Elizabeth’s second marriage although John Echlin had at least one son from his previous marriage; this son was also named John Echlin, born 1713 and called to the Irish Bar in 1739; he died after 1753 but before his father died in 1763.

Laurence died in 1721 probably in his late 30s (2.21) but his wife Susanna (Wilson) is alive and living with her children (below) possibly at Dunsink or maybe in Dublin. Susanna does not die until sometime after 1745 and probably about the same time as her sister Elizabeth Echlin (Wilson, Bomford).

Edward now about 50 is living at Hightown, Co Westmeath, with his wife Margaret (Charleton) and their three daughters; their son has just died (below).

Stephen now probably in his mid 50s is alive but blind. He is living at Gallow with his wife Anne (Smith) and their young children (below).

Elizabeth now perhaps aged about 50 is alive, but her husband James Hyland may be dead. He either died before 1738 or before 1747. They had no known children and it is not known where they were living. There have only been the odd references to James Hyland and I have not been able to locate his family and we do not know what he did for a living.

Margaret and her husband Simon Berwick are both probably dead. We know about three of their boys who may still be based at Rathflisk even though it is no longer a Bomford property. They drop out of the picture and are not mentioned again in the documents.

i. William Berwick now aged about 40

ii. Richard Berwick

iii. Thomas Berwick

Grandchildren of Colonel Laurence (the younger generation)

There are four lots of grandchildren; those of Oliver of Cushenstown, Laurence of Killeglan, Edward of Hightown and Stephen of Gallow. What is known about the two daughters' children is written above.

Oliver’s Children:

i. Thomas now aged 37 and married in 1729 to Jane (Shinton). They have given up Cushenstown House and are now living at Clounstown and will have nine children. Their second son Thomas was born in 1739 so William, Anne, Frances and maybe Elizabeth should have been born by now.

ii. Elinor is now about 35 and sometime before 1738 she married a Mr Cathcart. Nothing more is known about this family and they are not mentioned again.

iii. Andrew is about 33 and may be dead. Certainly he died before 1743. As far as is known he did not marry.

iv. Arthur is still a bachelor aged about 32 and farming at Rathfeigh. In September 1740, or c1742, he married Mary Tarleton (7.15).

v. Laurence is about 30. In about 1733 he married Anne (Echlin) who was a niece of the Rev John Echlin, his mother’s second husband. They are both alive and probably living at Rathfeigh with Arthur. It is thought that Arthur, being older than Laurence, probably owned Rathfeigh. Laurence and Anne had no known children.

vi. Margaret aged about 27 and married in 1735 to John Echlin who was from another branch of the Echlin family. Nothing is known about this family and they are not mentioned again.

vii. Oliver now about 25 and unmarried.

viii. John is not mentioned in the Upton Papers so he may not be the youngest, little is known about him.

For the birth dates of Oliver's children, see 2.22.

It can be seen that, with so little information about these brothers, the potential for placing some of the “unplaced Bomfords” is high; with just a few more clues a whole family of “unplaced Bomfords” might be built around any of them. This also applies to the children of Laurence of Killegan.

Laurence’s children:

i. Laurence is probably around 30 and farming at Dunsink. He does not marry until May 1744.

ii. Isabella,

iii. Ellinor, and

iv. Mary: nothing is known about these three girls who, if they are alive, would be in their twenties. They were not included in their uncle Thomas will 1738 and so they were probably either married or dead.

v. Wilson is now aged about 22 and unmarried. Eventually he will become a brewer and distiller so he is probably an apprentice in Dublin at this time.  

For the approximate birth dates of Laurence's children, see 2.22.

Edward’s children:

i. John has just died. He died between August 1738 and February 1740, c1739, and he did not marry.

ii. Catherine,

 iii. Lucy, and

iv. Ann: these three will all be married soon, but are now with their parents at Hightown.

For the birthdates of Edward's children see 2.22; for their marriages see 8.0.

Stephen’s children:

Stephen’s nine (ten) children are, as usual, recorded with the boys first. Using the clues given in the documents we can attempt to place them in birth order. This order is by no means definite but we do know the birth date of John, and there is evidence of the dates of Thomas, David, Isaac and Esther and, knowing the sequence we can slot the other four into position. However the birth dates of the first five children may be on the late side since they are calculated from the estimated date of their parent’s marriage of about 1715 which is the latest possibly date.

i. Thomas was born about 1716 and is now aged about 23. He has just inherited Rahinstown from his uncle and around March this year he will marry Mary Foster. The marriage is a ‘good’ one, he has land and a house, but he will die in January 1741. His death was unexpected and must have been a sad blow to his parents. There were no children.

ii. Stephen was born about 1718 so aged about 22. On his brother’s death he becomes the heir apparent and is known in the documents as Stephen the younger. He will marry in 5 years.

iii. Elizabeth. An unrecorded daughter, Elizabeth, was found on the internet. She was born c1720 at Rodanstown which was the church of those living at Gallow. She was about the same age as Ann and will marry in a year.

iv. Ann born about 1720, aged about 20. She will marry in 10 years.

v. Dorcas born about 1722, aged about 18. She will marry in 5 years.

vi. Mary born about 1724, aged about 16. She will marry in 10 years.

vii John was born in 1727, so aged 13 and still at school. He will become the only Bomford clergyman of this century.

viii. David born in 1730, so aged 10.

ix. Isaac was born about 1730, so also aged 10. Apart from these birth dates there are other occurrences which lead to a strong suspicion that Isaac and David were twins.

x. Esther was born in 1732, so aged 8.

For the marriages of Stephen's children see 8.0.

The next family tree, as at 1762, is at 11.4.

5.9  The Bomford Estates   1740

Although Thomas the elder of Rahinstown died in 1740 there was a delay in sorting out his affairs. Much of his land went to his nephew, Thomas the eldest son of Stephen, but he died in 1741. This summary of the division of the land has been made out as though Thomas the elder is still alive as this is the simplest way of showing continuity. The final settlement of his land appears in the next summary of 1762 (11.4.1) by which time all was sorted out. In all these land summaries the acreage has been converted to statute acres.   


Property of 1722 


Recent Leases


Thomas of Rahinstown (The elder)




Boycetown    }




Whitestown  }



Oldtown (Meath)






 Lease ended





 Lease ended



















Little Ardrurns





Ferrans (To Stephen)






















Total of Thomas


Edward of Hightown


Hightown or Balloughter


Recent Leases - Nil



Enniscoffey          }





Oldtown (W-M)   }





(amended by survey)





(amended by survey)



Little Ardrums


 Total of Edward







Stephen of Gallow
























Weathers town










Total of Stephen


Thomas of Cushenstown


Clounstown  }


Smithstown   }



Primatstown }


Thomastown } 








































Total of  Thomas


Arthur of Rathfeigh






Laurence of Killeglan (the younger)







Townlands of 1722 plus additions etc


New leases




Making a grand total of 18,489 statute acres.


Next Chapter: Chapter 6

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