WITH PREFACE BY HIS GRACE THE LORD
PRIMATE OF ALL IRELAND
It seems to me that this record of the Galwey Family, at
first undertaken merely as a family record, may be of great interest to a
wider circle of readers.
It deals with troublous and exciting times in Irish
history, and throws that peculiar light upon them which can only be thrown
from the inside by the clear illumination of contemporary journals and
The lady, who has put together these memorials with tact
and skill, is the widow of one of my most valued friends and clergymen in my
late diocese of Derry.
She is a daughter of that Archdeacon Galwey of Derry whom
to know was to respect and love, and who will be seen in those pages to stand
out, worthy of his "forebears," a most noble, and we may almost say
heroic figure as regards the questions of Catholic Emancipation and National
THE PALACE, ARMAGH.
A GREAT pile of old family letters and two old pedigrees
were the materials at my command for compiling a family history. It was
desired by the present and rising generations, who are scattered over the
world, and who know but little of their forefathers. I believed also that a
contemporary history of the troubles of the clergy of the Irish Church during
the Rebellion of 1798, and during the Tithe War, would be of interest to all
students of Irish history.
The letters were so many and so voluminous that the chief
difficulty lay in preserving only what served to illustrate the characters
of the writers, and tell the story of their lives, without making my work too
wearisome to my readers. I have been able to supplement what they do not
tell by my recollection of what I have heard from the writers as a child,
from the records of Bible registries, from inscriptions on tombstones, from
wills, marriage settlements, and other old documents.
The pedigrees I have not taken as trustworthy, but simply
as guides to lead me to gain information from other and more reliable
The first of the pedigrees was made out in the year 1762
by or for John Galwey of Carrick. It has a very lengthy account of his
branch of the family. It affirms that "it has been copied from the
original by Edmund de la Poer of Gurteen," and it is “signed and
sealed" by "Clanricarde" and "Walter Butler of
I have been able to discover who these men were and why
they were interested in the Galwey pedigree.
In the first place, they were all related to one another…
either by ties of blood or marriage; they had seats in
the co. Tipperary or on its borders, not far from Carrick; they were
therefore neighbours, and I presume friends. They had all lost heavily
through their forefathers having espoused the cause of the Stuarts, and now
in the peaceful days of King George III they had nothing to do but reflect
upon their former greatness.
Three of them at least had a taste for genealogical
Edmund de la Poer was the first of his family to sign
himself by this old form of the family name; for many generations before and
afterwards they had been called Power.1
The Earl of Clanricarde (who signed the document because
the Galweys claimed to be a branch of the de Burghs) was the eleventh earl. He
was born in 1720, and died in 1780. He also had resumed by sign manual the
right to return to the old name of de Burgh, which had for a long time
degenerated into the Irish form of “Bourke."
His Christian name was John Smith, so called from his
mother's father, who was a rich City banker. There is a monument to her in
John Smith de Burgh, Earl of Clanricarde, wrote a life of
his grandfather, the famous Earl of Clanricarde, who fought with the Duke of
Ormonde against the Parliament forces in Ireland. It was published in 1757
in London. In it he gives the descent of the de Burgh family word for word as
it is in the Galwey pedigree, so that we must consider him responsible for
this part of the narrative.
Walter Butler of Garryricken was the sixteenth Earl of
Ormond (de lure), although he never claimed the title.2 He was born in 1703,
and died 1783. His cousin, Mary Butler, had married William Galwey of Lota,
and at the date when the pedigrees were drawn up, their son, John Galwey, was
residing on another estate of Westcourt, which he inherited from his mother's
brother, Richard Butler.
Walter Butler, I presume, signed his attestation as the
head of the Butler family.
1. I believe that the name
of de la Poer has now been resumed by the family at Gurteen.
2. It was restored to his
son by the Irish House of Lords in 1791.
The other pedigree purports to be "a copy of one exhibited
by Antony Galwey of Rochelle, Esq., merchant, to the College of Arms in
London, and entered by order of the Chapter in their Records, July 7,
1763." The entry was, it states, examined and signed by Ulster King at
Arms and the two English Heralds, Somerset and Lancaster, of that date.
In spite of such very respectable authority, I am compelled
to say that the de Burgh pedigree is full of inaccuracies and even
absurdities. At the same time it has a great amount of truth, and some bits
of tradition that have the appearance of truth, although the facts are
unknown in history.
I have been able to trace most of the personages therein
named in English and Irish records until it comes to the point at which the
Galwey branch diverges.
I can find no record of John de Burgh, who, the pedigree
says, was governor of Galway in 1400, from whence he took his name; nor of
the story of how he kept the Bridge of Limerick against the great forces of
the O'Briens, and was knighted for his valour on the spot by Lionel, Duke of
Clarence, with leave to display the Bridge upon his shield, with the date
1361, and of all the lands and houses with which he endowed him. There are,
however, several bits of evidence which go to show that the tale was not all
However they acquired them, the Galweys had possessions
in Limerick, Cork, Waterford, Kinsale, Youghall, and other places.
Armorial bearings could not be worn at that time, or for
two centuries later, unless the owner had an undoubted right to them.
The red cross on a gold shield was the heraldic device of
William Fitz Andelm de Burgh, who came over to Ireland with King Henry II, in
1175. He was the second governor, and his shield is the second of those
carved in wood in the Chapel Royal, Dublin.
All his descendants bear this cross, with other devices,
on their arms. The crest of the chained cat is another distinguishing mark
of all his race. It serves quite as well…
for a sign over a public-house in Rathmines kept by a Mr.
Burke, or as a brand for Irish whisky in Canada, as to adorn the spoons and
carriages of the more aristocratic members of William de Burgh's
It is true that Ball's Bridge does not appear on the
shield of Geoffrey Galwey or his son Edmund in the mural tablet of St. Mary's
Cathedral, Limerick; but it does in that of John Galwey, one of their
descendants of later date, and also on a tombstone in the Galwey Chapel of
St. Multose Church, Kinsale.
The stone is sculptured in the upper part with the crest
and coat of arms; the crest a cat sitting bound with a chain, and the motto,
"Vinctus sed non victus." The shield contains the following
quarterings: 1. A cross with a bendlet.1 2. A double-headed eagle displayed.
3. A chevron between three ogresses. 4. A bridge of six arches, maisoned and
embattled proper. Beneath the shield is the beautiful motto, "Post
tenebrx spero lucent" Below, across the stone, "Hic jacet Jacobus
Galwey, qui obiit 6 September 1637."
The history of these Galweys of Kinsale is very interesting,
as from them came Sir Geoffrey Galwey, called the Martyr, who was hanged by
Cromwell's son-in-law, Ireton, after the siege of Limerick; but they were
not the Galweys of Lota, with whom we have now to do.
The following account of the Galwey monument is taken
from the History of St. Mary's Cathedral, Limerick, by Rev. J. Dowd, B.A., in
1899, and from a paper in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries,
written by Thos. J. Westropp, Esq., vol. xxviii., p. 35, 1898. I am also
indebted to the latter for the original drawing of the Limerick Monument and
for the wills of Richard Bultingfort and Geoffrey Galwey, and much other
information. The photographs of Dundanion and Rathconey were kindly taken by
Miss Marcia Beatty.
1. A bendlet was one of the
devices to mark a younger son or branch.
The pedigree gives as the ancestor of this family,
"Geoffrey, fourth son of John de Burgh of Galway, to whom he gave all
his lands in co. Cork. He lived at Dundangan [sic], and was Mayor of Cork
Geoffrey Galwey undoubtedly was Mayor that year; his name
is given as such in the Roll of the Mayors of Cork. Moreover, there is an
old monument in St. Mary's Cathedral, Limerick, by which a record of him is
"The Galwey monument was erected about the year
1450. It consists of a low cinquefoil arch under a lofty angular hood, crocketed,
and with carved finials. At the back of the recess, under the arch, is an
inscription, much defaced, but which the labours of successive decipherers
have practically recovered. It is as follows :
HIC JACET [IN] TOB[A . . VENER]ABILIS [V]IR RICARDVS
[BVLTING]FORT QVODA1 . . . CIVITATV LIM[ERICI ET] CORCAGIE Q [OBI]IT . . .
ANO DOI MCCCCV . . . IIII HIC JACET . . . VENERABILIS VIR GAL[FR]IDV[S]
GALVEV QVODA CIVIS [CIVI]TATV LIMERICI COCA[GIE ET]
VATFORDIE OBIT . . . DIE JANVARII ANO DOI M.CCCCXL . . . [E]DMV
DVS FILIVS TALIS GA[LFR]IDI ET MARGARETE FILIE TALIS RIC
BULTINGFORD ISTA TVBA FIERI [FECER]VT.
"There are four armorial tablets connected with this
monument. In the tympanum over the arch is a shield bearing the letters S R B
(Scutum Ricardi Bultingfort), and...
1. The missing word Mrs.
Westropp thinks might be "prepositus" as Bultingfort was Mayor
below this the arms, a fess engrailed with a label of
five points in chief. The second, to the left, S G G (Scutum Galfridi
Galwey); arms, for Galwey, a cross, over it a bend, impaling a double eagle
displayed. The third, to the right, S E G (Scutum Edmundi Galwey); the Galwey
arms, impaling for Arturo a chevron between three clarions. The fourth tablet
above is of much later date. It displays as crest the chained cat of the de
Burghs. Arms, quarterly: 1. Galwey: a double eagle displayed. 3. Bultingfort
(incorrectly as a less wavy with three plates). 4. Ball's bridge. Below it,
in strangely combined capitals, ' LUMNIA
[sic] QVI LECTOR TVI [SIC] CKRNNVT [sic] HISCE IOHANI
MVRIS SCVLPTA SACRIS QVADRAT INSIGNIA GALWEY.'
The will of Richard Bultingfort makes mention of his
daughter Margaret, to whom he leaves a `messuage in Cork city. ‘If Margaret
dies without heirs the land was entailed on 'John Bultingfort, son of
Maurice,' to whom he also leaves the reversion of his lands, &c., in
Limerick and its suburbs, with the bridge, which he bequeathed to his wife,
Katherine Roche, for her life.
Should John die without issue, he leaves the tenement
near the Tholsel to Nicholas Walsh. This will was proved 1406; his wife, John
Bultingfort, Nicholas Walsh, and John Nangle were executors.
"The inventory and will of Geoffrey Galwey, of
Limerick, are enrolled in the Patent Rolls of Ireland, Anno I Eliz., Roll I,
"The inventory of Galfridus Gallwey, at Limerick,
5th January 1445, mentions goods in the hands of Edmund Galwey, two
breastplates worth £4, a helmet worth 4s., a pipe of honey, &c.
“In the name of God. Amen. I, Galfridus Galwey, sound in
mind but sick in body, make my will in this manner: I leave my soul to God
Almighty, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and All Saints, and my body to be buried
in the Chapel of St. James, in the Cathedral Church of Limerick.” 6s. 8d. for
the Canons. 100 shillings for the repair of said Chapel. ' Item, I leave a
Chaplain £20 to celebrate masses in the said Chapel of St. James for my soul,
and the souls of my parents.' Then follow legacies of 6s. 8d. to each of
the Vicars of the Cathedral, to William White, W.
Appulgard, and John Fox, to the Friars Minors, and the Churches of St.
Munchin, St. Nicholas, the Holy Cross, St. John, and St. Michael, in
Limerick. Separate legacies for the repair of the chancel, and of the body of
Kilmahullok Church, and to the friars of that town; to each house of friars
in Youghall; to the Churches of St. Peter, Holy Trinity, St. Katharine, and
St. Nicholas, in Cork; and the Friars Minors, and preachers, and Augustinian
hermits, of that city, and also to the Lepers' House. A legacy of £4 to the
church, and £3 to the friars, and £1 to the poor of Kinsale; 5s. each to the
priests of Cork and Kinsale; 40 pence each to the Churches of Rinroan,
Ringgorran, Kilmahannok, and Leyon. To the friars of Tymlaggy and to an
anchorite, 13s. 4d. each; and legacies of 6s. 8d. to each order of friars in
Waterford, and to the hermits of St. Augustine, of Athdar, for the purchase
of an iron mortar.
He left his children robes and money. To Patrick, 'my
scarlet gown edged with martin, my black hood, and a large pot'; to Edmund,
'my blue gown edged with greyn'; to Walter, another blue gown ; to Edmund
fitz Harry, 'a green gown'; 'to my daughter Margaret, for her marriage
portion, £6, 13s. 4d.; to my son Patrick, rents at Kinsale.' The lands
acquired from Nicholas Walsh and John Naugle in the city and suburbs of
Limerick, and at the Bridge, to his wife Margaret, for life, unless she
marries; and after her death, to their son Walter, and his heirs male, in
failure to William. The western part of the lands at the Bridge to his son
Edmund, with other lands in the city and suburbs.
He appoints his executor, John Benwork, a Chaplain and
Canon of Limerick Cathedral. It was proved before John, Bishop of Limerick,
and administration granted to said executor, and Margaret White, Jan. l2th,
"By a statement of the previous year William Marreys
had settled certain lands on Galwey and his five sons, Richard, Geoffrey,
Edmund, Walter, and William."
The pedigree now gives Edward Galwey as son and heir to
Geoffrey, and states that he married Mary, daughter
of Richard Lavallin, who was Mayor of Cork in 1445. This
is evidently incorrect, as Edmund was his son's name; and from his armorial
bearings he appears to have married into the Arthur family.
Geoffrey, his son, is said to have married Catherine, daughter
of Maurice Roche, who was Mayor of Cork in 1488.
In the list of Mayors already referred to, Maurice Roche
appears in 1488, and again in 1491, 1497, and 1500. "William Galwey of
Dundanion, Esq., Mayor of Cork, 1502," is said to have "married
Marget, daughter of Richard Skiddy, Esq., of Cork." William Gallaway
(sic) is given in the list of Mayors not only in 1502, but (if it is the same
person) in 1483, 1486, and 1489. Richard Skiddy was Mayor in 1446, 1450,
1457, and 1461.
Dr. Caulfield says that "Skiddy was a name
prominently associated with the history of Cork for more than five hundred
years. The site of Skiddy Castle is well known. Their armorial bearings are
to be seen on a slab in the north wall of Christ's Church, chevron between
Alas! the site of Skiddy Castle is now a bakery, and the
slab has disappeared—the church was "restored"! Edward Galwey, son
of William, is said to have married Anastasia, the daughter of Stephen
Coppenger, of Cork, Esq. An Edward Galwey was Mayor in 1560; Stephen
Coppenger in 1564 and in 1572.
In his "Annals of Kinsale," Dr. Caulfield
tells of an old Galwey rent roll which appears to belong to this period. He
says that "it is six feet in length and four in breadth, written on
vellum. The first lines are completely obliterated, the next seven nearly
illegible, as are fifteen at the end. The beginning appears to refer to some
genealogical particulars of the owner's family, but the only words decipherable
are—' Als Walterus ... Bourke . . . Als de Burgo fil' . . . cursi diet' the
redde earl . qui . Walterus maritavit dnam E . . . cursi filiam
Patricii domeni de C . . . ssie primo die Januarii 15, 1564. Anno Reg.
It goes on to enumerate houses and lands, with their
rents and inhabitants, first in and about Kinsale, then Cork; and here the
words occur " Castrum ibm' per me factum voc' Dundannione."
The ruins of Dundanion Castle
Under the head of Limerick, "Pons Limerici cum
quatuor decent Mess' et xx gardinis, nuns in poss. John' Galve."
Then come lands under the head of Waterford, and the
words “Domus pauperum juxta Kinsaliam Castrum, terre ibm' per antecessores
nostros domo pauperum seu leproanruln pro redditu nobis soluta nova priore Killanighane,
The next name in the pedigree is Richard Galwey, who
married Elizabeth, daughter of Jacob Romayn, Esq., Mayor of Cork, 1575, which
is confirmed. Then "Patrick Galwey (son of Richard), Mayor of Cork 1582,
married Honora Barry, daughter of Jacob Barry, of Kilbarry Castle, in the co.
Cork." Patrick was Mayor 1582, 1593, and 1596.
"In the latter half of the sixteenth century,1 Camden
calls Cork 'a populous little trading town much resorted to, but so beset by
rebel ennemies on all sides that they were obliged to keep constant watch, as
if the town were continually besieged; and they dare not marry their
daughters in the country, but contract with one another among themselves,
whereby all the citizens are related in one degree or another. The district
between Cork, Douglas, and Black rock was by its position safe from any
sudden raid by the Irish or English enemies, and it, as well as the numerous
projecting points of land round the harbour, was largely owned by townsmen,
who were thus less dependent on foreign trade for their subsistence than the
inhabitants of other parts. The Galweys had a castle at Dundanion, the Goulds
at Monkstown, &c2
The ruins of Dundanion Castle are now covered over with
ivy, but still stand on a slight eminence on the right bank of the river Lee,
about two miles from Cork, near Blackrock. It is marked on an old map in the "Paccata
Hibernia" of Queen Elizabeth's reign as "Galwey Castel." While
Patrick Galwey governed Cork as its Mayor, many famous men frequented the
town. Captain Raleigh received a commission to govern Munster in 1580. "He...
1. History of Cork,"
by C. B. Gibson.
2. Town Life in Medieval
Ireland." Cork Archieological Journal, 1901.
returned to Cork the autumn of that year with eight horse
and fourscore foot."1
In the same year Lord Grey was Deputy, and brought over Edmund
Spencer from England as his secretary. The friendship between him and Sir
Walter Raleigh was first formed in Cork: they both received a share of the
forfeited lands of the Desmond
To Spenser was given Kilcolman Castle, and there he wrote
the " Faerie Queene” He was Sheriff for Cork for some years, and was
married there to a lady who was a native of that county, Miss Elizabeth
Lynde. On that occasion he wrote his " Epithalamion" and dedicated
it to his friend Sir Walter Raleigh:—"Tell me, ye merchants' daughters,
did ye see so fayre a creature in your town before?" He also writes of
The spreading Lee, that like an island fayre, encircles Cork with its devided
Patrick Galwey had two sons. The eldest was John (Mor)2
Galwey of Dundanion, who married Catherine, daughter of William Meade, Esq.,
Mayor of Cork 1600; and Stephen.
William Meade appears thus in the history of Cork. On the
accession of King James I, Thomas Sarsfield, who was then Mayor, refused to
proclaim him, in which decision he was supported by William Meade, the
Recorder. They declared that they had no certain knowledge of the Queens
death, and when told that James had been proclaimed in Dublin, they replied
that Perkin Warbeck had also been proclaimed there, and that everybody knew
the damage which had resulted from undue haste on that occasion. Then they
armed the militia, manned the walls, siezed the royal stores in Skiddy's
Castle, blocked Haulbowline, and, worst of all, admitted some armed Irishmen within
Lord Mountjoy was marching south with five thousand men.
On his approach there was a great debate as to whether he was to be admitted
or not. The Meades, Goulds., &c., and all the mob, were for resistance;
but the wiser counsels of some of the aldermen, including Coppingers and
1. Smith’s “History of Cork”
2. ‘Mor’ means great, or
Ruined church of Rathconey
John Mor was the last of the Galweys who lived at
Dundanion, for Edward Galwey,1 his eldest son, fixed his residence at Lota,2 near
Cork. He married Eleanor, daughter of Henry Gould, Esq., who, dying soon
after, left him one son, john.
The following extract from "Presentments of the Cork
Grand Jury" goes to show that Edward Galwey was now living in Lota :
"July 27, 1676.—We find and present that the parish
church of Rathcony was, at the Assizes, held in Cork the 29th May 1675,
presented to be out of repair, and that the same ought and should be repaired
and made up by the parishioners of the same parish . . . and that with the
approbation of the Rev. Father in God, Edward, Lord Bishop of Cork, Cloyne,
and Ross, the same be built as appertaineth, and that the overseers named in
the said presentment, with Edward Gallwey, Gent., Joined with them, shall
equally and indifferently applot, levy, and collect, with the Bishop's
approbation and consent, within the said two parishes, what money, not
exceeding £36 stet., shall build and finish said church."
This old church of Rathconey is now in ruins: though the
walls are standing, the roof is gone, and graves fill up the interior. Immediately
outside the door of the church is a large tomb, covered over with grass—a
tall stone at the head and a smaller one at the foot. On the first is
inscribed a medallion with the Galwey crest, the cat in chains; and beneath,
"The Vault of THE THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH." The stone at the
foot bears the inscription, " Here lyeth the body of Edward Gallwey, who
departed this life 10 day of IVIY Anno 1680.3
After the death of his first wife, Edward Galwey married
secondly Catherine White, daughter of Stephen White, of...
1. The name Edward Galwey Is
in the "Decree of Innocents." There Is no record as to how he
escaped. In the general confiscation, in which so many of his relatives
suffered under Cromwell.
2. Lota is on the left or
northern bank of the river, opposite to Dundanion Castle.
3. I am indebted to the Rev.
W. E. Archdale, the present Incumbent, for obtaining this Inscription by a
rubbing, as the stone is much crusted with lichen.
Manistra na Corr, in the co. Cork. Her sister Anastatia
married his brother Geoffrey, younger son of John Mor.1 He was the
grandfather of John Galwey of Carrick, to whom we are indebted for the
John Galwey of Lota, only son of Edward Galwey and
Eleanor Gould, married Elizabeth Meade, daughter of William Meade of
Ballintubber, and sister of Sir John Meade, Bart.
John Galwey was admitted Gray’s Inn 1668, and was called
to the Bar in Ireland. He was a member for Cork in King James’ Parliament,
1689. In 1690 he received a certificate recommending him to the new
Government, signed by Lord Barrymore, Allan Broderick, and others, to the
effect “that he, during the few years of James’ supremacy, was of great
honesty and moderation in the course of his profession, and in all other ways
towards the Protestants, as well absent as present; that he frequently
visited the imprisoned Protestants, and used great kindness and liberality
A somewhat similar certificate was given to him by the
Mayor and corporation, in which it is said “ that he had been chosen
parliamentary man for the city in the late pretended Parliament; and that
they all, alderman and burgesses of the said city who were Protestants, voted
for his being elected, believing him to be the most proper and friendly man
of his religion then in election for the said city.2
John Galwey had many children, of whom Mary married
Michael Grace of Shekanna in the Queen’s Co.3 His only surviving son,
William Galwey, married Mary, only daughter of Col. John Butler, of
Westcourt, co. Kilkenny, second son to Right Hon. Richard Butler, of Kilcash,
co. Tipperary, only brother of James, first Duke of Ormonde.4
In the council Book of Cork there is an entry which seems
to refer to John galwey and his son;
1703. John Galwey petitions by letter the Secretary,
1. Pedigree no 1.
2. Cork Archeological
3. Her portrait was
preserved the the Grace family, and there are printed copies.
Hon T. Southwall, whose hand he regrets not having kissed
in Cork. Alderman Crofts promised to procure him that satisfaction, and he
attended twice at his house, and missed his time.
That his only son, who had spent, the last five years in
London, thinks himself now undone, without the liberty he took there of
carrying a sword; he prays for him to carry a sword, a gun, and a case of
pistols. His friend Col. Hussey is to deliver this letter.
The will of William Galwey of Lota was signed February
1733, and proved in September the same year. It runs thus;
In the name of God. Amen.
I William Galwey of Lotabeg, being weak of body, but,
thanks be to God for the same, of sound and disposing mind. First
recommending my soul to the mercy of my Great Creator, through the merits of
the passion of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
He mentions his eldest son, John, who is to inherit the
property, which he desires may descend to elder sons. Failing John, it is to
come to his second son Richard1, and his eldest son; but failing Richard, to
his daughter Eliza, and her eldest son; falling her, to Helena; and her, to
Mary; and failing all, to John Galwey of Carrick, merchant2. The trustees
are "his worthy friends and relations, Sir Richard Meade, Bart., and George
Matthews, of Thomastown." he mentions his "dearly beloved
wife," and makes provision for her to live at Lotabeg during her
widowhood. His son John was not of age, for he provides for his education. The
executors were Str Richard Meade, George Matthews, "his brother-in-law
Richard Butler, and cousin Stephen Coppinger, of Ballyvolane."
John Galwcy, elder son of the above, was married very
early to Jane, only daughter and heiress of William O'Brien, Esq., of
Ahacross. They had four sons and three daughters.
1. Said in the pedigree to
have married "Margaret, eldest daughter of Bryan Kavanagh of Burris, co.
Carlow, by Mary, eldest daughter of Col. Thos. Butler of Kilcash, and Loony
Iveagh, his wife."
2. Antony Galwey, merchant
of Rochelle in France, was his eldest son.
Their names were Edward, Richard, John, William, Gertrude,
Mary, and Jane. Mrs. Galwey died when William was only four years old, and
his sister Jane still younger. There is an entry of her death in an old
registry book belonging to Callan Church: "1764, Jane Galwey, wife of
John Galwey of Westcourt, died February, buried in Cork."
This was just a year after the last pedigree was drawn
up, and they were then living at Westcourt, which John Galwey had inherited
from his uncle, Richard Butler. Edward, his eldest son, was then married, and
probably living at Lota with his family.
There is a story told by William Galwey, of Baggot Street
and Lota, which serves to illustrate the life at Westcourt. He said that
there was a great ball to take place- in Kilkenny Castle, to which the
Galweys were invited. John was just then pursuing his studies in Dublin, but
he wished very much to be present. As he had been idle and extravagant, his
father thought it right to refuse his request for further supplies for the
occasion. On the night of the ball, Mr. and Mrs. Galwey arrived a little
late. Dancing had begun. As they entered the ball-room, they were struck by
the grace and beauty of a young couple who were performing a minuet. On
nearer approach they recognised a daughter of the house, for whose birthday
the ball had been given, and their scapegrace son, elegantly attired (I think
he said) in white satin and gold lace. He had ridden from Dublin in hot
haste, to the extreme injury of his hired steed; and his father was left to
pay all expenses. He afterwards improved his fortunes by marriage with
Alicia, daughter and heiress of Theobald Butler, of Fishmoyne, co. Clare. It
is said that he ran away with her.2
When his children were young, John Galwey went to France,
and placed his sons Richard and John at St. Omer's College for their
education, and his two elder daughters in a convent school for the same purpose.
These members of the family became Roman Catholics, and married into...
1. No doubt at Rathconey.
2. His portrait is in
possession of his granddaughter, Mrs. Stritker.
John Galwey of Lota and Westcourt (from a miniature)
families of that faith, while the others were brought up
A tombstone in Callan Churchyard records the death of
another inmate of Westcourt..
"This was placed here by John Galwey, Esq., of
Westcourt, to the memory of Thomas Newbold, who lies buried underneath, who
served his said master faithfully, honestly, and affectionately forty years,
and who died February 1777, aged fifty-nine."1
During the time that the Galweys lived at Westcourt, a
review of the Volunteers was held on the lawn.'
The will of John Galwey supplies a very full account of
his family. It begins thus:
" I, John Galwey, of Lota, in the co. of Cork, being
of sound mind and perfect memory, do make this my last will and testament, recommending
my soul to the mercy of my Great Redeemer, do request and desire my body may
be deposited in my family tomb at Rathconey Church, in the liberties of Cork,
in as private a manner as possible."
He speaks of "certain indentured articles of
agreement bearing date 9th February 1739, made previous to my marriage with
my wife, Jane Galwey, otherwise O'Bryen, daughter of William O'Bryen, of
Ahacross, in the co. of Cork, deceased."
He mentions all his children by name, leaving 5s. to
those who had already received their portion "His daughter Blackney,
second son Richard, third John, and fourth William." He settles the
remainder of £2000 on his daughter Jane on her marriage with Sir Richard
Kellett, Bart. He speaks of his "uncle Richard Butler of Westcourt"
as having bequeathed £S000 to his brother Richard, which legacy Richard had
made over to him by deed, for certain valuable conditions; which deed was in
the hands of his son-in-law James Blackney. He bequeaths to his said brother
Richard £loo, his gold-headed cane, and a case of screw-barrel pistols. He
mentions that his son John had already received more...
1. Journal of the Soelety
for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead
than his portion as younger son. He had paid £400 for his
commission as ensign, and had also paid his bonds, by which he had become
security to Councillor Grace, and bills in Cork. He therefore only leaves to
him his gold watch and seals, "having long promised them to him."
He leaves the lands of Whitescourt or Westcourt to his
relations and friends, Bryan Cavenagh, Esq., of Borris, and Richard Grace,
Esq., of Dublin, as trustees, desiring them to be sold, and out of the
proceeds to pay £700 to his son Richard, and £1000 to his fourth son William,
which had been settled on his wife, Lydia Galwey, alias Webb. To the Rev.
William Galwey he leaves “my books and bookcase, now in his possession",
and “whatsoever other books may be in my possession at the time of my death.”
To the servant who shall be with him at the time of his death he leaves all
his clothes, linen, and a full suit of mourning. All the family plate and
pictures were to go to his eldest son Edward for his life, and after him to
his eldest son who should inherit the estate. Richard and William were residuary
legatees. The executors were "his nephew, William Coppinger, and his
kinsman, Stephen Coppinger, of Patrick Street, Cork."
It was signed 27th December 1791. He died in 1793, and
probate was granted February 1794.
There is just one more record of him—a little book
entitled "Advice from a Father to a Son." It was published by a
clergyman of the Established Church in 1792.
On a brown leather cover are stamped the initials J. G.,
J. G., in gold lettering. On the fly-leaf is written : “This book was given
by my worthy father Galwey to you, my beloved son, John Galwey, with the
direction that it should be neatly bound, and his and your initials in gold
letters on it. It was just before his decease, and accompanied with the most
ardent wishes and hopes that your ideas on the subject it contains might
afford you all the comforts they did to him when pressed by sickness that was
grievous, and disappointments that were heavy his soul rose above all vain
and trifling pursuits of this
passing life, and laid hold on the delightful hope of a
glorious immortality. Oh, my son, may you die the death of the righteous, and
may your last end be like his! prays Lydia Galwey.
Edward Galwey of Lota, who married Jane, daughter of
Mountiford Westropp, Esq., had a very large family. He died in 1812, and was
succeeded in that property by his eldest son John. He, after his father's
death, married a Mrs. Arthur, a widow. They had no children. On his death in
1840, his brother Edward, Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy, succeeded, at whose
decease "the representation of the family devolved on his
William Galwey of Lota married Anne, daughter of Hugh
Norcott, Esq., of Springfield, Cork, and by her, who died in 1832, he had two
sons and one daughter—(1) Edward, (2) John, and (3) Jane.
(1) Edward was a Barrister-at-Law; he married Cornelia
Matilda, eldest daughter of Heyward St. Leger, Esq., of Heyward Hill, co.
Cork; by her he had one son, John Edward, born in 1838, died r840, and three
daughters; Matilda Anne, Isabella Miranda, and Cornelia Letitia.
(2) John died before his father, in 1848.
(3) Jane married her cousin, Richard Galwey, son of the
Rev. William Galwey.
On the death of his son John, William Galwey of Lota
broke the entail, so that the estate might descend to Matilda, who married
Edward Murphy, Esq., of Streamhill, co. Cork.
William Galwey died in 1865, and was succeeded by his son
Edward, who married a second time a widow, Mrs. Stewart. When he died there
were no longer any Galweys of Lota.
1. “Landed Gentry of
Ireland," by Sir Bernard Burke.
THE GALWEYS OF FORT RICHARD
RICHARD GALWEY, second son of John Galwey of Lota and
Westcourt, married Miss Creagh of Abbey Feale, co. Limerick. They had a son
called John. He married his cousin Jane. It is told that her father, James
Edward Galwey of Nadrid, had asked him to act as her escort home from school
in England, and that he took her to Belgium instead, and there married her.
They lived at a place called Fort Richard, on the
southern coast of co. Cork opposite to the Dance Rock, about nine miles from
Kinsale. They had six sons, none of whom has left descendants, and seven
William St. John Galwey, the third son, was a civil
engineer. In May 1857 he entered the service of the East India Company. He
had been appointed to the staff of works on the Soane Bridge, but the Indian
Mutiny breaking out, he was unable to proceed beyond Calcutta.
Afterwards he was posted to the Moughr district, and in 1862
was resident engineer at Jamulpur. After a visit home on leave in 1863, he
was appointed to take charge of a portion of the Chord Line between Calcutta
and the North-West Provinces. Early in 1865 he was again in England, but
returned to India in the autumn, where he remained until 1871, when his
connection with the Company was dissolved.
In 1872 William Galwey was appointed by the Government
of India to the New State Railway Department as executive engineer, and was
employed for some time on the Punjab Northern Line; afterwards he was placed
in charge of the Empress Bridge over the Sutlej River. In 1879 he retired,
and remained at home until 1888, when he was appointed chief of the engineering
staff engaged on the survey of the projected railway on the South-Western
Frontier of the Chinese Empire; a work of great difficulty and danger. After
three years, he was about to return to England when a boat accident put an
end to his career. Anxious to reach Bankok, and finding no other mode of
conveyance, he and a companion embarked in a small boat at Koh Sumut, which
was capsized by a huge wave. His friend escaped, but William Galwey was
drowned. "He was a man of untiring energy and of single-minded devotion
to work. He was a good sportsman, a most genial companion, and a firm
He was the last Galwey of Fort Richard.
1. Excerpt from Minutes of
proceedings of the Institution of Civil engineers.
JOHN, the third son of John Galwey of Lota and Westcourt,
married first, Alicia, daughter of Theobald Butler of Fishmoyne. They had
two sons, who both went abroad, and died unmarried. One of them perished
miserably in a mutiny on board ship.
He married, secondly, Emily, daughter of Ignatius Gould,
Esq. The issue of this marriage was one son, Edward, who married his cousin,
Louisa, daughter of James Galwey of Nadrid.
John Galwey gave his son a pretty little place called
Doon Mulvahill (the Hill of the Goats), about twenty miles from Ennis, in the
co. Clare. At first the house was only a shooting lodge, but after his
marriage Edward Galwey enlarged and improved it, and from it this branch of
the Galweys took their name. They had six sons and two daughters.
The eldest, John, married Miss Creagh of Dangar, and had
Edward and William died unmarried. James, the fourth,
went to Australia, where he married and died, leaving one son (name unknown).
Christopher, the fifth, was a civil engineer. He married
in New Zealand, and has several children in that country.
Michael, the youngest, emmigrated to Australia, and was
never heard of again.
There are no male representatives of the Galweys of Doon
now in Ireland, and the place is sold.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 23
William Galwey, the fourth and youngest son of John
Galwey of Lota and Westcourt, and Jane O'Brien, his wife, was born in the
year 1760. He graduated in Trinity College, Dublin, Vemis 1784 [M.A. in 1807],
and was ordained for the curacy of Holy Trinity,l in Cork,
On the l0th June in the same year he married Lydia,
eldest daughter of Patrick Webb, Esq., of Hermitage, co. Cork, and of
Elizabeth Waldron, his wife.
She writes thus of herself in an old family Bible:
"I was born in my grandmother's house (Mrs. Lydia
Waldron), who then resided on Hammond'' Marsh in the parish of St. Peter's in
the city of Cork, on the Eve of St. Patrick's day 1765."
She had two sisters, Elizabeth [Mrs. Spiller Newman] and
Isabella, and two brothers. The elder, Peter, died when a little child, to
the extreme grief of his mother. The younger, Robert, will appear throughout
In her old age Mrs. Galwey used to tell her
grand-children of her first meeting with their grandfather.
She was walking with her sister Isabella on a narrow path
by the river in Cork, when they were confronted by a drove of wild cattle
that were being brought into the market. 'They were rather frightened, but a
gentleman appeared, who took off his hat, and, holding it in his hand, walked
between them and the cattle, until he saw them in safety.
1. Now called Christ's
2. From the late Rev. Wm.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 24
By their marriage settlements it would appear that
William Galwey's father not only settled £1000 on his daughter-in-law, but
agreed to pay them £40 per annum out of the lands of Lota. While Pat Webb, on
his part, provided £1000 as his daughter's portion out of the lands of Hermitage.
Their trustees were Willinm Coppinger and Sir Henry Mannix.
William Galwey was priested at Cloyne in 1786. At that
date the Bishop of Cloyne was Richard Woodward , in the same year he
consecrated the new church in Glanrmire, under the name of the Parish Church
of Rathcooney, " the Bishop of Cork being absent in England for his
On the 31st December 1786, Mrs. Galwey's eldest son, John,
was born at Hermitage.
A second son, William Patrick, was born in Kilkenny,
December 22, 1788.
Robert, at Hermitage, August 7, 1790.
Charles was also born at Hermitage, May 3, 1792. He was
called after Charles Agar, first Bishop of Moyne, afterwards Archbishop of
Cashel, finally Archbishop of Dublin.
Lydia Elizabeth was born at High Park, co. Limerick, January
Isabella, born at the Glebe House, Cahir Conlish, co.
Limerick, December 8, 1795.
The date is torn off a letter written by Mrs. Galwey to
her sister Isabella, but the events which it treats of , an attempted
invasion by the French, took place about Christmas 1795. The letter is
addressed to Miss Webb, at Mrs Brown’s, Hammond Marsh, Cork.
"I cannot tell your my dear Isabella, what anxiety I
feel on your account, as I am afraid you are very much alarmed at this
possible commotion. I write purposely to comfort you and to beseech you not
to allow your spirits to be overcome by your fears, as you mast well know you
are under the all-powerful care of the Almighty, who you may depend on in
every danger. For me, I am not a bit frightened, though I feel myself very anxious,
particularly so as William is not with me, but I do not allow my mind…
1. Bradley’s “Clerical
records of Cork” (Cloyne and ross).
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 25
to dwell on that circumstance. I am the more uneasy on your
account, as I know that, instead of supporting your spirits, my poor . . .
her from me that I am . . . five helpless babes, and that therefore I look on
myself as entitled to preach to others.
"I think all the men seem determined to stand by us,
which to be sure is a great comfort. May that Being who alone can deliver us,
direct them and strengthen them to oppose our enemies. Amen. Amen.
"Mother, Bess, Robert,1 and Father
very well; the two latter doing a great deal, particularly my Father,2
who has taken upon him to give arms to the Yeomanry, who had not gotten their
own. I won't close this for an hour till I hear anything new; till then,
‘You see I waited for some purpose; this moment an
express arrived to inform Governor Brown that the English fleet has blocked
up our enemies in Bantry Bay, and this weather will conclude their
destruction. Oh! why for a moment do we ever doubt the all-powerful care of
From the Diary of Wolfe Tone, who was then on board the
French fleet, it would appear that the "winds of God" had more to
do in preserving Cork from invasion by a French army than the English fleet,
which did not arrive until the ships of the enemy had been blown away in all
directions unable to land their troops.
Their plan had been to march to Cork, which was only
forty miles distant from the place where they intended to disembark.
In 1798 the Rev. William Galwey was rector of the parish
of Abington, about seven miles from Limerick, and in the gift of the
Archbishop of Cashel. When he obtained the living there was no glebe house,
and he and his family lived in a cottage within the parish called Lilliput.
Those were stormy days in Ireland. All who were able fled
to England or the towns for safety, but he was a magis-
1. Then a midshipman in the
2. Mr. Webb had formerly
been an officer in Ligonier’s Troop, and was now holding an office underGovernment
In Kinsale, in charge of stores and ammunition.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 26
trate as well as a clergyman, and he lived among his
people doing his duty.
The house was made secure every night by bolts and bars,
and strong wooden shutters over the windows pierced with holes, so that those
within might fire on assailants.
There had been a rising in Ireland in May, which was
partially quelled. As a magistrate, Mr. Galwey had been the means of some of
the rebels being punished, so he was marked for vengeance, and knew that he
and his family were in constant peril.
At that time they had seven children, for Edward was born
at Lilliput on January 7, 1998. The boys had a tutor who lived in the house;
he was a delicate man and lame, and in November Robert Webb was with them on
On the evening of 16th November 1798, the boys had gone
out with a lantern to look for birds in the bushes, when John felt a sudden
terror come over him, and, gathering his little brothers, brought them into
the house; soon afterwards an attack was made upon it by the insurgents, no
doubt with the intention of murdering everyone within, as they had already
done in other places through the country. The peasantry had fire-arms; they
had also provided themselves with “thurnageens,” or large slabs of wood
fastened to poles, with which to force open the doors and windows.
The first thing to be done by the besieged was to put the
women and children in safety, so they were hurried up-stairs to a garret or
large room at the top of the house. The tutor seized a pair of candles off
the parlour table to light them upstairs; but John, with great presence of
mind, blew them out, and so the terrified women and children crouched above
in the dark, listening to the firing and noises below.
During the night Mr. Galwey went down a passage to his
study to get some more ammunition, and encountered two men who had got into
the house [the man servant had opened the back door and departed]; they fired
at him and he fell. At the report, Robert Webb hastened to the spot, and the
men fled out of the house. He refastened the…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 27
door, and returned to his brother-in-law, who was badly
wounded in the left shoulder, and slightly in the right arm. The fire-arms
that he was carrying across his breast probably saved him from worse injury.
Robert helped him up to the garret, and then hurried rapidly round the
house, firing out of every opening. One of these random shots killed Tom
Kelly, the leader of the attacking party. A few days after, his body was
found, hidden under a little clay bridge which spanned the ditch into a field
near the house.
In the darkness of the night, Mrs. Galwey heard her
husband groan, and going to him found that he was bleeding profusely. She
said that "God gave her strength and knowledge what to do." So she
tore up some strips of linen, and bound up his wounds to the admiration of
the surgeon who saw them next day. The loss of blood made her husband
feverish and thirsty, and towards morning, the firing having ceased for some
time, Mrs. Galwey desired one of the maids to go across the courtyard to the
dairy and fetch her some milk, but the frightened girl dared not do it;
summoning her brother, who accompanied her with a brace of loaded pistols,
she took a pail and lantern, and got it herself.
The following day they went into Limerick, and never
returned to Lilliput, which was much injured by the siege.
Richard, the youngest of the family, was born in Limerick
on April r, 18oi.
An excellent glebe house was built by Mr. Galwey at
Abington; they were living there when William left home in 1805. He obtained
a lieutenancy in the 26th Regiment, and sailed for India, April i6, 1807.
On the 9th May 18o7, the Rev. William Galwey was collated
Archdeacon of Cashel.
John took his B.A. in Trinity College, Dublin, Vcrnis, 1809.
While he was a collegian another attempt was made on his
father's life. Walking to church with his family one Sunday evening in
summer, he was fired at—the ballet passing close to his face—by a man in a
field, beside the road. John sprang across the hedges and collared the…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 28
man, with the gun still smoking in his hand. He was given
up to justice, but the fellow got off without punishment, through the
cleverness of his lawyer, who pleaded that he had been shooting at a crow!
After the death of her husband, Mrs. Webb and her
daughter Isabella came to live with the Galweys at Abington. It chanced
somewhere about the beginning of the century that they saw in a newspaper the
announcement of the death of Edward North, Esq., of Broomfield. He had not
married, and had been the possessor of a considerable fortune. It was said
that he wished to marry his cousin, "the beautiful Bell Waldron,"
afterwards Mrs. Brown, and that her mother had opposed the match on account
of his sceptical opinions. However that may be, he had made no will, and,
when spoken to on the subject, said, "Let the divils fight for it."
Mrs. Galwey remembered that, when she was a child, she had heard her
grandmother say to her daughters, "Remember that when Edward North dies
you are next of kin," and she determined to advance her mother's claims,
as she was too old and infirm to do so for herself.
There were other claimants, among them the mother of Sir
Thomas Fowell Buxton, who was also related to the deceased. It is thus
referred to in his life by his son, Charles' Buxton: "As there was
reason for expecting that her son should inherit a considerable property in
Ireland, Mn. Buxton deemed it advisable that he should complete his education
at Dublin, and accordingly, in the winter of 1802, he was placed in the
family of Mr. Moore of I)onny Brook." During his stay there, the country
was disturbed by the breaking out of the Kilwarden Rebellion, instigated by
the unfortunate Robert Emmett. He writes home, "The gardener and
workmen say that were 500 rebels at Mr North's gate that night."
T. F. Buxton entered Trinity College in 1803, where he
greatly distinguished himself. Under date 1805 the book relates, "Other
claimants had come forward to contest his right to the Irish property; his
mother had undertaken an expensive law-suit regarding it, and her hopes of
success were already growing dim."
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 29
Broomfield was a large square house of three stories,
situated in pretty grounds formed by a bend of the Liffey, about six miles
from Dublin, and two from Lucan. It was shut off from the road by a high
wall, and the drive to the house was entered through a large wooden gate,
beside which stood a gate-house. The face of the wall opposite the house
afforded a good support for wall fruit, and was celebrated for its peaches.
One cannot know how long the law-suit was in progress,
but on the day of the final trial Mrs. Galway was accompanied to the court
by her son Charles, who was then a student in Trinity College.
She gave her evidence on oath with great clearness until
she came to a date about which inadvertently she made a false statement;
instantly perceiving her error, she became overwhelmed with confusion, and to
her son's horror fell on the floor in a dead faint. When she recovered
consciousness she found herself in a little room off the court, and
surrounded by lawyers in their wigs and gowns. The judge said to her kindly,
"Mrs. Galwey, do not be distressed; you have given your evidence most
clearly, and the slight error which you made was a mere lapse of
She had won the law-suit. When the property came to Mrs.
Webb she divided with her sister's children (one of them was Mrs. M'Carty of
Carnavar]. The remainder kept her in comfort for the rest of her life, and
descended to her children and grandchildren, and their children after them.
Archdeacon Galwey left Abington in 1810. He was succeeded
there by Rev. John Jebb, afterwards Bishop of Limerick. In his Memoirs there
is a letter of his to Archbishop Broderick, in which he refers to his
predecessor. Its subject was a proposal made by Government to mulct the
incomes of the clergy for the purpose of establishing schools in the
He says: The exclusive education tax would not be less
impolitic than unjust. The property of the Church was originally conferred .
. . with a view to the performance of high duties, and the communication of
Important public benefits; those duties have been performed and those…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 30
benefits communicated by the Clerical Members of the
Irish Church with a zeal and fidelity at once most laudable and most
extraordinary, when it is fairly considered how many difficulties they had to
surmount. . The clergy had effected much, and were effecting more by the cheerful
allocation of two years' income, for the erection of glebe houses within
their benefices. This sacrifice —anything similar to which has never been
witnessed, or expected in any other profession—was made by men with moderate
incomes, ill paid, and vexatiously collected; who for the most part were
obliged to raise the necessary supply on their personal credit, and to
replace it by the strictest economical retrenchment. But the effort was made
with alacrity, because residence was felt to be the foundation of all
professional usefulness and respectability . . . but, as I have already
hinted, our best clergy, though frequently well born, are very seldom rich,
and further to impoverish their pockets would be to abridge their usefulness.
. . . This usefulness is perhaps not sufficiently appreciated. The clergy are
far above the meanness of self-predication, and their best services are often
performed in the most remote and unfrequented districts. But if the poor were
asked, `Who are your most unwearied benefactors? ' they would assuredly
answer, ' The clergy of the Established Church.'
The clergyman is permanently on the spot; his associations
make him familiar with distress, and can he see distress without attempting
to relieve it? He cannot do so.
"One case in point at this moment possesses my mind.
The builder of this house (Abington),1 a man unpopular
indeed with some, from his exertions in the cause of justice, but of good
repute with multitudes in this parish, from his unaffected benevolence, has
actually denied himself the use of wine that he might bestow it on the poor
in a sickly season. Such privations for such a purpose are more common than
perhaps might be readily imagined. Throughout the greater part of Ireland,
the clergy, instead of a tenth, barely receive a thirtieth part of the
produce of the soil.
1. The late William Galwey,
afterwards Archdeacon of Cashel.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 31
"They make ample allowances for every deficiency in
a poor crop or harvest; and receive little or no accession from an abundant
harvest. The rate of all articles of consumption has been enormously
progressive; the rate of tithes alone continues stationary . . . from
exorbitant rents, unthriftiness, sickness, or old age many of the smaller
occupants are actually paupers. Their rent must be paid, and the clergyman in
common humanity cannot but forgive the tithes."
The Rev. Wm. Galwey had a second collation as Archdeacon
of Cashel on 8th October 1811. The corps of parishes forming the Archdcaconry
were so scattered that it was considered impossible to serve them properly—he
therefore resigned the Archdcaconry and was re-appointed to another corps.
His residence now was a house called Woodvale, in the Co.
Tipperary; Callan was the post-town.
Charles finished his college course, and obtained his
B.A. Estivis 1814 ; before this John had been ordained for the curacy of New
Robert was then far away, sailing between the ports of
Calcutta, Burmah, and China, in the Merchant Service. He had been at home in 1813,
for that date is on a little poem which he wrote, " On a Snowdrop. By R.
Beneath this poem on the same sheet is another, which
tells its own tale --‑
As distance widens, love still stronger grows,
And by the stress it trots, its ardour knows;
Maternal love, by absence loses nought,
Still the loved image holds its place in thought
While time remains—then fading from the sight
Is lost but for a moment: for when the soul arrives
In that Blest Place where endless light
Bursts on its wondering eyes
Again she views the darling object,
Clearer grown; by being found,
In presence of that Soul of Light
That pure uniting Essence. Whom to see is Bliss,
But Whom to love Is endless happiness.
" LYDIA GALWEY.Woodvale, June 3, 1818"
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 32
Charles at first studied medicine, but he was so revolted
by the dissecting room that he gave it up. His own bent was always to
mechanics, but that was not then considered the profession of a gentleman;
influenced by his mother's strong desire for it, he entered the ministry. In
after years, as his religious principles deepened, he suffered many qualms of
conscience as to his fitness for the sacred office. His ministry, however,
was proof to others that he had indeed been "called of God."
He was curate of Monkstown Church from January 1818 to
April 1820. Most of the entries of baptisms, &c., during that time are
in his handwriting. He was assistant to the Rev. Charles Lindsay, perpetual
curate of the Union of Monkstown. After this he accompanied Dean Gough to
Londonderry, as junior curate of the Cathedral.
There was a very old friendship between the Goughs and
Galweys which was retained for many generations, so that Charles Galwey was
almost like a son to his rector, and at home in his house, where he
experienced unvarying kindness and affection.
Shortly after he went to Derry, he met his future wife, Honoria
Tomkins, second daughter of Col. Andrew Knox of Prehen. She inherited her
name from the great-grandmother, who brought Prehen into the family. All the
Misses Knox were much admired, but "Norah" was generally admitted
to be the handsomest. She had golden hair, blue eyes, and a sweet sunny
disposition that won the affection of all who knew her. They met on the
avenue of Prehen; and he often afterwards playfully alluded to the exact spot
on which he lost his heart. It was love at first sight, and its course did
not run smoothly.
Col. Knox required that £1000 should be forthcoming to
add to an equal sum which he proposed to give his daughter, before marriage
could with any prudence be undertaken. Poor Charles in despair went home to
Wood-vale. His mother, however, when she learned how desirable the match
was, would not allow her son to be disappointed. His parents handed over to
him the £1000, paid out of the lands of Hermitage, which had been settled on
them by Patrick Webb, Esq., her father.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 33
Charles then returned to Derry, bringing letters with him
from Woodvale to the daughter that was to be.
His mother writes-
January. 28, 1822.
"I cannot let the bearer of this away without a few
lines to one who is, I trust, so soon to fill a place in our circle. Welcome,
most welcome, will be the woman of Charles' choice. May she add another and dear
link to the chain of domestic ties which bind us closely to one another, and
may she never feel a regret in becoming a member of a family who receives her
with every sentiment of respect and esteem, which, they have been taught to
believe, she deserves.
"Mrs. Knox, in her letter to Charles, has been so
good as to express a desire that one of my daughters should accompany her
brother on a visit to Prehen; this we regret she cannot do exactly at
present, but we assure you that we all look forward with the sincerest
pleasure to the commencement and continuance of an intimacy with your family,
from which we expect to derive much satisfaction. I hope that you will make
us amends on some future occasion not far distant for the curtailment of
Charles' visit, by the addition of ‘his dearest self.' I must relinquish my
pen to the Archdeacon, who is impatient himself to express his feelings.
"I request you to present me respectfully to your
parents; and to believe me to have every feeling that you can possibly desire
me to possess towards you. Anxiously desiring to be—Your mother, LYDIA
"Circumstanced as we stand at present, I hope that
very amiable young lady (as I have the happiness to hear, from more than one,
Miss H. Knox is), whom I hope before long to embrace with great affection as
my child, will allow me the privilege of an old grey pate in saying, how
anxious I feel myself to thank her for the preference she so flatteringly
evinces for my son, and to have an opportunity of proving to her how happy I
shall be in endeavouring to make up to her in some degree when she can make
us happy by her society, in our retired vale, for the temporary…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 34
relinquishing of her own parents' affection. Were I to
tell you of the idea I have formed of your penetration with respect to this
long Curate of Derry, perhaps you might not be displeased. I sincerely
beseech that great and bountiful Giver of all good, that your good opinion of
him, and every affection may increase every day, while you are spared to each
other—in which prayer I feel that his happiness is deeply concerned; and I
here give you, under my hand and seal, that if he does not make you as good a
husband as he has been a child to his parents, he shall get from me some of
those long lectures which, he may tell you, I have sometimes given him. With,
permit me to say, a strong prejudice in your favour, and a great inclination
to love you as one of my dear children,—I am, my dear young lady, your truly
grateful, and very nearly affectionate,
(This is from his Aunt, Bell Webb.)
"Do you know what Charles says of you? That you are
a dear, kind-hearted little girl, and would not take it ill if his old maiden
Aunt was to join in the welcome to our humble circle. Welcome, then, my dear
Norah, I will say, to us all. My dear old Mother joins most sincerely in kind
welcome, and hopes soon to send you her blessing. I will give you a whisper
of advice—don't spoil this saucy boy—for indeed he is half spoiled already by
all the kindness he has received in your part of the world. So keep him at a
good distance is the safe advice of, yours sincerely, ISABELLA WEBB."
Underneath, in an old shaky hand— "God bless you.
Honoria, prays your old happy Granny for making choice of my pet.—ELIZA
Across this little note, in a bold dashing hand—"
God bless you, Norry, my darling girl, for showing your good sense and taste
in choosing me, that loves you in my heart,
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 35
Her eldest brother, George Knox, Captain in the Queen's
Bays Dragoons, writes to his father about this time of his sister (who was
his favourite), and begs him to make the best provision he can for the young
people, promising on his part to carry it out.
Another letter from her second brother, the Rev. Andrew
Knox (then acting as Curate both of Ramelton and Rathmullan), to herself,
gives a lot of good advice as to her responsibility as a clergyman's wife. He
says of her union with Mr. Galwey:— "I have not had an opportunity of
very intimate acquaintance with him, but from everything I have observed and
heard of him, he is very amiable, of an affectionate disposition, open,
ingenuous—particularly good principles—calculated to make a kind, reliable
husband. You and the rest of the family know him much better than I do, and
have greater opportunity of becoming acquainted with his character,
particularly from the Goughs, who have known him since a child."
They were married on 9th of April 1822. His mother
writes from New Birmingham on the 11th :-‑
"I had intended to have written to my dear children
on the very day of their union, which was that on which Isabella and I came
to this place, to pay a visit to John, but I was tired after my drive, and
also from the feelings which had been excited by the reflexions arising out
of the awful, and I trust happy, occurrences of the day. . . . However
strange it may appear, it is no less true, that I felt and feel a deeper and
more touching interest for Honoria than even for my own Charles. . And now,
my dear children, accept the congratulations of the Voodvale House on your
marriage, and their affectionate wishes for your happiness. I will not say
that I am sorry that my dear Honoria has relinquished the luxuries of her
former situation for the humble comforts of a curacy; because I know that she
may enjoy a greater degree of happiness in a situation of useful exertion
than is to be found in idle ease. I am convinced that a lowly competence may
be preferable to splendid ease; but we must bring dispositions suitable to
such instances, and above all a reliance upon our Almighty Father, who does
not provide for us according to our sickly…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 36
inclinations, but according to His own discerning view of
our natures and dispositions: with desire, not to render us supremely halt in
this passing life, but in that which will never end. I have myself lived a
long time, and reared a numerous family, and I can most solemnly aver, the
dear Parent supplied my every necessity as it occured, and although He bas
been pleased frequently to try me by prospects which made me almost sink
beneath my anxieties, yet did He again return, refresh me, and set my feet
upon a rock, and order my goings, and put a new song into my mouth, even a
thanksgiving unto Himself, for His unspeakable mercies exhibited towards me
and mine.... It is now time for me to express the impatience which your
father and I feel to embrace our dear new child; and to request you will name
a time for that purpose." . . . The letter goes on to request that Miss
Knox would accompany them, and she ends by saying, that she was directing the
latter to "Mrs. Charles Galwey," to accustom her to her new name,
and ends, "with the liveliest affection, your Mother and Friend,
Isabella writes across the sheet., as was the manner in
those days of expensive postage:—" I have delayed writing to my dear
Honoria until I could address her as my sister, and. now that you are
possessed of that sweet and dear claim to my affection, allow me to introduce
myself to you, and accept my most sincere and heartfelt welcome to our family
circle. You may judge that you, and our dear Charles, occupied a great deal
of our thoughts on Tuesday.
I fancied myself close to you that whole day. God Almighty grant you both
every earthly happiness, and may your union tend to your temporal and eternal
advantage. I am beginning to grow quite impatient for the time of your
visiting Woodvale to arrive. Charles said that he thought June was the time
he would find most convenient. Mamma is very anxious to prevail on Miss
Knox to accompany you in your visit. Will you, like a dear good girl, use
your influence in coaxing her to do so… We expect to have a letter from Charles
on our return home, as he promised to write on the day of his marriage. . .
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 37
him my love, and accept the same from your affectionate Sister,
On the little space at top and bottom of the folded page
are a few lines from the Rev. John:—"I see so many prayers and blessings
put up within for you and yours, that I am almost reduced, dear Charles, for
variety, to wish you some of the crosses belonging to your new state.
However, I content myself with repeating some of what has been already said,
and assure you no one rejoices more, and more sincerely wishes a continuance
of your happiness than myself. May it then be long before the bubble bursts,
and you find that uneasiness and pain belong to even the most highly favoured
state of man. You know I love not writing, but am tempted by the novelty of
your situation as well as by the narrowness of the paper which precludes
saying much, to assure you of my feelings and of the interest and affection,
wherewith I am always—Yours,
The visit to Woodvale took place, and I have often heard
Mrs. Galwey and her sister describe the scene the evening that Charles
brought his young wife home. How, coming in, after the long coach journey,
he brought her dazed into their midst; and, whipping off her cap, let her
beautiful golden curls fall round her face. How they took her to their
hearts that night! and there she kept her place while they lived. "I
never saw a frown," she used to say, "on the faces of one of my
husband's people to me."
It was usual for the ladies of that household to assemble
in old Grannie Webb's room in the morning, and chat there till her daughter
Isabella came to dress her. On one of these mornings, Mrs. Charles was
interested in her work, and accosted her Aunt as "You old Widgeon, can
you not let me be I." The name stuck, and as Widgeon she was known and
loved to the end of her long life.
Two more letters of congratulation on their marriage were
received by Charles and his wife later on from his elder brother William and
I have said that William Galwey entered the army and…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 38
sailed for India in the year 1807. In 1809 there was an expedition
sent from Bombay to capture the Mauritius, or Isle of France, as it was then
called. It is said that by permitting a handful of veterans to return to
their own country (of France) General Abercrombie secured an important
conquest." Port Louis contained about six thousand houses, chiefly of
"The inhabitants received the foreigners with great
politeness and hospitality. Many of them were of ancient noblesse families.
Both sexes were very fond of dancing; the ladies were remarkably handsome,
and noted for wit, vivacity, and engaging manners."1
It was most probable that William Galwey's regiment was engaged
in this expedition, and that he was quartered there, for on July 3o, 1817, he
married Eliza, daughter of — Gondreville, late of the Isle of France.2 Her
mother had an estate and sugar plantations in that island. It took a long
time for news to travel from thence in those days, and still longer to
return, so it was not until 30th January, 1823 that Eliza wrote from Flaq :
"My dear sister, I need not say what pleasure your letter
gave me; to be called friend by Charles's wife, and an inhabitant of
Woodvale, will always be gratifying to me. I hope we shall one day be more
particularly acquainted than by letter. It Is, I assure you, a sincere wish
of mine I easily imagine the happiness you must have felt in finding yourself
in the midst of our dear friends at Woodvale. I know them all, though only
by their letters, and love them with my whole heart. Now, my dear Sister, I
shall take the liberty of finishing this letter in French, as I am not very
famous at writing English, and as I dare say you
speak and write and understand French as well as my two
other sisters do.
‘Cette nouvelle annee a commence bien agreablement pour
non peu de jours après qeu nous eumes ecrit a Woodvale; J’ai eu le plaisir de
revoir mon plus jeune frère, …
1. Account of the Conquest
of the Mauritius,” by an Officer. Printed in London 1811.
2. Taken from the Family
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 39
Apres unc absence de neuf ans. Il arrive de France, ou
il avait ete, pour son education. Une autre surprise non moins agreeable est
cette que l’arrivee de notre cher Rober, nous a cause. Il est avec nous
depuis quatre jours, malheureusement il part inassament, mais nous avons
l’espoir qu’ actuellement il fera tourner quelqu’un de ses voyages vers
L’Isle de France, il se porte tres bien n’ajamais ete malade aux Indes
quoique entore, de maladies. Il vous (aussi) sans dit ecrit lui meme, car il
a ecrit au jour dernier a Woodvale. Adieu ma Cherie, pour William attend ma
letter pour la mettre (dessus?) la sienne faites je vous prie mes tenders
amities a Charles et croyez moi votre affectionnee soeur & amie,
" DEAR CHARLEY,—Let us leave our wives to correspond
on one side of the paper, while you and I do the same on the other. I
congratulate you with all my heart on having become one of us, and having had
sense enough to leave the tribe of noisy cubs, called bachelors.
"I have met with a person here who had seen my new
sister, and if his account be correct, you have been quite as happy in the
choice your eye has made as your head. Pray offer her my (sincere?)
affection, and beg of her to keep a little corner of her heart for the absent
brother; perhaps I may one day appear to claim it. Eliza says that Bob is
here now. He and I start for town tomorrow —he to join his ship, and I to
see him off once again. He is stouter than he was when I last saw him, and
seems to like his roving life very much indeed, as I have heard him say that
he would not like now to leave it. As to my old woman, and your humble
servant, we go on in just the same way we have done since our marriage. We
are struggling to get our heads enough over water, to see the distant shores
of Hibernia, and perhaps we may succeed one of these days.—Your sincere
friend and brother,
" Wm. GALWEY."
For two years the young couple were not allowed to take
up house, but lived alternately at Prechen and Boomhall, at that time the
residence of Dean Gough.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 40
On the 23rd April 1823 their eldest child Mary was born
at Prehen. Lydia had evidently gone to them on a visit, as their mother
writes on November 6:
"There is one little wish so near my heart that I
cannot refrain from urging it on you—namely, that you will let us see our
little Mary, and her father and mother. Do, dear creatures, come and restore
to us our Lydia, whom we have so long spared to you. How much affection do I
feel for you, dear Honoria, for the sisterly affection which she acknowledges
from you. 'Tis indeed a blessing not to be estimated that my beloved boys
have added valuable members to the family, instead of the reverse, which is
frequently the case."
The year 1824 brought many events. Archbishop Broderick,
wishing to make further changes in the diocese, Mr. Galwey resigned the
Archdeaconry, and was presented with the benefice of Kilnastulla. At the
same time, the Archbishop gave the parish of Killardry to his son John, who
then married Abigail Cooke, daughter of Robert Cooke, Esq., of Kiltinane
The parish of Kilnastulla had no glebe house, and the
rector was obliged to live out of his parish at Castle Connell.
This town is situated on the river Shannon, within six miles
of Limerick, and contained many handsome houses and cottages. Its celebrated
Spa caused it to be frequently visited in the summer season. It is a
chalybeate, of a ferruginous quality.1
A letter from William addressed to Woodvale, Callan, and
forwarded to Castle Connell, only reached its destination on 4th October
1824, although it was written at Flaq on the 10th May, The last postage-mark
of cost outside reached 5s. 8d.! He says:—" Your welcome letters of
26th October and 2nd November I received about three weeks ago, by the John
Barry, which only took 132 days to make the passage. You do not say anything
about the Croppies, so I suppose they are more quiet than they were, indeed,
I have reason to think they must be so, for I see by a letter to one of my
old chums of the 26th Regiment that the Boys…
1. "History of
Limerick," by M`Gregor.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 41
does be killing one another at the fairs, which they say
is a good sign that they have no secrets. You say that it is only by me that
you hear of Master Bob, and if you could see me looking for news of the
fellow, you would sometimes think me not a little mad. When I am in Port
Louis, which I am about every month, I go on board every ship coming from
India, China, Penang, or in short from any part of these seas where he could
have been, and ask the captain, officers, and men, and even some of the
passengers, if they knew, or ever met with, a Mr. Galwey of the Bengal
Service on board such a ship. The other day I got for answer that he had
been at China lately, about the end of the year; was quite well, and much
liked, and that it was not at all unlikely that he would command the ship
before she got to Bengal, as the captain was in a very bad state of health,
and that if he commanded, he would always continue to do so; for he had more
knowledge of the scientific parts of his profession than almost any officer
on the station. He asked me if he had been in the Royal Navy, and I told him
that he had been educated at Bournemouth Academy. 'Ah, that accounts for it,'
said he. The last letter I had from him was dated on board the Hushing,
Penang (or Prince of Wales' Island), 1st September 1823. It is so short that
I will copy it in toto;
My dear Will, I embrace the opportunity of the brig Nang
to sail for your part of the world in a few days, to write you a line. We are
thus far on our route in this ship (the Hushing), of which I am chief
officer, on our way to China. I have been a good deal harassed with the duty
of the ship, and indeed at this moment am pressed for time, so shall not say
much at present. I wrote you a long epistle from Calcutta by the Onacabissa the
end of June, and sent some traps by her, but she was stranded at the mouth of
the river, and only one of the things that I sent her saved. Jonah! We
expect to be back at Calcutta in January, and then I hope for another spell
of quiet time (a thing most congenial to my soul). I had no letter from home
this time. Do not fail to let me have a long one from Flaq upon my return to
Bengal in January, letting me know how you all weather it. Having joined this
ship a few days…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 42
after my arrival at Calcutta in the Jane, and my time and
attention being entirely engrossed to fitting her out for the voyage, obliged
me to leave half unfinished your commission of getting a certificate of the
decease of your friend's nephew, but I will not omit it on my return.
Remember me affectionately to Eliza and all the Gondrevilles, and believe me,
dear Will, your affectionate brother, Bob.'
" You see the fellow writes in good spirits, and the
account the captain gave me agrees perfectly with Bob's own statement. Now,
as to my old woman, tho' she cannot be said to be very unwell, nor much
worse, than she has been these seven years that we have been man and wife,
yet she frightened me a good deal latterly. . . . I am very anxious to have
some good advice for her. . . .
"Were we to wear the clothes at home that we do
here, people would follow us everywhere we went, particularly me. My dress is
a straw hat, as wide as any Quaker's; a white jacket, waistcoat, and
pantaloons; and everything (except my shoes) white as they can be made. What
is more extraordinary, all that made by my good wife, even my cotton
stockings, knit at home. She superintends all this, and has negresses under
her to do the heavy work.. . . I intended finishing on this side, but Eliza
says, she will write to her Mama, so I must even leave her the other side.
She wishes to write in French, but if you were to hear her speak English, you
would not encourage her in writing French. She sometimes takes me up for
speaking. She says Irlandaise. Moggy also speaks very good English, and
were it not that the two brothers were bred up at Paris, where they passed
about ten years each, I assure you very little French (except when some
Frenchman comes here on a visit) would be spoken in the Family. God bless you
all about the fireside. How I long to be once more among you, and to hear
you both say sometimes; ' Master William, don't make so much noise! Love to
all with you, and away from you; may I find you all as happy as I left you.
—Yr affect"' Son,
Eliza's letter is almost undecipherable from pale ink,
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 43
and fine writing crossed, and the end of it is lost,
besides. William takes his pen again, after her signature, and writes
:—" See how your respectueuse et affectionee daughter‑in-law puts
you in for postage. When my Father writes on all the paper, my Mother
complains of want of paper, and I often feel inclined to write in answer, '
Write, four or five in the same letter; but let each take his or hers to
himself, or herself.' What fine long letters I would get! and as to
postage, never mind that, for it is you who pay that, I believe; for here we
pay 30 sols, about 10 pence, for all letters alike, big or small. No less
than two ships in (26th May) from England, and not one letter. However, we
expect another every day, and it will go hard if we do not hear from the
fireside. My Mother regrets that she had very few persons with her when she
wrote, and yet she enumerated a good band. How would she be if she lived as
we do, to-day six to-morrow six, and every day the same six, except when we
see a friend or two, for we have not one relation in the Island, of which I
am not sorry; for, as to mine, they are out of the question, and those of
Eliza's, as I never knew them, I do not regret them. You did not say anything
about my Grandmother in your last letter; so, I suppose, she was well and
happy in her upstairs room, from which Bob has told me she used to enjoy
herself, looking out on everything that passed. Give her my best love, and
tell her I propose a great many hours' chat with her on my return. When that
day comes, it will repay all the many blank days I formerly spent out of it. Once
more, adieu to you all.—Your own affectionate,
At Boomball, 22nd September 1824, Mrs. Charles Galwey had
a daughter dead born. Then next year they were living in a small house of
their own in William Street, Londonderry, and there on August 22nd a boy was
born, and named William, but he only lived nine days.
It would appear from a long letter, written to Charles by
his mother the January of this year, that he was beginning to feel those
harassing cares and anxieties about money matters which pursued him the
greater part of his married…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 44
life. He appears to have formed the design of taking
pupils, and from this she earnestly dissuaded him, thinking that neither he,
nor Norah, were fitted for such an undertaking, and that it would only add to
their cares. My anxiety on your account," she says, " is altogether
different. It relates to your mind, which, I much fear, has neither
sufficient repose or nourishment. Now, we all know that the body cannot be
sustained without a sufficient supply of both---and how can the mind? It
must perish and die. Your present circumstances, too, are trying, and the
society by which you are surrounded is not, I fear, calculated to raise your
views or your pursuits. It is true, you are not only employed, but even
harassed, with parochial duties which altho' necessary, yet, from their very
uniformity frequent occurrences, are calculated, I should much fear, to
stupefy rather than exhilarate those spiritual affections which are the soul
and life of vital religion... I do not think there can be anything more
calculated to destroy the vital principle of religion in the 'soul than a
continual hurry of spirits, with a multiplicity of temporal cares, and, alas!
I know it by sad experience, it is calculated to alienate the heart altogether
from God, and is the more subtle, because disguised under a plausible
appearance of discharging necessary duties imposed on us by our several
situations and responsibilities in life. Now, what of these are
indispensable, ought and should be discharged, but never at the expense of
higher and more imperative ones; amongst which Prayer and eevotional reading
take the first place… If we be honestly intent on finding out the multiplied
corruptions and feelings of our sinful hearts, we must sometimes allow
ourselves leisure to examine them, to pour forth our complaints against
ourselves, and our cruel adversaries- the world, the flesh, and the devil, at
the foot of our dear Redeemer’s Cross… The first effort you should make to
recover your freedom is to make time for this important duty. I steal mine
from the hours of repose- this is an advantage I have arrived at witht much
difficulty, but it repays me amply… We are all well, and love you tenderly.
Richard has been detained a few days waiting for money. Edward went up on
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 45
John and Abb were to have been here that day, but were
obliged to postpone their visit for a few days, as John was arranging his
parish business, and receiving proposals—very satisfactory ones—from his
respectable Protestant parishioners on the new Tithe Composition Act. They
are going on very well, a trifle pinched for the moment, like ourselves, but
a fair prospect, thank God."
Edward and Richard, both attorneys-at-law, were now
living together in Dublin. Richard had been articled to his cousin, Mr.
William Galwey, of 130 Baggot Street. He was now twenty-four years of age,
and ward twenty-seven.
Letter from William :
"Port LOUIS, August 23rd, 1825.
" MY DEAR CHARLEY,—Though we have had in the last three
months six or eight ships from England, and though everyone about me has had
letters, yet none have I received since that from Woodvale, in which my
mother announced their removal from there, and John's marriage and promotion;
that letter is dated 22nd August 1824, just a year and a day ago. . . . I
will positively leave this on my way home either in the end of January next,
or early in February, for that is not only the best season to make the
voyage, particularly round the Cape, but I shall get home in the commencement
of the warm weather. That will be a great object, as my wife has never been
in any colder climate than this, though the difference between this and the
south of Ireland cannot be great. Our highest point of the thermometer is
from 90 to 92', and the general heat now, our winter, is rarely above or
below 68' or 70', though morning and evening it is much lower, say 58'. If I
leave this the beginning of February, I may fairly expect to he arrived on
English ground by the latter end of April, or the 10th May—then two or three
days to land our traps and start them off, and at the same time Europeanise
ourselves a little, then start for the fireside once again; and even though I
cannot go so fast as if I were alone—for my old woman never made a longer
journey than from Flaq to this, about twenty-four miles, so that instead of
getting into a mail-coach, as I used to do, I must jog on in…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 46
a post-chaise with the wife, and some of her trip-traps
of which she may stand in need, for I really believe were I to dash on with
her, as with a person used to travelling, I should arrive alone. I have begun
long before this to put my affairs in train for my departure, but much fear
they will not be finished—at least in the way I should wish—before my
quitting this island. I do not expect to take home more than a quarter of
what I possess. However, I will leave a person authorised to act for me
here, and who will forward, to the address I will give him, sugar or bills,
as he may receive them.
"I have no news of Master Bob, so can give you none.
However, I gave some weeks ago a letter to a captain of a ship, who says he
knows him, and is gone to Bengal, from whence he is to return immediately,
and has promised me to make him write, or at all events to do his best. Even
should he not meet with Bob, he will find out where he is, and what he is
doing, and will let him know that we are all vexed at not hearing from him. By
the time you get this it will be very nearly twenty years since I saw any of
my family except Robert, and my Father, who I saw in the beginning of 1806.
Oh! Charley, it is high time for me to return among my old friends, and I hope
never to quit them in that way again. I left you, and all of you, boys and
girls; I return to you as white-headed (if I may judge from his picture),
more white-headed than my father. I will find you a happy father of a house
full of children. Dick and Ned, that I left Cauleens, taller and stouter than
my poor sun-browned person. Any letters you all can send to arrive here by
the first days of January, you will do well to send, but bear in mind that
your letters never arrive from Ireland in less than three months and a-half,
and even sometimes more than four. Here, I know when a ship is about to
sail, but I see often by the post-mark, and the ship-mark, that your letters
often remain a month in England, and even after they are put on board by the
Postmaster, the ship does not sail for some time after. However, I hope not
to be at such a distance from you all again... I will direct to Castle
Connell, and beg of them to forward it to you, for as I am to be so soon in
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 47
arms once again, I wish them to know the first what my
intended moves are to be. My old woman will be, I am convinced, delighted to
make my family as her own; but when I speak to her of our projected
departure, all the daughter springs to her eyes, and she always brings to my
mind that it will be absolutely necessary that she should see her mother, her
sister, and her brothers very soon after her separation from them. They, that
is the Mamma and her two daughters, have never been separated for more than
eight and forty hours, and then all three were crying when they were not
watched. . . . Give my love to my little God-daughter. Oh, how I long for
the day and hour when I shall drive up to the door of my Father, Mother,
Brothers, and Sisters, and leap out with my old woman in my arms among you
all, and my old respectable Grandmother too! I tell you one thing that makes
me extremely grateful and happy, Charley; it is that perhaps never a man was
so long absent from such a numerous family as ours, and in such a limit of
time lost so few of those he loved as me. May they continue so till my
return, and long after it, is the ardent prayer I have often made, and still
make.—Your affect. Brother and Friend, Wm. GALWEY."
Lydia paid another visit to the North in 1825. A letter
from her mother, dated 22nd November, speaks of her return, and thanks her
children in Derry for the valuable presents she brought, the most acceptable
of which was a portrait of her grandchild, "Wee Wee." She says
that "it was received with shouts and universal applause. As for the
poor old hen, she has it brought and placed within the curtains of her bed on
the days when she is not well enough to get up, and there you will hear her
conversing with it. Its general position is over the drawing-room
chimney-piece, where at this moment ‘Wee Wee' is overlooking Grandmamma while
writing this. Dear, dear Wee Wee, when shall Grandmamma once more hug you to
"Our dear Lydia returned to us quite unexpectedly
this day se'nnight. We had gone, either your father or I, every night and
morning, for three days to meet her where
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 48
she was to alight from the coach, and each day having
returned unsuccessful, we gave her up. On Tuesday morning, when sitting
after having made our own comfortable breakfast, I received a note containing
these words; `Mother, I am very hungry, and twitting at Genights, where I
shall impatiently await your arrival.' You may suppose that we did not let
her remain there long. She looked most wretchedly when she came, for she had
been unwell in Dublin; the fogs gave her a sad pain to her chest, and she
says she thinks she would have died in a day or two if she had remained there
longer, for want of air. However, thank God, that lovely pure clement as we
breathe it here, with the kindliness of family affection, have wrought a
great change in her appearance, and she now looks well, though yet extremely
thin. I am half jealous of you all in Derry, for I think you have gotten too
large a share of her affections, and of that you may be proud, for they are
worth having. I think I hear saucy Charley exclaim, '0, my mother is always
so proud of her girls!' To which I reply, ' Have I not a cause?' Tell my
dear child Norah how truly dear she is to us all. I must now resign my pen to
Isabella, who has craved a line in this."
Isabella repeats what her mother said about her sister's
health, and then goes on with the family news.
"We have not seen Abb for some time ; she is at
present at Kiltinane. John is as busy as a bee at Clonbeg , pulling down
old offices, draining his ground, &c. He and Abb sent my mother a great
present the other day--a cart laden with the produce of the farm—a hive of
honey, a cask of butter, several crocks of pickles, all escorted by old
Thomas, who seemed as proud as a 'goose in a tree.' Anne Cooke is still in
England, where she went with her brother Edward. He has not yet sailed for
Africa, and it is now probable that he will not do so until February. In that
case he will return to Kiltinatte, which I would be quite sorry for, as his
poor father would then have the pain of parting from his favourite son again.
He was very ill when Edward went, and the parting almost quite overcame
him. He is now almost quite well, and it would be greatly to be wished he
had not the same to go through again. My…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 49
Grandmother for the last few days has been a little crockery;
the dampness of the weather always affects her, but it is nothing more than
that. Poor Bell Webb's side has tormented her a good deal this winter; her
hand is pretty well.1 I have not known my dear mother to be so well as she
is now for a long time, thank God, which I greatly attribute to her drinking
the Spa during the summer. My father's leg torments him sometimes, but his
health is excellent. Thus you see I have given you a just and true account of
our garrison. I will now give my ends to Lydia. Concluding with love to
Charles and kisses to Wee Wee."
" Dearest Honoria's letter I received with great
pleasure here yesterday. It was what I call a comfortable one, as it tells
me many little circumstances that I feel interested about. I have not seen
anything of the Goughs since I came home; they are settled to barracks, and
John banished to some wild outpost. I do not know where George is. I am
very glad that Jane2 is going to London, as I am sure she will derive much
pleasure from her trip there. Will you write next time to Isabella, like a
dear girl? . . . With a thousand grateful loves to my beloved Charles, and a
blessing to my little bairn, believe me, dear Norah's attached sister and
friend, L. E. GALWAY."
" FLAG 15th November 1825.
Dear Norah and Charlies;,—You may see by the addresses of
this that when I write to anyone who lives in a house where there are more
people than one that I love, I feel as if I were seated among them, and
addressing myself first to one, then to the other; and so, my dear brother
and sister, I talk first to one and then to the other of you. . . . I am the
Godfather of your dear little girl, and if I am so fortunate as to be a
father, which I hope to be in the first days of April next, Norah (How I love
1. When Widgeon was a girl, she half severed a nerve in
her hand while cutting bread and butter, and suffered intense pain at times
in that hand and arm.
2. Miss Knox of Prehen.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 50
Erin-go-bragh name!) and Charles, you shall both be
Godfather and Godmother. I had made up my mind to go home in the ship that
takes this letter, but my good Eliza has put an opposition for which I
sincerely thank Providence. . . . If it is allowed to hope for the future,
what a delightful meeting may I not expect with you all. I left you all on
December 22, 1805, in the breakfast parlour at Abington. I remember it as if
it was yesterday, though 'tis twenty years ago, and it has pleased Divine
mercy during that time to deprive me only of Grandfather. What thanks can a
mortal like me return for such benign mercy. . . . On my arrival, I shall
naturally pass by Dublin: there perhaps I shall find Ned and Dick. One or
other, or both, will accompany me to my dear father and the fireside. On
arriving in England I will instantly write to you; and I know you will meet
me, Norah and niece, if possible—if not I will soon be with you—for what is
that step to a man who has been all his life never six months in the same
place. If we could only meet together for a few days round the old couple,
depend upon it, it would cut at least some years off their age. Oh! do you
remember, when we were all at home, what glances of delight used to dance in
their eyes when we went with our `Optime valde, bene, bene,' &c.? Then
to Church, one of us driving the jaunting car, and heard God's Holy Word, and
a sermon intelligible even to us, preached by our respectable father; and,
young as I was leaving home, he judged me worthy to receive the Sacrament,
from his dear hands. The first time I received it since I felt all my heart
in my eyes, by the recollections of that first time—which I shall never
forget. I must stop my conversation, for I can hardly see what I am writing
to you. Kiss your wife for me, until I can do it for myself; and also my Goddaughter—Lydia
absolutely adores her; at least, if I may judge by her letters. God bless
you both, and make you as happy as you deserve to be.
Yours affectionately, WILLIAM GALWEY."
His mother writes to Charles from Clonbeg on Good Friday,
March 24, 1826:
"I take up my pen to answer my dearest Charles' kind
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 51
letter whilst John, Abb, Lydia, and Richard are gat
church, to which I was disappointed at not being able to accompany them; but
the day is so very severe that I was unwilling to expose myself to the danger
of cold, which might prevent me having the supreme pleasure of offering up my
praises and thankgivings at the altar of my ever-merciful God, in concert
with so many of my beloved children, on Sunday. Oh, my child, how I am blest
in having such children! one rivalling another in acts of kindness towards
me! Lydia and I arrived here on Monday. I brought her with me in the hope
that the pure air, with rest of body and mind, united to the heart-cheering
kindness of our entertainers, might serve to restore her. She, dear creature,
did suffer cruelly by her increasing anxiety about me—was, when I left home,
much more in need of care than I was; but, thanks to my ever gracious God,
whose mercies are not to be counted, she begins again to look better. I was
quite heart-struck, when I began to look about me after my tedious illness,
with her appearance—so wan, so thin, without either appetite or spirits. I
feared I should have lost my treasure of a child. But, as I said before, my
Heavenly Father . . . seems willing to restore her to my prayers. She is
recovering her appetite, and when the weather permits her to take exercise
she will be herself again.
" I was four long months confined to my room, three
of which I was in bed, and out of my senses, during which time neither Aunt
Bell, Isabella, nor Lydia ever was outside the door of our house, and Lydia
never out of the room when she could help it. Dear Isabella escaped better,
for I am sure Lydia took the weight altogether on herself besides which her
animal spirits are not so good as the dear Isabel's. As for me, I am, I
think, better in health than before my illness. My mother kept up all the
winter. Your good father I never saw better, and he has not suffered as usual
this winter with his leg, which I attribute very much to the exercise he is
obliged to take by his attendance on his parish. I have the pleasure to tell
you that he has come to a most satisfactory settlement with the parishioners,
of their own seeking, on the Composition Act, by which…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 52
they are to give him £885 per annum, commencing from May 1,
The letter goes on with an urgent request that her little
grandchild might be sent to them, and, thanking him for his desire that she
should go to them, explains how impossible it would be at this time on
account of the great expenses caused by her long illness, and the difficulty,
heretofore found, in getting any tithes.
"I have been able only to get £2oo from your father
since our residence at Castle Connell, now exactly one year and a half, and
consequently have drawn deeply on my mother's allowance . . . besides all
that she has given and got for me and mine. In the manner your father
receives his income at present, it would be impossible to look for more from
him than will barely keep the family on float, whereas in November I trust he
will be able to settle some regular allowance for me to receive.
" I am here in the very bosom of kindness and
hospitality, drinking John's claret every day, and receiving every mark of
devotion that he and his dear little wife can afford me. Both the boys,
Edward and Richard, well. We expect the former on Monday, on his way to Carnavar.
John is getting into mortar immediately, out of which I earnestly pray,
`Good Lord, deliver him.' I have left a page in the inside of this for
"My mother has said so much in this, dearest
Charles, that I suppose she has told you everything, but perhaps she has not
told you so much about herself as you would wish. Thank God, she is going on
finely, and was not nearly so fatigued on Monday in coming as I feared she
would have been . . . but she is not very strong yet. Still, I look with
astonishment at her when I sec her so well, and recollect what she went
through for three long months. Poor John and Abb have left nothing undone to
tend to her comfort. Indeed I wish you could see him in his own house, he
looks so contented and happy. He drives mother out every day the weather
permits, and makes her drink three glasses of claret every day. I have given
up all hope of seeing you this summer.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 53
I hope that nothing will interfere with your intended
move to the sea. I suppose it is to Rathmullan you will go. It will be so
good for you all.1 Richard Kellett2 is
now at Castle Connell, and will be here on Monday, as he says he `longs to
see little Jack's house and his wife.' A thousand loves, and one kiss to Wee
Wee from Aunt Iddy."
Castle Connell, 29th June 1826, is the next date on a
letter from her mother to Mrs. C. Galwey:— "It is a long time since I
addressed a line to my very dear Honoria, and I have the pleasure of telling
her that I am much better than I was when I did so — my head is particularly
improved which caused me much uneasiness, as I really felt like a being
whose understanding had received an incurable injury. However, thank God, I
feel that I shall not be quite such a weight on my dear family as I thought I
should have been. The tenderness and consideration I have received from them
all, under very trying circumstances, has more than compensated for my
sufferings, which, I hope, will tend ultimately to my advantage. In-deed, to
a person like myself, enjoying, I may say, uninterrupted health for such a
long life, with the flow of animal spirits which I have always been blest
with, such an affliction must be considered in no other point of view than as
a serious blessing. . . . Abb Galwey only left us yesterday. She was here
for a fortnight without poor Jack, who is tied by the leg to his new offices,
which are going on swimmingly. Anne Cooke came with her, and they brought
home Bell, who had been with them for a few days: they took back my Isabella
with them, and left Lyd for the housekeeper. I am a Lady at large, as I do
nothing but eat, drive, and sleep; and indeed there is but little to do here
for a woman used to the activities of a country life."
The Same.— Miltown Malbay, July 3oth:— "More time
than ought has elapsed since the receipt of my kind children's
letter—enclosing one from our beloved Exile: the most truly comfortable we
have ever received from him.
1. Rathmullan was then the
property of Col. Knox. They had a house there called The Lodge.
2. Eldest son of Sir Richard
Kellett and Jane Galwey.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 54
Thanks to the ever beneficent Being, whose protective
care has kept my beloved children safely. My accounts of them from all
quarters are calculated to cheer and console me for their absence; the only
subject of regret which any of them has ever furnished to their happy parents.
" We are now beginning to loo forward to accounts
both from you, and our William, of the safety of our dear Honoria and Eliza. Next
month, now so near, will furnish us with the desired intelligence, and I
trust in Him in whose hands are the issues of life and death that it may be
favourable. All must be good when of his disposal; and happy is that being
who implicitly resigns all his concerns into His wise and beneficent
government. How many of the racking cares and anxieties of life does this
confidence in Almighty Providence secure us from; and when it pleases His
wisdom to discipline His creatures with trials of whatever description they
may be, the assurance of such a Heart, from whence they proceed, must change
their aspect from severity into Love. . . . It appears to me that, speaking
in the tone of mere worldly wisdom, your dear brother William has been very
premature in the disposal of his property in the Isle of France; yet when I
consider the necessity he was under of giving sanction in the slightest
degree to that most detestable of all traffic, the Slave Trade; his banishment
from his country and friends, with all the etceteras. I cannot wonder, and
trust that the dear fellow will be able to make out some honourable
independence amongst us when he arrives. He is of so industrious and active
a turn of mind, that I will hope that Providence will assist him in his
lawful endenavours. In the meantime, my poor old 'heart beats high in the
expectation of once more embracing a beloved child, so long separated from
me; indeed, the very thought of our meeting seems more than I an bear; what then
will be the reality? The dear Sailor-- when , oh! when, shall fever behold
his face? He seems more anxious to do something for himself than he has ever
heretofore appeared to us: 'tis hard in this world of our--.such as we
ourselves have made it--for such spirits as his to succeed. Yet, I trust,
Almighty God will prosper his endeavours sufficiently…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 55
to let him return to his beloved and affectionate family
once more—but I will say no more of him, it is a subject which almost
overpowers me! If some of the family have not written to you since our
departure from home, you will be surprised to see the date of this letter. My
dear and kind mother and Aunt Bell devised the plan, and furnished the means
of our coming here to recruit our health and strength after last winter's
campaign. So on the 20th, Lydia, Isabella, and the old Nurse set off on our
travels, and arrived at the hotel in the evening of the same day, where we
have been pickling ourselves ever since, and are to remain until the l0th of
next month, making exactly three weeks, which will cost poor mother £30 . . .
but if ever I say a word on the subject to her, or Bell, their answer is, `Oh
! think not of expense while we have you there.' The dear girls are
beginning to recover their looks, though they are both still very thin; Lydia
particularly so. We left the two attorneys at home when we came here, which
will help to keep them alive till our return. Your uncle Kellett was to
leave for Cork the day after we left them, but your aunt was to continue at
C. C. until our return, which is very comfortable to me on your father's
account. I never saw Sir Richard, or your aunt, better than they have been
since they came to us--the water at C. C. agrees wonderfully well with them
both. This day brought a letter from home. All well there. Your father
returned from the Visitation, where he met John and Ahb, who were proceeding
to Kiltinane to spend a holiday week which Jack has while waiting for slates.
No doubt you are grudging him his rural employment, as well you may, but
rest in peace, and be satisfied where your wise and good Master has placed
you, anxious only to do the work and discharge the duties He has appointed
you to the very best of the abilities He has endowed you with. Many were the
long days and months and years that your excellent brother served against his
inclinations, and I dare to say, could you read the honest and undisguised
sentiments of his heart, you would perceive no regret for the pilgrimage he
had made, but that of not having acquiesced in the Divine Will with greater
cheerfulness and trust. I see this sentiment pervading every…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 56
strenuous and laudable exertion he is now making, as if
by his present gratitude he was making some amends for his former distrust of
his Faithful Provider—
‘Good when He gives, supremely good,
Nor less when He denies;
Even crosses from His sovereign hand
Are blessings in disguise.’
I am confident if you continue to fulfil your present
arduous duties faithfully ... your Heavenly Father will in His own good time
remove you into a clearer atmosphere. But do not, dearest Charles,
contaminate the purity of your principles by looking to the hand of any great
man with the eyes of expectation. . . . It is better for you to be confined
now in Derry than when your precious child is older. . . . That I had the
opportunity (at least for the greater part of my life) of rearing my beloved
family in the purity and retirement of the country, I ever understood as one
of the blessings bestowed on me—which that you may enjoy, God of His infinite
In another letter written this summer
" How truly I do enjoy my dear children's comfort at
your lovely little retirement by the description Lydia has given me of it—it
is exactly such a place as I should delight in myself. Your father had a
letter from William a day or two ago, in which he speaks of leaving Mauritius
in December next. . . . I think if next summer proves as hot as this and the
last, our little foreigner will have no reason to complain; this day and
yesterday we have been refreshed with a little salutary rain, for which we
have been panting the last fortnight.... Even the rich pastures of the
Limerick county are parched and burnt up, but I trust not past hope. Lydia
mentioned in her last to you the offer your father has had of the living of
Littleton, lately occupied by Mr. Grady, who died a little time ago. In many
particulars it was most desirable—an excellent house; 30 acres of glebe land
paying only £20 per annum; a delightful church and congregation just close to
the glebe, and two well-attended schools in the village close by; but
unfortunately the tithe part was all in disarrange-
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 57
ment, valued above its real worth, and so circumstanced
that your father conceived it would get him into difficulty to arrange it,
which he could not do in less than two years, whereas, having settled so
comfortably with his parishioners here, he did not wish to involve himself in
such matters again."
A second daughter, Lydia Elizabeth, was born to Charles
and Norah in William Street, Londonderry, 19th August 1826. Her extreme
delicacy made it probable that she would follow her little brother to the
grave. Widgeon, writing to send a little mite, with love and blessing from
her mother, to dearest Honoria and sweet Mary, says: "I fear to say so
to the darling little stranger, as perhaps she has winged her way to
everlasting bliss; and still so selfish are we poor mortals that we are
watching with anxiety to hear of her recovery... My mother does not know
that she was ill; if the little darling is restored, she is saved the
suspense. . . No news from William yet; Gran drove out in the jaunting car
the other day as far as Mr. Gabbetts', more than two miles from this."
In the same letter their mother writes about the child in
the same strain, and adds: "We are all going into mourning for your
cousin James Galwey's wife—who died a few days ago, leaving him thirteen
children and himself not more than forty-five years old: his is a sorrow indeed!
From Isabella to Honoria a little later :
"Your last few lines to Lydia gave us all great
pleasure to hear you are so well, and that the dear little stranger is spared
to us all, and to you in particular. I wish we could now hear of poor Eliza,
that all her troubles were well over. I have the pleasure to tell you that
my dear mother is now, I think, as well as I ever remember her, for some
years; this season quite restored her. John paid us a flying visit last
week, for a couple of nights. He is still as busy as a bee building, and he
came here to get slates, to finish the roof of his offices. He will not do
anything to the dwelling-house until the summer after next; as he says, it
runs away with his money too fast, and that if he was in mortar next year, he
could not see either you or William at his house. At…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 58
present, Richard and William Kellett are on a visit to
him; if he had his own way he would never be without some of us."
"CASTLE CONNELL, Sept. 11. 1826.
"This moment, my dearest Honoria, I received Benjamina’s
letter, with your few lines, which gave me more pleasure than I can say, as
they assured me of your being well, and your dear babe being spared to you; to
tell you the truth, from Jane's account in her last to me, I did not expect
to have so good news today. Had she been taken, we ought and I trust would
not have repined; but as she is left, we must feel grateful, and may she
prove a blessing and a comfort to us all, and an honour to that God who has
seen fit to leave her to us. I cannot tell you how anxious I have felt about
you for some days. My thoughts have been occupied constantly in that little
house in William Street. Also in my dreams all last night, I had little
Lydia Elizabeth is my arms. Now that little creature has weathered the
storm, I trust she will follow her sister's example, in growing a fine stout
healthy child. I think Miss Mary must resign the name of ‘Wee Wee ' to her
sister. In your next, send me a wee bit of Lydia Elizabeth's hair—that is,
if she has any. Will you tell Ben, with my love, that I am indeed truly
obliged to her for answering my letter so quickly. . . . We expect Mr. Cooke,
Alb, Anne, and Wheeler here on Thursday week: Mr. Cooke has a horse to run at
the races of Newcastle, which commence on 22nd; my father wrote to beg them
to come here, to be near the course. He had the same horse he is going to
run here, on the Curragh last week. Wheeler is ordained, and has both read
and preached at Clonbeg Church, two or three times. John says he was quite
astonished he got on so well. They have heard from Edward lately; he has got
a Lieutenancy already, without purchase, and they hope he will soon get a
Captaincy in one of our own regiments. God send it may not come too late—the
climate is a dreadful one, but He is all sufficient. Poor Anne suffers deep
anxiety about her brother, but a stranger would never…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 59
know it by her manner. We expect Mary and Anne Sankey
here also next week: so we shall be like all the fashionables, having a full
house at the races. Aunt Bell has taken a bit of ground adjoining the side
of her house; and her landlord is enclosing it for her with a high stone
wall. It will be a great pleasure to her and to us all. My grandmother is
finely, and sends her blessing to her little namesake. She drove out a few
days ago, and paid a visit to a friend, a Mrs. Norcott, who lives in a pretty
little place which commands a lovely view on the Shannon, and her delight was
extreme with all she saw; but her little old bones were quite sore for some
days from the exercise."
A letter from Mrs. Gondreville to Rev. William Galwey
broke the long silence from the Mauritius that was making them all so uneasy.
She took the precaution, however, to enclose it to his son Charles, lest
the sad tidings it contained should cause too great a shock to the old
" Port Louis, Sept. 3rd, 1826.
"My Dear Sir,— With much trouble and sorrow I write
—for most melancholy are the tidings I have to communicate. A dreadful
misfortune has fallen upon me, and you have your share in it, though you are
not like me—bereft of hope. I have lost my dearly beloved Eliza. She was
taken from us on the night of the 18th May last. She had been five days in
labour pains. She brought into the world a dead infant, and a few hours
after yielded her pure spirit into the hands of her Creator. The blow was unexpected;
she had been so well for many months that when any sad idea took possession
of me I warded it off, and trusted that an Almighty Power would bring us
safely through her approaching trial. We came into town in the latter end of
March, that she might have the best assistance. Our precautions were of no
avail—she perished before my eyes. I need say nothing of myself; a mother's
grief cannot be described, nor can I yet attain that resignation to the will
of God I know I ought to have. I trust He will pity me, and pardon me. I
must now come to the remainder of my sad task. I speak to you of William. I
wish I could spare you the affliction, but you have hope: though your son
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 60
so long absent from you, you are aware of his active imagination.
I think that you must have perceived that the constant hope of soon joining
you in Ireland exalted that imagination. Then the long wished for happiness,
of being soon a father, brought that exaltation to a high pitch. No wonder,
then, the severe blow which deprived him at once of wife and child should be
a shock too great for reason to bear; his deserted him in that dreadful
moment, and he yet remains in the same situation. As he was not violent, it
was not necessary to separate him from me; the medical men were all of
opinion that his illness would be but momentary; that calm and quiet, in the
midst of us all here, and our immediate return to the country, would do more
for him than medicine. As soon as I was able to be removed, we went to Flaq,
and the last three months passed without any change in his situation; but he
was quiet, tho' with many fancies; I hoped I would be able to go on so till
Robert arrived. My eldest son wrote to him immediately after our misfortune,
requesting him to come to us, as his presence was likely to do much for his
brother. I am still in expectation that he will soon be here. William's
health is tolerably good. I repeat, my dear sir, you have hope. I think it
is scarcely necessary to say that we have every care of him. I endeavour to
do for him what she would do, were she with us : it is a duty she has left me
to perform ; I hope I fulfil it as I ought. . . . The doctors are all of
opinion that a cold climate, and his return to you, will restore him, but a
proper opportunity must offer; and you may be sure I will act for him as I
would for my own son."
In her letter to Charles, Mrs. GondrevilIe said,
"Remember me to Mrs. Schoales—she will grieve for me." Probably
this suggested to their sons the idea of keeping the knowledge of William's
state from their parents for a time, in the hope that his reason might
return, and letting them imagine that the news of the death of his wife and
child had come through Mrs. Schoales.l During this time of
trial his mother wrote: "You rightly judge, my dearest…
1. An old lady who lived
near them in Derry.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 61
Charles, in supposing I do all I can to support myself
under the present trying pressure on my feelings—I mean the suspense imposed
on us by this portentous silence. I have endeavoured to make up my mind for
whatever it may please God to see fit to order—even to the resignation of my
precious, my darling William—grateful beyond all expression that it has
pleased my merciful God to give me the heart-cheering knowledge that I have
gained from his dear letters of his religious principiles. I may sorrow for
the present, but not as one without hope. .. . I wish you would be more
particular in what Mrs. Gondreville wrote concerning William to Mrs.
Schoales. Is it possible she did not say any more than what you have
transcribed, on a subject so interesting? Never have we been half so long
without letters from the Isle of France; the date of the poor fellow's last
was March, the day before he left Flaq for Port Louis. . . . How buoyant, how
happy did the dear creature appear, while preparing the arrow that transfixed
his own heart. . . . Isabella is still with poor Anne Cooke, whose sorrow for
her brother has been, and is, intense. I have written to beg Mr. Cooke to
let her come back with her. Dear Lydia at her post of nurse and comforter! You
know how well qualified she is for her task; but it grieves me that it should
devolve on her dear feeling heart; indeed, she looks sadly delicate; but
God's will be done.
"Poor James Galwey of Nadrid, who lost his wife
three or four months ago, died himself last Wednesday, leaving thirteen
children, the eldest not thirty, the youngest not two years old."
" To the Rey. JOHN GALWEY, Clonbeg.
" Flaq, Jan. 14th, 1827.
"DEAR SIR,—I received your letter of the 29th December,
and with pain I learnt that your good father and mother had still a severe
shock to undergo; and it is not small anxiety to me to think that they may
have been made acquainted abruptly with William's state by a letter from me. It
did not occur to me that you would conceal…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 62
that, nor, indeed, that it could be kept from them. It
is assuredly a most deplorable event, but is it not a lesser misfortune than
what had already happened? William is still a young man, and I trust will
yet recover and be a comfort to his friends. . . . I hope that my letter did
not come upon them unawares, and, since you thought it prudent to conceal
that part of our heavy misfortune, you took measures to prevent any foreign
letters coming directly to their hands; but I shall have an additional uneasiness
of mind until I hear from some one of the family. You may believe me when I
assure you that had it not become absolutely urgent, if I had not been called
upon by the medical men who attended him, William should never have left me,
at least until I had heard the wishes of his friends at home, or until I saw
Robert; but I was called upon to send him to England as the only chance of
his recovery, which by his remaining here during the hot season would become
still more doubtful. . . . With truth I say that William in his afflicted
state was more the object of my solicitous affection than he had ever been. We
were suffering from the same cause—the blow that crushed him crushed me also.
. . . William is before this, I hope, safely arrived; and if I hear that what
I did for him was really for the best, and proved so it will be some comfort
amidst my sore affliction."
From the same:
" PORT LOUIS, Sept. 13th, 1827,
Your letter was a relief to my mind, my dear Mrs. Galwey.
When I learned that William's situation had been concealed from his father
and yourself, I became dreadfully apprehensive lest one of my letters should
have made you too abruptly acquainted with it. I was sure that you would
receive the afflicting dispensation with the pious submission which never
deserts you. I thank you for having written to me so soon. . . I am now
anxiously expecting your next letter; it will perhaps say something
consolatory of our poor William. I thank God that he has safely arrived, and
not in bad health it would appear; and I endeavour to look forward with hope
that a merciful Providence will…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 63
indeed restore him to you all and to himself. On the
first dawn of reason he will have much to suffer; but the best consolation
will be near him. I wish I could at this moment think of him that he is
surrounded by all dear to him, and sensible of their affection; but I fear
that can scarcely be yet. . . . I am sure I need not request of you to write
often. You will think how anxious I must be to hear of the poor sufferer.
Fort Clarence was mentioned to me as the place where it would be proper he
should go, if not well, on his arrival, as offering the best assistance in
every respect; many instances have been given me of officers who had been
placed there in a similar state, and who had been perfectly recovered. His
was a peculiar state—he could talk of things passed many years with an
appearance, I might say, of reason; he knew, and mentioned, every person he
had been acquainted with; in short, he was not always as persons are in that
melancholy situation. Your intention of going over to him is what would be
my own in a like situation. . . . I was glad to see your dear good Robert—for
his own prospects, which were interrupted for a time, I regretted he had
come; since William was already gone. We heard from him a few days ago. He
was very well in the end of April. He had purchased a share in a brig and
was gone for China. Should I hear of him, or from him, you shall have all
the news I get. He is doing well, and I am sure in everything will give you
satisfaction. Pray say to your good husband that I request to be kindly
mentioned to him, and that I recommend myself to his prayers. I request when
you write that you will mention all your family—I know them all by name, and
if we were to meet, none of them would be strange to me. My dear Mary and
the boys are well.
I am alone with Mary just now in this house, that used to
be the home of joy and gladness. The boys are obliged to attend to the work
at the plantation; they come and go. Since I have been better they don't
make any stay with us, nor would it be right if they did. Adieu, my dear
Mrs. Galwey—Believe me to be faithfully, and allow me to add affectionately,
your friend, B. GONDREVILLE."
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 64
In a letter from Lydia to her brother Charles, in February,
this year, she says :--‑
"You will be glad to hear that John has compounded
for Kilardriffe for £270 British. Edward thinks if he held out longer he
would have got more, but John was satisfied, and so were the people quite so.
He will, please God, in a short time be very comfortable. Edward and
Richard both left us for Dublin on Friday last. They are about to change
their lodgings shortly. Abb came to us on Monday, but John cannot come till
next week. He is always the busiest man in Ireland; it would amuse you to
see him at the Glebe, he is so fussy, and so busy from morning till
The end of the year 1827 brought the end of the tragedy
about poor William; but a letter from Mrs. Gondreville to Mrs. Galwey,
referring to the communications about him sent out to her, though written
later, tells what intervened.
"I was not surprised to see that you were at Chatham,
but was thankful to you for having written to me from there. . . . What a
melancholy interview for you, my dear Madam. I can understand and feel it
well. I had flattered myself with the hope of better news of our poor
William, and am much grieved that you have not such to give me. Of all the
change his sad state is subject to, the most sadly strange to me is his
disowning his relationship with his family; his attachment to you all was
enthusiastic. I thought the voice of his mother would have awakened him to
himself. I am glad to think he will be near you; you will be better able to
watch over him. His brothers being in Dublin is a great advantage... . You
will be sorry to hear we have just had two violent hurricanes. The first did
us very material injury; the second completed the devastation—whole fields,
the day before rich in fine produce of all sorts, the day following looked
like waste ground. . . . I will now leave you, dear Madam, to say a few words
to Mr. Galwey.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 65
" MY DEAR SIR,— I sincerely thank you for your kind
wishes and the friendly concern you show me. If I do not benefit by your
advice as I might, still it is very precious to me. The healing hand has
not yet reached my wound, though my mind is more composed. You, my dear Sir,
and Mrs. Galwey, both set me an admirable example. I would wish to imitate
it, but I am far from it."
The remainder of this letter is occupied with William's
business affairs. She mentioned that he possessed "seven people"
licensed in his name. They had been given to him on his marriage, except one
woman whom he had bought himself. Mrs. Gondreville did not wish to sell
them, as she did not like them to pass to strangers. She speaks of
transmitting sugar from his plantation to England.
William had been placed under the care of a Mr. Gough,
near Dublin. A letter from his mother from Broomfield (then the residence of
her brother, Robert Webb), tells her husband of his death :
" November 18th, 1827.— This moment our dear, our
precious boys have returned with their dear Uncle Robert, after paying their
last sad duties to our departed child! Sweet and peaceful his rest! The
first fruits of our beloved family, reposing in the arms of Almighty and
redeeming love! Oh! let us consign our treasure to be laid up amongst his
Heavenly Father's jewels, until that glorious day when we shall see him
again, not as now in tears and sorrow, but with a joy that will never fade
away. And now I trust we will all exert ourselves to express our gratitude
for the mercies received by the cheerfulness and composure with which we
resign the pleasure we expected on his return to his native land. Ah! he
has indeed returned to his native land, never again to he removed. Praise,
Glory, and Blessing to that Almighty Pilot who has safely landed him on his
eternal inheritance! Never was so peaceful, so lovely an exit, at least
there could not be one more so—his last look was devoted to his mother, and
his last breath was only like a long-drawn sigh. He expired with his head
inclined on his right hand, his lovely mouth remaining a little open, and his
pearly teeth giving expression even in…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 66
death. Thus died William Galwey, aged 38 years. He lies
interred in Donnybrook Churchyard, in a sweet retired spot under a tree. He
was attended to his long home by four carriages full of Galweys, Webbs,
Kelletts, and Lloyds, his kind old host Gough, and his faithful attendant
William Price. Was there ever such kindness manifested to a mother's
feelings, as by his departure before I had quitted my post? Never should I
have ceased to regret the circumstance had it been otherwise. Our dear Lydia
is, as usual, useful, kind, and affectionate; my dear brother and sister,
full of tenderness and consideration. I have just returned from attending
the service of the day with Lydia and our two dear boys, whose manly feelings
of devotion and brotherly love have been beautifully evinced on the present
"And now, my dear old companion, I have only to say
that I trust (when the first tide of both our sorrow has a little subsided,
on this our first sad trial), we shall exert ourselves to re-establish the
peace and cheerfulness of our own dear family's hearts, and, by our
cheerfulness and patience, manifest our resignation to His will who has
thought proper to put us to the trial. I will remain here till I am quite
myself again, as I would not wish to meet any of you till that is the case. My
dear mother—I hope she will not suffer by this stroke. Tell her, if she
does, it will add a bitterness to my feelings more than I can express. I
think that in three or four hours after the time I am writing this, you will
receive the intelligence of our child's departure, as we calculated that it
was to be conveyed in a manner not to reach you before. It is supposed that
the sudden bursting of one of the abscesses on his lungs was the cause of his
unexpected decease. The cause is of little consequence; the effect has been
glorious, consoling to us all... . I hope the two dear Isabella's are keeping
up well for my sake."
It would appear by a letter from his mother on November
29th, that Charles had been in Dublin, and seen his brother, for she says to
"You have not let me know how you got home..
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 67
You did not think that your beloved brother's release was
so near when you parted from us. . . . You know that I had come to the
determination, however contrary to my own feelings, of withdrawing from where
we were staying, and coming to remain here until the further advance of my
dear child's illness should require my more constant attendance. Think of
the gratitude I felt to my good God for calling him away before I had
deserted him—for, soften it how you can, a desertion I should have considered
it to be. On the very morning of the day on which I was to have come here, I
was summoned to his bedside, where a few moments closed the awful scene. . .
. Your poor father had only quitted us on the very day that William expired. He
left us under the impression that he would be sent for when William became
worse, for that very day Eustace assured us he had lost no ground since his
arrival at the Retreat. So the poor old man did not know of the event until
Sunday after his return from Kilnastulla. He has borne it very well, as have
all the family, particularly the dear Old Woman."
"December 1st.—This morning's post brought me my
dear Charles' long wished for letter. . . . It gives me great pleasure to
find you on the wing for the country. Although it is not the most agreeable
season, yet I am confident that it will be both useful and agreeable to you
and the babes."
"December 3rd.--[From Lydia].—Thank God, dearest
Charles, I can tell you that mother is better, though since I wrote to you
last I have been very uneasy about her. She looked very badly, and had a severe
pain in her side. She will, I trust, soon get up after we return home; this
place is very damp and gloomy, and, not having any active employment here,
her mind preys on itself. On Thursday we leave this, and go on Friday in the
day coach. I wish we were at home for some days. Richard will not leave
town until about the 20th.1 I am sure he will enjoy being
in the country more than in the town. I never saw anything like Edward's and
his sweet and kind attention to poor…
1. He was going to the North
to visit his brother.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 68
mother. Any little fancy she had they indulged her in.
She has sent a present to Gough of a very handsome silver snuff-box, with a
few verses inscribed on the inside, expressive of gratitude, and a silk gown
to Miss Mason. She wished very much to take those little tributes of
gratitude herself, but the boys thought there was no use harrowing up her
feelings by going there, and, to oblige us, she has given it up. Edward has
ordered the little simple monument, which, I suppose, will soon be done. Is
it to G. Knox's house you go at Muff?"
The next letter to be found to the North from Castle
Connell was not till May 6, 1828. A lost letter partly accounts for this. After
congratulating Norah on the marriage of her brother George, and sending kind
messages to her mother and sisters, their mother says :—" I know that
you have a much better correspondent in dear Lydia, who is at present at
Clonbeg. She went there on Monday to meet a party of Cookes and Congreves,
who are to be stowed away—I am sure I know not where— in that house!"
A letter from Charles' father, written on May 19, 1827,
"It is a long time since I tormented you with a
line. It is a pleasure I take some credit to myself, for so entirely giving
up to others of the family. However, that you should not entirely forget
that you ever had a father, it may not be amiss sometimes to remind you of
it. I take pleasure in communicating to you the pleasure we had yesterday
evening by a letter from our dear, hard-working Robert, from Calcutta, dated
December 12th, three weeks returned from his China expedition. We can
collect from it that he has been well, but evidently his manly and firm
spirit yearning homeward to those he loves so well—so much as to say, that
when he can put together a little more than he has at present, he will see if
he cannot do nearly as well among his own friends, and in his own country, as
where he is, and in that so pleasant resolution I hope he will feel himself
supported by our last letters to him. They have
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 69
been despatched by an intimate friend of a kind friend of
his there, Mr. Poe. . You know that he had made his last trip in a brig of which
he had purchased a third; but on the way, finding her calculated for a
trade—the opium —which his generous, just, humane, Christian heart could not
approve, he parted with his share for the sum he gave for it, thereby
relinquishing a good prospect, but, as he says, 'What shall a man give in
exchange of his soul?' This information he gives us for the purpose, he
acknowledges, of giving us pleasure, and says that he entirely relies on God
to make him amends. He says that he was just then about to receive the
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper—the first opportunity for a very long time,
and speaks so delightfully on the subject as gave his poor parents very great
delight. He had received a large packet—a week's reading—from us all here, by
young Mr. Molloy—who, though he had never seen him, went on board the brig as
soon as it arrived in order to introduce himself and deliver the bundle of
letters. The poor fellow says: 'What it is to those who are far away to find
the friends with whom they left their hearts on their native shores so firmly
and warmly attached to them!' When he wrote that letter he could not know of
our dear and happy William's death, and consequently speaks of him with
great interest. I trust that he will see the great love and mercy of God in
taking the dear fellow to Himself, and removing him in full possession of
more understanding, and a clearer and happier view of everything than He had
deprived him of! Every day we live we see it more plainly, and feel more
gratitude for that gracious act. . . . While our poor human hearts feel the
pang, our better feelings say, 'Thy will be done.' . .
When I mentioned Robert's determination of partaking of
the Sacrament, I had not his letter. I now copy out his words to you—' On
that day, Christmas, I will, please God, have the pleasure and benefit, for I
now feel pleasure as well as benefit from these things; we never receive the
full benefit from it till we can also derive the pleasure.' Here, dear
Charles, are feelings and expressions ... surely calculated to give us great
comfort when we recollect the cavilling and unsettled state of the dear
fellow's mind on…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 70
his coming home to us from Liverpool. Is it not clearly
the work of our gracious God, and the operation of His Holy Spirit? Three
letters he had written to us previous to his last trip have gone astray
somewhere, which kept his poor father and mother, and I believe us all, if
the others would have acknowledged it, in some anxiety. He promises to write
again soon, when he has determined on what he will do with himself after
having sold his share of the brig. You know, I suppose, that our Bell is in
Dublin with the lads, and Lydia at John's with a large party—Mr. and A.
Cooke, and I believe Wheeler, John Cooke, and Mr. and Mrs. C. and their
eldest child, and now Miss Congreve. You must make out in your own brains how
they stow themselves all—but such is the fact. I beg your return of this
compliment, as soon as may be; as we wish to know of our darling little
Lydia. All here as well as possible—Old Woman1
astonishingly so; sometimes goes into the garden, and walks, and sits for an
hour at a time."
From Mrs. Galway, July 30, 1828:-‑
"I have just received my dear Charles' letter of
26th, which has arrived too late for any new arrangements, as the party to
Kinsale are all off, and I trust will have some pleasant weather, which
latterly has been very wet indeed with us. I will not say that I am sorry,
for I would not wish my dear Lydia to be so far removed from me at present,
for though I trust and hope all disease is removed, yet she is such a shadow,
and has been so reduced by her late illness, that I should not at all wish
her to be so far from home. Aunt Bell travelled with her as far as Cork,
where the former remains for a few days, making a search amongst Mrs.
Falkner's papers for one that is now called for respecting the family of the
Connels, and Lydia expects to meet Abb and John, who proceed thence to
Kinsale. Your Aunt Bess2 is at present along with us, as
are her two youngest girls, Lydia and Isabella. They will remain until the
8th August, when they will proceed home with your...
1. Old Mrs. Webb.
2. Mrs. Spitler Newman.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 71
brother Edward, who goes to Cork at that time, and who
will be a comfort to poor Bess, as a companion in travels, which she is in
more terror of encountering than any girl of twelve years old . . . I cannot
tell you how I enjoy the idea of your sea excursion; it will be so good for
parents and children, and although you cannot constantly be with them, yet
the sweet air and exercise necessarily made use of in getting back and
forward will be, I trust, of vast benefit to you. Edward has been at home
for the last four days, and we live in hourly expectation of seeing Mr.
Richard and Miss Bell make their appearance amongst us again. We live
(thanks be to the God of Peace) in perfect peace, at a time when nothing but
anarchy and confusion might be expected! But blessing to Him, He can assuage
the storm in a way unknown to His poor finite creatures. I feel confident
in His goodness who has protected me all the days of my life . . . Kiss and
bless all my darling children for me—but give one particularly to the little
Billy, for his dear namesake, and do not let Mary forget her own poor
affectionate Godfather. Ah! he would have loved her well"
Entrance in the family Bible: "William, born July 12th,
She writes again on August 16:
"I have deferred replying to my dear Honoria's line
in Charles' letter until I thought you were stout and hearty, which I trust
is now the case. We have to thank our Heavenly Father for your safety, as
well as the gracious boon He has bestowed in your little darling William. Oh!
if he is as promising and as agreeable a child as his beloved namesake, you
will have a delightful task before you; he was indeed a pleasant child, and
sweet was his mother's pastime whilst she nourished him. How my soul hangs
on the remembrance of my departed child . . . 'Tis a glorious task, my dear
Honoria, to be in any way instrumental in rearing beings suited for, and
through mercy called to, beatitude. I had a letter from Kinsale, which gave
me the heartfelt satisfaction to know that our beloved girl was getting, John
says, rosy and fat. Poor Anne Newman was also better, though still looking
very poorly, her mother…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 72
writes. Our dear Isa and Richard have been at home since
a few days after Lydia left, which is a comfort, for although I am much
pleased at having the dear girls away when they are enjoying themselves, yet
to be plain, we look and feel very lonely without them. I cannot tell you
the satisfaction we feel in knowing that you are all in the lovely wholesome
country. I now am beginning to hope that the weather is settling. We have
had an alarming quantity of rain in this country, but I trust we shall not
feel any bad effect from it, save in fuel, for we conjecture we shall be
depending on the coal pit, as no turf has yet been made or dried. The dear
little Old Woman is well, although breaking apace, but she retains her
cheerfulness and her piety, patiently waiting her summons. She never ceases
inquiring for you, and your dear little northern covey. I never saw your
father better; he is at this moment at Kilnastulla, where indeed he chiefly
The same, December 12, 1828:
"A letter from our beloved Robert reached us this
morning. As usual, it is dated from Calcutta. After a kind and affectionate
mention of his beloved departed brother, he goes on in the following words
:--`I am now in command of a fine steamer called the Emulous employed on
this river in tugging ships from and to sea. My pay is 500 rupees a month,
but I have to find a table for myself and officers out of this: however, I
pick up a little by passengers. My brig still lies on my hands, and I shall
lose 4000 rupees by her, I fear. I would gladly exchange the berth I hold
here, although a good one, for anything at home, that I could only fairly
live upon, where I could enjoy the society of my own family, and pass quietly
along the rest of my days. However, I fear there is nothing to be done at
home, and I have suffered so much in life by chopping and changing, that it
is to be hoped I shall not fall into that snare again. I have no society
here; my acquaintances are either too high, or too low, or too something.
or other, that makes one take no pleasure in them—I live quite a solitary
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 73
"I suppose your constant correspondent, Lyd, has
told you how sublimely your poor Aunt Bess has borne her loss, poor soul—hers
has been an augmented trial, so far as human prospects have been concerned,1
but her views reach higher. . . . I don't know why I have addressed this
letter to your Reverence, rather than to my dear Honoria, but as it is, share
it between you, as you do your mother's love. You sat down, and abused my
little grandson to me, in the most outrageous manner, furnishing the poor
child with an olive skin, a Galwey mouth, and light Scotch grey eyes! but you
have not had the candour to tell me what I have heard from another quarter,
namely, that the dear fellow is a fine thriving boy, and no disgrace to the
old stock. As to your libelling comparison of your ugly fright to my boy
Richard, give me leave to tell your Reverence, and let Honoria know that I
say it to her teeth, he is a much finer and handsomer man than her beauty
Charles. So take that for your slander. The dear old grandmother still
holds out, although she is growing very weak and feeble, but all her kind
affections are in full vigour towards God and man. Aunt Bell has not been at
all well. We are very anxious that she should have better advice than our
little city affords. The dear girls are much interested in our little infant
school, which is going on prosperously. . . . I never saw your good old
father better, both as to health and spirits, much of which is due to
Edward's kind and judicious arrangement of his affairs. For myself, I am
most comfortable, and enjoy the repose so graciously afforded me in the
decline of life. May you, my dear children, enjoy the same is the sincere
prayer of L. G."
Writing on February 9, 1829, she says :
"We are a lonely little party here now—only the dear
Old Woman, father and mother, and Bell Galwey. Lydia Falkner2
came to us a week ago, and will remain some time. Your dear Aunt Bell has
been in Dublin for the last…
1. Anne Newman, to whose
death she refers, was engaged to be married to a Mr. Beamish.
2. Mrs. Webb's niece.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 74
week. We prevailed on her to accompany Edward when he
went up to get advice from Collis, likewise thinking the Journey and the
change of scene would be of use to her. Thank God, she frets herself better
already. Our Lydia left with Abb and John, and is now Philandering in the
Co. Tip. She wrote from Kiltinane, and was going on a visit to Harley Park
with John and his little woman. John only goes there for a day or two at a
time, and then runs back to Clonbeg. Isabella keeps house for us, and is at
this moment with L. F. in Limerick, where they drove today to return a visit
to old Mrs. Gabbett, who always drives out to visit our company.
"We received a sweet letter from our dear Robert
yesterday, dated 14th of August last. He had the brig still on his hands.
Trade was very dull, nothing at all doing with them. He speaks of coming
home, if he could do so with pruudence; for my part, I cannot see what should
detain him there, for it is evident he has not, with all his diligence, zeal,
and activity, any talent for making a fortune in India. He acknowledges that
his dear brother's death was quite an unexpected blow to him, which he feels
keenly. You may remember they were always cronies.
"Our weather here is truly delightful, and makes me
look forward to the time when we may expect to see you and your dear bairn,
which I expect will be as soon as the season permits. Tell my darling Mary
that grand papa and grandmamma are longing to hug her to their hearts. We do
not at this moment know what is to become of the houseless family, for Arthur
has served notice on my mother to quit 1st March next,1 and
that she certainly cannot do, as it would be morally impossible to remove her
at this advanced period of her life, and at that harsh season of the year. We
have been proposing a match between old Arthur and Aunt Bell as the only
means of accommodating the matter."
From his father to Charles, May 3, 1829 :
"The last letter we received from our poor
1. They lived to two houses
adjoining one another in the Tontine direr, Gabe Connell.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 75
Robert was indeed a truly Christian one, proving strongly
that the Hand of the Almighty and Gracious Father is upon his heart, and has
formed principles and sentiments there worth all the riches of all the
countries he has seen since he left us, and calculated to make us amends for
our feelings on account of all he has suffered in that time. His worldly
success has been indeed very little, and if he puts into execution the idea I
think I perceive in his mind, I fear he will return but very little
compensated for all his deprivations. Whether I shall have the happiness of
embracing him in my old arms is known to that Allwise God who orders all . .
. it would be a happy event to my old heart, but implicitly I say, or would
say, `Thy will be done.' Blessing and love to dear Norah and children from
your ever affectionate father, W. G."
In this same letter his mother writes to both:
"I am not sorry that your disgraceful mode of
correspondence has been discovered, for indeed I never could approve of it,
thinking it, as I do, mean and dishonest.1 I suppose your
father has told you how we have been relieved on the score of being unhoused!
It was indeed an imminent peril hanging over us, for, circumstanced as we
are, we should have been badly distressed. However, Arthur has very
handsomely offered, and of course you may well believe Bell received his
offer—not of his hand, but of his house. Heaven alone can know how we may all2.
. . at the end of the time. The dear olds . . .3 all human
probability have exchanged' . . .4 habitation, for that
which will be hers forever. She is greatly changed I think latterly, dear
soul! It would be worse than cruel, and ungrateful to wish to detain her
from her rest! . . . I have been particularly disappointed by your losing the
opportunity of sending darling Mary with Mrs. Pepper, who is one of my great
favourities, without any of…
1. A mode of communication
occasionally resorted to in the days of expensive postage—i.e. by putting
"pips" under the letters in a newspaper to form words.
2. These blanks are torn out
by the seal.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 76
the affectations and graces of modern Religionists, I
conjecture, exists in her heart, not on her lips. I was intent on taking the
opportunity of receiving the little girl of my heart from her, as a renewal
of our acquaintance, which I have always regretted was so slight. You do not
mention Mrs. Gough, so I hope she is better than when you wrote of her
before. I beg to be remembered to them both We have had our house full for
the last month. Mary and Anne Sankey, and Bess, and her little Isabella, who
was accompanied by Mr. Beamish, who came to pay a visit to my mother. He
only remained a week."
On July 11 she writes;
" I hope you are still enjoying this lovely weather
in the country, which with us looks like one lovely garden teeming with
abundance.... The dear Old Woman breaking up very fast, at which you cannot
be surprised, as she has, within the last month, entered on her ninety-second
When she wrote on February 4, 1830, her grandchild was
with them, as she says, "A dear child she is. I only fear that she will
be too much endeared to her Aunt Lydia, for whom her affection is beyond all
The next letter, dated April 26, refers to the Catholic
Emancipation Bill. Charles differed from the rest of his brother clergymen on
the subject. He considered that any disability on the score of religion was
unjust, and voted for abolishing them. The Bishop of Derry, at that time the
Rt. Hon. and Rt. Rev. William Knox, apparently held the same views, and his
mother was uneasy lest her son might be in any way biassed by hopes of
" I have not,"she said," for an hour
suffered anxiety on the subject of having confided you and all my children to
the protection and provision of Him who has faithfully fulfilled His promise
to me, and to all who implicitly confide in Him. My anxiety is deeper . . .
it has been, that you should have (humbly speaking) rendered yourself worthy
of it, by which expression I only mean that you…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 77
have placed implicit confidence in Him. The knowledge I
have of your character, and the confidence I place in your principles, have
assisted... in soothing my deep anxiety for the line you have taken in your
" Often have I feared that self-interest might have
biassed your judgment in the view you had taken and the course you have
pursued. I trust, I hope, that it has not been the case, and that sinister
views have not urged you to take a line of conduct in order to ingratiate
yourself with your bishop. How grateful my heart will be if your answer
shall set my heart at rest! An error of judgment is quite distinct from a
false or mean principle of action, and although I think, and many think with
me, that we have forsaken a right line of public conduct, and sacrificed our
dearest and nearest interests at the shrine of expediency and selfishness:
yet many wise and good persons have seen the affair in a different light. Had
the Bishop of Derry pursued a different line of conduct from that which you
have done, I should have felt regret, but nothing more. . . . Well, then, in
the honest hope that expediency has had nothing to do with your private
interests, accept my most sincere congratulations on your present agreeable
prospects, which have not been at all a surprise to me, for although I had no
expectations for you from the Bishop of Derry, I had well-founded ones in a
higher quarter, from which I have never received any disappointment.
"I said so much in my last of my little Mary that I
suppose it would fatigue you if I were to sound again the same tones; but
this much I must say, her dear little heart is the honest transcript of her
dear parents'. She has been here this moment, and gives me more to say than
my paper, time, or patience would admit. She is hopping like a bird, for Aunt
Lyddy is quite pleased with her, and she is to have the locket on for
From Aunt Lydia, May 7 :
"We are all well at home except the little Old
Woman, who is waning away fast. She has not been able to articulate a
single word intelligibly these last three or four days. Poor little soul, you
would pity her if you could see her,
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 78
and she is so sweetly patient. She has been greatly
tried for the last few months, and her release, when it comes, will indeed be
a blessed one. Bees Newman is still here. She cannot bear to leave her, as
we think she cannot hold long. . . . She is still alive to affection, and
looks it to those around her, though she is unable to express it.
"Mary is as well as possible. I find it hard enough
to make her get her tasks for me; she has very good abilities, but wants
steadiness. Poor children are to be pitied with their learning."
A letter to Charles from his mother, dated June 7, 1830,
refers to the birth of Honoria Tomkins, his fourth child, on the 31st of May
at Waterloo Place, Londonderry:
"I was regretting that I had not answered your last
long and comfortable letter, when your most welcome letter announcing the
safety of your dear Honoria and the birth of her little namesake, arrived. Mary
is in the highest delight. . . . She is sure that you must come for her
shortly, as it is not possible that dear mamma can take charge of so many
children without her help. On the other hand, I am rejoicing that the dear
little busy soul Is so far away from the scene of action, as in good truth
the dear child's movements are ill-calculated for a sickroon.
"And now, accept my acknowledgments for your candid
and unequivocal avowal of your sentiments on the great question of interest
lately debated. It has given me the satisfaction of knowing from your own
hand that no views of expediency influences your conduct in a matter which
has excited such difference of opinion in all circles; and although I feel
real regret at the view you have taken of the subject, which, I think, arises
out of your want of intimacy with the Scripture doctrine concerning it, yet
as it appears that it does not arise out of coldness or indifference, I am
content to remain satisfied. . . . It is very possible that what I and
"others conceive may tend to the subversion of our glorious Protestant
Constitution, wherein we have so long found refuge from all persecuting
storms, may ultimately lead to every effect we can desire, by cleansing our
much-neglected sanctuary. May His Eternal Pro-
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 79
vidence watch over His own, and guard them from the
machinations of all their enemies, temporal and spiritual. ... For my own
part, were it not for this trust I should lose all confidence, for surely
none can be placed in our Rulers, who fearlessly and shamelessly say in
public that politics, and of such a nature, have not anything to do with
religion; but perhaps terror forced out the sentiment from Sir Robert Peel,
all bugbear-frightened as he was. A weak-hearted woman would have played a
better part. Our poor King is very declining. He will soon know whether he
has done right or wrong."
A letter from Castle Connell, dated December 16, 1830,
expressed the gratitude and thankfulness with which his father and mother
heard of Charles' promotion to be Rector of Lower Moville, co. llonegal.
"The heartfelt pleasure and thankfulness diffused throughout the family
must very much increase your happiness," his mother says. She ends by
committing him to Almighty God, and beseeching Him to furnish such supplies
of His Holy Spirit as should fit and prepare her son "for the charge of
His flock which He has now committed to your care—that you may not lose one
by your want of ability and zeal in His and their service."
Across the sheet his father writes: "Yes, my dear
Rector, that prayer of your dear mother's, in her last few lines, I adopt
from the bottom of my soul. May your Great Master, your bounteous Provider,
bestow His grace on you, to enable you to fulfil that charge He commits now
solely to your care. It is a great, a very great responsibility, my dear
Charles, so great as is sufficient to cause a father, conscious of his own
defects, to feel for your awful situation. It is all on your own shoulders,
now, dear fellow. You will have no one to bring you to account for want of
attention to your various and important duties, and you may pass on
creditably in the estimation of the world in the usual and far too general
observance of them. But there comes in your mother's prayer—Oh! may it sink
into your heart, and be ever uppermost in your mind! Your own salvation,
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 80
that of many others, depends on it. You will let us hear
soon again, I hope. You have no glebe, you say; where, then, is your
residence to be?"
Lydia writes:— " I have only time to add that had
any one asked me yesterday what I most wished for in this world, I would have
answered with truth, ' that Charles should get promotion,' and this morning's
post brought us the Intelligence, and now from my heart I say 'Thank
The answer to the question as to residence is, that they
lived in a small house in Moville for about eighteen months, and then moved
to a lovely little villa called "Gortgowan," which was their happy
home for over twenty years. It was close to the shores of Lough Foyle, and
sheltered by a wooded hill from the north; it faced the lake with its
encircling chain of hills on the opposite shore.
There is no other letter till February 21, 1832, and then
his mother writes to Charles:— "Thank God, you continue peaceful,
although I understand your Barony of Innishowen is much infected with the
prevailing mania. We, too, thanks be to God, are at peace, notwithstanding
the frightful state the country is in. I do not think, the last two or three
weeks, I have heard of so many or such horrid outrages as before the murder
of our sainted and dear friend', Irwin Whitty. Alas, alas! what a deed was
that! For a time, it has paralysed the misguided creatures... Do you not
rejoice that, at last, the Government have ordered a day of public
humiliation, but, like all their measures, it has only been done by halves;
for surely we have greater and worse dangers impending than the cholera—for
that can only kill the body—whereas our sapped and rotting principles can,
and do, reach even to our souls. Indeed, I fear that infidelity, in various
shapes, is now striding over Europe with greater speed than even the cholera.
On March 28th:— "I have been returned from Clonbeg
now a fortnight, where I spent only thirteen weeks, and, lest you should be
jealous, I am determined to pay you the same compliment. Your aged old father
and his crazy old rib are intent on being with you in the sweet month of
June; to see and bless our dear children and their…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 81
bairns. Is not this a gay thought to get into our old
heads? I beg to know if we shall be welcome, and if old Grandpapa and
Grandmamma Galwey may hope to be admitted at Gortgowan? We amuse ourselves
by travelling to you by land and water, calculating over and over again how
to arrive by the cheapest method; so pray, if you can throw any light on the
subject, forward your instructions forthwith. . . Part of our means for doing
it, we expect to raise by letting this house during our absence. Isa Webb
intends going up to pay a visit to your uncle, and the dear girls will take
the opportunity of going amongst their old friends, who are many, and all
pressing them for a visit. But this is only saying what we should like to
do—many things may interfere to throw down this airy castle. Whatever does
so, as it will certainly be arranged by Higher Wisdom, will, I trust, be
received with submissive thankfulness.
"Here is a lively picture of the happy mood of the
dear writer,"her husband writes." Ever looking to what is pleasant
in this passing scene of life and forward to the unspeakable happiness of
that life that will neither change nor cease; but not possessing that happy
turn of mind in the same extent, I will acknowledge that I cannot conceive
how such an enjoyment is to be compassed. Our present means of putting it
into practice I cannot see as likely to brighten up so wonderfully, at least
in that short period. At all events we have great and abundant reason to hope
for everything that is good for us, and surely all gratitude to the Great
Giver of all good—no two old persons ever enjoyed more substantial blessing
than we do; and for my-self, always disposed to look forward and anticipate,
if not evil, at least uncomfortableness, I would say that the pang of parting
from you, for much more than probably the last time, and giving that embrace
to you and our dear grandchildren which we could not expect to renew in this
world, might be more than compensation for the happiness we should enjoy in
"C. CONNELI, March 30th.
" No one can accuse any of us, dear Honoria, of
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 82
gance in the way of letters latterly, but I assure you,
we are quite as economic in every other particular; and, thanks be to God,
have kept out of debt and enjoy every real comfort and blessing. You cannot
think what a good walker dear mother has grown since she has lost the
jaunting car horse. She trots away at a great rate. Anne Sankey has been
staying with us some time. . . . I am going back with her to spend a little
time in Clonmell and Kiltinane. Aunt Bell has been at Rocklow for nearly two
months helping to nurse-tend Mrs. Lloyd, who is now so much better that Bell
returns here next week… Surely you might get a frank sometimes and write to
us; here, there are no such things to be had."
Edward Galwey, writing to his brother Charles, 14th April
1832, about the money he received from Hermitage, and which was not yet
forthcoming, advances him some money for present necessities from himself. He
says:— "I am just now pinched myself, owing to the large advances I have
been necessitated to make for the old gentleman, now amounting to upwards of
£200, and there is more than that since due of the parish; yet, as times go,
I fear we may have to do without it for some time. However, make no remark on
this to him, as it would only make him fret. I am sorry to find the
refractory spirit against tithes has reached you also, but you might have
foreseen, when you gave the popish agitators one step, they would not stop
there. Nor will they, I fear, until they have altogether done away with our
Establishment. To that point Radicalism (alias Infidelity) will go hand in
hand. I trust, however, during the present incumbent's time, Church property
will be continued in some shape or other. I think your better way for the
present will be to remain passive, until you see what the effect of the
L---'s 1 enactment will be. There is no use in
distraining--at least in these parts—the vox populi being omnipotent.
"You have heard before this of poor old Gran's
release, as such no doubt it was, having lived to the extremity of existence.
Few that have lived so long have lived so well. My mother and I. W. bear it
as evincing they felt...
1. Probably the House of
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 83
the change to have been for her advantage. I often think
how different is their religion from what is so much talked of nowadays. How
fortunate we were in having the arrangements effected at the time it was by
which a comfortable independence is secured to the girls, I.W., and Robert. Poor
I. W., who used to talk of leaving us at her mother's death, now, that the
demolition of tithes is talked of, is to remain."
His mother wrote at the same time :
"You did not know, when you wrote that letter, of the
release of your dear grandmother, but of course you have been acquainted with
the happy event ere this—happy it has been to us all, although she left a
sorrowful chasm in the family, such as few of her years have occasioned. Ah! how
the darling was beloved, and justly so. Her honoured remains were deposited
at the now Churchyard at O'Brien's Bridge on Saturday morning, being the
first body which has been deposited in that sacred spot. Your Aunt Bell has
borne up infinitely better than we could have expected, and will, after
Easter, go to Clonbeg, where, I trust, she will recruit her harassed spirits
and strength, both of which have been sadly exhausted by the last severe
trial. . . We are all preparing to retire into our house, as Arthur will not
let I.W. keep my mother's, and we must be out by 1st May. It will be a tight
pattern, but with management we will do very well. Small houses best suit
small means. Thank God, we still continue in profound pence here, but hear
of nothing but outrage and confusion all around. You will see by the papers
what a frightful skirmish there has been at Doon, the parish of Charles
Coote. None of the wounded peasantry have yet died, but I hear some of them
have been mortally wounded. Our poor country is changed into a field of
slaughter, and that of the most atrocious kind. I had a letter yesterday
from Mrs. Whitty; she writes in the wildest and most touching style, but
tells me what I was delighted to hear—that Lady Landaffe has made an offer of
employment for Harry in her brother Mr. Latouche's bank; this, though small,
is something, both as to employment and emolument. Their affairs are in a…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 84
mournful condition, arrears being due to a sad amount. There
has not been any one, as yet, appointed to the living, and there has not been
service performed there, until the last two Sundays, since Dr. Whitty's
murder, which occurred on the 25th January last. What an exit for such a man
from such a world—but surely no Christian can regret that he is at rest. I
am enjoying the picture I have delineated in my mind's eye of your dear
comfortable habitation facing your beloved lake; sheltered at the back by a
rising ground. This picture, which I have made for myself, is particularly
agreeable to me now, as I suppose it is probable it is the only view I shall
ever be able to take of the dear group; as, if I found difficulty in going to
the North formerly, much greater must now occur, where all means will be cut
off, or at best greatly retarded. One shilling, I believe, is not to be had
here now, as it is only attended with frightful consequences when demanded:
but dear Edward has never let me feel a want—his purse and heart are open for
all our demands. Of course, you may judge, we endeavour to keep them down as
well as we can, by every retrenchment in our power. I have totally retired
from all secular cares, which now devolve on the lassies. I am become such a
fine lady that I do not know what is ordered for dinner."
On the 22nd of August 1832 Isabella Frances was born at
The following letter from Richard to his brother relates
to the difficulty that the clergy found at this time in getting their tithes
paid, and the consequent straits to which they were brought
" DUBLIN, October 24th, 1832.
" DEAR CHARLES, Having some spare cash lying by me,
and thinking it may as well be in your hands, as in my drawer, until I want
it, I have lodged £20, for your use, to the credit of the Provincial Bank,
Derry—which draw from at any time, after the receipt of this. When times are
more settled, you can return it to me. Mungo Noble Thompson tells me that
the Archbishop of Cashel has determined to proceed for tithes and tithe
composition due to…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 85
him, by bills in Equity, the last Tithe Act making the
tithe recoverable in that way, which was not the case before the Act passed,
there being a direct legal remedy. I have suggested the proceeding for
father's and John's tithes in that way, and do the same for you. . . . After
the 1st of November there will be a year due to each of you of composition...
Write to me before the end of the month, as I should prepare the bill before
the hurry of the term commences. . . . I returned the day before yesterday
from Yorkshire, where I had been to procure grounds to compel North, who has
commenced proceedings for the property of the Old Woman, to give security for
costs; in which I have succeeded. I doubt not it will be an effectual bar to
his further proceedings, and one that as principal I hope I would not adopt,
and as agent would not advise, were not I perfectly convinced, from
consideration of our case, that we are the right heirs. John has not got
anything from the Government, but hopes he will get about £100, as there are
£200 due to him In 1831. I had a letter from him a few days since, written
in the spirit becoming a man and a clergyman—he says he never was happier, or
more free from care.
"I suppose that you are aware that Richard Kellett
is one of the revising l Barristers for the Registering in
this city at five guineas a day; it commenced on 18th, and is likely to
continue a month longer. I intend to register before him tomorrow, and am
debating whether or not I shall join the Conservatives. I wish I had your
idea on the subject. I think you were dispassionate, but probably the
non-payment of tithes has had an influence upon your sentiments. I expect
Bell in a few days, to stop a mouth with me. She is busy at present
regulating Edward's new house."
Some explanation is necessary for the next letter from
Robert to his brother Richard. He had heard of the distress of the clergy of
the Church of Ireland through the vacillating policy of the Government about
tithes, and with noble self-sacrifice determined to send to his old father
and his brothers the little sum which he had accumulated.
1. Word torn away.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 86
Now, unable to go home as he had planned, he assumes a
jocular strain to cover his bitter disappointment from them; for the same
purpose he mentions the doctor's opinion that to go home was not necessitated
by his state of health.
“Steamer Emulous, CALCUTTA, Nov 14th, 1832.
" MY DEAR DICK,— You'll wonder to see a letter from
Bob, knowing I owe you so little in the correspondence way. Neither should
I, for that reason, think it incumbent on me to address your 'Atoney at
Lawship,' were it not that I want just now to make the following use of you,
viz., by the present opportunity, Ship Lord Eldon, Captain Dawson, for
Liverpool, I sent on, for the relief of our poor Padres, four thousand sicca
rupees, or say at a guess £380, for which you will find invoice and bill of lading
enclosed; also a letter of advice from my good friends here, Willis and Earle,
to their friends Willis & Co., Liverpool, which will explain all to you.
. . . It only remains for me to add, that if any of their Reverences should
be squeamish about receiving this 'First Fruits' offering from me, I beg to
remind them that I owe them all, more particularly the old man, to whom in
temporal and, what is of infinitely more consequence, spiritual interests we
are all so deeply indebted; and also to remind them all that if they now, in
their distress, refuse my assistance, they need not expect on a future
occasion that I should, when hard up (as in 1818 to 1823), refuse to take my
assistance then as I did, and pretty largely to, though I did wrong in so
doing. However, they will not, I think, find me erring in that way again, if
they refuse to allow me to use in this way what God gave me (and has taken
away again for good reasons), though on that subject too I could, and please
God will, send home better news than I have received lately from any of you;
only for fear, at present, of perhaps again disappointing you all, and laying
a flattering unction to my soul. More last words and more good news. I shall
not require to go home, as my last doctor, Jackson, said, to save my life
(like a blockhead), for Twining & Co., decidedly the best physicians
here, say there is not the…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 87
smallest occasion for my doing so, and I find they are
quite right; and Twining's prescription is this—which I would recommend to
you, my dear brother Dick—To eat and drink just half whatever you did before.
One word more, for it is now 9 o'clock, and we retire early to bed in this,
my country, which, by the way, is a better country than your country.-- I
remain, my dear Dick, yours faithfully,
Richard says :
" DEAR CHARLES,— This queer and kind letter of which
you have a copy above, I received from Bob this day with the enclosures
mentioned. I send you a copy, as no extracts would be intelligible—indeed a
great part of the letter I do not understand, though I have spent an hour at
it. However, it is a good specimen on the whole of his kind and generous
soul; the original I sent home by this post. Let me have your idea on the
subject, as I will not do anything about the money till I hear. Write me also
on the subject of your tithes fully. Whatever you may do, Edward and I are
likely to make fortunes of those said tithes. All the clergy within the
diocese of Emly and Cashel, and at their head the Bishop, having become our
clients for their money by bills in Equity, which have heretofore succeeded
well. So, long live Agitation!"
Early in January 1833 there is a long letter from the old
man to his Northern children, full of love and blessings. He said, "Now
that we have all our new and strange members flaunting about, and I suppose
feeling great pride in being asked for franks, I should hope that we may be
so far benefited by them, for further than that, I fear we never shall. I
write this, and will keep it ready in hope of catching some of them flying by
me. Surely if I could catch Lefroy or Shaw I might tell them that was the
least they could do for me after my shaking my old bones up to Dublin,
besides the money it cost me. You know that your dear mother is at Clonbeg,
where I believe she will remain until sometime next month. She, we hope, is
well, but she is so given to economy in these hard times…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 88
that we have not had a letter these some days—indeed but
one since she left us. I believe she will have the pleasure of seeing but
few, if any, of our Parliament men in that out-of-the-way country... I got my
bed from Richard in his very small bit of house in Mount Street. There he
and his dear sister Bell are as happy as a brother and sister can be
together. I cannot but wish that he had a good amiable wife. It would not
indeed be anything like the truth to say that we grudge his dear sister to
him, and yet it is what we can hardly spare. Dear Lyd is a lonely creature
when by herself—at least so we think. We had Mary Sankey with us for two or
three weeks till about a week ago; she intended spending a longer time with
Lydia, but was hurried away to meet her brother Jacob, who unexpectedly got
leave of absence for a short time."
"We have just received a letter from your mother as
much surprised at not hearing from us as we were at her silence. The
Tipperary post is a very bad one, and very frequently delays letters. She
and all at Clonbeg, thank God, peaceful and happy and well. John and Abb
had been with us for a few days, the middle of December. He and his amiable
Abb, being unencumbered with those things denominated brats, and quite
content with but little, and withal very prudent, are never in want of
anything. He, when urged by Edward to take proceedings against some of his
parishioners for the composition of '32, replied that in the money he got
from the Government, together with what he made no doubt of getting without
any difficulty for that year, and the advantage of the glebe, he could get
through very well, and that at all events he would wait till he saw others
adopt legal measures before him, in which case he should be certain of more
peace, and be consequently better qualified and able to go anywhere in his
parish that his duty called him. His determination, I think, was a good and
a wise one, and happy is he to be able to adopt it; but, alas! and I think
you will unite with me we all cannot follow it; Government are now proceeding
the money they advanced to Dean Le Fanu…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 89
in Abington and to Mr. Haddon and to me for '31. How far
they will steadily pursue their measures, or how far they will succeed, is
more than I can pretend to say. They have been very dilatory, and from
having been so certainly have increased their difficulties, and have so
impressed the minds of the people with the idea that they would not oblige
them to pay at all, that they also conceived or affected to do so, that our
calling for the money of '32 was an imposition on them, and consequently they
have withheld it except in some very few instances of the decent people—what
might be called gentry—in our country a rare race. I understand that you have
served some writs on some of your people. When you write, let me know with
what success, and how in general they behave to you in pecuniary and all
other matters. Edward has also got down some for some of my people, and will
have them served, to what effect it is at present impossible to conjecture—whether
it will bring them to reason, or blow up the fire of agitation: I fear the
latter. I will acknowledge, however, it is but reasonable to let him try
what he can do, so far as personal safety will admit. He has had a very
unprofitable employment in managing my pecuniary affairs… How are we to be
disposed of? What will our good and wise Ministry do with our Established
Church? By that word I do not mean our revenues—for I am ready to admit
that, so far, we may well be reformed, and that it is even to be
dispassionately wished in many instances. Many things have been going wrong,
but with what hand will they be rectified? Will the Established Church of
England and Ireland be set on such a reformed basis as to give hope that she
will stand more respectably and more firmly, or will she be trampled under
the feet of Radicals, and suffered to undergo that fiery trial that she has
been persecuted by before now? These are queries and doubts at which poor
faithless mortals are naturally disposed to tremble; but the Church and all
other things are in the Hand of the great Almighty Father, and we have every
reason to depend on His protection so far as His glory is concerned, which
ought to be our object. But we shudder for our poor selves, knowing that we
deserve a great deal from His
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 90
just correcting Hand. May He—and He certainly
will—protect the pure Gospel faith, whatever He may permit individuals to
"We have had letters1 from our
poor Robert within these two months. He says that his health is good, but
the times and circumstances so bad in India that, if he could lay his hands
on the little he had lodged as he thought in good hands, he would be inclined
to steer homeward; but he greatly fears he will lose, at least, a
considerable part of that little, and at all events must remain there to try
what he can recover of it… Much reason have we, the poor father and mother,
to apprehend that we shall never see him in this world, but we shall meet
where our eyes shall be opened to see clearly the wisdom and love of Him who
disposes of all events. What great ground have we of unspeakable gratitude
to that heavenly lather who has bestowed such numberless blessings on us; who
has guarded us and all ours from the deadly rage of our enemies, and from the
destructive pestilence that has been carrying off such numbers all around us.
Thanks to His mercy, and all submission to His will and wisdom, whenever He
may see fit to reverse the scene. There, I have given you a long letter, but
it costs you no more than the trouble of reading it." . . . He ends,
"I am very sleepy, as I fancy I need not tell you, so good-night, and
may God bless us all.
—Ever your affec. W. G." 2
Richard writes a few weeks later :
"I have not heard from home for some days, but hear
that my father has taken a curate. He was evidently timid on the subject of
personal violence when last I saw him: no wonder, in a man of his age! I
suppose you know he is now at John's, where he remains some time."
The writs which had been issued by his son Edward had
probably raised the storm which the poor old man dreaded, but there is no
record of the last few months of his life. He died on the 16th June 1833,
aged 73, and was buried beside his wife's mother at O'Brien's Bridge.
1. Evidently written some
time before his letter to Richard.
2. Apparently this was his
last letter to them.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 91
Charles was at Castle Connell when he died, and after the
funeral took his mother and sister Lydia back with him to Gortgowan. Edward,
writing on 7th July, says:
" It was a great relief to us hearing of dear
mother's, yours, and Lydia's safe arrival, though were I near you at the
time, I would have scolded you for taking the poor old woman so quickly on
her journey. It was indeed a great solace your being on the spot at the time
to take her home to rest in your retired place. . . . Norah, too, I am told,
had everything so comfortable for her."
They remained at Gortgowan until the autumn, and the next
letter from their mother, dated October 3, 1833, is written from the house of
her son Richard, in Herbert Place, Dublin:
"Richard being under a promise to me of getting me a
frank, I proceed to getting my despatch ready. The first object in view is to
return my dear children thanks for all their kindness and affection whilst I
inhabited their comfortable and hospitable dwelling. Indeed, it was not
thrown away, but received with all the advantage and gratitude which it
deserved. My faithful friend and companion has already acquainted you with
the prosperous and agreeable journey we made, finding all before us as good
as what we left behind. . . . I assure you, I have an opportunity of
exercising here as good as when I was with you, and have a nice jaunting car
at my command, and most agreeable walks close to the house. Our weather,
too, is most delightful. Lydia called on Dora Webb this morning, to take her
a drive as far as Swords to visit a Mrs. Thomas—Beck Lloyd that was—and as it
was a visit which I did not feel myself called on to pay, I have made myself
amends by staying to hold converse with you.
"Nothing is certain in this uncertain life. I considered
myself seated down without fear of interruption to scribble away for an hour
or two, when, in less than the fourth of that time, Lydia and D. W. returned,
having met Mr. and Mrs. Thomas coming into town, and, at the same time, Aunt
Kellett and Mary1 drove up to the door, declaring...
1. Richard Kellett’s wife.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 92
that they would take no apology from Lydia or me, but out
we must go with them to take a drive. So out with them we went, and a more
lovely drive could not possibly have been driven, and only this moment have
we returned; so I resume my pen.
"You, dear Charles, have, no doubt, seen that your
invention concerning the management of the steamer backwater has been
anticipated. The Marquess of Wellesley arrived in a very beautiful vessel,
called the Firebrand, in four hours from Holyhead, and the secret has proved
of the simplest description, but of infinite value. I should have felt
grieved for your disappointment had I not considered the hand from whence it
came, and also that the same hand can bestow an equivalent on those for whom
you Intended the advantage… You have the management of a machine of
infinitely greater consequence. Shall I compare you to a lifeboat sent out
to save some perishing sinners?— the care and management of which requires
all your time, ingenuity, and industry; and perhaps your favourite project
might have excited new inclinations, and called off your attention from more
momentous concerns for which you will be held accountable. . . . Work the
life-boat, my dear Charles, and leave the management of the steamer to your
dear boy, who, I trust, with God's blessing, will afford you the richest
returns for your cares and anxieties. I long to hear how that dear boy and
his sisters are, and what you are all about.... By our letters from Clonbeg,
we find them all collected there—meaning both my sisters and Isabella Galwey.
They intend to break ground on Friday se'nnight for Mallow Street, Limerick,
where Bess Newman stops, on her way to Kinsale. The two Isabellas speak of
accompanying Edward up to Dublin in November, so poor Richard will have
enough of his friends to keep up his spirits. . . . There is a young lady in
Dublin, a Miss Flemming, a niece of Mrs. Lefanu's, who is every day expecting
her brother from Calcutta. You may suppose I am not a little anxious for his
arrival, as Miss Flemming has promised to introduce him to us, and there is
some pleasure in seeing the man who has seen the ghost!
"Tell Honoria that I have to thank her as my
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 93
for all the kindness and attention which I received at
Prehen: no doubt you made mention of it to her on your return. . . . I beg
you to present me kindly to Miss Mortimer,1 who, I hope,
continues the use of the teapot, the salutary effects of which still remain
with me.2 I hope Honoria continues her marine immersion
both for herself and the younkers. Our weather is warmer here than any part
of last summer, at least in the North. Apropos North—we travelled a
different road from that we went down, on our return, and saw the interne of
the county Tyrone, exhibiting one of the most romantic and lovely countries I
have ever travelled, or rather fled through, for we actually did fly."
Lydia says in her letter :— "You may judge how
anxious we are to know how you will act about the Government money; so soon
as you come to a decision let us know. The clergy here had a meeting at
Christ's Church to consult together whether they would accept the money or
not, but we have not heard the result. Our friend Mrs. Lefhnu is very ill. .
She has been in her bed for two months. Poor Mrs. Whitty is quite near us
here; her daughter, I fear, is in a consumption. Their misfortunes are
In the next letter their mother referred again to her
wonderful journey of 130 miles, which they made in seventeen hours!
Isabella writes on 3rd of January from Mallow Street,
"MY DEAR NORAH,— It was only the night before I went
to John's that I learned from Lydia of the death of poor Mary.3
I was grieved, indeed, at the sudden manner to which she was taken, as I
well know it must have been a great shock to you all, particularly the old people
and poor Benjamina. But surely, when the first shock is over, you must all
rejoice that the poor thing is released from her sufferings, which have been
so severe for the last two years. Her death, too, which was so great a shock
to all her…
1. The Governess at
2. Probably herb tea.
3. One of Mrs. Galwey’s
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 94
friends by its suddenness, was, for that very reason, perfectly
without suffering to herself. May God prepare us to meet death, for we see
clearly every day that it comes more and more like a thief in the night… Edward
and I spent but a few days at Clonbeg. I was there but one week; he not so
long. I would not remain, as he could not, as, I think, he feels this place
lonely—not that I flatter myself that I am a companion to him, as I feel myself
by far too stupid for that; but there is society in the very idea of thinking
that there is some mortal near you who cares for you. He is very badly off
here for society: there is not even one person to whom he cottons. I often
wish be was united to some sensible, amiable woman. He is calculated to make
a wife very happy, and I am sure would be much happier himself for being
married. But the management of all this is in better hands than ours. I
suppose you have heard from Lydia of how Richard's business with Jane has all
come on. . . . She is a very good, well principled young woman, and an
excellent daughter and sister. May God make her a good wife. She is a lucky
woman to get Richard, for he is a sweet creature. We found and left John and
Abb very well and happy. John says he wants for nothing; and as yet has
never been without money. Sometimes he has been run very low indeed, but
whenever this has been the case, he has always got a supply from some
unexpected quarter, and he says that this experience has now taught him
implicitly to trust, and not fear. Surely this is better than the riches of
the East. Indeed, I see in John, that the more he thinks the income of the
Church Establishment to be gone (and he thinks it is totally), so much the
more he seems intent on fulfilling the duties of his station, and seems to
take an interest in them.
"We got another letter from Robert, addressed to my
dear father. It is dated in August. The steamer he had command of is laid
up unfit for further use, and of course he has lost his situation, but when
he wrote was on half-pay looking after the boiler and parts of the old vessel
which were worth repairing. When he wrote, he said his health was quite
re-established… What would we not give to have him come home to us!
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 95
" I suppose that my mother will, now that dear
Richard has decided on marrying, fix on some place of residence. If Dublin
is not too expensive, it is the place we would all prefer. We have many
friends there. Richard is settled there, Edward must be there often, and it
is between John's and your residence."
A letter to Charles from his mother, written from 5 Herbert
Place, January 30, 1834, tells him;
"The whole city of Dublin are anxiously availing
themselves of the advantage of listening to a Northern, who, if I may judge
by the small specimen I had myself, fully merits the interest and attention
he has excited. This is a son of your good old Bishop, Mr. Spenser Knox. He
really handles the Word of God powerfully and beautifully. I heard him at a
morning lecture, which has been opened by Mr. Singer of the College and a few
other clergymen, and is attended with the greatest interest and attention,
particularly by the young, both male and female. It is, I think, under the
blessing of God, calculated to do a great deal of good.
"I suppose you have heard of the illness of Letitia
Lloyd. Crampton has been sent for, but unfortunately has been so occupied by
attendance on his own son, the Curate of Strabane, that he has not been able
to go down to her yet. Her poor grandfather1 likewise is
confined to bed for the first time, I believe, in his life, with a rheumatic
fever; so, in truth, they are a suffering family. I pity none of them so much
as poor Eliza Frend, who is this year going over the very same ground with
the daughter which she travelled this time twelve months with her dear
sister, L.'s mother. . . . Your poor Uncle Kellett looks, and is, much
broken, yet still retains his pleasant cheerfulness. Richard is working hard
at Chancery reform. I hope he will be rewarded according to his merits. A few
days ago the Chancellor addressed him in court, and said, Mr. Kellett, I have
to acknowledge my obligation to you for the efficient and masterly manner in
which you have…
1. Col. Gough, of Ardsalla,
father of Lord Gough, the Dean of Derry, Mrs. Frend and Mrs. Lloyd.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 96
discharged this important and difficult duty which you
have undertaken, but I do not conceive the obligation to lie all upon me—your
country too owes you much' Certainly you must confess this was a very
flattering address, but in truth not more than the poor fellow
From the same, February 7;
"Surely it must be unnecessary to tell you, my dear
Honoria, how truly I sympathise with you under your present uneasiness. Your
affliction must be severe in seeing your parents buffeted by such a storm, at
a period when repose is so grateful; yet, my dear child, remember that nought
can befall any of us without Divine permission, and there is frequently a
wholesome atmosphere, although storms prevail, when disease and death lurk
beneath a serene but deceitful sky. . . . Indeed, I feel deeply interested,
not only as concerns your feelings, but also as to the arrangements of the
family, for whom I have a sincere regard and an affectionate interest."
This refers to troubles at Prehen. The prevailing fashion
in old Irish families of keeping open house, and the expenses of a very
large family, caused Col. Knox's affairs to become so much embarrassed that,
to rid himself at once from debt, he sold the Rathmullan property. They
broke up house at Prehen; the Colonel, who was then going blind from
cataract, went abroad to Brussels with his youngest daughter, Benjamina, who
was then the only one unmarried. Mrs. Knox, who was in failing health, came
to stay with her daughter at Gortgowan.
The letter proceeds;
"Poor Aunt Bell has been suffering from an attack which
has brought on the pain again in her poor arm. Her medical attendant calls
tt 'tic douloureux'— the pain we were well acquainted with, and were sensible
that a recurrence of it was to be expected under any excitement of either
mind or body, yet I must confess I was greatly grieved when he gave it this
terrific name. ... She has been a good deal shaken by the touching
circumstances of the Goughs and Frends, occasioned by the illness of
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 97
Letitia Lloyd, of whom there are little or no hopes. She
is now so weak as to be carried from one room to another at Rocklow, where
she is. . . . Poor Eliza Frend is greatly to be pitied. Poor old Col. Gough
is a source of much trouble to her; he is totally separated from his little
Idol, which he has so fondly cherished from her cradle, she having been
removed to Rocklow to accommodate her aunt in attending her there, and he
laid up in his own house at Ardsalla."
From Isabella:— "LIMERICK, May 16th.
"Mv DEAR CHARLES,- I need not say how truly we all
feel for dear Norah in her present trying situation. Indeed I do not know a
family anywhere more to be pitied than the Knox family are now, tried in so
many ways. It is particularly distressing to Norah to have to provide for
such an immense family when she is anxious about her mother. I often think
how grateful we should feel, that at the time when the Almighty called my
dear father, we never for an instant felt the want of money, but it was, as
it were, showered down on us, so that we could provide every assistance,
every comfort for him that our hearts could desire. Oh, it is a cruel trial
to want means at such a time! I suppose ere this the poor old Colonel is
with you. My mother continues very well. She does not intend going on to
John's for some time, unless that, in consequence of Wheeler's death, John
should wish to go to Abb; but I should think more likely her family will
come there now. Wheeler's death came very suddenly on poor Abb. She and
John were here, and left us last Tuesday week, when she had not the slightest
idea of his being even slightly ill. On stepping out of the coach in
Tipperary, John was handed a letter from Anne Cooke written some days before,
saying he was very sick, and begging of John to go to him, which he and Abb
did the next morning, but on their way met another messenger with a letter to
say that all was hopeless, and before they arrived at the house he was gone..
"I dare say you know ere this that £900 has been
granted for my dear father's parish, so that, thank God,
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 98
Edward will now be paid the money he advanced for him and
for us all. How grateful should we be for this. Edward's debt I should think
amounted to about £600, so that, after paying him, there will be a sum of
money coming to my poor mother… It was too provoking that you could not come
on here with my mother, but it would be worse if you were not with your Norah
when she so much wants your suppport.. . .
"Aunt Bell, I hear, is thinking of bending her steps
towards your part of the world, but would not leave Dublin till the end of
June. Please God, by that time you will be over all your troubles, and ready
to enjoy her society... I have no idea, no more than Jack the Fool, what is
to become of me, or where I will be this summer. I will just let the wheel
of fortune go round and lie wherever it throws. Letitia Lloyd is now, I
should think, very near the end of her short Journey. She took it into her
head that she would be much better at Ardsalla than at her Uncle Frend's, and
was taken over there, but an hour after arriving she burst a
From her mother to Norah :-‑
"I am most anxiously waiting for some news from Gortgowan.
I trust I shall be relieved tomorrow, and have the satisfaction of hearing
that Mrs. Knox had a favourable crisis, and that your dear, long parson has
arrived safely at home. I will not tell you how much all our expectants here
were disappointed by his non-appearance. I was half affronted at finding I
was only half welcome without him; but, indeed, none of us could have wished
to enjoy his company under the circumstances in which he stood. I beg that
you will not consider postage, but write and relieve my anxieties, which are
great for you, at present. I pray God to comfort and support you under your
present pressures. There is great mitigation in your part of the
dispensation—in the alleviations and comfort you are permitted to supply to
your afflicted parents. I pray that you will present me kindly to my young
friend Miss Mortimer, and pray tell Mary M'Garvey and Biddy1
that I do not forget their kindness to me."
1. The nurse and the cook at
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 99
The same, June 4, 1834 :
"It would be idle to express how deeply and truly I
sympathise with my dear children under your sore and long protracted
trial.... Ah! my dear children, our troubles come not unbidden; they are all
sent by a wise Governor who does nothing in vain, and indeed any candid
sufferer will acknowledge their soul's advantage under such dispensations,
and say with David: 'It is good for me that I have been in trouble. In the
multitude of sorrows which I have in my heart, Thy mercies have refreshed my
soul. 'Yes, dear children, it is a holy thing to suffer—to take up and bear
some part of that Cross that was so willingly borne for us. Your dear mother
has been the object of much solicitude to me also. I trust that she sees the
Hand, not of an angry or offended God, but of a wise, merciful, and
affectionate Parent, breaking her away from every object which might alienate
her affections from Him. I beg of you to remember me with affection to Mrs.
Knox,1 if she is able to receive the message, and tell her
that I do, and shall, offer up my worthless but ardent prayers for her. I
send this open to Lydia, that she may say a word and forward it."
It is "Widgeon" who adds the few lines from
Herbert Place, June 6th:
"Thank God, my dearest Charles, I have the pleasure
to tell you that this day a letter arrived from your dear brother Robert,
dated January 1834. He had received the news that this night twelve months
brought us Ali. Thanks and praise to the gracious Redeemer for all He has
taken, and all He has spared. Robert has lost £120 by the failure of his
late shipowners, and not a bit of him will come home! So we must only wait
God's time in patience, to send him to us or not, as He sees fit. But surely
every day's experience should tell him he is not to thrive in that land. He
seems not to believe Edward’s and Richard's good accounts of all your circumstances
at home. Robert seemed quite annoyed that his money that…
1. Mrs. Knox died soon after
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 100
was remitted was not disposed of as he wished; poor
fellow, he would give forever, if in his power."
It would appear from the next letter, written by Mrs.
Galwey from Clonbeg, August 7th, that Robert changed his mind, and determined
at last to come home.
"I have to thank you, my truly loved Charles, for
your last comfortable letter delivered to me by my dear Lyd, who treated
herself to a fly down to see what we were about in this sweet little nest. She
has been with us for a fortnight, and leaves on the 20th, to return to her
post with Richard, who, dear fellow, like Aunt Bell, is keeping watch for the
arrival of the welcome exile. I need not say to you that I long for that
period. Yet, I confess, I feel a greater difficulty in subduing my feelings
on the present, to me, truly joyful occasion than I ever should have
experienced in the contemplation of never seeing him more in the present
world; indeed, I feel great difficulty in keeping my feelings on the subject
in check, and greatly long to have the trying moment over which once again
may commit him to my maternal embrace...
"I am most happy to say I think the unmerited persecution
which it has been the object of our present rulers to heap upon the sacred
profession to which he belongs has had a most beneficial effect upon John. I
never saw him so assiduous in his Master's service as he has been since the
persecution has been directed against the profession, and, indeed, I might
say so of most of the fraternity who have fallen under my observation. This
affords me a satisfaction which I cannot well express; it is answering the
end for which the dispensation was provided, and will, I do verily believe,
restore the priesthood to its original dignity of character, and secure for
the great God a peculiar people zealous of good works. Should it please Him
in His wisdom to deprive His faithful pastors of provision heretofore
assigned them, yet they need not despond if, when lie comes, He finds them
affectionately looking after and tending His sheep; the heart-cheering sound
of 'Well done' will make ample amends for all their earthly relinquishments,
and they may dismiss all their anxieties for their little ones
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 101
knowing that they have entrusted them to His care who has
ways and means unknown to them to provide...
"My dear Honoria, you have had a great deal to go
through; but you have had the comfort of alleviating the sufferings of a dear
parent and the glorious prospect of her change to life and glory eternal… Pray
write and let me know how your father gets through the operation. Your
sister Benjamina is even more to be pitied than your father. Of course,
there are medical professors of eminence at Brussels to perform the
operation. You do not mention if both eyes are to be operated on. Of course
you have heard of the release of dear Letitia Lloyd…. She was buried on
Thursday, a most public funeral, and touching beyond all description. Mr.
Woodward exceeded himself in his sermon. A most crowded congregation, and
all her own family present, except the old man. He has given up Ardsalla to
his eldest son, Major Gough, and is wonderfully resigned."
Among the others there is a letter from Robert to Mrs.
Gondreville, written from Calcutta, and dated March 29, 1834. It was
probably a copy which was preserved, because it related to business and is
full of questions about "poor Will's estate," which his brothers at
home had desired him to make. His family did not wish to claim poor Eliza's
dowry—they desired that it should be given to her sister Mary; they only
asked for the money which William had put into the estate, with the interest
on it, and the price of his personal effects. The Gondrevilles appear to
have had some difficulty in paying this, and Robert goes on to say, “It
occurs to me, if the Government take the slaves off your hands, and pay you
for them, you will then surely be in funds to pay this now the abominable
traffic is given up; the Government in doing so have only done right. . . You
will scarcely credit it when I tell you that I am going home, because I said
so before, and did not go; however, I really am going this time, and by the
time you get this, I hope to be not far from you, on my way to the Emerald
Isle in a ship called the Emerald, that is to sail from this about 10th next
month ... I don't know what I am to do with myself when I get home, but 'tis time
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 102
this, or my health would fail me and my spirits as well,
and I ardently long to embrace my poor old mother, and the rest of
Letter from Richard:-‑
“Dublin, Nov. 4th, 1834.
“DEAR CHARLES,— By Robert's directions, not obeyed till
oft repented, I enclose you a bill of his for £104, 3s. 4d. which you are to
make use of as occasion requires, and to repay him at your convenience! I am
glad to hear of Norah's1 safety. --Affectionately yours, R.
On the back of this letter his mother wrote:-‑
“DEAR CHARLES,-- Thanks be to that good and kind and
merciful Protector who has brought our anxieties to so favourable a
conclusion! I will not let Robert start until we hear again from some of you
. . . when you will at last enjoy the unspeakable and long-expected comfort
of receiving our beloved wanderer into your little happy circle. I assure
you, poor Robert is reckoning the days until he starts for the North. Abb and
John left Edward the day we did... Bell would not leave Edward quite alone,
and also she knew that she would lose Robert’s society while he was in the
North, and therefore has deferred her and Edward's visit until his return,
when, I trust, we may all meet together here. I have been considering that
Charles might put on his hat, and come up with Robert and Aunt Bell to see
them safe home."
The next letter shows that on their return from the
North, instead of his father they brought little William back with them to
From Isabella :-‑
"HERBERT PLACE, Jan, 14th.
My DEAR NORAH,— I will commence this trusting to the good
fates to get it in some way to you gratis, which is the only way I propose it
shall go . I purpose, please God, leaving this next Thursday, on my way back
to Limerick, which I left this day seven weeks. As great ladies move…
1. She was delivered of a
dead-born son on 31st of October.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 103
slowly, I propose taking a fortnight for my journey, and
will go by Clonmell, where I am to pick up Anne Sankey, who has promised to
come on with me to Edward's. Her society will make the remainder of the
winter pass very pleasantly to Robert, Edward, and myself. Robert left us
last Monday, and proposes stopping till March between John's and Edward's. I
have determined the greater part of the time shall be at the latter, but I
know Edward and I will have to battle John about it. I never saw a creature
so improved in health and appearance as he is since his return to Ireland;
his trip to your part of the country did him the greatest good possible. He
has almost entirely decided on taking a trip to India in May next, and we do
not feel at all averse to his doing so. To be sure, if any employment could
be procured for him in this country, which would suit him, it would be
greatly to be preferred; but I fear there is no chance of that; there are few
employments now that he would be calculated for. It is plainly to be seen,
and he acknowledges it himself, that any sedentary employment would be misery
for him. He would sail about the month of May, and reckons on being back in
England in about ten months, and the short time of his stay in Calcutta would
be in the cold season, when, he says, the climate is quite wholesome.
"Your dear William is the life and delight of us
all. He is a most lovable little creature, and I don't think I ever saw a
better boy. He is right well, and continues to amuse himself very well
without his little playfellows."
Next comes a letter, in large childish round hand for a
few lines, and the rest finished by Grandmamna:--
"Mv DEAR PAPA;--- I hope you are all well. I have
got a great many presents. We went to Iniskerry, where we took a nice walk
to Lord Powerscourt's, which was very beautiful. Grandmamma will write the
rest of this, for I am tired of doing it myself. I did go in the steamcoach
one day: to Kingstown. We went in a quarter of an hour, and it is very nice
machinery, I can tell you, for what I have seen of it, but I would rather be
carpentering. I do everything that…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 104
I am desired, and Grandmamtna says that I am conquering
my self-will, which she hates.
"There are a great many monkeys going about town,
and one came one day to Herbert Place. I am to go to the Zoological Gardens,
to see the wild beasts. I am very happy here, and Dublin is just what I
thought it was, and they all love me dearly, and I never get anger. I always
wash and dress myself, for Uncle Bob taught me, and ask Mary M'Garvey to let
me dress myself when I go home. I would rather go down to see sisters, and
will you answer this and will Lydia write to me? and I always listen to the
bell, to know if there is a letter for me, and I do make little boats up here
in the back drawing-room, and I have got a paint-box to paint them. I Am
your ever beloved and affectionate son, WILLIAM GALWEY."
"I send this true picture of our darling William's
little heart, just as it issued from his mouth, and I must add that a better
or more governable child never fell under my observation, and possessing
fewer faults. His entire attention now is directed to submitting himself to
authority, without argument or hesitation; when that is done, there will be
apparently little in the sweet child to render his abode in this trying scene
much longer necessary. But I speak humanly. Many a secret and hidden source
of, human depravity may still remain, which may require the discipline of
life to subdue. Willy is reckoning the days till Papa and Mamma come to
Herbert Place, which appears to want no charm to him but yours and sisters'
company. . . . I congratulate my dear Honoria on the rapid recovery of the
poor Colonel's sight."
She writes again on January 29:
"I will not let the opportunity escape of bearing my
testimony to the good estate of your dear child, both in mind and body. He
really has become the pet of the house, and has received so many presents of
tops, bats, painting implements, &c., that you must send all home in a
waggon I think. Bell has been, since her arrival, almost…
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 105
exclusively his schoolmistress, and Uncle Robert, while
he remained in town, took upon him the office of nurserymaid —combing and
washing all executed under his directions. There is a little dog coming into
the family this day, which will be an additional source of delight; in fact,
every day brings its wonders. He has been for the last hour looking at a
steamcoach driving round Stephen's Green, which has greatly excited
And she writes to Mary:
"I beg you to remember me most kindly to Miss
Mortimer, and assure her from me that her little pupil, William, has done her
ample justice, both as to his acquirements and conduct; indeed, he has
created a universal interest here, amongst all his friends and acquaintances,
by his docility, good-temper, and amiable disposition. He has been greatly
blessed by Providence with the gift of one of the finest tempers I have
almost ever met with."
A letter from Robert from Limerick, 14th January 1835
"MYDEAR CHARLEY,— I got here last night, and I
suppose am to go on to Jack's in a week or so in order to be in the way to go
over to Kiltinane and convoy Bell G. to Clonbeg from thence. I think I
mentioned to you before that I saw Mr. Knox1 (in
Liverpool), and was sorry I could see so little of him, as I was greatly pressed
for time. I hope to see more of him in April, when I go over there again to
accomplish my object in going out to Calcutta in command of a ship to trade
between there and Liverpool, and I think I shall be able to bring it about by
taking £I000 in the ship myself. I intend remaining quietly at John's
(though now and then at Ned's) till the middle of March, then go to Dublin,
and be in Liverpool early in April, to get hold of a ship, and sail in May. But
man proposes, God disposes.
"With regard to that point upon which you spoke to
1. The Rev. Andrew Knox,
second son of Col. Know of Prehen, icar of St. Mary’s Birkenhead.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 106
and again mentioned in your last letter, my mind is at
ease, or at least comparatively so, for I feel assured that God never leaves
a mind or heart like yours, longing for a more perfect and established faith,
to long in vain. He it is that created that longing, and He alone can satisfy
it. He who has commenced that good work never leaves His work unfinished,
though in some He works more slowly than in others. Look Into Nature, and see
Him there; how beautifully, and by how many various means, He accomplishes
His purposes. Now, is it the tree that soonest comes to its full growth that
is the stoutest or most firmly rooted? Be content and endeavour to be more
diligent from day to day, and from year to year; more circumspect in all you
say, as well as all you do; praying for and looking continually for that
Divine Influence in your heart and mind that has been purchased for you by
the Great Author and Finisher of every good work. You are not tempted in
this way more than others have been, and you have seen them established. More
and more powerful are they that be for us than they that be against us! 'The
path of the just is as the morning light that shineth more and more unto the
perfect day.' ..
"You never saw a greater or more universal favourite
than Billy is at Herbert Place. I never saw a more promising child than he
is, or one that improves so upon acquaintance; I think that he has excellent
Writing from Clonbeg on 17th February, he says :
" I am growing anxious to get hold of some
employment again so as to pay my way along, and hope that He who brought me
out of former difficulties will help me now again, and not only me, but those
for whom I feel anxious. Please God something will be done soon by
Parliament to place you upon a more comfortable and less anxious footing than
you have been. In the meantime, should you be hard-pressed for cash, use
annexed order upon Messrs, Buchanan & Brown of Liverpool, as that bill is
now due, and I hope you would not leave yourself in want of it, and not take
the loan of it from me."
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 107
From the same, Liverpool, 30th May 1835;
"DEAR CHARI.EY,— I was down at the Pierhead five
minutes after you hauled out the other day, and was vexed that I missed you,
as I was fully intent upon seeing you again, when I bid you good-night the
evening before; but you started earlier than they said. I felt a little
lonely after you went, but keep shaking it off, as well as I can. However, I
shall be glad when I once more shove my boat off from this. I have had one
offer already, to take command of a little ship, but was reluctantly obliged
to decline it, as I should have had to take a share in her, and upon inquiry,
found it would not be prudent. Drop me a line to say how you are getting on
with money matters; and if you have succeeded in getting any in. I see Lord
John Russell says he will bring in the Irish Church Bill after Whitsuntide. God
grant they may be able to settle it somehow; it would be a great ease to all
our minds, as well as yours and dear Jack's ... Now as to Paddles! I have
not yet done much to show them off, and in my next will be able to tell you
what people say of them."
The remainder of this letter refers to wheels which
Charles required for his inventions. He made several that were most
ingenious and useful, but the lack of time and money to bring them to
perfection prevented his ever achieving any advantage from them. At this
time he was engaged on paddles for a steamboat, which were constructed on the
principle of the foot of a sea-bird.
On the 26th June 1835, Edward Galwey was married to Anne,
second daughter of Matthew Sankey, Esq., of Coolmore, co. Tipperary.
On 9th of July he writes:-‑
" My DEAR CHARLES,--Many thanks for good wishes on
the subject of my marriage, and your and Norah’s kind invitation to myself
and wife to Moville, we would gladly accept were circumstances to permit,
which, I fear, cannot be for this year; however at some other time "we
will hope to do so.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 108
"I hope to have Robert here shortly, as he gave me
reason to hope he would spend the ensuing summer and winter with me, in the
event of his failing in getting a ship out, which, I infer from a letter, has
proved the case. I have written to request he would lose no more of his time
and money in Liverpool, but come over at once, which I hope he will do. Poor
fellow, he has always been most unfortunate in his speculations, and I wish
he would now rest quietly on the independence he has got.
"I am delighted to hear of your success in
recovering your tithes, which I could not have hoped would have been so
great, from the late period at which you took proceedings. It only shows
the clergy have been in a great measure to blame themselves, for not having
individually enforced their rights as any other class of men would have done,
instead of losing time putting their heads together in vain deliberations and
consultations. I may say that by means of the proceedings, in which I alone
(having been the only person then engaged) was employed, for a few tithes…..1
the entire after tithes of this diocese had been in course of payment, till
stopped by His Majesty's Ministers in 1833; but at the time you commenced I
had feared, I must confess, that things had gone too far. Only think of
John—instead of enforcing against them who won't pay, he won't take from
those that will, having actually refused to receive his tithes from several
of his parishioners who offered them, which, I think you will agree with me,
is an overstrained principle of rectitude."
A letter from his mother to Charles, dated Dublin, 7th
September 1835, tells that Robert was with Edward, and "looking out for
employment at home." She records very lovely weather. "I think I
cannot remember so delightful a harvest!"
Richard Galwey was married on the 14th of November, this
year, to his cousin Jane, only daughter of William Galwey, Esq., of Lota and
Lower Baggot Street, Dublin.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 109
In a business letter to his brother, the 29th December,
he says :
"Robert is stopping with me, Isa Webb with Robert
Webb. The old woman and girls are well, and comfortably settled at Bray. I
wish they were nearer."
The Gortgowan Family Register records the birth of Andrew
Knox Galwey on 17th December 1835.
Charles' mother writes to her son, on the 20th, to congratulate
him on this event, and tells what "a happy little circle" they are
at Bray, and hopes to have their numbers soon augmented by the arrival of Isa
Webb and Robert. "Our dear Richard has been twice out to see us with his
bride. She is seemingly anxious to do right, and make herself useful, and I
feel assured that God will bless this union, to His glory and the
sanctification of their own souls. They are to eat their Christmas pudding
with the Old Nurse, and we have secured a comfortable bed for them at a
lodging-house close by us."
Richard to Charles, Jan. to, 1836
"On Tuesday morning last, at five o'clock, a shot
was fired into the drawing-room at Clonbeg, which woke John. Then another was
fired on the lawn, and, on John throwing up the window, and challenging, a
third on the road behind the gate. On going down in the morning he found
that one of the shots had broken the drawing-room window and shutters, and
that an anti-tithe notice was fastened on the gate. He attributes it to his
having written to a Mrs. Shehan, between him and Tipperary, for the amount of
tithe due to him, and thinks this was the answer to that application. I do
not attribute much weight to the business, looking upon it more as a hint to
keep himself quiet than anything else”
In a letter of congratulation on the birth of her little
brother, to Mary from her grandmother, she says:-‑
"I have been often thinking of your dear father lately.
Our weather has been so severe, and I have been feeling for his dear long
legs and back going over bleak hills
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 110
to his back parish. I hope that he packs himself up well
to encounter the blast. We have been here in the centre of beauty,
encompassed with the loveliest walks, and have not been able to stir farther
than the church for nearly three weeks, from the severity of the
" BRAY, March 25th, 1836.
"It is a long time since I wrote to my dearest
Honoria, or she to me, but now that the fair weather is about to come we
shall both mend, I expect.
"I truly grieve that Miss Mortimer has been obliged
to leave you—particularly for the cause.1 You will hear
from mother and Lydia by the governess, I suppose, as they are both in
Dublin. Robert, Isa, and old Widgeon are keeping house here. Our dear
Robert spent two months with John, and will go down again next month with
mother. What a blessing to have him with us! It was a great comfort to John
that he had Robert with him. Thank God, they have had no other alarm since,
and I trust they will not. How and where are Mrs. Hay2 and
Mrs. Rickards?3 Has Captain Hay got an appointment? Take
your time in writing, and send me a full budget. How is my darling Willie,
and does he remember us?... Remember me to Mary M'Garvey. I am truly glad
that she remained with you."
"MY DEAR CHARLES,— As I.W. is sending a line to Norah,
I have got a bit of paper to say a word to you. I had a letter from John
yesterday, detailing the circumstance of his being waylaid on the 19th at
Thomastown, Lord Landaffe's; as he was returning from Kiltinane with Abb and
little Anne Cooke, two men, disguised, pounced upon him suddenly, and clapped
their guns to his breast, so that he could not get at his pistols, which were
jammed behind the cushion of his car—they then took his pistols (which was
their object) and decamped. The poor...
2. The eldest Miss Knox.
3. Mrs. Galwey’s younger
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 111
fellow is living in the worst spot in Ireland, but it is
not good for us to have too smooth a road through life, and the annoyances he
has lately met seem to make him cling more and more closely to his Bible and
his duty as a clergyman. I was with him ten days ago, and stayed with him
two months during the long winter nights, and am thinking of going to him
again. I am still unemployed, I am sorry to say, but it is better to be so
than to be doing mischief! Let me know when you write how much of your tithes
you got for 1835, and how much for 1834, as I have heard first one thing and
then another. I do think that they will be saddled on the landlords this
session. My mother and I.W. are not to know of this unpleasant business of
From Lydia :
"May 10th, 1836.
"DEAR CHARLES,— I had a note this morning from Anne
Gabbett. I had written to her the day before, and mentioned Honoria's and
your wishes respecting Miss M'Laren. I begged of her to go as soon as she
could, to inquire how she is getting on, and she says, in reply, that when
she went to Mrs, M'Cartney's, the lady with whom she is staying in Gloucester
Street, she found her just going out to drive for the first time; and Mrs.
M'C. spoke so much of her amiability that Anne says she hopes we may agree. She
is herself anxious to go as soon as she can.... I pipped in the paper
yesterday to Honoria that mother had not been well for some days1...
What I dread is the consequences of these severe remedies on a person so far
advanced in life; but surely we know all is in the hands of One who knows
what is best. We have written to John today to tell him that the dear old
mother is not well. This will be a sad disappointment to him, as he was in
daily expectation of a letter from her to say when he was to expect her. We
have written another to Edward. If God sees fit, He Can restore her to us! If
He sees fit, in unerring wisdom, to take her, her...
1. Here follows a long account
of symptoms and severe treatment by the local doctor, who applied leeches and
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 112
sons will feel sorrow ; but oh! what a blank the world
will be to us!"
"I am very glad that I did not send this yesterday,
as dear mother is decidedly better today. I trust in God that she will be
spared to us for a while."
Grannie to Mary:--
"Bray, June 5th, 1836.
"I take the opportunity of Aunt Bell's going to see
you, to address a few lines . . . I trust your new governess, who, no doubt,
will be established in her post before you receive this, will prove herself
worthy of your esteem."
Isabella Galwey spent the summer at Gortgowan, while her
sister Lydia took their mother to Cheltenham. On her arrival in Dublin, she
writes from Herbert place on the 11th October:--
"MY DEAR NORAH;— My fellow traveller and I had a
most prosperous journey this day week. I found poor Richard driving his
jaunting car up and down Sackville Street waiting for me, which he had been
doing for an hour; he thought the coach would be in at six, which it was not
"The very day I arrived here, Richard got a letter
from my mother saying that she and Lydia would be here the next day, and
begging him to go and meet then at Kings-town at two o'clock. You may suppose
then what our surprise was when, before breakfast, they both walked in to us.
On arriving the night before at Bangor (having been travelling the whole
day), they heard that a packet was to sail that night at twelve, and that
wind and tide were in their favour, so they popped into it. My mother has
benefited greatly indeed by the excursion, and is up to any exertion, as you
may suppose when I tell you that she travelled on the top of the coach almost
the whole way from Cheltenham. She and Lydia stayed at Mrs. Falkiner's when
they were in town, at which Richard was fit to be tied; but we all thought it
better not to have any hurry in the house when Jane was not very stout. Jane
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 113
day gaining ground; when I first came she appeared very
poorly. He1 is a fine, sound, wholesome, good-humoured
creature. When I first came I thought him ugly, but now I think him anything
but that. He sometimes actually laughs in our faces, and brandishes his arms
at us in a way I never saw a child of his age do. His mouth—ye powers! it is
a big one; his nose, in our family, majestic, and his skin the true Galwey
hue. Now, Norah, tell me, is your son to be compared to him? Richard seems
to take a great interest in him, and I trust and hope will every day get
fonder of him. Jane is an attentive, affectionate mother, and I think her
character improves on us every day. Surely this ought to make us thankful. Another
cause of gratitude to us all is our dear Robert; so happy and healthy a
fellow is seldom to be seen. The business he is in he seems completely to
cotton to, and Richard says he is sure it is one he and his partner will do
well in. He has been in here three times since I came; each time as busy as
a bee. His partner, Richard thinks, is just the person to act with Robert,
as he is as keen and calculating as Robert is the contrary. He was very busy
last week, as the mill-pond overflowed twice, and was near carrying them all
off. I hope you have had as good weather as we have had ever since I left
Robert and his partner had leased a large mill near
Newtown, Mount Kennedy, in the co. Wicklow. If it did not bring in much
wealth, it at least supplied him with healthful interests and occupation. The
"partner," I think, proved more keen for his own interests than the
general good, and after some years the work was carried on by Robert alone.
Letter from his mother to Charles
"BRAY, Oct, 23rd, 1836.
"I think my dear children will be pleased to receive
an acknowledgment under my own hand of the great benefit...
1. William, the eldest sone
of Richard and Jane galwey, born 3rd September.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 114
I have received by my trip. We have been seated by our
own fireside for more than a week, and were joined by Aunt Bell, John, and
Abb, who are now here, and expect tomorrow our own Isabella.
"The same post that takes this will bear you our
Record, in which you will find a letter from a Presbyterian Clergyman to the
Established Church of the Diocese of Derry. I greatly desire to direct your
attention to it, of which it is well worthy. I can hardly express to you my
deep anxiety as to the course you are taking with respect to the National
Board of Education, that subtle invention of Satan's to open the floodgates
of Popery and Infidelity in order to shelve and overthrow true Christianity. Now
it does grieve me when I see such as yourself beguiled into partaking of the
mischief, swallowing a prepared draught without being at all aware of the
poison. It grieves me also to think that you are so far away removed from
everyone on whom you could place confidence or receive advice. Confident I
am that you act on principle, not expediency, but I fear that you cannot be a
judge when your candour comes in contact with the subtlety of a party who
would move heaven and earth to obtain their purpose. You in the North are not
aware, I presume, of the working of this abominable National Board; but could
you see it as it is here, fostered and encouraged by the Papacy, you would be
more on your guard. I am not competent to put my feelings forward on this
subject, but, as you are a parent yourself, you must be aware of the vital
interest excited in my soul—that you should be well aware of the consequences
of the part you take in so material a point. Alas! I feel my sad
insufficiency to advise; I therefore must betake myself to my constant
resource, even prayer, presenting you at the throne of grace and unceasingly
beseeching the Almighty God to enlighten your spiritual understanding and to
warm and enliven your spiritual affections, giving you grace and power to
feed those He has committed to your care with that Bread of Life, even His
In the same letter John writes :—
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 115
"I must not let this go, dear Charles, without a
line to certify what Mother states indeed to be fact, that she is well beyond
all expectation. . . . She wishes that I should give you my sentiments on the
proceedings of your diocese just now. I feel that you are placed in a
strait; you have found the plan (for with the system you cannot be conjoined)
work well in your individual case, and, arguing (not legitimately) from the
particular, would conclude in its favour. . . . I will only say, weigh well
before you act, and seek guidance from above, for surely the debate is of the
deepest interest. We have suffered deeply by ungodly concessions to the
demon of Expediency. The question has been too long, What will serve? Let
us at last ask, What is right? and stand thereby looking to Him alone from
whom help cometh. My views you know long since on all those subjects. I
would have perished ere I would have retreated one inch, and I feel assured
had such been our national practice, we would now stand higher and more
secure. . . . God's Word is the standard He elevates now — 'Who is on the
Lord's side, Who?' is the question He puts to all."
It will be seen from the above letter, that Charles
Galwey was again at issue with the rest of his family on a religious and
political question. "The experiment was tried by the Government in the
year 1831 of providing such religious instruction in the common schools as
might, it was hoped, prove acceptable to Roman Catholics and Protestants
alike. In the same year Richard Whately was consecrated Arch-bishop of
Dublin, and it fell to his lot to compile, in conjunction with Dr. Daniel
Murray (R.C. Archbishop), a course of Scripture extracts in which certain
deviations from the authorised version could not but be admitted. This
embroiled him with the more extreme Protestants. He was also an object of
suspicion to the Irish clergy from his well-known antipathy to Evangelical
principles, as well as his position as working head of the new system of
United National Education.' "1
A copy of a letter written about this time by Charles...
1. From National Biography.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 116
Galwey to Archbishop Whately will best explain his views:--
"MY LORD ARCHBISHOP,— It is to be lamented, I think,
that the sentiments of those who have been most prominent in their opposition
to the system of national education may have been so imputed to the great
majority of the clergy as, perhaps, to a considerable extent to prejudice the
cause of many who, though desirous of some relaxation or modification of its
rules, yet by no means concur in the unqualified and unreasonable objections
urged by many against it, but, on the contrary, highly approve of the
even-handed justice with which it was the avowed design of its originators to
construct the Board of Commissioners, and communicate the advantages of
education to all denominations in the country without doing violence to the
religious scruples of any. . In several of the schools in this neighbourhood,
and, I believe, elsewhere, the practice prevails of having the Scriptures
read under the instructions of the master by those children whose parents do
not object to it, and this not only with permission but approbation of the
Commissioners, who do not however make it imperative, but leave it optional
with the master. In most of the schools in this neighbourhood, as far as I
am acquainted with them, where this is the case, it is done with the perfect
concurrence of the R.C. clergymen and by R.C. masters, as well as
Protestants. But, my Lord, while this laudable practice prevails in many
districts, in many also it does not, and it is apprehended that the incumbent
of the parish, though he may be admitted a patron by the Commissioners, has
not the power to enforce it, but that if the master thinks proper to refuse
to do it, he is left without means of securing for the children of his parish
reasonable instruction in Holy Scripture.... It is not possible for me to
provide teachers for that express purpose. I could not afford to pay so many
as would be required, and the country being a remote one in which are no
resident landlords, I could not obtain aid to do so, and there are not
persons in the different districts capable of it. As to my own personal
attendance for the purpose, I could not possibly, with other professional
avocations, pay more than...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 117
one visit to each district in the week, which for the
purpose of Scripture instruction would be quite insufficient.. . . When a
reasonable acquaintance of the Bible is acquired by daily reading at school
with their teacher, without note or comment, the greatest aid is thereby
given to the catechetical instruction of the clergyman, occasional, as it
must be. . . . I am most desirous to have it distinctly understood that I,
and many other clergymen who think with me, have no wish to infringe upon the
liberties or do violence to the conscientious scruples of any, but only to
solicit a participation for ourselves and those in whom we are interested in
common benefits to which as citizens we are entitled, and as ministers we are
constrained to solicit. We do not ask that any who object to the reading of
the Scriptures should be compelled to have them so read. We only pray that
our own children should have the privilege... Surely it will not be thought
unreasonable for clergymen who have every honest wish to acquiesce in its salutary
regulations, and to give their aid to the carrying out of all the important
benefits of a united general education . to expect that, in admitting them
patrons of the schools in their respective parishes, they shall be empowered
to secure to their children this service from the master—that what in many
instances the teachers already volunteer to do they may in all instances when
required be obliged to do."
A letter from Mrs. Galwey, senior, from Bray, on the 28th
February 1837, describes a pretty cottage which they had taken near Newtown,
Mount Kennedy, no doubt to be near Robert's mill. In April they went to stay
at Clonbeg in the interval, and it was arranged that Lydia should go up first
and have the cottage prepared for them. Wring on April 9th, their mother
says:--- "Robert is all delight on the occasion. Richard, too, is quite
in love with it. He writes me word that the day he went to take possession,
he was caught in a snowstorm, but even then the Tadpole as he is pleased to
call it, appeared cheerful and comfortable. He says that he has been
inquiring for a school for his son, and has stumbled upon one in Stephen's
Green which he thinks may answer, admittance from two to seven years
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 118
old! You never saw such a picture of neatness and
comfort as this little glebe of John's. I have been here now a month, and
they have never sent to market for a morsel of meat, having beef, mutton,
pork, and fowls of their own in possession, and of the very best description;
besides which he had sold £30 worth of hay already, besides keeping his own
cattle. An excellent garden, potatoes of the best description, and all the
etceteras of a good farmer. All this is done without a cross or fretful
word, within or without the house. Edward was so hurried with affairs for
poor Jacob Sankey that he twice passed us by without being able to see the
poor old mother, but he will come here on Saturday, and pass Sunday with us,
and I have promised to pay him a visit on my return. I shall also call on
the dear old friends who repose together at O'Brien's Bridge to testify the
remembrance of L G."
On 3oth April, John writes:— "We are living in great
quiet, thank God; though outrages are frequently committed, they have
another scope than me or mine. Our battle has terminated—the brunt lies here
with land proprietors, and richly do they deserve a turn. . . . I am
disappointed in not seeing you—as to my going now it would be impossible. Whenever
the question is settled, and we parsons are permitted something to live on, I
will, please God, beat up your quarters, but now it would be really imprudent
to go vagabondising."
This letter contains one from their mother, all full of
plans never fulfilled. She thinks that they would return to Dublin "by
carnal, as less fatiguing and less expensive than by coach. I suppose you
have seen," she says, "the death of your kind old friend Mrs.
Falkiner in the paper. She is, thank God, emancipated from this world of
care, which long had lain heavy on her. She had a tranquil and happy exit. Your
Aunt Doral is now quite recovered; a most inestimable
blessing to your poor uncle, who would be indeed bereaved if he lost her. Spitler
Newman still in a lingering state."
1. The wife of her brother,
Robert Webb, nee Gabbett.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 119
From the same:-‑
"COTTAGE, NEWTOWN, MOUNT KENNEDY, May 27th, 1837.
"You will no doubt he much surprised, dear Charles,
by receiving a letter from this place so soon from me; but so it is. We were
hurried off from Limerick by receiving a letter on Wednesday to say that our
precious Lydia was dangerously ill; and dangerously ill we found her on
yesterday morning when Isabella and I arrived here, and I grieve to say so
she still continues—her life in the balance! for although the violence of
the disease is greatly abated, yet she is so exhausted, and still gets so
little rest, that it is hard to suppose she can have strength to bring her
through. She is now quite quiet, but in the commencement of the disease (a
brain fever) she was quite delirious, but, thank God, she has perfectly come
to her mind now, except for a moment; if an opiate this night shall gain her
some rest, we may encourage some hope of success. To me, her mother, who can
be so well acquainted with her mind and disposition, I have only on her
account to rejoice, but for my poor Isabella and myself, I have to lament an
irreparable loss. . . . She has excellent medical aid, and we have everything
which can mitigate our acute and unexpected trial. . . . Richard's Jane came
down on Monday morning fortunately (for that was the paroxysm of Lydia's
disorder); it was most opportune for poor Robert, who had not a female soul
near him to counsel or assist him. She was both kind and useful.... Isabella
is Lydia's constant attendant, as it is absolutely necessary to be exact in
administering nourishment, and she will not trust that matter to anyone but
The letter was finished and despatched from Dublin by
"May 26th, 1837.
"DEAR CHARLEY,— Our dear sister died this morning at
one o'clock without a groan or struggle. She had been sinking faster than
those about her would allow themselves to see for the last two days. Our
mother, Robert, Bell, and self were at her bedside when she died,
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 120
and had we not been watching her should not have known
that she was gone. This is but a poor house-warming apparently, but He knows
best. She is to be interred on Tuesday at Newcastle, the parish church,
within two miles of Newtown."
From further correspondence it would appear that Charles
came to Dublin just at this time on other business, not knowing of the sorrow
that was before him. A letter from him to his wife is dated from Newtown,
Mount Kennedy, June 6th:-‑
Your welcome and affectionate letter came to hand, my
beloved Norah, yesterday, and I commence this letter here intending to go
into Dublin this evening to finish it. My mother and dear Bell are indeed
wonderfully well; at times, of course, sorrow seems to overwhelm them with a
flood, but on the whole they are greatly supported. This day week our
beloved Lydia's remains were deposited in one of the sweetest sequestered
spots (in the midst of some trees) I ever saw, and yesterday evening, mother,
Bell, John, and I drove to visit it. It was a heart-rending but most
consoling scene. It gave vent to a copious flow of tears from both, but they
were evidently the better for it, and have been ever since. I feel very glad
that I happened to come up when I did. I have witnessed much that will do me
good, and give me comfort, and my being here is of great service to them. I have
principally on that account determined not to leave till next week. When I go
to Dublin I will write to the Dean about my duty for Sunday, and shall tell
him to let you know what he can do for me."
From directions given to his wife at the end of this letter
about some processes that were to be served, it seems that miserable business
was not yet over.
Next comes a long letter to Norah from the poor mother,
full of sorrow and resignation, and faith in her child's blessedness . She
tells how her grandson has been staying with them.
"We have had Master Willy with us since this day...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 121
se'nnight. He has been of infinite value to us all, but
particularly to Isa, who has become an excellent nurse. Such little brats
are often better comforters than the wisest philosophers. He is beginning to
try to walk, but will not crawl at all, and has learned to praise God. . . .
I have not yet attained courage sufficient to write to my darling Mary, so
many recollections obtrude themselves on me when I think of her. Darling
Willy was also a child of poor Aunt Lyddy's. How much she loved him. Pray
remember me to Miss M'Laren. Dear L. was not disappointed there."
From Isabella, August 24th:-‑
"You will be glad to hear that we like our little
place more and more every day; it is very quiet and peaceful, and we have
got it very comfortably settled. My dear mother continued wonderfully well,
but latterly has been nervous. She now drives every day to the sea with Anne,
who is bathing; and the drive and sea air are good for both her spirits and
nerves, which, of course, must be shaken. I sometimes fear that she exerts
herself too much, and that in a little time she will sink under it; but I
have no reason to indulge any fears, as we have been so mercifully dealt
with, that I ought to feel that she is in Hands that will do what is best for
"We expect Robert Webb1 and his
bride here on Saturday to spend a few days. He was married this day week,
and we had a note from him today to say he would be here. Bringing his wife
to see my mother is pretty and kind, but I wish their visit was over. It is
lucky for both her and us that Anne Galwey is with us. We are a sad lot of
old fogies to have a strange bride brought among us."
They were expecting a visit from John and his wife early
in August, and his mother congratulated herself that''; John Dawson, who has
succeeded to the possession of the property, by the death of his brother
James, would be ready to lend a helping hand and give poor John a little
liberty, which is a real comfort to a country clergyman, who cannot...
1. He was eldest son of Mrs.
Galwey's brother ; he married Miss Bessie Woodroffe.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 122
conscientiously leave his flock in the hand of a
stranger, and Dawson, although an odd fish, is altogether a very good
clergyman, and also a kind-hearted landlord. God help all landlords,
pastors, and Christian people," she says, "in a time, as it is to
be feared, of awful responsibility and trouble." She finishes the
letter on 7th August, and tells how their hopes of seeing John had been
disappointed, as "a parishioner was so ill as rendered it impossible for
him to leave home. I never knew him determined to leave home, that something
of the kind did not occur—though I am sure he seldom puts it to the
proof." A proposed visit from Norah appears also to have been
frustrated, for she says:— "I was by no means surprised at finding that
the pleasure of seeing you was not to be ours. I suspected that you would
not be able to accomplish it, for never have I known you to turn your back on
a duty in order to gratify yourself with a pleasure. I congratulate you on
the marriage of your sister,1 as indeed hers was a lonely
position, separated as she is from all the family. I felt much obliged and
flattered by your brother Andrew's recollection of me. I do not forget the
pleasant evenings I enjoyed in his society at Cheltenham."
She writes to Mary:
"Your accounts of yourself and the dear young fry
are truly interesting. Master Andrew appears to be the prominent object
amongst you; but as he has not bewitched me I must tell you that I am
constant to my first love, and that neither Master Andrew, nor Master Billy
of Herbert Place, however engaging, or however lovable they may be, will ever
efface from my heart my own Willy of Gortgowan, and none of these upstarts
shall take his place in Granny's heart, but although that heart is old, there
is much room in it; so much that all may find place. Indeed this other Billy
the Bully is a darling brat, and we sadly feel his loss (he left us on Friday
after a visit of two months) particularly at this season, the recurrence of
which brings back recollections...
1. Benjamina, who married a
Belgian officer called Loeffel.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 123
of bygone days—dear departed friends, who are only gone
before us to scenes where we shall meet, never to part again... .
"I think Papa would think this place very much
improved since he was here. Uncle Robert as a farmer, and Aunt Widgeon as a
gardener, have shown their skill and abilities. We have eaten four sheep off
the farm, have excellent vegetables and abundance of them, and at this moment
the plough is doing duty in turning up our little lawn. Besides, we have had
nearly enough potatoes for our own consumption. Now, is not all this doing
great things out of one acre, one rood, and a few perches of land, comprising
house and offices? I tell all these circumstances to pull down Mother's
pride as to the management of the great demesne of Gortgowan. But I have not
told you all, for there is the wool of our sheep, in actual progress for
flannel and stockings. There ever has been, as I am told, a rivalship
between mothers-in law and daughters-in-law, and now, for the first time, I
do verily believe it has commenced between your mother and me. You really
make me long to know your excellent governess. Your precious Aunt Lydia,
whose judgment I never knew deficient, distinguished her value at once, and
Miss M'Laren's settlement in your family was one of the many useful acts with
which my beloved's life was adorned.1 . . . Uncle Robert is busily, and
apparently happily, engaged at his mill, and supplies us with excellent
bread, bacon, and meal."
"MY DEAR CHARLES,--Your last letter gave us all
great pleasure, as it relieved our anxieties for you, for the present, upon
the score of money matters, though we had heard from Richard, some time
before, that at length he had been able to send you a supply, and hoped soon
1. Her grave bears this inscription :
“This stone has been erected to the memory of Lydia,
daughter of the late Rev. William Galwey, by her grateful and affectionate
Mother. She departed this life on the 28th day of May, 1837.”
" A beautiful specimen of a true Christian, resting on
the merits and love of her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 124
more. Our gracious and merciful God has been the
supplier of our wants from our youth until now, and it is good for us to feel
our dependence upon Him from time to time in these matters, that it may bring
us to look to Him for those supplies that lead towards a better country....
My time is quite taken up with the mill, having no clerk. We have not done
much good with it yet. The first year we made no more than £100, but I think
this year we will double that."
" March 12th, 1838.
"We are here this day basking in a lovely sun, after
as severe a winter as I ever remember—that of 1814 excepted—but have all
escaped harmless, only one or two heavy colds. As for myself, not even the
lauristinuss exceeds me in hardiness, notwithstanding that I have lost all
loveliness; but the Great Gardener knows what to do with such unsightly old
plants, and will, through mercy, cause me to spring up once more in renewed
and additional beauty, reflected from Himself. Oh, what comfort arises out
of such thoughts!
"The dear miller is as busy as his predecessor who
lived on the river Dee, and his mill is improving in character every day, as
also in employment.
"We have been very uneasy for some days about old
Mr. Cooke, who fell from his horse, and was found lying insensible; but this
day's post brought the agreeable intelligence that he was wonderfully
recovered, and able to come downstairs.
"The storm of the 9th of last month did the most
fearful damage at Kiltinane, rooting up the large trees of the old avenue and
laying them prostrate in such a manner that they say it will take weeks to
remove them, and breaking down and tearing away all the small timber and
shrubs on the North Rocks. Abb and John had gone to pay a visit to the
Dawsons at the New Forest, when the snow came on, and so completely blocked
their return to the glebe that they were obliged to remain there for an
entire week, the roads around being entirely obliterated. The...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 125
shipwrecks off the coast of Cork were tremendous, and
even Dublin was for some days shut up, first by snow, and afterwards by
water, which was to the chests of the horses as they drove from Ball's Bridge
to the middle of the Pembroke Road."
A fifth daughter, Caroline Jane Benjamina, was born on
8th July at Gortgowan.
Grannie writes on September 30, 1838:--
" THE COTTAGE, N. M. K.
"MY DEAR HONORlA:— I yesterday received the joint
letter of my dear Charles and Mary, giving me the agree-able intelligence of
their safe arrival. . . . Isabella intends breaking ground this week on her
return to us from Kinsale. She finds herself much better for her little
tour, and is to return by Limerick, where she will probably stay for a day or
two. Our poor Richard has been suffering much since he left us, in
consequence of a fresh cold taken the Saturday after my dear party broke up. He
came out with Jane and the boys on his jaunting car, and got a most sad
wetting, which quite threw him back. He was obliged again to consult Colles,
who has put him on a vegetable diet, and restricted him from every liquid but
water, so I think the poor fellow will look badly when he gets well. A
letter from John and Abb to say they got home safe and well. Kind-hearted
Anne remained with me until Aunt Bell's return. And now, my dear Honoria, I
must thank you for the indulgence you have afforded me in the society of
Charles and the bairns. It was indeed very gratifying to poor grandmamma,
who had the enjoyment of finding the dear young creatures training up in the
way they should go."
"5 HERBERT PLACE.
"On Saturday I received a note from Jane Galwey, and
another from Dora Webb which alarmed me exceedingly on Richard's account,
insomuch that on the moment I set off for this place, to find all my fears
fully verified, as no man could have been more alarmingly ill than I found
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 126
At my earnest desire, Crampton was called in yesterday,
and under the blessing of God my dear child's disease has, I think, given way
to the vigorous methods pursued. He was bled, cupped, and blistered at once,
and has drawn his breath freely this morning.... The disease, Crampton and
Colles say, has laid hold of his chest, and was threatening his heart... I
intend to return home on Saturday, and will take Billy with me, as I think it
may be as well to have the house as free of care as my be. I heard from
Isabella yesterday. She is very well, but the cough not gone.”
“THE COTTAGE, October 29th.
“I have, thank god, intelligence to communicate which
will be cheering to my dear children at Gortgowan. I left town under the
agreeable impression of a decided improvement in our dear Richard’s health.
Thank God, our intelligence since corroborates that statement, yet his
physicians refuse to pronounce him out of danger till the hoarseness is
removed and his throat well, neither of which, I am sorry to say, is yet the
case, but we had a line from himself saying that he felt wonderfully better,
barring these two things, which, however, are serious symptoms. In his note
he says he thinks his voice is better, but his throat is still burnt inwardly
with caustic every second day, and blistered outwardly. This, you must
allow, is severe discipline, but never draws from him any impatient word or
complain... This has been an hour of trial for the poor old mother, but I
have been wonderfully supported now, as in many, many other instances of my
chequered existence. Edward must, I believe, come up to look after poor
Richard’s business in Term, and Jane told me that Anne intends to be with her
when she is confined.”
“5 HERBERT PLACE, Nov. 10th.
“This is the third Sabbath day that I have addressed a
letter to you, my dear Charles, on the same subject—that of our precious
Richard, in whom there is no change of any kind except one which affords me
the most heart-flet comfort, and even that is not a change but a progression...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 127
--his mind being apparently every moment more and more
detached from earth, and his hopes more fixed with his Redeemer: indeed, his
deportment does credit to his profession, and affords a cheering example of
how a Christian can die. All that human means can supply has been done to
relieve him, but as yet without effect, and we must await the Almighty’s will
in patient submission. His mind appears as tranquil as possible for any
human mind to be under the most cheering circumstances. He suffers no pain,
and his strength is wonderfully little impaired; frequent fits of
suffocation alone he has to contend with; yet surely this is a distressing
trial, and requires much—I will not say of fortitude—but of Christian faith
and confidence to endure with an unshaken mind. It is worth bearing much to
behold this sublime sight. The physicians conjecture that the complaint may
be an aneurism, which they consider to be incurable, buth should they be
mistaken, and that it prove to be an imposthume, there may be sanguine hopes
entertained that it may discharge itself and relieve him. Our state is one
of intense anxiety at present, but we have a steadfast hop, sure and certain,
and we pray to be supported. Poor Jane is bearing up very well. Little
Willie is at the cottage with Isabella Webb and dear Robert, and the latter
slept here on Friday night, as it is absolutely necessary to have some friend
in his room. He returned home, and was succeeded by Edward, who arrived by
the coach on Friday evening, accompanied by his little, useful, kind-hearted
Anne. Our dear Isabella came up with them, but caught a little cold which
brought on her cough, but Stokes, who has seen her today, says that she is
much better than when he last saw her, and he thinks a little care will get
her safe though the winter, probably without any recurrence of the complaint
in future; be he insists on her [not?] remaining in or about Dublin for the
winter. She is at present in most comfortable quarters with my dear Robert
and Dora Webb, who have been as father and mother in our present trouble.
“this dear Richard has desired to have a line in this
letter. He is never unoccupied, although he keeps himself perfectly
disengaged from the cares of his profession,
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 128
and has arranged all his own worldly concerns. His books
chiefly occupy his time; and of them, the Book of Life seems to engross his
deepest attention. His face has really an illuminated appearance, and he
knows not how to complain."
"DUBLIN, Nov. 11th, 1838.
"DEAR CHARLES;— Perhaps upon hearing that my illness
is not unlikely to prove fatal, you may be induced to come up to town. To
dissuade you from this I now write. The termination of my illness may be
very protracted, and having the greater part of my family about me, as I
have, I do not see cui Bono your coming up would tend. I, myself, in the
case of my father's last illness, acted on the same principle, and left him
under the conviction that I should never see him alive again, which was the
case. Do thou likewise with yours, R. GALWEY"
From Isabella :
"HERBERT PLACE, Thursday, t5M.
"Since my mother wrote to you, dear Charles, on last
Sunday, our darling Richard has got a great way on his heavenward journey. In
the many deathbeds you have attended, perhaps you have never witnessed a more
comforting one than his. I have heard of more triumph, but never of more
peace, more trust, and confidence. He said today that he is fast declining,
but as his body sinks his soul rises. He said 'twas impossible to express
the peace and confidence he feels; he never felt happier in his life. He has
arranged everything that is to be done to the minutest particulars, and
speaks of what is to be done when he is gone as calmly as if he was going to
take a journey. Little Willy has been at Newtown a good while, but today
Richard expressed a wish to have him brought to him, so we have written for
him, and expect him and Aunt Bell by the omnibus tomorrow. My poor mother
extraordinarily well; poor Jane still holding up. She is indeed acting as
well as anyone could, deriving her support and comfort where alone it is to
be found, and truly grateful to God for the peace and happiness which he
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 129
From Richard's clerk:
"Nov. 15th, Thursday, 5 o'clock.
"SIR,—You will be surprised at a letter from your
brother's clerk, but your mother requested me to convey to you the state of
Mr. Richard's health. She is tired and fretting very much. The
Surgeon-General, and Drs. Stokes, Colles, and Mr. Carroll were in
consultation on him this day, and they finally agreed that his case was
entirely out of their hands, and in the hands of our great Physician. Mr. Richard
appears perfectly resigned, no doubt from the happy life he has led, the
remembrance of which consoles him in his trying moments. The doctors think
that it will not be a long time before he is released from his sufferings. I
am sorry that it has fallen to my lot to convey such melancholy intelligence
of him who has been over ten years as a father and friend to me, and without
whom I will feel the world a burthen. Though removed from him in a very
inferior degree, he never, in the whole course of business, led me to Imagine
that he was master, and I his servant; but he was too good to remain here.—I
am, Sir, your very obedient servant, JOSH. GooDWIN.
" Rev. C. GALWEY."
Isabella's letter continued:--
"Different things prevented my finishing this
yesterday, as I ought. Bell brought in the child, and I do not think our
dear Richard was excited by seeing them. He took great pleasure in seeing
Willy—his face quite lighted up."
From their mother:--
"98 BAGGOT ST., Nov. 25th, 1838
"Isabella and I have been here with my dear, bind
brother since Thursday, on which day Isabella Webb aid the dear little
fatherless Willy left town for the Cottage. It was his beloved father's wish
that he should be our charge for the present. Jane is still holding out, and
exhibiting an example of fortitude and self-possession which I have never
seen equalled. Our dear Isabella returned home yesterday. She is
wonderfully well, and I have let her go home on a...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 130
venture, as even Stokes agreed that the shocks her
feelings would receive by being separated from our dear Richard during his
illness, and from me, under our heavy affliction, would probably be more
injurious to her than any disadvantage she could suffer by returning home. At
present I think she is much better, and Stokes says that he has every hope of
her getting over the complaint if she weathers this winter.
"I was, I think, particular in my account, so far as
my correspondence reached you, but cares and feelings so multiplied on me,
that I was obliged to discontinue it. The fearful disease called Aneurism
increased rapidly for the last fortnight, for the latter day of which my
precious child suffered most fearfully, and at last expired by suffocalion. His
patience, fortitude, and Christian resignation could only be conceived by
those who attended him. For the last week John, Edward, Anne, Isa Webb, and
Isa Galwey, and his poor mother and Robert, were in constant attendance, and
were surrounding his bed, and lifting up their voices on his behalf when he
expired, which was ten minutes after four P.M. on Monday, 19th of this month.
His wish was that he might be spared the suffering of another night, and go
down with the sun. Oh, my God, how gloriously to rise! He was interred on
'Wednesday morning at Donnybrook, beside his dear brother William, at his own
Isabella, writing on the 26th from Newtown to her
"His illness and death were a strong and beautiful
exemplification of what God's grace and power can do in and for His people. If
it was God's will, he said, he hoped he would not have another night to go
through. He would like to go down with the sun, and, thank God, so he did. About
ten minutes after four, his God took him, and oh 1 how glad we were to see
him at rest. His acute sufferings used to come on in paroxysms, and it
pleased God to take him in one of these, which lasted, I think, two hours. When
the dear fellow felt the last coming on, he desired me to tell John to come
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 131
with him for patience, for he felt it failing him. Whenever,
he said, you all pray for me, I feel my sufferings to abate, as if God wished
to show the efficacy of prayer. But this time God did not see fit to answer
us that way, but He gave him grace sufficient. It was all that day as if God
opened his mouth; between his sufferings he spoke a great deal, though
scarcely able to get out his words. In the course of his life, he said, he
never felt happier or in better spirits than he was that day, only for the
dread of those frightful paroxysms. He desired me to bring Willy to him
(little Richard was at his grandfather's) for a few minutes, to give him his
blessing. He laid his hand on the poor child's head for some time, whilst he
prayed fervently over him, and then waved his hand to me to take him away.
His manner seemed to say, 'Now the bitterness of death is past.' The look of
the child was the most touching thing; he kept struggling under his father's
hand, laughing, and yet he seemed to think there was something going on he
did not understand. The struggles and the smiles of the child never
interrupted dear Richard's prayer. When offered grapes for the last time, he
refused them, and said, 'I will eat them fresh in my Father's kingdom.'
"My health, thank God, is very good; I have not
lost the cough, but, from what Stokes said, I should think it was of no
consequence. He said that he had known people living for years with an
affection of the lungs like mine, but I don't think he thought it likely that
I would get over it, I certainly do feel it to be a trial, instead of being
any comfort or use to those around me, to feel myself a dead weight on two
old creatures' hands. I think I should feel it less were there a necessity
for it; but, in health, to lie heavily on the old and delicate is galling.
Such a comfort as Anne Galwey was to us all in Dublin! –she is so
affectionate, active, and useful. Still no account of Jane's confinement. If
it is a girl, dear Richard desired her to be called after her two
grandmothers--Lydia, Ann: Poor little thing, how great is her loss! Richard
implicitly committed his family to God, who, he said, was the 'Father of, the
fatherless, and the God of the widow' Were it not for this promise, we would
tremble for the dear children."
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 132
"I wish you had been with us, for though you would
have experienced much of painful, it would have been repaid by the finest
example of Christian philosophy imagination could conceive. A man in the
prime of life, with multiplied ties thereto, suddenly arrested, and, by a
brief though severe visitation, hurried into the presence of his Creator,
still strong in unshaken reliance on the promises and purposes of God, and
full of holy consolation, calmly moving to meet his fate—rising superior (in
a manner baffling all comprehension) to every trial, so as to communicate,
instead of requiring, support from the many anxious hearts pressing to
communicate it—repressing every expression of sorrow by the awe-inspiring
dignity he exhibited, and, after a most agonising final struggle, leaving an
unmingled feeling of exaltation in every heart, as the spirit winged its way
from pain and sorrow for ever."
And Edward also wrote of his brother's death:
"In truth his was a most interesting case, for
generally you may suppose that at such a time a man's feelings would be
weakened, and his mind relaxed by sickness; but, up to the Saturday previous,
Richard's general health was unimpaired, and almost to the last moment he
remained in the full vigour of the warm heart and good understanding with
which he was endowed; and indeed it was more than this, as they were both seemingly
permitted to shine forth, as it were, to give light of the way on which he
was going. On my saying it afforded us much consolation and example to
witness the manliness with which he bore his sufferings, and the certainty he
appeared to enjoy of his future happiness, he declared, I never could know
the truth of the blessedness to be expected hereafter, till I came to stand
on the threshold of eternity as he was, and that, although he felt that he
had been previously led by the Spirit, yet till his last moments the Bible
had been in a great measure a sealed book to him, in comparison to the
comforting reliance he then had on its truth, and the blessedness it
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 133
On 17th December 1838, Lydia Anne Galwey was born at 5
"The day four weeks," writes her Aunt Isabella,
"that the poor little thing's father left this life, she came into it. We
have heard three times since of Jane, that she and the child are going on
very well. Mrs. Edward Galwey, her sister-in-law, is staying with her. She
and Jane's brother, John, went to stay in the house with her when Edward and
Anne were obliged to leave about ten days ago. I believe that Jane will
certainly go to her fathers to reside for a year. Willy is very well off
where he is, and is a great comfort and pleasure to us. My mother is
gradually, but decidedly, recovering herself—her nerves were shattered a good
deal at first. . . . Edward and Anne are at Clonbeg for the Christmas; the
Sankey girls, too, are to Christmas there. Lydia Newman is there; she came
with me from Kinsale, to spend the winter between John's and Edward's. She
is an affectionate-hearted, cheerful little thing, just calculated to do them
all good. John's spirits appear by his letters very low. He got a great
start last Monday week, by what, I daresay, you saw the account of in the
papers. On that day he always had a lecture at one of the Protestant houses
on the other side of the river, about a mile from his house. This day, while
he was engaged with the young people, a woman came running in to say an armed
party of men, with their faces blackened, were scouring the country, looking
for arms. John immediately hurried home to defend his own house, but it was
not, thank God, attacked, nor more than one house in the Glen—that was the
house of a man of the name of Dick Holmes—a very respectable farm, with a
good strong slated house with grated windows. There was no mankind at home at
the time but a lad of sixteen, who behaved with the greatest steadiness and
bravery. The women shut up the house, and he returned the fire of the men,
running from back to front of the house as quick as he could. The fellows
shattered all the windows, and then ran off. It is supposed they purposed a
general sweep for arms, as that day all the men of the country were at the
fair in Tipperary, but, being met so bravely in the...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 134
first instance, were frightened. Abb was not at home at
the time. She and Lydia Newman were returning that day from Kiltinane, so
you may suppose how anxious John must have been till their return, lest those
fellows should have met them."
From Grannie :
THE COTTAGE, Feb.4th, 1839.
"The society of our dear little charge is calculated
to cheer and amuse us. Your wishes, dear Charles, to bear your part in his
education, is only what could be expected. You have indeed been, while in
this changing scene, a family of love sweetly and strongly united. May the
sacred bond never be broken.
"Poor Jane has been a wonder to us all. She has
borne her loss with fortitude and resignation. She has not been very well
lately, and seems now to give way more than she did at first. Richard and
Lydia Anne are with Jane at her father's, where they receive every kind
attention. Our weather here has latterly been mild and genial for the time
of the year, although one day we were threatened with a repetition of our
awful storms, in which we suffered but little, either at the Cottage or the
Mill, of trees, but of the number, both our beautiful arbutus. John and
Edward escaped with the loss of a few slates, and poor Herbert Place a breach
in one of the chimneys and some lead. Dublin in general presents a fearful
spectacle of fire and storm. How grateful should those be who have been
sheltered as we have been.
"I will not at present answer my dear Honoria's kind
and most agreeable letter, which was the very picture of her own cheerful and
happy self; indeed she throws a halo of peace and contentment wherever she
Early in March, John and his wife paid a visit of a
fortnight at the Cottage. Isabella writes of him, that "he has grown
very old, and suffers from rheumatism." She tells, that "Robert received
a few days ago £50, part of a debt.due to 'him by a person from whom, I
believe, he thought he never would receive it. He paid him £80 of it last
summer, and still owes another £50, which Robert...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 135
now says that he is sure of getting, as the person who
owes it has got into a good berth, on doing which he immediately commenced
paying Robert. Many a sum, I am sure, the poor fellow lent and gave away,
that we know nothing of. There is another person who owes him £500, which he
has not the least chance of getting one penny of, as the aforesaid person has
neither money nor honesty. We expect," she goes on, "poor Jane
here as soon as the weather will permit of her moving the little one, who has
been very delicate. It will be a sad visit for both parties, but what we all
wish for, and was Jane's own proposal long since; indeed, in everything she
does she evinces a wish to do what dear Richard would like, and has shown
every respect and attention to his mother; she has manifested this in many
After this there is no letter until October 24th, when
Grannie writes of the "most awful damps that have prevailed without
intermission for more than a day or two at a time," and tells that,
although they have all escaped injury, it was necessary for Isabella to leave
them for the winter, and go south. Her place was taken by a Mrs. Rodgers,
formerly Eliza Reily, whom she thinks her son may remember at Rose Abbey long
ago. They expected and received much comfort from her society and care.
The next letter preserved is dated March 10, 1840:--
"This day, which is glorious beyond description,
reminds me of May, when I shall have a peep at my dear Charles and Mary. We
have got over our dreary season wonderfully well, notwithstanding the absence
of my dear child, and the uncommon dreariness of our winter, during which we
seldom saw the sweet beaming sun; but this we made amends for by the
brightness of our fires—besides which we were seldom alone; friends kindly
collecting round us, supposing how acceptable their society must be to us,
who were deprived of our dear Isa. Friend Hannah1 spent a
fortnight with us, and gave so many new patterns of work and ingenuity to
Aunt Bell as has very much amused her.
1. Hannah Orpen, a
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 136
We have Mrs. Rodgers with us still; she will remain till
dear Isa's return. Jane and the three children have been with us since
Friday last. She is greatly fallen away—there is not much more than the half
of her; but she does not look sickly, although much paler than she was. No
being can be more anxious to discharge the awful trust that has devolved on
her, nor more inclined to ask and take advice. So I humbly trust she will be
enabled to discharge it faithfully. Isabella is now at Kiltinane; she
purposes returning to Limerick with Edward, who is remaining with the Sankeys
while Jacob's leave holds out. You [meaning Norah] are a most comfortable
correspondent. You tell us all about the dear children. I trust dear Mary
is now getting quite strong—this weather and Willy's pony will be a great
measure of her recovery, and I trust to have the comfort of seeing her quite
well. Pray tell Mary M'Garvey that I wish her—sincerely I wish her--happiness
in her new circumstances."
Mary M`Garvcy had come from Rathmullan, a young girl, to
"run after" William when a baby. She was now about to be married
to Jemmy Cooke, the gardener and general factotum. They lived in the Gate
Lodge for many years. She was a faithful, loving nurse and friend.
In July 1840, Grannie, Widgeon, and Isabella migrated
into Dublin, and lived at 11 Mespil Parade (as it was then called). Mrs.
Richard Galwey occupied a house in the same terrace.l Robert
was to remain until September, as his partnership in the mill then dissolved.
The Cottage must have disagreed with Isabella, for her mother mentions her
cough up to the time of their move, and after that it seems entirely to have
Another son was born at Gortgowan on the 8th August,
Charles Richard Galwey.
In a letter of congratulation to Mary, her grandmother
mentions that—"This day four years (August 23rd) I embarked from this
city for sweet Cheltenham, accompanied by my earth's most valued treasure,
your aunt Lydia, on...
1. Sir Richard Kellett
lived a few doors off.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 137
board a beautiful new steamer on its first voyage. I
think it was the Albion. It never made another voyage; it was wrecked six
weeks afterwards. When I was put on board, I thought that I should not
return, whereas, here I still remain, whilst my beloved companion and the
steamer are no more!"
“11 MESPIL PARADE, Sept. 7th, 1840.
I need not tell you, my dear Honoria, that I have truly
sympathised with you on the late unexpected occasion,1 well
knowing by my own experience the painfulness of your feelings, by the long
separation and distance between you and your departed parent. I cannot tell
you how much gratified I feel, by your having associated the name of our dear
Richard with that of Charles. May the dear babe inherit the virtues of each.
Robert has taken up his abode here since Saturday, and is as well and placid
as ever. Edward and Anne are at Tramore with the Sankeys; their brother's
ship, the Inconstant, has gone to Gibraltar. John in great delight, both as
respecting his church, which is in great forwardness, and also his farming,
which has turned out most prosperously. Hay in stack and turf in
“I fear, my dear Norah, you have attributed my silence,
since the death of your poor father, to want of affection, or indifference in
what concerns you, which, I can say with truth, it was not. You have been
often in my thoughts since, and could I have prevented the suddenness of the
shock to you, I would gladly have done it, as would many others of your
friends. He in Whose power it was, saw fit that you should receive it; therefore
we know that it was for some good and kind purpose it so happened. As to the
shortness of your poor father's illness, I think that you must look on that
as a mercy: it saved him and poor Benjamina much: a long illness is a great
1. This refers to the death
in Brussels of Colonel Knox of Prehen.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 138
Gough being on the spot must have been a great support to
her. Ever since they left Ireland she has been his constant and faithful
companion, and it must have been a comfortable reflection to her, that she
did not leave him when she married.
"We have Bessy Dunne staying with us. She came for change
of air and scene after her late illness. Her sister Isabella came with her.
Aunt Bell is still at Kinsale. I fear the anxiety she went through during Bessy
D,'s illness brought on an attack of her arm.
"Charles said in his last he would soon come down
amongst us, and bring Mary. I hope he is not cooling upon it. He asked what
time would he most convenient to John and Edward1 I should
think all times would be alike; for my part, when I have physic to take, I
like to do it at once, as thinking of it only makes me sick. Jane desired me
to say to him, with her love, to remember that she has a room and a hearty
welcome for either himself or Mary. She is quite recovered, and the
children, thank God, improving daily, particularly little Richard, who, you
remember, was the least promising of them. He is now a lovely boy. No
person could act better than poor Jane is doing, in every situation she is
called on to fill. As mother, daughter, and daughter-in-law, Richard's
prayers have indeed been answered in respect to her, and I do trust they will
be for his children, and, whatever their lot in this life may be, they will
be God's own.
"Robert pounced upon a nice sum of money for John
the other day. He found that William Lloyd had applied, and got another sum
of money out of the Clergy's money, and he thought why should not John get
some too, so he made Tom Webb, who has a power of attorney for him, apply,
and at once got £100 for him. I think he got some small sum for Charles also;
but little or much, it is as well in his hand as in the Government's."
On the 17th December she writes again:-‑
"We are toddling on, do, do. Three cats sit by the fire...
1. For a family gathering.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 139
are we, since Sunday, the frost having set in bitter. We
made up our minds to make ourselves comfortable, and with the help of the
poker have succeeded wonderfully. Our comfortable Robert is away from us,
having gone to Newtown, where he was the greeter part of last week, to
purchase corn. He thinks he will do right well by doing so. I do trust and
hope he will, as it appears to me a safe speculation. My mother and Bell
have heard frequently from Aunt Bess, since the death of Spiker. . . . We are
all to dine with the Webbs on Christmas Day. I heard from Mary, from
Rocklow,1 where she seemed to be enjoying herself very
much. As I hoped and anticipated, she has taken a great fancy to Anne Cooke
the elder. . Anne Galwey writes the word that she and Edward hope the
Clonbegs will adjourn to them after Christmas. I should suppose the Edwards
themselves will be up here shortly, as Term commences early in January, which
I expect he must attend; but do not breathe this to the wind, for’tis
mystery. Nothing annoys Edward more than to ask him when he will go anywhere,
or what he is doing. I think it is quite his hobby to conceal his actions,
so for your life do not betray me. If you hear of his coming, you must be
astonished. I have been in the greatest fright for the last ten minutes,
that I should not be able to fill up my paper, as I wished to show you what a
letter ought to be in length, in style, diction, matter, and writing. I have
now succeeded a merveille, so, when you want a pattern, just glance your eye
over this. My modesty prevents me saying more!"
There is no other letter of any interest until April 10, 1841,
when, writing to Charles, his mother says:
"In dear Honoria’s last letter she said that she had
just settled herself in bed comfortably, to be very sick; which, in
consequence of her attendance on others, she had not had time for before. But
just at the moment of enjoyment, loud cries so roused her attendance on the
drowning babe, whose restoration, she recorded to us, but not a word of how
her own fit of sickness ended. Your last, in which no...
1. The house of Mrs, Frend,
who was sister to Dean and Lord Gough.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 140
allusion to her indisposition is made, is the only
reasonable ground for the hope I entertain, that it was frightened
The circumstance alluded to in this letter was the
arrival of two sailors one night, after all the family at Gortgowan, except
Miss M'Laren, had retired to rest, carrying a little child, whom they had
picked up in the Lough seemingly drowned. She was one of a party of
emigrants coming down from Derry, in a rowing boat, to overtake the American
sailing-ship to which these sailors belonged. It was surmised that the
boatmen were drunk, and, getting foul of the vessel, upset the boat. On
hearing the cries of the poor creatures in the water, these two men got out a
boat, and went to search, but could only find this little girl, who was
floated, it was said, by a pair of new boots. On getting her into the boat,
the men found that, in the black darkness, they could not recover the ship,
but made for the light which they saw burning in the governess 's room at
Gortgowan, wrapping the only coat they had with them round the child. It
was a long time before the poor little thing regained consciousness, though
every (then known) method was tried. At last Mrs. Galwey made two of the
servants get into bed, and placed her between them; after a time she opened
her eyes, and asked for—her boots! Her mother, aunt, and baby brother had
all been drowned. They would have kept the child at Gortgowan, but Mason,
the mate of the ship, one of those who had saved her, thought it would be
wiser to take her out to her father, who would probably be awaiting his
family when the ship arrived at New York.
"I cannot be so ungrateful as to let dear Mary
return without an answer to my dear Willy's two comfortable letters. I am
much pleased at the accounts I hear of you from all your friends, but I was
made particularly happy by that which I had from Dean Gough when he was in
town. He assured me that you did your dear parents much credit, and that he
thought your proficiency under papa's instruc-
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 141
tions was most gratifying. A gentleman who dined here
yesterday mentioned that nothing can be of greater use in the profession to
which he belongs (an engineer) than drawing. I think by what I have seen of
yours, that you have a natural talent for that sweet art."
"September 24, 1841.
I have received yours, dear Charles, of 22nd this morning,
and I have to assure you that I have tenderly and deeply entered into your
feelings on the breaking-up of the dear covey, so long sheltered and
protected under the paternal roof. I have passed the ordeal myself with your
excellent and kind father, and am therefore perfectly aware of all yours and
my dear Honoria's feelings on the touching occasion, which are as fresh in my
recollection as if they had only occurred yesterday. . . Our dear young
William, the first scion from the old root—he is very dear to his old
grandmother's heart; he sprang up when that heart was deeply wounded, and
consequently has been watched and looked upon with great interest. Therefore
I greatly rejoice: in the prospect held out of advantages in removing him to
a public school,1 which for him, surrounded as he was by
dear sisters, called for this movement. And you have the indescribable
gratification of knowing that you did not throw him off until habits and
principles were formed which, through Divine grace, will follow him through
life. I cannot tell you how I sympathise with your dear affectionate Lydia,
in this her first experience of anything like sorrow."
"November 3, 1841.
"This morning brought us dear Robert: most welcome
indeed was his comfortable, cheerful face, although half frozen by a cold
night's drive... Robert says my darling boy is infinitely improved since he
saw him, and grown manly and ugly. He has given us a sweet picture of the...
1. Foyle College, Londerry.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 142
family of Gortgowan, but he has quite lost his heart to
"KILKEE, July 18, 1842.
“Many thanks to you, my dear Honoria, for your most
agreeable and welcome letter. Never apologise for what we consider the very
perfection of correspondence. You let us so completely behind the scenes,
where we do often wish to be, and sweet scenes they are. . . . Never was
there a family of more idle habits than we are at present, our chief business
being to eat, drink, sleep, and divert ourselves, which we have ample
opportunities of doing here... We hear that the Bishop of Meath—Dickinson--is
dead—a truly lamentable circumstance, I should fear, for his family. He was
married to Bessy Russel, whom Charles may remember when a boy. She was
sister to his tutor, whose family were very kind to all the boys at the time
of our fearful attack at Lilliput. I hear that he has left ten children: one
of them was married—his eldest daughter—to Mr. West, curate of St. Anne's
Church in Dublin, and successor, in that case, to the late Bishop."
There is no other letter of importance for a long time
till, writing on the 10th December, she says :—'Take it all in all, a more
delightful year than 1842 has never blessed our hemisphere. I am very
anxiously looking after my dear Willy just now. Surely, if he succeeds, he
can never again fear an examination, having worked against wind and tide,
Pray let me know, the moment you can, how the dear boy succeeds."
William was born with a mark on one eye, from which, when
he was a lad, he suffered a great deal. Many painful remedies, tried by
various doctors, did much to aggravate the trial, and it was from some of
these he was now suffering, probably while going in for a school
examination. A Dublin oculist at last recommended letting it alone, which
was done with such good results, that it afterwards caused him little
inconvenience, and was for the rest of his life only a slight disfigurement.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 143
Grandmamma to Mary:--‑
“January 31, 1843.
Your letters have given me much satisfaction, and the
more so as they have been corroborated by your dear father's account of you. Go
on, dear child, in the honourable and useful path of duty, assisting your
excellent parents in the instruction of their dear children.... Your father's
account of your instructing Honoria in music delighted me. What a trial was
imposed on your excellent father, in his attendance on that poor young man,
who is of a very promising appearance, as I am told by Robert, your uncle,
who saw him when he came up to town. Few persons could have suffered on such
an occasion more than your father, who never could endure any such
This young man was Richard Hamilton, son of the rector of
Culdaff, the next parish to Lower Moville, and a frequent visitor at
Gortgowan. He was staying with the Dean and Mrs. Gough at their seaside
residence, Glenhurnie, about a mile from Gortgowan, when he accidentally shot
himself through his hand, and it was found necessary to have it amputated. Anaesthetics
were not in use at that time, and, hearing that her son had held the
patient's other hand during the operation, she knew what an ordeal it would be
to his tender heart.
In this letter tine says: "How much our dear Willy's
successes have gratified me, I need hardly express. Dear boy! I trust he will
live to be a comfort to his beloved parents. No doubt the old cock crowed
loud and clear over his cockerel--a scholar of his own; may he reap the
fruits of his labour, and enjoy in old age the returns of love and gratitude
which he so richly deserves. There will be no bearing with Madam Mamma, now
that she is so near banishing her young man into life. Does she look very
proud? Did you suffer either at your church, or on the farm, by the
tremendous gale of the 26th? There was much mischicf done, and some lives
lost here, and much damage done at Limerick, and I also hear that Cork suffered"
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 144
“March 16th, 1843.
“My DEAR, KIND HONORIA,— Your letter this morning has
been most satisfactory, as it has removed an anxiety which was on my mind as
to medical aid. I think and hope that all will go well, even as regards our
short sight, and that the life of the valuable parent may be spared yet a
little while. Oh, may the season of sickness and debility prove salutary to
my beloved child! removing his thoughts in a sanctified and reasonable degree
from this sublunary scene, so filled to him with objects of mixed interest,
to those glorious realities which shall abide for ever!"
"The last communications we received from Gortgowan
were truly comfortable, my dear Charles, stating your improved health. Tell
my dear Honoria how truly I congratulate her on the restoration of her dear
old companion. I can tell you, an old husband is much more dear than a
young one—bound by many a tender tie, his very faults regarded with a partial
eye. Oh! it is a holy affection, and one of which we shall not be ashamed
when we meet, never to part again!"
Isabella and her mother spent the summer months in the
South. The latter, writing from Clonbeg Glebe, August 26, says:--
"Isa spent ten days away from this, visiting Kiltinane
and Coolmore, greatly pleased at both, and fending old friendships alive in
that neighbourhood. She was greatly pleased at the appearance of the latter
place, which, she says, is peculiarly nice and comfortable. Jacob quite at home
as a country gentleman—more pleased to plough the land than the sea. Jane
Galwey and the dear little posthumous Lydia-Anne left us this morning to
return to her cousins, the Crones, at Doneraile. She has been staying there
since early in June. A slight return of her complaint induced her to consult
the resident physician at Mallow, who recommended change of air. Abb and
John are quite well. The former employed in cutting the finest oats in...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 145
the country, which now stand in the pretty lawn. All
peace here at present, except an accidental murder of the most appalling description,
executed on a man enforcing payment of rent."
“October 3rd, 1843.
"MY DEAR CHARLES;— In Mary's last letter she
mentioned that you were teased in finishing off your little model. In truth,
you have so many weighty matters in hand that I much wonder how you get
through. But though I wonder, I am not disheartened, knowing by experience
that God strengthens those who rely on him to do great things. All I fear
is, that you may lay too great a weight on your long back. We have been
quite, busy in arranging for Tom Webb's marriage with Lydia Newman. As to my
dear Lydia, we shall be delighted to see her as soon as Bess and Isabella
Newman leave us, which will be the moment they fix upon their house."
John Galwey, the fourth son and ninth child, was born at
Gortgowan the 23rd October 1843.
His father exclaimed when he heard of his birth,
"More Latin grammar for me!"
From his mother:-‑
“MY DEAR CHARLES;-- I will commence with the subject next
my heart, and congratulate you on the safety of your valuable and dear
Honoria, and not less, in the acquisition to your interesting group of
another dear babe. The day will, I trust, be yours when you will justly
appreciate the boon bestowed, and the value set on parents who devote and
bring up such a family as has been bestowed on you, to the service of God. May
His grace and favour follow you through your arduous undertaking, and make
you to preserve for Him the souls committed to your care.
" Margaret Frend gave us a most interesting account
of the nest at Gortgowan, and has brought up a most interesting specimen of
Miss Isabella’s poetic genius, which she has promised I shall see.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 146
"We are now in expectation of Aunt Bess and Isabella
Newman, as Tom Webb leaves town tomorrow to take on himself the cares of life.
. . . In truth, it is a great undertaking to remove your poor aunt, who is
sadly weak and helpless: but what will not love do? She will remain with us
until 'T'om's house is ready. They have taken a very pleasant house near
Portobello Bridge, and when they have subsided, I do not doubt the change
will be for the better -barring cousins, which I do not approve of.
"Ome of the causes of my late deficiency in writing
was that I was really shaken and shocked at poor John Cooke's sudden death,
and we had to break it to poor young Anne, who stopped here on her return
front a little tour she had made through England with her uncle Robert. She
bore it sweetly, and the accounts from Kiltinane are favourable concerning
then all. John Cooke sickened on Monday, and was dead on Wednesday.
"Your account of your own health gives me pain, but
all things work together for good to them who love God, and all things will
prosper best in His hands, who knows what is suitable to each of our
conditions. I would not wish that you should suppose I for a moment condemn
or disapprove your cares and endeavours on behalf of your family, but I would
impress on you, as I have so frequently done before on your loved father, and
urge the advantage of resting satisfied as to your own efforts, throwing the
weight and responsibility on One mighty to assist those who look to Him for
help. I am confident that you have chosen the right path to devoting
yourself, in the first instance, to the duties of your sacred profession. It
is more material that you should gather in His sheep for our beloved
Shepherd, than that you should provide for the education, as concerns worldly
things, of your own family, whom, on such an occasion, you may faithfully and
fearlessly entrust with their concerns. Your way appears as if pointed out,
by the advantage you find in riding about your parish, and I humbly commit to
our heavenly father the care of your own domestic duties, which you are
obliged to relinquish in order to discharge those due to Him. Do not want a
horse for this purpose, for I have been fortunate...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 147
in getting out the Mauritius money, and can readily
afford you help, so draw freely if necessary. And pray use the boon bestowed
by a merciful and all-sufficient Provider, as He intended it to assist, I
trust, one of His faithful ministers through his multiplied duties—the sweet
prospect in view, Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the
joy of thy Lord!' With such encouragement I used to comfort and assuage the
pressing anxieties of your dear father, to whose trial yours is but trifling.
Long ere this, his blessed spirit is well assured of the power and
faithfulness of his Master. Let his example encourage and comfort your
heart, my dear child, and let me soon hear from you again."
Letters in 1844 record another visit from Mary and Lydia.
Widgeon writes of the latter, that she is the image of her mother, "the
same merry-hearted creature you brought to Woodvale. She is pretty, I think,
though Mary is more admired, and they are so merry!--uncle Robert and they
have great uproars."
Grannie: writes from Clonbeg Glebe:
"About an hour ago we despatched your two dear girls
to Mrs. Frend's, accompanied by their two aunts, Abb and Isa Galwey, whose
affection and care of them has been only equalled by that of their uncles. Your
present plan for William appears most judicious, as you prefer Dungannon to
Dublin. This little spot is in great beauty. I greatly enjoy the peace and
repose it affords me."
A letter to Lydia from grandmamma, Nov. 14th, refers to
their recent visit to the South, and the gaieties and frivolities: to which
she had been introduced. She was glad to find that Lydia had not been
spoiled by them, but had gone back with zest to her home occupations of
sewing and helping mother; that she still seemed to enjoy the usefulness and
health of Gortgowan, and the playfulness of Charley and Johnnie.
She writes of Isabella as "that sweet little poet of
the wood how sweetly she sings." She encloses part of a...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 148
letter from "Mrs. Ross [nee Mary Geraldine M'Carty],1
whose husband held a post of much labour and responsibility in Calcutta—a
lawyer in great repute there." She said that she had only had "one
letter from Willy since he went to Dungannon. Aunt Bess, who had been very
ill, at death's door, was better; but aunt Jane very poorly."
Among a bundle of letters labelled, "National Board
Correspondence," there is a copy of one written at this time by Charles
Galwey to the Roman Catholic priest, which shows the principles on which he
acted with respect to the Irish Education Question. He stood very much alone
in the attitude he took, as the greater number of the clergy would have
nothing to do with it, and he said that he felt himself to be a "black
sheep among his brethren." All the schools in his parish, except one
which had private endowment, were under the Board, and he found that by
becoming a patron, and working with the Commissioners, he could have the
Scriptures read in the schools daily by his own children and those whose
parents did not object, and a further instruction in the catechism or Church
formularies by the master or himself for Church children when the others had
withdrawn. It was not without a struggle, however, that he gained this.
" To the Rev. G. DOHARTY, Moville.
"Nov. 7th, 1844.
"MY DEAR SIR,— When at Carobeg on Sunday last, I
heard that you had been in the previous week, desirous to get a school
established there, and expressing objections to the one already established
under the superintendence of Mr. Rodgers and myself, in the supposition that
the Scriptures would be expounded by us in such a manner as you would
consider objectionable for the children of your persuasion. Now I gladly
avail myself of this opportunity to assure you that, should you not succeed
in obtaining the school it is reported you desire, not only shall you have
all the facilities the rules of the Board afford to secure your children
against any unfairness in this respect, but I shall...
1. The daughter of Mrs.
M’Carty of Cavnar, Mrs. Galwey’s cousin.
S'T'ORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 149
also myself be at pains to have those rules duly and
fairly enforced, and to provide that no religious instruction shall be given,
either by the visitors or the master, without your having full opportunity to
be acquainted with it, and to prevent your children being present, if you
think proper. My cordial wish has been to meet you and the Roman Catholic
clergy on terms of mutual consideration and kind feeling, in doing as much
good in common as we can, and in promoting the welfare of the people,
avoiding unkind and unchristian collision where our respective religious
convictions admit not of those happy circumstances. On the subject of
education for the lower orders, I consider a united education most desirable,
and indeed, under the circumstances of the country, peculiarly indispensable.
While I deem the Scriptures the birthright of all, I should be far from
forcing them on any. I would not accept the management of any school in
which I could not secure the use and enjoyment of them, for all who were
desirous of them. But I do not look for any authority to compel others to
accept them in opposition to their scruples or convictions; and those of the
parents should be recognised for their children until they come to a proper
age to decide for themselves. In any school of which I accept the
superintendence, I must be secure of the master's teaching the Scriptures,
without note or comment, to those who wish to learn them, whatever his
persuasion, but catechisms should be regarded in a different light. I would
not ask a Roman Catholic to teach the catechism and formularies of the Church
of England, nor would I, on the other hand, so far as I possessed influence,
permit a Protestant to teach those of the Church of Rome, for this plain
reason, that no man can teach conscientiously what he thinks erroneous. I
desire further to take this opportunity of telling you that in my attendance
at the National School at Moville, of which I am not the manager, to
catechise my own children (a privilege allowed by the rules of the Board to
the ministers of all denominations), those of your communion are never
present, and though the Scriptures are read, they are so at the prescribed
and publicly notified time, according the the rules.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 150
"With respect to the Moville Female School, it may
be proper to remark that it is under circumstances somewhat different from
all those in this parish, and that, having been in connection with a Society
by the rules of which the reading Scripture and committing portions to memory
are made indispensable, all the children who attend it are obliged to do so. But
of this school, as of all the rest over which I have control, there are no
unfair advantages taken of the absence of the Roman Catholic clergyman from
them—no interference with the religious creeds of the children. With every
sincere desire for conciliation, and for kind and friendly co-operation as
far as it is consistent with candour and honest principle, I remain, my dear
Sir, yours very faithfully, C. GALWEY."
Letter from Grannie:--
January 2nd, 1845.
"We are all in a bustle here removing into a new
house. It is one of the two nice-looking houses which stand above the large
house, between us and Leeson Street Bridge. I suppose my dear Willy is
beginning to dream again of his academic honours. His progress in science is
very gratifying, as there is now a noble field of enterprise opening in our
country by means of these railroads. William Lefanu is now almost at the top
of the wheel, attending Parliament on the business of the railroad through
the South, and is a distinguished favourite with all the great managers. I
do not despair of his giving our own dear boy a helping hand should it fall
in his way, for there is a strong attachment between our families. In Trinity
College there is now every facility to the engineering system that can be
afforded, and many young men are there pursuing both courses at the same
“2 Mespil, March 28th.
"I have been wishing to write to William, but forget
his present address.... The young Cookes, who have both not only entered
College well, but have also continued their progress of honours through their
first quarter, tell me...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 151
that Mr. Darley's boys are considered as the soundest
scholars in College, which is satisfactory."
"I sit down with particular pleasure to write to
you, dear Charles, as I have just had a very agreeable conversation with a
Mr. Bellet, a friend of mine. He always inquires most particularly for
William. This he did yesterday, asking where he was at school, and on my
informing him, he said you were most fortunate in having placed Willie under
the care of Mr. Parley, whom he has known intimately from their boyhood,
having been chums both at school and in college. As a Christian, a scholar,
and a gentleman he is most completely suited to his important position. He
assured me that you may rest implicit confidence in him, both as to his
capacity as a master and his sincerity as a friend, incapable of holding out
false hopes, or by his negligence disappointing them. Dear Charles, do not
be disheartened, nor turn a deaf ear to your mother, when she urges the same
arguments to you that she often obtruded on your excellent father—that
parents are not accountable for any care of their children but that of
leading their minds and affections to God through a Redeemer. This is the
responsibility, and the parent who does this may console himself in that
thought. If your dear father could now speak, he would bear the same
testimony. You can never be put to the severe test that he was, yet where
can you point to a family, under such circumstances, so provided for as
yourselves? The same God is your Provider as was your dear father's. You
have greater encouragement than was afforded him, for you have seen the plan
worked out. . . . If ever there was a miracle of mercy wrought, such has been
done in this family, and my heavenly Father vouchsafed me grace to expect
that such should be the case, and has afforded me the opportunity of seeing
my hopes realised."
"Poor Jane's doom is fixed as to certainty, but when
is only known to God. Her mind appears most happily
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 152
directed, and she speaks of her departure with the
greatest composure. She yesterday said to me that she had expressed in a
paper, which would be found after her decease, that her desire was that the
care of her dear little Lydia should devolve on your sister. The knowledge
of this has been a great gratification to me, for indeed it could not fall
into better hands."
Jane Galwey died December 14, 1845.
"Grannie congratulated William on his great success
in the field of literature."
MY DEAR MARY,— Few circumstances, in my long protracted
life, have afforded me so much satisfaction as the picture exhibited by you,
of the useful happy life which God's Holy Spirit has enabled you to adopt. I
think that it will be an additional gratification to my dear girls to know
that their conduct has shed a beam of light on my waning hours.1
I was truly concerned to hear that kind hearted Mrs. Gough was so poorly, as
also the good Dean —indeed, the anxiety excited for their friends In India is
not at all calculated to restore the health of either. Sir Hugh has been appointed,
as it appears to me, by Divine Providence as a picklock, to open a door in
India and China for God's word to enter these heathenish and benighted
countries. Oh, may it have free course! There is no other argument which can
reconcile the human mind to the fearful scourge of war."
"The breakfast-table this morning presented the
agreeable object of dear Mary's packet to our eyes. Isabella's little story
is held over until tomorrow (Sunday), when I expect a most attentive
auditory, and the result, no doubt, will be a solicitation for the perusal of
one every week. I think your determination of putting William into College is
most judicious, as I have always heard the wise ones...
1. Mary acted as governess
to her sisters, and Lydia was a loving and indefatigable nurse to the little
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 153
say that the plan of lodging abroad tended to abstraction
and idleness. I must insist on a continuance of the indulgence I have
derived by throwing my mite towards the education of the dear boy, to be
continued while necessary."
"2 Mespit, July 2nd 1846.
“MY DEAR CHARLES,— I have claimed as my indisputable
right the privilege of being the channel of communication of what
intelligence may arise out of this morning's labours, and shall employ the
interval in committing to your and dear Honorin's anxious hearts not the
upshot of your excellent boy's unremitted exertions, of which no doubt you
will hear elsewhere, but the touching traits of character — the steadiness — the
perseverance with which he has pursued his object; secondly, the extreme
modesty, yet firmness, with which he has grasped his legitimate expectation;
and thirdly, the anxious desire urging on all his efforts of not
disappointing you. I really think that you have cause to be proud of your
"Aunt Bell went down to give the poor fellow a bite
before he left for the awful occasion, and when he had finished it, he rose
from the table and inquired if he should not see me, —for he said, ' I should
like to have grandmamma's blessing before I go!' Two o'clock.—He has just
made his appearance, and as he will shortly be able to tell you himself,1
I will leave him that pleasure. But of this I am confident, that he is well
A few days later she writes: "Congratulations on the
very gratifying termination of your anxiety on the young Collegian's
account—a success to which the difficulties, in various ways, which he had to
oppose, doubled the value.''
Robert had again taken up the Mill, for she says in this
"We are just returned from the Mill, where we have
been staying with Robert and Isa Webb. Isabella Galwey, the two children,
and myself, were of the party; and a happier...
1. The result, she means, of
his entrance exam. in Trinity College.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 154
one might not be found--young pigs, young ducks, and
young turkeys forming our entertainment. You never saw such a change in the
appearance of any place as Isa Webb's visit to Robert has caused in his. She
has already cropped the garden with all manner of good things. She surely is
a most indefatigable creature in her efforts to render all under her
influence happy! How much I feel yours and my dear Honoria's parental
kindness to our little William, I cannot in any way express—indeed, it has
been the deepest advantage to me, as I am confident a continuance of the
anxiety she was enduring on his account would have proved most injurious to
Isabella. She is, thank God, recovering her looks, and I think a short time
will re-establish her."
Richard's children were now motherless, but in a later
letter Grannie says: "As to Isabella, even the title of mother was too
feeble to express her praise." She longs to see the dear group at
Gorigowan, and adds: " Amongst all the wonderful things that have been
invented lately, none has been considered for old hags like me—for had some
of those clever young engineers chosen, no doubt they might have accommodated
such with flying machines, wherewith to transport us through the air, to
whatever place we might approve."
“September 24, 1846,
"We have been indulged for the last ten days with
the society of dear Uncle John and Aunt Abb. They left us this morning by
the Carlow train, by which they came up in five hours from Kilkenny, but when
all is concluded, which will be before next Spring, the same number of hours
will set us down within a mile or two of Clonbeg. . . . Our gain will be your
loss shortly, for we shall have your two Williams, and indeed they will be
"This morning's post brought us dear Charles'
letter, announcing the approach of our two dear boys. We are ready, and
longing to receive them. Willy Gortgowan will have both bedroom and
heart-room here until his College establishment is made quite comfortable for
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 155
"The dear Aunt Widgeon still remaining at Robert's,
who is prospering marvellously at the Mill."
"I have at last had the satisfaction of seeing your
excellent boy in his own rooms, where I called upon him. He is indefatigable
in his studies; nor can we induce him to dine with us, except on Sundays. However,
he sometimes takes a stretch out to Kingstown, and even then limits himself
to time. Indeed, his course seems to me very severe for so young a person. He
looks well, and has grown quite manly in his manners, which, with his tastes,
are those of a gentleman."
"I only fear that William may overdo his engagement
to you; he is indeed impenetrably studious, but when he relaxes, it is all
for exercise. His grinder obtained his premium, which is good for both the
teacher and the taught. Have you heard of your brother Edward's1
good fortune so unexpectedly attained. The part which most gratified me is
the intrinsic confidence which seems to be felt for his unostentatious
During the year 1847, there are references made in these
letters to the dreadful state of the country. Famine and sickness were
devastating Ireland in consequence of the failure of the potato crop year
Grannie writes on May, 3:--
"I humbly thank my heavenly Father that He has permitted
me to see every dear survivor of my precious family assiduously exhibiting
their love and gratitude to Him their exertions of Christian love, under pressure
of the awful scourge He has been pleased to lay on our suffering fellow
creatures, while we with humility and awe observe His tenderness and love to
this family—not one of whom is...
1. Edward had some time
before become agent for Lord Orkney’s estates, and now Mr. Saurin offered him
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 156
suffering more than temporary inconvenience. Neither
sickness nor sorrow has made entrance among us!"
Her letters now begin to show signs of advancing age. She
makes many apologies for her disinclination to write, and for her
forgetfulness; she repeats the same thing very often. Again and again she
reiterates her confidence in God's overruling Providence for those who trust
in Him, and reproaches her son for ever allowing gloomy or foreboding
thoughts to trouble his mind about his children. She often mentions William,
whose visits to them when he could escape from his studies in College were a
great pleasure to her.
On February 15, 1848, she mentions the death of "excellent
John Galwey " (Jane's brother). "He, indeed, is a universal loss! Not
a being of our acquaintance but seems to deplore him as a kind, generous,
faithful friend, cut off in a moment. Surely the Almighty is gathering in His
In the same letter she refers thus to his little nephew,
who was then at Gortgowan
"Need I tell you, my dear Charles, what I feel to
Norah and you for your paternal care of the little orphan Richard. He is a
very amiable child, and by no means deficient in either understanding or
courage, but of a most nervous temperament, which I trust may give way to
bodily strength and the kind treatment he is receiving. I suppose Isabella
has told you how gratified we both were at the great improvement of our
Willy. He truly is a fine boy; and our little Lydia Anne, a dear, docile
The miseries of the years of famine and fever were
followed by the "Rising" of some of the people under the leadership
of Smith O'Brien, which explains the following letter :-‑
“March 13th, 1848.
"I daresay you know as much, or more, of our
political movements from the papers as we do from our firesides; but this
moment your and my dear William has called in to tell us that the College
boys have enrolled their names,
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 157
one thousand strong, to form a corps, and, by command,
are to visit the Lord-Lieutenant tomorrow, when they are to receive
directions and arms. Their position, it is supported, will be to defend the
Bank; but with all this preparation, I think there is no danger of present
outbreak. William looks delightfully well today, and I think this little
excitement will be of great service to him--better just now than any medicine
the doctor could prescribe."
During the summer of this year, Aunt Isabella brought
Lydia Anne on a visit to Gortgowan. It was arranged that Willie and Dick
should go to Foyle College, with Andrew, and that Lydia and Caroline should
return with Aunt Bell and Liddie to Dublin. Having been born in the same
year, the little girls made good companions; for some months Lydia acted as
their teacher, but later on they had a daily governess, and other teachers
and classes in common. This arrangement lasted for nearly two years.
At that time, Mrs. Minnitt and her daughter Eleanor were
sharing the large house No. 2 Mespil, as paying guests—like one family. William
was, of course, a constant visitor at his grandmother's house, especially
while his sisters were inmates. Eleanor was a good musician and shared his
taste for drawing, besides being very attractive. He fell in love with her,
and, though she at first considered it but a boyish fancy, he never changed. She
and her mother left Dublin, and they did not meet again for many years.
"Poor Andrew was sent to sea. It was arranged that
his father and mother should accompany him to London, and they went by
Dublin. In a letter written shortly before, Grannie sympathises with them on
the first serious break which occurred in the happy home circle at Gortgowan:--
"I take it very kindly," she says, "that
you propose to let, me see the dear boy, whom I have not ever seen. If my
blessing can be of any service, it will be his. The Pilot will bring him into
port, where I hope you will yet meet, and receive him,"
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 158
In this letter she mentions going to Baggot Street, to
see the Queen's entrance into Dublin. "The whole population appear like
a swarm of bees, wild with excitement, and so entirely engrossed by the rare
show, that all their wrongs and grievances seem to have merged in their eagerness
to see her Majesty. May God overrule all for His glory, and the peace of His
own dear people. Our weather is now lovely, and the earth teeming with
plenty; the cellars of all the poor shops overflowing with the finest
potatoes; surely God appears as a liberal Provider, smiling once again. The
cholera still is raging in this town, but the instances of deaths are but
few. I understand they are much more frequent in Liverpool. You may judge
how anxiously I look out for the dear party from Gortgowan. I really feel
more pleasure in seeing our dear Norah than in meeting you. It is a long
time since we met." To her she writes: "Well can I sympathise
with your parent hearts, in launching the dear human craft on the stormy
ocean of life! But fear not, God will be with him, not only as a Commander,
but a Pilot. Yet well do I know the parting pang. I have been well
practised and deeply exercised in the school, and can from experience declare
there is no emollient for the wounded heart but to launch him on the ocean of
He sailed in the Queen, a merchant vessel, on a ten
months voyage round the Cape to Calcutta.
In October, Grannie wrote that she had just left the
Mill, after a sojourn with Robert of nine weeks. She had her little
granddaugher Caroline there with her, and acted as her teacher and caretaker.
Early in November John and Abb, with young Wheeler Cooke,
their nephew, came on a visit to Mespil. The whole party attended a service
in St. Matthias' Church, to return thanks to God for preservation from the
cholera, which was supposed to be over. Early the following morning,
however, John was attacked by the horrible disease, and before night he was
dead. The children were taken away to his house in Mount Street, by Mr.
Edward Galwey, and after the funeral sent down to Limerick, to their uncle
Edward, with their governess, where they...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 159
remained until near Christmas, when they rejoined their
grandmother and aunt at the Mill.
"December 8th, 1849.
"Yes, dear Charles, we have had a loss," poor
Grannie writes. "Since the death of your good father—since when I have
had my ample share of sorrow—not a shaft has wounded my heart more severely
than the departure of my beloved son John, whose house, whose purse, but,
above all, whose kind and tender heart was ever open to his nurse —his
mother. But, thank God, my loss is his gain. He will never feel one of
those sharp and painful pangs which writhe and wring our hearts. He had a
cessation of pain for more than two hours, and went off in a profound and
"THE MILL, December 17th.
"We are all congregated here, and truly may it be
said, ' The house stretches with the heart of the master.' I have still an
eldest son. . . . It is a great comfort to have the dear little group around
us here, instead of that nasty Dublin."
"You would be astonished to see us all here,
comfortably accommodated and entertained, your excellent aunt Widgeon and
Isabella presiding. Your little Caroline improving daily: I do think a sweet
promise. She is at present in bed, to which she was sentenced in consequence
of her having taken cold. Your Willy ate his pudding with us, and left us
ere yesterday to resume his studies, which I greatly rejoice to find are now
extended to the open air."
The illness which Grannie thought was a cold developed into
gastric fever (what is now called typhoid), and very nearly ended in the
child's death. Her mother tried to come, but the snow was so deep that the
coach could not travel, and there was no possible room at the Mill. She,
Grannie says:— "Our dear child Caroline gave me a
lovely drive in her coach, which Widgeon pays for every fine day; and this
has been a delightful one; and we trans-...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 160
grassed by almost an hour, for which the miller's dinner
Again:— "Your little dear Caroline is this moment
returned from a drive in the asses' cart with her cousin, both in the
greatest delight at their great prowess in driving themselves; however,
uncle was at hand to pick them up if needful."
In the year 1850, Robert married Margaret O'Regan, a lady
of old family; she was by no means the least "valuable" of Mrs. Galwey's
sons' wives. She was much loved by her nephews and nieces, for she united to
great tenderness and goodness a keen sense of the ludicrous, and some Irish
wit. He was then sixty years of age, and she not young, but the marriage was
a very happy one. They left the Mill that year, and went to live in Waterloo
In the summer of the same year, 'Grannie, Aunt Bell, and
Liddie Anne came to Gortgowan. Willie and Dick came also for their holidays
from Foyle College, and one morning the whole party were gathered at the
front of the house, watching for the arrival of the Maiden City from
Liverpool, that was to bring back their sailor boy after a ten months'
voyage. As the packet steamed up the Lough, the fortunate possessors of
telescopes could discern a cap with a gold band on board, and, before long,
one of the boats in attendance on the steamer had landed him among them. He
had nearly died on the homeward voyage, from ulcers in the throat, and still
suffered from them, so it was decreed that he should remain at home for a
year. He studied mathematics and navigation, with a very clever village
schoolmaster, and amused himself by fishing and sailing the Dart, which had
formerly been William's boat. The latter had, by this time, finished his
College course, and was working, as an engineer, on the railroad from Londonderry
to Coleraine, which runs along the farther hank of Lough Foyle. He could
sometimes come across for a week end.
The Dublin party remained over the winter, and then went
back to live at 16 Herbert Place.
On the and December 1852, Mary was married to Thomas...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 161
Dysart, Esq. They lived for some years in Haddington
January 1853, the Rev. Charles Galwey was collated to the
parish of Lower Badoney in the co. Tyrone.
Leaving Gortgowan was a great grief, and the change was
very great, from a lovely home by the sea-side to a small house at the end of
a little village called Gortin. There were few neighbours, and they chiefly
lived at a great distance. An old tumble-down church and unsightly schoolhouse,
just in front, were a poor exchange for the beautiful lough and mountains
that had been their former outlook.
But there were compensations. They had the pleasure at
first of often seeing William and his engineering friends. He was then
engaged in making the railway between Omagh and Enniskillen, and Omagh was
only eight miles from Gortin. The scenery also was beautiful in its own way.
There were mountains interspersed with little lakes, and rapid rivers flowing
through lovely glens. The outlook was after a few years improved by the
pulling down of the old church and schoolhouse, and replacing them with
shrubs; while a new church and school were built a little farther back. There
was plenty of work and interest in the parish, and the quiet days and long
winter nights were much more conducive to study than the gaieties of what had
then become a fashionable sea-side watering-place. Friends came to stay in
summer, when picnics were often got up; and if the neighbourhood was sparse,
it only made the society of the neighbours to be had more enjoyable.
In September, William got an appointment on the Bombay
and Baroda railway, and sailed for India. Before he left, he went to see
Eleanor Minnitt, and they were engaged to be married. The following summer
she came to stay at Gortin, and in 1855, as William was unable, to come home,
she went out to friends of his in Bombay, and they were married. Before
this, he had been living with Sir Henry Lawrence, who was a relative of his
mother's, but they then had a bungalow of their own.
They were in India during the time of the Mutiny, and
shut up in a fort, with a native regiment. Great fears were...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 162
entertained lest this regiment should mutiny, but through
the mercy of God they were kept in safety.
Andrew made another voyage to Calcutta, and afterwards
entered the West Indian Mail Service. He came home once on leave, but in the
summer of 1854, the steamship Trent, of which he was fourth officer, was
taken up by the Government as a transport to convey troops to the Crimea. All
the time of the war she passed between Balaclava and Scutari; and they had
many distinguished passengers—among others, the Duke of Cambridge and Miss
Nightingale. One time they were sent to Beyrout for horses. Some soldiers
had gone ashore in a boat, and found they could not manage to bring her back
again through the surf. Andrew volunteered to go to their rescue he took
another boat, and kept its head to the surf until within one hundred yards of
them, when he plunged into the sea and swam to their assistance. On his
return the captain asked him to dine, and at table said it was one of the
most gallant things he had ever seen done. He asked him where he had learned
to manage a boat like that? "The best place on earth, sir, Lough Foyle,
in the north of Ireland," said the lad.
The Trent brought Captain Nolan to Balaclava, the morning
of the "Charge of the Light Brigade." Andrew brought him on shore,
and witnessed the whole scene from a neighbouring height (where he had gone
to get ballast). He saw poor Nolan shot, and his horse turn and carry him to
the rear. While he stood entranced the time slipped away, and the boat
returned to the ship without him.
He was on the field of the Alma the day after the battle,
helping to bury the dead, and recognised many acquaintances among the slain.
One day, when the Trent arrived at Balaclava, an official
command came that all transports were to leave the harbour and remain
outside. The Trent had no coal, so it was impossible for her to steam out. During
the night a terrific gale arose in the Black Sea, and a great many
transports were driven on the rocks by the violence of the storm, and
wrecked. Andrew was among the relief party next day, hauling up over the
cliffs the survivors who had managed to escape.
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 163
When the war was over, the Trent returned to her old
ground, and became famous as nearly becoming causa belli between America and
Shortly after the Mutiny in India, Eleanor brought home
her eldest child, who had nearly died, and some months later William followed
her, having completed his work. After this he was engaged on the railway
from Derry to Letterkenny, and afterwards that from Omagh to Dungannon.
Charlie was sent to the Royal School at Raphoe, under Dr.
Steele. After six months at school he entered Galway College, where he
gained a scholarship. He joined his brother as assistant-engineer, and
worked under him for several years, till William went to London, when he
When Lord Lawrence returned from India, Mr. and Mrs.
Galwey were invited to meet him and Lady Lawrence at Urney Rectory, the house
of Rev. Ben. Gough. They took their youngest son, John, with them. Lord Lawrence
took a fancy to the boy, then about fifteen, and offered him a commission in
the Indian army.
As the amalgamation of the Company's with the Imperial
troops was then impending, and after that took place Lord Lawrence would have
no power to give commissions, it was necessary for the boy to go up for
examination before it was possible for him to get through. He had never yet
been to school, but was now sent to Foyle College for some months, and then
went over to London, where he stayed at the house of Lord Lawrence during the
time of examination. As had been expected, he failed in some subjects, but,
after a winter in Dublin with a grinder went up again and passed. He sailed
for India 1860 and spent his seventeenth birthday in Bombay.
In the same year the Rev. Charles Galwey was Made
Archdeacon of Derry, and collated to the parish of Dunboe. The rectory was
one of the old "Ulster Palaces," surrounded by gardens and pretty
grounds, and only about a mile from the sea, at the mouth of the Bann, and two
miles from Castlerock.
Grannie, Widgeon, Aunt Bell, and Liddie were now...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 164
living at Broomfield, the house that had come to them by
inheritance from Mr. Edward North. The northern granddaughters often stayed
with them there.
On one occasion when Caroline was there, there was a
tremendous storm, and the girl was terrified for her brother, who she knew
must be exposed to its violence, having only a few days before sailed from
Southampton. While she was upstairs in the dark watching the crashing of the
boughs of the trees, the tea-bell rang. It was eight o'clock. Everything
went by clock-work in that house, and she was obliged to go down. Aunt Bell,
noticing the signs of distress, kindly desired her to go up and sit with her
grandmother. Though too old and infirm to come downstairs now, Grannie had
not lost her quickness of perception, and soon asked, "What ails you, my
child?" and insisted on being told. "Have you commended your
brother to God's care?" she asked; and when she was told, "Surely,
Grannie," she went on: "Then, my dear, you are exceedingly wrong in
giving way to anxiety and grief. If you had committed some precious thing to
my care, and then were uneasy about it, I should be offended. Your brother
is quite safe."
A short time after, a letter came from home, enclosing
one from Andrew, written from Vigo on the coast of Spain. He said that on
the night of the storm they had been in imminent danger of shipwreck, had
broken their shaft, and were tossed about at the mercy of the waves, but,
"through the mercy of God, about eight o'clock the wind abated, and we
were able to make the coast of Spain."
Poor Grannie felt her loneliness and isolation, confined
for many years to that one room. She sometimes said, "I think God has
forgotten me," but always corrected herself with, " Ah no! He never
forgets—His own good time." It came on the 17th August 1862, when she
was ninety-seven years and five months old. Her son Charles ministered to her
on her death-bed. The last articulate words she was heard to utter were: "In
Thee have I trusted." She was laid with her sons in St. Mary's,
Her daughter Isabella suffered much during the later
years of her life; but the tender care of the child to whom she had been more
than mother brightened her remaining...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 165
years. She died at Mespil Parade, to which they had
returned, and was laid with the others at Donnybrook.
Liddie continued to take care of Widgeon. Some of the
northern cousins generally keeping her company. Widgeon was 102 when God took
her to join those she so dearly loved. On the stone in Donnybrook Old
Churchyard her name is engraved as "Elizabeth," instead of
"Isabella Webb," which it should have been.
Robert was the next to go, December 1, 1872. He had
desired that he should be laid" beside his dear sister Liddie at
Newcastle," and would have no headstone.
In the year 1872, Archdeacon Galwey resigned the living
of Dunboe, he being then eighty years of age, and went to live in Derry. His
poor wife had never quite recovered from the shock of hearing of the death,
in India, of her youngest child, John. In 1862, he had been invalided home
for eighteen months, and then went back to join the 103rd Bombay Fusiliers
(now a part of the well-known Dublin Fusiliers). In 1865 he was sent home in
charge of some time-expired men, in order to qualify at Hythe for the post of
musketry instructor to the regiment, which he had held temporarily for one
wing while the regiment was divided. In a jungle through which they passed he
was attacked by cholera. His men carried him on to the Fort of Asseeghur,
750 feet above the plain, and there he died and was buried. On the tomb
erected by his brother officers, his age is given as twenty-one years five
months and four days. A copy of the Regimental Orders was sent home to his
"It is with deep regret that the Colonel Commanding
announces to the regiment the death of Ensign John,. Galwey in the Fort of
Asseeghur, on the 4th inst. Colonel Carmichael has never, during his
experience in command of a regiment, seen an officer holding the rank of
ensign who had a better knowledge of his military duties, both in theory and
practice, than Mr. Galwey. He was a young soldier of great promise, and a
thoroughly amiable, joyous, open-hearted Irish gentleman. As a mark of
respect to the memory of the deceased, all officers of the 103rd Regiment...
THE STORY OF A YOUNGER BRANCH 166
are requested to wear crape on the left arm, above the
elbow, for a month. The drums will be muffled for the same period.”
After going to Derry, Mrs. Galwey had a stroke of
paralysis, but she lingered for six years. She died in February 1881.
Edward Galwey was the most prosperous of all the
brothers. He purchased a house and property called Lisduff, near Nenagh,
which at his death, in 1879, he bequeathed to the second son of his brother
Richard, on the decease of his wife. This occurred very shortly afterwards.
Archdeacon Galwey survived his wife a little over a year.
He died at Ballynascreen Rectory, the home of his youngest daughter, on the
12th March 1882, wanting only a few weeks to be ninety years of age.