Saturday, 7 October 2017

Fiddown Church , Parish of Fiddown, county Kilkenny

This is another of those ancient and very neglected graveyard sites, although it is now adjacent to a very busy and dangerous road  between Waterford and Carrick on Suir.   The ancient churchyard marks the site of a 6th century monastery founded by St Mo-Medog, also spelt St Momhaedhog, or Momoedoe.  Here stood in Fiddown an old church in the English style which was erected about the year 1200.  A very beautiful Holy water font was found here in 1805 in what was then called the "church field"; this font was removed to Piltown chapel and inserted in the wall of the chapel according to Carrigan (History of the Diocese of Ossory. Vol 4. 1905)   A picturesque small scale church consisting of a nave and a chancel was rebuilt and beautified by the Rev. Robert Watts, the Protestant rector in 1747; this was used as a Protestant church up to about 1870.  The nave was then taken down but the chancel retained to serve as a mortuary chapel at Protestant burials and as a mausoleum for the Briscoe and Bessborough families. (Please note that this can also be spelt Besborough and is not a typographical error when so spelt). Fixed to the wall over the east window is a stone effigy in relief representing the head and neck of a female with a crown of five points on her head; this is believed to be the virgin Mary.  The graveyard was walled about 1775 but previous to this the graveyard extended considerably beyond its present boundaries, both to the east and west sides.  The Irish Georgian Society took an interest in this mausoleum in the late 1960s and they restored and painted it at that time; this accounts for the Irish Georgian Society plaque now in the mausoleum.  Of the 48 townlands in the civil parish of Fiddown, 24 were the property of Lord Bessborough, by far the biggest landlord in the area.  In the Abstracts of Returns on the State of Popery 1766 the Protestant rector William Watts recorded 203 Popish families and 85 Protestant families in  the Union of Fiddown. He records the Catholic priest at this time as Matthias Lanigan. 
Fiddown is also recorded as being in the Roman Catholic parish of Templeorum.   This graveyard is of considerable interest, though much overgrown, and contains both Protestant and Catholic burials. 

Somewhere in the graveyard, and yet to be located by us, are some medieval tomb fragments from the ancient church site at Kilmodalla, alias Kildaton, which was destroyed in 1830 in order to make way for new stables at Lord Bessborough demesne at Piltown.  These tomb fragments include at least one from the hand of the famous Kilkenny stone carver Rory O'Tunney; this is the tomb of Redmond Daton, alias D'Autun of Kildaton and his wife Helen Butler dated circa 1550,  and is signed Roricus otyyne.  We have not found an illustration of this stone and neither is it listed in John Hunt's book Irish Medieval Figure Sculpture 1200-1600. Irish University Press and Sothebys.  2 Vols. 1974. Kildaton, also called Kilmodalla, was the property of the Daton family, as was Cloncunny,  but forfeited from them during the 17th century.  Kilmodalla was their traditional burial place.  We know that somewhere in the graveyard at Fiddown there is a fine tomb to Peter Walsh of Belline, catholic agent to Lord Bessborough and a keen antiquarian, Irish speaker and scholar; he died in 1819.  There is also a monument to his parents John Walsh of Piltown who died in 1792 aged 80 years and Catherine Butler who died in 1760 aged 30 years. We have yet to find these stones and to survey the external graveyard which we are really looking forward to undertaking. There is a pedigree for Walsh of Fanningstown, the line to which Peter Walsh of Belline belongs, in Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland (1912); this states that Katherine (sic)was of Knocktopher, county Kilkenny and John Walsh's first wife.   We are currently working on adding to this printed Walsh pedigree.    Another well documented memorial is a horizontal slab bearing the inscription "Here lyeth the body of Edward Briscoe of Crofton in the County of Cumberland in England, who departed this life the 20th day of July anno Dom 1709 and in the 58th year of his age"
For the moment though we have access to the interior of the mausoleum and recorded exactly the inscriptions on the 26 memorials found there.

List of memorials starting immediately to the left of the entrance door
1. Small stone plaque. This chapel was restored by Ambrose Congreve, grandson of the 8th Earl of Bessborough, Mary widow of the 10th Earl and Madeleine, widow of the 11th Earl.
2. Below the window. A plaque of white marble on black marble.  Signed by mason Browne & co, Bristol.  In loving memory of Eliza Cecilia Briscoe wife of Edward Briscoe Esq., late Captain 41st Regiment (The Welsh) and daughter of Robert Briscoe Esq., She fell asleep in Jesus at Bournemouth 9th September 1883. "Them that sleep in Jesus will god bring with Him".
3. White marble plaque on black marble. Signed I Carew fecit Waterford.  In the vault at the back of this lies deposited the remains of Rebecca daughter of the late Edwd Briscoe Esq., of Garnerea and wife of Wm Osborne Esq., of Silverspring who died in England at the  Bristol Hot springs where she went for the benefit of her health the 19th Sepbr 1798 aged 33 years and 3 months.  Fair was her form, more fair her gentle mind, where virtue, sense and piety combined, to wedded love gave friendships highest test, endeared the wife and made the husband blessed, now in widowed grief erects this sacred stone to make her virtues and his sorrowes known.

4. Positioned beneath No 3 above. A white marble plaque on black marble. In memory of Edward  Briscoe Late Captain 41st Regt The Welsh, son of Edward Villiers Brisoce of Willmount, born June 2nd 1792, Ensign 87th Regt 1809, engaged at Busaco Albuhera where he carried the colours and the siege of Badejos. He served as Brigade Major 41st Regt in the Burmese War 1826, died February 2nd 1881.
5. White marble plaque on black marble. Top stone, Sacred to the memory of Eliza Thomasina Briscoe wife of the above (sic) Henry Harrison Briscoe who died at Cloncunny in her 65th years Febry 13th 1875. Also to the memory of Edward William Briscoe, eldest son of the above who died at San Marion Thomasina Briscoe youngest daughter of the above who died at Cloncunny in her 35th year Febry 6th 1881.
6. White marble on black marble plaque. Below stone No 5.  In remembrance of Henry Harrison Brisoce Esq., of Cloncunny who died in Inverness Novr 14 1864 aged 65.

7. Massive and impressive memorial with 4 red/orange marble pillars, plus red marble with white marble plaque on a carving of a sarcophagus of Egyptian marble standing on large carved animal feet. Top of tomb decorated by two figures, from waist up, presumably the Earl and the Countess, dressed in what looks like roman togas. Signed by Guils Atkinson, London fecit.  The inscriptions reads "Under the marble lie the remains of Brabazon Ponsonby, Earl of Bessborough, Viscount Duncannon of Sysonby in Leicester Shire in Great Britain and of Sarah his wife Grand Daughter and heiress to Primate Margetson. The virtues of their private lives need not be here recited, they are engraved in the hearts and minds of many who will deliver them from one generation to another beyond the duration of a perishable tomb.  This monument is erected not as a necessary memorial to them but as a testimony of gratitude and respect owing from their son William Earl of Bessborough.  He had the honour of serving his majesty King George the 2nd in several public employments of great trust and dignity and departed this life July 1758 aged 81. She in May 1733 aged 52".  (According to Burke's Peerage 1893 Brabazon Ponsonby married 1stly, Sarah widow of Hugh Colville and daughter of James Margetson Esq., and grand-daughter of the most Rev James Margetson D.D. Archbishop of Armagh, and had issue.  He married 2ndly in 1733 Elizabeth daughter and co-heir of John Sankey of Tenelick, county Longford butr had no issue by this second wife.  Brabazon Ponsonby died 4th July 1758 and was succeeded by his son William 2nd Earl of Bessborough, who died in 1793 and who served George 3rd in several high positions including Lord of the Treasury and Post Master General. Burke does not state which positions were held by Brabazon Ponsonby, 1st Earl of Bessborough and who served King George 2nd .)

8. Ornate black and white marbl , decorated at the bottom of the panel by a supporting cherub  with the Ponsonby arms impaling Moore.  Here lies ye body of Mary ye wife of the Honble Coll William Ponsonby of Besborough, granddaughter of ye Right Honble ye Earle of Drogheda by her father and the Earle of Meath by her mother.  And her virtues were suitable to her birth. She departed this life the sixth day of May 1713 in ye 52nd year of her age.
9. Left of altar. Black marble surrounded by white marble. This chancel was rebuilt and beautified by Revd Robert Watts M.A. Dean of St Canice and Vicar of Fiddown 1747 who after a contest at law and in equity carried on for nineteen years and fifteen hundred pounds expended by him recovered the Great Tithes of the Parish from the Subtractor for the Benefit of all succeeding incumbents.  Quatenus nobis Denegatur dui Vivere Relinquamus aliquid que nos vixisse testemur.

10, Behind altar.  Stained glass window inserted at top of larger plain glass. This reads " Pro Rege lege Greae".

11. Right of Altar. Top panel.  Here lies ye body of Sir John Besborough who departed this life Anno Dom 1668 in ye 60th year of his age.
12. Immediately below the above plaque.  In memory of William Wentworth Brabazon Ponsonby, second son of John William Viscount Duncannon and Maria his wife. born Dec 19th 1812. Died at 8th July 1831 on board HMS Madagascar, who was buried at Napuli in Greece.
13. Small plaque standing on floor immediately below the above memorial. Irish Georgian Society. In grateful memory of George Murphy (1926-1994) Chicago Illinois, Co-Founder Chicago Chapter. George and Mary loved Ireland.
14. Signed by maker Kidwell, London fecit. Gulielmi Ponsonby Uice Comitis Duncannon Quod Mortuum est Hic Jacet Depositum Obiit Die Nov 17 An Dom: 1724 Aeta 67, Siste Viator & Memento Mori.
15. In memory of Anthony George Brabazon Ponsonby Fourth son of John William Viscount Duncannon and Maria his wife, Born May 17th 1820. died at Bessborough October 6th 1841.
16. Top plaque. a gothic mural monument in Caen stone.   In memory of John William Ponsonby 4th Earl of Bessborough who was born on the 31st April 1781 and died on the 16th May 1847 while holding office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and Maria Vicountess Duncannon, his wife, daughter of John Fane 10th Earl of Westmoreland, who was born on the 11th May 1787 and died on the 19th March 1834.
17. Brass and placed below the above plaque. Emily Charlotte Mary Ponsonby and daughter of John William 4th Earl of Bessborough. born 17th February 1817, died 3rd February 1877. Till the day break and the shadows flee away.
18. Plaque made by F. Tatham, London. In memory of Frances Charlotte daughter of John George, Earl of Durham and wife of the Honble John George Brabazon married Sepbr 7 1835. Died Decr 17 1835 in the 23rd year of her age.
19. Top plaque in streaked alabaster, decorated with angels..  Erected by Caroline Amelia Countess of Bessborough in loving memory of John George Brabazon Ponsonby 5th Earl of Bessborough who was born 4th Oct 1809 and died 28 Jany 1880. Lord now lettest thy servant depart in peace.
20. Below the above memorial.  Frederick Edward Neuflize Ponsonby the 10th Earl of Bessborough 1913-1993. Member of the European Parliament 1972-1979.
21. Brass and top plaque. Sacred to the memory of Alfred Philip Brisoce of this parish who passed way March 18 1890 aged 53 years.
22. Back marble below above brass plaque.  Edward Briscoe of Cloncunny October 1851 aged 96 years, buried at Onchan, Isle of Man. Eiza his wife, daughter of Daniel Osborne Febraury 1837 aged 80 years, buried at Killaspy, Edward his son May 1815 aged 20 years, buried at St Saviour's London.

23. White marble plaque. Athur Mountifort Longfield Ponsonby, the 11th Earl of Bessborough 1912-2002.
24. Black marble slab on floor with brass insert. In Memoriam. Beneath this stone are laid the remains of John George Brabazon, 5th Earl of Bessborough born Oct 4th 1809. Died at Bessborough Jan 28th 1880. And also of Caroline Amelia Countess of Bessborough, his wife, born June 18th 1819. Died at Bessborough April 30th 1890. Waiting for the adoption to wit  the redemption of our body. Romans 8.23.
25. Black marble slab on floor with lozenge shaped brass plaque insert.  Topped with crest. Hic jacit Frederick George Brabazon sexii comtis de Bessborough qui decessit in pace XII die Martis MDCCCXCV. Atet LXXIX in christo spes.
26. Lecturn. Standing by the altar. A small brass plaque is attached to the wooden top of the lecturn. In memoriam William Osborne Briscoe Esq., M.D. Garnareah, Pilltown, obit Feby 6th 1874.

List of masons who signed memorials in the mausoleum
Guils Atkinson, London 7
Browne & co, Bristol 1
Carew, Waterford 3
Kidwell, London 14
F. Tatham, London 18

For further reading see:-
a) Michael O'Donnell. The Ponsonby and Briscoe Mausoleum in Fiddown in Decies No XXXIV. Spring 1987 (You can get this in full and online from the Waterford Library).
b) Daniel Dowling. Kildalton and its Past in Decies No XXXIII Summer 1986.
c) Rev . T.J Clohosey. The Ponsonbys and Fiddown Church in Old Kilkenny Review. 1967 No 19.

For other Bessborough Memorials see: Bessborough Memorials in Derby Cathedral, England which we posted on 28/1/2018.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Thomple Graveyard, Parish of Thomastown, county Kilkenny

The Thomple,Thomple Tha Haun,Thompletheàghawin, The Church of Grenan, Thomastown Co Kilkenny.

East window

The name of this local early Irish christian saint, St Teghàn survives in the name of this Church and the many interpretations of it.  The Church stands is relief on the west hill above the Nore valley on the main access route to the Castle of Grenan. Thomas FitzAnthony who with his many Norman settlers oversaw the development of the town of Grenan, present day Thomastown. Thomastown means the town of Fitz (son of) Anthony.
Mary Casteleyn and myself surveyed and recorded this graveyard in 2015. A housing estate now sweeps right up to the boundary of this enclosed graveyard.  The surrounding graveyard wall has been broken allowing access, unfortunately of animals, to the interior of the enclosure.  There has been deterioration noticably since this graveyard was surveyed some time ago  by local historian Jerry Doyle and his son Joe.
There are signs of vandalism the graveyard is in a sorry state many broken stones lying around.
The ruined church has a magnificently carved east window.

The inscriptions are as follows;

1. James S. Blake of Ballinamona Co Kilkenny who died 16th Sept 1873 aged 56 years.
Erected by Cornelia his wife.
Blessed are those worthy, whom the Lord, when He shall find them watching St. John.X11.27.

2. Isidore Blake born June 16th 1854,  Died May 1856.
Isidore Blake  Ballinamona
Dates noted on the Memorial of Isodore

Parents James S. and Cornelia Blake Ballinamona, and on the right, within the railing their child Isidore

3. Sacred to the memory of Mr Robert Clifford of Mill View who departed this life on the 9th day of April 18(5?)1 in the (uncut) year of this age.

4. Mr John Duke late of Thomastown, Apothecary who departed this life September 5th 1815.
Here also interred his father and mother, grandfather and grandmother, aunt and sisters Mary Anne and Rebecca.  Also his infant nephew Wilm Duke who died April 25th? 1819 aged 7 months.
Also Mr Samuel Allen Duke who departed this life the 20th (30th)? day  of March in the year of our Lord 1819 in the 53rd ? of his age.

5.  J  Cody R.I.P.

6. Here lieth interd near the remains of his father Walter Devereaux and his mother Elenor Devereaux als Grace, the body of Frencis Devereaux who departed this life on the 26th of May 1794 aged 56 years. Erected by his wife Elenor Devereaux als Reade.
Iconography on this tomb; Ciboria each side of Sunburst containing within the rays the Christogram IHS with a cross resting on the bar of the H... fading. Stone may not be in its original position.

7. Devereaux vault below the church ruin broken open long since.

8. Sacred to the memory Anthony and Mary Graves ..see (d) below

9. Small stone with ancient Crucifix used as a marker or ancient grave, no name.

10. Small stone of Crucifixion on internal boundary  north wall outside of Church window.

Insert in north wall
11. Broken and partial stone. To the memory of....Somerset Rob..youngest ..Rev Ric...who d...
The earlier recording mentioned above and kindly clarified for us by Joe Doyle reads
"To the memory of Somerset Robert Cooke youngest son of Rev. Richard Cooke who departed this life on Saturday August the? 1815 aged?"
James B Leslie in his book Ossory Clergy under Thomastown p.366 records the following Rev. Richard Cooke was appointed Rector and Vicar of St Mary's Thomastown on 3rd July 1824. He was first appointed Curate to Ennisnag in 1817. He married Harriet Henrietta French  in 1808 he had sons John, Richard, and Somerset Robert (d) 7th August 1836 aged 16 years.
He had three daughters Harriet, Frances and Anne.
Rev. Richard died 5th Nov. 1835 Tomb being located at Grennan Thomastown.

12. The white marble base of this tomb found only, by us but listed in the earlier recording as:-
Henry Innes died  August 31st 1816 aged 15 years. Bessie Innes died January 21st 1855 aged 46 years.

13. From Vol 6 (1906/7) of the Memorials of the Dead and collected by Miss Vigors 
'Lieutenant Colonel Nichols died 1939'
We did not find this stone.

East Window
14. A note from the same volume of Memorials of the Dead
states that Mrs James Graves was the wife of the Rev. James Graves.  We did not find a memorial to Mrs James Graves in June 2015.

I found on line at the following references to the Graves Family burials at the Thomple for which there are no visible headstones or memorials. The information on this website concerning these Graves family burials at the Thomple are taken from a private manuscript noted as in the possession of Mrs R.E. Graves, Greedy's Orchard, Halse, Taunton in Devon, England and from Extracts taken from Thomastown Registers done by Rev. James Graves in 1871 and Anna Maria Barrington and copied by R. E. Graves in 1912. These references have not been consulted by us but they do have the ring of authenticity.

a) Richard Graves born 1713, died 1813 and buried in Thomple Tha Haun.
Richard was married to Margaret Bull born 1720, daughter of James Bull of Thomastown.
Margaret is buried at Thomastown but we do not have a date of death for her.
b) Charles Graves born Sept 1765 buried  1784 at Thomastown.
c) Margaret Graves born 1755 died 1786 and buried in Thomple Tha Haun.
d) Anthony Graves, Abbeyview House, Thomastown born 10th July 1751 died 31st January 1816 and buried at the Thomple Tha Haun.  His wife Mary Graves nèe Brett, Abbeyview House, died 4th April 1819 and buried at the Thomple Tha Haun.
e) Richard Graves bapt 14th Sept 1772 died Thomastown at 7 (years).
f) Edward Graves died at 17 (years).
g) Margaret Derenzi nèe Graves died 14th March 1828, Ballystraw, buried in the Thomple Tha Haun.
She was the wife of Captain Banjamin Derenzi.
h) James Mercer Graves, M.D Edinburgh, died at Abbeyview 21st May 1819 and buried at the Thomple Tha Haun.
i) Jane Mercer Graves never married, died 9th November 1851 and buried at the Thomple Tha Haun burial ground at Thomastown..
j) Charlotte Graves baptised 20th September 1794 and died in infancy.
k) Lydia graves died 1806 aged 14 years and buried in the Thomple Tha Haun.
l) James Graves was buried in 1788 at Thomastown. His wife Mary Flanagan born in 1762 died in 1842.
m) Elizabeth (Bessy) Graves Davis, Millview, Thomastown, died 26th July 1813 and buried at Thomple Tha Haun. She was wife of Amyas Davis.
n) Julia Davis died young.
o)William Cameron Graves, Grennan Cottage, Thomastown. Also of Wellington, Bannow, County Wexford, born 20th Jan 1820, died 23 May 1846 and  buried in the  Thomple Tha Haun.
p) Maria Graves died 25th February 1849 at Abbeyview and buried at the Thomple Tha Haun.

Taken from the Clergy of Ossory:-  Rev.James Graves was eldest son of Rev. Richard Graves and his wife Johana Anderson (whom he married 10th April 1813 at Kilkenny).

Rev. James was born in Kilkenny, entered TCD July 1st 1834 aged 19 years and B.A. in 1839.
He married Maria Dann Nicholls the daughter of Liet-Col William Dann Nicholls, R. A.

Rev. James Graves formed the Kilkenny Archaelogical Society with Prim in 1849.
He died on 20th March 1886. His tombstone in St Canices Cathedral, Kilkenny is a Celtic Cross designed by R Langrishe and modelled on the |High Cross of Clonmacnoise and is
inscribed " In loving memory of Revd. James Graves, Rector of Inisnag A. D. 1863- 86. Born 1816 Died 20th March 1886"

Index to names

Blake, 1,2. 
Brett, d).
Cameron, o). 
Clifford, 3.
Duke, 4.
Cody, 5.
Cooke, 11.
Davis, m) n)
Derenzi, g).
Devereaux, 6, 7.
Flanagan, l).  
Grace,  6. 
Graves, 8, 14. a), b,) c), d), e), g), h,) i), j),k),l),m),o),p).
Innes 12.
Mercer, h) i).
Nicholls, 13.
Reade, 6.

A beautiful window in need of protection
Index of Places 
Abbeyview, h) p)
Abbeyview House, d)
Ballinamona, 1.
Ballystraw, g)
Bannow, o)
Edinburgh, h)
Grennan, 11
Grennan Cottage, o)
Kilkenny county,  1
Mill View, 3
Millview, m)
Thomastown, 4, b) d ) e) i) l) o)
Wellington, o)
Wexford, o)

List of Occupations

Apothecary 4
Doctor h)
Rector 11, 14.