The Chichester Family Tree

Pedigree of William Chichester/O’Neill   Generation I 1              William Chichester/O’Neill, Created Baron 1868, born on 03‑03‑1813, died 1883, son of Rev. Edward Chichester BA MA (see also 2) and Catharine Young (see also 3). Married (1) at the age of 25 on 03‑01‑1839 to Henrietta Torrens, born 1819, died on 17‑01‑1857, daughter of Hon. Robert Torrens, 2nd Justice of H.M. Court of Commin Pleas., and Anne Torrens. Married (2) to Elizabeth Grace Torrens, born 1814, died on 22‑01‑1905, daughter of…

The Dresden Letters – 2

The Dresden Letters – 2


1 August 1796

My dear Uncle (i.e. Lieut. Col. Hart, 43 Upper Norton St. Portland Rd., London)

I returned home from Dublin a few days ago and left my father, mother and Mary at Ballinascreen (Co.Derry) where they will remain until the visitation of Derry which is fixed for the middle of this week. My father is considerably better than I have known him for many years and I am convinced the mere exercise of the journey has been of service to him. Purcell and Richards still persist in their favourable opinion of his complaint. Richards says his disorder has not arrived at a  sufficient maturity for an operation, should an operation be necessary, but he was known so many cases where the disorder has dispersed of itself that he thinks my father will not by any means require one. He says the pain in his back certainly proceeds from his present disorder owing to the contraction of the spermatic chord and must necessarily cease when the cause is removed. There is a correspondence agreed upon between Richards and him and at the end of six months if he does not find the swelling decrease he must return to Dublin and undergo an operation which he advises him is very trifling being nothing but a very small puncture in the scrotum. In the meantime he recommends the immediate use of fomentations. Purcell tells him his constitution has a  very gouty disposition and has advised the use of the Donegal spa which prescription my father is determined to comply with. 

I spent a couple of days at Ballynagard (Culmore Rd.) on my way home and my uncle made me very happy by telling me that, as sea bathing has been recommended to you, it is possible you might come over to the north of Ireland this summer. I need not tell you how convenient this place is to the cold bath and did you know how much it would delight us all I am convinced you would not hesitate one moment. 

Lucius Carey has been so unfortunate to offend my Aunt Hart by neglecting to execute a commission she gave him some time ago to buy a pair of horses. She is determined never to pardon him and my uncle is resolved to give up all future connection with him. Alderman Fairley met him in Derry last week and gave him such abuse as would have disgraced Billingsgate. 

My Uncle Charleton has returned to Derry and is at camp near Dublin and is very well. I hope by this time I have another little cousin . Have I any chance of knowing my Aunt Charlotte? Be as good as to remember me to her.

And believe me to be, my dear uncle, your most affectionate nephew, 

Edward Chichester

PS. I have made some further enquiries about Portarlington. It is remarkable for being the best place in the kingdom to learn French. They have all kinds of masters there and it is the best place in Ireland for boys. My Uncle Charleton has just sent his son Thomas there.

The Dresden Letters, Clonmany – 1

Rev William Chichester was rector of Clonmany and the picture seen here shows him in his study at Dresden, Clonmany. (The picture has been supplied from the estate of Lord O’Neill of Shanes’s Castle, Co. Antrim) His son Edward also became a rector and served in Cloncha and Culdaff. While resident at Clonmany, Edward corresponded on a regular basis with his uncle, Lieut. Gen. Hart of Kilderry, Muff. His letters were written from his home at Dresden which was situated…

Carraig na Spainneach Carndoagh

The townland of Carndoagh is a few miles from Carndonagh. It has one major landmark, the twin arch railway bridge constructed in 1901 close to the Carndoagh railway halt. The bridge can be seen from the Carn-Ballyliffin road. In a field nearby there is a rock called Carraig na Spainneach or the Spanish Rock where a Spaniard was hung. West Donegal has several rocks of the same name usually associated with a Spaniard or an incursion. Prior to the Battle…

The Pitt Kennedys of Carndonagh Rectory from 1782

The old rectory belonging to the Church of Ireland was occupied until a couple of decades ago, the last incumbent being Rev. Henderson, I believe. The two storey house is not visible from the Carn-Ballyliffin road; the entrance is off the slip road to Malin. The building is still in fair shape but the farm yard is in good heart with impressive red-brick buildings surrounding a courtyard still intact, a model of good design. In fact, I recall seeing Rev.…

Drumfries and the Great Famine

Five town lands of the Meentiaghs had very different experiences during the Great Famine 1845-49. The townland of Ballinlough suffered the most in terms of population decrease, declining from 98 to 44 persons, a drop of more than fifty per cent. The remaining townlands of Ballintlieve (93 to 68), Carroghill ( 34 to 30), Glasmullan (77 to 71) and Meenadiff (32 to 24) suffered a smaller decline in population. The most striking change was in the number of houses that…

Killer Disease in Inishowen 1937

In the early 1900s tuberculosis was still a deadly disease in these parts. The 1937 Annual Reports from the Donegal Medical Office in 1937 make for grim reading. It was still necessary to run fortnightly clinics in Carndonagh, Letterkenny, Donegal Town and Glenties. Monthly clinics were operating in Moville, Clonmany and Muff. (Cholera killed hundreds here in 1832, the year of Duffy’s Cut). There were 30 district nurses in the county engaged in battling the disease. Clonmany clinic had 139…

Clonmany Gun Running 1914

In April 1914 Thomas McDonagh addressed a large crowd at Cruckaughrim Hill near Ballyliffin and advised his audience to get armed. Five months later in August rumours were rampant that guns were about to arrive in the peninsula. The RIC were aware of the reports and mounted checkpoints where manpower permitted. Everything that moved was searched – carts, schoolbags, even prams. The Irish National Volunteers at Culdaff, Malin, Carndonagh and Buncrana were on alert. Tension was high as Companies A…

Carrowmena Lace School

The Lace School in Carrowmena was one of many such schools established in Donegal. Locally referred to as the Crochet House, young women learned a range of skills from crochet to needlework, embroidery and knitting. Belfast agents delivered linen napkins, handkerchiefs and tablecloths and students added Celtic motifs, shamrocks and other decorations. Students learned new skills and got paid for work produced. Crochet goods were exported worldwide and there was a great demand for traditional Irish lace and crochet. The…

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