Robert Clarke’s family and the families of Hemphill, Swifte, O’Brien,
Maunsell and Butler Kearney
J. Robert Clarke (1804-1868) lived at Bansha near Tipperary. He married twice and was the
father of twelve children; three sons and one daughter by the first marriage and three sons
and five daughters by the second.
He married in 1828 Sarah Jane (d. 1833) the sister of the local parson, the Revd Holford
Banner who obtained the living of Bansha through the influence of his relative Archbishop
Lawrence; nevertheless ‘he was an excellent incumbent’. His father was the Revd Benjamin
Banner of Didcot, Oxon, born in Cheshire about 1755, a Fellow of Brasenose and later Vice
Principal and senior Bursar, Rector of Whittington, Lancs, and then Didcot (1793-1817), and a
JP. He died at Lichfield in 1817. Benjamin married a Holford of Davenham where the Eccles
family lived (see OM page 49-50).
Robert’s children by his first marriage were:
1. Robert Vaughan, who married Mary Anne Vincent and lived at Three Castles near
Kilkenny, the house in which Charles James Butler Kearney and his wife Georgina (Robert’s
youngest daughter by his second marriage) lived later. They had no children.
2. Revd Marshal Banner (1831-1892) who married 1858 Louisa Mary Humphreys, served in
the Crimean War, became curate of Ardara and, in 1874, Rector of Mountfield, Co. Tipperary.
His daughter Anne Sarah Jane married Arthur Vincent (see OM page 12) and of his three
sons, Wray d.sp., and Holford and Henry emigrated to Australia.
Benjamin spent a short time in a solicitor’s office and then emigrated to Australia.
4. Sarah did not marry and died in 1890.
Robert married secondly in 1836, Anne (d. 1879) daughter of Richard Butler of Millbrook,
Castlecomer, and sister of Katherine A. Patrick’s third wife (see OM page 42). She had eight ,
6. Charles Eldon
7. Henry John
12. Georgina Hannah
The following diagram shows their marriages and descendants.
Robert Clarke = Anne Butler
5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
Richard Charles Henry Mary Anne Ellen Catherine Georgina
(3 sons) Eldon John = Swifte = O’Brien = O’Brien = Maunsell Hannah
= Butler d.sp = Butler
a. b. c.
Charles Cecil Ettie
Lionel Cholm = Cooke
= Hayes = Carter
i. Elia i. Synolda i. Elia
= Dillon = White
ii. Mary ii. Marshal ii. Bryan
= Stephens = Corsellis
a. b. c.
Torlough James Nathalie
= Harkness = Harkness = Swifte
a. b. c. d.
Toby Frank George May
= Davies Gilbert = Sequira = Corsellis
i. James i. Jean i. Joyce (unmarried)
= Hunt = Wake ii. June = Cooke
ii. Catherine ii. Norma
5. Richard went into the army and later became Chief Constable of Sussex. He had three sons
with whom contact has not been made.
6. Charles Eldon married in 1868, Amelia Butler of Drom, second cousin twice removed of
Anne Butler (see OM page 42). She was the daughter of William Butler of Drom near Fethard
and was the sister of Charles James Butler who married 12. Georgina Hannah, and later
added the name Kearney on coming into some property. Charles and Amelia (Elia) had three
a. Charles Lionel Butler (1869-1927) was a great rider at local race meetings. He married
Mary Hayes (1867-1951) with issue:
i. Amelia Julia b. 1896, unmarried.
ii. Mary Josephine (1898-1927), unmarried.
iii. Thomas Cecil (1904-1975) married 1938 Winifred (Freda) daughter of Patrick McNally of
40 Ventnor Avenue, Barking, Essex, with issue:
Patrick Charles Butler b. 1942, married 1974 Elizabeth, daughter of Albert
William Moss of 4 Knighton Road, Romford, Essex.
b. Cecil Butler Cholmondeley (Cholm) (1875-1924) was first of all a marine engineer and then
became Bankruptcy Registrar at the Law Courts in Dublin. He married in 1911 his third
cousin Fanny Carter, great granddaughter of Barbara Hemphill, younger sister of Elizabeth
Clarke (Revd Marshal Clarke’s wife), nee Hare. Their relationship is shown in the following
Revd Patrick Hare = Mary Crozier
Revd Marshal = Elizabeth Hare Barbara Hare = John Hemphill
Robert Charles (1st Baron) Hemphill
Charles Eldon Edward Augustus = Mary Hannah
Cecil Cholm. Frances Ethel
Cicely Butler of Maiden Hall and Silver Deane Oliver (see OM page 29) were bridesmaids at
the wedding of Cholm and Fanny. The year before, Cholm had been best man to Marshal
Falconer Clarke (Charles Neville Clarke’s youngest brother).
Elizabeth and Barbara Hare and their sisters were alluded to as ‘Patrick Hare’s six beautiful
daughters’. Elizabeth, the eldest, married the Revd Marshal Clarke in 1783 when she was 15;
Helen married in 1798, Nathaniel Taylor of Ballinure, Co. Tipperary; Jane married in 1814,
Captain Robert Mansergh of Friarsfield, Co. Tipperary (Robert Cole Bowen married his great
niece Georgina, see OM page 40). Monica married in 1815, Captain Roger Ankatel; Mary
Anne married in 1807, Charles Dillon of Ballydaniel; Barbara, the youngest daughter and
author of ‘Lionel Deerhurst’ and ‘The Priest’s Niece’, married Dr John Hemphill surgeon of
Cashel and Rathkenny, Co. Tipperary (1777-1833). John’s grandfather, the Revd Samuel
Hemphill, a distinguished Presbyterian Controversialist, had settled at Springhill, Co.
Tipperary, early in the 18th century and his son, John Hemphill of Cashel (1741-1823) married
Elizabeth Bacon of Rathkenny.
John Hemphill and Barbara had two sons and three daughters. Their great granddaughter,
Constance Lloyd, married Oscar Wilde; Charles Hare Hemphill, their second son, was JP for
Dublin, Tipperary, and Wicklow, and was successively Chairman of Quarter Sessions for
Counties Louth, Leitrim and Kerry. From 1892 until 1895 he was Solicitor General for Ireland
and from 1895 until 1906 he was Liberal MP for Tyrone. On 12 January 1906 he was elevated
to the peerage under the Campbell-Bannerman Liberal government. He married in 1849,
Augusta Mary Stanhope, granddaughter of Charles, 3rd Earl of Harrington, and they had
three sons and one daughter, Mary Hannah Augusta who married Major Edward Augustus
Carter of Theakstone Hall. They had two children: Fanny Ethel who married Cecil
Cholmondeley Clarke, and Louie who married William Christopher MacFetridge, an eye
specialist. William and Louie lived for many years at Hove where they knew the Meyricks
(see OM page 85).
Cecil Butler Cholmondeley (the name Cholmondeley came from Lord Delamere who was
Colonel of the Cheshire Regiment when Charles Eldon was a young man in the Cheshire
Yeomanry) and Fanny had two children:
i. Synolda Elia Augusta who married Sir Robert Dillon, 8th Bt. formerly of Lismullen
Castle, Co. Meath and latterly of Knockavon House, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.
ii. Marshal Butler Cholmondeley, b. 1919, who was appointed Master of the Supreme
Court of Judicature (Chancery Division) in 1973. He married in 1947, Joan
Roberta, daughter of John Kyle Stephens, JP of Hollywood, Co. Down and they
had two children:
Edward Stanhope Kyle Cholmondeley, a Chartered Accountant, b. 1948. He
married in 1975, Suzanne, daughter of Cdr. E V Bezance RN.
Robert Marshal Cholmondeley b. 1954.
c. Ettie d. 1949 married in 1905, Arthur Cooke, younger son of Sir William Cooke, 9th Bt.
D.L., of Wheatley in Yorkshire. Blanche Elia Catherine (Ettie) and Arthur Gordon Wyatt
Cooke had two children:
i. Elia, b. 1908 who married the Revd John White who lived at Mill Bay, Vancouver
Island and had two sons:
Anthony John b. 1938 who married in 1972, Sally Champion, stepdaughter of
John Durant of Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire. They had one son:
(1) Bryan Llewellyn b. 1974.
Jeremy Nicholas b. 1940 who married in 1964, Beverly Anne Atcheson, daughter
of Gordon Atcheson of Vancouver, B.C. and they had two children:
(1) Gordon John b. 1965.
(2) Nicola Leigh b. 1971.
ii. Bryan (1909-1974) was for many years a tea planter in South India (Kerala). He
married his second cousin June Corsellis (see 12. d OM page 17) and they had one
Nathalie b. 1960.
Bryan and June retired first of all to Hampshire where they lived near the Butler
Kearneys, and then moved to Vancouver Island where Bryan succeeded to his
father’s house at Duncan. Bryan died on 24 December 1974 after a long illness.
Charles Eldon moved from Newton House, Holy Cross to The Hermitage, a small house
nearby, when Cecil Cholm moved to Dublin. Ettie and Arthur Cooke then took over Newton
House. Charles Eldon liked the children to call him ‘Uncle Charlie’; he was a cheerful person
with a wonderful repertoire of stories and reminiscences. His tea parties always included
delicious ‘hot cakes’ (scones) and he invariably explained at great length all the objets d’art in
his curio table.
7. Henry John, after spending some time on a ranch in the Argentine came home on account
of ill health and died of consumption in 1871.
8. Mary Jane married in 1863, as his secod wife, Godwin Meade Pratt Swifte of Swiftes Heath
near Kilkenny. The was ‘the eccentric Mr Swifte’ who married in 1833 Baroness von Wetslar
of Schonkirchen, Austria; called himself ‘Viscount Carlingford’; and invented an ‘aeroplane’
in 1856. Regarding the marriage, doubts have been expressed as to whether in fact it was a
marriage and whether the lady was a baroness. The viscountcy he claimed was without any
justification being one of the creations of James II after he had been deposed. (The real
Viscount Carlingford had died without issue in 1634.) The ‘aeroplane’ which he called ‘an air
chariot to navigate the sky’ crashed, but it was later said to have been designed along the
right lines! Godwin had the chariot hoisted on to the roof of the porch and installed the
gardner as pilot. The chariot had enough energy to leave the ‘runway’ but it crashed onto the
gravel, breaking the leg of the pilot who had to become a patient of the Kilkenny bone-setter.
Godwin also invented a screw to drive a ship through water. (However, the Swedish
engineer Ericsson had taken out a patent for a screw propeller in 1836.)
The family of Swifte or Swyfte lived near Rotherham in Yorkshire and traced their pedigree
back to Robert Swyft of the time of Edward IV. It is thought that they came originally from
Denmark. The Revd Thomas Swift (the final ‘e’ was dropped in Tudor times) (1535-1592)
moved from Yorkshire to Canterbury and married the daughter of Thomas Godwin DD
Bishop of Bath and Wells. He and his son William were between them Rector of St. Andrew,
Canterbury, for fifty-five years. William married the daughter and heiress of … Philpot of
Goodrich and his son, Thomas (1585-1658), was invested by Bishop Godwin with the rectories
of ‘Goderich and Bristow’ in Herefordshire.
The Revd Thomas Swift of Goodrich was an ardent Royalist with a ‘head mechanically
turned’ who ‘contrived a spiked obstacle in the river (Wye) whereby Parliamentary troops are
said to have lost 200 men drowned or trodden to death’. He aided King Charles I with 300
broad-pieces and was pillaged by the Roundheads to his utter ruin. He married Elizabeth, the
daughter of Erasmus Dryden and aunt of the poet, and they had four daughters and ten sons.
Four of the sons went to Ireland at about the time of the Restoration. These were: Godwin d.
1695, barrister at law and attorney general to the 1st Duke of Ormonde (1610-1688) for the
County Palatine of Tipperary; William d. 1705, who had lands in Carlow, Kilkenny, Leitrim
and Roscommon; Jonathan, a Dublin solicitor, the father of the celebrated author Jonathan
Swift (1667-1745), Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin; and Adam d. 1704, of Greencastle,
Godwin d. 1695, built Swifts Heath which bears the date 1656 and married four times:
Wheeler, Webster, Dean and Meade. Godwin, ‘the eccentric Mr Swifte’ – it was he who added
the final ‘e’ to the name, was descended from the second of these marriages but these Swifts
made a practice of marrying ‘cousins of the half blood’ which accounts for his being
christened Godwin Meade Pratt Swift; a Pratt married a Deane descendant. Godwin is
therefore descended from the Webster, Deane and Meade marriages of Godwin d. 1695.
Godwin Meade Pratt Swifte and 8. Mary Jane Clarke, whose mother was a Butler, had one
a. Godwin Meade Butler Swifte who married his first cousin, Nathalie O’Brien. They had no
This last Godwin was a great friend of his second cousin, Charles Neville Clarke, and they
did a Grand Tour together after Charles had finished his university and agricultural college
training. Godwin had some lively cousins who used frequently to come to Graiguenoe; the
six children of Sir Ernest Godwin Swifte, Chief Metropolitan Police mgistrate in Dublin, who
lived at 18 Fitzwilliam Square. The eldest of these was Ernest, who appears on the cover of
Charles’ book ‘Round France in a Motor’ published in 1906, and who took over Swifts Heath
when Nathalie died. The youngest was Kathleen Briggs whose son, George, took the name of
Swifte and took over Swifts Heath when Ernest died. He sold it in 1973.
9. Anne and her sister, 10. Elizabeth, married in the same year (1867) the brothers, Peter and
Jerome O’Brien. Their branch of this ancient Celtic family lived at Ballynalackan Castle near
Lisdoonvarna in Co. Clare. Their father was John O’Brien b. 1794, High Sheriff for Co. Clare
1836, MP for Limerick 1837-1852. One of their brothers was a Cistercian monk and two of
their sisters were nuns. Peter, d. 1914, who was known among the criminal classes as ‘Peter
the Packer’, became Lord Chief Justice of Ireland and was created 1st Baron O’Brien in 1871.
He and Anne lived in Dublin in Fitzwilliam Square – as did the Swiftes and the Marshal
Neville Clarkes. They had two daughters:
a. Georgina (unmarried).
b. Ellen (unmarried).
Later, Lady O’Brien and her daughters moved to London and lived in Queen Anne’s
Mansions, St. James’ Park. When she died the daughters moved to Ovington Square, SW3.
Georgina was a most forceful and amusing person; Eleanor seemed to live in her shadow.
Georgina had a much-loved dachshund which she used to take with her to the butcher’s,
where it was allowed to help itself. The item of its choice was then put down on the bill.
10. Elizabeth and Captain Jerome O’Brien, the elder of the two brothers, lived at
Ballynalackan and they had three children:
James, a Registrar in the Law Courts in Dublin, married a widow, Josephine Harkness, and
his elder brother, Torlough, then married Josephine’s daughter, Norah. Torlough and Norah
had one child, a son born when Torlough was 70:
Nathalie married her first cousin Godwin Meade Butler Swifte.
11. Catherine married Thomas Maunsell, son of Edward Maunsell of Deer Park,
Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare. The Maunsells are descended from Thomas Maunsell of Derrylane,
Co. Cork, who settled in Ireland in 1609, being a member of the Maunsell family of Thorpe
Malsor, Northants, dating back to 1167. He distinguished himself in the defence of Mocollop
Castle in 1650. His descendant, Richard, was MP for Limerick 1740-1761 and had a son,
Richard of Ballywilliam, whose grandson Edward Maunsell of Sixmilebridge married
Wilhelmina Cannon of Millbank, Co. Galway. They brought up six sons and six daughters at
Deer Park between Sixmilebridge and Bunratty. Their fifth son was Thomas who married
Thomas and Catherine had three children:
a. Edward Butler.
c. Wilhelmina (Ivy).
It is thought that Hubert may have died young and that Ivy married F. Gillespie.
12. Georgina Hannah married in 1873, Lt. Colonel Charles James Butler, brother of Amelia
Butler who married 6. Charles Eldon Clarke. He bought the house, Three Castles, on the
death of the widow of 1. Robert Vaughan Clarke, Robert’s eldest son. In 1876 Charles James
Butler added the name Kearney on coming into some property from a Kearney cousin. They
had five children:
a. Theobald (Toby), b. 1875, an Assistant Registrar at the law Courts in Dublin, married
Hester Davies-Gilbert of Eastbourne (1892-1972) and they had two children:
i. James b. 1916, married Judy Hunt and lived in Hampshire.
ii. Catherine b. 1918, became a social worker and lived in Somerset.
b. Frank b. 1877, was in South Africa during the Boer War, probably in the South African
Mounted Police. He then joined the army and served in the Leinster Regiment and afterwards
in the R.A.S.C. When he was stationed at Southport about 1918/19, he met Shirley Sequeira;
they married in January 1920 and had two children:
i. Jean ( = Wake, with one daughter, Jill).
Jean and Norma lived at Cheam in Surrey.
Shirley’s father was John Bailey Sequeira (1867-1921). His marriage and death certificates
record his profession as ‘Gentleman’ but he was, during his later years, and executive of
James Buchanan and Co. He was the fifth son of Dr Henry Little Sequeira, Medical Officer of
the City of London.
The Sequeiras were a medical family of Portuguese origin and were connected with the City
of London from the time when Isaac Henriques Sequeira (1735-1816) settled there after
completing his medical studies at Baden, Bordeaux and Leyden. Isaac Henriques’
grandfather, father and two uncles had been physicians in Portugal and his son, two
grandsons and four great grandsons were doctors in England. Two of the great grandsons
were uncles of Shirley; Henry James and George William. Henry James (1854-1940) was, like
his father before him, Medical Officer of the City of London. Isaac Henriques (1738-1816) was
painted by Gainsborough and the portrait is in the Prado, Madrid. He was Honorary
Physician to the Prince of Portugal and Physician to the Portugues Embassy at St. James’s.
c. George, who was in the army, died of influenza at Graiguenoe after a hunt ball in 1919.
d. May Violet married Mervyn Corsellis of the Colonial Service (Nigeria), whose family,
who were of Dutch origin, had earlier associations with Layer Marney in Essex. They had
i. Georgina Joyce Nathalie b. 1919, who lived in Cambridge.
ii. Marion June b. 1922 who married Bryan Cooke d. 1974. After his death Marion lived with
her daughter Nathalie b. 1960 at Duncan, British Columbia (see 6.c.ii
OM page 17).
iii.A son who died in infancy.
e. Charles James died young.
Charles James Butler Kearney left Three Castles during the ‘Troubles’ and went to live at
Redlands, near Waldron in Sussex, with the Corsellis family. Toby’s son, James, the last male
Butler Kearney, had no children.
Three Castles escaped being burnt during the ‘Troubles’ but three other houses referred to in
these notes were burnt down. These were: Rockmills (Deane Olivers see OM pages 28-29) in
1921, Marlfield, the house of the Bagwell’s (Lilla Pennant’s mother’s family see OM page 58)
on 10 January 1923, and Graiguenoe Park on 1 March 1923.
According to an article in the Morning Post of 22 April 1923, the ‘Campaign of Fire in Ireland’
6 December 1921 (Date of the Treaty)
to 5 December 1922 (Establishment of the Free State)
- 89 houses
6 December 1922 to 22 March 1923 - 102 houses
A total of 191.
Of the counties in which these houses were destroyed, Tipperary led with 32, Galway
followed with 20, Cork with 13 and Kerry with 12.