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Friday, 30 September 2011

Rev.David Hill Creighton (1784 - 1855)

Geraldine O’Moore Creighton was the second wife of Richard Williams of 17 Eden Quay - these were our maternal great-great grandparents.
Geraldine O'Moore Creighton was the daughter of the evangelical Presbyterian minister, Rev. David Hill Creighton (1784 - 1855) of Dorset and his wife Eliza Willis of Portarlington.

I had assumed that David Hill Creighton had been born in County Derry since he was buried there in Portstewart in 1855. However, the LDS website shows up the birth of a David Hill Creighton in Blandford Forum in Dorset, England.  He had two sisters - Jennet and Mary Ann, and Rev. David Hill Creighton later named two of his own daughters Janet and Mary Anne.  
David Hill Creighton was born to Andrew Creighton, shopkeeper, and Mary (possibly Hill) on 16th June 1784 in Blandford Forum, Dorset.  They were Dissenters/Presbyterian.   His siblings were Jennet or Joanel born in 1782,  Mary Ann born 1777, and John born 1779.

Update:  'Saunder's News-Letter' of 3rd August 1835 (viewable at the Find My Past website) confirms Andrew Creighton of Blandford, Dorset, as the father of Rev. David Hill Creighton:    "Died July 23 at Blandford, Mr. Andrew Creighton, father of the Rev. D. H. Creighton, Old Connaught, Bray, at a very advanced age..."

The Find My Past website also has the Dorset Births/Deaths/Marriages records and these also note the death of Andrew Creighton (1744 - 1835) in Blandford Form, aged 91, in 1835.  The same website, under Dorset Marriage Transcriptions also show up the marriage on 28th September 1774 of an Andrew Creighton to a Martha Simonds in Blandford Forum, but it's unclear if this is the same Andrew Creighton or another.

The UK National Archives Discovery website also show up a few details about David Hill Creighton's brother, John Creighton.  In July and August 1805, Sarah Ann Rogers was seeking maintenance from bookbinder, John Creighton of Blandford Forum, for her child.  A second record, dated 20th July 1805, concerns a letter from John Creighton authorising his father, Andrew Creighton, to appear before the court on his behalf in respect of any action concerning the support of the child.  These records are held in the Dorset History Centre.

David Hill Creighton was educated at Rev. David Bogue’s Academy in Gosport, England, Gosport being only about 40 miles along the southern coast from Blandford Forum, Dorset.   The founder of the school, David Bogue, was a Scottish-born evangelical preacher, who had set up his academy in the late 18th century to train young men as missionary preachers.  The annual cost of the three year's tuition was £10, and the pupils lodged with families of the congregation.
Following his three years at Bogue's Academy in Gosport, Rev. David Hill Creighton was appointed by the Missionary Society to Buenos Aires, and was ordained as a minister on October 3rd 1806 at Portsea.

From ‘A Report of the Directors to the Missionary Society’:
‘When the Directors learnt that…the populous and important town of Buenos Ayres had become a part of the British Empire, they were desirous of seizing the first opportunity of sending hither the invaluable treasure of the Gospel of Christ; they saw with avidity the British merchants extended their commercial concerns to that country, and they felt anxious to communicate, with at least an equal zeal, the superior benefits of a pure religion. Mr. Creighton, one of the Missionary Students, was therefore despatched in the ship “Spring Grove” to that nation. It was not expected that he could immediately discharge all the duties of a Missionary…but it was hoped that while employed in learning the language of the country, he would be acquiring the most useful information of the state of religion, and of the way in which he might best employ himself…it was also hoped that he might be of essential use to the sick among our British soldiers, and be serviceable in the religious instruction of their children.
The Society need not be informed, that before the fleet of British merchant-men arrived, Buenos Ayres had reverted to its former possessors; and the particular door of usefulness which had been opened, was, for the present, closed. When Mr. Creighton arrived in the Rio de la Plata, and received this afflictive intelligence, he was at a loss how to act; but after due deliberation, he prudently determined to wait there till he should see in what manner depending affairs should terminate.
Since that time, Monte Video, another considerable town in the vicinity, has yielded to the British arms; and Mr. Creighton will now enjoy an opportunity of rendering some useful services to the general cause of religion in that quarter of the New World.’

Rev. Creighton remained a few months in Monte Video before returning to England in October 1807.

In January 1808 he was engaged by the Hibernian Society to work in Ireland but seems to have worked also in several English towns at this time.  However, he regularly visited the French colony of Portarlington in Queen’s County/Co. Laois to preach. It seems that the primary goal of his mission was to convert whatever natives he came into contact with, whether in Argentina or Ireland, but he doesn’t appear to have had great success.
 From ‘The Irish Evangelical Society, 4th Report’ published in 1818:
‘At Portarlington the affairs of the Society are rather discouraging. This perhaps arises from circumstances over which the committee had no control. Mr. Creighton, from necessity, has been absent for some months, collecting for the new chapel. He has, however, lately returned, and preaches statedly every Sabbath day.’

While at Portarlington he met and married Eliza Willis, the eldest daughter of schoolmaster Thomas Willis.
From the marriage register of the French Church, Portarlington:
‘1810 Jan. 31. David Hill Creighton of Dublin, Method. Preacher to Eliza Willis of Portarlington….’

However, the Lea Parish Register in Portarlington records the marriage of David hill Creighton, Methodist preacher, to Eliza Willis, as occurring on 9th July 1809.

By 1815,  Rev. Creighton had left Portarlington. From ‘The Hibernian Evangelical Magazine, Vol. I’:
Mr. Creighton, who is at present stationed at Winchester, laboured there (ie, Portarlington) for more than twelve months with considerable acceptance and apparent usefulness. His removal is still regretted by many of the inhabitants.’

In 1822, the 'Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle' recorded that Rev. D.H. Creighton of Patricroft, near Manchester, had collected £6 10s. worth of donations.

In 1829, he was instrumental in taking over St. Mary's Abbey, Meetinghouse Lane off Capel Street, Dublin, for the Evangelical Society;  his services were 'gratuitous', and he hoped to pay the £50 rent through donations.

David Hill Creighton appears in the Dublin Street Directories at 18 Cumberland Street South from 1829 -1833. In 1834 he was noted at Pearse Street and Bray, Co. Wicklow where he had been appointed minister of the Bray Presbyterian Church. In 1834 Mr. Creighton and Bray had been received into connection with the Secession Synod under the care of the Monaghan Presbytery. At this time Mr. Creighton came to Bray from Dublin every Sunday on the mail-car, but about 1836 he began to reside in Bray. In 1840, however, his health gave way and the congregation began to diminish. In 1841, therefore, he obtained leave for the congregation to choose an assistant and successor. His successor discovered that the church was almost deserted on Sundays - only about twenty people would turn up regularly for the services, there being only six Presbyterian families associated with the church, some of them living a great distance away from Bray. Bray, it seems, was primarily a Church of Ireland town.

David Hill Creighton and his daughters ran a Ladies' Academy at various addresses around Dublin in the 1830's, rrobably in connection with the Scots Church in Mary Abbey, Capel Street, which regularly appealed for donations to fund not only its meetingplace, but also the school run in conjunction with it. 
The Creighton achool was advertised frequently in the Saunders Newsletter.  On 2nd March 1835 the paper announced that the school was in operation by Mr. Creighton and his daughters at 50 Lower Sackville Street, Mr. Creighton having recently moved from 14 Upper Gardiner Street. The following month the paper made it known that some ladies had expressed a wish that Mr. Creighton run a summer class in Kingstown, and that enquiries be addressed to Mr. Creighton; references on his behalf could be had from Mrs. Roe of Sans Souci and Mrs. Ferrier of Willow Park.
In 1837 the paper was advertising a Ladies' Academy at 1 Foster Place, College Green, with Mr. Creighton and Mr. and Mrs. Newcombe in attendance.  Later, in 1843 and 1844, the Creightons had moved their school to 9 Westland Row - by this time Mr. Creighton was being assisted by only the one daughter.
It is interesting to see the Creighton's school in operation at 50 Lower Sackville Street, since this was the business address of Thomas Williams, a Welsh linen and woollen merchant who had contributed £200 of capital to the fledgling City of Dublin Steam Packet Company.  The daughter of Rev. David Hill Creighton, Geraldine O'Moore Creighton, married Richard Williams, the bookkeeper of the CDSPCo in 1847.  Both the Roe and the Ferrier families had close links to the shipping company as well, and it's interesting to see them standing as referees on David Hill Creighton's behalf.  

The Belfast Newsletter of 21st June 1842 records a libel case brought by Rev. David Hill Creighton against The Northern Whig newspaper...."The plaintiff was a gentleman far advanced in life, having a very large family of daughters principally dependent on his exertions, and to whom he could give but little..."
The Belfast Newsletter reported that, while the minister of the Bray congregation, Rev. Creighton had been in receipt of a government grant of £70 per annum, known as the regium donum.  The Northern Whig stated that, at the General Synod of the Presbyterian Church of 6th and 7th July 1841, it was decided that Rev. Creighton be suspended from his duties as a minister in Bray.  The paper questioned, therefore, whether he had been  suspended because of misconduct and if he should in retirement be in receipt of the grant.  The court, however, decided in favour of Rev. Creighton, stating that the word 'suspended' should have read 'demitted', and that there had been no misconduct in this case.  Rev. D.H.Creighton was awarded damages of £100 and costs of 6d.

In 1846, David Hill Creighton was noted in Thom’s Directory as living in Dublin at 30 Summer Street; from 1847 - 1849 he appears at 43 Summer Hill.  For a time in the mid 1840's, he lived at Old Connaught Avenue in Bray, before moving to North Cumberland Street in Dublin, and was also the owner of a property named Killarney in Bray, which he demised back to its former owner, Peter Warburton Jackson, in 1845 - the deed for this transaction was witnessed by Rev. Creighton's son-in-law, Alexander Farquharson, a merchant of John Place, Edinburgh, and a John Robertson, writer of Edinburgh.  (Deed 1845-5-168).

Rev. David Hill Creighton died in Portstewart, Co. Derry in 1855, but nobody knows why he died here.   The 'Colerain Chronicle' of 1st April 1854 ran an advertisement announcing that David Hill Creighton's daughters, Mrs. Farquharson and the Misses Creighton, were opening a Ladies Seminary in Portstewart, and that one of them, Jessie Creighton, had just returned from France where she had lived for the previous two years.

The tombstone of Rev. David Hill Creighton in Portstewart Graveyard reads: ‘To the memory of Revd. D.H.Creighton who for upwards of 50 years was a faithful preacher of the glorious gospel of the blessed God. He fell asleep April 5th 1855 in the 69th year of his age. When Christ who is his life shall appear then shall he also appear with him in Glory. Here also sleep till the day break & the dawn appear the mortal remains of Eliza Willis, wife of the above, who entered into rest 15th March 1866 in her 85th year. Weeping may endure for a night but Joy cometh in the morning.’
A neighbouring weathered headstone commemorates his grandson: ‘Here rests the body of D. C. H. Farguharson, grandson of D.H. Creighton at the age of nine years…of him…20...185...’ 

Alexander Farqharson, from Scotland, appeared as a witness to the marriage of Richard Williams and Rev. Creighton’s daughter, Geraldine O’Moore Creighton - Alexander Farquharson married one of Geraldine's sisters, Mary Anne Creighton.

D.C.H. Farqharson was David Hill Creighton Farqharson, born in Edinburgh on  18th December 1846 and who died, aged 9, in 1856.
His family buried him next to his grandfather.

 'The Coleraine Chronicle' of 27th January 1855 announced that a service would be led by Rev. David Hill Creighton in Portstewart Methodist Chapel and that he would be assited by Mr. McCrea.

From 'The Derry Journal' of 28th June 1854:  'June 20, of decline, David Hill Creighton Farquharson, son of the late Alexander Farquharson of Edinburgh, and grandson of Rev. David Hill Creighton.'

From The Freeman’s Journal:
Wednesday, April 18, 1855: April 5, at Portstewart, the Rev. David Hill Creighton, senior Minister of the Presbyterian Congregation, Bray, in the county Wicklow, aged 66 years.’   (NB: His age is never given correctly.)

‘1866 March 15 at Privot House, Dundrum, Eliza, relict of the Rev. D.H. Creighton.’

From The Irish Times of Saturday, March 17th 1866:
‘Creighton, March 15 at Privot House, Dundrum, the residence of her son-in-law, Mr. Richard Williams, Eliza, relict of the late Rev. D.H. Creighton and eldest daughter of the late Thomas Willis Esq., Portarlington, in the 85th year of her age. She sweetly fell asleep in Jesus, whose love she had proved for 68 years.’

Her death certificate confirms that she had died of bronchitis which she had been suffering from for the previous 8 days, at the home of her daughter, Geraldine O'Moore Williams - Privot House, Dundrum.  The certificate has her age as 84, and her daughter, Geraldine, was present at her death.

Eliza Willis and David Hill Creighton had three unmarried daughters - the sisters of Geraldine O’Moore Creighton - who ran a boarding and day school at 41 North Great Georges Street, Dublin. They were Jessie Creighton, Eliza Creighton and Louisa Adelaide Creighton, all three born at some stage between 1811 and 1821. 
From 1873 till 1882, they were noted as running an educational establishment at 39 Gardiner Street Lower, before moving to the North Great Georges Street premises where their college assumed the name of the Kenmare House Collegiate School.

From 'The Belfast Newsletter' of 19th August 1873:  'Educational Establishment for Young Ladies, 39 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin....under the direction of Miss Louisa Creighton, daughter of the late Rev. David Hill Creighton, and for many years Principal Governess in Mrs. Bell's Seminary, 1 Kildare Place.  Assisted by her sisters and some of the first Masters in Dublin...'

Eliza Creighton died on 23rd June 1899;  her sister, Jessie Creighton, died on 2nd May 1893. Their sister, Louisa Adelaide Creighton was  resident at Kenmare House in 1901. She gives her date of birth as 1822. By 1901 she is living off an annuity while her niece, Alexandrina Bolton, was the principal of the college. Alexandrina was the daughter of the widowed Helen Bolton, also resident at Kenmare House - Helen  had been born in Scotland and was the daughter of Alexander Farqharson  and Mary Anne Creighton; she gave her religion as Plymouth Brethren. Helen's son, Reginald Bolton, is living there too and gives his profession as a cashier in a ship broker’s office. 

Louisa Adelaide Creighton died on 21st March 1902 and was buried in Mount Jerome alongside her sisters, Eliza and Jessie, Creighton, and her niece, Alexandrina Mary Elizabeth Bolton who died on 1st January 1952.
On 30th May 1888, Geraldine O’Moore Creighton Williams, the sister of Jessie, Eliza and Louisa Creighton, had died at Kenmare College.

From the Irish Times of Wednesday May 3rd 1893:
‘Creighton, May 2, at her residence 41 North Great Georges Street, Jessie, (Mademoiselle) daughter of the late Rev. D.H. Creighton and of Eliza Willis, his wife.
Meme quand je marcherai par la vallée de l’ombre de la mort, je ne craindrai aucun mais tu es avec moi, c’est ton baton at ta boulette qui me consolent.’

From the Irish Times of June 24 1899:
‘Creighton, June 23, at her residence, Kenmare House, 41 North Great George’s Street, Dublin, Eliza Willis, daughter of Rev.D. H. Creighton, late of Bray, Co. Wicklow, and granddaughter of Thomas Willis, late of Portarlington. Funeral for Mount Jerome on Monday 26th at 8.30. Friends will please accept this (the only) intimation.’

From the Irish Times, Saturday March 22, 1902:
‘Creighton, March 21, at her residence Kenmare House, 41 North Great George’s Street, Dublin, Louisa, sole surviving daughter of Rev. David Hill Creighton, late of Bray, and granddaughter of William Willis, late of Portarlington. “Thine eyes see the King in his beauty.” Funeral will leave for Mount Jerome at 8.30 Monday morning 24th inst.’
Note: Louisa Creighton’s grandfather was actually called Thomas Willis, so the Irish Times got this wrong.

Here is more on the descendants of Rev. David Hill Creighton -

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