Search This Blog

Monday, 26 September 2011

Snippets on Charles Wye Williams, founder of CDSPCo

I keep stumbling across small nuggets of information about the founder of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Co., Charles Wye Williams, while researching the rest of his family. I won't be researching the CDSPCo in any depth because it's been so well documented elsewhere, but I thought I'd do a post collating all the little snippets of info about the man I've come across recently.

Charles Wye Williams was born to Thomas Williams of the Bank of Ireland and Mary Ann Quin in Belvedere Place, Drumcondra, Dublin in 1779. He died on 2nd April 1866.  I believe that the name 'Wye' comes from the Rev. Charles Wye who married his parents in St. Thomas's in 1777.

Charles Wye Williams married Mary Henry in 1820 in St. Thomas's Church, Dublin. Pigot's Directory of 1824 lists him as a barrister at law, living at 2 Belvidere Place. Later in the 1820s, the notary Hutchins Thomas Williams, was living two doors down in 4 Belvidere Place.

From The King's Inns Admissions Papers:
  'Charles Wye Williams, 2nd son of Thomas, Belvedere Place, Dublin, and Mary Anne Quin. Ed. p.t. T 1809  T 1812.'

By the following year, Charles Wye Williams and Mary Henry had moved to Liverpool. On 26th June 1825, a son, Charles Wye Williams, was born to Charles Wye Williams and Mary in St.Mark's Parish, Liverpool. This child died nine months later, several weeks after the death of his mother. Both were buried in St. James Cemetery, Liverpool.
'Here lies the remains of Mary, wife of Charles Wye Williams, died 11th January 1826 aged 25 years, and their infant son, died 5th March 1826 aged 9 months.'
Earlier, a daughter had been born to the couple - Elizabeth, born on 6th October 1823 in St.James's Parish, Liverpool. On the baptism entry, Charles Wye Williams was noted as 'Williams of Drumcondra', a barrister. In 1823, the family were living in Bedford Street, Toxteth Park.
A son, Thomas Alexander, was born in 1824, and died in Madeira in April 1840, aged 17.

Charles Wye Williams married a woman named Elizabeth at some stage following Mary's death. He may well have married in St. Andrew's Church, Dublin, whose registers have not survived.  This Elizabeth died on 17th January 1847, and a documents relating to the administration of her estate exists - I found it on   Elizabeth Williams lived at Shannon Lodge, County Limerick, and also at 54 Wigmore Street, Cavendish Square, London.  (Presumably Charles Wye Williams lived at both addresses also!)  She left effects to the value of £200.
Charles Wye Williams remarried quickly following the death of his wife - on 16th December 1847 in St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London, he married the widow, Frances Kendall/Hendale or Littlewood. This woman lived to a ripe old age and was buried alongside her husband.

From 'The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. 29 : 'At St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, Charles Wye Williams, esq., Barrister-at-Law, to Frances, relict of the late William Kendall esq., of Birkenhead, Cheshire, dau. of the late Captain John Littlewood, of Cinderhill House, Huddersfield.'
(William Kendall and Frances Littlewood married on 14th January 1832 in West Or Old Parish, Greenock, Scotland; they had a daughter, Fanny Littlewood Kendall, in Liverpool in 1833, and a son, Thomas George Kendall, born 1835 in Liverpool.)

'Sacred to the memory of Charles Wye Williams, C.E., who died 2nd April 1866, aged 85 years; also of Frances, widow of the above, who died 2 March 1898 aged 93 years.'

I got the graveyard inscriptions above from Hazel Smyth's 'Some Notes on Charles Wye Williams, His Family, Their Life and Times.'

From The Examiner, Sunday November 8th 1818:
'Considerations on the alarming Increase of Forgery on the Bank of England, and the Neglect of remedial Measures; with an essay on the Remedy for the Detection of Forgeries, and an account of the Measures adopted by the Bank of Ireland. Addressed to the Commissioners by C.W. Williams, Esq.'

From 'The Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin, Volume 18', under the heading 'Dublin Assembly Rolls 1826', I found the following:
'Certain of the commons (ie: Aldermen of the council), praying for freedom of this city to Charles Wye Williams, esq., granted gratis.'

A List of the Proprietors of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, 18th July 1824:
Charles Wye Williams of Drumcondra Castle, Trustee
Richard Willliams of Drumcondra Castle, Trustee
Henry Higginbotham of Mountjoy Square, Trustee
Brent Neville Jno. of Secker Street
Robert Roe of Crampton Quay
John Clarke of Astons Quay
James Jameson of Harcourt Street, later a director in the company
Abraham Lane of Ormond Quay
Thomas Gibbons of Fitzwilliam Square
Ephraim Carroll of Stephens Green
Hutchins Thomas Williams of Belvidere Place (No.4)
John Oldham of Suffolk Street
John Doherty of Stephens Green
Richard Cane of Dawson Street
Geoffrey Palmer of French StreetJohn Willans of Bridge Street
William Atkinson of Werburgh Street
Thomas Williams of Hampton Lodge (This was the father of Charles Wye Williams and Richard Williams.)
Alexander Taylor of Mespil
William John Alexander of Stone House in the Co. of Dublin
John Wolseley of Castle Bellingham in the Co. of Louth
Henry Jeremiah Smith of Anns Brook in the Co. of Louth
Henry William Thompson of Stone Brook in the Co. of Kildare

In 1827, the CDSPCo took over the rival  Liverpool and Dublin Steam Navigation Company. Voting took place on the 15th December 1827 to decide on extra trustees - the following is a list of voters with the amount of stock each held.

Richard Williams £8700   (The brother of Charles Wye Williams.)
Thomas Williams of Sackville Street £200  (Origin as yet unknown.)
Charles Wye Williams  £8000
John D. Williams  £300.  Of Eustace Street.  (Son of John Jeffery Williams who was the cousin of Charles Wye Williams and Richard of Drumcondra Castle.)
Richard Palmer £500   (A possible relation of Richard Williams' wife.)
Thomas Williams of Hampton Lodge £5000  (Charles Wye Williams' father.)
Hutchins Thomas Williams £4400  (Son of John Jeffery Williams, who was the cousin of Charles Wye Williams...)
William Williams  £200  (Another relation: William Williams, a nephew of Thomas Williams of the Bank of Ireland, was admitted to the Freemen of Dublin in 1817. This might also be another son of John Jeffery Williams.)
By proxy: Peter Williams  £400 (I have no idea who this might be.)
Thomas Gibbons  £2400  (Richard Williams was in business with the Gibbons family.)
George Carleton £300   (The Carleton family intermarried with the Williams in Dublin.)

(If our great-great grandfather, Richard Williams, was indeed a relation of the Williams family, then he was too young, having been born in 1812, to have invested in the company.)

From 'House of Commons Papers, Vol 30': 'Williams, Charles Wye, Henry Roe and William Watson, (directors of the Dublin Steam Packet Company), piece of the foreshore of the River Shannon, sold to them.'

On Griffiths Land Valuation of 1855, Charles Wye Williams is noted in Killaloe, Co. Clare where he had founded the Killaloe Marble Mills in the 1820s. A doctor by the name of Robert L. Roe was leasing a house and seven acres from Charles Wye Williams, while he himself was renting less than an acre from the Bishop of Killaloe. In the same townland of Knockyclovaun, the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company was leasing offices and five acres of land from the Bishop.
In the townland of Moys, Joseph Sheehan was leasing the Marble Mill from Williams, while the CDSPCo was leasing an ironworks from the Commissioners of Public Works. On the Canal Bank in the town of Killaloe, William Manderson was renting the stoneyard from Charles Wye Williams; on Royal Parade, the CDSPCo was leasing sheds and a yard from the Bishop of Killaloe, while Sylvester Hurley was leasing a hotel, outbuildings, yard and garden from the CDSPCo.

From 'The Nenagh Guardian, September 30th 1876': 'Mrs. Wye Williams will be at the Royal Hotel, Killaloe, to sell or let the Mills belonging to her at Killaloe. Property is not encumbered and has the right of fishing given by the Commissioners to the late Charles Wye Williams.'
The mills were later sold to Henry Maunsell Lefroy.

John Foley, a descendant of the Hanks family who operated the beautiful grain and flour mill called Sally Mills in Rathangan, Co. Kildare, contacted me suggesting that Charles Wye Williams was probably involved with the refurbishment of the mills which had been undertaken by John's ancestor, Jeremiah Hanks, in the 1800s. Work on the mill was carried out by Edwards & Co in about 1815 - this was the same Belfast foundry which had worked with Charles Wye Williams on the upgrading of the linen mill which he ran in the Lagan valley in the early 1800s. Jeremiah Hanks upgraded Sally Mills from the traditional wheel to an innovative horizontal water wheel and John believes that Charles Wye Williams was involved in this. He also suspects that Williams, along with Edwards & Co, was involved in the construction of the bridge which was built at the mills in the same era. To comply with river traffic regulations, Edwards & Co. had to complete the construction of this bridge in one day flat - the bridge is therefore known locally as the '24 hour' bridge.
The Hanks family were Quakers, as were the Malcolmson brothers from Waterford who used Charles Wye William's patent for turf production at Castleconnell, Limerick and in the Killaloe Slate Factory. The Williams family in Dublin had business dealing with other Quaker families including the Todhunters, the Pims and the Bewleys.

From The Registry of Deeds, Kings Inns, Dublin:
'14.4.1823 Charles Wye Williams and Rothes of Kilkenny.'
The above deed was trascribed by my cousin, Jane Williams, but there were no details given. I have absolutely no idea what Charles Wye Williams was up to in Kilkenny!

Deed 1837-21-204 details the transferral of Aldborough House (aka the Feinaigle Institute, where Charles' nephews were educated) to Bindon Blood, Richard Williams, Charles Wye Williams and William Harty.

I will add to this post as I discover new information....


  1. Hi Alison,
    My name is Brian McKay from Ballycastle Co.Antrim,N.Ireland.
    I am a decendant of Mary Williams,Charles W.Williams first wife.Mary's father was Alexander Henry who was born near Ballymoney Co.Antrim but lived in Dublin from the early 1790's.Alexander inherited the Henry Estate of 2500 acres when his brother Johnston Henry died.Alex died c.1816 leaving everything to his only child Mary.Mary had family but all died as minors,with Mary dying in 1826 aged 25-26.As a result the estate eventually
    passed to alex's four sisters,one of whom was my Margaret McKay,nee Henry.Do you know what happened to Mary & Alex's daughter Elizabeth? I am just trying to tie up some loose ends in my family tree.

  2. Hi Brian,
    I knew nothing about Mary Henry's family - all I knew of her was her marriage to Charles Wye Williams, so many thanks for filling me in. As for Elizabeth Henry, sadly I haven't researched your Henry line, so I'm not sure where you would start. If they were based in Dublin, perhaps you could try the church records on the Irish Genealogy website and maybe find family clues there?