Our maternal great-great grandfather was Richard Williams the bookkeeper of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, who lived at their Dublin headquarters at 17 Eden Quay from 1837 till 1857.
This post, which is really nothing more than genealogical gossip, concerns his known acquaintances, Thomas Harvey Todhunter (1799 - 1884) with whom he ran a shortlived business in the mid-1840’s, and Henry Bewley who, although originally a Quaker, as was Todhunter, became a member of the Plymouth Brethren evangelical movement, and eventually founded their meeting place of Merrion Hall, now the Davenport Hotel off Merrion Square.
Thomas Harvey Todhunter’s father, an English merchant who was the son of a Cumberland ship-owner, settled in Dublin in the early nineteenth century - the earliest mention of a Todhunter in Dublin that I’ve found is from 1801 when John Todhunter, a merchant, was living at 56 City Quay.
By 1814 the directories show up a William Todhunter living at 22 Holles Street, but both John and William have businesses at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay. William Todhunter was engaged in the manufacture of turpentine and was also an oil-millar.
Sir John Rogerson’s Quay quickly became the hub for this family of Todhunters; although it’s difficult to discern the family relationships between them, I have to assume that they are all of the same family.
In 1824, J. Todhunter of 85 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, was a corn merchant and factor. The same year, there was Isaac Todhunter, a rope-maker, dealer in pitch, tar, rosin and sailcloth, who was living at 81 Sir John Rogerson’s - by 1846, he was a coal-dealer of 14 Summerhill Parade and Ringsend. (In September 1869, The Limerick Chronicle recorded the death of Louisa, wife of the late Isaac Todhunter, at Leeson Park, Dublin.)
In 1846, John Todhunter, merchant, was of 17 and 19 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, with a residence at 1 Upper Parnell Place. Also noted at 1 Upper Parnell Place were two of his sons, William Todhunter and Joshua Todhunter.
John Todhunter, the merchant of 1 Parnell Place, died on 6th September 1844, aged 73, which gives him a birth year of 1772, therefore he would be the correct age to be the father of Thomas Harvey Todhunter. He was married to Susanna Harvey who was born in 1776, and who died in 1850. The couple’s son, Thomas Harvey Todhunter, would later marry another member of the Harvey family, Hannah Harvey.
The youngest daughter of John Todhunter, Elizabeth Todhunter, married Joshua Reuben Harvey, a doctor in Cork, at the Friends' Meeting House. (This from the Limerick Chronicle of 11th September 1841.)
Thomas Harvey Todhunter also had a sister, Susan, who married Jonathan Pim whose mother was yet another member of the Harvey family,this time a Mary Harvey. Jonathon Pim was a member of the Quaker famine relief committee as were his brothers-in-law, Thomas Harvey Todhunter, William Todhunter and Joshua E. Todhunter. Both Jonathan Pim and Thomas Harvey Todhunter were members of the Statistical Society.
John Todhunter was born in 1772 to Joseph Todhunter and Hannah Robinson - Joseph must be the ship owner of Cumberland and the grandfather of Thomas Harvey Todhunter of 17 Eden Quay and Sir John Rogerson’s.
By 1846, Thomas Harvey Todhunter, who was our Richard William’s business partner for a time, was noted as a merchant of 17 Eden Quay (as was Richard Williams) but was resident at 19 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.
Thomas Harvey Todhunter was one of the executors of the will of Limerick timber merchant and ship owner, James Harvey who died on 29th February 1848. In 1844, Matthew Barrington of Limerick and Dublin demised to Thomas Harvey land at Little Kilrush, St. Munchins, Limerick, which, in accordance with Thomas Harvey's will, Thomas Harvey Todhunter was to sell on to Daniel Gabbett of Richmond, Limerick. This conveyance was legalised with deed 1848-18-17; this deed was immediately succeeded by another related document, in which a property which had earlier been sold by Matthew Barrington to George Gibbons Williams, the son of the notary Richard Williams, of 38 Dame Street and Drumcondra Castle, was being conveyed to the same Daniel Gabbett of Richmond, Limerick. Both deeds held the proviso 'excepting unto the said Matthew Barrington, his heirs and assigns.'
Many of the Irish Quakers educated their children at the Ballitore School run by the Shackleton family. In 1807, Thomas Harvey Todhunter and, presumably his brother, Joseph Todhunter, were pupils there together; three years later, William Todhunter was a pupil at the same school. By 1823, John Todhunter and Joshua Edmundson Todhunter appear on the school lists - these were the sons of John Todhunter, each of them starting their education at Ballitore at the age of about 6 or 7 years old.
Thomas Harvey Todhunter was married to Hannah Harvey (1806 - 1857), the daughter of the prominent Limerick merchant, Joseph Massey Harvey, and many members of this Harvey family also attended Ballitore School - in 1812, James and Rueben Joseph Harvey were there; they were joined two years later by a Joshua Harvey. Also present at the school were members of other prominent Quaker families - Bewleys, Hanks, Pims etc.
In 1850, the one-year-old daughter of Thomas Harvey Todhunter and Hannah Harvey, Susanna Todhunter, died, as did the 74-year-old Susanna Todhunter who was the widow of John Todhunter.
By 1881, Thomas Harvey Todhunter has moved to 116 Lower Baggot Street along with John Todhunter, and Joshua Todhunter. Earlier, on 24th May 1851, ‘The Illustrated London News’ reported that two men had died near Chesterfield when a goods train had accidentally ploughed into the back of a stationary passenger train. Among the injured were John Todhunter of Dublin, who sustained two broken legs, and his brother, Joshua Todhunter, who sustained a broken shoulder blade. Although Thomas Harvey Todhunter had a son, Dr.John Todhunter who would continue on to be a celebrated Irish writer, the two men who were injured in the train crash were actually his brothers.
(Also of interest here is Joseph Todhunter, the Secretary of the National Assurance Company of Ireland; he lived at the company headquarters of 3, College Green, which, in 1832, had been the residence of William Williams. William Williams of College Green was an early shareholder of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company; this may have been the nephew of Thomas Williams of the Bank of Ireland who had been admitted to the Freedom of Dublin in 1817, but I’ve been unable to find enough corroborating evidence to support this. Joseph Todhunter may have been another brother of Thomas Harvey Todhunter - a boy of this name was a pupil in Ballitore School at the same time as Thomas.)
During the Famine, the brothers, Thomas Harvey Todhunter, William Todhunter and Joshua E. Todhunter, were members of the Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends in Ireland as were prominent members of the Pim, Harvey and Bewley families. The Quakers, although there were only 3000 of them among a population of almost 8 million, spearheaded the efforts to relieve the suffering of the starving Irish, and have been rightly commended for their efforts.
William Todhunter was put in charge of the distribution of agricultural seed, which was transported free of charge by the Williams’ company, the CDSPCo; he also organised the distribution of replacement fishing gear, many of the fishermen having sold their nets early in the distress in an effort to feed themselves and their families.
William Todhunter died from exhaustion on January 30th 1850, aged 46 (ie: 1804 - 1850) - it was noted that, although he died in Dublin, he had spent some years in Portumna, Galway; other texts mention that he was a Quaker of Cork.
The Central Relief Committe, which coordinated the national relief efforts from Dublin, had been founded by Jonathan Pim and Joseph Bewley.
Jonathan Pim (the son of Thomas Pim) married, in 1828, Thomas Harvey Todhunter’s sister, Susan Todhunter - she too helped with the famine relief effort, distributing food and clothing from their home in Monkstown; Jonathan Pim almost collapsed from exhaustion in 1847, but survived the famine, going on to become the first Quaker MP in 1865. This couple lived at Monkstown, South Dublin, where the beautiful Quaker Meeting Hall can still be seen, and also in Rosbarnagh, Co. Mayo.
Thomas Harvey Todhunter’s brother-in-law was the noted botanist, William Henry Harvey, who lived with the couple at their home in Baggot Street, Dublin.
Joseph Bewley, tea merchant and co-founder of the Quakers’ Central Relief Committee, was the eldest son of Samuel Bewley and Elizabeth Fayle who lived at Rockville, South Dublin.
From the RDS website: Samuel Bewley (1764-1837), tea merchant and manufacturer, 72 Meath Street, was elected a member of the Dublin Society in 1803. A Quaker, he was highly respected for his philanthropic work and was a trustee of the house of recovery, a committee member of the Kildare Place society, and a generous supporter of the Meath hospital, Cork Street fever hospital, the sick poor institute, and Dublin savings bank. In addition to his tea business, he was a silk importer and poplin manufacturer. He was an activist in the revived Dublin Chamber of Commerce, 1820, and a promoter of the National Assurance Company of Ireland. Although critical of the insurance company's controlling board, he accepted the post of treasurer in 1824. In the same year he gave evidence to a parliamentary committee of inquiry as spokesman for the Dublin silk merchants. On 19 March 1835 he presented to the R.D.S. museum the Chinese port clearance documents for the first voyage from Canton to Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) following the opening of direct trade with China by the ending of the East India Company's monopoly in 1834. He reported with evident satisfaction that the round-trip was made by his (Waterford-built) schooner Hellas between 22 October 1834 and 20 February 1835, captained by Dubliner Anthony Scanlan. Samuel Bewley resided at Rockville, Monkstown, in the 1830s.
Samuel Bewley of Rockville died in 1837 at Mount Street; his son, Charles Bewley, also died in Mount Street but in 1835; Charles was noted as being ‘of Samuel Bewley & Sons.’ In 1824, at the Friends’ Meeting House in Sycamore Alley, Charles Bewley, the son of Samuel Bewley of Rockville, married Hannah, the eldest daughter of John Todhunter of Sir John Rogerson’s Quay. Hannah died on 21st June 1847 - she died of fever at the home of her father, 1 Parnell Place.
Charles’ brother, Joseph Bewley, collapsed from exhaustion and died on 4th November 1851, leaving three surviving children. He made his will on 25th September 1846. At this time, he gave two addresses, Sandford and William Street, Dublin city. He named his wife as Elizabeth, and brothers as Henry Bewley, Samuel Bewley, Thomas Bewley, Williams Bewley and Joshua Bewley. A sister was Susannah, wife of Samuel Pim. A sister-in-law was named as Hannah Bewley (the wife of Charles Bewley); brothers-in-law were Ebenezer Pike, William Cooper Clibborn, George Sutton (married to Joseph's sister Eliza Bewley) and Edward Court or Tulse of Winterbourne, Co. Dublin. A late uncle was Thomas Blake, and a late brother was John Blake Bewley. A sister was Sarah Blake; a niece was Mary Blake Sutton, the daughter of sister Sarah Sutton. One of Joseph Bewley's sons was John Blake Bewley, named after Joseph's dead brother; the oldest son was Samuel Bewley of 6 Dame Street who proved his father's will in 1851.
Joseph and Charles Bewley were also the brothers of Samuel Bewley (1820 - 1877) who was married to Maria Clibborn; Samuel and Maria lived at Sandford Grove in Ranelagh. Samuel Bewley, tea-dealer, died in 1877, leaving £12,000 in the UK. Probate was granted to (his sons?) Samuel Bewley of 9 Trafalgar Terrace, Monkstown, William Frederick Bewley of 56 Bushfield Avenue, and Francis Bewley of Sandford Grove.
The Bewley’s family tea business was at 6 Dame Street with offices at Sycamore Alley. The 1845 Directory shows up another possible brother, Alexander Bewley, a merchant with an office at Sycamore Alley - in 1854 Alexander Bewley took out a shared lease in Forge Lane, Mountmellick, with Henry Bewley who was yet another son of Samuel and Elizabeth of Rockville. Also noted in 1845 at 20 Sycamore Alley was Joshua Bewley, an actuary of the China Tea Co., who had a residence at Rockville and who must surely be yet another close relation.
Yet another possible son of Samuel Bewley and Elizabeth Fayle of Rockville was Thomas Bewley of Cope Street and Rockville who died in 1875; probate was granted to Samuel Bewley of Sandford Grove, also the son of the Bewleys of Rockville.
Henry Bewley, the son of Samuel of Rockville, would have been an acquaintance of our great-great grandfather, Richard Williams - both had close involvement with the Plymouth Brethren evangelical church. Henry Bewley built the Brethrens’ meeting hall in Merrion Square in 1863 at a cost of £25,000. He was a highly successful business man, with a huge amount of capital invested in his business as a wholesale chemist (Bewley & Draper, of Mary Street and 2 Sackville Street), and also in gutta-percha, a rubber-like resin which was used to construct the first transatlantic cables. Henry Bewley also owned a number of coalmines in Germany. He lived, firstly at Lota, Booterstown, then at Willow Park, Booterstown.
Following the death of his only son in the 1850s, he turned to philanthropy, giving away huge sums to beneficial causes; he was associated with the Bible Tract Depository on D’Olier Street, which published the religious tracts which were so popular in the Victorian era.
Henry married Ann Pike, the daughter of Jonathan Pike in 1835.
Henry Bewley died in July 1876 and was interred at Mount Jerome Cemetery. His funeral was attended by most of the leading merchants and traders of the day. Prayers were read by the grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Rev.Grattan Guinness, who was an associate of Thomas Barnardo; the two men were involved in the Barnardo Childrens’ Homes in the UK. Thomas Barnardo had been a close acquaintance of our Richard Williams before Thomas moved to London.
The chief mourners at Henry Bewley’s funeral were his only son, Henry Thomas Bewley, who was born after the death of his first one. Also present was his nephew, Samuel Bewley Junior of Sandford Hill, who was the son of Henry’s brother, Samuel. His two brothers-in-law, William Pike and Ebenezer Pike, were in attendance - Ebenezer Pike was from Besborough, Cork; he died in 1883, leaving a massive £80,000 to his wife. There were two other Bewleys present at Henry’s funeral, although it’s unclear who their parents were - John E. Bewley and James Arthur Bewley.
The probate of Henry Bewley's will was granted to Samuel Bewley of Sandford Grove, Ranelagh and to William Fry, solicitor of 13 Lower Mount Street. William Fry was also the solicitor of our branch of the Williams family.
Both the Pims and the Bewleys held stock in the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company. Jonathan Pim and Thomas Pim were noted as proprietors of the company in 1826, as were Joseph and Alexander Bewley. By 1828, James Pim Junior of William Street was included, as was Joseph Harvey. In 1828, one of the trustees of the business was Joseph Robert Pim.
A T.W. Bewley of Sandford Grove, Ranelagh, still held £20 worth of stock in the CDSPCo when it was being wound up in 1931.
The descendant of Thomas Harvey Todhunter, Benedict Heal, has done excellent research into his family tree and has kindly allowed me to add a link to his own family history site here -