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Saturday, 7 January 2012

The Children of Thomas Willis, schoolmaster, Portarlington

This post concerns the offspring of the Portarlington schoolmaster, Thomas Willis, and of two of his wives, Betty Foster and Mary Anne Newcombe.
Thomas Willis and Betty Foster were our many-times-great grandparents on our mother’s side.  The schoolmaster, Thomas Willis, had five children -  Eliza Willis, who was our maternal great-great-great grandmother, William Willis, Thomas Gilbert Willis,  Louisa Henrietta Willis and Henry Willis.   Details on each of them, except for Henry Willis about whom I've found nothing, follow...

Eliza Willis was the eldest child of Thomas Willis and his first wife, Betty Foster. She was born on December 27th 1781, and died  15th March 1866.
Eliza married David Hill Creighton on 31st January 1810 in the French Church in Portarlington although the Lea Parish register has the marriage occurring on 9th July 1809, and names Rev. David Hill Creighton as a Methodist preacher rather than Presbyterian.

Children of Eliza Willis and Rev. David Hill Creighton:
1) Geraldine O’Moore Creighton, 1811 - 1888.

 2) Louise Creighton was born in 1811 but died the following year.

 3) Eliza Willis Creighton,  1816 - 1899, schoolteacher at Kenmare College, 41 North Great Georges Street, Dublin.

4) Louisa Adelaide Creighton, 22nd March 1820 -  21st March 1902, schoolteacher, Kenmare College. Appeared on the 1901 Census.  Louisa was born on 22nd March 1820 and was baptised on 24th November 1820 at Chinley, Glossop, Derby where her father must have been stationed.   On the same day the baptism occurred of her older sister, Janet Creighton, who had been born earlier on 15th April 1817 but who can't have survived childhood since there is no further record of her.  A note in the Chinley register names Janet Creighton as the 5th child but 4th daughter, while sister Louisa was named as the 6th child and fifth daughter;  both children had been born in Portarlington.  There must have been a son born to Rev. David Hill Creighton and Eliza Willis but he can't have survived.

Louisa's first school was at 39 Lower Gardiner Street, and the advertisement for this establishment appeared in the Dublin papers from 1873 until 1881 -  'Educational Establishment For Young Ladies, 39 Lr. Gardiner Street - Conducted by Miss. L. Creighton, daughter of the late Rev. D.H. Creighton, and her sisters - Pupils are prepared for Trinity College Examinations.'

Louisa Adelaide Creighton died on 21st March 1902 at her school at 41 North Great George's Street, Dublin - the informant was her nephew, Reginald Arthur Bolton.

5) Mary Anne Hurst Ceighton, born 1822 in Portarlington to Eliza Willis and Rev. David Hill Creighton.
She married Alexander Farquharson of Scotland in Clontarf Presbyterian Church on 21st June 1843 and was named as Mary Anne Hurst, daughter of Rev. David Hill Creighton. ('Statesman and Dublin Christian Record', 23rd June 1843.)

 In 1847 Alexander Farquharson witnessed the wedding of Eliza’s sister, Geraldine O’Moore Creighton, to Richard Williams of Eden Quay.
The 1850 Steet Directory for Dublin shows up an Alexander Farquharson and a John Farquharson living at 17 Upper Dominick Street - the Farquharson family don't appear on any of the Scottish or UK censuses.
Our Alexander Farquharson died in Dublin on 26th September1851 and was buried in the Creighton family plot in Mount Jerome.

The 1862 Street Directory shows the widowed Mrs. Mary Anne Farquharson living at 27 Upper Rutland St., Dublin. She died in 1900, just missing the 1901 Census by four months.
It’s unclear when the family moved from Edinburgh to Dublin. While in Edinburgh, they lived at 1, John's Place, St. Leonard's Street, and Alexander was noted as a merchant.
The children of Mary Anne Creighton and Alexander Farquharson were Elizabeth Creighton Farquharson, born 1st April 1844. (Eliza/Elizabeth later married a bookseller of d’Olier St, Dublin, Robert Stewart - this Stewart family is a separate family to my father’s family which hailed from County Down.)
Donald Cameron Farquharson had been born to Alexander and Mary Anne Farquharson in St.Cuthbert’s, Edinburgh on 3rd November 1847.
The previous year, on 18th December 1846, David Hill Creighton Farquharson was born to the couple in Edinburgh - this child died at the age of nine, and was buried alongside his maternal grandfather, Rev. David Hill Creighton in Portstewart.
The Farquharsons’ daughter, Helen Seaton Farquharson, (born Scotland in 1851) who married Edward Parker Bolton (father: Edward Bolton) in St.Thomas’s, North Dublin on 11th August 1868; Their children: Alexandrina Mary Bolton; Reginald Arthur Bolton.  On the 1901 Census, the widowed Helen Seaton Bolton and her two adult children are living with Helen’s aunt, Louisa Creighton, at Louisa’s school at 41 North Great George’s Street.  There was a third Bolton child,  Albert Edward Bolton, born 1869 in Dublin. He married Winnifred M ? Bolton, from Cork, and became a tea agent. He appears on both online Irish censuses, living in Dublin with a young family.

More details on the children of Alexander Farquharson and Mary Anne Creighton here:

 6) Jessie Creighton, born to Eliza Willis and Rev. David Hill Creighton, named ‘Mademoiselle’, 1823 - 1893. She was one of the schoolteachers of the Kenmare College on George's Street.


William Willis was born to Thomas Willis and Betty Foster in Portarlington on November 1st 1783, died 8th May 1848. He entered holy orders as did so many of this family, after studying at Trinity College, Dublin.  (And it is strange that there are no records of his father, Thomas Willis, studying anywhere.)
From ‘Alumni Dubliniensis’:
   ‘Willis William, Pen., April 5 1802 aged 18; son of Thomas Ludimagister (ie.schoolmaster). Born Queen’s Co., B.A. Aest. 1806, M.A. Nov.1832.’
William Willis appears on the Freedom Rolls of Dublin as a merchant, admitted at Christmastime 1835. The term ‘merchant’ must have been a formality to ensure his entry.

William was married to Frances Grattan, the daughter of Richard Grattan Esq., and Elizabeth Biddulph of Drummin House, Kildare.

Frances Grattan and William Willis were married on 31st May 1826 in Limerick by, I presume, William’s brother, named in the Freeman’s Journal as the ‘Rev.Doctor Willis’ (ie.Rev.Thomas Gilbert Willis).
William and Frances Willis lived at Charleville, Cork, where William Willis held the posts of both cleric and schoolmaster. He was ordained by the Bishop of Limerick in the Cathedral in 1819.
From ‘The Limerick Chronicle’ of 1827, a notice inserted by Dr.William Willis:
   ‘Charleville School, by Dr.Willis, Master. Vacation will end Saturday, the 4th of August. The immediate attendance of all students is requested, July 28.’

The 'Statesman and Dublin Christian Record' of 13th May 1845 records that Rev. William Willis died suddenly at Swords -  he had been engaged there as a temporary curate and was living in Pembroke Place.  He died during a graveside burial service on 8th May 1845. ('Tipperary Vindicator', 17th May 1845.

His widow, Frances Willis, née Grattan, late of Pembroke Place, advertised in 'Saunders Newsletter' of 7th January 1854, offering a home to three little girls, not above 12 years of age, in the privacy and comfort of her house in Kilmalogue, Portarlington, where she would supervise their education with a governess.  Her references were given as Rev. Jacob of Limerick, Rev. H. Verschoyle of Baggot Street, Dublin, and Rev. Edward Nangle of Skreen, Dromore West.

From ‘The Irish Times’ of May 28th 1866, under ‘Deaths’:
    ‘Willis, May 27, at her home, 1 Sandford Avenue, aged 61 years, Frances, widow of the Rev. William Willis M.D., formerly of Charleville, in the county of Cork, and daughter of the late Richard Grattan Esq., J.P. Of Drummin House, county of Kildare.’
Frances Willis was buried in Mount Jerome cemetery and the register of burials was signed by the registrar and by a relative, of Belfast, John Grattan.   Her will was proved by Rev. John Willis of Bepton Rectory, Midhurst, Sussex, and by a Richard Pring of Firmont, Co. Antrim.  (Rev. John Willis was the son of Rev. Thomas Gilbert Willis and  Deborah Charlotte Willis, and was therefore the nephew of William Willis and Frances Grattan.   John Grattan was Frances' brother - he operated as an apothecary in Belfast, and was in business there with the Pring family.)

The Grattan Family of Drummin/Drummond, Kildare - Frances Willis, née Grattan, was the daughter of Richard Grattan JP of Drummin House, Kildare and of Elizabeth Biddulph.  It appears that Richard was the son of Rev. William Grattan, who took out a lease on approximately 580 acres of land at Drummond, Kildare, in 1746. This lease was renewed by his grandson, Dr.Richard Grattan in 1840 for the lives of himself and his two sons, Richard and William Grattan. Also mentioned in the lease was the name 'Biddulph'.
Frances Willis's brother, Dr. Richard Grattan, married Rosetta Athea Haigh in 1829.  Rosetta Grattan, of York St., Dublin, and Edenderry, Kildare, died 23rd August 1834.


Thomas Gilbert Willis was born to Thomas Willis and Betty Foster on May 21st 1785; he died January 11th 1837.  Thomas Gilbert Willis was buried in Limerick Cathedral.

He was educated by a Mr. Porter and entered Trinity, Dublin on October 4th 1802, getting a B.A. In 1806 and an M.A. In 1809;  LL.B and L.L.D followed in 1816. He was the Vicar Choral in Limerick 1831 to 1837, was Diocesan schoolmaster, and held Kilmurry and Derrygalvin till his death in 1837.

16th June 1827, from ‘The Limerick Chronicle’:
‘The Lord Bishop of Limerick has been pleased to present the Rev. Thomas G. WILLIS D.D. To the Rectory of Derrygalyin, near this city, vice MR. INGRAM deceased. The living of Kilmurry, also held by MR. INGRAM, is the givt of government.’
Thomas Gilbert Willis married Deborah Newcombe, the great granddaughter of the Vicomte de Laval,  in 1808.  Deborah was the daughter of Francoise/Frances de Laval and Benjamin Hall Newcombe of Portarlington. Her half-sister, Mary Anne Newcombe, was Thomas Gilbert Willis’ stepmother, being the third wife of his father, the schoolmaster, Thomas Willis.

Thomas Gilbert Willis was admitted as a merchant to the Freedom of Dublin by grace especial in Michaelmas 1822.
His death was announced on January 13th 1837 in The Limerick Star and Evening Post:
   ‘In Thomas-street on Wednesday night, the Rev. Thomas Gilbert Willis, Rector of Kilmurry and Master of the Limerick Diocesan School.’
Another notice read:  'January 11th 1837, Rev. Dr.Willis near Limerick. L.L.Rector of Kilmurry. He left SEVEN children to deplore his death.'

His wife, Deborah Charlotte Willis, died at 5 Sydney Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, on 24th September 1857;  the executors of her will were two of her sons, Rev. Thomas Willis of Killeedy Glebe, Limerick, and Rev. William Newcombe Willis of Limerick City.

Earlier, on 11th December 1841, Mrs. Deborah Charlotte Willis took out a lease on 24 acres of land at Ballymorris, Portarlington.  The lease was between herself and Joseph Harte for three lives, two of whom were still living in 1853 - Joseph William Harte and his sister, Frances Augusta Harte.  In 1853, the land was put up for sale with the notes:
   'As a part of the contemplated Line of the Great Southern and Western Railway, between Portarlington and Tullamore, will run through a part of said lands of Ballymorris, the purchaser will, in that event, be entitled to compensation from the Company, and to a reduction for Mrs. Willis, of the Head Rent.'
  Another plot of Ballymorris land (6 acres) was put up for sale in 1866, still tenanted by Rev. Thomas Gilbert Willis's eldest son, Thomas N. Willis.  The lease had been taken out on 31st July 1826 between Elizabeth Geoghegan and Rev. Thomas G. Willis, for three lives (ie: Rev. Thomas's sons), William Newcombe Willis, Newcombe Willis and Thomas John Willis (named John Thomas Willis below.)
Deborah Charlotte Willis died at Sidney Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin on December 24th 1857.

The couple had 6 sons and one daughter:
 1) Rev. Thomas Willis of Killeedy, who was baptised in Lea Parish, Portarlington, on 30th April 1809.  He was the eldest son of Thomas Gilbert Willis, born in Queen’s County and entered Trinity in 1827, aged 17. He graduated in 1832, and worked at Kilmurry and Derrygalvin as assistant curate, presumably to his own father, was perpetual curate at Cahernary from 1836 till 1846, vicar of Kilmoylan from 1846 till 1853, when he was excused because of age and infirmity. Thomas Willis died in West Kensington, London, on September 19th 1879, aged 71.

Limerick Chronicle 23rd September 1879:  'Willis - on the 19th inst., at 19 Campden Grove, Campden Hill, Kensington, the Rev. Thomas Willis, formerly Rector of Killeedy and Prebendary of Limerick Cathedral.'

The will of Rev. Thomas Willis of Purbrook, Farlington, Southampton, who died on 19th September 1879, named his widow as Dorcas Maria Willis.

Rev. Thomas Willis married Dorcas Maria Gubbins, the daughter of George Gough Gubbins of Maidstone Castle and of Kilpeacon, Limerick.
An infant son of Thomas Willis died at Cahernarry/Cahernary; the death was announced in The Limerick Chronicle of 30th March 1839.
The same paper announced, on 11th September 1841, the birth of a daughter to Rev. Thomas Willis and his wife at Cahernarry Glebe. This daughter was possibly Deborah Charlotte Willis.

The funeral report of Thomas Willis' wife, Dorcas Maria Willis, appeared in The Limerick Chronicle of 19th September 1905;  she died in London  -' The Late Mrs. Willis.  On Wednesday last, the funeral took place of Mrs. Willis, relict of the late Rev. Thomas Willis, Rural Dean and Rector of Killeedy, County Limerick, Prebendary and Canon of Limerick Cathedral.  She was also the last surviving daughter of the late George Gough Gubbins, Esq., of Maidstone Castle and Uregare, in the same county. Born in 1815 - a month before Waterloo - the venerable lady was consequently in her 94th year and had lived under five Sovereigns.  She had a wonderfully retentive memory, and could recall many incidents connected with the Rockites, the Tithe War, the Repeal Movement, and the terrible Famine of 1847.  Mr. Willis died in 1879, and since that time the subject of this notice made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Francis Petrie, in Gloucester Walk, London W., which eventually became a rendez-vous for their Irishfriends in general, and those from County Limerick in particular, where they ever found a hearty welcome.   Up to within a few months of her demise, she enjoyed remarkable health, energy and spirits, entering into everything with the greatest zest.   Mrs. Willis also identified herself with many charities, and by the poor in her immediate neighbourhood, will be greatly missed.   She sent out last Christmas over 2,000 little Lavender-bags with texts of scripture to sailors and soldiers in hospital, and expected this coming Christmas to send 4,000.  The first portion of the burial service was held at the Parish Church of St. Mary Abbots, Kensington, and the concluding part at the cemetery adjoining Hayes (Cranmer's)  Church, where the deceased lady was interred.  The Rev. N. Willis (nephew)  officiated on both occasions. A large number of Mrs. Willis' near relatives, of whom a considerable number reside in or near London,  were present at the graveside.  Five of her brothers and sister's children followed the remains.  The hymns chosen by herself were "Forever With the Lord"  and "Rock of Ages."  '

The eldest son of Rev. Thomas Willis, George, died at Kilkee on August 27th 1847 aged only 8.
Thomas' only daughter, Deborah Charlotte Willis, married, on June 5th 1862, Francis William H Petrie, the third son of William Petrie. The couple married in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick.  Francis William Henry Petrie had been a captain in the 11th Foot; his late father, William Petrie, had been the Commissary-General at Calais.  Officiating at the wedding ceremony were the bride's father, Rev. Thomas Willis,  Rev. Newcombe Willis, and Rev. George Gough Gubbins, the bride's uncle.

Rev.George Gough Gubbins died, aged 44, in late May 1869 at Summerville, Limerick;  The Limerick Chronicle records the death of a granddaughter the same year:   'On Sunday 2nd of May, at St. Joseph, Missouri, U.S., of brain fever and whooping cough, aged 14th months and 17 days, Dorah Annie Louisa, the beloved and only child of Edward Gubbins, Esq., and granddaughter of the Rev. George Gough Gubbins, prebendary of Kilpeacon, co. Limerick.'

Rev. George Gough Gubbins was the son of George Gough Gubbins of Maidstown Castle on the Limerick/Cork border.  I believe the older man was also a clergyman.  The Limerick Chronicle announced, in August 1853, the death of Mary, the wife of the late Rev. George Gough Gubbins of Uregare, Limerick, at 12 Haddington Road in Dublin.  This was the widow of the older man.

2) Rev. William Newcombe Willis (son of Thomas Gilbert Willis and Deborah Charlotte Newcombe)  of Kilpeacon, a vicar choral, died Oct 13th 1864.

On Feb 21st 1843 he married Emily Evans Dartnell, who died, a widow, on the 28th February 1899. Her will noted that she had lived at Quinlan Street, then at 3 Wellington Terrace, Limerick, and that the will was granted to Henry de Laval Willis of Bondon Street, Ennis.
Emily Evans Dartnell was the daughter of G. Dartnell Esq., of Limerick; her brother was George A. Dartnell.

More on the Dartnell family here:
From The Limerick Chronicle:  'Death 28th February 1889 - 'Willis - 28th February at 3 Wellington Terrace, Limerick, Emily Evans Willis, widow of the Rev. William Newcombe Willis, sometime Rector of Kilpeacon and Prebendary of Limerick, aged (?) years.'

Rev. William Newcombe Willis, son Charles and Emily Willis.

The Rev. William Newcombe Willis of Kilpeacon died on 12th October 1864, and the chief benefactor of his will was his widow, Emily Evans Willis of Vincent Crescent, Limerick.
There was a lengthy funeral report in The Limerick Chronicle for William Newcombe Willis in October 1864.  The report commented on his close association, and work with, the Protestant Orphan Society;  also mentioned was the fact that Rev. William Newcombe Willis left 6 sons and one daughter, all unprovided for, and the article suggested that a fund, headed by trustees, be formed to provide an education for the sons.
a) A son, George William de Laval (1845 - 1917) emigrated to South Africa, married there and had children.

b)Another son of Rev. William Newcombe Willis and of Emily Evans Dartnell, was Mr. Gilbert de Laval Willis (1844 - 1926, no children):
From Limerick Chronicle 2nd September 1926:  'The interment took place at Drumcliffe Cemetery of Mr. Gilbert de Laval Willis. There was a large attendance of sympathisers representative of every class in the community. The rector, Rev. Canon J.J. Griffin, conducted service in the church and officiated at the graveside.  The chief mourners were: - Mrs. Ada de L. Willis (widow),  Lady Landon (sister),  Maj. Gen. Sir Frederick Landon (brother-in-law), and Miss Emily White, Spanish Point.'
    Gilbert and his wife, Ada de Laval Willis, were living in 21.7 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin, in 1901;  they had married in the Hanover Square area of London in 1894. He had been born in 1844 in Limerick City and worked as a barrister, secretary, land agent and was a fellow of the Surveyors' Institution.  She was younger than him, having been born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, in 1867.

The Irish Times reported their London wedding under the heading 'Fashionable Marriage' in 1894. Mr. Gilbert de Laval Willis, Secretary of the Grand Jury of Kildare and also of the Irish Landlords Convention of Dublin, eldest son of the late Rev. William N. Willis, rector of Kilpeacon,  and of Mrs. Henry Willis of 40 South Dudley Street, London, widow of Mr. Henry Willis of Bradford, and daughter of the late Mr. John Robinson of Bradford.    (So, Ada was the widow of another member of the Willis family,  Henry Willis....)
The ceremony was conducted by Rev. Newcombe Willis, MA, Rector of Ilfield, Gravesend, Kent, who was the uncle of the groom (ie: brother of Rev. William Newcombe Willis).   The best man was the groom's brother, Henry de Laval Willis, J.P., Co. Clare.   Among the guests were a huge clutch of aristocratic English types, Captain and Mrs. Petrie, and Mrs. and Miss Willis.

Gilbert's widow, Ada, was Ada Susan Robinson who had previously been married to Gilbert's first cousin, Henry Thomas Gilbert Willis, the son of the Rev. Henry de Laval Willis and Mary Anne Woolsey.

Ten years later, the Irish 1911 census recorded him staying in a hotel in Ennis - he stated that he had married 12 years earlier, while his wife, Ada Susan, stated at home in Earlsfort Terrace that they had been married 17 years ago.  The Irish Times frequently mentioned the couple in their society pages, making special  mention of the fact that Ada had fabulous dress sense.

c) The third son of Rev. William Newcombe Willis and of Emily Evans Dartnell was William Newcombe de Laval Willis (14th February 1846- 10th February 1916), who became Archdeacon of Waitako, New Zealand and died on February 10th 1916, aged 70, at Kilpeacon, Cambridge, New Zealand.   'Death of Rev. William Newcombe de Laval Willis, 10th February 1916  - 'Willis - On 10th February, at Cambridge, N.Z., in his 70th year, the Ven. and Rev. Wm. N. de Laval Willis,  Archdeacon (retired) of Waikato, third son of the late Rev. Wm. N. Willis,  sometime Rector of Kilpeacon and Prebendary of St. Mary's Cathedral, Limerick.'
He married Mary Agnes Clarke, daughter of George Harry Clarke, and granddaughter of Rev. Thomas Clarke of Micheldever.

d) Henry de Laval Willis (1847-1910) was born to Rev. William Newcombe Willis and of Emily Evans Dartnell:
From The Limerick Chronicle:  'Death of Henry de Laval Willis J.P, 9th July 1910.  'Willis - July 9th, 1910 - at his residence, Ennis, Henry de Laval Willis J.P., fourth son of the late Rev. William N. Willis, some time Rector of Kilpeacon and Prebendary of Limerick Cathedral, aged 63 years.  Funeral on tomorrow (Wednesday) 13th July, at twelve o' clock, for Drumcliffe. No flowers by request.'
'The funeral of the above much-lamented gentleman took place today.  The attendance was representative of all classes in the community, and indicated the high esteem in which the deceased gentleman was held. The remains were first borne to the Parish Church on the shoulders of the office staff and tenants on some of the estates with which the deceased had been connected....
....The chief mourners were - Mr. Gilbert de Laval Willis (brother);  Mrs. G. de L. Willis (sister-in-law);  Brigadier-General Landon, C.B. (brother-in-law);  Mrs Landon (sister);  Mr. Arthur H.W. Landon (nephew)....'

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors notes Henry de Laval Willis of Ennis, Clare, as one of its members.  Henry's brother, Gilbert de Laval Willis, was also noted, with an address at 4 Kildare Street, Dublin.

e) Another son of Rev. William Newcombe Willis and of Emily Evans Dartnell was Richard Newcombe de Laval Willis who was born in February 1852, and was baptised in St. Michael's, Limerick, on 15th February 1852.  At the time the family were resident at Bank Place. Richard Newcombe de Laval Willis was named after his father's brother who was a doctor.

f) Charles Edward Willis, December 1855 - 1875, born to Rev. William Newcombe Willis and to Emily Evans Dartnell, while the family were living in Henry Street, Limerick.
Also from The Limerick Chronicle:  'Death, September 20th 1875:  'Willis - September 20th, at Rhenoster Poort, Middleburg (Nazareth), Transvaal, South Africa, in his 21st year, Charles Edward, youngest son of Rev. Wm. N. Willis, sometime rector of Kilpeacon and prebendary of Limerick.'

g)  Lady Landon who was mentioned at her brother, Gilbert's, funeral, was Rose Emily Willis (30th March 1861-1931),  the daughter of Rev. William Newcombe Willis and of Emily Evans Dartnell of Henry Street, Limerick.
Rose Emily Willis married Sir Frederick Landon (1860-1937) in 1884.  Sir Frederick Landon was the son of Rev. Canon James Timothy Bainbridge Landon of Ledsham, Yorkshire, and of Sarah Watt of Beverly, Yorkshire.
The couple married in Rathmines Church on August 28th 1884 - at the time. Rose Emily Willis was living at 4 Herbert Road, while the groom, Frederick William Bainbridge Landon, was living at 5 Leinster Rd., Rathmines. He was a lieutenant with the 2nd Battalion of the West Riding Regiment.  The witnesses were one of the de Laval Willises, probably one of her brothers, and E.R. Morony.

 Rose Emily Willis and Frederick Landon had children:
    Violet Evelyn Landon, born 3rd November 1885.
     Arthur Henry Whittington Landon, born 13th January 1889.
     James William Bainbridge Landon, born 28th April 1890.
     Guy de Laval Landon, born 14th November 1891.

Rose Emily Landon - Image kindly sent to me by Jo Carter, as were the following photos of  the sons of Rev. William Newcombe Willis

3) Rev. Henry de Laval Willis (son of Thomas Gilbert Willis and Deborah Charlotte Newcombe)  of Portadown and then Bradford.  On 16th Oct 1841, he married Mary Ann Woolsey of Bellingham, Louth.  The daughter of Henry de Laval Willis, Elizabeth Lucy Willis married John Woolsey of Castle Cosey.

He married Mary Anne Woolsey of Castlebellingham, the daughter of Thomas Woolsey (1784 - 1834) of the Admiralty and Elizabeth Gibson. Thomas  Woolsey was the son of William Woolsey and Mary Anne Bellingham.
(The children of Thomas Woolsey and Elizabeth Gibson were all born in London,  where Thomas was working in the Admiralty, and baptised in the Old Church, St. Pancras -
William Woolsey, baptised 16th November 1814.
Mary Anne Woolsey, later wife of Henry de Laval Willis, born 4th August 1817.
Elizabeth Lucy Woolsey, born 26 August 1821.
Thomas Frederic Woolsey, born 2nd Dec 1823.
Sophia Woolsey, born 21st Feb.1828.)

Henry de Laval Willis and Mary Anne Woolsey married in Kilsaran. Co. Louth, on October 16th 1841.

The children of Rev. Henry de Laval Willis and Mary Anne Woolsey were:
Frances Hester Bellingham Willis, born Limerick, 17th December 1842. (She would later marry, in 1861,  John Walker of Bolling Hall, Yorkshire.)
Elizabeth Lucy Willis, born 1844.
Henry Thomas Gilbert Willis, born St. Mary's, Lancaster, in 1849.
Francis William Willis, born in Bradford, York, England, on 23rd February 1851.

The daughter of Rev. Henry de Laval Willis and Mary Anne Woolsey, Elizabeth Lucy Willis (1844 - 1870), married another member of the Woolsey brewing family, John Woolsey. John Woolsey lived at Castle Cosey in Castlebellingham.
 'In memory of William Woolsey of Milestone, died 11th May 1887, aged 68 years, and his brother, John Woolsey, of Castle Cosey, Castlebellingham, who died 23rd May 1887 aged 56 years. This tablet has been erected in loving remembrance by their employees.'
John and William Woolsey were both the sons of Captain John Woolsey, the son of William Woolsey and Mary Anne Bellingham. Captain John Woolsey was the brother of Thomas Woolsey of the Admiralty;  he was married to Janet Jameson, the sister of James Jameson of the Dublin distillery and of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company.

Rev. Henry de Laval Willis died Crockenhill Parsonage, Kent in 1867 aged 53.

4) Rev. Newcombe Willis, (son of Thomas Gilbert Willis and Deborah Charlotte Newcombe) treasurer of Kilfenora, died August 7th 1906, aged 88.
Rev. Newcombe Willis was the curate for Lorrha and Dorrha churches in Tipperary from 1847 to 1850. He then moved to Aglishcloghane, where he was curate in charge for the next 17 years. He probably taught at the school that his father-in-law, Jonathon Willington Walsh, had provided for his tenants at Walsh Park – Rev. Newcombe Willis married Annie Walsh (1831 - 1902) on 6th February, 1851, at Dorrha Church, and they went to live at Aglish, in the Glebe House.
Annie was the third of Jonathon Walsh and Anne Trocke’s children.  Born in April 1831 at Walsh Park, she would have spent her early years there before moving to Borisokane.
In 1873 Newcombe and Annie moved to Chatham, in Kent, where Newcombe was appointed the curate of St. Paul’s Church and where he was to remain for the next seven years. In 1880, the family moved to Gravesend, near Chatham, for three years, where Newcombe was the curate for St. James Church, then they moved a short distance south of the town, where he took up the position of vicar of Ifield church together with that of Nurstead.  Newcombe and Annie Willis were to live at Ifield for the next 15 years, when Newcombe officially retired. He then took the curacy of Rosherville church in Gravesend for a couple of years before finally retiring to Uckfield in Sussex. There is a tablet in the church at Ifield to the memory of the Rev. Newcombe Willis in St James Church, Gravesend, Kent.
Annie  Willis, née Walsh , died at Uckield in 1902, and Newcombe followed a few years later, dying on the 7th August 1906. They are both buried at Uckfield, Sussex.  Newcombe's will was granted to Rev. William Newcombe Willis and to the spinster, Deborah Charlotte Willis.

The children of Rev. Newcombe Willis and Annie Walsh:
   a) Jonathon Willington Walsh Willis (1860 - 1925) - he finished his studies at Mr. Wall’s Portarlington School where showed considerable ability in rugby (Portarlington School was known for its excellent rugby record.) In 1879 he was picked to play rugby for Ireland at the last England – Ireland international to be played at the Oval. His home club was Lansdowne.  He worked for the Western Telegraph Company and was sent abroad, firstly to Sierra Leone and also to Para in Brazil. In Sierra Leone he was unfortunate to contract black water fever, and was proud to have created a record, mentioned in The Lancet, of surviving – unusual at that date. Jonathon Willis married Eva Stephens in Stroud parish church in Gloucestershire on the 12th November 1891. After their marriage they went to Madeira, where they lived until, in 1906,  Jonathon was posted to St Vincent, one of the Cape Verde islands and Eva and their daughters returned to England, setting up home in Bedford, so that the girls could go to school. They saw little of their father in the next eleven years. In 1913 Jonathon had hoped to be appointed to Monte Video in Uruguay, where he would have been able to have all the family with him. However, he was to be disappointed and posted back to St. Vincent. He retired from the Western Telegraph in 1916 and for a time worked at the Admiralty, and was subsequently given a commission in the Royal Navy and then posted to Ascension Island.
In 1922 they moved to Menton in the South of France. Jonathon died in 1825. aged 65, his early years in West Africa and Brazil probably taking their toll on his health. Eva followed a few years later in 1928.
  Jonathon and Eva had three daughters -

  •  Evaline Cecilia de Laval Willis, born 5th July 1895;  In 1926 she married Lt. Col. Anthony Waring a doctor with the RAMC.  Evaline and Anthony went to live at Antibes in the South of France until the outbreak of war forced them to return to London where Anthony died in 1941.   Evaline and Anthony had one son, Nicholas Anthony Waring, born in Nice on the 14th June 1931. A doctor, Nicholas  married Barbara Hall, a nurse from the London Hospital.   Evaline remarried in 1945, Donavon Johnston, a widower and headmaster of the Cheltenham Boys Preparatory school (where Evaline’s son, Nicholas had been at school). They moved to Oxford where Don joined the Education department of the University. Unhappily she was left a widow again in 1955. For the next few years she lived in London but finally settled in Cheltenham, where several of her Stephens cousins lived. She reached the great age of 96
  •  Aileen Rose Walsh Willis born 15th December 1897. One of her godmothers was Emily Walsh, daughter of Dr. Arthur Walsh and Minnie Crawford;   she met and married a South African banker, Ian Powrie in 1930.  Aileen and Ian had two children, David, born 6th September 1931 and Josephine five years later on the 7th October 1936.  Aileen Powrie  died in December 1939. 
  •  Kathleen/Kay de Laval Willis born on 17th November 1900.  Kay married a Royal Navy surgeon – Arthur  Craig. They married in Edinburgh in 1938, and had two daughters, Kathleen, born in 1939 and Peggy in 1941. 

    b) William Newcombe Willis (21st August 1865 at Eglish Glebe – 1940), son of Rev. Newcombe Willis and Annie Walsh:
 William Newcombe Willis  went to St. John’s College Cambridge, and after completion of his degree, he combined teaching with being a clergyman. At the age of 24 he started his own preparatory school for boys under the name of Ascham St Vincent in Eastbourne. He was ordained a deacon in 1891 and priest in 1894 and was curate of Christ Church Eastbourne 1891 – 1907, and licensed priest for the Diocese of Chichester 1907-1927.
William was assisted by his wife Sophie Baker, whom he had married in 1890. He retired from teaching in 1927 and in 1928 accepted the clerical benefice of Ottershaw, in Surrey. William and Sophie finally retired to live at Uckfield in Sussex, where William died in 1940 and Sophie in 1946.  The children of William and Sophie Willis were:

  •  Arthur Willis.  He was born in 1893.  In 1917, Arthur married Ruth Davis, and when he finished his Cambridge studies, he and Ruth took over the running of Ascham St Vincent school. After the war he took up the post of Divinity master at Dorchester Grammar School for some years. He was ordained a Deacon in 1956, and Priest in 1957, was curate of Bridport in 1958 and rector of West Stafford with Frome Billet in the Diocese of Sarum in 1959. Arthur Willis died at Dorchester in 1979, his wife Ruth having died in 1971. , their eldest son was Arthur Newcombe William Willis.....
  • Gaspard (Robert William Gaspard) Willis was the youngest son of William and Sophie Willis born in 1905..His early schooling was of course at Ascham where he did exceptionally well acquiring a Foundation scholarship as a King’s Scholar to Eton College (the most prestigious English public school) in 1918 ultimately becoming Vice Captain of the school in his last year in 1924. With a Mathematical scholarship he entered Corpus Christi College in Cambridge. Having attained a 1st class honours in Part 1 of the Mathematical Tripos in his first year he switched to a Classics course and gained a 2nd class honours in 1927. During this time, like his brother Arthur he attained sporting recognition having played soccer for his college and represented the university in Athletics. Following the Willis family tradition of teaching, his first post was at Malvern College. In 1941 he was appointed headmaster of Sir William Turner’s school in Redcar, Yorkshire, and in 1953, he took up the headship of the English High School for Boys in Istambul in Turkey which was a most rewarding and interesting experience. This led him, on his return to England in1957 to start an International School for boys. Copford Glebe School opened in 1958, which developed into a school with 53 pupils from 15 different countries over the next 14 years.

 In 1930 Gaspard married Ernestine Ruth Kimber, daughter of the Rev. Ernest Kimber. They had four children, Timothy, born in 1931, Diana in 1934, Valerie in 1938 and Nigel in 1948.

c) Margaret Geraldine Mauleverer Willis (6th August 1867 at Eglish Glebe - 1952 in Tasmania, Australia).  The daughter of Rev. Newcombe Willis and Anne Walsh, Margaret had a daughter, Muriel Alice de Laval Roebuck, in 1906 in Mangonui, New Zealand, who died in Tasmania in 1954.

5) Also, a 6th son of Thomas Gilbert Willis and Deborah Charlotte Newcombe, Richard Newcombe Willis M.B.  Born in Limerick, he was educated by his own father and entered Trinity, Dublin, aged 18, on November 3rd 1834, receiving a BA.Vern and M.B. Aest in 1841.
 Richard Newcombe Willis M.B., a doctor,  married on 31st July 1867, Margaret Geraldine Mauleverer in the Rathmines Chapel of Ease, St. Peters, Dublin.  At the time of the wedding, he was living at 56 Rathmines Road, while the bride lived at Leinster Lodge in Rathmines.  Margaret Geraldine was the daughter of the Rev. Richard Mauleverer, a clerk in holy orders, who served as the Rector of Tipperary (Ballingarry) for 31 years. The rector who married Richard Newcombe Willis and Margaret Geraldine Mauleverer was another member of the Willis family but the writing is too illegible to make out which one.
The witnesses to the marriage were one of the Tipperary Mansergh family, and Richard Newcombe Willis's brother-in-law, William Clarke, who was married to his younger sister Fanny de Laval Willis.

Richard N.Willis, of Mountpleasant Square, grandson of Benjamin Newcombe, was admitted to the Freemen of Dublin on 3rd January 1842.  He was a medical officer with the Dublin Militia. In the 1868 Directory, he was noted as living at Rathmines, as was a Thomas Willis who seems to be his son. Both were doctors.
The 1871 medical register lists Richard Newcombe Willis at 25 Leinster Road, Co. Dublin.
A notice in the Limerick Chronicle noted that Richard Newcombe Willis, fourth son of Rev. Thomas Gilbert Willis, had graduated in medicine at Trinity, Dublin, and had been admitted to study in the London Royal College of Surgeons.
Margaret Geraldine Willis died on 7th August 1878 at 133 Rathmines, Co. Dublin, and the primary beneficiary of her will was her husband Richard Newcombe Willis.

Her husband, Richard Newcombe Willis, died on 2nd August 1898, at Carleton Terrace, Rathmines.  His will was granted to Benjamin J. Mauleverer of the United Service Club, Pall Mall, late lieutenant-colonel, and to Henry de Laval Willis of Ennis.

Headstone in  Mount Jerome:   'Here lies the remains of Margaret Geraldine Willis, wife of Richard Newcombe Willis M.B., and daughter of the late Rev. Richard Mauleverer, Rector of Tipperary, born 11th October 1823, died 7th August 1878.  Also the remains of her sister Martha widow of W.C.Herbert J.P., born 4th June 1821, died 26 August 1889.  Also the remains of Richard Newcombe Willis M.B. who died 2nd August 1898 aged 82 years'

6) Rev.John Thomas Willis (son of Thomas Gilbert Willis and Deborah Charlotte Newcombe), entered Trinity on January 13th 1838..  He was ordained in 1856, and travelled from parish to parish - ie: Skerry 1856 - 8, Barnes 1861, St.Mary’s, Belize 1861 - 2, Kingston Convict Prison, Jamaica 1862 - 3, Bepton, Sussex, 1863 - 7, Burslem 1867 - 70, Rhosmarket 1875 - 9, Yerbeston 1879 - 84, Earl-Shelton Leics., 1884 - 92, Charlton Worc., 1892.

Also, from his entry in the King's Inn's Admission Papers, which doesn't quite tally with my list of the sons.....
   'John Thomas Willis, 7th son of Rev. Thomas Gilbert Willis, Limerick, deceased, and Deborah Charlotte Willis, born 7th February 1819, ed TCD H 1843, I.T.  E 1844, M. 1846.'

And:  On October 26th 1841, John T.Willis, gentleman of Mountpleasant, Dublin, was admitted to the freedom of Dublin, his grandfather, Benjamin Newcombe having been admitted by grace especial at Midsummer 1765.

Rev. John Thomas Willis, youngest son of the late Thomas G. Willis. LL.D., married at Islington on 25th April 1861, Mary Ransford, only daughter of the late Samuel de Castro, Esq., of Bill Hill, Berkshire.  His brother, Henry de Laval Willis, officiated at the London ceremony.
They had four daughters -
a) Mary F. Willis, born 1862 in Honduras.
b) Charlotte Newcombe de Castro Saddler Willis, baptised 12th June 1863 in Bepton, Surrey. She died on 20th July 1923 and her will gave her two addresses as Brookhill House Cliftonville Belfast and of 11 Duke Street Bath.  She lived in Belfast later with her two relations, Anne Jane and Mary Shawe Grattan, the daughters of John Grattan and Harriet Shaw. John Grattan was the brother of Frances Grattan who married Rev. William Willis.
c) Madeline Louise de Laval Willis, born 1868 in Kent, but died in 1871 and was buried on 5th October 1871 at Norwood Cemetery, Lambeth, London. The family's address at the time of Madeline's death was noted as 3 Plymouth Terrace, Devonshire Road, Forest Hill.
d) Rebecca Gertrude de Castro Willis, baptised 18th November 1870 in Forest Hill, England.

7)  Fanny de Laval Willis -   Frances de Laval Willis was baptised by her parents, Rev. Thomas Gilbert Willis and Deborah Charlotte Newcombe, in Lea Parish, Portarlington, on 20th February 1812.
In The Limerick Chronicle of 14th February 1881, I discovered the death announcement of the only daughter of Rev. Thomas Gilbert Willis of Kilmurry and Deborah Charlotte Newcombe.  She was Fanny de Laval Clarke, née Willis, who had died on the 13th Feb. 1882 at her residence, 3 Adelaide Terrace, Dunlaoghaire/Kingstown, Co. Dublin.  She had, according to her will, previously lived at Brockley Road, Forest Hill, Kent, and the will was granted to Rev. Newcombe Willis of Ilford Rectory, Kent.

Fanny de Laval Willis was buried with her husband, William Clarke, in Mount Jerome:  'In memory of Frances de Laval, wife of William Clarke Esqre. of Glenageary, who died 13th February 1882...Also William Clarke husband of the above who died 30th January 1895, aged 80.'

Her husband, William Clarke, died on 30th January 1895 at Ivy Lodge, Glenageary, Co. Dublin, and his will was granted to George Newcombe Clarke of Ard House, Offaly.   George Newcombe Clarke was William Clarke's nephew, being the son of William's brother, George Alexander Clarke.

William Clarke had been born on 30th December 1804 to George Clarke and Esther Clarke of Killimy, Queen's County/Laois.  The children of George and Esther Clarke were:
William, born 30th December 1804.
Martha, born 29th April 1810.
Abby, born 30th June 1811.
George Alexander, born 14th February 1813, who married Marianne Elizabeth Newcombe, the daughter of George and Susannah Newcombe, born September 1821 in St. Peters, Dublin.
John Wesley, born 23rd February 1817, who married Anna Odlum, daughter of Henry Odlum.
Joseph Robert, born 6th September 1818.

Freemen of Dublin:
On October 26th 1841, John T.Willis, gentleman of Mountpleasant, Dublin, was admitted to the freedom of Dublin, his grandfather, Benjamin Newcombe having been admitted by grace especial at Midsummer 1765.

The Revd. Henry de Laval Willis, grandson of Benjamin Newcombe and also of Mountpleasant Square, was admitted on 13th May 1842.

N.Willis, of Mountpleasant Square, grandson of Benjamin Newcombe, was admitted on 21st May 1842.
The Revd. William N. Willis, a clerk of 3 Newbridge Terrace, Sandymount, and Kilpeacon Glebe, grandson of Benjamin Newcombe, was admitted 16th July 1863.


Louisa Henrietta Willis was the youngest daughter of the schoolmaster, Thomas Willis;  she was born in Portarlington on February 8th 1796 to Thomas’s third wife, Mary Anne Newcombe who would die 8 years after her daughter’s birth.

Mary Anne Newcombe was the great-granddaughter of the Henri Robert d’Ully, vicomte de Laval and granddaughter of David de Laval.  Her parents were Benjamin Newcombe (son of William Newcombe and Elizabeth Odlum of Geashill, King's County, three miles from Portarlington) and Marie Beauchant (daughter of Samuel and Mary Anne Beauchamp of Portarlington).

Louisa Willis married George Allen Proctor, gentleman, on 26th May 1825, in St.Peter’s, Dublin, two months after the death of her father, Thomas Willis. The witnesses were Joseph Minchin, solicitor, of 8 Fitzwilliam Square, West, and Allen Dowall of 35 Rutland Street.

A deed of marriage was drawn up on 20th May 1825 - 803-121-541916.  There were four parties to this - George Allen Proctor, Louisa Willis, Allen Dowell of Rutland Square and Joseph Minchin of Fitzwilliam Square. The deed conveyed property to the couple, and details an earlier property deed drawn up on 1st May 1800 between Louisa's parents, Thomas Willis and Mary Anne Newcombe, and also a third party, Richard Clarke of Portarlington. Elizabeth Newcombe also got a mention.  The lease detailed properties held by the couple in and around Portarlington, and a later deed of 4th November 1818, conveyed these properties to their daughter, Louisa.  Amongst these properties were a house in Portarlington, along with 2 acres of land,  a house and plot at Killinalloge which had earlier been owned by the Portarlington merchant, Samuel Beauchamp, whose daughter had been the second wife of Thomas Willis.  There was also a house in a place named Miseracks, and a house in Deer Park, amongst others.  It was also noted that George Allen Proctor owned land at Ballyally/Ballawley, Edmondstown (Rathfarnham) in Dublin and  Hammondstown and other lands in Meath.

(A George Allen Proctor appears in Slaters Directory of 1846 as a curate of Castleconnell, Limerick - this may have been the George Allen Proctor who was born in Dublin to Thomas and Anne Proctor in 1816 - he would have been 9 years old when Louisa Willis married the other one. Perhaps Thomas Proctor was the brother of the George Allen Proctor who married Louisa Willis?

Speculation: there was a George Allen Proctor in the Amicable Society of Printers, who married Mary Weldon of St. Peter’s Dublin in 1795. This man’s son, Edmund, entered Trinity College in 1823.  Perhaps this was the same George Allen Proctor who married Louisa Willis as his second wife? 

The Freeman's Journal of August 19th 1848 recorded the death, in Delgany, Co. Wicklow, aged 70, of George Allen Proctor, Esq.    This was possibly Louisa Willis' husband.

An earlier printer was Ephraim Proctor, born 14th March 1743 to the widow, Elizabeth Proctor. On 21st April 1764 he married the widow, Alice Harrison in St.Werburgh’s. He worked for a time in Athlone, but it is known that his widow died, aged 85, in Dublin in 1823.)

It seems he came from Dublin - the name George Allen Proctor recurs there.
Louisa Willis Proctor died on 14th December 1866 - her children, George and Louisa, erected the Willis-Proctor window in Portarlington Church.

In 1874, a plot of land at Portarlington was put up for sale. The last renewal of the lease had been on 20th October 1838 between John Goulin Humphreys of Killmaloge, late a Captain in the 15th Regiment of Foot, of the one part, and George Allen Proctor and Louisa Proctor, otherwise Willis, his wife, of the other part, for the lives of Eliza Willis, since deceased, and of George Allen Proctor and Louisa Proctor, both alive.  (Of the three lives: Eliza Willis must be Louisa Willis Proctor's older sister, who married Rev.David Hill Creighton;  George Allen Proctor and Louisa Proctor must be the two children of the older George Allen Proctor and Louisa Willis Proctor.)
 Also in 1874, a second plot of Portarlington land was up for sale. The last lease had been taken out on 1st August 1849 between William Blount, Thomas Clarke and Francis Smedley for the first part, the Earl of Portarlington for the second part, and Bernard Dowell for the third part, for the lives of Elizabeth Willis, (ie:Eliza Willis?) deceased in 1874, Louisa Harriet Proctor, deceased (this must be Louisa Henrietta Proctor, née Willis), and the Prince of Wales.
There were other plots for sale in 1874 - a plot of fourteen acres at Ballymorris had been leased in perpetuity on 31st August 1859 from Louisa Proctor to Thomas Des Voeux.
Another plot of 14 acres had a lease dated 9th November 1866 from Louisa Proctor to James Symes;  the original lease had been from Samuel Beauchamp to Edward Geoghegan.

More details on Louisa Willis and George Allen Proctor here:


Henry Willis was born to Thomas Willis and Mary Anne Newcombe on November 20th 1798 at 3.30 in the afternoon.   He is not commemorated on the Willis family window in the French church at Portarlington.
A Henry Willis was admitted to the Freemen of Dublin as a merchant in 1835.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly I note that Dr Nicholas Anthony Waring passed away on 5th October 2017. He read Natural Sciences at Oxford and he is mentioned in the 2018 Downing College yearbook.


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