Irish Ancestral Heritage

Past stories of my Éire families

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Edward Worth Newenham 1762-1832  (Eldest Son of Sir Edward and Lady Grace)

A lot of my Irish Family research comes from my Maternal side and it references the Newenham's.
They have so much information about them that co-incides with what family papers I have, you sort of have to document them. I show a lot about the Newenham's, mainly because of the people they connect to or have influenced. They are a great learning tool, to see what was happening in Ireland during the 18-19th century.

The greatest thing to do with their information, is to "play them off" against history, that is, try to understand their idealogies of their lives and see what history has to say about them.
I use their "good's and bad's", to see if their decisions changed Ireland for the better or worse.

So basically we have Sir Edward Newenham (6th GGF), staunch Protestant that was born in the era of "Protestant Ascendancy". He was born into this lifestyle, so he knew little of what it is to struggle (a basic interpretation).

His eldest son Edward Worth Newenham (5th GGF), born in 1762 and grew up under this same indoctrination of his Father. His views on Catholic vs Protestant are very evident around the 1820 era, when he left Ireland for Boulogne - France to get away from the Catholic uprisings. One such letter from him expresses great displeasure, with the Catholics getting power within Ireland.
I found great pain in reading this particular sentence of words, because it was "one sided" imho.

Though as this maybe a small pocket of "distaste", he had other things going on with the family.

Edward Worth married Elizabeth Persse (d. of Col. William Persse and Sarah Blakeney of Roxborough Co Galway) in March of 1787.
They had 11 children, 8 survived infancy but only 4 or 5 survived into adulthood.



  • Edward Worth served in the military, and was captured in 1805 whilst off the coast of France. He was "voluntarily" imprisoned in Verdun-France by Napoleon's Forces, he died in Verdun
  • William Persse, also served in the military, fought many gallant battles and died in England. Was personally known to Admiral Hood.
  • Charles Burton only lived 9 days
  • Robert Burton served in the military as well, but his most gallant effort, was being on the battlegrounds of Waterloo, during Napoleon's fall in 1815
  • Eliza died at the age of 9
  • Henry Hood (4th GGF), came to Australia in 1856 and never served in the military, died in Melbourne 1895
  • Grace Anna, nothing known
  • Anna Eliza (not shown) died at the age of 12 in France 

The concept of this post, is that I came across a short letter from Edward Worth depicting quite a story. Even though the letter does not say much, it's a huge letter in discovering things about the family. This letter is quite defining on what was to happen with the 3rd surviving son - Robert.
I wanted to show, that underneath this business man, was a Father looking to protect his Son(s).

When Edward Worth and Elizabeth were married, as part of their marriage settlement, Edward Worth inherited lands around Tipperary (Shallee and a few others). These lands were Coal/Lead and Tin mining areas. Edward Worth was in charge of a Colliery in around the early 1800's.
I do not know yet, how good or bad he ran these mining operations, but I have seen some issues with the properties.

Edward Worth would bounce around towns, dealing with the law and also this mining business, whilst what looks like that Elizabeth and the children stayed in around Co. Galway. It is noted that Elizabeth was staying with her brother Henry Stratford Persse, from time to time.

Edward Worth, was quite pained by his Father antics, as they did have quite a family rift that went on for many years. Edward Worth looks like he wouldn't deal with his Father anymore, due to his unscrupulous spending habits.
This may have shone the light on this family, that whilst they may have been "land rich", they were also "cash poor".
Many letters around the very early 1800's, depict that Edward Worth, was almost broke. In the early years of research, I found it very hard to understand, with so much land at hand, why so poor?

This one letter, is one of a few around the era of 1810 and Edward Worth is trying to setup his children's lives. These few letters of this period, constantly comment of some sons in the military and some sort of "pining" for atleast one child to get a Government job.
It took me a few times of re-reading the letter, that there was so much of a story unfolding, it defined a lot of detail without saying it.
Edward Worth notes that he served in the Rebellion period (I gather this was referring to 1798) as a magistrate. And that his "3rd Son - Robert" is of great interest to obtaining a Government position. He also notes that his 2 eldest sons (Edward Worth and William Persse) are already in the Military and wants to push Robert into Government, not war.
You can see a mining/business man, change into becoming a Father.

The back story dialogue to this letter and in particular, this period of letters, was Edward Worth's Son's.
Edward Worth Jnr, was caught up in a shipwreck off the French Coast in 1805 and placed into Voluntary Confinement - under Napoleon's orders - in Verdun. And that his 2nd son William Persse, was almost killed 2 or 3 times over, during some intense battles at sea. You can really see the sense that the Father is now looking out for his family. He didn't want Robert to follow his elder siblings footsteps in the Military. He noted this many times, but in a nice enough tone.
So this letter was written in 1810, but the next story we hear of Robert is 5 years later. We see that Robert is stamping his authority of "victory", on the battlegrounds of Waterloo in 1815. He actually helped defeat Napoleon and what I can interpret, avenged his Uncle's death. How can this be?
Either Robert went against his Father's advice, or Edward Worth relented and allowed him to join the military.

I haven't found any letter or documentation yet, to show what Edward Worth wrote about his 4th Son - Henry Hood Newenham (4th GGF). But as Henry was born in 1805, he was too young to join the Forces. In a sense, of all people to be named after, it was a Lord Hood, Admiral of the Navy.
So maybe he could be attached to the Military only by name?
It seems that what I know about Henry's life, is that his Father must of finally made the point with "a son", to not go to war or join the military. Research on Henry's life, has failed to show any documented military training as of yet. And it's probably why Henry was placed in Government jobs in Melbourne (after 1856).

In an almost identical case in previous years, Edward Worth's younger brother - also a Robert (O'Callaghan Newenham), was vouched for by his Father and Mother's heartfelt letters to the US Congress and it even involved George Washington. They wanted to obtain a job for Robert, as a US Consul officer - based in France - under Benjamin Franklin. But it was a lost cause, as Robert couldn't have the position unless he or someone of the family, became a US Citizen. He never did become a US Citizen, so he didn't get the job.

Now, I believe the letter was written at a Property, directly opposite the "Mansion House" (Lord Mayor's Residence) on Dawson Street, Dublin. I am not sure if "Sandy Mt" is the house name or the district of Dublin.


The letter was addressed to John Foster.
I am assuming by my research, this is or could be a relative of John Foster 1st Baron Oriel

This letter is brought to you by : Viscount Masserene and Ferrard  -  Deputy Keeper of the Records, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI)



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by Brett Fitzgerald Saturday, December 19, 2015 3 comments

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