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My ancestors - Blennerhassett - Contents

Thomas Blennerhassett, of Flimby

Location of Flimby Hall, which survives on Wedgwood Road, Flimby, Maryport, Cumbria.
Former seat of Blennerhassett, now owned by Batty.
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From Google Maps.
Flimby Hall farm is the complex at the E end of Wedgwood Road. The old Flimby Hall is at the roadside. Farm buildings behind it.

Thomas Blennerhassett,
of Flimby Hall, Cumberland (Cumbria),
MP for City of Carlisle for various dates in 1584 to 1611,
granted by Sir Edward Denny, Knt., Governor of Kerry and Desmond in 1586 [though other dates between 1584 and 1590 are mentioned] the forfeited Desmond estate of Ballycarty Castle, in Ballyseedy par, near Tralee, Co.Kerry,
he visited Ireland, "at an advanced age", apparently in Nov 1588,
he returned to Cumberland, but his son Robert settled in Ireland,
[Manuscript of 1654] by his grandson John Blennerhassett, of Ballycarty says the deeds granting Ballycarty, Ballyseedy and other lands "granted, and rendered unto my grand-father by Sir Edward Denny Kt" are dated 29 August 1590 (32 Elizabeth), this is feast day of John the Baptist,
he was Mayor of Carlisle for various dates in 1597 to 1623,
had issue:

  1. John Blennerhassett,
    of Flimby Hall, Cumberland (Cumbria),
    ancestor of Blennerhassett of Flimby Hall (stayed in family until sold 1772).

  2. Robert Blennerhassett, of Ballycarty, Co.Kerry, born est c.1565,
    settled in Ireland c.1588,
    lived Ballycarty Castle,
    mar Elizabeth Conway [born est c.1575, descendant of Henry I, hence the entire Blennerhassett family of Co.Kerry has a Royal Descent],
    further grant of land in Ireland 1611,
    he was the first Provost of Tralee 1611,
    he was the first MP for Tralee 1613,
    acquired c.1620 (post-1619) the forfeited Desmond estate of Ballyseedy Castle, in Ballyseedy par, Co.Kerry,
    obtained the advowson of Ballyseedy 1622,
    built c.1627 the second Ballyseedy Castle,
    fl 1641,
    had issue:

    1. John Blennerhassett, of Ballycarty, Co.Kerry (and later of Ballyseedy).

    2. Arthur Blennerhassett, of Loughgur, Bruff, Co.Limerick.

Close-up of Flimby above.
The old Flimby Hall is at the roadside. It is not wide but is quite a tall building. Farm buildings behind it to N.
Click to toggle map/satellite view. Click to zoom in/out. Drag to move.
From Google Maps.

Our branch

Our connection to the Irish line is uncertain. The Cashels always said they were descended from a runaway marriage of a Blennerhassett daughter with their ancestor. The family story is she was disinherited for running away with a Catholic: "her family disowned her but the Cashels all thought it very romantic" [Pat Lavelle]. The Cashels used "Blennerhassett" as a family middle name and even first name for three or four generations, but unfortunately neglected to actually write down the descent. Pat Lavelle said it was the mother of George Blennerhassett Cashel (born 1807, Co.Kerry) who ran away, and her name was Letitia Blennerhassett.

"A. Blennerhassett J.P."

The one piece of solid evidence is that when George Cashel joined the County Constabulary in Sept 1828, he was recommended by "A.Blennerhassett J.P.". Amazingly, this does not narrow it down very much, there being so many A.Blennerhassett's, even restricted to that time, and of course almost all of them prominent and respectable enough to be a Justice of the Peace. The most likely candidates are:
  1. Blennerville branch
    1. Blennerville, Tralee - Arthur Blennerhassett, of Blennerville (died 1839) - known to be a J.P.
    2. Churchtown, Killarney - Sir Arthur Blennerhassett, 3rd Baronet (died 1849) - High Sheriff of Co.Kerry 1820, had just himself married a Catholic 1826 and converted to Catholicism. So might have been sympathetic to Cashels' position even if not close relative.
  2. Ballyseedy branch
    1. Ballyseedy, Tralee - Arthur Blennerhassett, of Ballyseedy (died 1843) - High Sheriff of Co.Kerry 1821 - Note that the Ballyseedy branch are the ones that the Rowan Cashel family are close to - this Arthur Blennerhassett is 4th cousin of Rowan Cashel.
  3. others
    1. Arthur Blennerhassett, Permit Officer, wife died Dublin 1819 [Jehan, 1998, IRE 7]
Arthurs noticed actually serving around the right time:
  1. 1828 - The Record Panel for the Spring Assizes, Tralee, spring 1828, includes "Arthur Blennerhassett".
  2. 1834 - [Kerry Evening Post, Sat 8th Mar 1834, [KCL] RR microfilm] shows a Grand Jury sworn, including Foreman: Arthur Blennerhassett, of Ballyseedy (died 1843) (note his wife died 2 days later) and one of the members: Arthur Blennerhassett, of Blennerville (died 1839).

George's mother would probably be a close relation of "A. Blennerhassett J.P.". The 3 most likely candidates are all in the main line of the family, descending from John Blennerhassett of Ballycarty above, and his wife Martha Lynne. See summary chart of the 3 Arthurs. So Letitia is almost certainly descended from John Blennerhassett of Ballycarty and his wife Martha Lynne.

Letitia Blennerhassett

But of course we haven't proved it. So much for "A. Blennerhassett". How about "Letitia"? The only even feasible candidates for Letitia in the current tree are:
  1. Letitia Blennerhassett of Co.Kerry, born 1780, married 1stly 1799 to Richard Ponsonby, mar 2ndly 1811 to William Lindsay.
  2. Letitia Blennerhassett of Co.Limerick, born est c.1785, married 1804 to Samuel Harding.
Of course "Letitia" could be an error. It is noted that none of the Cashels were given the name "Letitia". Some names that catch the eye in the Cashel family are:

Other possibilities that catch the eye are:

  1. Sir Rowland Blennerhassett, 1st Baronet (born 1741) had "other issue"
  2. Arthur Blennerhassett (born est c.1745) had illegitimate dau Elizabeth, who mar pre-1798 to Denis Murphy. Maybe Murphy died and she then mar Cashel? We would then be looking for the marriage of Cashel with the widow Elizabeth Murphy, having issue George Cashel, born 1807.
  3. Letitia Hurly would have the married name Letitia Blennerhassett after 1808.


In fact, there is a Cashel or Cashell family, the Rowan Cashel family, that is itself descended from the Blennerhassetts. Perhaps the reason Edward and Letitia got together was because they were already connected (from a marriage in the 1720s).

There are also connections of Cashel to Blennerhassett through Harding and Lawrence:

  1. 1762 - Samuel Harding, of Silvermines, Co.Tipperary (where Cashel from),
    was Bondsman, 6th July 1762, see folio 190, MS 31883, Killaloe, Co. Clare, Marriage License Bonds,
    for marriage of William Lawrence, Gent., of Bureskeane, Co.Tipperary [poss. Borrisokane, far N of Co.Tipperary], and Mary Harding of Ballymonce, Co.Tipperary [unidentified], Spinster.
  2. 1804 or 1807 - marriage 1804 of Letitia Blennerhassett to Samuel Harding [son of Henry Harding, of Harding Grove, Co.Limerick].
  3. 1816 - marriage 1816 of Rowan Cashel to the dau of William Lawrence of Silvermines, Co.Tipperary.
  4. 1831 - marriage 1831 of Henry George Cashel, of Bushfield, Co.Tipperary, to the dau of Samuel Harding of Rock Lodge, Co.Limerick.
  5. 1850s - The wife of Rowan Francis Cashel has affair with Jonathan Harding, of Bessborough, Co.Tipperary, 1850s.

To summarise, we would get a connection to the "Western family tree" / Royal Descent if we could prove descent from either this Cashell family, or from any Blennerhassett line since the original 16th cent. settlers in Co.Kerry.

Our line starts with:

  1. Letitia Blennerhassett,
    born est c.1785, Protestant,
    ran away, disinherited, Pat Lavelle's notes say she became a Catholic herself, certainly her children were Catholic,
    mar Edward Cashel and had issue.

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