Bawnjames Dowley History
Francis’s parents were Edward and Ursula Dowley of Tinvane House, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary. His father was a very successful businessman, conducting a major agricultural merchants enterprise in Carrick-on-Suir and Waterford as well as an import/export business on the river Suir. As a result he was a man of consierable wealth and had the ability to provide the best of education for his large family of nine boys and three girls. The first three boys (Jack, Milo and Thomas) were educated in Castleknock College, Co. Dublin, founded by the Rev, Fr. Philip Dowley of Ballyknock in 1835. Francis was the fourth son and the first of the family to be sent to St. Edmunds in the UK. to be educated, He was followed by Joe, Louis, Edward and William. William later transferred to Clongowes where he was joined by Arthur, while Joe transferred to the Brompton Oratory to complete his schooling.
After leaving school, Francis studied civil engineering in Trinity College, Dublin. While still a student he converted the old mill in Tinvane to an electricity generating station which provided Tinvane House with DC current for many years after rural electrification scheme was inaugurated in 1926. After graduation he joined the British Civil Service and spent most of his subsequent life in India where he became the Chief Engineer for the Presidency of Madras. He was the chief engineer responsible for building the Mettur Cauvery Dam, the biggest dam in the world when it was completed in 1934.
He married Mary Morrissey who was the daughter of a friend of Edwards in Liverpool. She was always referred to as “Mary Francis” by the rest of the Dowley family. It is believed that the Morrisseys originally came from the Piltown area of south Kilkenny. Mary’s father, Larry Morrissey, was the chairman of the Liverpool Corn Exchange and was briefly the owner of The Tetrarch, regarded by many as the greatest two year old of the twentieth century and the sire of many subsequent stars. Francis and Mary had 5 children, Deirdre, Ursula, Lawrence, Hugh and Monica.
When he retired, he moved back to Ireland and lived in “Bawnjames” which was located on the north-western outskirts of New Ross. It was a very impressive residence with mature gardens and a panoramic view over the river Barrow. The Bawnjames and Castlane families seemed to be very friendly as I can recall accompanying Joe and Kathleen on regular visits to New Ross on Sunday afternoons. Unfortunately Francis died when he was only 63 years of age and the family moved back to the UK. For many years after, Mary Francis and Kathleen frequently exchanged letters and she was a regular visitor to Castlane during the summer. I recall that she was a very jolly lady with a hearty laugh and her company was greatly enjoyed by all members of the Dowley family.
Francis died in 1948 and is buried in Faugheen together with his wife Mary and son, Hugh.
Bawnjames, New Ross, Co. Kilkenny
Descendants of Francis Dowley (Finn, Josh, Justin, Tom, William and Milo) at the Dowley grave in Faugheen 2011.
The following is a transcript of the marriage settlement between Francis Dowley and Mary Morrissey in 1922. These marriage settlements were entered into in advance of the wedding and were common at this time.
THIS INDENTURE made the sixteenth day of January one thousand nine hundred and twenty two BETWEEN FRANCIS MICHAEL DOWLEY care of the Public works Department Secretariat, Madras, India, Civil Engineer (hereinafter called ”the Husband”) of the first part MARY MORRISSEY of 26 Bidston Road, Birkenhead in the County of Chester Spinster (hereinafter called ”the Wife”) of the second part and FRANCES MORRISSEY of 26 Bidston Road, Birkenhead aforesaid Widow, JOSEPH IGNATIUS DOWLEY of “Castlane” Carrick-on-Suir Ireland Corn Merchant and WILLIAM DOWLEY of “Tinvsne House” Carrick-on-Suir Ireland Corn Merchant (hereinafter called ”the Trustees” which expression shall where the context will admit include them and the survivors or survivor of them his or her executors and administrators and all other the person or persons who shall be for the time being the Trustees or Trustee of these presents) of the third part.
WITNESSETH that in pursuance of an Agreement entered into upon the treat for and in consideration of a marriage which is intended shortly to be solemnised between the Husband and Wife IT IS HEREBY AGREED and DECLARED that the Trustees shall stand possessed of the stocks shares and securities specified in the Schedule hereto and which, do not together exceed in value the sum of three thousand one hundred pounds according to the average price thereof on the day of the date hereof which said stocks shares and securities are intended to be transferred forthwith to the Trustees in a manner and upon the trusts hereinafter expressed.
UNTIL the said intended marriage the Trustees shall stand possessed of the said stocks shares and securities when they shall have been respectively transferred to them in trust for the said Francis Michael Dowley.
AFTER the intended marriage the Trustees shall stand possessed of the said stocks, shares and securities when they have been transferred to them upon trust to retain the same or any of them in their present form of investment until the husband shall otherwise direct or require in writing during his life and after his death for so long as the Trustees may think fit and at the direction or requirement in writing of the husband during his life and after his death at the discretion of the Trustees to sell, call in or convert into money the same or any of them or part thereof respectively and at the like direction or requirement and at the like discretion to invest the monies produced thereby in or upon any of the investments specified in clause 10 and at the like discretion to vary the said investments or any of them.
UNTIL the said stocks shares and securities specified in the Schedule hereto shall have been transferred to the Trustees the Husband shall hold the same upon the same trusts and subject to the same powers and provisions as are herein declared In respect thereof when they have been transferred to the trustees and the Husband hereby COVENANTS with the Trustees that he will forthwith execute all necessary transfers and other documents and take all necessary steps to complete the Transfer of such stocks shares and securities to the trustees forthwith.
THE Trustees shall stand possessed of the said stocks shares and securities and the investments for the time being representing the same and the proceeds thereof all of which are hereinafter called “the trust funds” upon trust during the joint lives of the Husband and Wife to pay to the Wife for her separate use without power of anticipation the income of the said trust funds up to but not exceeding the sum of One hundred and fifty pounds per annum free and clear from all deductions for income tax or otherwise however and her receipt as well during her minority as afterwards shall be an effectual discharge for the same and to pay the remainder (if any) of the income to the Husband during his lifetime. If the Husband shall predecease the Wife the trustees shall after the death of the Husband pay to the Wife the whole of the income of the trust funds during her life but so that during the intended coverture the same shall be for her separate use without power of anticipation PROVIDED ALWAYS that if the Wife shall marry again the income of the moiety of the trust funds shall thenceforth during the remainder of her life be paid to her and the other moiety and the income thereof shall be held by the Trustees upon the same trusts and with and subject to the same powers and provisions as the same would have been subject to or held upon if the Wife had predeceased the Husband.
AFTER the death of the Wife if the Husband shall survive her the trustees shall stand possessed of the trust funds and the income thereof upon trust for the Husband absolutely.
AFTER the death of the Wife if the Husband shall predecease her and if there be children or remoter issue of the marriage then living the Trustees shall stand possessed of the trust funds and the future income thereof IN TRUST for such child children or remoter issue of the said intended marriage at such age or time or ages or times or respective ages or times if more than one in such shares and with such trusts for their respective benefit and such provisions for their respective advancement (either after the death of the survivor of the Husband and Wife or during the lives or life of them or the survivor of them with their his or her consent in writing and maintenance and education at the discretion of the Trustees or of any other person or persons as the Husband shall by any deed or deeds or by his will or codicil appoint and in default of and subject to any such appointment as the Wife if she shall survive the Husband shall by deed or will appoint and in default of and subject to any appointment under the respective powers hereinbefore contained IN TRUST for all or any the Children or child of the intended marriage who being male shall attain the age of twenty one years or being female shall attain that age or marry and if more than one in equal shares.
AND IT IS HEREBY AGREED AND DECLARED that if there shall be no child of the intended marriage who being male shall attain the age of twenty one years or being female shall attain that age or marry then subject to the trusts powers and provisions hereinbefore declared and contained and to the powers by law vested in the trustees and to every exercise of such respective powers the Trustees shall stand possessed of the trust funds in trust for the Husband absolutely.
AND IT 1S HEREBY DECLARED and AGREED that the Trustees may at any time or times after the death of the Husband and Wife or in their his or her life time with their his or her consent in writing raise any part or parts not exceeding in the whole one half of the then expectant presumptive or vested share of any child or remoter issue of the intended marriage in the trust funds under the trust hereinbefore contained and pay or apply the same for his or her advancement or otherwise for his or her benefit in such manner and the Trustees shall think fit.
AND IT IS HEREBY AGREED that the Trustees may apply any part of the capital of the trust funds in or towards payment of the calls on any shares for the time being subject to the trusts of these presents.
ALL MONEYS liable to be invested under these presents shall during the lifetime of the Husband be invested in accordance with his directions and requirement in writing from time to time and after the death of the Husband may be invested by the trustees at their discretion in any stocks funds or securities authorized by law for trust funds or any stocks funds or securities of any British Colony or Dependency or of any foreign State or in or upon the shares stocks or securities or any Railway or other Company whether in the United Kingdom or in any British Colony or Dependency or in any foreign country or upon the securities or in the shares stocks or debentures of any trading or Industrial Company or of any Municipal or other Corporation Company or Public Body or upon real or heritable or leasehold securities in any part of the United Kingdom or in any British Colony or Dependency or in any foreign country or upon the security of any life interest in real or personal property or in the purchase of any freehold or leasehold land or chief or ground rents situate in any part of the world.
THE power of appointing new Trustees conferred by Statute shall for the purposes of these presents be vested in the Husband during his life or in the Wife if she shall survive the Husband.
IT IS HEREBY DECLARED that if the said intended marriage shall not be solemnised within six calendar months from the date hereof the presents shall be void and the trust funds hereby settled shall be re-transferred to the Husband.
IN WITNESS thereof the said parties to these presents have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first before written.
THE SCHEDULE referred to.
12 Ordinary Shares of 500 Rupees each fully paid up in the Imperial Bank of India Madras Register.
24 Ordinary Shares of 500 Rupees each 125 Rupees per Shares paid up in the Imperial Bank of India Madras Register.
226 Ordinary Shares of £1 each fully paid in the Imperial Tobacco Company of Great Britain and Ireland Limited.
£250 £5 per cent War Loan 1929-1947 Registered Stock.
£200 £5 per cent National War Bonds 1928.
250 Ordinary Shares 10s. 0d. each fully paid in Nundydroog Mines Limited.
200 Ordinary Shares 10s. 0d. each fully paid in the Orregum Mining Company Limited of India Limited
SIGNED SEALED and DELIVERED By the said Francis Michael Dowley in the presence of Joseph P. McKenna, Solicitor, Liverpool
Francis M. Dowley 16-1-22
SIGNED SEALED and DELIVERED By the said Mary Morrissey in the presence of Joseph P. McKenna, Solicitor, Liverpool
SIGNED SEALED and DELIVERED By the said Frances Morrissey in the presence of Joseph P. McKenna, Solicitor, Liverpool
SIGNED SEALED and DELIVERED By the said Joseph Ignatius Dowley in the presence of John Scott, Pill Rd., Carrick-on-Suir, Mercantile Clerk
J. I. Dowley
SIGNED SEALED and DELIVERED By the said William Dowley in the presence of John Scott, Pill Rd., Carrick-on-Suir, Mercantile Clerk
The children of Francis & Mary at Bournemouth beach
L-R Deirdre, Lawrence, Hugh, Monica & Ursula
Deirdre Dowley (1923-????):
Ursula Dowley (1924-????):
Laurence Dowley (1925-2016): Laurence (or Larry as he was known by his family, somewhat to his irritation) was born in Kotagiri, near Ootacamund, the colonial hill station in the Nilgiri Hills, south India. This was while his father, Francis, was Chief Engineer of the Presidency of Madras and was overseeing the construction of the Mettur Cauvery Dam, 150 miles south of Bangalore. When it was completed in 1934 it was briefly the largest dam in the world.
Laurence was the third of five children all of whom were sent back to school in England. He arrived at St. John’s prep school in Old Winsor aged 5 and proceeded to Beaumont College in 1938. He excelled at games at school, partly perhaps because he was 6′ 3″ at the age of 13. He won a place at New College, Oxford (mainly, he claimed, because whilst he had applied to read Chemistry the priests at Beaumount completed the application form incorrectly and he found himself sitting the wrong papers in the entrance exam. At interview the tutors, feeling sorry for him, offered him a place to read history. He never took up the place because the war intervened and by the time it was over he did not want to burden his retired and relatively impoverished civil servant father with the fees. He was pleased when one of his sons took up the place at New College 35 years later.
Lawerence Dowley aged 16
He volunteered in 1943 and was comissioned into the 3rd Battalion, Irish Guards. After training he found himself in North West Europe alongside a number of his school friends, including Bobby O’Grady. He remembered a briefing to some young officers (mostly 19 and 20 year olds), nervously prodding their breakfast before what was expected to be a rough day. The liasion officer sauntered in, smoking languidly and wearing a cricket sweater, and told them to get their chaps ready to leave in 10 minutes. As he left the shed, he turned and said over his shoulder, ” I should bring plenty of bullets with you today”. Laurence was wounded in 1945 in the fierce fighting around Hommersum (on the Dutch/German border) in which his seargent was killed beside him (“the chap who looked after me all day and without whom I knew nothing”). Laurence was not a practical man; he covered his failing through his later marriage to Virginia, a complimentary, but un-sergent like bride. He found himself in hospital in bed next to his close friend, Basil Berkeley, with whom he had started at both St. John’s and Beaumount and who was later to be godfather to William. After recovering, he was chosen to carry the colours in the Victory Parade in London and spent a year or two with the regiment in Hamburg where he enjoyed going to the opera which was quickly revived after the war.
After demobilisation, he qualified as an accountant with Thomson McLintock in London in 1952, He moved to Leisestershire in 1954 to join the British United Shoe Machinery, the world leader in in the manufacture of shoe making machines and the lagest employer at the time in Leicester. His motivation for the move was that the annual salary was £100 more than his pay in London. He became finance director of the BU and finance director and treasurer of the successor entities which emerged from from various take overs. Shortly after he retired in 1984, he was asked by his old colleagues to chair a management buy out of the Leicester business from the US conglomerate, Emhart, at the time the largest MBO completed the UK. In his retirinement he enjoyed shooting and playing golf, particularly with his family at Brancaster, seeing his 15 grandchildren and trading the foreign exchange markets on his own account.
Lawrence married Virginia Jorgensen in 1954. She was born in London in 1933. Her father, Ralph, was the son of a Norwegian immigrant, a forester’s son who had arrived in London aged 18 in 1884. He set up business with a fellow Norwegian as Johnsen and Jorgensen in the London Docks, importing Scandanavian products including wood pulp, fish oil and polar bear skins to England, The business prospered and diversified into making glass bottles and the plastic closures for the medical, pharmacutical and food industries in Charlton. It was floated on the stock exchange on it’s 100th birthday in 1984 and subsequently sold to the packaging company, John Waddington. The two boys had married English sisters and the Norwegian extended family and heritage, and the family business were all important parts of Virginia’s psyche. (Not all of her four children and fifteen grandchildren were fans of the soused or pickled herring and toffee tasting goat’s cheese which were sometimes served up as Norwegian treats).
Lawrence & Virginia on their wedding day January 23rd, 1954
Virginia’s mother, Laura, was the youngest daughter of a large family from Boston, Massachusetts where her father combined being a judge, a farmer and novelist. Not being able to get his novels published in America, in 1910 he abandoned (temporarily) his wife and children while he moved into the Savoy Hotel in search of a London Publisher. Laura arrived in London in the late 1920’s having been married briefly in America to Bruce Andrews who remained a friend and was a regular visitor to England for the rest of their lives. Laura was an acomplished and very competitive sportswoman, winning the Detroit tennis Open in 1923 and skating for the London Lambs, a pre-war women’s ice hockey team. She (literally) picked up Ralph from the ice on the Grosvenor House skating rink one evening, he having gone there rather the worst for wear looking for some after dinner entertainment with his great friend (and to be Virginia’s godfather) Ivar Throndsen, another of the Norwegian gang. Laura was a glamorous, party girl who enjoyed skocking the the slightly staid, straitlaced English circle in which she found herself. She was a fun but eccentric and often embarrasing mother, which probablly accounted for Virginia’s quiet (yet firm), uncompetative and unassuming nature.
The war was spent partly in Bickley, just south of London, but then out of harms way with Laura and Virginia’s younger brother Derek in Cornwall. Ralph was left to help run the factory, sleeping under a heavy dining room table in case of falling bombs. In 1946 Laura took Virginia (now 12) and Derek on a years trip to America to see her many relations there for the first time since the war had started. They travelled across the Atlantic on a slow boat, accompanied by hundreds of American servicemen returning home, and then drove across America. Virginia had dozens of memories of that trip, including seeing a banana for the first time on the dock side in New York and her 13th birthday party on the return journey on the newly refurbished Queen Elizabeth. Ralph would move into the Savoy Hotel whenever Laura was away on one of her many trips.
Virginia was sent to boarding school at Moira House in Eastbourne where she was very happy. She worked briefly for a publisher in London before meeting Larry at a tennis party, marrying in January 1954 and moving immediately to Leicestershire where Larry had a new Job. Virginia was lonely at first, a 20 year old bride living in a new place in what in the 1950’s felt a long way from home. But she quickly made new local friends, particularly with families with children of the same ages – the Faires, the Brooks, the Ellingworths, the Burgesses, the Greville Heygates and the Palmers – all remaining friends for the rest of their lives, She had particularly close relationships with Pauline Morton, whom she and Larry had effectively adopted aged 16 from an orphanage in Nottingham to come and look after the children and who remained a friend for the rest of their lives even though she had moved with her family some 45 years ago to live in Yorkshire; and with Stan and Madge Spikings who had been evicted from their tied cottage in Hallaton and for whom Larry and Virginia created a flat in Nether Green Lodge, Great Bowden to which they moved in 1958., Stan working in the garden, Madge becoming almost a second mother to the children.
When the children got older and started going off to boarding school, Virginia was appointed to the bench in Market Harborough and served as a JP for some 25 years, particularly enjoying chairing the Juvenile Court. She was a founding governor of Brooks Weston Academy in Corby and was very proud of its achievements. She was one of the founding members of the Ampleforth Parents Association, an early attempt by the monks to bring some feminine influence into their running of the school. She had a particular love of North Norfolk where she and Larry had bought a family holiday house in 1970 and where all her children and grandchildren still do “cousinage” each year. She spent her later years indulging her love of travel often with her brother Derek and his wife Margaret.She also liked going back to the Alps, finding Wagner operas to go to and enthusiastically following the lives of her grandchildren. She made a particular point, for example, of visiting each of them at their universities.
Laurence & Virginia with grandchildren 1999
Back Row: Lawrence & Virginia. Middle Row: India, Myles, Sam, Leonora with Joshua, Clementine, Laura, Allegra. Front Row: Jacob, Joe, Finn, Tom, Florrie, Seth, Tatiana
Family gathering at memorial service for Lawrence & Virginia
Back Row: Dominic, Emma, Justin, Derek (Virginias brother), Monica, Emma, William & Penny. Middle Row: Claire, India, Myles, Sam, Leonora, Josh, Clementine, laura, Allegra. Front Row: Jacob, Joe, Finn, Tom, Florrie, Seth & Tatiana.
Virginia died in December 2015 while Laurence died three weeks later in January 2016.
Hugh Dowley (????-????):
Monica Dowley (????-):
Grandchildren of Francis Dowley of Bawnjames
These are the children of Laurence and Monica as I understand that the remaining children, Deirdre, Ursula and Hugh had no offspring.
Justin Dowley (1955-): Justin was educated at Ampleforth and Balliol College, Oxford. Qualified as a chartered accountant at Price Waterhouse in London. Spent 20 years as a merchant banker at Morgan Grenfell and Merrill Lynch, before starting Tricorn Partners, an advisory firm in London. Subsequently non executive chairman or director of a number of UK companies. Married Sarah Hamilton-Fairley (subsequently divorced), daughter of Gordon, the eminent cancer physician who was murdered (by accident) by the IRA in 1975; then married Emma Lampard, originally a stockbroker at Cazenove & Co, now a PhD student at London University, and their 4 children are Laura (educated at Marlborough, Balliol, Oxford and London University, qualified as a lawyer at Simmons & Simmons in London, currently a chef in Edinburgh), Myles (Radley, Edinburgh University and Bath University, qualified as a chartered accountant at KPMG in London), Finn (Radley and Manchester University) and Florrie (currently at Edinburgh University). Justin and Emma farm in East Suffolk where they breed pedigree Simmental cattle.
Dominic Dowley (1958-): Dominic was educated at Ampleforth and New College, Oxford. Qualified as a barrister and currently in practice as a QC at the commercial bar in London. Married Emma Lewis, a solicitor. Their 5 daughters are Leonora (St Pauls School and Durham University, qualified as a teacher and is currently working in education development in Ghana; Clementine (St Pauls and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, qualified as a solicitor with Weil Gotshal and Manges in London where she still works); India (St Pauls, Westminster School and Hertford College, Oxford, working as a journalist in London); Allegra (Godolphin & Latimer School and Durham University, currently training as a solicitor); Tatiana (Godolphin, currently waiting to go to university)
Claire Dowley (1962-): Claire was educated at New Hall School and Warwick University, head of English at Geelong Grammar School, Australia, married (subsequently divorced) Martin Smith in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Two sons, Sam (Geelong Grammar, Melbourne University and Copenhagen University, currently in practice as an architect in Melbourne) and Jacob (Geelong Grammar and currently at Melbourne University)
William Dowley (1964-): William was educated at Ampleforth and Birmingham Medical School, currently in practice as a GP in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. Married Penny Thornton, also a GP (now retired), becoming a sculptress. 4 sons. Joe (Cheltenham College and London University) working in publishing for Little Brown in London; Seth (Cheltenham and currently at Edinburgh University), member of the Great Britain Rifle Shooting team; Tom (Cheltenham and currently at Somerville College, Oxford); Josh (currently at Cheltenham).
Rupert Murray (1951-2006): Married Sheelagh Power and they have one child Rachel.
Gillian Murray (????-): Married Andy Snodgrass and they have two children, Angus and Patrick.
Frances (Fay) Murray (1956-): Married David Harrington and have two children, Camilla and Henrietta.
Lucy Murray (1958-): Married John Campbell and have three children Nel, Hugh and Iain. They live in Melbourne, Australia.