THE TINVANE DOWLEY HISTORY
The townsland of Tinvane (Tig an meadain = house of the middle place) is located to the north-east of the town of Carrick-on-Suir. It consists loosely of a triangle with a base on the line from the town park to the Three Bridges along the N 25 to Waterford. From there the triangle stretches north to an apex at Cregg Bridge. The triangle is enclosed by the Lignaun river to the east and the Cregg Rd. to the west.
The first record of a Dowley in Carrick-on-Suir was in 1551 when one William Dowley was on the list of Jurors for the town1. It is also known that the Dowley mill in Tinvane was completed in 1610 but the relationship between William the juror and the Tinvane Dowleys is still unknown. The next reference to a Dowley is in the Hearth Money Rolls of 1664 when Teigh Dowley of Figlassy (Figlash) and Richard “Dowly” of Carrick are given as land owners in the area. The first Tinvane Dowley that we have definite information on was Richard Dowley (1712-1773). Given that the mill was started in the late 1500’s and fully operational by 1610, it is likely that there were at least three generations of Tinvane Dowleys prior to this Richard.
The burial place of the original Dowleys is not know to me at present. However, I recall my grand-father, Joe, bringing me along the road between Skough and Owning, just east of Maloney’s Pub, and pointing below to what he called the “coffin field”. He insisted that the field was shaped like a coffin and that was where the earlier Dowleys were buried. I could see that my inability to identify what he was looking at was beginning to infuriate him and so we left without further argument or investigation. In 2009 I visited the restored Kilkieran cemetery in the same area. Most of the gravestones were unreadable but it is possible that this was the “Coffin Field” that my grandfather was referring to all those years earlier.
Richard Dowley (1712-1773): This Richard was the first of the Tinvane Dowleys for which we have definite dates. He was married to Honora and both are buried in the Old Faugheen graveyard together with their son John. He operated the mill on the Lingaun. However, since he was born some 100 years after the mill was started it is likely he was preceded by at least three generations of Dowley millers. It is likely that the afore mentioned Richard “Dowly” is this Richard Dowley’s grand-father. The gravestone (below) was later moved into the main body of the church.
The Old Faugheen Church is located some 500 m east of the current Church. In 2009, this Church was in a dangerous state of disrepair and had been railed off from public access by Tipperary County Council.
The inscription on the tombstone reads as follows. “Here lieth the Body of John Dowley of Tinvane who depd this life Nov. the 19th 1807 Aged 70 Yrs also his Father & Mother Richd & Honora who died in the Year 1773”
It is curious, that beside John’s gravestone is the gravestone of a Catherine Dooly. This gravestone reads as follows:
“Erected by John Dooly in Memory of his wife Catherine Dooly alias Beats who depd this Life 19th May 1803 Aged 38 years” (? 58).
It has always been assumed that this Catherine Dooly was the wife of John Dowley of Tinvane. However, the fact that there is no mention of Tinvane on this gravestone as was normal for the Tinvane Dowley family may suggest that this is not John Dowley’s wife.
More recently I have come across an article in the Decies14 which details the inscriptions on the gravestones in the “Old Rathgormack” graveyard. One of them reads as follows:-
“Erected by Catherine Dowley of Tinvane in memory of her daughter Margaret Power alias Dowley who depd this life July 6th 1805 aged 30 yrs, Also Mary Foran wife of Patrick Foran of Balcura dept Septbr 6th 1823 (?) agd 44 (?) yrs”.
The two Catherines can not be the same person as the Catherine Dooly had died in 1803. This would suggest that the “Catherine Dowley of Tinvane” is the first John Dowley’s wife rather than the Catherine Dooly on the tombstone in Faugheen. This would be supported by the fact that the ages would be a better match. This begs the questions as to where Catherine Dowley is buried and who are John and Catherine Dooly?.
John Dowley (1737-1807): Richard’s son John married Catherine who may have been a Cheasty from the Kilmacthomas area. This marriage may have been the beginning of a long connection with other Kilmacthomas families such as the Flahavans, Walshs and Shanahans. John and Catherine had six children, Thomas, Patrick, Margaret, Mary, Ellen and Ann. John operated the mill on the Lingaun and it is important to note that the mill was relatively small compared with the mills that sprang up during the milling boom in the late 18th century. John may also have been the first Dowley to have become involved in the river trade. John is buried in the old Faugheen graveyard.
The opening of the nineteenth century would have seen John still in charge of the Tinvane mill, but he was soon joined by his two sons, the 20 year old Thomas and the 18 year old Patrick.
Margaret Dowley (1775-1805): I have no information on Margaret other than she was married to a Mr. Power of Rathgormuck and died when she was only 30 years of age.
Thomas Dowley (1780-1846): For the first half of the nineteenth century, Thomas and his brother Patrick successfully operated the Tinvane mill as partners. The Sausse quay was built in 1830 and the navigation cut in 1836. It maybe that it was during their life time that the first premises was opened in Carrick-on-Suir. Thomas was married to Mary Keefe. They had four children, John, Johanna, Marion and Anne. During this period the mill and eight acres were leased from an Edward Kennedy/Henry Briscoe at a yearly rent of £40.
The location of Thomas’s grave is still not known but is likely to be in the old Faugheen graveyard. The Will of Thomas Dowley, dated 24th February 1846 reads as follows:-
“ In the name of God Amen,
I, Thomas Dowley, Tinvane in the County of Tipperary, Miller make this my last will and testament in the manner and form following.
I give, devise and bequeath to my son John Dowley, all my right, title and interest in the Mill House and concerns in Tinvane together with the land adjoining same which I hold from Edmond Kennedy and Henry Briscoe Esq. together with all the stock and property of every description thereon. My said son John to provide for two daughters namely Johanna and Ann and to support maintain and keep my wife Mary Dowley in a suitable and proper manner during her natural life and I hereby appoint my son John Dowley my Executor, residuary and Legatee in witness where of I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty fourth day of February one thousand eight hundred and forty six
Signed, sealed, testified and declared by the testator as his last will and testament in the presence of us who in his presence and the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses of, Thomas McNamara, John Maher”.
As both Johanna and Anne are both mentioned in Thomas’s will of 1846 we can assume that both were unmarried at that time.
Patrick Dowley (1782-1850): Patrick (brother of Thomas) had five children, Patrick John (PJ), Mary, Ellen (Helena), Ann and Denis. His wife’s name is still unknown as is his burial place. Patrick worked the mill with his brother Thomas and it is also likely that he is buried in the old Faugheen graveyard. It should be remembered that both Thomas and Patrick died during the period of the great famine. Patrick’s will is also unknown so we are not sure if he left his share in the mill to his son Patrick John (PJ) Dowley or to his younger son Denis.
Mary, Ellen and Anne Dowley: Apart from a definite date of birth for Mary in 1786 I have no further information on these Dowley sisters.
John Dowley (1810-1882): Thomas’s will confirms that John Dowley inherited the Mill House as well as Thomas’s share of the Tinvane mill. As there was no mention of any property in Carrick-on-Suir, we can assume that John was the first Dowley to start trading in New St. It appears that the Dowleys were well established in the river trade early in the nineteenth century and in 1836 John bought a single share in the Suir Navigation Co. This involvement was probably on the part of John alone and would have put him in a good position to benefit from the lucrative grain export trade which existed before, during and after the Great Famine. It appears that John may have been the real entrepreneur of the family and the one that accumulated most of the Dowley wealth although he did experience some financial difficulties following the failure of Sadliers Bank.
John married Mrs Bridget Power (nee Flahavan), who was born in Kilmacthomas in 1823 and died in 1906. Bridget Flahavan was the widow of a Captain Power who set out on a voyage on their wedding day. His ship was lost off Cape Horn. John and Bridget had two sons, Thomas (1853-1903) and Edward (1855-1945). They lived in the Mill House at Tinvane but John worked mainly in Carrick-on-Suir. He had a premises in New Street (confirmed by William Murphy’s will dated 1858) and the Fair Green as well as being involved in the river trade. He was also left three houses on the Green side by William Murphy. It appears that these enterprises were financially separate to the mill and entirely owned by John Dowley. What active part he took in the management of the Tinvane mill is unknown. He apparently made a lot of money, possibly from the river trade and grain export during the middle part of the 19th century. He invested at least some of the profits in Sadlier’s Bank which went bankrupt in 1856 and he lost this investment. This could account for a report in the Nationalist newspaper that he had accumulated a lot of creditors by 1859 and eventually went bankrupt. Around this time he is reputed to have spent some time in the UK where he also had some business interests. The claim of bankruptcy seems to be peculiar or at least somewhat exaggerated as he seemed to retain all his property in Tinvane, Waterford and Carrick-on-Suir as well as all his business interests.
The original Dowley house was situated on the south side of the river Lignaun overlooking the mill and was known as “Mill House”. It was located some 300 m upstream from Tinvane House. This house was built onto several times as part of it had a thatched roof while the main part was slated. There was probably more than one Dowley family living in the Mill House or the area near the Tinvane Mill. We know that John Dowley lived in the Mill House up to the time he died in 1882.
John and Bridget were the first Dowleys to be buried in the new graveyard in Faugheen. The grave is situated in the north western corner of the graveyard.
Johanna Dowley (1813-????), Marian Dowley (1823-????) and Anne Dowley (1825-1914): Johanna and Anne were single as can be seen from their fathers will in 1846. Marian may have married a Kiersey. Anne remained in Tinvane house with her nephew Edward until her death in 1914. She was always referred to as “great aunt Anne”.
The church itself also contains two very fine stained-glass windows which were commissioned in honour of the memory of Mary Ursula Dowley of Tinvane and Kathleen Dowley of Castlane.
As already mentioned, the first Patrick Dowley (1782-1850) was a partner in the Tinvane mill with his brother Thomas. Although living in Tinvane, Patrick seemed to spent a lot of time in Waterford. While it could be assumed that he looked after the Dowley business interests in the city, this can not be confirmed.
It is assumed that Patrick also lived in Tinvane with his wife but her name is unknown to me at present. They had two sons, Patrick John (PJ) (1812-1872) and Denis (1820?-1893) and three daughters Mary (1813-????), Helena (Ellen) (1814-1864?) and Ann (????-????). This was probably the start of the Waterford city connection.
Patrick John (PJ) Dowley (1812-1872): The details of the will of Patrick Dowley (1782-1850) are not known. However, it appears that Patrick John (PJ), inherited his father’s interest in the Tinvane mill.
Patrick John (PJ) married Johanna McNamara of Waterford. They lived at 4 Terminus St., Newrath, Waterford where Johanna had a public house. They had four children, Ellen Agnes (1838-1873), Patrick (1839-1872), Michael (1841-1867) and William (1842-1881). The initial baptismal records indicate that the occupation of the father was a merchant while later this changes to a publican. The reference to a merchant may suggest a Dowley business in Waterford, but while likely, this can not be confirmed.
All the male offspring died relatively young, Patrick at 32, Michael at 26 and William at 39 years of age. Many are buried in the graveyard of the Sacred Heart Church in Ferrybank, Waterford where there are two gravestones beside one another, close to the sacristy entrance on the east of the Church.
The oldest reads as follows:-
“Erected by Mrs Johanna Dowley in memory of her beloved son Patrick John Dowley T.C. who departed this life on March 7th 1872 aged 32 years, also her beloved son Michael M. Dowley who departed this life September 5th 1867 aged 26 years, also the above Mrs Johanna Dowley died February 15th 1888 age 75 years, may they rest in peace.”
What is hard to understand about the oldest headstone is that there is no mention of Johanna’s husband, Patrick John (1812-1872) on the gravestone. This is particularly puzzling when we know that he died before his wife Johanna, who erected the headstone, and after some of his children who are all buried here.
Denis Dowley (1820?-1893): Denis Dowley of Tinvane was probably born about 1820. He was married to Ellen Walsh and they had four children, Dorothy (b. 1845), Mary (b. 1847), Patrick (b 1850) and Catherine (b 1853). According to the parish records obtained by Milada Dowley from the Waterford Heritage Society, the name was spelt “Dooley” in 2 of the 4 birth records for the parish of Carrick-on-Suir, but there seems to be no doubt that they are all the children of Denis Dowley of Tinvane. Despite the suggestions that there was another son Denis or Dinny, these records do no mention him. If he existed he would have been a contemporary of Edward and one would expect that much more would have been known about him. As result, I now believed that there was only one Denis Dowley from Tinvane and that he was the last to operate the Tinvane mill even though he may have been in his seventies. At the end of his life the mill may have been more a hobby than a business.
While it can be confirmed that Thomas’s share of the mill passed to his son John, the destination of Patricks share when he died in 1872 is not as clear. The marriage settlement dated August 1879 between John’s son, Edward and Mary Ursula Walsh states that Patrick’s brother, Denis, was his representative at that time. This would suggest that Denis had a life interest in the mill in Tinvane and that when Denis died the interest passed to his nephew’s (Patrick John Dowley) widow, Mary J. Dowley.
What is known is that Denis was running the mill as late as 1889. A statement for the grinding a/c from Denis Dowley, Tinvane Mills to Edward Dowley, New St., Carrick-on-Suir was stamped by E, Dowley and dated September 23rd, 1889. This would confirm that Denis was running the mill at that time but that his 1st cousin once removed, Edward Dowley, was also operating as a separate business in New Street. With the development of the Dowley milling business on the Quay in Carrick-on-Suir it is likely that the activity at the Tinvane mill gradually reduced towards the end of the 19th century. The mill was closed down some time in the late 1890’s and this may have coincided with the death of Denis.
Apart from their dates of birth, I have no further information on the children of Denis Dowley of Tinvane. Where Denis is buried is also unknown at present.
Thomas J. Dowley (1853-1903): Thomas J. Dowley was the first son of John Dowley and Bridget Flahavan. He was an ordained priest and served as the Administrator of the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Barronstrand St. Waterford for the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore. Fr. Tom took his own life, possibly as a result of depression or, as others would have it, because he thought that his parents were never properly married. He left his furniture to the Good Sheppard Convent in Waterford and is buried in the New Faugheen graveyard.
Edmond (Edward) John Dowley (1855-1945): Edward was born on the 22nd of April 1855, when his father John was 48 years of age. The name “Edward” seems to be inherited from the maternal side of the family as his mother’s (Bridget Flahavan) father was named Edward as well as her brother. Edward was educated at O’Shea’s Academy in Castle Street in Carrick-on-Suir. The school concentrated on the classics and a number of the students could converse in Latin. It was attended by the more well to do families of the area.
When Edward was about 17 he decided to run away to America. His mother Bridget heard of the attempt and sent two friends to catch the runaway and forestall the attempted emigration. Edward was found on the outskirts of Cork and brought home. One can only assume that his mother talked him into remaining in Ireland and to continue the family business.
As a late teenager he was sent to work in Bagenalstown for Brown and Crosthwait, who were large millers in Co. Carlow. One assumes that this was some sort of apprenticeship as Brown and Crossthwait were in the same type of business as the Tinvane Dowleys. (Coincidently, Jim Brown, a direct descendant of the above Brown is now a personal friend and contemporary of Leslie Dowley).
One would assume that it was not long after his return from Carlow that he decided to get married. His wife to be was Mary Ursula Walsh of Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford and as was the normal practice at the time a marriage settlement was drawn up.
Marriage Settlement Dated 4th August 1879
Between John Dowley 1st part, Miller – Tinvane and Edward Dowley, 2nd. Part, son of John, and Mary Ursula Walsh 3rd. part of Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford, and Bridget Dowley, 4th part wife of John, and Edward Flahavan, 5th part of Glen House Co. Waterford. Refers to a lease dated 12th April 1836 between Edward Kennedy and Patrick and Thomas Dowley in which the Mill quarter and lands of Tinvane were leased for a term of ninety-nine years. The said Patrick and Thomas Dowley became associates in the said lease as a joint undertaking by way of trade and became millers in partnership and whereas the said Thomas Dowley died in 1846 and all the estate and interest of said Thomas is now vested in his son John, and John now carries on as a miller in partnership with the representative of said Patrick (Denis) and as such is possessed of and entitled to one half of the trade fixtures etc. John Dowley is also possessed of a plot of ground situate in the fair green in the town of Carrick-on-Suir together with a store house on it, also a plot of ground in New Street with a storehouse. A marriage will be solemnized between Edward and Mary Ursula. Mary Ursula is possessed of Six Hundred Pounds.
At the time the above settlement was written in 1879, all the male members of the Waterford branch of the Tivane Dowleys had died except for William J. Dowley. William may have been ill and suffering from tuberculosis at this time as he died two years later. This might explain why Denis Dowley became the representative for Patrick Dowley line and may have held the half share in the mill in trust for the remaining Waterford Dowleys.
Edmond J. (Edward) married Ursula Mary Walsh of Kilmacthomas later in the same year. Edward was 24 while Mary was 21 years old. They were married in Kilmacthomas, but Edwards name was incorrectly recorded as “Dooley” instead of Dowley. This may have been the basis for his now famous speech at their 50th wedding anniversary celebrations in 1929 when Edward announced “we were never properly married”. Following this revaluation, a daughter-law is reputed to have taken out a package cigarettes and asked his children “would any of you bastards like a cigarette?”.
Edward and Mary Ursula went on to have twelve children, 9 boys (John, Milo, Thomas, Francis, Joseph, Louis, William, Edward and Arthur) and three girls (Mary, Josephine and Florence). Their first home was the Glascott House on the western side of the Carrick-on-Suir, near the hospital. If we assume that he moved to the Mill House some time in 1882 after his father John passed away, it would appear that John A. (1880) and Myles (1881) would have been born in the Glascott House. If we also assume that he moved to Tinvane House in 1892 although it could have been later if alterations had to undertaken, then Thomas, Francis, Joe, Louis and Mary were all born in the Mill House while William and all the subsequent children were born in Tinvane House.
During much of the life of the Tinvane Mill, the Dowley family appeared to lease the land from the Briscoe and/or Kennedy families who were the landlords. The Briscoe family moved to Ireland sometime late in the 17th century from Crofton Hall in Cumberland County, England as part of the Cromwellian settlement. The Briscoe family owned Tinvane House prior to the Dowley family and they also appeared to occupy Harristown House and Tybroughney at some time as well. The family were obviously well connected and very much part of the local gentry. Tinvane House was occupied by Henry Briscoe at the time of John Dowley’s death in 1882 and indeed for most of the 19th century. The famine, together with the period of land unrest towards the end of the 19th century had a detrimental effect on the financial status of many landlords including the Briscoes of Tinvane House.
When the Briscoe Estate was eventually mortgaged, Edward Dowley of Tinvane Mills became one of the mortgage holders. In 1891, Edward (36) bought Tinvane House, the mills on the Lingaun and 98 acres of land from the Briscoes for £2,900. This was done through the Land Commission and bankruptcy courts and was possibly a very good deal. This would confirm that the family had become relatively wealthy sometime prior to the purchase of Tinvane House.
In the same year Edward Dowley and Mrs J. E. Grubb were appointed joint secretaries of an appeal fund towards a testimonial for Mrs Lee who had retired as station master for Carrick-on-Suir.
Photo of Tinvane House in early 1900’s
Tinvane House (Cedarfield House) as it appeared in June 2009
It is not clear who occupied the Mill House after Edward and his family moved to Tinvane House. It may have been Mary J. and her daughter Sissie.
Tinvane house was located off the N25 about one mile east of Carrick-on-Suir. The house was approached by a very long avenue lined with lime trees with an attractive gate lodge at the entrance. The top storey and the wing on the right of the Tinvane House were added by Edward Dowley as well as the ballroom/billiard room at the back. There was also a walled garden, a farmyard, many outhouses and of course the stables for Jack’s horses. In my memory, the most interesting feature of the house was the bathroom. There was a shower in the bath that would have put every modern shower to shame. Apart from a huge rose, rows of chrome pipes were layered around half of the bath from the shower head to the bath rim. This resulted in the water coming from every possible angle. Only Edward and Mary’s last five children (starting with William) would have been born in Tinvane House.
The census details for 1901 show that the following were residents of Tinvane No. 1: Edward (45, Corn Merchant and Head of Household), Mary (43, Edward’s wife), John (20, Scholar), Milo (19, Corn Merchants Clerk), Tom (17, Scholar), Louis (11, Scholar), Mary (9, Scholar), William (8, Scholar), Josephine (7, Scholar), Edward (4, Scholar), Florence (3, infant), Bridget (92, Edwards Mother), Anne (70, Edwards Father’s Sister), Patrick Maher (36, Servant), Davy Doherty (59, Servant), Ellen Hardy (17, Servant) and Lizzie Cahill (17, Servant). This gives a total of 17 residents even though Joseph and Francis were absent, being educated abroad and Arthur was yet to be born. Given that there was no shortage of money, this must have been a wonderful place to have grown up.
The census of Sunday, April 2nd 1911 shows the occupants of Tinvane House on that date were as follows:- Edward Dowley (55, Magistrate & Corn Merchant and Head of Household), Mary Ursula Dowley (53, Wife), John Aloysius (30, Son, no occupation), Myles Edward (29, Son, Corn Merchant), Thomas Paul (27, Son, Medical Doctor, not in Practice), Joseph Ignatius (23, Son, Corn Merchant), William Stanislaus (18, Son, Undergraduate Student, TCD), Arthur Gerard (8, Son, Scholar), Anne Dowley (80, Aunt), Bridget Harrington (37, General Servant Domestic), Ella Ryan (16, General Servant Domestic) and Bridget Keating (21, General Servant Domestic. Edward Dowley (15) was a boarder in Clongowes while Josaphine Dowley (17) and Florence Dowley (13) were both returned as boarders at the Ursuline Convent at Ballytruckle in Waterford on April 2nd 1911. The census makes no mention of Francis, Louis, or Mary as they were not in the country on that date. Francis was in the British Army, Louis was in New Zealand and Mary was in school in Belgium.
Joseph Aloysius Marmion was born into a very religious family in Dublin’s north inner city in 1858. He was educated in Belvedere College and was ordained in Rome in 1881. He was later to become Dom Columba Marmion O.S.B., Abbot of Maredsous in the province of Namur, Belgium and was beatified in 2002. He was a close friend of Edward and Mary and was responsible for Mary and Arthur being sent to school in Belgium11. How he became a friend of Edward is not known.
Bank books, which recorded lodgements and cheques issued from 1914 to 1922 give some idea of what Edward spent his money on and also where he got some of his income. This information is gleaned from one account only, but it is known that there were other accounts for which I have no details.
Like any large family, there were frequent payments to his many offspring. As would be expected there were also many payments to people whose identity were unknown to me. However, it was still possible to identify where much of the expenditure was spent.
While Edward did support the local shop-keepers, much of his shopping seemed to be done in Waterford or further afield. Most of the family’s drapery requirements were purchased from the most prestigious establishment in Waterford, Robertson, Ledlie, Ferguson & Co (where Philip Vincent Dowley of Ballyknock was an employee) In 1939, Robertson, Ledlie, Ferguson & Co was to become Shaw’s of Waterford. The drapery shopping was supplemented by purchases from Switzer’s, Brown Thomas and Arnott’s of Dublin as well as Harrods of London. Local drapery purchases were also made in Bourke’s, Morrissey’s and Taaffe’s of Carrick. The household linen was cleaned by the Good Sheppard Laundry in Waterford, an organisation that recently came in for severe criticism because of its appalling treatment of the female inmates by the catholic nuns.
The family’s grocery requirements were mainly purchased from Chapman’s of Waterford with local purchases from Kyran Dowley’s of Carrick. Flanagan’s of Waterford appeared to be the exclusive fishmongers, although fresh fish was also obtained from local fishermen. Duggan’s butchers of Carrick were the main source of meat for the Tinvane family while Feehan’s of Carrick supplied the beverages. Hardware requirements were supplied by Grave’s of Waterford as well as Cleary’s and Hearne’s of Carrick. Motoring services were supplied by Cooney’s Garage in Carrick.
We can also confirm from the bank books that Edward was a reader of the Irish Times and contributed to a number of book clubs. He also contributed to a number of charities while there were many payments in favour of the Patriotic Association, but what this was is still not clear. When in Dublin, he stayed at the Gresham Hotel and seemed to holiday at the Grand Hotel in Tramore.
As was common at the time, many transactions were in cash as were most of the lodgements to this account. While the origin of the cash for these lodgements is unknown, there were many dividends from various companies which included the following: City of Moscow, Denver & Rio Railways, London American Martine Railway, Canada Atlantic, Japanese 4.5%, Japanese Yen 5%, Port of Havana 5%, Provence of Buneos Aires, Kynoch Debenture, Indo China S/W Co., Manila Railway Co., City of Petersburg, Algora Central Terminals, Boro of Gisborne, 5% Exchequer Bonds, 5.75% Exchequer Bonds, City of Westminster, Alabama Traction, Harley & Co. Aluminium, Grand Trunk together with large Deposit Interest.
The above investments would suggest that Edward had a wide knowledge of world trade and was not adverse to taking a risk or at least had the use of an experienced stock broker.
Edward (seated) and son Willie with Paddy McCilligan T.D., minister responsible for the construction of the Shannon Hydroelectric scheme. The photo was taken in 1928 while the group picniced on the way to view the scheme.
Mary Ursula died in 1934 following a fall on the steps of Tinvane House and Edward died in 1945.
When my great-grandfather (Edward) died in 1945 I was only 4½ years old. As a result my memories of him are somewhat limited. I do however have a clear recollection of being brought to visit him where he sat beside the fire in a living room in the basement of Tinvane House. In this room there was a press beside the fireplace in which there was a tin box containing long sticks of white candy which he called “Peggy’s Leg”. This made visits to Tinvane very enjoyable. I also remember being placed on his bed in a bedroom in the basement shortly before he died. This is a vivid but not a very pleasant memory.
Agnes (1838-1873), Patrick John (1839-1872) & Michael Dowley (1840-1867): These children would have all been second cousins of Edward Dowley of Tinvane. They died early in life and all within a six year period. This might suggest tuberculosis and because of their early deaths we have little information about them other than they appear to have no offspring.
William J. Dowley (1842-1881): William J. Dowley was a nephew Denis Dowley and a second cousin of Edward of Tinvane. He married Mary J. Hackett on May 20th 1872 and they seemed to live in Lacken House, Ferrybank, Waterford. The inscription on his gravestone would confirm the Ferrybank address which some of my older relatives described as a castellated building which could be seen directly across the river from the clock tower in Waterford.
On his marriage registration, William’s occupation was given as a merchant which would again suggest he had an association with the Dowley business in Waterford. However, at the time of Ellen P’s birth in 1877, his occupation is given as a publican. This would suggest that he had taken over the running of his mothers public house in Terminus St., Newrath.
While William may have also worked in the Waterford branch of the Dowley business, this could not be confirmed by the Waterford Heritage Society research. Many references are made to the Waterford branch of Edward Dowley in various documents, however, the first mention I can find of a branch manager is in 1969 when Mr. Edward McGrath is given as the manager15. Given the strategic importance of the Waterford branch it is extremely unlikely that there was not a manager in this branch from the beginning of the river trade.
William and Mary J. had five children, Josephine born in 1875, Ellen P. (Sissie) born in 1877 and three boys, Patrick, John and Michael all of whom died at birth. William died in 1881 aged 39 after only 9 years of marriage. The early death of so many young men in those years was largely due to tuberculosis.
At the time of his death in 1881 it appears that William had only a secondary interest (through his uncle Denis) in the Tinvane mill. When Denis died in the 1893, this interest may have then passed to William’s widow, Mary J. Dowley as the family moved to Tinvane some time before 1901.
According to the 1901 census, Mary J’s daughter Sissie (23) was recorded as living in Tinvane with a female servant and a George Power whose occupation was given as a miller. While Mary J. does not appear on the form it is signed by her as head of the household. On the same night, Mary J. is also recorded as head of a household in Terminus Street, Newrath, Waterford where she was living with her daughter Josephine and two servants. Her occupation is given as a publican. As there is no mention of Lacken House in the 1901 census it is reasonable to ask what happened to “Lacken House” which is clearly mentioned in the rental agreement between Edward and Mary J. in 1908?. It is possible that the house was rented at the time of the 1901 census.
There are a number of questions arising from the above. Firstly, what were the circumstances which led to Mary J. being head of two different households on the same date? Secondly, it would appear to be strange that in 1901 there would be a pub, apparently run by females and employing a barmaid, at a time when females did not frequent such establishments.
An agreement between Edward and Mary J. Dowley was signed in November 1908. In this agreement, Edward agreed to rent the house near the mill and 3 acres to Mary J. Dowley of Lacken House, Waterford and the rent was guaranteed by James Hackett and James Mannix of Ferrybank, Waterford. This would suggest that Mary J’s financial position was not completely secure. The change of residence may be related to a requirement to finance the family after William’s death. The fact that two guarantors were required for the lease would tend to support this theory.
Mary and her daughter Sissie were both recorded as residents of Tinvane in the 1911 census. The census gives Sissie as 34 and Mary J. as 53. However, when Mary J. died in 1913 she was buried in the graveyard of the Sacred Heart church in Ferrybank and her age on the gravestone was given as 60. This latter age is more consistent with the age of her children as Josephine, her eldest child, was 36 in 1911. Sissie was unmarried while Josephine married a James Mannix of Waterford. The Mannix family lived in Newrath, Waterford and had four children, James, Mary, William and Thomas. James Mannix is also buried in the graveyard of the Sacred Heart Church in Ferrybank, Waterford.
The second gravestone in the Sacred Heart Church in Ferrybank reads as follows:- “Erected by Mary J. Dowley in memory of her adorable husband William John Dowley, Ferrybank, Waterford who died on the 1st day of February 1881 aged 39 years, also in memory of their three children, Joseph, Patrick & Michael who died young and the above named Mary J. Dowley died 16th Oct. 1913 aged 60 years also James Mannix died 23rd July 1931.
Edward and Mary were second cousins in-law and apparently they were close friends. After Mary J. died in 1913 there were a series of letters to Edward from Sissie (her spelling) between 1914 and 1915. These letters were from Tinvane Cottage which I assume is the house nearer to the mill where she was living when last I saw her in the mid 1940’s. Most of these letters were of a begging nature which suggested that she was almost destitute at this time. Edward’s only response that I have seen was in 1926 and appeared less than sympathetic.
It is also strange that there is no mention of Sissie Dowley on the second headstone in Ferrybank, but Milada Dowley’s research through the Waterford Heritage Society would confirm that she is buried there. It is possible that when she died in 1946 there was no one left to put her name on the headstone.
This brought to an end the Tinvane Dowley line in Waterford.
John A. Dowley (1880-1965): John A. or Jack was the first born child of Edward and Mary Ursula. He was educated at Castleknock College, Dublin for three years between 1894 and 1897. He never married and apparently never worked. He was a friend and contemporary of Kyran Dowley’s son Michael who also attended Castleknock for one year.
Jack was always dressed in riding gear or a dinner jacket and declared that “every family should be able to support at least one gentleman”. He led the life of a country gentleman with a great interest in horses and the sport of kings. Jack lived in Tinvane House for most of his life, initially with his parents and later with his brother Willie. He also spent some time in Africa, possibly with his brother Thomas P. as Jack also joined the African forces during WW1. His last years were spent in Woodlock nursing home near Portlaw, Co. Waterford which was built by the Malcolmsons. He died aged 85 and is buried in Faugheen.
Myles Edward Dowley (1882-1953): Milo was also educated at Castleknock College for two years between 1894 and 1896. As he left Castleknock at the age of 14 it would appear that his education was continued at another institution which is unknown to be at present. He went into the business with his father Edward when he left school and was the only other director of Edward Dowley & Sons Ltd. when the company was registered in 1910. He spent much of his time as commercial traveller for the company and because he lived in Waterford may also have had a managerial function in the Waterford branch of Edward Dowley and Sons Ltd.
He married Helena (Ella) O’Reilly an Irish/New Zealander in 1913. They lived in Ballinvoher, Ferrybank, Waterford, a large house on something approaching a 100 acres. They had 4 children, Cecil, Ian, Edric and Mirrie. Milo died suddenly at the age of 71 and is buried in Faugheen. Sometime after his death, Ballinvoher was sold and Ella moved in with her son, Edrick, who farmed at Graigie House, Whitechurch, Co. Kilkenny.
Thomas Paul Dowley (1883-1955): Thomas was educated at Castleknock College for three years between 1895 and 1898. He later studied medicine at Trinity College, Dublin. Following qualification he joined the British Expiditionary Force to South West Africa at the start of World War 1. He was a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps (South African Force) during WW1. Tom later practiced as a doctor in Rhodesia (later Zimbabwee) and married Aileen Roche. They had two children, Desmond (Buddy) and Particia. He died aged 72 and is buried in Zimbabwee. He made several trips home, sailing from Durban S.A. to Southampton. One was on board the “Armadale Castle” with his 11 year old son Desmond, arriving in Southampton on November 2nd, 1931. Perhaps they spent Christmas in Tinvane. A later trip was on board the “Warwick Castle” arriving Southampton on July 2nd 1934. This latter journey may well have been associated with his mother’s fall and subsequent death in 1934.
Francis Michael Dowley (1985-1948): Francis was educated at St. Edmunds in the UK. After leaving school he studied civil engineering in Trinity College, Dublin and the Imperial Service College, Haileybury. 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 before and after the rural electrification scheme was inaugurated in 1926. After graduation he joined the Indian Civil Service and became the Chief Engineer of the Presidency of Madras. While in India, he oversaw the building of Mettur Cauvery Dam, 150 miles south og Bangalore which, when constructed in 1934, was briefly the largest dam in the world.
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. They had 5 children, Ursula, Deirdre, Lawrence, Hugh and Monica.
When he retired, he moved back to Ireland where he purchased “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 Mary Francis 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 enjoyed by all members of the Dowley family.
Francis is buried in Faugheen together with his wife Mary and son, Hugh.
More information on Francis and his family can be found under the Bawnjames Dowley History section.
Joseph Ignatius Dowley (1887-1971): Joe was educated at St. Edmunds in Ware in the UK and later at the Brompton Oratory in the London. On leaving school he spent a number of years in the bank in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary before joining Edward Dowley & Sons Ltd. He initially acted as the company secretary and accountant but later devoted most of his time to the farming enterprise. He was a director of Edward Dowley & Sons Ltd, Plunder & Pollock Irl. Ltd., Kyran Dowley Ltd. and Kilonnerry Estates Ltd.
He married Kathleen Mary Hickey (1st cousin of Kathy Rowe) from Clontarf, Dublin in 1912. They lived initially in Fiddown and later in Castlane, Co. Kilkenny. They had five children, Edward (Dow), Joan, Betty, Desmond and Brendan. He moved to Greenmount in Carrick-on-Suir after Kathleen’s death in 1967 where he died aged 87 in 1971 and is buried in Faugheen.
More details on this family in the section entitled “the Castlane Dowleys”.
Louis Dowley (1889-1966): Louis was educated at St. Edmunds and after leaving school spent some time in New Zealand studying agriculture. Thereafter he farmed at Tybroughney in south Kilkenny. He married Kathy Rowe (who was a first cousin of Joe’s wife, Kethleen Hickey) and lived in Tybroughney Castle. They had 9 children Marjorie, Dermot, Maylon, Myles, Kathleen, Dorothy, Aline, Robert and Paddy. He died aged 77 and is buried in the Piltown cemetery.
Mary Dowley (1890-1963): Mary was educated in the Ursuline Convent in Waterford and also in Belgium. She married Michael Quirk, a solicitor in Carrick-on-Suir. They lived in Gregg Cottage and had 6 children, Nuala, Niall, Evelyn, Ursula, Gerard and Claire. She died aged 73 and is buried in the Quirk grave in Faugheen.
William Stanislaus Dowley (1892-1974): Willie was educated at St. Edmunds for a while and later at Clongowes Wood College. He obtained a B.A. degree from Trinity College Dublin before returning to the family business in Carrick. He married Lily Morris in 1921 and they had 6 Children, Anna, Maeve, Sheelagh, Donald, Kevin and Patricia. They lived initially in the Mill House which was destroyed by fire on Christmas Eve 1936. The day after the fire the house was looted and most of the remaining valuables including all the silver were stolen. The house was never rebuilt and the remnants could be seen in the late 1950’s but by 2009 the whole area was occupied by a water treatment plant for Carrick-on-Suir Urban District Council.
The family then moved into Tinvane House for a short period until a new house, “Grinaun” which was built on Tinvane land adjacent to the Three Bridges. After Edward died they again moved back to Tinvane House and when the children left the nest they again moved back to Grinaun.
Willie Dowley was recognised throughout Ireland as a very astute businessman. He was a director of many companies including the National Bank, Albatross Fertilizers Ltd., Kilonnerry Estates Ltd and Plunder & Pollock Irl. Ltd. He was the last MD of Edward Dowley & Sons Ltd. and presided over the sale of the company in 1974. He died six months later aged 82 and is buried in Faugheen.
Josephine Dowley (1894-1993): Josephine (Josie) was educated in the Ursuline Convent Waterford and in Belgium. Having finished her education she spent some time as a private secretary to her father. She married Tom Bacon a solicitor from Co. Carlow. They lived in Clyde Rd., Dublin and had 4 children, Ann, Laney (Delaney), Tommy and Mary. She died aged 99 and is buried in St. Mary’s cemetery, Carlow.
Edward Joseph Dowley (1896-1972): Edward was educated at St. Edmunds in the UK and finally at Clongowes Wood College in Ireland. He initially went to work for John Swire & Son in Hong Kong and Japan. He married a divorcee by the name of Molly Isabel Stevenson Roberton. They had one daughter, Ann, who was born in Kobe, Japan in 1930.
Edward, who was always known as Dick, returned to England and lived in East Horsley where he was involved in property management. In 1938 he bought the Pond Hotel in Frensham, Surrey. He sold the hotel in 1941 and moved to Lashenden Farm, Biddenden in Kent where he grew hops until he retired in 1947. From 1941 to 1952 he was Commissioner for Savings in SE England. He sold the farm in 1952 after several hart attacks but retained the house and a number of acres. He died in 1972 and was cremated.
In 1957, Edward’s daughter Ann, married Group Captain John Hart, MBE, who was an RAF pilot during the second World War. They had two sons, Stephen and Sean. Stephen married Hermion Ninniam and they have no children. Sean married Patsy Ellacot and they have one son, Jasper.
Florence Dowley (1898-1961): Florence (Florrie) was educated in the Ursuline Convent Waterford. She never married and effectively looked after her father until his death in 1945. When Willie moved back to Tinvane, Florence moved into Grinaun. When Willie moved back to Grinaun, Florence move to Castle Park in Carrick-on-Suir. She died aged 63 and is buried in Faugheen.
Arthur Gerard Dowley (1902-1975): Arthur (Ackie) was educated at Clongowes Wood College, After leaving school he joined the National Bank and was bank manager in Dundalk when he retired. He married Shelia Williams and they had four children, David, Una, Mark and Aideen. Arthur died aged 73 and is buried in Dundalk.
When Edward died in 1945 he left Tinvane House to his son Willie. Willie then moved from Grinaun to Tinvane House where he remained until his family was reared. In the mid-1960’s he moved back to Grinaun and Tinvane house was then used by Robert Dowley (Tybroughney) after he got married and was eventually sold to Bobby Clancy (a cousin of the Clancy Brothers) who operated it as a Guest House. Raymond, Peter and Leslie Dowley bought Tinvane House in 1985 and also ran it as a guest house for a number of years. This venture was not financially viable and the last Dowleys to occupy Tinvane House sold it again in 1989, nearly 100 years after the first Dowley bought it.
This William IV silver salver was made by Charles Reily & George Storer of London in 1833. Because of it’s date it could not have been comissioned by Edward but may have been bought by him at a later date. If this is the case, the coat of arms may have nothing to do with the Dowley family. This salver was the largest of three similar salvers.
The Victorian salt cellar is one of four made in 1875 by Martin Hall & Co. of Sheffied and London. As Edward was only 20 at the time it is unlikely that they were comissioned by him. It is more likely that they were purchased at a later date and the “D” was added at the same time.
Tinvane House also had a large collection of paintings, silver and other valuables which were specially commissioned by Edward during his long life. This is further evidence of a man of considerable wealth and whose family wanted for nothing.
A very comprehensive and interesting account of life in Tinvane House during World War II is given by Edward’s grandson, Mark Dowley at the end of this section.
THE TINVANE DOWLEY EDUCATION
The main colleges of education for the male descendants of Edward and Mary Ursula were St. Edmunds College UK (the oldest Catholic College in England), Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare established by the Jesuits in 1814 and Castleknock College, Dublin established by the Vincentians in 1835.
Those who attended St. Edmunds College included Francis (1900-1905), Joseph (1900-1901), Louis (1905-1909), William (1907-1908) and Edward (1908-1909). Louis held the long jump record of 20′ 11” at least up to 1965. Most of the above attended other colleges as well.
Those who attended Clongowes included: William Dowley, Edward Dowley, Arthur Dowley (Tinvane), Edward Dowley (Castlane), Cecil Dowley (Balinvoher), Donald Dowley (Grinaune), Niall Quirk, Gerard Quirk (Cregg Cottage), David Dowley, Mark Dowley (Dundalk), Tom Bacon, Laney Bacon (Dublin), Brian Dowley (Tybroughney), Brian Mahon, Alan Mahon, Raymond Mahon, Dermot Mahon (Tullamore).
Those who attended Castleknock included: Jack, Milo and Tom Dowley (Tinvane), Dermot Dowley, Myles Dowley, Robert Dowley, Paddy Dowley (Tybroughney), Desmond Dowley, Brendan Dowley (Castlane), Kevin Dowley (Grinaune), Leslie Dowley, Frank Dowley, Raymond Dowley (Piltown), Robert Dowley, Louis Dowley, Colin Dowley (Tybroughney), Myles Dowley (Rogerstown), Robert Dowley, Douglas Dowley (Carlow), Alan Dowley (Kilkenny), Vincent Dowley and Philip Dowley (Dunboyne).
Those who attended Newbride included: Gary Dowley (Rogerstown).
Those wo attended Ampleforth College in the UK included: Justin Dowley, Dominic Dowley, William Dowley (Leicester)
There were also five Ballyknock Dowleys who attended Castleknock. Four of these (Maurice, Michael, Timothy and Philip) were in the initial years of the College between 1837 and 1858. The fifth was Michael, a son of Kyran of Castle St. Carrick-on-Suir, who attended for the 1901-1902 year. This brought the total number of Dowley boys attending Castleknock to 27, excluding the founding Father.
For some unknown reason the family seemed to be equally divided between Castleknock and Clongowes. Those who did not attend either of these colleges tended to be educated in the UK or the continent. On top of this, the girls tended to marry past pupils of either Castleknock or Clongowes, thus increasing the connections with these two major bastions of Catholic education in Ireland.
In the early part of the third millennium Castleknock ceased to take in new boarders and over time became a day school to cater for the increasing population in the Castleknock area of Dublin. This would effectively bring to an end the Dowley association with the college except for those residing close to Castleknock.
Most of the girls were educated at the Ursuline Convent, Ballytruckle, Waterford.
The following is a letter dated October 4th, 1861 from Thomas J. Cleary in Castleknock to his father Andrew Cleary of Bridge St., Carrick-on-Suir. (Thomas J. is the grandfather of Gerry Cleary, Athy who is related to the Dowleys through Kathleen, the wife of Joe Dowley of Castlane). The motto in Castleknock at the time was “Caritas Christi urget nos” but was subsequently changed to “Nos autem in nomine Domini”
I received Mama’s letter on Saturday last. Tell her she need not keep the tickets of the Living Rosary for me as I have joined it here. I wish Papa you could spare time to come and see me at Xmas as I have not seen anyone from home (except Father Dowley of Clonea) since I came here. We got haff days on St. Laurence O’Toole’s day & on yesterday being Doctor Dowley’s birthday. There will be some good plays here at Xmas and I will try and give you a description of them. They will take place in our Refectory which I need scarcely say is very spacious. We will have some vacation at Xmas but the boys are not allowed home. We had but four arrivals since I came here as there is no accommodation for any more. My bed is No 104. That will give some idea of the number of boys in the house. Give my love to all at home.
Your Affectionate Child,
Thomas J. Cleary
P.S. I am impatient to get John’s address & I wish I could have the parcel before Sunday next.
Note: The PS was always the most important part of a letter from a Castleknock student and carried the sting in the tail.
Apart from the Tinvane Dowleys, some of the Ballyknock Dowleys also attended the college in the early days between 1837 and 1858. This was during the Presidency of The Rev. Philip Dowley of Ballyknock and included Maurice, Michael, Timothy and Philip. Another Michael (son of Kyran Dowley) attended between 1901 and 1902. This Michael later emigrated to the US to start the American branch of the Ballyknock Dowleys.
Dom Columba Marmion OSB, Abbe of Maredsous in the province of Namur in Belgium, was a close friend of Edward Dowley of Tinvane house. As a result, two of his children, Arthur and Josephine, were educated in Belgium for a short period.
Between 1951 and 1953 I used to cycle the 4 mile from Piltown to Carrick-on-Suir to attend the “Monastery” or Christian Brothers School on Pill Hill. To ensure that I was properly fed, my father arranged for me to have lunch in Grubbs every day. The lunch consisted of rashers, sausages, eggs and of course wonderful fried potatoes with Lea & Perrin’s sauce. It was a feed fit for a king and the memory makes me salivate over 60 years later. I remember that at that time a large portrait of Edward Dowley hung on the wall of managing director’s (William Dowley) office. I understand from Anne Tunney that this portrait, together with a similar portrait of Edward’s wife, Mary, were commissioned from Margaret Clarke (wife of Harry Clarke). They are currently (2016) in Roberta Dowley’s house in Rogerstown, Kilmoganny, Co Kilkenny. These portraits by Margaret Clarke were commissioned for their 50th wedding anniversary in 1929 but were not completed until 1934.
Due to the large number of reproducing males in the Tinvane Dowley family it would be impossible to trace all branches of the family in detail. However, the Tinvane Dowley Tree provides some detail on all offspring. I will deal in some detail with my own family line in separate sections under the Castlane, Piltown and Carlow Dowley History.
It is hoped that some member of the other Tinvane Dowley families can add to this document by including their own histories.
Childhood Memories of Summer Holidays at Tinvane, Grandfather and Dowley relatives, Tybroughney Castle, Castlane, Grinaun, Balinvore and Cregg Cottage
By Mark Dowley, Palo Alto, California (Edward’s grandson)
In the 1930’s and 1940’s Edward Dowley and Sons was a thriving business, headquartered in Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary and involved in the sale and distribution of many farm and agricultural products including fuel. There were branch offices in Waterford, Cashel, Clonmel and later in Callan.
My Grandfather, Edward Dowley, lived in Tinvane House about a mile out of Carrick off the Waterford Rd. Living with Grandfather in Tinvane were his eldest son John, more commonly known as Jack, who was unmarried, and Florence (Florrie), his youngest daughter, also unmarried. Edward’s wife, Mary Ursula Walsh of Kilmacthomas died in 1934, having borne and raised twelve children, nine boys and three girls.
Grandfather purchased Tinvane House from the Briscoe estate, which was in bankruptcy, in the year 1891. Prior to that, he and grandmother had lived and started their family in the Mill House close to the old mill on the Lingaun River.
Grandfather had built a very successful business in supplying farmers and merchants with necessary supplies and services related to farming and agriculture. His business included fertilizer, seed, tools, farm equipment, and milling products, flour etc. as well as many hundreds of acres of crops, cattle and pigs. Fuel in the form of coal was also an important part of the business.
Several of his sons, the older boys, Milo, Joe, William, were invited to join the business and had responsibilities in Carrick and in the nearby counties of Waterford, and Kilkenny. These sons had fine houses. Bellinvoher in Waterford was Milo’s home, Castlane on the road to Callan was Joe’s home and Grinaun on the Lingaun River just southeast of Tinvane was the home of Willie and his family. Several of my cousins, Dow (Edward) and on his death, Leslie, his son, Cecil, Brendan, Donald and Kevin were also involved in the family firm. Edward’s other sons Tom, Francis, Eddie and Arthur, left Carrick to follow careers independent of the family business. Tom qualified as a doctor and practiced in South Africa. Francis qualified as a civil engineer and worked in India with the British Army. Uncle Francis was fair, tall and handsome. In fact most of the brothers were tall, six footers or more, the exceptions being my own Dad, Arthur, and Uncles Eddie and Willlie. Eddie joined the Far East trading firm of Butterfield and Swire, now known as John Swire and Sons, and lived in Hong Kong, in Tsuigtao and Shanghai, while my father, Arthur, after a year or so on the Corn Exchange in Liverpool and after a brief encounter with Trinity College in Dublin, joined The National Bank. The two remaining sons Jack and Louis stayed in the Carrick area. Jack practicing what he preached i.e. “I believe that all families should be able to afford one gentleman” became a gentleman of leisure, living in Tinvane with his father and mother, and was seldom, if ever, seen in other than riding breeches and jacket or in formal bow tie and dinner jacket. Jack took care of grandfather’s horses. Louis or Louie became a successful gentleman farmer, lived and raised a large family at Tybroughney Castle, close to the river Suir, off the Waterford road.
Edward and Mary Ursula had three daughters. Mary married Michael Quirk of Carrick-on-Suir, a solicitor from a family of solicitors. The Quirk family lived at Cregg Cottage in Carrick-on-Suir. Josephine married Tom Bacon, a barrister who practiced in Dublin at the Four Courts. The Bacons lived at 23 Clyde Rd. Dublin. The youngest, Florence, did not marry. She lived in Tinvane with Grandfather and helped to take care of him in his old age.
My father, Arthur, was the youngest of the children, being about twenty-two years younger than his eldest brother, Jack. My earliest memories of Tinvane begin about 1939, roughly coincident with the start of the Second World War or WWII. I was five years of age in ’39. At the time our family lived in Dundalk where Dad was manager of the National Bank. We were six in total, father, mother, my older brother, David, older sister, Una, and younger sister, Aideen. My mother, Shelia Williams, was from Dungarvan and was herself one of ten children. Consequently, we four children had lots and lots of first cousins. As children we were told that we had twenty-one aunts and uncles and almost one hundred first cousins. In fact the more accurate number of cousins is about sixty counting both Dowleys and Williams.
Grandfather’s house, Tinvane, was ideally suited for family summer holidays. Even as an old man confined to a wheelchair, as he was when I first knew him, Grandpa made the non-Carrick family members very welcome. Our family visited for a month in July. We sometimes overlapped with the Francis Dowleys from England, usually Uncle Francis and Aunt Mary with their youngest children Hugh and Monica. The older children I met later, Deirdre in Rome where she was working with the UN FAO, Larry in London where, following his service on the Rhine during WWII, he was busy as a Charted Accountant and Ursula in New York when I was in NY on business. Also in July we sometimes overlapped with Uncle Eddie when he was home on leave from the Far East. The Bacon family from Dublin came at the end of July and stayed for most of August. The Bacon cousins were Anne, Laney (Edward), Tommy and Mary. Uncle Tom and Aunt Aileen who lived in South Africa and their children Buddy and Patricia are the only Dowley relatives I have no recollection of meeting. Travel during the war years from South Africa would not have been easy. I was told that I most likely met Buddy when I was a small child but do not remember.
Tinvane was a large house with lots of rooms. The approach from the Carrick-Waterford road was via a long avenue lined with fine old lime (linden) trees. A gate house or lodge at the end of the avenue was home to the Walshes, James and Mrs. Molly Walsh, both of whom worked for grandfather.
Grandfather lived on the lower floor, in the East Wing. His bedroom was close to the breakfast cum dining room, which itself was close to the kitchen. The breakfast room was used for all meals as the formal dining room on the next floor above this room had not been used since grandmother had died in 1934. Mary Roche, a live-in nurse and maid whose main responsibility was to take care of grandfather, had a room next to grandfather’s. Mary also helped Mrs. Walsh in the kitchen, with meal preparation. Frequently there were twelve to sixteen people at table, three times a day, breakfast, dinner and supper, not to speak of afternoon tea and morning coffee. Uncle Jack and Aunt Florrie had their own rooms on the upper floors. The main or central section of the house had four floors. The East and West wings were each two floors. Between the floors of the main section, that is halfway between floors there were several smaller rooms. One was Uncle Jack’s room, always locked. A truly fascinating room for young children was the gun and sword room. This contained many types of old guns and pistols including a blunderbuss, as well as many swords and one or two daggers. There was no ammunition, so the guns were safe. However, in retrospect it is surprising that this room was quite accessible to us children. Another fun room was an elaborate bathroom, with a large tub which included a shower, rare in those days, as well as a surround full-body spray system so that when standing in the shower one was watered from all directions. The formal reception room off the entrance hall was interesting in that it was seldom used and contained several wild animal skins, lion and leopard, with full heads, as mats. From a child’s point of view a description of the house would not be complete without mention of the billiard room in the east wing. It contained a full size billiard table, seemingly endless cues, bridges and many different coloured balls. Later I realized that all the coloured balls were for playing the game of snooker. Portraits of grandfather and grandmother and also of great grandfather as well as granduncle The Rev. Tom Dowley, hung from the billiard room walls. Beyond the billiard room was another fascinating room, old and dank and cobwebby with a plank floor, which contained many old large leather bound volumes. No one ever seemed to be interested in these books or to use them. I was unable to read them at the time so I do not know their contents. Tommy Bacon told me recently that the room was once an apple loft and the books were probably medical text books belonging to Uncle Tom. On the lower level between the breakfast/dining room and the East Wing where Grandfather’s room where there was a large hall way. Two large hollowed out elephants feet were used to store walking sticks, umbrellas, binoculars and shooting sticks used at point to point meetings. The elephants feet were particularly fascinating to a young person.
My clearest memories of life at Tinvane are in Grandfather’s last few years. The major concern at the time was the state of the war in Europe. Listening to the BBC news bulletins, which were received on a multiband Telefunken radio in the breakfast-room was a ritual. All conversation had to stop. Grandfather’s hearing was not good. During the summer of ’44 the allies were clearly making good progress. By the next summer, ’45 the war in Europe was over, and, maybe understandably, news of the Pacific war was of less interest at Tinvane.
Next in importance after the War was the question of the harvest. Could it be saved in time before more heavy rain? If it were to rain on St. Swithin’s Day, July 15th then it would surely rain for the next forty days and the harvest would be ruined. It was a subject of much speculation among the men. On many evenings after supper Uncles Willie from Grinaun, Louis from Tybroughney and Joe from Castlane would arrive for Bridge with grandfather. I cannot remember the women being involved in the card game at any time. The men smoked and enjoyed glasses of whiskey while playing cards. Of course, every one smoked in those days, even some of the children. It was the social thing to do. I should not forget to mention another frequent visitor to grandfather’s table and to his liquor cabinet. The Rev. Fr. Harty was the Parish Priest in Carrick and no doubt was Grandfather’s spiritual advisor.
The ladies had their own social institution. The coffee hour began about 10:30 each morning. The ladies gathered before going into town for the day’s groceries and messages, etc. Coffee was often at Tinvane with Aunt Florrie as hostess, but could be at Grinaun with Aunt Lil, or at Cregg Cottage with aunt Mary Quirk or Castlane with Aunt Kathleen, Jingle Jangle, so nicknamed for her elaborate earrings. Aunt Cathy from Tybroughney, and the visiting ladies at Tinvane such as my mother, Aunt Mary Francis and possibly some of my older female cousins who were then married and living near Carrick made up the gathering. All the local news and scandal was, I believe, thoroughly discussed at these coffee hours.
Grinaun, Uncle Willie’s home was less than half a mile from Tinvane across the fields. Being a town boy I was often a bit uneasy crossing the fields alone. The cows seemed very big and I kept hearing of a bull or bulls but was never sure where they were kept. Also there were horses in the fields, which were apt to be more curious than the cows, they seemed to a small boy to be very large. Grinaun was an attractive relatively modern house set on a fine stretch of the Lingaun River, which was very suitable for swimming. Uncle Willie and family had moved to Grinaun following the fire in the Mill House. On a fine warm summer day many of the local cousins would gather on the riverbank for sunbathing and swimming. Uncle Willie’s youngest son, Kevin, was a year older than I, his youngest sister, Pat a year younger. Older than Kevin was his sister, Maeve, who was very attractive, and brother Donald who was darkly handsome. Some of the younger Quirk cousins, Clare, Gerard, Ursula, and Twinnie with her boyfriend Jim Carroll, a natty dresser, nicknamed Fully Fashioned, were frequently present. It was in the Lingaun River that I learned to swim. I suspect that several other cousins also learned there.
When overcrowding occurred at Tinvane I was sent over to Tybroughney Castle to stay with Uncle Louis and Aunt Cathy and their family. In increasing order of age my cousins at Tybroughney were Paddy, Robert, Aline, Dorothy, Kathleen, Maylon, Myles, Dermot, and Marjorie. Paddy and Robert were a year or two older than I. The main house where the family lived was built on to the side of the old castle tower. One room of the castle was part of the original tower and this is where Paddy and Robert slept. It was also my bedroom. My cousins frequently reminded me of the castle ghost, which was known to visit the castle room. To scare me they liked to play the ghost. The older cousins Dermot, Myles and Marjorie had already left home. Dermot went to South Africa where he married, Myles became a priest and worked in a parish in London, while Marjorie married Jack Freeman. I got to know these cousins in later years.
Uncle Louis was a gentleman farmer with lots of horses, cattle, pigs, hens and land under crops. The pig farm was part of Killonerry Estates Ltd., which was owned by several of the brothers. The cutting of the hay for feed and the bringing it in to the big barns was a July activity in which all the boys and men took part. Tybroughney was close to the River Suir and after a hard day in the fields Uncle Louis would take us boys down to the old coal yard, a stone landing pier on the river, for a swim. Since it was an all male group we swam in our pelts, as the farming cousins said. The river is tidal at this point and the current could be quite strong, making me, a bit nervous on occasion. It was the Tybroughney custom to not let such a display of timidity pass without suitable comment.
During one summer stay at Tybroughney an English cousin, Hugh, younger son of Uncle Francis, was quartered there also. It had been a wet July, more so than normal, I remember. Hugh and I spent several days turning previously cut peas, which were lying in clumps in the fields on the ground. The turning of the peas with pitchforks was an attempt to try to dry them out prior to bringing them in to the barns. We were quite happy to do the work as Uncle Louis paid us, probably too handsomely, for our efforts. Pocket money was not easy to come by in those days. As a young town reared child I was quite scared of the farm animals. However, gaining experience with age I eventually overcame the concern and was able to be helpful in rounding up cattle and driving them from one field to another or into the fair.
At noontime all the farm workers were fed a substantial dinner in the large kitchen, also part of the old castle, by Aunt Cathy and her maid. The family, and visiting cousins, ate in the dining room.
It was always fun to visit Castlane, home of Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Joe, also known as JID (Joseph Ignatius Dowley), or Der Fuhrer, so called because of his reputation for strictness. His niece, Geraldine Gardiner, has numerous stories to justify the moniker. My own experience of Uncle Joe and Aunt Kathleen was of kindness and hospitality. The gardens at Castlane were very colourful. The house seemed to have been built in three stages, the earliest being very old. Their children were quite a bit older than we were. Dow was already married to Betty Roche. Their his first born, Leslie, was only a few years younger than myself. Betty had married Cecil Tyndall. Joan, who was a very fine horsewoman, had married Barry Montgomery. They lived in Dublin where Barry owned and ran a very popular Restaurant called the Red Bank. Desmond had left home for Canada, more on Des later. Brendan married Maureen Sherman of Kilkenny.
A car or rather petrol was a rarity at that time. The relatives typically got around in pony and trap, or riding horses or bicycles. Grandfather, presumably via his business, was able to secure petrol. I remember a rather large green Austin sedan in which the chauffeur, Tom Hurley, would drive him into Carrick. Often my sister, Aideen and I would be invited to accompany Grandpa into town. We were happy to go with him to the various calls and stops, the first of which was the Grubbs building to check on the business. The Grubbs building housed the headquaters of Edward Dowley and Sons. The building had been purchased from John Grubb by Grandfather in 1912. Other ports of call included Duggans for meat, the bakery, a local fisherman for salmon, etc. There was reliably a stop for ice cream at a small store on New Street. This was always very welcome.
Grandpa usually spent most of the day sitting in a great big armchair near the fireplace in the breakfast room. Other memories of Grandpa include visions of him sitting out in the sun in his wheelchair either in front of the house or in the walled garden close to the house. The garden was extensive and contained raspberry bushes and strawberry beds, usually covered with netting to keep the birds from stealing the fruit. Gooseberry, blackcurrant and redcurrant plants as well as all sorts of vegetables including potatoes were grown in the garden. Attached to the house on the garden side was a green house, which contained a vine, bearing grapes. These were the only grapes I remember seeing as a child in Ireland.
At the end of our holiday and before returning home to Dundalk Grandfather used to give us, my sister Aideen and I, a half crown as a going away gift. I think that he knew very well that Dad was not as well off as many of his brothers.
One of my fondest memories of mid-day dinner at Tinvane is a plate of small new white potatoes with lots of country butter. The butter was homemade. Early in the mornings and again in the evenings the cows were brought in to the milking shed in the yard behind the main house. Some six to eight cows were milked regularly. Sometimes we were allowed to help with the milking but not for long as we were not very skilled. After the milking the milk was brought into a room with a stone floor next to the kitchen. Here was the separator, a machine, based on the principle of the centrifuge, which separated the cream from the milk. The separated milk was used to feed the young calves and for house hold purposes while the cream was used to make butter in a hand driven churn and for coffee and desserts.
Many country and town houses did not have electricity at this time. Early memories of lighting in our home in Dundalk are of gas-fired mantles and of oil lamps, no electricity. Tinvane was unusual in having electrical power. Several years earlier Uncle Francis, the engineer, had installed a dynamo in the old mill. The power source used to drive the dynamo and generate the electricity was the flowing river water, the same as had been used to power the mill in its days of operation. Uncle Francis had trained one of grandfather’s employees, Michael Morrissey, to service and to operate the dynamo. It was fortunate that he had done so as power was known to fail quite frequently. It was also fortunate that he had chosen Michael, who although having received probably little more than a primary school education, was in my opinion a very talented individual. My brother David enjoyed working with him. Michael was also responsible for the operation of all mechanical and electrical equipment on the property including petrol powered lawn mowers, cars, or pretty much anything else that went awry. Among his other sought after talents was his ability to make gunpowder and shotgun cartridges for game hunting. In the war years such items were unobtainable or if obtainable only with the greatest difficulty. After fox hunting, bird shooting and fishing were the most popular pastimes for the male members of the family.
Other older cousins I first met in Tinvane when a child, were Cecil, Edric and Ian, sons of Uncle Milo. They lived in Ballinvoher House in Waterford. Aunt Ella, uncle Milo’s wife had come to Ireland from New Zealand. Her father, Mr. David O’Reilly had emigrated from Ireland to N.Z. and done well in business. As a young man, Uncle Louis, younger brother of Milo had gone to N.Z. to study farming methods. There he met the O’Reillys. It was said that Ella returned with Louis having set her eye on him. However, when she got to Carrick and Tinvane, grandfather and grandmother sent Ella off to live with, recently married, Uncle Joe and Aunt Kathleen in Castlane. They felt it unwise to have Ella living in the house with so many unmarried sons. This I learned from Uncle Joe in later years. In any event Ella eventually married Milo, not Louis.
After the war petrol and cars became more common. Many stories relating to car exploits were told of the older male cousins, Cecil and Dow, who were the oldest of the Dowley cousins, claimed to have driven to Dublin at such high speed on such twisty roars that when they got to Dublin the frame of the car was so strained that they had the greatest difficulty opening the doors.
The Quirk family was also very kind to us. Uncle Michael and Aunt Mary lived in Cregg Cottage in Carrick. Apart from a very well kept garden, Cregg sported a nice tennis court were we played frequently. I remember cousins Claire, and Ursula (Boo-ee) being keen tennis players. Niall and Gerard were the boys. Nuala and Evelyn, (Twinnie), I did not know very well. All of our country cousins were good horsemen or women and many hunted during the winter season. The next generation continues to hunt. Gerard Quirk has remained a horse lover and breeder to this day.
The Bacon family, Uncle Tom, Aunt Josie, Anne, Laney, Tommy and Mary lived in Dublin. Usually when we visited Dublin we would meet the family at Clyde Rd. Aunt Josie would insist on serving afternoon tea and cake or have us stay to dinner. She was very fond of my mother. Anne married Dick Tunney, a Dublin stockbroker. Anne and Dick were very kind to my sister Aideen and I when as teenagers we stayed with them while competing in the Lansdowne and Fitzwilliam junior tennis tournaments. Laney did not marry. He became a very respected legal draftsman for The Dail. Tommy was a successful and respected solicitor practicing in Dublin. Mary married Judge Frank Murphy. The Bacon cousins all lived in Dublin.
I have frequently regretted that I was not old enough or had not developed an interest in learning more of the early history of the Tinvane Dowley family before Grandfather died. When I did eventually develop my interest and inquired from various uncles and aunts I was surprised to find that they knew relatively little. Aunt Josie was an exception in that she told me all she could and introduced me to Emma Walsh. Uncle Joe had an interest and first brought me to the old Faugheen Church. Also my Dad knew of some of his forebears, and Uncle Willie inherited many documents and papers from Grandfather’s office and home.
It is not surprising that a number of stories would emerge over the years about a large family and one relatively well off. I suspect that the cousins who remained in Ireland know many more stories. Even though I and my family have visited Ireland many times since I left in 1956 I feel sure that only a few of the family tales are known to me. A few that come to mind I will mention.
Part of our Grandparent’s Golden Wedding Anniversary celebration was a large family dinner held in Tinvane. Present at dinner were all the children with wives, eighteen in all. Tom and Eddie, being overseas, were not present. Towards the end of dinner it is said that Grandfather rose to make the following statement. “Children, I know that this news will come as a surprise and maybe something of a shock to you. Your mother and I are not married!” After some moments of stunned silence one of the wives, aunt Ella it is said, began fumbling in her purse, pulled out a packet of cigarettes and holding one in her fingers and looking around the table said, “Any of you bastards got a light?!!”
It appears that Grandfather indeed surprised and shocked the assembled family. The explanation of his statement it appears related to the lack of appropriate faculties or permission on the part of Bishop who had conducted the ceremony. A technicality, which was overlooked at the time. It would be interesting to know where the wedding took place.
As has already been alluded to, Jack was something of a snob. Maybe he was not the only one in the family. In any event, one day Jack was entertaining some out of town friends at Tinvane and the group decided to drive into Carrick in a pony and trap. On the way into town one of the guests noticed that as they passed several people who were walking on the side of the road, the walkers raised their caps saying “Good morning Mr. Jack”. Jack appeared to ignore the salutation. The guest asked Jack why that was. Jack replied, “They know me, but I do not know them!”
Desmond, second son of Uncle Joe and Aunt Kathleen, who had left Ireland for Canada and the Yukon and whom I met shortly after he arrived in California after many years in Whitehorse, told me the following story confirmed by his wife Anna Cooney of Carrick. Before leaving for Canada when Des and Anna were courting they sometimes went by car to local dances in Clonmel or Waterford. Although he never married, Jack it appears, considered himself something of a ladies man and asked Des and Anna to bring him with them in the car to the dances. On the way home, Jack, sitting in the back of the car and maybe having had more drinks than was wise, would seek out Anna’s hand to hold. Anna did not prevent this forwardness but nudged Des who was driving, drawing his attention to the situation. Some time later when Jack seemed to have nodded off Des had Anna put Jack’s hand in his. When they arrived back at Tinvane, and waking Jack, Des let fly with a string of invective concerning Jack’s intentions and shook his hand loose from Jack’s grip. A confused and chagrined Jack climbed out of the car mumbling something about a Good Night.
The same Desmond was one of the best storyteller’s I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. His stories of life and the characters they met in Whitehorse, “on the marge of Lake Lebarge where they cremated Sam Magee” were amazing and entertaining if not always fully believable. Having spent many years in Whitehorse as City Accountant, Des and Anna left the frozen North for sunny California. They lived in Mill Valley, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco for many years before returning to Ireland. They were more than kind to Mary and I and to our children.
When still a young man living at home in Castlane one day Desmond was haled by his father who had noticed that a strange dog was worrying the cattle in a field in front of the house. Uncle Joe said to Desmond “Desmond, get rid of that dog.” Des rose, and walking out through the hallway, picked up a shotgun, inserted two cartridges, walked out to the field and shot the dog. As he said “I got rid of the animal.”
My father told me of an occasion when he was a child, his older brother Tom, who was inclined to bully his younger siblings, persuaded his brother Francis, who was ten or eleven at the time, that he, Francis, had seen a vision of the Virgin Mary. Francis was scared of Tom and agreed to report his vision to the parish priest. Tom of course went with him to be sure that he made an accurate report. Eventually the word got around that Carrick had been the recipient of a vision, Francis had to tell the priest if and when he might expect a second visitation. Tom dreamt up a suitable date and time for Francis to report and on the appointed day a very large number of townspeople and several priests and nuns had gathered to witness the vision down on the banks of the Suir River. Francis was so frightened and scared of Tom that he broke down crying when no vision appeared. Tom had achieved his goal of fooling the priest and the townspeople. Several years later; by the time Francis had the courage to relate the true story to his family, Tom had already left for South Africa
The same Tom with several of his brothers was involved in the following escapade. James Walsh who lived in the avenue gate house was well known to enjoy his Guinness on a Saturday evening with his buddies at a pub in Carrick. James made his way into town in his donkey cart. The donkey was well used to the routine and knew his way home even though Jamesie was drunk and asleep in the cart after a heavy night with the boys. One such night Tom and his brothers were themselves returning home when they saw Jamesie asleep in the donkey cart, which had stopped, outside his house. It seems that James at the time lived alone in the lodge or gatehouse. Tom had the bright idea of playing a trick on James. And he instructed his brothers to gently lift James from the cart without waking him. They then began to disassemble the cart and take it part by part into the house and there reassemble it in the kitchen with the donkey firmly harnessed between the shafts. That done they gently replaced James back in the cart and left the house making sure to lock the door on leaving. It is said that James was not seen in the pub for many weeks after that night. Further, he had been heard to mutter something about the devil and drink and mysterious happenings he did not understand.
I hope that others will add their stories to these. If I remember correctly Tommy Bacon was reputed to have many good family stories. I regret that Desmond is no longer with us as his contribution would fill a good-sized book.
During our stay at Tinvane each July, mother would take one or more of us to her home, Tournore, near Dungarvan. Dungarvan is roughly southwest from Carrick over the Comeragh Mountains. To get there involved the best part of a day cycling from Tinvane to Carrick, crossing the Suir over the New Bridge, cycling but mostly walking and pushing the bikes up to the top of the mountain pass leaving Mothal, and Clonea on our left and the great hole and lake in the mountain, Coumshingaun (translates as “pissmire hollow”) on our right. We thought that it was an extinct volcano but this is unlikely. Eventually we joined the Waterford road some distance beyond Mahon’s Bridge and Kilmacthomas. From there on the going was much easier and ended with a long swift down hill freewheel on the Pike Hill to Tournore where mother’s bachelor brother, Cyprian, Uncle Cyp, lived. Uncle Cyp was a solicitor and had taken over the practice of his father, John Williams, our maternal grandfather. My mother and Cyp were very close as was my brother David with his uncle. Tournore was in the country some mile or two north of town. It was a fine two-story house covered in beautiful Virginia creeper and had a wonderful lawn in front of the house, a lawn tennis court, and croquet lawn as well as a large walled garden. Beside the tennis court was a very large oak tree with a wooden bench around its circumference. The tree is gone now. Beyond the lawn and gardens an avenue led to the main road to town. While at Tournore we sometimes met visiting aunts and uncles and cousins on our mother’s side of the family. I remember Anne and Bridget O’Neill, daughters of aunt Kathleen. They lived in England. The Williams owned a general store in town, K. Williams and Co. Henry Christopher who had married my cousin Miriam, or Mimmie, Dowley, daughter of Uncle Milo, managed the store at one time. Mimmie was an expert bridge player. She represented Ireland in several international competitions. I believe that Henry was also a very fine bridge player.
The Dowley family were keen horsemen and hunting and shooting were popular winter sports.
Leslie J. Dowley