Henry Biddall Swanzy.

The families of French of Belturbet and Nixon of Fermanagh, and their descendants online

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Online LibraryHenry Biddall SwanzyThe families of French of Belturbet and Nixon of Fermanagh, and their descendants → online text (page 1 of 21)
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Mathew French, Senior.

Early in the seventeenth century, Richard French, merchant, lived
at Belturbet, Co. Cavan. His connection with the old family of the
name in the West of Ireland is not clear, though the name Mathew
which he gave to one of his sons, also appears in the families of French
of Galway, and French of Cork.* Berry, in his Encydopoedia Heralika,
states that the following arms were granted in Ireland to the family
of French of Belturbet, 26 July, 1682 : " Per bend sinister, engrailed,
or and sable, a lion rampant between two fleur-de-lis counter-charged.
Crest : a fleur-de-lis, or, charged with a trefoil vert." No trace of
this grant now remains in Ulster's Office, and Mathew French, in 1688,
sealed his will with the arms of French of Galway. While living at
Belturbet and acquiring position and property in Co. Cavan, the family
carried on the hardware business in High Street, Dublin, for about a
century, and it will be seen later (p. 17) that Mathew French, junior,
suppUed the powder and ball used in the defence of Derry and Enniskillen
during the Revolution.

RICHARD FRENCH, of Belturbet, married twice. By his first
wife he had a son : —

I. Robert French a legatee of his father in 1637, probably the
Robert French who was living at Newtown, in the parish of
Drumully, Co. Fermanagh during the rebellion of 1641.
In his deposition, sworn 12 March, 1641/2, Randall
Adams and WiUiam Hitchcocke, witnesses, (Cromwelhan
Depositions, Co. Ferm., p. 46 6., T.C.D. Library) he stated

Matthew French, gent., obtained, under the Act of Settlement, 4,242
acres m Co. Galway, and 970 acres in Co. Mayo, grant enrolled 16 April, 1667
/D f, ^J""^ ^^^^ since, at CUf thole in the Co. of Galway, Mr. Matthew French "
(Public Gazetteer, 29 Oct., 1765).

i^E^^^T French, born at Kinsale, Co. Cork, was Scholar T.C.D. 1695 B 4
1698 Fellow 1699, MA 1701, B.D. 1710. He was Reader or Curate of St.
Werburgh s, Dublin, 1705-14, while holding his fellowship, and on 31 March
1711, presented 27 students of the CoUege to be confirmed by Archbishop
King in St Patrick's Cathedral. He d. 12 March. 1714.

Matthew French, and Jane, his wife, otherwise Badham. occur frequently
1l *^e Chancery and Exchequer Bills in connection with Co. Cork, at the end of
the 17th century.

Matthew French was appointed J.P. Co. Cork, 4 May, 1697.


that about 24 October, 1641 he was robbed of his goods. He
and his wife were despoiled of all their possessons, and had to
fly to Dublin.

Richard French married a second time, and after his death his
wife, Susanna, married 2nd, John Anderson (see deposition below)
His will, dated May, 1637, was proved, April, 1638. He mentions
besides his brother-in-law, John Warren, and his grandchild, Thomasina,
wife of Daniel Browne, three children of his second marriage, viz. : —
II. Richard French.

III. MATHEW, of whom immediately.
I. Mary French, whose dowry disappeared in the rebellion of 1641 .

The youngest son : —

MATHEW FRENCH, of Belturbet and Dublin, High Sheriff, Co.
Cavan, 1677, was born after 1617, for he was a minor at the date of his
father's will in 1637. He was hardly of age when the rebellion of 1641
broke out ; his deposition regarding it still remains in the Library of
Trinity College, Dublin, as follows : —

" Richard ffrench and Mathew ffrench of Belturbutt in the County
of Cavan, merchants, in the behalfe of their ifather in law, John
Anderson, of the same place, merchant, their sister, Mary ffrench, and
for themselves, — being duly sworne say that at or about the 28th Day
of October last past they have beene robbed and dispoyled of lands
and goods of the valew following — ffirst their said ffather in Law hath
lost wares and goods worth Seaven hundred pounds — and worth one
hundred pound. Debts owing him by bill and in his booke fiive hundred

" Their sister Mary hath lost Three hundred poimd which was her
portion, and putt out to Mr. Martin Bahtie, Mr. Rich. Morse, Mr.
Charles Waterhouse and the La [die]s Butler.

'' Richard ffrench saith that he hath been expulsed and dispossessed
of lands worth ffifty-twoe pound a year for ever, and about one hundred
pound in money which was owing him by his said ffather in law.

" Mathew ffrench sayth that he hath lost and beene Dispossest of
land in the County of ffermanagh worth two and twenty pound a year
and ten pound a year for ever his lands and houses he had in Belturbut,
money owing him by his said ffather in law being one hundred pound,
Besides ffifteen pounds in money fferrall Orely tooke from him and
goods worth twenty pounds.

" And all this was done in the County of Cavan by PhilUp M'Shane
Rely, Esq., of Ballincargh, Edmund Rely, Cav. Gent. — McJaines
[Rely] Esq., Myles Rely, high Sheriff, his sorme John Rely, sonne of
Phillip McMulmore of Ballatrost, and Edmond Rely and Hugh Rely,
sonnes of Mulmore McPhillip Deceased — and by their followers —
and by Rory Magwyr and his followers in ffermanagh.

"Their said ffather and Mother and sister are in the hands of the

Rebells in the Countrey and these de[ponent]8 were likewise stript
as they cdme by the Cotch.

•' Richard ffrench,

" Jurat 21*^ Jauy., 1641 (2). " Matthew ffrench.

"John Watson, John (Steme]."*

Mathew French, merchant, was admitted Freeman of Dublin by
special grace and on fines, 4th Friday after 25 Dec, 1649 ; he was a
titulado (or landowner) in St, Michael's parish, Dublin, in 1659, (Petty's
Census) : Sherifi of the City of Dublin, 1667-8, and one of the Masters
of the City works, 1668-9. In 1672 he and some others were admitted
Aldermen of DubUn by Sir John Tottie, Lord Mayor, illegally. This,
with other high-handed acts during the same Mayoralty, was cancelled
by order from the Lord Lieutenant in 1675. {Calendar of Ancient
Records, V., 577.) He was High Sheriff, Co. Cavan, 1677 (appointed
21 Dec, 1676 — Liber Munerum). He was attainted by .idmes IT. at his
Parliament held in DubUn in 1689, as " Mathew French, Senior of
Belturbet, Merchant." His will, dcited 25 April, 1688, was proved in
the Prerogative Court, 5 March, 1691. It is as follows : —

" In the name of God, Amen, I Mathew ffrench of Belturbett, in
the County of Cavan, Esq., beinge well, thanks be unto God, and in
good health, considering ye uncertenntys of this life, and beinge willing
to settle my house in order, doe make, ordaine and constitute this my
last will and testament in manner and form following, first and
principally I committ my soul into the hands of Almighty God my
Creator, in whom and by the precious death of my blessed Saviour
Jesus Christ, I trust and assuredly believe to be saved, and my bodv
I committ to ye earth to be buryed in such decent manner as to my
Exr^ shall be thought nieett and convenient and for the setthng of
what estate God in his infinitt mercy hath been pleased to bestowe
upon me, I give and dispose thereof as followeth. Imprimis, my will
is y* all the debts that I owe to any pson or psons whatsoever shall
be well and truely paid and satisfied in convenient time after my
deceasse by my Ex^s. hereafter named. Item I doe limitt and appointe
my wife Ellinor ffrench my son Mathew ffrench and John Warburton,
Esqr. to be my executors to see this my last will and testament pformed.
Item itt is my will that my wife Ellinor ffrench shall have and receive
dureing her naturall life the third part of the rents and profitts of all
my lands housses and tenements in the county of ffermanna, county of
Cavan and corporacon of Belturbett together with ye moeitv of my
dAvelling housse in high streett in Dublin in satisfaction of her thirds and
dower according to the tenure of a deed of grant and releasse made by ine
to my son Richard ffrench, beareing date the four and twentieth day
of March one thousand six hundred seaventy & five vpon my sd. sons
marriage and alsoe the kitchin I make vse of over and above ye said
moietv of the said housse. Item, I give and bequeath vnto my said
wife the sume of sixty pounds sterl. to be paid vnto her within two
months after my deceasse, alsoe all my houshould goods m Dublin,
one siluer tankerd, one dozen of siluer spoons and one trunck of the

* CromweUinn Depositions, Co. Cavan, Vol. I., fol. 226, copied by W. G. Hodaon,


best linnen she shall make choise of in my house in Belturbett. Item,
I give and bequeath vnto my daughter Mary Warburton, the smne
of fforty pounds ster. by reason I gave her but five hundred pounds
ster vpon her marriage w*^'' Jon Warburton her husband, the said
fforty pounds to be paid vnto her w^^ a provisoe y"- John Warburton
shall give a generall discharge to the rest of my executors vpon receipt
thereof. Item, I give and bequeath vnto my son Daniel iirench the
Buine of ffive pounds ster. by reason he was one of those psons who
stole and took away all my cash in ye time of my great fitt of sickness
alsoe by reason I made him a leasse of my housse and malt housse in
Belturbett for nine hundred, ninety and nine years att three pounds
p. annum wch cost me four hundred pounds building. Item, I give and
bequeath vnto my daughter, Ellinor Tisdall the sume of twenty shilhngs
ster. by reason I gave her seaven or eight hundred pounds ster. vpon
her marriage w*^ James Tisdall. Item, I give and bequeath my lotts,
on Oxmountown Green in Dubhn w^*^ all the improvements w^*^ are
or shall be made thereon to my granson Mathew firench, son of my son
Richard ffrench dureing his naturall life and after his deceasse to his
first born son lawfully begotten & to his heires and for want of such
issue to the second third fourth or fifth and every other son or sons
wch my said granson shall hapen toe have lawfully begotten, ye eldest
to have preferrance before the youngest, and for want of such issue to
3'e heires female of my sd. granson for ever, but if in case my said
gransion Mathew fErench hapen to dye before he come to age or have
issue lawfully begotten then I give and bequeath the said lotts to his
brother, Humphry ffrench and his heires and if in case ye said Humphry
dye before he come to age or have issue lawfully begotten, then I give
and bequeath ye said lotts to his brother Daniel and his heirs and in
case the said Daniell dye before he comes to age or have issue lawfully
begotten then I give and bequeath the said lotts to his brother Richard
and his heires lawfully begotten for ever. Item, I give vnto my son
Mathew firench the sume of twenty shillings ster. by reason I gave him
six hundred pounds vpon his marriage. Item, I give and bequeath
vnto my granson Humphry ffrench the sume of ffifty pounds ster. and
to my granson Daniell ffrench the sume of ffifty pounds ster. and to my
granson Richard ffrench the sume of ffifty pounds ster. to be putt to
vse for them w^^ in three months after my deceasse the same to goe on
w'*^ the interest and profits thereof to be paid them when they come to
age but in case any one or more of my said gransons Humphry, Daniel
or Richard shall happen to dye before they come to age or haue issue
lawfully begotten then theire partts and legasyes w**^ the interest &
profits thereof to goe to ye survivor of them, and if itt shall hapen y^
my said gransons Humphry, Daniel & Richard shall all of them dye
before they come to age or have issue lawfully begotten y* then y^
legaseys aforesd. wth the interest & profitts thereof shall be equally
devided and distributed amongst all the children wch my son Mathew
ffrench hath or shall have att ye time of ray deceasse. Item, I give vnto
Mathew Johnson son of John Johnson the sume of seaventeen pounds
sterl. w*''^. I have on a morgage on the lands of Druminisklin. Item
I give and bequeath vnto my servant John Cooke the sume of ffive
pounds sterl. to buy him mourning. Item, further my will is y* after
all my debts and legaseys are all paid all debts due to me w**^. all my
cash, moneys, goods and chatties shall be appraised & y* then my
Ex''^ shall sell and dispose of them for the best advantage they can
for the vse of all y® children of my son, Mathew ffrench w^*'. he now

hath or shall have att my deceasse, the same to be equally devided
amongst them provided they will be ruled by theii-e parrents, if any one
of them shall prove disobedient and vill not be ruled by theire parrents
then y^ childs partt shall be distributed & devided amongst the rest
further my will, is that in case there hapen any law shutes to arise
aboute any partt of my estate twixt the heire of my son Richard fErench,
Sc any other pson before the said heire come to age then I give and
bequeath the sume of iiifty pounds sterl. to be paid out of my psonall
estate by my Ex'"'^. towards defraying the charge of the said shute, if
any there be. In wittnesse whereof I have hereunto putt my hand and
aeale the five and twenty day of Aprill in the year of our Lord God,
One thousand six hundred eighty and eight.

Matthew pprench. [Seal].

" John Cooke.
" J. A. Mageaghe."

N.B. — The seal is Ermine a Chevron {sable ?), for crest a Dolphin
embowed. These are the Arms of the Galway Frencks, and their use here
appears to conflict with Berry's note, page 1.

" Proved by John Warburton of the city of Dublin, Esq. one of the
survi^ang executors named, sa\n[ng the right of Ellinor ffrench, widow
and relict of sd. deceased another surviving executor. 5 March, 1691,
named in sd. will.

" Wheras John Warburton Esq., one of the executors of the last
will and testament of Mathew ffrench late of Belturbett in the Co. of
Cavan, Esq. deed, is desirous to have upon him the burthen & execution
of the sd. will and to prove the same, but is dissatisfied with an expression
therein concerning the testators son, Daniell ffrench consisting of these
words, by reason he was one of those persons who stole and took away
all my cash in the time of my greate fitte of sickness, which words as he
believes were unnecessarily inserted therein & that there was not
just cause or ground for the said expression & therefore not wishing
to take out the probate of the said will or to prove the same with the
aforesaid expression. It is therefore this day ordered by the Judge
of their Maties Court of Prerogative in Ireland at the desire and
petition of the sd. John Warburton that the aforesaid words be left out
of the will annexed to the probate to be granted to the said John
Warburton for the reasons before mentioned, & that this order be
indorsed on the back of the said originall will that due notice may
hereafter be taken thereof accordingly whereof the Regr. of the said
court, and all other persons concerned are to take notice. Given under
my hand the 5th day of March, 1691.

" Dud. Loptus."

" Mr. John Warburton of Dublin, his bond to save harmless the
Judge and Regi". of y^ Prerogative."

" John Warburton of the city of Dublin Esq., bound in the sume
of £500.

" Dated 10 March, 1691.

" The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas the
execution or probate of the will of Mathew ffrench, late of Belturbett
in the Co. of Cavan, deceased is granted by the above named most
Revd Father in God unto the above named John Warburton, Esq. one

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Online LibraryHenry Biddall SwanzyThe families of French of Belturbet and Nixon of Fermanagh, and their descendants → online text (page 1 of 21)