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Benn-Walsh of Ormathwaite

Ormathwaite [Ormanthwaite], parish of Underskiddaw, Cumberland.

The Walsh Family - Some years past, the new Baron Ormathwayte (Sir John Walsh), much to his honour, repaired at his cost the ancient heraldic monuments of the Walsh family in the churches of Stockton and Shellesley Walsh, Worcestershire. The Walsh property in this district has long since passed into other hands. I can not trace in any pedigree to which I have access the connection between the new baron and this ancient family ; but such connection, I believe, does exist... (Thomas E. Winnington; from the Notes and Queries, 4th series, First Volume, Oxford University Press, 1868]

Walsh of Ormathwaite, 1804 - Sir John Benn Walsh, who, in 1794, took the name of Walsh by the King's sign manual, pursuant to the will of his wife's uncle, is descended from the Benns of Moor-row, in Cumberland, and son of William Benn, esq., who married the grand-daughter of the late Dr. William Brownrig, of Ormathwaite, near Keswick. Sir John Benn Walsh is the present proprietor of Ormathwaite, but does not reside in Cumberland. Arms: "argent a fesse sable, cottised, wavy, gules, between six martlets of the second".

In the Barontage of the United Kingdom is listed the title Baronet Walsh, dated at the time of George III, June 14, 1804. In the same family is listed Baron Ormathwaite, created April 16, 1868. Both titles are listed as extinct in 1984. The 1st Baron Ormathwaite was John Benn Walsh, born Dec. 10, 1798 in Warfield, Berkshire, England, and died in 1881. He was the son of John Benn Walsh and Margaret Fowke, and he married Lady Jane Grey. Their son Arthur Walsh, born 14 April 1827 at Berkeley Square, was the 2nd Lord Ormathwaite who married Lady Katherine Emily Mary Somerset, daughter of the Duke of Somerset. The second Lord was thought, by the villagers, to be mistreating his wife, so they arranged for him to receive a concert of Rough Music. This was a common rural way of showing disapproval: some four hundred locals gathered outside Warfield Park and banged about with pots and pans for several hours. The lady of the house, formerly Lady Emily Somerset, was very sympathetic and charitable towards the villagers in their times of hardship, so when they heard of this cruelty they took the law into their own hands, in the way of a tin-canning. To this day a ghostly procession is said to march each year on October 28th along Forest Road. This is the anniversary of that event that apparently took place in 1874. Arthur Walsh, 2nd Lord Ormathwaite, died in 1920.
Sir Arthur Benn-Walsh, 2nd Lord Ormathwaite (4/14/1827 - 1920) - son of Sir John Benn Walsh and Lady Jane Grey
Arthur Henry John Benn-Walsh, 3rd Lord Ormathwaite (1859 - 1937) - son of Arthur Benn-Walsh and Lady Katherine Somerset
George H.W. Benn-Walsh, 4th Lord Ormathwaite (1863 - 1925) - son of Arthur Benn-Walsh and Lady Katherine Somerset
Reginald Benn-Walsh, 5th Lord Ormathwaite (1868 - 1944) - son of Arthur Benn-Walsh and Lady Katherine Somerset [Note: the Barontency of Ormathwaite is stated to have expired in 1944]
John Arthur Charles Benn-Walsh, 6th Lord Ormathwaite (1912 - 1984) - son of Reginald and Lady Margaret Douglas-Home.
Notes:
The Walsh family, Barons Ormathwaite, of Ormathwaite, Cumberland (1602-1883 : title deeds and estate papers, family and legal papers), as well as the Walsh family of Millbeck and Ormathwaite, Millbeck, Cumberland (17th-19th cent.) are recorded in the UK National Register of Archives.

In the Mannix & Whellan, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, 1847, it states "Underskiddaw township has no village of its own name, but contains the hamlets of Great Crosthwaite, Applethwaite, High Hill, and Millbeck. Its rateable value is 3415, and the principal landowners are major-genl. Sir John Woodford, the executors of the late John Marshall, Esq., James Stanger, Esq., Sir John B. Walsh, Bart., and Mrs. Turner;". It goes on to cite "Ormanthwaite, a good dwelling, a little to the E.S.E., is the property of Sir J. B. Walsh."

Further Reference: Journal of the Cork Hist. & Arch. Soc. Vol. LXXXI, 197
Sir John Benn Walsh: Donnelly, J.S., The journals of Sir John Benn Walsh relating to the management of his Irish estates (1823-64). Quote: "On the contrary, even if Sir John Benn-Walsh and Lady Carbery spent considerable sums of money, landlord assistance was very uncommon in County Cork."

Further Reference: from the manuscripts and records of the National Library of Wales.
"Estate and family records of the family of Walsh (also Benn, Benn-Walsh), later barons Ormathwaite, of Pen-y-bont, co. Radnor. The estate was created by John Walsh, nabob and associate of Lord Clive; deeds, co. Radnor, 16th-20th cent.; estate records, 18th-20th cent.; family papers, 18th-20th cent.; including diaries of Sir John Benn Walsh, 1st baron Ormathwaite (1798-1881), politician, 1811-77. Other papers in the India Office Library."
The reference above is to Colonel John Walsh of Berkshire, 1726-1795, Secretary to Lord Clive, Naturalist. His nephew-in-law, Sir John Benn Walsh, is noted born Feb 19, 1759, died Jun 7, 1825, and who married Margaret Fowke on June 30, 1787 at St. George's, Hanover Square, London, England. Sir John is noted as 1st Baronet Indian Administrator, and was the father of the 1st Baron of Ormathwaite.

Further Reference: Extract from one of John Davies "Gwardole Letters" at the National Library of Wales. Referring to the "Rhayader: The Rebecca riots".
The attacks by Rebecca and her daughters began in South Wales with attacks in Carmarthenshire and Cardiganshire. In autumn 1843 however the outbreak of attacks reached the Rhayader district. The Lord Lieutenant and a man of business Sir John Benn Walsh was the MP for the county (Radnorshire, Wales) and its Lord Lieutenant at the time of the riots around Rhayader. He had served as the county's Sheriff also in 1825. He lived on the Herefordshire border at Knill Court but owned the Llanddewi Hall estate as well as estates in England. As he very much represented the establishment and rule of law in the county he was called to give evidence to the Commission of Enquiry which was asked to look into the affair after the outbreak of violence.
Early attacks by Rebecca and her daughters were in South and West Wales, and the news caused excitement in the Rhayader area, Rumours were flying and the town must have been buzzing with gossip on market day. This must have increased dramatically when on Friday 22nd September 1843 the Pen-y-pistyll tollgate on the North Road from Rhayader was attacked. Two days later a more determined attack destroyed the Llangurig gates and terrified the gatekeeper. Sir John Benn Walsh was in Rhayader the following day and wrote, "There was considerable excitement in the town from the news that a gate at Llangerig about 9 miles from Rhayader on the Aberystwyth road had been levelled last night by a party of Rebbecaites". Sir John joined other landowners in offering a reward for the arrest of the rioters, but local people were very sympathic to the Rebecca rioters and nobody was given away.
Note: The Walsh family, Barons Ormathwaite, of Newcastle Court, Radnor, Wales are recorded in the UK National Register of Archives.

Sir John Walsh (formerly Benn) was created Baronet, April 14, 1794. He was born in Cumberland, England on February 10, 1759. He was in the service of the Hon. East India Co., assigned as Secretary to Francis Fowke (his future wife's brother) in Benares. On April 4, 1795, in pursuance of the last Will & Testament of Sir John Walsh, Baronet, (1726-95), [his wife's uncle] he adopted by Royal Sign Manuel the name & arms of Walsh in lieu of Benn, thus "enabling him to inherit a considerable fortune". He died on June 7, 1825.

George Sandford gives an account of the family of Walsh, of Llandewi, Radnorshire, which includes Lord Ormathwaite. [source: Montgomeryshire Coll., xxv. 73-80]



The preceding article was compiled by Dennis J. Walsh, 2009

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