George Maurice Ievers (1850-1908)
George Maurice Ievers of Ballinagarde House, Co. Limerick, and Inchera, Co. Cork was Norman Lancelot Ievers’ grandfather. He was born on 29th January 1850, the third son of Eyre and Mildred Ievers of Mount Ievers, and went to Australia with his younger brother William.
On 22nd May 1878 he married Phoebe Elizabeth Allen, daughter of the Very Rev. James Hastings Allen, Dean of Killaloe and Rector of Kiltinanlea for 36 years. The Rev. Hastings Allen died in 1880, aged 75, while his widow Fanny (nee Blood of Roxton, Co. Clare) passed away in 1899.[i] By 1879, George was a major shareholder in the Day Dawn PC Gold Mining Company.
A frustratingly unnamed PDF document on the internet includes a chapter on Charter Towers’ Brilliant Reef which reveals how, in 1886, one of George’s old business associates called Richard Craven persuaded him to invest £12,000 in financing a vertical shaft on the Queen and Day Dawn reefs, as well as the flotation of the Brilliant Gold Mining Company.
George Ievers ‘became the main shareholder with fifty-seven percent, Craven held twenty-seven percent. A further three percent were held in Charters Towers, six percent in Dalby and seven percent in Britain. By late 1889 the shaft had reached 900 feet and their capital was almost exhausted when Craven decided to explore an apparently unpromising shoot which had been passed at 765 feet. Within weeks they opened out, not on the junction of the Queen and Day Dawn, but on a new ore body: the Brilliant reef’ [about 2180km north-northwest of Brisbane].
‘By the end of the decade the shaft had reached a vertical depth of 1,395 feet, composed of the vertical shaft of 900 feet and 1,040 feet on the underlie. The following year the Brilliant PC had become the biggest producer on the field, and by 1899 it had yielded over £2,000,000 in gold. The Brilliant reef was the most productive ore shoot ever discovered on Charters Towers and was eventually mined to a depth of nearly 3,000 feet.’
By 1894, the Charters Towers output was nearly £1,000,000 worth of gold a year.[ii] George retired back to Ireland on his earnings and was active on the London stock market during the 1886 boom when he floated the Phoebe Gold Mining Company [named for his wife] as an English Company. One of the vendors of this company was Richard Craven.
He rented a house in Kilkee, west Clare, where he apparently employed Catherine Coll (1858-1932), mother of Eamon de Valera, as the cook. This was presumably before she emigrated to New York in 1879 although she is said to have returned to Ireland on occasion. Norman Ievers senior believed that de Valera was a beneficiary of some of George Ievers money which paid for Eamon’s education in Ireland. There is also room for gentle chin-rubbing and eyebrow wiggling over the fact that Eamon de Valera’s first birth certificate record held by New York State named him as ‘George De Valero.’
He later had addresses at Ballinagarde, Co. Limerick, which is where, nearly 200 years earlier, his ancestress Elizabeth Ievers – widow of the first Henry Ievers to settle in Ireland – lived with her husband John Croker. Ballinagarde House features in the 2011 coffee table book ‘Abandoned Ireland’.
George also either owned or rented Inchiera [Inchera], or Sun Lodge, a former home of the Oliver family, which stood just east of Cork City, near Little Island and Dunkettle, but which was destroyed by fire sometime after 1950.
George died in 1908 and Phoebe on 14th May 1931. They had two sons and three daughters.
Their eldest daughter Agnes Georgina Ievers was born in 1879. On 12th January 1898, the 19-year-old married 35-year-old Augustus Riversdale John Blennerhasset Warren, heir to the baronetcy of Warren Court’s, County Cork. He succeeded as 6th Baronet upon his fathers death on 1st April 1914 but succumbed to pneumonia on 28th August 1914, just a few months later. Their 16-year-old son succeeded as 7th baronet. Agnes may have been the Lady Warren who wrote `Through Algeria & Tunisia on a Motor-bicycle’ (Jonathan Cape, 1922) Agnes was married secondly, aged 61, on 21st May 1944 to George I. Hartt, son of Edward Hartt of Whitehill, Riverstown, Co. Sligo. She died in October 1950.
Their second daughter Maud St. Leger Ievers was born in 1881 and married, aged 20, on 28th July 1900 Henry Williamson Leader, JP, of Mount Leader, Co. Cork. They had issue (see that family) but were divorced in 1930 and he died in 1950. On 10th May 1933, she was married secondly to a somewhat younger man, namely Lionel Oulton Moore Munn, the golf-club wielding third son of Alfred and Blanche Moore Munn of Lisleen, Shantallow, Co. Londonderry. By 1939 when JP Rooney’s Blue Book appeared, Lionel, a two-time Irish Open Champion, was an honorary member of Portrush, Castlerock, Lahinch, Island, Portmarnock and North West golf clubs.[iii] Maud died on 15th June 1953 [or 1954] and Lionel died on 25 October 1958 at his home in Killarney at 71 years of age. By her marriage to H. W. Leader, Maud had two daughters Maud Ievers Leader (b. 28 Nov 1902, m. 1926 Maj. Gen. A. A. Richardson, DSO, d. 15 July 1945, survived by daughter Sheila) and Violet Leader (b. 10 Nov 1903, m. 23 Aug 1923 J. C. R. Delmege, parents of Peter).
GEORGE FREDERICK IEVERS
Their eldest son George Frederick Ievers later settled at Avonmore in Co. Wicklow, and was father of Squadron Leader Norman Ievers.
Above: Sydney Ievers (1886-1919).
SYDNEY GLADSTONE IEVERS (1886-1919)
Their second son Sydney Gladstone Ievers was born on 25th May 1886 and may have been named in part for the Australian city and in part for the Liberal leader William Ewart Gladstone, which would suggest that George Ievers was a supporter of Irish Home Rule. Sydney lived at Belfield, Ennis Road, Limerick, but was amongst the luckless souls who fell victim to the Spanish Flu which engulfed Europe after the First World War, dying unmarried aged 25 on 17th February 1919.
Perhaps taking a leaf from her uncles Dr. Eyre Ievers and Major Philip Ievers, George and Phoebe’s youngest daughter Sybil Ievers studied at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin and became a medical practitioner. She was married on 28th September 1910 to Capt. Hon. Hector John Atkinson, Royal Irish Fusiliers, a veteran of the Boer War. Born at Glenwilliam Castle, Ballingarry, Co. Limerick, Hector was the son of John Atkinson (1844-1932), who served as Solicitor-General and later Attorney General for Ireland, and who was created Baron Atkinson in 1905.
Above: The sale of Mount Ievers, The Irish Times, 12 May 1945.
After their marriage the Atkinsons settled at Kilmainham, Co. Cavan, but also seem to have had a townhouse at 74 Merrion Square. He died on 26th May 1917 and was buried in Dean’s Grange, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. He had served in France during the early part of the war but was more recently stationed in Belfast and Dublin. I am unsure why he died. His brother Cecil Thomas Atkinson, Judge of the High Court of Bihar and Orissa, died in India 20th November 1919.
Sybil later lived at Tyrellspass House, Co. Westmeath. She purchased Mount Ievers from Mrs. F. H. Ievers on 1 Jan 1939 but died on 26th July 1939.
Syblil was survived by her only daughter Olga Rowena Maude Atkinson who married Ian Morrow. Mrs. Morrow sold Mount Ievers to her first cousin S/Ldr Norman Lancelot Ievers circa 1945. She had two sons John Ievers Morrow (b. Nov 1942) and Hector (1944-21 Jan 1956) and a daughter Tanya Isabella (b. 1947).