James Butler Ievers (1844-1915) & Major Eyre Herbert of Glanduff & Mount Ievers
JAMES IEVERS & LIZZIE BLACKWELL
James Butler Ievers was born on 31st October 1844, the eldest son of Eyre and Mildred Ievers of Mount Ievers. He later lived at Glanduff Castle, Drumcollogher, Co. Limerick (rented from the Stavelly / Steveley family) and, presumably when his son moved into Glanduff, he moved into the Gothic splendour of Quinville Abbey, Co. Clare (rented from the Singletons). James was a Justice of the Peace for Co. Limerick.
James was an active member of the Land Conference that met at the Mansion House between 20 December 1902 and 4 January 1903 (concluding with the Wyndham Land Purchase Act) and subsequently of the Irish Reform Association(1904-1905), under Lord Dunraven. In keeping with this, he sold his estate at Cloncrew, County Limerick, as well as the Kells and Gardenfield estates near Drumcollogher (of which he was part owner). He also sold the Clover Hill and Corlack estates in County Clare on behalf of his sisters.
On 3rd July 1866, James married his first wife Elizabeth Blackwell who, according to a record of their marriage in The Belfast Newsletter of 6 July 1866, was known as Lizzie. The wedding too place at Clonlea Church, Kilkishen, and was conducted by the Rev. Richard Studdert, assisted by the Rev. W. E. Bluett. Lizzie was the second daughter of Robert Blackwell (1794-1876), a Methodist who lived at The Prairie, Hollywood, Co. Down. Her mother Sarah was a daughter ofJames Buchanan (1772-1851) who, at the time of Sarah and Robert’s wedding, was His Britannic Majesty’s Consul at New York. One of Buchanan’s greatest legacies was have to the remains of Major John Andre, the British counterpart of Benedict Arnold, shipped back to England. There is an image of James Buchanan at this link.
Lizzie’s brother Alexander Blackwell (1834-1888) of Mount Emla, County Cork, was married in Cork in 1867 to Wilhelmina Crofts (c. 1826-c. 1910), daughter of William Crofts and Mary Anne Campion but had no children. There may have been another brother Robert Blackwell, an architect, who lived at North Adelaide in South Austrailia before returning to Ireland and settling at Charlemont-terrace in Cork where he died on 8 November 1888; James and Lizzie’s son Eyre proved his will, alongside Annie Blackwell.
Lizzie’s older sister Anna Arthur Blackwell (c. 1832-1916), known as Annie, was married in St Thomas, Dublin, on 8 February 1854 to Thomas Studdert (c. 1780-1873), a barrister and Clare magistrate 52 years her senior, who lived at Kilkishen House, County Clare. Thomas, the eldest son of George Studdert and Hannah Blood, of Castle Fergus, had been married previously to Milicina Ashworth, daughter of Robert Ashworth, of Merrion Square, who diedon 9 Jun 1850.[Thomas’ brother Rev. Richard Studdert married Anna and Thomas, as well as Elizabeth Blackwell and James Butler Ievers.] Thomas died on 19 July 1873 aged 93. Annie Studdert lived in Douglas, Cork, where she died in the summer of 1916, aged 84.
Lizzie’s younger sister Margaret Eleanor Whitla Blackwell married Michael Hodder Joseph Roberts of Mount Rivers, Cork, and died in 1880, in Ireland, leaving issue. Lizzie had another sister and three more brothers, who did not marry and left no issue.
James and Lizzie had a son Eyre Herbert Ievers and a daughter Mildred Ievers. However, Lizzie died ‘rather suddenly’ at Glanduff Castle on 25th January 1898 and was buried at Kilfinaghty Church, Sixmilebridge. [i.a] Her widowed husband didn’t hang about. Just over one year later, on 1 February 1899, he married Ernesta Carlotta Nina Whitla, youngest daughter of Surgeon General George Whitla, RHA.[i.b] George Whitla’s ancestors had lived in Co. Antrim since the 17th century and his father William Whitla of Lisburn had married Elizabeth Buchanan, daughter of James Buchanan. George joined the army as an assistant surgeon on 15th Sept 1857, just days before the British recaptured Delhi and brought an end to the Indian Mutiny.[ii] Ernesta’s sister Helena Catherine Georgina was married eight months later in 1899 to Major George A. Moore of Moore Lodge, Co. Antrim, a son of Queen Victoria’s honorary physician in Ireland, Dr. William Moore.
James and Lizzie’s only daughter Mildred Ievers was born on 22nd December 1871 and married on 20 July 1901 to Arthur Henry Palethorpe of the Natal Carabineers’ Regiment. He was presumably involved with the war in South Africa against the Boers at that time. He may subsequently have participated in the suppression of the Natal or Bambatha Rising of 1906, and again in the First World War in German South West Africa although he was in France by 1915 when serving as a lieutenant in the Royal Army Service Corps. It appears Arthur was already married to Eudora (born in Yorkshire, c 1878, maiden name unknown, possibly Richardson) who he wedded in about 1896 and with whom he had three children. Eudora was living at George Street, Ballymena, County Antrim, at the time of the 1911 Census. Arthur, who assumed the name Villiers-Palethorpe, died in Chilliwack, British Columbria, Canada, on 5 January 1937. Mildred died, without issue, on 25th July 1952, less than two months after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. (With thanks to Lesley Badii).
MAJOR EYRE HERBERT STUDDERT IEVERS (1867-1922)
James and Lizzie’s only son Major Eyre Herbert Studdert Ievers of Mount Ievers and Glanduff Castle, Co. Limerick, was born at Kilkishen House on 30th April 1867. (Limerick Chronicle) He was educated at Kingsley (United Services) College in the north Devon seaside town of Westward Ho!, named for Charles Kingsley’s 1855 novel, exclamation mark and all. Founded in 1874, when Eyre was just seven, the boy’s school was favoured by military and amongst its students was Rudyard Kipling, two years Eyre’s senior. The school inspired Kipling’s collection of short stories, Stalky & Co., published in 1899, which gave surprisingly frank and occasionally rather dark insights into bullying, violence and sex at public school. For instance, when it came to corporal punishment, the Westward Ho! cane was apparently applied to the back rather than the buttocks.
On 11th September 1902, the 35-year-old married 26-year-old Frances Hetty Webb Gillman. Born on 5th June 1876, she was the only daughter of Lincoln’s Inn barrister Herbert Webb Gillman (1832-1898) of Clonteadmore, Co. Cork, who was part of Sir William Gregory’s team during his successful Governorship of Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka), serving as the islands Treasurer and as District Judge of Galle. In later years he was Vice-President of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society.[iii] Frances’s mother Annie was the second daughter of Francis Mackwood of Avon House, Yorkshire, who had a tea plantation at Galboda near Nuwara Eliya in Ceylon.
Frances’s two brothers Herbert and Webb were both educated at Dulwich College. Hebert went on to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and became a member of the Indian Civil Service. In 1897, Webb won the Kadir Cup, the premier prize for pig-sticking. He went on to become Major General Sir Webb Gillman (1870-1933), won a DSO in the Anglo-Boer War, befriended Lawrence of Arabia and finished up as Master General of Ordnance and General Commanding Officer for Eastern Command from 1931 until his death in 1933.
WAR & INHERITANCE
With the outbreak of the First World War, Eyre served with the 5th Battalion (Extra Reserve) of the Royal Munster Fusiliers, rising to become Captain and Honorary Major. The 5th was mobilized at Limerick on 4th August 1914, the day Britain declared war on Germany, and deployed to Queenstown later that month. In October 1914, it was based at Bere Island, moving to Crosshaven and Cork Harbour in March 1915. The battalion moved again to North Shields in May 1915 and in September 1915 to The Curragh in County Kildare. That same year, he succeeded his father at Mount Ievers and, according to The Irish Times, he ‘did much to restore the mansion’. [iv] By Aug 1917, the 5th battalion was at Galway from where it moved to Scotland in November 1917.
Major Ievers, who served as a Justice of the Peace, died aged 55 at Mount Ievers on 27th February 1922, just as the first Irish Free State government was being formed. The Limerick Chronicle reported on his death the following morning: ‘Death of Major Ievers – We regret to announce the death of Major Eyre Ievers which took place last night at his residence, Mount Ievers, Sixmile-Bridge. The deceased gentleman had only been ailing a week and, the immediate cause of death being pneumonia following an attack of influenza. He was in his fifty fourth year, and married, leaving a widow and four children to mourn his loss. Major Ievers was son of the late Mr. James Butler Ievers, Quinville Abbey, Quin, Co. Clare, and Glanduff Castle, Co. Limerick. He was an extensive landed proprietor, and served in the 5th Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers. During the recent war he was engaged on recruiting in the Limerick area. In Sixmile Bridge he was held in much esteem by the people, by whom his demise is greatly regretted.’
Probate was granted in Limerick to his widow Frances, including effects worth £1198 15 shillings in England.[v] Frances survived him by nearly forty years, passing away aged 83 on 20th April 1959.
With the outbreak of the Civil War, Glanduff Castle was occupied by Irregular troops and when they were forced to evacuate by the Free State army, they burned the house down. Mr. Stavelly, the owner, subsequently sued the state for £20,000. In 1924, he was awarded £4,000 and Mrs. F. H. Ievers was awarded £142 for destruction of her furniture and other effects in the castle.
Frances Hetty Ievers sold Mount Ievers to her husband’s cousin Sybil Atkinson in 1939.
COLONEL E. H. IEVERS
Colonel Eyre Herbert Ievers, eldest son of Major Eyre and Frances Hetty Ievers, was born on 1st July 1904. He entered Campbell College, Belfast, in September 1919 and went on from there to the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. He joined the Royal Engineers as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1924, and served with them through World War Two. On 16th August 1934, he married (Nora) Moirin Gillespie, third daughter of a six-foot tall, bushy bearded cycling enthusiast and clergyman, the Very Rev Henry John Gillespie, DD, Dean of Killaloe. (Eyre H. Ievers’ great-uncle George Ievers had also married a daughter of a Dean of Killaloe).
The Colonel had a passion for history and made a useful sketch of Kilfinaghy church in 1936, with a key explaining who was buried where.[vi] An excellent article on ‘Mount Ievers, Co. Clare’ appeared in the Weekly Irish Times on Saturday September 4th 1937. He retired with the rank of Colonel in 1950 and migrated to Melbourne in Australia, where he became intrigued by his family history and produced the archive from which so much of this study is drawn from. Colonel Ievers had a son Nial born in 1946 who died aged just 18 in Melbourne, and a daughter Fiona who was born in Salisbury in 1948. After Niall’s death, the Colonel settled at Laverstock in Wiltshire.
HENRY IEVERS KILLED IN PESHAWAR
Eyre and Frances’s second son Henry, aka Lieutenant James Henry Gillman Ievers, Royal Tank Corps, was born on 13th February 1910. He was an excellent horseman who rode out with the Limerick hounds at every possible opportunity. He was killed in a riding accident at Peshawar in present-day Pakistan, where he died at the British Military Hospital, aged 25, in December 1935.[vii]
Eyre and Frances’ eldest daughter Mildred Vivian Ievers was born on 4th January 1906. On 28th August 1934, she married Ernest Vivian Switzer, BA, BAI of Ballywaltrim Grove, Bray, Co. Wicklow. He was the eldest son of John Samuel Switzer, formerly of Moyvalley, Co. Kildare, from the same family who founded Switzer’s Department Store in Dublin. Mildred and Ernest started their married life in a house called Vigo near Lyracrumpane in the mountains north east of Tralee, Co. Kerry. Their eldest son John was born in Vigo 1935.
They later moved into Rynville House in Bray (next door to Ballywaltrim Grove) where their son Henry Eyre was born in 1938. They then lived at “Tinamona” in Cushina, just north of Portarlington, Co. Offaly. Their daughter Frances Mildred – known as Fanny to her parents and Fran to her friends – was born in 1942.
When Ernest’s father died in 1946, the Switzers moved to Ballywaltrim Grove. And when Ernest himself retired in about 1962, they moved to Derry Mount, Killaloe Co. Clare. Sometime after Ernest’s death in 1993 Mildred moved into Newtownpark Nursing Home where she died on 4th February 2000 aged 94.
Mildred was a major player in the Mothers’ Union, of which she was the National Secretary to Invalid Members. She is also said to have been one of the founding members of the Killaloe branch of the Irish Countrywoman’s Association.
She was survived by two sons, John (who married Gladys Weir, parents of Kenneth, Eileen and Henry) and Henry, and her daughter Fran (who married Robert Durie and is mother to Fiona, Janet and Lynn).[viii]
Eyre and Frances’s younger daughter Annie Muriel Elizabeth Ievers, known as Nancy, was born at Mount Ievers on 27th April 1908. She was married on 24th June 1936 to Brigadier John Grahame Pocock (1895-1981). He served in the Indian Army and with the 19th (King George V’s Own) Lancers, about which regiment he wrote a history in 1962.[ix] His father Reynolds John Michel Pocock (1840-1921) of Ilfracombe, Devon, served in the Meerut Light Horse during the Indian Mutiny and was married to Emily Margaret Grahame in Lucknow, India, in 1894.
The Pococks settled at Tullameelan, Ardfinnan, Co. Tipeprary, and had three children – John (Ievers, born on 30th August 1937) and twins, Robert (Anthony) and (Patricia) Margaret (born 15 March 1943). Both John and Robert were educated at Portora. John went on from Sandhurst to command the Queens Dragoon Guards, retired as Colonel and was awarded an OBE for services rendered. In 1971 he married Elizabeth Veryan Lilias, only daughter of Rear-Admiral Charles Kerr Thorneycroft-Wheen (1912-1989), a D-Day veteran who served as Flag Officer to the Admiralty Interview Board between 1964 and 1966. They have issue two daughters Vervyan Elizabeth Ievers Pocock (b. 5 May 1972) and Emma Ackworth Nancy Pocock (b. 1 March 1974).
The late Robert Pocock obtained a BA from Trinity College Dublin in 1967. On 23rd July 1968, he married Kerry (Grace de Lacy) Page, daughter of Colonel Richard K. Page, MC, who was presented with the sowrd of honour at Woolwich (‘the shop’) by none other than Major General Webb Gilman (Nancy’s uncle) who, like Dick Page, was a brilliant pig-sticker. The Pages lived at Rath Con, Grangecon, Co. Wicklow. Robert and Kerry have two daughters Iva Nancy Pocock(b. 1 Jan 1972) and Clare Pocock (b. 15th May 1975).