the hutchins family

Ardnagashel House Eliane ZimmermannOn the page Landed Estates and in the new book ‘Voices from the Great Houses (Jane O’Hea O’Keeffe, Mercier Press 2013) we can read about the background of the family: Richard Hutchins of Blackrock, near Bantry, County Cork (later named Bantry House), was appointed a Poll Tax Commissioner by William III. He had acquired lands in West Cork which was formerly owned by the O’Sullivan clan.

Blackrock House was purchased by Richard White (Councillor White) in 1765, renamed into Seafield and later became Bantry House. The Hutchins’ moved to Ballylickey, and in 1800 Arthur Hutchins moved to Ardnagashel.

In 1759 Richard Hutchins’ great-grandson, Thomas Hutchins, married his cousin Elinor, daughter and only child of Arthur Hutchins of Cregane Castle, County Limerick (also spelt Creggane Castle). She was to inherit rich farmlands in North Cork and Limerick. They had 21 children of whom only six survived:

  • Emanuel (1769-1839)
  • Katherine (1765-1789)
  • Arthur (1770-1838)
  • Thomas (1778-1815)
  • Ellen (17 March 1785- 9 Feb 1815)
  • Samuel (29 Sep 1786-18 June 1862)

The family lived at Ballylickey. Thomas (1735-1787), a magistrate, died when Ellen and Samuel were toddlers. Ellen, who herself suffered from poor health, spent a considerable amount of her short life looking after her mother, Elinor, and her brother Thomas, who had been disabled by an accident falling on ice while at school. Elinor (1743-1814) died just a year before Ellen and Thomas passed away, Ellen probably from tuberculosis and the mercury administered by her doctor for a liver complaint.

One of Thomas and Elinor’s sons Arthur Hutchins (1770-1838) built the house at Ardnagashel and probably planted many of the trees there. After Arthur’s death, Ardnagashel passed to his youngest brother, Samuel (1786-1862) and down through three generations of Samuel’s family until it was sold in 1945.

Eliane ZimmermannBallylickey also remained a home to the Hutchins family for long periods of time. One of Arthur Hutchins’s sons, also called Arthur (1805-1889) lived at Ballylickey. “He was leasing this house from the Earl of Kenmare’s estate in 1852 when it was valued at almost £14. In 1837 Lewis refers to it as the seat of S. Hutchins (almost definitely Samuel, Ellen’s brother, before he inherited Ardnagashel in 1839). Later associated with the Graves family and now serves as a luxury hotel.” [from 2015: run as a guest house by Wanderlust]

The Hutchins family lived at Ballylickey again from 1910, when Samuel’s son, Samuel Newburgh (1834-1915) and his wife Marianne moved there from Ardnagashel to let their son, Richard set up home at Ardnagashel with his new bride, Isabel.

Arthur’s sister Ellen Hutchins (1785-1815) is widely recognized as Ireland´s first female botanist. In 1997 there was an account about her short life in the book ‘Stars, Shells & Bluebells – Women Scientists and Pioneers’ [Dublin 1997, out of print]. In the meantime a highly interesting website is being written by Ellen’s descendants:, it is constantly being updated.

Ellen was born and lived almost all her life at Ballylickey. Ellen specialised in the non flowering plants, known as cryptogams, and she studied seaweeds, lichens, mosses and liverworts. She found many plants new to science, and her carefully preserved specimens were sent to the leading botanists of her day, who described and published them. She also produced exquisite detailed water colour drawings of seaweeds, which were engraved and published by others. She was highly regarded in her specialist field, and many plants were named after her.

Between 1807 and 1811, nearly 1100 plants around Bantry Bay were identified and listed (in Latin) by her. The list was completed in January 1812, and edited in “Occasional Papers No 12” in 1999 by Professor M. E. Mitchell, Professor of Botany at Galway University, published by Dublin Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin. Her drawings of seaweeds can now be seen in the archives at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and in a store at Sheffield Museum.


Ardnagashel House, probably drawn by Louisa Ellen Nightingale (neé Hutchins; 1830-1922; whose husband was a cousin of Florence Nightingale)

Emanuel (1769-1839), one of Ellen’s surviving brothers, was a friend of Irish revolutionary figure Theobald Wolfe Tone, with whom he had attended Trinity College in Dublin. Emanuel ran a stud at Cregane Castle (County Limerick) and travelled to the Middle East in 1839, to purchase Arab livestock, however he wrote a series of letters to Lord Lansdowne that concern the politics of the Middle East rather than the purchase of livestock. He died in Damascus in November 1839 at the age of 70 years.

Arthur had died the year before in 1838, leaving the Ardnagashel estate and house to Emanuel. Emanuel was childless, and in his will he leaves the estate of Ardnagashel which then consisted of about (probably) 300 acres to his youngest and only surviving brother Samuel. It was probably Samuel who started the plantation of the arboretum which we can still see today – at least there are still some of the early trees to be admired today. The drains and the diversion of the waterfall were works done when Samuel lived there.

Samuel fathered 12 children with two wifes. His second daughter (and fourth child) Louisa Ellen (1830-1922) married William Shore Nightingale [1831-1894], cousin of Florence Nightingale; son of Samuel Smith and Mary Shore). She was an artist who left beautiful drawings of Ardnagashel (probably the above drawing of Ardnagashel House). Samuel’s is the oldest grave on the Killeen in Ardnagashel, people say he was buried standing upright. The gravestone also shows the name of his eldest son Emanuel (19 July 1823-9 Sep 1880, died unmarried) and of his infant great-granddaughter Frances-Ernestine (29 June-23 July 1900; daughter of Frances Newburgh and her husband Edmund Hyde-Smith Commander R.N.)

His sixth child (and second son) Samuel Newburgh Hutchins (16 April 1834-22 April 1915) spent some time in Australia as a mounted policeman escorting gold during the gold rush. He brought home no gold but 650 seeds of Australian plants to Ardnagashel. New information shows that Samuel planted a wonderful collection of fir trees in the arboretum at Ardnagashel in the 1840s or 1850s which came from Kew Gardens. This was through the Hutchins family’s connection to Sir William Jackson Hooker, first Director of Kew Gardens, who had been a botanist friend of Ellen’s.

When Samuel died in 1862, ownership of the Ardnagashel Estate passed to his eldest son, Emanuel (1823-1880) and on Emanuel’s death in 1880 it passed to his brother, Samuel Newburgh.

Ardnagashel House

Samuel Newburgh and Mariana Isabella Hutchins

SAMUEL Newburgh, who had spent some time in Australia in his youth, returned to Ireland and studied law at Trinity College Dublin, becoming a barrister and a Justice of the Peace. He married Mariana Isabella (1850-9 Nov 1939, neé Harrison from Harrison Castle Co. Cork near Limerick) in 1873. Descendants of theirs still own East Ardnagashel. Their children were:

  • Mary (c. 1874 – 1935 married Captain Percy George Brown)
  • Frances Newburgh (c. 1875-1939; married Admiral Edmund Hyde-Smith)
  • Richard (27 July 1876-1915; buried in Ardnagashel)
  • Samuel (known as Ley: 30 August 1877- 11 February 1961; engagement 1915, married in 1916 to Effie Penniman Eddy)
  • Alicia Isabella (known as Lily: 4 Jan 1879-4 Feb 1960; wife of Brigadier General John McDougall Haskard [27 Nov 1877-26 Aug 1967], buried at The Abbey in Bantry)
  • Emanuel (12 Feb 1882-8 Nov 1927; buried in Ardnagashel with his sister Margaret Ellen)
  • Margaret Ellen (known as Peggy; 1883-Dec 1939; unmarried; buried in Ardnagashel with her brother Emanuel)
  • Aline Katherine (known as Aline or Kate; 1884-14 April 1909; unmarried, buried in Ardnagashel)
  • Madeline (3-24 Nov 1885; buried in Ardnagashel)
  • Francis Harold (known as Frank; 17 Feb 1887-7 June 1962;  buried in Ardnagashel)
  • Thomas Arthur (20 July 1888-13 May 1915; killed in action in Gallipoli)
  • Ellen Madeline (9 Aug 1890-20 Aug 1986; known as Dell; buried at The Abbey in Bantry with her sister Marian Geraldine)
  • Marion Geraldine (known as Gerry: 8 April 1894-7 Dec 1969; buried at The Abbey in Bantry with her sister Ellen Madeline)

Richard and Isabel Alice Edith Hutchins

RICHARD, the eldest son, inherited Ardnagashel on 9th July 1910 when he married Isabel Alice Edith (neé Peacock). He died less than three weeks after his father’s death (father 22 April 1915, son 15 May 1915). They had three children of whom the youngest child, a son, inherited Ardnagashel Estate.

  • Mary Patricia Hutchins (known as Patricia; 25 April 1911-1985; author of Ezra Pound’s Kensington, James Joyce’s Dublin and James Joyce’s World, married to Irish poet Robert Greacen [24 Oct 1920–13 April 2008])
  • Margaret Isabel Olive, known as Peggy (10 Nov 1913-1997)
  • Richard Newburgh (known as Dick: 28 April 1915-19 Jan 2013, read his obituary written by his daughter Madeline Hutchins here)

1915 saw the deaths of three male members of the Hutchins family, Samuel Newburgh Hutchins and two of his sons, Richard and Thomas. Richard was a Captain in the 4th battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers, and Thomas was a Trooper in the Australian Light Horse. Thomas was killed at Gallipoli on 13 May 1915. Four of Samuel Newburgh and Marianne Hutchins’s sons served in the First World War, from four separate continents, where they were living and working: Samuel (Ley) in Sudan, Francis (Frank) in Canada, Richard in Ireland, and Thomas in Australia. Only two came home.

In 1921 widow Isabel had to leave the country together with her three small children – it was the height of the War of Independence and many Anglo-Irish homes were attacked and burnt down. The Western part of the estate was sold to the Kaulback family after WW2. They managed to restore and replenish the neglected gardens and ran the house as a widely known summer hotel (until the late sixties).

7 thoughts on “the hutchins family

  1. Discovering this blog, and the link to the obituary, has brought back some really happy memories. I got to know Dick Hutchins in Bedfordshire in the late 1990s – a lovely man, and I particularly remember his remarkable collection of Ordnance Survey maps! Thanks to him, I was able to stay at East Ardnagashel for a glorious week in the summer of 2000; by coincidence, I recently rediscovered the photos, and spent part of the Easter weekend scanning the negatives. I always intended to go back, but circumstances conspired to prevent that. Hopefully I’ll be able to rectify this in the near future!

  2. Many thanks for this information about Ellen Hutchins and her family. I came across her name in the travel journal of a Welsh Botanist, Lewis Dillwyn, who visited the South of Ireland in 1809. Dillwyn knew Ellen Hutchins, since she had earlier contributed to one of his works. He visited her and her family, admiring her collections. The diary was edited by Gerard Lyne in the Journal of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society, and is now available at the CELT website (

  3. Just been speaking with my father who grew up at Ardnagashel house during the 20s and 30s, as his mother was housekeeper to General Haskard until they bought a piece of land nearby and had a house built.

  4. Kevin. I have found at least one lovely photo of your grandmother and some of her sons at Ardnagashel, in the1930s, sent by her to my grandmother, Isobel Hutchins. I can scan and send them to you.

  5. Madeline, I have written to Arethusa re. Uncle Dick’s death. I heard from a member of the Irish Tree Society at a lecture given by Thomas Pakenham at the RDS. We visited Ardnagashel in summer 2012, and Dick took us on a wonderful trail through the woods, pointing out every tree of note, and where the wheelchair couldn’t go, we were given strict instructions of what to watch out for & note. We browsed his ordinance survey maps, and took photos of the Champion tree.which was yet to fall, sadly, in a gale, up the drive from Peggy’s house. It was all so very inspirational and wonderful. I live in a mini version of Ardnagashel in the Dublin hills. My visits to Ardnagashel in the 50s made a huge impression on me, and were largely responsible for establishing my great love affair with trees. I am surrounded by approx. 7 acres of trees and rhododendrons in the hills overlooking Dublin Bay; a mini replica of your family seat.

  6. Pingback: Hutchins of Bantry Magistrates and Hutchins family Portrait at Ardnagashel c 1900 House now Demolished. | West Cork History

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