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The Henn Family of Paradise, County Clare, Ireland

Part 2: The Henn Pedigree & Notes on the Generations

See pedigree image below.

1st Generation
William of Dorking: The records do not indicate his line of business other than that he invested heavily in property, evidently with success, for they show that he gradually acquired some of the prime property in the centre of Dorking and that he and his sons were accorded the status of Gentlemen. Anne Birch, whom he married in Dorking, died of the plague.

2nd Generation
(The Baptismal dates shown for this and subsequent generations are taken from the Parish Registers, in which there is a gap between 1571-1578)

Parish Records throw little light on the subsequent history of the first, second and fifth sons, Thomas, Richard and Hugh (or of the three daughters), but Henry (1577-1665) was created 1st Baronet by Charles I in 1642, for what reason is not clear.

William married Marye Graye in Dorking in 1597, and it is from this union that the Henns of Paradise are descended.

Hugh’s wife Katherine was daughter of Anthony Bickerstaffe of Croydon, Surrey.

3rd Generation
[The Legal profession is prominent in the Henn pedigree from this generation onwards. Chapter XIX of J. Roderick O’Flanagan’s ‘The Irish Bar’, [LINK TO part 3.doc] London, 1879, is devoted to the Henn Family. Those mentioned in it are indicated by * in the following Notes.]

Henry (1632-1705) succeeded as 2nd Baronet in 1665 aged 33. He had several sons by his wife, daughter of Sir John Corbet.

*Henry (the son of William and Marye Graye and baptized in 1609) was a Puisne Baron from 1673 of the Court of the Exchequer in Ireland by Charles II in 1679 but relinquished the office on the accession of James II in 1685. Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms, 1868 states in his ‘Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland’:

“It is an interesting fact connected with this distinguished family that Henry Hene, the Lord Chief Baron, a man of known attachment to the Protestant faith, was removed from his high office by King James II in order to make way for Mr. Henn’s maternal ancestor, Sir Stephen Rice, created Lord chief Baron A.D. 1686, upon whom the Sovereign afterwards bestowed the Barony of Mounteagle.”

Henry (the son of Hugh and Katherine Bickerstaffe) is described as being of the Inner Temple, London.

4th Generation
Henry (1652-1689), son of the 2nd Baronet, predeceased his father and thus did not succeed to the title.

Richard, who married Barbara Lewin, died in 1717. It was he to whom the Paradise estates in County Clare were granted by the Earl of Thomond in 1685 but, since he died without issue, the estates and property passed to his brother –

Thomas, the new owner of Paradise, was married to Barbara Darby but otherwise little is known of him.

5th Generation
Richard, the 3rd Baronet, died without issue and the title with him.

Richard, who married Bridget Hickman in 1731, inherited the Paradise estates on the death of his father in 1735. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1736 and was High Sheriff for Co. Clare in 1738. (Records held by the Clare Heritage Centre, Corofin, show that a Richard Henn married an Elizabeth McMahon in 1744. It is not clear who this is; perhaps Bridget had died and Richard married again?)

*William, who married Eliza Barry, attended Trinity College, Dublin in about 1734. He was High Sheriff for Co. Clare in 1766 and a Judge of the King’s Bench for Ireland in 1767, from which he retired in 1790.

6th Generation
William, who married Bridget Brown, inherited the Paradise estates in his turn, his elder brother Thomas having died young.

*William, who married Susana Lovett, sister of Sir Jonathan Lovett of Lipsombe Park, Buckinghamshire, was Master of the Irish Court of Chancery in 1793. (I have a head and shoulders portrait of him drawn in pencil by the miniature artist Comerford. It has on its reverse the following note in the handwriting of T.R. Henn (1814-1901):

“William Henn, Master of Chancery – my Grandfather. Only son of the Honble. William Henn, one of the Judges of King’s Bench in Ireland, by his wife, Elizabeth Barry. He married Susanna, sister of the late Sir Jonathan Lovett, Bart., of Lipscombe Park in Buckinghamshire. The portrait in pencil is the work of the famous painter, Comerford.
Memo. By T. Rice Henn of Paradise Hill.
P.S. William Henn (the Judge) was the 2nd son of Thomas Henn of Paradise Hill.”)

7th Generation
Richard, who in his turn inherited the Paradise estates, was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1794. He married Mary Arthur (a granddaughter of Sir Edmund O’Brien of Dromoland) but he pre-deceased her. As none of their children (the 8th Generation) had male issue, the Paradise estates were devised to her brother, Thomas Arthur of Glanomera.

Edmund, on his marriage to Mary Gennys, adopted the surname Henn-Gennys. It appears that at one stage he was a Lieutenant in the 24th Regiment of Grenadiers.

Poole’s wife Sarah was the daughter of George Henry Pentland of Blackhall, Co. Louth.

*William (1782-1857) was called to the Irish Bar in 1808 and practiced on the Munster Circuit until appointed a Master in Chancery and elected a Bencher of the King’s Inn, 1822, continuing in this office until his sudden death in 1857, aged 72. His wife, Mary Rice, was the eldest daughter of George Fosbery of Clorane, Co. Limerick by his wife Christiana, daughter of Thomas Rice of Mount Trenchard, Co. Limerick – hence the name Rice in the Henn pedigree.

*Jonathan, who died unmarried, became a Queen’s Counsel and was even more prominent at the Irish Bar than his elder brother.

Richard’s wife Maria was the daughter of Joseph Atkinson of Upper Mount Street, Dublin. He joined the Royal Navy, served as a Midshipman under Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen, 1801, and achieved the rank of Commander.

Susanna and Elizabeth married, respectively, the Revd. Charles Mayne of Killaloe and Edward Mayne of St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, these being the eldest and second sons of the Hon. Judge Mayne.

Frances married Stephen Collins QC of Merrion Square, Dublin. One of their three (?) sons was Richard Henn-Collins who became Lord Chief Justice and was created Baron Collins of Kensington. (He married Jane, the daughter of the Very Revd. Ogle William Moore, Dean of Claughter, and a daughter of that marriage, Frances Helen, re-entered the Henn pedigree by marrying in 1905 Henry Henn, Bishop of Burnley – see 9th Generation, below.)

8th Generation
William (1813-1853) was education at Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1835, MA 1842) and became a priest. He died unmarried in Marseilles, where he lies buried. His Passport and Prayer Book have been passed down to me. (The latter, a fine Demy Quarto volume, leather-bound with his name in gold letters on red leather ground, is dated 1813 – the year of his birth.)

*Thomas Rice, educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Dublin, was a Barrister-at-Law, King’s Counsellor, Deputy Lieutenant, Justice of the Peace for County Clare, County Court Judge, Chairman of Quarter Sessions for County Carlow (1859) and Recorder of Galway (1878). His wife Jane Isabella was the second daughter of Rt. Hon. Francis Blackburne, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, of Rathfarnham Castle, Co. Dublin. It was he who bought Paradise estates back into the Henn family after some 30 years in the ownership of the Arthur family. The following appeared in ‘The Clare Champion’, 17th June, 1999 under the caption “Turning the Clock Back – 100, 125, and 135 years.”

“A Considerate Landlord
It is with feelings of peculiar pleasure we record this evening and act of kindness on the part of a County Clare landlord that reflects considerable credit upon that gentleman, who is no other than Thomas Rice Henn, Esq., who, through his popular and esteemed agent, Thomas Greene, Esq., has very kindly given a permanent reduction of 20 per cent in the rent of one of his tenants, named Simon Kelly, on the Ballycorick property. This humane act at such an opportune time as this when agriculture and commercial affairs appear so gloomy, can’t but be a welcome and acceptable boon to Kelly, who in grateful terms narrated his landlord’s kindness to us.”

Mary, married to John James Stanford, Clerk of the Crown for Co. Meath, had a son who became Sir. C.V. Stanford.

Jane’s husband, *Robert Holmes of Moycashel, Co. Meath, was a Barrister-at-Law.

9th Generation
William (1847-1894), who was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1862, became an officer in the Royal Navy, reaching the rank of Lieutenant before retiring to follow his prime interest, yachting. His experiences while still serving in the Royal Navy included actions in the Caribbean, anti-slave trafficking operations in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf, action ashore during the Abyssinian War, and a leading role in the Royal Geographical Society’s Livingstone Relief Expedition. After leaving the Royal Navy he won many Ocean and Passage races in the Mediterranean in his 70-ton yawl ‘Gertrude’ and other yachting exploits included his challenge for the America’s Cup in 1886 in ‘Galatea’ (which was his and his wife’s home!). He died without issue at Paradise and lies buried in the family graveyard there. His wife Susan, who came from the Isle of Bute and who was herself an enthusiastic yachtswoman, continued to live aboard ‘Galatea’, dying on board her at Plymouth and being buried at Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. ‘Galatea’, a steel yacht, was subsequently broken up at Southampton.

William (1847-1894)
William Henn (1847-1894)

Francis Blackburne, educated at Radley and Trinity College, Dublin, was a Barrister-at-Law of the Inner Temple, London, JP for Co. Clare and JP and Resident Magistrate for Co. Sligo. His wife, Helen Letitia, was the daughter of Colonel Francis Gore MFH, of Woodlawn, Knock, Co. Clare; they were married on 28th October, 1880. In his autobiography ‘Five Arches’, his son, Thomas Rice of the 10th generation, writes of him:

“He had been to Radley, a good runner and oarsman; then, after the family pattern, a classical scholar of Trinity College, Dublin; then the Inner Temple, the Bar, and a return to Admiralty practice in Dublin. A marriage that was early, or at least before he was established in practice, took him to a Resident Magistracy, first at Ballina and then at Sligo. He retired in 1913 and died of cancer two years later. He was of less than middle height, with twinkling blue eyes and a face weather-beaten from an open-air life; for though he was a lawyer, he had to drive long distances in all sorts of weather, by horse and trap, to his Courts. There was always a coachman, except when my Mother drove him to Quarter-Sessions and the like; for he had no skill with horses, and I think mistrusted them. In a boat he was superb; experienced, quick and fearless (he had steered big yachts in races on the Clyde)… He had been, perhaps, one of the best shots in Ireland, and I do not know that his record of thirty-nine snipe with forty-one cartridges has been bettered. …He was an excellent fisherman, both in fresh and salt water, making and inventing his own gear and tying his own flies …He was fifty-three when I was born.” [There is much else about both him and his wife in this book.]

Thomas Rice (1840-1880)
Thomas Rice Henn(1840-1880)

Thomas Rice, who died unmarried, was also (like his brother William) appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1862. He was commissioned into the Corps of Royal Engineers and was killed in the disastrous Battle of Maiwand, Afghanistan in 1880, reputedly as one of those in the epic ‘Stand of the Last Eleven’. A fine Memorial tabled to him was erected in the north transept of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, by the family, and his brother officers of the Corps erected a Memorial Window to him in Rochester Cathedral (where his name is also inscribed on a general Corps Memorial). The Librarian of the Royal Engineers’ Library, Chatham, once told me that the Corps believed that T.R. Henn deserved a Victoria Cross for his leadership during the Battle but that, as no eye witnesses to his gallantry had survived, no reward was possible. I have presented his posthumously awarded Afghan Medal together with some other mementos, including a sketch of his battlefield grave made later by another Royal Engineer officer, to the Royal Engineer Museum, Chatham.

Thomas Rice Henn plaque
Thomas Rice Henn plaque

Edward Lovett, a Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, became a Barrister-at-Law, also of the Inner Temple, London. His wife Margaret was the daughter of Mitchell Henry of Kylemore Castle, Co. Galway (and one time MP for that county). They were married at St. James’s, Piccadilly, London. Their only child Eric was killed in action in France in 1915.

Richard Arthur Milton was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Artillery, becoming a Lieutenant Colonel in the regiment and Honorary Colonel of Limerick City Royal Garrison Artillery (Militia). He was a JP for Co. Clare. His wife Elizabeth was the only daughter of Charles Heaton-Armstrong of Larch Hill, Co. Clare, and 79 George Street, Limerick, by his wife Georgina Mary, eldest daughter of Richard John Delazouche Stacpoole, of Eden Vale, Co. Clare. Their first child, a daughter born at Clonakilla House, near Paradise, survived for only a few days and is buried in the graveyard at Paradise.

Henry, a Scholar of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, entered the Church in which, after a distinguished record, he was appointed Bishop of Burnley in 1909. His wife Helen, whom he married at St. Mary’s Church, The Boltons, South Kensington, London, in 1905, was the eldest daughter of Richard Henn-Collins (Lord Collins PC, formerly Master of the Rolls), and a granddaughter of the Frances Henn (of the 7th Generation) who had married Stephen Collins in 1831. After his death the following was published in ‘The Times’:

“The Bishop of Burnley
Bishop Knox writes:
Your columns are now so crowded that I scarcely dare to ask for even a few lines to express my appreciation of the late Bishop of Burley. Yet it ought not to go without mention that in a quiet way, and almost unconsciously, he made very real sacrifices in response to the call of God to the ministry. With splendid gifts and a great practical ability which promised a brilliant career either at the Bar or at the university, he gave himself up to work in Lancashire. Lancashire has her rewards for those who serve her, but they are not such as might be expected to attract a Cambridge Don. Henn threw himself heart and soul into Lancashire life and work, and carried, wherever he went, a joyous, almost boyish, spirit, pouring out his treasures of fun, of learning which was almost encyclopedic, and of deep-seated piety. He carried sunshine into Lancashire’s most murky streets, lanes, homes and churches, never downcast, never tired, never unkind nor scornful; nor deeming, what I myself held strongly, that the Church of England might to her own advantage have made greater use of his splendid endowments and capacities. Lancashire was the gainer, and she owes him a very deep debt.”

In 2008 I donated to the current Bishop of Burnley, the Rt. Revd. Geoff Pearson, an Illuminated Address which had been presented to Henry by the parishioners of St. Paul’s Church, Preston, Lancashire, of which Henry had been Vicar (1895-1901), together with a signed photograph of Henry in ecclesiastical robes.

10th Generation
William Francis was commissioned during the 1914-1918 war into the Royal Munster Fusiliers and served at Gallipoli (wounded and Mentioned-in-Despatches) and Palestine. After the war he joined the Egyptian-Sudan Civil Service, serving in the Egyptian Police in which he became Commandant of the Alexandria City Police (1930-1937). From 1937-1959 he was Chief Constable of Gloucestershire. His wife Geraldine was the daughter of Thomas George Stacpoole-Mahon of Corbally, Co. Clare, by his wife Geraldine Mary, eldest daughter of 14th Baron Inchiquin of Dromoland Castle, Co. Clare.

Thomas Rice, who achieved the rank of Brigadier during the 1939-1945 war, was a distinguished Cambridge academic and Yeats scholar. He has left a full account of his life, especially his early childhood at Paradise, and career in his autobiography (which includes his poetry) published posthumously as ‘Five Arches’ (Colin Smyth, Gerrards Cross, 1980) – the five arches representing the five stages of his life.

11th Generation
William Bryan’s passion was for flying, to which he devoted most of his life. He was born in Dublin on 22nd October, 1917 and died on 19th December, 1978, aged 61. During World War II he served in the Royal Air Force and as a Hurricane fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain was shot down and severely burnt having destroyed an enemy bomber. After the war he had a career in civilian aviation. He was married four times.

Francis Robert. Early childhood was spent in Egypt, where I was born in 1920, but was at boarding school in England from 1929 until entering Sandhurst in 1939. From there I was commissioned into the Gloucestershire Regiment and joined its 5th Battalion, taking part in the 1940 campaign in France and Belgium and evacuation from Dunkirk. On conversion of the battalion into a regiment of the new Reconnaissance Corps I remained with it until the end of the war in 1945. It landed in Normandy in June 1944 but suffered heavy losses when its ship was mined off the beaches (I was a fortunate survivor). Thereafter, it fought through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany to end near Bremen.

Family 1936
Family group outside Paradise, Summer 1936.
(L-R): Geraldine Matthews, Geraldine Henn (née Mahon), Frank Henn,
Margaret Henn, Michael Matthews, Hester Matthews (née Mahon). Hester and Geraldine were sisters.

On disbandment of the Reconnaissance Corps in 1946 I transferred to the 11th Hussars, a regular cavalry regiment operating in the armored car role and then stationed in Germany, where I continued to serve until entering the Army Staff College, Camberley in 1951. On graduating I served in the War Office, London until 1954, when I returned to the 11th Hussars on active service in Malaya. While here I met Monica Russell, then working in the Commissioner General’s office in Singapore. In 1956 I was posted to the Royal Armored Corps Centre in Bovington, Dorset, and on 2nd March, 1957 Monica and I were married. After six months (1958/1959) at the Joint Services Staff College, Latimer (during which Frances was born) I re-joined the 11th Hussars for a few months at Carlisle until appointed Training Major for two years of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars at Cirencester. From 1962-1964 I served again in the War Office, with two years in the Ministry of Defence following.

In 1966 Monica and Frances accompanied me to Australia on my appointment to the Directing Staff of the Australian Army Staff College of Queenscliffe, Victoria. We returned to the UK in 1968 and in 1969 I joined the staff of the Chief of Defence Staff in London. I held this post until 1972, when I took over as Chief of Staff and Commander of the British Contingent of the United Nations Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). Monica and Frances accompanied me to Cyprus but had to be evacuated urgently in August 1974 when Turkey invaded the island in July; I followed them home in October when my tour of duty expired. Final army service was as Manager of the Army Presentation Team at the Ministry of Defence until I reached the retiring age of 55 In November 1975.

Subsequent years were occupied with lecturing at home and abroad on UN peacekeeping operations, writing my book ‘A Business of Some Heat’, service for three years as a Special Adviser on Cyprus to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, and for several more as a committee member of St. John’s Ambulance, Somerset, the Council for the protection of Rural England, Somerset, and Stoke Trister Parochial Church Council. The latter were given up in 1999 on moving to Oxfordshire, but I continue to serve as President of the 43rd (Wessex) Division Association, a post I accepted in 1997.

Margaret Geraldine. She was born in Cairo, Egypt on 2nd July, 1922 and education at Queen Anne’s School, Caversham. During World War II she served as a VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) nurse in Scotland and later in Australia. In 1947 she married Peter Beaufoy Foster, then a Captain in the Royal Horse Artillery, and accompanied him when serving in Germany, Libya and England. He held a series of senior appointments in the Royal Artillery, culminating in that of Major General, Royal Artillery, British Army of the Rhine. On retirement, he served for several years as lay Chapter Clerk of Salisbury Cathedral. He died in 2007. Of their four children, the first son, Nigel died in infancy, the second, Nicholas, followed his father into the Royal Artillery and the third, Mark, after embarking on a musical education in London, decided to live in Australia and has not married. Their eldest child, Susan, achieved First Class Honours at Bristol University.

12th and 13th Generations
It is premature to write notes on those of these two young generations. I leave this as a future task for others.


Henn Pedigree

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