© philip medlicott 2021

The Family of Medlicott

SOME REMINISCENCES

as told by the late James E. Medlicott of Dunmurry, County Kildare, and noted by his daughter Helen.

1. THE MAIL COACH. One of his earliest recollections was during the summer visits with his young brother and sister to their Grandmother, old Mrs Speer (who had been a Donovan of Ballymore Castle, Co.Wexford), at "Granitefield." near Monkstown, Dublin, and their rush to the nursery window in the early mornings to see the Wexford Mail Coach pass. The Guard soon came to look out for the little waving hands, and an extra long and loud performance was given on the coach horn for their benefit. My Father came across the old coachman many years later in Wexford, and the old man remembered the greeting of the little children perfectly, and recalled the fact that his father had been a tenant on the Donovan estate, at Ballymore. 2. FIRST TRAIN in IRELAND. My father was very young when, with his brother Edward, he was taken by his Father in the first train to run between either Dalkey and Dublin, or Kingston and Dublin. At Westland Row Terminus the train stopped with such a jerk that his father was thrown violently against one of the upright poles that supported the roof of the open carriage, receiving a head wound which had to be stitched. The Railway officials took charge of the children while the patient was being attended to in a near-by surgery. The sight of the blood, and the sudden separation from their father naturally filled the children with terror, which was a lasting memory. The identical train (or part, with the engine) is in a Dublin Museum, and was on exhibition in Dublin some years ago. 3. SAVED THE, PARISH PRIEST of KILDARE. The following story was told to my Father by my Grand­father, who had it verbatim from his father :- My Gt. Grandfather was riding into Kildare along the Monasterevan road during the rebellion of 1798, when he came upon a number of soldiers with their officer, about to hang on a roadside tree, the Parish Priest of Kildare - a man universally loved and respected. He immediately went to the rescue and, making himself responsible to the officer for the prisoner, took him back to Kildare in safety. The reason for this proceeding I have never heard, but the Kildare people have not forgotten the part my Gt. Grandfather took in what, but for his intervention, might have been a tragedy. A Protestant clergyman once mentioned the story to me, and said "It will always be remembered gratefully to your family by the Kildare people. 4. A RIDING FEAT. At the great age of 90, my Great-grandfather, who was a fearless and impetuous rider, rode down the face of Dunmurry Hill on the North side known as "Guidenstown," a hazardous feat, as the Hill on that side is almost precipitous. The fox had broken from the Dunmurry side, crossed the high shoulder of the Hill running down into the valley, and up towards the "Chair of Kildare." My Great- grandfather was the only member of the hunt to follow. This feat was long remembered locally, and was mentioned in print, in (I think) the "Gentleman's Magazine" of that period. 5. LITTLE PETER My Grandfather - Edward Medlicott - had a favourite hack, a small horse called "Little Peter." When be was courting his future wife, the beautiful Anne Speer, he used to ride Little Peter over 35 Irish miles, direct to "Granitefield", near Kingston (where her parents spent each summer), and, it for any reason he could not see his lady love, thought nothing of turning for home, without a rest or feed for either himself or Little Peter. What horse nowadays would be able for such a day's work? 6. A YOUNG J.P. My Father was only 21 years of age when he was appointed a magistrate, and used to sit at the Rathangan Petty Sessions. His father was a J.P. for the County, and sat at Kildare. This was one of the rare instances of a father and son both being magistrates at the same time, and so could not sit on the same bench. Later my father was made a magistrate for the County. 7. THE OLD CASTLE, HOUSE and CHURCH. In the "Ashpark" and "Church Field" are (or used to be) piles of old square cut stones. These are the remains of the ruins of the old castle, and the small Church or Chapel belonging to the castle. From the Church or Chapel comes, of course, the name of the adjoining field - the Church field. If not destroyed purposely at the Reformation, this tiny Church was evidently allowed to fall into disuse. The out-line of this tiny Church can just be traced in the churchyard. The old house was pulled down as being unsafe, when my father was a very small boy. Its walls were 6 feet in thickness. There was a good deal of oak panelling, apparently not esteemed of value, and for which a carpenter working on the new house, asked, and was allowed to remove. (What a value would be put on real old panelling nowadays!). My Father could just remember as a boy seeing an old and ruined arch standing half way down to the stable-yard, which was pulled down by his father. The late Lord Walter Fitzgerald (a noted antiquarian) considered the old buildings in the stable-yard to be at least from 500 to 600 years old. On the North side behind the pigsty and the old chicken-house, (now, I believe, done away with) was a small door, through which beggars and tramps used to be fed, especially during the famine years 1847-9, when food was distributed daily. 8. THE KENNELS My Great - grandfather (James Medlicott), kept a private pack of hounds. The kennels were apparently at the end of the pond, opposite to the back gate to the yard, and where there is now a plantation. The stones of the pathway skirting that end of the pond clearly show remains of some building. 9. THE DUKE of LEINSTER'S OFFER. My Great-grandfather (James Medlicott) was a great friend of the then Duke of Leinster,, and were 'Jimmy" and "George" to each other. This Duke offered my Gt. Grandfather the lands running from the Dunmurry boundary of "Featherbed Lane" and the "White fields" to the Currage Edge (which used to be known as "Murrin's Farm"), at the nominal rent of 5/- an acre for ever. But, for some reason, there was delay, and the Duke died before, the lease could be signed. The original unsigned lease was shown to my father by the then Agent of the Leinster estates (Mr. Hamilton) many years ago.

© philip medlicott 2021

Dunmurry Hill

The Family of Medlicott

SOME REMINISCENCES

as told by the late James E. Medlicott of Dunmurry,

County Kildare, and noted by his daughter Helen.

1. THE MAIL COACH. One of his earliest recollections was during the summer visits with his young brother and sister to their Grandmother, old Mrs Speer (who had been a Donovan of Ballymore Castle, Co.Wexford), at "Granitefield." near Monkstown, Dublin, and their rush to the nursery window in the early mornings to see the Wexford Mail Coach pass. The Guard soon came to look out for the little waving hands, and an extra long and loud performance was given on the coach horn for their benefit. My Father came across the old coachman many years later in Wexford, and the old man remembered the greeting of the little children perfectly, and recalled the fact that his father had been a tenant on the Donovan estate, at Ballymore. 2. FIRST TRAIN in IRELAND. My father was very young when, with his brother Edward, he was taken by his Father in the first train to run between either Dalkey and Dublin, or Kingston and Dublin. At Westland Row Terminus the train stopped with such a jerk that his father was thrown violently against one of the upright poles that supported the roof of the open carriage, receiving a head wound which had to be stitched. The Railway officials took charge of the children while the patient was being attended to in a near- by surgery. The sight of the blood, and the sudden separation from their father naturally filled the children with terror, which was a lasting memory. The identical train (or part, with the engine) is in a Dublin Museum, and was on exhibition in Dublin some years ago. 3. SAVED THE, PARISH PRIEST of KILDARE. The following story was told to my Father by my Grand­father, who had it verbatim from his father :- My Gt. Grandfather was riding into Kildare along the Monasterevan road during the rebellion of 1798, when he came upon a number of soldiers with their officer, about to hang on a roadside tree, the Parish Priest of Kildare - a man universally loved and respected. He immediately went to the rescue and, making himself responsible to the officer for the prisoner, took him back to Kildare in safety. The reason for this proceeding I have never heard, but the Kildare people have not forgotten the part my Gt. Grandfather took in what, but for his intervention, might have been a tragedy. A Protestant clergyman once mentioned the story to me, and said "It will always be remembered gratefully to your family by the Kildare people. 4. A RIDING FEAT. At the great age of 90, my Great-grandfather, who was a fearless and impetuous rider, rode down the face of Dunmurry Hill on the North side known as "Guidenstown," a hazardous feat, as the Hill on that side is almost precipitous. The fox had broken from the Dunmurry side, crossed the high shoulder of the Hill running down into the valley, and up towards the "Chair of Kildare." My Great- grandfather was the only member of the hunt to follow. This feat was long remembered locally, and was mentioned in print, in (I think) the "Gentleman's Magazine" of that period. 5. LITTLE PETER My Grandfather - Edward Medlicott - had a favourite hack, a small horse called "Little Peter." When be was courting his future wife, the beautiful Anne Speer, he used to ride Little Peter over 35 Irish miles, direct to "Granitefield", near Kingston (where her parents spent each summer), and, it for any reason he could not see his lady love, thought nothing of turning for home, without a rest or feed for either himself or Little Peter. What horse nowadays would be able for such a day's work? 6. A YOUNG J.P. My Father was only 21 years of age when he was appointed a magistrate, and used to sit at the Rathangan Petty Sessions. His father was a J.P. for the County, and sat at Kildare. This was one of the rare instances of a father and son both being magistrates at the same time, and so could not sit on the same bench. Later my father was made a magistrate for the County. 7. THE OLD CASTLE, HOUSE and CHURCH. In the "Ashpark" and "Church Field" are (or used to be) piles of old square cut stones. These are the remains of the ruins of the old castle, and the small Church or Chapel belonging to the castle. From the Church or Chapel comes, of course, the name of the adjoining field - the Church field. If not destroyed purposely at the Reformation, this tiny Church was evidently allowed to fall into disuse. The out-line of this tiny Church can just be traced in the churchyard. The old house was pulled down as being unsafe, when my father was a very small boy. Its walls were 6 feet in thickness. There was a good deal of oak panelling, apparently not esteemed of value, and for which a carpenter working on the new house, asked, and was allowed to remove. (What a value would be put on real old panelling nowadays!). My Father could just remember as a boy seeing an old and ruined arch standing half way down to the stable- yard, which was pulled down by his father. The late Lord Walter Fitzgerald (a noted antiquarian) considered the old buildings in the stable-yard to be at least from 500 to 600 years old. On the North side behind the pigsty and the old chicken- house, (now, I believe, done away with) was a small door, through which beggars and tramps used to be fed, especially during the famine years 1847-9, when food was distributed daily. 8. THE KENNELS My Great - grandfather (James Medlicott), kept a private pack of hounds. The kennels were apparently at the end of the pond, opposite to the back gate to the yard, and where there is now a plantation. The stones of the pathway skirting that end of the pond clearly show remains of some building. 9. THE DUKE of LEINSTER'S OFFER. My Great- grandfather (James Medlicott) was a great friend of the then Duke of Leinster,, and were 'Jimmy" and "George" to each other. This Duke offered my Gt. Grandfather the lands running from the Dunmurry boundary of "Featherbed Lane" and the "White fields" to the Currage Edge (which used to be known as "Murrin's Farm"), at the nominal rent of 5/- an acre for ever. But, for some reason, there was delay, and the Duke died before, the lease could be signed. The original unsigned lease was shown to my father by the then Agent of the Leinster estates (Mr. Hamilton) many years ago.