The Arthur’s of Ennistymon.


Patrick Arthur, Ancestor of the Arthur’ of Ennistymon:


It has been difficult to get much information about this Patrick Arthur who lived in Ennistymon around the beginning of the 19th century. From him have descended the Arthur’s of Ennistymon, Clonmel, families in New York, Galway, Dr Charles Arthur’s family in Brighton, the Bennan’s of London, the Cassidy’s near Ennistymon, McCarthy’s of Fermoy, the O’Dea and the Flatleys of Kinvara, the McDonough’s of Ennistymon, the Kelly’s of Clonmel, the Bourke’s of Clonmel & the Johnson family of Kinvara. This Patrick is recorded a dying at the age of 98 in 1841 which means that he would have been born in 1743. It seems probable that Patrick was the son of a first marriage of Patrick Arthur of Limerick which I will discuss in another paragraph.

In the marriage agreement between William Arthur and John Considine in 1813 there is the mention of a Joseph Arthur, merchant of the city of Limerick. This Joseph seems to have been the Joseph Arthur, Merchant; Main-street who it would seem was the brother of Patrick Arthur (Patt)as their businesses were running beside each other in 1769 in Limerick’s main street. Patrick Arthur of Ennistymon may have been the son of Joseph Arthur and was the father of our William. Therefore it is probable that the Patrick Arthur of Ennis and Ennistymon was the  son of the first Joseph Arthur mentioned as being the brother of Patrick (Patt) Arthur. This is one possible way to explain our relationship to Patrick Arthur and Francis Arthur however I am not convinced by this theory.

A possible connection to Patrick Arthur of Ennis is that there was a Walter Arthur in Ennis who it seems may have been have been a brother of Patrick. This Walter is mentioned in a number of documents and I am giving the text of the documents below.

While the above two possibilities may explain the relationship of Patrick Arthur of Ennistymon ( from now on referred to as PAE) to Patrick Arthur of Limerick ( from now on referred to as PAL) in my opinion they do not quite fit with the family oral history which states that PAE was a direct descendent of PAL so how could this be. It is possible that PAL was married twice and that PAE ( I call him Patrick of Ennistymon even though he only had houses in Ennistymon and possibly a farm his business interests were in Limerick and Ennis) was a son of a first marriage. PAE died in 1841 at the age of 98 which would mean he was born 1743 when his possible father PAL( who was born around 1717 )would have been about 26. Now Francis the son we know about was born in 1758 when PAL would have been about 41. To me the huge gap between the two births suggests that PAL had two wives and that as was common at that time the second wife defended her children inheritence rights by having the children of the first marriage removed from all rights of succession to their fathers estate. In the registry of deeds there is a reference to a Patrick Fitz Patrick Arthur which of course means Patrick the son of Patrick Arthur and this could be a reference to PAE if so it seems to be saying that he was the son of PAL. Charles William Augustus Arthur in the Arthur ledger refers to Francis Arthur as Francis Fitz Patrick which of course is Francis son of Patrick I find it unusual that both possible half brothers are referred to as being the son of Patrick and this was a way of naming that had almost died out at this time so it would seem that as both are referred to with the Fitz Patrick they could be related. Finally another to me unusual fact is that both Patrick's in documents were often referred to as Patt  to me indicating a possible relatonship as that spelling seems to have been used within the family. He may well have set PAE in business before cutting him off and if there were other children he may have set them up in business also or encouraged then into the Priesthood, to become nuns or the Military as was common for children of first marriages at that time. Joseph of whom we spoke earlier may well have been PAE's brother rather than his Uncle. This theory is a good one and fits the facts as we know them but finding documentary proof from that time will be difficult. It was very common at that time for men to marry multiple times as many women died in childbirth and for other reasons at a young age and it was usual for any children of previous marriages not to be mentioned in wills and usually any record of their relationship to their father would have been forgotten. The huge anger in my family among the older generation ( in 1800's)  about discussing the relationship to PAL could be explained by this theory as the only story about the relationship that I or as far as I know anyone else was ever told that we were directly descended from PAL and the fact that he was cut off from his family would explain this anger and the unwillingness of PAE and his son William and Williams son Joseph William to talk about their family could be explained by an anger at being cut off. Finally the name Patrick seems to have gone through the family, Patrick of Limerick's grandfather was a Patrick Arthur who was one of the aide de camp's to Patrick Sarsfield ( this Patrick may have been either the son or grandson of a Patrick Arthur of Cloonara who died about 1675) and Patrick's definite son Francis had a son called Patrick (all first born) so where was PAL's son Patrick, perhaps he was PAE. At that time if a child died in infancy the name was often given to the next child to be born so by that theory if PAL had a son called Patrick who died his next son would be called Patrick instead he was called Francis  so it is possible that that PAL had a son called Patrick who lived. It has now emerged that Patrick of Ennistymon may have had two sisters from the possible first marriage of Patrick of Limerick

Margaret Arthur:

Born 1744 and she died in 1775. She married John Howley about 1769 and she seems to be a daughter of Patrick Arthur as her daughter Helen Howley Ryan refers to him as her grandfather in correspondence in possession of the Ryan family.

Ursula Mary Arthur: Seems to be a sister of Margaret and may have been a nun in the palatinate in Germany. A letter from her in the possession of the Ryan Family of Limerick written by Ursula Mary talks about all this and gives us the clues as to who Margaret and Ursula Mary may be. I suspect that they could be the sisters of Patrick Arthur of Ennistymon from a first marriage of Patrick of Limerick.

Walter is mentioned below in this registry of deeds in 1752

Registered 11 November 1752 by Richard Studdert

Lease & Release dated 18th & 19th August 1750 between Richard Brew of Ennis, Co. Clare, gent., of the one part and Richard Studdert of Clonderlaw, Co. Clare, of the other part. Reciting that Francis Gore of Clounroad, Co. Clare, esq., did by indenture dated 5th April 1740 demise to said Richard Brew the Abby Meadow and the Abby Garden situate in the town of Ennis for the lives of said Richard Brew, the lessee, Richard Brew the younger, his eldest son, and of Francis Dixon, gent., at £7 yearly rent. That Francis Gore did by same indenture of same date demise to said Richard Brew the two tenements in the town of Ennis called Trisey's tenements with two stables & back garden thereto, which stables said Richard Brew has since converted into a Malthouse, for the term of three lives at £19 yearly rent. That by indenture dated 25 Oct. 1726 Wm. Westby of Ennis Esq., demised to said Richard. Brew the meadow then & ever since in occupation of said Richard. Brew, running on south with the Causeway leading from Ennis to Clonroad, for 3 lives with a covenant for renewal for ever, which lease was then in the hands of said Richard. Brew & once renewed. That said Richard. Brew was seized in fee simple  of part of the garden backwards of said two tenements and adjoining said Richard. Brew's garden. That Richard. Brew did by lease & release for cons 'on therein mentioned convey said freehold interests to Anthony Casey of Mount Scott, Co. Clare., Esq., subject to proviso of redemption. That said Anthony Casey did by lease & release dated as therein mentioned assign [the] mortgage to Maurice Studdert of Ennisconch [?], Co. Limerick, gent. That said Richard Brew for cons 'on therein mentioned agreed to convey the equity of redemption of said mortgaged premises to said Richard Studdert & his heirs. Witnesses' Richard Brew for cons 'on therein mentioned [illegible] to Richard Studdert said Abby Meadow & said Abby Garden and tenements with house & back garden thereto belonging & said meadow & garden backwards of said two new tenements & all his right of renewal thereto. To hold to Richard Studdert ( the Studdert family were very close to the Arthur family of Glenomera) and his heirs forever.

Witnesses to deeds: Thomas Stitt of Kilkishen, Co. Clare, gent. and Walter Arthur of Ennis, Co. Clare, merchant.

Witnesses to memorial: Thomas Stitt & Thomas Kean of City of Limerick, gent.

Thomas Stitt sworn at Ennis 12 August 1752 before B. Whitney on circuit


Here again is our Walter leasing Birchfield Estate and then leasing it to James O’Brien of Limerick 1796:- Lawrence Comyn leased Birchfield to Walter Arthur of Ennis and Walter Arthur to James O’Brien of Limerick.


Below Walter is welcoming the act of Union in 1800 along with other important people from Clare.

From the Ennis Chronicle 26 September 1799:

We whose Names are hereunto subscribed, deeply interested in the peace and prosperity of the Co. of Clare and Kingdom at large, APPROVE of the Measure of a LEGISLATIVE UNION with Great Britain on equal and liberal principles, and on a sense of mutual interests and affection, as the only means of tranquilizing this County, and abolishing those religious distinctions which have unhappily distracted this Kingdom.

Walter Arthur


It is probable that the Walter and William Arthur mentioned below are sons of Walter Arthur of Ennis mentioned in the last piece.


Registry of Freeholds 1828 for the Baronies of Bunratty, Inchiquin & Tulla:
Surname Index


Registry of Freeholds 1828


Freeholders registry




Baronies of Bunratty, Inchiquin & Tulla


Clare Journal & Ennis Advertiser - December 1828

Registry of Freeholds.
County of Clare.
The following are two of the Notices of Applications to Register Freeholds, delivered to the Clerk of the Peace, for the County of Clare, which were heard at Ennis Sessions, on the 14th day of January 1828, at 10 o’clock in the morning.











Rent charge on land at Dromeavan

Inchiquin Barony

ten pound




rent charge on land at Cloncolman

Inchiquin Barony

twenty pound


Below William Arthur ( almost certainly the son of Walter Arthur) appears along with others offering a reward for the capture of some thieves. The amount each donated is also mentioned.

Clare Journal, Thursday, 5th May, 1803

Whereas on the night of Wednesday 27 Day of April last in the absence of Michael Canny of Ennis, Notary Public, when at the Sessions at Milltown, some villains attempted to break into and plunder his house and on the night preceding the shop of Mrs. Gorman of Mill Street in said town was broke open and plundered of several articles of value and the shop of Mrs. McNamara of Church Street was also attempted in like manner and on the night of the 1st inst. the shop of Mrs. White in Church Street was also broke open and several other Houses and Shops in the town of Ennis within these few Nights last past. We, the Inhabitants of the said town of Ennis, do hereby offer the several Sums to our Names respectively annexed as a reward to any Persons who shall within three calendar months from the date hereof apprehend and prosecute to conviction any of the Persons Concerned. Given under our Hands this 5th Day of May 1803.

The numbers after each name denotes the number of guineas each subscribed.

Charles Mahon, 5 Gs; James Kinnane, 1, Luke McGrath, 1; William Arthur, 1; James Hickey, 1; James Gallery, 1; Francis Swyny, 1; Rich. England,1; Michael McNamara, 1; Wm. Fitzgerald, 2; Michael Hickey, 1; John Leary, 1; Francis Daly, 2; John Tierney, 1; Edward Mallon, 1; Robert Kean, Chas, 2; Anne White, 1; John England,1; William Greene, 2; John O'Neill, 1; James O'Connor, 1; John Carroll, 1; Michael Hilliard, 1; Luke Thomas, 1; William Emerson, 2; James O'Neill,1; George Lardner, 1; Mat. Williams, 2; James Sexton, 1; Dan. McMahon, 1; Hugh McLaughlin, 2; James O'Brien, 1; Thomas Roughen, 1; Thomas Butler, 2; Pat. Kean, 1; Daniel Roughen, 1; Michael Canny, 2; Wm. McGrath, 1; Edm. Donnellan, 1; James McLaughlin, 2; Michael Danaher, 1; George Edwards, 1; Thomas Darcy, 2; John R McGrath, 1; James P Crowe, 1; Catherine Gorman, 2; J. O'Neill, tobacconist, 1; John O'Donnell, 2; Richard Floyd, 2; William Kenny, 1; Daniel Finucane, 2; Anthony Horahan, 2; John E Kenny, 1; J. M'Cullen, 11s. 4 1/2d.; Edw. Haire, 1; Mich. Walsh, 1; M. O'Dea, 11s.4 1/2d.; Richard Baker, 1; Sylvester O'Gorman, 1; Ellen Hogan, 11s. 4 1/2d.; Joseph Haire, 1; Edmond Lynch, 1; Walter Nevian, 1; Andrew Joynt, 1; Daniel O'Keeffe, 1



Below is a letter signed by Walter Arthur showing that he was a loyal servant of the King.

Clare Journal, Monday, 13th February 1797

To Maurice O'Connor Esq, Vice Provost of Ennis. Sir, We the Inhabitants of this town, take this opportunity of expressing our most perfect approbation of the great zeal, unwearied diligence and strict impartiality you exerted in billeting the Soldiery in the late marches through it being entirely convinced that in the discharge of that duty your conduct was governed by the most unbiased wishes for the public good. The period was awful and alarming, far beyond any example of our time: It was not a time for languor or parsimony and here thank heaven, there did not appear a symptom of either: all, as if but one, animated by the same spirit of loyalty and diligence to the best of Kings, cherished the weary soldier with liberality, doubly comfortable because administered with cheerfulness.

James Kenny, Edward Mallon, James Kinnane, Walter Arthur, John Ed. Kenny, Matts. Brennan, John Chartres, Basil Lukey, P. Butler, Robert Weldon, Terence McMahon, John Lyons, Thomas Delahunt, J. Gregg, Matt. Power, Laurence Comyn, Hugh McCloskey, James Stuart, James O'Gorman, John Speilesy M.D., Thomas Butler, Richard Griffin, Neptune Blood, Patrick Davoren, Henry Hewitt, Joseph Cox, Robert Kean, Michael Hicky, Richard Janns, Michael Walsh, John Whitestone, Thomas Crowe, Wm. Fitzgerald, Patt. Sitred, Jonas Studdert, Wm. Brampton, John O'Donnell, Thomas Hewitt, Percival Banks jun., Michael Dwyer, D. Barrett, John R McGrath, William McGrath, Daniel Finucane, Hugh Brigdale, Hugh McLaughlin, James Roche jun., John Loughnane, John Power, Robert Dowling, John Loughnane jun., Cornelius Sims, Daniel Roughen, Matt. Williams, Daniel Lysaght, Richard Baker, Charles Keane, John Bowerman

 Although it is possible in light of the above showing Walter to be a man of some importance as he was important enough to be requested to sign such documents I do not believe he is the most likely person to be the father our Patrick Arthur of Limerick Ennis, and Ennistymon.

The above Walter Arthur may have been the brother of Patrick (Patt) Arthur especially as both of them were conferred with the freedom of the city of Limerick on the same day.




A record in Maynooth College tells us that Patrick of Ennistymon came from an illustrious family, the Arthur’s of Limerick City. He was married twice, his second wife, Mulqueeny was evidently an Ennistymon woman, for the name was common at that time in the district. His son Francis was of the second marriage (a priest), it seems probable that James William was of the second marriage, as most probably were the girls who became Mrs Cassidy, Mrs O’Donnell, Mrs Craig and Mrs Mc Donagh.



Below is the birth record for Patrick Arthur the son of Francis Arthur whose father was Patrick Arthur of Limerick.


Church Baptism Record For Our Patrick Arthur


Patrick Arthur

Date of Baptism/Birth:









Co. Limerick




Roman Catholic



Francis Arthur


Ellen Sexton

 Regarding Patrick son of Francis Arthur, that useful source book "Admissions to Kings Inns" has an entry Arthur, Patrick Edmond, son of Francis Arthur Middle Gardiner St. Dublin this was Francis Arthurs house in Dublin, merchant, admitted Hilary term 1811,
qualified Easter term 1814. 

Unfortunately Patrick Edmund died shortly after qualifying and while it is interesting to note that Francis had a son contrary to some popularly held beliefs that he only had daughters. Patrick Edmund left one daughter and one daughter yet to be born behind him both in time became nuns.

In 1813 William Arthur ( Almost certainly Patrick Arthur of Ennis\Ennistymon's son) was a young merchant living in Limerick, and by 1824 he was recorded as having a  tobacconist at no 1 Georges street with another establishment at 16 Patrick Street where he carried on the business of grocery & wine merchant.
William is recorded on 15th. September 1818 as having houses at Bridge Street with a valuation of £50. In 1813 a connection of William's lived in Ennis, he was a Patrick Arthur, a publican I think that he was the man I call Patrick of Ennistymon? It would seem so although the only record to show that Patrick had any connection with Ennistymon is inscribed on the tomb of his second wife in the old cemetery at Churchill Ennistymon. It reads: In spem beatae ressurectionis The mortal remains of Mrs Patrick Arthur alias Mulqueeny lies beneath this tomb, which was erected by her son the Rev Francis Arthur in grateful remembrance of a beloved parent. She departed this life July 10th 1845 aged 62 years. May the lord have mercy on her soul. There is as I noted earlier a death notice for Patrick Arthur in Ennistymon in 1841 but it is not clear where he was buried. The wife referred to above was the second wife of Patrick Arthur but we are not sure who his first wife was but he seems to have married his first wife in Limerick possibly around 1769.

Francis Arthur (Patt Arthur’s) son had at least one son. The source of this information along with Patrick’s birth record is a letter written by Rev Mother Prioress Maurus O.S.B. of the Benedictine Convent Princethorpe to Brother Charles Arthur re. Catherine Helen Arthur. In this letter she speaks about Francis Arthur’s son dying thereby indicating that Francis had at least one son. In the transcript of Francis trial it mentions that he was the father of a large family. Further information from the above letter reveals that Mother Mary Jane Arthur was the grand daughter of Francis Arthur and because her name was Arthur her father’s surname must have been Arthur and because the letter also mentions that her father died when she was young her father must have been Francis’ son. This Patrick's death is not clear as in one record his second child is recorded as being born to his widow in 1814 yet in 1825 he is recorded as being involved in a lease confusing is it not however sources all agree that he died before the birth of his second child and as she was born in 1814 he must have died in either 1813 or 1814.. Yet this Patrick was not our Patrick as he is recorded as having children at the same time as William Arthur his supposed son our ancestor was getting married. Our Patrick is recorded to have lived to the ripe old age of 98 and that when he died he left behind approximately 200 descendants.


He below seems to refer to our Patrick Arthur and how he along with two others was to repair the road from Ennistymon and old Deerpark.

 Ennistymon to Ennis, between Ennistymon and the old Deerpark

To Edward O'Brien, Andrew Stacpoole, esqrs. and Patrick Arthur, to repair thirty two perches from Ennistymon to Ennis, between the Seffions house of Ennistymon and Millmount Bridge



Below is the registration of freehold by Patrick Arthur of the property now known as Deerpark.




The Clare Journal, and Ennis Advertiser
Ennis, Monday, May 18, 1829

The following is one of the Applications made to the Clerk of the Peace, for the County of Clare, for Registry of Freeholders, at Ennis, on the 3rd day of June, 1829


Patrick Arthur


House and out-offices with land annexed, in Ennistymon, barony of Corcomroe

This most likely is the house that the Hill family now own but it was the house where Patrick lived when he was in Ennistymon this does not refer to the house called Deerpark Cottage where the later Arthur's lived.


Note with relevance to the following passage


£1,000 in 1812 would be worth approx. €59,490 in  inflationary terms in today's money 2015, the economic power of that money £1,000 in todays terms would be about £3,829,000 and the labour value of that money £1,000 in todays terms would be about £730,300.00.

£500 is worth approx.  €29,740.00 in  inflationary terms in today’s money, the economic  value of that income or wealth £500 today is £1,915,000.00 and the lobar value of that income or wealth £500 today is. £365,200.00

   The economic value of £250 is worth approx. €957,300.00 today, In inflationary terms  £250 would be worth £14,870.00 and the Labour value of the £250.00 today is about £182,600.00.



                                                         William Arthur


 Margaret Considine. Probably taken by her son Joseph William Arthur                                                                                





Here is an exact copy of the marriage agreement solemnised between William Arthur, Merchant of The City of Limerick and of Margaret Considine of Ennis 1813.


This indenture made the first day of September in the year of Our Lord 1813, between William Arthur of the City of Limerick, merchant of the first part, John Considine of Ennis in the county of Clare, Tobacconist and Margaret Considine of Ennis, spinster, second daughter of said John Considine, of the second part, and Joseph Arthur of the City of Limerick, merchant and Patrick Arthur of Ennis in the County of Clare, publican of the third part. Whereas a marriage is shortly to be solemnised between the said William Arthur and the said Margaret Considine for and in consequence of the said intended marriage and of the covenants, proviso’s and agreements herein after particularly mentioned And on the said William Arthur’s part to be made, done and performed hath on the said intended marriage taking effect paid to the said William Arthur the sum of £1,000 sterling, as the marriage portion with the said Margaret Considine, at and before the sealing and delivery of these presents; the receipt whereof the said William Arthur doth hereby acknowledge and from every part doth hereby exonerate, acquit and discharge the said John Considine his exors, assors and assigns on this proviso and it is the true intent and meaning of these presents and of the parties hereto to permit and suffer the said William Arthur to have receive and take the said sum  of £1,000 to his own proper use and benefit. In the case of the said Margaret Considine shall happen to die within the term of six years, leaving no issue of the said intended marriage, lawfully to be begotten, that then and in that case, he, the said William Arthur his exors, assors, admors and assigns shall well and truly pay to the said John Considine, his exors, heirs, assors and assigns the sum of £250 sterling being one forth of the marriage portion of the said Margaret Considine and upon this further proviso, that if the said Margaret Considine shall happen to survive the said William Arthur, her said intended husband, leaving no issue of the said intended marriage lawfully be begotten, or in the case of the said William Arthur’s failure in his trade, that then and in that case, he the said William Arthur for the purpose of securing a provision for the said Margaret Considine , his said intended wife hath executed this bond, with the warrant of attorney for confessing judgment, thereon bearing equal date with these presents to the said Joseph Arthur and Patrick Arthur, and in trust to be paid to the said Margaret Considine, her exors, assors and assigns and to no other use intent and purpose , whatsoever in the Penal sum of £1,000 sterling conditioned for the payment of the sum of £500 sterling and for the performance of all and every, the covenants and agreements herein before mentioned, the said William Arthur doth hereby, exors, assors and assigns covenants , promise and agree to  and with the said Joseph Arthur and Patrick Arthur, exors and their assigns that he the said William Arthur, exors, assors and assigns shall and will from time to time and at all times hereafter at the reasonable request but at the proper cost and charges of the said John Considine or Margaret Considine, exors, assors and assigns, make, do and execute all and every such further and lawful and necessary act or acts deed or deeds, devices, conveyances and assurances in the law for the further, better and more perfect carrying the true intent and meaning of these presents and of the parties hereto into effect as their council, learned in the law shall reasonably advise, devise or require, in witness whereof the said parties have here unto put their hands and affixed their seal the day and year first in these presents written.


Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of:


Michael Lynch, Pat Daly, William Arthur, John Considine, Margaret Considine, Joseph Arthur, Patt Arthur.


Received from the above named John Considine and the sum of £1,000 sterling being the consideration money in the written deed mentioned in the day and the year within mentioned. A memorial of the within deed was entered into the Registry Office in the city of Dublin 5th. November 1812 (20’c in B 659 n22, no. 459210) and the execution of said deed memorial was duly proved pursuant to an act of parliament in that case made and provided.


John Griffin Dep. Reg.



 It would seem that Margaret Considine's sister Mary married another man called Arthur. The man she married was called Patrick Arthur and it would seem that he was a member of the Arthur families that came over with Strongbow as although he was from Clare his ancestors were from the Limerick Tipperary border and had been dispossed by Cromwell and transplanted to Clare.

  During the building of the Christian Brothers Monastery in Ennistymon about 1824 the annals of the monastery record that the brothers resided temporarily in a house entered by a bow-way and owned by a Mr Arthur, this man was of course our ancestor Patrick Arthur and was one of the three houses built on the land belonging to Deerpark Cottage.

On the rent-roll of Colonel McNamara from 1863 we find the name James Arthur as being a tenant in New Street (now Main Street) this James would seem to be another son of William Arthur and a brother of Joseph William. James does not seem to have been married and had no children but he lived in Patrick Arthur's house that is now known as the Hill house. Under the same date we find the “Representatives of Patt Arthur” living at the Cottage (Deerpark House). These representatives of Patt Arthur of course were Joseph William Arthur and his young wife.

Three of the sons of Patrick Arthur (of Ennistymon) went to Limerick where they took up the grocery business and in time became very wealthy. One of these sons was William Arthur who married Margaret Considine.


Joseph William Arthur (son of William Arthur & Mgt Considine)



Joseph William Arthur was one of the many sons of William Arthur and a merchant in Limerick. He was born in Limerick in the year 1820. Very little has come down to us of his boyhood years. He must, along with his brothers have attended private school in Limerick. Unless Catholic children of his day attended a Protestant school there was no education for them. Here, the parents had to step in and either employ a private teacher or send the children to a private school. Of the latter class of academy it is certain that there were quite a few when Joseph was a lad. He was an intelligent man and wrote English with grace and ease. Their parents, not content with educating them obtained for them the service of a skilled musician who instructed them in the art of playing different instruments. Joseph become an accomplished musician in theory and practice. He grew to be a young man of much culture and taste. He loved painting and had a great love of flowers as well as having a poetic turn of mind and he composed some beautiful verses.

Belonging as he did to an aristocratic family in the city he ever regarded and kept himself as a young gentleman. He smoked cigars but rarely if ever drank alcohol. In fact he displayed a horror of drink. An oil painting, painted when he was about 30 is still belongs to a member of the Arthur family (this may be seen above). In it he wears a well cut coat of superfine black cloth, cut after the fashion of the day, a white cravat circles the neck above a linen shirt ornamented with frills, a gold chain hangs gracefully from his neck into his vest pocket. A gold ring clasping some precious stone is on the ring finger of left hand. His hair is parted on the side, curls over his head, and side whiskers-fashionable at the time appear of a brown tinge.

His parents, having at the very outset of their lives an abundance of wealth in money, property and lands took life easily. To some extent this was not altogether in favour of Joseph’s future. His training as a level headed business man seems to have been sadly neglected, for he was successively a failure in the different concerns which he began. He was about 23 years old when an awful famine was sweeping throughout Ireland and this did a lot of damage to his parents businesses. One by one he had stood at the open graves of brothers whom he loved dearly. They were Walter, Edmund b. 1823, Harry, Jem and Paddy b.1828. Mary b.1832 was his sister. His brother William b.1822 was at this time a medical student in Dublin and Frank was in Quinn’s tea, wine, and spirit merchants  store in Limerick.

Only known image of Dr William Arthur.

 By the year 1846 his mother & father had lost almost all they possessed in Limerick and had retired to Patrick's house in Ennistymon. The last vestige of property belonging to the once powerful and opulent Arthur family of Limerick. It was in 1847 pestilence and famine struck the land.  Joseph’s father had come on a short errand from Ennistymon to Limerick caught the cholera and was laid in his grave that night. It is very likely that Joseph attended his fathers funeral. With tears in his eyes many years later he pointed out the grave to his eldest boy who unfortunately was unable to recall where it was in later life.

For some time Joseph had been in the tobacconist business. His mother was living in Ennistymon where he supported her, and at the same time he was helping his brother William the medical student. William received his medical Licence in 1847 and from then on was able to strike out a living for himself.  It was probably because of having to support his mother that Joseph deferred his marrying until middle life. He was about 39 years old when in 1859 he married Katie Cooney the daughter of John Cooney of Kilshanney, which is about 3 miles north of Ennistymon.

That a city man the type of Joseph William should be joined with a simple country girl seems at first strange. The explanation is interesting. Her brother James, much older than Kate was a hardware merchant in Ennistymon. He was married to Margaret Quinn. During the year at regular intervals James Cooney went to Limerick in order to transact business with the firm of Messer John Quinn. The manager of the firm at the time was Francis Arthur, Joseph’s brother. On one of these visits James Cooney who was partial to a drink of whisky fell in with some “sharper” who relieved him of a bundle of bank notes, giving him in return some counterfeit gold coin. In good faith James passed this gold coin on to other people with the result that in a short space of time he found himself in custody. It is likely that Joseph and Francis often met James Cooney in Ennistymon, and now that he required friends the two brothers attended the court and went bail for him. From that day forward their friendship was sealed. Some time after another incident happened which sealed their friendship more firmly.

Tobacco on which no duty was paid was smuggled into the premises of Joseph. The penalty was drastic; it would have meant a long term of imprisonment, with confiscation of the accused properties. These were the days when the stealing of a sheep was punishable by death. James Cooney came to the rescue, giving a guarantee of his good behaviour and so saved the situation for his friend. Some time after this Joseph must have failed in business. His brother Francis had married a Limerick lady and had gone to the States. His mother was growing old and living alone in Ennistymon. He sold whatever property was left in Limerick and came to live at Deerpark. He first opened a spirit store in a small shop belonging to the family in the market place but in a short time this venture proved a fiasco. Joseph William was never intended by providence to serve customers behind a bar.

At this period a new art had made its appearance in Ireland, the art of photography.  Few people in the western parts had ever seen a photograph except maybe an odd one sent from friend’s abroad. Very few knew how these were produced. Joseph was a man of artistic inclinations and found here was a profession that would suit him. He understood that it was an art not very difficult to acquire and he knew that in an easy and congenial way there was money to be made from it. He accordingly journeyed to Clonmel, placed himself under the tuition of a Mr Collins who was in those far off days known as a photographic artist. In due course he had learned all he could know about the profession and purchased for himself a camera and the appliances and chemicals needed in the producing of photographs. We cannot now understand the wonder that the camera aroused in those who saw it in those far off days. Now for the first time Joseph had found something that he was good at and money pored in to him as fast as he could produce photographs.

Now we know how Joseph William and James Cooney had become fast friends. James had 2 sisters, one being married to a Darly Callinan at Kilshanney. The other sister Katie was still at home. She was much younger than Joseph being then only 24 or 25 years old. One day Joseph turned to his old mother who was now 73 years of age. “Mother” he said “I am going to be married to Katie Cooney”. His mother made no objection, so the marriage took place in the kitchen of the old farmhouse in Coolin near Kilshanney.

They lived at Deerpark Cottage and one by one little visitors appeared staring in 1860. First William who became Brother Canice, Minnie who became Sister Augustine, Margaret who became sister Aquin, John, Catherine, Joseph, Francis, Madeleine and Charles. Joseph Arthur and his wife brought up a Christian family. They had their trials and sufferings and a very large share of the cross. Though living in a country town for many years Joseph William Arthur always behaved as a gentleman and as a person who believed himself superior to others who were not of the same class as himself. To the end of his life he attended mass on Sundays attired in a frock coat and silk top hat. He loved to wear a flower in his buttonhole and one of his eyes being of defective vision an eyeglass was always suspended at this breast.

Joseph William Arthur had always enjoyed perfect health until his final illness attacked him about May 1890. He was placed under the care of a Dr Ferris in the county infirmary, Ennis and was treated there but he returned to Deerpark a dying man. He lived until 29th November 1890 when, after receiving all the rites of the holy Catholic Church he peacefully passed away. He expressed a wish to be buried beside the old Cistercian monastery in Kilshanney. Later the remains of his dear wife were laid beside him.

Here are five photos of a sundial thst used to stand in the grounds of Deerpark it is believed that this saundial was  commissioned and erected by Joseph william Arthur.
It seems to be a well-made dial and the declination lines in this ‘hour-glass’ form seeem to be very unusual. 19th c. slate dials like this are found all over Ireland but were mostly amateurish pieces made for personal use. There are also a small number that were made by master engraversand this dial while unsigned bears the marks of one made  by a master unfortunately as it is unsigned there does not seem to be any way to tell exactly who made it just that it is a very high quality one indeed. (This information comes from the research of Anne Marie Brennan)


The following are some note about members of the Arthur family that may be of some interest.

These come from official records in Limerick. 

1811 Martin Arthur left money to build an orphanage.

1824 William Arthur is a grocer and wine merchant in 16 Patrick Street and a tobacconist at 1

         Georges street son of Patrick Arthur of Ennistymon.

1831 Martin dies intestate.

1853 Peter Arthur lives in Patrick Street.

The following information came from Records Office in Dublin. The following wills were


Thomas Arthur – Glenomera, Co. Clare. 1811.

James Arthur – Dunquin, Co. Clare 1814.

Rebecca Arthur – Ennis 1825.

Thomas Arthur – Worlds End Cottage, Killaloe 1828. Also of Glenomera

Michael Arthur – Beanpark, Killaloe.


The following information was giver to Brother Charles Arthur by the protestant rector of Ennis in 1932.


December 2nd. 1786 – Miss Jane Arthur, married Mr. John Sexton. Jane Arthur was the daughter of John Arthur esq. Ennis.

January 26th. 1790 – Anne Arthur married Cornelius O’Callaghan.

July 7th. 1799 – William Arthur married miss Anne Crowe

May 17th. 18?? – Baptised John Arthur, son of William Arthur and Anne Crowe.

September 10th. 1803 – baptised Walter son of William Arthur and Anne Crowe.

September 2nd. 1806 – William son of William Arthur and Anne Crowe.


There is no information on whether these people were Catholics or Protestants.


 This member of the Arthur family was Mayor of Galway.


1546 Stephen Lynch Fitz Arthur.

1560 Stephen Lynch Fitz Arthur.

Francis Warren Darley
sister ol Lily Warren Darley

George and Louis Warren Darley

LilyWarren Darley

On 1 Oct 1806, miss Maria Arthur daughter of Francis Arthur of Limerick got married at her father’s house in Dublin to Patrick Greene of Greene Abbey, co. Tipperary. The warren Darley's were the descendants of this marriage. Lilly warren Darley whose photo is on the right and her sister Francis Warren Darley whose photo is on the left both became nuns. The photo in the middle is of is of George and Louis Warren Darley.

Mr. Darley was the son of Henry Warren Darley, a land-owner with property in Donegal, Limerick, and other parts of the country. His mother was a member of the Green family of Castleconnell. He came of a musical family, his father being an accomplished player of both the violin and the Uilleann pipes. He was a near relation of Dion Boucicault, the actor and writer of Irish plays. George Darley, the poet, was another relative, while his grandfather was a close friend of Thomas Moore, and frequently sang the famous Irish melodies to Moore's own accompaniment.

The late Mr. Darley started the study of the violin at the age of eight, and pursued his studies In Dublin and London. He took a keen interest in Irish folk music, especially for the violin. An accomplished violinist himself, he specialized in the playing of unaccompanied violin music. In the early days of the Abbey Theatre musical interludes were provided d by Mr. Darley.

A successful performer on the concert platform both in Ireland and in England, his ability as a solo violinist at a recital at the Steinway Hall won the highest praise from the London critics. He was a keen student of chamber music, and took part in chamber music recitals at the Royal Dublin Society from 1893 for a number of years;

While he was Ieader of the Dublin Musical Society from 1897 until 1902. he lectured before the Royal Dublin Society. In 1900, he was appointed professor of the violin at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and held the appointment for some years. Later, he became keenly interested in the Municipal School of Music of which  he became Director.

He was a great collector of unpublished Irish airs, and published a collection himself, and the collection of hitherto unpublished Irish airs, which from time to time were submitted for competition in the unpublished Irish air section of the Dublin Feis

Mr Darley displayed great activity in the promotion of feiseanna and musical competitions, and for many years adjudicated at the Feis Ceoil in the Irish fiddle and pipes competitions, as well as in the unpublished airs section. Also, he adjudicated at the Oireachtas competitions and other feiseanna in the country, and was a cofounder with the Reverent Father Aloysius of the Father Mathew Feis.

He was President of the Irish Musical Fund - a fund established about the end of the eighteenth century for the support of necessitous musicians

He died in 1929.



This site and all the information contained in it is © 2017. If anyone wishes to use any of the information except that which is already the public domain you must obtain the permission of the author be by contacting me at mick@thearthurfamilyoflimerickandclare.com