Author Topic: Connaught Rebellion 1798  (Read 630 times)

Offline elricks

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Connaught Rebellion 1798
« on: Monday 11 September 17 01:44 BST (UK) »
Good afternoon from AU.

I have an ancestor who was born in Co Mayo in 1782 - John PURCELL.

He was in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, by 1799 when he, at the age of 17 married a 29 year old woman.

I am very familiar with the Great Yarmouth records, and I have not found any mention of people who are likely to have been related to John, so I believe he was alone when he arrived in Norfolk.

He joined the army, traveled to AU with the 48th Regiment,  then to India, then back to Yarmouth, where he died in 1833.

I have recently discovered the Connaught Rebellion in 1798, which could be the reason John left Co Mayo.  Wiki says 500 local men were killed, and 1,000 escaped.  Does anyone within this group know anything more?  Or can come up with any other likely local circumstance that would send a Co Mayo boy to Norfolk?  Note I do NOT know when he arrived in Yarmouth, only that by 1799 he had been there long enough to meet and marry a spinster 10 years older than him.

Thanks - Shirley

PS - Just found this site which covers off most of my queries - http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/irish_reb_01.shtml

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Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Connaught Rebellion 1798
« Reply #1 on: Monday 11 September 17 03:28 BST (UK) »
Do you know when he joined the army? Was he already a soldier at his marriage?
Is the 48th The Northamptonshire Regiment? Looking at the history of the regiment, it returned from overseas duty desperate for recruits sometime between 1797-1799. It's possible he was recruited in Ireland.
Do you know who his parents were? John Purcell may have been born in Ireland but that doesn't mean that his parents were necessarily Irish. His father may himself have been a soldier or a sailor.

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Offline rathmore

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Re: Connaught Rebellion 1798
« Reply #2 on: Monday 11 September 17 15:38 BST (UK) »
find my past a John Purcell married a Priscilla Page 22.10.1799

http://www.findmypast.co.uk

Offline rathmore

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Re: Connaught Rebellion 1798
« Reply #3 on: Monday 11 September 17 15:59 BST (UK) »
I take this is your site

http://www.shirley-elrick.com/p3189.htm

you could put a letter in one of the papers asking for information.

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Connaught Rebellion 1798
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 12 September 17 20:03 BST (UK) »
 You have information that his POB was Kilcommon in County Mayo. I wonder if he was a fisherman and that's what took him to Great Yarmouth in the first place, although in that case I would have expected him to have joined the navy rather than the army.
Have you investigated the history of the Kilcommon district at the end of the 18th century? It seems like it would be hard to make a living there. The prospect of regular pay & food and a smart uniform might have been attractive to a young lad.
Was there any connection between the 48th Regiment and Yarmouth? Where was the regiment based and where did it recruit in 1798-99? I believe that under-strength regiments sent recruiting sergeants quite a distance.
As the 1st wife was so much older than him, might she have been a widow? Maybe it was she who had roots in Norfolk?

Offline elricks

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Re: Connaught Rebellion 1798
« Reply #5 on: Monday 18 September 17 03:16 BST (UK) »
Maiden - thank for the reply - to take your queries separately.

He joined the army (48th Northamptonshire) in 1813 In great Yarmouth.

No mention of soldier on his marriage cert (Back in 1799 in Yarmouth), no mention of a wife when he enlisted - first wife already deceased.

No idea who his parents were, but now REALLY do need to know. I have bugger all experience in Irish research, John being my one and only link to Ireland.  I have come to the conclusion I have to learn, and maybe join something.  Working this out now.

How right you are about John's parentage.  I had not thought of John's parents or father being from 'somewhere else'.  I can say that PURCELL is a known name in Ireland, and not in Norfolk.

John was a weaver when he joined the army.  This is a known trade in Yarmouth, where there was a large silk mill.  With some trades it is clear that the skill was passed from father to son, but with weaving in Yarmouth, it was something you could 'learn', so he may have been anything when in Ireland.  I have not found any records of other PURCELLs in Yarmouth who could have been parents or siblings, so my best guess is that he arrived there as a young adult alone.

I am only now embarking on Co Mayo research.

The 48th were on a recruitment drive throughout England in 1813. He did not join up in 1799.

John's first wife certainly was from Great Yarmouth.  I have not found any Chr of children for them.  According to the marriage certificate Priscilla PAGE was unmarried. They had a licence to marry, most likely because of John's age and (presumably) lack of parents to consent.

One thing of note - and I would like your opinion on the literacy in Ireland at the time - John signed the marriage certificate.  He had a very nice 'hand'. He was a pay clerk with the army in Australia, so he could count as well as write.  Most of the working class in Great Yarmouth c 1790 were not literate.

SHIRLEY

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Connaught Rebellion 1798
« Reply #6 on: Monday 18 September 17 20:32 BST (UK) »
Thanks for explaining all that. I assumed he'd joined the army as a lad, either in Ireland or England, and served until the end of the war with France and beyond. I recall reading something about the regiment not being sent to Waterloo (1815) because it was so under-strength through death, injury and disease after previous campaign. (I may have mixed it up with another regiment; there would have been several in a similar position after the Peninsular War.)
He may have learned weaving as a youngster in Ireland. It would have been flax/linen-weaving. Linen manufacture was one of Ireland's few successful industries at the time. Ulster is well-known for it. (My 1st choice of  linen is always Irish.) It was also produced in other Irish regions. My GGF who lived in Mayo throughout most of the 19thC (he had a long life) was a small tenant-farmer. He had another source of income from a part-time, seasonal job as a flax inspector. He used to travel around Mayo and neighbouring counties in Connaught. I don't know any details of his work. He would have needed to be literate and numerate to keep records. He was born around 1810, so the next generation after John Purcell. He would have been bi-lingual, as were his wife and children. His sons and younger daughter, born in the middle third of the 19th century could read and write in English, elder daughter could only read, his wife could do neither.  In the 1790s an effort was made to encourage the Irish linen industry through a grant scheme.  Anyone growing more than a certain acreage of flax was eligible to apply for a free loom. The qualifying acreage wasn't large, only a few acres.  Some lists of recipients survive.

I wouldn't have thought literacy level was high in Ireland at the end of 18thC. but have no documentary evidence for that opinion.  There were "hedge schools", unofficial schools, sometimes held outdoors. Penal laws against Catholics forbade them being schoolmasters, so "hedge schools" were illegal. Enforcement of these laws was lax by later in 18th century and from 1770s onwards a series of Catholic Relief Acts abolished or eased many of them, culminating in the Catholic Emancipation Act at end of 1820s. If your man was Protestant he stood a better chance of an education. Also if he was Protestant his family may have been better-off financially, since the Penal laws restricted what Catholics could own, what they could leave to their heirs, and what occupations they could follow.
You say you haven't found any christenings of children of the 1st marriage. If there were children and if John was R.C. they may have been baptised as R.C.. I doubt if there would have been many Catholic priests in Norfolk at the time, so any potential  baptisms may have happened years after birth and not formerly recorded. But if they did exist, what happened to the children?  Marrying by licence is sometimes also a clue that one party to the marriage may not have been of the Established Church. There were other reasons for marrying by licence as you suggest. Another thing to consider is that a marriage licence cost money, so either the bridegroom or his family or someone had a bit of spare cash. Would a working man still in his teens have enough cash? Was there a bond with the licence? An alternative reason for a licence was if the wedding had to take place at short notice, e.g. if groom was going away on military service or if bride was in an advanced state of pregnancy. In some cases if the young woman was "big with child" and poor and the baby's father was also poor and seemed reluctant to do his duty, the parish might pay for a licence, because it was cheaper than providing poor relief for a single mother & child and then trying to chase an errant father for costs. Perhaps in this case the bride's family paid for the licence. As she was a mature bride they might have been glad she'd found someone to marry her and wanted a quick wedding before the young bridegroom had 2nd thoughts.  ;D
Take a look at RootsChat Irish sub-board. There are several sources for Irish research now, some of them free. You can look at images of parish registers for free.  Irish National Archives has online tutorials. There are other useful introductions to Irish research free online. You need to know what records existed, which survive and which were lost or destroyed. 2 of the biggest fee-paying FH  sites usually have a free week-end for St. Pat's Day. I took part in an Irish research online tutorial with Q&A on one this year.
At least you know where in Ireland to start your search, which is an advantage many don't have. How did you identify his place of origin?
 

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Connaught Rebellion 1798
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 19 September 17 04:19 BST (UK) »
Flax Growers of Ireland 1796. The Irish Linen board published a list of nearly 60,000 people who were growing flax in 1796.  Also known as the Spinning Wheel List or the Flax Growers Bounty. Spinning wheels were awarded based on number of acres planted with flax. 1 acre qualified for 4 spinning wheels, 5 acres got them a loom. The list can be searched at www.failteromhat.com/flax1796.php
I don't see any with the name Purcell in Mayo but I only looked under that spelling.