Henry Becher and Elizabeth Notte

Henry Becher and Elizabeth Notte

Henry Becher succeeded his father [Henry Becher married to Mary Lyon] in 1610. Unfortunately his date of birth is not known [neither is his death], but as his parents married in 1586, and he was probably the third child, the oldest he could have been was 24, and most probably rather younger. The only date I can find for his marriage is 24th March 1636. It may well have been earlier, as Thomas Notte's funerary notice also dated 24 March 1636 mentions that his daughter Elizabeth is married to Henry Becher. It may be that the upper limit has become recorded as the marriage date in error. He was alive at least until 1655, as records show that the Castle of Dunalong at Sherkin Island was restored to him then. He was probably alive in 1659, as a Henry Beecher is shown among the Tituladoes of Aughadown in the census of that year. [Along with Thomas Beecher, Susan Beecher, John Godfrey and Richard Tonson [who was married to Elizabeth Becher]. 11 English people are recorded to Aughadown, along with 33 Irish]

In 1614 Henry Becher grants the citizens of Bandon a site to build a new Parish church. It is called Ballymodan. Henry reserves a space for a seat for him, and according to Bennett's "a History of Bandon" he also gave space to his son in law Charles James, married to his daughter Abigale". However as Abigale was his sister, it is either  a case of mixing up the Henrys, or the decision was made before his father's death in 1610. In 1614 it is also recorded that Henry was a magistrate at Bandon.

After resisting a number of overtures from the Earl of Cork [See the Lismore Papers] Henry Becher finally agrees to see Bandonbridge, its Mill & House and fair. He is paid rent for the first part of 1619, and on the 2nd May 1619 he conveys the town. The Earl of Cork is later inclined to speak as if he created the town from bog all by himself, but his own records show that it was not the case!

Henry Becher [Along with Richard White] presents a petition to the house of commons in 1641. He describes himself as a gentleman of Baltamore [sic] He writes "To the Honourable, The knights, citisens, and Burgesses, now assembled in Parliament. The humble petition of Henry Beecher, Gent and Richard White: Marchants, inhabitants of Baltamore in Ireland, in behalf of themselves and divers[sic] others; whose sad and deplorable condition, they are desired to represent unto this Honorable assemblie.

Humbly sheweth, That your petitioners having by violence of the barbarous and bloody Rebels lost all their Lands and Estates, and meerly by the providence of Almighty God escaped with their lives: as by the certificate annexed may appeare, do humbly crave leave to declare, that all the South and Southwest parts of that country is subjected to the force and tyranny of those cruell Rebels (except the Castles situated in the Ports of Baltimore, Castlehaven and Crook-haven) wherein there are a thousand English. But have no comission or force whereby to defend themselves from the power or force of their Enemies: whereby not onely their persons, but also the said Castles are exposed to extreme danger, and unlesse very speedy sucours be sent unto them, must miserably perish by those bloudy hands. Which Forts being sustiate on the Sea Coast in the Southwest parts of Ireland, are of great consequence, being well manned and supplied with Victuall and Ammunition for the security of those parts from any foreign Invasion: but being lost, will be very advantagious to the Rebels, and a great helpe to a forrein Enemy.

       The Consideration whereof, your Petitioners are confidant, cannot but move this Honourable House to pity and Commiseration: And therefore they humbly implore that for the preservation of the lives of those who are left, the security and safeguard of those Castles and Posts, the regain of what is there already lost, a regiment of 500 men for the present: together with sufficient Arms and Victuals may be speedily sent: Either of which being done, by Gods blessing may be an effectuall meanes to preserve the lives of the said inhabitants, and the said Castles and Ports.

       But the delay therof will be inevitably & produce ruine and distraction to them. All which they humbly leave to the grave wisdom of this honourable Assemblie. And your petitioners, together with many more who escaped to Bristoll, but want meanes; so that they can come no further: together with that remnant of English, which yet are left in those parts of Ireland, shall pray for the good successe of it.

Burkes Irish Family records only lists two children for Henry and Elizabeth, but there are contemporary records that indicate that they had several more children. Once again the order is not clear! Normally the first two sons are named after the father, and his father, followed by the wife's father. This is not always the case, but I will follow convention in listing their children.

Henry Becher married before 1636 Elizabeth Notte. She was the daughter of Thomas Notte [who was originally of Thames Ditton, Surrey and died March 1636-7 at Bruffe, Co Cork, Surrey] and Elizabeth Olden. It is possible that Thomas Notte built Aughadown house at Aughadown. Either way, Aughadown was built in the 16th Century and became home to the Becher family. Only ruins remain today.

Aughadown House walls. Photo by William Casey

Aughadown House Entrance. Photo by William Casey

View from Aughadown House gazebo across to Cape Clear Island and Roaring Water Bay
Photo by William Casey.

1. Elizabeth Becher
b. abt 1637
d. after 1666
Married 10th June 1656 Major Richard Tonson.
Had issue, Henry Tonson and Elizabeth Tonson
Henry Tonson
died in 1703 and is buried at Old St Matthews, Aughadown. The inscription reads "Here Lyes the body of Captn Henry Tonson who departed this life November the twenty fifth and in the thirtyeth seventh year of his age 1703" [information from William Casey]

Grave of Henry Tonson, St Matthews, Aughadown. Photo by William Casey.
2. Henry Becher
d. After 1670
There is an Admin Bond to Henry Becher of Aughadown in 1668. This is probably the Henry.
Married in 1670 Elizabeth Reede
3. Thomas Becher
b. 1640 at Baltimore, Co Cork
d. 1709
Married in 1665 Elizabeth Turner, b.abt 1650 at Bandon,  daughter of Henry Turner and Dorothy Boyle.
Colonel Thomas Becher
was the Aide de camp for King William III at The Battle of The Boyne, and was presented with the kings own silver watch in thanks.
He had 15 children, see later!
4. Mary Becher
b. before 1660
d. after 1714
Married Stephen Fleming in 1675. They had at least one son, Lionel Fleming. He married Martha Wren & their son was Becher Fleming.
5. Susanna Becher
A Susan Beecher is listed in the Tituladoes of Aughadown in 1659, it is most likely this Susan.
Married Alderman William Field
Had issue including Joanna, Alice, William and Elizabeth.

Becher family of Cork [Home]