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John Becher and Mary Townsend of Creagh

John Becher and Mary Townsend of Creagh & Skibereen

John Becher was the first surviving son of John Becher and Hester Duddlestone. He was born in Bristol in 1700, being baptised on the 6th April 1700 at St Michaels, Bristol. His mother died when he was only 4 years old. According to a register of dues paid for Apprenticeships, john was apprenticed to James Baskerville, Gent and dues were paid on the 24th February 1717. I wonder what if anything was involved in his training! He became a Bristol Burgess on the 10th September 1725 by the right of his father and was described as a Gentleman.
John  married in County Cork, Ireland about 19th August 1727 [settlement date] to Mary Townsend. She was born in 1710, the daughter of  Reverend Philip Townsend of Christchurch, Cork and Helena Galway or Galwey.
After John's death on 29 March 1737 at his house at Aughadown [after horribly suffocating on his own blood according to his death notice in Daily Gazetteer 19 April 1737 " Bandon April 1 1737; Last Tuesday died at his house at Affadown, John Beecher, jnr, Esq. He went last year to England for the benefit of his health & came home perfectly recovered, but his disorder returning, he was preparing to set out for England again, when he was seiz'd with such a violent heaving of blood, that he suffocated in a little time. He was a Gentleman of an excellent Character and much lamented." Probably he was suffering from Tuberculosis.]  Mary remarried Captain Luke Mercer  of Creagh on 9th September1739. He was a well know Revenue Officer, Commander of the Thompson and the Bessborough. He retired in 1750 when he bought a property in Dublin known as Brenans town. He died in Dublin in March 1781. I do not know when Mary died or if the couple had any children.

A Marriage bond was lodged in Co Cork & "An Officer of The Long Parliament" says that both Mayor John Becher & Philip Townsend settled considerable estates on this marriage. Samuel Townsend may have been the guardian of all the children after the deaths of their parents.

John was left all the lands in Ireland that his father John inherited from his father Col Thomas Becher. Burkes describes him as of "Creagh & Skibereen". He is also described as of "Aughadown", the name of the Becher seat outside of Skibereen. A land deed dated 30 April 1735 assigns Hare Island from Daniel Daunt to John Becher of Sherkin. He apparently spent time in England in 1736 for his health, more than likely in Bristol with his father & siblings.

Unfortunately, I know very little else about this couple.

John and Mary had issue;

1. Thomas Becher
b. about 1732.
d. 2nd August 1754 at his house at Creagh, of a fever, aged in his 22nd year.
His death was reported in several Cork newspapers. According to "An Officer of the Long Parliament", Samuel Townsend was the guardian of Thomas Becher after the death of his father.
There are only a few Thomas Bechers & although this Thomas would have only been about 15, he is the only known candidate for the marriage bond lodged in 1747 for Thomas Becher and Mary McCarthy.
2. John Townsend Becher
b. abt 1734
d. mid November 1760 at Dunmanway, Co Cork.
Of  Creagh and Annisgrove [ or Anne Grove]
Married on 17th February 1755 to Mary O'Donovan, born in 1730, the elder daughter of the Rev Morgan O'Donovan and Mary Ronayne. She died on the 7th of February 1761, at her lodgings near South Gate, Cork.
John Townsend Becher
and Mary O'Donovan had three children who were left orphaned by their parents early death. Land deeds and marriage announcements indicate that John's younger brother Michael Henry Becher and his wife Catherine French were their guardians. The children were 1. Henry Becher b. 1759 2. Mary Becher b. 1758 3. Anne Becher b.1761. It seems quite likely that Mary died as a result of childbirth.
3. Michael Henry Becher
b. abt 1735
d. August 1778, near Bandon.
Married on the 10th January 1767 at St Nicholas Church, Cork to Catherine French, born 12th September 1741, and baptised at St Fin Bars in Cork 26th October 1741. She was the daughter of Savage French of Marino, Cork and Mary Towgood. I have not been able to find out when Catherine died, although I believe it was after 1780.
They had six children.
4. Helena Becher
b. before 1738
d. Before 1762
married in 1752 Edward Mansel Townsend [Splendid Ned!] of Whitehall. He was born 23rd September 1692 in County Cork, the son of Samuel Townsend and Dorothy Mansel.
and Edward had only one daughter Dorothy Townsend. Dorothy married Rev Arthur Keily. Helena must have died young, as Edward married Anne Baldwin on 2nd October 1762 near Bandon. They had Samuel Townsend born in 1768.
5. Eliza Turner Becher
b. before 1739
d. June 1763
The Cork Newspapers had a cheerful announcement of her marriage " October 1758 Married Richard Cox Esq. eldest son of Sir Richard Cox of Dunmanway to Miss Eliza Turner Becher daughter of John Becher of Aughadown. The lady's fortune, large though it is, is the smallest comfort she brings her happy consort!"
Unhappily this marriage was to be short lived for them both. Richard Cox was the eldest son and heir of Sir Richard Cox and Catherine Evans. He was baptised on the 6th May 1735. His Godparents were Eyre Evans and Mrs Catherine Cox. He died at Dunmanway in the night between 24th & 25th December 1760 of an inflammation of the bowels. I am sure there was no heart for Christmas that year. Poor Eliza died in June 1763.

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Becher family of Cork [Home].