Father/Reverend Daniel McCarthy, ’An tAthair Tadgh Na Muclagh’, Formerly Parish Priest Durrus, West Cork 1790, Marriage to Sarah Blair, of Blair’s Cove, Durrus, and His Petitions to Dublin Castle, Genealogies.

Early Draft being slowly updated, with footnotes:


Early stage draft

Rev Dan McCarthy (Apostatised and married his ward Ms.Sarah Blair) P.P. 1790. He was one of the McCarthy Muclaghs and was known as ‘An t-Athair Tadgh Na Muclagh’. His father used to dispute the claim of the McCarthys of Carrignavar the right to the Chieftainship of the McCarthys. He was influenced by the radical teachings of Voltaire and Rosseau as a student in France.’ He was a classical scholar and acted as interpreter in Bantry between General Dalrymple and the French Officer Prosseau in 1796. His daughter married John Westropp Carey who lived in Glenlough Cottage on the Northside of the Muintervara Peninsula. Carey was formerly of the Peninsular Wars (30th Foot regiment) and may have been the father of the first rector of Glengariff. It is said locally that Father McCarthy reverted to Catholicism shortly before he died or in the alternative never renounced his faith, likely to be untrue. His daughter married into the Agar Welbore family of Kilkenny suggesting a possible ease in mixing in all circles of society. His grandson the (Anglican) Rev. John McCarthy, even though he never resided in Ireland used to style himself ‘McCarthy of Durrus’.

From a Descendant

So far as Daniel McCarthy is concerned, he is my 4 x Gt Grandfather. My line from Daniel goes to Robert McCarthy, his son, 1803—1843. Robert was a Printer, and in the 1841 census he was 38 years old and living in Teiers (Friar’s Walk) Walk, St Nicholas Parish, City of Cork. All the children, of school age, were at St Nicholas School. A sister of Robert, was Margaret McCarthy, 1802-1839, who in 1822 married John Westropp Carey, 1778-1862. A brother of Robert McCarthy was the Rt. Reverend Welbore McCarthy, D.D., Archdeacon of Calcutta and Archbishop of Grantham. Robert McCarthy had married in 1810, Mary Jane Agar, daughter of the Reverend Charles Welbore Agar, Rector of Inniscarra, Cork. Robert and Mary had a number of children. My 2 x Gt Grandfather being the Reverend John Agar McCarthy, 1832-1890, who was a Church Missionary Society missionary in India, and married his wife, Mary Jane Carey, 1831-1915, daughter of Michael Carey of Cork, in Calcutta in 1859. Michael Carey was one of seven Carey brothers, who all served in the Army and Navy at the time of the Peninsular War. Michael Carey was a Lieutenant in the 83rd Regiment. He was wounded at Talavera, served through the whole Peninsular Campaign under the Duke of Wellington, and received a Medal with eight clasps for his services. A brother of Michael Carey, Randall Carey was the youngest Midshipman on board the ship that Napoleon was taken prisoner in.  As such, he had to receive Napoleon’s sword.  Reverend John Agar McCarthy and his wife, Mary Jane (nee Carey) had seven children, the eldest of which, is my Gt Grandmother, Lizzie Martin McCarthy, who was born in Pershar, on the Indian Afghanistan border in 1860. In the 1871 Census, Reverend John Agar McCarthy was Vicar Designate of St. Saviours, Battersea, London. He continued as a Vicar in England until his death in 1890 at Swaffham, Norfolk. His daughter, Lizzie Martin McCarthy married Robert Kohloff Clark, son of the Reverend William Clark, CMS Missionary in India and Ceylon. Their daughter, Marian Clark, (my Grandmother) married my Grandfather, John Rawdon Dashwood, Tea Planter in Ceylon. Their daughter, Mary Elizabeth Anne Dashwood married Patrick Hugh Moss, Fleet Air Arm Pilot, in 1942.

Much of my information on Daniel McCarthy has come from notes passed down through the Family to me, but also from the book “The MacCarthy’s of Munster” by Samuel Trant McCarthy pages 321 to 326 in there is included several interesting points. Captain Richard Blair, of Blair’s Cove, was a Protestant, who had married a Catholic. Their daughter, Sarah White Blair, was baptised and brought up in her Father’s Faith. However, after his death, his widow, Honora, nee Pattison, wished her to convert to the Catholic religion, So placed the matter in the hands of the parish priest, Father Daniel McCarthy. The fell in love and married by License Bond in Cork on the 26th July 1793. In the Census Return of 1821, it is noted that he was “formerly a Popish Priest”. Little is known about his life subsequent to his marriage, except that the Earl of Bantry, with whose family the Blairs were connected, “got him some sinecure appointment with a fair income.” This seems to be in directly opposite to the situation noted in his Petition of 1820.  He probably had some type of clerical position in the late 1790s wiht Richard White (later earl of Bantry) as he appears as living in Beach, Bantry as a witness to various deeds.He is one of two former Priests appearing in the Cork Grand Jury returns as receiving either £20 or £40 a year.

All our Family notes state that our branch of the McCarthy Family were the “reigning house, Cormac MacCarthy being King of Cork in 1185. We can follow our Pedigree down to the time of the Pretender, but then comes a gap. John Agar McCarthy, always styled himself as” MacCarthy of Durrus”, and was very emphatic that he belonged to the MacCarthy Mor branch. He used to say that his Gt Grandfather (Father of Reverend Daniel McCarthy) disputed with the then MacCarthy of Carrignavar, the right to the Chieftainship.

I noted that one of the Testimonials came from Montiford Westropp, who is a relative

Your email has prompted me to make several further investigations, and it has revealed a lot more information which I was seeking.You will note that I have attached 2 items entitled the Memorials of the Services of the Carey Family, which refers to the exploits of my 3 xGt Grandfather Michael Carey and his brothers in the Peninsular war. More about that later.

Yes, Daniel McCarthy’s story is fascinating, and as you say his decision was very much a triumph of nature over convention. He married in 1793 his Pupil Sarah White Blair, a noted beauty, her Father being Capt Richard Blair, J.P. of Blair’s Cove, 1725-1797, a Protestant, who had married Honora Pattinson a Catholic. Capt Richard Blair’s Father was William Blair, J.P. of Blair’s Cove who married Sarah White b 1700 (my 6 x Gt Grandparents). Sarah White was the daughter of Richard White, b 1660 d Bantry 1731 (My 7 x Gt Grandfather). The Blairs are also descended from the Patricksons of Dunmanway.  Sarah’s brother Richard White, 1701-1776 was the Father of Simon White, 1739-1776, who was the Father of Richard White, 1767-1851, the 1st Earl of Bantry (my 2nd cousin x 6 Removed). So Daniel McCarthy ‘s wife Sarah would have been his 2nd cousin.  The White Family had accumulated a great deal of wealth and influence, and this would explain the fact that Daniel had been helped by the Earl of Bantry with “some sinecure appointment with a fair income.” (Source “The MacCarthy’s of Munster”).  As yet I have been unsuccessful in tracing my Blair ancestors beyond William Blair, JP, of Blair’s Cove.

I can find no information on which Irish College in France that Daniel McCarthy attended, but yes, the McCarthy Family must have had the means to do so, and this was before he married his pupil, Sarah White Blair.

Re Carey ancestors are concerned, I have them traced back to William Carey of Knockerane, Bandon. The eldest son was Theophilus Carey, b 1620, who married in 1664 Mary Packington, daughter of Most Reverend Bernard Packington, Archdeacon of Cork. Their eldest son, William Carey of Shanbally Donough married, in 1691, Mary Hall, daughter of John Hall of Carrigrehane. (She married 2nd Thomas Williams of Peake). William & Mary’s son, William Carey of Shanbally Donough, b 1697 married, in 1723 Anne Rogers of Lota (a Quakeress). Their son, Francis of Aghavin, married Mary, daughter of Colonel Richard Gilburne of Limerick. Mary was a niece of Thomas Williams of Peake mentioned previously. Francis Carey, and his wife, mary, had a son, William Carey, J.P. of Lodge, Co Cork, 1749-1810.  He married in 1769, Jane Westropp, 1746-1826, daughter of Randall Westropp and Peniel Becher (daughter of Lionel Becher and granddaughter of Colonel Thomas Becher) William and Jane are my 4 x Gt Grandparents, and they had 14 children of which the 7 Carey Brothers mentioned in the Memorials attached relate. Michael Carey is my 3 x Gt Grandfather and his daughter, Mary Jane Carey, 1831-Oct 1915, married in 1859 in Calcutta, John Agar McCarthy, Grandson of Daniel. I note from Griffins Valuations, that Michael Carey was for some time a Lessee of Sir H. W. Becher at Coomavarrodg, West Carbery. Interesting how they are all inter-connected.

Thank you for confirming the proper name of Friars Walk. I did think that the spelling on the census of 1841 that I got from the Irish Extraction File on ancestry.co.uk. The info of the 1821 Census, I obtained from the MacCarthy of Munster book, which was written prior to 1924. Such a shame that so many records were lost for ever.

The Carey, who lived and died at Glenlough House on the 3rd June 1862 was my 3 x Gt Uncle, John Westropp Carey. You will see his Memorial on the 2nd sheet. Clearly a remarkable man.

You can see that I am very interested in pursuing details of all my Cork, and other ancestors. If there is any information that you can let me have, I will be very grateful. If you need anything further, I will do my best to answer.

A couple of final points: Do you know where the negotiations between General Dalrymple and the French Admiral took place. I understand that Daniel McCarthy acted as interpreter. You will note from the Memorials that Lionel Carey was a lieutenant on board HMS Pearl that chased the French from Bantry Bay. Did the negotiations take place on board the Pearl?


Hanora Blair 1732 nee Pattison
Blair’s Cove
Married Captain Richard Blair 1725-1797 JP 1750
Children Sarah White 1755-1830, Richard 1758, Mary 1766 Martha 1768 Thomas (Surgeon RN) 1769
She may have been a Catholic

WW8 1612-1858, No.408550120

Sarah Blair Rev. Daniel McCarthy (An t-Athair Tadgh Na Muclagh)

Bantry/Blair’s Cove Durus

He had been the parish priest of Durrus and reputedly the head of the ‘Muclaigh’ sept of the McCarthys who built the Castle in Durrus early 1600s
Descendant include Anglican Archbishop of Calcutta family in UK still come to Durrus from time to time

c1829, Cork
John McCarthy Jane Carey
He probably around Red St/CoveSt, Cork originally Durrus she ?
Son Daniel McCarthy former parish priest Durrus possible head of McCarthy Muclagh formerly Scart and Cool na Long Castle, and Sarah Blair Blair’s Cove.
Son Welbore , unusual name may be Welbore Ellis North of England Church family connected to Agars.

28th November 1829, St. Nicholas, Cork
Robert McCarthy (Muclagh) Mary Jane Agar
He probably around Red St/CoveSt,/Donovans St Cork originally Durrus she Kildare?
He printer, 3rd son of late Daniel McCarthy former Parish Priest Durrus possible head of McCarthy Muclagh formerly Scart and Cool na Long Castle, and Sarah Blair, Blair’s Cove. She was the only daughter of the late Welbore Ellis Agar, Rector, Athy, Co Kildare
Son Welbore became Archbishop of Calcuttta, unusual name may be Welbore Ellis North of England Church family connected to Agars.

5th January 1830, Cork
Hanora McCarthy
Blair’s Cove and Cork
Eldest daughter of late Rev. Daniel McCarthy, former Parish priest of Durrus, (possibly last of McCarthy Muclaghs)
Donovan Street, late Red Abbey St. Cork
Brothers include Robert m Miss Agar father of Wilbore Archbishop of Calcutta, John m Mary Jane Carey

24th April 1830 prob Cork
Mrs. Sarah McCarthy nee Blair
Blair’s Cove and prob Red Abbey Cork
Relict of Rev Daniel McCarthy (former Parish priest of Durrus)
John T Collins, newspaper extracts, Dr Casey 2374

February 1834
John Blair McCarthy
Exciseman probably son of Father Daniel McCarthy and Sarah Blair
John T Collins, newspaper extracts, Dr Casey 2147


Richard Blair Senior b. bef. 1775, Justice of the Peace 8th Oct 1776.
Richard Blair Snr and Junior alive –lease witnessed Oct 1796. Captain Richard Blair was in the Local Volunteers 1782. His wife was a Catholic but the children were brought up Protestant. After his death his wife persuaded her daughter Sarah to become a Catholic and engaged the parish priest of Durrus, Father Daniel McCarthy (Muclagh), to convert her; he in fact married her. In the Grand Jury Presentments for 1807 Cork the sum of £20 is allocated to the Rev Daniel McCarthy a reformed priest also mentioned is the Rev William Crowley also a reformed priest £20. Shortly after Rev McCarthy was petitioning Dublin Castle for assistance proclaiming his loyalty and reminding them of services provided in Bantry and referring to his large family.

See earlier references.
Thomas Blair was a surgeon in the Royal Navy; his mother was Honora, the third son of Richard and Sister Martha
From Durrus (Catholic) parish Register:
Richard Lewis Blair – Catherine O’Donovan, 27th Feb. 1827, Witnesses Richard and Rickard O’Donovan
Jane 20 April 1831, Coolculaghta, Richard Evanson Dora O’Donovan, Died c. 1916, married Garrett Barry a doctor 13 Oct 1863, the witnesses were David Barry, Hamilton Blair. Her fortune consisted of ‘Leslies Bank Notes’- worthless; he drank heavily, and on his death she collected £1,000 life insurance. She remarried Morgan Sullivan, Cashelane, a Protestant; no issue of either marriage. She lived with the Sholfield/Roycroft (Mrs Sholfield is referred to in the School Folklore project as speaking Irish she may have come from Caheragh) family in Dunbeacon. The Shoffield family had some relationship with the Wrights of Dunbeacon/Cashelane. She is buried with her cousin Katty O’Donovan, Ardahill (this is probably wrong, Miss Katty was of the Cove), in Durrus Chapel yard.
Elizabeth 14 June 1835 Coolculaght, Richard and Jane O’Donovan
Anne 5 July 1842 Blair’s Cove Richard and Jane Blair
Cate 17 June 1844 Blair’s Cove, Richard O’Donovan Maria O’Sullivan
Hamilton, involved in affairs in Bantry 1867.

The Blairs were related to the Whites of Bantry House, a White married a Hamilton woman early in the 18th Century and at least three Hamilton Whites ensued. A Blair married a White woman in a wedding at the Parish Church of Schull, Rev John Triphook assisted by the Rev James Freke, Durrus Glebe, Hamilton O’Donovan Blair, 4th eldest son of the late Richard Lewis Blair, of Blair’s Cove and Margaret eldest daughter of William Bennett, Schull, wedding 2 February 1865, Cork Examiner 7 February 1865 Alexander James Blair, of Blair’s Cove and Dundrum died 26th Oct 1865.
There is a wall sign underneath one of the station of the cross in Durrus church in memory of Kate Blair, 17th October 1900.

From National Archives CSO/RP/1819/628

May it please your Excellency

In the month of September last when your Excellency was in Cork I presumed to as a conformed clergyman to lay my case before you, but omitted what I should have added my character by which I mean to shew your Excellency that it was not censure or want on my former creed induced me to enforce.

I voluntarily relinquished lucrative parishes, where I enjoyed the esteem of those of my creed and of the most respectable of the Established Church. I was not … b petulance or insubordination to my then superiors. My conduct can bear the test. I was mature in years; attached to study and after close investigation cool and unshackled deliberation I made my choice. I hoped the creed I espoused would not see me want but want I do in the extreme.. The distress of six six children? and their mother harasses me with this excoriating plea. I brought up my children in in fear and love of God and educate them well but more know what to what to do for them.

If your Excellency would deign to do anything for either of my sons (who are grown up) I would deem it done for myself..

You are a father may you be long to . I father of God what a heartbreaking reflection, a father without the means of giving my children food raisent?, without a friend in penury I am instead a nostrum pater advos such is my distress that I solicited a Sergeancy for one of my sons ( a strong well informed young man) but was refused. Sickness afflicted my family these six months, I had five fevers and four relapses. The £80 subsistence money which I was to get at the Assizes I was obliged to dispose of for £16 to procure the common necessaries of life..

You Excellency Humanity will pardon the pleasant narrative. I know I am trespassing on your precious hours, but cannot help it. Your Excellency’s charity every day alleviates want and who more to be pitied than an an indigent minister of Christ who cannot work and is ashamed to beg.

May God bless you and my blessing as one of Christ’s Ministers prosper you and yours in the prayer of your Excellency, your humble supplicant.

Daniel McCarthy, Clerk.

Evergreen, Cork August 17th 1819.

The within named Gentlemen is of the first respectability
Lord Bantry’s name needs no remark
Charles Smith is Rector of Bantry where I lived a long time.
Stephen Dorman was a leading man there in my time he now in Evergreen, Cork.
Mr. Hudson lives at Glenville where he has a handsome property now lives in Peter St., Cork
Mr. Donovan a man of £1,500 yearly to whom I was always known lives in Donovan St., Cork.
There I remark that if your Excellency should doubt me you may yet interrogated by whom you may please. It is not for me that anything should be done it is for Christ Crucified whse indigent Minister I am.


(Lord Bantry)

My Dear Sir,

Mr. McCarthy will have to hand you this, and to explain how he situated, your Lordship to have done for him what may appear to you proper. I wish not to take up more of your time I a only add. Hard to make out.

Lord Bantry

underneath Lord Boyle now Earl of Shannon

My Dear Colonel,

I wish to send to you the


(Stephen Dorman)

From my intimate acquaintance those thirty years past with the Rev. Daniel McCarthy formerly Popish Priest now of the Established Church. I certify that his public and private character was and is esteemed. He was Benevolent, Humane, Charitable, and Exemplary an Intrepid Loyalist, Zealously resolute in putting down Whiteboys, Croppies and Insurgents of every Denomination. Since he became of the Established Church his conduct is sober and correct his deportment at the time of the French in Bantry Bay near which he then lived and watched with the yeomen day and night and stood at this post when many other Gentlemen of his avocation took to the hills. I have known him to have voluntarily relinquished his Lucrative parishes to become a Conformist in a word he deserved more the approbation.

Stephen Dorman.

Hungerford Westropp

I know the Rev. Daniel McCarthy Conformist to the Church of Ireland these many years, his conduct and character was, and is temperate moral sober and exemplary. This character when parish Priest was Loyal in suppressing White Boys. His conduct was praiseworthy when the French were in Bantry Bay the war

I know him to have voluntarily relinquished Lucrative parishes to become Conformist on the poor stipend of £40 a year.

White Street, Cork
4th July 1819
Mounteford Westropp

The above certificate I known to have known Mr. McCarthy these thirty years

Peter Street,
15th July 1819
Edward Hudson

The above certificate I a now leaving having known Mr. McCarthy these thirty years Edward? Hungerford

Philip Donovan

Daniel McCarthy late Roman Catholic Priest now clergyman of the established Church, is a man known to me many years his conduct was always most .. he loyally and effectually opposed the Whiteboys, he is well moraled,.. humane and much respected, Given under my hand this .. day of August 1819,

Philip Donovan

Donovan’s St. Cork


William Thompson


August 10th 1819

I am perfectly ready as far as my knowledge, of your character goes, to declare, that I believe you to be a gentleman of the most quiet and inoffensive manners, the testimonies borne by most respectful persons to your conduct during very troublesome times in this country are decisive as to your loyalty,

I remain thus your faithful and obedient servant,

William Thomson

Archdeacon of Cork.

August 11th 1819

Dear Sir,

I am perfectly ready, as far as my knowledge of your character goes, to declare that I believe you to be a gentleman of the most quiet and inoffensive manners. The testimonies borne by most respectable persons to your conduct are decisive as to your loyalty.

I remain your faithful and obedient servant.

William Thompson
Archdeacon of Cork

Cork March 7th 1820

I have known the Reverend Daniel McCarthy ever since he became a member of the Established Church. I believe him to be an amiable, well conducted old gentleman; my attention was drawn to him particularly from seeing his sons often, who always seemed to pick good company and to look like gentlemen, when at all times the father’s circumstances were very limited and I believe confined to forty pounds a year the stipend allowed by law to conforming ministers.

Given under my hand

William Thompson

Archdeacon of Cork.

To the Reverend Daniel McCarthy from Charles Smith

I certify that I have known the Reverend Daniel (crossed out) Mr McCarthy for many years during his residence at Bantry since the year 1796 and that during this period he always bore the character of a Loyal peaceable and inoffensive member of society

Charles Smith
24th May 1819
Castle Martyr
Now living at the Glebe House, Bantry

Peter Dumas/Henry Sadler

I know the Reverend Daniel McCarthy those thirty years his character at all times was unobjectionable and much esteemed. Given under my hand 6th May of March 1820 R. Sadleir Peter Dumas? Commissioner?

I have known the Reverend Mr. Daniel McCarthy for four years and as far as my knowledge leads me to believe him very deserving of the above character. ..Travers

South Terrace, 6th March 1820.

Note from Daniel McCarthy
I have kept no copy of Lord Bantry’s letters. Henry Sadlier and Peter Dumas who can certify for me are… the .. Cok. Mr Travers is a leading man in this City. I send a second testimony from the Archdeacon, Cork


To Right Honourable Charles Grant Esq.


I take the liberty of soliciting your favourable attention to the accompanying statement and certificates of the Rev. Daniel McCarthy whose case is fully known to many of the most respectable persons in this city, which I have had particular occasion to become acquainted with being almost unknown to you. I ought to apologise for the Liberty of adarping? you, but as this is the only instance during my seven years employment on this staff, I trust to that,and to the long friendship which subsist between our fathers for your indulgence the case of the memorialis who is so disconsolate that I could not resist an attempt to do him a service.
I am your very obedient servant

Benjamin Gordon Cork

7th March 1820

His Excellency The Earl Talbot


You wanted dod refs …me about some time back, to trespass on your precious hours and as a conformed clergyman to implore some means of supporting large family. I sent testimonials of my conduct signed by William Thompson Archdeacon of Cork, Charles Smyth Rural Dean, by Lord Bantry, Mountiford Westropp, Stephen Doran, and Edward Hudson, men of rank and fortune I beg here to submit more and to observe that any or either of the men may be referred to if necessary. Dire necessity compels me to torment your Excellency. May God help you is the wish of your Clerical Supplicant and hopeful Expectant.

Daniel McCarthy,
Evergreen Street,
March the 7th 1820.


I know the Reverend Daniel McCarthy, I have witnessed the great distress he suffers in the want of means to clothe and feed a numerous family, with hi will fall the slender and precarious subsistence and he and all his family are respectable in conduct and appearance. I am sure they are fit objects for favourable consideration of Government. Of his four sons, one is about to enlist as a private, in the hoe that his conduct adb ability may promote him and principally to relieve his father. The others are in every respect capable of discharging the duties of clerks in any office

Ben: Gordon

Major General

… Munster

Cork March 7th 1820