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James Skuse, from Clashadoo, Durrus, West Cork to Schoolmaster, Businessmen, Resident Blackrock Castle, Ship Owner Cork, Died 1913 Estate £18,137, Blackrock, Cork.

His residency at Blackrock Castle owned by the Cork harbor Commissioners may have been connected to him being a ship owner.

The Skuses may descent from a Cork soldier in the East Company whose son was born in India and returned presumable home to Derrynafulla, Glengariff. The family were involved as bailiffs and policemen and lived in Clashadoo, Durrus either on the present McCarthy farm or on a house attaching.

James Skuce married in 1853 in Rathelaren  (Church of Ireland) parish church,  his profession  was  School Master, resident in  Ballycotton, Co. Cork, he married Miss Catherine Harris who was a School Mistress, also resident in Ballycotton.   The birth record and baptism of their eldest son in 1856 in Drimoleague and James was described as a school master then. At the time of his wife Catherine’s  death in 1868  James’s  occupation was given as Clerk.  James later remarried, this marriage was to Miss Rebecca Sophia Lester, a spinster resident in Kinsale, the marriage was in St Stephen’s Church in Dublin.

In 1875 when James and Catherine’s eldest daughter married, James’s profession is then given as Merchant.

The letter 1881 letter written by James to his brother, James  states about his work pursuits, and mentions about  one of the ships that he part owned.  An Irish newspaper item mentioning another ship which he owned and this was in a collision with another vessel.

Irish Examiner May 5th 1876 page 3

James is mentioned in the English newspaper in Buckinghamshire and in the Commercial Gazette London in connection with The London and County Banking Company.

Bucks Herald
Saturday, February 22, 1879

The London and County Banking Company
Persons of whom the Company or Partnership consists.
Name. Residence. Occupation.
Skuce, James, Arbutus-place, Blackrock-road, Cork, Esq.

He also had shares in the T. Lyons and Co. Ltd, so could this have been the corn store he had been a Manager of prior to his retirement ?

The Irish Times
Friday, March 1, 1912
Page 11

  1. Lyons and Co. LTD – Annual Meeting … held yesterday at the warehouse, South Main street, Cork. …

Shareholders present: – … J. Skuce ..

The 1901 Census gives that James Skuce was aged 70, and was a  retired Manager of a Corn Store. James died in 1913, he had been a very successful business man as he  left a small fortune, which was left  to his young widow and his unmarried daughters.

In the 1881 letter to his nephew, James Skuce states he was Chief Manager to the Chief Merchant in Cork, who was also part owner of his two ships, the “Glennarow”, a large iron ship 1500 tons, then on passage to Australia; and the “Assyrian” a 2 year old large timber ship, 1800 tons, then on route to Boston. USA. His son was second officer on the “Glennarow”.

In the 1901 Census he gives On the 1901 Census, James Skuce, Head of family, Church of Ireland., can read and write, 70, Retired Manager of Corn Store, Retired from Business, married, Born in Co. Cork.

May  have been a manager of RH Halls Company.  In the early 20th century extended family working in Cork Grain companies.

The letter 1881 letter written by James to his brother, James states about his work pursuits, and mentions about one of the ships that he part owned. I have this weekend found a Irish newspaper item mentioning another ship which he owned and this was in a collision with another vessel.

Irish Examiner May 5th 1876 page 3

these newspaper items below.

James Skuce married in 1853 in Rathelaren (Church of Ireland) parish church, his profession was School Master, resident in Ballycotton, Co. Cork, he married Miss Catherine Harris who was a School Mistress, also resident in Ballycotton. I found the birth record and baptism of their eldest son in 1856 in Drimoleague and James was described as a school master then . At the time of his wife Catherine’s death in 1868 James’s occupation was given as Clerk. James later remarried, this marriage was to Miss Rebecca Sophia Lester, a spinster resident in Kinsale, the marriage was in St Stephen’s Church in Dublin.

In 1875 when James and Catherine’s eldest daughter married, James ‘s profession is then given as Merchant.

The letter 1881 letter written by James to his brother, James states about his work pursuits, and mentions about one of the ships that he part owned. I have this weekend found a Irish newspaper item mentioning another ship which he owned and this was in a collision with another vessel.

Will:

Will of Mr Skuce, Cork, of St John’s, Blackrock Road. Cork, who died on the 31st October last, left personal estate in the United Kingdom valued at £18,137 10s., of which £5,201 5s is in England, and probate of his will, dated 23rd September, 1913, has been granted to his widow, Mrs Sophie Rebecca Skuce, of St John’s aforesaid, and his daughter, Miss Mary Skuce, of Clonfina, Kenilworth Road, Leamington, Warwick, and his nephew, Mr Allan Skuce, of the National Bank, Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland. Bank Official. The testator left £500 to his daughter, Mary, and the residue of his estate upon trust for his wife, and his daughters, Sophie, Emily and Dorothy, in equal shares.

Irish Examiner May 5th 1876 page 3

Interesting to see  the custom of that time was to support unmarried family and so his married offspring did not get anything which must have been a hard disappointment.

 

https://durrushistory.com/2015/01/10/snapshot-of-a-west-cork-family-1881-letter-from-james-skuce-to-his-nephew-in-canada-from-canadian-archives-from-derrrynafulla-glengariff-clashadoo-durrus-to-teaching-businessman-shipowner-owne/

https://durrushistory.com/2015/01/10/snapshot-of-a-west-cork-family-1881-letter-from-james-skuce-to-his-nephew-in-canada-from-canadian-archives-from-derrrynafulla-glengariff-clashadoo-durrus-to-teaching-businessman-shipowner-owne/

Comment:

The connections keep on coming. I was researching James Skuce as he was a witness to a Cork City marriage between Watkins Harris and Mary Wilson in 1862. Watkin’s address is listed as White Street in Cork. Nine years earlier Skuce had married Catherine Harris in Rathclarin – likely a cousin of Watkins. An 1867 directory has James Skuce as superintendent of the ‘Industrial Ragged School’ – in White Street. (I was following this line of reasoning to try to tie Watkins back to the Harris families in Ballycatteen townland in Rathclarin.)

I found the two ships he mentioned in the 1883 Lloyds’ Register of Shipping – the ‘Glenavon’ of Cork (owner R.C. Hall) and the ‘Assyrian’ of Cork (owners R.C. Hall and A. Herbert). No mention of Skuce’s ownership (maybe he only had a fractional share and might not then be listed) but it does seem to link him to the grain business of R&H Hall.

It looks like one of the Halls occupied Blackrock Castle in the late 19C – so perhaps that is how Skuce came to be associated with the castle. I can find no clear reference to Skuce ever having lived there. For many years he lived at Arbutus Place on the Old Blackrock Road. He lived at St Johns – around the corner – at the time of his death in 1913.