West Cork History

There is a fascinating description of the career of James Hennessy and the extended network of Irish merchant emigres in Ostend in a book

Irish and Scottish Mercantile Networks in Europe and Overseas in the …

By David Dickson, Jan Parmentier, Jane H. Ohlmeyer

Charles Hennessy was born to a well connected family in the Blackwater valley, Co Cork in 1699.  The family was connected to the Nagles and other old English families whose fortunes had changed with the new political situation at the end of the 17th century.  The statesman Edmond Burke was from the same milieu.

Charles emigrated to Ostend in 1730 and was helped by a close network of Irish merchant families involved in the butter, hide and general trading.  There were families with Youghal connections such as the Rays and Lucans and from Cork the Roches, Rays and Coppingers.  These emigre Cork families were from an…

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