25 February, 2016
Discussion paper - “Colleys” in County Wexford
The Freemen of Wexford in 1776 by David Goodall for The Irish Genealogist.
55. Colly,John,Esqre.,Ballywalter (N).
Probably the son of William Colley of Ballywalter whose will was p.Ferns
1719. His sister Mary m. Thomas Higginson of Moneyhere(Moneyhore?)(I.W.&P.
1718-59). At the age of 80,he m. in July 1771 a Miss Bolland,aged 16 years(Index
to Marriages in Walker's Hibernian Magazine,1771-1812). Their only daughter
and heiress,Alice(b. 7 April 1772,d. 16 December 1861),m. in 1786 John Pounden
of Daphne,grandson of an immigrant from Liege who settled in Co. Wexford post
1734 and voted in the Co. Wexford election of 1753(although objected to as
having been born of popish parents and not having conformed-see Commons Journals,Vol.1x,p.452).
John Pounden became of Ballywalter and was killed at the taking of Enniscorthy
by the rebels,28 May 1798 where he commanded a body of yeomen infantry(Musgrave,pp.
348-54). For the subsequent history of this family see B.L.G.:Pounden of
Ballywalter House,Ballywalter(mis-spelt Ballywater in G.V.) is in the parish
of Donaghmore,Barony of Ballaghkeen North. In 1853 it was owned by John Colley
This seems reasonable as,apart from both William and John being of Ballywalter,County
Wexford, John had a brother,William Colley. Thomas Higginson being the son
of Edward Higginson and Mary,the daughter of Robert Savage.
Deed 223 562 149274 – Thomas Higginson to Valentine Gill. 3 February 1764.
Indented Deed between the Rev. Thomas Higginson of Ballinderry Co. Antrim
and Valentine Gill of Enniscorthy Co. Wexford Reciting that John Gamble late
of St. Johns deceased did by Indented Articles of Agreement dated 24 June
1748 demise unto Thomas Higginson late of Ballyboy,Co. Wexford one third part
of the Town and Lands of Moneyhere in the Manor of St. Johns for the lives
of the said John Gamble,Lucy Skelton and Elizabeth Moore Reciting that Thomas
Higginson is dead but before his death made his will and devised unto his
wife Mary Higginson otherwise Colley,now Mary Bennett,his leases of Tomsilia,Ballyboymore
and Moneyhere during her life and no longer and direct at her decease the
said leases should be sold or set to the best advantage and the profits arising
therefore to be equally divided among his children viz;
Thomas Higginson,party to these presents.
Susanna Higginson and Frances Higginson since deceased
Thomas transferred to Valentine Gill 2/3 and Elizabeth Moore and Thomas
Jones(the son of Issac Jones late of Tomgarr, Co. Wexford deceased)
were added in the stead of John Gamble.
Journal of the Association for the Prevention of the Dead in Ireland.
Millenagh,or Melenagh Churchyard.
“Here lyeth the body of John Colley,of Ballywalter,in County of Wexford.Esq.
He died 6th day of April,1777,in ye 76th year of his age. He was a pattern
of Virtue,Religion,and good conduct. His friends were the wise,the virtuous,and
the learned. His Enemies-None. His Mourners-All who knew him.”
“Here also lyeth the body of Mrs. Allice,wife of the said John Colley,who
died the 23rd May,1770”.
An adjoining tomb bears the following inscription-
“ Thomas Smith died 2 April,1777,aged 55 years. Dorothy Colley,otherwise
Smith,died Nov. 28th 1809, aged 95. St. Mogues' records has Dorothy's age
Beneath this tomb lies also the remains of Capt. John Colley Smith,Captain
in Command of the Camolin Cavalry in 1798. Departed this life at Camolin 20th
March,1837,aged 90 years.” This would be a son and who married Patience Hartley
of St. Peter Dublin 18 July 1789,Spinster, and it could be that Patience was
the daughter of Humphrey Hartley who retired as Curate of St. Mogues,Ballycanew
at the end of 1780 and succeeded by the Rev. Andrew Little.
These headstones were located by Mr. Francis P. Colley who visited the churchyard
some time since to seek for the Colley tomb.
There is some doubt as to the ages shown as it would make Dorothy(Colley)
Smith 8 years older than her husband. Perhaps 55 should be 65?.
There was a Thomas Colley Smith who passed away 1857 and,of interest,is
that the executor,of his Will,was Thomas Cranwill of Ballycanew and which
suggests that it was a daughter of Thomas Smith and Dorothy Colley who married
Patrick Cranwill of Ballycanew and where Patrick Cranel,son of John Cranel,was
born at Ballycanew 8 June,1740 and passed away 7 September,1827.
“ Now to return to Walter,son of Sir H. Colley. His grandson was Thomas
Colley,of Balcarrick,whose son John Colley,of Ballywalter,is the gentleman
named on the before-mentioned tombstone. This gentleman had an only child,Alice,who
married John Pounder Esq.(killed in 1798),and was grandmother of the present
John Colley Pounder ,Esq. Of Ballywalter.
The County Wexford branch of the family of Colley are represented in the
male line by Francis P. Colley,Esq., of Liverpool,who is the grandson of Roger
Colley,of Balcarrick,a younger brother of the John Colley,of Ballywalter,before
mentioned. John and Charles Wesley,the founders of Methodism,are stated to
have been the great -grandchildren of Anne,daughter of Sir H. Colley,of Castle
Carbery,by her marriage with Bartholomew Wesley”.
Hibernian Magazine – Marriages
Colley, rev. Arthur,Bellcarrig,Co. Wexford = Pentland,Miss. d. of John,
Francis Pentland Colley married Harriet Beasley and there was a John
Pentland Beasley. Known children,of Francis Pentland Colley,being Arthur R
Colley(born England 1854) and Harriet F Colley(born England 1852) and two
sisters,of Harriet Beasley, are known being Deborah Beasley(born Ireland 1816)
and Alicia Beasley(born Ireland 1820).
“At Athboy,Nangle may have come across the Pentlands,a local clerical
family who had suffered considerably as a consequence of the 1798 Rising in
County Wexford. The Rev. John Pentland, Curate of Kilanne, was killed on
Vinegar Hill 29 May 1798 while his brother in law and rector Simon Little
lost property valued at 73 pounds during the rising and Ann Pentland was the
wife of the Rev. Arthur Colley curate of Ballycanew during the Rising”.
It is believed that the Rev. Simon Little,son of the Rev. Andrew Little
and Rhoda Allen, married Mary Pentland c. November 1780 at Athboy,Meath,Ireland.
4 & 5 confirm that Francis Pentland Colley was the son of the Rev. Arthur
Colley son of Roger Colley of Balcarrick and was living at Brownswood,Enniscorthy,County
Wexford in September 1893 as a letter was published in the Irish News.
Deed 156 204 105099
Instrument in Writing, Jan.23,1746 whereby John Colley,Ballywalter,(parish
of Killenagh-Ed.) Co. Wexford,made over to John Hollingsworth,Monro, that
part of Monro & Ballynakill then in the possession of said John Hollingsworth,excepting
Moge Murry & Daniel Murry's holdings,to hold for the natural lives of
John Colley,Allice Colley, & William Colley his brother,or for 38 years,from
Sept. 29,next, at 20 pounds six shillings & half;per annum. Witnesses
William Colley, Curriduffe & Edward Jones,Ballycanew. Registered Nov.
Allice Colley would be the wife of John Colley.
Allocation of Pews at St. Mogues,Ballycanew, 1 Jan. 1760.
2. Thomas Colley
14.1 Thomas Smith
14.2 William Colley, Mrs. Gregg (maybe a sister to William Colley?)
26 May, 1760 – Roger Colley
Sir Henry Colley of Castle Carbery and Edenderry, believed son of Walter
Colley(1500-1548) and,believed, grandson of Robert Colley. As well as Walter
Colley it is believed that Robert had a son Robert. Sir Henry Colley married
Catherine Cusack, daughter of Sir Thomas Cusack and,believed, Maude Darcy
of Cussington,County of Meath. It is thought that the parents,of Sir Thomas
Cusack, may have been John Cusack of Cussington and Alison de Wellesley and
where Alison was the daughter of William Wellesley and Ismay Plunket of Dangan
Castle,County Meath. After the death of Sir Thomas Colley in 1584 Catherine
re-married to William Eustace and died 1598. There was a Anne Cusack,the daughter
of Edward Cusack and Elizabeth Aylmer who married Valerian Wellesley(1592-1655)
being the son of William Wellesley(the son of Garret Wellesley and Genet Cusack)
and Ellice Wakeley. The children of Sir Henry Colley and Catherine Cusack
Sir Henry Colley – married Anne Loftus(daughter of
Adam Loftus,Archbishop of Armagh/ Dublin c.1533-5 April,1605 and
Jane Purdon who married 1560). It is believed that Anne Loftus re-married
first, to George Blount of Kidderminister,Worcestershire and then to Edward,Lord
Mary Colley married first to Garret Moore,1st Viscount
Moore,and had,believed,twelve children and then to Charles Wilmot,1st Viscount
Sir George Colley of Edenderry,King's County married
Margaret Loftus (daughter of Adam Loftus,Archbishop of Armagh/ Dublin).
Adam Loftus,Archbishop of Armagh/ Dublin, named three of
his children Dudley, Thomas and Dorothy.
One child being Sir William Colley of Edenderry who died 1645 and who
married Anne Meredyth, the daughter of Richard Meredyth,Bishop of Leighlin
and where Anne is believed to have died 18 September,1608 and
her son,William Colley died the same day.
Gerald Colley of Ardee(daughter Catherine married William
Moore of Barmeath)
Eleanor Colley – married Robert Talbot
Henry Colley(c.1585-1637),son of Sir Henry Colley and Anne Loftus, married
Elizabeth/Anne Peyton and had the,believed, following children:
Eleanor Cooley – married Norris Jephson of Mallow
Elizabeth/Anne Peyton had married first to Sir Richard Cooke and had the
and who were step-children of Sir Henry Colley. Elizabeth/Anne Peyton being
the daughter of Sir Christopher Peyton and Anne Palmer.
Dudley Colley(b.c 1621-d. July 1674-alias Cowley) married Anne Warren daughter
of Henry Warren and,secondly,Elizabeth Sankey daughter of George Sankey believed
of Balenrath of King's County. Elizabeth is thought to have been a widow of
Henry Bollard and,should this be the case,then “Bollard”is very similar to
“Bolland” being the young girl whom the ageing John Colley married in 1771
and may be the “missing” link and would explain why John Colley,with no heir,
married Miss Bolland. Balenrath being the residence of William Moore who
married Catherine Colley the daughter of Gerald Colley of Ardee.
Children to Anne Warren being:
Elizabeth Colley married to Garret Wellesley of
Dangan Castle,County of Meath and which had been in the Wellesley family since
c.1411. Of their children Dudley,Elizabeth,Valerian,Colley and Christopher
all died young while William and Garret,who both married “Keating”sisters,
died without issue. Margaret Wellesley married Wentworth Harman and had two
known children being Thomas and Wentworth Harman.
Mary Colley believed married William Ashe.
and,to Elizabeth Sankey:
The only son,Henry Colley(1648-1700),married first to Sarah Boswell and
then to Mary Ussher in August 1694 daughter of (Archbishop?) Sir William
Ussher and Ursula daughter of Captain George St. Barbe and had,it is believed,twelve
children being six boys and six girls of which four boys had died prior to
1705. Known children being:
Henry Colley d. 1728 – married Lady Mary Hamilton 1719.
Richard Colley – Baron Mornington
Anne Colley – believed married William Pole
This Henry Colley(1648-1700) was also known as Henry Cowley.
Richard Colley(b.c 1690,d. 31 January 1768) changed his name legally on
15 November,1728 to Richard Wesley shortly after he had inherited the estates
of Dangan and Mornington in County Meath on the death of his cousin Garret
Wellesley. Richard Wesley married Elizabeth,daughter of John Sale 23 December
1719 and had the following children:
Frances Wesley – married William Francis Crosbie
Elizabeth Wesley – married Chichester Fortescue
Garret Colley Wesley (19 July,1735/22 May,1781) married Anne Hill-Trevor
the eldest daughter of Arthur Hill-Trevor 1st Viscount Dungannon and his wife
Anne Stafford. Children being:
Richard Wellesley – inherited the father's Earldom
William Wesley-Pole(believed inherited from William Pole)
Gerald Valerian Wellesley(believed Chaplain to
Arthur Wellesley – married Kitty Pakenham(2 believed
sons Arthur & Charles)
Henry Wellesley (Lord Cowley)
Lady Ann Wellesley – married (1) Henry Fitzroy
(2) Charles Culling Smith
Arthur Wellesley(b. 1 May 1769 Dublin/d. 14 September 1852) being 1st Duke
There seems no apparent direct link to this family of “Colleys” and the
“Colleys” of County Wexford where the earliest known family member is believed
that of William Colley of Ballywalter,County Wexford who died c. 1719.
Should a son be the John Colley of Ballywalter who was born c.1691/1701(80
in July 1771 when he married or 76 when he passed away 6 April,1777)and who
had a brother William Colley and a sister Mary Higginson, then allowing for
the father to be 30 years of age when married and that John Colley was the
eldest child then William Colley would have been born c. 1660/1670.
This gives a birth date of c. 1630/1640 for the father of William Colley
of Ballywalter,County Wexford and the only “Colley's”, within this time frame,
appear to be the three,believed,children of Henry Colley(1585-1637) who married
Elizabeth/Ann Peyton being:
Having said this it must be remembered that the above chart is of just one,believed,son
of Walter Colley being Sir Henry Colley who first leased the Castle Carbury
and then purchased the property and it would be reasonable, to take the view,
that there would be other children and which could include a son,Walter, after
the father and a daughter Agnes/Anne after the mother or,of course,all daughters.
Being of substantial means, and in Ireland, suggests that the County Wexford
Colley's descend down from a son of Walter and Agnes/Anne Colley(other than
Sir Henry Colley) and,should this be the case,then there is no direct link
back to the “Wellesleys” as this family only came into the “Colleys”through
the marriage of Sir Henry Colley and Catherine Cusack and where Catherine
descended down from William Wellesley and Ismay,daughter of Sir Thomas Plunket
and granddaughter of Sir Lucas Cusacke. William being the son of Christopher
de Wellesley the son of Richard de Wellesley and Joan,the eldest daughter,
and heiress, of Sir Nicholas de Castlemanton.
Of interest is a daughter of the Rev. Arthur Colley and Ann Pentland being
Eliza Jane Colley,born 1 August 1808 and of Belcarrig,County Wexford,and who
married William Dowdall Pigott (1832) and who re-located to Ontario,Canada,
and where a son,Arthur Colley Wellesley Pigott was born c.1840. Naming of
the son”Wellesley” does not guarantee that the family descended down from
the “Wellesleys” and may only have been included because of the Duke of Wellington
otherwise it suggests that the Rev. Arthur Colley,of St. Mogues Church,Ballycanew,County
Wexford descends down from Sir Henry Colley of Castle Carbury,County
References have been sighted regarding a marriage between a Thomas Colley
of Balcarrick, County Wexford, and Agnes Lyndon but no evidence of this event
has been sighted especially dates.
This Arthur Colley had a sister named “Patience” who married Christopher
Harrison as well as naming a daughter “Patience”and which suggests that Arthur
Colley's mother/grandmother may have been a “Patience” and possibly related
to the Hollingsworths and which would explain Lease 643.306.443569 of
21 February,1812 where John Colley,son of the Rev. Arthur Colley,of Ballincarry,
County Wexford,aged 10 years, is included as one of the “lives” indicating
a close family relationship to the “Hollingsworths” and which may,also, explain
the Christian name of “Loftus” in the “Hollingsworths”.
It is believed that there is a monument in the Glaiston Church, Rutlandshire,
for Walter Colley Esq.(c.1500-1548) and Agnes/Ann his wife. While no descendants
are named “Walter”( or that of the father” Robert) it may simply be of a political
It is not known from whom Dorothy Colley descends or Thomas Colley who held
a pew in the 1760 allocation of St. Mogues,Ballycanew,County Wexford and it
is suggested that they may be siblings of Roger Colley of Ballycanew.
There are “Colleys” in Dublin not identified being:
Christopher Colley 1709
Elizabeth Colley 1760
Frances Colley 1743
Dates being when their Wills were probated.