Puxley”, born 1685 was a land agent for Edward Eyre of Galway. He had
four children, two of which were Henry and John Puxley who came to
Berehaven from Co. Galway in about 1730. But in 1754 John was shot dead
by Morty Og.
son Henry Puxley married Sarah Lavallin and their son “Copper John”
(known as this because of his mining which began in Allihies in 1812)
paid off all the debts and encumbrances an took over the entire Lavallin
property and the Annesley Estate in Berehaven. “Copper John” Lavallin
had eight children, his son John took over the Dunboy Estate, then after
his death in 1860, his brother Henry took over and in July of 1866 the
gothic extension to his castle took place. His son Henry Edmund Lavallin
was born in 1866 and had two children, Henry Waller Lavallin and John
Paul Lavallin. Henry died in 1900 but his wife lived until she was 93
and died in 1965.
Paul was the last of the direct Dunboy branch of the Puxley family. In
1921 the roof and rooms of the castle were burnt down. And later, Henry
Waller Lavallin was rewarded £50,000 as compensation. It was put up for
auction in 1926 and Maurice D Power bought the castle for his son who
settled in Dunboy. Also included in the sale were the ruins of Donal Cam
O’ Sullivan Beare’s Castle, which was battered down by cannon guns
during the seige of Dunboy in June 1602.
Genealogy of the Puxley Family : Henry Puxley (Ahascragh, Co. Galway)
Henry (born 1685)
was a Land Agent for Edward Eyre of Galway. Children: Henry married a
daughter of Capt. Richard Goodwin. She was aunt of Rev. Thomas Goodwin,
later Rector of Berehaven; Eleanor became Mrs. Burke; Mary married
Patrick FitzSimon of Liscure, Co. Galway; *John (born 1710) came with
older brother Henry (as Land Agents) to Dunboy in 1730. They were
originally involved with one of the local Landed Gentry Morty Oge
O’Sullivan in the smuggling of wine but they later fell out with him.
John was shot dead by Morty Oge beside Darby Harrington’s forge at
Esknaceartan, near Oakmount, on Sunday March 10th 1754.
Accompanying John Puxley at the time was his wife Mary Hayes, daughter
of Thomas Hayes and Frances Bullen, Knocknagore, near Kinsale, Co. Cork.
On seeing John Puxley lying on the ground, of the Morty Oge’s right-hand
men said "You may as well shoot the goose as the gander!" But Morty Oge
said he would never harm a woman, and so they went on their way.
John Puxley &
Mary Hayes (Puxley’s Castle, Dunboy)
(born circa 1741) also had land in Crosshaven, Co. Cork. He married
Sarah Lavallin (owner of half the Lavallin Estate), daughter of Philip
and Sarah Lavallin, Waterstown Castle, Waterpark, Co. Cork, and was
killed by a fall from his horse while hunting in Macroom in 1803;
Othwell married the widow of Major Eyre, formerly Mary Shaw, only child
of Thomas Shaw of Galway Town. With Major Eyre she had a daughter Jane
Eyre; John commanded a native Indian Regiment; Mary; Annie married Hugh
Lawton, Merchant, Cork City; Eleanor (or Ellen) married Charles McCarthy
who had warehouses on the Docks in Cork City.
Henry Puxley &
Sarah Lavallin (Puxley’s Castle, Dunboy)
Their son *John
Lavallin Puxley (born in 1772), known as "Copper John" paid off all the
debts of the Lavallin Estate and took it over. He also purchased the
Annesley Estate in Berehaven. He was High Sheriff for the County of
Carmarthenshire (Wales) in 1832, having purchased a large Georgian
mansion there in 1797, the year after he had married Sarah Hobbs,
daughter of Thomas Hobbs of Bantry. "Copper John" was told by Colonel
Hall (an Officer of a now, 1811, disbanded Regiment in which there had
been a number of Cornish Miners) that there was copper in Allihies.
Mining Engineers brought over from Cornwall, England, by "Copper John"
confirmed what Col. Hall had said. Copper mining began in Allihies in
1812. This industry was to have a profound bearing on the lives of the
people of the Beara Peninsula thereafter.
Lavallin Puxley & Sarah Hobbs (Puxley’s Castle, Dunboy)
"Copper John" dies
on Nov. 8th 1956 aged 84. Sarah died on Dec. 8th
1831. They had 8 children: Sarah (born 1796) died a young girl on May 8th
1807; Henry Lavallin (born 1797) died on June 13th 1828 aged
31; *John Lavallin (born in 1800, died on Oct. 23rd 1837)
took over the Dunboy Estate from his father. He was reared in Llethr
Llestri in Wales, educated at Eton and Brasenose College, Oxford, and
married Fanny Rosa Maria White (who died in 1857)), daughter of Simon
White of Glengarriff Castle, and niece of the 1st Earl of
Bantry; Elizabeth was a life tenant of Lavallin House, Tonby,
Penbrokeshire. After his death in 1871 the Estate there passed to Rev.
Herbert Boyne Lavallin Puxley; Jane died in 1829; Barbara died in 1842;
Fanny married Rev. Henry Herbert of Montgomeryshire; Henrietta married
Robert Thomas of the 10th Regiment.
Puxley & Fanny White (Puxley’s Castle, Dunboy)
There were five
children of this marriage: John Simon Lavallin (born July 1831; died on
April 15th 1860) was Captain of the 6th Dragoons;
Henry Lavallin (Apr. 1834) succeeded his brother John in the ownership
of the Castle and Estate in 1860. Previous to this he had been J.P. in
County Cork and Carmarthenshire (Wales). In 1864 he was appointed High
Sheriff of Carmarthenshire and in 1965 High Sheriff of Co. Cork. He
conceived the idea of building a Gothic extension to his Castle in
Dunboy. Plans for this were drawn up by Architect John Christopher. The
builders were the Cockburns. Work began in July 1866. Stone used was
Wicklow granite faced with Ballintemple limestone. The building of the
new extension was supervised by the Dublin Architect E.H. Carson, father
of the later controversial Politician and Statesman Sir Edward Carson.
The new building was roofed in Oct. 1867, and the rest of the old
building was remodelled to fit in with the new part. Henry L. married
Katherine Ellen Waller, third daughter of the Rev. William Waller of
Castletown, Co. Limerick. She died on July 10th 1872 aged 36
(and was buried in the Church of Ireland Cemetery near Glenbrook,
Adrigole) after which her husband left Ireland, never to return. Henry
later married Adeline Nepean (formerly married to Colonel William
Ferguson Hutchinson), youngest daughter of General Charles W. Nepean. He
died on Feb. 6th 1909 in England; Rev. Edward Lavallin, late
lieut. 4th Dragoons, married Maria Winifred Leader, daughter
of Henry Leader of Clonmoyle; Herbert Boyne Lavallin married Kate Benson
of Cockermouth; Fanny Sarah Elizabeth married Rev. John Thomas Waller of
Castletown Manor, Co. Limerick, son of Rev. William Waller.
Lavallin Puxley & Catherine Ellen Waller (Puxley’s Castle, Dunboy)
Frances was the second wife of Robert O’Brien Studdert J.P., Cullane,
Co. Clare; John Lavallin (Sept. 1859) died on Sept. 13th 1896
aged 37; Edward Lavallin (June 1861) won a rowing medal (Oxford .V.
Cambridge) in 1884. He died on Dec 3rd 1890 aged 29; Rosa
(Katherine Rosa) (July 1864) married her cousin Simon White of
Glengarriff Castle; *Henry Edmund Lavallin (born Feb. 1866; died on Aug.
13th 1900 aged 34) married Eliza (Jane Elza) Halahan,
daughter of Rev.(later Dean) John Halahan (Rector of Berehaven) and
Harriette Sargent, The Glebe, Killaughaneenig; Herbert Hardress (May
1868) Lizette (or Elizabeth Jane) (born Oct. 1869; died 1936) looked
after the White children in Glengarriff Castle.
Lavallin Puxley & Eliza Halahan (Puxley’s Castle, Dunboy)
There were two
children in the family: Henry Waller Lavallin (June 1898), Royal Navy,
was educated at the Royal Naval Colleges of Osborne and Darmouth. He
married Naumai Kathleen Clephane Guinness, only daughter of Edwin Roland
Guinness of Timaru, New Zealand, and died in 1973; John Paul Lavallin
(Jan. 1900) was a baby of 6 months when his father died. As he grew up,
he and his brother spent the first six months of each year in
Switzerland and the second six months with their grandparents (Dean
Halaphan and his wife) in The Glebe. The boys moved to live in Dublin in
1909 after their mother remarried (her second husband was Dr. William
Steele Haughton M.D. of Dublin). She died on Sept. 10th 1965
aged 93 ½ years. Shortly before that she had paid her last visit to
Dunboy with her son Commander John Paul Puxley of the Royal Navy who
said that those six months spent in Berehaven were the happiest of his
life. He married Janet Agnes Mantle, daughter of Benjamin Mantle of
Jesmond, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire and lived in Sandy, Bedfordshire.
John Paul was the last of the direct Dunboy Branch of the Puxley family.
Other branches of the Puxleys are widely scattered: in Berkshire
(England, Quebec, Ottawa, Ontario, Toronto, Halifax (Nova Scotia) St.
Johns’s (New Brunswick) and Sydney (Australia). In 1921 Mr. and Mrs.
Albert Thomas came as caretakers to the Puxley Castle in Dunboy. It was
during the War of Independence. Rumour had it that the Castle was going
to become a base for the British army. On June 9th 1921,
after the Caretakers had been brought outside, the local unit of the
Irish Republican Army burned down the roof and rooms of the Castle.
Later Henry W.L. Puxley claimed £130,000 as compensation for the
burning. He was awarded £50,500 at the Skibbereen Quarter Sessions. A
magnificent-looking building in its day, the Castle attracted the
interest of the Jesuit Order who contemplated turning it into College. A
C.I.E. Hotel was also mooted for it. All these plans fell through. When
it was put up for auction in May 1926, bidding started at £1000 and
eventually the Castle and 215 acres of land were bought for £2020 by
Maurice D. Power, Publican, Droumlave, Adrigole, for his son Mossie who
settled in Dunboy and married Mae Murphy N.T. Cahirgarriff N.S.,
daughter of Jeremiah Murphy and Kate O’Sullivan, Cahirgarriff. Included
in the land also, at the far end down by the sea, are the ruins of Donal
Cam O’Sullivan Beare’s Castle, the walls of which were battered down by
cannon guns during the Siege of Dunboy in June 1602.