Turtle Bunbury

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George Ievers of Athlacca’s eldest son Robert Ievers of Ballylusky and Castle Ievers was married twice. His first wife, whom he wed on 19th January 1747, was Mary Parsons of Cragbeg (Craigbeg) in County Limerick. Robert was made a Freeman of Limerick City on 9th September 1748. Robert and Mary had at least five sons and three daughters. Eyre H. Ievers records a note stating that their sons Henry, Thomas and Richard were ‘inoculated for small pox at Athlacca Monday 25 Apr 1757’. Their younger son George and his sister Mary ‘took the infection from them’ but, while George recovered, Mary ‘died of the disorder’ in 1757. Mary Ievers, wife of Robert, died on 16th November 1772 and was buried in Limerick.


Robert and Mary’s firstborn son Henry Ievers was a Councillor who married the widow of a Mr. Greene and died without any children sometime before 1802.


Robert and Mary’s second son Tom Ievers (aka Thomas Robert Ievers) lived in Ennis, County Clare, where he was sworn in as an Attorney on 22nd June 1790. He died suddenly at Castle Ievers in November 1803.[i] By his wife Jane Hewet, who he married in 1787, he left a daughter Anna Maria Ievers. Anna Maria’s story is made interesting by her marriage to a young Fermanagh-born surgeon James Moore Graham (1784-1865), later known as ‘the Hunting Doctor’ of Cupar in Scotland and a celebrated reveller.[ii]

At Ennis, James M Graham, Esq, surgeon of the 31st regiment, to Miss Jevers, daughter of Thomas Jevers Esq.
The Athenaeum: A Magazine of Literary and Miscellaneous Information, Vol. 3, edited by John Aikin (Longmans, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1808)

Anna Maria Ievers (or, note, Jevers in notice above) was married in Ennis on 17th Dec 1807 to James Moore Graham. He had been married previously in Dublin in 1806 to Sarah Edwards but she "died within a year of the marriage" (obit.) Karen Ievers has found three tributes to Anna Maria Ievers in Walkers Hibernian Magazine (1807), published before her marriage, which may have been penned by the good doctor.

The Ennis Chronicle reported (Wed. 23 Dec. 1807) that Anna Maria and J.M. Graham were married ‘at her father's house’ and described her as the ‘daughter of Thomas Ievers of this town Esq’, but curiously gave no indication that he was the late Mr. Ievers. J. M. Graham had served a five-year apprenticeship to Dr George Stewart, former President of the Royal College of Surgeons, before receiving a Licentiate from the College of Surgeons on 22nd July 1806.

On 9 July 1807, six months before his wedding, he was appointed Assistant Surgeon of the 31st Foot and assigned to the Staff Hospital in Cork. However, on 31 March 1808, he tendered his resignation from the 31st to Lt Col. Campbell in Limerick explaining that owing to "some family arrangements that have recently taken place.... I find I cannot longer retain my situation.” He subsequently joined the South Down Militia, moving around Ireland and south coast of England, before he was transferred to the 34th or Fifeshire Militia (Robert Menzies) on 25 April 1814.

Known as "the Hunting Doctor", he developed an "immense" practice in Cupar, including the "principal families", and also popular with the poor "instead of accepting remuneration he actually gave money to purchase the medicines he prescribed... ..to his dying day a whole band of pensioners were in the habit of coming to his house for their weekly allowance". He retired from practice 1855 and died in Cupar on 19th May 1865 and is recalled by a memorial stained glass window in old Cupar church. He was survived by 5 sons and 2 daughters, three of whom were born in Ennis - Jane (b. 1815), Thomas (b. 1816) and the future Australian merchant James Graham (b. 1819). Obit. Fifeshire Journal 25 May 1865.

In the book ‘Three Generations’ by Henrietta Keddie (John Murray, 1911) she describes Cupar life and how, as a child, she witnessed: "The chief of the revellers was an Irishman who had been an army surgeon.... brought from the brilliant Dublin of those days and from his rollicking, adventurous camp life many reminiscences of wild escapades and marvellous child's play. He stood at the moment to which I refer the centre of an admiring group of his host and hostess, their guests, and as many of their servants as could contrive to steal up and station themselves by the open dining-room door in order to have a part in the play. He was without his coat. To the back of his waistcoat was pinned a bunch of strips of paper which he had carefully cut and curled into an imitation of a lady's cluster of ringlets. My father and another man were stationed ready, a hand of each fastened behind his back, the other hand holding a tall candlestick with a lit candle. A path was cleared around the central table, and to the challenging air of a distractingly lively jig, which the performer sang with mocking emphasis in a fine brogue, he danced around the table.... The present hero was pursued frantically by the two candle-bearers, whose task it was to light the paper ringlets fluttering exasperatingly in time to the mad tune of the capering dancer. It is hardly necessary to say the feat was not accomplished, while the audience shouted with laughter, the children screamed and clapped their hands in their glee, and my mother's carpet was in danger of being converted to a sea of candle grease. God rest you merry dancer; you have lain in your grave for half a century, but while you lived you did not forget earlier ties! When more strenuous times came, you stood with loyal kindness by the children of your old friends". [pp.153-4]

Dr David W.W. Hendry identifies "the reveller" as Dr James Moore Graham in his book Cupar doctors, 1992. The author’s childhood home was two houses away from the Grahams’:1851 census. This information about Graham was obtained from the Genealogical Office, Dublin, from the PRO, from printed sources [Dundas; Steele], from Christopher Graham descendant Rev. Douglas L. Graham, from other family information, from biographical dictionaries, obituaries, and from two Christie family trees.



Robert and Mary’s third son Richard Ievers established the family at Tuilerboy, later known as Castle Ievers.[iii] He married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Holmes of Newpark. When their son Robert Holmes Ievers was married, Richard and Elizabeth relocated to Green Park where Richard died on 3rd November 1827. Green Park passed to their second son, also Richard.

Bence Jones dates Castle Ievers from the early 19th century. The property was held from William Maunsell. At the time of Griffith's Valuation, Robert Holmes Ievers held land in the parishes of Grean, barony of Coonagh and Athlacca, barony of Coshma. The lands in the parish of Athlacca were held from Anthony B. St Leger, Lady Langford and William Maunsell.

In the 1870s Robert Ivers of Castle Ivers owned 1,104 acres in county Limerick. In 1943, a surveyor for the Irish Tourist Association described how much of Tullerboy Castle had been demolished in the 1860s to make way for the present building. The owner in the 1940s was Roderic Haines.


Robert and Mary’s fourth son George Ievers is forefather of the present day Mount Ievers branch and so to him we shall return. He married Elinor Butler, a sister of James Butler of Castle Crine who was married to his sister Mary.


Born in 17th July 1762, Robert and Mary’s sixth son John Henry Ievers lived at Mount Prospect and Streamstown House in Sixmilebridge. He was married on 12th Nov 1791 to Ellen, daughter of David Wilson of Belvoir, Sixmilebridge.[iv] He died on 20th May 1833, leaving three sons.

His eldest son Henry John Ievers was born in 1793 and lived at Atterbury in Sixmilebridge with his brother David. He died unmarried on 23rd June 1879, aged 86, and was buried in the Church of Ireland graveyard at Kilfinaghty.[v]

Also buried here was John and Ellen’s second son Captain David Wilson Ievers of Atterbury who died on 11th December 1877 aged 83. David was born in 1794 and served as staff secretary to the Royal African Corps, ranking as a Captain in the 10th Regiment of Foot (or 10th North Lincoln Regiment). In 1827, the 33-year-old Ensign, as he was then, was married at Six Mile Bridge church, by the Rev R. Welsh, to Eliza, daughter of the late Lucius Wilson, Esq, of Spring Field, Co. Clare. It’s utter speculation, of course, but the fact that David was connected to the Royal African Corps does bring to light the curious case of Lieutenant Ivers who was court martialed in Saint Lucia in February 1806. In the great hope that this rowdy officer was related, I set out his charges separately below.

John and Ellen’s youngest son Robert John Ievers (1800-1872) was operating as a wine merchant in Limerick from at least 1828 onwards, presumably in cahoots with his cousin George Hawkins Ievers. In 1845, he married Elizabeth Browne, third daughter of Major M. P. Browne of Woodstock, Co. Mayo. He appears to have been living in Galway from 1840 and died there in 1872, leaving two sons. His eldest son John Henry Ievers was born in Galway in 1847, served in the Royal Irish Constabulary with the rank of Sub Inspector from 1868 to 1877. He then emigrated to Australia, joined the police in Melbourne and died in 1879. Mysteriously his death was not registered in any of the six states, or contemporary newspapers, leading the family to ponder whether he had perhaps died at sea or in the bush. R. J. Ievers’ younger son Robert Wilson Ievers, aka Bob Ievers (1850-1905) was a major player in colonial Ceylon and through his daughter Ethel, Lady Rathdonnell, was ancestor of the McClintock Bunbury family of Lisnavagh, County Carlow. CLICK FOR MORE ON THIS BRANCH.


Robert and Mary’s second daughter Anne was married in 1791 in the Killaloe & Kilfenora Diocese to Richard Henn Lotan.[vi] The Henns, an English family, were granted lands in county Clare by the Earl of Thomond at the end of the 17th century. Members of this family were prominent lawyers and judges in the 18th and 19th centuries. Richard and Anne’s son John was baptised at Killaoe in 1797.

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Above: Castle Crine.


Robert and Mary’s youngest daughter Mary Ievers was born on 22nd January 1761. In 1782, she married James Butler, son of William Butler by his marriage to Anne D’Alton. In 1791, William Butler succeeded to the landed property of his nephew Captain Henry Butler Esq., 14th Light Dragoons, of O’Brien’s Castle, Co. Clare. Captain Butler was a tremendous friend of his cousin Cornet Henry Butler of Millbrook, a phenomenal spendthrift who, according to one family chronicler, ‘gave wings to every shilling and acre he could dispose of’. As such, Henry’s fortune was considerably dissipated by the time William became his heir. As the eldest son, this dwindling inheritance passed to James and it looks like he renamed it Castle Crine. James’s brother Eyre Edward Butler established a cotton plantation at Demerara in British Guyana. James’s sister Elinor was married to George Ievers of Mount Ievers. Another of James’s sisters married the artist Henry Pelham, Agent for Lord Lansdowne's estates, who drowned in the Kenmare River in 1806. James, who died in 1821, and Mary had three sons and three daughters. Their eldest son Henry married into the banking family of Dawson; the second son William was in holy orders in Doon; the third son Robert died during the Peninsula War while serving with the 1st Royals.[vii]


After Mary’s death, Robert Ievers was married secondly in 1773 to Jane Butler, presumably from the Castle Crine family. He lived at Ballintlea Castle, the remains of which can be found in a farmyard on the western slopes of Woodcock Hill, near Sixmilebridge. He then lived at Old Court and, when that was burned, he reputedly built Castle Ievers. These details came from Eyre H Ievers notes but need confirmation. By Jane, Robert was father to a further three sons and three daughters.

1. William Ievers, the eldest of Robert and Jane’s sons, married Anne and died without issue in 1811.

2. Theophilus Ievers, the second son, was born in 1782, the year Grattan’s Parliament connected. By his wife Charlotte, Theophilus was father to John (b. 1813), Jane (b. 1810) and Mary Anne (b. 1819), all of whom were baptised at St. Mary’s, Limerick.

3. Augustine Ievers, Robert and Jane’s third son, became a police officer. By his wife Phoebe, he had Robert (b. 1823, Killaloe) and Anne (b. 1818). He may also have been father of Henry James Ievers who died in 1844.[viii]

4. Jane Ievers, Robert and Jane’s eldest daughter, was married in 1789 to Henry Bennis and their first son Michael was born 10th October 1790. There may also have been a son called Thomas and a daughter Elizabeth.[ix] Henry and Jane Bennis lived at Newpark, Co. Clare. Henry was a clerk of the Privy Seal and, following his death in 1802, the Ennis Chronicle advised that he was ‘well known thro' the Kingdom from his peculiar discharge of the duties of Clerk of the Crown’.[x]

5. Frances Ievers, the second daughter, married Major Fitzgerald of Carrigaoran, Co. Clare, and lived on Glentworth Street in Limerick, but left no children.[xi] It is possible that she was the Frances Ievers, ‘daughter of the late Robert Ievers of Mount Ievers’ who was married on 2nd March 1810 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick, to Robert Cox of Kilrush, but died in 1832.[xii]

6. Anne Ievers, the youngest daughter, married George Hastings Hourigan of Killaloe and had issue. Their son John was baptised at Killaloe in 1803.


Robert died on 13th December 1783, apparently at Mount Ievers. His will was dated 6th December 1783, a week earlier, left his money to John and Robert, and to Tom ‘the farmyard of Carrogyle lately held by Henry Ievers’. Ann was left £12 a year. William, Theophilus, Augustine and Frances were left £800 between them. His youngest daughter Mary Butler was left £20 to buy mourning. His sons Henry, Richard and George were left 1/- each, they being otherwise already provided for. The residue was left to Henry, Thomas, George, Richard and John. He appointed sons Richard and George as his Executors. The witnesses were Alex Shearer, John Spellissy, Thomas Ievers and John Ievers.[xiii]

Robert’s fourth son George duly succeeded to Mount Ievers.


Lieutenant Ivers of the Royal African Corps was charged before a General Court Martial, held at Morne Fortunee, St Lucia, on 24th February 1806.


1st - For behaving in an ungentlemanlike and unofficerlike manner, in making use of the most opprobrious and insulting language to Lieutenant Oliver, of the same regiment, on the night of the 31st January, and on the morning of the 1st of February 1806.

2nd - For scandalous conduct, unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman, in requiring a non-commissioned Officer of his own regiment to attend him in quality of second, at a meeting which was to take place between himself and an Officer of the same regiment, on the 1st of February 1806.

3rd - For scandalous conduct, unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman, in proceeding when in a state of intoxication to meet an Officer of his own regiment, in a duel, immediately under the Works of Fort Charlotte, on the 1st of February 1806.

4th - For scandalous and infamous conduct, unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman, on the morning of the 1st February, 1806, in presenting a loaded pistol at an Officer of the same regiment, and threatening his life, after he, the said Officer, had been disarmed by a third person.

5th - For scandalous conduct, unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman, threatening the life of the Serjeant Major and of another non-commissioned Officer of the regiment with a loaded pistol, on the morning of 1st February 1806.

SENTENCE On the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th Charges the Court have found the prisoner, Lieutenant Ivers, Guilty and also so much of the 3d charge as states him to have “proceeded to meet an Officer of his own regiment, in a duel, on the 1st of February 1806”, but acquit him of “proceeding when in a state of intoxication, and immediately under the Works of Fort Charlotte”. The Court have therefore adjudged the said Lieutenant Ivers to be dismissed His Majesty's service and to be rendered incapable of ever serving His Majesty again.

‘A collection of the charges, opinions, and sentences of general courts martial: as published by authority; from the year 1795 to the present time’ (T. Egerton, 1820). p. 227-228.


[i] Limerick Nov 19 Died suddenly on Tuesday last at Castle Ievers Thomas Robert Ievers Esq, Attorney CJ Monday 21 Nov 1803.

[ii] See caption for Anna Maria Ievers above.

[iii] For more on the Castle Ievers branch, see Eyre H Ievers chart FA.

[iv] Freeman’s Journal, Saturday 12 Nov. 1791, Married , Mr John Ievers of Mount Ivers, Co. Clare to Miss Wilson daughter of David Wilson of Belvoir, Co. Clare.

[v] ‘Erected by Marcus Going and sincere friends of Henry John Ivers esq, who died 23rd June 1879 aged 86 years | erected by Capt. David Wilson Ivers who died 11 Dec 1877 aged 83 years’.

[vi] Clare Marriage Licences, Document ID: 33455.

[vii] For more, see ‘The Butlers of County Clare’ by Sir Henry Blackall.

[viii] Deaths - Henry James Ievers, son of Mr. Augustine Ievers, of Limerick, and grandson of the late Robert Ievers, Esq., of Mount Ievers, in this county. (Clare Journal Dec 19 1844).

[ix] Bennis, Mary Elizabeth, Belgrave Road, Dublin, Limerick Chronicle_ 15/08/1874, aged 75; dau of late Henry Bennis; death notice.

[x] Ennis Chronicle, June 14 pg 4.

[xi] “The Fitzgeralds of Carrigoran, descendants of John who married Ellen Butler, daughter of Pierce, 2nd Viscount Ikerrin, in 1680, are fairly well documented in Burke's Peerage. They earned their place in the Peerage in 1822 when the then head of the family Augustine Fitzgerald was made a baronet. The baronetcy became extinct with the death in 1908 of the 5th baronet George Cumming Fitzgerald. Burke's Peerage of 1887 covers the earlier generations before the baronetcy and that of 1925 covers the last four baronets. In both cases they are listed as Fitzgerald of Newmarket-on-Fergus.

Where we are stuck is the with predecessors of the John who married Ellen Butler, although we do have some clues. In his will of 1725, this John calls his father Captain Edward. James Frost's History of county Clare (1893) tells us that Edward Fitzgerald bought Carrigoran from Daniel, Viscount Clare in 1678, this Edward being almost certainly John's father. Patrick Fitzgerald's History of Limerick (1826) tells us the Captain John Fitzgerald who saved King Charles I's life at Naseby in 1645 had three sons who fought for King James II at the battle of Aughrim in 1691, and two of them, Edward and Charles, were killed that same year.” (http://www.ourlibrary.ca/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=87)

[xii] Memorial Inscriptions from the Church of Ireland Graveyard, Kilrush : “The body of Frances wife of Robert Cox of Kilrush and daughter of the late Robert Ievers Mt. Ievers was deposited here January 1832. While their years were not many through ill humility conspicuous in the affectionate discharge of conjugal and maternal duty and a mind faithed by Christian feeling secure to her the affectionate tribute of everlasting remembrances also Robert Cox husband of the above named Frances Cox who departed this life 22nd February 1866.”

[xiii] John Spellissy, a victualler, became a collector in 1768, and was a market juror in 1791.