Tuesday 27 September 2016

(231) Atkins of Firville

Atkins of Firville
The Atkins family of Firville in County Cork can be traced back to the second son of Sir Jonathan Atkins, kt., of Grimthorpe (Yorks ER), who was Governor of Guernsey, 1665-70 and of Barbados, 1674-80. Sir Jonathan disinherited his unsatisfactory eldest son and settled his English estates on his third son, John Atkins (c.1653-1733); his second son, Richard Atkins (d. 1710) was given property in Ireland (chiefly in Co. Kerry) which had apparently been granted to Sir Jonathan after 1660. As a young man Richard settled in Ireland and married, but in about 1678 decided to sell up and return to England. His wife, however, is said to have been reluctant to move so far away from her family, and persuaded him at the last moment to reinvest his capital in the purchase of lands in County Cork. These became the Fountainville estate, which descended to his son, Charles Atkins (1675-1732), and then to his son, Robert Atkins (1703-83), whose grandson, William Atkins (1757-1847) pulled the house down in the early 19th century.  

Margaret (b. 1681), the eldest daughter of Richard Atkins (d. 1710), married Richard Chapman of Gurtnagruss (Cork), and her brother John Atkins (1679-1734) married Richard's sister. Although John and Margaret both produced sons, it was presumably as a result of this double connection between the families that Robert Atkins (1703-83) later inherited Gurtnagruss. The estate was left to his youngest son, Maj. Robert Atkins (1749-1827), who renamed it Firville and built the present house there in about 1798. Robert, whose finances were parlous owing to an addiction to horse-racing and breeding, became embarrassed in the 1820s, and Firville had to be let, but his son Robert Atkins (1775-1839) later recovered it and lived there. Robert's eldest son, Rev. Philip Going Atkins (later Atkins-Going) (1804-64) inherited what appears to have been a leasehold interest in Monaquil (Tipperary) on the death of his grandfather in 1820, and later made it his home. By 1840, however, Monaquil was let and Philip perhaps returned to Firville. He had three sons, all of whom died relatively young. The eldest, Robert Going Atkins (1833-69) was temperamentally a soldier, and after a period with the local volunteers went to fight in Italy with Garibaldi's republicans and then joined the Confederate army in the American Civil War. He returned to Ireland when his father became ill in 1863, but by that time his brother Philip (1834-66) had gone to America to fight for the Unionist cause, where he was killed in 1866. The third brother, John Atkins (1840-64), went to join the Confederates shortly after his father died and was killed later that year.

Robert Going Atkins (1833-69) lived at Firville for a few years before deciding in 1869 to return to America permanently. The contents of the house were sold and the house itself leased out, but Robert died of a heart attack during a hunting trip in Arkansas at the end of the year. The family properties passed to his spinster sisters, Henrietta (d. 1908) and Charlotte (d. 1913), and were finally sold after Charlotte's death.

Firville, Mallow, Co. Cork

Firville House: built c.1798 for Robert Atkins.

A good five-by-three bay, two storey house, built in c.1798 for Robert Atkins (1749-1827). The house has an unusually elaborate doorcase with a fine fanlight with spider's web glazing. Unfortunately most of the sash windows are uPVC replacements, but internally more original features survive. 

Firville: entrance hall.

Firville House: the principal staircase

The entrance hall has a good moulded plaster ceiling with eight narrow oval inset paintings of female figures, and leads into the staircase hall, which is dominated by the fine staircase, rising in the centre of the hall in a single flight and returning in two from the half-pace to the upper landing. The drawing room has a white marble chimneypiece and a decorative cornice; and the dining room another, simpler, marble fireplace.

Descent: Built 1798 for Robert Atkins (1749-1827); to son, Robert Atkins (1775-1839); to son, Rev. Philip Going Atkins (later Atkins-Going) (1804-61); to son, Robert Going Atkins (1833-69); to sisters, Charlotte Elizabeth Going Atkins (1838-1913) and Henrietta Louisa Atkins (1845-1908); sold 1914 to Samuel Sheehan;...sold/given 1975 to Paddy (d. 2014) & Ursula Lenahan; for sale, 2016.

Atkins family of Firville

Atkins, Sir Jonathan (c.1610-1702/3), kt. Described on his monument as 'a gentleman of Staffordshire' although his parentage is unknown; he was perhaps born c.1610 as he claimed to be 70 years of age in 1680. An officer in the army from c.1638 (Capt. by 1640; Major, 1643/4; Lt-Col. by 1645; Capt. of Coldstream Guards, 1662); he was a Royalist during the Civil War and commanded the garrison of Naworth Castle (Cumbld) during the first Civil War; he compounded for his estate at Henderskelfe Castle and Grimthorpe Hall in 1649. In 1659 he was charged with treason, which may imply that he was implicated in a Royalist conspiracy. After the Restoration he returned to the army and was then made Governor of Guernsey, 1665-70, Rochester, 1672-73, and Barbados, 1674-80. Knighted, 1668 or 1669. DL for East Riding of Yorkshire by 1674. He married 1st, 1642 (settlement 17 November), Mary (d. 1660), second daughter of Sir William Howard of Naworth Castle (Cumbld) and sister of the 1st Earl of Carlisle, and 2nd, 1661 (licence 8 October), Elizabeth (c.1637-94), daughter of Sir John Baker of Sissinghurst (Kent) and widow of William Anderson (d. c.1660) of Kilnwick Percy (Yorks), and had issue:
(1.1) Charles Atkins (c.1646-1724); educated at Pocklington School (admitted 1656); an officer in the Royal Navy, 1672-76, who was dismissed from the service after allowing HMS Quaker to be captured by the Moors and taken into Algiers without a fight; for the next few years he 'drifted, borrowing money where could... consorting with villains'; in 1678 he was examined in the inquiry into the murder of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, and shortly afterwards he was given a commission in a regiment raised by his brother-in-law, Sir John Fenwick, but this was disbanded some three months later and he seems to have returned to a life of depravity; in 1681 he was disowned by his father and told to go abroad; he eventually obtained some training as a surgeon and by 1700 he was employed in that capacity by the East India Company and based at Gambar Abbas alias Gombroon (Persia), from where he made several expeditions into the Persian interior; he later moved to Madras and Fort St. David (India) before being dismissed, after numerous incidents, in 1705; he may have returned to England briefly before in 1707 he joined the East India Co. militia as a Capt. and surgeon at Fort York, Sumatra; he held this post until 1713, when he was charged with assaulting one Thomas Kingsley and fled to Batavia (now Jakarta) (Indonesia); he then returned to England permanently. He was married in 1685, when he fathered a son, and also in 1713, when he was accompanied by his wife to Jakarta, but the names of his wife or wives are not known; the suggestion that he was the natural father of Jonathan Swift's partner 'Stella' Johnson, or even of Swift himself, seems most unlikely; more probable is the idea that he was the inspiration for 'Lemuel Gulliver', the protagonist of Swift's satirical novel, Gulliver's Travels, and that he was the pseudonymous author of A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates, published 1724; his date of death is unknown;
(1.2) Richard Atkins (d. 1710) (q.v.);
(1.3) John Atkins (c.1653-1733), of Grimthorpe and later of the city of York; married 1st, 23 May 1682 at St James, Dukes Place, London, Diana (c.1655-87), daughter of Sir William Humble, 1st bt., of Twickenham (Middx), merchant, and 2nd, Alice (fl. 1733), sister of John Aislabie of Studley Royal (Yorks WR), and had issue one son (Howard Atkins (c.1703-16)); died 31 January and was buried at Great Givendale, 4 February 1732/3; will proved 12 February 1732/3;
(1.4) Mary Atkins (d. 1674); died unmarried and was buried at Grimthorpe, 25 February 1673/4;
(1.5) Jane Atkins (c.1659?-1761); executrix of her brother John's will, 1733; died unmarried at York 'aged upwards of 100', 17 April and was buried at Great Givendale, 20 April 1761; will proved 3 June 1761;
(1.6) Frances Atkins (1660-85), baptised at Great Givendale, 20 March 1659/60; married, c.1679 in Barbados, as his second wife, John Peers (d. 1688) and had issue three daughters; buried at St Michael, Barbados, 5 April 1685;
(2.2) Jonathan Atkins (1662-63), born 23 June and baptised at Great Givendale, 28 July 1662; buried there 4 April 1663;
(2.3) Sarah Atkins (b. 1668), baptised 14 May 1668 at St Peter Port (Guernsey).
He lived at Henderskelfe Castle (Yorks NR), the predecessor of Castle Howard, which was a property of his first wife's family. After her death he lived at Grimthorpe, apparently another Howard property.
He died at Grimthorpe, 8 January 1702/3 and was buried at Great Givendale, where he is commemorated by a monument on which his age at death is given (probably erroneously) as 99. His first wife was buried at Great Givendale, 9 April 1660. His second wife died 4 March 1694/5, aged 57, and was also buried at Great Givendale.

Atkins, Richard (d. 1710). Second son (or perhaps, if the ages on his tombstone are correct, the younger brother) of Sir Jonathan Atkins (c.1610-1703), kt. and his first wife, Mary, daughter of Sir William Howard of Naworth Castle (Cumbld). He married, presumably in Ireland, Barbara (d. 1710), daughter of [forename unknown] Fuller of the Sandbanks (Cork), and had issue:
(1) William Atkins (b. 1674) of Rossagh (Cork), born 1674; married, 1702, Margaret (nee Nolan??), widow of John Raines, and had issue;
(2) Charles Atkins (1675-1732) (q.v.);
(3) John Atkins (1679-1734) of Ballyandrew (Cork), born at Mallow (Cork), 1679; married, Elizabeth, daughter of John Chapman of Milebush, Mallow and sister of Richard Chapman of Gurtnagruss (later Firville), Mallow, and had issue two sons and one daughter; died 21 November 1734;
(4) Margaret Atkins (b. 1681), born at Mallow (Cork), 1681; married Richard Chapman of Gurtnagruss (now Firville) and had issue two sons;
(5) Barbara Atkins (b. 1683), born at Fountainville, 1683; married Richard Purcell of Kilbrin (later Temple Mary) (Cork), and had issue several sons and one daughter;
(6) Thomas Atkins (b. 1685), born at Mallow, 1685; died without issue;
(7) Richard Atkins (b. 1687), born at Mallow, 1687; died without issue;
(8) Robert Atkins (b. 1689) of Waterpark (Cork), born at Mallow, 1689; sheriff of Cork, 1722; mayor of Cork city, 1726; married and had issue two daughters;
(9) Samuel Atkins (b. 1691), born at Fountainville, 1691; lived in the parish of St Clement Danes, London; married c.1730 in London, Susannah [surname unknown], and had issue four sons and two daughters.
He settled in Ireland, where his father had received a grant of lands in Co. Kerry, which he afterwards sold. In 1678 he purchased an estate in Co. Cork which he called Fountainville, midway between Mallow, Buttevant and Doneraile.
He died 10 December 1710 and was buried at Doneraile (Cork). His wife died 16 May 1710, and was also buried at Doneraile; according to their tombstone, he was 91 and she was 74, but this would make her thirty-eight when their first child was born and fifty-five when their last child was born, so the ages are probably not to be trusted.

Atkins, Charles (1675-1732). Second (but eldest surviving?) son of Richard Atkins (1645-1710) of Fountainville (Cork) and his wife Barbara Fuller, born at Fountainville, 1675. Sheriff of Limerick, 1694. He married 1st, 1694, [forename unknown], daughter of John Westropp of Cahirdowgan (Cork) and 2nd, 26 February 1699, Hannah (1682-1762), eldest daughter of Robert Minnitt (d. 1709) of Knygh Castle, Blackfort and Annabeg (Tipperary), and had issue:
(2.1) Robert Atkins (1703-83) (q.v.);
(2.2) John Atkins; died unmarried and without issue;
(2.3) Thomas Atkins; settled in Virginia (USA);  married and had issue two sons; in a letter home he stated his wife and one son had died, and that having disposed of his lands for £36,000, which had invested in the British funds, he intended returning to Ireland and named the ship on which his passage had been booked, but neither he nor his remaining son were ever heard of again;
(2.4) Barbara Atkins (b. 1708); married [forename unknown] Barnes.
He inherited Fountainville (Cork) from his father in 1710, together with other properties near Dunmanway in western Cork. In 1709 he inherited in right of his wife his father-in-law's estates in Tipperary.
He died at Limerick in 1732. His first wife died before 1699. His widow died 26 August 1762.

Atkins, Robert (1703-83). Eldest son of Charles Atkins (1675-1732) and his second wife Hannah, eldest daughter of Robert Minnitt of Knygh Castle and Annabeg (Tipperary), born at Mallow, 1 June 1703. He married, 1728, Elizabeth (1706-88), only child of Jacob Ringrose, and granddaughter of Col. Richard Ringrose of Moynoe House (Clare), and had issue:
(1) Charles Atkins (1729-62) (q.v.); 
(2) Margaret Atkins (c.1732-1816), born 1 January 1732/3?; married, 1751, William Devereux of Deerpark (Clare), and had issue two sons and six daughters (one of whom married her cousin, Richard Atkins (d. 1797?), see below); died in 1816 and was buried at Buttevant (Cork);
(3) Ringrose Atkins (1737-89) of Prospect Hill, Mallow (Cork), born 1737; JP for Co. Cork; married 1st, 1769, Catherine Brookes, who died without issue, and 2nd, 1770, Elizabeth Baker (d. 1824) and had issue four sons and four daughters; died 24 February 1789;
(4) Thomas Atkins (b. 1738), born 1738; merchant in Jamaica; died unmarried;
(5) Mary Atkins (1739-1817), born 1739; married, 5 November 1757, John Atkins (1729-88), son of Richard Atkins (d. 1738) of Ballyandrew (Cork), and had issue three sons and five daughters; died 31 October 1817;
(6) Jacob Atkins (1741-1812), born 1741; port surveyor at Baltimore (Cork); married, 1772, Pheobe Dodds and had one son and one daughter; died at Baltimore (Cork), 1812;
(7) Elizabeth Atkins (b. 1747), born at Fountainville, 1 May 1747; married, 1763, Henry Franks of Gortnavidera (Tipperary) and Moorestown (Limerick), and had issue two sons;
(8) Maj. Robert Atkins (1749-1827) (q.v.).
He inherited Fountainville (Cork) from his father in 1732 and lived there and at Copstown.
He died 17 May 1783 at Mallow and was buried at Buttevant (Cork), 19 May 1783, aged 79. His widow died at Cloyne, 10 August 1788; her will was proved 16 August 1788.

Atkins, Charles (1729-62). Eldest son of Robert Atkins (1703-83) and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Jacob Ringrose, born at Mallow, 13 October 1729. He married, 2 May 1754, Elizabeth (b. 1730), only child (and co-heir with her half-sisters) of William Beere (d. 1773) of Ballyboy (Tipperary) and Dromana (Waterford), and had issue;
(1) William Atkins (1757-1847) (q.v.);
(2) Richard Atkins (d. 1797?); married, as her second husband, Eleanor, daughter of William Devereux and widow of Rev. Robert Minnitt (1723-85) of Blackfort (Tipperary), and had issue two sons; perhaps the man of this name from Mallow who died in Cork, Sept/Oct 1797.
He died in the lifetime of his father, 22 May 1762; will proved at Cloyne, 3 August 1762. His widow was living in 1773.

Atkins, William (1757-1847). Elder son of Charles Atkins (1729-62) and his wife Elizabeth, only child of William Beere of Ballyboy (Tipperary), born 1 May 1757. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1773; BA 1778). By the 1820s his affairs had become embarrassed and he was charged with forgery of a bill, but acquitted. He married, 6 May 1782 at Passage (Cork), his relative, Mary (b. c.1755), daughter of John Roberts of Ardmore House (Cork) and had issue:
(1) Sarah Atkins (c.1783-1854); married, 1804, her cousin, Dr. Ringrose Atkins, MD (1783-1818), son of Ringrose Atkins (1737-89) and had issue five sons and four daughters; died 1854;
(2) William Atkins (1787-1811); educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1806); died unmarried, 1811;
(3) Elizabeth Atkins (d. 1830); died unmarried at Mallow, May 1830;
(4) Anne Atkins (d. 1820); died unmarried at Mallow, 4 January 1820;
(5) Mary Atkins; perhaps died young;
(6) Harriette Atkins; perhaps died young;
(7) Frances Atkins (c.1802-85); married, 20 October 1819, William Lysaght (1800-38) of Hazlewood (Cork), and had issue four sons and five daughters; moved to England after her husband's death and before 1851; died at Stoke Bishop (Glos), 17 May 1885, aged 83.
He inherited Fountainville (Cork) from his grandfather in 1783 but let it and later demolished the house there; he is recorded living at several addresses, chiefly in Mallow.
He died in 1847. His wife's date of death is unknown.

Atkins, Maj. Robert (1749-1827). Youngest son of Robert Atkins (1703-83) of Fountainville and his wife Elizabeth, only child of Jacob Ringrose, and granddaughter of Col. Richard Ringrose of Moynoe House (Clare), born at Firville, 1 August 1749. JP for Co. Cork; Major in Mallow Cavalry. A keen owner, breeder and trainer of racehorses. He married, 9 September 1773, Mary (1756-1841), daughter of George Hastings and sister and sole heiress of her brother, Stephen Hastings JP of Fort Henry (Tipperary), and had issue:
(1) Robert Atkins (1775-1839) (q.v.);
(2) Mary Atkins (1780-1813), born at Mallow (Cork), 1780; married, 10 October 1796 at Fort Henry (Tipperary), Thomas Lidwell (1778-1822) of Cormackstown (Tipperary), and had issue two sons and six daughters; died at Johnstown (Cork?), 20 June 1813;
(3) Anne Atkins (1781-1856), born at Mallow, 1781; married, 16 July 1808 at Mallow, Richard Harding Wigmore (1785-1844) of Ballynona House, Dungourney (Cork) and Brookdale (Cork), and had issue four sons and six daughters (of whom two died young); died at Ballynona House, 1856;
(4) Elizabeth Atkins (1782-1865), born at Mallow, 1782; married, 7 June 1804 at Cork, Robert Twiss JP (1777-1851) of Cordel House (Kerry), and had issue three sons and five daughters; died 27 January 1865;
(5) Hannah Atkins (1784-1881?), born at Mallow, 1784; married, November 1820, as his second wife, William Fitzgerald of Blackfort (Tipperary) and Adrival (Kerry), barrister-at-law, and had issue one son and two daughters; perhaps the person of this name who died 4 December 1881 at London, Ontario (Canada), aged 97;
(6) Robert Hastings Atkins (b. 1785); died young;
(7) Margaret Atkins (1788-1863), born at Mallow, 1788; married, 1811, Arthur Ormsby (1765-1846) of Kilcomenty (Tipperary), but had no issue; died at Nenagh (Tipperary), 22 August 1863;
(8) Henrietta Atkins (1791-1864), born at Mallow, 1791; married 1st, 24 October 1817 at Cork, Rev. Warham Leader (1795-1818), rector of Shandon (Cork), second son of William Leader of Mount Leader (Cork), but had no issue; married 2nd, Jan/Feb 1821, Rev. Matthew Moore (1796-1867), and had issue two daughters; died 22 March 1864 at Cahirconlish parsonage (Limerick);
(9) Stephen Hastings Atkins (1793-1870), born 29 March 1793; JP for Tipperary, Clare and Limerick; emigrated to Australia in 1847 and lived there (mainly in Tasmania?) until c.1865, although he evidently also had interests in British Columbia (Canada) and New York (USA) as well as his property in Ireland; married 1st, 20 December 1815 at Stoke Damerel (Devon), Elizabeth (1795-1816), eldest daughter of Myles O'Reilly, and had issue one son; married 2nd, 19 August 1825 at Swords (Dublin), Mary Anne (1808-1903), eldest daughter of Maj. William Greene, and had issue five sons and four daughters; died at the home of his eldest son at Tullylish (Down), 23 May 1870;
(10) George Atkins (1796-1813), born 6 February and baptised at Mallow, 18 February 1796; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1812), and died unmarried while a student there, 1813;
(11) John Willington Atkins (b. & d. 1799), born 15 January and baptised at Mallow, 20 January 1799; died in infancy.
He inherited Firville from his father in 1783 and built a new house there c.1798. The estate was let from 1822 until after his death.
He died at Killaloe (Clare) in 1827. His widow died at Cork, 18 March 1841, aged 85.

Atkins, Robert (1775-1839). Eldest son of Robert Atkins (1749-1827) of Firville, and his wife Mary, daughter of George Hastings, born 21 January 1775. He married 1st, 31 December 1798 at Monaquil (Tipperary), Charlotte Elizabeth (1775-1812), second daughter and co-heir of Philip Going of Monaquil, and 2nd, 31 October 1816, Catherine (c.1790-1851), daughter of John Ridley of Hawthorn (Durham) and eventually co-heir of her brother John Frederick Ridley of Hawthorn, Mallow (Cork), and had issue:
(1.1) Charlotte Elizabeth Atkins (1800-82), born at Firville, 1800; married, 17 October 1844, James Robert Davis (1806-91), solicitor, son of James Thomas Davis, and had issue one son and one daughter; died in Dublin, Oct-Dec 1882;
(1.2) Mary Willington Atkins (b. 1801), baptised at Mallow, 15 March 1801; died young;
(1.3) Robert Atkins (1802-12), born at Firville, 1802; died young at Firville, 1812;
(1.4) Rev. Philip Going Atkins (1804-61) (q.v.);
(1.5) Hastings Atkins (1807-72), born at Firville, 5 March 1807; inherited the properties of Coolrea and Garry Kennedy under entail; timber merchant in New Zealand, c.1854-71; died unmarried in Paris (France), 1872;
(1.6) Thomas Atkins (1808-28), born at Firville, 22 April 1808; an officer in the army (Lt. in 19th Foot); died of a fever, unmarried, at Demerara (Guyana), 24 January 1828;
(1.7) Rev. John Bennett Robert Atkins (1812-40), born at Firville, 30 October 1812; educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1830; BA 1835); curate at Mallow (Cork), 1837-40; died unmarried at Firville, 30 September 1840.
He inherited Firville from his father in 1827.
He died 13 September 1839 and was buried at Firville, 18 September 1839. His first wife died 30 October 1812. His widow died at Cork, 23 May 1851.

Atkins (later Atkins-Going), Rev. Philip Going (1804-64). Second but eldest surviving son of Robert Atkins (1775-1839) of Firville and his first wife Charlotte Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Philip Going of Monaquil (Tipperary), born at Firville, 21 June 1804. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin (admitted 1823; BA 1828). Ordained deacon, 1831. He assumed the name of Going after Atkins in accordance with the will of his maternal grandfather on the death of the latter's widow, Grace. He married, 16 August 1830 at Blackrock (Cork), Jane (c.1803-83), second daughter of Alderman Rowland Morrison of Cork, and had issue:
(1) Robert Going Atkins (1833-69) (q.v.); 
(2) Philip Atkins (1834-66), born at Mallow, 1834; emigrated to the USA and is reputed to have served as a surgeon with the Unionist forces in the American Civil War; he remained abroad when the war ended and was out of touch with his family when he was killed at Camp Cady, California (USA), 29 July 1866; administration of his goods granted to his sister, Henrietta Louisa Atkins, 14 December 1877 (effects under £100);
(3) Marie Jane Atkins (1837-50), born at Firville, April 1837; died young at Firville, 6 January 1850;
(4) Charlotte Elizabeth Going Atkins (1838-1913) (q.v.);
(5) John Atkins (1840-64), baptised at Mallow, 7 September 1840; followed his eldest brother's example and fought on the Confederate side in the American Civil War, March-October 1864; died unmarried when he was killed at Upperville, Virginia (USA), 29 October 1864; administration of his goods granted to his sister, Henrietta, 8 November 1877 (effects under £1,500);
(6) Henrietta Louisa Atkins (1845-1908), born at Mallow, 20 December 1845; lived at Mistletoe Lodge, Youghal (Cork); died unmarried, 9 May 1908; administration of goods granted to her sister, 25 August 1908 (effects £381).
He inherited Monaquil (Tipperary) from his grandmother in 1812 and came of age in 1825. He inherited Firville from his father in 1839. 
He died in Dublin 13 January 1864; administration of his goods was granted to his widow, 5 May 1864 (effects under £600). His widow died in Dublin, 12 May 1883, aged 80.

Atkins, Robert Going (1833-69). Eldest son of Rev. Philip Going Atkins (1804-64) and his wife Jane Morrison, born 1833. A soldier by inclination, he became an officer in the Royal Cork City Artillery in the 1850s; in 1860 he joined the British Legion and went to Italy to serve with Garibaldi's Republicans. There he met Chatham Roberdeau Wheat, who took him to America to be one of the officers (Capt.) in the Confederate regiment he established, the 1st Louisana Special Battalion (the Louisiana Tigers); after seeing some action with the regiment he became aide de camp to Maj-Gen. Arnold Elzey, and in 1863 he returned to Ireland for personal reasons (presumably because his father was ailing); he resigned his commission in February 1864. He returned to America, intending to live there permanently, in 1869.
He inherited Firville from his father in 1864, but let the house and sold the contents before going to reside in America in 1869.
He died of a heart attack while on a hunting trip in Arkansas (USA), 21 December 1869; administration of his goods was granted to his mother, 2 August 1871 (effects under £800);

Atkins, Charlotte Elizabeth Going (1838-1913). Eldest daughter of Rev. Philip Going Atkins (1804-64) and his wife Jane Morrison, born 13 September 1838. She was unmarried and without issue.
She and her sister inherited Firville from their brother in 1869, but lived at Youghal (Cork) and the house was let; it was sold after her death.
She died 14 January 1913; her will was proved 3 February 1913 (effects £511).


Burke's Landed Gentry, 1850, pp. 33-35; G, Harris, Treasure and Intrigue: the legacy of Capt. Kidd, 2002; http://members.iinet.net.au/~atkinsrj/index.htm; https://irishamericancivilwar.com/2012/06/09/a-louisiana-tiger-and-mosby-ranger-in-ireland/; http://cgca.org.uk/downloads/imperialengineer_issue5_full_gulliver.pdf

Location of archives

No significant archive is known to survive.

Coat of arms

Argent, on a chevron sable, three unicorns' heads, erased, of the field.

Can you help?

Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.

  • The genealogical details given here are more reliant upon secondary and online sources than I would wish. While plausible, I have not been able to verify all the details given. If anyone is able to provide additional or corrected information from original sources I should be very pleased to hear from them.
  • Fountainville was demolished in the early 19th century and I have not been able to find a visual record or description of it; if anyone knows of such a record, I should be very pleased to hear from them.
  • Can anyone provide additional information about the descent of Firville after its purchase by Samuel Sheehan in 1914?
  • If anyone can provide portraits of any members of this family whose names are given in bold in the text, I should be most grateful.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 27 September 2016 and was updated 28 November and 8 December 2016 and 15 April 2018. I am grateful to Myles T. Shortall and Professor Jenny Shaw for additional information about this family.


  1. May I ask where you found the details on:
    (1.1) Charles Atkins (c.1646-1724)
    Most of the information surrounding it seems to be from Burkes landed Gentry, however in the only versions I can find the segment on Charles abruptly states that he is "referenced elsewhere" - which I cannot find.
    Thanks for any help.

    1. These come largely from the book by Graham Harris cited above under Sources.

  2. Hi im very interested in this family , my grandfather told me a story years ago about how we used to own land and a house in the time of the regency but it was all lost due to gambling and horses , now my grandfather said the land was in Essex i found nothing there but this family at firville sound very much like what my grandfather was talking about . he was pretty old by 1976 when he told me this [he died soon after] so i think he heard something when he was a boy [he was born in 1900] and it got confused over the year maybe he heard relations talking about it some one live in Essex maybe . I dont know
    but this sounds very familier to me . my Name is Atkins . as was he .

    1. Do you have an email or something? My grandad (not by blood) is Atkins and I'm trying to trace for him, we're only in Kent but originally from areas in London

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