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Sir John (Jack) 
Walsh
1725 - 1795


Sir John (Jack) 
Walsh
, In Madras as a Writer in 1742. In Fort St. David (1755). Of Chesterfield st., London, Oct 1764. Military secretary to Robert Clive during the campaign against Siraj-ad-duala which ended at Plassey. Walsh got £56,250 as his share of the booty from Plassey. He went home in 1759 and as MP for Worcestershire and boroughmonger at Pontefract he represented the Clive interests. FRS, 1770 Bought Warfield Park, Berkshire in 1771. He conducted experiments on the torpedo fish. Naturalist. Winner of the Copley Medal. His nephew by marriage took the name Walsh according to the terms of his will. http://www.berkshirehistory.com/bios/jwalsh.html John Walsh (1725-1795) Born:: 1725 Secretary to the Governor of Bengal Died: 9th March 1795 at Mayfair, Westminster, Middlesex John Walsh, the secretary to Lord Clive and man of science, was the son of Joseph Walsh, Governor of Fort St. George, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Nevil Muskelyne (1663-1711) of Purton in Wiltshire. Nevil Maskelyne and his sister, Margaret Maskelyne, who married Robert, 1st Baron Clive, were his first cousins. Like many of his relatives, Walsh entered the service of the East India Company and became paymaster of the troops at Madras. In 1757, Clive appointed Walsh his private secretary and in this capacity he sewed through the campaign in Bengal in that year. In 1759, Clive commissioned him to lay before Pitt his project for reorganising the administration of Bengal, a subject of which he said Walsh was "a thorough master." In a letter, dated 26th November, Walsh gives Clive an account of his interview with Pitt. Walsh now settled in England, purchasing in 1761 the manor of Hockenhull in Cheshire. He sold it before long and acquired Warfield Park, near Bracknell, in Berkshire, in 1771. On 30th March 1761, he was returned to Parliament for Worcester, his object being mainly to form a parliamentary interest in Clive's support. He retained his seat till 1780 and much of his correspondence with Clive is printed in Malcolm's 'Life of Clive' (1836). He also corresponded with Warren Hastings, but quarrelled with him in 1781 because of the dismissal of his nephew, Francis Fowke, from his post at Benares. Walsh's main interests were, however, scientific and he was the first person to make accurate experiments on the torpedo fish. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society on 8th November 1770 and FSA on 10th January 1771 and, on 1st July 1773, a letter from him to Benjamin Franklin, treating "of the electric property of the torpedo," was read before the Royal Society. In this paper, he, for the first time, conclusively demonstrated that the singular power of benumbing the sense of touch possessed by the fish was due to electrical influence and that it could only send a shock through conducting substances. On 23rd June 1774, a second letter by Walsh was read before the society, entitled 'Of torpedoes found on the coast of England'. It was addressed to Thomas Pennant, the author of 'British Zoology' and was published in pamphlet form. For these discoveries, the Royal Society awarded him the Copley medal in 1774 and, again, in 1783. No further experiments were made until 1805, when Humboldt and Gay Lussac examined the properties of the torpedo at Naples; but the first investigator to make fresh discoveries on the subject was John Thomas Todd at the Cape of Good Hope in 1812. Walsh was returned to parliament for the city of Worcester on 30th March 1761 and retained his seat until 1780. He died, unmarried, some fifteen years later, on 9th March 1795 in London, at his residence in Chesterfield Street, although he was buried in the parish church in Warfield. He left his property, including Warfield Park, to Sir John Benn, who had married, in 1778, Margaret, daughter of Walsh's sister, Elizabeth. Benn assumed, in accordance with the provisions of the will, the additional name of Walsh, and was father of Sir John Benn-Walsh, 1st Baron Ormathwaite. ------------- National Library of Wales Ormathwaite estate, records Reference code(s): GB 0210 ORMITE Held at: National Library of Wales Title: Ormathwaite Estate Records Short Title: Ormathwaite estate, records Creation date(s): 1558-1951 Level of description: Fonds Extent: 1.666 cubic metres (73 boxes, 7 rolls, 6 volumes) Name of creator(s): Ormathwaite estate CONTEXT Administrative/Biographical history: John Walsh (1726-95) went to India in 1742 where he was appointed a writer at Fort St George. He left India, however, in 1747 but returned again in 1749 or 1750. During this second sojourn in India he held a number of administrative posts with the East India Co. as well as being engaged in private trade. In 1767 he was appointed private secretary to Lord Clive who was married to his mother's niece, Margaret Maskelyne. He finally left India in 1760 and returned to England 'clearly acting as agent for some of Clive's affairs'. More importantly, he returned with a fortune which he estimated at £140,000. Armed with such a sum he set about acquiring the trappings of a wealthy country gentleman, not least a landed estate and a seat in the House of Commons. A few months after his arrival in England he purchased the Hockenhall estate in Cheshire. Eleven years later, however, he was trying to sell it for 12,000 guineas. He seems to have succeeded, since there are no further references to this estate in the Ormathwaite papers. Having already purchased a town house in London and a small estate in Warfield, Berkshire in 1764 he began, in 1768, to extend his purchases to Ireland and Radnorshire. In March of that year he purchased from Sir Henry Hartstonge the manors of Cefnllys and Busmore and a number of farms in Cefnllys and Llanfihangel Nantmellan for £13,450. Two months later there followed the purchase, from the assignees of Goddard Haagen, a bankrupt London merchant, of 2,067 acres, comprising the manor of Coed Swydd and properties in Llanfihangel Rhydieithion, Cefnllys and Llandegleu, at a cost of £12,908. In August he spent a further £27,000 in acquiring a substantial estate in County Cork, Ireland. Two years later he returned to the Irish land market and purchased from the heavily indebted Francis Thomas Maurice, 3rd earl of Kerry, an estate in County Kerry, for £15,230. Three years later, in 1774, he made a further purchase from the earl at a cost of £5,944. In between these two Kerry purchases he also acquired for £2,600 some properties in Cefnllys and Llangynllo, Radnorshire, from the Duke of Chandos. By his will, proved in 1795, John Walsh devised his estate to his niece Margaret Benn (nee Fowke) until her heir male should reach the age of twenty one, provided she and her husband adopt the name of Walsh, which they duly did in the same year. Francis Fowke, Margaret's only surviving brother, was disinherited by his uncle because of a clash of personalities and because he lived with a 'low, vicious' woman, upon whom he fathered several illegitimate children. Margaret Fowke was the daughter of Joseph Fowke who made a moderate fortune in India and who, subsequently, gambled it away in London gaming clubs. Brought up by her maternal uncle, John Walsh, she went to join her father in India in 1776. During her ten year stay in India she met her future husband, John Benn of Ormathwaite, Cumbria. His father had died just before he was born and he was, consequently, virtually adopted by his uncle Dr William Brownrigg, the chemist. Through the influence of his friend John Robinson, Lord North's private secretary, Brownrigg obtained a post for his nephew with the East India Co. The nephew arrived in Calcutta in 1778 and remained in India until 1786. After his return to England, together with a fortune estimated at £80,000, he married Margaret Walsh in June 1787. Unlike John Walsh, John Benn did not invest lavishly in land, though he made several additions to the family estate in Warfield, Ormathwaite (which he had inherited from his uncle) and Radnorshire. Most of his Indian fortune was wisely invested in mortgages and Government stocks. It was this fortune, made initially in India, and carefully nurtured afterwards, which enabled Sir John Benn Walsh, eldest son and heir of John Benn (or Sir John Benn Walsh as he now was) to greatly expand both his Radnorshire and Irish estate. Writing in 1840 he estimated that he had inherited over £119,000 from his father. In 1819, when Sir John became twenty one years old, he inherited according to the provisions of John Walsh's will, all the latter's estates in Radnorshire Ireland and Warfield. Following his father's death in 1825, he inherited the Cumbria estate, together with all the landed purchases which his father had made from 1787 onwards. In 1829 the combined rental of all his scattered estates amounted to £7,402 per annum, with slightly over half that sum coming from his Irish estates. In 1866 the combined rentals amounted to £21,363 per annum with the Radnorshire estate producing £8,744, the Irish estates £7,933, the Cumberland estate £4,229 and the remainder coming from properties in London. All his personal income from monies invested in mortgages and stocks amounted to only £1,553 a year. The estate rental had almost trebled between 1829 and 1866. Part of this increase can be attributed to rising rents and to the discovery of a very valuable iron ore mine on the Cumbria estate, but the greater part of the increased rental was due to the very substantial landed purchases made by Sir John, especially in Radnorshire. In 1840, however, he calculated that his purchases in that county had cost him £58,550. A rough calculation based upon the title deeds of post-1840 purchases and scattered references in his diaries indicate that he spent another £43,500 on properties in Radnorshire betweeen 1840 and 1877. Overall these landed purchases cost him a minimum of £100,000. The estate which he inherited from John Walsh measured 4,266 acres in 1820. In 1873 the estate apparently measured almost 12,500 acres with an annual rental of over £9,200. The expansion of the family estates, conducted so successfully by Sir John Benn Walsh, was brought to a crashing halt by his eldest son and heir, Arthur John Walsh, 2nd Lord Ormathwaite. Arthur was in serious financial difficulties well before his father died in 1881. He had been borrowing heavily (using his expected inheritance as security) since at least 1850. Most of his debts were incurred in the pursuit of his abiding passion: shooting. The full extent of his liabilities were not revealed, however, until after his father's death in 1881. In 1886 the Ormathwaite estates had been mortgaged for £153,755. Ten years later the figure stood at £167,731 whilst unsecured creditors were owed over £22,300. By 1890 estate revenue was unable to meet all its annual charges: interest payments were £3,000 in arrears. In an effort to keep creditors at bay the mid-1890s saw some frantic selling of assets. Furniture, plate and farming implements were sold between 1894 and 1895. All the receipts, roughly £10,000, were paid to unsecured creditors. The inevitable could not be delayed much longer and, in 1895, Arthur, 2nd Lord Ormathwaite, duly presented to the High Court a petition alleging his inability to pay his debts. Following the petition the court appointed a receiver and a scheme of arrangement to pay off the creditors was drawn up. The newly appointed receiver was able, to a substantial degree, to pay off the unsecured creditors, but achieved very little as regards paying off the mortgages. In 1904 it was estimated that the estate still owed the mortgages at least £164,000. The bulk of the Irish estates were sold off between 1906 and 1912 for about £84,000. The first sales of the Radnorshire estate were delayed until shortly after the death of the 2nd Lord Ormathwaite in 1920. By November of that year at least eighteen properties had been sold for 18,145. In 1921 the outlying portions of both the Radnorshire and Warfield estates, together with the entire Cumbria estate (except for the iron ore mine) were sold for £54,645. All the remainder of the Radnorshire estate, totalling 11,977 acres, was sold in 1945, possibly enforced by the need to pay estate duties following the deaths of Arthur Henry John, 3rd Lord Ormathwaite in 1937 and George Harry, 4th Lord Ormathwaite, in 1943.

Born: 21st May 1725Baptised: Fort St George, , Madras, India 2nd Jul 1728
Died: Chesterfield st., Mayfair, , , , England 9th Mar 1795 Buried: Parish church, Warfield, Berks., , England 1795
Family:
Walsh

Ancestors
[ Patrilineage | Matrilineage | Earliest Ancestors | Force | Force2 | Options ]

1.
Sir John (Jack) 
Walsh
1725 - 1795
2.
Joseph George 
Walsh
(
Maskelyne
) ante 1695 - 1731
4.
Enoch 
Walsh
(
Child
) + 1701
5.
Elisabeth 
Child
(
Walsh
) + c. 1697
3.
Elizabeth (Eliza) 
Maskelyne
(
Walsh
) 1697 - 1734
6.
Maj. Nevill(e) 
Maskelyne
(
Bathe
) 1661 - 1711
7.
Anne 
Bathe
(
Maskelyne
) c. 1670 - 1706

Siblings


1.
Joseph 
Walsh
1722 - ante 1731
2.
Elizabeth (Eliza) 
Walsh
(
Fowke
) 1731 - ante 1769

Spouses




Descendants
[ Options ]

Sources

  • Family Archivists: see
    Walsh


Timeline


21st May 1725Born
2nd Jul 1728Baptised Fort St George, Madras, India
13th Sep 1760Executor of the will of
Sophia 
Fowke
(
Hollond
,
Duncan
) ante 1723 - 1760 (will) Calcutta, India
7th Sep 1765Became an heir of
Jane 
Maskelyne
1693 - 1766 (will)
23rd Nov 1765Executor of the will of
Sarah 
Maskelyne
1695 - ante 1766 (will)
24th Nov 1773Executor of the will of
Robert 
Clive
(
Maskelyne
) 1725 - 1774 (will)
9th Mar 1795Died England
1795UNMAR/ROLE INDI
1795Buried Warfield, Berks., England
c. 1795Made a will (will)
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