Samuel and Letitia Crawford

Contributed by Rachel Smith


 Samuel Crawford of Newton-Forbes was the only surviving son of William Crawford. He married Hessie Hagarty, parents unknown. However family deeds include members of her family as trustees and witnesses: Charles Moore Hagarty, James Coghill Hagarty, Nicholas Hagarty, and Edward Hagarty a surgeon of Mohill and Edward's son George.

Descendants of Charles Moore Hagarty have evidence that he had both a daughter and sister named Hessie, so he may have been Hessie Crawford's brother. The Moore in his name is interesting as the Moore family had Lismore, a townland adjacent to Monylagan, their home.

Based on the conventional naming pattern, by which the second son is named for the wife's father, her father might be named Thomas, none of the above. But the family deviated in observance of this pattern.

We have a number of life-based lease deeds to Samuel from landowners. He was active as a middleman. The terms of some deeds indicate he also accommodated other property holders by loans secured by temporary transfer of holdings.

When Samuel's eldest son George married, Monylagan was turned over to the young couple. Samuel and Hessie then lived at Aghamore House, described as his "seat" in Lett's 1814 directory and as a farmhouse in O'Donovan's Survey. This house still exists, a pleasant stone farmhouse by the Shannon.


Letitia was the namesake of Lady Granard. A funny (though to modern minds distressingly prejudiced) family letter written in 1873 by her grandson (as an aged man) is in a genealogy archive in Maryland, USA. It tells about Letitia's youth, and that she was "adopted" by Lady Granard. Lady Granard was her godmother and this was like young girls in Jane Austen stories being taken up by dowagers who could bring them out socially and in return had the fun of matchmaking.

>From her grandson's letter__ "-- Letitia Arabella, our grandmother. She was adopted by Lady Granard with whom she lived at Court and in Dublin (Lady Granard was separated from her Lord ) [maybe so, but her Lord predeceased her in 1769. Lady Granard died in 1778]and was found dead one morning in her bed, the Dr. said of apoplexy, my grandmother said of poison. Our grandmother was engaged to be married to a young nobleman, who died shortly before her ladyship, so she returned home a disappointed, haughty, overbearing young lady, accomplished and talented, speaking several languages, even Greek and Latin. She married Mr. Robert Robinson, a Gentleman of fortune who lived in the Co. WestMeath Ireland. He was of English descent and Hated a papist as the Devil hates holy water [unfortunate simile, eh?]

They had eleven children, eight of whom grew to man's estate, William a Capt in the British army--Samuel, a Dr.--Robert Capt. 32nd English foot and 5th Portugese Cavalry, Forbes Crawford (called after Lord Forbes, son of the Earl of Granard with whom he spent a month at a time) Capt, in the British Army, & Tom a surgeon in the navy--my mother Catherine, your grandmother Deborah, & Hessy--the others died in infancy--. Our grandmother lived to be 101 years of age, had her intellect, & could write a good and cutting letter to within a few days of her death--She sent for me [writer lived in Maryland] and I was there a week before she died, and had her buried in Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath where she had lived. My father died when I was but two years old, my mother married soon after and I used to run away to my grandmother's (sixty miles) and thus I spent hlf of my Early life with her, say 10 years."

Several of Letitia's mentioned sons appear in Alumni Dublinenses. I would love to know more about Mr. Robinson's family as he may be a relative of William's tutor Robinson, thus a clue to mysteries about ancestor Patrick.


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