Le Fanu Arms

A website to mark (almost) 500 years of Le Fanu family history.


The ‘Memoir of the Le Fanu Family’1 was written by William’s father, Thomas Philip Le Fanu (Tom Le Fanu), and much of the research – particularly on the French origins of the family – on which the book is based was undertaken by my father’s grandfather, Henry Le Fanu2. The Memoir gives no date of publication but in it Tom refers to Henry’s death in 19233, so it could not have been published before then. William Le Fanu’s manuscript ‘Notes supplementing TPLeF’s family Memoir’, sketches mainly of his uncles and aunts, are dated 15 January 1990. They were prepared for my father, Richard Le Fanu, who at the time was updating the genealogical tables in the back of the Memoir. It is clear that William had already seen a draft of some of the biographical details that my father had prepared to accompany the updated family tree.

William writes about people he knew and he has an eye for the significant detail. His ‘Notes’ are perceptive and entertaining. But the repetition of given names, for example three William Richards over three generations, and William’s use of nicknames mean that it is often difficult to work out who is who. I have therefore included a pedigree as an appendix. For convenience I have started with William’s great-grandparents, the Very Revd Thomas Philip Le Fanu, Dean of Emly and Rector of Abington, and his wife Emma Lucretia Dobbin. They had three children: Catherine, Joseph Sheridan and William Richard. Catherine died unmarried. Joseph Sheridan, the novelist and ghost story writer, married Susan Bennett, daughter of George Bennett QC. They had four children. Two of these had children who survived infancy but there were no grandchildren. William Richard, William’s grandfather and a successful railway engineer, married Henrietta Victorine, youngest child of Sir Matthew Barrington, 2nd Baronet. They had ten children, eight boys and two girls, and it is mainly about these – his uncles and aunts – that William writes. The Gallery includes a photograph of William Richard and Henrietta Victorine, their ten children and the first of their daughters-in-law4.

William depicts a close family. The eldest of William’s uncles and aunts, Charlotte (Harley), kept house for her unmarried brother Victor and her younger sister Emmie at Ballymorris outside Bray – ‘which became a ‘home’ for all her married brothers and all our younger generation’5. Willie, based in London but returning every year to fish, ‘was a fairy godfather to all his nephews and nieces, especially to Lucie and to me, and very helpful with wise advice (and finance if necessary) to his brothers and sisters’.

Most of William’s uncles and aunts were comfortably off, able to enjoy country pursuits and a pleasant social life. They were no mere amateurs. William describes his grandfather as ‘a good ‘shot’ and the best salmon-fisherman in Ireland’. Of his aunt Charlotte (Harley) he writes that she ‘did nothing with her life – except salmon-fishing’: every August she used to go fishing with other members of the family on the water her father used to fish in Kerry6. William’s uncles and aunts were also interested in intellectual matters. Victor ‘was the most cultivated and the best games-player in the family. … He kept up his classics, read widely in English literature, wrote poetry and was in touch with the Irish ‘literary revival’ writers – I believe that there is a reference to him in Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’, but William also notes the interest of other uncles in French, Italian and Spanish literature.

Several members of the family did well in their chosen professions. William’s grandfather was a successful railway engineer in an era of railway building, known for the accuracy of his budgets and his skills in committee7. In 1863 he was appointed one of the three Commissioners of Public Works responsible for overseeing the Irish government’s Office of Works. William’s father, Tom, was a senior civil servant, becoming – like his father – a Commissioner of Public Works, and stayed on past normal retirement age to help the new Irish Free State government. Of his uncles, Fletcher (Flu) combined being an active parish clergyman and proponent of Anglo-Catholicism in the Church of Ireland with the life of a country gentleman; Willie, having initially failed to establish himself in London as a barrister, went on to play an important role in Church of England finances as Secretary and Treasurer of Queen Anne’s Bounty; and Harry made his way in the Church in Australia, becoming Archbishop of Perth and Primate of Australia.

The Le Fanus were not wealthy. As McCormack puts it, ‘insecurity and hardship were familiar faces’ within the family8. William’s great-grandfather, the Most Revd Thomas Philip Le Fanu (Dean of Emly), dependent on tithes from a Catholic peasantry who frequently couldn’t – or wouldn’t – pay, was frequently short of money when he most needed it9. His eldest son, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, the novelist and ghost story writer, struggled to make a living from his writing and journalism. He lived in a fine house in Merrion Square in Dublin10 but, as William points out, the house belonged to his wife. On her death it reverted to her family. From then he leased the house from his in-laws until he was obliged to mortgage his leasehold interest to his brother-in-law to pay off his accumulated debts to him11. William describes Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s son Brinsley living a ‘tragically narrow life’ with his wife Marion ‘in a two room flat in a block of workers’ flats in Battersea’. William’s uncle Brinsley (Brum)’s engineering practice foundered when a reservoir he was building proved to be above a system of limestone caves: ‘He never complained about his sudden poverty, nor did Meta [his wife], though they both enjoyed – and had for years to do without – pleasant social life, clubs, ponies, sport etc.’.

The Protestant Ascendancy was coming under increasing pressure through the Nineteenth Century. The Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829 and Catholic emancipation opened the way to the creation of a Catholic middle class, and the establishment of the Irish Free State in December 1922 brought down the final curtain on the Ascendancy. Two of William’s uncles made their career outside Ireland: Willie in London as Secretary and Treasurer of Queen Anne’s Bounty, and Harry in the Church in Australia. Only one of William’s generation, Brum and Meta’s eldest son Brinsley, made his life in Ireland. There are now no Le Fanus living in Ireland.

JLF, 14 June 2022

Notes supplementing T.P. Le Fanu’s family Memoir,
by William Le Fanu12

(Memoir, page 59) – Susan Bennett [99]13, wife of Joseph Le Fanu14. There is more information about her in W. McCormack’s ‘Sheridan Le Fanu and Victorian Ireland’; McCormack wrote to me lately that a revised second edition is coming out next year15. Though I have known several of the Bennetts, McCormack got more details from others of that family. The house in Merrion Square (marked as J.S. Le F’s) was inherited by Susan from her father.

Ellie’ Le Fanu’s [102] writings are listed in the Bibliography (Memoir, p. 80). She and her husband Pat Robertson [103] (sometime Colonel in the 92nd Gordon Highlanders) lived at Bray, Co. Wicklow, where we also lived; I can just remember him, an amusing ‘character’, and I knew all their children, half-a-generation older than mine16  – Frances (‘Fairy’) rather bullied her brothers and sisters, she wrote at least one story published in a Dublin paper, and a play performed there (I could give you particulars, but you probably do not want to deal with Robertson). Only the elder brother married, and there were no grandchildren.

Emmie[104] married her first cousin George Bennett [105]. My father knew and liked him – he was a master at Rugby (where he had been a boy himself) and his main career was as Head Master of Sutton Valence School in Kent17. I knew their two daughters very well. Emmie, charming and clever, married twice (1) Fred Darton, a partner in the famous publishing house and quite well known as a writer himself – in the early 1920s the marriage was annulled (Fred was heart-broken, I believe) when Emmie fell in love with a Mr Shuttleworth – but this marriage was brief. She died from a tumour on the brain in 1925 and Shuttleworth shot himself in despair at her death. The second daughter, Ida, never married. She became a lay sister in a Catholic sisterhood at Bruges, which escaped in 1939 to Birmingham, where she died in 1968 in her eighties. She was a kindly, dull woman – I kept in touch with her, as I was her trustee.

(Memoir, page 52) – ‘Phillie[106] – educated at Rugby, and said to have been a charming clever young man, became an alcoholic and a wastrel. He sold or pawned most of his inheritance (my grandfather [100]18 salvaged what he could of portraits and family papers) including Quilca, the little estate in Cavan where Swift wrote Gulliver while staying with Thomas Sheridan19. Drink ruined Phillie’s health, and he died of pneumonia following a chill, only five years after his father.

(Memoir, page 59 at foot). Brinsley [107] (always called Bush – rhyming with Thrush) was a worthy, respectable, rather good looking man, without any ‘push’ or ‘gump’. What little money he ever made was from was from drawings for W.T. Stead’s ‘Books for the Bairns’ series – after Stead went down with the Titanic in 1912, he got no more work – he was a very mediocre artist. Marion [108] was a brave cheerful woman, who never complained of their tragically narrow life – living in a two room flat in a block of workers’ flats in Battersea. The dates of their deaths have been inverted in Burke’s Irish Family Records – he died in 1929 and she in 1935 (I was their executor, – they left almost nothing).

(Memoir, pages 57, 60-61) – William [100], my grandfather. Reputed one of the most amusing and popular men of his time: a good ‘shot’ and the best salmon-fisherman in Ireland. A very close friend of his Sheridan cousins Caro Norton and Helen Dufferin and of Helen’s son, the famous diplomat and viceroy20. (Memoir, page 61) – Henrietta (Barrington) [101], universally known as ‘Banky’, was the youngest of the large family of Sir Matthew Barrington. Matthew inherited the family iron-master’s business in Limerick, founded what is still a leading solicitor’s firm in Dublin, became Crown Solicitor for Munster (and made a fortune in his frequent state trials in that rebellious period), earned the baronetcy bestowed on his father in 1831 and built his mock (Walter Scott) castle at Glenstal near Limerick21.. His family formed for two or three generations a most united clan (or self-admiration society!). My father grew up in Dublin among 35 first cousins.

Charlotte [109] always used as if her real name her childish nickname ‘Harley’. She was a woman of very sharp character, well educated by a German governess, but did nothing with her life – except salmon-fishing. After her parents’ death she made a home for her unmarried brother Victor [117] and sister Emmie [123] at Ballymorris outside Bray – which became a ‘home’ for all her married brothers and all our younger generation. She spent every spring in London, where she had many friends in her brother Willie’s [114] circle, and every August fishing with him and others of the family on the water her father used to fish in Kerry.

Tom[110], my father, was for some years, during his service in Dublin Castle, clerk to the Irish Privy Council – the de facto government. After he became official secretary to the Chief Secretary (in 1910)22. he had to spend nearly half the year at the Irish Office in London. He was due to retire in 1922, but voluntarily stayed in service to help the first ‘Free State’ government, till 1926. After retirement he was governor of the Dublin Blue Coat School (‘The Royal Hospital of King Charles II’) and of the Alexandra College (the girls’ ‘sixth form college’), and lay member of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland23.

My mother ‘Flory[111] was born in Melbourne, where her father, the Revd James Sullivan, had emigrated with his bride of 17 (he was, I think, 36) – but her health failing, they came home in ’62, and she died in ’65. He then became Rector of Askeaton in Limerick – he was of the Clan of O’Sullivan More, which is prolific in West Limerick and North Kerry. Mother was a botanist, an expert on mosses; Lucie and I gave her collection of dried flowers and mosses to the National Botanic Garden at Glasnevin. She also took a part in all local do-gooding work in Bray parish – district nurse, orphan school etc. – but was completely unsanctimonious, in fact very sociable with innumerable friends. Her chief interest was gardening.

Fletcher (‘Flu’) [112] went to Sandhurst after Haileybury and was commissioned in a Lancer Regiment (I believe), but after a year or two resigned and read for the Church at Trinity College Dublin. He was a good games player and a keen sportsman – and maintained a double life to the end. He was, I am told, an excellent parish clergyman, particularly interested (and successful) in the reform of alcoholics and the encouragement of young men. ‘Off duty’ (so to speak) he was a country gentleman, fond of a good story, well read in French (including ‘risqué’ novels) and Italian and Spanish.

His first parish was at Lisadell in Sligo on the wild north west coast, where he organised a cricket club on Gore-Booth’s estate and became a close friend of the younger generation – Jocelyn (who inherited the baronetcy) with whom he travelled abroad collecting plants, Constance – afterwards Countess Markiewicz the rebel leader – and her sister24. Most of his life he was Vicar of St John’s, Sandymount, a prosperous Dublin suburb – the church was a trustee church founded by Lord Pembroke for Anglo-Catholics within the Church of Ireland. His services were broken up by angry extreme ‘Paisleyites’ as they would now be called – but he loved a fight, and he fought them to the House of Lords – and won! ‘Janie[113] was a clever, amusing woman. She had tuberculosis as a girl and remained a malade imaginaire. They had no children, but a very happy married life.

Willie[114] (the most usual Irish abbreviation, cf Willie Orpen, Willie Yeats, Willie Arbuthnot-Lane – as they were known to their intimates) – the ablest ‘all-rounder’ of the brothers. After Cambridge he had a scholarship to the Bar, read in Lord Wrenbury’s chambers, said to be the best of their time, but failed to get briefs, having chiefly Irish connections. IFR25 implies that he was in junior posts at QAB26 but I am fairly certain that these were fairly brief preliminaries and that he was Secretary-Treasurer for most of his service. There is a history of QAB by his successor (which I read many years ago but do not have27) – it suggested that he was a very able administrator. Certainly he was very busy in his last years preparing a large reform scheme of Church finances, which led after his death to the absorption of QAB into the Ecclesiastical Commission, and a greatly improved salary scheme for the clergy. He was a life-long sportsman, shooting and fishing in Ireland and Scotland every year. He also, in a consortium with three friends, rented a partridge shoot in Norfolk and was a keen yachtsman, often with Erskine Childers28, the travel part of whose ‘Riddle of the Sands’ is based on some of their trips. During World War I he served on National Service Tribunals; he was a Governor of Haileybury. He was a good amateur singer and used to give private recitals, collected etchings and read widely, particularly Italian poetry. He was a fairy godfather to all his nephews and nieces, especially to Lucie and to me, and very helpful with wise advice (and finance if necessary) to his brothers and sisters. A large, cheerful, even witty man after the pattern of his father.

Brinsley (‘Brum’) [115] and ‘Meta[116], his wife – Lewen29 will have told you about his parents. ‘Brum’ was the least intellectual of the family. His private practice as an engineer began well but foundered when a reservoir he was building in the north of England proved to be above a system of limestone caves. He never complained about his sudden poverty, nor did Meta, though they both enjoyed – and had for years to do without – pleasant social life, clubs, ponies, sport etc. He worked as an engineer for the Irish Office of Works from before the time my father became one of the three Commissioners at the head of the Office.

Victor [117] was the most cultivated and the best games-player in the family. I knew him very well all my life. He kept up his classics, read very widely in English literature, wrote poetry and was in touch with the Irish ‘literary revival’ writers – I believe there is a reference to him in Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’. He was a keen forester and (encouraged by my mother) became a good field botanist and gardened. Towards the end of his life he took up the local agency for Lord Pembroke’s great Dublin estates, and also the lesser property of Lord Plunket (whose mother Victoria Blackwood was a Sheridan cousin30). Victor was a very quick-witted conversationalist. My father, who worked very hard all his life, was fond of him but thought him very lazy!

Harry[118]31 - Stephen32 or one of his sisters will have told you about him. I was told by old friends in Bray and Enniskerry that he was in physique very like his father33 - a large genial man fond of outdoor life. He was a very able administrator, an ‘ecumenist’ before the word. He told me he used to tell his clergy ‘I am not an intellectual or a theologian, and most of us ought not to be – but there are good theologians in all the churches, Catholic, Anglican or non-conformist – find the one you most admire and read and listen to him’.

His first wife [119] was a very happy-natured, clever woman, quite a good amateur painter – Stephen I know was devoted to her (and found his father a bit too demanding). Margery died when Philip was born and Winifred Whiteley volunteered to be his ‘mother’ – I think that she would have married Harry straight off, but it never occurred to him till many years later. She was a good-hearted but essentially dull woman – Philip of course loved her, but I think the elder ones – Stephen, Mary and Claire – did not care much for her, though Mary was very friendly to her. She came ‘home’ two or three times in her widowhood, and I kept up with her in regular correspondence.

Frank[120] was a medical student in TCD34 when he went for a holiday to stay with a college friend, Hardress Waller, at the Wallers’ country place Moystown in King’s County (“middle west” of Ireland). Both boys caught typhoid, and Frank died although Hardress recovered. [Hardress’s sister Dorothy (Mrs Edward Vaughan) was a very dear and kind friend to me in my twenties and thirties].

Mark (‘our’ Mark)35 will have told you something of his grandparents, I expect. There is a very good account of both of them in Richard Baker’s life of Michael36. Hugh [121] was an able man, but a bit cantankerous and accident-prone. My father thought he had ‘the best brain of all of us ten brothers and sisters’. Poor chap, he had a long painful illness (cancer of the kidneys) – I saw him often, going down for weekends the first years I was working in London 1927-29. D’or [122] was a splendid character – quite a central figure in the whole family. Of their children Barbara [136] and Michael [138] had very good brains but I found Peter and Anthony more congenial. Peter [137] was sent to farm in South Africa, which he hated – picked up sleeping sickness and died at 21. Anthony [139] was a fine tall young man, a keen sportsman with plenty of ‘character’, happily married with two baby boys (Joe and Anthony, who I suppose never knew him) when he was killed on the Anzio beaches37.

Emmie [123] was intelligent and cultivated, but had some psychological ‘gap’ which made it difficult for her to organise her life. She was excessively introspective – my father used to call her worries ‘spiritual indigestion’. She trained as a painter in the early 1900s in the art school kept by Augustus John and William Orpen in Chelsea – most of the teaching was done by Ambrose McEvoy – and made several life-long friendships there. She came to London every spring till the late 1930s, when her psychological troubles became more acute. She exhibited her paintings in most years at the annual summer show of the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin.

William Le Fanu
15 January 1990

  1. T.P. Le Fanu ‘Memoir of the Le Fanu Family’, largely from materials collected by W.J.H. Le Fanu, privately printed, n.d.
  2. William Joseph Henry Le Fanu (Henry Le Fanu) (1843-1923) ([160] in the family tree at the back of the Memoir). Henry was second cousin of the previous generation to Tom.
  3. T.P. Le Fanu, op. cit., page 65.
  4. My father believed that the photograph was taken in 1887, to mark William Richard and Henrietta Victorine’s 30th wedding anniversary.
  5. For the role of the ‘uncles’ in providing ‘a source of treats and outings’ for Hugh Le Fanu [121]’s children – Barbara, Peter, Michael and Anthony – see Richard Baker ‘Dry Ginger: The biography of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Michael Le Fanu GCB, DSC’, W.H. Allen, 1977, page 20: ‘The Le Fanu children were lucky to have ‘the uncles’ near at hand. Uncle Tom’s house, Abington, was at the seaside resort of Bray, only five miles away; unmarried Uncle Victor lived near by, at Ballymorris, with unmarried Aunts Emmy and Harley; and Uncle Fletcher, who had a protective feeling for Peter and Michael, was not far off either, in his Sandymount vicarage.’ (The number in square brackets – [121] – is Hugh’s number in the family tree in the family Memoir.)
  6. Adrienne Stuart, daughter of William’s cousin Brinsley Le Fanu (no. [128] in the family tree in the family Memoir), wrote to me on 31st October 2010: ‘A friend of mine in Lechlade who was brought up in Northern Ireland came the other day with a Le Fanu fishing fly & details of which parts made of which material – silk and feathers. A relative of hers had a shop & made these flies to order for customers.’
  7. T.P. Le Fanu, op. cit., pages 60-61.
  8. W.J. McCormack, ‘Sheridan Le Fanu and Victorian Ireland’, 2nd edition, The Lilliput Press, 1991, pp. 135-136.
  9. For example, to pay medical expenses for his seriously ill sister in Bath: seeking a loan of £100 from his brother-in-law Captain William Dobbin, he writes ‘Now I declare to heaven that I have not 100 pence that I can lay my hands on … ’ (W.J. McCormack, op. cit., page 29). For the Dean’s stratagems to raise money, including mortgaging Church property, see McCormack, page 59.
  10. 18 Merrion Square, now number 70 and home to the Arts Council of Ireland.
  11. W.J. McCormack, op. cit., page 213.
  12. I have changed some of the punctuation in William Le Fanu’s text in the interests of consistency. I have also corrected some errors.
  13. Square brackets throughout – pedigree number in the family tree in the family Memoir.
  14. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu [98], the novelist and ghost story writer.
  15. W.J. McCormack, op. cit. The second edition was published by The Lilliput Press in 1991.
  16. that is, ‘older than my generation’.
  17. The school, founded in 1576 by William Lambe, Master of the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers, was associated with the Clothworkers Company until 1910.
  18. William Richard Le Fanu (1816-1894), who was Phillie’s uncle.
  19. Jonathan Swift is said to have written much of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ at Revd Thomas Sheridan’s house at Quilca. The house is celebrated in Swift’s ode ‘To Quilca, a Country House not in Good Repair’ (www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45267/to-quilca-a-country-house-not-in-good-repair). It subsequently passed into the Le Fanus’ possession: for six photographs of Quilca see (www.imcphotos.ie/index?/search/2588).
  20. Caroline and Helen Sheridan were granddaughters of Richard Brinsley Sheridan and thus William’s second cousins. Caroline is best known as an advocate of women’s rights under her married name, Caroline Norton. George Norton, her husband, sued Lord Melbourne, at the time Prime Minister , for criminal conversation (adultery) with Caroline. Despite the spectacular failure of his suit he was subsequently able to deprive her of access to her children and seize her earnings. The Custody of Infants Act 1839, the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857 and the Married Women’s Property Act 1870 owed much to her efforts to advance married women’s rights. For further detail, see Lady Antonia Fraser’s biography of Caroline, ‘The Case of the Married Woman’ (Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2021, pbk 2022). Helen married Price Blackwood, who would later become 4th Baron Dufferin and Claneboye. Their son Frederick, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, was Viceroy of India between 1884 and 1888. Helen appears as the Countess of Gifford (from the name of her second husband) in McCormack’s ‘Sheridan Le Fanu and Victorian Ireland’, which suggests that Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu turned to her for moral support after his mother’s death.
  21. According to Brian P. Murphy OSB (‘The Life and Tragic Death of Winnie Barrington’, Papaver, 2018) the Barringtons were originally clock-makers and pewterers. Matthew’s father had married a Catholic and Matthew was baptised a Catholic – hardly a propitious move for a family wishing to advance itself in 19th century Ireland. A favourable marriage brought Matthew a dowry and social position. His wealth is likely to have been built on his Dublin law practice, property development in Limerick and a salary of £15,000 a year – huge for the times – as Crown Solicitor for Munster. William and Fr Brian agree that the baronetcy bestowed on his father (ostensibly for founding Barrington’s Hospital for the poor of Limerick) was reward for his services rather than his father’s. For the building of Glenstal Castle and a history of the estate see Brian P. Murphy OSB ‘Glenstal Abbey Gardens’, Papaver, 2014.
  22. He was Principal Secretary to the Chief Secretary for Ireland (Rt. Hon. Augustine Birrell) from 1910 to 1913 and Commissioner of Public Works (like his father) from 1913 to 1926.
  23. My father’s supplement to the Memoir notes that Tom was twice Vice-President of the Royal Irish Academy and served as President of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. William suggests that the school governorships and the membership of the General Synod should also be mentioned.
  24. In an otherwise hostile poem, ‘In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markievicz’ (‘The older is condemned to death, / Pardoned, drags out lonely years / Conspiring among the ignorant’), W.B. Yeats describes Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) and her younger sister Eva as ‘Two girls in silk kimonos, both / Beautiful, one [Constance] a gazelle’. Their revolutionary ideas are said to have been founded in the famine of 1879-80 when their father (Sir Henry Gore-Booth, 5th Bt) was active in famine relief. Constance was sentenced to death for her part in the Easter Rising of 1916 but the sentence was commuted. Elected Sinn Féin MP for Dublin St Patrick’s in December 1918, she was the first woman to be elected to the Westminster Parliament but, being in Holloway Prison and in line with Sinn Féin policy, she did not take her seat. Minister of Labour in the first Dáil Éireann, she supported the anti-Treaty side in the Irish Civil War, continuing as a member of the Dáil for Sinn Féin until 1926, when she became a founding member of Fianna Fáil.
  25. Burke’s Irish Family Records.
  26. Queen Anne’s Bounty, founded by Queen Anne in 1704 to augment the income of the poorer clergy.
  27. A possible reference to F. G. Hughes’ revised edition of WRLF’s history of QAB. There is a link to WRLF’s history (William Richard Le Fanu ‘Queen Anne’s Bounty: a short account of its history and work’ Macmillan, 1921) at archive.org/details/queenannesbounty00lefauoft/page/14/mode/2up (accessed 26 May 2021), but I have not been able to find a similar link to Hughes’ revised edition. Neither have I been able to consult Geoffrey Best’s ‘Temporal Pillars’ (G. F. A. Best ‘Temporal Pillars: Queen Anne’s Bounty, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and the Church of England’, Cambridge University Press, 1964), which contains a list of principal officers of QAB that could resolve the question of how long WRLF was Secretary and Treasurer. WRLF seems to have been a person of some standing: he represented the Reform Club at Henry James’ funeral service in 1916.
  28. Robert Erskine Childers (1870-1922) was a yachtsman and writer whose best known and most influential book was ‘The Riddle of the Sands’. His political philosophy moved from Imperialism to Irish Republicanism and in 1914 he smuggled a substantial consignment of arms to the Irish Volunteers in his yacht ‘Asgard’. He was executed by the authorities of the Irish Free State during the Irish Civil War.
  29. John Lewen Le Fanu [129] (1906-2005).
  30. Victoria Blackwood’s father, the first Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, was Victor’s third cousin.
  31. Henry Frewen Le Fanu, Archbishop of Perth from 1929 to 1946 and Primate of Australia from 1935.
  32. Henry Stephen John Le Fanu [131], the Archbishop’s eldest son. He published two beautiful hand-coloured books of his sketches, ‘Random Sketches’ (Brisbane, 1979) and ‘Random Sketches from Australia’ (Perth, 1985).
  33. William’s grandfather WRLF [100], who died ten years before William was born.
  34. Trinity College Dublin.
  35. Mark Le Fanu OBE (b. 1946). He followed his grandfather Hugh and his father Michael (Admiral of the Fleet Sir Michael Le Fanu) [138] into the Royal Navy but left and subsequently became General Secretary of the Society of Authors. He refers to himself as ‘the other Mark’ (at least to us) to distinguish himself from my brother Mark, some three and a half years younger than him.
  36. Richard Baker ‘Dry Ginger: The biography of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Michael Le Fanu, GCB, DSC’, W.H. Allen, 1977.
  37. Anthony’s death in action is described in the Profiles section in ‘In Memoriam Anthony Le Fanu, killed in action, March 3rd 1944’, taken from R.H. Medley ‘Cap Badge: The Story of Four Battalions of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment (T.A.) 1939-1947’, Pen & Sword, 1992. From Medley’s account it appears that Anthony’s regime was landed in Naples and Anthony killed some way inland of the Anzio beaches.

Appendix: Le Fanu Pedigree

The names of family members that William discusses in his Notes are picked out in bold. Nicknames (or the given name used by William in his text) are included in brackets, while the numbers in square brackets refer to the number in the family tree at the back of the family Memoir. I have added, in italics, surnames of immediate descendants.

The Very Revd Thomas Philip Le Fanu LL.D (1784-1845) [90], Dean of Emly and Rector of Abington, m. 1811 Emma Lucretia Dobbin (d. 1861) [91], da. of Revd William Dobbin, Rector of Finglas and St Mary’s, Dublin. 2 s, 1 d.
  1. Catherine Frances (1813-1841) [97], d. unmarried.
  2. Joseph Thomas Sheridan, Barrister-at-Law (1814-1873) [98], novelist and ghost story writer, m. 1844 Susan Bennett (1823-1858) [99], da. of George Bennett QC. 2 s, 2 d.
    1. Eleanor Frances (Ellie) (1845-1903) [102] m. 1871 Col Patrick Robertson (d. 1914) [103]. 5 s, 3 d, all died without issue.
    2. Emma Lucretia (Emmie) (1846-1893) [104], m. 1874 George Lovett Bennett (1846-1916) [105]. 3 d, including Emma Lucretia (Emmie) (1876-1925) and Ida (1878-1968): all died without issue.
    3. Thomas Philip (Phillie) (1847-1879) [106], died without issue.
    4. George Brinsley (Bush) (1854-1929) [107], m. Marion Kate Morgan (d. 1935) [108]. 1 s, 1 d, both died in infancy.
  3. William Richard (William) (1816-1894) [100], railway engineer, Commissioner of Public Works and author of ‘Seventy Years of Irish Life’, m. 1857 Henrietta Victorine Barrington (Banky) (d. 1899) [101], youngest child of Sir Matthew Barrington, 2nd Bt. 8 s, 2 d.
    1. Charlotte Ann (Harley) (1857-1926) [109].
    2. Thomas Philip (Tom) (1858-1945) [110] CB, Principal Secretary to the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Commissioner of Public Works and author of ‘Memoir of the Le Fanu Family’, m. 1890 Florence Sophia Mabel Sullivan (Flory) (d. 1941) [111], da. of Revd James Sullivan, Rector of Askeaton. 1 s, 1 d.
      1. Lucie Catherine (Lucie) (1901-1996) [126], m. 1933 John Traill Christie (1899-1980), Headmaster of Westminster School and Principal of Jesus College, Oxford. 2 d.
        Descendants: Christie, Porteous, Darwin
      2. William Richard (William) (1904-1995) [127], the author of the Notes, m. 1930 Dame Elizabeth Maconchy DBE (1907-1994), composer. 2 d.
        Descendants: LeFanu, Dunlop, Lumsdaine
    3. Revd Fletcher Sheridan (Flu) (1860-1939) [112], Rector of St John’s, Sandymount, m. 1885 Janie Hone (d. 1926) [113], da. of Walter Hone.
    4. William Richard (Willie) (1861-1925) [114], Barrister, Secretary and Treasurer, Queen Anne’s Bounty.
    5. Brinsley Rankine (Brum) (1862-1945) [115], m. 1902 Margaret Dudgeon (Meta), da. of John Dudgeon (d. 1961) [116]. 2 s.
      1. Richard Brinsley Sheridan (Brinsley) (1905-1964) [128], m 1931 Dorothy Duncan (d. 1970). 1 d.
        Descendants: Le Fanu, Stuart, Forland
      2. John Lewen (Lewen) (1906-2005) [129], m. 1937 Marjorie Brew. 2 d.
        Descendants: Le Fanu, Fisher, Nowlan, Klassen
    6. Victor Charles (Victor) (1865-1939) [117].
    7. Most Revd Henry Frewen (Harry) (1870-1946) [118], Archbishop of Perth and Primate of Australia, m. first 1904 Margery Annette Ingle Dredge (d. 1926) [119], da. of Revd John Dredge. 3 s, 4 d.
      1. Mary Charlotte (b. 1906) [130].
      2. Henry Stephen John (1908-1998) [131], m. 1942 Margaret Edeline Dunnet.
      3. Claire Victorine (1912-2013) [132], m. 1940 Leslie Albert Dunnet (d. 1982). 2 s, 3 d.
        Descendants: Dunnet, Cook, Sansom, Baines
      4. Francis William (1915-1983) [133].
      5. Helen Catherine (b. 1916) [134], m. first 1947 David Ivor Hally. 2 d.
        Descendants: Hally, Love, Weller
        m. second 1954 Cyril Victor Grice. 1 s, 2 d.
        Descendants: Grice, Howick, Hickman
      6. Elizabeth (1920-1920) [135].
      7. Philip Sheridan (1926-2016), m 1959 Nora Vivian Wheatley. 1 s, 3 d.
        Descendants: Le Fanu
        m. second 1941 Winifred Maud Whiteley (d. 1979).
    8. Francis Lewen (Frank) (1871-1892) [120].
    9. Hugh Barrington (Hugh) (1872-1929) [121], Commander RN, m. 1908 Georgiana Harriott Kingscote (D’or) (d. 1965) [122], da. of William Anthony Kingscote. 3 s, 1 d.
      1. Barbara (1910-1958) [136].
      2. Peter (1912-1934) [137].
      3. Michael (Admiral of the Fleet Sir Michael Le Fanu GCB, DSC) (1913-1970) [138], First Sea Lord, m. 1943 Prudence Grace Morgan (d. 1980). 2 s, 1 d.
        Descendants: Le Fanu, Wethered
      4. Anthony (1918-1944, killed in action) [139], m. 1940 Margaret Elizabeth Joyce, subsequently Mrs Leonard Markham (d. 1990). 2 s.
        Descendants: Le Fanu
    10. Emma Catherine (Emmie) (1874-1942) [123].