Tragedy joined the families of Richard Townshend Herbert of Cahernane and the Denny clerical dynasty of Church Hill (Ballanahaglish), near Tralee, in 1835 when RTH lost his eldest son in a simple fall from a horse. Here is some background, beginning with some notes on RTH’s in-laws, the Dennys of Church Hill.
Rev. Maynard Denny and his sons all but made the Protestant parishes of Church Hill and Tralee their own in the first half of the nineteenth century. Rev. Maynard was a brother of Sir Barry Denny, first Bart., and he was Vicar of Churchill for 37 years to 1812 when succeeded by his son Rev. Barry Denny, the vicar to 1830. (Maynard had become a first name in the Denny family: Mary Maynard married their ancestor in time to preside at Tralee Castle for the Irish defeats at the Boyne and Limerick, the time when the town of Tralee was burned by the Jacobites.) Rev. Barry’s brother was Rev. Edward Maynard Denny, Rector of Tralee from 1818 to 1831. Another brother, Anthony Denny, married a daughter of Admiral Lord Viscount Collingwood.
Let us return to the pater familias, Rev. Maynard Denny (d. 1812). When the senior branch of the Dennys, the Dennys of Tralee Castle, attempted to cut costs in the first years of the nineteenth century, they seem to have withheld money from Rev. Maynard, for on 2 January 1809 (year not clear) Rev. Maynard wrote the following to Richard Townsend Herbert, of Cahernane, Killarney: “If Judge Day does not choose to pay me the £2000 he has in his hands … it will distress me very much”. Judge Day was all-powerful in matters connected with the Denny estate, though when he became trustee in 1795 he was only one of three – and Richard T. Herbert was one of the other two! Rev. Maynard signed off with “All your family are well … Barry (son and successor at Church Hill) went to Cahirnane this day”. There was much coming and going between Church Hill and Cahernane. Rev. Barry was married to RTH’s daughter Helen, while his sister, Jane Denny, was married to RTH’s son: a case of brother and sister married to sister and brother. Arthur Herbert, RTH’s eldest son and Jane’s husband, was also a clergyman. His death is noticed in July 1835, “being killed by a fall from a jaunting car, and (he) was buried in Killarney, July 27, 1835”. (Leslie, Ardfert and Aghadoe, Clergy and Parishes.) Let us return to Church Hill, where Jane’s brother Rev. Barry served as minister for many years. He was succeeded by one of the Tralee family: Rev. Henry Denny, synonymous with Church Hill as Rev. Maynard had been. When he died in Camp his cortege was brought through Tralee and the bell of the Catholic church, it is said, rang out as a mark of respect.