North Street, Newry, County Down

North Street, Newry, County Down
North Street, Newry, County Down

Monday, 27 March 2017

Isabella Elizabeth Biddulph [1840-1911]

Isabella Elizabeth Biddulph was born on the 21st of February 1840, the eldest daughter of Nicholas Biddulph of Congor House, Borrisokane, County Tipperary and Fortal, King’s County. Her mother was Nicholas’ second wife Isabella La Touche, daughter of James Digges La Touche, of Sans Souci, Dublin.
She married William Henry Head of Modreeny House, Cloughjordan, County Tipperary, in 1860.
Marriage in High Life - On Tuesday morning, William Henry Head. Esq., J.P., D.L. of Modreeny House, Cloughjordan, led to the hymeneal altar the lovely and accomplished daughter of Nicholas Biddulph, Esq., J.P. of Conger House. The ceremony was performed in the Church of Conger, by the Very Rev. Dean Head, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Falkiner, incumbent of the parish. After partaking of a dejeuner, which was given to a select company by the bride's father, the happy couple started for Bray, where they intend spending the honeymoon.
They had twelve children.
1.  Elizabeth Phoebe Head. She married George Bennett in 1882. He was a Church of England Minister, formerly Presbyterian. They had three children.
2. William Edward Head, born at Riverstown on the 8th of April 1864. William married twice. His first wife was Mary Katherine Johns. They were married in Larne, County Antrim, in 1886.  In 1904 he married Dora Clarke. He died in 1945 and is buried in Modreeny graveyard.
In loving memory of William Edward Head, late Capt., R. A., Mount View, Rathvilly, Co. Carlow, dearly loved husband of Dora Head and eldest son of the late William Henry Head, Derrylahan Park. Birr, died 5th June 1945 aged 81 years. Also his beloved wife Dora died 11th Aug 1952 aged 73 years. ‘Call me not dead, my soul to Christ has fled and soon both soul and body joined shall be.’ [Parish of Modreeny St. Kieran’s C. of I. graveyard, Barony of Lower Ormond].
3. Catherine Mary Head, born at Riverstown on the 22nd of August 1865. She died on the 10th of July 1873.
4.  John Henry Head was born at Riverstown on the 1st of November 1866. He studied Medicine at Trinity College Dublin, and died in Cloughjordan, County Tipperary, in 1912.
5.  Charles Octavius Head was born on the 30th of May 1869. He married Alice Margaret Threlfall in Chester in 1908. They had three children. Charles died in Shrewsbury in 1952.
6.  Michael Ravenscroft Head was born on the 12th of May 1880. He became a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army. He died on the 22nd of April 1950 in Devonshire.
7.  Georgiana Head was born on the 16th of March 1868.
8. Isabella Louisa Head was born in Riverstown on the 23rd of June 1870. She married George William Dundas. She died in 1960 and is buried in Deansgrange Cemetery, County Dublin.
9. Anna Septima Head was born in Riverstown on the 1st of April 1873. She married George Langtry MacLaine in 1899. She died in 1955.
10. Frances Henrietta Head, died 18 July 1876, aged 12.
11. An unnamed boy also appears in the family photograph album.
12. Maria Isabel Head, died 18 October 1875.
Isabella died in 1911, of abscess of the gall-bladder and exhaustion. 
The late Mrs Isabella E. Head, Hillbrook, Birr, left personal estate valued at £7,345 14s. The testatrix left £400 each to her daughters Elizabeth Isabella and Anna Head; £300 to her daughter Georgiana; £200 to her son Dr. John Head, M.D., £100 to her son Dr. John Head, M.D.; £100 to her son Major Charles Octavius Head, R.H.A., and he residue of her estate to her son Michael Head. [Irish Independent, Mon March 04, 1912].

Derrylahan Park, Riverstown, where the Head family lived, was designed by Sir Thomas Newenham Dean, who also designed Portumna Castle, and was built in 1862. A description of the house appeared in the Freeman’s Journal in February, 1901. The Estate was in the Chancery Court and for sale after the death of William Head.
The house is built of cut stone, and in the Elizabethan style, and is fitted with mahogany doors, marble mantelpieces, and all the latest improvements.
It contains on the ground floor four reception rooms, housekeeper’s room, cloakroom, servants’ hall, kitchen, pantries etc. On the first floor, twelve bedrooms, two dressing rooms, bathroom (with hot and cold water), and two w.c.s.
In 1921 Derrylahan Park was destroyed by fire.
Another Mansion Burned. Derrylahan Park reduced to Ashes. Col. Head “Too friendly with the English." [The King's County Chronicle. Thursday Jul 7th, 1921].
The front page of the newspaper carried a picture of Derrylahan Park.


  1. Thank you for this wondeful bit of history you have posted here, I am a 2nd cousin 5x removed of William Henry Head, so quite a distance. I thought I would mention that I have listed a Catherine Mary Head (b. 1865) that you don't have listed here. Not sure if she is connected to Fanny or not but here is the birth noice:

    Kind Regards

    1. Leslie,
      Catherine has now been included in the list of Head children and in the tree. She appears to have died in the year of her birth. It's possible she was called after her half cousin Catherine Mary Biddulph who was born in 1861. She, however, was called Catherine after her grandmother Catherine Lucas, who was not the grandmother of the Head cousins.

  2. Nicola and Leslie,
    The gravestone in Birr for John Henry Head (died April 1, 1912) and his three little sisters, born within three years of each other (1863-65), gives the following information about those sisters. Catherine Mary died on July 10, 1873 aged ten. Next was Maria Isabel, who died on October 18, 1875, also at the age of ten. Frances Henrietta, always known as Fanny, died aged twelve on July 18, 1876. Leslie, Charles Octavius Head and Isabella Biddulph Head were my great-grandparents and Charles O. Head and Alice Margery Head were my grandparents. I'd love to know about your connection to the Heads of Co. Tipperary. Sara (Head) Day