North Street, Newry, County Down

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

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Nicholas Marsh Biddulph [1805-1900]

Nicholas Marsh Biddulph was born on the 20th of December 1805, the second son and seventh child of Francis Biddulph and Mary Marsh of Vicarstown, Queen's County. He was one of fourteen children, thirteen of whom survived. He married Elizabeth Maria Steele on the 25th September 1824 in Gretna Green, Scotland. Both were recorded as being from Donnybrook, Dublin. Their first daughter, Margaret Anne, was born in Elm Villa, Irishtown, Dublin, on the 8th of October 1826. A second daughter, Elizabeth, was also born in Dublin in 1831. Anna [1833-1912] was born in Galway. Adelaide too was born in Ireland in 1840.
Nicholas became a Lieutenant in the Irish Revenue Police. Known as the ‘Potheen Hussars,’ the Irish Revenue Police were mostly employed in the detection of illicit liquor stills. Their uniform was distinctive. As an officer Nicholas would have worn a blue frock coat and grey trousers, and probably cut a dashing figure. In 1835 he was in Crossmolina, but at some time in the late 1830s he seems to have left Ireland, as his eldest son, William, was born in 1838 in Marthen, Wales. A second son, christened Wellington James, was born in England in 1841. His youngest daughter, Rosalie, was born in 1845, in Somerset.
In the 1841 Census the family are found living in Gore Hedge, Frome, Somerset. Nicholas has independent means.
In the 1851 Census Nicholas is no longer with his family, and does not appear in the Census, but Elizabeth still describes herself as a wife, and not a widow. Elizabeth died in St. George, Southwark, in 1852. Two of their daughters, Margaret Anne, and Anna, married and emigrated to America.
Adelaide Biddulph, on her marriage to John Brooks on the 20th of May 1861 in St. Mary’s, Lambeth, describes her father Nicholas Biddulph in the marriage register as deceased.
Some accounts state that Nicholas Biddulph lived until 1900. If the source of this information is Burke’s Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, there is some room for doubt as Burke’s can be inaccurate. However, there is a death recorded in Dublin of a Nicholas Biddulph in 1899 of advanced years. Had Nicholas returned to Ireland leaving his family in England?

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