North Street, Newry, County Down

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

Thursday 16 April 2020

Daniel Corley Jennings [1818-1896], Newry, County Down. Part 1.

Daniel Corley Jennings was born in Newry, County Down, on the 7th of August, 1818. He was the son of Charles Jennings and Sophia Corley of Monaghan Street, Newry.
He appears to have been appointed by Drummond to the Irish Constabulary as a 3rd class sub-inspector on the formation of the force in 1836.[1] Daniel’s father Charles Jennings was Chairman of the Commisioners of the Newry Police in 1834.
Daniel’s career is on record:
Jennings, Daniel Corley; LDS 2097/107; born 1816, Co. Down, Ireland; 3rd Class Sub inspector 17/11/1836; C.I. 1/4/1865; pensioned 1/10/1882; died 15/11/1896.[2]
Thomas Drummond was Under-Secretary for Ireland from 1835 until his death in 1840.
The Irish Constabulary (Ireland) Act, 1836. (6 William IV c.13), was known as the Drummond Act. It consolidated and repealed all preceding Acts.[3]
An account from the Waterford Museum gives some of the background:
Drummond had some noble intentions when passing this law, he wished to eliminate the influence of local landlords (and the Orange Lodge in Northern Ireland) from police matters. He also wished to make the force acceptable to Catholics by allowing them to join it as officers and constables. This policy initially appeared to work as between 1836 and 1847 complaints against the police force were much rarer than in previous decades. Drummond also intended that the force would ensure the continuation of British rule in Ireland. The force had a strength of 10,000 at its foundation rising to 10,500 in 1856. Policemen were generally much better educated than the local population as a whole and were expected to maintain a position of importance and high standing in their community.[4]
According to Crossle Daniel was a Cadet in the R.I.C.  However the police cadet training system in the new Depot in the Phoenix Park did not appear until 1842, and the Irish Constabulary only became the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1867 when Queen Victoria honoured the Irish Constabulary with the title ‘in recognition of its loyal and faithful service and for its role in suppressing the rising of the Irish Republican Brotherhood.’

The Nenagh Vindicator had a strange story in 1844:
"Curious if True : Mr. Gray, stipendiary magistrate, has been ordered to Dublin to answer a charge made against him of having employed one of the police to go to a poor printer of the name of Morgan, in Cashel, and solicit him to print seditious ballads! Colonel M'Gregor has expressed the greatest indignation that one of the police should be employed in the disgraceful manner in question. Sub-Inspector Jennings and Head-Constable Foot have been examined on the subject; but of the result we are not aware." -  Nenagh Vindicator[5]

Daniel married Johanna Maria Bray, daughter of Luke Bray and Ellen Ronan of Ballycarrane, Thurles, County Tipperary, on the 11th of February 1846.  They had 9 children. Their first son, Charles, called after his grandfather, was born in Thurles. The variety of birth places of their subsequent children give some idea of the manner in which a member of the Constabulary could be relocated around the country during his career.

  1. Charles Borromeo Jennings b. November 1846, in Thurles, County Tipperary.
  2. Ignatius Ronayne Bray Jennings b. 1850 in Tuam, County Galway.
  3. Ellen Sophie Mary Jennings b. abt 1852.
  4. Daniel Jennings b. 1853 in Tuam, County Galway.
  5. John Bray Jennings b. 1854 in Tuam, County Galway.
  6. Catherine (Kate) Jennings b. 1857 in Tramore, County Waterford.
  7. Mary Jennings b.1858 in Tramore, County Waterford.
  8. Joseph Jennings b.1859 in Tramore, County Waterford.
  9. Sophia Mary Jennings b. abt 1860.

[1] Crossle, NAI.
[2] Jim Herlihy, Royal Irish Constabulary Officers:  A Biographical Dictionary and Genealogical Guide, 1816-1922, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2005, (reprint 2016), P. 177.
[3] Jim Herlihy, The Royal Irish Constabulary: a short history and genealogical guide, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 1997, P.43-4.
[5] The Coleraine Chronicle, April 20, 1844.