A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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Notes for James TOUCHET


James Touchet (or Tuchet, or Audley) was restored to the dignities in 1634, following the trial and beheading of his father, and became the 3rd earl of Castlehaven, in Ireland, and 10th lord Audley, in England; he had a command against the rebels in Ireland, under the duke of Ormond, and has left an account of his warfare, entitled "Lord Castlehaven's Memoirs."

He was the eldest son and heir of Mervyn, lord Audley, second earl of Castlehaven, by his first wife, Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Benedict Barnham, alderman of London, was born about 1617. His father (1592-1631), a man of the most profligate life, who married for his second wife Lady Anne, daughter of Ferdinando Stanley, fifth earl of Derby, and widow of Grey Brydges, fifth baron Chandos, was executed for unnatural offences, after a trial by his peers, on 14 may 1631. He was the only son and heir of George Touchet, baron Audley (1550-1617), sometime governor of Utrecht, who was wounded at the siege of Kinsale on 24 December 1601, was an undertaker in the plantation of Ulster, was summoned by writ to the Irish House of Lords on 11 March 1613-14, was created a peer of Ireland as Baron Audley of Orier, County Armagh, and Earl of Castlehaven, County Cork, on 6 September 1616, and died in March 1617.

When he was a boy of thirteen or fourteen, James, earl of Castlehaven, was married to Elisabeth Brydges (daughter of his father's second wife, Anne, by her first husband, Grey Brydges, fifth baron Chandos of Sudeley). When she was barely twelve years of age, the girl had been forced by her stepfather into criminal intercourse with her mother's lover, Henry Skipworth. She died in 1679, and was buried on 16 March at Saint Martin's-in-the-fields. Utterly neglected as to his education, and discusted at the scenes of bestiality he was compelled to witness, but preserving his natural sense of decency intact, 'he appealed for protection from the earl, his natural father, to the father of his country, the king's majesty,' and was instrumental in bringing his father to justice. His conduct, though a severe strain on his filial duty, was regarded with approval, and on 3 June 1633 he was created Baron Audley of Hely, with remainder 'to his heirs for ever,' and with the place and precedency of George, his grandfather; but in the meanwhile most of his father's estates in England had passed into the possession of Lord Cottington and others. In so far as the creation was virtually a restoration to an ancient dignity, it lay outside the power of the crown alone to make it, but necessary confirmation was obtained by act of parliament in 1678. As for the Irish peerage, it was held to be protected by the statute 'de donis,' preserving all entailed honours against forfeiture for felony.

Feeling attracted to a soldier's life, Castlehaven obtained permission to visit the theater of war on the continent, and was at Rome in 1638 when, in consequence of the prospect of war between England and Scotland, he was commanded to return home. Setting out immediately, he reached England early in the following year. He attended Charles I at Berwick, but after the first pacification he returned to the continent and witnessed the capitulation of Arras by Owen Roe O'Neill to the French. Returning to England to put his affairs there in order, he afterwards proceeded for the same purpose to Ireland, and was on the point of leaving the latter country when the rebellion broke out on 23 october 1641. Hastening to Dublin, he offered his services to the government; but the Lords justices, Sir William Parsons and Sir John Borlase, suspecting his motives as a Roman catholic, declined his offer, as likewise they did his request to be permitted to repair to England, requiring him, on the contrary, to retire to his house at Maddenstown in County Kildare, and if need were 'to make fair weather' with the rebels. Obeying their commands, he at once proceeded thither, and was instrumental in relieving the distressed English in those parts. But his hesitating conduct in not joining the Earl of Ormonde at the battle of Kilrush on 15 April 1642, and his undertaking to mediate between the Lords of the Pale and the government, affording plausible grounds for doubting his loyalty, he was towards the latter end of May indicted of high treason at Dublin. 'Amazed at this sad and unexpected news,' he posted to Dublin, presented himself before the council, and after some debate was committed to the custody of one of the sheriffs of the city. Several month passed and, learning that it was intended to remove him into stricter confinement in the castle, he resolved, 'with God's help, not tamely to die butchered,' and, having managed to elude the vigilance of his keeper, he escaped on 27 September into the Wicklow mountains. His intention was 'to gain a passage by Wexford into France, and from thence into England;' but coming to Kilkenny, the headquaters of the confederate catholics, he was persuaded to accept a command in the army, and was appointed general of horse under Sir Thomas Preston (afterwards Viscount Tara). Such is his own account in the 'Memoirs' and 'Remontrance;' but it was believed among the northern Irish that his escape was a contrivance on the part of the Earl of Ormonde 'to work and understanding' between him and his kindred in rebellion, Castlehaven being related to him through the marriage of his sister with Edmund Roe Butler.

Castlehaven served with Preston at the capture of Burros Castle on 30 December, and of Birr on 19 January following (1643), and, being entrusted with the execution of the articles of capitulation of the latter, he conveyed the garrison safely to Athy. He commanded the horse at the battle of Ross on 18 March, where the confederates were defeated by the Marquis of Ormonde, and when Preston, having rallied his forces ,sat down before Ballynekill, he intercept and routed a strong detachment sent to raise the siege under colonel Crawford near Athy on 13 April. His main business was to cover Kilkenny, but, in consequence of the progress Inchiquin (O'Brien, Murrough, first Earl of Inchiquin) was making in Munster, he was sent with what forces he could collect into that province. On 4 June he overtook Sir C. Vavasour near Castle Lyons, and defeated him with heavy loss, killing some six hundred men on the spot, taking Sir Charles himself and several of his officers prisoners, and capturing all his cannon and baggage, with little or no injury to himself. Returning to Kilkenny, he was afterwards employed in reducing the outstanding fortresses in County Kildare between the Barrow and the Liffey, when his further progress was stopped by the conclusion of the cessation, in promoting wich he had taken an active part, on 15 September. He was very useful in providing shipping at Wexford to transport the Irish soldiers furnished by Ormonde for the king's service into England, and, the Scottish forces under major-general Robert Monro in Ulster refusing to be bound by the cessation, he was appointed to the command of six thousand foot and six hundred horse to be sent to the aid of Owen Roe O'Neill in the following year (1644). But before he could proceed thither he was ordered to suppress a local insurrection in County Mayo. This done, he effected a junction with O'Neill at Portlester, and toward the end of July Both armies marches towards Tanderagee. But Monro avoided giving battle, and Castlehaven, after lying intrenched near Charlemont for two months, and exhausting his provisions, retired, 'taking a great round' to Ballyhaise in County Cavan, much to the dissatisfaction of the northern Irish, who charged him with cowardice. Havin seen his army into winter quarters, and coming to Kilkenny, he found the Supreme Council in a state of consternation owing to the defection of Lord Inchiquin and the surrender of Duncannon Fort by sir Laurence Esmonde. He served as a volunteer under Preston at the siege of Duncannon, and was present at its rendition on 18 March 1645. But the truce with Inchiquin drawing near its expiration, he was sent with five thousand foot and one thousand horse into Munster, and speedily reduced all the castles in the baronies of Imokilly and Barrimore, and, having wasted the country up to the walls of Cork, he sat down before Youghal, 'thinking to distress the place' into a surrender; but the town being relieved he marched off, and, having 'triffled out the remains of the campain in destroying the harvest,' put his army into winter quarters and returned to Kilkenny towards the latter end of November. He was one of the signatories to the contract with the Papal Nuncio, Giovanni Battista Rinuccini, on 19 February 1646, not to conclude a peace till provision had been made for the full exercise of the catholic religion; but, after the publication of the peace between the confederates and Ormonde on 30 July, he was deputed by the latter to proceed to Waterford for the purpose of persuading the Papal Nuncio's acceptance of it. Failing in this, he threw himself unreservedly on Ormonde's side, and when the latter, in consequence of O'Neill's determination to support the Nuncio with his army, was compelled to fall back on Dublin, he accompanied him thither, bearing the sword of state before him on his entrance into the city on 13 September. Afterwards, when the question arose whether terms should be made with the parliament or with the supreme council, he gave his opinion in favour of the former - 'for giving up to parliament, when the King should have England, he would have Ireland with it; but to the Nuncio and his party it might prove far other ways, and the two kingdoms remain separate.'

He quit Ireland apparently before the parliamentary commissioners arrived, and, repairing to France, was present at the battle of Landrecies, fighting in Prince Rupert's troop, commanded by Captain Somerset Fox. Afterwards going to Saint Germain, he remained there in attendance on the Queen and Prince of Wales till latter end of September 1648, when he returned with the Marquis of Ormonde to Ireland. A peace having been concluded with the confederates in January 1659, he was appointed general of th horse, and, with five thousand foot and one thousand horse, employed in reducing the fortresses holding out for O'Neill in Queen's county. But his half-starved soldiers deserted in shoals, and after the capture of Athy on 21 May he complained that the fifteen hundred foot that remainded with him were only kept alive by stealing cows. Worn out with fatigue and dissatisfied at the preference shown by some of the general assembly for Lord Taaffe, his competitor for the generalship of the horse, he obtained permission to retire to Kilkenny, where he was instrumental in suppressing a revolt of friars. But the difficulties connected with his command being shortly afterwards removed, he joined the army under Ormonde at Rathmines, and shared his defeat by Jones on 2 August. He signed the order for the defence of Drogheda, and, having been entrusted by Ormonde with a special command over the forces destined for the relief of the southern towns, he succeeded on 6 October in throwing fifteen hundred men into Wexford, thereby enabling Synnot to break of his correspondance with Cromwell. A few day later he forced Ireton to raise the siege of Duncannon; but being appointed governor of waterford, with one thousand men to reinforce the garrison, he was refused admittance by the citizens, and 'after several days' dispute marched away.' During the winter he amused himself in his favorite pastime, fox-hunting. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the Leinster forces by Ormonde, whom the exigencies of the situation drove to Limerick early in the following year for the purpose of raising reinforcements 'to attend Cromwell's motions,' and in March 1650 Castlehaven took the field with some four thousand men. Finding himself too weak to assume the offensive, he contended himself with watching Hewson's movements, and indeed managed the wrest Athy out his hands. But after the surrender of Kilkenny to Cromwell on 28 March 1650, he withdrew to the borders of King's County, and in June made an unsuccessful attempt to relieve Tecroghan, which 'was by the confession of all parties, even of the enemy, allowed to be the gallantest action that had been performed since the beginning of the war.'

Afterwards finding it impossible to keep an army together, he granted commission for horse and foot to all that applied for them, whereby, although managing to keep up an appearance of war, he gave to it the character of a freebooting campaign, wich caused as much arm to his own party as to the enemy. Meanwhile, the Lord-Lieutenant, having been foiled in his efforts to recruit his army through the obstinacy of the citizens of Limerick refusing to receive a garrison, and seeing no hope of effecting a compromise with the extreme Irish, had come to the determination to quit the kingdom. Castlehaven did his utmost to combat his resolution, urging him to 'make friendship with the bishops and the nation.' But his overtures were treated with disdain; 'the bishop and the nation' were bent on managing theirs affairs in their own way, and so, having appointed Clanricarde his Lord-deputy and Castlehaven commander-in-chief in the province of Munster and county of Clare, Ormonde sailed from Galway Bay for France in December. The approach of Ireton however, causing the citizens of Limerick somewhat to relax their opposition, they admitted Castlehaven himself 'with the matter of one troup of horse.' The concession enabled him to transport two thousand men into Kerry and clear that county almost entirely of the enemy. Returning for Christmas to Portumna, he early in following year (1651) crossed the shannon into County Tipperary; but the object of the expedition was frustrated by the plundering propensities of his officers, and, being compelled to retreat before Ireton and Broghill, he recrossed the Shannon at Athlone. Failing to prevent Ireton sitting down before Limerick,the capitulation of that city on 27 October, followed by the loss of County Clare, forced him and Clanricarde into Iar Connaught. But, the situation growing daily more desesperate, he was on 10 April despatched by Clanricarde to France for the purpose of soliciting aid to enable the latter to maintain 'a mountain war.'

Reaching Brest after a sharp encounter with an English vessel in the Channel, he posted to Saint Germain, but, failing to obtain the supplies required, he was granted permission to enter the service of the Prince of Condé in the war of the Fronde. Being appointed to the command of a regiment of horse, he was present at the fight in the Faubourg-St- Antoine on 2 July, and, quitting Paris with Condé, he was taken prisoner by Turenne at Comercy. Owing to the intervention of the Duke of York he was shortly afterwards exchanged, and being placed at the head of the Irish regiment in the Spanish service with the rank of Maréchal-de-camp or major-general, he was present at the siege of Rocroy (1653), of Arras (1654), the relief of Valenciennes and the capture of Condé (1656), the siege of St Guislain and the relief of Cambrai (1657), and the battle of the Dunes on 14 June 1658. The peace of the Pyrenees putting an end to the war in the following year (7 November 1659), and Charles II being shortly afterwards restored, he returned to England. But the confiscation of his property by the Commonwealth rendering it impossible to support his dignity, he obtained a grant in September 1660 of all wastes and encroached lands to be discovered by him in the counties of Surrey, Berks, Stafford, Devon, and Cornwall, and either then or subsequently received a pension out of the Irish establishment. On the outbreak of the War with Holland (1665-1667) he served as a volunteer in several naval actions, and in June 1667 landed at Ostend with 2,400 recruits for the old English Regiment, of which he was appointed colonel. His men were used to strengthen the garrison at Nieuport, Lille, Courtrai, Oudenarde, and other places; but, the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (2 mai 1668) putting 'an end to our trouble, for it cannot be called a war,' he shortly afterwards returned to England. Peace being concluded between with Holland and England in 1674, he again repaired abroad, and was present at the battle of Senef on 11 August. He commanded the Spanish foot in 1676, and served in the trenches at Maastricht, 'by much to bloodiest siege that I ever saw.' The following year he was at the siege of Charleroi, and on 14 August 1678 at the battle before Mons; but returning to England after the peace of Nimeguen, he published in 1680 his 'memoirs,' 'from the year 1642 to the year 1651.'

The book, a small octavo volume with a dedication to Charles II, is, on the whole, what it claims to be, a trustworthy account of the War in Ireland from a Catholic-Royalist standpoint. But, being written from memory, it is not wholly free from accidental inaccuracies, while the very biased view taken of the conduct of the lords justicies Parsons and Borlase at the beginning of the rebellion, and of the peace of 1643, renders a circumspect use of it necessary. Appearing as it did during the heat of the 'popish plot,' 'a very unseasonable time,' remarks Carte, 'for reviving or canvasing such a subject,' it was attacked by Arthur Annesley, earl of Anglesey, at that time lord privy seal, in 'A letter from a person of honour in the country,' London, 1681. At Charles II's request, Ormonde replied to Annesley in 'A letter ...in answer to the...Earl of Anglesey...his observations and reflections upon the Earl of Castlehaven's Memoirs,' 12 November 1681. Anglesey retorted in another 'Letter,' 7 December 1681, where upon Ormonde appealed to the Pprivy Council on 17 June 1682 to appoint a committee to examine Anglesey's 'letter.' The matter ended, as it was probably intended it should do, in the dissimal of Anglesey and the transfer of the privy seal to Lord Halifax. The charges prefered by Anglesey were repeated in 'Brief reflections on the Earl of Castlehaven's memoirs,' by Edmund Borlase, London, 1682. In the spring of 1683 it was rumoured that Castlehaven, Lansdowne, and other noblemen intended 'to go as volunteers to the holy war in Hungary'. But he seems to have occupied himself preparing a fresh edition of his 'memoirs,' published in 1685, bringing the narrative down to the peace of Nimeguen. An edition with an anonymous preface by Charles O'Conor, was published at Waterford in 1753, and another at Dublin in 1815.

Castlehaven died at Kilcash, County Tipperary, his sister Butler's house, on 11 October 1684, and was succeeded by his youngest brother Mervyn (the second son, George, a Benedictine monk, being expressly passed over in the act of 1678). Of his three sisters, Frances became the wife of Richard Butler of Kilcash, brother of the Duke Ormonde; Dorothy, the wife of Edmund Butler, son and heir of Lord Mountgarret; and Lucy, the wife of Gerald Fitzmaurice, son of Lord Kerry.
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