History of Kinsalebeg
Fishers of Pilltown


            The Fisher family played a significant role in the life of Kinsalebeg, particularly in the period from 1795 to the latter end of the 19th century. They were mainly associated with the corn milling business in what was known as Pilltown Mills. They also had extensive land holdings in Pilltown and Grange and ran a number of businesses mainly in Youghal but also in other towns such as Dungarvan. The Fishers were members of a religious community collectively known as the Religious Society of Friends but more commonly known as Quakers or Friends. This particular branch of the Fisher family is mainly associated with Youghal and originated when Reuben Fisher Junior (1669/1676-1723), son of a Southwark London surgeon also called Reuben Fisher, came to Youghal in 1692 to visit his sister Martha Laundy nee Fisher and later decided to take up permanent residence in Youghal. The Fishers were an enormously energetic and innovative family who were involved in a myriad of business ventures over the decades ranging from the running of the corn milling business in Pilltown to the establishment of the Munster Express newspaper. A number of these business ventures finished up in financial failure or bankruptcy, as we shall see, but the Fishers were nothing if not resilient and sooner or later a new business would inevitably rise from the ashes of failure. They were also actively involved in the whole area of social justice and philanthropy which arose mainly from their Quaker Christian beliefs. They became involved in a series of movements including famine relief, anti-slavery, aborigine protection, land ownership reform and female emancipation. They were also involved in various aspects of famine relief in the Kinsalebeg and Youghal areas in the 1840s. In the following overview we are focusing primarily on the members of the Fisher family who were involved in Pilltown Mills but we will also attempt to fill in some details of the ancestors and descendants of the Fishers of Pilltown.

Fishers in Pilltown & Summerhill

The Fishers had over 300 acres of land in the Piltown & Summerhill area in the early part of the 19th century. The bulk of the land was in Knocknageragh or Cnoc na gCaorach (“Hill of the Sheep”) which is more commonly known as Summerhill. This is the land on the left hand side of the road just past Pilltown Cross as one drives from Youghal towards Dungarvan. At the time of the completion of Griffith’s Valuation in Waterford in 1863 the Fishers had 282 acres of land in Knocknageragh and there were at least twenty nine houses on this land at that time. Practically all the land and houses were leased out by the Fishers with the exception of around eleven acres which Peter Moor Fisher was leasing from his father Abraham.

The remaining land and property of the Fishers was in Pilltown and was mostly associated with the operation of Fishers Mill. The corn mill itself was located on the left hand side of the road at the base of the side road just above Piltown Church which joins up with the old Kinsalebeg Post Office. The Fisher house, mill, kiln and offices were on a three acre site and there was a small quay to provide cargo access to the Blackwater River and Youghal Bay – there was another quay further along the river inlet towards Pillpark next to the building commonly known as The Cellar. The Cellar and nearby quay were used for storing and shipping corn and other goods for the nearby mill and were also apparently used for storing & shipping of ice blocks from the ice houses in Garranaspick. The quay was also used for shipping bricks from the nearby, shortly lived, brickwork business of the Farrells of Youghal in the early part of the 20th century. The land on which the milling business was being carried out was owned by the Kennedy family (Reps of Sir Charles E. & Sir J. Kennedy Bart) and had a rateable valuation of 41 pounds. The land was previously under lease to Maurice Connery and subsequently his son Deaglan Connery but in 1795 the lease was transferred from Deaglan Connery to Reuben Fisher. This was also the location of Pilltown Castle which we cover elsewhere under the Walshs of Pilltown. The mill ponds and mill race were on the opposite side of the same road and occupied a total of around 17 acres which was also being leased by the Fishers from the Kennedys. 

The land occupied by the mill ponds was the triangular piece of land within the roads from Piltown Church (just above) to Piltown Cross and back to the old Kinsalebeg Post Office.  Within that area were two large mill ponds and one small mill pond. The largest mill pond occupied about 6 acres and was on the left hand side of the road from Piltown Church to Piltown Cross. The second mill pond was on the raised land on the right hand side of the road between Healy’s Pub and Kinsalebeg Post Office and seemed to occupy about four acres. The mill race ran between the two large mill ponds and this water source also ran through the Fisher lands in Summerhill or Knocknageragh. A smaller mill pond was located at the angle of land at Piltown Cross itself. Around 1855 there were over forty houses in total in Pilltown and a large number of them were occupied by people who worked in Fisher’s Mills. Many of these houses are now derelict particularly those on the left hand side of the road between Healy’s Pub and the old Kinsalebeg Post Office. Many of the houses in Pilltown at that time were being leased by Declan Tracy of Pilltown House aka Pilltown Manor to various individuals.

The following Ordnance Survey Map shows the location of the Pilltown Mills and Pilltown Castle from the period 1897 to 1913 when the flour mills had ceased operations. The mill ponds to the right are no longer there at this point. On the left of the map can be seen the part of the Castle Brickworks which were still in operation in this period.

The following Ordnance Survey map shows the Pilltown flour mill and the mill ponds as they were in period 1837 to 1842 when the mill was still in operation.

Overview of Pilltown Mill

The ruins of Fishers Mill can still be seen in Pilltown even though the mill itself ceased production in the latter end of the 19th century. Fishers Mill played a big part in the history of Pilltown, Kinsalebeg in the period up to the latter end of the 19th century. The members of the Fisher family most associated with the milling business in Pilltown were Reuben Fisher, his son Abraham Fisher and Abraham’s son Peter Moor Fisher. On the 24th September 1795 Reuben Fisher took out a lease1 on land and buildings in Pilltown from Deaglan Connery. The lease specified that:

Deaglan Connery did demise unto the said Reuben Fisher all that and those the Mill of Piltown aforesaid with the Mill House & Kiln with a field near the same wherein was there a slated house ...”.  [24th Sept 1795].

The document went on to outline the land which was also included in the lease which covered the grounds of the mill together with the land across the road from the mill where the mill ponds were located. An important point from the lease was that it indicated that the mill and associated mill house and kiln were already in existence at the time of the Connery-Fisher lease in 1795. The overall landlord of the mill land at that time would have been the Kennedy estate who had leased the land to the Tracys and they in turn had sub-leased to the Connerys in the usual complicated way of land dealings in earlier centuries. Deaglan Connery had received the land from his father Maurice Connery in 1792 as outlined in a memorial of an article of intermarriage2 dated 11th Feb 1792. The year 1795 is therefore the earliest recorded reference we have to the Fishers involvement in milling in Pilltown but from other records it is clear that Reuben Fisher was already involved in milling before this date.

Rev Samuel Hayman mentions in his Annals of Youghal for 1778 that: ”1778:- The exports from Youghal in this year, were, Oats 27442 quarters, Wheat 1994 quarters, Barley 1663 quarters, Oatmeal 260 barrels; premium £2307 14s 4d. Reuben Fisher, of Youghal mills, received this year £40 18s 5d for sending 153 cwt. of Flour to Dublin. [Returns to Commons].” It is possible that Reuben Fisher was involved in milling in Pilltown before he took out the 1795 lease but we have no confirmation of this. It would appear however that Reuben Fisher had at least two mills in the vicinity of Youghal in the period around 1800 according to the 1996 book Markets, Market Culture and Popular Protest9. According to the book there were disturbances in the port of Youghal in December 1800 and in the spring of the following year when “Two mills belonging to one merchant, Reuben Fisher, were repeatedly targeted by well-organised crowds up to two hundred strong, armed with keys, who periodically carried off substantial volumes”. The Fishers were still resident in Youghal at this time and travelled from Youghal to Pilltown on a daily basis. Reuben Fisher was the driving force behind Pilltown Mills in the early days and he was subsequently joined by some of his sons including Joseph and Abraham Fisher. Joseph Fisher, son of Reuben & Jenepher Fisher, mentioned in one of his numerous articles that on the 21st March 1813 he was “On my way to Pilltown Mill this morning etc”.

A government supported excavation of Pilltown in 20073 stated that the “current mill buildings are likely to be late 19th-century in date”. It also indicates that “Cartographic sources suggest that a medieval mill may have existed within the area of the development site”. The mills at Piltown were certainly in operation much earlier than “the late 19th century” indicated in this report with the Fisher involvement going back to the late 18th century (1795) at least. The mill was definitely not in operation towards the end of the 19th century as the Fisher’s had run into serious financial difficulties as far back as the 1850s and any later references to the mill indicated that they were going into decay or already in ruins after this time. The following is a summary of the above 2007 excavation report3 as recorded on www.excavations.ie website:

The site at Pilltown Mill, Pilltown, Kinsalebeg, is within the zone of archaeological potential for a ‘castle site’. Planning permission was sought for the renovation of a flourmill building to a dwelling house. Cartographic sources suggest that a medieval mill may have existed within the area of the development site; the current mill buildings are likely to be late 19th-century in date. Seven test-trenches were excavated on the footprint of the development by machine. A single pit was recorded in one of the trenches. It was recommended that the site be monitored during construction works and that the mill-race be left in situ.”

There are references to the presence of a medieval mill in Pilltown at least as far back as the 16th/17th century to the time of the famous Walshs of Pilltown. The Walshs had a castle within metres of the mill site from the early part of the 17th century before it was destroyed during the 1641 rebellion. The 1654-1655 Civil Survey of Waterford has the following reference to Pilltown:

upon wch standeth an old battered Castle with a large bawne, good habitation and a mill worth £10 by ye yeare” [1654-1655].

Structure and Scale of Pilltown Mills

We get a good feel for the scale of  Fishers Mill in Pilltown from the description of the mill in the auction documents when all Abraham Fisher’s property were put up for auction via the Landed Estates Court in 1865 due to financial difficulties. The mills were capable of handling the milling of wheat and Indian corn. It was capable of being operated by both water and steam with the steam engine being primarily used as auxiliary power. It was capable of processing about five hundred barrels of wheat and about fifty tons of Indian corn per week. It contained in total six pairs of French mill stones with five of these being used for wheat milling and the sixth for milling the Indian corn. There were also two silk dressing machines (24 feet long) and two barrel screens for cleaning the wheat and an additional two barrel screens for cleaning the Indian corn. The water wheel was made from iron and was a massive 40 feet in diameter and from a technical point of view was capable of operating as both an overshot and a breastshot wheel (see below for explanation). The storage capacity at the mill was about 3,000 barrels of corn. Boats know as lighters were used to discharge wheat and corn directly to the mill and also to transport milled flour to/from nearby ports such as Youghal, Cappoquin, Dungarvan, Lismore etc and further afield. It was possible for boats to discharge their cargo at the mill and return to the Blackwater and Youghal Bay on the same tide. In addition to the mill and storage premises there was also a large dwelling house on or close to the site consisting of two sitting rooms, five bedrooms, kitchen, pantries etc and an enclosed garden. Pilltown Mill was a big mill by any standards with a capability of processing close to 100 tons per week between wheat and Indian corn. At approximate corn rates in the 1840 to 1850 period we are probably taking about a mill with a turnover in excess of 100,000 pounds sterling per annum. If we roughly equated this to today’s currency then we would be talking about a mill with a turnover in excess of 10 million euro per annum.

Pilltown Mill water wheel operation

A water wheel is the mechanism for converting the energy of free-flowing or falling water into power which was then used to turn the millstones which ground the corn into flour. In the case of Pilltown Mill this consisted of a massive metal wheel 40 feet in diameter, with a number of blades or buckets arranged on the outside rim forming the driving surface. The wheel itself would have been mounted vertically on a horizontal axle. Vertical wheels can transmit power to the mill machinery either through the axle or via a ring gear and typically drive belts or gears. In Pilltown Mills the water power was capable of driving six pairs of milling stones for grinding the corn. The circular mill stones were typically four to five feet in diameter and usually about 12 to 15 inches thick at the circumference or skirt and 15 to 18 inches thick at the centre with an overall weight of over 2400 pounds per stone. The stones were horizontal pairs with a static lower stone and an upper or runner stone which turned in a circular motion under the power generated by the water wheel. The upper millstone could be raised or lowered to adjust the gap in between the millstones as different heights were required for different grades of flour or different types of grain. The upper millstone had a round hole in the centre of approximately 10 inches diameter through which the corn was fed for milling. Different batches of wheat were blended or gristed together to make a mix capable of producing flour of the required quality. This process of being able to use various types of corn to produce a specific type of flour led to the proverb "all is grist for the mill" meaning "everything can be made useful, or be a source of profit or added value”.

The millstones used in Pilltown Mills were known as French stones or French Burr stones. These were probably the best and most popular stone ever discovered for grinding wheat into white flour. These millstones were freshwater quartz and were quarried mainly in Northern France. French stones apparently produced whiter flour from wheat because of the extremely hard nature of the stone which was far less abrasive than any other stone used. Water wheels were still in commercial use well into the 20th century, but they are no longer in common use now. Prior uses of water wheels include milling flour in gristmills and grinding wood into pulp for paper making, but other uses include foundry work and machining, and pounding linen for use in the manufacture of paper.

Some water wheels are fed by water from a mill pond, which is formed when a flowing stream is dammed and this was the case in Pilltown Mills. The stream ran down through the Fisher land in Summerhill into the mill ponds and from there via the millrace on to the water wheel. A channel for the water flowing to or from the water wheel is called the millrace or simply a "race", and is customarily divided into sections. The race bringing water from the mill pond to the water wheel is a headrace; the one carrying water after it has left the wheel is commonly referred to as a tailrace. The main difficulty of water wheels is their dependence on flowing water, which limits where they can be located. In Pilltown the water power was also backed up by an auxiliary steam power system. Modern hydroelectric dams can be viewed as the descendants of the water wheel as they too take advantage of the movement of water downhill.

The water wheel in Pilltown Mills could operate as either an overshot wheel or a breastshot wheel. A vertically-mounted water wheel that is rotated by falling water striking paddles, blades or buckets near the top of the wheel is said to be overshot. In true overshot wheels the water passes over the top of the wheel. A typical overshot wheel has the water channelled to the wheel at the top and slightly beyond the axle. The water collects in the buckets on that side of the wheel, making it heavier than the other "empty" side. The weight turns the wheel, and the water flows out into the tail-water when the wheel rotates enough to invert the buckets. The overshot design can use all of the water flow for power and does not require rapid flow. Unlike undershot wheels, overshot wheels gain a double advantage from gravity. Not only is the force of the flowing water partially transferred to the wheel, the weight of the water descending in the wheel's buckets also imparts additional energy. The mechanical power derived from an overshot wheel is determined by the wheel's physical size and the available head, so they are ideally suited to hilly or mountainous country. On average, the undershot wheel uses 22 percent of the energy in the flow of water, while an overshot wheel uses 63 percent, as calculated by English civil engineer John Smeaton in the 18th century. Overshot wheels demand exact engineering and significant head, which usually means significant investment in constructing a dam, millpond and waterways. Sometimes the final approach of the water to the wheel is along a lengthy flume or penstock.

A breastshot wheel is a vertically-mounted water wheel that is rotated by falling water striking buckets near the centre of the wheel's edge, or just above it. Apparently the mill wheel in Pilltown was capable of operating as either an overshot wheel or a breastshot wheel. Breastshot wheels are less efficient than overshot wheels but more efficient than undershot wheels. The individual blades of a breastshot wheel are actually buckets, as are those of most overshot wheels, and not simple paddles like those of most undershot wheels. A breastshot wheel requires a good trash rake which prevents water borne debris such as logs entering the mill wheel and typically has a masonry apron closely conforming to the wheel face, which helps contain the water in the buckets as they progress downwards. Breastshot wheels are preferred for steady, high-volume water flows. Presumably seasonal issues and weather were the main factors determining whether the overshot or breastshot system was being used at any given time in Pilltown Mills. In any case the combination of these two methods together with the steam based auxiliary power meant that Pilltown Mills could be kept in production at all times regardless of water flow.

Pilltown Mills was a massive operation by any standards in comparison with most of the flour mills operating at the time.  The sheer size of the mill wheel at 40 feet diameter together with the six pairs of millstones give some indication of the scale of the milling operation being run by the Fishers in Pilltown in the 19th century. The above section describing the operation of the water wheel in Pilltown Mills uses some technical material from a Wikipedia article4 on water wheels.



Fisher family background

The following is a summary of the history of the Fisher family who played a prominent role in Pilltown Kinsalebeg life in the period from the 1700s to the latter end of the 1800s. The general published story of Fisher family involvement in the Youghal area usually starts with the visit of a Reuben Fisher to Youghal in 1692 to visit his sister Martha. The Fishers were a well known London family and some members of the extended family were knighted including Sir Edward Fisher of Mickleton & London, Sir Thomas Fisher of Islington & Sir Clement Fisher. Sir Clement Fisher (1613-1683) was a 2nd Baronet and an English politician who was an MP in the House of Commons from 1661 to 1679. He married the royalist heroine Jane Lane in 1662.  She was famous for her heroic bravery in helping Charles II escape to France after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. They escaped on horseback with Charles II disguised as a servant of Jane Lane as they rode to Bristol. Charles II eventually arrived at Brighton where he escaped to France on the brig Surprise. Charles II was exiled for nine years and during that period encountered members of the Roch family who helped him out financially. The Rochs were ancestors of the Roch family of Woodbine Hill and were in exile because of their support of the Jacobites during the 1641 rebellion. The Roch family received little or no support from Charles II when he was restored to the throne in 1660 but Lady Jane Fisher nee Lane received a pension of 1000 pounds a year and many other gifts.

The Reuben Fisher Jnr who came to Youghal about 1692 was a son of Reuben Snr & Joan Fisher nee Howe and his parents were living in Tooley Street, South Southwark London at that time. It has been generally assumed that Reuben Snr & Joan Fisher were both born in London and this is most likely to be correct. Reuben Fisher Snr was a practicing surgeon in Southwark in the latter part of the 17th century. It is generally accepted that Reuben Fisher Jnr (1669 -1723), son of the Southwark London surgeon Reuben Fisher Snr and his wife Joan, came to Youghal about 1692 to visit his sister Martha Laundy nee Fisher who was living there at the time.  Martha Fisher had become an active Quaker during her time in Youghal and Reuben soon developed an interest in Quakerism when he started attending the Quaker Society of Friends meetings with his sister. At that time these Friends Province Meetings took place in Cork city.

Reuben Fisher Jnr went back to Southwark to finalise arrangements for settling in the Youghal area and returned finally to Ireland in 1701 bringing with him testimonials from Quaker Friends in London. Reuben Fisher Jnr was accepted into the Quaker community in Ireland when he came back in 1701 and this was in essence the start of the Fisher family association with Youghal and Pilltown. After the death of her husband Jeremiah Laundy, Martha Fisher married another Quaker John Dobbs (1656-1739) who hailed from Castle Dobbs in Carrickfergus Antrim but who was now living in Youghal. Reuben Fisher Jnr married Margaret Shute (1678-1739), who was also a Quaker. Their son Joseph Fisher (1718-1791) set up a hosiery business in Youghal having originally worked as a chemist in Limerick.  Joseph married firstly Sarah Dennis and secondly Elizabeth (Betty) Hillary. Reuben Fisher the 3rd was a son of the second marriage of Joseph Fisher to Betty Hillary and was born on the 13th November 1753. This Reuben married Jenepher Abell in 1777– the Abells were a prominent and very active Quaker family in Cork city. Reuben (the 3rd) and Jenepher Fisher had eleven children including Abraham and Joseph Fisher who will form part of our history of Fishers Mill in Pilltown. This Reuben Fisher became heavily involved in the corn and milling business and started his milling operation in Pilltown Kinsalebeg Co Waterford around 1795.

Reuben Fisher (1753 to 1808)

Reuben Fisher 3rd was a son of Joseph Fisher and Elizabeth Hillary. He started the Fisher milling business in Pilltown around 1795 when he took out a lease5 of the Pilltown land including an existing mill from Deaglan Connery. The deed of lease between Deaglan Connery of Pilltown and Reuben Fisher of Youghal stated that:

Deaglan Connery did demise unto the said Reuben Fisher all that and those the Mill of Pilltown aforesaid with the Mill House and Kiln with a field near the same wherein was a slated house ...”.

Reuben Fisher died on 18th January 1808 and in his will, dated 1807, he left his estate as follows. His eldest son Joseph inherited the lands of Lehinche and Kilmucklin in what was then King’s County (Offaly) and also the lands of Coolcor in Meath/Westmeath area.  Joseph also inherited the lease of the premises in Youghal which were held by fee farm lease from Arthur & Anne Hyde. In addition Joseph inherited “a dwelling house in Bow Street Youghal [later Ashe Street] together with yard, gardens, house, tenements and appurtenances” which was being leased from Samuel Freeman. Abraham Fisher inherited the holdings and tenements in what was known as Dobbs’s Holding Youghal which were being leased from John Magrath and Uniacke Ronayne. Abraham also inherited the dwelling house in which his father Reuben had previously lived but which in 1807 was the residence of Deborah Harris. This dwelling house was in what was sometimes known as Hendrick’s tenement and this property included another house in which Elizabeth Broderick was residing at the time of Reuben Fisher’s will in 1807. The profits & rents of Reuben Fisher’s property in Pilltown was left to both his sons Joseph & Abraham Fisher commencing on the 29th September 1813 and for the preceding five year period the profits & rents were to go to Reuben’s estate in order to pay off any debts on his estate. In the event of either Joseph or Abraham dying without issue the Pilltown estate was to go to the surviving brother and his descendants.

Reuben Fisher bequeathed property and annuities to his five surviving daughters namely Deborah, Jenepher, Betty, Anne and Mary Fisher - two other daughters, also named Elizabeth and Mary, had died in their infancy together with a son named Reuben. The five surviving daughters inherited “those houses and tenements in Meeting House Lane [Youghal] which I purchased an interest from William Taylor and which are held by lease from Thomas Green”. They also inherited any lands, houses and tenements which Reuben Fisher was to inherit as part of the estate of his wife Jenepher Abell who died in the year of his will in 1807.  The five daughters additionally inherited “houses, lands and tenements situated on Shandon Castle Hill in the North suburbs of the City of Cork which were purchased from the representatives of the late Richard Abell” and also “lands near the North Commons of Youghal which I purchased from Richard Uniacke.” The five daughters were also to be paid an annuity or yearly sum of twenty pound each which was to come from a trust coming out of the income of another estate in what appears to be the lands of Ballycurriguiry? and North Spittle land of Legard ?. The actual land outlined in this last estate was bequeathed to Joseph and Abraham Fisher who were responsible for the operation of the trust.  The two brothers were also to receive any other parts of the estate of Reuben Fisher not covered above and were also appointed joint executors of the will of their father. Reuben Fisher died in 1808 and his eldest son Joseph died in 1816 which left Abraham Fisher as the eventual inheritor of the quite large estate of his father.

There were some issues relating to the part of the Reuben Fisher estate concerning the lands in Lehinche and Kilmucklin in the midlands which led to some legal discussions in later years. These lands had been inherited initially by Joseph Fisher, the father of Reuben 3rd, after his marriage to Betty Hillary who was one of the five Hillary daughters to jointly inherit the estate of Henry Hillary. The sisters decided not to split up the land of Lehinche and Kilmucklin into five distinct land holdings but ran it as a sort of cooperative with equal shares in the revenue generated from rents etc. This was to cause considerable difficulty in later years as the daughters died and the estate had to split up amongst the surviving sisters and/or their heirs

Abraham Fisher (1783-1871)

Abraham Fisher (1783-1871) & Jane Moor Fisher (1789-1877):

Abraham Fisher, son of Reuben & Jenepher Fisher of Springfield Youghal was born in Youghal on 22nd August 1783 (some records indicate he was born in 1785) and died in Neath, Wales on 10th August 1871. His main occupation was that of miller even though like most of the Fishers he was involved in a number of ventures. In addition to his work in the area of corn, milling and butter Abraham was also an insurance agent for the West of England Insurance Company. He was also an insurance agent for the Friends Provident life insurance company who at that time dealt exclusively with Quakers (also known as Friends). Friends Provident Institution was founded as a mutual Friendly Society for Quakers and was directly linked to the Quaker Religious Society of Friends. In 1824 Abraham was listed as a corn merchant at North Main Street Youghal and in 1846 was also listed as an insurance agent in Youghal. Thoms Directory of 1852 has the following entries for Abraham Fisher in Youghal area: (a) Treasurer of Bridge Commissioners (b) Trustee of the Loan Fund for the accommodation of poor and industrious persons (c) Insurance agency for West of England life insurance company (d) Insurance agent for Patriotic Fire and Life insurance company (e) Secretary of the Protestant Relief Society (f) President of the 1831 Temperance Society.  The 1856 directories also listed him as a fire & office agent in Youghal. Abraham Fisher was very highly regarded as a philanthropist and was involved in numerous charities and charitable acts during his time in Youghal and Pilltown. He played a key role in the development of the Pilltown Mills which he took over from his father in the early 1800s. 

Abraham Fisher married Jane Moor around 1806.  She was a daughter of Quaker parents, Peter Moor (d. 1836) and Sarah Chamberlain (1748-1821), and they had a total of seventeen children. We will later cover in greater detail the lives of four of these children namely Peter Moor Fisher, Joseph Fisher, James Abell Fisher and Anna Maria Haslam nee Fisher. Shortly after his marriage Abraham Fisher accompanied fellow Quakers John and Sarah Grubb in their religious visit to Scotland and they often subsequently spoke of the help and comfort he was to them; he also accompanied William Forster on his journey through Connaught. Abraham Fisher and Jane Moor were married for over 65 years and during that time they had a big influence on life in the Pilltown and Youghal area. Abraham Fisher died at Neath, Wales on the 10th August 1871, aged eighty seven years of age having emigrated there after the failure of his businesses in Pilltown & Youghal. Abraham Fisher’s wife Jane Fisher nee Moor was very much the matriarch of the extended Fisher family and left over 100 descendants when she died in 1877.   

An interesting story is told by Carmel Quinlan in her book Genteel Revolutionaries6 in which she describes how Jane Moor’s father Peter Moor arrived in Youghal. Peter Moor left Yorkshire to come to Ireland but on the way he was press-ganged on board a man-of-war with the purpose of forcing him to do military service. Press-gangs were a form of “recruitment agency” in past centuries whose purpose was to locate youths and men suitable for military service. Needless to say you were not requested to sit a formal interview for the press-gangs and the selection process normally involved touring the pubs or meeting places in the local town or seaport and dragging potential candidates out by the ears and tossing them into the back of a horse drawn carriage. Peter Moor ran into one such press-gang on his way to Ireland.  He informed them that he was a Quaker and a pacifist and would be completely unsuitable for any form of military service.  When intimidating tactics failed to get him to “change his mind” they eventually gave up on him. He was robbed of all his possessions and thrown off the boat somewhere along the Kerry coast, where he was picked up by locals and in his own words where “Irish peasants treated him with great kindness”. He found his way to Cork where Quaker Friends helped him and found him employment. He later married a Quaker named Sarah Chamberlain and they eventually settled in the Youghal area.

Jane Moor was the first of two daughters of Peter Moor and Sarah Chamberlain. Her younger sister died when she was a year old. Jane Moor was a member of the Society of Friends Quaker movement and attended Quaker meetings in both Youghal and Cork all her life. She was apparently a great neighbour to the poor inhabitants in the Youghal area. She was involved in a range of movements including the temperance movement, anti-slavery movement and of course the famine relief activities which seemed to involve all the Fisher family at one stage or another. Jane Moor Fisher gave birth to seventeen children in the twenty two year period between the birth of Jenepher Fisher on the 24th February 1808 and Rebecca Fisher who was born on 7th October 1830. Three of the children died before they reached their second birthday (Abraham the 1st, Richard and Rebecca). Four other children died between 1844 and 1848 (Jenepher, Sarah, Susannah and James Abell) when they were in their twenties or thirties and another child Charlotte died in 1837 aged 19 years. In total at least eight of the children died before they reached thirty six years of age. Neither her many pregnancies or the rearing of her large family provided an obstacle to Jane Moor Fisher in her activities in the Quaker movement or in her myriad of outside interests.

Note: Jane Fisher received an award in 1833 in Youghal for her work in the movement for the abolition of slavery. Part of her award was a set of crockery which was donated to the Quaker Library in London by one of her descendants and still on display there [see image above].

Jane Moor instilled in her children the attitudes, doctrines and work ethic of the Quaker movement as can be seen by the activities of her children over the years. Abraham & Jane Fisher emigrated to Wales sometime between 1867 and 1871 after an eventful period in Ireland. Their various business ventures were in financial disarray including Pilltown Mills and their property had been largely taken over by the Landed Estates Court which was the 19th century equivalent of the present day NAMA. Their son Peter Moor Fisher & family had already emigrated to Wales before this time. Jane Moor Fisher died in 1877 at the age of eighty eight six years after the death of her husband Abraham who had died in Neath Wales in 1871. Abraham Fisher did not leave a will but probate was granted to his widow Jane on the 4th August 1871. Jane herself left a will dated 1871 in which the beneficiaries included her son Peter Moor and her daughter Anna Maria Haslam.

Peter Moor Fisher (1808-1899)

Peter Moor Fisher was born on 15th November 1808 (or 1809). He was the second child and the eldest son of the seventeen children of Abraham & Jane Fisher of Pilltown Mills. Peter Moor Fisher, like his ancestors, had a lifelong active involvement in the Quaker movement. He took over the running of Pilltown Mills from his father even though Abraham Fisher was still the owner of the mill. He married Margaret Fayle in 1835 who was the daughter of Thomas and Margaret Fayle of Dublin. Peter Moor Fisher and his family moved permanently to Pilltown in 1844 and the family lived in the dwelling house at the mill site from that point onwards. Peter Moor Fisher and his family were very much in the mould of his parents and became heavily involved in charitable work in the local Pilltown area. During the famine period the Fishers set up several soup kitchens in the Pilltown area and the family were generally involved in famine relief.  The Fishers were apparently one of the first to import Indian corn into the area as an additional food source for the starving. The fearful sufferings of the people during the famine left an indelible imprint on Peter Moor Fisher and in later years he used recall the many painful incidents he encountered including mothers offering their children for sale in lieu of bread.

The Fishers also started a school in Pilltown in which subjects were taught through the medium of both Irish and English. The actual location of the school in Pilltown is not clear but it is also mentioned in Richard Harrison’s very detailed book titled A Biographical Dictionary of Irish Quakers7. Peter Moor Fisher was highly regarded in the milling business and was heavily involved in the Corn Market in Cork where he frequently acted as arbiter in disputes between corn merchants. Apparently quite a lot of the wheat for the milling business in Pilltown was imported from the Black Sea to supplement local produce. Peter Moor Fisher was also involved in the international peace movement and was a regular Irish delegate at peace and disarmament conferences in Ireland and abroad including London, Frankfurt (1850), Brussels (1848) and Paris (1849).  He met the great French writer Victor Marie Hugo (1802-1885) when he visited Paris in 1849. Hugo was author of the novel Notre-Dame de Paris (1831), better known internationally as the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, and went on to write the famous novel Les Misérables some years later in 1862.

According to commercial directories of the time Peter Moor Fisher was involved in the following enterprises in 1846. He had a milling business at Pilltown Mills in Kinsalebeg, he was a baker, corn merchant and butter merchant at 71 North Main Street in Youghal and also had a bakery in Blackpool Street, Dungarvan. In 1856 the same businesses were in existence but he had also opened a bakery on the Main Street in Lismore. The 1852 Thom’s Directory listed Peter Moore Fisher as a Bridge Commissioner in Youghal and he was also listed as a Treasurer of the Infirmary, Dispensary and Fever Hospital. 

Peter Moor Fisher’s first wife, Margaret, died in 1851 and a few months later the youngest of their six children died at two years of age. He fell into bad health at this time and it was recommended that he should travel in order to recuperate. He initially went to America in 1853 mainly to buy corn and wheat. A few years later in 1856 he went back to America and this time stayed for a considerable period visiting New York, Philadelphia, Niagara Falls, Chicago, New Orleans and many other locations. He undertook a thousand mile trip up the Mississippi river and was apparently appalled by the treatment of slaves he encountered on his trip. He also undertook trips to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Palestine and Egypt and recalled in later years that he was the first man to visit the Pyramids without carrying a gun. Instead he apparently recited the 103rd Psalm while on one of the pyramids. Peter Moor Fisher secondly married Rachel Rowntree on 13th September 1860. Rachel Rowntree was a daughter of Isaac & Sarah Rowntree of Bradford in Yorkshire and the wedding took place in the Friends’ meeting house in Wicklow. The marriage notification mentioned “Peter Moor Fisher of Moorsvilla near Youghal” – we assume Moorsvilla was the name of his house in Pilltown but this is one of the few occasions where Moorsvilla was mentioned. The marriage certificate itself gave his residence as Moors’ Villa Co. of Waterford and Rachel Rowntree’s residence as Wicklow.

On the 18th July 1861 Charlotte Fisher, daughter of Peter Moor Fisher and Margaret Fayle of Moorsvilla, Co Waterford, married Henry Rowntree son of Isaac & Sarah Rowntree of Bradford at Friends Meeting-House in Youghal. This meant that Peter Moor Fisher was both brother-in-law and father to his daughter Charlotte. On 20th January 1863 a daughter Florence Mary Fisher was born to Rachel and Peter Moor Fisher. Peter Moor Fisher’s business went into bankruptcy and the family emigrated to Wales where they were later joined by his parents Abraham & Jane Fisher. A listing of bankrupt people in the Blackburn Standard newspaper of 25th Feb 1863 included “Peter Moor Fisher, miller, Youghal Co Cork”. The Fishers were nothing if not resilient and, despite still being involved in the windup of his bankrupt Irish milling business, Peter Moor Fisher had in the meantime started another business in Hunslet Leeds. This was a flint glass manufacturing business trading under the name Hunslet Flint Glass Company. Unfortunately this venture also went into bankruptcy fairly quickly and a bankruptcy notice for the company appeared as early as April 1865. In 1876 Peter Moor Fisher’s occupation in Wales was stated to be agent and farmer. The farm he ran was called Talefedw Farm which was in Coedfrank near Neath in Wales. Charles Smithson Fisher, a son of Peter Moor and Rachel Fisher, died in Talefedw Neath in February 1879 at the age of seventeen years. Peter Moor Fisher died on 25th June 1899 in Talyfedw Neath at the age of ninety one years after a long and eventful life. He left a will dated 22nd December 1898 and probate was granted to three of his daughters. The farm at Talyfedw was left to two of his daughters. Peter Moor Fisher and his family had contributed significantly to life in Pilltown for a large period of his life and had made a significant contribution towards alleviating the devastating effects of the famine of the 1840s for which he and his family should not be forgotten. There is little doubt that his lifelong involvement in social issues had a detrimental effect on his business ventures but for that he deserves much credit.

Joseph Fisher (1816-1882)

Joseph Fisher was another son of Abraham and Jane Fisher nee Moor and was born on 18th November 1816. He received the greater part of his education in the Quaker Newtown School in Waterford City like many of the Fishers. Joseph Fisher was a keen businessman like most of the Fishers but some of his early business ventures were not a success. In an 1846 trade directory he was listed as a tallow chandler, an oil & colourman and a bookseller & stationer all at 75 North Main Street Youghal. The tallow chandler business was making candles from tallow and the oil & colourman business involved the mixing of oils, paints and colour mixing of paints. He also started a flax milling business. He ran into financial difficulties and a Commission of Bankruptcy was issued against him around 1848. The Quaker religion had a serious issue with bankruptcy or any dishonourable business practices and frequently disowned any of their members who owed money until they had discharged their debts. Joseph Fisher was expelled from the Quaker movement at a Cork Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends on 6th December 1849 as a result of his bankruptcy. Details of his expulsion are covered later in this document. Joseph Fisher was listed as a town commissioner of Youghal in Thom’s Directory of 1852.

Joseph Fisher married firstly Anna O’Brien, daughter of Daniel O’Brien, on 23rd August 1843. Daniel O’Brien was married to Mary Greeves and some of the children of Joseph & Anna Fisher carried Greeves as a second name. Joseph & Anna Fisher had six children:

(1)   Mary Greeves died in infancy.

(2)   John Greeves (Greevz) married his first cousin Jenepher Moor Fisher, daughter of her father’s brother Peter Moor Fisher of Pilltown Mills. John Greeves (Greevz) Fisher emigrated and died in Leeds in 1931.

(3)   Edward Alexander,

(4)    Susanna married Tom Gale.

(5)    Anna was born 1849 and died in Canada in 1908 (unmarried).

(6)    Mary Josephina was born 1851 and died 1929.

John Greeves Fisher, more commonly known as “Greevz” Fisher, was the eldest son of Joseph & Anna Fisher. He was born in Youghal in 1845 but spent most of his life in Leeds where he died in 1931. He was very much in the mould of his Fisher ancestors with an inquisitive mind and a wide range of interests. He wrote numerous articles on topics as diverse as illegitimacy and taxation. His writings included articles such as “The Power of Government over Value”, “Voluntary Taxation” and “Free Trade in Banking”. He founded the Parents Defence League in protest against the compulsory attendance of children at school. He was an active man until late in life and was a keen long distance cyclist into his eighties. A detailed biography10 of Greevz Fisher has been written by one of his descendants, William Hudson, which describes his colourful life.

Anna Fisher nee O’Brien, Joseph Fisher’s first wife, died in 1853 and in 1855 Joseph Fisher married Myra Eleanora Garrow who was the daughter of Church of Ireland clergyman Rev. David Garrow. This particular Fisher line seemed to be mainly Church of Ireland from that time onwards even though Joseph Fisher never strayed too much from his Quaker upbringing. Correspondence between the Waterford and Cork Monthly Meetings in February 1855 indicated that there was uncertainty as to whether Joseph Fisher was raising his children as Quakers. He had informed them that he wished the children to remain members of the Cork MM (Monthly Meeting) but he also apparently indicated that he was bringing them to “public worship” which meant that he brought them to the Church of Ireland services that he was attending himself since he was disowned by the Quakers.

Note: Rockmills Lodge aka Rockmills House was the residence of Myra Eleanor Green nee Garrow when she married Joseph Fisher in February 1855. This is located in the Parish of St. Natlash aka St. Nicholas aka Rockmills in Cloyne diocese.  It is close to the Kildorrery and Castletownroche area of North Cork in the townland of Ballynahallisk. It is not clear why Myra Eleanor Green was living there in 1855 but may have been connected with her deceased husband Roger Green.  Dr. Roger Green was the first husband of Myra Eleanor Garrow and she was his third wife when they married on the 8th December 1846. Rockmills House, formerly Rockmills Lodge, was built by Col. Richard Aldworth in 1776 as a shooting and fishing lodge. It was subsequently occupied by Charles D. Oliver and enlarged by him in 1820 and the Oliver family appeared to own the house until the early 1900s.

 Myra Eleanora Garrow was a daughter of Rev David Garrow and a grand niece of Sir William Garrow, also known as Judge William Garrow. Sir William Garrow was over a period Solicitor General, Attorney General and Baron of the Exchequer for England and Wales.  He had a long term relationship with a Sarah Dore and they had two children namely David William Garrow born 15th April 1781 and Eliza Sophie Garrow born 18th June 1784.  William Garrow and Sarah Dore later married on 17th March 1793. David William Garrow went on to obtain a Doctor of Divinity degree at Christ Church Oxford and became a chaplain to the Prince of Wales. In addition to his many high powered legal positions Sir William Garrow is probably best known as one of the prime reformers in changing the British legal system from an advocacy system to an adversarial court system which is used in most common law countries to the present time. He was responsible for the phrase “innocent until proven guilty”.

The key business venture in Joseph Fisher’s life was the establishment of the Munster Express newspaper in 1860 at New Street in Waterford City. He had already taken over ownership of the Waterford Mail in 1853 from the previous proprietor Richard Henderson. The Waterford Mail had been founded 30 years earlier and Joseph Fisher ran both newspapers simultaneously for many years. He was listed in the 1856 Slater trade directory as a proprietor of the Mail newspaper at 3 Exchange Place Waterford. The Waterford Mail was essentially a Waterford city paper and up until the time it was taken over by Joseph Fisher it would have been considered a very conservative Unionist type publication. Under Joseph Fisher it moved away from its conservative leanings and also became a daily publication. Joseph Fisher founded the Munster Express to cater for a more broad based rural and agricultural community than the primarily city focused Waterford Mail. Even though Joseph Fisher was no longer officially a Quaker it is obvious from his editorial writings in the Munster Express that he was still very much a Quaker at heart with his focus on land reform, dislike of the class structure, lack of sympathy with the “ascendancy” and his overall philanthropic nature.

The Munster Express was the ideal forum for Joseph Fisher to get his strongly held views across to the general public. He was not popular amongst the ascendancy or big landlord classes due to his land agitation activities and his nationalistic views. In later years one of his sons, Harry David Fisher, wrote an article in which he outlined his recollection of seeing his father together with Charles Stewart Parnell and Joseph Biggar at a meeting in the Munster Express offices where they were drawing up draft details of requirements for a Land Bill. These were the basis of the Land Acts which were subsequently introduced in Ireland to allow peasant or tenant ownership of land. Joseph Fisher was a great believer in the freedom of the press and never relented in his exposure of corruption in all areas of society. He was elected President of the Provincial Press Association of Britain and Ireland and was heavily involved in campaigns to amend libel laws which he felt were often used to protect the guilty. He appeared in the House of Lords in 1863 where he put in an appeal for a fairer taxation system for Ireland. He also became a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1875.

Joseph Fisher died on 23rd November 1882 and was buried in the Church of Ireland cemetery in Tramore. After his death his sons William Garrow (W.G) Fisher and Harry David (H.D) Fisher took over ownership of the Munster Express and Waterford Mail newspapers which they also edited. They carried on their father’s mission in the area of land reform and were supporters of Parnell and the Land League.

Joseph Fisher (1816-1882) and land reform

Joseph Fisher played a significant role in discussions on the whole area of land reform and it is worth summarising his activities in this area. The latter half of the 19th century was a period of extensive change in Irish agriculture. It was a period where there were big reductions on the numbers working on the land. This was coupled with periods of big increases in agricultural production often followed by periods of decline in agricultural output. There was also a general decline in the amount of tillage in most counties with the exception of counties like Waterford in the south of the country. A lot of farmers focused on the production of beef and butter for the English market. The most significant change in agriculture in the latter end of the 19th century and start of the 20th century was the change in land ownership whereby increasingly farmers became owners of their own land as distinct from leasing land from the big landlords.  The extremely wet summer of 1879 was somewhat of a watershed year in Irish agriculture. It was a disastrous year for agricultural output in general but the potato crop was also a failure with production down by over 50% on the previous year. The big famine of the 1840s was still a recent memory for most Irish people and the threat of another famine spurred a lot of Irish farmers into organised action and agitation.

Joseph Fisher who was at that point proprietor of both the Munster Express and the Waterford Mail and Daily Telegraph played a leading role in developments in the agricultural area in Waterford in this period. He had written a number of books on the whole area of the “land question” in Ireland including his “History of Landholding in Ireland”. He was also a member of the Central Tenants Defence Association which served as an umbrella association for the emerging Farmers’ Clubs at national level. An editorial in the Munster Express by Joseph Fisher at that time outlined that landlords should also shoulder the burden of decreased agricultural output by reducing their rents. In May 1879 a meeting was convened in Kilmacthomas with the purpose of discussing the formation of a Farmers’ Club for Waterford and amongst the organisers was Joseph Fisher who spoke for a period about the history of Irish land ownership and in particular the role of the big landlords. He also spoke about the increasing European trend of farmer and peasant ownership of land. The big landlords were naturally suspicious of the whole idea of Farmers Clubs and did not attend the meeting even though at a general level the big Waterford landlords such as the Duke of Devonshire, De La Poer Power, Beresfords, Villiers Stuart had a reasonably good reputation amongst their tenants at that time. The meeting decided to establish the County of Waterford Central Independent Farmers’ Club with the aim of reducing land rents by 15%, fixed tenures, an arbitration process for rent disputes and a right of sale/purchase of land. Later in 1879 the Central Tenants Defence Association and the Farmers’ Clubs were persuaded to amalgamate with Parnell’s Irish National Land League. The stated policy of the Land League was not only the immediate reduction of rents, also a key issue of the Farmers’ Clubs, but also had a stated aim that land ownership should be passed to the occupiers of the land. This of course put the landlords on red alert and from that point onwards they were actively hostile to the whole process of Farmers’ Clubs and the Land League.

The Munster Express and associated newspapers of Joseph Fisher continued to promote and encourage the whole process of land reform with regular articles and coverage of events surrounding the land issue. Joseph Fisher was the Waterford delegate at the inaugural meeting of the Farmers’ Alliance in London on 2nd July 1879. His lengthy speech in London was published in the Munster Express. Joseph Fisher was also a strong defender of farm labourers as there were some in the Farmers’ Club who felt that the earnings of farm labourers should also be reduced even though 10s a week was hardly a comfortable income for a family. Later in 1879 the Munster Express published a list of landlords in the Waterford area who had reduced their rents with an added comment that it was disappointing to see so few Waterford landlords making an effort to reduce their rents. Joseph Fisher continued to be the most active and radical of the Farmers Club leaders in the following years even though he was by nature and religion a pacifist and opposed to the violence which was part of land agitation in other parts of Ireland particularly in the west. He was not shy in confronting the many Catholic bishops and priests who were at best lukewarm in their support of the land reform and seemed in many cases to look on it as a form of communism. He also believed that Waterford people should not elect landlords like the Beresfords and Stuarts to Parliament and should instead put forward their own candidates in forthcoming elections. Joseph Fisher was also an active member of the Board of Guardians of the Poor Law Union in Waterford.  In the period 1877 to 1886 in particular the poor law unions were at the forefront of the struggle between landlords and tenants.

Joseph Fisher initiated a resolution in 1881 condemning Lord Waterford, John Henry de la Poer Beresford, 5th Marquess of Waterford, which was passed at a Waterford Board of Guardian’s meeting. It blamed Lord Waterford for mistreating his tenants and also blamed him for provoking attacks on the Curraghmore Hunt. The censure resolution was overturned at the next meeting when all the anti Land League members were present. Earlier in 1881 the Marquess of Waterford had spoken out against the land bill, which he described as “confiscation without compensation”, conveniently forgetting how most of the big landlords had acquired their land holdings in the first place. Some of the Land League leaders had been imprisoned at this stage and in addition Lord Waterford had initiated proceedings against some of his tenants who were behind with their rent which did little to reduce the tension. Lord Waterford had taken over as Master of the Curraghmore Hunt in 1870 from his father. In September 1881 the Carrick-on-Suir branch of the Land League decided to oppose all hunting in Waterford and a particular focus of the anti-hunting campaign was Lord Waterford’s Curraghmore hunt which was attacked on a few occasions. Lord Waterford eventually resigned as Master of the Curraghmore Hunt due to the difficulties being encountered by the hunt and then set about disbanding the hunt completely. Many people were unhappy that hunts often traversed land of tenants who had been imprisoned due to their Land League activities or due to rent problems with their landlords. When the first branch of the Land League was formed in Waterford in 1880 they appointed Joseph Fisher as President with John O’Callaghan as Secretary. A more detailed overview of land agitation in Waterford can be located in an article11 in the 1997 Issue 53 of the Decies Journal of the Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society and we acknowledge this background information in the above summary. The Munster Express was therefore a strong voice for tenants in their struggle with the big landlords and promoted land reform and land agitation.

Joseph Fisher and the Poor Law System

Joseph Fisher was also an active member of the Board of Guardians of the Poor Law Union in Waterford. This was of course in addition to his newspaper business and his activities in the area of land reform. The Poor Law Relief Act of 1838 divided the country into a number of Poor Law Unions and each of these had their own workhouse. There were four Poor Law Unions in Waterford namely Lismore, Dungarvan, Kilmacthomas and Waterford City. These institutions were of course of crucial importance during the great famine but little did people expect that they would again become important institutions in the period from 1879 onwards when the country was again facing the threat of another famine. The administration of the workhouses was carried out by a Board of Guardians and Joseph Fisher was a very active member of the Waterford City branch in the period from 1879 onwards. There were very poor harvests around this period and there was a big increase in applications for relief to the workhouses. Joseph Fisher was very concerned about abuses in the poor relief system and wrote extensively on the problem in the Munster Express and Waterford Mail. He was concerned that some people were abusing the system and thereby leaving less resources for the genuine needy. He had a concern, for example, that many able bodied people were taking up outdoor relief positions. He felt that many of them were capable of self support and were taking up resources that were necessary for the less well off. The Board of Guardians in Waterford became much more political in the period around 1880 and passed a motion that tenant farmers needed a large reduction in their rents. Joseph Fisher had seconded the proposal and he put forward his own proposal later in the year that all rents should be reduced to the rents applicable at the time of Griffith’s Valuation around 1850.

Joseph Fisher was also very concerned about wastage and abuse in the administration of poor law relief in Waterford City. There were regular concerns about items such as expenses and alcohol. At one point in 1879 Joseph Fisher raised a query concerning a small quantity of whiskey which had apparently gone missing and shortly afterwards a query was raised as to how two workhouse patients had managed to consume 36 pounds of beef in a single week! He also raised a query as to what happened to the samples of wine and spirits which spirit merchants submitted when they were tendering for business in the workhouses. It transpired that they were kept in the Board of Guardians board room as refreshments for the guardians after meetings! A proposal was put and passed that the samples should be put in stock from that point onwards. Despite these minor “discretions” the Waterford Poor Law Union was a very active and useful institution during the difficult period from 1879 onwards and Joseph Fisher, son of Abraham Fisher of Pilltown Mills, was a driving force behind the organisation. He took a leading role in raising the whole profile of poor law relief by coupling it with his land reform proposals and of course reporting extensively on the whole area in his Munster Express and Waterford Mail newspapers. Joseph Fisher was succeeded in his business interests by two of the sons of his second marriage to Myra Eleanora Garrow, namely William Garrow Fisher and Harry David Fisher, and we will continue with an overview of their lives.

William Garrow Fisher (1856-1928)

William Garrow Fisher was a son of the founder of the Munster Express Joseph Fisher and his second wife Myra Eleanora Garrow. He took over the running of his father’s newspaper business together with his brother Harry David Fisher. He was gaoled in September 1889 for publishing a report in the Munster Express containing details of resolutions passed at the Stradbally & Ballylaneen branch of the National League meetings of 2nd & 16th June 1889. This issue was tied up with the subject of “land grabbing” which was a major bone of contention for those involved in promoting land reform at the time. Matthew Whelan of Graigue was accused of allowing Cabel Moore to plant and grow potatoes on a part of Whelan’s land from which someone had apparently been evicted. The newspaper report outlined a discussion between the chairman and secretary of the Stradbally & Ballylaneed branch of the National League where it was discussed as to whether Matthew Whelan should be put on The Black List for allowing a “land grabber” to plant a crop on his land. It was reported that Whelan, after promising not to support grabbers, did so, and in consequence the resolution condemning his action was endorsed at the meeting. Details of the resolution of condemnation against Matthew Whelan were published in the Munster Express and this was viewed by the authorities as being intimidation. W. G. Fisher as editor of the Munster Express was summoned to appear in court to answer the charge. Both Matthew Whelan and Cabel Moore were called as witnesses with Matthew Whelan denying that he felt any intimidation and Cabel Moore denying that he was a “land grabber”. A long court discussion took place discussing whether W.G. Fisher was actually proprietor of the Munster Express as the newspaper had not been registered at the Custom House since the time of Joseph Fisher. The court eventually decided that W.G. Fisher should receive a sentence of fourteen days hard labour in Waterford Gaol for intimidation. William Garrow’s brother, Harry David, told an interesting story about how the two of them hatched a plan to disrupt an eviction with which they vehemently disagreed. Apparently one of the conditions of an eviction was that only bailiffs were allowed in a house when an eviction was taking place. The Fisher brothers brought some wallpaper to a house where the tenants were due for eviction. On arrival at the house W.G Fisher took up a position in a small alcove in the house and Harry David papered over the access to the alcove to hide his brother’s presence. The eviction duly took place but was declared illegal when W.G burst through the wallpaper from his hiding place in the alcove before the eviction was completed.

A Hansard report of a House of Commons debate on 20th June 1890 seems to indicate  that it was H.D Fisher (Harry David) who was imprisoned in 1889 as Waterford MP Mr Richard Power asks Mr A.J. Balfour the following question in the House of Commons “I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord lieutenant of Ireland whether Mr. H.D. Fisher of Waterford, has been imprisoned for the publication of reports of national League meetings in the Munster Express, although it was proved at the trial that he did not sign the certificate of registration as publisher. And no evidence was given that he was the editor or publisher of that newspaper?” As it transpires Harry Fisher had earlier served a prison sentence in Ballybricken in 1886 under the Coercian Act. The Perpetual Crimes Act of 1887 had been passed to effectively outlaw boycotts or threats of boycotts and Land League supporters and activists were particularly vulnerable to the new law. A number of high profile people including Parnell, Redmond and Michael Davitt were imprisoned and Fisher joined them in 1889 as he was accused and convicted of intimidation and promoting boycott as outlined in above court case.   

In addition to his newspaper and land reform activities William Garrow Fisher found time to become the first secretary of the newly formed Waterford County Board of the GAA on 30th December 1886. There were GAA activities in Waterford before this time but this was the first time that a formal county board structure was set up. The Kinsalebeg club, which had been established in 1885, had indeed both won and lost a senior county football final by the time the Waterford County Board was established in 1886. Kinsalebeg had lost to Ballysaggart in the first Waterford senior football county final in 1885 and went on to beat Kilrossanty in the 1886 final. They went on to lose the 1890 final and then won the 1891 senior football final again. The following report in the Waterford News of 31st December 1886 gave details of the inaugural convention of the Waterford GAA in Kilmacthomas at which a County Committee was established to take charge of all GAA matters in the county. It is surprising that a Kinsalebeg delegate was not listed on the attendance list as reported in the Waterford News report but we suspect that this was possibly an oversight – it would be surprising if the county football champions were not represented unless there was an untimely “split” before the committee got off the ground.  A Mr Barron spoke at the meeting but was not listed in the delegate list and it is possible that he was the Kinsalebeg delegate. The Barrons had a long association with Kinsalebeg GAA which has indeed continued up to present times. There was a short discussion as to whether wrestling should be allowed during championship football matches as had been acceptable up to this point. The GAA in general were trying to wean players and clubs off this form of football which was very popular at the time and from 1884 onwards the GAA drew up clear rules aimed at tidying up the game and eliminating aspects such as wrestling and fist fights. A typical football game in the mid 1800s involved two teams each with hundreds of people playing across the countryside with regular breaks for bouts of wrestling and fist fights. The ball seemed to be somewhat incidental to the proceedings even though bouts of football did break out particularly towards the end of the day when the contestants were tiring.

The whole area of Gaelic games had caused severe alarm to the ruling aristocracy in Ireland over the centuries and it was very disconcerting for them to note the way the Irish played their sports and the damage that was caused as a result. If this was the way the Irish played their sports then God help us when they decide to get serious and start a real fight. Many regulations banning Gaelic games were introduced in Ireland from as far back as the 14th century when the Statutes of Kilkenny banned all Gaelic games in Kilkenny – it would appear the vestiges of the ban on football in Kilkenny still exist to this day despite the denials of the county board!. Eventually the game evolved into matches being played in a field or enclosed area even though the wrestling aspect was still part of the game in many areas. The national rules for Gaelic games were finally drawn up from 1884 onwards and wrestling or fist fights were barred even though there are a few clubs not a million miles from Kinsalebeg in West Waterford who still seemed to find attraction in these aspects of the games and incorporated them into their games throughout the 20th century! The rule changes must have hit us hard in Kinsalebeg as we had got quite used to periodic sallies out of Kinsalebeg to endeavour to put manners on some of our neighbours in the Clashmore, Ardmore, Grange and Youghal areas. However let everyone be warned that Kinsalebeg has not gone away and it would not take a lot to make us revert to old habits – an insult to one of our women, a sly dig at the poor quality of our cattle at the mart in Dungarvan or a disparaging comment from the grassy bank at the Fraher Field! Anyway getting back to the setting up of the first Waterford GAA county board with W.G. Fisher, a Kinsalebeg descendant, taking a leading role. The following is a summary of the Waterford GAA Convention in 1886 as reported in the Waterford News:

Newspaper: Waterford News of 31st December 1886

Title: Gaelic Athletic Association Convention (From our reporter)

Article: A convention of delegates from the affiliated branches in the county was held yesterday at Kilmacthomas. The following represented the various branches:-  Kilmachthomas: Laurence Power and P Power; Clonea: William Meehan; Rathgormack: John Fleming and Edmund Geary; Butlerstown: John Nolan and Thomas Murphy; Ballyduff Lower: Thomas Nolan and William Power; Waterford: Joseph Cadogan; Stradbally: Edmund Connors and James Phelan; Fenor: John Phelan and Patrick Fitzgerald.

Dr Green, Mr R A Power, Mr M F Sheehan, Mr W G Fisher, T.C, Waterford; Mr C P Redmond, Waterford News, and Mr J Power, Furleigh, were also present.

Mr Fisher explained the objects of the meeting. It was in order that a county committee might be elected to take charge of all matters appertaining to this association in the county. This committee could make all necessary arrangements with the clubs anxious to compete for the championship, which was to come on immediately, and settle any disputes that might arise. The committee was to consist of a president, a secretary, and the other members. He (Mr F) mentioned that the only branches in the county unrepresented were Dungarvan, Ballyduff Upper, Kilrossanty and Portlaw.

In reply to Mr Fitzgerald, Mr Fisher said the formation of the committee was decided by the convention at Thurles, and they could not go behind that decision.

Mr Barron suggested that only one delegate be appointed from any branch on the county committee.

Mr Cadogan seconded this proposition, which was agreed to.

Mr. Fisher proposed Dr Green of Bonmahon as president, a gentleman whom he was sure would discharge the duties fairly and impartially, and whose valuable services they would always have when required.

Mr Fleming seconded the motion, stating that Dr Green had always taken a practical interest in the association.

Dr Green said he really thought he could not spare time to attend the duties, but at the earnest solicitation of those present he accepted the position, and thanked the members for having elected him.

On the motion of Mr Thomas Nolan, Mr Fisher was appointed secretary, and a ballot was then taken with the result that the following were elected as a committee:- Messrs Thomas Marshall, Dungarvan, 14; T Nolan, Ballyduff, 13; J Fleming, Rathcormack, 11; J Cunningham, Ballyduff Upper, 11; and P Fitzgerald, Fenor, 11.

Whilst the meeting was being held a telegram was received from Dungarvan, stating that the delegates had missed the train.

It was announced by the various delegates present that the branches they represented would compete for the championship, all entries for which must be in before the 1st January.

Wrestling: Some discussion took place as to whether wrestling should be allowed or not.

Mr Fisher said that in South Tipperary and Waterford there was a feeling that wrestling should not be done away with. The different clubs should practice without wrestling, or they would have but a poor chance for the championship.

Mr Fleming thought they might make a representation to the Central Executive in favour of wrestling.

Mr Fisher said they should have two championships if wrestling was allowed. The clubs in or about Dublin all played without wrestling, and if this was allowed they would not enter teams.

Mr Fleming said they had received no official notification that wrestling was not allowed.

Mr P Power said there was an interest in matches where wrestling was not allowed. The matter then dropped.

Dr Green was moved to the second chair, and a vote of thanks to the chairman concluded the proceedings.

Emigration of W.G Fisher to USA on 21st Feb 1893

In 1893 William Garrow Fisher emigrated to New York USA on the ship SS Aurania (1883). The ship departed from Queenstown, now called Cobh, via Liverpool and arrived in Ellis Island New York on 21st February 1893. Prior to emigrating he had moved to Clonmel where he started another newspaper called the County Tipperary Independent which had a radical nationalistic viewpoint.

William Garrow Fisher was firstly married to Anastasia McNamara, daughter of a shopkeeper Patrick McNamara, when he lived in Ireland and they had two children namely Edwin Garrow Fisher and Myra Garrow Fisher. The marriage took place in the Church of Ireland Parish Church in Carrick-on-Suir on the 18th December 1877 when William Garrow was twenty one years old and Anastasia McNamara was seventeen years old. William Garrow Fisher left Ireland for New York in 1893 and his wife and two children remained in Carrick-on-Suir. It would appear that the marriage had run into difficulties and family correspondence indicated that one of the problems that arose was a disagreement over which religion the children should be raised in. The Catholic Church in this period would have insisted that all children of a “mixed marriage”, as it was called, should be raised as Catholics before they would provide a “dispensation” to the Catholic partner to allow the marriage to take place in the first place. William Garrow wanted his children to be raised as Protestants but would have been aware of the pre-condition of the Catholic Church that all children must be raised as Catholics. He later apparently made efforts to arrange a “compromise” with Edwin being raised as a Protestant and Myra as a Catholic. Anastasia on the other hand would not have been in a position to “compromise” as the Catholic Church and her “marriage dispensation” would have decreed that all children must be raised as Catholics. The children were eventually raised as Catholics after the marriage broke up and William Garrow Fisher had emigrated. Anastasia Fisher nee McNamara subsequently married a second time to a Mr Lawrence from Carrick-on-Suir who was then farming in the USA. Myra Garrow Fisher, daughter of William Garrow & Anastasia Fisher also emigrated to the USA where she joined her mother. She later married James Brown and they had one child called Joseph Garrow Brown. Her brother, Edwin Garrow Fisher, and his wife Jane Frances Fisher lived in England for a period and their children, Anne Mary Frances and William Garrow Fisher, were born in England. At the time of the 1911 Irish census they had all returned to Wexford in Ireland where Edwin worked as a HM Customs & Excise official.

William Garrow Fisher secondly married Annie Walters, also from Waterford, within a short period after arriving in New York and they had three children namely William Garrow, Kathleen and Joseph E Fisher. In the 1910 US census William G Fisher was living in Bronx Assembly District 34, New York with his wife Annie Fisher (aged 35) and three children William Garrow (aged 15), Kathleen A. (aged 14) and Joseph E Fisher (aged 11). Edwin Garrow Fisher, son of William Garrow Fisher and Anastasia McNamara, married and had three children namely Anne Mary Francis Fisher, William Garrow “Bill” Fisher and Oswald Fisher. Anne Mary Francis Fisher married Patrick Hypher and they had two children namely Patricia and Jeanne Hypher. Patricia Hypher married Geoff Robinson and they live in England in 2014. They have written and spoken extensively on the Fisher genealogy and are regular visitors to Ireland. William Garrow “Bill” Fisher became an aircraft designer and his daughter and two grandaughters were living in California in 2014. Oswald Fisher lived in England and a daughter of his was living in England in 2014.

William Garrow Fisher Snr continued his journalism career in the US and became assistant editor of the New York Evening Standard and also worked for Associated Press (AP), Sun and Post newspapers. He founded the International High Speed Steel Company in New York in 1905 and moved the business to Rockaway New Jersey in 1915 after which he became president of the company. The company was the first to produce hollow rolled steel in America and it was steel from this Fisher facility that was used in drill points for blasting war trenches in France during the 1st World War. William Garrow Senior’s sons, Joseph E and William “Willy” Garrow Jun, were both involved in their father’s steel business and they established the Paragon Steel & Tool Company in 1923. This company manufactured pneumatic tools for road construction, quarries, mining and other industrial uses and this company has basically continued in one form or another to the present day. William Garrow Jun was gassed during WW1 and even though he survived at the time he died in 1936 from complications brought about by the inhalation of gas. He was not married and had no children. Joseph E Fisher married Ellen M FitzPatrick in 1930 and they had three children namely Kathleen E born may 1931, Joseph Edward born 1934 and yet another William Garrow Fisher born in November 1937. Various descendants of the Fisher family continue to live in New York and other parts of the USA and these were very helpful sources for putting together more recent information on the Fisher family. Joseph Fisher, a great great grandson of the Joseph Fisher who was founder of the Munster Express in Waterford, continued the journalism tradition of the Fishers up to recent times. He is a son of the above last named Joseph Edward Fisher and visited Waterford, Pilltown and Youghal in 2012 to research his family history. He obviously had a particular interest in the journalistic life of his ancestor Joseph Fisher, founder of the Munster Express.

Harry David Fisher (1861-1939)

Harry David Fisher was the second son of Myra Eleanora Garrow and Joseph Fisher, founder of the Munster Express, and got involved in the running of the family newspaper business with his brother William Garrow Fisher. He continued to run the Munster Express newspaper business after the departure of his brother William Garrow Fisher to the USA in 1893. He carried on the business until he sold it to Edward Walsh in 1907. He had served two periods in Ballybricken Jail as a result of articles published in the Munster Express. He was sentenced to eleven months imprisonment in 1886 for a number of charges under the Coercian Act. John Redmond came out in his defence and the sentence was reduced to one month which he served in Ballybricken. Harry David Fisher (Journalist, COI, aged 39) and his wife Edith Alexandra (COI, aged 37) were living in Butlerstown Castle in 1901 with seven children namely Oswald (aged 11), Enid (aged 9), Edith Eileen (aged 8), Norah (aged 6), Hubert Patrick (aged 5), Kenneth Lawrence (aged 3) and Kathleen (aged 1). All the family were indicated as being Church of Ireland on the census form and apparently this branch of the Fisher family had not returned to their Quaker roots after Joseph Fisher had been disowned by the Quakers in 1849. After the sale of his newspapers in Waterford in 1907 to the Walsh family, Harry Fisher and his family moved to Galway and he became editor of the Galway Express. According to a Waterford News article in September 1917:  “Sinn Fein have purchased the Galway Express, a Unionist newspaper. Its editor is Mr Harry Fisher, a well known Waterford citizen”.

Image: Harry D Fisher (front seated) and family Butlerstown House

Courtesy: National Library of Ireland (Poole Collection)

The above photographic image is of the family of Harry David Fisher of Butlerstown House and is believed to be from the period 1908 to 1910. Back row (L-R standing): Kenneth Lawrence, Myra Eleanor (Norah), Oswald Garrow, Unknown adult, Enid or Edith Eileen, Hubert Patrick. Front row (L-R seated): Edith Alexandra Fisher nee Amstrong (wife of H.D), Kathleen, Edith Eileen or Enid), Harry David Fisher. Oswald Garrow and Hubert Patrick Fisher both died in their youth and we include below an overview of their short lives.

Image: Butlerstown Castle circa 1901

Courtesy: National Library of Ireland (Poole Collection)

Hubert Patrick Fisher (1898-1916)

One of Harry D. Fisher’s sons, 2nd Lieutenant Hubert Patrick Fisher, was killed in the Battle of the Somme on the 9th July 1916 aged 18 years. He was born on 13th March 1898 in Butlerstown Castle and was the 2nd son named Hubert Patrick born to Harry David & Edith Alexandra Fisher. The 1st Hubert Patrick Fisher was born on the twenty sixth of March 1896 in 15 Beau Street Waterford and presumably died before March 1898. Lieutenant Hubert Patrick 2nd Fisher was serving with the Shropshire Light Infantry which was attached to the Gloucester Regiment. He had been a pupil of Bishop Foy’s School in Waterford and also attended Chesterfield College in Birr, Co Offaly. He was a qualified radio officer and was working on a liner to Brazil when the war broke out. He returned to England and joined the Shropshire Light Infantry on a commission. He was immediately posted to France in June 1916 and was transferred to the Gloucester Regiment. He was killed in the opening week of the Battle of the Somme while leading his platoon.  He had only arrived in France three weeks earlier. Hubert Patrick Fisher, great grandson of Abraham Fisher of Pilltown Mills, was buried in the Sucrerie Military Cemetery at Colinclamps, Somme France. His name is listed on the Great War Memorial Cross at St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church of Ireland in Market Street, Galway. He is also commemorated on the Bishop Foy School Memorial, Christ Church Cathedral, Henrietta Street, Waterford.

Oswald Garrow Fisher (1890-1920)

A second son of Harry and Edith Fisher, namely Chaplain Oswald Garrow Fisher, died in a railway accident at Hinaidi near Bagdad, in what was then Mesopotamia, on the 4th November 1920. At that time he was Chaplain to the British Expeditionary Force in Mesopotamia. The Rev. Oswald Garrrow Fisher was an ex pupil of Bishop Foy’s School in Waterford and a B.A. Mod. graduate of Trinity College. He was a distinguished Trinity scholar and was awarded the Bedell Scholarship. He was ordained deacon in March 1916 and served as Church of Ireland curate in St George’s parish in Dublin for three years. He was a noted Irish scholar and was a frequent Irish speaker at services in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. According to the Waterford News on 15th August 1919 the Rev. Oswald G. Fisher, then chaplain to the forces in Northern France, had another accident in August 1919 when the horse he was riding bolted and dragged him along the ground resulting in severe head injuries for the chaplain. Chaplain Oswald Garrow went to Mesopotamia with the British Expeditionary Force in 1920 and was killed in a railway accident near Bagdad as outlined above. Oswald Garrow & Hubert Fisher, together with another soldier with Kinsalebeg connections namely Alexander Crone, are commemorated on the Bishop Foy School Memorial, Christ Church Cathedral, Henrietta Street, Waterford.

Anna Maria Haslam nee Fisher (1829-1922)

Anna Maria Haslam nee Fisher was a major figure in the women’s right movement in Ireland in the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. She was a daughter of Abraham & Jane Fisher of Youghal and Pilltown Mills. She founded the first women’s suffrage society in Dublin in 1876. Anna Maria Fisher was born on the 6th April 1829 and was the 16th of the seventeen children of Abraham & Jane Fisher of Pilltown Mills. She was twenty one years younger than her eldest sibling Jenepher and twenty years younger than her oldest brother Peter Moor Fisher who took over the running of Pilltown Mills from his father. She was in effect the youngest in the family as her younger sister Rebecca who was born on 7th October 1830 died before she was two years of age on 7th October 1832.

Anna Maria Fisher was educated as a boarder at the Quaker Newtown School in Waterford in the period 1840 to 1842. From 1842 to 1845 she was a boarder pupil of the girls only Quaker school at Castlegate in Yorkshire England which was established in 1831 – this school later moved from Castlegate to The Mount in 1857. In 1847 she started her career as an assistant teacher at the Ackworth School in West Yorkshire which was a Quaker only boarding school.  It was while she was teaching at Ackworth that Anna Maria Fisher met Thomas Haslam from Mountmellick, Co Laois who was also teaching at Ackworth School and who also had a passionate interest in the feminist movement. They both left Ackworth school at the same time in 1848 with Thomas Haslam moving to London and Anna Maria coming back to Youghal. Anna Maria Haslam never subsequently taught but retained her interest in education and indeed was a founding member of the awkwardly named Central Association of Irish Schoolmistresses and Other Ladies Interested in Education. 

On her return to Youghal/Pilltown area Anna Maria Fisher got heavily involved in the famine relief program in conjunction with other Fisher family members who had been active in the area since 1844.  Her father Abraham was a leading member of the Society of Friends Central Relief Committee which was a national Quaker movement to provide famine relief and of course Joan Moor Fisher Abraham’s wife was a life-long activist in the whole area of social reform. Anna Maria’s brother Joseph was secretary of the Youghal Poor Relief Committee which also covered the Kinsalebeg area. Her older brother Peter Moor Fisher who was living in Pilltown at that stage was also heavily involved in famine relief and set up food and soup kitchens in the Pilltown area. She was immersed herself in the various other activities of the Fisher family including Quaker meetings, anti-slavery campaigns, the temperance movement and various pacifist campaigns. She was also involved in supporting the fledgling lace making industry in Youghal with her sisters. The internationally renowned Youghal lace making industry was really started by Mother Margaret Smyth of the Presentation Nuns of Youghal around 1847. Mother Smyth was horrified by the famine stricken women and children in the area and conceived the idea of developing an industry which would enable them to put bread on the table. To use a modern day phrase she “reverse engineered” a piece of Italian lace to understand how it was constructed and resulting from this set up a lace making and lace training venture in the school which was attended by both pupils and residents of the area. The Youghal lace industry went on to forge an international reputation from that period up until World War 1.  The Fisher sisters, mainly Anna Maria and Deborah, were involved in its promotion in the early stages but were better known for teaching the girls knitting and crochet during the famine times. At one stage in the early 1850s the Fisher sisters were apparently employing over 100 females in their knitting and crochet enterprise.  

During the above period Anna Maria Fisher became involved in the international peace movement and the anti-slavery movement. She was secretary of the first Irish branch of the Olive Leaf Circles peace movement established originally in America by Elihu Burritt. She was of course also an active member of the Quaker movement and the running of the Youghal Quakers Women’s Meeting.  Together with her mother Jane and sister Deborah, Anna Maria Fisher was also a regular attendee at the Cork Society of Friends Monthly Meeting.  Anna Maria Fisher was still in her twenties at this stage but had already built up a wide range of organisational and administrative skills from her involvement in peace movements, Quaker meetings and famine relief projects.  As the youngest surviving sibling in the family she of course also learned a considerable amount from her parents and older siblings who were involved in a myriad of business and philanthropic activities.  

Painting:Thomas & Anna Maria Haslam by Sarah Cecilia Harrison

Acknowledgement: Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane

Thomas Haslam returned to Mountmellick around 1851 and was expelled from the Quaker movement apparently for extolling beliefs at variance with Quaker principles. Anna Maria Fisher and Thomas Haslam resumed their earlier relationship but were unable to marry in the normal Quaker manner at a Society of Friends Meeting due to the expulsion of Thomas from the movement. There was no official Quaker church or hierarchy and official ceremonies such as marriages were conducted by ordinary members at the regular monthly Society of Friends Meetings. They eventually married in a Cork registry office in 1854 and as a result Anna Maria was also expelled from the Society of Friends or Quakers as marriage in a church or registry office was not allowed in Quakerism. Thomas and Anna Maria never rejoined the Quaker movement but their lives and activities were very much dominated by their Quaker upbringing.  

The Haslams were by all accounts a very happily married couple and for most of their lives worked very closely together on the many projects and initiatives that filled their very active lives as social reformers. According to Anna Maria Haslam they abstained completely from all sexual activity one week after their marriage and not surprisingly had no family. This was in stark contrast to the generally large Fisher families down the years. Anna herself had come from a family of seventeen children and her father Abraham was one of twelve children. The decision to voluntarily abstain from sexual activity in their own marriage did not deter Thomas Haslam from writing extensively on the subject of sexual morality, birth control, sexual temperance, heredity, parenting and marriage in a number of publications including “The Duties of Parents” and “The Marriage Problem”.  Apparently in his publication called “The Marriage Problem” Thomas Haslam was advising the use of the “safe period” as the ideal form of birth control but by all accounts he was incorrect in his definition of the “safe period” and any couple using his definition may have been in for a surprise as time went on!. In his later publication ”Duties of Parents” he had apparently moved to a position of advising total abstinence as the ideal method of birth control, an argument one would find difficult to disagree with if you could cope with yet another austerity program in difficult times!. He was consistent in his views that those who were unfit to bear children should not marry or if they did they should not have any children.  His definition of those “unfit” to have children seemed to range from “the poor” to those with “connubial intemperance” or those who were “physically or morally unfit” and were largely based on the theory that moral and social attitudes as well as physical attributes were hereditary. If pronounced today his views would have caused severe consternation and public outcry as they were extreme views to put it mildly.  Aside from some of his pronouncements in the area of marriage and parenting Thomas Haslam wrote intelligently on a range of subjects over the years particularly in the area of social reform and women’s rights. The Haslams moved to Dublin in 1858 where Thomas Haslam worked as an accountant but fell ill around 1866 and never worked again even though he lived for another fifty years. Anna Maria Haslam became the sole bread-winner in the family which was mainly achieved by running a shop which was described in the trade journals at the time as a Stationery & Fancy Repository shop in Rathmines Road where they lived. The Haslams lived most of their married life up to 1898 at this location in 91 Lower Rathmines Road Dublin.

Anna Maria Haslam and her husband Thomas were committed feminists and from the time of their marriage until their deaths played a leading role in the progressing the suffragette movement and the emancipation of women. In 1874 they published a newspaper called the “Womens’ Advocate” which was an early, if relatively short-lived, attempt to promote female emancipation. They campaigned vigorously against the Contagious Diseases Acts of the 1860s which were largely introduced to regulate prostitution particularly in areas where military personnel were stationed. The laws were mainly aimed at ensuring that military personnel did not pick up infectious diseases from prostitutes. The laws basically operated on the acceptance that prostitution was unavoidable and the legal focus was very much geared towards ensuring that prostitutes were “disease free” which involved regular and unexpected examinations of suspected prostitutes to ensure that military personnel could carry on their extra marital or extra curricular activities without concern for their health. The laws were opposed by feminists groups and indeed many other organisations, including The Society of Friends Quaker movement, as being both anti-family and anti-women.  

Even though Anna Maria Haslam was no longer in the teaching profession she continued her interest in education and had a particular concern for the development of female education at secondary and tertiary level. She was a founder member of the Central Association of Irish Schoolmistresses and Other Ladies Interested in Education (CAISM) which was established in 1881 and she continued as an executive member for many years. She was an active supporter of fellow Quaker Anne Jellicoe nee Mullin who was another notable Irish educationalist who founded Alexandra College in Dublin in 1866. Alexandra College went on to play a pioneering leading role in the development of female rights and education. Anne Jellicoe coincidentally also came from Mountmellick, Co Laois where Thomas Haslam was born.

Anna Maria and Thomas Haslam were founding members of the Dublin’s Women Suffrage Association in 1876 and Anna Maria was secretary and very much the driving force in the organisation from 1876 until 1913 when she was elected Life President.  It was initially very much a Quaker led organisation but eventually expanded to incorporate a fairly wide range of opinion. The DWSA changed its name to the Irish Women’s Suffrage and Local Government Association (IWSLGA) and this organisation was very much at the forefront of female emancipation until the arrival of the more militant suffragette organisations established in the early 1900s. The DWSA and the IWSLGA were very much based on a pacifist approach to reform. They made early progress in the area of local government reform and women were eligible for election to become Poor Law Guardians which gave them a platform for social reform. Anna Maria Haslam was also a co-founder and committee member of the Women’s Liberal Unionist Association as well as being a member of the Rathmines Unionist Society and the Central Unionist Committee. These institutions were very much of the view that progress in emancipation and personal freedom would be more likely achieved within the “union” rather than by some form of home rule.  However these views did not deter her from working together with nationalist and Catholic suffragettes in the latter end of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century.

Comparisons are sometimes made between the early suffragettes such as Anna Maria Haslam nee Fisher and suffragettes such as Hanna Sheehy Skeffington but they came from much different eras and indeed backgrounds. Anna Maria Fisher was born in 1829 and came from a pacifist Quaker unionist background. Hanna Sheehy Skeffington was born in 1877 and came from a Catholic nationalist background. It was inevitable that their approaches to female emancipation would take different routes. In the 1901 census the Haslams were living at 126 Leinster Road, Rathmines where Thomas Haslam (aged 75, retired commercial clerk) wrote “Object” under the Religious Profession heading and Anna Maria Haslam (aged 71, retired stationer) wrote “Further information refused” under the religious heading. It was stated on the census form that they were “Living on Annuities”.

In 1908 Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and Margaret Gretta Cousins formed the Irish Women’s Franchise League (IWFL) which was very much influenced by the Women’s Social and Political (WSPU) established in England. They had indicated their impatience with the Haslam led IWSLGA and were in favour of a much more aggressive and militant approach to progressing the suffragette movement. Nevertheless whilst they disagreed on policy Anna Maria Haslam and Hanna Sheehy Skeffington remained friends and both acknowledged the progress the other had made in promoting the cause of female emancipation. Hanna Sheehy Skeffington acknowledged Anna Haslam’s strong leadership of the Irish suffragette movement for half a century and stated:

 “Anna Maria Haslam, a Quaker rebel, one of the most ardent feminists I have known”.

Anna Maria Haslam in turn expressed her personal sympathy with those militant suffragettes who had been imprisoned.  Thomas Haslam died in 1917 but Anna Maria Haslam lived to see “votes for women” and the birth of the Irish Free State. She died on the 28th November 1922 and left behind her a legacy of work in a multitude of areas including famine relief, education, anti-slavery, the suffragette movement and women’s rights at both national and international level. Her place in history has been somewhat overshadowed in public awareness by the higher profile of the later more militant suffragettes such as Eva Gore-Booth (Countess Markievicz) and Hanna Sheehy Skeffington but those more familiar with the whole area of the Irish suffragette movement will be acutely aware of the achievements of this workaholic daughter of Abraham Fisher from Pilltown Mills, Kinsalebeg Co Waterford.

The IWSLGA founded by Anna Maria Haslam in 1876 continued to operate until 1947 when it was merged with the newly established Irish Housewives Association. The IWSLGA was affiliated to the International Alliance of Women and this facilitated the IHA’s key role in setting up the first Council on the Status of Women in Ireland in 1970. Anna Maria and Thomas Haslam are commemorated in a sculpted seat of Kilkenny limestone situated in the park at St Stephens Green in central Dublin. The seat was sculpted by Albert Power who has a wide range of sculptures, primarily in stone and bronze, to his name including those of Terence McSwiney, Michael Collins, Arthur Griffiths, Sean McDiarmada, Eamon De Valera and Cathal Brugha.  The inscription on the memorial reads:

In remembrance of Anna Marie 1829-1922 and Thomas Haslam 1825-1917. This seat is erected in honour of their long years of public service chiefly devoted to the enfranchisement of women.”

Abraham Fisher Jnr (c 1822-1909)

Abraham Fisher Jun was another son of Abraham Fisher and Jane Fisher nee Moor. He married Sarah Wright, daughter of Thomas Wright, on 14th March 1850 at St Peters Cork. Abraham & Sarah Fisher emigrated initially to Argentina and subsequently to the USA.  In the 1880 census they were living in Jamesville, Martin, North Carolina. At the time of 1880 census the following were members of the Fisher household in Jamesville: Abraham Fisher (aged 56, farmer and R.R. Manager), Sarah Fisher (aged 57, wife), Thomas Wright Fisher ( born 2nd March 1855 in Youghal, aged 25, married Ruth Smedley on 6th March 1896 in Malvern PA), Sarah Fisher Jun (aged 23), William J. Fisher (aged 21), Henry W. Fisher (aged 19), Elizabeth Fisher (aged 17), Susan A. Fisher (aged 14), Ellener Fisher (aged 12). Abraham Fisher died in Malvern, PA on 9th Dec 1909 aged 87.

James Abell Fisher (1827-1848)

James Abell Fisher was another son of Abraham Fisher and Jane Moor. He was educated in Newtown School in Waterford and worked for a period in Ipswich. He had a great interest in engineering and planned to take up a career in this area. He attended the London Yearly Meeting of Quakers and was heavily influenced by the discussions which took place there. He wrote a number of thoughtful letters and essays as a result of his experiences. He unfortunately developed serious lung disease for which he was unsuccessfully treated at a hydropathic institution in the Malverns near Cheltenham. He returned home and died at the age of 21 in 1848.

Reuben Abraham Fisher (1812-1871)

Reuben Abraham Fisher was another son of Abraham Fisher and Jane Moor. He married Mary Anne Williams, daughter of John Williams, on 2nd August 1855 at St Finbarrs Cork.

Events in Fisher History (1700 onwards)

The following is a synopsis of reported events and activities involving the Fisher family during the period from 1700 onwards. Many of these events involve members of the Fisher family connected with Kinsalebeg and Pilltown Mills in particular. The events themselves are not connected but collectively they give an overall picture of the Fisher and Quaker community with particular reference to events surrounding the Fishers of Pilltown.

Voyage of Charles Fisher to Ireland (10th March 1759):

Charles Fisher, who was master of a sailing vessel, undertook a voyage to Youghal about 1726 to make contact with his brother Reuben and his sister Martha with whom he had lost contact. His brother Reuben died in 1723 so would not have been alive when Charles made the trip to Ireland. His sister Martha together with Margaret, the wife of the deceased Reuben, and their children would have been living in the Youghal area at that time. The information concerning the voyage of Charles Fisher to Ireland appeared in a letter from his son-in-law John Nash Jnr to the printer of the London Chronicle and the letter was printed in the London Chronicle on 22nd May 1759 with a view to receiving information regarding the whereabouts of the siblings of Charles Fisher. The following is the content of the letter:

“Virginia March 10th 1759: Sir, I am informed by Capt. Elbeck, who lately arrived in Virginia from Liverpool that he received particular directions in England to enquire after the family of Capt. Fisher but Capt. Elbeck, having lost his directions, gives but a very unintelligible account. I therefore think proper, for the satisfaction of any in England whom it may concern, to give this public information respecting that gentleman's family. Capt. Charles Fisher, son of Reuben Fisher, sailed for many years from Virginia to England in the employment of Mr Daniel [Quirk ?] in the ship called the Mary Galley. He did at length marry one Mary Herbert and settled on James' River, Georgia Co. in 1731. He died in 1747 leaving issue two daughters Susannah and Elizabeth. Susannah is since dead, without issue, and Elizabeth is now married to John Nash Jun. The widow of Capt. Fisher is now living, and says she did often hear Capt. Fisher speak of his two sisters, Hannah and Elizabeth. Hannah married one, William Woodward, & Elizabeth one, Mr Honor, & that she did often see, in Virginia, two of Capt. Fishers nephews, Thos Fisher & Reuben Honor.   Signed  John Nash Junr.”

Visit of Thomas Shillitoe to Ireland (1808):

Thomas Shillitoe (1754-1836) was a noted British Quaker in this period. He was a member of the Tottenham Meeting in London and his ministering took him all over the British Isles, Europe and North America. He visited Ireland in 1808 and in particular visited a lot of what he called “drinking houses” in order to preach on the evils of drink. When he visited the Youghal area he was accompanied by Abraham Fisher to a Friends Quaker meeting in Youghal.

Religious Experiences of Joseph Fisher (21st March 1813):

Joseph Fisher (1776-1816) was son of Reuben and Jenepher Fisher and brother of Abraham Fisher. He was involved in Pilltown Mills with his brother Abraham and later Peter Moor Fisher. He was extremely religious and wrote extensively about his religious experiences and observations. On 21st March 1813 in his Diary of Religious Experiences he mentioned that:

On my way to Pilltown Mill this morning, in passing through a field of Wheat, the expression occurred in my mind:’Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it; until he receives the early and the latter rain. Be ye also patient. Stablish your hearts’. How precious a single sentence for Scripture, when divinely opened on the mind! I was led into a very unexpected train of reflection, under which my mind became contrited; and I was made feelingly to see and to acknowledge my utter incapacity and helplessness, without divine aid, from time to time, freshly imparted from on high.”

            The above confirms the existence of the mills in Pilltown in 1813 but you will have to interpret the religious observations yourself!

Abraham Fisher Petition for Cable Island Lighthouse (May 1823):

In May 1823 Abraham Fisher was one of many signatories to a letter to the Commissioners of the Ballast Office in Dublin outlining the concerns of people in the greater Youghal area about shipwrecks off the coast and their request for a Lighthouse on Cable Island. The letter was as follows:

“The undersigned Merchants, Shipowners, and other Inhabitants of Youghal, lamenting the

many shipwrecks, attended with the loss of valuable lives, which have occurred from time to time on the neighbouring coast, and understanding that a Light on Cable island would be very useful in preventing a repetition of such deplorable accidents, take the liberty of waiting on your respectable Board with the accompanying opinion of some experienced Mariners on the subject, and of requesting that you will take the usual steps for establishing a Light on the site proposed, or wherever else it may to you seem best calculated to avert those affecting losses which almost every winter occur.”

Letter Dated: Youghal, May 1823. Signed by over 60 merchants, shipowners, customs & port authority staff etc including Abraham Fisher merchant, Peter Moor, John C. Fisher, Samuel Hayman mayor etc. The discussions with the Ballast Office in Dublin regarding the Lighthouse for Cable Island went on for many years before the Ballast Office outlined in 1831 that they felt that Cable Island was unsuitable as a location for a light due to its proximity to Cork Lighthouse and that it was more practical to have a second light placed at the entrance to Youghal harbour – presumably on the Monatray side of the harbour.

Abraham Fisher Letter to James Wilson (13th August 1835):

Abraham Fisher wrote to a James Wilson, who presumably had some legal position, and also to the prison Governor requesting the release of fellow Quaker John Williams. He offered himself as a substitute prisoner instead of John Williams for a period. The letter to James Wilson outlines:

“... that in a feeling of sympathy with my friend John Williams who is now in confinement in the jail here for the testimony of a good conscience because he cannot conscientiously pay a demand for the support of hireling Ministry contrary to the express declaration of our Saviour who says “Freely ye have received freely give,” and under a sense of duty I offer myself body for body to take the place of John Williams in Prison for a time, to allow him to have a little of that liberty which may be beneficial for his health and give him the opportunity of looking after his outward concerns; in thy absence I have communicated this to the Governor of the Prison, but as he does not consider that he has the power of doing so I request thy permission to him for me to replace my dear friend .....”

James Wilson responded to the above letter stating “Your proposal with regard to John Williams cannot be complied with.” It would appear that John Williams was in prison for a refusal to pay church tithes which together with a refusal to declare the oath of allegiance formed two of the main reasons why Quakers came into conflict with the law.

House of Commons Report on Kinsalebeg & Youghal Poor (1836):

The British House of Commons issued a report on the poor in Ireland in 1836. This was based on a questionnaire and responses were received from Abraham Fisher regarding Youghal (Population 11,327) and Rev. Percy Scott Smyth regarding Kinsalebeg & Grange (Population 4975). The questions and responses were as follows (AF=Abraham Fisher and PSS = Percy Scott Smyth):

Number of deserted children:

AF re Youghal: Seven deserted children, under the care of church-wardens, who pay 5 pounds per annum for each, which is levied on the parish by the vestry. I have not heard of any supposed to have perished through neglect within the last three years.

PSS re Kinsalebeg/Grange: None

Children not supported by a father:

AF re Youghal: I cannot tell this, but I understand that there are several supported by the mothers, whom the fathers have been base enough to forsake. This evil requires some proper remedy.

PSS re Kinsalebeg/Grange: Three only.

Total number of widows:

AF re Youghal: I cannot tell the number, but I know several who are supported by benevolent individuals, assisted by charitable institutions.

PSS re Kinsalebeg/Grange: In or about 80; they mostly go about from one house to another, begging.

Total unable to work:

AF re Youghal: I cannot give an accurate reply, and apprehend that it would require an examination from house to house to ascertain it.

PSS re Kinsalebeg/Grange: Sixty. By the clergy (supported ?).

Emigration from the parish (for work):

AF re Youghal: Perhaps from 10 to 12. They are much more in the habit of emigrating from the westward.

PSS re Kinsalebeg/Grange: Very few from this parish

How many emigrants are married and how is family supported:

AF re Youghal: Some are married, and usually try to leave their families some potatoes, either from their own earnings, or collected from their friends, until their return, or until they may send over some money.

PSS re Kinsalebeg/Youghal: Mostly beg until they return.

How many beggars in parish:

AF re Youghal: Alms are mostly given in money. I cannot say the number of beggars; perhaps about 80; but this is mere guess work. Some quantities of clothes are annually distributed.

PSS re Kinsalebeg/Grange: A great many. In provision.

What lodgings are available for beggars:

AF re Youghal: Strolling beggars may have lodgings as 3d per night, but I do not know of any houses specially appropriated to them; but lodgings for such may readily be had.

PSS re Kinsalebeg/Grange: They get the lodgings gratis.

Total deaths from destitution in the parish:

AF re Youghal: Very few, probably not exceeding three, the poor being kind to each other when actually in want.

PSS re Kinsalebeg/Grange: Not one.

Bankruptcy Notice of Reuben Abraham Fisher (8th January 1840):  

The bankruptcy notice concerning Reuben Abraham Fisher which appeared in the newspapers of 8th January 1840 was one of the early indications of financial difficulties in the Fisher family. The notice was as follows:

“BANKRUPTS: Reuben Abraham Fisher, of Youghal, in the county of Cork, merchant, miller, baker, tobacconist, dealer and chapman, to surrender himself on Saturday, the 18th day January instant, and on Tuesday, the 18th of February next, at one o’clock.”

One of the factors in the financial problems of the Fishers was related to their refusal or reluctance to pay Church of Ireland church tithes which was a serious issue with Catholics, Quakers etc. Church tithes had always existed in some form or another even in early Catholic times in Ireland but of course most of the population was Catholic at that time so it was not an issue between different religions. When Henry VIII established the Church of England, and later the Church of Ireland, it resulted in a transformation of religious administration in Ireland. In addition to taking over the vast majority of Catholic churches and converting them into Church of Ireland places of worship, including Kinsalebeg Church, the British monarchy also insisted that church tithes or annual fees were to be paid to the Church of Ireland by landowners and property owners regardless of their religion. This of course caused severe problems for the vast majority of Irish people who were Catholics. They had already lost their churches and were now also expected to pay tithes to the establishment who had confiscated these same churches in the first place. It also caused severe problems with Quakers who had a profound religious belief in the non payment of tithes and Abraham Fisher’s story is littered with conflict with various big landowners regarding payment of tithes. The issue became even more problematic over time as quite a lot of the revenue from church tithes did not even go to the Church of Ireland but went to the landlord who owned the church property. In the case of Kinsalebeg Church for example there was certainly a period when two thirds of the revenue from church tithes went to the Duke of Devonshire so in effect it had become in effect an extra rent. The various monthly Quaker Friends Meetings document hundreds of situations where goods were confiscated by landlords from Quakers in lieu of tithes. These confiscations range from casks of butter to livestock.

Reuben Joseph Fisher Insolvency Debtors’ Court (January 1841):  

Another newspaper report on 28th January 1841 indicated further financial problems by another member of the Fisher family namely Reuben Joseph Fisher, a nephew of Abraham Fisher. This entry was under the heading of the Insolvent Debtors’ Court and was as follows:

Insolvent Debtors’ Court – Yesterday. (Before Mr. Commissioner Curran.) There were eight cases on the list, in all of which opposition had been entered. The case of William Phelan, an insolvent, and lately an attorney in Cashell, was again, postponed to Tuesday next. Reuben Joseph Fisher, an insolvent, was opposed by Mr. Costello, on behalf of Mann and Co. and Johnston and Co., on the ground of suppression of property, and a fraudulent preference. Mr. Costello said that the insolvent’s debts amounted to 3000 (pounds sterling), and against it there was no property whatever returned on the schedule, or no account given of the manner in which it had been disposed of. Mr. Fitzgerald said his object in opposing the insolvent, on the part of Messrs. Baldwin and Co., was to obtain information respecting several circumstances stated on the schedule, particularly his having taken credit for two years longer than the period included in the debit side of the account. Mr. Creighton said there could be no difficulty whatever in explaining the circumstances referred to, and which were rendered necessary from the peculiar nature of the case. The insolvent was then examined (Reuben Joseph Fisher), and stated that he had been possessed of a life interest in a moiety of the fourth part of lands in the county of Meath and the King’s County; he surrendered his interest in them to his uncle, Abraham Fisher, for 200 (pounds sterling), in the year 1829 or 1830; he got no money on the occasion, as he owed the money to his uncle; he released the property in 1838 for 300 (pounds sterling), which he had borrowed for the purpose from a Mr. Thomas Harvey, but not being able to retain it, he was obliged to restore it again to his uncle. The case was adjourned for the production of the bonds.”

Abraham Fisher Jury Service Difficulties (28th March 1841):  

Abraham Fisher was called up to act as a juror in a murder case at the County of Cork Criminal Court in March 1841. He initially annoyed the judge with his refusal to remove his hat in court and his insistence on calling the judge “Friend” in the usual Quaker manner. The Quakers did not believe in class distinction of any type and as a matter of principle would not tip or remove their hats to anyone regardless of their position or rank. The judge ordered the court orderlies to forcibly remove the hat. This was only the start of the judge’s difficulties however as the swearing in of Abraham Fisher as a juror created another problem. On being asked to affirm his willingness to act as a juror Abraham Fisher responded according to the newspaper report “Provided the verdict does not endanger life” much to the amusement of everyone in the court with the exception of the judge who promptly dispensed with his services and dismissed him from the court. The refusal to accept the oath of allegiance to the crown together with a refusal to pay church tithes was the source of a lot of difficulties between the Quakers and the legal system over the centuries.

Proposed Sale of Fisher land in Summerhill on 26th July 1841:

The properties of Abraham Fisher in Knocknageragh aka Summerhill were put up for sale in July 1841 and a sale notice appeared in newspapers on 26th July 1841. This sale covered the approximately 282 acres of land in Summerhill and associated buildings. The land was obviously not sold at that time as it eventually went for auction in Landed Estates Court in 1865 and the land appeared in Griffith’s Valuation of the 1850s as being in the possession of Abraham Fisher.

Abraham Fisher Reduction of Rent Charges in Summerhill (2nd Nov. 1843):

An article in the Waterford Chronicle commented favourably on the decision of Abraham Fisher to reduce the rent of his lands in Summerhill by fifty per cent due to the difficult time in agriculture at the time. The article appeared as follows:

A Good Quaker Landlord: It has been communicated to us that Abraham Fisher, of Youghal, has reduced the rents of his tenantry on the lands of Summer-hill, in the county of Waterford, fifty per cent. Such conduct cannot be too highly praised at this season when the price of agricultural produce are so low. We trust that the good example of this excellent and benevolent Quaker will be universally followed. – Waterford Chronicle.”

There is no evidence that this action by Abraham Fisher set a trend amongst other landlords for lowering rents after this period. It was however actions like this combined with many other charitable acts which endeared the Fishers to the inhabitants of Kinsalebeg.

Abraham Fisher and Famine Relief (28th May 1846):

The Fisher family were actively involved in the Youghal Famine Relief Committee which covered the Kinsalebeg area and there was also some involvement with the Dungarvan Famine Relief Committee. Rev William Wakeham, curate of Kinsalebeg in this period, was also involved in Kinsalebeg famine relief as we have described elsewhere. A report in the Daily News (London) on 28th May 1846, based on an article in the Cork Examiner, made reference to the fact that Abraham Fisher and colleagues on the famine relief area met the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland with a view to obtaining famine assistance. The report went as follows:

In Youghal we are glad to find considerable improvements undertaken. A poor relief deputation, consisting of Thomas John, Esq., J.P., the Rev. R. Smiddy, C.C., the Rev. Mr. Aldworth, and Abraham Fisher, Esq., had an audience with the Lord Lieutenant, and obtained a donation of 400 (pounds sterling) for their town. – Cork Examiner.”

We presume the article referred to a meeting with William à Court, 1st Baron Heytesbury who was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the period 17 July 1844 to 8 July 1846. A separate note indicated that the famine relief committee had applied to the India Relief Board for funds and expected to get an additional fifty or one hundred pounds.

Famine Protest at Pilltown Mills (29th September 1846):

The following reports describe a famine protest which took place in Pilltown & Ferrypoint in September 1846. It was one of a number of protests by a desperate starving population which took place in the West Waterford & East Cork during the famine period. The following report appeared in The Times of London on 29th September 1846:

“Thursday, a mob of thousands marched down to Mr Fisher’s mill at Pilltown, just opposite Youghal, on the county of Waterford side, vowing vengeance if Indian meal was not sold at 1s. per stone from the mill, and corn ground for 1d. per stone; they then proceeded, armed with sticks, stones, spades, hammers (such as are used in repairing roads), and other weapons, to the Ferrypoint, just opposite the centre of the town, and considerable apprehension was excited that they meant to attack it. The magistrates had the military in readiness immediately to repel them, but they contented themselves with threats of vengeance against the ferrymen and boatmen should they carry corn or provisions over to the Youghal merchants. The house of a farmer named Wynne was plundered; several other farmers were sworn not to take their corn over to Youghal, and again they marched down to the Ferrypoint to show themselves.”

 Richard Harrison recounts a slightly different version of the above event in his book on Irish Quakers7 but it may have been about a separate incident. His version is as follows:

“One Fifth-day he [Peter Moor Fisher] was proceeding to Meeting [Friends Meeting] with his family, when an agitated man rushed up to him to ask if he knew that a dangerous mob was marching towards the mill, and would kill him and nail his ears to the door, and asked, ‘Have you left the police in charge ?’ Peter replied ‘Yes’ to the first question and ‘No’ to the second question. ‘Do’st thou not know that it is our morning Meeting ? The mill is shut up as usual and all is left in the care of my Heavenly Father.’ The mob did indeed rush up to the mill but only to shout, ‘Three cheers for Mr. Fisher’.”

There is no doubt that Peter Moor Fisher was popular locally and it is unlikely that he would have come to any harm from the assembled crowd. When the famine protestors arrived at Ferrypoint the authorities in Youghal sent an express request to the Admiral at the naval base in Cobh to send armed assistance to break up the ferry blockade at Ferrypoint. The steamer Myrmidon arrived in Youghal and a number of other boats filled with artillery were also launched. The artillery included a 9 pounder gun which if fired at the protestors on Ferrypoint would have caused carnage. In the event a stand-off developed until the protestors departed the scene knowing that their weapons were no match for the artillery on the other side.  

Pilltown Mills during the Famine period (October 1846): 

Pilltown Mills was an important facility in the famine period for grinding corn for Kinsalebeg and surrounding areas. The Times published an article on 6th October 1846 with an overview of the famine in the Waterford area. The article is covered elsewhere in dealing with the famine but the excerpt below mentions the use of Pilltown Mills for grinding corn for Ardmore area. The Rev. H. Leech disputed aspects of this report and indicated that distress in Ardmore area was acute and that the milling of wheat in Pilltown was a once-off operation. The Times report was as follows:

Title: Ireland: State of the Country (from our own correspondent). Dublin October 4th [1846]

            The country all around is still in the greatest state of excitement. The officer of the Board of Works cannot by the Treasury minute pay the labourers more than 10d a day, and at this sum they cannot buy provisions. Indian meal in the market is now worth double that sum per 14lb., is this feeling of dissatisfaction confined to the labourers and small farmers. The gentry and magistrates are most loud in the outcry against Government for the length they have permitted matters to arrive at without throwing in food, paralysing enterprise amongst the merchants, by the declaration from the Lord-Lieutenant that food shall not exceed a given price, and at another time declaring that food will not be interfered with. A meeting of the county magistrates it is thought will be brought together immediately, as many are determined to throw up the commission of the peace, sooner than be the instruments of keeping down by bloodshed excitement caused by want of energy and foresight at head-quarters. This is not confined to the county of Waterford. The adjacent parts of the county of Cork are similarly circumstanced, and if matters go much further the country will be without an executive.

            At Ardmore and around that district distress is not so much felt – thanks to the exertions of the Rev. H. Leech and the Relief Committee there. A fresh subscription has been raised, corn is buying from the farmers and grinding at Pilltown Mill, which is daily disposed of at 1s. per stone.

Further Court Room Difficulties of Abraham Fisher (31st March 1849):

Abraham Fisher was back in trouble with a judge in March 1849 when he made another appearance in court wearing a broad brimmed hat which he refused to remove as per normal Quaker tradition! He also insisted on referring to Judge Ball by his first name Nicholas rather than Judge. The following report appeared in the Cork Examiner on 31st March 1849:

“A “Friend” in Court. – On Tuesday, while Judge Ball was hearing civil appeals in the City Court House, Mr. Abraham Fisher, of Youghal, one of the Society of Friends, stood in front of the bench covered with a “broad brim” of more than ordinary dimensions. After some time he engaged the attention of the judge, who ordered the hat to be removed from his head. A bailiff immediately accosted him and requested him to take off the offending item. The placid Quaker demurred. The bailiff said his lordship directed it. To this he received the reply, “Tell Nicholas Ball that my hat is an inoffensive piece of dress”. Judge Ball, perceiving the colloquy, and that the hat retained its position, directed that any person wearing his hat in court be removed. The bailiff took the hat from the head, and handed it to Mr Fisher, who refused to accept it, and the hat was placed on the spike of the dock, which caused much laughter to all in court. After a moment, Mr Fisher turning to the bailiff inquired, “Does Nicholas Ball desire that thee take off my coat?” The bailiff replied in the negative. “Well,” said Friend Fisher, “the one would be as worthy of Nicholas Ball as the other.” After a short time Mr. Fisher retired from court, leaving his hat, with which he was followed by a police constable. – Cork Constitution.”

Abraham Fisher Court Case re Church Tithes Debts (1847-1848):

We mentioned earlier that Quakers did not believe they should pay church tithes and this whole area caused severe problems for the Fishers and other Quakers particularly in the 18th and 19th century. In addition to his land in Summerhill, Abraham Fisher also owned land in Kilbride Co. Offaly which came under the ecclesiastical control of the Marquis of Downshire. A writ had been served on Abraham Fisher on 11th October 1847 to appear before the Justices at Petty Sessions in Youghal to answer the complaint of the Marquis that he was owed 63 pounds 11s. 11d. by Abraham Fisher for tithe rent-charge in Offaly and that he had either neglected or refused to pay the same. The Marquis also insisted that summonses for the recovery of these debts should be carried out by the judiciary covering the area where Abraham Fisher was living. The Cork magistrates covering the Youghal area believed that they had no authority to pursue debts in another jurisdiction.  The case eventually went to court at Petty Sessions in Youghal in 1848 under the heading “The Marquis of Downshire v John Keily, Thomas John, Robert Hudson and John Fitzgerald (Four Justices of the Peace in Co Cork)”. The Marquis of Downshire had actually died intestate on 12th April 1845, and the case was being pursued by his eldest son who had been deemed beneficiary of the late Marquis’s property by the Court of Prerogative. The case went into a lot of detail concerning the issues that Quakers had with paying church tithes but the focus of this particular case revolved around which county justice system should be pursuing the debt and the court concluded that it should be the judiciary in Offaly who should pursue the debt.

Confiscation of Abraham Fisher Property in Lieu of Tithe Debts (March 1849):

Abraham Fisher also got into difficulties with the Duke of Devonshire for his refusal to pay tithes in the Youghal/Kinsalebeg area. The Duke of Devonshire confiscated some of Abraham Fisher’s property in lieu of the debt. A letter appeared in the UK Quaker journal called the British Friend in March 1849 which outlines the details of the confiscation and also outlines the difficulties Quakers had with payment of tithe rents. Aside from the issue of paying tithes to a church of another persuasion, another key issue as outlined in this letter was the fact that big landlords, such as the Duke of Devonshire in this instance, were actually taking a large percentage of the tithes for their own benefit. The letter details are as follows:

Seizure for Tithes. To the Editors of the British Friend: Respected Friends, - Observing that you have continued to notice the oppressive Anti-christian yoke of Church rates – perhaps you may be inclined to embrace that of Tithes, now taken under the modern designation of Rent charge, I suppose to try and make it more palatable, but the name does not alter its Anti-christian character. Our friend, Abraham Fisher, of Youghal, had lately taken from him for a demand on behalf of the Duke of Devonshire, for two years, £28 12s. 6d., eight milch cows, one young bull, and four young pigs, valued at £57. What a violation of that Christian liberty which was brought to light by the gospel! Should it be said that these tithes are not for the support of the Church, does it not aggravate the case ? It is stated that when Henry VIII robbed the Church of them, he conveyed these, what are now called lay tithes, in trust for the benefit or forwarding of the Protestant religion. If this is the case, how is it that noblemen have not fulfilled their trust; but have wrested them to private use ? Can any conscientious Christian do so ? and does it not call for a searching inquiry by a Committee of the House of Commons ? No instruction appears to have been so great to the progress of the Reformation in Ireland, as the enforcing of these unrighteous ecclesiastical demands. Yours, &c. E.”

Expulsion of Joseph Fisher from Quaker Movement (6th December 1849):

Joseph Fisher was disowned or expelled from the Quaker movement at a Society of Friends Monthly Meeting in Cork on 6th December 1849.  Joseph Fisher was a son of Abraham & Jane Fisher of Pilltown Mills in Kinsalebeg, Co Waterford and of Youghal. Joseph Fisher had run into financial difficulties in some of his earlier business ventures particularly a start up flax growing business which was established prior to his founding of the Munster Express newspaper. The Society of Friends took a serious view of financial failure and frequently expelled members who got into financial difficulties or engaged in any business malpractice. The following are the notes of the December 1849 Cork monthly meeting at which the decision was made to expel Joseph Fisher from the Quaker movement:

The Friends under appointment report, that they showed the draft of the Testimony to Joseph Fisher and after reading it he said that he considered the circumstances of his case did not call for the conclusion the Monthly Meeting had come to, that the Testimony was harsh in expression and he objected to it altogether as having founded on one sided reports; he was asked if there was any statement in it, that was not correct and what part he objected to, but declined to go into particulars saying he objected to it as a whole. He again expressed  his regret for the reproach he had caused and the loss to his Creditors and his intention of making that up to them if in his power, and said he already paid a few of his small debts. This meeting having already given consideration to this case, believes no sufficient objection has been shown by Joseph Fisher to prevent the issuing of the Testimony of Disownment against him. The clerk is directed to sign it, the Registrar to record it; and the Women’s Meeting also to be informed”.

Testimony of Disownment of Joseph Fisher (6th December 1849):

The following is the text of the Testimony of Disownment8 given to Joseph Fisher as a result of the Cork Monthly Meeting of 6th Dec 1849:

“Whereas Joseph Fisher who had his birth and education in the religious society of Society of Friends having departed from that circumspection and uprightness in the management of his affairs which our principles inculcate, hath imprudently extended his business and contracted debts to a considerable amount. He has also rejected the advice annually given to inspect the state of his affairs and went on increasing his debts at this time that he was really insolvent, and having failed in payment hereof whereby his creditors have lost a large portion of what they entrusted to him, much reproach has been occasioned by his conduct.

Now in order as far as may be, to remove the reproach so brought on the Society we deem it incumbent on us to testify against conduct so unwatchful and inconsistent with our profession, and hereby disown him, the said Joseph Fisher, as a member of our Religious Society, at the same time desiring that he may be advised with a sense of his mishappenings and evince sorrow for the same, to the satisfaction of Friends.”

The above entry was signed by and on behalf of Cork Monthly Meeting, 6th December 1849 by John Barcroft Haughton, Clerk.

Establishment of Aborigines’ Protection Society (16th September 1850):

Abraham Fisher was a member of The Aborigines’ Protection Society which was an international human rights institution established in 1837. Despite its name the society was set up to protect the health, well-being and rights of all indigenous peoples subjected by colonial powers including North American Indians, Australian native aborigines, South African black communities etc. On 16th September 1850 a meeting was convened in Youghal with a view to establishing a local committee of the Aborigines’ Protection Society. The meeting was held in the Mall-room at Youghal and a large attendance was present including J. Hudson Esq. J.P who presided. Abraham Fisher addressed the meeting urging the importance of the association and the significance of establishing a local committee in the greater Youghal area. The meeting was then addressed by L.A. Chamerovzow who was secretary of the international parent Aborigines’ Protection Society. The meeting concluded that they should proceed to set up a local committee.

Peter Moor Fisher Corn Boat Accident (25th October 1854):  

At 7pm on 6th October 1853 a boating accident took place at Monkstown on the River Lee between Passage and what was then Queenstown. The accident occurred when the 81 ton passenger steamer Victoria operated by the Cork and Passage Railway hit and sunk the 30 ton Adelaide smack owned by Michael Hodder & Joseph Roberts which was carrying 349 barrels of wheat valued at £700 (£2 per barrel) owned by Peter Moor Fisher of Pilltown Mills. In present day terms with inflation the cargo would have been worth close to 100,000 euro. The storage capacity of the mill in Pilltown was around 3000 barrels and at £2 per barrel this would put a value of around £6000 pounds sterling on the stock value at Pilltown at capacity. This would translate with inflation into a current day value of close to half a million euro of potential stock value at Pilltown Mills at any given time which gives another indication of the capacity of the Pilltown Mills. The cargo had come from Fishers Mills in Pilltown and was on its way to Cork city. The owners of the smack and the cargo owner Peter Moor Fisher sued the Cork & Passage Railway for compensation for the loss of the boat and cargo. The smack was anchored off Monkstown on the western shore at the time of the accident. The passenger steamer apparently passed the Adelaide on its way from Passage to Queenstown to collect passengers and it was on its return journey from Queenstown that the accident happened. The prosecution’s case was that the master & crew of the Victoria passenger steamer were negligent and the defence case was that the lighting on the cargo smack Adelaide was inadequate. The smack owners and Peter Moor Fisher lost the case with costs against them and this was a serious blow to the already beleaguered finances of the Fisher family.

Status of Joseph Fisher Children at Cork Monthly Meeting (Feb 1855):

We include correspondence between Waterford Monthly Meeting (MM) and Cork MM regarding the children of Joseph Fisher. It would appear that a Certificate of Removal was sent from Cork MM to Waterford MM indicating that the children of Joseph Fisher were now in Waterford and therefore under the auspices of the Waterford Monthly Meeting. Apparently Joseph Fisher had strongly objected to this and wished that the children remain in the Cork MM. The Waterford MM were not convinced that Joseph Fisher intended to raise his children as Quakers and he had indicated to them that he had brought his children to “public worship” which we assume was a Church of Ireland place of worship. As a result of the letter from Waterford MM to Cork MM the registrar of Cork MM was directed to cancel the Certificate of Removal issued for Joseph Fisher’s children. Excerpts from the Cork MM of Feb 1855 stated that:

He [Joseph Fisher] said it was his desire that they should remain members of Cork monthly meeting at present, and that the Certificate was sent contrary to his expressed wish and without his knowledge. The Committee had also with regret to state that Joseph Fisher informed them his sons accompanied him to the public worship and he did not give them reason to expect that his children would be educated  as members of our Society and under these peculiar circumstances our monthly meeting was of opinion that it would be better they remained for the present members of Cork monthly meeting and accordingly directed us to return the Certificate which we include.”

Remain your affectionate friends

J W Strangman?, Thos W Jacob, T H P White ?

Waterford 30th 1st Month 1855.”

Peter Moor Fisher in Court of Bankruptcy (12th August 1963):

The following article concerning Peter Moor Fisher appeared in the Freemans Journal on 12th August 1863:

“Court of Bankrupcy and Insolvency: In re P.M. Fisher:-  Mr. Rogers QC, instructed by Mr. John Murray, solicitor, moved on behalf of the Provincial bank that the assignees should be ordered to join in conveying the premises in question to any party who should purchase at the sale ordered of the premises. These premises were mortgaged by Bransfield, a bankrupt, to Peter Moore Fisher to secure a debt, for which bills to the amount of 1,500L (sterling) were also given as collateral security. Mr. Fisher never paid anything on foot of the mortgage or the bills which were put in the Provincial Bank, and they were the only parties interested. But the mortgage having been executed to Fisher, the legal estate vested in his assignees, and therefore the present motion became necessary. The motion was not opposed and was granted.”

Financial Difficulties of P. M. Fisher’s Leeds Flint Glass Company (1st April 1865):

The following notice concerning Peter Moor Fisher appeared in the Leeds Mercury newspaper on 1st April 1865 which confirmed that the glass business set up by Peter Moor Fisher in Leeds had run into financial difficulties after a short period of operation:

“ Notice is hereby given, that by deed dated the twenty-fifth day of March, 1865, Peter Moor Fisher, of Hunslet, in the parish of Leeds, in the county of York, flint glass manufacturer, trading under the style of “The Hunslet Flint Glass Company” CONVEYED all his Estate and Effects to George Burr, of Shresbury, in the county of salop, lead manufacturer, in trust for the general benefit of the creditors of the said Peter Moor Fisher, in like manner as if he had been at the date thereof duly adjudged bankrupt. And Notice is hereby also given, that all persons claiming to be creditors of the said Peter Moor Fisher are requested immediately to send in full particulars of their claims to me, and to execute the said deed which now lies at my office for execution by them; and that all persons indebted to the estate of the said Peter Moor Fisher, are requested to pay the amount of their accounts to me forthwith. Dated this Thirty-first day of March, 1865. James Rider, Solicitor to the Trustee, 15 Park-row, Leeds.”

Official Bankruptcy Notice of Peter Moor Fisher in Leeds (25th April 1865):

The official bankruptcy notice below for Peter Moor Fisher appeared in the London Gazette on 25th April 1865:

Image: Peter Moor Fisher 1865 bankruptcy notice. Source: The London Gazette April 25, 1865.          

Auction of Pilltown Mills (26th October 1865):

Notices were printed in the Irish Times and other newspapers in October & November 1865 outlining the forthcoming auction of properties of Abraham Fisher being sold under the auspices of the Landed Estates Court. The property was to be sold in eight separate lots. The following is the auction notice and there is also a description of the properties. It gives a good general overview of the extent of the Abraham Fisher holdings in Pilltown and Youghal. It gives a particular detailed description of Pilltown Mill itself and the scale and capacity of the mill.

Auction Notice in Irish Times on 26th October 1865:

(a)    Lot 1, consisting of the Lands of Kilnecarra, and a portion of the Lands of Kilmuclin, situate in the barony of Kilcoursey and King’s County, held in fee simple, containing 216a 2r 18p, statute measure, and producing the net annual profit rent of £183 4s 5d.

(b)    Lot 2, consisting of part of the Lands of Mancarmini, otherwise Moneargarrow, known as Springfield, situate in the Liberties of the town of Youghal, parish of St Mary, barony of Imokilly, and county of Cork, held in fee simple. Also a field adjoining Springfield, held by lease for ever, all said premises containing 22a 2r 17p, and producing a net rent of £40 19s 2½d.

(c)    Lot 3, consisting of the Dwellinghouse, Cottage, and Premises called Little Springfield Cottage, held under lease for lives renewable for ever, with part of Springfield, held in fee, and containing in the whole 2a 0r 1p. The greater portion of this Lot is in the Owner’s possession. The clear yearly or estimated value after payment of head rent is £8 2s.

(d)   Lot 4, consisting of part of the Lands of Knocknageragh, or Summerhill, situate in the barony of Decies within Drum, the county of Waterford, held under fee farm grant, containing 282a 3r 11p, statute measure, and producing a net rent of £242 18s 11½d.

(e)    Lot 5, consisting of the Corn Mill and Corn Stores of Pilltown, with the Dwellinghouse, Millers’ House, and Labourers’ cottages, situate in the Barony of Decies within Drum, and County of Waterford, held under lease for lives renewable for ever, converted into a fee farm grant dated 26th July 1855, with a portion of the Lands of Piltown, containing 13a 0r 20p, or thereabouts, held under lease dated 3rd May, 1844, for one life or 31 years from 1853, and producing a net rent of £65 9s 6d.

(f)     Lot 6, consisting of a Dwellinghouse, Store and Premises situate in the town of Youghal and County of Cork, held under lease for lives renewable for ever and producing a net rent of £11.

(g)   Lot 7, consisting of a Dwellinghouse and Premises, with Yard and Store in the rere thereof, situate in the said Town of Youghal, held under lease for ever. Portion of these premises are in the owner’s possession, and the net rent and estimated yearly value, after payment of the head rent, is £46 9s 3d. This lot will be sold to an annuity of £25 Irish for the life of a lady aged 54 years.

(h)   Lot 8, consisting of a Dwellinghouse and Yard, with a Store in the rere thereof, situate in the said town of Youghal, held under lease for 161 years, dated 2nd September, 1829, at the rent of £41 6s.

Dated 22nd day of July, 1865.   R. Denny Urlin Examiner.

The following is a more detailed description of the above properties which appeared as an addition to the actual notice of auction in the Irish Times. It gives a particularly useful description of the components of the actual mill in Pilltown and shows the scale of the Fisher milling business in the Kinsalebeg area.

(a)    Lot 1 comprise the lands of Kilnecarra, and part of Kilmucklin, which are of good quality, and are advantageously situated in the King’s County, within a mile from the Town of Clara, and about seven miles from Tullamore and Moate. There are railway stations at all three towns, where there are also good markets and fairs. The River Bruane flows through the lands. The neighbourhood is a very orderly one, and the tenants pay their rents well.

(b)    Lot 2 includes the House, Garden, and Demesne of Springfield situate on a rising ground, nicely wooded, about half a mile from the Town of Youghal, on the old Cork road. The House is a commodious one, upon which a considerable sum of money has been lately expended. It is now in good repair, and fit for the immediate occupation of a respectable family. It has a southern aspect and the house commands a fine view of the sea. There are good farm buildings and offices attached. The land is in good order, nearly all in pasture, and is celebrated for its produce of milk and the quality of its butter.

(c)    Lot 3 consists of Springfield Cottage, with a garden and piece of ground attached. This Lot adjoins Lot 2. The Cottage commands nearly the same view as Springfield House, and is a moderate sized and comfortable House, containing Parlour, Drawingroom, three Bedchambers, Kitchen, Pantries. &c.

(d)   Lot 4 – the lands of Knocknageragh, or Summerhill. In the county of Waterford, are beautifully situated, commanding a fine view of Youghal Bay, of the Blackwater, and of the sea coast, and they afford fine sites for building. The lands are of good quality. This lot lies within one mile from the sea coast at Whiting Bay, where there is an open strand, furnishing large quantities of sea manure. The towns of Youghal and Dungarvan – the former distant from the lands about three miles, and connected directly by rail with the city of Cork – furnish excellent markets for the disposal of produce.  The extensive mills at Piltown are near these lands. A stream of water running through the lands to the Piltown mills increases their value as a dairy farm.

(e)    Lot 5 consists of the flour and Indian corn mills of Piltown, worked by water and steam power. The mills are situate about three miles from the town of Youghal, and are capable of manufacturing about 500 barrels of wheat and about 50 tons of Indian corn per week; they contain six pairs of French stones, five for wheat and one for Indian corn, all in good order; two silk dressing machines, 24 feet long, two barrel screens for wheat cleaning, two screens for Indian meal and all arrangements necessary for carrying on a good trade. The water wheel is of iron and 40 feet in diameter, in good order, overshot, and also worked from breast; the driving machinery is good; the steam engine (worked as an auxiliary power) and boilers are good; there is storage at the mills for about 3,000 barrels of corn; lighters can discharge into the Mill and return to Youghal on the same tide; the tide flows up to the Mills, the concerns being recently rebuilt, are in good condition; they are well situated in a fine wheat country, commanding a good trade in Dungarvan, Lismore, Cappoquin, &c. The Dwellinghouse is convenient. It contains two sittingrooms, five bedrooms, kitchen and pantries, with extensive out offices; an excellent enclosed garden is attached.

(f)     Lots 6, 7 and 8 consists of dwelling houses and offices, yards and stores in the town of Youghal. The parliamentary Borough and seaport Town of Youghal is one of the most prosperous and improving towns in the South of Ireland. It is situated at the mouth of the River Blackwater, and has direct railway communication with the City of Cork. Its qualification as a bathing place, and the impetus given to its trade and commerce by the opening of railway and river communication with the City of Cork and County of Waterford, have combined to make it a place of considerable importance. The Premises are situated in the best part of the town for business purposes. A sum of over £2000 was expended in building the Stores, and they are capable of holding from 8,000 to 10,000 barrels of grain. There are two Corn Kilns in the Stores.

For Rentals and Maps apply at the Landed Estates Court, Inn’s Quay, Dublin; to John Murray esq, No. 15 dame Street, Dublin; Charles Maunsell, solicitor, 33 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin; David Hall, Esq, No. 39 South Mall, Cork; or to Murdock Green and Co, Solicitors, No 52 Lower Sackville Street, Dublin and Youghal.

Results of Initial Auction of Abraham Fisher Property (25th November 1865):

The auction at the Landed Estates Court of the above properties of Abraham Fisher in November 1865 had the following results:

Lot 1 (Lands of Kilnecarra etc): Bought by Mr. Maunsell in trust for Colonel Vandeleur, at 4500 pounds.

Lot 2 (Lands Mancarmini etc): Bought by Mr Fuge at 900 pounds.

Lot 3 (Little Springfield Cottage): Bought by Mr. Fisher, in trust at 55 pounds.

Lot 4 (Lands of Knocknageragh, Summergill): Sale adjourned

Lot 5 (Pilltown Mill): Sale adjourned

Lot 6 (Properties in Youghal town): Purchased by Mr. P. Carey for 145 pounds.

Lot 7 (Properties in Youghal): Not sold.

Lot 8 (Properties in Youghal): No offer. Sale adjourned.

The remaining four unsold properties went up for unsuccessful auction again in April and July 1866. The following results were reported in newspapers on 21st April 1866 (Irish Times) and also 7th July 1866: Lot 4 above – sale adjourned, no competition and Lots 5, 7 and 8 were also adjourned, there being no bidders.

Creditors Meeting of Peter Moor Fisher (22nd June 1867):

The following notice of a creditor’s meeting regarding the bankrupt milling business of Peter Moor Fisher in Ireland appeared in the Irish Law Times on 22nd June 1867 – this was a number of years after the event and Peter Moor Fisher had in the interim period become a bankrupt in the UK with the 1865 failure of the Hunslet Flint Glass Company in Leeds:

Death of Abraham Fisher in Neath (10th August 1871):

Abraham Fisher died at Neath, Wales aged eighty seven years of age. He had emigrated to Wales after his bankruptcy and loss of his properties in the Youghal and Pilltown areas. His son Peter Moor had also moved to Wales.

Death of Peter Moor Fisher in Neath (25th June 1899):

Peter Moor Fisher died on 25th June 1899 in Talyfedw, Neath in Wales at the age of ninety one years. He was the last of the Fisher family connected to the milling business in Pilltown.

Summary of Fisher Family of Pilltown Mills

            There is no doubt that the Fisher family of Youghal and Pilltown Mills played a big part in the history of Kinsalebeg in the 18th and 19th centuries. The three generations of Fisher family members most associated with Pilltown Mills were Reuben Fisher, his son Abraham Fisher and finally Peter Moor Fisher a son of Abraham. However many other members of the Fisher family were associated with the mills during this period. The Pilltown milling business was a substantial operation by any standards with a capability of processing 500 barrels of wheat and 50 barrels of corn per week with the six pairs of French millstones. There was a storage capacity of 3,000 barrels of grain in Pilltown and a further 10,000 barrels in Youghal. The annual turnover of the mill at full capacity could have been of the order of £100,000 per annum which would probably equate to a turnover close to ten million euro at present day rates. The mill was a major employer in the Kinsalebeg area and of course also provided a convenient grain output for farmers in the area. We have outlined the various financial difficulties encountered by the Fishers over the decades and Pilltown Mills was eventually forced to close when Peter Moor Fisher was declared bankrupt in 1867. His Hunslet Flint Glass Company in Leeds England, which he had set up a few years earlier, also went into bankruptcy in 1865. The various properties of the Fisher family eventually finished up for sale in the Landed Estates Courts including all the land, buildings and equipment associated with Pilltown Mills. These were all sold as going concerns and there is no doubt that the relatively modern milling facility in Pilltown could have continued operations under new ownership. However these were difficult post famine times and the milling operation never restarted in Pilltown.

            The overall history of the Fishers of Youghal and Pilltown is quite extensive and it is not possible to cover the family history in any great detail in this publication. We have focused primarily on selected members of the extraordinary family of Abraham Fisher and Jane Moor. They had seventeen children in total and we have endeavoured to summarise the lives of three of these children namely Peter Moor Fisher, Anne Marie Haslam nee Fisher and Joseph Fisher. Peter Moor Fisher was primarily involved in continuing the business interests of his father including Pilltown Mills. He was an energetic man with a wide range of interests both in business and in social areas. His major business ventures eventually finished up in bankruptcy but his social and philanthropic activities were laudable. He was involved with other members of the Fisher family in famine relief in the 1840s and together with the Rev William Wakeham was instrumental in helping minimise the effects of the famine in Kinsalebeg. The whole famine relief program in Kinsalebeg was indeed a model of ecumenical unity with the Catholic Church population working together with the Fisher family of Quakers and the Rev William Wakeham led Church of Ireland community. Anne Marie Haslam nee Fisher was another extraordinarily influential member of the Fisher family. She was in many ways before her time as an upholder of women’s rights and other social issues from famine relief to anti-slavery. She founded the first women’s suffrage society in Ireland and together with her husband Thomas Haslam spent a lifetime involved in social reform. Her place in history has sometimes mistakenly been overshadowed in public awareness by the more militant and aggressive approach of later suffragette leaders such as Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and Countess Markievicz. However this daughter of Abraham & Jane Fisher of Pilltown Mills started the suffrage movement in Ireland many decades before any other suffragette leader. She had formed the Dublin’s Women Suffrage Association (DWSA) in 1876 which was a year before Hannah Sheehy Skeffington was born. Joseph Fisher, another son of Abraham & Jane, will largely be remembered for his journalistic career including the establishment of the Munster Express newspaper. Like most of the Fisher family he had a lifelong interest in promoting social issues and of course his newspaper proprietorship, the Munster Express and the Waterford Mail, gave him an ideal platform to air those views. He campaigned vigorously for land reform and the improvement in the operation of poor law relief. The views of Joseph Fisher and his journalistic sons William Garrow and Harry David Fisher did not sit well with many establishment figures at the time. The Fisher family were frequently in hot water and indeed served a number of jail sentences for voicing their views on various contentious social and political issues.

            The Fishers were a Quaker family and as such were members of the Religious Society of Friends. Their religious beliefs were the driving force behind their strong views on social justice and their commitment to philanthropy. Various members of the family were involved in a myriad of activities including famine relief, anti-slavery, women’s rights, church tithes abolition, rights of indigenous peoples, social reform, land reform, poor law relief and aborigine protection. Some of their beliefs brought them into conflict with authority and Abraham Fisher himself was frequently in trouble for seemingly minor offences. He upset a couple of judges for refusing to take off his wide brimmed hat in court. On another occasion he insisted on calling the judge “Friend” which was a normal greeting term of Quakers but the judge insisted on being called “Your honour”. The Quakers did not belief in the class system or any hierarchy of authority which caused them endless problems in dealing with authorities. The Quakers had a strong aversion to the payment of church tithes which they considered as a form of taxation by the Church of Ireland of which they were patently not members. They were particularly opposed to the way church tithes were administered, whereby a high proportion of the tithes levied finished up in the pockets of large estate owners who held the rights to the imposition and collection of tithes. The views of the Quakers on church tithes were no different to that of other non Church of Ireland members such as Catholics who were also forced to pay tithes to the Church of Ireland. On one occasion the Duke of Devonshire confiscated eight milch cows, one young bull and four young pigs valued at £57 from Abraham Fisher as well as a £28 fine resulting from his refusal to pay the Duke church tithes.

            The Fisher family of Pilltown Mills have not had a presence in Kinsalebeg for over one hundred and fifty years even though the ruins of the old mill are still standing. Descendants of the original Fisher family are regular visitors to the area with a particular interest in tracing their family roots. The Fisher family themselves will no doubt be remembered in Kinsalebeg and Youghal for their many business ventures. However they will be especially remembered in this area for their support in the famine period and for their strong beliefs in social justice.  They were a hard working, if sometimes eccentric, family of Quakers but they added enormous colour and vitality to life in Pilltown for over a century.

Appendix 1: Descendants of Reuben Fisher

(Don Lehane 2013)

Generation 1

1.         Reuben Fisher-1 was born on 13 Nov 1753 in Youghal, Co Cork. He died on 18 Jan 1808 in Youghal, Co Cork.

Jenepher Abell daughter of Abraham Abell and Elizabeth Abellnee was born on 11 May 1757 in Cork. She died on 28 Nov 1807 in Youghal, Co Cork.

Reuben Fisher and Jenepher Abell were married on 25 Mar 1777 in Cork. They had the following children:

2.          i. Joseph Fisher was born on 04 Nov 1778 in Youghal, Co Cork. He married Mary Ann Boardman on 06 Nov 1806 in Clonmel, Co Tipperary. He died on 19 Dec 1816 in Youghal, Co Cork.

ii.         Elizabeth Fisher was born on 08 Nov 1780 in Youghal, Co Cork. She died in 1780.

iii.       Mary Fisher was born on 13 Nov 1781 in Youghal, Co Cork. She died on 09 Jun 1785 in Youghal, Co Cork.

3.          iv. Abraham Fisher was born on 22 Aug 1783 in Youghal, Co Cork. He married Jane Moor on 14 May 1806 in Youghal, Co Cork. He died on 10 Aug 1871 in Neath, Wales.

v.         Reuben Fisher was born on 26 May 1786 in Youghal, Co Cork. He died on 05 Dec 1789 in Youghal, Co Cork.

vi.       Deborah Fisher was born on 05 Jun 1788 in Youghal, Co Cork.

vii.     Jenepher Fisher was born on 06 Jul 1791 in Youghal, Co Cork. She married Edward Alexander on 11 Dec 1817 in Youghal, Co Cork. She died on 01 Nov 1847.

viii.   Betty Fisher was born on 04 Dec 1792 in Youghal, Co Cork. She died on 22 Apr 1835.

ix.       Ann Fisher was born on 08 Oct 1794 in Youghal, Co Cork.

x.         Susannah Fisher was born on 25 Aug 1797 in Youghal, Co Cork. She died on 02 Sep 1803 in Youghal, Co Cork.

xi.       Mary Fisher was born on 24 Feb 1799 in Youghal, Co Cork.

xii.     James Fisher was born on 05 May 1801 in Youghal, Co Cork. He died on 11 Oct 1802 in Youghal, Co Cork.

Descendants of Reuben Fisher (contd)

Generation 2

2.         Joseph Fisher-2 (Reuben-1) was born on 04 Nov 1778 in Youghal, Co Cork. He died on 19 Dec 1816 in Youghal, Co Cork.

Mary Ann Boardman. She died on 29 May 1812 in Youghal, Co Cork.

Joseph Fisher and Mary Ann Boardman were married on 06 Nov 1806 in Clonmel, Co Tipperary. They had the following children:

               Reuben Fisher was born on 12 Feb 1808 in Youghal, Co Cork.

               John Fisher was born on 26 Jul 1809 in Youghal, Co Cork. He died on 12 Feb 1810 in Youghal, Co Cork.

               Hannah Fisher was born on 11 Feb 1811 in Youghal, Co Cork.

3.         Abraham Fisher-2 (Reuben-1) was born on 22 Aug 1783 in Youghal, Co Cork. He died on 10 Aug 1871 in Neath, Wales.

Jane Moor daughter of Peter Moor and Sarah Chamberlain was born on 18 Dec 1789 in Youghal, Co Cork. She died on 19 Apr 1877 in Neath, Wales.

Abraham Fisher and Jane Moor were married on 14 May 1806 in Youghal, Co Cork. They had the following children:

                i. Jenepher Fisher was born on 24 Feb 1808 in Youghal, Co Cork. She married Edwin Octavius Tregelles on 05 Jul 1832 in Falmouth, Cornwall, England. She died on 16 Jan 1844.

                ii. Peter Moor Fisher was born on 15 Nov 1809 in Youghal, Co Cork. He married Margaret Anne Fayle on 22 Sep 1835 in Dublin. He died on 25 Jun 1899 in Talyfedw, Neath Wales.

iii.       Sarah Fisher was born on 16 May 1811 in Youghal, Co Cork. She died in 1847.

iv.       Reuben Fisher was born on 27 Dec 1812 in Youghal, Co Cork. He married Mary Anne Williams on 02 Aug 1859 in St Finbarrs Cork or Youghal. He died in 1871 in Florida USA.

v.         Susannah Fisher was born on 23 Apr 1814 in Youghal, Co Cork. She died in 1847.

vi.       Abraham Fisher was born on 12 Oct 1816 in Springfield, Youghal, Co Cork. He died on 24 Mar 1818 in Youghal, Co Cork.


Descendants of Reuben Fisher (contd)

Generation 2 (con't)

6.          vii. Joseph Fisher was born on 18 Nov 1816 in Springfield, Youghal, Co Cork. He married Myra Eleanora Garrow on 13 Feb 1855 in Natlash Parish Church (COI) n North Cork. He died on 23 Nov 1882 in Exchange Street Waterford.

viii.   Charlotte Fisher was born on 04 Jan 1818 in Youghal, Co Cork. She died on 24 Oct 1837 in Youghal, Co Cork.

ix.       Jane Fisher was born on 20 Jan 1819 in Youghal, Co Cork.

x.         Deborah Fisher was born on 15 Jul 1820 in Youghal, Co Cork. She married Francis Ellington Wright on 18 Oct 1856.

xi.       Mary White Fisher was born on 14 Mar 1822 in Youghal, Co Cork.

7.          xii. Abraham Fisher was born on 22 Jul 1823 in Youghal, Co Cork. He married Sarah Wright on 14 Mar 1850 in St Peters Cork. He died on 09 Dec 1909 in Malvern PA USA ?.

xiii.   Richard Fisher was born on 20 Oct 1824 in Youghal, Co Cork. He died on 28 Oct 1825 in Youghal, Co Cork.

xiv.   Edward Fisher was born on 21 Dec 1825 in Youghal, Co Cork.

xv.      James Abell Fisher was born on 26 Jun 1827 in Youghal, Co Cork. He died in 1848.

xvi.   Anna Maria Fisher was born on 06 Apr 1829 in Youghal, Co Cork. She married Thomas Joseph Haslam on 20 Mar 1854 in Cork registry office. She died on 28 Nov 1922 in Rathmines, Dublin.

xvii. Rebecca Fisher was born on 07 Oct 1830 in Youghal, Co Cork. She died on 05 Feb 1832 in Youghal, Co Cork.

Generation 3

1           Jenepher Fisher-3 (Abraham-2, Reuben-1) was born on 24 Feb 1808 in Youghal, Co Cork. She died on 16 Jan 1844.

Edwin Octavius Tregelles son of Samuel Tregelles and Rebecca Smith was born on 19 Oct 1806 in Falmouth, Cornwall, England. He died on 16 Sep 1886 in Banbury England.

Edwin Octavius Tregelles and Jenepher Fisher were married on 05 Jul 1832 in Falmouth, Cornwall, England. They had the following children:


Descendants of Reuben Fisher (contd)

Generation 3 (con't)

i.           Gertrude Mary Tregelles was born on 27 Nov 1833 in Falmouth, Cornwall, England.

ii.         Arthur Edwin Tregelles was born on 25 Jan 1835 in Neath Wales. He died on 16 Sep 1911 in Falmouth, Cornwall, England.

iii.       Sarah Elizabeth Tregelles was born on 18 Feb 1837 in Falmouth, Cornwall, England. She died in 1892 in Falmouth, Cornwall, England.

4.         Peter Moor Fisher-3 (Abraham-2, Reuben-1) was born on 15 Nov 1809 in Youghal, Co Cork. He died on 25 Jun 1899 in Talyfedw, Neath Wales.

Margaret Anne Fayle daughter of Thomas Fayle was born on 17 Dec 1813 in Dublin. She died in 1851 in Pilltown Waterford or Youghal, Co Cork.

Peter Moor Fisher and Margaret Anne Fayle were married on 22 Sep 1835 in Dublin. They had the following children:

            Charlotte Fisher was born on 22 Jan 1838 in Youghal, Co Cork. She married Henry Rowntree on 18 Jul 1861 in Cork Monthly Meeting. She died on 22 Dec 1909 in Kansas City Missouri USA.

            Margaret Fayle Fisher was born on 13 Jul 1836 in Youghal, Co Cork.

            Sarah Jane Fisher was born on 03 Aug 1839 in Youghal, Co Cork.

ii.          iv. Jenepher Moor Fisher was born about 1846 in Youghal Co Cork. She married John Greeves Fisher on 18 Jul 1872 in Neath Wales. She died on 14 Nov 1879 in Wetherby Yorkshire England.

v.         Henry Hillary Fisher was born in 1844. He died on 27 Feb 1933 in Norfolk Virginia USA.

Rachel Rowntree daughter of Isaac Rowntree and Sarah Rowntreenee was born in Bradford.

Peter Moor Fisher and Rachel Rowntree were married on 13 Sep 1860 in Cork. They had the following children:

i.           Florence Mary Fisher was born on 20 Jan 1863 in Youghal, Co Waterford (Pilltown).

ii.         Freda Fisher was born on 25 Jul 1865 in Cork.


Descendants of Reuben Fisher (contd)

Generation 3 (con't)

iii.       Jane Fisher was born on 14 May 1866 in Cork.

1           Joseph Fisher-3 (Abraham-2, Reuben-1) was born on 18 Nov 1816 in Springfield, Youghal, Co Cork. He died on 23 Nov 1882 in Exchange Street Waterford.

Myra Eleanora Garrow daughter of David Garrow was born between 1822 and 1824. She died on 24 May 1891 in 4 Exchange Street Waterford.

Joseph Fisher and Myra Eleanora Garrow were married on 13 Feb 1855 in Natlash Parish Church (COI) n North Cork. They had the following children:

i.            i. William Garrow Fisher was born on 15 Aug 1856 in Waterford. He married Anastasia McNamara on 18 Dec 1877 in Parish Church, Carrick-on-Suir. He died on 16 Dec 1928 in USA.

ii.          ii.   Harry David Fisher was born on 26 Nov 1861 in Waterford.

               Joseph Weymouth Fisher was born on 28 Oct 1855. He died about 1881.

               Edwin Weymouth Fisher was born on 18 Nov 1857. He died about 1870.

Anna O'Brien daughter of Daniel O'Brien and Mary Greeves was born on 20 Jun 1817 in Carlow, Ireland. She died on 13 Nov 1852 in Youghal Co Cork.

Joseph Fisher and Anna O'Brien were married on 23 Aug 1843. They had the following children:

i.           Mary Greeves Fisher was born about 1844. She died about 1844 in Youghal Co Cork.

9.          ii. John Greeves Fisher was born on 09 Sep 1845 in Youghal Co Cork. He married Jenepher Moor Fisher on 18 Jul 1872 in Neath Wales. He died on 18 May 1931 in Leeds England.

iii.       Edward Alexander Fisher was born about 1846. He died on 07 Feb 1930.

iv.       Susanna Fisher was born about 1849 in Youghal Co Cork.

v.         Anna Fisher was born in 1849 in Youghal or Cork. She died on 11 Apr 1908 in Barnston Quebec Canada.

vi.       Mary Josephine Fisher was born in 1851 in Youghal. She died on 28 Nov 1929 in Cork.


Descendants of Reuben Fisher (contd)

Generation 3 (con't)

7.         Abraham Fisher-3 (Abraham-2, Reuben-1) was born on 22 Jul 1823 in Youghal, Co Cork. He died on 09 Dec 1909 in Malvern PA USA ?.

Sarah Wright daughter of Thomas Wright was born about 1823.

Abraham Fisher and Sarah Wright were married on 14 Mar 1850 in St Peters Cork. They had the following children:

i.           Thomas Wright Fisher was born about 1855.

ii.         Sarah Fisher was born about 1857.

iii.       William J Fisher was born about 1859.

iv.       Henry W Fisher was born about 1861.

v.         Elizabeth Fisher was born about 1863.

vi.       Susan A Fisher was born about 1866.

vii.     Ellener Fisher was born about 1868.

Generation 4

8.         Jenepher Moor Fisher-4 (Peter Moor-3, Abraham-2, Reuben-1) was born about 1846 in Youghal Co Cork. She died on 14 Nov 1879 in Wetherby Yorkshire England.

9.         John Greeves Fisher son of Joseph Fisher and Anna O'Brien was born on 09 Sep 1845 in Youghal Co Cork. He died on 18 May 1931 in Leeds England.

John Greeves Fisher and Jenepher Moor Fisher were married on 18 Jul 1872 in Neath Wales. They had the following children:

i.           Gerald Fisher was born on 24 Dec 1873 in 5 Geraldine Street South Dublin.

ii.         Ernest M Fisher was born about 1876 in Crewe, Cheshire England.

iii.       Lawrence H Fisher was born about 1878 in Leeds, Yorkshire England.

9.         John Greeves Fisher-4 (Joseph-3, Abraham-2, Reuben-1) was born on 09 Sep 1845 in Youghal Co Cork. He died on 18 May 1931 in Leeds England.


Descendants of Reuben Fisher (contd)

Generation 4 (con't)

8.          Jenepher Moor Fisher daughter of Peter Moor Fisher and Margaret Anne Fayle was born about 1846 in Youghal Co Cork. She died on 14 Nov 1879 in Wetherby Yorkshire England.

John Greeves Fisher and Jenepher Moor Fisher were married on 18 Jul 1872 in Neath Wales. They had the following children:

i.           Gerald Fisher was born on 24 Dec 1873 in 5 Geraldine Street South Dublin.

ii.         Ernest M Fisher was born about 1876 in Crewe, Cheshire England.

iii.       Lawrence H Fisher was born about 1878 in Leeds, Yorkshire England.

10.     William Garrow Fisher-4 (Joseph-3, Abraham-2, Reuben-1) was born on 15 Aug 1856 in Waterford. He died on 16 Dec 1928 in USA.

Anastasia McNamara was born in 1861.

William Garrow Fisher and Anastasia McNamara were married on 18 Dec 1877 in Parish Church, Carrick-on-Suir. They had the following children:

i.           Edwin Garrow Fisher was born on 6th Aug 1881 in Carrick-on-Suir.

ii.         Myra Garrow Fisher was born on 9th Aug 1886 in Waterford.

Anne Walters.

William Garrow Fisher and Anne Walters married. They had the following children:

i.           William G. Fisher was born about 1895 in Bronx, New York USA. He died on 16 Sep 1936.

ii.         Kathleen A. Fisher was born about 1896 in Bronx, New York USA.

12.      iii. Joseph E. Fisher was born on 08 Dec 1898 in Bronx, New York USA. He married Ellen M FitzPatrick on 29 May 1930.

11.     Harry David Fisher-4 (Joseph-3, Abraham-2, Reuben-1) was born on 26 Nov 1861 in Waterford, he died in Roscrea in April 1939.

Edith Alexandra Armstrong was born between 1863-1864 in Manchester, England.

Harry David Fisher and Edith Alexandra Armstrong married. They had the following children:


Descendants of Reuben Fisher (contd)

Generation 4 (con't)

i.           Oswald Garrow Fisher was born about 1890 in Waterford. He died on 04 Nov 1920 in Mesopotamia.

ii.         Enid Armstrong Fisher was born Jan-Mar 1892 in Waterford.

iii.       Edith Eileen Fisher was born about 1893 in Waterford.

iv.       Norah Fisher was born about 1896 in Waterford.

v.         Hubert Pacrick Fisher was born 26th March 1896 in 15 Beau St Waterford and died before Mar 1898.

vi.       Hubert Patrick Fisher was born on 13th March 1898 in Butlerstown Castle, Waterford. He died on 09 Nov 1916 in The Somme.

vii.     Kenneth Lawrence Fisher was born about 1898 in Waterford.

viii.   Kathleen Fisher was born about 1900 in Waterford.

Generation 5

12.     Joseph E. Fisher-5 (William Garrow-4, Joseph-3, Abraham-2, Reuben-1) was born on 08 Dec 1898 in Bronx, New York USA.

Ellen M FitzPatrick daughter of Robert FitzPatrick was born in Newark New Jersey USA.

Joseph E. Fisher and Ellen M FitzPatrick were married on 29 May 1930. They had the following children:

i.           Kathleen E Fisher was born on 26 May 1931.

14.      ii.   Joseph Fisher was born on 10 Sep 1934.

iii.       William Garrow Fisher was born on 16 Nov 1937.

Generation 6

13.     Joseph Fisher-6 (Joseph E.-5, William Garrow-4, Joseph-3, Abraham-2, Reuben-1) was born on 10 Sep 1934.

Joseph Fisher and unknown spouse married. They had the following children:

i.           Joseph Fisher.

Appendix 2: Outline Descendant Report of Reuben Fisher

..... 1  Reuben Fisher b: Abt. 1669-1676 in Southwark London, d: 25 Mar 1723 in Youghal, Co Cork

..... + Margaret Chute b: Bet. 13 May–13 Jul 1678, m: 26 Dec 1705 in Youghal Co Cork, d: 25 Sep 1739

........... 2  Thomas Fisher b: 13 Sep 1707 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 03 Jun 1741

........... 2  Susannah Fisher b: 16 Nov 1708 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 18 Jan 1785 in Cork

...........  + Thomas Harvey m: 14 Dec 1733 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 14 Oct 1791

........... 2  Reuben Fisher b: 19 Mar 1710 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 25 Jan 1753 in Youghal Co Cork

...........  + Mary Godfrey m: 07 Feb 1741 in Cashel, Co Tipperary, d: 15 Feb 1785 in Youghal, Co Cork

................. 3 Margaret Fisher b: Bet. 20 Dec 1746–1747 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 29 Sep 1774 in Youghal, Co Cork

................. 3  Reuben Fisher b: 17 Oct 1742, d: 09 Feb 1746

................. 3  Jane Fisher b: Bet. 22 Dec 1744–1745

.................  + Joseph Seymour m: 15 Feb 1765 in St Mary's Collegiate Church, Youghal Co Cork

................. 3  Reuben Fisher b: Bet. 14 Jan 1748–1749, d: 26 Aug 1750

................. 3  John Fisher b: 09 Jul 1751, d: 22 Feb 1785

........... 2  Charles Fisher b: 25 Mar 1711 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 25 Jul 1772

...........  + Sarah Leech

................. 3  Susannah Fisher

.................  + James Bourne

................. 3  Hannah Fisher

.................  + John Ingle

...........  + Eliza Jones

................. 3  Eliza Fisher

.................  + Thomas Tuite

................. 3  Rebecca Jones Fisher b: Abt. 1790, d: 19 Apr 1860 in Cork

........... 2  Constance Fisher b: 14 Jul 1712 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 04 May 1773 in Youghal Co Cork

...........  + Thomas Scamadin m: 06 Jun 1747

................. 3  Margaret Scamadin

.................  + James Lecky

................. 3  John Scamadin

.................  + Ann Bates

................. 3  Catherine Scamadin

.................  + George Shields

........... 2 William Chute Fisher b: 16 Sep 1714 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 1783 in Springfield, Youghal, Co Cork

...........  + Mary Clarke b: 20 Feb 1715, m: Feb 1738, d: 20 Nov 1772

........... 2  Samuel Fisher b: 22 Apr 1716 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 21 Jul 1718 in Youghal, Co Cork

........... 2  Joseph Fisher b: 03 Feb 1718 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 16 Feb 1791

...........  + Sarah Dennis b: Abt. 1720, m: 19 Dec 1743 in Cork, d: 12 Dec 1750

................. 3  James Fisher b: 07 Oct 1744 in Youghal, Co Cork

................. 3  Joseph Fisher b: 21 Apr 1745 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 1771 in Abroad somewhere

................. 3  John Fisher b: 26 Mar 1748 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 23 Aug 1749 in Youghal, Co Cork

...........  + Betty Hillary m: 26 Jan 1752 in Youghal Co Cork, d: 27 Nov 1809 in Seaview Cork

................. 3  Reuben Fisher b: 13 Nov 1753 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 18 Jan 1808 in Youghal, Co Cork

................. + Jenepher Abell b: 11 May 1757 in Cork, m: 25 Mar 1777 in Cork, d: 28 Nov 1807 in Youghal, Co Cork

....................... 4 Joseph Fisher b: 04 Nov 1778 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 19 Dec 1816 in Youghal, Co Cork

....................... + Mary Ann Boardman m: 06 Nov 1806 in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, d: 29 May 1812 in Youghal, Co Cork

............................. 5  Reuben Fisher b: 12 Feb 1808 in Youghal, Co Cork

Outline Descendant Report for Reuben Fisher (contd)

............................. 5 John Fisher b: 26 Jul 1809 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 12 Feb 1810 in Youghal, Co Cork

............................. 5  Hannah Fisher b: 11 Feb 1811 in Youghal, Co Cork

....................... 4  Elizabeth Fisher b: 08 Nov 1780 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 1780

....................... 4  Mary Fisher b: 13 Nov 1781 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 09 Jun 1785 in Youghal, Co Cork

....................... 4  Abraham Fisher b: 22 Aug 1783 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 10 Aug 1871 in Neath, Wales

....................... + Jane Moor b: 18 Dec 1789 in Youghal, Co Cork, m: 14 May 1806 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 19 Apr 1877 in Neath, Wales

............................. 5  Jenepher Fisher b: 24 Feb 1808 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 16 Jan 1844

............................. + Edwin Octavius Tregelles b: 19 Oct 1806 in Falmouth, Cornwall, England, m: 05 Jul 1832 in Falmouth, Cornwall, England, d: 16 Sep 1886 in Banbury England

................................... 6  Gertrude Mary Tregelles b: 27 Nov 1833 in Falmouth, Cornwall, England

................................... 6 Arthur Edwin Tregelles b: 25 Jan 1835 in Neath Wales, d: 16 Sep 1911 in Falmouth, Cornwall, England

................................... 6 Sarah Elizabeth Tregelles b: 18 Feb 1837 in Falmouth, Cornwall, England, d: 1892 in Falmouth, Cornwall, England

............................. 5 Peter Moor Fisher b: 15 Nov 1809 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 25 Jun 1899 in Talyfedw, Neath Wales

............................. + Margaret Anne Fayle b: 17 Dec 1813 in Dublin, m: 22 Sep 1835 in Dublin, d: 1851 in Pilltown Waterford or Youghal, Co Cork

................................... 6 Charlotte Fisher b: 22 Jan 1838 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 22 Dec 1909 in Kansas City Missouri USA

................................... + Henry Rowntree b: Bradford, Yorkshire, m: 18 Jul 1861 in Cork Monthly Meeting

................................... 6  Margaret Fayle Fisher b: 13 Jul 1836 in Youghal, Co Cork

................................... 6  Sarah Jane Fisher b: 03 Aug 1839 in Youghal, Co Cork

................................... 6 Jenepher Moor Fisher b: Abt. 1846 in Youghal Co Cork, d: 14 Nov 1879 in Wetherby Yorkshire England

................................... + John Greeves Fisher b: 09 Sep 1845 in Youghal Co Cork, m: 18 Jul 1872 in Neath Wales, d: 18 May 1931 in Leeds England

......................................... 7  Gerald Fisher b: 24 Dec 1873 in 5 Geraldine Street South Dublin

......................................... 7  Ernest M Fisher b: Abt. 1876 in Crewe, Cheshire England

......................................... 7  Lawrence H Fisher b: Abt. 1878 in Leeds, Yorkshire England

................................... 6  Henry Hillary Fisher b: 1844, d: 27 Feb 1933 in Norfolk Virginia USA

.............................  + Rachel Rowntree b: Bradford, m: 13 Sep 1860 in Cork

................................... 6  Florence Mary Fisher b: 20 Jan 1863 in Youghal, Co Waterford

................................... 6  Freda Fisher b: 25 Jul 1865 in Cork

................................... 6  Jane Fisher b: 14 May 1866 in Cork

................................... 6 Charles Smithson Fisher b: Abt. 1862 in Youghal or Pilltown, d: 18 Feb 1879 in Talyfedw, Neath Wales

............................. 5  Sarah Fisher b: 16 May 1811 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 1847

.............................  + Samuel Moss d: 1847

............................. 5  Reuben Fisher b: 27 Dec 1812 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 1871 in Florida USA

.............................  + Mary Anne Williams m: 02 Aug 1859 in St Finbarrs Cork or Youghal

.............................  + Mary Fisher b: 22 Aug 1815, m: 06 Jul 1837

.............................  + Julia Forde

............................. 5  Susannah Fisher b: 23 Apr 1814 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 1847

............................. 5 Abraham Fisher b: 12 Oct 1816 in Springfield, Youghal, Co Cork, d: 24 Mar 1818 in Youghal, Co Cork

............................. 5 Joseph Fisher b: 18 Nov 1816 in Springfield, Youghal, Co Cork, d: 23 Nov 1882 in Exchange Street Waterford

Outline Descendant Report for Reuben Fisher (contd)

............................. + Myra Eleanora Garrow b: Bet. 1822–1824, m: 13 Feb 1855 in Natlash Parish Church (COI) n North Cork, d: 24 May 1891 in 4 Exchange Street Waterford

................................... 6  William Garrow Fisher b: 15 Aug 1856 in Waterford, d: 16 Dec 1928 in USA

................................... + Anastasia McNamara b: Abt. 1862, m: 18 Dec 1877 in Parish Church, Carrick-on-Suir

......................................... 7  Edwin Garrow Fisher b: 6th Aug 1881 in Carrick-on-Suir

......................................... 7  Myra Garrow Fisher b: 9th Aug 1886 in Waterford

...................................  + Anne Walters

......................................... 7  William G. Fisher b: Abt. 1895 in Bronx, New York USA, d: 16 Sep 1936

......................................... 7  Kathleen A. Fisher b: Abt. 1896 in Bronx, New York USA

......................................... 7  Joseph E. Fisher b: 08 Dec 1898 in Bronx, New York USA

.........................................  + Ellen M FitzPatrick b: Newark New Jersey USA, m: 29 May 1930

................................... 6  Harry David Fisher b: 26 Nov 1861 in Waterford. d: Apr 1939 in Roscrea.

...................................  + Edith Alexandra Armstrong b: Bet. 1863–1864 in Manchester, England

......................................... 7 Oswald Garrow Fisher b: Abt. 1890 in Waterford, d: 04 Nov 1920 in Mesopotamia

......................................... 7  Enid Armstrong Fisher b: Jan-Mar 1892 in Waterford

......................................... 7  Edith Eileen Fisher b: Abt. 1893 in Waterford

......................................... 7  Norah Fisher b: Abt. 1896 in Waterford

......................................... 7  Hubert Patrick Fisher b: 13th Mar 1898 in Waterford, d: 09 Nov 1916 in The Somme

......................................... 7  Kenneth Lawrence Fisher b: Abt. 1898 in Waterford

......................................... 7  Kathleen Fisher b: Abt. 1900 in Waterford

................................... 6  Joseph Weymouth Fisher b: 28 Oct 1855, d: Abt. 1881

...................................  + Jane Weymouth Franklin

................................... 6  Edwin Weymouth Fisher b: 18 Nov 1857, d: Abt. 1870

............................. + Anna O'Brien b: 20 Jun 1817 in Carlow, Ireland, m: 23 Aug 1843, d: 13 Nov 1852 in Youghal Co Cork

................................... 6  Mary Greeves Fisher b: Abt. 1844, d: Abt. 1844 in Youghal Co Cork

................................... 6 John Greeves Fisher b: 09 Sep 1845 in Youghal Co Cork, d: 18 May 1931 in Leeds England

................................... + Jenepher Moor Fisher b: Abt. 1846 in Youghal Co Cork, m: 18 Jul 1872 in Neath Wales, d: 14 Nov 1879 in Wetherby Yorkshire England

......................................... 7  Gerald Fisher b: 24 Dec 1873 in 5 Geraldine Street South Dublin

......................................... 7  Ernest M Fisher b: Abt. 1876 in Crewe, Cheshire England

......................................... 7  Lawrence H Fisher b: Abt. 1878 in Leeds, Yorkshire England

................................... 6  Edward Alexander Fisher b: Abt. 1846, d: 07 Feb 1930

................................... 6  Susanna Fisher b: Abt. 1849 in Youghal Co Cork

...................................  + Tom Gale

................................... 6 Anna Fisher b: 1849 in Youghal or Cork, d: 11 Apr 1908 in Barnston Quebec Canada

................................... 6  Mary Josephine Fisher b: 1851 in Youghal, d: 28 Nov 1929 in Cork

............................. 5 Charlotte Fisher b: 04 Jan 1818 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 24 Oct 1837 in Youghal, Co Cork

............................. 5  Jane Fisher b: 20 Jan 1819 in Youghal, Co Cork

............................. 5  Deborah Fisher b: 15 Jul 1820 in Youghal, Co Cork

.............................  + Francis Ellington Wright m: 18 Oct 1856

............................. 5  Mary White Fisher b: 14 Mar 1822 in Youghal, Co Cork

............................. 5 Abraham Fisher b: 22 Jul 1823 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 09 Dec 1909 in Malvern PA USA ?

.............................  + Sarah Wright b: Abt. 1823, m: 14 Mar 1850 in St Peters Cork

Outline Descendant Report for Reuben Fisher (contd)

................................... 6  Thomas Wright Fisher b: Abt. 1855

................................... 6  Sarah Fisher b: Abt. 1857

................................... 6  William J Fisher b: Abt. 1859

................................... 6  Henry W Fisher b: Abt. 1861

................................... 6  Elizabeth Fisher b: Abt. 1863

................................... 6  Susan A Fisher b: Abt. 1866

................................... 6  Ellener Fisher b: Abt. 1868

............................. 5 Richard Fisher b: 20 Oct 1824 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 28 Oct 1825 in Youghal, Co Cork

............................. 5  Edward Fisher b: 21 Dec 1825 in Youghal, Co Cork

............................. 5  James Abell Fisher b: 26 Jun 1827 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 1848

............................. 5 Anna Maria Fisher b: 06 Apr 1829 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 28 Nov 1922 in Rathmines, Dublin

............................. + Thomas Joseph Haslam b: 1825 in Mountmellick, Co Laois, m: 20 Mar 1854 in Cork registry office, d: 1917 in Rathmines, Dublin

............................. 5 Rebecca Fisher b: 07 Oct 1830 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 05 Feb 1832 in Youghal, Co Cork

....................... 4 Reuben Fisher b: 26 May 1786 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 05 Dec 1789 in Youghal, Co Cork

....................... 4  Deborah Fisher b: 05 Jun 1788 in Youghal, Co Cork

....................... 4  Jenepher Fisher b: 06 Jul 1791 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 01 Nov 1847

.......................  + Edward Alexander b: Limerick, m: 11 Dec 1817 in Youghal, Co Cork

....................... 4  Betty Fisher b: 04 Dec 1792 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 22 Apr 1835

....................... 4  Ann Fisher b: 08 Oct 1794 in Youghal, Co Cork

....................... 4 Susannah Fisher b: 25 Aug 1797 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 02 Sep 1803 in Youghal, Co Cork

....................... 4  Mary Fisher b: 24 Feb 1799 in Youghal, Co Cork

....................... 4 James Fisher b: 05 May 1801 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 11 Oct 1802 in Youghal, Co Cork

................. 3  Susannah Fisher b: Abt. 1770 in Youghal, Co Cork

................. 3  Henry Fisher b: Abt. 1759, d: 27 Aug 1759 in Youghal, Co Cork

................. 3  Anne Fisher b: Abt. 1757

........... 2  John Fisher b: 23 Aug 1720 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: 30 Jun 1722 in Youghal, Co Cork

........... 2  Hannah Fisher b: 29 Nov 1721 in Youghal, Co Cork, d: May 1798 in Guilford, Co Down

...........  + John Gough b: Cork, m: 19 Sep 1744 in Youghal, Co Cork.


1 ^  Ref: Land Registry: 503/151/321964 of 26th April 1796.

2 ^  Ref: Land Registry: 491/410/319164 of 11th Feb 1792

3 ^ a b  See www.excavations.ie (OPW/Dept of Heritage etc excavation of Pilltown in 2007)

  Url:  http://www.excavations.ie/Pages/Details.php?Year=&County=Waterford&id=18856

Courtesy: John Tierney (Eachtra)

4 ^ Text on water wheels is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License which we acknowledge.

5 ^   Ref: Land Registry: 503/151/321964 Deed of Lease dated 24th Sept 1795.

6 ^  Genteel Revolutionaries (Anna and Thomas Haslam) written by Carmel Quinlan in 2002

7 ^ a b  A Biographical Dictionary of Irish Quakers by Richard S. Harrison published 2008 (2nd Ed)

8 ^   Quaker Library Ref: MM VIII F2 Disowned. Cork Monthly Meeting, 6th December 1849

9 ^ Markets, Market Culture and Popular Protest by Randall & Charlesworth published 1996

10 ^ Greevz Fisher of Youghal and Leeds: From Quaker to Individualist and Freethinker by William Hudson. Published 2013, ISBN-13: 978-0981555638

11 ^ Land Agitation in County Waterford 1879-1882 by Donnchadh O’Ceallachain.  Published in Issue 53 (1997) of the Decies Journal of the Waterford Archaeological & Historical Society.

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