Cemetery: Laraghbryan Churchyard & Mylerstown Churchyard

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives
Kildare Index


File contributed by: C.Hunt & M. Taylor

  [From Lord Walter FITZGERALD]

'Close to the north-east corner of the church ruins is a
headstone whose inscription is fast
peeling owing to the bad quality of the stone; it reads' :-

   [SKULL]        IHS

   This Stone & Burial-place belongeth to .... WARD
   & his Posterity Here lyeth ye Bodies of 3 of his
   children and also ye body of Anne DILLON aged
   80 years

'On another stone which is fractured are the following
portions of words' :-
   The Fam[ily Burial] place of Daniel
   Let[ablere] Vicar of Laraghb[ryan] 1759

   [From Lord Walter FITZGERALD]

'Except for the foundations a trace of these church ruins
has disappeared. A short distance off on the opposite of
the public road stands one lofty angle of the castle of
the BERMINGHAM FAMILY, the former Proprietor of this

There is but one interesting in the churchyard that of a
Protestant Clergyman which lies almost invisible beside
the western end of the a south wall of the old church. It
is much sunk in the ground; and the lettering which is
incised is nearly illegible; it reads' :-

   AGED 66

'The initial H is cut in relief.'

'In answer to a query in the "Journal of the
County Kildare Archaelogical Society" as to who this Rev.
Christopher Hewetson was, the following information
was given in vol. iv, p. 373 of that "journal" by Sir
Edmund T. BEWLEY ;-

'The Rev. Christopher Hewetson whose tomb is in the
churchyard of Mylerstown was the eldest son of the Rev.
William Hewetson M.A. Rector of St. Werburgh's, Dublin
(1660-1676) by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of the Right
Rev, Thomas RAM D.D.Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin.

'The Rev. William Hewetson was the eldest son of the
Rev. Christopher Hewetson M.A. Vicar of Swords,
County Dublin, Treasurer of Christ Church (1596) and
Prebendary of St. Patrick's (1604) by his first wife Susan
SIGIN, of Southampton. (Funeral Entry Ulster's Office)

The Rev. Christopher Hewetson, the elder died 5th April
1633 (Funeral Entry Ulster's Office) and was buried in
the chancel of the Parish Church of Swords, where a
gravestone with an inscription was laid in 1694 by his
grandson, Michael Hewetson, Archdeacon of Armagh.

The inscription (which will be found in the "Journal of
the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of
the Dead in Ireland" vol. i, p.349) erroneously states him
to have been "Chancellor" in the Christ Church and give
1634 as the year of his death instead of 1633.

By his second marriage with Rebecca OKES he was the
father, with other issue, of Christopher Hewetson of
Thomastown, County Kilkenny who was the grantee
under Acts of Settlement of extensive estates in the
County Kilkenny, and was the ancestor of the Hewetsons
of Thomastown, County Kilkenny and Clonruske, County

The Rev. William Hewetson, the Rector of St.
Werburgh's had in addition to the Rev. Christopher
Hewetson, the subject of the present note, at least three
other sons, two of whom, viz., Moses and Michael
deserve some notice.

Moses Hewetson, one of the sons, lived at Betaghstown
in the parish of Clane, County Kildare; and by his
marriage to Margery NEWCOMBE he became the father
of a daughter, Grizzel- who married John AYLMER of
Mount Pleasant, Betaghstown - and three sons, of
whom the eldest, Patrick Hewetson, Dr. in Physic,
succeeded him at Betaghstown.

Patrick entered the University of Leyden as Medical
Student in 1726 where he pursued his studies until
1730, He afterwards took the degrees of M.B. and M.D.
in the University of Dublin and he died in 1783
unmarried. By his will dated the 23rd July, 1770, he
devised his Betaghstown and other estates (subject to a
life interest to his sister Grizzel AYLMER) to found the
boarding-school for children of poor Protestant parents
referred to by Canon SHERLOCK in his note, vol. iv, p.
320 of the "County Kildare Archaelogical Society's

Grizzel ALYMER [p. 349] having subsequently died in his
lifetime, had by a codicil to his will dated 29th
September, 1781 gave a life interest in the lands to

The Venerable Michael Hewetson M.A. Archdeacon of
Armagh (another of the sons to be noticed) was in
succession, Rector of Swords, Rector of Clashran, and
Archdeacon of Armagh. An interesting account of his
life will be found in the "Memoirs of the HEWETSON, or
HESWON, Of Ireland," by John Hewetson, Esq. (London
1901) from which a great portion of the above
information has been taken.

It will be seen however from the statements at pp. 80,
110 and 118 of this book that the inscription on the
Mylerstown tombstone was misread in the year 1863 as
"Here lies the Body of the learned and Pious Divine of
M.....l H.....o.., age 66" and was supposed to mark the
resting place of the Archdeacon of Armagh.

As the latter undoubtedly erected a schoolhouse at
Swords in 1700, it is evident that the portion of the
inscription containing the date cannot have been

The erroneous reading of the inscription was made at
the time the Rev. John KEBLE was writing the "Life of
Bishop WILSON" the intimate friend of the Archdeacon
in early days and had been made use of by him in
determining the death of Archdeacon Hewetson.

The Rev. Christopher Hewetson, the real subject of the
inscription was Curate of Carbury, County Kildare and
married Anne JANNS, by whom he had issue a son
William and three daughters, Elizabeth, Deborah and
Jane. At the time of the making of his will, which is
dated 4th November 1698 he was living at Clonuff,
County Kildare and he thereby expressed a desire to be
buried "in the churchyard of Mylerstown close to the
church door, without any solemnity saving the office
appointed in the Common Prayer Book."

The will and a codicil dated 4th March, 1698 were
proved by his widow, Anne Hewetson on 22nd April
1699: That is a little more than a month after the date
of his death as recorded on the tombstone.

Mr. John Hewetson, the author of the "Memoirs of the
House of Hewetson" was ignorant of the fact that the
testator was in holy orders and he has described him in
his book as "Christopher Hewetson. Esq."

In the codicil (which as well as the will, is in his own
handwriting) he describes himself as "Christopher
Hewetson of Clonuffe, in the County Kilkenny, clerk"
[italics for clergy] and in the will he refers to salary due
him by Rev. Nicholas KNIGHT, Vicar Carbury, for serving
his care. William Hewetson of Clonuff, son of the Rev.
Christopher Hewetson succeeded to the estates which
his father had inherited from the Rector of St.
Werburgh's; and on 9th June, 1703, he [p 350]
purchased for a sum of £832 the town and lands of
Ballinderry, in the Barony of Carbury and County of
Kildare containing 237a 2r 0p.

He married first by licence dated 7th February, 1667,
Anne ROE; and secondly by licence dated 20th May 1676
Elizabeth CALDER; but whether he left issue by either
marriage the family memoirs do not state.
The query which this note is intended to answer will
have served the purpose, not only of calling attention to
the interesting "Memoirs of the Hewetson Family" but
of restoring to the Rev. Christopher Hewetson the
memorial which under the high authority of the Rev.
John KEBLE has for the last forty been ascribed to
Michael Hewetson, Archdeacon of Armagh.

               'Edmund T.

'The two following inscriptions on headstones appear to
be the next oldest in this burial-ground' :-
   This is Erected By Edward RIELY in memory of
   his Mother Winifred RYAN who died May ye 1st
   1741 aged 60 years Also Hugh Riely who died March ye
   17th 1750 ged 61 years.

Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the
Memorials of the Dead in Ireland Vol. 6. 1904, (FHL #