Family History Notebook

Keogh boys visit to Beaconsfield

"The Correspondence of Edmund Burke"  Volume VII  Edited by P.J. Marshall and John A. Woods, published by Cambridge University Press 1968

P180 24th August 1792
"I am afraid there will be some bungling about the Business of the Keoghs1 - for, when I came to the direction of the Letter; Laurence started a doubt to me, whether Clapton was the name of the Master or the place, as there is a little Village just beyond Hackney called Clapton and we thought it not so probable that the names should so exactly coincide2. Nagle, however, is this day gone off with a letter from me to be directed according as he shall find by his Enquiries at Hackney and its vicinage at what school the young Keoghs are to be found. So I hope all will be right. But they cannot be very long here as I am taking your Mother to Bath. ..."

P196 4th September 1792
"Dr Laurence left us yesterday. He is charmed, as we all are, with the Young Keoghs. I assure you I have not seen, to my recollection, three finer Boys. They are manly, steady, rational, of extraordinary good parts, and of a politeness of behaviour which I have not seen at their Age, but without all affectation and formality - and we have observed many signs in them of good nature and sensibility. They are gone off this morning under the Care of Dr Laurence. Observe this is the third if not the fourth Letter I have directed to you to Dublin. Two under cover to Kiernan, one under cover to Mrs Keogh3.

Footnotes on p180 (1792)

1    'The 'Business' was to invite three sons of John Keogh - who were at school in England - to stay at Beaconsfield. The visit was successfully arranged (see below p196). Three sons of Keogh can be identified: John, Micheal and (almost certainly) George Drew Keogh (Dublin deeds office 645/310/448525; 730/496/498432).
2    The master of the school attended by the Keoghs has not been identified.
[Possibly Dr Newcome's School.  Other buildings in Lower Clapton Road included Wood's almshouses east of where the road widened by a pond, the Wood family's 16th- or 17th-century house, later the Powells' Clapton House, to the north, and the school which became Newcome's to the south.]
Mary (d. c.1823), daughter of George Drew. .... Wolfe Tone noted in his diary on 5 September: 'Edmund Burke has Gog's [Keogh's] boys now on a visit to Beaconsfield, and writes him a letter in their praise' (Wolf Tone Life, I, 180)


The editors appear to have overlooked the existence of John Keogh's eldest son Cornelius. Even George (born 1782) would have been young to have been sent away from Dublin to school in London. Michael would have been even younger. His birth date is unknown, possibly as late as 1790.