Frenchfamily The Teelings: The Gentleman's Magazine, Oct 1905. Rev 24-Oct-2000.
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An examination of address lists available on CDROM at the end of
the 20th century suggests that there are around 225 TEELINGs (all other spellings ignored)
in Ireland with maybe 180 aged 18 or over, and 275 in the United Kingdom with 220 aged 18
over. I would estimate the number of different postal addresses then at around 95 in Ireland and 135
in the UK.
[Transcription note: This following article (mentioned in Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland) is
not here abridged - except for the omission of the appendix, the pedigree of a non Teeling person.
Beware of typing errors and the occasional omissions etc - see "??" for example, due to the poor
quality of the photocopy on which the transcription is based.]
[Article note: This article says that "Father Teeling was buried in the semicircular arched vault
of the Teeling family in the churchyard of Rathkenny. This vault is the only remnant of their
once vast estates which at present remains to the Teelings." This is confirmed by a booklet on
St Canice's Rathkenny Old Church and Cemetery (dated 2001) which quotes from Dean Cogan
recording that a "Rev Mr Teeling... of the noble house of Tyling or Teeling of Syddan and
Mullagha" who would clearly appear to be the son of Thomas TEELING and Margaret
MAQUIRE, "was appointed parish priest of Rathkenny/Slane in circa. 1717". A second Father
TEELING is also mentioned. Evidently he was nephew to the first and belonged to the
Franciscan Friary of Flowerhill, Navan. Both (according to Cogan) are buried in the Teeling
Tomb of St Canice's, Rathkenny, Old Church - SE corner of Church. Rathkenny is a few miles
west of Slane, 7 miles north of Navan. Mullagaha and Mullagha Hill are one or two miles south
Source: The Gentleman's Magazine, October 1905, pages 336-353
The following genealogical notes which have recently appeared in the "Athenaeum", from
the pen of Captain Bartle Teeling, will enhance the interest of the article which follows them.
A FRAGMENT OF HISTORY FOUND AMONG OLD PAPERS
"MISTAKES IN PEERAGES
"It will interest genealogists to learn that mistakes in peerages, touching to some extent
the family connections of the Plantagenets and King Robert Bruce, have recently been
discovered. As the matter is naturally of considerable interest to those enrolled in genealogical
research, you will, I trust, kindly give a place in your columns to the result of my investigations.
" For a considerable time I have had doubts as to the accuracy of certain statements in
'Lodge' (Archdall, 1789) and ' Burke' (1883) relative to the pedigrees of some of those who claim
descent from Richard de Burgo, Earl of Ulster, styled the ‘Red Earl,' who was ancestor of the
three kings of England of the House of York, and who, by the marriage of his daughter Ellen
with King Robert Bruce, was grandfather of King David II of Scotland.
"Consequent on a correspondence which I have had on this subject with Sir Arthur
Vicars, Ulster King of Arms, and with Mr Cokayne, Clarenceux King of Arms, to whom I am
indebted for kind suggestions and valuable information, I have pursued a particular line of
research, the result of which is that I have discovered, by referring to the original Pipe Rolls of
King Edward III, and to Papal letters of the fourteenth century, that the statements of Lodge and
Burke to the effect that John de Bermingham, Earl of Louth, married ‘Catherine', daughter of
Richard de Burgo, Earl of Ulster; that he (John de Bermingham) had three daughters co-heiresses
- viz Matilda, Bartholomea and Catherine - and that Matilda married Sir Eustace le Poer, ancestor
of the Earls of Tyrone, are all incorrect.
"It is clearly stated in one of the Papal letters (preserved in the Vatican Library) that
Avelina (not Catherine), daughter of Richard de Burgo, Earl of Ulster, was wife of John de
Bermingham, Earl of Louth, the wording of which letter also settles the identity of the father of
the said Earl of Louth, of which genealogists have been so long in doubt.
"'The letter in question states that a contract had been entered into between Richard de
Burgo, Earl of Ulster, and Peter, father of John de Bermingham, Earl of Louth, that Matilda (then
six years old), daughter of the said Richard, should marry the said John; but that (some years
later) Gilbert, Earl of Gloucester, wishing to marry one of the daughters of Richard de Burgo,
Earl of Ulster, sent envoys, who chose Matilda as the fairest, and he married her. Whereupon
John de Bermingham married her sister Avelina. Consequent on this breach of contract a Papal
dispensation was necessary and was given.
"And the statements in the Pipe Rolls of Edward III make it perfectly clear that there
were only two De Bermingham daughters co-heiresses - viz Matilda and Catherine - whose
mother was Avelina (not Catherine), wife of John de Bermingham, Earl of Louth, and daughter
of Richard de Burgo, Earl of Ulster, and that Matilda, the elder daughter, was wife of Sir William
Teeling, Lord of the Manor of Syddan (not wife of Sir Eustace le Poer).
"The abridged result of my investigations and researches (a detailed account of which I
hope to give in one of the genealogical publications) is as follows: -
"Richard de Burgo, Earl of Ulster, the ‘ Red Earl'.
"John (son of Richard de Burgo) married Elizabeth de Clare, granddaughter of King
Edward I, and through the marriage of their son William with Maud, sister of Henry Plantagenet,
and their granddaughter Elizabeth, heiress of Ulster with Lionel Plantagenet, son of King Edward
III, Richard de Burgo became ancestor of the three kings of England of the House of York - viz
Edward IV, Edward V and Richard III. And by the marriage of his descendant Elizabeth
(daughter of King Edward IV) to King Henry VII, he became, through their daughter, Queen
Margaret of Scotland, an ancestor of the Royal House of Stewart, and of his Majesty King
Edward VII, who is twenty-second in descent through the Plantagenets and the Stewarts, from
the said Richard de Burgo the ‘Red Earl' of Ulster, and Lord of Connaught.
"Ellen (daughter of Richard de Burgo) married King Robert Bruce. Their son was King
David II of Scotland.
"Matilda (daughter of Richard de Burgo) married G?? Clare, Earl of Gloucester, who was
grandson of King Edward ?? His mother being Joan of Acre. He was killed at the battle
Bannockburn, leaving no descendants.
"Avelina (daughter of Richard de Burgo) married J?? Bermingham, Earl of Louth. Their
daughter Matilda, who was a niece of Queen Ellen of Scotland, married Sir William Teeling Lord
of the Manor of Syddan, who was fifth in descent from Hay Theling, ‘the White', Lord of
Syddan, whose descendants feature?? so prominently in Irish history: Bartholomew Teeling, to
whose memory a monument has recently been erected in Ireland, ?? nineteenth in descent from
the said Hay Theling ‘Alba'?? sixteenth from Richard de Burgo.
"Joan (daughter of Richard de Burgo) married the second Earl Kildare, an ancestor of the
Dukes of Leinster and of Lord Edward FitzGerald, great-grandfather of Mr George Wyndham,
Chief Secretary for Ireland. It is a curious coincidence that Lord Edward FitzGerald and
Bartholomew Teeling, who lost their lives in the same year in the same cause, were both
descended from the same ancestor (Richard de Burgo), and that some 260 years before their
deaths another of the Teelings, and another of the Geraldines?? (‘Silken Thomas', tenth Earl of
Kildare), had been executed for their mutual participation in the ‘ill-starred rebellion of 1534',
and that both Bartholomew Teeling and ‘Silken Thomas' were exactly the same age (twenty-four
years) when executed.
"It is unnecessary here to enumerate the other sons and daughters of Richard de Burgo,
Earl of Ulster, as no such mistakes, so far as I am at present aware, have been made with respect
to them or their descendants as have been made in the case of his daughter Avelina and her
"There are forfeitures enough to attest the disinterested patriotism?? of the Teelings, and
records of early grants to religious houses ?? furnish evidence of their attachment to their
religion." - Maade?? Lives, 1846.
Among the Norman families which settled in Ireland in the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries, one of the most conspicuous in piety?? for devotion to the Church and to their adopted
country is the family of Teeling [footnote: The name was spelled at different times, and by
different writers, Theling, ??, Taling, Teelinge, Telynge, Tyling, Tylinge, Tylin, Teling, Telinge,
??, Tellin, Teyling, Teileing, Teelling, Teeling. The last and most modern ?? spelling of the name
is, except in quotations, generally adhered to in this ??.] One of the earliest records of their
munificence?? and under the deal of the Lord Symon de Rochefort, Bishop of Meath?? (AD
1129-1223), ratifying a grant from Hay Teeling, Lord of Sydan, which is set forth, confirmed,
and perpetuated by the ?? following documents: -
CARTA HAY THELING ALBI
(Grant from Hay Theling, "The White")
May all present and to come know, that I, Hay Theling, in as much as it belongs to a
patron, have given and granted and by the ?? present charter have confirmed to God and to the
Church of Saint Thomas the Martyr, at Dublin, and to the Canons who there serve said, for the
salvation of my soul, and for that of my brother and of my predecessors, the Church of the
Blessed Mary and St David of Sydan with all its appurtenances and with all the liberties
(franchises) due to our Holy Mother the Church.
To be held freely, quietly, and without disturbance, as a free, pure, and perpetual alms to
be possessed by the said Canons and their successors for ever.
In order therefore that this my donation may last in the future ??, firm and undisturbed,
I have confirmed it by the testimony of the present writing and by the application of my seal.
These are the witnesses: The Lord Symon, Bishop of Meath; the Lord Richard de Exonia;
Gerard de Kermerdin; Master Richard de Bureford; Master Richard de Norwico; Master William
?? St Denis; John Rooth.
GRANT FROM WALTER DE LASET
Let all present and to come know that I, Walter de Lasey, for ?? of my father and of my
mother, and for the souls of my predecessors and successors, have confirmed to God and to the
Blessed Virgin and to Saint Thomas of Dublin, and to the Regular ?? who serve God there, the
Churches conferred on them by the ?? nt of the Patrons (ex patronorum concessione colatas) to
wit; ?? Church of Sydan from the Collation (ex collatione) of Hay Teling.... (Then follow other
churches given by Robert de Mandeville and Walter de Escotot.)
The witnesses were: Nicholas Ravus; Symon de Clifford; Nicholas de Slane; Walter
Parvis; John de Cramford; Henry, a clerk; John, a chaplain.
RATIFICATION WITH REGARD TO SYDAN
To all sons of our Holy Mother the Church who shall see the present writing, I, Symon,
by the Divine Mercy Bishop of Meath, Eternal salvation in the Lord.
By the obligation of charity and of our office we are bound to strengthen by the testimony
of our ratification, the ecclesiastical benefices which have been charitably granted in our diocese
by the faithful of Christ to clerks, and especially to men in religion. Wherefore we wish it to
come to the knowledge of you all that we, on the presentation of Hay Theling in favour of
religion, have given, conceded and confirmed the Church of St Mary and Saint David of Sydan
with all its appurtenances to our beloved sons the Canons of Saint Thomas of Dublin, to be
possessed peaceably as a pure and perpetual alms, and to be freely employed for their own use
and for the support of the poor and of strangers. Saving in all the episcopal jurisdiction.
In order, therefore, that this our donation may remain for ever firm and unshaken, we
have ratified it by the testimony of the present writing and the apposition of our seal.
These are the witnesses: Randolph Archdeacon of Meath; Gilbert Prior of Lanthony;
William Prior "de Novo Loco" (New Place); Master Richard de Bureford; Master Richard de
Norwico (Norwich); Master William de Sancto Dionisio (St Denis); Walter a clerk; and many
other clerks and laymen.
GRANT FROM PHILIP TEELING
To all followers of Christ who shall see or hear the present writing Philip Theling
Know all you that I in consideration of the love of God and for the salvation of my soul
and of the souls of my predecessors and successors, have granted and by the present charter have
confirmed to God and to the Church of Saint Thomas, Martyr, outside Dublin, and the regular
Canons who there serve God, the gift which Hay Theling my father gave to them over the right
of patronage of the Church of Sidan with all its appurtenances.
Wherefore, I wish that the same Canons should have and hold the aforesaid if as freely
and quietly as the aforesaid Hay Theling my father gave and confirmed to them fully, freely and
completely by his charter.
In order, therefore, that this my donation, concession and confirmation may preserve in
future times the strength of perpetual durability, I have confirmed the present writing with my
These are the witnesses: William, Vicar of Sydan; Robert de Mandeville, knight; William
son of the blacksmith; Randulph de Cuncton; Ada Albo de Aula; William the Janitor and many
CONFIRMATION BY PHILIP TEELING
May all present and to come know that I Philip Theling Lord of Sidan, son and heir of
Philip Theling have confirmed to God and to the Church of Saint Thomas the Martyr near Dublin
and to the Regular Canons who there serve God, for the salvation of my soul and those of my
predecessors and successors all the donations, concessions, possessions and confirmations with
all and each of their appurtenances which Hay Theling, my grandfather and Philip my father have
given, granted by charter, or confirmed, by the advowson or by right of patronage over the
Church of Sydan and the Chapel of Crewach, to the same Canons, belonging to the monastery
of the same Canons, for a pure and perpetual alms, as much as any alms can be confirmed, well,
freely, and fully, with all the liberties, and fee customs, and easements without any opposition
from me or my heirs for ever. Saving for me and my heirs the presentation of the vicarage
(vicarie, post of vicar) of the said church as is more fully contained in my completed indenture
(in cirograffo meo confecto).
I, however, and my heirs and assigns shall guarantee, render secure and defend for ever
all and each of the aforesaid, as has been said, to the said house, against all men and women.
In order, therefore, that this my concession and confirmation should possess the strength
of permanency (robur firmitatis) I have affixed my seal to the present writing.
These are the witnesses: Lord High de Tachmon, Bishop of Meath (1250-1281); the Lord
Walery de Wellesleye, Richard de Exeter, Justiciaries; Thomas son of Leo; Walter de Leyns;
Master William de Culna; Master Reginald de Sydan; R de Ouere, clerk; et multis aliis.
(Huc usque prima.) Up to this, this is the first.
On July 10, 1278, King Edward I notified to his bailiffs and subjects of Ireland that, at
the instance of Philip Theling, he grants for three years to his son, Stephen Theling, respite from
On June 24, 1284, Philip Telyng, junior, received as restitution to him a sum of money,
which had been received by W. Burnet, Constable of the Castle of Dublin, by writ of England;
and on December 13 in the same year, Patent 14, Edward I gives protection in Ireland until the
ensuing feast of St John the Baptist for Philip Theling remaining by licence in England,
In the year 1287, in a battle fought at Thomond, the Earl Thomas de Clare, Sir Richard
Taaffe, Sir Nicholas Teeling and other knights were slain. [footnote: See Annals of
Innisfallen and The Herald and Genealogist Vol i 1863.]
In the following year, 1288, Philip Teling was fined £100 for having delivered a chaplain
from prison to his ordinary; and he petitioned the King to have the matter enquired into by good
men in Dublin or by foreigners in the country.
On March 11, 19 and 20 Edward III (1346-1347) the King granted for a fine to William
Telyng, Lord of the Manor of Syddan, that he and his heirs might have a weekly fair at Syddan
on Sundays for ever, and in 1347 he was associated as a commissioner with Simon Fleming,
Baron of Slane, and others in commission, dated 20 Edward III.
According to the MS Pipe Rolls preserved in the Tower of Dublin, he (Sir Williams
Teeling) married Matilda, daughter of John de Bermingham, Earl of Louth, who was seised of
Ardee, in the county of Louth, and they had livery of the countess's dower April 12, 26 Edward
III. [footnote: In the original Pipe Rolls of Edward III, preserved in the Public Record Office
in Dublin, it is stated that the King gave to John der Bermingham, Earl of Louth, and to his heirs
male, the manor of Athirde (Ardee); that it having been found on inquisition that he died without
leaving an heir male, the King (on the death of his widow, Avelina) divided the countess's dowry
(derived from the said manor) between her daughters co-heiresses - viz Matilda, wife of William
Telyng (Teeling), and Catherine, her other daughter and heiress. This Pipe Roll was apparently
never seen by Lodge (Archdall) when he stated that John de Bermingham, Earl of Louth, had
three daughters co-heiresses - viz Matilda, Bartholomea and Catherine; and that Matilda married
Sir Eustace le Poer, ancestor of the Earls of Tyrone, while the Pipe Roll itself states that Matilda
was wife of Sir William Teeling and mentions only two co-heiresses, Matilda and Catherine. The
unaccountable statement of Lodge (for which he gives no authority) is perpetuated by Burke and
GEC, who would appear to have copied from him; and they also perpetuate Lodge's erroneous
statement that John de Bermingham, Earl of Louth, married Catherine, daughter of Richard de
Burgo, Earl of Ulster and Lord of Connaught, styled the ‘Red Earl', whereas it is clearly proved
by the Pipe Rolls and by a papal dispensation of October 1320, that the wife of John de
Bermingham, Earl of Louth, was Avelina, daughter of Richard de Burgo, Earl of Ulster.]
She, Lady Matilda Teeling, was niece of Queen Ellen of Scotland, wife of King Robert Bruce.
On the feast of St Silvester the Pope, 1362-36?? Edward III), the manor of Syddan, with all the
lands, rents, services and hereditaments which they had in Sydan, Loghbrokhan, H??outheston,
Weyceston, Wigyeston, Crewagh, Newe??ath, Jenkynforeston, Henri??teston, Mowreston,
Codyaneston and Dronolaw, which were held by trustees under Sir William Telyng's deeds of
feoffment (except all the lands of Cryran and Cloghermore, within the said Manor of Sydan)
were conveyed by them to Sir William's eldest son and heir George Telyng and his heirs male,
remainder to his (George's) brothers, Thomas and David, and Laurence in tail?? male: remainder
to Walter son of John, son of the said Sir William Telyng and his heirs male: remainder to John,
son of Philip Telyng, and his heirs male: remainder to the said Sir William's right heirs.
On September 12, 35 Edward III, the lands of Kyhuffyn (410 acres with appurtenances)
county Meath, the property of George Telyng, were sized into the hands of the Crown, and in
1375-76 the sheriff of Meath is commanded to distrain Simon Fleming, Baron of Slane, or his
heirs, for the issues of the estate of George Telyng. During the Civil wars of the fourteenth
century (in 1393) George Teeling's son was taken as a hostage, and the Bishop of Meath, then
Justice of Ireland, levied a portion of his ransom off the clergy of Meath.
In the reign of Henry IV, John Teeling de Syddan held Cromarton direct from the King.
He had "Permission to receive Irish tenants, traitors excepted and was deputed to treat (parley)
with the Irish rebels in Meath and Louth." In the year 1409 he received from Pope Alexander V,
a dispensation to marry "Anne FitzAdam, his cousin in the third and fourth degrees of kindred."
For nearly five hundred years the Teelings were "Lords of the soil" in the county of
Meath, among the properties which they at different times possessed , in addition to those
specified in Sir William Teeling's deeds of feoffment, being Mullagha, Molaghtelyng, Skryne,
Nobber, Baleystown etc. The principal seats of the family were Syddan and Mullagha; but during
the Civil wars of the seventeenth century much of their property was confiscated, and Mullagha
was handed over to the Earl of Anglesea, who however gave to the dispossessed owner a lease
of the estate; but this lease was forfeited and was sold after the battle of the Boyne (1690), at
which a member of the house of Teeling was killed.
During the seventeenth century some members of the family were distinguished as men
of learning: Justus Lipsius, in his "Opera Omonia", published in 1603, writes to Theobaldo
Teelingio, a young literary man and poet, encouraging him to study.
The famous Archbishop Peter Talbot [footnote: Archbishop Peter Talbot born in
1620; received by the Jesuits in Portugal at fifteen years of age in 1635; was ordained in Rome,
where he studied divinity; returned to Portugal; published De Natura Fidei et Haeresis ( a treatise
of the nature of faith and heresy), Antwerp, 8vo, 1657; was consecrated Archbishop of Dublin,
May 2, 1669; published a Treatise of Religion and Government 1670; was a prisoner in Dublin
Castle 1678; was a prisoner in Newgate, 1680; died 1680.], in his work "De Natura Fidei et
Haeresis", published in Antwerp in 1657, speaks of Moore (Maurus), Tirell (Tirellus), Telin
(Telinus), and the younger Pallavicinus as his fellow-students in theology under the Jesuits Pirez
and Pallavicino, and he calls them "urbis et orbis miracula". Father Hogan, SJ, says, "I fancy
three of these distinguished men were from Meath - vis Moore, Tirell, and Telin." It is curious
that Boullaye Le Gouz when writing, in old French, of one of the Teelings in 1644, spells the
name in this way, although they themselves at that time spelled it "Teileing"; but in the English
edition of his work it appears as "Telin (Teeling)." He clearly refers to the Mullagha branch of
the family, as Prenderghast in his "Cromwellian Settlement" says: "Twenty pounds was offered
for their (priests) discovery, and to harbour them was death. This obliged them to fly, and to hide
themselves until they heard of some body of swordsmen ready to sail for Spain. Whereupon it
was the custom to get the officers commanding to apply for leave to transport them together with
their troops", and that "Colonel Teelin" (Teeling) had "licence to transport one thousand Irish for
the service of the King of Spain, and to have liberty to take away all priests in Ireland who send
in their names" ... and Thomas Teeling of Mullagha, in his will dated 1677, leaves a portion of
his chattel property to his "sonn Nicholas Teileing now in Spain if he please to come into Ireland
to call for same."
Shortly after the death of the Most Rev Dr Plunket, Primate of All Ireland (who was
executed in July 1681), the Rev Father Teeling, a learned Jesuit, presented to the Scared
Congregation a document of considerable importance, giving an account of the last hours of the
saintly prelate. It is a recapitulation of letters which he, Father Teeling, SJ, had received from
members of his Order and from others living in London, and bears witness to the exalted
sentiments with which the heroic Archbishop prepared for his martyrdom. It runs as follows: -
"1. Dr Plunket, Primate of Ireland, died with the greatest fortitude and piety that could
be wished for; and with such a serenity and joy of countenance that the innumerable multitude
that was assembled, by repeated exclamations, attested his innocence, and even his enemies wept
at his death.
"2. The blessed martyr (as another letter says) had a great esteem for Father Whitbread
and his companions Jesuits, who a short time before had been put to death, so that he asked to
be interred with them, as was accordingly done.
"3. Father Edward Peters, a prisoner in the Tower, was present at the execution, and
writes, that the Primate Plunket had the look of an angel, who had descended from heaven and
was about to return thither: and that he has rendered immense glory to the Catholic religion by
his angelical deportment in death as well as when conducted through London to the place of
"4. In other letters it is said that on the days which preceded his death the concourse was
continuous from morning till evening, of persons of every class, and all attested their extreme
delight and edification at his manners, discourses and modesty; and even the children went to
visit him. Such moreover was his resignation, that he declared to a friend that he knew not which
to choose, were it proposed to him, to live or to die. And moreover he felt so comforted at the
prospect of dying, that he wrote to a Benedictine Father confined in the same prison, that he felt
a scruple for the little, or rather no fear of death. He prepared himself for his death on the day
preceding his execution, all alone, and with the assistance of a priest admitted to him by his
keeper, who though most cruel with others, yet with the Primate was merciful and
compassionate." [footnote: The Teelings were connected by marriage with the family of
Archbishop Plunket, the brother of Mrs Richard Teeling of Mullagha having married the sister
of the first Earl of Fingall, whose aunt was Mary Teeling, and whose grandson married the niece
of Archbishop Oliver Plunket. The present generation of Teelings, which is twenty-second in
descent from Hay Teeling "the White", Lord of Sydan is tenth in descent, on the female side,
from Christopher, seventh Lord Killeen, who married the granddaughter of the Baron of Slane,
Alice, sister of "Silken Thomas" (tenth Earl of Kildare), married the fourteenth Lord Slane. Vol
ccxcix No 2098.]
In 1684, Father Reilly, Superior of the Jesuits in Ireland, writing from Dublin to the
General of the Order says, "Ne longior sim, ad fusius ad Dominum Tellinum ut illud referat ad
Dominationem vestram per otium." Hogan says that "Father Tellin is called Mr here lest the letter
might be intercepted and compromise someone."
A few years later Father Miccolo Parthenio Giannetasio SJ, a Neapolitan Jesuit (who was
born in 1648 and died in 1715), in his poem "Halieuitica" published in Naples in 1689, says of
Father Teeling: "Ignatius Teeling, an Irishman of the Society of Jesus, a man whose manners
were of an ancient school, skilled in every sort of knowledge, of an acute, yet kindly mind, ready
for any duty, in whose honour the writer of his poem, on account of an olden friendship, erected
In referring to this, Father Hogan, SJ, says: "There was a distinguished Irish Jesuit Father,
named Ignatius Telinus, who flourished in the latter part of the seventeenth century. The name
Ignatius would lead me to suspect that our missionaries SJ were not unknown to the Teelings in
the seventeenth century. In 1689 Father Giannetasio, SJ, published in Naples a Latin poem
‘Halieutica'. The poet says of Father Tellin (Teeling): ‘Ignatius Tellinus, Hibernensis, SJ, vir
moribus antiquis, et omni disciplinarum genere excultus, ingenio acri et amoeno, inque omnina
promptissimo, cui vates ob veterem necessitudinem hoc monumentum figit.'"
In the fifth book of "Halieutica", when speaking of salmon fishing, the poet records how
Father Teeling used to talk about Irish salmon on feast-days at Naples and Sosias. He addresses
himself naively to his brother Jesuit in the following quaintly amusing lines:
Principio rivos dulces et opaca fleunta.
Atque tui vatem invitant, Telline, beati
Salmones: cultu mihi quos dum supplice divum
Praeque sacros mos ire dies fluvialibus escis,
Atque olere, ingratisque fabis, laudare solebas,
Dum te Parthenope, dum densis consita lucis
Sosias, Autumno praelis spumante, teneret,
Grata tibi fuit et tune commemorasse voluptas.
Which may be rendered in English as follows:
And first, my Teeling, claim they willing muse
The gentle flowing, grove embossomed, brooks;
The salmon too, their bright, blithe denizens,
Which, (when of old as was our wonted use
On days made sacred by the feasts of saints
We twain together walked by Naples' bay,
Midst autumn glories, or to Sosias
Deep set amidst its dense overhanging woods),
Thou laudest over all the fish that swim,
On tasteless herbs. To tell whereof
Rare pleasure was to thee, to me to hear.
"Sosias" referred to in the above lines was a country house belonging to the Neapolitan
Jesuits. It was situated at the foot of Mount Vesuvius on the side looking towards N?? and was
?? hidden in the midst of dark woods, but produced very good wine.
Having at the end of the seventeenth century been deprived of almost all their worldly
possessions, on account of ?? their devotion to religion and justice?? and to the appropriate ??
"Sola virtu ?? invict ??" - the family ?? little mention being made of any of its ?? however in his
"Ecclesiastical History of Meath" state ?? Reverend Mr Teeling of the noble house of Tyling ??
Teeling of Syddan and Mullagha who was born in the parish of Rathkenny having studied abroad
succeeded to the parish of Slane." It is not stated in what foreign college he studied - possibly in
the Lombard College in Paris, where many Irish students studied before the foundation of the
Irish College, of which the Teelings were among the original founders, and accordingly held two
burses, the documents relating to which were lost or destroyed during the French revolution.
Father Teeling officiated in Meath at a time of great peril and trial to a Catholic priest and
suffered much persecution for religion. He had often to go abroad disguised and conceal himself
in the cabins of the poor, when his father's house was being searched by "priest hunters".
According to a tradition among the old people he had to dress as a peasant..
Referring to this, Cogan says: "The priests of that day had to carry the vestments in a
‘wallet' slung across the shoulder. They went from house to house clad in frieze, with staff in
hand; among the bigoted gentry they passed as beggar-men, but among the people they were
recognised as the ‘Soggarth Aroon'. These are the men to whom, under God, we owe the
Father Teeling was buried in the semicircular arched vault of the Teeling family in the
churchyard of Rathkenny. This vault is the only remnant of their once vast estates which at
present remains to the Teelings.
But long years of prosecution and spoliation had not the effect of stamping out this
family, or making it sink into a position of insignificance; on the contrary we find them again
taking a leading part in political life, and in defending the rights of Catholics. Luke [footnote:
The names "Bartholomew" and "Luke" do not appear among the Teelings until after they became
connected by marriage with the family of Luke Plunkett, first Earl of Fingall, and with
Bartholomew Aylmer; but subsequently they became distinctive family names, the name
Bartholomew being always colloquially abbreviated to "Bartle". A curious incident in connection
with one of the Aylmers is recounted by Charles George Teeling in his reminiscences
(unpublished): "Captain William Aylmer, who after the affairs of ‘98 arrived to high rank in the
Austrian Army, was subsequently distinguished as being considered one of the first cavalry
officers in Europe. The Prince of Wales having requested the Emperor of Austria to send over
to England one of his most competent officers to instruct the British cavalry in some new
manoeuvres, not known to English commanders, his Majesty selected Aylmer for the duty. The
Prince was so grateful for the instructions given, that he presented him with a sword on which
was engraved, ‘From the Prince of Wales to Captain William Aylmer, the first Swordsman in
Europe.' But the gallant soldier refused to accept it except on the condition that he should be
permitted to return to his own country; a condition which was at once acceded to."] Teeling
(the eldest son of Bartholomew Teeling, who married one of the House of Carlingford, who held
the earldom under the dynasty of the Stuarts) became "the head of the Catholics of Ulster." In
December 1792 the first meeting of the General Committee of the Catholics of Ireland was held,
and a kind of awe and stupefaction was produced in the government of the country by this
powerful sitting with all the forms of legislative assembly im Dublin. It began its proceedings
under the most favourable auspices, and the British Government, seeing the effects it produced
on the friends and enemies respectively of the Catholic cause, became extremely embarrassed
and showed no inclination to interfere. " Amongst the most distinguished of this body for talent
and mental accomplishment, and foremost in the avowal at least of those bold and spiritual
views, which have ever since prevailed among Catholics was Luke Teeling of Lisburne. Prefixed
to the recorded notice for total, unqualified and unconditional emancipation we find his honoured
name.... The social position which Mr Teeling occupied, was the very highest, and I allude to it
particularly, because it was in connection with it, that his political position was so peculiar.
Ranking with the lords and gentlemen around, he was altogether devoted to the service of the
people, and exerting his great influence to procure parliamentary honours for those whom he
regarded as the people's friends, he was himself under the ban of political exclusion.... As a
Catholic he stood altogether alone. He possessed therefore the unbounded and almost exclusive
confidence of the Catholics of the provinces. For Antrim he was chosen as a delegate to the
convention as a matter of course...."
In the summer of 1798 he was arrested on suspicion of political disaffection, and lodged
in prison. Immediately after his arrest he received a communication from General Nugent,
commanding the Northern District, stating that he might take advantage of the terms offered to
other State prisoners, by subscribing to the Banishment Bill. His reply was characteristic: "Mr
Teeling having never offended against the laws of his country, nor given any cause for the
outrages committed on his family, his property and his person, cannot accept General Nugent's
proposal of transportation, nor any other terms that imply guilt."
A few months later a new proposal was made to him, the nature of which can be gathered
from the remark he made in respect to it: "It is unreasonable to expect, and dishonourable in any
person who is not of the established religion, to swear that ‘he will to the best of his power
support the laws', when one law (without going further) degrades and proscribes his mode or
worship, and is contrary to the free will which God has given man, Non-resistance is therefore
all that can be expected in this case. To swear hatred against any many is to violate one of the
first principles of the Christian religion."
His formal reply to the disgraceful proposal made to him was brief: "Mr Teeling will not
subscribe to bond or oath, or to any terms which honour and conscience forbid. Justice entitles
him to a trial, and he demands it."
The unswerving determination and high principle of this unconquerable man, so
worthy of his long line of ancestors, can be judged from the foregoing passages; but he was never
brought to trial, and was detained in prison until his property was ruined. Maddens says: "Luke
Teeling was liberated in the early part of 1802, after an imprisonment of nearly four years,
without the shadow of a proof of criminality against him."
His eldest son, Bartholomew Teeling, an officer in the French army, was aide-de-camp
To General Humbert when he arrived in Ireland in command of the French expedition in 1798,
and having been taken prisoner, was tried by court-martial on the charge of high treason, and was
executed in Dublin on September 24 1798. [footnote: A statue has recently been erected to
his memory in Ireland.]
The second son, George, went to America, where he died unmarried.
The third son (who became the head of the family) was Charles Hamilton Teeling, author
of the "Personal Narrative of the ‘Irish Rebellion' of 1798." [footnote: This book was
published by Henry Colburn in London in 1828, and the edition was immediately sold out. When
a second edition was called for, it was not forthcoming, and it was said that the Government gave
the publisher a bribe of £10,000 not to republish it. Some fifty years later, a Prime Minister of
England, in a speech in the House of Commons, stated that he had no hesitation in saying that
Charles Hamilton Teeling's "Personal Narrative" was one of the very best pieces of history
extant.] He was a State prisoner for two years, but, like his father, was never brought to trial.
Before his arrest, the Marquis of Hertford offered him, at his father's table, a commission in the
Army, promising to exercise his influence (which was second to none in England) at the Horse
Guards in his favour, and never to lose sight of his interests, if he would accept a commission;
but he declined. On his release from prison he was again offered a commission in the Army,
which he again declined, stating that he held opinions which would ill-become an officer of the
Crown. "You mean", replied Colonel Campbell (the Duke of Argyll's cousin), who had been
entrusted with the commission, "that you're a rebel; the best reason in the world for taking
service. We have all been rebels in our day in Scotland; join my corps, and if Argyll has any
influence, a hair of your head sha'n't be hurt." An officer who accompanied Colonel Campbell,
and who was an old companion and friend of Teeling, joined in entreating him to accept the
offer, but without avail.
He died on August 14, 1848, and (his eldest son, Bartholomew, having died before him)
his second son, Charles George Teeling, became the head of the family. He was born on March
1 1806, and died on May 20, 1875. He served with distinction, as a lieutenant of artillery, in the
Spanish campaign of 1837, and was subsequently attached to the court of Khedive (Mehemet
Ali) as aide-de-camp to Said Bey, who as a mark of friendship and personal regard presented him
with the most beautiful Arab horse in his stud, and wishing him good-bye - when, on account of
the political state of the East, British subjects got orders to leave Egypt - he said, "If ever you
marry, bring your wife to visit Egypt, and I will present her with a set of diamonds worth two
thousand guineas." But he never did return to the East.
It is recorded in history that the Teelings were, in the eighteenth century "the best
horsemen and the most accomplished swordsmen in the province"; and they were proverbial for
their love of small, perfectly shaped, high-bred horses, a taste which was inherited by Charles
George Teeling, who was the most accomplished horseman of his age. Stories are told in the
County of Meath of the incredibly short time in which they used to ride from their home to
Dublin, on the beautiful little horses.
White with green facings their retainers did wear
And the young cavaliers were beloved of the fair.
[footnote: Refers to the Teeling livery, which is white with green facings.]
During the seven centuries that the Teelings have figured in Iris history, they have by
devotion to religion and to their adopted country become Hibernis ipsis Hiberniores; but have
nevertheless preserved to a considerable extent their Norman identity by intermarriages with the
families of several of the Anglo-Norman settlers in Ireland - de Burgo [footnote: see
appendix, omitted in this transcription, which shows Richard de Burgo's abridged pedigree],
Earl of Ulster; de Bermingham, Earl of Louth; Bellew, Aylmer, Barnewall (Kingsland), Darditz,
Fitz-Adam, Fitzgerald (Kildare), White, Taafe (Carlingford), etc and with the De Lones (Lanes
of King's Bromley), who came into England with William the Conqueror, one of whom - the
famous Dame Jane Lane - was distinguished in history for having her brother, Colonel John
Lane, saved the life of King Charles II after the battle of Worcester: "For which signal services",
says Sir Bernard Burke, "the family was dignified with an especial badge of honour - viz the
arms of England in a canton, in augmentation of its paternal coat, and a crest, a strawberrry roan
horse, bearing between its forelegs the royal crown. There is a tradition that Colonel Lane was
likewise offered a peerage, but declined it."
A somewhat romantic story is told relative to the connection between the families of Lane
and Teeling: In the year 1792 Major Lord Edward FitzGerald and Captain George Lane were
serving in the 54th Regiment at Portsmouth. One day, while walking together on the ramparts,
a dispute arose between them, words became high, and Captain Lane drew his sword on his
commanding officer, Lord Edward, who however declined to fight a duel with him. Consequent
on this breach of military discipline, Captain Lane was placed in arrest on the spot, and next day
got the option of standing a court-martial or resigning. He accepted the latter.
Some five years later, in 1797, the romantic attachment of Lord Edward's sister, Lady
Lucy FitzGerald, to General Humbert's young aide-de-camp - Bartholomew Teeling - was
believed to have culminated in an engagement of marriage, and she gave him a ring on which
was engraved "ERIN GO BRAH", which he wore until the night before his execution in 1798,
when he sent it to his brother as the dearest pledge he could leave of fratenal affection.
[footnote: Lord Edward FitzGerald and Bartholomew Teeling, who lost lives in the insurrection
of 1798, were descended respectively from two sisters - the Lady Avelina de Burgo (whose
daughter, Matilda, married Sir William Teeling) and the Lady Joan de Burgo, who married the
second Earl of Kildare: both of whom were sisters of Queen Ellen of Scotland, and daughters of
Richard de Burgo, Earl of Ulster, who was ancestor of the three Kings of England of the House
of York, and of the line of Stuarts, Kings of Scotland and England.]
Two hundred and sixty years before this sad event, another of the Teelings had died for
Ireland and a Geraldine, having been beheaded in 1536 for joining the romantically heroic
"Silken Thomas" in his ill-starred rebellion, who when executed in 1537 was exactly the same
age (twenty-four years) as was Bartholomew Teeling when executed in 1798.
More than eighty years after the tragic death of Lady Lucy's chivalrous young knight,
their reputed engagement ring became the engagement ring of the great-granddaughter of Captain
Lane (who had drawn his word on Lord Edward), and of Bartholomew Teeling's grand-nephew,
Captain Bartle Teeling, who served in the Pontifical Zouaves during the campaign of 1867, for
which he received from Pope Pius IX the cross "Fidei et Virtuti."
[The Mullagha branch, to which the present representtaives of the family belong, is
descended from Sir William Teeling's second son, Thomas Teeling de Mullagha, who married
Jane, eldest daughter of Richard Bellew (ancestor of Lord Bellew).
In the sixteenth century the family became connected, by the marriage of Richard Teeling
of Mullagha to Mary Barnwall, with the houses of Trimleston, Dunboyne, and Kingsland, and
for a second time with the Geraldines - Brudget, daughter of the twelfth Earl of Kildare and
widow of the first Earl of Tyrconnell, having married Nicholas Barnwall, first Viscount
Kingsland, to which family Mrs Richard Teeling belonged.
In the eighteenth century another Richard Teeling of Mullagha married Anne Aylmer,
who was descended from the third Lord Killen and from the Baron of Slane, by which alliance
they became connected with the houses of Fingall, Aylmer and Slane. By the marriage of
Bartholomew Teeling and his son Luke Teeling to members of the house of Taafe they became
connected with the house of Carlinford and with Count Taaffe, Prime Minister of Austria, and
with the ancient and noble houses of Gablacini, Borgogeli, and Franchi de Cavalieri, of the Papal
States. The nephew of Mrs Luke Teeling (née Taafe) married the Marchesa Gablacini, Contessa
Ferretti, to which family Pope Pius IX belonged, and her niece married Count Luigu Borgogeli.
The present representative of the family of Franchi de Cavalieri, who is great-grand-nephew of
Mrs Luke Teeling, is a member of the Noble Guard of Pope Pius X.]
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