“I have always felt an interest in parish documents, and regret to find them generally kept so loosely and carelessly that they become lost, and much local information of interest to the residents is forgotten. I have therefore given this book for the use of the parish, in which I intend to transcribe everything of interest, and also to use it for the report of vestry meetings, and humbly requesting my successor to take care of it.”
So wrote Rev. James Lyster in December 1848 on becoming rector of Tashinny Church, a sentiment very much in tune with this website.
Officially ‘Taghshinny’, the village name Teach Síní translates to English as ‘the house of Sineach’ – in Irish language place-names the term ‘house’ often refers to an early ecclesiastical settlement, church or cell, and though there are four or five Irish saints by the name of Sinché or Sineach, one or more of them was very probably connected with the area and an ancient patron of the parish. The 9th November is the feast day of the Holy Virgin Saint Sinché or Sineach of Cluainleth-theangadh or Cluain Lethangadh, who died on this date in the year 596, “The second year of Aedh Slaine and Colman”, according to the Annals of the Four Masters; the nineteenth century Irish scholar Dr. John O’Donovan believed this ‘Lethangadh’ might have been the ancient name of Tashinny, but also seemed to be under the impression that the various references to Saint Sineach concerned just one person. To confuse matters further, very nearby was another very old church in the townland known as Taghshinod or Taghsheenod (or various other spellings). Most Rev. Dr. James McNamee, Bishop of Ardagh & Clonmacnoise, studied the history of the locality in some detail in the mid twentieth century. McNamee wrote in his History of the Diocese of Ardagh (1954), “Taghshinod comes from Teach-Sinché Oigh, named for the female saint Síneach the Virgin, while Taghshiney comes from Teach-Síonaigh, named for the male saint Sionach the Confessor of Inis-Clothrann, who died 20 April 719” (his feast day). The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) states that the present Church of Ireland building in Tashinny probably occupies the site of a medieval or early-medieval church, and there are two inscribed cross-slabs of a pre-Norman type to be found within the churchyard, which itself has stone boundary walls in an oval shape which may indicate an early-medieval monastic enclosure. McNamee adds that the Uí Tomaidh clan were the ‘erenaghs’ – hereditary guardians of parish property – of Teach-Sinché (Tashinny), including Maelmichil Uí Tomaidh, whose death in 1220 is one of three references to a church at Teach-Sinché (possibly associated with the monastic site at Inchcleraun island on Lough Ree) in the Annals of Loch Cé. This ancient manuscript also refers to the death of the respected priest of Teach-Sinché, Giollachrist Mac Gormain, on a pilgrimage to Inchcleraun in the same year, and the addition of 26 feet to the height of the church by the priest, Mael Mac Gormain, in 1223.
Having been vacant for some time since the death of Charles Offeargail, and been taken in ‘undue possession’ by the monastery of Kilbeggan, in November 1397 Patrick Maghaga was appointed by authority of the Pope to take over the vicarage of Teachsinchi. In 1427 Carbricus Ofergail resigned as vicar of Teachsinacha and paid money to be appointed vicar of another parish, but was soon absolved of the sin of simony and avoided excommunication. In 1475 or 1476 the question of whether Thomas Mac Murhyrtay was already vicar of Teacsinche when the Pope appointed him Dean of Ardagh in March 1468 was to be investigated. According to Rev. Lyster’s notes, “the Rectory of ‘Tessenny’ belonged with several others in this diocese to the Abbey of Ballymore at dissolution [of the monasteries, from the 1530s onwards] (see Archdall’s ‘Monasticon’)”. “I find it spelt ‘Taghshynie’, ‘Taghshinnie’ or ‘Tashinnie’ in ‘Down Survey’”, but ‘Tashinny’ is “the name by which it is now generally written”. McNamee further added the few known details of rectors of the church from the pre-Reformation era, which were also listed – with some notable differences – in the 2008 book Clergy of Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh, compiled mainly from the early twentieth century research of Canon J.B. Leslie into Church of Ireland records (many since destroyed). It is worth remembering at this point that both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland regard themselves as the successor to the ancient unified Irish Christian Church of which Tashinny was originally a part. The combination of these lists of pre-Reformation vicars are:
- Giollachrist Mac Gormain (‘great priest’) “died 1220”
- Mael Mac Gormain (‘priest’) “living in 1223”
- Charles Offeargail (Cathal O’Ferral, ‘vicar’) “died by 1397”
- Patrick Maghaga (Giolla Phadraic MacEochaidh, ‘vicar’) “from 1397”
- Thomas Macmurc(acc)n “-1406”
- Charles Macarmaye “-1406”
- Carbricius Ofergail (Cairbre O’Ferral, ‘vicar’) “resigned in 1427”
Thomas Mac Murhyrtay (Thomas MacMuircheartaigh) “living 1456-1468”
- Garald Offergail (‘vicar’) “-1468”
The manoeuvrings of Henry VIII led to the establishment of a Church of Ireland answerable directly to himself rather than to the Pope in 1536, and all church property and membership was automatically transferred to this new body in the eyes of the law. After a few decades of confusion and conflict over the identity of this new Church, separate appointments began to be made to spiritual vacancies by those loyal to the monarch and by those loyal to the Pope, resulting in the existence of two separate, competing church hierarchies. As a consequence of this, the organisation of parish administration and boundaries has evolved in two divergent paths since this point, though in fact in both church organisations the parishes of Taghshinny, Taghshinod & Abbeyshrule would ultimately be merged together, albeit following different timetables. In the Roman Catholic system this amalgamation existed as early as 1704, when Lewis Ferrall of Killendocod was parish priest of Taghshenan, Taghshinny & Abby-shrewle, and these form the present ‘United Parish of Carrickedmond & Abbeyshrule’ with chapels at Carrickedmond (Church of the Sacred Heart; actually in the townland of Killeendowd, but replacing a previous church at Carrickedmond, itself replacing the disused church in adjoining Taghshinod) and at Abbeyshrule (Church of Our Lady of Lourdes; built in 1980 to replace the nineteenth century St. Mary’s Church in the village).
The very overgrown ruins of Taghshinod Church and the ruins of Abbeyshrule.
In the Church of Ireland system the date of the union of the parishes is not recorded; Rev. Lyster notes that “The Parish Church appears to have been in the Parish of Taughshinod, to which it was united (now in ruins)”. An Album and Memorandum of the Parish of the Two Abbeys – Abbeyshrule (Mainistir Sruthair) and Abbeyderg (Mainistir Dearg) – and of the Two Sineachs – Taghshinny and Taghshinod – and of Carrickedmond’s Glean na hAltora, 1142-1942 by Rev. Edward O’Reilly (1942) also recorded the local belief that Taghshinod had been the parish church before Penal times, but that Cromwell’s soldiers had destroyed it. This study reckoned the oldest headstone in the burial ground at Taghshinod to date to 1760, but that only one Protestant family was buried there. Canon Leslie’s research lists a rector of ‘Taghsynod’ up to 1754. Today, the ruins of Taghshinod Church are completely overgrown but they were the subject of a survey and a series of detailed sketches by the nineteenth century antiquarian George Victor Du Noyer at a time when they were more visible. The village of Abbeyshrule famously takes its name from the Cistercian abbey that existed there in ancient times but, as with Tashinny, its extensive monastic lands were appropriated by royal authority, being sold off mainly to the Dillon family and later to the King-Harman estate. The abbey itself apparently remained in the hands of the Church of Ireland and was partially destroyed in 1595 by the army of Red Hugh O’Donnell. At some point, part of the remaining structure was turned into a Church of Ireland parish chapel, with new walls built inside the original chancel (still standing today) to create a more compact space – a Robert Colden is described as “late viccar of Abiscruell and Curate of Archra & Rathreagh in the County of longford” in a testimony collected in the 1641 Depositions and dated 26 August 1642 – but this seems to have fallen into disuse by the eighteenth century. Rev. Lyster adds, “Lease dropped in 1691 to Crown, and, under the Act of Settlement, became vested in the Bishop of the Diocese, subject to £1 10 s 8 ½ p Crown Rent” … “I cannot exactly ascertain when it was episcopally united [with Tashinny], but most probably at that time”. An early nineteenth century investigation by church authorities concurred that these two parishes were united prior to 1692. Lewis (1837) pointed out that in Tashinny there was “a rectory and vicarage… united by episcopal authority to the rectory and vicarage of Abbeyshrule”, and the resulting united Church of Ireland parish was generally referred to as ‘Tashinny & Abbeyshrule’ until 1932 when it was, in turn, united with Shrule (Ballymahon) parish, and these were further united with Ardagh & Moydow in 1965 and Kilcommick (Kenagh) in 1971 to become the ‘Ardagh Group of Parishes’.
Under the ‘Surrender and Regrant’ policy towards the native Irish landowners, a royal ﬁant from the early 1600s confirmed to James McConnell Farrell the lands around Tashinny, “these lands to be erected into the manor of Tenelick with power to hold court and one yearly fair to be held forever at Drumbarden alias Taghshinney on 29th June, the feast of St. Peter the Apostle”. Such a fair would probably have been held on the small village green in front of the churchyard. The increasingly political nature of the religious split was underlined when the first plantation of County Longford in the 1620s saw a quarter of the land confiscated for Protestant settlers. The later victory of Cromwell’s army led to the entire county being taken over for settlement, with James Ferrall of Tinilike among those landowners transported from Longford to Connacht (The Irish and Anglo-Irish Landed Gentry when Cromwell came to Ireland by John O’Hart, 1884). The confiscated Tenelick Estate was given to the Cromwellian soldier Captain Henry Sankey in September 1654, later confirmed under the Act of Settlement. Captain Sankey was from County Offaly (then King’s County) and served with the Commonwealth regiment of Colonel Theophilus Jones, as a result of which he acquired lands in Longford, Offaly and Kildare. The Landsdown Census of 1659 records a population of 20 Irish and 1 English in Tenelick townland; there were 24 Irish and no English in Taghshinny. Sankey was elected MP for County Longford in 1661, died in 1675, and was succeeded by his son John Sankey who died in 1692. The building of the present church (which may contain materials from earlier churches on the site) is usually attributed to the patronage of the Sankey/Gore dynasty during their tenure at the Tenelick Estate. Maps associated with the Down Survey (1656-1658) appear to confirm a church on the site at this time.
The oldest verifiable date associated with the church structure is a large memorial stone set into the aisle towards the nave of the building. This ‘Pettit stone‘, hidden from general view under carpet, bears the family crest, a worn and partially vandalised inscription and an ominous skull and crossed-bones emblem, but thanks to the notes of Rev. Lyster and one of his successors Rev. F.S. Stoney, it is possible to decipher the following: “Here Lyeth The Body of Pierce Pettit who was murdered By Robert Sands ye 1th of August 1684 and likewise ye body of Jane Pettit daughter to the sd Pierce who was Married to ye Rev. Alex. Knox and died ye 17th of Debr 1703 : Likewise of Barbara Knox Davghter to the sd Jane & Allso ye body of John Black who was married to Margt daughter to the said Pierce Pettit : and Dyed ye 23th of Avgust An : Dom : 1707 : and Allso Two sons of ye sd Johns.” Rev. Lyster, writing in 1848, believed that Pettit was shot by Sands in a duel, and also that Sands’ surname was deliberately chiselled off by an old clerk named Ayres about 40 years previous, for some reason “not wishing to have the name appear”. Rev. Stoney, half a century later, noted that the graveyard included a stone evidently in memory of this same ‘Ayers’: “Here lieth the body of Ann Eyrs, who departed this life the 22nd June 1776, aged 63 years, also the body of Henry Eyrs, who departed this life in the 94th year of his age. He was Clerk to this Church for 33 years. An honest man is the noblest work of God”. Rev. Stoney added that the Pettit stone in fact covers the opening to a vault under the chancel of the church “in which the old sexton remembers having seen about 5 or 6 lead coffins”. It can only be wondered why Pettit’s heirs saw fit to immortalise the name of his murderer on his memorial stone, though perhaps they felt that he had evaded true justice (and likewise, why Mr. Eyrs felt the need to remove the name over a century later). Notably, the Sandys name (pronounced, and sometimes spelt, ‘Sands’) appeared in this area of County Longford around the time of this murder; Colonel Robert Sandys was another Cromwellian soldier who settled in, and was appointed High Sherriff of, County Roscommon (died 1684), while a Sandys family settled in Crevaghmore, County Longford, and included the wonderfully named Freke Sandys, who married in 1683; in the 1659 Census Symon Sandys was a ‘titulado’ of Crevaghmore. Robert Sands Esq., ‘Collector in the County of Longford’, was prosecuted for ‘demanding crown rents on waste lands between 1692 and 1695, contrary to the vote of the Irish House of Commons’. One of these must surely have been connected to the accused killer. The troopers who had served under Captain Sankey were given entitlements to land in lieu of payment for their services and among fifteen such ‘Debentures’ which have amazingly survived in the archives of the National Library of Ireland, all dated 25 September 1654, is one entitling (what looks like) ‘Peris Pettit’ to 38 acres 3 roods of land within the baronies of ‘Raclyne & Shrowle’ in County Longford in lieu of £34 19 shillings & seven pence owed. There is a very strong likelihood that this is the same Pierce Pettit, or at the very least a close relative. A Communion Plate donated to the church is inscribed: “The Gift of Mrs. Jane Pettit and Mr. Wm. Black to the Church of Taghsiney, May 1704”, reinforcing the idea that the Pettit family were prominent members of the church at this time.
The NIAH and other sources suggest the church was rebuilt around 1720. The Communion Flagon is inscribed: “The Gift of Geo. Gore Esq. to ye Church of Taughshiney, 1747”. This George Gore had, in 1703, married one of the two daughters of John Sankey of Tenelick (the only survivors from a total of seven children). As both Sankey sisters had subsequently died, and as only George’s wife Bridget had surviving children (four from a total of eight), he eventually by default found himself master of the Tenelick Estate. From a very well-connected Anglo-Irish aristocratic family, George Gore redesigned Tenelick House as a luxurious country residence while he himself attended business in Dublin as an MP for County Longford, as Attorney General of Ireland (1714-1720, where he was responsible for the enforcement of the Penal Laws under the new Hanoverian dynasty) and as a Justice of Common Pleas (1720-1745). After the construction of his new manor house he completed his estate in the 1730s with the ‘Long Avenue’, lining the mile long entrance with oaks on either side and with massive gates at Colehill crossroads. He was a well-known figure nationally by the time he retired to Tenelick in his final years before his death in 1753. His eldest son Arthur Gore died in 1758, after which another son, John Gore, inherited the estate. John was created Lord Annaly of Tenelick in 1764, became Chief Justice of the King’s Bench, and rose to the position of Speaker of the Irish House of Lords in 1767 and 1769. It must have been between 1762 and 1780 that John commissioned the Annaly Monument which still towers impressively over the middle of the church interior. Depicting, in white and grey marble, a figure rising from the tomb while angels appear in Heaven, this late Baroque sculpture was the work of “I .Van Nost Fect” – John Van Nost the younger, who worked in Dublin from about 1750 until his death in 1780. He was the foremost sculptor of his day, and though his most prominent royal sculptures eventually fell foul of political changes, some of his work can still be found dotted around Dublin and elsewhere. There is a story that this monument was carved in Italy and shipped to Ireland, a first attempt having been lost at sea, but this doesn’t seem plausible if the sculptor was based in Dublin – could there be some confusion with a similar story about the nearby ‘Stone Man of Foxhall’?
Underneath the figure, etched in Latin into a marble surface, are memorials to Lord Annaly’s parents, grandfather, brother and sister. These were translated by Rev. Lyster, with corrections by John Ribton Garstin of the Royal Irish Academy: “Sacred to the memory of George Gore and Bridget, his wife, co-heiress of Henry Sankey of Tenelick, Esq., who, having acted with energy on the side of the King when civil war had raged, obtained the lands which you see lying around as the reward of his military valour. Being in no less favour with the people than with the prince, by the suffrages of this county, was elected one of Knights, as they call them, in the first election which Charles II appointed. After Bridget had given birth to eight children, she died much regretted Sep.13th 1727 aged 39 years. This George, the youngest son of Arthur Gore of Newtowngore, Baronet, was, on account of his services to his country, lately in peril, appointed Attorney-General by George, then happily entering upon his reign; his health being then unequal to the discharge of this office he was advanced to the Court of Common Pleas, and for twenty five years performed the part of a most prudent and incorrupt judge; at length being retired, A.D. 1745, his entire old age was spent in cultivating and adorning these lands he obtained as a dowry, always his delight. Borne down by years, he departed this life, A.D. 1753, in the 79th year of his age. Near lies Arthur, having survived his father a short time only, who, suffering with almost continual asthma, died A.D. 1758, universally lamented. Also near lies, alas, the only surviving daughter of these same George and Bridget, Bridget Harman, wife of the Dean of the Cathedral Church of Waterford; a husband adorned with superior accomplishments. During her life, most dear and deservedly most dear to her friends, she was early, though not unprepared, removed by death – Nov. 22nd 1762, scarcely 39 years of age she departed never sufficiently to be lamented. Peaceful Sleep out the Sabbath of the Tomb, And Rise to Raptures in a Life to Come. Pope.” Sankey being “elected one of the Knights” apparently refers to the ‘Knights of the Shire’, which is a contemporary term for an M.P.; his description as having ‘acted on the side of the King during the civil war’ doesn’t quite tally with his record of being a follower of Cromwell however, and both this and the reference to the country being “lately in peril” may have something more to do with Lord Annaly’s own political opposition to the patriotic movement of Grattan’s Parliament and the Volunteer movement at the time the monument was commissioned. The monument, according to Rev. Stoney, originally stood “in front of the very east window” (though presumably not exactly where the alter is now placed, or at least not with the large wall-mounted back-plate), above the vault under the chancel of the church – suggesting that this vault with its lead coffins houses the remains of members of the Gore family. The monument was apparently moved to its present position by the Rev. Richard St. George (who was rector in the early 1830s), although a sketch of the allocation of pews from 1835 makes no allowance for the monument as it stands today; certainly it was moved by 1848.
Another unusual feature from around the same period is a memorial set into a stone door-frame built into the exterior south-east wall of the church, commemorating the Nugent family of Colehill and dated 1764. The NIAH reports that this door frame may have come originally from Tenelick House, and also that the church was extensively altered in 1784/1785, the year of the first Lord Annaly’s death. The church Communion Chalice is inscribed: “The Gift of Colonel Gore of Tenelick to the Church of Taushiny, 1784”, this being Henry, the last surviving member of the Sankey/Gore family, who became Collector of Customs and who was himself created Lord Annaly in 1789 until his death in 1793. The Tenelick Estate was sold eventually to entrepreneur Luke White, whose son Henry also became Lord Annaly in 1863, though the Whites had much less involvement in the running of the church. Although the graveyard has most likely been in use since very ancient times, the oldest identifiable headstone dates to 1741; by tradition the half towards the south is reserved for Catholic burials and that towards the north for Protestants, while among those buried near the eastern window where the two sides meet are Roman Catholic priests Father Bryan Keenan of Kilcommick (died 1817) and Father Denis Skelly (died 1843) and Church of Ireland Reverends William Noble (died 1890) and F.S. Stoney (died 1940). Vestry Minutes were recorded from 1796 and still survive, and it was these loose documents which the Rev. Lyster transcribed (in more legible handwriting) into his new book in 1848. Baptismal, Marriage and Burial Registers have been maintained since 1821, and other extensive surviving documents include lists of the heads of families (of all faiths) in the parishes of Tashinny, Abbeyshrule & Taghshinod who were required to pay tithes to the established church in 1831-1833 (this coincides with the start of the ‘Tithe War‘, a precursor of which occurred when local tithe collector Ambrose Bole junior was attacked near Tashinny in February 1830), the allocations of pews sold to parishioners in 1835, 1858 and 1892 (possibly linked to the loss of tithe revenue?), lists of the Protestant parishioners (with numbers in each family) from 1851 and 1854, and census’ of the Protestant parishioners (with names of each family member) from 1857, 1860 and 1893-1908. All except the current registers are now held at the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin. The Moxham family – to return to the subject of this website – have been involved with this church as far back as records exist, and most likely much further even than that (though, as the townlands of Rathsallagh and Ratharney where they lived were part of the parish of Abbeyshrule, they may even have worshipped there originally).
The NIAH suggests that the church building was extensively altered again around 1825, while Rev. Lyster notes that church repairs in 1836 were funded by the following: Lady Rosse (Jane Harman, of Newcastle House) – £150, Mr. Jessop and Mrs. Jessop (of Doory Hall) – £50 each, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners – £50. The Jessops were another prominent family associated with Tashinny Church; a large ornate marble wall tablet commemorates John Harward Jessop who died at Doory Hall in 1825, and there is an enclosed family burial vault close to the church building (though unmarked). Rev. John Handcock, who was rector of Tashinny from late 1823, married into the Jessop family and was reportedly the first rector to reside in the parish. He lived in a thatched cabin with a mud floor – the best accommodation available locally – until the Glebe House Rectory of Tashinny was completed in 1826 at a cost of £923, of which £230 was a gift and £507 a loan from the Board of First Fruits. Due (in his wife’s words) to “some circumstances of a private nature, unnecessary to state”, Rev. Handcock requested to be moved on from Tashinny in 1831, and he died in 1838 aged just 39.
Lewis Topographical Dictionary (1837), which recorded invaluable local information, states that in Tashinny or Taghshinny, fairs are held on March 27th and May 28th. The seats are Doory Hall (F.T. Jessop, Esq.), Colehill House (T. Nugent Lennon, Esq.) and Hermitage (Geo. Duff, Esq.), though Tenelick, once the residence of the Lords Annaly, has long been in ruins. It adds, “The church is a small building, without tower or steeple, erected about a century ago; it has lately undergone considerable repairs, it contains a handsome marble monument to the memory of Judge Gore”. Another impressive marble tablet in the church commemorates “the Reverend Nicholas Gosselin, late rector and vicar of the united parishes of Tashinny and Abbeyshruel, who died at Tashinny Glebe the 30th July 1848” after a thirteen year incumbency. It was at this point that Rev. Lyster arrived in the parish as rector (1848-1854) after eleven years as vicar of Russagh and curate of Streete. He was born into a military family in County Roscommon in 1810, and his aunt Emily Lyster was married to Captain Samuel Zobel, a veteran of numerous campaigns during the Napoleonic Wars who died at the Rectory aged 68 in 1852 and is buried near the east window of the church. Lyster later became Dean of Leighlin Cathedral in County Carlow (1854-1864) and then Dean of Ontario, Canada (1864-1885), and died in 1891. True to form, whilst at Leighlin Rev. Lyster continued his archival interests by writing a manuscript on the history of the Cathedral, a copy of which survives in the collection of the RCB Library. A later rector, Rev. Robert J. Card, presented a brass Offertory Plate to the church of Tashinny in 1867. It is surmised that the bell-cote may have been added to the building around this time, being of a similar style to those found at Church of Ireland churches built or altered about 1860.
The large stained glass window was made by Jones & Willis of Birmingham in late 1890, and is dedicated to the memory of Rev. William Noble, the incumbent who died at the Rectory in January of that year aged 78. Noble was married to Emily Frances Wilde, an aunt of Oscar Wilde. After a very brief apprenticeship as curate, Tipperary-born Francis Sadlier Stoney became surely the longest-serving rector at 50 years (1890-1940). In 1893 Rev. Stoney married Eliza Noble, one of the daughters of his predecessor, and it’s not implausible to think that Oscar Wilde might have visited Tashinny during the long association of his aunt and cousins with the church. Eliza died in 1917 and the church lectern and font are both dedicated to her memory. The ‘Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead in Ireland, Volume IV‘, published in 1900, reprinted the text of Rev. Lyster’s earlier research with additional notes by Rev. Stoney, who died on 29 February 1940 aged 74. Inside the church, directly opposite the Annaly Monument, stands a large pipe organ which was put in place some time before 1892. This in fact contains only one functioning internal pipe, masked by an impressive array of false wooden replica pipes painted in gold. This organ has not been in use for many decades, with music instead supplied by an electric organ. The modern porch entrance was added to the church around 1900, at which point the antique limestone main door frame was probably moved from the former main entrance to its present location. The two narrow gable windows above the porch were reduced in size at some point. The present building is considered to ‘hold the form and character of a late-eighteenth or early-nineteenth century church’. The associated village school is first mentioned in a report from 1826, when it was located in a thatched house built by Rev. Sir James Hutchinson during his former incumbency, and which also served as the home of the teacher, John Gardiner. The teacher’s salary was paid by the rector before the school was transferred from the Church Education Society to become a National School attached to the Board of National Education in 1869. It was situated in a building with one large classroom and attached living quarters until it moved to a newly-built schoolhouse next door in 1988.
Around the end of the nineteenth century the congregation of Tashinny was significantly reduced by conversions to a number of non-conformist evangelical churches; a Methodist Chapel was built at nearby Deerpark by the Fee family in the 1870s and a Plymouth Brethren meeting house was set up behind the Moxham family home in Ratharney around the 1880s – both now long closed – and a Cooneyite community was established locally around the same time, all involving former members of Tashinny Church. In addition, like many rural churches, Tashinny has seen a steady decline in population over the years. The building recently underwent some important repairs in order to preserve the integrity of the structure but also to ensure the safe-keeping of its historical internal features for the foreseeable future.
Rev. Lyster detailed “the succession of Rectors, and Vicars, and Curates of the Union [of Tashinny and Abbeyshrule], as far as I can make them off”, though the Clergy of Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh (Canon J.B. Leslie, 2008) adds that Lyster’s list is questionable, as some may in fact have been rectors of Taghshinod. His original list was later updated by the last rector, Canon B.W. Kingston. Leslie’s research also adds the Reverends Fullerton, Knox, Wilson and Wilson, who are all concurrently listed as vicars of Kilcommick, though they do not appear in other sources for Tashinny. The combination of these lists of post-Reformation rectors are:
- Kedagh O’Farrell “-1615”
- Kedagh McConnell Fferrall “-1622”
- [Robert Fullerton (appointed to Ballymore in 1653 and Shrule in 1656) “1661”]
- [Rev. Knox (according to Lyster, probably based on the Pettit Stone above) “1684”]
- John Wilson “1691”
- William Wilson “1717/1718”
- Daniel Hearn “1720”
- David Bosquet [possibly the ‘Rev. Boscott’ listed by Lyster; held with Killashee] “1721”
- Josias Hort “17__”
- Hon. Sir James Hutchinson, Bart. [died 1812; held with Killashee] “1807-1812”
- Robert Moffett [1813; curate for 30 years, then rector for 20; died] “1815-1819”
- [Robert Lockwood (curate c. 1808)]
- [Frederick Holmes (curate c. 1811)]
- [Peter Lewis Langley (curate 1817)]
- Hon. David Richardson Curry [1821; died of apoplexy] “1819-1823”
- Hon. John Gustavus Handcock [removed] “November 1823-1831”
- Richard Quintus St. George [removed] “1831-1834”
- Nicholas Gosselin [died 1848] “1834-July 1848”
- [Essex Edgeworth (curate c. 1843-1845)]
- [Thomas Kirkwood Little (curate 1846-1848)]
- [James/Samuel Martin (curate)]
- James Lyster “1848-1854”
- Hugh Crawford “1854-1856”
- Thomas Webb Greene “1856-1863”
- John Hugh Johnston Powell “Nov. 1863-May 1866”
- Robert James Card (surrogate rector) “1866-1867”
- William Noble (died) “1868-Jan. 1890”
- [Hill Wilson (curate 1870-1871)]
- Francis Sadlier Stoney (curate 1889-1890, then rector) “Dec. 1890-Feb. 1940”
- Cyril Crowden Ellison “Aug. 1940-Feb. 1945”
- Alfred Birch “1946-1964”
- William James Allcard (rector of Ardagh & Moydow) “1965-1966”
- John Alexander Montgomery “1967-1980”
- James Pickering “1980-1981”
- Albert William Kingston “1982-2016”
With thanks to Canon B.W. Kingston.