George Telford, Enniskerry Merchant

Enniskerry ca 1896, from the National Llibrary of Ireland Lawrence Collection

Enniskerry ca 1896, from the National Library of Ireland Lawrence Collection

In 1892, London’s Commercial Gazette reported an agreement reached by George Telford & Son, an Enniskerry grocer and general merchant to pay Andrew Byrne of Quinsborough Road, Bray, also a merchant. Evidently he had fallen behind in his bills. But who was George Telford?

The 1901 Census lists George Telford, then aged 66, as a retired grocer originally from County Longford. Living with him is Beresford Buckley (28), a post office assistant, Annie Moore (24), a nurse, and Bridget Morriss (40), a house maid. Moore was evidently Telford’s nurse, as her relationship to him is listed as servant. They lived in a 10-12 roomed house, that had 6 windows to the front. Given that it was next to the hotel (9 windows to the front), it seems like a good guess that this is what is today’s Spar and Jenny Turner.

Buckley was a very common Enniskerry name, and the rather unusual name Beresford is one found in the Buckley family line. The Powerscourt church records list Beryl Beresford née Buckley marrying Richard Bradner in 1892. The Buckleys and the Telfords were close. Thomas Henry Telford—the son mentioned by the Gazette—married Marian Amelia Buckley, daughter of the village butcher Henry Buckley in 1887, while Francis Buckley, son of the hotelier at the Powerscourt Arms William Buckley married Georgina Telford, Georgina. The couple took over running the Powerscourt Arms Hotel, as can be seen in the Lawrence photograph. (One of their early tasks would have been to deal with the fire (read more on that here).

Telford Grave (photo from IGP Website)

Telford Grave (photo from IGP Website)

While by 1901, only George Telford was left in the village, his family are mentioned in Powerscourt graveyard records. His wife Anne died in September 1885, aged 64. As well as Thomas and Georgina, the couple had another daughter, Isabella, who died as an infant in 1868. Thomas and Marian left Enniskerry and by 1901, they were living in Watkin’s Buildings off Cork St. He was a relieving officer. Interestingly, William Miller lived with them – Miller was another Enniskerry merchant name. Back in Enniskerry, Francis and his new bride  Georgina got down to the business hotel, and clearly of family; they had at least nine children. Sadly Georgina died in 1909, aged just 46 and she was not listed in 1911 Census. In the intervening 10 years, Francis’ job description changed from Hotel Keeper to Farmer. By 1911, the hotel was run by William Johnston (more on that here). It was the beginning of the end of Buckleys in Enniskerry.

The nurse living with George in 1901 suggests he was ill, and in August of that year, just after the Census was taken, he died. Thomas died in 1929, and they are, George Telford and Son, buried together in Powerscourt Church graveyard.

 

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