Tead O’Crowley - Blacksmith of His Majesty’s Leeward Charibee Islands in America

by Mary Casteleyn (Crowley Clan Newsletter - July 2007)

I recently found a very interesting will in the National Archives at Kew, London. This will dated 1803 related to a Tead O’Crowley, otherwise Crowley, initially described as a Blacksmith of His Majesty’s Leeward Charibee Islands in America. The will was not proved until 1822 in London when Tead is described as a Master Armourer in His Majesty’s Ordnance Department in English Harbour in the Island of Antigua.

In his will he leaves his “two tables, my chairs, bed and bedding with all my gold beads and rings in my possession to Mary Saunders for her use forever with all my plate(silver) and Delf ware excepting two patent lamps which I give, devise and bequeath unto my godson James Armstrong. It is likewise my desire that the remainder of my effects be sold to pay for my funeral expenses and out of the balance remaining to pay Samuel Pettigrew a balance due to him on account of the purchase of a negro girl names Polly and I likewise request that the said girl Polly may be sold which amount of sale and monies that may be remained, I do devise and bequeath unto my beloved wife Mary Jagoe of Dunmanway, near Cork. And I do hereby nominate and appoint Mr. Richard Garland and Mr. Stephen Lee of the said island, Executors to this my last will and testament by witness thereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this 30th day of September 1803.”

On 12th September 1822, Administration was granted by the Prerogative Court in London to John O’Crowley, the Administrator of the goods of Mary O’Crowley, otherwise Jagoe, widow who was declared while living to be the relict and legatee named in the above will. John O’Crowley was duly sworn to administer the will for the use and benefit of Catherine O’Crowley, spinster and natural daughter and one of the next of kin of Mary O’Crowley, otherwise Jagoe, deceased. Catherine O’Crowley is residing in 1822 at Cooranadig*. Mary O’Crowley, otherwise Jagoe, widow of Tead O’Crowley had never taken out letters of administration or proved her husband’s will, hence the delay of 19 years.

Tead O’Crowley was almost certainly in the Leeward Charibee Islands in America as part of the British Forces fighting against Napoleonic France.

*This appears to be Cooranig in the Barony of East Carbery (West Division), parish of Fanlobbus, near Dunmanway as in Alphabetical Index to the Townlands of Ireland, Dublin 1851.