William Apjohn

M, b. circa 1773
FatherWidenham Apjohn
ChartsThomas Apjohn (descendant indented)
Thomas Apjohn (descendant box)
Last Edited26 Mar 2014
     William Apjohn was born circa 1773 in County Limerick. He was the son of Widenham Apjohn. William Apjohn married Harriett Furnell Brady in 1792.1 William Apjohn married Mary Ryan circa 1829.
     Concerning William's marriage to the Widow Brady, the following is of interest. William Brady, the second son of Henry and Mary Moloney of Kilcooney, purchased Williamstadt farm Whitegate. In early 1790 he purchased Bargarriff and the old iron Furnace of Guincuill (Whitegate) from Richard Crosdaile of Rynn, Queen's County. He married Harriet Furnell and they had two sons Henry and William. He died Sept l790 after a lingering illness and he too wished to be buried in the church of Tuamgraney. A year passed and his wife Harriet married William Apjohn who was a school fellow of one of her sons. The Ennis Chronicle stated 'William Apjohn esq of Pallace sic to the agreeable widow Brady of Williamstadt in the county of Galway, possessed of a large jointure and a very considerable personal property."

While he was married to Harriett Furnell Brady, William would have observed and been a part of the following Court Case.

Before he died in 1817, fearing the character and intentions of his wife, William Brady re-wrote his will and left his entire estate to his daughter Mary Brady. The estate consisted of 1400 acres of property in Co. Galway and an additional 400 acres in Co. Clare. After the death of her father, Mary Brady had received £150 jointure (a lien on about 40 acres) against the estate. Two years after the death of William Brady in May 1820, the Court appointed Harriett Brady Apjohn, the child’s grandmother, as Guardian of Mary Brady. Mary’s mother, Margaret Brady nee Power, with the aid of her solicitor, had endeavored to access the estate by implying that Mary Brady had died.

It is important to note that William Brady and his family were Protestants. We do not know if Harriett Furnell Brady was a Protestant or not, but we do know that at the time of the trial in 1820, she was a Catholic. Either she entered a mix marriage with William Brady or she converted to Catholicism when she married William Apjohn in 1792.

The following court case is primarily between a mother-in-law (Harriett Brady Apjohn) and her daughter-in-law (Margaret Brady nee Power) in which the Mrs. Apjohn seeks custody of her grandchild Mary Brady. Mrs. Apjohn’s motivation may relate to the size and value of the inheritance that Mary Brady receives when her mother is passed over in her father’s will, or it may relate to the character of her daughter-in-law who she accuses of living in adultery with the family solicitor and who she does not feel is a fit mother for the child. On the other hand, Margaret Brady’s motivation may relate to the size and value of her daughter’s inheritance, or it may relate to the fact that her mother-in-law is a Catholic and has married a man who is much younger than herself and who was a classmate of her husband at school.

Mary Brady, the minor in the court case reviewed below, was born around 1808 and would have been about 12 during the court proceedings.

We do not have any school records that show William Apjohn and either of the Brady sons being at school together. The first thought is that they may have been classmates at Trinity College, Dublin, but there are no records that indicate that either of them attended that school. A second thought is that they may have been classmates in grammar school. If that were to be so, we would expect that William Apjohn would have been born ca. 1767 and that he attended school between the years 1784 and 1790 when he would have been in his teens. This means that when he married the widow Harriett Brady in 1792 he would have been about 25 years old, and that it did not bother him to marry a woman who was a Catholic and so much older than he was.

Preceding the Court Case to be reviewed below, a number of affidavits were taken:

John Beauchamp Brady, who was an uncle of William Brady, brought suit for the Brady family to recover property in Co. Galway which had been part of the estate inherited by the child Mary Brady. His case stated that “the Minor, who had been from infancy, a girl of delicate health, died some time since intestate and unmarried, as he heard and believes, and that thereupon, he became entitled, as Heir at Law to the Estates.” He goes on to indicate that the child’s death was purposely concealed from him by the mother, Margaret Brady, and that in proof of this he notes that the mother never sought any maintenance for the child from the Court appointed Guardian, the child’s grandmother, Harriett Brady Apjohn.

Harriett Brady Apjohn, grandmother of Mary Brady, indicated that Margaret Brady, the child’s mother, had “cohabited with a person who was her solicitor and made away with much of the Minor’s property.” She refers to an order in March 1820 regarding whether Margaret Brady should continue as Guardian of the child, and if not, the child should be sent to school. A subsequent report on May 6 1820 finds that Margaret Brady is unfit as Guardian of her daughter, and that Harriett Apjohn should be appointed Guardian instead. She goes on to indicate that Margaret Brady had put her daughter in a Miss Langston’s school on Jan 27 1820 and had withdrawn her on Mar 4 1820, and that since that time no account can be had of the child. She indicates that she had made a trip to Kerry in order to determine the presence of the child and found Margaret Brady living in adultery with her solicitor and that the house was under guard.

Margaret Brady, in reply, totally and generally denies the allegations and that the child is alive and in good health. She indicates that she last saw the child on Jun 22 1820 and that she is in debt of £400 for her maintenance. Margaret Brady’s solicitor also filed an affidavit denying all charges.

It is apparent from the court proceedings that the case introduced as “Brady, v. Brady and in the Matter of Mary Brady, a Minor” was a response to the various affidavits that had been filed. The Court case began in Jul 1821 and the following information is available from The Irish Law Recorder.


Brady, v. Brady and in the Matter of Mary Brady, a Minor.

Margaret Brady’s solicitor indicates to the court that he does not represent Mary Brady, but rather her mother Margaret Brady, and that “he had been the most intimate friend” of William Brady, Margaret’s husband and Mary’s father. The Lord Chancellor, who seems to have been quite a wit, replies “Probably, Sir, that was a most unfortunate thing for him.”

The Lord Chancellor proceeds to order that the child must be produced in court within a week. Margaret Brady’s solicitor, Mr. Saurin, makes a motion to set aside Mrs. Apjohn as Guardian of the child because Mary Brady is a Protestant, as was her father, and that Mrs. Apjohn is a Catholic. The Lord Chancellor replies: “I don’t trouble myself with the religion of parties—any one of good religious feelings would be sufficient for me.” Mr. Saurin continues to make his case that the Penal Laws forbid Catholics being Guardians for Protestants. Once again the Lord Chancellor replies: “Her religion is no object of favor, or the contrary to me. But if I am bound to choose a place for the Minor, I would certainly trust her with any one sooner than allow her to remain in a house little short of a brothel according to some of those affidavits.” Stating that he sees “much of the evil here has arisen from a Master [Mary’s mother, Margaret Brady] having been appointed Guardian of the fortune of a Minor.” He states that he shall consider the order he will make.

JUL 15 1821     The Lord Chancellor, in rendering his decision, notes that Margaret Brady had appealed to an unnamed person, a friend of the Lord Chancellor’s, to influence him. He notes that she fears that she “may be kept in Gaol for life” because of the debts she has accrued supporting the child. The Lord Chancellor, warning her “not to trifle with the Court,” instructs her to produce the child in Court or send her to Miss Langton’s school within two or three days.

JUL 22 1821     Appearing in Court were Margaret Brady, her solicitor, and the child Mary Brady. The solicitor began: “Allow me, my Lord, to commit to your noble patronage the person of the Minor, and I am sorry circumstances prevented me bringing her before. I implore your Lordship’s powerful protection for her, to save her from Mrs. Apjohn.” At this point, Mary Brady made an appeal to the Court: “My Lord, I implore your Lordship’s protection to save me from Mrs. Apjohn, or from being obliged to live with her. I would prefer any fate, or suffering any punishment, to living with her or her husband; as my poor mother is under difficulties, I wish to live with Miss Langton, who treated me with much kindness and affection when I was with her.” This was followed by some discussion regarding the appropriateness of the child appearing in Court, and the Lord Chancellor decided to retire to his chambers where he heard testimony from Mr. Saurin, the Minor and Margaret Brady. As a result, he ordered that the child should immediately be returned to Miss Langston’s school.

AUG 5 1821     The session begins with the solicitor for Mrs. Apjohn, now that the child has been returned to school, that she should receive compensation for her costs. This raises the issue of the inheritance and who controls it. The Lord Chancellor continues: “I much regret the feuds that have been in this family; I can, however, only look at the interest of the minor, but I will give my opinion to Mrs. [Margaret] Brady. She should give up these title deeds, and if she continues to act as she has done lately, in conformity to the wishes of the Court, I shall not forget her relationship to the minor, and I will act forbearingly to her, but I must now get in those title deeds.” Margaret Brady’s solicitor indicates that aspersions have been made against her character, that she has incurred debts, and that he himself borrowed £1100 against the estate. Nonetheless, the Lord Chancellor indicates that Mrs. Apjohn should get her costs.2

William Apjohn was a freeholder of land in Toomaline in 1832.3

Family 2

Mary Ryan


  1. [S25] W. Bruce Bannerman, editor, Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica (London: The Elibron Classics Replica Edition, 1912), Vol. IV, pp. 45-46. Hereinafter cited as Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica.
  2. [S26] The Law Recorder, Containing Reports or Cases and Proceedings in the Courts of Law and Equity at Dublin (Dublin: Office of the Law Recorder, 1828), Vol. 1, pp. 472ff. Hereinafter cited as The Law Recorder.
  3. [S41] Liist of land holders in the Limerick Chronicle in September and October 1832, online <http://members.iinet.net.au/~nickred/lists/>, http://members.iinet.net.au/~nickred/lists/freelist1.htm. Hereinafter cited as Liist of land holders in the Limerick Chronicle in September and October 1832.
  4. [S20] RootsIreland, online <http://rootsireland.ie/>, Parish of St. John's.
  5. [S20] RootsIreland, online <http://rootsireland.ie/>, Parish of Doon; sponsors were John Marshall and Sara Ryan.
  6. [S20] RootsIreland, online <http://rootsireland.ie/>, Parish of Doon; sponsors were John Ryan and Betty Dwyer.