Daniel Cullimore (1804-1889)

Rita Curtis

The Cullimore Charity is well known in the parish of Taghmon, but little is known about its source. A remarkable man named Daniel Cullimore, a native of the parish, bequeathed £8,000 in his will, the annual interest of which was to be expended to improve the quality of life of less well-to-do people who lived within a three mile radius of the village, irrespective of their religious affiliation.

Since his death 110 years ago in 1889, over £34,000 in interest has been allotted to the Cullimore Bequest, while the invested capital remains intact and the source of ongoing funding. Ledger records from 1891 to 1998 indicate that there have been approximately 22,500 tickets or vouchers distributed for either coal or other fuel, while boys of the parish derived benefit as apprentices to trades. Rita CurtisFamily Background Daniel Cullimore was born in Taghmon on March 20 1804. He was the son of Josiah Martin Cullimore (1757- 1815) and his wife, Elizabeth nee Stoneham (1768-1824). He was baptised on March 23 in the Catholic Church, Taghmon. His godparents were James Sinnott and Margaret Bolger.

The family's roots in the parish go back for centuries. In 1695 John Cullimore, Old Boley, married Elizabeth Davis of Mooretown, Co. Wexford, at Forest Meeting House. This Meeting House and burial ground were leased from Isaac Cullimore to Jacob Goff on June 17 1700 for 99 years. John and Elizabeth were great-great-grandparents of Daniel.

British Empire

All through the 19th century Ireland was part, if reluctantly, of the British Empire. The Empire in its heyday was so vast and powerful that 'the sun never set' on it. It opened up opportunities, particularly for younger sons of gentlemen who supported imperialism, to travel abroad in search of excitement, fame and fortune, though often the quest ended in death in a far off land.

Daniel Cullimore emigrated at an early age and was fortunate to have had a long, varied and successful life. He was a student in London, a veterinary surgeon in the Bengal Army in India, a gentleman farmer and a barrister at law. He travelled widely and became a wealthy man.

Fortunately for Taghmon, he was also a philanthropist.

Daniel Cullimore's Veterinary Declaration - courtesy of The British Library

Education and Career

Little is known as Daniel's childhood. He may have been educated at home by a tutor, a practice that was common among the better off classes at the time. In 1828 he graduated as a veterinary surgeon in the Royal Veterinary College London at the age of 24. He decided on a military career in the Cavalry department of the army. He did not enlist in the regular British army. Instead he joined the Honourable East India Company's forces, Bengal Establishment, and was posted to India in 1828 .

East India Company

Before canning and refrigeration, meat and fish were preserved by drying, salting and smoking. These processes spoiled the taste. Spices, which helped to make food palatable, were introduced into the kitchens of Europe. The spices came from India, Ceylon and the Moluccas (Spice Islands). The importation of spices became an important and lucrative trade, which the powerful maritime countries, Portugal, Britain, France and Holland vied with each other to dominate.

In 1600 London merchants got permission from Queen Elizabeth I to set up the East India Company . They were granted a charter to deal in spices. Trading stations were set up at Surat and Bombay on the west coast of India. Trade prospered and later stations were established at Madras and Calcutta on the east coast.

There were constant clashes at sea and on land between rival groups. In 1757 Robert Clive, better known as Clive of India, led the British to victory over the French at Plassey. The Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud- Daula was deposed and replaced. The rich province of Bengal came into British hands. A local army, not under the British War Office, with local soldiers/sepoys, was raised by the East India Company, to protect Bengal and enforce taxation under the Indian system. By 1765, the East India Company had become the outright ruler of the great province of Bengal and entered into diplomatic relations with some of the regional powers in India in the hope of avoiding war. The foundations of the British Empire had been laid down and its foundations stone, India, was very important to Britain.


Some Indian rulers and princes greatly resented the British presence. They envisaged an India in which the high and noble Indians were replaced by lowly merchants, the Indian way of life (varnashrama), eroded, their languages replaced by English and loss of respect for their religions and practices.

There were constant mutinies, culminating in the Indian Mutiny, which broke out in 1857. The rebellion was fierce and bloody and lasted until 1859 when it was crushed. Afterwards it was felt that India could no longer be ruled by a private company. The Crown took over the running of the country and the East India Company came to an end.

India - location of places mentioned in the text


It was into this dangerous, exotic, exciting and turbulent world that Daniel Cullimore stepped when he landed in India. He was to serve with the East India Company's Bengal Army until 1854, when he retired, having been on furlough since 1848. He served with distinction in many campaigns; the Gwalior campaign (he was present at the battle of Puniar, Neargwalior) and later with the Bengal Artillery in the Sutlej campaign. He acted as veterinary surgeon with the 9th Regiment Light Cavalry in 1848 and was in London on leave in October. He earned a medal and clasp in the Sutlej campaign. He had spent 20 years in active service in India. It was time to think about returning to Ireland.


During his years in India, Daniel became very friendly with Dr. James Graham, a native of Lisburn. In 1849 he visited the Graham family in the North of Ireland and later toured Scotland and the Isle of Man. In 1850 he was presented at Prince Consort Levee (a morning reception) on behalf of Queen Victoria by Viscount Gough, who was commander in chief in India during Daniel's service there. On July 20 he and Dr. Graham set off for India, arriving in Calcutta on August 31. They did not go by the Cape of Good Hope, but via the Red Sea. The heat during the journey had been intense and Dr. Graham became very ill. He got sick leave on November 16. In January 1851 Daniel went to stay with him in Benares until the doctor's health improved.

Settling down.

Daniel was now nearly 48 years of age. He had been abroad for most of his life and had probably accumulated a substantial sum of money. He decided to acquire an estate in his native land. The Grahams had become like a second family to him and may have influenced his first acquisition, Castle Jane Estate (250 acres), part of the Castle Ryves Estate in the parish of Knocklong, in the barony of Costlea, Co. Limerick in 1852.

Lewis describes the area: 'The principal seats are Castle Jane, and Hill Cottage of Rev. E. Graham. The land is rich meadow and pastureland, principally in large dairy farms, with only about one fourth of the land in the parish under tillage'. Daniel paid £7,000 for the Castle Jane Estate, borrowing £2,000 to do so. He had reverted to his roots and was now Daniel Cullimore, Esquire, a gentleman farmer in Ireland. He improved the house and farmed the land from 1852 - 1855. For most of his adult life he had enjoyed the camaraderie of his army friends and although he was busy he may have been lonely. At the same time he was pursuing a law career in London. He retired from the Honourable East India Company's service on September 9, 1854 having been admitted to the Inner Temple. In 1855 he sold Castle Jane for £11,000 and sold the stock by auction. He visited the Graham family in April and on November 7 Elizabeth Graham's husband, Robert Smith of Cottage Hill, Ballinderry, Co. Antrim and Fort William, Co. Cavan, died.


Due to his friendship with the family, Daniel would have known Elizabeth, the daughter of William Graham, Esquire, for many years. His mother and his great-great- grandmother had been called Elizabeth. Daniel now aged 51, a bachelor, a man of substance and a cherished family friend would be an ideal husband for the young widow. David Beatty, an executor of Robert Smith's will, wrote to Daniel giving him particulars of the widow's estate in full, including the clause that Elizabeth was to be paid an annuity of £600 which made her an independent lady in her own right.


In 1856 Daniel became engaged to Eliza, as she was known to her family and friends. Daniel had bought and sold an estate called Ballyscadane, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He then purchased Ballyanne Estate near New Ross (113 acres).

Barrister at Law

Daniel Cullimore was admitted to membership of the Inner Temple on January 23 1854 and called to the bar 17 November 1856. The admission record reads; 'Daniel Cullimore (aged 49) of the Honourable East India Company's Service and of the East India United Service Club, 14 St. James's Square, London, the ninth son of the late Josiah Martin Cullimore, Esquire, of Taghmon in the County of Wexford, private gentleman' .

'According to the law lists for England and Wales, Mr. Cullimore's Law List entries extend from 1857 until 1889, but the absence of any chambers' address throughout suggests that he cannot have practised as a barrister in this country. Residential addresses were however given as follows: 14 St. James's Square, London (1858 to 1879 incl.), Ballyanne Park, New Ross, Ireland (1857 - 1871 incl.) and Monkstown, Ireland (1880 to 1889 incl.).'

The East Indian Club's London address was 14 St. James's Square. It presumably provided rooms and other club facilities for officials and employees of the East India Company. Marriage Ten days after his being called to the bar Daniel got married. On November 27, 1856, Daniel Cullimore, bachelor, and Eliza Smith, widow, were married in All Saints Church, Langham Place, London. Daniel's occupation was entered as 'Barrister at Law and Retired ---- ? Veterinary Department, Bengal Army'. They were both 'of full age'. The marriage ceremony was conducted according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church in the presence of the Rector Edward Revell - Eardley Wilmot. The witnesses were Thomas Chadwick, David Beatty and Annie Graham.

It must have been a happy day and a satisfactory event, not only for Daniel, Eliza and their families, but also for David Beatty.

The honeymoon was spent at Queen's Hotel, Crystal Palace, Norwood and on the continent, after which the couple returned to Ireland to live at Ballyanne.

The marriage record of Daniel Cullimore and Eliza Smith - complete with Daniel Cullimore's signature.

Death of Dr. Graham and Married Life in Ireland

There was sadness the following year when Daniel's dear friend, Dr. James Graham, was murdered during the mutiny at Sealkote on July 91857. Daniel was one of the executors of his will. The estate was worth about £50,000.

Daniel was lucky to have left India when he did. He escaped the dangers of the Indian mutiny and returned to a tranquil life in his native country, no longer a lone bachelor. The Cullimores remained in Ballyanne until 1863. They farmed and improved the house and estate and made frequent visits to the North of Ireland, London and the continent. Daniel must have spent time visiting his relatives in the Taghmon area and noted that many of its inhabitants with large families were poor and underprivileged which he remembered when drawing up his will. Ireland had been through the Great Famine and in 1849 Taghmon was visited by a dreaded disease, cholera, that claimed almost 300 of its residents, leaving the survivors sad and dispirited .


In 1865 Ballyanne Estate was sold for £10,000 and the stock, house and furniture disposed of at valuation. The Cullimores went to live at a private hotel, Tudor Hall, Monkstown, Co. Dublin where they stayed until 1871. In 1870 Daniel lost a considerable sum of money due to the collapse of the Indian Banks. This misfortune may have spurred him to invest his money again in real estate. In 1871 he purchased a fine property, 4 Longford Terrace , Monkstown, Co. Dublin. The house was beautifully situated fronting the Bay of Dublin overlooking the pleasure and tennis grounds, commanding unrivalled views of coast scenery and Kingstown Harbour. It was close to the Railway Station, sea and churches and a short walk from the Club House and Mail Packet Pier at Kingstown. Contained in three storeys over the basement, the house included a front drawing room, a rear drawing room opening from the front one looking onto a garden, a dining room, a billiard room, a small study, a handsome well lighted hall and staircase. There was a nicely fitted pantry and a water closet off a rear hall.

On the first landing were four bedrooms, a water closet, lavatory and bathroom with hot and cold water supply. There was a linen closet on the upper lobby. The basement was commodious and contained a large kitchen, a range with two ovens and high-pressure boiler, two servants' rooms, storerooms, a wine cellar, a scullery, two coal vaults and a basement water closet. Gas and the Vartry Pipe Water supply were laid on the premises. The garden, tastefully planted with fruit trees and shrubs, extended to a three-stall stable, coach house, a man's room and storage loft upstairs. There was a compact walled in garden opening on to the Monkstown Road. It must have been an idyllic place for retirement and the ability to purchase and run the property belied the adage that 'rolling stones gather no moss'. Here Daniel and Eliza passed the final years of their lives. They spent holidays in London and Paris. As their health failed they went to Eliza's family at Unicarville, Co. Down for a change.

In 1885, now aged 81, Daniel lost £3,000 by the failure of the Queensland Pastoral Company which may have prompted him to purchase Ballynacargy Estate for £1,450. He may no longer have had trust in speculating or in banks. As executor of Dr. Graham's will he had seen almost everything lost by the failure of the Banks of Bengal and Bombay. He must have worried about how he and Eliza would cope if more financial misfortunes were to strike.

4 Longford Terrace, Monkstown, Co. Dublin which Daniel Cullimore purchased in 1871.


Daniel and Eliza, married at 52 and 44 respectively, had been blessed for 31 years, but dark clouds loomed on the horizon. Daniel was diagnosed with cancer and died two years later at his home on April 8 1889, aged 85 years . He was laid to rest in Dean's Grange Cemetery. His death was registered in the district of Kingstown No 1 Rathdown in the County of Dublin on the 28 August by Bridget Bray, present at death. By this time Eliza too was dead . After Daniel's death she seems to have gone to Unicarville, probably to the home of her sister Jane married to James Allen, where she died on June 21, just 74 days after her husband's demise. She was 77 years of age and had suffered a stroke. Eliza was buried in the family grave at Brumbo, Co. Down. Her death was registered by Martha Warburton, present at death.

The Will - October 23 1888

The will (with one codicil) of Daniel Cullimore, late of 4 Longford, Terrace, Monkstown, Co. Dublin, who died April 8 1889 at the same place, was proved at the Principal Registry by James Graham of 16 Miles Road, Clifton, Bristol, Colonel of Bengal Army and John Allen of Unicarville, Comber, Co. Down Esquire, the Executors. The house, 4 Longford Terrace, Monkstown was offered for sale by auction at the premises on Saturday, October 12, 1889, at three o'clock afternoon, by order of the Executors. The furniture and effects were sold on four consecutive days from Tuesday October 15 to Friday October 18. The wine list disposed of on the last day of the sale reads: 70 dozen of sherries, ports, clarets, marsala, amontillado, champagne, Australian wines of selected vintages and some brandy.

The estate was valued at £37,317 5s 2d . Probate was carried out but extensive research has failed to unearth a full copy of the will. It is not in the National Archives.


Daniel was a very generous benefactor of the Church of Ireland, Taghmon, during his life and a sum of £500 in consols was left by him to acquire a residence for the clergymen of the parish. He is remembered by a fine plaque in the church, which reads as follows:



Daniel Cullimore had gone to his reward but for the people of Taghmon the benefits of his commitment to his native parish were just beginning. Had he been laid to rest in the family enclosure in St. Munn's Cemetery those who derived comfort from his generosity might occasionally offer a prayer for the happy repose of his soul or leave a flower on his grave in thanksgiving. His warm heart made many a hearth a place of comfort over the past century.

May he rest in peace and may we remember him with gratitude.

Ní fheicfimid a leithéid arís.

Family Tree


Some of the details of Daniel Cullimore's life are from Cullimore and Graham family records, a copy of which was given to Hilary Murphy in the 1980s by a family relative. The information it contained was invaluable for further research.

A special word of thanks to Andy and Jenny O'Brien, London for their enthusiastic and thorough research in London sources.
Thanks also to:
John Bayley,
I.A. Baxter, British Library Office
Adrian Blunt, Inner Temple, London
Rev. J. Curtis
Linda Dolan, The Law Society, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7
Janet Edgell, Middle Temple, London
Guy Holburn, Lincoln's Inn Library, London
Ann Marie Lemass
Miranda Lewis, Rector's Personal Assistant, All Souls Church, London
Jean O'Hara, University Records, University of Dublin
Anne Marie Robinson, Society of King's Inns, Dublin
Eithne Scallan
Dr. A.R. Smith,
Dan Walsh, Millpark Road, Enniscorthy
Wexford Library Staff (Celestine Rafferty and Michael Dempsey)


  1. Office of Commissioners for Charitable Donations and Bequests, Dublin and Cullimore Charity Committee's ledgers, Taghmon.
  2. Biographical card index, India Office Records, British Library, London N.W.1 and Parochial Records in Taghmon Catholic Church.
  3. Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) Dublin; Families of County Wexford by Hilary Murphy
  4. India Office Records, British Library, London
  5. The Oxford History of the British Empire, Vol.11, The 18th Century, ed P.J.Marshall, D.Phil., FBA, Oxford University Press 1988 Encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol 5) Children's Britannica 1960 1961
  6. Samuel Lewis; A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837) 11, P.239 My thanks to Dr. A.R. Smith of The Royal Commission on Historical Documents, Quality House, Chancery Lane, London.
  7. Adrian Blunt, Deputy Librarian, The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, London EC4Y7DA;
  8. Janet Edgell, Librarian and Keeper of the Records, The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, London EC4Y9BT.
  9. Copy of Marriage Cert, All Souls, Langham Place, London. Researchers Andy and Jenny O'Brien, London.
  10. St. Fintan's Church, Taghmon 1869 - 1971 by Rita Curtis in Taghmon Historical Society, Journal No. 1 (P. 114), 1996.
  11. Executors' Sale Notice: October 12, 1889 researched by Clarence Cullimore.
  12. Copy of his death certificate, Registrar's Office, Dublin
  13. Copy of her death certificate, Registrar's Office, Belfast
  14. National Archives, Dublin
  15. Statistics supplied by Peter Meany, H.E.O., Central Statistics Office Cork, March 11, 1997 (In 1889, £8000 was the equivalent of £581,672 in today's values. Therefore £37,317 5s 2p in 1889 was equivalent to £2,713,300 in today's values.)
  16. R.C.B. Minutes' Book 18 April, 1915