v 6.30.00
28 Jan 2022
updated 28 Jan 2022

Documentary Sources

In the earlier version (2013) of this account, the sources I used to identify the two generations between Richard (d 1701) and Thomas (1735-1787) Hutchins were of limited scope and indeed were contradictory – and I went with the uncanonical one. I always hesitate to say "wrong", because I regard historical truth as a matter of mere consensus (the same is so often true of science as well), and as per Ibsen (probably Mark Twain too), the majority is always wrong. But he'd probably just been turned down by the jury for the Best Norwegian Playwright of the 19th Century award

The first of these sources, in a meticulous-seeming history of the Palmer family, maternal antecedents of Thomas Hutchins himself, states that

  • Thomas Hutchins' father was Thomas Theophilus Hutchins.
  • His father was Richard Hutchins of Ballylickey.

And the second of these sources, in an appreciation of Thomas Hutchins' daughter Ellen, the famous botanist, states that

  • Thomas Hutchins' father was also Thomas Hutchins (d 1754) of Ballylickey, who married Katherine Harman (1709 – 1804) – her antecedents are also given in some detail.
  • His father was Theophilus Hutchins of Cametringane near Castletownbere.

In this new version (2015) I'll go with the latter, especially as it has the support of not only the Burke genealogical publications but also Madeline Hutchins herself.

A Burke's eye view

For an overview (hopefully useful) of the Burkes' œuvre, plus a summary of all the editions which relate to Irish families, and which editions are accessible via the internet, please click here1,  2,  3.

For the descendants of Richard Hutchins, the 1912 edition of Burke's Landed Gentry of Ireland is most useful, and accessible by internet. Understandably, for more recent generations, the 1958 edition is required (though unavailable on the internet), and personal recollections by extant members of the family bring us even more up to date. And of course the graveyard records available over the past century or two provide invaluable background names and dates.

For the antecedents of Richard Hutchins, the 1862 edition of Burke's Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland seems to be unique, though was quite hard to track down on the internet.

Bernard Burke was particularly renowned for his flowery literary style, not to all tastes these days, but I find much greater problems with the ambiguity of his grammar – very often it's almost impossible to decide to whom a relative pronoun refers, for example. Tabulations would have been far clearer to the modern eye, but much more difficult to type-set – and indeed would have smacked of the counting-house to delicate Victorian sensibilities (always happy to inherit money or marry old money, but scornful of earned money).