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Sir Hugh Purcell



Barons of Loughmoe

The title Baron of Loughmoe is a feudal barony located in northern County Tipperary, Ireland. The title was possibly raised to a Jacobite peerage in 1690 while James II was in exile, however, while the Marquis de Ruvigny notes this in his 'The Jacobite Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Grants of Honour', there is little other evidence to support this.

The Jacobite Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Grants of Honour

 Published 1904

 T.C. & E.C. Jack

 Families of Royal Descent

 266 pages




The feudal title was granted to Richard Purcell in 1328 by James Butler, 1st Earl of Ormonde as palatine Lord of Tipperary. Irish and Scottish feudal titles, particularly those granted by palatine lords, are difficult to classify in law, they are acknowledged as genuine hereditaments by the arms granting bodies of Ireland, Scotland, and England, but were never formally recognised by the Crown.   The seat of the Baron of Loughmoe is Loughmoe Castle at Loughmore Village, Templemore, Co. Tipperary.



Ancient origins

Though referring to the Purcells of Loughmoe specifically, the medieval Irish genealogist Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh wrote that Purcell genealogy begins with Charlemagne, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. There are several ancestral lines reaching back from Sir Hugh Purcell and his wife, Beatrix Fitzwalter le Botillier, ancestors of all succeeding Irish Purcells, to Charlemagne. These are easily discovered on, et al. One line: Charlemagne, Louis I Aquitaine, Charles the Bald, Rothaut de France, Richilde de Bourges, Gerlotte de Blois, Female de Bricquebec, Tourude de Harcourt, Humphrey de Harcourt, Albreda de Preaux, Hubert De Rie, Albreda De Rie, Robert de Valoignes, Theobald de Valoines, Maude de Valoignes, Theobald Fitzwalter, Beatrix Fitzwalter. When Beatrix married Sir Hugh Purcell, part of her marriage portion was Loughmoe Castle. Additional Purcell family history is suggested by the 17th century French encyclopaedist Louis Moréri. Moréri wrote the monumental Le Grande Dictionnaire Historique which documents the history of the ancient families and towns of France. He writes that the Porcellet family were Lords of Arles, an ancient Roman trading town in modern Provence. Moréri notes the daughter of Aimedrius Porcellet, Lord d’Arles, married her northern first cousin, Hugh Porcel around 1020 AD.


1st emperor of the Holy Roman Empire

Charles the Great (742-814), better known as Charlemagne, was crowned emperor of the Romans on Christmas Day, 800 by Pope Leo III.   About three decades earlier, Charlemagne had begun his rise to power when he became king of the Franks (768.  Through numerous military campaigns, he increased the size of his kingdom so that it included a large part of western Europe.  He forced those whom he conquered to become Christians.

Today he is not only regarded as the founding father of both French and German monarchies, but as the father of Europe: his empire united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Romans.


Norman origins

The earliest documented Purcell is the Norman Hugh Porcel who in 1035 AD granted the tithes of Montmarquet, a vill on the frontiers of Picardy, and near Aumerle, to the Abbey of Aumerle. Whether this Hugh and the Hugh mentioned by Moreri are the same is impossible to determine - the timing however is right.



Norman invasion of England 1066 AD
As noted by O'Hart, according to a tradition, Sir Hugh was the first Norman to land at Pevensey Bay, the first to do a deed of Arms by storming the ruins of the old Roman Castle, where a party of Harold’s soldiers lay entrenched, and the first to win a grant of land from William the Conqueror in “guerdon of the deed.” No evidence exists to support this claim. Hugh's son Dyno, however, was Keeper of the Bedchamber to William the Conqueror, a strong indication of military association between the Purcells and the King.

The successor of Sir Hugh Porcel was Øyno Purcell, who in about 1120, received a grant of the manor of Catteshull, Surrey, from King Henry I. Catteshull is a manor and tithing the north-east of Godalming (Surrey), and included lands in Chiddingfold. Øyno married a daughter of Nigel de Broc, a famous Justiciar of the time. In 1129-30, his elder son Geffrey, the King's usher (hostiarius), paid his relief for his father’s land and held it free of toll as it had been in his fathers time, and gave it to Reading Abbey on becoming a monk there. This gift was confirmed both by the Empress Maud and by her opponent Stephen. No mention is made of Catteshull in the confirmatory grants of Henry II to Reading Abbey, and he seems to have regranted it to Ralph de Broc, son of Øyno Purcell (identical with Ralph Purcell), to hold by the service of usher of the king’s chamber. This service or serjeanty by which the manor was held is variously stated as ‘the keeping of the linen’ and being ‘usher of the laundresses.’

Geoffrey’s brother and heir, Ranulf, assumed his mothers name of De Broc apparently in 1156, as the Pipe Roll of that year for Hampshire he is styled De Broc and for Surrey he is still called Purcell.

Dyno's son, Ranulf Purcell, took his mothers name, de Broc, and was implicated in the assassination of Thomas Becket. Ranulf was excommunicated for theft of property of the Archbishopric by Becket, on Christmas Day, 1170, the traditional day of forgiveness. When Henry II, who was in Normandy, heard of this, he is said to have asked why none of his knights had rid him of “this troublesome priest”. A few days later, four knights arrived at Saltwood, Ranulf de Broc’s castle in Kent. After the murder, Saltwood was confiscated by Henry for De Broc's involvement in the murder. De Broc argued that the knights had lied to him and said Henry had ordered Becket be arrested.

Just as Randulf de Broc had no male issue neither had his nephew Robert, who as Justiciar is frequently mentioned in the public Records; Robert came to be represented by the De Lodges’ and the Peto’s.

The Purcell male representation then passed to the family of the lords of Newton-Purcell Oxon., and Shareshull, Staffordshire. Ralph, the founder of this line, inherited those manors and others in Normandy, near Rouen, together with the Court Office, viz.: Usher of the King’s Chamber, as well as his maternal uncle Robert Burnell’s Court Office of Usher, who was living in 1129-30 and enjoyed the Royal favour shown by the remission of the Dane-Geld. About 1154, a charter of confirmation of his uncle’s lands and office passed attested, among others, by St. Thomas a Beckett, the Chancellor. About 1160 he made a grant of land in Normandy to the Abbey of the Holy Trinity, Rouen. He must have lived to a great age, as he obtained another confirmation under the payment from King John A.D. 1200. He was the Patriarch of a numerous tribe in England and Ireland; one of his sons being Hugh, who took part in the English Invasion of Ireland in 1171 and became the founder of the House of Purcell in that country.


Norman invasion of Ireland 1171 AD
According to O'Hart, this Hugh was the unnamed knight mentioned by Giraldus Cambrensis, as slain at Waterford. Hugh had been left in command of Waterford while the King departed for Dublin,

…"on the morrow, seeking to cross the river in one of the native boats to hold parley with the King, the boatmen rose upon him in the middle of the stream, stabbed him with their long ‘skeans’ and the threw the body into the river."

In 1171 Sir Hugh Purcell was a knight who participated in the Norman invasion of Ireland, and around 1204 his grandson Sir Hugh married Beatrix, daughter of Theobald FitzWalter, Chief Butler of Ireland. As part of his marriage, Hugh received from FitzWalter, the town of Loughmoe. Sir Hugh founded, in 1241, a Monastery of Franciscans or Grey Friars in Waterford. Hugh's tomb is described by 17th century sources as having on it, the figure of a man in armour, in high relief, with a shield on his left arm, on which were three lions passant guardant in pale. The crest of course is that of the Plantagenets and speaks to the fact that Hugh's mother was an illegitimate daughter of Richard I of England.

Richard I of England

Richard I (September 8, 1157 – April 6, 1199) was King of England and ruler of the Angevin Empire from July 6, 1189 until his death. He was known as Richard the Lionheart, or Cœur de Lion, even before his accession, because of his reputation as a great military leader.  At only 16, Richard had his own command, putting down rebellions in Poitou against his father, Henry II.  Richard was a central Christian commander during the Third Crusade, effectively leading the campaign after the departure of Philip Augustus, and scoring considerable victories against his Muslim counterpart, Saladin.  While he spoke very little English and spent very little time in his Kingdom, preferring to use it as a source of revenue to support his armies, he was seen as a pious hero by his subjects. He remains one of the very few Kings of England remembered by his epithet, not number, and is an enduring, iconic figure in England.



List of the Barons of Loughmoe

The following in an incomplete list of those who have held the title of Lord or Baron of Loughmoe:

Lord of Loughmoe

  • Sir Hugh Purcell

Baron of Loughmoe

  • Richard Purcell, 1st Baron of Loughmoe (1328)

  • Phillip Purcell of Loughmoe

  • Geoffrey Rothe Purcell of Loughmoe (c.1397)

  • Thomas Purcell of Loughmoe (c.1430)

  • Peter Purcell of Loughmoe - on 13 August 1461, he was granted by Edward IV a life annuity of 10l from the lordship of Waghterard in Ireland, former title of James, Earl of Ormonde, and afterwards of James, Earl of Wiltshire

  • James Purcell of Loughmoe (c.1456) - An elegy written for him describes something of the turbulence of the period and the Purcell attacks against such neighboring families as the O'Meaghers of Ikerrin, the O'Kennedy's of Ormond and the Hacketts of Middlethird. The poem loses something in translation but the pattern of raid and counter-raid is clear enough. He also took part of the O'Kennedy's cattle of Donemona - good the spoil - that were hidden away when the pursuit started.

  • John Purcell of Loughmoe (c.1466)

  • Thomas Purcell of Loughmoe (c.1518)

  • Patrick Purcell of Loughmoe (c.1534)

  • Thomas Purcell of Loughmoe (b.1538 d. 3 August 1607), married Joanna Fitzpatrick (b. 1542 - d. 1611)

  • Ralph Purcell of Loughmoe, died without issue, succeeded by his brother

  • Richard Purcell of Loughmoe (d. 15 September 1624), married Mary Pluncket of Killahara. In 1607 Richard was tried and found guilty for the manslaughter of his brother-in-law, Adam Tobin, while the latter was High Sheriff of the County of Tipperary in 1606. Richard was the father of

  • Theobald Purcell of Loughmoe (b. 1595 flourished 1630), married Ellen Butler, daughter of the 11th Earl of Dunboyne. Theobald was one of the two members of the 1634 Parliament for the County of Cross Tipperary (the church lands of that county) and was described as an "Irish Papist". Theobald or Tibbot took part in the Rebellion of 1641 on the side of the Confederate Catholics. Loughmoe was attacked during the Rebellion and is listed as "destroyed" and "out of all manner of repayre."

  • James Purcell of Loughmoe, (b.1609, died 13 September 1652, married Elizabeth Butler.

  • Nicholas Purcell of Loughmoe born (1652), died 4 March 1722

 Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland

 by Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland


 Published 1853




 Purcell is written about in this book


The Purcell Legend

To rid the countryside of these beasts, the king offered their slayer the hand of his daughter, the Castle at Loughmoe and vast lands around it. After all of the other hunters had tried and failed, a youth called Purcell sought permission to stalk the beasts. He made his way through the nearby forest by leaping from branch to branch, until he finally reached the spot where the creatures lay. With his bow he peppered them with arrows from above, but to no avail, until, at last, two of his shots went into the mouths of beasts, who fled in pain and terror. They were later found dead near Thurles, and Purcell claimed his generous prize. Thus, the area in which the Castle stands is known as "the field of the reward", referring to the gift Purcell received from the King. The legend is alluded to in the Purcell family's coat of arms, which depicts the heads of four boars.



From Rootsweb Bucks County GenWeb :

The PURCELL-PURSELL family of Pennsylvania and New Jersey are descendants of the noble family of PURCELL in Ireland, whose founder, Sir Hugh PURCELL, was a grandson of Sir Hugh PURCELL who went from Normandy to England with William the Conqueror, and traced his descent through many generations from Charlemagne of France. Sir Hugh PURCELL is said to have been the first of the conquering Normans to land on British soil at Pevensey Bay, and the first to effect a deed of arms by storming the ruins of a Roman castle where a part of King Harold's soldiers lay entrenched. The Irish PURCELLS were adherents of the House of Stuart, and were swept away by the rebellion of 1641, though several distinct branches of them later recovered their lands and titles at the restoration and were again badly broken on the accession of William of Orange.

John Purslone PURSLEY or PURSSELL, as his name is variously spelled, came to America from Dublin, Ireland, in the ship "Phoenix," arriving in the river Delaware in August, 1677, and settled in Bucks county. He was appointed constable for the "further side of Neshaminah" 7 mo. 9, 1685, and on the 8th of 7 mo. 1689, was again appointed constable for the "upper parts of the settlement, between Neshaminah and Poquessing." In the same year he appears as a witness in the Bucks county courts, and on being attested gives his age as "about sixty years." He was again appointed constable in 1690, for "upper parts of Neshaminah." He married in 1684, Elizabeth, widow of Thomas WALMSLEY, who with her husband and six children migrated from Yorkshire in 1682 and settled in Byberry, Philadelphia county, bringing a certificate from Settle Monthly Meeting of Friends in Yorkshire. At about the same date of the arrival of John PURSLONE in Bucks county, Thomas PURCIL appears at Flatlands, Long Island. He acts as an appraiser in that town in 1679, and was one of the patentees of Newton, Long Island, in 1686. He or a son of his with the same name removed to the Raritan, in Somerset county, New Jersey, prior to 1703, and had children baptized at the Raritan Dutch Reformed church. The descendants of Thomas PURSELL became numerous in Somerset, Middlesex and Essex counties, New Jersey, prior to 1760. In 1710 he purchased a large tract of land in Somerset county, though then living in Middlesex, and in 1719 conveyed one half of it to his son Daniel, who in 1728 conveyed a part of it to Gysbert KROM, of Amwell township, Hunterdon county. A Daniel PURCELL settled later in Alexandria township, Hunterdon county and in 1783 bought a tract of land in Tinicum, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, and erected a grist mill which he operated for two years. He then returned to Kingwood, New Jersey, where he died in 1804, leaving sons, Peter, Benjamin and Thomas, and daughters, Ruth MIDDLESWARTS, Sarah TINSMAN and Hannah JONES.

On September 28, 1728, "Denes PURCELL of Pennsylvania" married Ruth COOPER, daughter of Henry and Mary (BUCKMAN) COOPER, of Newtown, Bucks county, and settled in Bethlehem township, Hunterdon county, New Jersey. Whether he was a son of John and Elizabeth (WALMSLEY) PURSSELL, of Bucks county, or of Thomas, of New Jersey, is problematical, but certain it is that Dennis and Ruth COOPER were the parents of John PURSELL, "of Pennsylvania," who married in 1761 Ann Coone (COOMB), of Tinicum township, Bucks county, and settled in Nockamixon township, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, where he purchased land in 1773. Another John PURSELL, also of Pennsylvania, married in 1765 Mary LOGAN, and settled in Falls township, Bucks county, where he died in 1778.

John PURSELL, of Nockamixon, died in that township in December, 1804, and his will was probated February 5, 1805. It is probable that his father, Dennis PURSELL, settled in Nockamixon while John was a young man, as a Denes PURSLE was sergeant of the Nockamixon company of Associators in 1775, and, though John had a son Dennis, it is hardly probable that he could have been of sufficient age to have held a commission at that date. The children of John and Ann (COOMB) PURSELL were: 1. John, Jr., who married Mercy ILIFF, and died in 1816, leaving eleven children. 2. Thomas, who married Catherine CRAUSE, and died in 1841, leaving six sons, Dennis, William, John, Thomas, Jacob and Frederick, and one daughter, Mary, who married Jacob FULMER. 3. Brice, mentioned hereinafter. 4. Dennis, who went west and left no descendants in Bucks county. 5. Ruth, who became the wife of Daniel STRAWN, born 1752, son of Jacob and Christiana (PURSELL) STRAWN, of Haycock, the former of whom was a half-brother of Ruth (COOPER) PURSELL, by the second marriage of Mary (BUCKMAN) COOPER with Launcelot STRAWN. 6. Elizabeth, who became the wife of Benjamin HOLDEN. 7. Mary. 8. Ann. 9, Hannah, who became the wife of John WILLIAMS, a son of Benjamin and Mercy STEVENSON WILLIAMS. 10. Margaret. 11. Jane, who became the wife of Jacob HAUSEWORTH. Mary, Ann and Hannah, aforementioned, were triplets; all grew to womanhood, married and all died at the birth of their first child. Either Mary or Ann married a Henry, and left a daughter Ann.
Brice PURSELL, third son of John and Ann (COOMB) PURSELL, was born in Nockamixon, August 15, 1776, and died there August 12, 1830. He lived on a portion of the homestead which had been devised to the three eldest sons, John, Thomas and Brice, and was partitioned between them in 1806. He later purchased considerable other land adjoining, becoming a large landholder and a man of prominence in that community. He was a justice of the peace for twenty-one years and performed a large amount of public business. He married Catherine MOORE, who was born May 25, 1784, and died August 12, 1848, and they were the parents of nine children: 1. Ann, who became the wife of John FISHER. 2. Thomas, who married Eliza MARSHALL. 3. John, who married Sarah WILLIAMS. 4. Evaline, who became the wife of Abram ARNDT. 5. Brice Moore, mentioned hereinafter. 6. Hugh, who married Jane B. ELTONHEAD. 7. Daniel, who married three times; his first wife was Susanna UNANGST; his second wife was Margaret Rebecca EILENBERGER; and his third wife was Rachel QUINN. 8. Hannah, who became the wife of Cyrenius SLACK, of Hunterdon county, New Jersey. 9, Mary, who died at the age of six years.

Brice Moore PURSELL, father of Dr. Howard PURSELL, was born in Nockamixon, August 31, 1811, and died there June 18, 1885. He was a farmer and lived on the old family homestead. He married, July 19, 1837, Martha Merrick POORE, born February 18, 1817, in Upper Makefield township, Bucks county, died in Bristol, Pennsylvania, May 2, 1902. She was a daughter of Daniel and Maria (MERRICK) POORE; the former a son of John POORE, was born October 12, 1793, and died April 12, 1888, and the latter was born April 23, 1798 and died October 1, 1879. They were married May 2, 1815. The MERRICKS are descendants of John MERRICK, a native of Herefordshire, England, who settled in Lower Dublin, Philadelphia county, prior to 1700. His son John MERRICK was an early settler in Makefield, where he has left numerous descendants. Brice Moore and Martha M. (POORE) PURSELL were the parents of four sons: 1. Augustus, born May 3, 1839, married November 12, 1868, Evalina EILENBERGER, daughter of David and Susan (ARNDT) EILENBERGER, who bore him one child, Jessie Martha PURSELL; Evalina's death occurred at his home in Muncy, Pennsylvania, July 27, 1904. 2. Horatio N., born December 4, 1841, died August 31, 1863, after his return from the civil war; he was unmarried. 3. Howard, born March 23, 1847, mentioned hereinafter. 4. Stacy, born November 20, 1849, married, April 22, 1885, Josephine K. WILLIAMS, daughter of Barzilla and Sarah (KING) WILLIAMS, no issue.

Howard PURSELL, third son of Brice and Martha M. (POORE) PURSELL, was born and reared in Nockamixon (now Bridgeton) township. He graduated from the medical department of the New York University, March 1, 1867, and practiced medicine at Ceres, New York, until 1869. In the latter year he removed to Bristol, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, where he has conducted a drug store and practiced medicine ever since. He is a member of the Bucks County Medical Society, the Medical Society of Pennsylvania, and the American Medical Association. He is president of the board of health of Bristol, which position he has held since 1893. He is a member of the board of United States examining surgeons for Bucks county. In politics he is a Republican. He is a past master of Bristol Lodge, No. 25, Free and Accepted Masons.

Dr. PURSELL has been twice married, first on February 22, 1869, to Vestilla SMITH, daughter of James and Achsah (LEAR) SMITH. His second marriage occurred at Milford, New Jersey, June 4, 1879, to Nellie Carpenter BARTOLETTE, daughter of Dr. Charles R. and Ann M. (CARPENTER) BARTOLETTE. His children are as follows: James Everett, born June 12, 1870; Ethel Bartolette, born May 12, 1882; Charles Howard, born September 30, 1885, died February 18, 1886; and Carrie Nesbit, born February 2, 1888.

Text taken from pages 150-152 of:
Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III
Transcribed JANUARY 2001 by GRACE T. BURTON of EAGLEVILLE, PA as part of the Bucks Co., Early Family Project,
Published January 2001 on the Bucks county, Pa., USGenWeb pages at