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Walsh of Berkshire

In The General armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, Bernard Burke describes the arms of Walsh, co. Berkshire, as "Azure six mullets Or." This is reflected in various other sources as well. The same blazon is described for the family of Welch in The History of the County of Gloucester (v. 1, 1803]. Gloucestershire was an origin of various Walshe, Welshe &c. families whose blazon included, "Azure six mullets Or, 3,2,1" (see Sodbury). This author was unable to locate a specific Berkshire Walsh, Welsh, Welch &c. family reference for the blazon. However, there is a reference to a Walsh family in Berkshire with a different coat of arms (below).

An extract from the History of the Hamlets of Warfield Parish in the Royal County of Berkshire by David Nash Ford

The major house of the parish, Warfield Park, no longer stands but the area is a rather classy estate of park homes. The old house was built, along with numerous grottoes, lakes and terraces, by Colonel John Walsh in 1766. He had made a fortune for himself in India with his friend, Lord Clive, and now wished for a quiet life in an English country retreat. His many mistresses are said to have lived at the house (not all at once) while John partied in London. The current lady-of-the-moment must have been a great comfort to the Colonel after he shot a highwayman on Ascot Heath one day. Another of his lady-friends, however, was not so dependable. She was a chronic depressive who drowned herself in the defunct pool known as Rachel's Lake. Her ghost is said to haunt the bridge on the north side of the park, but she also runs screaming down Jigs Lane with John hot on her heals!

The Colonel's monument (1797) is in the parish church: a life-size young maiden with an extinguished torch.
His descendants became Lords Ormathwaite.

Notes from the UK National Register of Archives: A John Walsh (1726-1795) was noted as Secretary to Lord Clive Naturalist. A Sir John Benn-Walsh (1759-1825), John's son, was noted as 1st Baronet Indian Administrator. Sir John's son, John Benn Walsh (1798-1881), was noted as 1st Baron Ormathwaite, with estates at Warfield Park and at Ormathwaite in the UK, as well as estates in County Cork and County Kerry (Kylebwee), Ireland. His arms were "argent a fesse sable, cottised, wavy, gules, between six martlets of the second," and very similar to the blazon of the Walshe family of Sheldesley, Worcestershire.
The Walsh family, Barons Ormathwaite, of Warfield, Berkshire are recorded in the UK National Register of Archives - 13th cent-1863 : Warfield and Winkfield deeds.

Additional Berkshire Records
  • - William Waleys is included in the list of the gentry of Berkshire, returned by the commissioners, 12th King Henry the Sixth (1433-34). [source: Parochial Topography of the Hundred of Wanting]

    The preceding article was compiled by Dennis J. Walsh, 2009


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    Monday, 24-Aug-2009 20:20:54 MDT