Colonel Richard Hutchinson Long (1740-1814), of Longfield House, Ardmayle, Cashel, Tipperary, Ireland
Richard Long was born in 1740 or ’41 at Lacken House, near Ardfinnan, Co Tipperary, Ireland. His gravestone at Ardmayle Church Cemetery reads that he died on July 4th, 1814, in the 74th year of his age. His full name was Richard Hutchinson Long, as confirmed by a Memorial on file at the Registry of Deeds in Dublin (Registry of Deeds, Memorial No. 144443, Book 218, Page 481, Dated 1743, Registered 1762, “Hutchinson to Long”). His parents, Edward Long and Elizabeth Mauzee, were 2nd cousins, both descended from the Hutchinsons of Knocklofty (from whom the earls of Donoughmore). Richard’s elder brother Robert Long was born ca 1735-39, and they had two sisters: Anna Maria Long (b ca 1745-55), married 1775 in the City of Cork, Rev. William Ryan, of Spafield, Cashel, & of Kilvemnon, Tipperary, & Jane Long (b ca 1745-55, married 1781, Robert Rogers, of Tamlaght, Cookstown, Tyrone, Ireland. Circa 1760, the Long family moved a few miles north to Caher Abbey. In 1769, both Richard and Robert joined the ranks of the East India Co, Richard as a lowly cadet in the Bengal Army and Robert as a captain in the Madras Infantry. Richard was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 1773, the same year in which his father died in the City of Cork. In January 1776, Richard’s natural daughter was born – Anna Maria Long, whose Indian mother Hedjeba, was Richard’s mistress. Family tradition has it Hedjeba and Richard did get married and that Hedjeba was a princess – a daughter of the Rajah of Arcot. Anna Maria was baptised in Calcutta in February 1777. The records of the East India Co. indicate that in September 1777, Richard (who by then was in the service of the Rani of Burdwan, who served as regent during the minority of her son) was commanding two companies of military sepoys (Indian soldiers) at Burdwan north of Calcutta. In March 1780 Richard wrote a still extant letter to an old friend back home in Tipperary – Eleanor Prendergast, wife of Thomas Clutterbuck, of Kilgrogy, Tipperary. The letter advises that his goal was to make a fortune and assist his family back in Ireland; he expresses concern about the financial well-being of his mother and sisters. In October 1780, Richard was promoted to the rank of captain, and in August 1781, we find him commanding 1,200 men while in the service of the royal family of Burdwan. Citing poor health, Richard resigned from the East India Co. on January 6th, 1783, and on January 10th, 1783, he and Anna Maria boarded the ship Trial for the long journey home to Ireland. Hedjeba died either in India or on the ocean journey to Europe. His brother, Captain Robert Long, who had fallen seriously ill, had already resigned and returned to Ireland or England by November 1782 and died unmarried by 1784 (Prerogative Wills of Canterbury, Probate 1784). Richard returned to Ireland as a “nabob,” apparently having amassed a considerable fortune while in the service of Burdwan’s royal family, and it is assumed that the young rajah must have given him a “golden handshake.” On November 20th, 1787, Richard Long purchased an estate of 1,019 Irish acres at Ardmayle, Tipperary, from William Gore, whose mother had previously been married to a member of the Moore Family of Barne, Tipperary. Until then, Richard had been residing at Biddiford House (now Barrowford), just north of Athy, County Kildare. Richard named his new Ardmayle estate “Longfield,” and by 1790, Longfield House had been built. On March 8th, 1790, Richard Long married Charity Moore, apparently at the Dublin mansion of Charity’s uncle, Sir Thomas Taylour, the 1st Earl of Bective. Charity and Richard had a family of six children: 1. Richard Long II (b ca 1791-95; d Dublin, 1860), married Ellen Maher; 2. Harriet Long (1792-1889), married 1821, Captain James Denis O'Kelly, 3rd son of Count John James O'Kelly of Chateau Merles, near Montauban, Tarn et Garonne, France; 3. Charity Maria Long (1796-1874), married 1821, William Jacob Pennefather, of Lakefield (aka Gambonstown), Fethard, Tipperary; 3. Caroline Anna Long (1796-1875), married 1823, Samuel Phillips, of Gaile, Holycross, Tipperary; 5. Edward Thomas Long (1799-1875), of Fort Edward & Longfield, Cashel, Tipperary, & later of Ironton, Sauk Co, Wisconsin, USA, married 1822, Mary Crozier Clarke, 3rd daughter of the Reverend Marshal Clarke, of Abbey, Tipperary Town (Edward & Mary Long were parents of Edward John Long of Rockbridge, Richland Co, Wisconsin); & 6. Louisa Salisbury Long (1800-1892), married 1829, Samuel Cooper, of Killenure Castle, Dundrum, Tipperary. From 1792 to 1802, Richard is recorded as having served periodically on the Grand Jury of Tipperary. He also served as one of Tipperary’s Deputy Lieutenants, and his recorded rank of colonel probably resulted from his having served as such during the 1798 Rebellion. Robert Long had passed away circa 1782-84 and their mother Elizabeth died in Clonmel, Tipperary in 1799. In 1802, Richard built a woolen mill at Ardmayle but his venture turned out unsuccessfully. In his later years, Richard Long developed the habit of taking his spy glasses up to the top floor of Longfield House, where he would check out the activities of the local rebels and report them to the authorities. Needless to say, that made him very unpopular with much of the local population who had suffered long and hard under the tyranny of many of the landlords. Thus in the early morning hours of July the 4th, 1814, as he was preparing to attend a local sporting event, Richard was shot in the head and assassinated by the rebels, while paying his dues to nature, according to one Long family story. At the same time or upon another occasion, the rebels broke into Longfield House and assaulted Charity by chopping off her finger with its wedding ring of solid gold. Richard and Charity and their daughter-in-law Mary Clarke Long, are buried in the Ardmayle Church Cemetery. Family tradition has it that Richard’s ghost is said to haunt the halls and grounds of Longfield.
Compiled by Count Caragata