John Rorke of Finnstown

In 1837 Finnstown House is listed as being the property of “J. Rorke Esq.”. This is presumably the same John Rourke of Finnstown listed as being among 318 Special Jurors appointed to represent County Dublin in 1843. Little else is known of John Rourke except that he was a solicitor with offices on Dublin’s Upper Temple Street. He was married with at least three daughters. The marriage of his daughter into the legal family of Mangan brought him into contact with the enterprising Bourne family who made their fortunes developing Ireland’s transport system in the early 19th century.

On 4th January 1845, John Rorke’s third daughter Christina Mary, married a lawyer, Thomas Lombard Mangan. Mangan was the second son of Thomas Mangan of Piercetown House, Newbridge, Co. Kildare, by his marriage (1818) to Harriet Lombard. Piercetown was built in about 1766 for gentleman farmer John Mangan and his wife Agnes of Rickardstown, Co. Kildare. The property was leased from the Earl of Mornington, father of the Iron Duke of Wellington. In 1781, John’s son, Thomas Mangan, married Elizabeth Odlum, daughter of Henry Odlum of Old Connell and Kilmury in the Kings’ County. In 1818, their only son and heir, another Thomas Mangan, married Harriet Lombard and had two sons – George Thomas D'Israel Mangan and Thomas Lombard Mangan – and a daughter, Isabella. The younger Thomas died aged 40 on August 12th 1862 at his fathers’ residence, Piercetown, co. Kildare. The Mangans also had a town residence off the North Circular Road at No. 50 Summerhill.

Another of John Rorke’s daughters may have been Anne Alicia Rorke, who, on 6th June 1862, married James Turpin Vanston at St. Peter’s Dublin. James was born in 1840 in Maryborough (Portlaoise), Queens County (County Laoise), the eldest son of James Maurice Vanston (d. 1884) and his wife, Sarah Turpin (1812 – 1891). He migrated to the United States and died in Chicago on 24th June 1891 at the age of 51. Born in June 1835, Anne Alicia died aged 68 in Mesquite, Dallas County, Texas on 10 Oct 1903.

A third daughter may have been Charlotte Elizabeth Rorke who, in 1873, married Dalkey-born George Wilson Stanley (b. 1843). George was Company Secretary to Guinness before leaving Ireland in about 1916 to live in Croydon, England, where he died. His father, Edward Stanley, was a member of the Medical Board and the Meath Hospital in Dublin. However, this may be a long-shot as this John Rorke is said to have been an English teacher who wrote a book on astronomy and a poem of over 3500 lines, published in 1864.