In the historic village of Lucan, County Dublin lies the forgotten medieval parish church and graveyard. Hidden behind O’Neill’s pub on Main Street the graveyard is a time capsule containing various seventeenth to twentieth century memorials. In this blog post we examine the memorial to Major William Ashe, 23rd Regiment of Foot. The inscription on the ledger bears the following:
Sacred to the memory of
MAJOR WILLIAM ASHE
formerly of the 23rd WELSH FUSILIERS
Son of SIR THOS JOSEPH ASHE
M. of late J.P. for TRIM Co Meath
connected with the LORD LOFTUS & WELLESLEY FAMILY
who died at LUCAN Co Dublin
12th December 1839. Aged 86 years.
After the death of his father William received a portion of his father’s estate, Ashfield House, just outside Navan, County Meath. William was commissioned as an Ensign in the 17th regiment of foot sometime in the early 1770s. Ensign Ashe was promoted to Lieutenant in October 1776. Lieutenant Ashe was promoted to Captain of an independent company of foot in May 1781. The army list of 1787 records Captain Ashe serving in the 65th Regiment of Foot. Captain Ashe was commissioned as Major of the brigade vice Vallancey on 30 July 1793. He also served as his memorial suggests, in the 23rd Regiment of Foot.
During his military career Ashe was aid-de-camp (personal assistant) to General Charles Stanhope the 3rd Earl of Harrington. During the American War of Independence Major Ashe is reputed to have taken part in some 32 engagements against the enemy.
William married Mary Mockler on 22 July 1793. Mary was the daughter of the Venerable Archdeacon James Mockler, she was also the widow of John Rawlins. William and Mary had three sons and three daughters. William died in Lucan on 12 December 1839.
A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland
Belfast Commercial Chronicle