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Carden Family History

Sunday, 4 November 2018


This beer mat (among many other Carden items) was displayed by Brian Woodford at the recent Carden Gathering in Lewes, England.

The DWAN BREWERY in Thurles, Tipperary, has now closed.


Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Extraordinary 1618 Carden Chair

[I will soon delete this post as a google search revealed that in my post in March 2007 below I said that the chair was A gift from Mr Thomas Cawarden 4th June 1618. Master's Chair of the Framework Knitters Company, late 17th century.]

 I have just found these two pictures which I took in 2007, when I gave it the caption Carwardine Chair. I am almost certain the chair was on display at the Museum of London, but it is not currently on display there. I cannot discover to what the date 4 June 1618 refers. Sir Thomas Cawarden/Carden died in 1559, so it has nothing to do with him. The coat of arms was in use at that time by both the Carden and Cawardine families and I think proves they were related.  Any suggestions?

Friday, 31 August 2018

John Carden of Montreal and Quebec

The John Carden who died in Montreal in 1775 was a successful soldier who is mentioned in many records, but whose origins are not yet known.  I have been interested in him for many years and so has Mark Robinson who is hoping to publish a book about military Cardens.

I found this among  Sir Lionel Carden's papers at the library of the Society of Genealogists in London –

Frank Moore's Diary of the American Revolution.

An action with a party of rebels commanded by Colonel Ethan Allen in the
neighbourhood of Montreal.  The latter had formed a design to surprise and
take possession of that city in which a party of Royalists and some Indians
(commanded by Major Carden) went out and attacked them.  In the engagement
Major John Carden, a brave veteran late of the 60th Regt was mortally
wounded by Allen.  Presently after an encounter happened between him and Mr
Johnston.  Allen fired at him without effect and subsequently surrendered.
The Indians finding Mr Johnston had taken this famous leader proposed
sacrificing him to the memory of Major Carden and Mr Johnston had great
difficulty in saving his life.

Ethan Allen is of course an American folk hero, and Google has many references to him, though none mentions that he was nearly put to death for killing Major Carden.

Carden was apparently Assistant Quarter Master General at Montreal and a member of the Quebec Legislative Council.

He was praised in 1758 by General Wolfe (often a harsh judge) in the following words. Carden the American has a great deal of merit, but wants bread to eat.  He is an excellent fellow for the woods; I am sure of my intelligence and therefore wish the field mareschal [sic] would give him leave to serve the campaign with us, as he himself desired – five or six shillings a day for the campaign... He is bold, circumspect and more artful than his appearance bespeaks – has experience in the method of the American war beyond anybody that I can hear of; I hope we shan't lose such a subject so particularly adapted to this sort of work In the words of Mark Robinson he almost seems a prototype of James Fenimore Cooper’s literary creation, the backwoodsman Hawkeye, stories of whose adventures were set in these same Adirondack forests, during these same wars.

Mark has discovered that Carden was the father of two sons, John Carden and Hans Carden, both of whom also served as officers in the 60th and appear in, for instance Fortescue’s major work on the history of the British Army. I hear that Mark has managed to trace descendants of John Carden of Montreal living in the present-day USA.

 He must not be confused with Major Carden of Hanging Rock – see my 2009 post below, Admiral John Surman Carden and his father which includes a photograph of Mark.

Thursday, 23 August 2018


The following announcements will be found at (put CARDEN in the search box), where the books may be purchased.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Jon Varnedoe of the Barnane branch

Jon Varnedoe of the Barnane branch

A few days ago I was amazed to hear from Jon.  He is descended from Lionel Gillette Carden of California 1899-1971 who inherited the ‘Carden fortune’ after a lengthy legal process in Dublin in 1946. This was the sum held by the Public Trustee ever since the Barnane estate was sold to the Irish Land Commission in 1908, though Andrew Murray Carden continued to live there until he died in 1932.  His heir, Lionel Berkeley Carden, went to USA as a young man and disappeared there.  The full story is told in my book ‘Carden of Barnane.’

Lionel Gillette Carden was an enthusiastic correspondent with various family members and after his death his widow Mabel met some of us in England. But we lost touch with his children, one of whom, Jane, had a child in 1962 who was given to adoptive parents.  That child was Jon Varnedoe!

Jon is a very successful real estate agent in New York. See  It is probable that he will come to the Carden Gathering in September to meet us all.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Mayo and Sligo

I have sent this message to all Mayo & Sligo family members for whom I have an email ID

If you visit and put CARDEN in the search box you will find that a ‘final’ version of CARDEN IN MAYO & SLIGO is now available.  It is unlikely that I will ever issue a completely new edition, but I may make a few additions and corrections to the present edition (such as a revised back cover) from time to time, so please let me have your comments.


Saturday, 6 January 2018

Carden name used by Agatha Christie

Lynn Bateman wrote in 2011: Agatha Christie seemed quite fond of the name Carden.  She used it in two of her books for minor characters, and I came across it again as part of an address whilst playing a computer game of one of her stories - Evil Under the Sun.  Can't wait to get back and find out whodunit!

Lynn has carried out some wonderful research into the many Cardens from Ballina in Co Mayo, which I am hoping to publish soon in a book on branches originating from there and Co Sligo.  I will include a brilliant essay she has written on the Irish in Liverpool, including the current MP, Dan Carden, and his father Mike Carden a leader of the dock strikers in the 1990s.

Sunday, 20 August 2017


A new edition of the above Supplement is now available from, with about 50 additional pages, mostly about the attempted abduction of Eleanor Arbuthnot by John Rutter Carden.

The pictures on the front and back covers are of his father John Carden (1772 - 1822) who was known as 'Killing Jack.'

Monday, 7 August 2017

Father Robert ("Bob") Carden OFM

Those who attended the 2008 Gathering will be sad to hear of the death of Father Robert ("Bob") Carden OFM, on August 1st 2017.

This picture of Bob is taken from a YouTube lecture in 2015.

I wrote the following in 2008:

I greatly enjoyed meeting 80 year-old Father Bob Carden, OFM, of Australia.  The school of which he is chaplain in Perth kindly paid for him to come to the Gathering as a thank-you for 17 years' service.  He would not otherwise have been able to come because of his vow of poverty as a Franciscan brother.  He is a member of my own, Barnane, branch of the family, descended from a Nicholas Carden, born about 1737 at Barnane, who married a Catholic and was therefore omitted from all the family records from then onwards.  Later research showed that most of his descendants emigrated to Australia, all remaining Catholic to this day.

Planning Bob's trip led to the exchange of a great many emails between us, culminating in a telephone call from him on the evening of his first full day in Henfield.  "I am at the bed-and-breakfast you booked for me, it is late at night, the whole place seems deserted!"  What to do?  Fortunately my brother, booked at the same place, soon arrived with keys!

All of those who attended the church service in Henfield will remember him leading the intercessions, in his Franciscan 'habit.' But it was when we arrived in Ireland that he showed his true nature, witty, leprechaun-like and responding vigourously to my irreverent taunts. He immediately struck up friendships with several Catholic priests in Templemore (one aged 95, who came to our major event in the ballroom, and who, we were told, goes dancing every week!).


Perhaps now the story can be told of his half-brother Norman Carden Haylock, born out of wedlock in 1899, 28 years older than Bob. Bob never knew of his existence but Elizabeth Haylock, Norman's daughter, has all the necessary evidence.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Next Carden Gathering

For information about the Carden Gathering planned to take place in England in September 2018 visit

Wednesday, 12 April 2017


The cardoon flower. Photograph courtesy of  Shihmei Barger
The cardoon (French: "cardon") is a thistle-like vegetable cultivated in the Geneva region. It tastes of artichoke and is popular especially during colder months baked in a gratin sauce (gratin de cardon).


Though it is clear that most Carden branches have their origin in an ancient family which existed in Cheshire long before the Norman invasion, the East Kent branches appear from DNA evidence to have a separate origin.  The late Joan Carden of Spain speculated that they descended from a Cardon mentioned in the Domesday Book.

Domesday Book.

In about 1086 William the Conqueror instructed that the ownership of all land in England be established and recorded in what came to be known as the Domesday Book.  This mentions William Cardon several times as follows, in the Essex volume (Phillimore, London and Chichester, 1983, ISBN 0 85033 484 5):-

Page 10.  Hundred of Uttlesford.  From this manor William Cardon, a man of G(eoffrey) de Mandeville’s, wrongfully received 24 acres of woodland when Swein was Sheriff, as the Hundred testifies.

Page 20.  Hundred of Uttlesford.  To this manor was attached 1 Freeman with 3 virgates before 1066, whom William Cardon holds for G(eoffrey) de Mandeville’s Holding.  He paid 2p per year.

Page 90.  (WILLIAM CARDON’S ANNEXATION).  In the Hundred of Uttlesford.  William Cardon appropriated 1 Freeman with 8 acres.  He belongs to (Great) Chishill, of Geoffrey de Mandeville’s Holding.  Value 2s.

Thus it appears that at the time of the survey, 1086, William Cardon was working for Geoffrey de Mandeville, one of the many followers of William given confiscated land.

The late Joan Carden suggested that William Cardon was brought from Normandy by de Mandeville, so the French origin for the name, claimed by various books, may have some foundation.  But he equally well might have been on the land before the conquest.

French origin of the name

Cardon means thistle in French. It is possible that Geoffrey de Mandeville distinguished himself from other knights when fully disguised in armour, by wearing a thistle on his helmet.  This sort of thing was very common, the most famous example being the Plantagenets.  Geoffrey, Count of Anjou (1113–1151), father of Henry II, often wore in his hat a sprig of broom, planta genista.  De Mandeville’s retainers may have been known by the name Cardon accordingly.

Companions of the Conqueror.

It is believed that in 1066 William the Conqueror set sail for England from Dives-sur-Mer near Caen in Normandy.  In the church there is a plaque, occupying an area of over 200 square feet, listing the supposed companions of the conqueror.  It was erected in 1862.  The list was drawn up by the French Society of Archaeology, with the approval of the Bishop of Bayeux and others.  There are about 500 names including Geoffroi de Mandeville and Guillaume Cardon.

Most such lists are rather suspect but the inclusion of de Mandeville and Carden in this list is significant.

Modern Cardins in France

Many Cardens in England and USA spell their name Cardin, which is believed to be a variant of the original Carden name.  The question is often raised as to whether there is any connection with the famous Pierre Cardin brand name.

In 2004 Christian Cardin of Gravelines, France, submitted a sample for DNA analysis.  The result did not show anything in common with Cardens belonging to either the Cheshire or East Kent branches of the family.  It would have been remarkable and truly exciting if it had done so, and the failure to match our English haplotypes proves little.

Christian Cardin wrote:

About my family name and ancestors, what I know is that the roots of my family is from Normandy, specially on the west coast of the Cotentin (at least until the 16th century, corresponding of the period during which I found documentation).

Some years ago, I tried to know by telephone number (by statistics) what was the repartition of the Cardin name in France. When you report the number of the Cardin family name on a French map, you see that this name is current in three areas as follows:
in Normandy on the west coast of the Cotentin (where I come from) around
the town of Coutances (about 70 kilometers in the south of Cherbourg); in north Brittany around the town of St Brieuc; and in south Brittany around the town of Nantes.

It is amazing and strange to remark that we find these three groups on the west coast of France where it is believed that the Norman and Anglo-Saxon invaders came in the old time. It is why until now I think that the Cardin name was from Anglo-Norman origin (may be from Cari-den, which could mean Cari, a Viking name, the strong) and had a similar origin with the Carden name in England and not with a Germanic word (Richard : Ric Hard which means the strong King) as it is related in the traditional French genealogy books.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017


Those who visit and put CARDEN in the search box will find that a new edition of Carden of Templemore has been issued.  It contains many additions such as a full biography of Sir Henry Carden and his participation in the Peninsular War.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016



It is not certain that this is Sir Henry’s Sword, though it is a fairly typical sword of a Dragoon officer during the Peninsula War, and is engraved with the initials HRC.

A full biography appears in the new edition of ‘Carden of Templemore’ to be issued early in 2017.  Henry was commissioned as a Cornet with the 1st (or Royal) Regiment of Dragoons in September 1807, aged 18.  The regiment arrived in Portugal in April 1809.  In October Henry ‘not only headed a charge with conspicuous gallantry but, following up his advantage too far, had his horse shot under him & was wounded and taken.’  A planned exchange failed and he was held as a POW in France until repatriated in 1814 in time to participate in the battle of Waterloo.

The sword was offered on ebay in August 2016 by a seller in USA, and was bought by Mark Carden.  It had been drawn to Arthur Carden’s attention by Richard Schenk of USA who had discussed it on the forum at  where someone suggested that the initials HRC engraved upon it might be those of Sir Henry.

Schenk wrote:

This is certainly a genuine Pattern 1796 Heavy Cavalry dress sword of the type worn up to 1821 when it was replaced by the M1821 cavalry sword.  It is mounted with an earlier blade which appears to be from a Scottish broad sword.  It is marked with the name "Andrea Ferrara" (as is traditional with Scottish broad swords), a crowned "GR", and the owner's initials "HRC" in an ornate, hard to decipher style.  From the style, it would appear the initials were etched on the blade at a later time than the other markings, probably when it was rehilted. 

It probably wasn't the blade which was replaced but rather the hilt.  In cases like this when we see an old blade on a newer model sword, it is usually because an officer wanted to use an old family sword when he joined the military, so he would have the blade mounted in a current model hilt and scabbard.  This was a not at all uncommon practice at the time.  This blade could possibly date back to the 17th century;  if so, the Crown/GR etching would have been added sometime in the mid-1700s, and the "HRC" monogram at an even later date.

As to whether Sir Henry wore this sword at Waterloo on other engagements is uncertain.  This was a dress sword.  He probably also had an undress sword which was in a plainer style which was the one usually carried on informal occasions (such as a battle).  This might explain how it survived his capture on the Peninsula - when he was captured he was likely wearing his undress sword while his dress sword was with his fancy full-dress uniform back in camp.  After his release he was probably able to recover his old belongings.

(No other expert opinion is available at present.)

It seems almost certain that this was Sir Henry Robert Carden’s sword. He inherited the baronetcy in 1822 and renamed many of the Templemore streets after Peninsula War battles. Perhaps at that time he had his Waterloo Medal refurbished. It seems likely that he also either obtained this sword and adopted it as his own or had his own genuine sword refurbished.

The sword probably remained with the family in Templemore until the contents of Templemore Abbey were sold at auction in 1921.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Joan Carden AO, opera singer

Joan has been a friend and regular correspondent since we first met at Covent Garden in March 1974, when she sang the top role of Gilda in Rigoletto.   See
 (Scroll down a long way in this blog to see the posting Joan at Covent Garden 1990 )

Opera Australia to mark 60th anniversary with a performance to raise the roof

Ex-principal soprano Joan Carden celebrates the 2016 season of Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House, marking 60 years of the iconic company.


Sunday, 8 May 2016

Albertine ("Atty") Carden

As many of you already know, my beloved wife Atty died on Saturday January 23rd. She had been discharged from hospital at the end of November to a nursing home specialising in end-of-life care where she was superbly looked after and remained her usual feisty self until the last few days of her life when she faded gently away and then died peacefully and painlessly in her sleep.

A non-religious funeral took place at Worthing Crematorium on February 8th. We held a celebration of her life in London on May 7th. 
I have written a brief biography of her fascinating life, mentioning her childhood in Holland during the war and how she became an orphan there before making her way to England. A copy is available from me.
Portrait made in Indonesia in 1972

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Tank Museum

Readers may be amused at this picture recently taken by the staff photographer at the Tank Museum, Bovington, of myself with a 1927 fore-runner of the Bren Gun Carrier, designed by 'Peter' Carden, later Sir John Valentine Carden. A full biography of the latter appears in my book Carden of Templemore.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Portrait of the 1st Baronet

This portrait of Sir John was sold by Adams in Dublin on October 13th 2015 for €2,700.00, below the estimate of €3,000.00 - €5,000.00. The catalogue description was as follows:

ROBERT HUNTER (1745-1803). Portrait of Sir John Craven Carden, 1st Baronet, half-length, wearing uniform. Oil on canvas, 74 x 62cm.
This portrait of John Craven Carden is in the uniform of the Templemore Light Dragoons, a volunteer regiment raised in response to the withdrawal of regular troops required for the American War but which rapidly acquired political leverage. Carden had inherited large estates in Tipperary acquired in the Cromwellian settlement of the 17th Century. Although without parliamentary influence, Carden represented landed interests which the Castle administration were keen to control. Bribes were measured and Carden was made a baronet in 1787. He proved to be a sound man in the 1798 rebellion and by fortifying the Market House in Templemore denied the town to the rebels. He also leased the land for a barracks (now the Garda Training College) and donated the site of the Catholic Church in 1810.
(The above description is not taken directly from any source of which I am aware, and I do not understand the reference to bribes.)
I saw a very similar portrait in the 7th Baronet’s flat in London, when I visited him shortly before his death in 2008.  His daughter Isabel sold that portrait, but believes the one sold in 2015 was a copy. The frame is totally different, but otherwise they are similar, as will be seen from the reproduction in Carden of Templemore.
I have written a letter to the purchaser, c/o the auctioneers, but have not yet received a reply.


Sunday, 20 September 2015

Dr Thom Carden - USA branches

Many of you will have seen Dr Thom Carden’s chart at

It is an amazing diagram showing how twelve or more of the USA branches are connected.

I was put in touch with Dr Thom in about 2007 by Chuck (see item about him below). He sent me a copy of his chart, and he also sent me a massive document listing 1,400 Cardens and Cardins in USA. He said he “found this on a disk in my New Year clean up time.“  He must have carried out a huge amount of research and corresponded with a great many people. If anyone would like me to search the document for a specific Carden ancestor, I will be glad to do that for them.

Dr Thom appears in Chuck’s book as Thomas Ray Carden , born 19 May 1931 in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana.  He married (1) Shirley Ann Towles ; (2) Anita Van Natter.  I think he must have died in about 2010.  Does anyone have more information and perhaps a photograph of him?

Della Ford Nash writes:  after reading your blog I wanted to send you this picture of Thom Carden and his wife Anita from a letter received in 1990.    Anita died in February 2014 but I believe Dr Thom may still be alive as he commented on the Mormon History blog in April 2014.


For more of Della’s letter please contact me.


Thursday, 20 August 2015

Carden’s Wild Domain

A splendid video of someone singing “Carden’s Wild Domain” was posted on August 15 2015 by Joe Coughlan to the facebook page related to his site  You can view it at  

Joe writes:  The song was recorded in 1985 as part of a project to record the songs and stories of the local people before they all disappeared.  The man in the video is Paddy Nolan from near Templemore.  I am not sure if he is still alive.

According to a book The Spirit of Tipperary, Anon, Guardian 1930, the ballad was written between 1870 and 1880 “when Woodcock Carden of Barnane was at the height of his tyrannical power,”  but may refer to Templemore rather than Barnane.  It was written by Rev. Timothy Corcoran (1857-1928) and appears in full in my book Carden of Barnane, almost exactly as sung by Paddy Nolan.


Monday, 13 July 2015

Portsmouth, July 11th 2015

Photograph taken during a family visit to the exhibition featuring Admiral Sackville Carden 

Matthew, Charlie, David, Adam, Richard, Mark, Nelson, Tom, Brian
Michael, Carol, Lynn, Giles, Kirsten, Tamsin
Marcella, Liz, Shane, Arthur, Kathryn, Annette, Anne

All Carden, except McCorkell - Nelson, Tom, Tamsin, Kirsten; Woodford - Brian, Liz, Marcella;
James - Shane; Fernyhough - Annette 

Missing from picture: Tim Carden and family; Bruce and Alison Garrett; Kenneth Thompson


Monday, 22 June 2015

Exciting news about Molesey, Worcester and other ‘Cheshire’ branches

Carol Smith of the Matlock branch has made some exciting speculations about the forebears of the Molesey, Worcester, Winsford, Randle, Monmouth and Bendigo branches, all of which have chapters in my book CARDEN OF CHESHIRE.

For instance, it is now almost certain that the earliest previously known member of the Molesey branch was a brother of an early member of the Worcester branch. The former branch included the Lord Mayor of London, the latter the mayor of Worcester. Carol has carried both these branches back, via Shropshire, to John and Margery who lived in 1600 at Caldecott, Cheshire, near Carden Hall.

Carol has also found fascinating information about the forebears of the other ‘Cheshire’ branches mentioned above.

For more information, please contact me at

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Carden Cancer Research Fellowship

Joan Carden, the famous Australian soprano, has drawn my attention to the death aged 85 in December 2014 of Dr Donald Metcalf, holder of the Carden Cancer and Leukaemia Research Fellowship almost from its inception. Metcalf spent more than 40 years developing colony stimulating factors, or CSFs, for clinical use. An estimated 20 million people have now been treated with CSFs, including the Spanish tenor José Carreras, improving their chances of beating cancer.

“CSFs are now standard treatment and every year the number of people alive because Don’s work grows,” said Professor Douglas Hilton, director of Walter and Eliza Hall Institute off Medical Research.

George Frederick Carden (1872-1942), a wealthy businessman and Melbourne City Councillor, left most of his money to establish the fellowship because of family disagreements, described in the Bendigo chapter of my book Carden of Cheshire. He was a son of John Moss Carden who emigrated from Cheshire as a teenager and in due course became a member of the Ballarat and Bendigo stock exchanges. He was a younger brother of Joan’s grandfather William Henry Pearson Carden of Kalgoorlie.


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Gallipoli exhibition at Portsmouth

The exhibition mentioned below runs from 28 March until the end of January 2016.  My son Mark and I were invited to a preview which took place a few days ago, and were most impressed. There are several displays of material concerning Admiral Carden.

I am now organising a mini-gathering of family members in Portsmouth on Saturday July 11th to view the exhibition and exchange information. 15 members of the Tipperary branches have already said they are coming and of course everyone else is most welcome to join us.  Please contact me at for details.

Those interested may like to visit

My book Carden and the Dardanelles is now available from me or from, for £7.50, copyright consent having been received.


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Manufacturing Carden cars

These two photographs appeared in a document published by The Society of Automotive Historians. The top photo is titled "The motor assembling group as employed by Carden Engineering Co. Ltd. of Ascot" the lower photo is not captioned but one must assume it is the Carden management 'team'.

I hope to add these pictures in due course to the chapter on Sir John Valentine Carden in my book Carden of Templemore.



Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Admiral Sir Sackville Hamilton Carden

Sackville Hamilton Carden, nephew of my grandfather, belonged to the Barnane, Tipperary, branch of the family. His papers were given to me by his granddaughter, and selected material will be used in an Exhibition in Portsmouth starting on March 25th 2015, the anniversary of the attempt to force the Dardanelles. My short book Carden and the Dardanelles, based on his papers, will be available as soon as copyright consent for some additional material has been obtained.

 Here is a summary.

Until 1915, Sackville Carden’s naval career could be described as excellent if not spectacular.  He earned the Légion d’Honneur and other medals for his part in clashes in Suakin in 1884 and Benin in 1897, was promoted to captain in December 1899 and to rear-admiral in 1908. By 1910 he was flying his flag in the battleship London in the Atlantic Fleet, aged 53. This was expected to be pretty much the culmination of his career and his last sea-going post. By the outbreak of the Great War he had stepped ashore to become the vice-admiral in charge of the dockyard in Malta.

Rather to everyone’s surprise he was chosen in September 1914 to command the British battle squadron (and also French forces under Amiral Guépratte) in the eastern Mediterranean. He became Churchill’s pawn in his plan to open a new theatre of war by forcing the Dardanelles and capturing Constantinople. On Churchill’s instructions Carden drew up a detailed plan and told Churchill that it might be successful. Churchill used Carden’s plan to force agreement from the War Council and in March 1915 Carden found himself flying his flag in the first super-dreadnought Queen Elizabeth, the newest and most formidable battleship in the world, commanding a fleet which included another dreadnought and twelve older battleships, four cruisers, six submarines, twenty-one minesweepers and other ships, perhaps the largest fleet to go into battle since Trafalgar. The bombardment of the forts at the entrance to the Dardanelles began on 19 February 1915.

It proved impossible to force the Dardanelles under Carden’s plan, which required the Turkish guns to be silenced before the fleet entered the Narrows. Instead of admitting defeat and withdrawing, Churchill pressed for greater efforts, and with reluctance Carden planned to risk disaster by entering the strait before the guns were silenced and the mines swept.

At that point he collapsed and had to hand over to his No.2, Admiral Jack de Robeck, who pressed on, soon losing the French battleship Bouvet with 640 men. Then the dreadnought Inflexible was badly damaged, the battleship Irresistible was utterly obliterated, and two more allied battleships were lost.

The whole project should have been called to a halt, but plans were already afoot for the army to invade, leading to the horrors of Gallipoli.

Carden wanted to return to his post as soon as he recovered, but his career was over. He received his knighthood in 1916 and retired as a full admiral the following year. Perhaps Marder was right in saying that ‘Carden was a charming man and an ideal peacetime admiral, but he had none of the qualities needed for an admiral at war in the technical age.’

(He has a chapter to himself in Turtle Bunbury’s book The Glorious Madness - Tales of the Irish & the Great War, Gill & Macmillan, 2014)


Monday, 19 January 2015

Lockwood family of Cashel, Tipperary

Those who have a copy of Carden of Templemore will have seen the a chapter on the Lockwood family, which intermarried with members of the Carden family on no less than six occasions, and were important people in the locality, especially in Cashel. 

 Roger Carden Depper has studied the family in depth. He writes that he would very much like some help with Richard Lockwood who may have been born in about 1660. Did he come from England with Cromwell?  He was buried at St John Church, Cashel on 16 March 1735. In 1713/1714 he was Mayor and then Alderman of Cashel.  He and his son Richard had vested interests in the development of the Town of Cashel.   They were involved in land transactions with the Smith/Barry estate and the Church.  Land agents.  In a letter dated 1700 Ann Wansbrough states that her sister Lucy had married her steward and clerk Richard Lockwood.  The Wansbrough family came from Shrewton in Wiltshire.

Please respond to Roger at or by adding a comment.


Friday, 5 December 2014

Templemore no longer has a Mayor!

A group of us visited Templemore as an extension of the Carden Gathering in 2008, and were entertained wonderfully by Jim O’Shea, the mayor of Templemore.  Now, in 2014, the Templemore Town Council has ceased to exist, being replaced by the Templemore-Thurles Municipal District. Tipperary has been divided into five such districts.  The excellent web site with its many pictures and historical snippets including Carden items has vanished.  Jim has however set up a Templemore Community Council, and let us hope that it will ensure some continuity.

 Another feature that has ceased to exist is Paul Walsh’s bookshop in the Main Street, established by his grandfather, author of a history of Templemore. It used to stock my books, but they can still be found in the library, I am glad to say.


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Carwarden House School Jubilee

Sir John Valentine Carden, the tank designer, built Carwarden House near Camberley in Surrey, England, in 1932, soon after he inherited the title. He knew he should have spelled it Cawarden without the ‘r’ but apparently the mistake was made when the name board was painted!

It is now a school for children with learning difficulties.  Out of the blue I received an invitation from the headmaster, Jarlath O’Brien, to attend the jubilee of the 1964 opening. He asked for the addresses of the current baronet and of Isabel Carden of New York, grand-daughter of Sir John.

On September 12th, Isobel, my brother Michael and I attended the Jubilee. The photograph shows Jarlath on the left, Isabel on the right (with the mayor), and centre, by the door, Michael. The window on the left is a replacement for the one pictured in Carden of Templemore. The original was a single sheet of glass which could be lowered into the ground so that people could step outside from the sitting-room, typical of Sir John’s imaginative engineering.

We were all tremendously impressed by the school and the way in which it enabled so many disadvantaged children to enjoy life and participate in society, finding work in supermarkets, hairdressers, bakeries, etc.  Many classrooms have been added, but much of Sir John’s original house remains unaltered. Jarlath and others were very pleased to learn more from us about Sir John and the building. “That explains why there is a story of a tank being buried somewhere in the grounds,” he said.

Afterwards Isabel, Michael and I tried to find Sir John’s tomb (where the 7th baronet is also buried) in a nearby cemetery, without success.

(A more comprehensive record will appear in the next edition of Carden of Templemore).

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

National Library of Ireland

I received a request from the NLI for a copy of Carden of Barnane so I have just made a donation to the library of the current editions of that book and of Carden of Templemore. Their nice letter of thanks arrived today.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Another Carden car

My wife's sister tells me that the motor museum at The Hague has a Carden cyclecar on display. So don't visit The Hague without taking a photograph of it for me!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

2013 Carden Gathering

Carden Gathering - Virginia 2013 - (This report kindly written by Richard).

More than 40 members of the Carden family clan attended the Gathering held at Hampton Virginia from 13th- 15th September 2013. They included two groups from the UK –David, Lynn, Janet & Stuart from the Brighton branch and Anne & Richard from Norfolk, members of the Fishmoyne branch of the family.

Held at the Embassy Suites hotel on the outskirts of Hampton the programme of the event included a number of presentations by members on family histories and related subjects. An excellent Southern Banquet was much enjoyed but, as usual with Carden Gatherings, the best part of the event was the opportunity to meet informally members of the extended family in such pleasant surroundings.

Meeting in Hampton provided attendees with the opportunity of visiting the nearby historic sites of Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. The British members of the family were obviously suitably humble at the last. The final part of the Gathering was a fascinating boat trip from Hampton Harbour round the Roads passing the Norfolk naval base and other historic sites.

Thanks must go to everybody involved in the organisation of the event but particularly Eddie I & his family and Beth Carden Tate. Everybody attending, especially the UK contingent, had a great time. Roll on the next Gathering.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Carden of Cheshire

Visitors to (put CARDEN in search box) will see that a new edition of Carden of Cheshire is now available.

The revised front cover, reproduced here, shows a splendid painting by Marrion Carding of the ruins of Wingfield Manor. Marrion has discovered that in the sixteenth century William Carden was Keeper of Wingfield Manor for the Earl of Shrewsbury when Mary Queen of Scots was incarcerated there. There are several contributions by Carol Smith (née Carding), one of which shows that David Cawardyn was the first of our family to own Mavesyn Ridware, with its wonderful Carden tombs and hatchments, not Sir John Cawarden of Carden in Cheshire.

There are comprehensive chapters on the Matlock, Winsford, Worcester, Bendigo, and Monmouth branches of the family.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Cardenton, Athy, Co Kildare

There appears to be no connection between Cardenton, Co Kildare, Ireland, a well known golf course and the site of the 2011 ploughing chapionships, and the Carden family. The very helpful Kildare librarian wrote: "The official name seems to be Cardington though I have only heard it referred to as Cardenton - seems that in this case it can be traced back at least to 14th century which pre-dates your branch of the family’s arrival in Ireland," which is a pity because I had hoped to learn something about their first home, which may have been in Co Kildare before they went to Tipperary.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Chuck Carden has died

Chuck died at Cape Cod, USA, on March 28th. 2013  He will be greatly missed by all who knew him personally, including those who remember him from his attendance at the Carden Gathering in Cheshire in 1998. He will also be greatly missed by those who corresponded with him about Carden history,and by readers of his book CARDEN IN AMERICA which I am proud to have helped him publish.  Only six weeks ago he wrote "I thought I would be sending the 2nd edition to you by now, but as you can see from the attached photo I had a slight accident."

The picture alongside is reproduced from the back cover of his book.

For more about the book see post below dated 19 March 2012.

(Added December 2013). CARDEN IN AMERICA has been revised to mention Chuck's death.)

Isabel Carden MBE

Isabel Carden, daughter of the seventh baronet (1926-2008, Templemore branch) lives in New York.  In the Queen's birthday honours in June 2012 she became an MBE. The citation was Ms Isabel M Carden, Director, The Queen Elizabeth II Garden, New York. For services to the UK/USA business and British Community interests in New York.

The picture alongside shows Isabel between two other recipients of honours, at a reception held on December 10 at the British Residence in New York held to congratulate the three of them (Isabel Carden MBE, Richard Fursland CBE and Sir John Richardson KBE).

I have met Isabel on a couple of her visits to London.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Ambassador Carden

Visitors to will find that a family member is the United States Representative to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN”) with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. He was nominated by President Barack Obama in November 2010 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March, 2011.

He corresponded with me about a DNA test in 2008, but we lost contact. 

(Added in December 2014).  As will be seen from a visit to Wikipedia, David has now rejoined his law firm and is based in Singapore. We have corresponded and he has put me in touch with his brother Douglas, who has bought Chuck's book and one of mine. Their great grandfather was Allen D. Carden, born in 1862, who lived in Gratz, Owen County, Ky.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Tilston and Carden Hall

While revising my Carden of Cheshire book mentioned below, I contacted Jane Stephenson who gave us such a wonderful talk in 1998 about the early history of the family in Cheshire, and she has sent her best wishes to all of us and writes "I do only occasional forays into Landscape History nowadays as I am currently ‘Rector’ of Tilston (more accurately I am ‘priest-in-charge') and find my opportunities for history curtailed, although it gives me plenty of chance to add information about the ecclesiastical  history!"  We owe her a great debt, and what she told us has been very frequently quoted and has become part of family lore.

In this context, readers might like to visit a site drawn to my attention by Eddie Carden of USA, which gives a great deal of information about the history and archaeology of the Carden Hall site, without once mentioning our family!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Carden in America


The above book is now available from where the following description will be found -

With encouragement from Arthur Carden, Chuck Carden has agreed to make available for posterity, in book form, a large part of his research on the family, which includes entries for over 5,900 Carden descendants and spouses living in USA. They mostly descend from one or more immigrants from Cheshire, England. An attempt is made to indicate which Carden males have submitted samples for DNA analysis and what conclusions can be drawn. Though only twelve branches of the family in America are covered the book will be of widespread interest. Purchase now is advised, as the next edition in a few months' time will be more expensive.

The next, more expensive, edition will contain only minor improvements such as better artwork on the cover.

I personally believe that this 570-page book, densely packed with information and with an excellent index, should be in the library of every American member of the family, whether they belong to one of the twelve branches or not.


Tuesday, 31 January 2012

CARDEN OF CHESHIRE and the Cheshire Carden Diaspora

(revised 15 May 2012)

The above book is now available from me or from Lulu where the following description will be found:

The original purpose of this book was to place in the public domain the documents recording information on the following Carden branches, not previously published in book form: Winsford, Bendigo, Randle and Monmouth. In the latest edition the opportunity has been taken to include a great deal of of extra information about the family in Cheshire in medieval times and about Carden Hall, and also to include material about the whole Cheshire Carden diaspora world-wide.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

The destruction of the Barnane mansion

After 1932, when Captain Andrew Carden died, the mansion came into the possession of Walter Thompson, his 'good friend.'  The Thompson family had been associated with Barnane for several generations, and Andrew's father had let a large part of the estate to them. I recently met Walter Thompson's son, a bishop-abbot in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Apparently after destroying the mansion by selling the lead on the roof and other acts to meet his heavy debts, Walter Thompson married Annie, only daughter of H J Butler-Lloyd of Lloydsboro', a nearby mansion.  Their son, baptised as Mervyn Thomson-Butler-Lloyd, but now known as Father Demetrius, was born in 1939. Walter served at Dublin Castle during the war.

More about Walter Thomson and Father Demetrius, whose photographs appear here, will appear in my forthcoming supplement to Carden of Barnane.


Saturday, 5 February 2011

Robert Carden, Governor of Antigua in 1666

Colonel Robert Carden was appointed Governor of Antigua around 1660-1665. He was captured by the French during an invasion of the island in 1666, and was apparently murdered within a year. Robert's wife (twice widowed) and son (who died without issue in 1697 as Captain Robert Carden) continued to live on the island and several land transactions were made by them. The island was only briefly occupied by the French - it was returned to Britain at the treaty of Breda in 1668.

More information can be found in Antigua and the Antiguans: Also an Impartial View of Slavery and the Free Labour Systems; the ... by Flannigan, Lanaghan (or Mrs Lanaghan), Saunders and Otley, 1844. (Internet Archive edition digitised by Google from Harvard University collection and The History of the island of Antigua one of the Leeward Caribbees in the West Indies, from the first settlement in 1635 to the present time by Oliver, Vere Langford, Vol 1, London, 1894. (Internet Archive edition digitised by Boston Public Library).

Here is a quotation from the former -

MURDER OF COLONEL CARDEN. The fate of Colonel Carden was truly shocking. Soon after the French had abandoned Antigua, a party of Caribs landed, and cruelly treated the defenceless inhabitants. At length they proceeded to the house of the ex-governor, Colonel Carden, who treated them very kindly, and administered to their want. Upon their leaving, they requested their entertainer to accompany them to the beach, who instantly complied ; but the Caribs, more treacherous than the wild beasts that haunt the desert, had no sooner reached the place where their canoes were stationed, than they fell upon their kind host, cruelly murdered him, and broiled his head, which they afterwards carried with them to Dominica.


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