Bartholomew Stagpoole

Born c1830 Ireland - Died 1 February 1890 Wellington, New Zealand

What we know about Bartholomew.

Bartholomew's army records state that he was born in Kilcummen, near the town of Oughterard, Galway Ireland. He never attended school as he couldn't write. He made 'his mark', a cross, on a number of documents. He was the oldest of the three Stagpoole brothers. He is described as being five foot nine inches with blue eyes and brown hair.

On Bartholomew's death certificate his parents are named as John Stagpoole, a farmer and Nora O'Malley, both of Ireland. Bartholomew married twice, he and his family were Roman Catholics.

Bartholomew enlisted in the British army, The 57th Regiment of Foot on 24 January 1848 at Loughrea, Galway. He served as a Private in the Crimean War (March 1854– February 1856) for one and one half years. In Malta for two years, then in India for three years.

After that the regiment travelled to Taranaki during the New Zealand Wars.

In 1861 Bart, his wife Mary McEnulty and three children arrived in New Zealand with the Regiment. They travelled on the ship Prince Arthur. The Prince Arthur left Bombay on 18 March 1861, arriving in Auckland 31 May 1861 and in Taranaki on 4 June 1861.

Bart was recorded as "severely" wounded in his right knee on June 4th 1863 at Katikara where his conduct was described as gallant and distinguished.

He also served with a colonial militia, possibly the Taranaki Rifle Volunteers, after leaving army service on 25 March 1867 and was a member of the NZ Armed Constabulary. Bartholomew and his family settled in New Plymouth and lived there until around 1880.

After shifting to Wellington he became a guard at Government House.


Crimea Medal(1854-56) with three clasps
Sebastopol, Inkermann & Balaklava
New Zealand Medal(1861-1866)
Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal
Turkish Crimea Medal(1855-56)

Bartholomew Stagpoole and Mary McEnulty

Bartholomew and Mary

Photo taken around 1870 in New Plymouth

Bartholomew is severly wounded at Katikara on June 4 1863

Bartholomew Injured at Katikara

Extract from Taranaki Herald 4 June 1863

Bartholomew makes his mark on his army discharge record

Bartholomew makes his mark on his army discharge record

Bartholomew's Obituary

Evening Post, 1 February 1890, Page 3

An old Crimean veteran, who also saw service during the latter part of the Indian Mutiny and served with distinction during the last New Zealand war, joined the great majority to-day. We refer to Mr. B. Stagpool, who for years has been a resident of Wellington, and who passed away at his residence, Exeter House, Cambridge terrace, early morning. For his Crimean service Mr. Stagpool was awarded a medal by the Imperial Government, from whom he also drew a pension up to the time of his death. He came to the colony with the gallant 57th Regiment, and with them took part in quelling the native disturbance - on the West Coast which had necessitated their presence, being also present at the storming of Titokowaru's stronghold. Having gained the New Zealand medal for this service, Stagpool, like many of his comrades, determined to settle in the colony, where he remained until his death. He was twice married, and leaves a widow. Two of his sons are at present in Sydney, and a third is a sergeant of police - at Sydenham, Christchurch ; while his only daughter is married to Mr. J. Driscoll, of Courtenay place. Mr Stagpool's death was somewhat sudden, and was due to a seizure of what, medical men specify as Indian cholera, a disease which he contracted while in India, and has since been subjected to periodical attacks.

Soldiers claim discharge gratuity. Extract form the Taranaki Herald

Soldiers claim discharge gratuity Taranaki herald

Bartholomew's Wives

Mary McEnulty

Mary was born around 1830 in Ireland. Her full name was probably Mary Ann. Her family name is spelled differently on different documents, for example MacKanalty, McNulty or McEnulty.

Mary was classed as an 'on the stength' wife by the British army. This meant she and her children were able to travel with the army. She and three children were among the 42 ordinary soldier's wives and 69 children that arrived in New Zealand on the transport ship Prince Arthur in May 1861.

At that time the British army discouraged marriage as this was perceived to affect military efficiency and discipline.
There were two sorts of wives, 'on the strength' and 'off the strength'. Each regiment had a quota of men that could be married, the wives of these men were 'on the strength' and officially recognised. All other wives were officially ignored. On the strength wives had the privilege of being able to do paid work for the regiment, such as nursing, washing, cleaning and sewing. This was essential as a soldiers pay was not enough to keep a family.

We know nothing of Mary's early life. Unusually, her death certificate mentions only her maiden name not her parent's names. Mary travelled from Ireland, to India and on to New Zealand as an army wife. She gave birth to at least seven children. Mary died of tuberculosis on 12 December 1883 at Haining Street, Wellington, New Zealand. She was buried in the Mount Street Catholic Cemetery, Wellington, under the name Mary Stackpoole.

Jane Armstrong Mathews

Bartholomew married Jane Armstrong Mathews (nee Parkinson) in 1887 in Wellington. It was a second marriage for both and no children were born of this marriage. Jane was born in London, England around 1840. She died in Wellington, New Zealand in August 1897 and was buried in the 'Terrace Catholic Cemetery' in Wellington.

 The Battle at Katikara

Illustrated London news 29 August 1863:The war in New Zealand.
The 57th Regiment taking a Maori redoubt on the Katikara River, Taranaki.

Reference No. PUBL-0033-1863-212 "Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.