Rathedmond, Sligo (The place of origin of the letter).
Descendants of a Devonshire family from Kitley, called Pollexfen, became residents of Sligo prior to the period of the letter (1819), and were busily making money in the shipping trade. Their wealth allowed them to invest in several properties in the town and elsewhere.In 1866 they lived in Union Place and in the same year purchased and then moved to “the tall bare Rathedmond overlooking the harbour and opposite George Pollexfen’s home, Thornhill.’’
Susan Pollexfen, the daughter of William and Elizabeth Pollexfen, married John Butler Yeats and gave birth to William Butler and Jack Yeats. J.B. Yeats met Susan through her two older brothers whom he met at school.
Young Jack remained at Rathedmond until 1887 when he went to live with his family in London. He returned to stay with his Pollexfen grandparents every summer after this.
Five years later the grandparents died within a few weeks of each other.
All of John Butler Yeat’s family visited their grandparents often.William Pollexfen,used to walk every day from his home at Rathedmond to supervise the building of his tomb in St. John’s Church Yard.
Rathedmond became William Pollexfen’s last home, near to George’s in Thornhill, which Yeats described as “an old three storied house with a small garden in front and a yard and field at the back about a quarter of a mile into the country.’’
Alex Hume was the earlier proprietor of Rathedmond House and it appears he sold the estate to the wealthy Pollexfen family. Alex inherited the property from his father, Andrew.In the Tithe Applotment for the Parish of St. John’s the Hume name appears for Balmony Parks, John Knox’s Parks, Fort Yard, Cox’s Yard, Hanson’s Yard and Wi—alls Parks. These places clearly indicate the Hume’s family wealth at this time.
The letter therefore has an indirect link to the Pollexfen family and thus to the Yeats connection if only due to the fact that the estate came into the Pollexfen possession after the Hume family left Sligo.
The commonality is Rathedmond House and the sale to the Pollexfen family.
However, it would appear that these wealthy families of Sligo were obviously familiar with each other due to the proximity of the various properties and their business interests.