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HISTORY OF BANDON
[Pages 191-213] BALLINACORRIGA CASTLE - RANDAL OGE HURLY AND HIS DESCENDANTS - TEIGE MACCARTHY - DOWNY, OF THE TOGHER - PATRICK ROCHE (FITZ-RICHARD), SHIPPOOL CASTLE
All the Irish gentry-in this and the adjoining
neigbourhoods-who sided with the rebels in the last great war, were
dispossessed, Foremost amongst these was Randal Oge Hurly, of
Ballinacorriga Castle. His father also (Randal Oge Hurly) married
Catherine, daughter of O'Cullinane of Timoleague, who was physician to Mac
Carthy-Reagh of Kilbrittain Castle, and was one of the family of the
O'Cullinanes-a family which had for many generations supplied physicians to the
royal house of the Mac Carthys.*
This Randal Oge, who built the castle of Beallenecarrigy in 1585, died in 1631, as appears from an Inquisition held in Bandon on the 16th of September in that year, and was succeeded by his son, Randal Oge. The castle is a strong, square tower, nearly one hundred feet in height, and stands on the crest of a bold, bare rock, which rises upwards of forty feet above the waters of an adjoining lake. A few yards in its front is a small circular tower, This formerly guarded an angle of the wall which enclosed the castle, of which not a trace is now to be found, as the wall itself, and the three other towers at the other angles, were removed to aid the building of the adjacent four-mill.
* So notorious was their skill in curing the many ills which the flesh is
heir to, that whenever a poor fellow was past all hope, one would often hear it
said that even an O'Cullinane couldn't save him.
He had a daughter married to Dermod McDaniel Carty, alias Mac-ni-Crimen, of Ballinoropher Castle. The same who was hanged at Bandon for the murder of Mr. Burrowes and his family.- See Chapter 8.
The lower part of the interior of the castle does not
differ materially from those of similar structures to be seen elsewhere; but the
upper floor contains two large windows, and these are adorned with various
illustrations, in relief, On the arch of one is a representation of the
Crucifixion, and the Virgin and child; and on the other, the letters RM. CC.
(the initials of Randal Murrilah* and Catherine Cullinane), the date of
the castle's erection, a ladder, a heart transfixed with crossed swords, a
scourge, a cock, and a pot. The ladder, the heart, and the scourge, we could easily
refer to incidents in sacred story, but the cock and the pot fairly puzzled
us. We could not make out head or tail of the cock and pot. At one
time we imagined the pot was typical of the caldron of boiling oil into which
St. John was thrown at Patmos. Then we thought it had some reference to
the great feast of Belshazzar; and then again we supposed it to be allegoric of
the pot of manna in the ark of the tabernacle in the wilderness; but as for the
cock, we felt convinced at once that he symbolized the triumph of
Christianity,-that he represented. in fact, Christianity crowing over prostrate
All our conjectures, however, were wrong, as appears by the following tradition-the tradition upon which those two emblems are founded, and which has the merit of being devoutly believed by a great many. After mentioning the well-known circumstances connected with the seizure of Christ, and his being brought into the palace of the high priest, the legend asserts that Peter, who staid in an outside apartment, was warming himself by the fire; and after stating the fact, as given in Holy Writ, of the three denials given by him of any knowledge of our Lord, it avers,-that scarce had he uttered the last denial, when a cock, who was being cooked in the pot for the high priest's supper, on the fire near which Peter stood, suddenly jumped out of the boiling water upon the floor, and crowed in his face!
It does not, however, say whether the truth-loving chanticleer emerged form his warm corner scalded to the bone with indignation and hot-water; or whether he was dressed, as at present, with his liver tucked under one wing, and his masticating apparatus under the other. It simply unpots him, places him right in front of Peter, and there it leaves him.
The castle, as has been previously mentioned, was built in 1585, and-if what we have been told is correct-at a comparatively small cost to the founder; but by a contrivance which, however ingenious it may have been honesty, nor even the semblance of fair-play, to recommend it.
Having quarried the stone, and collected all the other materials necessary for going to work, he sent in every direction for stonecutters and masons. These were very unwilling to go to him. Where the building was to be erected was in a remote place in the wilds of Carbery; where no human face was scarcely ever seen, save that of wood-kern, or some unhappy outlaw who was flying from place to place, with a price set upon his head; and where the silence of the night was oft-times broken by the ominous screech of the owl, and the howlings of hungry wolves.
Nothing could coax the workmen to move except high wages. These Hurly readily promised; and in course of time a considerable number of artificers arrived, and went to work. Randal took great care of them. He had cabins erected for their accommodation; he laid in a goodly store of oxen and hog's meat; and made them as comfortable as circumstances, in that out of the way place, would allow.
The men worked hard, and with a good-will. Randal Hurly treated them well, and they were determined to treat him well in return. Occasionally a married man drew some of his wages to send home to his family, but the great bulk of what was due to the men was left untouched. Thefy looked orward with pleasure to the large sum that would be theirs on the completion of the edifice; and how he might turn his best account, may have often engrossed a poor fellow's thoughts when he ought to have been asleep.
At length, when the castle was finished, and everything completed within and without, Randal Oge gave a great feast. Not only were all the workmen invited, but also all the tenants and gallow-glasses belonging to himself and his kindred. There was no one refused-all accepted his hospitality; but it was observed that the tenants and gallow-glasses of Randal and his friends came fully armed, thereby to add additional lustre to the splendour of the great banquet that was to celebrate the completion of the grandest of all the castles of the Murrilahs.
After they had all enjoyed a bountiful meal, and had drunk the health of the founder of Ballinacorriga in bowls of usquebaugh, Randal told his guests to come outside the walls. The readily came, expecting to find fresh incentives to fun and frolic out of doors. He then ordered the gates to be closed, and the gallow-glasses to be drawn up under arms. Calling his workmen to him, he desired them to produce their tall-sticks, in order that he may see if he owed them anything. As each man produced his stick, Randal produced a set-off in the shape of board and lodging; and may of them, he alleged, were in his debt.
What could they do? They dare not utter an angry word; and the two or three who ventured to look cross, got an unmistakable hint, in the form of a dozen pike-heads placed in such disagreeable proximity to to their ribs, that they regretted even that display of disapprobation of the method Randal Oge adopted of paying of his creditors.
Having gone through all the claims, or at least as many of them as were present to him, he ordered the workmen to leave his country at once, telling them that if he caught any of them there after nightfall then he pointed significantly to the grim warriors who stood behind him. The poor masons understood him thoroughly, and they put many a weary mile between them and Ballincorriga Castle before the sun arose next morning.
* Murrilah-the Irish of Hurly-is supposed to be a corruption of Murircillah (the great small flood). The name is said to have been derived from the following circumstance:-The two sons of an Irish chieftain were out hunting one day along the banks of the Bandon river; when the stag, which they were pursuing, came to the river, he dashed in, and swam to the opposite side. The two young men-who were step-brothers-speedily arrived at where the stag crossed over, and the eldest of the two reined up his horse, being afraid to trust himself in the swollen waters. The younger asked him why he did not cross over. He told him that he was afraid to do so. "Oh, its only a Murircillah!" said the young horseman, as he fearlessly plunged in and got safe across. In some part of this country the Hurlys are still called Murrilahs, or Urrilahs, and in other places Hurly is pronounced Murly.
Catherine O'Cullinane, the wife of the founder of the castle,
is traditionally stated to have been a great lady. The prevailing weakness
of the sex is said to have been strongly exemplified in her. She was vain and
over-bearing. Indeed, so fond was she of display, that she rarely ventured
outside the threshold of her lordly residence without being accompanied by a
bevy of young maidens,-some of whom acted as her train-bearers, and others were
in attendance to pay that obeisance which the dignity and unbending hauteur of
their almost royal mistress demanded.
Her haughtiness is still often the theme of many a winter fireside in Eastern Carbery, and there is no "ould story" fills the chimney-corner with a more attentive group of listeners, than that which has for its subject the Ban-Tierna of Ballicorriga.
The peasantry glory in her. Looking back, through the gloom with which intervening centuries have shadowed the past, some of them still see the old harper sitting on the stone bench in front, near the castle-gate; and see his fingers glide over the strings, as he sings of the foray and the chase, and of red battle-fields-where oft a chieftain of their race fell in the fierce fight. Others behold that comic-looking piper playing a humorous tune for the crowd of dancers, whose boundless merriment never seems to tire; and more look on the Tierna riding out of the great gate of the bawn, with his huntsmen and his horses, his carrows and dogs - and quickly recognize among the latter a leash or two of tall, wiry-haired animals to hunt the wolves, now nightly becoming more dangerous.
The "stranger" was almost unknown then throughout the length and breadth of Hurly's country. These were the good old times, when Catherine O'Cullinane was in the heyday of her glory. Her memory is still treasured up in the affections of the people in the neighbourhood, and they pay her the unaffected homage of their hearts.
Nevertheless, the Ban-Tierna was not absolute perfection, even in their eyes; her haughtiness must draw down a severe punishment upon her-and it did.
Late one night, a poor beggar woman--followed by her children--knocked at the castle-gate, and asked for alms. Catherine herself look through the wicket, and demanded to know what she wanted. She was widow, and sought for food and a night's lodgings for herself and her helpless offspring.
"Begone!" quoth the great madame, "this is no time to wandering about the country, seeking for charity."
"Oh, my lady, don't turn me away! The clouds bode an ill night, and I have seven little children."
"You have seven little children! and, pray, whose fault is that?" was the cruel response of the Ban-Tierna, as she banged out the wicket in her face, and secured the fastenings with her own hands.
"Listen, Ban-Tierna!" shrieked the distracted woman. "Listen!" Then putting her lips to a crevice in the door, she slowly uttered, in an impressive tome:-"The next time that you are brought to bed, may you have as many children at the birth as I have altogether!"
Some months after, Randal Oge was returning from hunting; and, on approaching the castle, he observed a woman carrying a large basket towards the adjoining lake, who, on seeing him, appeared much confused. Riding up, he inquired what she had in that basket.
"Nothing but Cullinanes, your Honour," quoth she-dropping a deep courtesy.
"Cullinanes!" roared he; "and who dare send any of my Cullinanes to be drowned, without first asking me? Show them, immediately."
The terrified woman obeyed; and, on looking into the basket, Hurly saw six male infants-all newly born. The messenger threw herself on her knees, and told all,-beginning with the beggar-woman's curse, and ending with the statement--that scarce had he left on that morning, when his wife was confined of seven sons. One of them she kept, and the others were on their way to the lake when he stopped her.
Taking the woman with him, he went to the cabin of one of his most trusted retainers, and directed that the six infants should be provided with nurses as quickly as possible.
He bound those in the secret not to open their lips on the subject to any one, as they valued their lives, and then rode home. Ere he had time to dismount, he was told the good news. "He could hardly have reached the other side of Moneneurig bog that morning, when the Ban-Tierna was seized with the pains of labour, and in due time she gave birth to a son."
Randal appeared overjoyed with his good fortune; and rushing up the stone staircase, and along the dark corridor-which is even still in tolerable preservation-he entered the apartment where Catherine lay; and, taking her by the hand, congratulated her upon her safe delivery, and thanked her warmly for adding another scion to the Murrilahs.
Years rolled past, but not even a whisper reached the Ban-Tierna's ears, from which she could glean that her scheme was either frustrated, or even known. For aught she knew, the remains of her helpless infants were lying placidly beneath the surface of that sheet of water, upon which her eyes must have rested every time she looked out of the southern windows of the castle.
Those that knew her well, thought that of late they could occasionally detect a shade of melancholy spread itself over her fine, commanding face; and they thought, too, that her haughtiness had more of defiance, and less of the air of conscious superiority about it, than formerly.
On the seventh anniversary of the birth of the young son above referred to, Randall Oge Hurly gave a grand banquet to all the neighbouring chieftains and their wives, and too many of his friends and retainers. Great preparations were made. Oaken tables extended through the centre of the great hall, creaking under the weight of the beef and the huge baskets of bread which were piled upon them. Round the walls were ranged shelves, upon which were placed some vessels of usquebaugh and the best meiodh of the Carberries; and at the head of the hall was another large table, at right angles with the others. Upon this were haunches of venison and tankards of claret for his principal guests.
When the Ban-Teirna occupied her customary seat, all those invited were assembled; and all that was now required to begin the feast was the presence of the child, in whose honour the great entertainment was given . After waiting for some time, and wondering what could have detained him, he at length made his appearance, accompanied by sixth other boys of similar size and appearance, and dressed in every particular like himself.
Who are they? anxiously inquired every one of his neighbours. No one could tell. Where did they come from? No one knew. Meanwhile they moved with slow and measured pace up to where the great lady of the castle sat. Scarcely did their young innocent faces meet her eye when her brain reeled. "Oh-God!'' thought she, "are those six children, whom I have consigned to destruction, come up from the depths of the lake to reproach me, in the noon-time of my splendour, with their murder?" She fainted.
The consternation and excitement became intense. Many of those who never knew what fear was amid the clash and din of arms, now shook with sheer terror; and the shill screams of the women, mingling with the hoarse voices of the men, produced an uproar -the like of which was never heard within the walls of Ballinacorriga before or since.
After some time, the Ban-Tierna was restored to consciousness; and Randal Oge, placing his hand affectionately upon her shoulder, bit her be of good cheer, and he would explain all. Silence was proclaimed by a hundred voices, and in an instant everybody was noiseless and still-so eager and were they to hear that solution of this all-absorbing mystery.
Hurly then detailed the every circumstance connected with his meeting the woman with the basket, the placing the children at nurse, his contrivance for having them presented to them on on their seventh birthday, and concluded by endeavouring to impress upon the minds of all present, the moral,-that at any time, and under any circumstances, they should never refuse a beggar-woman a night's lodging, or turn her away empty-handed from the door.
Upon the death of this Randal Oge, in 1631, he was succeeded by his son Randal Oge, who was one of the first of the Irish chieftains to take up arms in 1641; and in the first great official record of the those who rebelled against English rule, his name appears.
On the rolls containing the "names of persons indicted of treason in ye county of Corke, att the sessions holden at Youghal, ye second of August, 1642," is to be found that of Randal Hurly, of Beallenecarrigy, together with that of his son, Randal; William Hurly, of Ballinwarde, also James Hurly, of same place; William Hurly, of Lisgubby; Donogh McDonel Hurly, of Bummeonderry; Daniel Oge Hurly, of Kilbrittain; James Hurly, of Grillagh. Even the very women of the Hurly's fled to arms in that memorable uprise; for, on the list referred to, we find them represented by Ellen Hurly, of Grillagh-Ighteragh. All these were not only indicted for high-treason, but they were subsequently outlawed-women and all-in the King's Bench.
Randal Hurly took an active part in the rebellion. Not only was he present at the various encampments of the rebels-aiding and abetting-but he had them encamped at Ballinacorriga, and was privy to the murder of an English soldier there.
It appears that when McCarthy-Reagh's troop of horse lay at Ballinacorriga, news reached them that a quantity of corn was about being conveyed from Enniskeane to Bandon . To intercept this, the quarter-master and thirty horse were detached; and, upon their return, they met five of the English party at Desert Church. These fought manfully, and never gave up until two of their number lay dead; the other three then surrendered upon quarter.
The rebels kept their word with Rev. John Snary (who was the rector of the parish of Kilbrogan, and also of Desert), and with Ralph Clear, a Bandon man, who was with him, but they carried Owen McDermod Carty to their camp at the castle, and there they hanged him; alleging, as an excuse for their gross breach of faith, "that they had a law amongst them,-that if any Irishman did serve on the English side, and was taken, he should be hanged."*
* Examination of Donough McCormick Carthy, was taken before John Wheeler, &c. at Bandon-Bridge.
Hurley possessed a good-sized estate, all of
it which was forfeited. In addition to his castle and lands in the parish
of Kilmeen, he owned Ardeahane, granted to Captain Jeacock, in the parish of
Fanlobbus, and the three ploughlands of Yeaden-Carrow, granted to John
Sicklemore and William Blackbourne; Ardeah, Kileashane, and Buddermine, granted
to Benjamin Crofts, in the parish of Ballymoney. He was a married man, and
it had a family, consisting of six sons. Of these, two became priests; two
more died unmarried having been killed during the rebellion; and of the two
surviving,-one was Randal Oge, his eldest son, and the other was father of two
sons (one of whom was Jeremiah Hurly), and of a daughter, who married her
cousin, one of the McCarthy-Crimens
Jeremiah was called Dermod Tresalia (Jerry the light-footed). He is said to have owned Mounteen Castle, and also Ballinorohur; and it is possible he may have possessed himself of them in James the Second's time; but he could not have held them long. He fought on the Irish side in the Williamite wars, and returned home after the siege of Limerick, bringing two English troop horses with him. He married, but died issueless; and was buried in the graveyard of Clogough, in the parish of Kilmalooda-an ancient and picturesque burial-place, on a rising ground, overlooking where the blind river unites its fortunes with the Arrigadeen; and the rough stone, with the rude inscription, which marks the place of his internment , may still be seen on the eastern side of the entrance from the river.
His brother was father of seven sons and three daughters. Two of the sons (namely:-James and Jerry) were within the walls of Limerick during the siege in Williams' reign. Of these, James was called Shamus Atrooher (James the marksman). It was this James who killed the six troopers between Bandon and Clonaklity.
It seems the soldiers heard of his whereabouts, and came to the very house he was in; and actually made inquiries of him concerning his noted self. He readily undertook to guide them to where the celebrated free-booter lay a concealed, and contrived to draw them off the main road into the intricacies of a huge turf-bog. He then manage to give them the slip; and, while the unfortunate men were vainly endeavouring to flounder their way out of the soft slush, he shot every one of them. Their bodies were subsequently recovered, and they now lie buried in Desert Churchyard. He is also said to have shot another soldier, who was attempting to take liberties with a young woman, at a place called Fourchill. He was at the time Granard. and saw what was going on. Loading his piece, he took deliberate aim, fired, and the soldier fell dead.
Shamus Atrooher was married, and had several sons. Of these, James and Randal were priests. The former died soon after his ordination, but Randal lived many years, and died at Clonteada, near Kinsale. Others of his sons (Daniel, Jerry, John, and Patrick), all grew up, and married; but most of their descendants have left Ireland, and settled in England and America, where they may be found amongst the labouring classes, fighting the battle of life for their daily bread. He had also a son, Michael, who married, and left, amongst other children, a son Michael, who had, with others (the descendants of whom are now residing in the neighbouring parish of Desertserges), a son Daniel, who married, and had also a son Daniel, who was the father of Daniel Hurly, a respectable and industrious mechanic, now resident in Clonaklity.
Randal Oge-the eldest son of Randal Oge who forfeited his estates, and grandson of Randal Oge who founded the castle-was indicted for high-treason at the sessions held at Youghal, as previously stated. He married his cousin, Ellen Collins (or Cullinane), daughter of one of the great family of physicians who live near Timoleague. This lady's father was known as "Cool-Yeakel en ore" (the golden tooth), in allusion to a gold tooth he wore in the front of his mouth.
Randal Oge fought on James's side at the siege of Limerick; and on the departure of the Irish forces for France, under Sarsfield, he accompanied them there, leaving his wife behind. She was disconsolate at his departure, and grieved sorely after her beloved Randal. Nothing could persuade her but that she would see him once more. That he was coming back to her, was told her in dream after dream. The zephyr, which lurked among the trees, whispered it to her as she passed along. The storm roared in in her ears. Old crones, who were never known to be out in their prognostications, averred he would be home soon; and sick people, who were half on their way to the grave, saw him approaching-but yet he never came.
In an agony of grief, poor Eileen used to bemoan him; wringing her hands, and rocking herself to and fro:-"Oh! I wish I had a young smart messenger," she used to say , "that would run out, and come and tell me that Randal Oge is coming with his golden sword in his hand."
Great as where the exertions of Randal Oge Hurly in the great rebellion, yet they would count almost for nothing when compared to those of Teige McCarthy-Downy. There's not a single one, among the hundreds of Irish chieftains who flew to arms in the west riding of this county upon the memorable uprising referred to, whose name his more frequently to be met with and his. Wherever there was a rebel encampment, a maraudering excursion, a skirmish, a fight, or a pitched battle, or were any of these were even expected to come off, there was Tiege McCarthy-Downy, of the Togher. He was at his great kinsman's-McCarthy-Reagh's-gathering, at Killivarrig wood, when Mr. Burrowes and his family were hanged; he was at Enniskeane, at Ballinacorriga, at Kilbrittain-near which place he caught an unfortunate Bandonian, whom he stripped naked, and so ill-used that he died in a few days. He carried away all the horses and cattle belonging to another, to the value of £130 , and he was heavily in the books of many others; and there is no doubt but that his Bandon creditors told the simple truth when they stated to the commissioners, in 1642, that "they expected no money of the said Teige O'Downy.''
His hatred of the English crown extended itself-not only to the English people, but to their religion. ''Luther and Calvin invented your new found religion," said he to an orthodox Christian, whom he wanted to turn Papist; and, moreover, that unless he (the deponent) would turn to the holy mass, he would be damned. As for Englishmen, he vowed "that he would not trust one of them upon any occasion whatsoever, any more then he would a Turk, who did deny Christ."
The hostility of some Irish chieftains to the English crown, however unjustifiable it might have been, could be accounted for. They sought to repossess themselves of estates which they had lost, either through extravagance or crime; and it was ''now or never'' with them. But his was wholly unaccountable, and exhibited, on his part, the basest ingratitude. The very Dunmanway estate which he possessed was a grant from the English crown, only fifty-two years before, to Teige McDermod Carthy-whom he inherited from -for the valuable services which Teige had rendered England during the great Desmond rebellion.
Sir William Burghley, in a letter-which Teige himself was the bearer of-to the Lord-Deputy Fitz-William, after stating that it hath pleased the Queen to extend her grace and favour to him, said he was to have a grant made to him, and to his heirs (male), of the town, castle, and lands of Dounemoenway, in the county of Cork, as in her Majesty's special letters written to you in their behalf more at large appeareth.
The McCarthy's of Glounacreme were a sept of the royal house of McCarthy, and had the affix of Downy to distinguish them from other branches of this illustrious family,- as the McCarthys of Banduffe, the McCarthys-Crimen, the McCarthys of Ballea, the McCarthys-Reaghs, the McCarthy-Soinochs, &c.
Teige had a large estate, and upon it were two castles,-Dunmanway and the Togher.* The latter of these was his favourite residence; and it was as Teige O'Downy, of the Togher, old chroniclers love to speak of him. He was hospitable in the extreme. Even in those days-when almost every man of note kept an open house, and when inscriptions on the neighbouring cross-roads invited the wayfarer to the next castle to come and eat-one would think, that where hospitality was so generally practised, it would come to be looked upon as a matter of course,-and so, in fact, it was; but the hospitalities of Teige O'Downy were on such a gigantic scale that they out-topped all others.
* Togher-a wedding gift-did not originally belong to the McCarthys.
It was acquired by one of them in marriage with an heiress of a family of
considerable wealth-supposed to be one of the Fitzgeralds-who lived in that part
To this day, in the neighbourhood of Togher, the peasantry, in ''keening'' at a wake of funeral, frequently refer to Teige's hospitality, and the wealth and varied attractions of his castle and lands. One of these laments, which has been kindly procured for us by a friend to whom we are much indebted for reminiscences of Dunmanway and its neighbourhood, speaks of the grassy meadows of Togher; where the sheep were, with their snowy fleeces; over which thousands of bees hummed during the live-long summer day; where the flowers bloomed in rich and gay variety; of the river, where sported the salmon and the trout; and of the owner of all-Teige McCarthy-downy-whose large heart would bleed if a man had not enough to eat and to drink.
Some of his people arrived at Togher
one day with a large booty of beeves and sheep, which they had driven out of
O'Sullivan Beare's country, without even having the manners to say to him, ''By
your leave,'' or ''The top of the morning to you, Mr. O;'' and having safely
housed them in the bawn, they set out on their way home. They had got but
a very short distance, however, when they stretched themselves on the banks of
the Bandon river-which flows near Togher-and began to drink out of the running
stream. Teige, who had only just returned from hunting, saw them from one
of the upper windows of the castle, and roared out to them to desist. He
then ordered his steward to bring out several casks of his best Spanish wine,
and empty them into the still waters of a portion of the river that lies within
the ledges of two projecting rocks-since known as Teige's punch-bowl. Here
the thirsty kern drank, drank, and drank till they could neither see, sit, or
stand. Indeed, so great was the quantity of the precious liquid poured in
by his orders, that it is asserted that even the very fishes in the
river-including the eels and water-rats-were all blind drunk; and that, for the
most part of the entire week, they did nothing but beat and scold one another
like Christians. Even an old sow, we are told, who was out next
morning taking her constitutional mender along the banks on the river, got so
overpowered with the very odour of what was unavoidably split
in unheading the casks, that she had to be led home and rolled into her bed by a
half-a-dozen of her interesting progeny.
His extravagance was unbounded. Anything he desired to have, he would have, if it was in his power to accomplish it, He was so pleased with the first coach he ever saw, that he wanted to buy it of the owner. The latter, who was probably pleased with the comfort and dignity of his new conveyance, was reluctant to part with it; but Teige would have it, and at least it became his for four ploughlands.
Although very attentive and kind to others, yet he was very grateful for any kindness or attention shown to himself. Returning to Togher one day, he sat down to rest himself upon a stone at the Comorefortera Pass. A tenant of his, who lived close by, seeing upon what his master was seated, immediately took off his big frieze mantle, and insisted on placing it under him. This act of consideration on the part of the poor peasant so pleased O'Downy, that he absolutely made him a present of the whole ploughland of Inch.
But although he was generous and hospitable to a fault, yet the possession of these and other good qualities did not exclude some of the worst. He was tyrannical, cruel, and unrelenting.
One Sunday morning a young countryman was hurrying to Kilbarry chapel. Fearing he would be late, he crossed one of the Togher meadows, as a short-cut. O'Downy saw him; and sending some of his men in pursuit, he was seized, and brought before him. The young man-who was a widow's only son-readily admitted the trespass; and having stated his reasons for intruding, solemnly promised he would never do so again.
But his promises and excuses were of no avail. Teige had made up his mind, and who was there that dared to interfere with him? There was no jury to interpose its calm decision between the accused and his accuser and judge; and there was no appeal to another tribunal from the dictum of an Irish chieftain, who repudiated British laws, and withstood the influences of British civilization. Before ten minutes had elapsed the body of the unfortunate youth was swinging from the gibbet*- which was a fixture at Togher, and some portion of which can even yet be seen on its northern wall.
His tyrannical disposition extended itself to members of his own immediate family, as well as to his unfortunate kern, whose feelings and whose lives were in those days of little consequence to any one but themselves. It is said that he banished and disinherited his eldest son for what he considered an unpardonable oversight-if not an act of cowardice.
* A small portion of the iron-work that was used to support the gibbet still occupies its old position. The gibbet itself remained until about the close of last century, when it was removed, and thrown into Poolgurrum-a deep hole in the Bandon river. We are told that on a bright summer's day this souvenir of Teige's day and generation may still be discerned, lying peaceably on the gravel beneath the water.
Two Spanish officers, who were ''on the
run'' from the King's troops, arrived one day at Togher. Teige, who could
never be reproached with loyalty to the English crown, gladly received them, and
when he ascertained that they had done something which compelled them to
hurriedly withdraw from the sway of the English authorities, we may fairly
assume that the cordiality of his welcome, and his respect for themselves
personally, underwent no diminution.
It happened, just about the time of their arrival, that O'Downy's eldest son had a falling-out with one of the O'Sullivan Beares. The Spaniards, who were made acquainted with all the circumstances of the case, were asked what ought young O'Downy to do, and they replied that he ought at once send O'Sullivan a challenge to fight a duel-volunteering, at the same time, to become his seconds. He accepted their kind offer; and obeying their directions, he sent the summons, which O'Sullivan-who was as pugnacious as any other well-disposed and respectable Milesian-unhesitatingly accepted.
The combatants, accompanied by their respective seconds, met in a grass-field on the banks of the Bandon river-a mile of two from Teige's residence; and after a desperate contest, O'Sullivan fell. The two Spanish officers who stood by O'Downy were also slain; but O'Sullivan's two seconds were unharmed.
Now if young O'Downy had attacked and killed both of these, or even got killed himself in making the attempt, O'Downy would have thought well of him; but the young fellow had neglected to do so-he may have forgotten it, or thought that he had quite enough of it already. Be that as it may, he permitted them to walk off unmolested, and thus omitted an opportunity of avenging the death of his father's Spanish guests.
Teige never forgave him. Not content with ordering him never to show his face to him again, he compelled him to quit the neighbourhood altogether; and regretted he was unable to deprive him of his consanguinity and his name.
Togher is a large imposing-looking edifice, about eighty feet in height and sixty in breadth. It is built on the northern bank of the river Bandon, and on a piece of ground gently shelving to its waters. It was evidently inhabited long after Teige ceased to be its owner;* and the diamond-shaped chimney-tops, and some of the windows-intended, no doubt, as improvements-do not harmonize with the solid, massive style of the rest of the building. We visited it not long since. Pushing open a rough timber door, we stood in the banquetting-hall of the O'Downys. The roof was gone, and the masonry, that towered high above us on all sides, looked gloomy and dark. Nevertheless, we could not but gaze with a deep interest on those old walls-walls that have again rang with the rude revelry of Celtic chiefs, and often echoed the sad and sweet tones of the pipe and the harp.
As we entered, a sow and her bonnives rushed at us from their stye, in this very apartment, where O'Downy or some ancestor of his may have haughtily received the herald of the Lord-Deputy, and told him that he refused to hold any intercourse with ''the stranger.'' We groped our way into the shomera bud-dough-a dark prison, embedded in dense masonry, and not more than eight feet high and as many broad. Alas! how strangely human joys and human woes often jostle one another in the great eddying stream of life.
* There are some still living, who remember when the grounds about the castle exhibited an appearance of having been previously stocked with choice tress, and well kept. The gravel walks, branching off in many directions, could easily be traced. There were several old fruit trees in what was once the orchard; and there were exotics tastefully planted on the belt of green sward that lay between the castle and the river.
With only a wall between him and the
boisterous merriment of the carouse. what must be the feelings of the wretch
doomed to perish on the morrow from that fatal beam overhead; or, worse still,
to be dragged out, amid the scoffs and sneers of his conquerors, and piked to
death? Or can we be surprised that the blood should bound through his veins
when, through an air-slit in his thick prison walls, he hears the O'Downy pour
into the greedy ear of his Ban-Tierna, tales of his recent deeds of valour; an
that he should listen with a fluttering heart to their exultations over the fall
of his kith and kindred? True that he is weak, but he is not powerless.
The clanking of his irons hushes their son of triumph, and reminds them of a
fate that may one day be their own.
Within living memory Togher had a roof and a tenant. The roof was of slate, and the rafters, as well the joists which supported the various floors, were of native oak. These were very strong, and they contained many iron hooks, said to have been used in Teige's hospital days as meat holders.
The tenant was an old schoolmaster- a man of considerable repute in his day; and one who, in fact, lived ahead of his age, as he abolished altogether the use of the stick and the lash within the sphere of his jurisdiction. He endeavoured to instruct the youth intrusted to his care by placing their errors before them; and then, giving them time and place for reflection, he trusted to the children's own good sense to correct them. Accordingly, when one of his pupils mistook the letter B. for a bull's foot, or could not-for the life of him-tell how many beans made five, or forgot how to make a pot-hook, our Philomath used to send young ignoramus up to the top of the castle-tower; where, far elevated above the disturbing influences of the school-room, he may calmly meditate on the bad use he was making of his time; or, if so disposed, could take a bird's-eye view of his own prospects, as well as those of the neighbouring farmers.
All went on very well. The boys, we are sure, were a great deal more intelligent, and not one whit worse conducted, than those who were beaten stupid by the rod and the whip; and the master's reputation for kindness, as well as for learning, was known far and wide.
One day, however, put and end to all. A little fellow was up on the tower atoning for some misdeed, when he cried out that his head was going round; and, before assistance could reach him, he came tumbling down through the joists, the flooring of which had been long previously ripped off for fire-wood; and as he fell from story to story, his body was caught by the iron hooks, and frightfully mangled.
The country-people were indignant. Flocking in from all the adjoining townlands, they cut away all the joists, they ejected the unfortunate schoolmaster, and they built up all the entrances to the castle.
It could not be expected that an active, untiring enemy like Teige O'Downy could escape the vigilance of Cromwell-neither did he. In common with a great many others who had robbed and despoiled the English colonists, and waged open war with England herself, all his estates were seized and conferred upon military officers, and upon those on whose loyalty the authorities could rely.
Killronan, Ballinhalewig, and Bohinagh, were granted to the See of Dublin, Arthur Ormsby, and Lord Kingston; the three ploughlands of Dunmanway and two gneeves of Togher-1,460 acres-were bestowed on Colonel William Arnopp; another lot, consisting of 780 acres, on Lord Kingston; and Awe, another lot, containing 744 acres, on Robert Maude. Alderman William Barker got O'Cullane, and a portion of the Drumalinagh estate-upwards of 1,600 acres. Patrick Allen got another portion, containing 590 acres; and Lord Kingston* got 260 acres if same lands. The latter also got Inshy-466 acres-and a portion of Awe-780 acres. Togher Castle, together with the ploughland of Togher, Monerage, Drumdedga, Coramuck, Corancooly, Callyroheene, Gortenure, and Naskin-in all 3,468 acres-were bestowed on Captain Edward Hoare and Lieutenant Abraham Hoare. Colonel Arnopp got Coolemarty-West, in addition to his previous grant; and the Earl of Cork got all the rest.
O'Downy lost 12,814 acres altogether. Of these, 11,464 were in the parish of Fanlobbus; in Inchigeelagh, 813; in Killmacomoge, 117; in [illegible], 320; and in Drinagh, 100.
* Lord Kingston could not complain. His grants in the country of
Cork alone amounted to 261 townlands, containing 20,852 acres.
About twenty years ago a valuable gold ring was dug up by a labourer in the neighbourhood of the castle, on which was inscribed:- ''Me hart and i ontel i dy, C.McCarty.'
The descendants of O'Downy are now believed to be extinct;
the last survivor of them, it is said, having died in the person of Charles
McCarthy-and old man who lived many years ago. McCarthy was proud of his
descent from old Teige; and, among other proofs of his being his heir as well as
his lineal descendant, he used to exhibit the Togher title-deeds,-records which
were carefully preserved, and handed down from father to son, in the hope that,
one day or other, circumstances may arise which may replace the McCarthy-Downys
in the Castle of the Togher.
Patrick Roche-Fitz-Richard-of Poulnalonge, was also among those who were indicted for high-treason at Youghal, and subsequently outlawed. He was the son of Patrick Roche, also Fitz-Richard, of Poulnalonge, upon whom a post mortem Inquisition was held on the 2nd of May, 1633, and descended from Phillippus Roche,* de Kinsale, Armiger, who obtained a license from Henry the Eight, in 1544, to bring provisions from England, ''to the intent that the said Phillip Roche, &c., should buylde a castell neer unto the ryner of Glasselyn, in the coun. of Cork.''
Roche (Patrick Fitz-Richard) was the junior representative for Kinsale in the Parliament which held its sittings in Dublin Castle in 1639. He joined in the rebellion at its very outset, and at its conclusion he found himself without either castle or estate.
In Innoshannon-the parish in which he lived-he lost Coolmorine and Cloherane, granted to William Hodder; Farrancarrigg and Raghnaroughy, granted to Humphrey Baggaley in trust for the '49 officers; and Poulnalonge Castle, conferre on John Herrick.*
Shippool Castle was commenced in 1544, and completed within three years, as appears by the certificate attached to the following recognizance entered into by Phillip Roche, to our lord, King Henry the Eighth, dated December the 4th, 1544:-
"The condicon of this recognizance is such:-Whereas, our said Sovereign Lord the King's most excellent Matie, at the contemplacon of the Rt. Honorable Sir Anthony St. Leger, Knight, one of the gents. of the Privy Chamber, and his Grace's Lord Deputy of Ireland, and his most Honorable Council of the same, granted to-as above bounden-Phillip Roche a lycens to carry out of the realme of England two hundred and fiftty quarters of malt and five hundred quarters of beans, to the intent that the said Phillip Roche, his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, should buylde a castell neer unto the ryver of Glasselyn, in the coun of Cork; if the said Phillip, his heirs, &c., within three years next after the date of the above within recognizance, doo buylde, or cause to bee buylded, the Castlell of Shepespool guardable; and, upon the p-fection of the same, bring, or cause to be brought, before the King's Highness, Chancellor of this his Majesties realme of Ireland, in his Grace's High Courte of Chancerie, a certificate or testimoniale of the Maior of the cittie of Corke and the towne of Kensale, sealed with the common seal of the said the cittie and towne, that the said Phillip, his heirs or assigns, having buylde up, made up, and clerly furnished the said castell,'' &c., &c.
If the Herricks, who succeeded the Roches, lived in the castle until 1787. The late Captain William H. Herrick was born there, and his father's sister, Jane-mother of the celebrated Rev. William Hickey, rector of Mulrankin, Ferns, best known as Martin Doyle-was married within its walls, to the late Rev. Dr. Hickey, of Murragh.
Shippool Castle, which consists of a square tower, with modern gables and chimneys, is delightfully situated on the steep decline of a nobly-wooded hill; and so close does it approached to the Glasslyn of bluff King Hal, that occasionally-at full spring-tide-its southern wall is touched by the gentle swell which creeps noiselessly along the swollen waters of the Green river.
* The grant to Herrick was enrolled June 20th, 1666. In the same
patent he had conferred on him the lands of Lisshyday, Castlelavarde,
Northlefoney, Ballidina, part of Skynegore, and part the Slevegolan.
Roche bound himself in the sum of two hundred pounds that he would have the castle completed within the specified time. Having done so, the bond was cancelled.
On the northern bank of the river, and close to the castle, is a soft chalybeate spring, which was in high repute so far back as the reign of James the First, for its anti-scorbutic qualities,. It was also widely known for curing rheumatic complaints. Upon being tested with gall, the water became of a deep purple colour; and upon the water being evaporated, a deposit of foreign ferruginous matter was obtained.
Springing from the eastern and western
walls-on the inside-is a stone arch, formerly bomb-proof. On the top of
this was the kitchen, and underneath it was the drawing-room-the concave surface
of the arch forming its ceiling. This was at one time a very handsome
apartment. Under this was the dining-room, in which-as well as in the
drawing-room overhead-was a handsome bay window, opening out upon the river.
Looking from one of these in the olden time, one could gaze upon the primeval
forest stretching far away to the distant west, and to the south and east;
whilst, far below one's feet, the pleasant Bandon glided by-perhaps, bearing on
her fair bosom a rude contrivance or two, composed of a frame-work of stout
osiers, held together by thongs cut from raw hides, and covered with
horse-skins, in which wild and half-naked creatures-who were owned by a Roche or
a MacCarthy-longed, as they fished for eels and salmon.
During the long absence at sea of the late Captain Herrick, R.N., the fine old chimney-piece, which for upwards of two centuries and a half formed one of the principal ornaments of the drawing-room, was stolen, and also the beautiful cut limestone arches of the bay windows. The latter were even a greater loss than the former, as the bomb-proof arch partially rested on one of them; and when the limestone arch was removed, the great arch commenced to crumble away.
The keep was on the basement story of the small round tower at the north-west corner of the castle, and was entered by a square aperture in the centre of the floor above. It was constructed in the form of a beehive, so that when once an unfortunate wretch was imprisoned within its walls, it was impossible for him to climb up its concave sides, and escape. It was accidentally discovered when the family were removing to their new residence in 1787; and, on peering down into its gloomy depths, some human skeletons were seen lying at the bottom. Some of these were, in all probability, the remains of unhappy beings who had been confined in this noisome cell at an early period, and others were the remains of those who were thrust -whilst yet alive-into the ghastly companionship of the bones of those who were there before them.
What pen can describe the feelings of one of those thrice-wretched sufferers, as he stretches out his weary limbs on the floor, clammy with the decayed covering which has dropped from those hideous frames-grim skeletons! -through whose huge eyeless orbs voiceless and invisible spirits are staring at him continually, and whose long fleshless arms are threatening every moment to clasp him in their repulsive embrace. Perhaps, too, as the sleep of death creeps softly over him, fancy carries the poor colonist* back to his snug farm-house; to his wife, wondering what could have delayed him so long; to his little children, who are eagerly asking about him; to his cattle; to his well-filled haggard; and a smile may have rippled over his wan features, as he beholds the prosperity which his industry has achieved. He awaits again. He implores for mercy, but there is no pitying ear to listen to him; there is no cherished hand now, to wipe his reeking brow. He is surrounded by an unearthly group; and amid those fetid relics of humanity his last sigh steals away.
In addition to the lands forfeited by Roche in the parish of Innoshannan, he was also dispossessed of the townlands of East and West Dunworly, in the parish of Lislee.
In that portion of the coast lying between the Old Head of Kinsale and the Galley Head is a deep indentation, known as File-a-Real Bay. Bounding this on the west is a bold headland on Dunworly; and halfway down its rugged slopes, and over-hanging the angry waters which rush in here from the Atlantic, was the marine residence of the former owner of Poulnalonge. Some traces of this old dwelling, and some of the old garden walls of his favourite summer residence of the Roches, are still to be seen; and many of butt of sack, and many a tun of the best Spanish wine, was emptied beneath the old roof-tree at File-a-Reel.
Its loss was acutely felt; and one member of the family, at least, is said never to have lost sight of the sunny home of her youth-where she spent many a happy hour, ere the machinations of her own kindred swept away the support of her declining years, and flung her on the world a begger.
It is related that-several years after Dunworly changed owners-Roche's sister, Mary (and elderly lady), arrived from Kinsale, and dwelt in the old castle of the O'Cowigs-a ruin which occupies the causeway connecting Horse Island with the mainland, and which is still in tolerable preservation. From this secluded home she was accustomed to walk-usually in an excited state-several times a day, to the bold promontory of Crow Head. In mild weather, shading her eyes from the light, she used to gaze intently, for hours together, far out to sea. But when the storm raged; when the thunder bellowed o'er the world of waters, when the waves, lashed into a fury by the western winds, bounded madly up the black, sullen cliffs, as if to drag them from their rocky bed and hurl them into the yawning gulf beneath-and finding the black weather-beaten old front, which the tempests of thousands of years have assailed in vain, as unshaken as ever, roll precipitately back again into the troubled deep, roaring with rage at beholding their own impotency; it was then she was in high glee. Upon the crest of the highest crag she was to be seen with her long hair streaming wildly in the wind, and her white garments-anon wrapped tightly round her body, and anon fluttering like to loose sail in the gale; and then her voice might be heard-out-topping even the deafening din of the billows-as she unbraided the King of Spain for not sending his men long before to her assistance. She was supported by the neighbouring peasantry, who were accustomed to place in her daily path such supplies of eggs, potatoes, and fish, as their humble circumstances would afford. Her clothing was supplied by those relatives who occasionally called to see her; and by some of whom, after her deceased, her body was taken around the coast in a boat to Kinsale. The county-people used to look on her with great awe; and many of them were uncertain whether they ought to class with the dead or with the living-Ban-Teirna ban-na-vailte, or the White Lady of the Cliffs.
The two ploughlands of Dunworley (alias Downevourleage) were bestowed on Sir George Hamilton, of Donalong, county Tyrone, and of Nenagh, in Tipperary. Sir George -ancestor of the Marquis of Abercorn-was created a bayonet in 1660 . He married Mary, third daughter of Walter, Viscount Thurles, Duke of Ormond. He was vice-president of the province of Munster, under Lord Inchiquin, the lord-president; and was father of George, commonly called Count Hamilton, who married Fanny Jennings -equally celebrated with her sister Sarah, the renowned Duchess of Marlborough, as one of the most fascinating belles of the court of Charles the Second. Upon Count Hamilton's decease, his widow married the notorious Dick Talbot, Duke of Tyrconnell, lord-lieutenant of Ireland under James the Second.
In the Dunworly patent, in addition to what is usually bestowed, the crown conferred on Sir George, his heirs, executors, &c., "All the reversion and reversions to which it was entitled; with waters, water-courses, fisheries, and all its rights, privileges, advantages, emoluments, and hereditaments, &c., whatsoever, to the said premises or to any part or parcel thereof, belonging or in any wise appertaining." Indeed, so comprehensively worded was the patent, and so lavish was it of the crown rights, but one cannot help thinking Sir George, who was an influential government official, must have framed it himself.
Although these lands, as we have said, were granted to Hamilton, yet they were bestowed on him subject to a charge of £120, due to Captain John Sweete, of Timoleague, for which sum they had been mortgaged by Roche. Captain Sweete, having purchased Sir George's interest became sole proprietor; and took up his residence at Dunworly, at a place called the Corrig, where some remains of ''The White House'' are still shown.
Sweete is said to have been very active in hunting the Tories; and it is said that, whenever he could lay hands on any of these unfortunate freebooters, he brought them with him to the White House; and having place them under the permanently-erected crossbeam, he had a skewer-upon which was a transfixed potato-firmly inserted in their mouths, and this in this position they were hanged.
Captain Johns Sweete disposed of the castle to William Sweete, who -dying intestate-was succeeded by his son William. William, by his will (May 26, 1697), left Dunworly to his son William, who-dying a minor and issueless-was succeeded by his sister, Jane Sweete, who married Robert Tresilian, of Ballinadee.
* They are believed to have been the remains of some of the Protestant
colonists, incarcerated there during the great rebellion by Roche.
The price of a tun of wine in those days was fifty hides.
way and lately placed in the hands of the commissioners for investigating the title of the present owner to unclaimed rack of the sea, the commissioners on hasn't really confirm the rights of the applicant to say.
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