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HISTORY OF BANDON
[Pages 452-481] THE BANDON MILITIA, OR SOUTH-CORK LIGHT INFANTRY
The history of the South Cork regiment is so entwined with the history of Bandon and the Bandonians during the eventful period which began with the furious outbreak on the 23rd October, 1641, and terminated with the great revolution which displaced a dynasty which had occupied the throne of England for generations, and firmly established another in its stead, that it is no easy matter to separate them. The history of the South Cork is a portion of the military history of Bandon during the momentous interval mentioned previously; and the military history of Bandon includes all that of the South Cork during the same time, in addition to many other heroic achievements of her chivalrous sons in this locality during the same period and anterior to it. To produce a history of the South Cork or Bandon militia, apart from the various social and political events from which it originate, and rendered its maintenance indispensable for the protection of live and property, saving those which are barely necessary - to show under what circumstances the regiment was called out, and why its services were no longer requisite - is the object of the following pages.
This distinguished corps was enrolled when the great rebellion had broken out, and when hundreds of settlers in the surrounding country, had fled in consternation to Bandon - the only walled-in town to the west or to the south of Cork. At that unhappy period, the demon of destruction stalked unchecked through the land*.
*So little were the authorities prepared for this outbreak, that, when the rebellion broke out, there were in the entire province of Munster but four hundred foot and seventy two horse, - namely, the lord-president’s, Lord Baltinglasse’s Captain Phillip Wenman’s and Captain Price’s. The horse consisted of the lord-president’s carbineers, and Captain Peasley’s twelve.
In every direction one
could see farm-houses in flames, cattle being driven away or wantonly destroyed,
and murders committed in the broad glare of open day. The gates of the
town were ever opening and shutting. At one time it was a terrified
creature who knocked frantically for admission-at another time it was a band of
refugees, bemoaning the loss of all the industry of their lives, who begged an
entrance. Great numbers were soon collected; the women and children were
helpless, but the men, used to labour, and accustomed to the use of arms, were
eager to be led against those whose hands they had been such terrible sufferers.
Efforts were quickly made to stay this onrush of incendiarism and slaughter. Volunteers were called for in Bandon, and two hundred men stepped into the ranks. But it was subsequently found, that with the work before them-now hourly accumulating-two hundred men were insufficient. Most volunteers were called for; and before the first day of the summer of the succeeding year the Bandon militia mustered four hundred rank and file. There were many others, too, ready to obey the call; but as four hundred were the utmost the town could pay or equip, they were compelled to seek employment for their military services elsewhere.
This force was divided into four companies; each company consisting of a captain, lieutenant, ensign, and one hundred men. This was the first military body which the English colonists, who had come over in Elizabeth's reign, had raised upon a permanent footing,* westwards or southwards of the city of Cork, solely for the performance of active military duties; and its present representative is known amongst us as the South Cork Light Infantry Regiment of Militia. At various times it had various names. At first it was "The Valiant Bandonians;" then "The Bandon Militia;" then, towards the close of the great rebellion, when the fame of its exploits had spread far and wide, it was known as "The Fire-Eaters;" then, as "The Bandon Militia" again and by this name it appears towards the end of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth, when it was under arms for several years.
* There was a town militia ever since the town was built, composed of horsemen and footmen, furnished by the military tenures. These were called out annually for inspection; and so numerous had they become nearly twenty years before, that, on the visit of the commissioners in 1622, there were paraded before them sixty-six horse and five hundred and sixty-four foot-exclusive of officers, sergeants, and drummers. Even many years before this, this young corps saw service; when in the reign of Elizabeth, under Captain Taffe, it lapped its first blood on the upper banks of the Bandon river, on which occasion the Pope's apostolic vicar and many of his followers were slain.
From the date of its enrollment, up to A.D. 1854 - a period of over two hundred years - it was the only force regimented in the west or south of the country, or that even marched outside of the country from all this country to take part in a siege, or in a battle, or to join in any of the other sanguinary necessities of war. The other militia forces formerly existing in the south and west being merely isolated companies raised under pressing circumstances by some gentleman of influence in his locality - such as Captain Freke, of Rathbarry, who raised a company of foot amongst the English residents of Ross and its neighbourhood in 1641, and again in 1666, when the French were daily expected to land in Kinsale or Bantry; also Captain Townsend, who raised a similar force out of like material. Captain Gooking, also, and Colonel Arnopp, Colonel Gifford, and others. But these companies were merely for the defence of the localities in which they were raised, and they rarely marched any distance from home.
When the war broke out between England and France in 1793,* this old system was given up. The militia were no longer called upon to fight against their own countrymen in civil war, but against a foreign nation - one of whose numerous armies, filled with an enthusiastic soldiery, and led by able and experienced officers, was expected to make a descent upon our shores. It would therefore, never do for a country gentleman, who knew no more about military tactics than the pack of hounds who yelped at his horse’s heels, to be called upon to measure strategy with a Dumourice or a Kellerman; or could it be expected that gaping rustics, fresh from the potato-garden or the cow-stall, would stand fire with the French battalions, who, but a short time before, had forced back the Prussians at Valmy, and swept away the Austrians from the heights of Jemappes.
* The militia regiments were for the first time numbered in 1793; on which occasion the south Cork bore the number thirty two. Presuming that the city regiments, which were the oldest, were numbered first, one for each county, and omitting one which may have been suppressed for disloyalty or some other cause, this would make the South Cork the oldest county regiment in Ireland, and which it is believed to be - a belief based, to some extent, upon the fact that, when the rebellion broke out, the city regiment had enough, and more than enough, to do to defend themselves. But Bandon being unassailed, it was the first that was enabled to send out its large and well-organized force to assist its neighbours and join in military enterprises far from home. The regiment at the other side of the county corresponding with ours - now known as the North Cork Rifles - on the numbers above mentioned, was numbered 34.
The authorities were aware of this and when the new levies were raised, they were drilled, armed, and equipped as troops of the line. They were called out in 1793; and, as Bandon militia was too local a term to apply to a regiment now to be recruited in all the south and west of the county, and, moreover, as the test of the religious professions of the recruits - a test which does not appear to have been even once overlooked for a period of upwards of one hundred and fifty years - was now deemed unnecessary, it was considered judicious to begin a new era with a new name; hence the Bandon militia, which typified the old era, was replaced by the South Cork, which typifies the new.
We are enabled to give the names of many, if not all, of those who at any time held commissions in the regiment during the first eight years of its existence, as:-
Aderly, Captain Thomas,
Bennett, Captain Thomas,
Bird, Captain Walter,
Brayly, Captain John,
Dunkin, Ensign Thomas,
Dodgin, Ensign Yhomas,
Fuller, Cornet William,
Gookin, Captain Robert,
Grove, Captain John,
Holcombe, Captain, William,
Hooper, Captain George,
Jefford, Captain Sir John,
Kinalmeaky, Lord Lewis,
Langton, Lieutenant John,
Newce, or Nuce, Lieut. Edmund,
Poole, Captain John,
Shannon, Lord Francis,
Turner, Major Henry,
Watkins, Captain John,
Woodhouse, Captain Sir Michael,
* We have given the rank of the officers in the above list as we have found it. Although the rank of others is not given, yet they were commissioned officers., and as such are on the rolls of 1640 officers and most of them were rewarded with grants of land and sums of money for their military services. For particulars concerning officers, see end of this chapter.
The names of all of these are mentioned in some authentic records relating to the period beginning with the outbreak of the great rebellion, and ending with the Act of Settlement and Explanation, except that Lieutenant Berry, who. probably for the active part he took in the revolt of the Bandonians from under the King’s rule, had his services ignored.
A great many had lands
granted to them in lieu of their arrears of pay, whilst others had their arrears
charged upon certain estates, vested in trustees for their liquidation. Amongst
the former were Thomas Aderly, who obtained the lands of Drounkeen, Corranure,
Classafree, and half the townland of Ballinlanglay,* forfeited by Daniel
McCarthy-More; also Francis Bernard,† who was granted part of the lands of
Knockane -Ideene, previously a portion of the estate of Charles McCarthy-Reagh.
And amongst the latter, were Captain John Watkins,‡ for the sum of £2,164
17s 4d.; Captain Thomas Bennett, for £1,099 14s. 6d.; Ellinor§ (wife of
Captain Holcombe), for £769 5s. 7d.; Lieutenant Edmund Nuce, for £210 14s. 4d.;
and Anne Dunkin, for the arrears due to Ensign Thomas Dunkin, amounting to £245
These amounts were charged on grants made to Randal Clayton, registrar, or chief clerk of the commissioners, to whom were assigned valuable estates in trust, for the payment of certain monies due to others similarly circumstanced to those names we have just mentioned.
* When a regiment was disembodied, the officers got grants of land as near
to the place where the regiment was broken up as the forfeitures in the hands of
the authorities would permit. The object of this was to have them all
conveniently at hand in case their services should be required again.
† Francis Bernard junr., of Castle-Mahon, father of Judge Bernard. It is interesting to note that it is a lineal descendant of this gentleman - the Hon. Colonel Bernard - who at present commands this old corps.
‡ It is probable that the large amount due to Watkins was made up of money advanced by him for the payment of his company, as well as arrears of pay due to himself.
§ Ellinor, wife of Captain William Holcombe, was daughter of Francis Bernard, senior, of Castle-Mahon, by his wife Alice Freke. She was sister to Francis Bernard, junior, a brother officer of her husband’s. She died leaving three surviving - namely, Mary, Elizabeth, and Alice.
During the time the regiment belonged to the town, it undertook to pay it the sum of forty pounds a week in hard cash; and, in addition, it expended a further sum of a hundred and twenty pounds in providing it with gunpowder and other necessaries. The officers appear to have served gratuitously; but the privates, in addition to their pay, were billetted upon the inhabitants. When, however, the regiment was placed under government control, a captain was entitled to receive five shillings a day, and a lieutenant two shillings and sixpence.
The exact date at which the volunteers passed into King’s service does not appear; but presuming this to have taken place when commissions were sent down by the Lord-Lieutenant for the Bandon troop of horse and foot, our soldiers must have been doing duty as part of the regular army towards the close of August, 1642.*
With great difficulty the townspeople struggled to maintain their little army. The demands on their resources were great, and the resources themselves were very small. They were no longer producers. The industry and skill which had enabled them to sit at a plenteous board, and which had lined their purses with the broad gold pieces of Holland and Spain, were no longer of any avail. They could not even count on a supply of food for any length of time, as the sheep and cattle which the country colonist had brought with him within the walls, and which he had succeeded in rescuing from the wanton destruction of his flocks and herds, were being consumed at every meal; and the cornstacks, which he had torn from the blazing haggart, were being doled out to crowds of famished people. Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that the pay of the soldiers should drop into arrears, and that the soldiers themselves should be “apt to complain of their governor, Lord Kinalmeaky, for whom it is in a matter impossible to keep so great a number in want, and with all in good appetite and affection towards him, for it is not his carriage, but the want of money, that displeaseth them.”†
* So far back as the 25th of the previous February, Lord
Cork urged upon the government the necessity of taking some of the new levies
into its pay. “My younger sons, Lords Kinalmeaky and Boghill”, says his
lordship, “are in a worse condition [i.e. - than Lord Dungarvan], for although
each of them have one hundred horse, which I have hitherto paid, I am forced now
to make my humble suit to your lordship to move the lord-lieutenant that they
may be taken into his Majesty’s pay, for the horses and men are very good, well
seasoned and acquainted with the service.” One of the two troops mentioned
here is the troop of horse belonging to the Bandon militia.
† See Lord Cork’s letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Lord Inchiquin, in one of his letters to Lord Cork, also speaks of the distress of the Bandon garrison at the close of 1642; and also of that of the townspeople. “The garrison of Bandon,” writes he, “hath also been greatly distressed, and the soldiers famished, if the town hath not advanced a matter of three score pounds to their relief; and now I find that the town is no less necessitous than the soldiers”.
Notwithstanding all the difficulties that lay heaped around the, still they were ever ready for the fray, and longed for the time when they should confront the enemy in the open field. They had not very long to wait. Scarcely had they got through their rudimentary drill, and knew how to handle their musketoon and pike, when the spring began; and scarcely had the first shade of green peeped through the brown hill sides, when McCarthy-Reagh - a powerful chieftain, who lived in Kilbrittain Castle - came to Bandon, and having loudly declared that he would fight for the English, he induced Lord Kinalmeaky (the governor of the town) to furnish him with a good supply of arms.
We are unable to say whether his loud profession of loyalty was merely a pretence in order to procure arms, or that he was induced upon his return home to follow the example of his great kinsman, McCarthy-More. Be that as it may, he distributed among his kern and gallow-glasses the arms he got from Kinalmeaky; and putting himself at their head, marched the very next day to attack the astounded Bandonians. He approached to within about a mile of the town walls; then facing to the north-west, with the town on his right, he advanced as far as Knockegarane, which is about half a mile south of the Bandon river, with the intention of being joined by the Hurleys and the O’Downeys, who dwelt on the river’s upper banks. Here he threw up a strong earthwork, with a deep fosse in front of it, and lay there for several days, inactive and undecided as to what he should do. He, whose ancestors had often fought side by side with the English, must have heard of their prowess, and of the success that almost invariably attended them. Should he require any proof that this prowess had not degenerated, or that success did not glitter in the track of “the stranger”, he had but to look at the last great outbreak in our county, and the cast his eyes on the forfeited lands and castles of Cnogher O’Mahony*, and on the hundreds of thousands of acres wrested from Gerald, the Red Earl of Desmond.
Meanwhile, “the valiant Bandonians” hourly expected the onslaught; as it was not made during the day, it surely must be at night; as it was not made during the night, it surely must be on the morrow, and so on - disappointment followed disappointment. As the mountain would not go to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain.
Towards the close of the month of February, 1642, the four companies of foot assembled for parade as usual, but it was observed that their troop of horses,† which consisted of sixty well-mounted men, was now paraded with them for the first time. There was something ominous in this.
* Cnogher O’Mahony lived at Castle-Mahon, now
Castle-Bernard - a residence of the O’Mahonys, only a few miles distant from
† The troop of horse which formed part of the regiment was no expense to the town, as the officers and men supported themselves.
The men sniffed the coming struggle, and were in high glee. News that on that day they were to measure their strength with the McCarthys had sped along from rank and file to rank and file; and, being caught up by the spectators, was soon carried to every house on both sides of the river. The townspeople heard it exultantly, and flocking to the parade in crowds, they shook the soldiers by the hand, and clapped them encouragingly on the back. A group of matrons, too, came forth on that portentous morning, and occupied a place whence a good view of the troops could be obtained; and with big tears silently trickling down every sorrowful face, they took a fond lingering look at the ranks in which were many a husband, a son, a son-in-law; the following the example of their leader, with one accord they all knelt to the ground - “Thy will be done on earth,” cried they, “as it is done in heaven!”
After careful inspection, a few rounds of ball-cartridge were served out to each man from the scant supply of ammunition in store. They were the ordered to load. This was the signal for a prolonged cheer, in which soldier and civilian joined lustily together; then followed another; then another in quick succession upon another, announced that the day of retribution had begun.
Everything being now ready, the order was given to march. Instantly West-gate swung wide upon its hinges, to welcome them out with its open portals. The horse marched out first, under their captain, Lord Kinalmeaky, then followed the foot, in close column*. The former proceeded up what is now known as Castle-road, and then through the woods of CastleMahon, intending to get between the enemy and the river, and then wheeling to the left, fall on his rear, whilst the foot attacked in front and in flank. The latter passed up through Ballycloghane, then made straight for the Kilbrittain road; gaining which, they pushed forward vigorously for the rebel lines. They had not moved very far, when they were observed by one of McCarthy’s outposte. Tha na Sassanig a teachd! (the Sassenachs are coming) screamed he, and ran for his life. The cry was taken up by the chain of sentinels; and Tha na Sassanig a teachd! echoed from mouth to mouth until it reached the main body.
* Although this was the first enterprise of any note they were engaged in, yet they did more than learn their drill prior to this, as some weeks before a detachment marched out of the town, and five or six miles along the road to Clonakilty, probably to bring in some of the outlaying colonists. Neither were these marchings-out unattended with danger. A small body went out on one occasion “to fetch a prey” when they were pounced upon by Sir Robert O’Shaughnessy’s troop of horse fro Timoleague and one of their number - namely, Private John Phipps - was taken prisoner and put to death. This was, probably , the first man in the regiment who was slain by the enemy.
When the McCarthys heard of the approach of the Bandonians, they left their camp, and were standing in a field gazing at them as they were hurrying down Filedearg hill. Meanwhile, Captain Watkins, who was detached with the light company for the purpose of attacking in flank, stole unperceived along the morass through which runs the new mail-road to Clonakilty, and lay alongside the northern ditch of the very field in which the enemy stood gaping at the handful of men who were boldly wending their way up to fight him. Here he had orders to wait until the attack commenced in front; but he found it impossible to restrain the ardour of his men - any one of whom, in all probability, considered himself just as well fitted for command as his captain, and who could not be persuaded that it was good generalship to have such a splendid chance at the enemy, and yet do nothing. What could Watkins do but give in? He gave the word to fire, and sixteen of the enemy lay dead.
The McCarthys were terror-stricken. On their flank were those who had just fired a fatal volley into their ranks. The cavalry were already visible in their rear, and were hurrying up in full gallop, and between them and their own country were the Bandon men, making towards them as fast as they could. To get back to the sheltering walls of Kilbrittain was to them now a matter of life and death; but this was no easy matter. as an almost impassible bog lay at the foot of the hill, save in that part where the road lay, and that was in their enemies possession. Nevertheless, they take chance, and rushing down one hill, they rush up the other. In this desperate enterprise many were shot down, and many overtaken and piked. Indeed, so great were the numbers slain, that the little river which runs under the old chapel-bridge, was discoloured with blood, and the very hill itself from that day forth bore a new name, and as Filedearg, or the Red Cliff, it is still pointed to as the scene of a great slaughter on that eventful day in February, 1642.
This was called the battle of Knockegerane,* and was the first occasion in which the regiment inflicted a loss in killed and wounded upon the enemy†. For several weeks after this they were doomed to inactivity. It was during this period that McCarthy-Reagh sought to procure an exchange of prisoners.
* Cox speaks of the sixteen killed by Captain Watkin’s company, and says the
Irish then fled. Another account says the Irish had a hundred and five slain, of
whom five were gentlemen of note, and great numbers wounded. Tradition is
positive as to the large number slain. Happening to mention to an intelligent
farmer who lives on the spot, that one writer speaks of sixteen killed. “Why,”
said he, “I found more than that number of graves in the corner of that field”
pointing to a place that only adjoined the tomb-field(so called from being the
field where they were nearly all buried). Without having as correct data on this
subject as we would wish, the traditional estimate of the number killed does not
appear improbable, when we bear in mind that the affrighted McCarthys had no
other means of getting home but by running up the very muzzles of their enemies
† Tradition says, that when the enemy fled, an Irish woman, who belonged to them halted into a pigstye, and there concealed herself under the straw. After some time she began to think the worst had passed. At all events, to make sure, she cautiously put her head outside the stye door, in order to convince herself by ocular demonstration whether her conjectures were well or ill-founded. But scarcely had she done so, when her eye caught that of a Bandon soldier who was hurrying by. “Ugh” groaned she, as she hastily withdrew and burrowed under the straw deeper than before, “musha, but ‘tis now I’m gone in earnest!” The soldier did see her, but she was so ugly and so dirty - in fact, so unlike the fair and blooming country-women of our day - that he took no further notice, but passed on, thinking she was a pig.
Although, as we have said, it was a period of inactivity for the entire regiment, yet detachments occasionally marched out into the surrounding country, to escort in some of the settlers, to convoy provisions, and to make prisoners when they could conveniently do so. On one of these excursions they captured one Daniel O’Garson. McCarthy sent a message to Lord Kinalmeaky by a female prisoner named Deane, offering to restore a servant-man named Andy Bartram for a friend of his in safe custody in Bandon, and tendering Deane herself in exchange for an Irishwoman. This proposal was refused. He then offered Bartram for O’Garson. This also was refused. Whereupon he became so annoyed, that he had poor Andy brought out of his prison, and hanged forthwith.
Anxious as the regiment was to materially assist those who cried to them with outstretched arms for help, what could they do? They could not attack the enemy, or batter down his castles, without cannon and powder and shot; and they had not even one of the former, and very little of the latter. At length, on the evening of the 6th of April, the troops of horse, after a hard fight with the Roches and the McCarthys, who lay in ambush near Shippool Castle, arrived from Kinsale, bringing with them four hundred muskets, fifty swords, five new colours - one for each foot company, and one for the troop of horse - two hundred belts, two drums, lead, matches and six barrels of gunpowder.
It appears that the Kinsale troop of horse, who had escorted them about half-way to Bandon, apprehending no danger, thought they need go no farther. Accordingly, they wheeled round, and marched back for their quarters; and the Bandon troop, without suspecting anything, rode leisurely on their way. But the enemy had his eye on their every move. The thick woods which at that time overspread the country effectually concealed them from observation, and they awaited their unsuspicious foe whilst he walked into their lair. With the bound of a tiger, and the roar of some king of the forest, they leaped upon the road, and the little band of warriors were surrounded with a thick cordon of infuriated men. Drawing close together, they presented a live wall, which the enemy could neither scale nor penetrate. Round and round surged the inimical sea; each angry wave dashed madly against the human rock, and then toppled back upon its successor, dark with blood. The right arm that wielded the trusty steel was not idle, and the voice of the arquebus, as it bellowed through the surrounding woods, sent death-message after death-message into the crowded ranks of the Irish. The Kinsale troop hearing the shout with which the Bandon troopers were welcomed to their expected doom, reined up. Then they stood awhile to listen, and then hearing shot after shot, they surmised that their Bandon fellow-soldiers must be in peril. Accordingly, putting spurs to their horses, they rode hard to their relief; and arriving at full gallop, they soon turned the scale. Then joining together, they both fell mercilessly on their opponents, and speedily forced them into the adjoining woods, where they fled, but with the loss of eighty of their number, who lay dead upon the road. This engagement took place about a mile to the east of Shippool; and the McCarthys and the Roches who engaged in the attack formed portions of the garrisons in the adjoining castles of Carriganass, Poulnalong, and Kilgobban, aided by some kern from the neighbourhood.
These were no times for letting the grass grow under their feet. If they wished to save their country from utter ruin. they must be up as well as awake. On every side they were encircled by a hostile people and a string of hostile garrisons encompassed them. Teige O’Connor, in Downdaniel, and Patrick Roche, in Poulnalonge, intercepted communications between Bandon and the east; Daniel McCarthy-Reagh, in Kilbrittain, and Sir Robert O’Shaughnessy, in Timoleague, did the same in the south; Randal Oge Hurley, in Ballinacorriga, and Teige O’Downy, in Dunmanway, severed all intercourse between Bandon and the west; and Owen MacSwiney, in Masshaneglass, and Lord Muskerry, in Macroom, acted similarly in the north.
On the 20th of April, the regiment marched out to attack Downdaniel. The horse was under Lord Kinalmeaky, and the foot was commanded by Captain Aderly*. Teige O’Connor made a resolute defence, and succeeded in killing three of his assailants - namely, Coleman, Moaks, and Wood - and in holding his ground for some time; but being hotly pressed, and expecting no quarter,† he fled, leaving his fortress uninjured in the enemy’s hands, and made all haste to Poulnalonge.But the Bandon men hurried after in close pursuit, and coming up with him near Roche’s Castle, he faced about. The Roche’s had by this time joined him; and massing their troops together, resolved to withstand the onslaught of the Bandonians. A fierce struggle ensued; but at length the chiefs gave way, and fled in confusion, leaving a hundred of their dead upon the ground, and a considerable share of booty. O’Connor escaped across the hills to the lands of Barna, where he quickly entrenched himself; and Roche made for his castle as fast as his legs could carry him.
* Captain Thomas Aderly, of Innoshannon, obtained a grant of lands previously mentioned. His name is recorded in the inrollments of certificates to adventurers and soldiers; also on the roll on 1649 officers. And in the reign of James the Second, he was placed on the “List of persons who have notoriously joined the rebellion, and invasion of this kingdom, and are hereby adjudged traitors, convicted and attainted of high treason, and shall suffer such pain of death, &c.” - Vide Proclamation of James the Second, 1689.
† Teige O’Connor could not expect much mercy. Some time before, five votaries of the rod and line were amusing themselves fishing on that even yet favourite resort of anglers - the banks of the Bandon river, adjoining Downdaniel Castle. Whilst thus engaged, and not dreaming of receiving any hurt - particularly from those that they had never injured - they were suddenly seized upon by some of the garrison, and carried within the castle walls. Here they were soon made short work of - four of them were hanged on the spot; the other, named John Unletter, offered ten pounds to spare his life. This was agreed upon, and some of O’Connor’s men went home with him to get the money. But on ascertaining where it was kept, they took all that was there, amounting to £35, and then hanged him also, probably with as little remorse as they did his companions. - Vide MSS., Trinity College.
After a fortnight spent in refitting and recruiting, they were again on the march on the 4th of May. This time their destination was Shippool wood, where it was arranged they should receive assistance from Kinsale. The promised succour was forthcoming, and consisted, amongst the rest, of a large gun, and probably some gunners. Carriganass Castle lay on the opposite side of the river, and Dermot McCarthy and a numerous garrison held it for the Irish and his chieftain, McCarthy-Reagh. Being summoned to submit to the King’s authority, an place his fortress in English hands, Dermot stoutly refused. Upon this the gun was brought to bear, and the cannonade was about to begin, when McCarthy hung out a white flag, intimating his desire to surrender. A boat put off immediately to arrange the terms, and had got near half-way across, when the besieged suddenly opened fire on her, killing two of the passengers and sinking the boat herself. But they were not content with this barbarous outrage on the laws of war, for, amid jeers and derision, they continued the fusillade, severely wounding three or four of the poor creatures who were madly struggling in the water to reach the shore, from whence they had but a few moments before shoved off in high spirits.
Witnessing this act of diabolical treachery, the Bandon men panted to be avenged. The big guns were silent no longer. It was rapidly discharged and nearly every discharge told. At one time, it was a lot of stones from one of the towers that came rumbling down the front wall. At another time it was a portion of the battlement that fell to the ground, with a loud crash. At one time a shot passed through to the inside; and then again, one of the coignes showed unmistakable signs of detaching itself from the continuous masonry. Meanwhile, most of the foot, under Lord Kinalmeaky in person, secretly ascended the hill from which the gun still threw its ponderous shot, and descending on the other side, marched westwards, keeping the ground now occupied by Shippool demesne between them and the Roches at Poulnalonge, until they arrived at Coolmoreen ford. Here they easily crossed over - it being low water at the time; and having cautiously proceeded towards Carriganass, they possessed themselves of the wooded heights in the rear, and the eastern and western approaches, unperceived. A signal was then made to their comrades on the opposite bank to man their boats. This being accomplished, and the great gun still whirling its destructive missiles at the now fissured and crumbling castle walls, they slowly and silently closed in.
For some time before, McCarthy and his men had been obliged to withdraw from the inside, it being dangerous to remain there any longer, as stones and debris were falling about their ears in all directions; and they sought safety on the outside, where they stood (465) huddled together under the southern wall, screened from the shot of the enemy, and awaiting in trepidation the arrival of his boats. Another signal! and out flared a murderous discharge of musketry from the wall of exasperated men that encircled them. Then bounding from their coverts, with loud yells of triumph and revenge, they sprang upon the foe. The work of death was but the work of a few minutes. The terrified McCarthys fell to the earth in scores; several had their brains beaten out with a clubbed musket, many were shot and sabred, and others had their skeans buried deep to the haft in their vitals. The ground they had stood upon was soon slippery and red with their blood. At first the blood began to dribble lazily over a shelving rock, on its way to the great outlet that flowed on the other side of the building. Then the red track became a stream; and then rushing past all obstacles, the current poured into the river, darkening its fair waters for a long way in its course to Kinsale. Their retributive revenge was terrible, and extended itself even to those who had any signs of life remaining. These they quickly despatched, after which a large hole was dug, many of the bodies were flung in, and luxuriant crops in the vegetable-garden at Rock Castle, it is said, even yet outline their bloody grave.
News of the terrible punishment inflicted on the garrison at Carriganass soon reached Dermod-ni-Glack, at Kilgobban, another of McCarthy-Reagh’s fortresses; and so disheartened were the warders by the apprehension of a similar fate,* that long before the Bandon soldiery could reach them, they had abandoned the castle, and made off as fast as they could.
* The garrison at Kilgobban were notorious plunderers. On one occasion they broke into a gentleman’s house near Ballinadee, and amongst other articles, carried away a signet ring which had been used to seal a document still in the possession of that gentleman’s descendants. Some years ago, a poor man was wandering one morning through the castle ruins, and happening to look up, observed a piece of mortar falling from one of the upper windows. Looking closer, he thought he perceived the corner of a small box peeping through the masonry from which the mortar had just fallen. He lost no time in climbing to the spot, and returned home greatly pleased with his good fortune. Among the treasure trove discovered by him was the very signet ring taken from the residence of the gentleman above referred to, more than two centuries before.
The next day Shippool was peremptorily ordered to strike its flag, and submit. The Roches naturally shared in the consternation which the massacre on the opposite bank the day before had spread far and wide throughout the country, and they probably thought that, under certain circumstances, discretion was the better part of valour. At all events, they did not await the planting of the big gun.
Indeed, scarce had the echoes of the summoning clarion died away in the woods, when Roche hauled down his colours and gave up his castle.
After this the regiment took a little rest, and was not again active until the 29th of May. On that day, under the command of Lord Kinalmeaky, they marched to Coolmaine Castle,* and demanded its surrender. It does not appear to have made any resolute defence. It may have been that its governor was terrified by the fate of Dermod McCarthy; or he may have thought it useless to protract a contest with those for whom victory seemed ever to declare; and therefore, perhaps after a plausible show of resistance, he submitted. And now only one castle† in all his broad lands remained to McCarthy-Reagh. But this was the principal one, as well as his favourite residence, and had been the residence of his ancestors ever since one of them dispossessed the De Courceys hundreds of years before. The castle was large, and was well surrounded by a strong wall, upon which were a half a dozen turrets strategically placed for defence. It seemed almost unaccountable that a vigorous stand was not made here. Was this old fortalice of the McCarthys, whose walls were hallowed by the expiring breath of many a proud scion of the old race, to pass into the sacrilegious hands of “the stranger” without a struggle? Was he, whose ancestors wore the royal purple‡ long ere Strongbow placed his ambitious foot on these shores, to be driven on the world - houseless, hopeless, and a beggar - without a desperate and bloody encounter to save the lands and the home of his fathers? Was the prestige of his race - a prestige which had become inseparable from this historic pile, and which generation after generation of those who had long preceded him had built up, and looked after with affection and pride - to be dashed to the ground, to be trodden under foot, without one arm being raised in its defence.
* Coolmaine Castle, at present the marine residence of the Hon. H. B. Bernard, the colonel of this very regiment. After the seizure of Coolmaine from the McCarthys, it was granted by Cromwell to Colonel John Jephson, in whose possession it remained until after the restoration, when it was taken from him and given to the Duke of York (afterwards James the Second). Upon James’s arrival in Ireland, Coolmaine, and other estates in the possession of the McCarthys prior to the great rebellion, were conferred by him on Donough McCarthy, Earl of Clancarthy. Lord Clancarthy did not retain Coolmaine long, having forfeited it with all his other castles and estates, by his adherence to King James. After remaining the property of the crown for some years, it was sold at the great auction of forfeited estates and bought by the Hollow Sword Blades Company on the 23rd of June, 1703, and, by purchase from them it again became the property of the Jephsons, by one of whom it was sold some years ago.
+ Kilbrittain Castle at the breaking out of the rebellion was in the possession of Thomas Fitzmaurice, Esq., who was married to McCarthy-Reagh’s mother, and to which lady the castle belonged as part of her jointure. McCarthy, however, marched against it with a company of foot and dispossessed Fitzmaurice by force.
‡ When Strongbow arrived in Ireland, the McCarthys were on the throne of Cork - a kingdom which at one time embrace all this county, a good portion of Kerry, and the western part of the county of Waterford.
Tradition, as well as history, is silent concerning many particulars of its surrender. Enough, however, remains to satisfy us that the warders made no resistance; and we know that McCarthy was not there, he being at the time in the rebel encampment at Killavarrig wood. And though this place is only distant from Kilbrittain a few miles, he does not appear to have been aware of what was going on.*
Bryan McSwiney was the name of the commander to whom Kilbrittain had been entrusted; and he may have considered himself unprepared to resist a vigorous onslaught; or it might have been that its defenders, finding themselves unaided by the large force at Killivarrig, though themselves abandoned by them. The garrison, however, did march out; but whether they capitulated , or surrendered unconditionally, we are unable to say.
When intelligence reached Killivarig on the morrow that Kilbrittain was also in the hands of those from whom McCarthy could expect no favour, he was greatly incensed. An eye-witness, who was a soldier in the rebel camp at the time, tells us its effect on him. “He seemed much displeased,” said he, “and went a little apart from the company, and sat down under a bush a pretty space of time, and no man, in regard to his discontent, spoke anything to him.”
* Another account says he was aware of it, and that he marched as far as Timoleague bridge on his way to its relief, and there heard of its seizure by the English. This statement, however, does not appear until many years after Kilbittain was taken, and is irreconcilable with the evidence furnished to the commissioners by an eye-witness a few months after the event occurred.
Having entirely cleared their communications with Kinsale and the sea-coast to the south, and having dismantled some of the castles which they took, and placed garrisons in others, they were ready to march elsewhere. At this time, Inchiquin, who was wearied with complaints of want of provisions from every garrison under his command, thought the best thing he could do was to collect all the available troops in them, and lead them against the enemy. His enterprise was a hazardous one; for a hungry man is neither in good condition, nor in good humour, to fight. But a fight under any circumstances almost must be an advantage to him. If he beat the enemy, he may capture a good store of provisions for his winter quarters; and if he was beaten himself, he would have the less mouths to feed, and consequently the more to give those that remained. With two thousand foot and four hundred horse, he boldly took the field; and overtaking the Irish near Liscarroll, he attacked them. The Irish army consisted of seven thousand foot and five hundred horse. Their foot was divided into three divisions, of 2,300 men each. The division on their right lay near an earthwork which they had thrown up and manned; and on the brow of the hill, a little to their right again, stood their horse, massed into one column. Their left lay near Liscarroll Castle, and adjoined another earthwork, within which was their artillery. Between their two wings was their centre, composed mainly of pikemen.
Inchiquin endeavoured to draw away the cavalry which protected the right division, and to do so he advanced against them with a strong party of his own horse. The enemy threw out skirmishers to meet him, and lined the hedges with their best musketeers. It was at this time that Lord Kinalmeaky, riding at the head of the Bandon troop, was shot in the neck and killed on the spot.
The Irish horse could not be coaxed from their position - not even to follow in pursuit - so the English were obliged to retire without effecting their purpose. Again Inchiquin advanced on the right wing, and this time with his entire army. His horse began the fight but they were soon a confused mass, owing to the front rank, when they delivered their fire, wheeling to the right and left, and trotting back to the rear to reload. This movement was misunderstood by the rear-rank men, who thought when they saw their comrades in the front retire, they saw them retreat; and thus the whole body got into disorder. The enemy saw that now was his time, and pushing forward his right, he fell on the English infantry, under Colonel Myn. Myn stood his ground like a man; not only did he resist the attack, but he attacked them in return, and forced them to fall back. Emboldened by this unlooked for success, Inchiquin’s horse take courage and charge. The Irish horse withstand the shock. They do not give way an inch, and afford no prospect of a triumphal onslaught on the enemy. But foremost in the ranks of the English horse are the Bandon troop; and they have sworn to rescue the body of their dead commander, and to avenge his fall. Stubbornly they press against the Irish front, and the Irish front stubbornly (469) resists them. Again they rush at the human wall before them, and again, and again; but they retire, leaving the wall unbroken. At length the Irish squadrons are growing weary of the protracted struggle. They are beginning to look disheartened. Hope is paling on their banners. Already the timid are striving to free themselves from the ranks. The ranks are widening, and the tie that bound them together is now thinned to a thread. Retiring a short distance, the English troopers re-adjust their arms and rest their horses. After a little they advance at a walk. Soon they warm to a trot. Then they break into a gallop; and gathering strength and speed at every pace, and amid the thunder of sounding hoofs, the jingling of accoutrements, and the vengeful exclamations of angry men, they swoop down, and bursting on the affrighted column, they shiver it to pieces. A panic seizes the foot, who lately fell back before Myn, and throwing down their arms, they run for their lives. Meanwhile, Sir Charles Vavasor, at the head of six hundred foot,* marched against the Irish left and pushing through them, scaled the parapet of the redoubt, and carried it. The cannon were captured, and the enemy, who do not appear to have struck a blow for their defence, escaped to a neighbouring bog. The Irish centre finding itself now at the mercy of Vavasor’s guns, and seeing both its flanks unprotected, left its position in dismay, and followed the left. If Inchiquin - who had been in pursuit of the Irish horse, and who, in returning, unfortunately mistook some of his own foot for the enemy’s, and retreated before them - had been up in time, the Irish would have been entirely destroyed. As it was, they lost some of their artillery, some barrels of gunpowder, twenty-six colours, three hundred muskets, and seven hundred men killed. Save in one instance, there was not a prisoner made - no quarter being the cry raised in the English ranks when Kinalmeaky fell.
His lordship’s body, and also his charger, were rescued from the Irish horse by his own troop, led on by his youngest brother, Mr. Francis Boyle - afterwards Lord Shannon - on the occasion of the prolonged contest mentioned previously. The body was borne from the field by his faithful troopers; and with slow and measured tread, and with arms reversed, they followed the remains of their young hero to the grave.†
Inchiquin obtained great glory by this victory, but no provisions. Starvation stared him in the face as much as ever. He could do no more, and, therefore, with great reluctance, he was compelled to send back his handful of men to the garrisons from which he had only just drawn them. The next month, Lord Forbes, with his regiment of Scotch, landed in Kinsale, and marched to Bandon.
* Tradition states that the Bandon foot served that day under Vavasor.
† He was buried with great military pomp in the southern transept of St. Mary’s, Youghal. Kinalmeaky had assigned to him by his father - the first earl of Cork - part of Gill-Abbey, the manor of Kinalmeaky, the lands of Kilbeg and Kilbrogan, the manor of Coolfadda, the town of Bandon-Bridge and Ballymodan, and lands in the barony of Carbery.
It was now the middle of October, and important military projects must be abandoned until next spring. Bur before they shut themselves up in winter quarters, they resolved to make an effort to relieve, if not bring away with them altogether, Captain Arthur Freke and the stubborn warders of Rathbarry Castle.
For upwards of thirty-five weeks Rathbarry was effectually blocked up. John Barry of Dundeedy, Teige O’Hea of Kilgarriff, Daniel O’Donovan of -- , Richard O’Donovan his brother, Daniel Ffinin McCarthy, of Rosscarbery, William Barry, Thomas Mahown, of Rathbarry, And the oldest son of Florence McCarthy, of Benduffe, all uniting their forces, marched against it at the head of several hundred men, and closely beset it. They were not content with drawing a cordon of troops round it, so as to prevent all egress and ingress, but they lay down before it, and besieged it in a regular manner. They threw up earthworks to screen themselves from the shot of the garrison, and they pushed their parallels so close to the besieged, that the latter could hear them talking in the trenches. Putting his head for a second or two above the parapet, a fellow would cry out:- “Ah, you parliament rogues!” “You rebels” sounded strangely from the mouth of another fellow, who never had a loyal aspiration in his life; and “Ye dogs!” displayed the intense hatred entertained by the insurgents for those who strove to uphold the supremacy of England.
The store of provisions laid up by Freke, in anticipation of a siege, was now exhausted. Since the 21st of the previous April the inmates of the castle had nothing to drink save the stagnant waters in the castle ditch, and from the middle of July they were in want of bread. The supply of food, if rationed only to those who carried arms, would have held out a much longer time; but there were many women and children who found an asylum within the walls and to put them out was to hand them over to the sword, or to famine. But the owner of Rathbarry was not the man to ferry those helpless creatures to the other side of the moat, and leave them there to await the slow process of death by hunger, or the more expeditious one of the pike or the skean. He resolved to share with them his last morsel of food; and should that fate, which hung like a thin thread above their heads, fall upon them, better that they should perish in one massacre than that he should be an accessory to their death.
Such a man was not to be let to die without a vigorous effort to save him. ‘Twas true that the march was a long one, and through a country where “great O’Donovan,” Teige O’Dounce, Black O’Cullane, and others had stripped the English settlers of everything they possessed; and, adding sacrilege to their other crimes, had actually turned the Protestant cathedral of Ross into a shambles, for the slaughter of cows and sheep. On the 18th of October, a strong detachment from the Bandon garrison marched for Clonakilty. Lord Forbes led his own regiment in person, and the three companies of the Bandon foot were under their old commander, Sir Charles Vavasor. Upon their arrival at Clonakilty, a small detachment, consisting of two companies of Forbes’ foot, under Captain Weldon, and one company of the Bandon foot, under Captain Grove, remained in charge of the town, whilst the rest marched to Rathbarry. But scarcely were they well beyond hearing distance, when up rose a large body of the insurgents, who had been lying concealed in the neighbourhood; and rushing on the detachment, strove to annihilate them. Grove urged Weldon to endeavour to rejoin their main body - not yet very far distant - but he refused. He thought his two companies of Scotch Presbyterians an overmatch for any quantity of the “meer Irish”, but he was mistaken. Bravely contending with overwhelming numbers, he was himself soon killed, and his two companies of Scots cut to pieces. But Grove and his valiant Bandonians were more fortunate. For a full mile along the road they fought hand to hand with the enemy, until they reached an old Danish fort on the way to Ross. Here they heroically held their ground against all odds, until Forbes and Vavasor returned, bringing with them Captain Freke and the brave defenders of Rathbarry.* Uniting their forces, they closed with the foe near the island of Inchidonny and fell on them without mercy.
* Whilst the Irish lay encamped round Rathbarry, they seized an English soldier named Christopher Rossgill, who was killed with a pike by one James Lumbart; Thomas Tautully, a Rosscarbery man, they hanged; and Christopher Crosse and John Gilbert (two of Captain Freke’s servants) they put to death, within sight of the castle walls. - See MSS. in Trinity College.
The rebels were badly circumstanced for a retreat. On one side of them were Forbes and Vavasor, and on the other side was the island. If they could reach the latter their lives were safe. But between them and it swept a strong ebb tide. What was to be done? The avenging steel of the Scotch and Bandon soldiers rang in their ears, and they must decide quickly. Before them was deep water rolling out to sea, with swift current, and behind them was a maddened soldiery, thirsting for their blood. They did not hesitate. Plunging in one and all, they strove to reach the opposite shore. Several were successful in the attempt, but hundreds were unsuccessful. Counting those that perished in the water, and those that fell by the sword, the enemy on that day lost upwards of six hundred men.
Returning to Clonakilty, their arrival was most opportune. A lot of the Protestant inhabitants of the town, consisting of some men and many women and children, had been seized by the rebels, and imprisoned in the market-house; and it was their intention to have made one common bonfire of the market-house and its inmates, when they had been as successful with Forbes and Vavasor as they had been with the two companies of Scots under Weldon. Throwing open the market-house gates, the relieving force took the terrified inmates with them; and after a day full of exciting events, and a long tiresome march, they arrived, footsore and weary, at Bandon.
These rapid successes surpassed the most sanguine expectations, even of those who expected great things from them. They were nearly always victorious. Success generally awaited their summons to the hostile fortress to surrender. Victory crowned their efforts in the siege, and they were among the conquerors in every pitched battle, and in every skirmish in which they were engaged. The fame of their exploits sped across the channel, and crossing the threshold of the Commons assembled at Westminster, induced that august assembly to notice “their remarkable services.”
In the spring of the next year (1643), Sir Charles Vavasor quitted his appointment at Bandon; and matters being very quiet in the surrounding country, it is likely he took the Bandon regiment with him; as we have no account of their proceedings at this side of Cork until 1645. In that year the detachment in garrison at Baltimore, under the command of Captain Bennett and his brother George, renounced their (473) allegiance to Charles the First, in disgust at the alliance between him and the Irish whom they had been previously fighting against. Whether the rest of the regiment followed their example, or whether they did not, does not appear. It would seem, however, that their sympathies were strong in that direction, as there is no record of their being again quartered in the western side of the county until Cromwell’s arrival. Indeed. so apprehensive was the Royalist lord-president of Munster that the very people who supplied the rank and file of the Bandon regiment would themselves declare for the Parliament, that he ordered a troop of horse into the town, together with some Irish foot and Colonel’s Courtnay’s force (consisting of five hundred men). for the purpose of disarming them; and notwithstanding that the intended disarmment did actually take place, and the hopes of a successful attack by unarmed and undisciplined townsmen upon well armed and trained soldiers must have diminished to a shadow, yet even this could not induce them to forego their intention of pronouncing in favour of Cromwell and the Parliament, and then seizing the garrison, rid their town of rebel and Royalist, now banded together in the same cause.
The attempt, which was made about the 16th of November, 1649, was under the guidance, and for the most part under the leadership , of officers of the regiment then in Bandon - perhaps on leave, or who had made their way into the town to assist in the enterprize - Major Turner, Captain Brayly, Captain Robert Gookin, Lieutenant Berry, Lieutenant Langton, Ensign Dunkin, Ensign Gwinn, and Cornet William Fuller, and a few corporals belonging to the regiment. The movement was not attended with the success anticipated. Captain Brayly, accompanied by Lieutenant Berry and some civilians, overpowered the guard at west-gate; but the other gates not being attacked simultaneously, as was intended, the enemy was on the alert, and saved them.
Brayly did not enjoy his victory long. Two hundred of Courtnay’s men, under the command of Major Harden, besieged him; and after some firing, he was forced to yield up the guard-house, and surrender himself and his lieutenant as prisoners of war.
In about three weeks after this, another attempt was made, and with more success. Two houses near the sallyport at the northern side of the town were seized and fortified; and thus having possessed themselves (474) of a very small portion of the town, they considered they had a right to dictate to those who held all the rest. Accordingly, Mr. John Smith (the provost), Major Turner, Captain Gookin, and some of the townspeople,* waited on Governor Courtnay and plainly told him, “that it was vain for him to oppose, as they were resolved to deliver up the town to Lord Broghill;” Laos, that if he did not submit, they would seize the sentinels on the postern gate, and let Broghill in.
Courtnay was terrified. The audacity of the Bandonians over-awed him. “He desired them not to deliver him up before he had some hours to make conditions for himself and party.” His request was acceded to, and at the expiration of the allotted time he gave up.
When Courtnay’s soldiers marched out, it is probable that the Bandon soldiers marched in; and had accompanied Broghill, whom they served under for a long time previously, to the walls of the town, to aid him if necessary in forcing his way in, and expelling the obnoxious Royalists.
Some days prior to Christmas day, Cromwell arrived in Bandon from Kinsale, with Lord Broghill, Major-General Ireton, Sir William Fenton, and many others. After reviewing the garrison, which consisted of the Bandon militia and Colonel Ewer’s regiment of foot, he is said to have ordered the former to the front; and there, in the presence of their fellow-townsmen, their fellow-soldiers, and the crowds who had flocked in from the country to feast their eyes upon the great man, whose name was now on every tongue, he thanked them on behalf of the Parliament, for their great services to the cause of England. It was on this occasion that the Bandon militia were first called “The Fire-Eaters”† - a name said to have been conferred on them by less a personage than Oliver Cromwell; and by which name they were known long after peace and prosperity had returned and overspread our country with happiness and abundance; and long after the last survivor of the corps - mayhap some venerable old soldier, who sat all day in the summer sun, and cowered in the chimney-corner all the long winter - had passed away, the townspeople and their children, and their children’s children, grew taller when they spoke of the old “Fire-eaters” of old Bandon-Bridge.
*The Carte MSS mentions the names of several of the Bandon civilians who took a prominent part in the revolt; as Abraham Savage, John Jackson, Jonathan Bennett, John Smith (the provost), Richard Shute, Richard Sealy, Richard Nobbs, James and Henry Rice, William Bull, Francis Hill, Jonah Butler.
† This term was subsequently applied to other forces who distinguished themselves in the south of Ireland, as well as the Bandon militia.
PARTICULARS CONCERNING OFFICERS.
Aderly, Thomas. given previously.
Aderly, George, brother of Thomas. On the list of 1649 officers;* also in the inrollment of certificates to adventurers and soldiers.
Baldwin, Walter, junr., son of Walter Baldwin of Granahoonick. Mentioned in the report addressed to the Court of Claims. Under the Act of
Settlement, he obtained part of the lands of Knocknough and Kilbolane. Walter Baldwin (the elder) was the a son of Herbert, and the grandson of Henry, the eldest of three brothers who settled here towards the close of Elizabeth’s reign. This Henry was the son of Henry, ranger of woods and forests in Shropshire, who married Elinor Herbert, daughter of Sir Edward Herbert, of Red Castle, who was the second son of the first Lord Pembroke, by Lady Anne, daughter of Lord Parr, of Kendall, and sister of Lady Catherine Parr, surviving queen of Henry, the Eighth. Walter Baldwin was succeeded by his son Henry, who married Miss Field, niece of Colonel Beecher, of Sherkin. He was succeeded by his son Henry (who married Elizabeth, daughter of Dive Downes, bishop of Cork), by his third wife Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Beecher of Sherkin, and relict of Captain Townsend. Henry had two sons:- Henry, progenitor of the Baldwins of Mount Pleasant, and William, B.L., progenitor of the Baldwins of Lissarda; the former married Miss Warren, sister of Sir Robert Warren, and the latter Moss French, daughter of Alderman French, of Cork. William of Lissarda, who was a very eminent barrister, was succeeded by his son Henry, who married Miss Morris of Dunkettle, and was high-sheriff of the county in 1777. He died, leaving amongst other issue, William, who married Mary Kirby, daughter of Franklin Kirby, of Bamborough Grange, Yorkshire. He was also high-sheriff of the county in 1813. He died in 1838, leaving numerous issue.†
Bernard, Francis, given previously.
Beamish, Francis, ancestor of the Beamishes of Kilmalooda. Mentioned in the inrollment of certificates to adventurers and soldiers. He obtained under the Act of Settlement, part of the lands of Maulbracke, belonging to Donough Oge Murphy, and several gneeves of Kilmalooda, late the property of Daniel McCarthy-More; jointly with Captain Freke, Cahavalder, part of Knockeagh, three parcels of Cahirconwey, and part of Rosemore; and jointly with Lieutenant Langton, part of Capuebohy, Ballinloughly, and Ballryry. He married Katherine, sister of his brother officer, Francis Bernard; and by her had two children- Francis and Alice. He deposed to losses caused by the rebellion before the commissioners at Bandon.
* The list of officers who served to June, 1649.
† The Baldwins claim descent from Baudwin (or Baldwin) bras de fer, a French nobleman attached to the court of Charles the bold, by whom he was created Earl of Flanders. He married Judith, Charles’s daughter, and great grand-daughter of Charlemagne. She was the widow of Ethelwolf, King of England, and stepmother of Alfred the Great.
Beamish, Thomas, also appears in the inrollment of certificates to adventurers and soldiers; and in the act of settlement, for portion of the lands of Kilmalooda, and jointly with Thomas Francke, the north-side of Altagmore, containing two hundred and thirty eight acres. Mr. Beamish was provost of Bandon in 1655, 1665, and 1675.
Bennett, Captain Thomas (governor of Baltimore Castle, ancestor of the Bennett’s of Bandon and of Bennett’s Grove, Clonakilty). was second son of Thomas Bennett, of Bandon; which Thomas is believed to have been the eldest son of a younger brother of Thomas Bennett, of Clapcot, the father of Thomas Bennett, who was high-sheriff of London in 1594, and lord mayor upon the accession of James the First (1603), upon which accession he was created a baronet. During the latter part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the colony of Bandon-bridge was established by Phane, son of Alderman Henry Beecher, of London. Beecher was accompanied to his “new plantation” by the sons of some of the members of the London corporation, as well as the younger sons of families from various parts of England. These together founded the original colony; and amongst them was Thomas Bennett. He died prior to 1632, and three of his sons - Jonathan, Thomas, and George - were appointed “executors of their father dying intestate”. His second son, the governor of Baltimore, was, as we have said, Thomas Bennett. He was an active member of the Bandon corporation, of which he was elected a burgess, June 12th, 1632, in room of Stephen Skipwith, one of the first twelve elected. In 1637, having removed to Baltimore, he resigned his burgesship, to the regret of the corporation, as follows - “Whereas Thomas Bennett, one of the free-burgesses of this borough, has removed himself out of said corporation; and it is now declared in forth and so forth that, in respect of his residence, he cannot be any way of assistance to the provost and free-burgesses of this corporation, and he having desired that he might be deprived of the said office of free-burgess of this borough, we regret his having so desired as aforesaid.” - (Vide Corporation Records.) The year before (1636) he obtained from Walter Coppinger the castle, town, and lands of Baltimore, and part of the lands of Tullough, as appears by an indenture bearing date June 30th, 1636, in which “Walterius Coppinger,” demised to him “castr vill’ er terr’ de Downeshed als Baltimore, an messuag’ et tribus carrucat’ terr’ de Tullough in com’ pred’, “ &c. Governor Bennett, was strongly attached to the Parliament, and took an early opportunity of declaring in its favour. “Baltimore Castle, well-mounted with ordnance, was in the hands and under the command of Thomas Bennett, a Parliamentarian.” - (Vide Carte MSS., Oxford.) Notwithstanding his avowed hostility to the Royalist party after they became united with the Irish, yet his services in the cause of England (478) were too prominent a character to be passed over unrequited; accordingly his name was inserted in the savings under the Act of Settlement for the full amount of his claims, (i.e. £1,099 13s. 6d.) He is also mentioned in the list of 1649 officers. He died, leaving with other male issue, Thomas, his successor, and a daughter Frances, who married Sir Richard Hull, a justice of the Court of Common Pleas (temp. Charles the Second); by whom she had a son William, who inherited the manor of Lemcon and other considerable possessions, and a daughter, who married her cousin Moore of the family of Sir E. Moore, baronet of Rosscarbery. Thomas, his successor, married a Miss Wood, of Baltimore, by whom he had two sons:- Thomas, who inherited the family estates, and resided at Ringrove (alias Bennett’s Grove), Clonakilty; and William, who settled in Bandon where he married (December 27th, 1715,) Dorothy Whelply, by whom he had, with other issue - Thomas, who married Mary, daughter of Captain Smith, and sister of the Rev. William Elliott Mars Smith, of Easingwold, Yorkshire, and died in 1808, leaving numerous issue.
Bennett, George, settled in Cork, is on the list of 1649 officers.
Berry , Lieutenant Edward. Name not mentioned on any official list. Was made free of the Bandon corporation in 1637. In 1654, he lived at Garrimore, barony of Ibane.
Brayly, Captain John, is on the list of 1649 officers, and in the inrollment of certificates to adventurers and soldiers. Under the Act of Settlement, he obtained small portions of the lands of Killgleny, Ballyroe, Drumskellope, Skeagh East, and Ballycotton, the latter the property of McCarthy Reagh - in all two hundred and eight acres - barony East Carbery.
Bird, Captain Walter, mentioned on the list of 1649 officers.
Dunkin, Ensign Thomas. Was provost of Bandon in 1654. Is on the list of 1649 officers. His widow, Anne Dunkin, obtained the sum of £245 6s. 2d.. under the Act of Settlement.
Dodgin, Ensign Thomas. Was dispoiled of £200 worth of goods by Donough McDaniel McCarthy, of Lishane, and his Irish tenants. Is on the list of 1649 officers, inrollment of certificates to adventurers and soldiers, report addressed to the Court of Claims, and jointly with Theophilius Carey, he obtained portion of the lands of Raheroone, Farranmareen, Gortlegher, Ballyolane, Knockecoole, Derry, and Lisseheagh - in all eight hundred and twelve acres - late the property of Daniel McFinin Carthy.
Dixon, James, in report addressed to Court of Claims, inrollment of certificates, &c. Under the Act of Settlement he procured the lands of Ardacrow and Killale (376 acres), late the property of Charles McCarthy-Reagh. Mr. Dixon was provost of Bandon in 1673, also in 1683, 1694, and in 1710. A portion of Ardacrow (116 acres) was conferred on James the Second, but at the revolution it was forfeited and sold to the Hollow Sword Blades Company.
Elwell, James, on the list of 1649 officers. He was made free of the Bandon corporation in 1635. He deposed before the commissioners to losses in cattle and money, by reason of the rebellion.
Elwell, Joseph, on the list of 1649 officers.
Fleming, John, quarter-master, on the list of 1649 officers, also inrollment of certificates &c., Before the commissioners at Bandon, he deposed to losing, by reason of the rebellion, the sum of £1,107.
Fuller, Cornet William, was son of William Fuller, treasurer of the Bandon corporation in 1636, and grandson of Ralph Fuller (one of the original colonists of Bandon), who married Elizabeth, youngest daughter of Sir John Ware, by his wife, Mary, eldest sister of Sir Hugh Owen, of Orielton, Pembrokeshire. John Ware was elder brother of Sir James Ware, the historian. From Cornet Fuller descended George, who married Mary Unkles; and had, with other male issue, Ralph, William, Thomas, and George. William (his second son) married Jane, daughter of William Orange Clarke, * by Rachel Daunt, cousin-german to Captain William Daunt, of Kilcaskan; and by her had, with other issue, William, in holy orders, died unmarried; Joseph married Mary Williams; Mary, married Joseph Bennett; Eliza, died young.
Gookin, Captain Robert, was grandson of Sir Vincent Gookin, who married a daughter of Sir Thomas Crooke. Captain Gookin, described by Lord Orrery as “a man of good brains” was a devoted Parliamentarian. Indeed, so identified was he with the acts and aspirations of that great body, that he, together with Colonel William Pigott, Captain St. John Brodrick, and Colonel Richard Townsend, were represented as four spies sent over by Cromwell to give him intelligence of passing events in Ireland. He applied to the Court of Claims for compensation fro his services, but his name does not appear on the list of certificates. He was made a member of Bandon Corporation in 1666, in which year he is supposed to have died at his residence in Courtmacshery. He married Hester Hodder and by her had a son Robert, who was father of Major Gookin, whose son, Robert, was accidentally killed at Castle-Bernard in 1760. Although Captain Gookin was refused a certificate by the Court of Claims, yet his services were not overlooked by Cromwell, who, on the 12th of April 1658, granted him Abbey-Ross, in West Carbery. In 1654, a report was made that the fort which he had built at Abbey Ross (alias Rosscarbery), the fortifying of the abbey, and the erection of the buildings for the English inhabitants, had cost him £2,143, instead of £600; and, in consideration of the extra sum which he expended, Abbey-Mahon was bestowed on him, and the adjoining 19 ploughlands, and subsequently 7 ploughlands more. At the restoration, Gookin, who knew he was a marked man, passed his grants to Lord Orrery, at the time a devoted Royalist, and from him he took a lease of them for a hundred years. This lease expired on the 2nd of March, 1760, since which period the lands have been possessed by the Shannon family, descendants of Lord Orrery.
* Mr. Clarke’s father was a military officer and came to Ireland in the same ship with William the Third. His wife accompanied him; and on the voyage she gave birth to a son - the above named William Orange Clarke. He was called William Orange in compliment to William of Orange, the illustrious prince under whom Captain Clarke served at the Boyne, at Limerick, and elsewhere.
Grove, Captain John, subsequently a major is mentioned in a memorial forwarded to Charles the Second, complaining that he and some other officers had served the King prior to 1649, “and have not yet received any reward under the usurper, but, on the contrary, are suffering.” His services and sufferings, however, were not overlooked by the restored government, for under the savings to the Act of Settlement he received £612 10s. 0d.; and under the Act itself, the lands of Drinagh West, Hilurain, and Ballyhymock, in the barony of Orrery and Kilmore; Keatingstown, Ballynemongroe, Ballytotsy, Ballytrasna, Kilburnie, barony of Fermoy, and Ballymacmurragh, in barony of Duhallow - in all 2,409 acres.
Gwinn, Ensign Daniel, is on the list of 1649 officers.
Harrison, Thomas, appears in report of Court of Claims, in inrollment of certificates, &c.,; and in the Act of Settlement, for lands of Knockahawly and Bealegooly - in all 1039 acres - barony of Kinalea. He married Grace, daughter of Matthias Austis and widow of Mr. Townsend. In his will he bequeathed the sum of the pounds per annum to the poor of Bandon.
Holcombe, Captain William, on the list of 1649 officers; also in savings under Act of Settlement, for the sum of £769 5s. 7d.; and under the Act itself, for the lands of Colenapishey, part of Knocknacappul, Clonguas, Ballinvotane - in all 977 acres - barony of East Carbery. Captain Holcombe married Ellinor, daughter of Francis Bernard, of Castle-Mahon, and by her had four daughters:- Jane, married William Sweete; Eliza, married John Johnson; Mary and Alice.
Hooper, George, on the list of 1649 officers.
Jefford, Captain John (afterwards Colonel Sir John), commanded his company at the battle of Knockegerane. Is on the list of 1649 officers. Lieutenant John Jefford (probably a son of his), was married to Mrs. Catherine Bernard, at Ballymodan Church, on the 15th of October, 1703.
Kinalmeaky, Lord Lewis, given before.
Langton, Lieutenant John, obtained a certificate in the Court of Claims; and under the Act of Settlement was granted part of the lands of Capuebohy, Ballinlighly, Ballyryry, Curran, Banemore, and Farrenlarren, barony of Carbery. Lieutenant Langton married a daughter of Francis Bernard, of Castle-Mahon, and by her had three sons and three daughters, viz.:- John, Thomas, William, Elizabeth, Abigail, and Alice. In his depositions before the commissioners at Bandon, he is described as of the parish of Kilbrogan, and his losses, by reason of the rebellion, he represents as amounting to £474; independent of the loss of his house, and £300 due to him, which he never expected to get.
Nuce, or Newce, Lieutenant Edmund, was probably the son or grandson of Sir William Newce, our first provost. Obtained £240 14s. 4d under savings under the Act of Settlement.
Nicholet, Charles, son of Rev. Charles Nicholet, of Ballymodan, appears in inrollment of certificates, and under the Act of Settlement for part of the lands of Farlaghaus and Lisnebrinny - total 398 acres - barony Carbery East.
Poole, Captain John, ancestor of the Pooles of Mayfield, was the son of Thomas Poole, who purchased the Mayfield estate in 1628, from the Aderly’s. This Thomas and his brother Samuel were both younger sons of Sir Henry Poole, who was high-sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1571. Captain Poole is on the list of 1649 officers, the inrollment of certificates &c. Under the savings of the Act of Settlement, he obtained the sum of £93 19s. 7d.; and under the Act itself, 185 acres of the lands of Raheroon. He married Mary, daughter of Francis Bernard, of Castle-Mahon, by whom he had a son, Francis, and two daughters, Mary and Jane.
Shannon, Lord Francis, youngest son of the Earl of Cork. Upon the death of his brother, Lord Kinalmeaky, at Liscarroll, Lord Dungarvan obtained the Bandon troop of horse, and Lord Shannon a company of the Bandon foot. He appears on the list of 1649 officers, inrollment of certificates, &c. Under the Act of Settlement he obtained the lands of Aghamarty and Attenfranky - total 857 acres - barony Kerricurrihy; and under the savings to the Act of Settlement, for £120 4s. 5d.
Turner, Major Henry, was the provost of Bandon in 1627. Although his name is on the list of 1649 officers, inrollment of certificates, &c.; and although he lost £774, and £500 per annum by reason of the rebellion; yet so obnoxious was he to the government of Charles the Second, that they never gave him a grant of a foot of ground, or paid him a shilling of his arrears of pay.
Wade, Bryan, appears in reports addressed to the Court of Claims, inrollment of certificates, &c., and in Act of Settlement, for lands of Pheale (485 acres), late the estate of Owen McDonough McCarthy, parish of Ballymoney. Colonel Wade was provost of Bandon in 1698, in which year he died.
Watkins, Captain John, was the son of Lieutenant Daniel Watkins. He was made a freeman of the Bandon corporation in 1652, and was provost of Bandon in 1672, 1681, and 1682. Is on the list of 1649 officers, inrollment of certificate, &c., and in savings to the Act of Settlement, for £2,164 17s. 3d.
Woodhouse, Captain Sir Michael, on the list of 1649 officers.
Woodroffe, Holmstead, and his three brothers, probably sons of John Woodroffe, provost of Bandon in 1642. His name appears in reports addressed to Court of Claims, inrollment of certificates &c., and under Act of Settlement for part of lands of Tullilane and Knocknemartelagh - total, 216 acres - late the estate of Charles McCarthy Reagh, parish of Ballymodan.
Woodroffe, Jedediah, appears in reports addressed to Court of Claims, inrollment of certificates, &c.; and in Act of Settlement for part of Tullilane East - total, 262 acres - parish of Ballymodan.
Woodroffe, Clement, provost of Bandon in 1650 and 1662. Name in reports addressed to Court of Claims, and inrollment of certificates &c.
Woodroffe, Samuel, ppears in reports addressed to Court of Claims, inrollment of certificates of adventurers and soldiers; and under Act of Settlement for lands of Carragarriffe, part of Carren and Droumeticlough West - total, 1136 acres - late the estate of Teige O’Crowly, barony East Carbery.
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