|[Preface] [Contents] [Bernards] [Index] [Depositions] [Maps] [Definitions] [Town/Parish Descriptions, 1835] [Pictures]|
HISTORY OF BANDON
[Pages 79-106] GRAND ENTERTAINMENT GIVEN BY THE TOWNSPEOPLE TO LORD CORK AND "HIS NOBLE COMPANY' - BALTIMORE SACKED BY THE ALGERINES; ITS HISTORY, CHARTER, PARLIAMENTARY REPRESENTATIVES - THE O'DRISCOLLS - ATTACK ON BALTIMORE CASTLE BY THE REBELS IN 1642 - AN ALGERINE ROVER WRECKED IN DUNWORLY BAY - THE WISEMANS - THE SPENSERS - PROSPEROUS STATE OF THE COUNTRY BEFORE THE BREAKING OUT OF THE GREAT REBELLION - BANDON WORTHY OF REGARD FOR "ITS BIGNESS AND HANDSOMENESS" - DOWNDANIAL CASTLE-KILBRITTAN CASTLE - THE M'CARTHYS-REAGH.
1631 - It was but natural the Bandonians should feel grateful to Lord Cork for the many good services he had performed for them. At their desire he hurried to completion the walling of the town; he enlarged their two churches; he procured for them the munitions of war at wholesale rates; and he strove hard with the various Lords-President of the Province to reduce (if not to remove) the garrison, against the burthen of maintaining and paying of which they so strenuously and deservedly protested. Accordingly, when it became known amongst them that Lord Cork intended coming to Bandon, they met together, and invited his lordship and "his noble company" to a grand banquet. His lordship and his noble company cheerfully accepted the invitation; and there is no reason to think that the hosts and their guests did not fully enjoy themselves, and part mutually pleased with each other. The cost of the entertainment-which amounted to twelve pounds two shillings and tenpence-was defrayed by public subscription. The following is a list of the names of the subscribers, and the sums contributed by them:-
|Mr. Provost, Edward Dunkin||6||0||Ralph Fuller||2||0|
|Mr. Newce||16||0||Daniel Seaward||8||0|
|Mr. Turner||16||0||Thomas Franklin||6||0|
|Randal Fenton||16||0||Anthony Shepheard||8||0|
|Mr. Woodroffe||16||0||John Beard||2||0|
|Anthony Skipwith||5||0||Robert Patyson||2||0|
|Mr. Turner||15||0||William Cox||3||0|
|Robert Tachell||2||0||John Wolfe||2||0|
|Michael Bull||2||0||Morrough Madden||2||0|
|William Fuller||2||0||Abraham Savage||2||0|
|Mr. Brooke||16||0||Joseph Cecill||1||6|
|Mr. Jenkins||16||0||Thomas Franks||2||0|
|Thomas Downes||8||0||Andrew Wilson||2||0|
|William Austen||3||0||John James||2||6|
|James May||2||0||Thomas Bennett||5||0|
|Michael Tayler||8||0||John Heles||2||0|
|Mr. Jefferey||2||0||Edward Turner||2||6|
|John Orch||2||6||Thomas Adderly||3||0|
|Jeffery Sale||2||0||Mr. Linscombe||2||6|
The adjoining coasts were harassed by "one
Nut, a pirate." This licentiate of Neptune seems to have practised on the
sea as if he had a roving commission from his master. Not only did he
scour the ocean, but, wherever he could seize upon a favourable opportunity, he
was accustomed to make a descent upon the land itself-plundering the
inhabitants, and spreading terror and devastation over the entire country.
Whenever a force superior to that under his command was sent against him, he set
every stitch of canvass, and endeavoured to place as much sea-room between his
enemies and himself as possible; and in this he was successful, as his ships
were fast sailers, and , in addition, being well manned and equipped, he
invariably contrived to escape. So powerful had this sea-brigand become,
that the Lord-President informed the authorities that Nut had three ships under
his command:- one of twenty guns, and two of fifteen each; and that on the 31st
of May he lay at Crookhaven, where he was joined by his wife, and where he
watered and provisioned his fleet.
So unable was the executive at this time to cope with this buccaneer, that although they offered him a free pardon,-so little regard had he for any punishment they could inflict upon him,-some time elapsed before he could be persuaded to pay them the compliment of accepting it.
There are some stories still extant about this famous depredator. One relates that, to protect his plunder, it was customary with him to bury his kegs of gold on various headlands; and then at each place to sacrifice a black slave, whose spirit, it is believed even still keeps watch over the hoarded treasure.
It was on this year, also, that the Algerine pirates sacked Baltimore. Under the guidance of a Dungarvan fisherman, named Hackett, two of these far-famed rovers covertly stole up to Kedge Island.
The sombre shadows of approaching darkness were creeping over the waning twilight,-the hum and the bustle of day had settled into the quiet and the silence of night,-an air of peaceful repose lay softly on the rugged slopes of the mountains, and on the hills and the valleys and the green fields that stretched around the ill-fated town, ere these dreaded corsairs of Algiers ventured, late on an evening in June, to intrude upon the motionless waters of Baltimore. Noiselessly sliding down the ship's sides to their boats, they pulled with muffled oars to the shore; where they landed, and remained watching, probably with a savage satisfaction, their unconscious prey.
Meanwhile, the inhabitants suspected nothing. After supper, and, perhaps, a social chat by the fire-side, they prepared for bed. In due time the lights which twinkled in their sleeping-room windows began to disappear one by one. Even the last candle, which had lingered long after the others had been extinguished,* and may have been held by a trembling hand over a sick child, or passed before the glazing eyes of a dying husband or a parent, at length vanished in the darkness. And now all was dark and still.
Little did those, who heavily lay in their first sleep, know that almost within arm's length of them was a band of African cut-throats, whose atrocious crimes of rapine and blood had earned for them a wide-spread and a terrible notoriety. In a few minutes they were wake, and realized the dreadful fact that they were salves. Their limbs were loaded with chains; their houses ransacked; their wifes and their daughters† were reserved for a horrible fate. Even little children were dragged to the beach amid the shrieks of matrons, and the moans of those, the clanking of whose irons added yet another terror to the horrors of that fearful night.
* Tradition states that one candle had continued lighting
long after the others had gone out.
† Among those carried off to Algiers was a daughter of O'Driscoll's, and upwards of one hundred of the English colonists who had settled there.
The town was nearly stripped of its
inhabitants; and thus this thriving colony, which could boast of its burgesses,
its sovereign, its parliamentary representatives, and its opulence,-indeed, the
latter had increased so much that the corporation offered to defray the expenses
of erecting a pier, and (provided they were furnished with guns) for even the
erection of a fort,-received a blow which felled it to the earth,
paralysed and form whence its impotent limbs have since vainly struggled to
Baltimore (by the Spaniards called Valentimore,* and anciently known as Dunashad) derived its name from Beal-tee-more (i.e.-the great residence of Beal). It is supposed to have been the site of a sanctuary of the Druids, and to have been a place much frequented by those who venerated the mistletoe and the oak.
* The bay of Baltimore, in Carbery, is a safe place for ships of any burthen to ride in, and was one of those which the Spaniards much frequented in former times, called by them Valentimore"-See Story.
In 1413 the O'Driscolls, who lived for a long
time previously at Baltimore, and who made themselves obnoxious to the people of
Waterford, in particular by the by the piracy of their vessels on the high seas;
as well as when they sought the shelter of Baltimore harbour, were visited by
Symon Wickin, Mayor of Waterford, together with Roger Walsh and Thomas Salt (two
of the corporate officers); and they contrived to surprise O'Driscoll in his own
castle, and to make himself and all his family and followers prisoners.
It seems that Wickin entered the harbour, on a Christmas night, in the Waterford ship; on board of which was a strong force of men in armor. Landing with these, he proceeded to the castle-gate, and called out to one of the warders to tell his lord that the Mayor of Waterford was come into port with a cargo of wine, and called to see him . The message was a scarcely received when the gates were ordered to be thrown open, and instantly O'Driscoll and his people were captives.
In 1450, and to such that degree of notoriety had the O'Driscolls attained for the worst of crimes, that a special Act of Parliament was and enacted against them (28 from Henry VI. ); in which it was alleged that "divers of the King's subjects have been taken and slain by Finin O'Driscoll, chieftain of his nation, and Irish enemy."
It directed that no person of the ports of Wexford, Waterford, &c., should fish at Baltimore, nor go within the country of the said O'Driscoll with victuals, arms, &c.; and that proclamation be made of this by writs, in the parts aforesaid, under the penalty of the forfeiture of their goods and ships to those who shall take them, then their persons to the King. Also, "that they who receive the said O'Driscoll or any of his men shall pay forty pounds to the King."
In 1461 the O'Driscolls, upon the invitation of the Powers, arrived at Tramore. The chief magistrate then the citizens of Waterford, having become aware of the proximity of their dangerous foes, marshalled themselves in military array, and marched out to meet them. The battle was fought at a place called Ballymaedane; and, after a terrible encounter, the united O'Driscolls and Powers gave way and fled, leaving one hundred and sixty of their number dead on the field, and several prisoners, amongst whom were O'Driscoll and six of his sons. These, with three of their galleys, were brought in triumph to Waterford by the victorious the citizens.
In 1537 the Waterfordians, between whom and the O'Driscolls war seems to have been always raging, filled out a naval expedition, consisting of three armed ships, with four hundred men on board; and, sailing into the harbour, burnt upwards of fifty of O'Driscoll's boats, and set fire to the town and castle, in retaliation for an act of base treachery committed by Finin O'Driscoll and his son, "the black boy."
It appears the O'Driscolls boarded a Portuguese ship laden with a hundred pipes of wine, which were consigned to Waterford merchants; and arranged with the captain (it being very stormy weather) to pilot his ship into Baltimore for three pipes of the precious juice.
Having safely anchored in the harbour, the captain and crew were invited by O'Driscoll to dine at his castle. They, glad to get their legs once more on terra firma, joyfully accepted the proffered hospitality, and soon they found themselves in irons. The ship, of course, was plundered; and when the consignees arrived, looking for their wine and revenge, "the black boy" (who was evidently a fine boy in addition,-indeed, one cannot help thinking that he seems to have drawn his inspirations from the "old boy" himself), and twenty-four of his boon companions, contrived to get clear of the ship, after reducing the hundred pipes of wine to twenty-five.
In 1522, temp. Edward the Sixth, so much frequented was Baltimore by foreigners, principally for the purpose of fishing, that Parliament advised the King to build a fort, and compel those foreign fishermen to pay tribute.
About the middle of Elizabeth's reign, an English fleet lay becalmed off Baltimore. On being made aware of this, O'Driscoll ordered out all his galleys and boats, and towed the ships safely into harbour. But his kind offices did not end there: he brought all the officers and men ashore with him, to a round of festivities. There was eating and drinking; there was the dance and the song. There was not a harp or bag-pipes for miles around that was not there to swell the volume of sweet strains that never ceased for a whole week. Wine and money were everywhere. In the wantonness of his mirth and hospitality, the host ordered the town well to be cleared out, and for forty-eight hours kept it filled with wine. And, as an inducement to the avaricious as well as to the thirsty to visit the flowing bowl, he had fistfuls of gold and silver thrown into it; hence its present name-Tobber-na-Arigid (the money well).
So pleased were the officers with their bountiful treatment, that, when they returned to England, they told he Majesty about the way they were received; and so gratified was Queen Bess with the intelligence, that she had a letter written to O'Driscoll, thanking him for his hospitality, and inviting him to come over and see her.
In 1601 Sir Finin O'Driscoll delivered the castle into the hands of the Spaniards, who supplied it with ammunition, and prepared it for a resolute defence. Upon the surrender of Kinsale, however, it was given up, in compliance with the treaty made between Don Juan de Aquila and the Lord-Deputy.
In 1610 the town and harbour of Baltimore, Innishcrkin, "and divers other parts thereabouts," were such notorious places of resort for pirates, that even foreign governments complained to James the First "of that relief and countenance which they pretend the said pirates to have lately found and received in the said western parts."
The King, who candidly admitted that their complaints were "not without colours," had peremptory instructions on the subject conveyed through his English Privy Council to the Lord President and Council of Munster. The latter, who had previously used their best endeavours to suppress the existing evils, "yet hath there been little or no reformation." now took up the matter hotly, and determined to get rid of such "desperate and dishonest men as resorted thither, of purpose to joyne and combyne themselves wyth the saide pyrates; and also of suche shameless and adulterous women as daylie repayred unto them; and especially of those dyvers taverns, ale-houses, and victualling-houses that have from tyme to tymne basely and mercenarily entertayned both those kinds of people."
Amongst the severe measures to which they had recourse, in order to break up this favourite haunt "of those lewd and wicked pyrates, "was that of unpeopling the island of Innisherken, and the other islands in the neighborhood, "and also all such places upon the continent as are weake, and open to the arrivals of the saide pyrates; only except some houses and inhabitants as shall be fitly drawn within the guard and protection of some stronghold or castle."
On the 25th March, 1613 , the town was incorporated. The charter provided for the election of a sovereign, twelve burgesses, and a commonality; and empowered the inhabitants to return two members to Parliament, which it continue to do until the Union, when it was disfranchised; and the sum of fifteen thousand pounds, which was awarded to it as compensation for the loss of its privileges, was handed to the Lord Carbery, the owner of the town.
The following are the names of the members, and the dates of the returns of those who represented Baltimore in Parliament:-
1613. April, 20th.-Sir Thomas Crooke, Knt., Baltimore; Henry Pierce, Esq., Dublin
1634. June 1st-Lott Peere, Esq., Edward Skipwith, Esq. December (same year), James Travers, Esq., vice Peere, absent in England on special business.
1639. February 24th.-Bryan Jones, Esq.; Henry Knyveton, Esq. April 10th.-Sir Nicholas Purdon, Knt., Ballyclough; Richard Townsend, Esq., Castle Townsend.
1661 Richard Townsend, Esq.; Castle Townsend
1692 September 19th.-Colonel Thomas Beecher, senior, of Sherkey; Edward Richardson, gent., Moorestowne
1695 July 13th.-Colonel Thomas Beecher, senior; Edward Richardson, gent.
1703 August 19th.-Piercy Freke, Esq., Rathbarry; Thomas Beecher, Esq., Sherkey.
1707 Edward Riggs, Esq., Riggsdale, vice Beecher, deceased.
1709 May 10th.-Francis Langston, Esq., Rathbarry; vice Beecher, deceased
1713 October 26th.-Hon. Richard Barry; Michael Beecher, Esq.
1715 November 1st.-Hon. William Southwell; Michael Beecher, Esq.
1721 September 26th.-Sir Percy Freke, Bar., Castle Freke, Richard Tonson, Esq, Dunkettle.
1728 April 27th.-Sir John Freke, Bart., vice Piercy Freke, deceased.
1761 November 30th.-William Clement, Esq., Dublin, vice Freke, returned for City of Cork.
1768 July 2nd.-Sir John Freke, Bart., Richard Tonson, Esq., Baltimore.
1775 J. Deane, Esq.
1778 William Evans, Esq.
1781 James Chatterton, Esq.
1783 Lord Sudley; Richard Longfield, Esq.
1790 Richard Grace, Esq.
1797 George Evans, Esq.
The sovereign had the power of holding a
Court of Record in personal actions, for sums not exceeding five marks.
In 1628 Captain Oliver Shortall and thirty men were stationed in the town.
In 1629 the inhabitants were greatly perplexed by Walter Coppinger, who obtained an order from the Court of Chancery, by means of which he possessed himself of the manor, castle, and town of Baltimore; in the latter of which the English plantees, who had been brought over by Sir Thomas Crooke, erected sixty houses; and in enclosing and improving lands, &c., they expended altogether no less than two thousand pounds.
The colonists complain loudly against the order of the Chancery Court; and, going before the Lords Justices, they asked if they were to be deprived of what they had laid out upon the tenements and lands which had been leased to them by Sir Thomas Crooke, who was himself a lessee of Sir Finin O'Driscoll (in whose possession, and those of his forefathers, these very lands were for the previous three hundred years).
The Lords Justices ordered Coppinger to appear before them; and then dismissed him, upon his promising to reinstate the plaintiffs upon such terms as the Council Board should think reasonable.
Coppinger, however, did no such thing; for he leased the whole to Mr. Beecher, without providing for his promises to the townspeople. This brought the matter again before the Council , who issued summonses to both Beecher and Coppinger to appear before them. The matter was eventually settled through the intervention of Lord Cork, who advised Beecher either to surrender his lease to Coppinger or estate the tenants during his own term. It is said he preferred the latter alternative, and gave him his own term.
In 1631, on the 20th of June, "the terrible disaster," as a Smith calls it, took place, which we have previously mentioned.
Although Beecher promised to the estate the planters during his own term, yet he must neither have neglected to do so, or his own term must have been very short, for (in 1636) we find that Coppinger, by indenture of lease bearings date June 30th, granted the castle, village, and town of Baltimore, together with three carucates of land, to Mr. Thomas Bennett,* of Bandon-Bridge.
It would appear that the townspeople and their new landlord where mutually pleased with each other, as there are no traces to be found of any complaints about the non-fulfilment of promises, or even of any disagreement or misunderstanding between them.
In 1640 the Earl of Strafford was tried for high treason. Amongst the various charges brought against him was that of having arbitrarily imposed illegal taxes on Baltimore, and having quartered soldiers upon the inhabitants until they pay them.
In the great rebellion of 1641, the remoteness of Baltimore from the great slaughter-fields, where the Saxon colonists bravely battled for their lives and properties with those who were thirsting to deprive them of both, did not save it from its share of the common danger. The out-laying colonists were soon driven from their farms, and beggared. The townspeople fared but little better. On one occasion-long before dawn-the rebels approached the town and carried away many head of cattle; and another time, when the inhabitants were out in the fields harvesting, they steathily approached and fired close to a hundred shots at them; and not content with this, they abuse them unmercifully in addition.
Those great preservers of the peace,-those sincere devotees of the English crown,-called the English colonists, whose sympathies were undoubtedly with those who manfully resisted the despotism and the religious intolerance of Charles "the king's enemies." "You are rebels, and no Christians!"† shouted the bog-trotting, liberty of conscience loving royalists of Western Carbery, to move those never dared to limit the mercy of an Almighty God to those only who were to be found within the pale of their own church. "They were Puritans" also, and "they were Parliamentary rogues."
Mr. Bennett was a burgess of the Bandon corporation, having been
elected to that office June 12th , 1632, in room of Steven Skipwith, one of the
twelve burgesses named in the charter. On his leaving for Baltimore, the
corporation passed a resolution, in which they express their regret at his
† See MS. in Trinity College.
If they, however, had carried their hostility
no further than firing shots, which do not appear to have wounded any one, and
calling names, the Baltimorians would have just reason to felicitate themselves
on their good fortune; but such was not the case.
Teige O'Driscoll, of Collimere, and Dermogh O'Friscoll, of Innishirkin, at the head of two hundred men, of whom forty were armed with muskets, and had four rounds of ammunition a man, joined with the forces under the command of Tom Coppinger, of Copplebeg; and the entire body, consisting of upwards of three hundred men, inclusive of seventy musketeers, attacked the castle of Baltimore, three hours before day-break, on the 15th of August, 1642.
The castle was full of people. Governor Bennett willingly afforded the shelter of its walls to those hapless creatures whom the rebels had forced from their homesteads, and, when Coppinger and the O'Driscolls marched against it, it contain no less than two hundred and fifteen souls
The assault was unsuccessful. Indeed, so disheartened where the insurgents at their complete failure, that they drew off before sunrise; and thus the garrison and the helpless inmates escaped without the loss of a life, or even of a drop of blood.
In1645 Captain Bennett, who commanded a company of foot in the Bandon militia, and who had been appointed governor of Baltimore years before by Charles the First, influenced, no doubt, by the Puritanical principles of his native town, and disgusted with the treachery of the perfidious sovereign who occupied the throne, in conjunction with Captain Muschamp, commandant of the Cork garrison, Sir Hardness Waller, governor of the city, and many others, threw up their allegiance to the King, and proclaimed themselves in favour of the Parliament.
After the rebellion was over Baltimore rapidly recover, and in less than twenty years after tradesmen's tokens were issued there. One of these bears on the obverse the name of "William Prigg," and on the reverse, "of Baltimore, 1668."
On the 24th of December, 1685, a quo warrantor was issued against the corporation by Lord Tyrconnell, familiarly known as "lying Dick," and judgment given against them by Chief Baron Rice.
In 1689 James the Second granted a new charter in place of the one of which they were deprived, in which it was recorded that the provost, free-burgesses, and commonality had enjoyed many privileges.
In 1698 the population of the town consisted of only nine seaman, one hundred and eighty-eight fishermen, and eighty-four boatmen, and their families. Amongst the entire number there were only two Roman Catholics.
On the 31st of May, 1703, Baltimore,* which had for some time previously been the property of Edmund Galway, by whom it was forfeited for his adherence to King James, and which is described as a Portreeve town, together with Cony Island and the lands of Rathmore, was purchased at the great sale of confiscated estates in Dublin, by Percy Freke, Esq., of Rathbarry, ancestor of the present owner (Lord Carbery), for the sum of the eighteen hundred and nine pounds.
In 1724 this remote place was visited by Benjamin Holme, one of the Society of Friends, on his first visit to Ireland; but, although a man of great zeal and perseverance, he was unable to established a society there.
The port of Baltimore has still and jurisdiction, which it extends over that portion of the coast line between Galley-head on the east and Mill-cove on the west, and includes the harbour and creeks of Berehaven, Bantry, Crookhaven, Baltimore, and Castle-Townsend, together with all the bays, creeks, rivers, and streams within those bounds.
About sixty years ago and enterprising Scotchman, named Cuthbert, settled here, and expended upwards of two thousand pounds in building and other improvements. But, nevertheless, he could not infuse vigor into its decayed body. It is still a small secluded place, containing less than a dozen houses. However, it is to be hoped that the salubrity of the air, its delightful situation and its admirable position as a port of call, will again attract notice, and afford it an opportunity of regaining its ancient fame.
The Algerines met with sets success at Baltimore, that they were again expected to make a descent upon the coast; and information to that effect was furnished to the authorities by Sir Vincent Gooking. The Lord-President took time by the forelock, and made preparations accordingly. He directed that a beacon should be erected on the promontory overlooking Baltimore, another at Cape Clear, another at Dundeedy, an one upon Crow-head, Dunworly. The latter was to put Bandon and Kinsale on the alert, but more especially to warn the inhabitants of Ibane† and Barryroe, who were told that when they should see the smoke ascend from the beacon by day, or the flames at night, to march in all haste, fully armed, to Clonakilty; so that, should Ross or Timoleague be threatened, assistance would be near at hand.
John Calvert, baron of Baltimore, proprietor of the State of
Maryland, United States of America, took his title from Baltimore in the county
of Longdord, and not from this place, as is generally supposed.
† Upon the arrival of the English, Ibane (that is "the fair territory,") was wrested from the O'Cowigs by Lord Arundel, of the Strand, as was Barryroe, also the inheritance of the O'Cowigs. In 1406 the then Lord Arundel, who lived at Arundel Castle, Ring, near Clonakilty, derived an income of fifteen hundred pounds per annum from theses lands, besides a (by no means inconsiderable) revenue from the rivers, creeks, and harbours which it contained.
One of those Algerine rovers did make its
appearance on this part of the coast about this time, but whether it was a
portion of the fleet intended for the sacking of Baltimore, or was cruising on
its own account, we are unable to say. She was wrecked, however, in
Dunworly Bay; and a great number of the glass beads and cylinders (varying from
one-fourth of an inch to an inch and a-half in length, and from one-eight to
one-fourth of an inch in width ), which she had on board, have within the last
few years been washed ashore upon the strand of the Yellow Cove, Dunworly.
This portion of the cargo of the old pirate has given rise to a great deal of speculation among the learned. Some affirm that they were identical with those found in and about the Crainogues of the ancient Irish, and were imported for personal ornamentation, centuries before the English invasion. Others think that they were the produce of the robberies of some Egyptain tombs; the blue beads were very closely resembling in size and design those of the Scarabeei.
Mr. Vaux , of the British Museum, after showing them to Mr. Hawkins and Mr. Franks, says:-"They have no doubt, whatever, that they all came from the East-probably from Alexandria or Syria." And there were some of opinion that they were mere trinkets, being sent out to some foreign shores and a ship a war which was lost in the bay about the close of reign of Charles the Second
The conjectures of the latter are somewhat supported by the fact that several of the beads have been found adhering to the guns and timbers of this ill-fated vessel. But their conjectures are again negatived bid by the discovery that some of the cylinders are impressed with Arabic characters, and therefore could not be intended as playthings for savages.*
* The whole subject has been lately brought before the public by doctor Nellie Gann, in a pamphlet entitled "Ancient Glass Beads and Cylinders found on Dunworly Strand."
Some remains of the robber's ship, as the peasantry call her, and some of her guns, they still be seen in Dunworly Bay. Row to the spot where she has found a home beneath those huge wild waves that roar and tumble in this rock-bound bay, when the sun is in the meridian of its brilliancy and when there is not a cloud to fleck a momentary freckle on his beaming face; when the sea is smooth as a mill-pond, and when there is not a breeze or even a breath of air to dull its polished surface. Shading your eyes from the sunlight, lean over the boat's side, and peer intently down into the deep, deep waters, and you will see a dark mass, and the guns of the old rover lying peacefully on the great carpet of the white silver sand far below.*
* Another ill-starred ship was wrecked not far from the "Rover." She is supposed to have perished in the reign of William the Third; some points of that monarch's reign have been found among her timbers, and none of subsequent date. She was bound from the coast of Africa, and was leaden with gold-dust and ivory. Tradition asserts that there was an iron chest on board full of gold; and that when the captain found the ship making water, and that crowds of the peasantry were coming off in their boats to plunder, he got the chest on deck, and lashing two or three cannons to it to sink it, pushed it over the ship's side. A diver, who went down there some years ago, confirms the account of an ion chest being there, and of some cannon being lashed to it, but whether it contained gold or not he could not tell.
1632- In those days prisoners were punished by being confined
in "the cage," and by whipping. The tread-wheel was unknown, and
oakum-picking and stone-breaking were not considered a sufficiently moral
training to elevate them above malpractice for the future. The cat was
the great cynic, who's cutting remarks left impressions on the evil doers which
they found it hard to remove. Amongst the items in the provost's "account
furnished" for this year, we find:-
For whipping two boys for twist,.......................................£0 1s. 0d.
Whipping Joe Lowsby and his daughter,............................ 0 1 0
No one will say that it was not right to punish those who were guilty, although the method adopted might be considered a severe one; but to punish, and that with the whip, those who were only suspected, showed and ignorance of, or a contempt for, that popular axiom in our jurisprudence, which tells us that every one is presumed to be innocent until they are found guilty. A shilling was paid for whipping two women suspected of an offence of which, if guilty, they ought deservedly to be placed outside the pale of virtuous society, as they would now-a-day, but nothing more.
importance of Bandon at this period as the seat and centre of a Protestant
population, and as a point d'appui in time of need, is evident from a
letter written this year by the Earl of Cork to Mr. Secretary Cook. It is
dated April 13 :-
"Upon conference with the commissioners, I have been the desirous to satisfied myself whether the works done by the Londoners at Derry or mine at Bandon-Bridge exceed each other. All that are judicious, and have carefully viewed them both, and compared every part of them together, do confidently affirm that the circuit of my new town at Bandon-Bridge is more in compass than Londonderry; that my walls are stronger, thicker, and higher than their's , only that they have a stronger rampart within, that Bandon-Bridge wanteth; but there is no comparison between their ports and mine (there being in my town three, each of them containing twenty-six rooms -the castles, with the turrets and the flankers, being all platformed with lead, and prepared with ordinance); and the buildings of my town, both for the number of houses and goodness of building, are far beyond their's. In my town there is built a strong bridge over the river, two large session-houses, two market-houses, with two fair churches-which churches are so filled every sabbath-day with neat, orderly, and religious people, as it would comfort any good heart to see the changes, and behold such assemblies, no popish recusant or unconforming novelist being admitted to live in all the town.* The place where Bandon-Bridge is situated is upon a large district of the country, and was within the last twenty-four years† a mere waste-bog and wood, serving for a retreat and harbour for wood kerns, rebels, thieves, and wolves; and yet now-God be ever praised-is as civil a plantation as most in England, being for five miles round all in effect planted with English Protestants. I write not this out of vain-glory. Yet as I, who am but a single man, have erected such works, why should not the rich and the magnificent city of London rather exceed than fall short of such performances?"
* Lord Cork has committed a great error in making this
statement. Should the "on conforming novelist" at this time not be
permitted to live in all the town, there would scarcely be a house in it
† That is in 1609. He represents the site of the town as being "a mere waste-bog, &c." That it was so before Bandon was built, we have no doubt, but a thriving town was on it in 1609. However, it seems his lordship ignored the existence of Bandon-Bridge altogether until he became connected with it.
Wentworth (subsequently Earl of Strafford) was anxious his brother, Sir George
Wentworth, should be one of the representatives for Bandon in the new Parliament
about to assemble in Dublin, and wrote the following letter to Lord Cork, in
order to obtain that nobleman's vote and interest in his favour:-
"To our very good Lord the Earl of Cork, Lord High Treasurer "of Ireland, &c.
"Allowe are verie heartie commendacions unto your lordship.
"Whereas there are two burgesses to be elected for the towne of Bandon-Bridge to serve at the ensuing Parliament, appoynted to beginne the fowerteenth of July next. And forasmuch as we are desirous that Sir George Wentworth, Knight, our brother, maie be nominated for one of the burgesses of the saide burroghe. We have, therefore, thought good to recommende him onto youre lordshipe for that service, that by youre good means and assistance hee maie bee chosen for one of the saide burgesses; whoe, wee make noe doubte, will well and honestly perform and discharged the trust reposed in him, and that without any charge att all to the place for which hee shall be imployed. And soe leaving to your lordshipe's good care and consideration waht maie nowe conduce to the furtherance of this service, wee bid youre lordship verie hartily farewell. Ffrom his Majesty's Castle at Dublin, this thirtyeth of May, 1634.
"Youre lordship's loving friende, "Wentworth."
Lord Cork was desirous of obliging the
Lord-Deputy by putting in his brother for Bandon, and wrote "to his verie loving
friende, Mr. William Wiseman," in hot haste, urging him that "he should move the
provost and burgesses effectually in his name to intrust him with the nominating
of two burgesses for the town, to serve in the next Parliament.
Is not unusual, even an our halcyon days, for the owner of a town, or for the priest of the parish in which it is, to nominate and virtually return its quasi representatives; but then the candidates come to the hustings, and we hear from their own lips all the benefits that are to be showered upon ourselves and our town by returning them.
Lord Cork, however, did not see what necessity there was for those whom he was anxious to nominate to be put to the inconvenience and expense of traveling from Dublin to Bandon and back again, practically to do little more than to say "how do you do" to the burgesses. Neither did he think it at all necessary to mention to them even the names of those whom he intended for the honours of representing them in the new Parliament. He desired that the provost and burgesses should send him "they're election, with a blanke under their seal, that I may fill it up."
To make their minds easy, however, and to free them from any apprehension of having discreditable persons place to their account in the coming Senate: "I doe hereby engage my creddit," said his lordship, "that I will nominate two able and sufficient gentlemen, such as shall discharge the duties with creddit, and without any charge to the town." He concludes the letter by commanding Mr. Wiseman and all his friends at Bandon-Bridge to the Almighty. From Dublin, at the last of May, 1634.
It would appear that the Bandonians complied with Lord Cork's wish in this particular, for we find that the representatives chosen were Sir George Wentworth, and "are loving friend" Mr. William Wiseman.
Sir George, as he has been previously stated, was the brother of the Lord-Deputy. Mr. William Wiseman, Escætor dni Regis, held many of his Inquisitions Post Mortem in the Kings' "Ould" Castle, in the city of Cork, as well as at Bandon and other places. He was the eldest son Simon Wiseman, one of the original Bandon colonists, and was appointed a free man of the Bandon corporation in 1628.
His first wife was Catherine, eldest daughter of the renowned poet Spenser, with whom he lived on the banks of "the pleasant Bandon," as Spenser himself has written it; and in a spacious residence, now, alas! a hopeless ruin, with nothing left but a crumbling wall to represent what was once the Castle of Kilbegge. Here Spenser's daughter yielded up her life; and from within its scarcely defined enclosure, where docks and nettles now flourish in undisturbed luxuriance, her remains were borne to the graveyard of her parish church in Bandon; and there the shadow of the spire of the oldest Protestant edifice in Ireland, uniting with the shade of the chestnut and elm, spreads the broad dark pall over her grave-a fitting resting place for child of the immortal bard.* Mr. Wiseman died at Drinagh, and 1639.†
* Spenser's second son, Lawrence, died in Bandon in 1654, and was also
buried in Kilbrogan. In his will, dated in 1653, he is described as
Lawrence Spenser, of Camden-Bridge, Youghal. His assets, consisting of
feather beds and a few pounds in cash, he left to some friends. The poet's
third son, Peregrine, was "firmarius" of the adjoining parish of Brinny.
His (i.e.-Peregrine's) son Hugolinus succeeded to the impropriate
tithings of Brinny; but, having become a Roman Catholic, he was outlawed by the
Parliament, and his property bestowed on his cousin William Spenser, "as next
Protestant heir." A William Spenser, also grandson of the poet, was
ordered to Connaught, but he appealed to Cromwell; and the latter wrote to the
commissioners, stating that William Spenser did profess the Popish religion, but
that since he came to the years of discretion he utterly renounced it, at least
so he said; but even Cromwell's intercession was in no avail,-it was hell or
Connaught with him! Mr. Nathanial Spenser, the poet's great-grandson,
through Sylvanus, his eldest son, by his wife Elizabeth, was lay impropriator of
Temple-Brady. His (Nathanial's) son Thomas was buried in Kilbrogan in
1729, his son John in 1730, and his son Nathanial in 1732.
† There was the Mr. Wiseman-probably this man or his son-who purchased the lands of Kilmoyleran and then Knocks , near Drinagh, from Sir Phillip Percival. At his death, he left those lands to his two pieces:-Susanna, married to Zachary Brady, and Anne married to William Smith. Smith's son parted with a portion of his lot to Thomas Ffrench for the sum of thirty pounds sterling, at the rent of one shilling per annum. Brady's eldest son sold his portion of Kilmoyleran and five Gneeves of Knocks to Sir Richard Cox, the Lord Chancellor, for seventy pounds.
The unexpected fate awaiting one of his
descendants has been fulfilled in our own day in the person of a lineal
descendent of this Protestant representative of the protestant town of Bandon.
A town which has continually so ridgidly exclusive to Roman Catholics, that it
is within the reach of living memory when members of their church where for the
first time permitted to reside in any of the principal streets. Indeed,
its notoriety in this respect was world-wide. Who is there that has not
heard of the couplet? which says:- "a Turk, a Jew, or an Atheist, may live
in this town, but no Papist!"
The lineal descendant we have referred to is Nicholas Wiseman. Although of staunch Protestant descent, he was born and bred a Roman Catholic; lived the greater portion of his life a priest, and died an archbishop, a cardinal, and a prince of Rome.
Amongst the principal measures brought into this Parliament were:- an Act to prevent and reform profane swearing and cursing; to prevent the ploughing by the tail, and pulling wool from living sheep; an even one to prevent the unprofitable custom of burning corn in the straw.*
* These old Irish habits certainly demanded parliamentary reform. But what shall we say of the legislative intermeddling which took place in 1447, at Trim, where it did was enacted that, if any man wore a mustache, he may be used as an Irish enemy? Everyone who lived in those days knew what that meant.
following account, under the head of "A brief note of the receipts and
payments for the use of the corporation, the 25th of September, 1636," was
furnished by it Randal Fenton provost:-
|Received in money from Ralph Sale, per William fuller, our treasurer||0||11||0|
|Received from the three rates made on the town||61||4||9|
|Received from Thomas Franklin for Mr. Fenton, the payment to Lord Cork||0||5||0|
|Paid to John Loddin for billing the Irish bridge||5||0||0|
|Paid to Thomas Wilson for whipping several people||0||5||0|
|Paid charges, the first interest in March, to Mr. Crofts, the second interest in August||12||17||6|
|Paid charges to Mr. Bennett, a year's interest as his receipts||8||18||4|
|Paid for a carpet and several charges belonging to the corporation||1||7||8|
|Paid for the charges of the great bridge, to several people||12||15||5|
In a note at the foot is a memorandum
stating that William Browne hath agreed to ring the bell at eight of the clock,
for twenty shillings yearly, beginning All Saints-tide, 1637.
The rates generally levied off the town about this time were threepenny rates, and the cost of collecting them was very heavy. Thus we find a threepenny rate, amounting to £46 2s. 6d. reduced by the expenses of collection to £39 9s. 8d.
The bridge leading from south-gate into the Irish-town, and anciently known as the Irish bridge, was built this year by John Loddin, for the sum of five pounds. In order to procure a foundation, the masons were obliged to imbed blocks of oak, twelve feet long by fourteen inches thick, in the black peat which abounded in the center, and at both sides of the little river, at this place. Upon these blocks the foundation-stones were laid, and a bridge of two arches erected.
The bridge, which could not have been more than ten feet between the parapet walls, was widened no less than three times, to suit the exigencies of traffic, more especially when wheeled vehicles came into fashion. It was taken down in 1864,* and the present one-arched structure erected on its site.
* On removing the old bridge, a small copper coin, little more than half an inch in diameter, was found. On the obverse, within a beaded circle was "Cork Citty." outside of which was another beaded circle containing the date, "1658," and "P.M." (Phillip Matthews), "Mayor." On the reverse, the Cork arms.
Earl of Strafford (previously Lord Wentworth) returned to Dublin, and was
re-appointed Lord Deputy. Immediately he set to work to increase the taxes;
and so well did he succeed, that in a short time the revenues of the crown were
swollen to £800,000 per annum. But this was not all, as he procured nearly
one million sterling in addition as subsidies, But great as the imposts
were, they might have been borne if they were expended for the benefit of the
country form which they were wrung.
Strafford, however, had no intention of doing this. Having got the money, he proceeded to arm and equip 8,000 foot and 1,000 horse. This large force he raised, not to fight a foreign foe, or to suppress unconstitutional enactments; on the contrary, they were raised to subdue those who opposed unconstitutional enactments; "they were designed," it was said, "to subdue the rebels in Scotland, and to awe the mutineers in England.
He succeeded n making himself obnoxious to two of the most powerful parties in this kingdom. The Presbyterians hated him because he unjustly tendered an oath to them, to avoid the taking of which many of them left Ireland altogether; and the church party, to whom he naturally turned for relief and sympathy, received him very coldly. How could they confide in one who was so loath to part with his intimate friend, Sir Toby Matthews, " a Jesuitical priest," that he brought him to Dublin with him? And it was well known that another friend of his, Sir George Ratcliffe, was in close correspondence with Paul Harris, another Jesuit.
Strafford returned to England the next year, and was shortly afterwards arraigned before the peers for high-treason. Amongst the various charges brought against him was one closely connected with our town. The fifteenth article in the impeachment stated:- That he had arbitrarily impose illegal taxes on the town of Bandon-Bridge, Baltimore, &c., and cessed soldiers on them till they paid. To this Strafford replied:-That the money levied on the Bandonians was the arrear of their contribution towards the subsidies granted to the King, and that it was levied without force, A Bill of Attainder passed both houses, and on the 12th of March, 1641, he was executed.
Another Parliament assembled in Dublin this year, on the 16th of March. The members for Bandon were Sir Francis Slingsby, Knt., Kilmore and Anthony Dopping, Esq., Dublin. Sir Francis was recommended to the corporation by the Lords Justices, in the following letter:-
"After our hearty commendations.
"Whereas there are two burgesses to be elected and sent from Bandon-Bridge to serve at this ensuing Parliament, appointed to begin the 10th of March next. And forasmuch as we are desirous that Sir Francis Slingsby, Knt., may be nominated for one of the said two burgesses, we, therefore, have thought fit to recommend him unto you for that employment, as one whom, we make no doubt, will well and discreetly perform the trust reposed in him, and that without any charge to your corporation. And also leaving him to your good care, and whatever else may most conduce to the furtherance of his service, we bid your very hardly farewell. From his Majesty's Castle at Dublin, this third day of February, 1634 "Your very loving friends."
The corporation complied with their lordships' suggestion, and gave Slingsby a seat. In a letter to the provost, whom he addresses as "my worthy friend," Sir Francis says:-"I cannot but acknowledged my thankfulness to you for your favorable good intentions in choosing me for a burgess of Parliament for your corporation." He concludes by enquiring "if there be anything that you would have me to do for the benefit of your corporation. If you give me my instructions, I shall willingly do my best endeavor for your advantage and interest, as I have always done."
Our junior member, Mr. Dopping, figures largely in the journals of the house is a practical, painstaking senator; and he appears to have been as thoroughly Puritanical in every respect as those sturdy nonconforming burgesses who sent him to represent them in the Commons. Indeed, so highly did he stand in the estimation of the honorable commissioners of the Parliament, that when they wanted to ascertain if the Episcopal clergy of Dublin would consent to officiate in their several churches without using the Book of Common Prayer, it was Mr. Dopping they selected for the purpose.
Mr. Dopping must have been known as a useful man before he entered the house, for scarcely had he taken his seat, when he was appointed to sit in committee on one of the first bills introduced during the session. It was entitled "An Act for the examination and settling of fees." Also on a select committee "to consider the best means of strengthening and securing the several plantations in Galway, Mayo, Sligo, &c.; to consider a petition presented by the inhabitants of King's and Queen's County." And on the 21st of February, 1639-40, the house nominated him, with three others, to draw its order for the expulsion of Joshua Carpenter, member for Carlingford , and Thomas Little, member for Beneher. There was hardly a committee appointed, for any importance, that did not number amongst its members Mr. Anthony Dopping.
His coadjutor, Sir Francis, seems to have been one of the drones of the session; for we can only find mention of him on two occasions: once when he was appointed with others "to confer with the lords touching their subsidies." and at another time when he sat "to consider the arrest done upon John Johnson."*
* In the account of the savings contained in the patents under the Acts of Settlement and Explanation, we find our senior representative entitled to the full benefits of a judgment and decree to the lands of Moigge. Ballinalaugh, Garrebrickeene, Clydarragh, Kielutane, Ardglasse, and Kilbrey..
Forty years had now elapsed since Don Juan D'Aquila surrendered Kinsale to the
Lord-Deputy, and, thereby, for a long time damped the hopes of those who
expected to profit by civil commotion or a foreign invasion.
During the interval Ireland had been rapidly advancing in wealth and prosperity. A new people had infused energy and new blood into her up apathetic and nerveless frame. The country had been dragging its weary wasted limbs, out of the cold barbarous past, into the warm sunlight of civilized life. The change that had been already wrought was marvelous. What was heretofore a swamp or a bog was now drained, and its soft pastures were grazed by well-bred English cattle. The woods and the forest, were the outlaw found a hiding place, and the wolf a refuge, where now the site of an open country, abounding with farm-houses and other signs of improvement.
The trade of the town itself had wonderfully increased . The wool of countless flocks of sheep passed through the hands of the wool-comber, the weaver, the dryer, the cloth-worker, and, finally, of the clothier-who shipped it to England or to foreign markets, and brought back money in its stead. Herds of well-bred cattle also contributed to the wealth of the country. There were butchers and victuallers to dispose of their meat, combmakers and chandlers to manufacture combs and candles out of the bones and fat; and very numerous tanneries, where the tanner and the currier converted their hides into leather, most of which obtained the market elsewhere, and what was left the saddler and the cordwainer turned to profitable account.
Other trades were here also, whose very presence was indicative of the well-being of the inhabitants. There were goldsmiths, to provide gold rings and chains for our Bandon fair; glovers to supply them with gloves, perfumes, and the other requisites of the toilet; apothecaries and chirurgeons, to mix a posset and to bleed the sick; malsters, to supply materials for home-brewed ale; and millers, to grind the corn into flour for bread-cakes. There were inn-holders, in whose hostelries the townsman could regale himself with prawns and broiled oysters, and wash them down with the pottle of sack. There were gardeners to supply his wife with a nosegay; and musicians, to the music of those whose lute or spinet he could dance a saraband or a minuet, or accompany with some roundelay which he had learned in his infancy among the orchards of Somersetshire or Devon.
There were members of other trades, too, to supply the requirements of our thriving town. There were bakers, stainers, carpenters, glaziers, blacksmiths, mettlemen, coopers, masons, tailors, feltmakers, pewtermen, barbers, salters, parchment-makers, curiers, cutlers, &c., &c.
In addition to those who added to the wealth of our Bandon plantation by the labour of their hands, there was a fair sprinkling of yeoman and merchants, and of those whose more elevated social position entitled them to add Miles or Armiger to their surnames. Not only had the trade of the town increase but its size also.
When Kinsale and Youghal, Wexford, Dundalk, and Belfast, were towns "of small moment ," Bandon was worthy of regard for "it's brightness and handsomeness. It ranked with Kilkenny, the seat of the Confederate government , and with Drogheda, which contained, without inconvenience, the large garrison of Sir Arthur Aston. Although it was of considerable extent, the streets and houses were clean and neat, and presented none of that carelessness and disregard for cleanliness, too often a characteristic of our Irish towns and villages.
Yea, even before our colony had time to recover from the misery caused by the visit of that great devastating monster, whose scorching breath crisped the very earth on which he trod, and who had lapped up countless measures of blood to slake his insatiate thirst, Bandon was "a fine English town." Its population, "wherein are at least seven thousand souls," was greater than even it is now, and it occupied as large, if not a larger area, that it does at present. All the suburbs we have now were then in being, and we suspect even more. There was one at least, Sugar Lane; for we read that the portion of it adjoining North-gate "was spoiled and pulled down least the rebels should shelter there."
There were many roads striking about from the town in all directions, some of which still remain. One led over Ballylangley Hill to Innoshannon, and thence on to Kinsale; another up the Cork road to Kilpatrick, and thence over the mountain to "the beautiful city;" another through Gallow's Hill Street, Carey's Cross, and on to Clonakilty; another went up by Barrett's Hill, and turning due north, passed through Kilcrea to Macroom; and another passed through Sugar Lane, and out to Moragh,-hear it forked into two branches, one of which led to Newcestown and Castletown and the other to Enniskeane. Beyond the last place were no roads. Dunmanway did not exist for nearly sixty years afterwards, whilst the adjoining pretty little town of Ballineen did not contain a house, and scarcely a name, for close upon a century and a half subsequent to the period of which we write.
When anyone would venture directly over land from the places last mention, to Bantry or Baltimore, he should trust by day to whatever straggling bridlepath he could strike upon, and by night to the hollow bark of the squatter's dog, or the glare of the word-kern's fire, as he and his outlawed companions sat probably preparing their humble meal of horse-flesh. The usual way-in truth, almost the only-method of communication between the seaport towns previously named and Bandon was by the sea. They took ship at Bantry or Baltimore, landed at Kinsale, and marched up.
In those and days nearly all the gentry around Bandon were Irish, not only in their sympathies and prejudices but also by extraction. Some of these were chieftains, in possession of large tracts of country, over which they exercised an absolute control,-hanging up a kern or a gallow-glass to the next tree,-or pouncing upon a neighbor's cattle, would sweep them all off to their own bawn with nearly as much indifference as if Anglo-Saxon laws and penalties had never intruded upon the Isle of Saints.
Their dislike of the English, however, did not extend itself to their habits and costumes. The Irish gentry now wore hats, and were habited in broad cloth. They drank wine and beer, and rode on black or a dun gelding, or a sorrel horse; and, should occasion require it, they could even turn out on a grey nag or a copple bawn. But great as was their advancement, it was is nothing when compared to the prodigious strides accomplished by the corresponding class in the towns; such as the members of corporate and civic bodies. These greatly exceeded them in all the enjoyments of the social circle, and many of them lead a life of almost Oriental magnificence.
They went to sleep upon feather-beds, "with bolsters and pillows to match;" they used spoons made of silver, rested their feet upon stools covered with Turkish cushions, walk to upon carpets from the Levant, drank their wine out of silver bowls, wore gold chains, and enjoyed a luxurious ease not always attainable by their representatives, even in our own day.
All the castles in our neighborhood were at this time tenanted. In our immediate vicinity and ancestor of a present noble proprietor live in the old residences of the Mahowns, and enjoyed all the honours and emoluments pertaining to the lordship of the manor of Castle-Mahon.
Down the river, and in the now old rifted ruin at Kilbegge, Catherine, the eldest daughter of the author of the Faire Queene, experienced all the happiness of domestic life, and looking out from the windows of her mansion, could not fail to behold "The pleasant Bandon, crowned with many a wood."
Lower still, a scion of the old house occupied the Castle of Downdanial,* of which scarcely anything now remains, save the large western gable, whose ivy-mantled wall and solitary towers are left, as it were, to mourn over the fallen fortunes of the Barry Oges. Still lower down, Patrick Roche, the senior representative for Kinsale, dwelt in Poulnalonge, from the battlements of which he probably often gazed on the beautiful scenery of that highly-favored spot.†
In his castle at Kilbrittain,‡ sat the owner of three thousand armed kern. His territories extend from his castles at Carriganass and Kilgobban to where the broad Atlantic ripples on the sanded beach at Burran and Coolmayne. Notwithstanding all he enjoyed, he coveted the possessions of his neighbours, and made frequent incursions upon them. He pillaged Ibane ; he stripped the Carberries; he ravaged the Courcies, and even ventured in among the sturdy settlers at Kinalmeaky.
* Downdanial, or Dundaneare, was built in 1476, by one of
the Barry Oges, a sept who were seized of the lands subsequently possessed by
the O'Mahonys originally enjoyed the same lands centuries before the arrival of
the Barrys in Ireland. The Barry Oges aslo owned the lands on the southern
banks of the Bandon, extending from the Bridewell river down to near Kinsale,
and which, after they were deprived, was conferred by the crown on McCarthy
Reagh, of Kilbrittain. After the siege of Dunboy Castle, in 1602, Sir
George Carew send some companies of foot to Downdanial, where they remained
until ready to leave Munster. About two year 1612 the East-India Company,
who paid seven thousand pounds for woods in the neighbourhood, established a
depot for smelting iron ore not far from the castle; and Smith says, "the same
enterprising company built two ships there of 500 tons each, and also
constructed a dock at Downdanial for building more," but this was evidently a
mistake. Upon the suppression of the great rebellion, Downdanial Castle,
which at the time belonged to Daniel McCarthy Reagh, was granted to Richard,
Earl of Cork, and by one of whose descendants-the present Duke of Devonshire-it
is still enjoyed. Adjoining the castle is chalybeate spring, the waters of
which were formerly held in great repute by the people in the neighbourhood, but
whom they were considered most effectual for removing pains in the stomach,
giddiness in the head, colic, and for scrofulous affections. The well,
which about two centuries ago was protected by a thick wall, and was roofed with
strong flags, is now scarcely recognisable.
† His summer residence was also selected for its scenery, but it was of a different kind. It was built on the steep declivity overhanging File-a-Reel Bay, Dunworly; and so difficult of access was the front of this dwelling, that whenever Mr. Roche wanted to lay in a stock of the good old Spanish wine of these days, he found that the easiest way of conveying it to the celler was through the roof of the house.
‡ Kilbrogan Castle was built by one of the De Courcys, lords of Kinsale. Although, according to Robert Clayton, bishop of Cork, who in a letter to Lord Egmont (Cork, June 13th, 1744), says he copied an inscription on a stone at the castle; and which, if correctly done, would make it appear that the castle was built nearly a century and a half before the De Courcys came to Ireland. The figures, says the bishop in reply to is lordship, -who stated some people doubted but that there might be some mistake,-are plainly legible, and cannot be mistaken for any other number then 1035; and what is remarkable, continued he, the figures which make up the date are in the ancient characters. The De Courcys were lords of the manor of Kilbrittain long prior to the McCarthy's having become possessed of it. It appears by a composition of Walter de la Haye, the King' escheator, A.D.1295 (temp. Edward the First), that the matter of Kilbrittain and Ringroan, with the mills, fisheries, &c., also the lands of Ilodernesse Liffyriim and which, upon the death of John De Courcy (who was killed in 1295, in Inchidonny Isalnd), had fallen to the crown, were restored by the said Walter de la Haye, on a composition of £12 12s. 0d. per annum to James Keating, in trust, for the use of the said John, Lord De Courcy. It is stated that the way the McCarthys got Kilbrittain was in consequence of one of the De Courcys having borrowed a white ferret from one of them, and, in order to secure the animal's safe return, he allowed Mccarthy to hold the castle and lands as a guarantee for the fulfilment of his promise; but the ferret having died, he was unable to keep his word , and this McCarthy took advantage of, and kept what he had. About the year 1535, Thomas Laverhouse (afterwards bishop of Kildare) escape to this castle with a child thirteen years old. The child was brother of Lord Thomas Fitzgerald , and a son of the then lately deceased Earl of Kildare. The McCarthy Reagh was then dead, but his wife, Eleanor Fitzgerald (Lord Kildare's sister, and consequently the child's aunt), still lived. Soon after, this lady married O'Donnell, of the North; and she made in one of the articles in her marriage settlement with him that he should protect her young nephew, and this he's solemnly promised to do. Shortly after the marriage they returned to Ulster, where they were scarcely settled when Eleanor became aware that her treacherous lord had arranged to betray young Fitzgerald. She saw at once that there was no time to be lost. She, therefore, sent him away privately to France, giving him one hundred and fifty gold pieces to bear his expenses. Finding that he was safe, she then turned O'Donnell and told that worthy that nothing but the preservation of her nephew could have induced her to marry such a clownish curmundgeon as he was; and, now seeing that he sought to betray her in that particular, she would stay with him no longer-and left him . Sir James Semphill obtained patents dated June 27th (13th, James the First), A. D. 1616, for holding a fair at Kilbrittain , on the eve of St. Martin's Day, and on the next day, and a market on every Tuesday. When the great rebellion was ended, Kilbrittain Castle, which was the seat of one of the most active leaders in that great revolt, together with parts of Coolmayne, Lishinaline, Garranfreene, and other lands, amounting in all to 4,898 acres were bestowed on Colonel Thomas Long , the same who, after the retirement of the Lord Lieutenant, Henry Cromwell , from Dublin Castle, was left in possession of that seat of government, when Cromwell retired to the Vice-Regal Lodge in Phoenix Park. It is highly probable that , upon the restoration of Charles the Second, Colonel Long, like many others who took a prominent part on the Parliamentary side, were deprived of their grants, and their lands bestowed on the Duke of York (afterwards James the Second ). It is also probable that Kilbrittain, like the adjoining Castle of Coolmayne, was bestowed by James, on his arrival in Ireland, upon Donough McCarthy, Lord Cloncarthy (a kinsman of the former owner); and that, upon King James's defeat, it was sold with the other forfeited estates at the great sales in Queen Anne's reign and bought by the Hollow Sword Blades Company, who purchased many lands in its neighbourhood , and bought from them or their assignees by an ancestor of the present proprietor.
And there is many an old story still rife of the sayings and doings of Kilbrittain's powerful chieftain, Daniel McCormac McCarthy Reagh.*
* The McCarthys claim descent from Ænghus, who was baptized on the rock of Cashel by St. Patrick, and who was the first King of Munster who became a christian. Ænghus derived from Eogan More, son of Oioll Ollum, who was King of Munster in the second century; but Keating goes farther back still, and, tracing them up through Heber the fair (son of Milesius ), never stops until he runs them into the great patriarch -old Noah himself. One of Ænghus's descendants was named Mac Carthach or McCarthy. When Fitzstephen, and Strongbow's son Richard, first came over they found Dermot McCarthy upon the throne of Cork-a kingdom which, at the time, extended to fifty miles in length and thirty in breadth; and which kingdom one of Deermot's ancestors had obtained, in 1089, from Turlogh , monarch of all Ireland, who, upon his subjugation of Munster, divided into two parts. The northern part, or Thomand, he bestowed on Conner O'Brian, whilst the southern portion, or Desmond, together with the city of Cork, was conferred on Donogh McCarthy. Upon the arrival of the English, Dermod accepted the sovereignty of Henry the Second, and not only resigned his city into that monarchs hands, but also gave hostages for the payment of a yearly tribute, stipulating in return that he should enjoy the rest of his territories without molestation. We have said he resigned his city, but it scarcely amounts to that; for Cork was then possessed by the Danes, and, of course, he had not the power of giving what he did not possess. He told the English they might take it from the Danes; and when they had succeeded in doing so, he was the very first to try and wrest it from them. The McCarthys at all times ranked high amongst the most considerable families in Ireland; and, in the reigns of several of the English monarchs since Henry's time, they were officially addressed and styled as Princess of Carbery. They remain more or less faithful to English rule for nearly five centuries; but when the great rebellion broke out, the then McCarthy Reagh (Danial McCormac, who had been High Sheriff of the county in 1635, and who was even then a member of the Reformed Church), "after obtaining arms from Lord Kinalmeaky in order that he may fight for the English, yet the very next day marched against the town of Bandon." After his fall, the custodian of his lands was vested by the Lords Justices in Lord Kinalmeaky. The additional name of Reagh was assumed to distinguish this family from the senior branch, who dwelt near Macroom and in Kerry, and who were known as the McCarthy Mores. The latter were possessed of very great influence and power, insomuch so, that as far back as 1461 (temp. Edward the Sixth), the English were glad to pay them a good round sum annually for protection. We are unable to say in what year the unfortunate Daniel died ; but he was alive in 1667, when the French were expected to make a descent upon Kinsale; and when he was represented as near gone into rebellion. He led a wandering life after the taking of Kilbrittain Castle by the Bandonians; sometimes residing at Carbery, and another times in Bere and Bantry; and, according to Lord Orrey, "amongst the worst lot of people in all Ireland-men that we're ready for any villainy." He left a son, born in 1625, who went to France in 1647, where he married the daughter of a French count. He died in 1676 (being killed in a duel), leaving two sons, Charles and Dermot. Charles returned to this country, where he married, and died, leaving a son, Owen. Owen died in 1775, and was the father of Charles McCarthy, who was married March 27th, 1749, at Ballymodan Church, Bandon, to Catherine, daughter of Charles Bernard, Esq., -of the Bernard's of Palace Anne; she died in Bandon at the advanced age of 103. Mr. McCarthy who was a solicitor, was seneschal of the manor of Macroom, recorder of Clonakilty, and also clerk of the crown for the county. He was succeeded by his son, Francis Bernard McCarthy, who married Elizabeth, daughter of William. Daunt, Esq., of Kilcascan, and died in 1821, leaving amongst other issue:-Frances B. McCarthy, who married Miss. Tresilian, and died leaving an only son, Frances B. McCarthy, late of Bandon; also William Daunt McCarthy, who married Margaret, sister of the Right Hon. Judge Longfield, by whom he had with other issue: -Elizabeth, who married Arthur Beamish, Esq., late of Mammoor.
About a stone's throw from the Abbey St.
Francis, and close upon the well-wooded banks of the Silver Stream, Sir Robert
O'Shaughnessy defended his fortified keep, until compelled to succumb to the
well-disciplined forces of Lord Forbes. On the bold bare rock of
Ballinacarriga, the towering castle of Randal Oge Hurley raised its lofty head
in proud defiance to the Saxon. Its owner joined with, and fought hard
for, the rebels, and paid the penalty of ill-success. His estates were
forfeited as well as his castle; and Randal Oge remained the hunted by outlaw
till his death. He now rests in the little moss-grown graveyard of
Fanlobbus, and sleeps his long sleep under the same turf with many of those who
lived in the same eventful period, and shared in the same dangers with himself.
The Irish chieftains where jealous of the growing prosperity of the English colonists. But why should they be so? These colonists were only located upon lands which had been forfeited by those who had raised the standard of open revolt, and who had been put down by a large expenditure of English blood and treasure, and by the assistance of the immediate predecessors of many of these very chieftains themselves.
Instead of being jealous of the settlers, they should, on the contrary, have encouraged those who opened up the country, and gave them wealth and comforts, in exchange for articles for trade to which they had previously scarcely attached a value. In truth, in this very year the Irish had less reason to complain than they had at any time since Strongbow's arrival; and so well content did they appeared to be, that when Lord Muskerry (one of the most powerful chiefs of the Irish Confederacy) heard complaints of the doings of some of his people, "he seemed very zealous for the English, and threatened to hang those who committed them." And his scarcely less powerful kinsman, McCarthy Reagh, of Kilbrittain, having made many professions of loyalty, obtained arms from the governor of Bandon in order to fight for the English.
|[Preface] [Contents] [Bernards] [Index] [Depositions] [Maps] [Definitions] [Town/Parish Descriptions, 1835] [Pictures]|