|[Preface] [Contents] [Bernards] [Index] [Depositions] [Maps] [Definitions] [Town/Parish Descriptions, 1835] [Resv'd]|
HISTORY OF BANDON
[Pages 377- 406] DUNMANWAY - SKIBBEREEN - BANTRY - CARRIGBUIE - ROSSCABERY - MACROOM
Dunmanway is seventeen miles west of Bandon. It derives its name, according to Dr. Donovan, from Dun-na-m-bean (the fort of the gables or pinnacles). Others derive it from Dun-own-bwee (the fort of the Yellow river)-in reference to a stream of muddy water that flows through it. And another derivation, by one who was considered an excellent Irish scholar, was from the compound Irish word signifying the fort of the yellow women (the yellow women being the term applied by the Irish to the Spanish soldiers who garrisoned the fort,* in contempt of the colour of their skin, and the cloaks which they wore).
The castle of Dunmanway was built by Catherine, daughter of the Earl of Desmond, lady of Hy-Carbery, "a charitable and truly hospitable woman," who died in 1506.
When the vast estates of Gerald (the Red Earl of Desmond) became vested in the crown, owing to the war waged by that nobleman and his confederates for years against England, the Queen wrote to the Lord-Deputy (July 18th, 1590), directing that the castle and lands of Downemoenwye, in the county of Cork, be granted to Teige McDermod McCarthy, in consequence of the favourable report made of him by Sir Walter Raleigh.
* A short time since some Spanish coins (temp. Ferdinand and Isabella) were dug up where Dunmanway Castle stood-which castle occupied the site of the fort garrisoned by the Spanish soldiers.
In pursuance of her Majesty's wishes, Sir William Burghley-her secretary and treasurer-wrote the following letter on the subject to Sir William Fitz-William, the lord-deputy, into whose hands it was placed by Teige himself, who was the bearer of it from Elizabeth:-
"After my very hearty commendations to your lordship:
"Wheras it hath pleased the Queen's Majesty to extend her grace and favour to this gentleman-the bearer hereof-Teige McDermod Carthy, so far forth as to grant unto him, and to his heirs (male), the town, castle, and lands of Downemoerwye, in the county of Cork, as in her Majesty's special letters written to you in this behalf more at large appeareth. I am to let your lordship understand that her Highness, the more to show her princely consideration towards him in respect of his good service and loyalty, for which he hath been much commended, and in the hope of the continuance of the same, is very pleased that, in the grant which is to be passed unto him, he shall be charged but with the services of ten footmen, and with a rent of forty shillings sterling by the year, besides the tenure of knight's service; of which her Majesty's pleasure your lordship is to take knowledge, for in her letters directed to you there is mention made of new arrenting the lands by a new survey, without any certain rent first named, which her Majesty's pleasure is now, as shall be as is aforesaid. I very heartily bid your lordship farewell. From Greenwich, the 25th of June, 1590."
When the great rebellion broke out, Teige McCarthy-Downy, who inherited the town, castle, and lands from the grantee, sided energetically with the Irish against England; and, upon its suppression by Cromwell, all his possessions were forfeited, and his Dunmanway estates-which consisted of the three ploughlands of Dunmanway, two gneeves of Togher, the west side of Awe, and the western portion of Coolsnarty, in all 2,932 statute acres-were bestowed on Colonel William Arnopp, subject to a quit rent of £22 12s. 6d. per annum.
Pierrce Arnopp - the colonel's son -after charging the estate with ten pounds annually for his wife during her life, with a perpetual annuity of twenty pounds to Dean Pomeroy, sold it to Sir Richard Cox for a thousand and fifty pounds.
The town of Dunmanway owes its existence to the want that was felt for a resting-place for the troops on the line of march from Bandon to Bantry, and also to the necessity that existed of occupying with a loyal colony that wide region which stretches out on both sides, from the base of the great range of mountains that run through the Western Carberies.*
* Tradition relates, that previous to the building of Dunmanway, the large tract of country lying between Ballineen and Dunmanway was covered with a vast forest, in which many a wayfarer lost his way in his efforts to reach Baltimore or Bantry, in his journey to or from Cork or Bandon; and in some places the trees are said to have been so close together, that one might travel seven or eight miles, by passing form one tree to another, without once touching the ground.
The government, accordingly, afforded every facility to Sir Richard Cox to plant this place with English. He was granted a patent for holding fairs and markets. And so sanguine was he of success, that he erected a handsome stone bridge, consisting of six arches, over the Bandon river, at his own expense; and effected other improvements -among which were roads, on of which (the one that lead to Bandon) was pushed forward with such zeal and perseverance, that it was completed in six days, although two miles of it ran through a bog.
In A.D. 1700 he had no less than thirty English families residing in his new town, all of whom he kept employed at remunerative work.
The parish church at this time was in Fanlobbus graveyard. One who saw it the year before (1699) says:- "The church is covered , but many slates are off. No pulpit or seats. About half the church is ruinous."
The necessity for a place of worship in Dunmanway-where divine service was performed in one of the settler's houses-was felt as strongly, that Sir Richard Cox was determined, if he would not be allowed to have the church of the parish in his new settlement, to build a chapel-of-ease there; and, in furtherance of this design, he put down his name for a hundred pounds. And Mr. Patrickson, who also felt warmly interested in the matter, put his name down for another.
When Queen Anne-whose lord chancellor Sir Richard was-came to the throne, he procured an Act of Parliament, by means of which the parish church was for the future to be in Dunmanway.
Accordingly, one was speedily erected there, and dedicated to St. Mary, in compliment to Mary (Lady Cox). It was a plain structure, and continued to be used as a parish church until 1821, when it was taken down, and the present edifice, which cost £1,100 erected on its site.
The old church, which, it is said, was well filled on the sabbath-day with a well-looking, industrious, thriving people, contained several monuments to the memory of various members of the Cox family, including one to the great Lord Chancellor himself.
The chalice and paten used in it, and still in use in its present successor, were presented to it by the distinguished man who may be looked upon as its founder. The chalice is thus inscribed:-
"The Gift of Ye Right Honbl.
Sir Richard Cox, Knt. and Bart.,
Lord Chief-Justice of Ireland,
To St. Mary's Church in Dunmanway,
Sir Richard made great efforts to introduce the growth and cultivation of flax into Dunmanway. He knew that if the inhabitants were to rely solely on agriculture for their support, the assistance they would derive from it would be not only insufficient, but precarious. He therefore went energetically to work to introduce an industry which would furnish extensive employment, at good wages, independent of it altogether. He bestowed prizes on those who bought and sold the largest quantity of linen manufactured in the town and its neighbourhood. He rewarded the girls who excelled at the wheel in the spinning-school. He gave sums of money to the best workmen, and to the most diligent apprentices; and a good house was granted, rent-free, to the employer who the previous year manufactured the best linen, and the greatest quantity of it; and, in addition, the table of honour was hung over his door, with the following inscription in letters of gold:-
This house is rent-free, for the superior industry of the possessor."
He also had an inspection every May-day, on the green, of all the spinning-wheels worked in the town, "which made," says Dr. Smith, "no inelegant entertainment, to see so many young creatures rescued from want, idleness, and misery, decked out in decent apparel, earned by their own industry; and, to countenance this review, the young ladies of the best distinction in the neighbourhood exhibited their skill in spinning in this public assembly."
In 1748-the year, probably, in which the doctor visited Dunmanway-he informs us that, according to a moderate calculation, there were four hundred hogsheads of flax-seed sown in the west of the county. And speaking of the number of machines in the town, and of the goods turned out by them, he says:-"Here are a considerable number of looms at work for linen (as well chequered as white), diapers, fustians, handkerchiefs, girt-web, &c."
Although the first Sir Richard did much for the introduction and prosperity of the linen trade; yet it did not attain the same strength and dimensions in his time that it did in that of his grandson and successor.
In less than twenty years after his death the houses in the town had more than doubled; the population had run up from five hundred and fifty-seven to eight hundred and seven; and the flax and woollen wheels had increased from one hundred and thirty-eight to two hundred and fifty-four.
The following is a list of the prizes awarded by Sir Richard Cox-the second baronet-for the year ending December 31st, 1750:-
|"Will Curry got the master's premium of ................||5||0||0|
|James Archibald, the journeyman's of ....................||2||0||0|
|Louis Grizza, the apprentice's of.............................||1||0||0|
|Robert Wallis, for buying most cloth last July.........||5||0||0|
|Will Curry, for selling most,...................................||3||0||0|
|George Gribble, for buying next most.....................||3||0||0|
|Leonard Heweston, for selling next most................||1||0||0|
In 1724, Benjamin Holme-a member of the Society of Friends-travelled through the west of this county, and, amongst other places, visited Dunmanway.
"At Dunmanway, in the market-house," says Wight, "he had a large and satisfactory meeting, notwithstanding Skofield,* the priest of the place, made some disturbance."
* Skofiled or Scofield, "the priest of the place," was vicar of Fanlobbus and Drinagh from 1718 to 1746. In 1716 he married Mary, widow of Mr. Allen Riggs, and daughter of Sir Richard Cox, the first baronet.
In 1751 Dunmanway contained a population of seven hundred and ninety-nine; of these, four hundred and ten were Protestants, and three hundred and eighty-nine Roman Catholics-a decrease of eight on the gross population since 1749.
Sir Richard-the second baronet-accounts for the deficiency, and the absence of a progressive increase, by stating that the ramblers and sojourners are all gone, and the people remaining are fixed and settled. There was one item in the decrease, however, which consoled him for the diminished sum total:- "The decrease is amongst the Papists who in 1749 were four hundred and two, and in 1751 are three hundred an eighty-nine."
Although the Roman Catholics decreased, the Protestants increased. Sir Richard was quite exultant at this. "But, blessed be God!" said he, "the Protestants increase. In 1749 there were but four hundred and five, and in 1751 they are four hundred and ten-an increase of five; one indication of the thriving of the linen manufacture, which in this country was very properly called the Protestant manufacture.
In 1769 Sir John Cox obtained a patent, dated July 210th, in that year, for holding an additional fair in Dunmanway on the 17th of September, and for holding a market on Saturday.
There was also a charter school here, which was established by the first baronet, for the maintenance and education of forty children. He granted two acres of land for the erection of the school, rent-free; and he endowed it with eighteen more, at a small rent. In addition to which he furnished stone and slates for the building; he paid the cost of its erection; and he directed that the sum of twenty pounds be paid every year out of his estate for its support.
The old mansion-house which was built by the Lord Chancellor, and in which he and his descendants resided for many generations-stood a few yards to the rear of the site occupied by the present court-house. It is represented as being pleasantly adorned with handsome avenues and good plantations of fir, elm, lime, chestnut, and some beech.
The castle, which, as we have said, was built by the daughter of Thomas, Earl of Desmond (son of James), stood at the western end of the town, and was approached by a broad path-now called the Castle-road. There is not even one stone left upon another of this famous old fortalice, which was raised by the hospitable and pious Catherine Fitzgerald; as its walls, and its very foundations, were uprooted some years ago, to furnish building-stone for the erection of a flour-mill in the vicinity.
While the workman were engaged in this work of demolition, and blotting out every trace of this-the first stone castle that was ever erected in this part of Carbery-they came upon a subterraneous chamber. Carefully removing the superincumbent earth and rubbish, they descended into the granary. It was from this reservoir the Geraldines, and their successors, the McCarthys, drew supplies for the kern and the gallow-glasses; at the head of whom they often struck terror into the heart of some neighbouring chieftains, or engaged in the hopless enterprize of endeavouring to drive out the stranger who had settled amongst them, and who called their country his own.
The granary contained several compartments, and these were nearly all filled with native wheat. The compartments themselves were in perfect order, but the wheat, which time and circumstances had shrunk and discoloured, was found to be as hard as shot, and quite as black.
At a short distance from the town, at a place called Drumrastel, Smith found a light chalybeate spring. "This water." says he, "had never been drunk, and therefore its virtues are not will known, except that it may agree with many delicate habits, where a large proportion of the mineral would be too rough."
To the north of this well is the townland of Deneens. Here, on the very summit of the Yew-tree Mountain, once stood a famous tree. It was a tall and graceful-looking specimen of the old Irish yew; and its bulk was such, that, at a great distance of two yards from the ground, it had a circumference of no lest than eighteen feet. This time-honoured relic of the historic past-this forest giant, which stood sentry amid those lone mountains century after century, with its tall head strained toward heaven, as if to catch the first glimmer of the return of that age when the harper oft sat at its feet and sung love ditties the live-long day, or celebrated in harmonious verse the bravery and success of the proud chieftain who loved in the great castle on the banks of the Bandon, and whose hospitable door was ever open-this venerable tree, among whose branches the sunlight may have played when a McCarthy sat on the throne of Cork, was ruthlessly cut down, and hacked into lengths of about seven feet, nearly all of which were then divided into blocks of a convenient size, and hawked about Dunmanway to be sold for fire-wood. One of these, however was rescued from the degradation of heating the shins of some Dunmanway barbarian, by a gentleman, who had a bedstead made of it. Another Christian saved another length for some similar purpose; but all the rest experienced the fate intended for the whole-it was chopped up and stuck under the pot to boil potatoes.
Living almost beyond those boundaries where British laws were supreme, the requirements of the people of Dunmanway compelled them to extemporize a code of laws of their own. If a man beat another at Ballybwee fair, or at Ballygurteen, or anywhere else in the neighbourhood, his friends, in due time, demolished the assaulter's house; or they waylaid him on his way from the market-town, and either beat him within an inch of his life, two blows for the one he gave the other.
Although this may be considered a rude way of punishing the aggressor, yet it had a very salutary effect; and , as a consequence, an assault was never heard of,-unless occasionally at mating time, before Lent, when some jilted rustic would beat the brains out of his successful rival; or unless in a fair, honest, open faction-fight, when the combatants could indulge in the luxury of murdering one another without any one stepping in between them to spoil sport.
The same principle was acted upon in civil cases. If a man owed another two or three pounds, and would not pay it, the creditor served him with a fairy process-Anglice, he stole his cow. And if the cow did not pay forty shillings to the pound, he spirited away a two-year old heifer or a couple of sheep, until his self-imposed decree was satisfied. So well was this understood, that when a man missed his cow, or his sheep, or his heifer, he took the hint, and went straight to the plaintiff's house and paid the money; and he would be greatly surprised if, on the following morning, he did not see all his cattle grazing in his own fields when he got out of his bed.
The fairy process system was greatly in vogue here for a long time, and it was found to be a much more economical, as well as a much more expeditious method, for the recovery of small debts that the cumbrous one now in use. Instead of waiting until the quarter sessions would come around; then having to travel, perhaps, twenty miles to go to the court-attending there from day to day until the case would be called, and at the same time being obliged to keep a strict watch lest the defendant, by an hospitable half-gallon or two, would induce your principal witness to forget all he knew about the affair-to say nothing about your having to pay an attorney to state your case for you; and then having to sit still while the opposite attorney bullied and abused you-so that (as a Dunmanway man once remarked to us) if you met a dog in the street, he'd pass you by without looking at you, for fear the neighbours would think he had such a disreputable acquaintance; and after all, perhaps, be dismissed on the merits besides; all this could be avoided by a simple process under the Fairy Summary Jurisdiction Act.
The utility of this proceeding was so apparent, that some of the local justices not only thought will of it, but recommended it. When any one would go to the Rev. William Sillito-who was a magistrate as well as a divine-and tell him that such a one owed him money, and that he was anxious to get it, he would recommend them to lose not time, but go and serve him with a fairy process before day-break next morning; and if the complaint was that his cow, or his horse, or anything that was his, was stolen during the night, his first query would be, to whom do you owe money? and on ascertaining who he was, he would recommend him to pay him at once, and then, if he did not get back his chattels in a day or two, to come to him again.
A few miles to the north of Dunmanway is the new parish church of St. Edmund's. It is dedicated to St. Edmund, and consists of a nave fifty-four feet long by twenty-eight broad, a chancel, a vestry-room, a bapistry, and a spire ninety feet in height. It is built on a little rocky eminence, and in the centre of a valley which lies within the arms of those huge mountains from whence flow the Ilen and the Lee, the Bandon and the Bride. Passing round the building to the northern wall, we look northward, and before us is a lofty chain of hills, tinted to their utmost height with the bloom of the gorse and the heather; whilst on our left, stupendous Owen, with its huge rough head turbaned by the very clouds themselves, scowls in silent anger, and adds yet another dark hue to the sullen waters of Clokinoor. This beautiful little edifice, with is pale yellow spire pointing heavenward, and is emblazoned windows, illuminated with suggestive scenes from sacred story, seems like a party-coloured battle flag, which religion and civilization hath planted in triumph upon a territory which they had wrenched from the rude grasp of uncultivated nature, and that, in her lurking-place amid those solitary Alps.
Skibbereen-formerly Skubbareen-lies upon the south bank of the river Ilen. The portion of it called Bridgetown is in the parish of Abbeystrewry, but the main portion of the town is in the parish of Creagh. Its site, and the country around for miles, anciently formed the domain of Gortnaclough- a fief belonging to the great sept of McCarthy-Reagh, of Kilbrittain Castle. After its forfeiture by the McCarthys in the great rebellion, it was granted under the Act of Settlement to William Prigg and Samuel Hall, who, in addition to "the town of Skibbereen and its appurtenances," got portion of the lands of Ballygumagh, Gortniclough, part of Smorane, and part of Coronea.
The patentees, like many others who got grants in those days, were anxious to obliterate the old names; accordingly they dropped Skibbereen and substituted New Stapletown, and by this name it is referred to in the patent, which mentions "Skibbereen to be for ever called New Stapletown."
As New Stapletown it is also mentioned in the patent obtaining by Prigg and Hall in 1631 (temp. Charles the Second), for holding two fairs (one on the feast of St. Peter, the other on the feast of St. Andrew) and two markets (one on Wednesday, and one of Saturday). There was also a patent for holding fairs granted to Richard Townsend, dated March 1st, 1778. The earliest date that we have found of any interest in connection with Skibbereen is that of 1544, when Florence Magther was presented to the rectory and vicarage of Creagh by Henry the Eight; "the late incumbent being an Irishman."
In 1699 Bishop Down visited this place. "The chapel at Skibbereen," said he, "was formerly the market-house, and was consecrated about the year 1686, by Dr. Wetenhall, bishop of Cork. It stands in the parish of Abbeystrewry. I preached at Skibbereen on Sunday, August 13th. I lodged at my lady Catherine Barclay's house. The Earl of Orrery," continues the bishop, "has the entire impropriation. Hence it was that the vicar was obliged to levy heavy and very obnoxious fees for his support. When the man of a family or a widow dies worth five pounds, the sum of thirteen shillings and fourpence is demanded as a mortuary; and if he dies worth less than five pounds, then his second best suit of clothes, or six shillings in lieu thereof.* The church in which divine service was performed was burned down in James the Second's time, but was put in good repair in 1695, at a cost of twenty pounds.
The Quakers built a meeting-house in Skibbereen in 1696, and used to attend there on Sundays and Thursdays. The congregation, however, was not numerous, and in its palmist days did not consist of more than eight families.
There was formerly an extensive trade carried on here in the manufacture and sale of woollen and linen cloth, which has altogether ceased. It is still, however, known as a seat of the provision trade-large quantities of butter, corn, pigs, and cattle being annually disposed of in its weekly markets and fairs. It is very advantageously situated for a trade of this kind, being in the centre of a wide and improving district, and only two miles distant from where the rive is navigable at Old Court for vessels of two hundred tons of burthen. Facilities are afforded by this water-way of exporting its produce, and, by means of lighters, landing in its very streets the various imports which the town and country require.
* See Clerical Records of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross. -Dr. Brady.
Bantry derives its name from Ban-tra (white stand), from the white shingly fore-shore in front of it. Others derive it from Beant MacFariola (a descendant of the O'Donovans and O'Mahonys-two septs who formerly possessed all this country).
Bantry was the name at one time applied to two settlements-Ballygobban (or Oldtown) and Newtown, where Ireton had a fort with bastions erected, and to which the present name of the town was given.* These divisions were so distinct and apart that each had its own fairs. The Earl of Anglesea, who obtained under the Act of Settlement a grant of 96,284 acres of the forfeited estates in the baronies of Beere and Bantry, procured a patent, dated March 15th, 1679, for holding fairs at Ballygobban; namely:- on May 29th and 30th, August the 10th and 11th, and on October the 4th and 5th and markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays. And John Davis acquired a patent, March 10th (13th William the Third), for holding a fair on the 2nd of November and the day following, at Bantry.
The importance of Bantry, in a military point of view, was recognized even by one in whose hand the pen was a far more powerful weapon than the sword; and that, long before our Gallican neighbours selected it as a point from whence they could annoy England.
So far remote as Elizabeth's time, the poet Spenser, in his view of the state of Ireland, "written in dialogue verse between Eudoxus and Irenoeus," in reference to the thousand "souldiours" who he would quarter in "Mounster," make Iren say;-"I would have a hundred of them placed at the Bantry, where is a most fit place not only to defend all that side of the west part from forraine invasion, but also to answer all occasions of troubles to which that country, being so remote, is very subject."
Bantry was unfortunately very subject to troubles. Its remoteness from the seat of authority, and the difficulty of getting to it, encouraged the Irish chieftains resident in its neighbourhood to revolt on "all occasions."
During the Desmond insurrection, the garrison at Bantry was attacked by Lord Barry and one of the McSwineys.
After the surrender of the Spaniards at Kinsale, Sir George Carew-the Lord-President of Munster-made his way out to Dunboy Castle, and took that valiantly-defended fortress, after a very hard and prolonged fight, by storm' and also another castle of the O'Sullivans, which stood in Whiddy Island, and which subsequently destroyed by Ireton.
*Newtown subsequently lost the name of Bantry, and it is to Ballygoblan the name of Bantry is at present applied.
In 1641 the English settlers hew were stripped of everything they possessed. Nat Mayher lost his interest in the lands which he held under O'Sullivan Beare; his household goods, his pewter, his brass, &c. All the horses and cows belonging to Tom Veyford were driven away by the rebels-two of whom had such a regard for the eternal welfare of Anthony Blunt, that they wanted him to turn Papist. But when Anthony-who was determined to remain an orthodox Christian-told them he wouldn't, those who complained that they were not allowed liberty of conscience said they'd make him! Christopher Spearing was deprived of property to the amount of eighty pounds and upwards, And Anges Tucker-a widow lady, who lived in Whiddy Island-complained that O'Sullivan's people went into the houses of several of the Protestant inhabitants, and took away their bibles.
If it was for the purpose of making themselves acquainted with their contents one would be almost disposed to forgive them, but those zealous religionists acted as if they believed the word of God was opposed to the knowledge of God-whose word they, in common with all other denominations of Christians, admitted it to be' and yet, says Mrs. Tucker, they threw them on the strand, and then most contemptuously threw stones at them.
When the rebellion was over, a great many of the Irish soldiers were permitted by the Commonwealth to enlist into the armies of several nations in amity with it. A large force, consisting of no less than seven thousand men, were shipped for service under the King of Spain by Don Ricardo White; and of this body many divisions embarked at Bantry for Spanish ports in the May of 1652.
Arthur, Earl of Anglesea, who, as has been previously stated, obtained a grant a grant of most of this country, had several of his lands erected into the manor of Bantry, and more of them into the manor of Altham; as appears by a private signet, dated Whitehall, February 6th, 1679, and duly enrolled. By this instrument the lauds in the barony of Beere and Bantry (with others) were erected into the manor of Bantry, and other lands in the said barony were erected into the manor of Altham, with two thousand acres in each for a domain. Power to create tenures; to hold Courts Leet and Baron, and a court of record; to build prisons, to appoint seneschals, bailiffs, gaolers, and other officers; to enjoy all waifs, &c; to impark three thousand acres or more in each manor, with free warren; to build tan-houses, and dress leather; to hold (weekly a Wednesday and Saturday market, and three fairs, &c., at Ballygobban, in the manor of Bantry; to appoint say [assay]-master and clerk of the market.
The desirability of having a fort at bantry forced itself upon the attention of Lord Orrery (the lord-president of Munster). That great caused to be erected there should be garrisoned with a hundred men, in addition to the sixty it then contained; thus confirming the opinion given by Spenser, nearly a century before, as to Bantry being :a most fit place to defend all that country from foreign invasion."
In a letter to the Duke of Ormond, date Charleville, May 25th, 1666, Lord Orrery, speaking of the fort at Bantry, says:-"It is a small one, but regular, and consists of four small bastions, the faces of which are but forty-eight feet long, and the planks eighteen; the curtain ninety feet long. All the stoccadoes, which were on the inside on the brick of the graff, and placed there in the nature of a false bray, are rotted away, the guns unmounted, the drawbridge broken, and but one company of sixty men in it, commanded by Captain Manly. This fort is the furthermost western garrison of this country; and we have no garrison between it and Cork-which is about forty English miles. It stands over against Whiddy Island, in the bottom f the Bay of Bantry. This Place must immediately have on hundred men sent to it more than the company now in it, the drawbridge and pallisadoes forthwith mended, the guns mounted, more ammunition sent to it, and one month's victuals at least for one hundred and sixty men put into it; for this being the frontier garrison of the west, out to be well provided."
The duke agreed with the views of the Munster lord-president; and in "an estimate of the charge for putting into repair his Majesty's chief fortifications and places of strength throughout the kingdom of Ireland, made October, 1677," says, concerning Bantry;-The fort is built of lime and stone, consisting of bastions. In it are houses built for two hundred men, but are all out of repair, and some wholly unrooffed; walls defective, gates and drawbridge decayed, the dry graff round the fort to be cleared; all which to repair will cost L400. In this fort must be mounted, on standing carriages, eight guns, which will cost L56; making new platform, L15; and for repairing the magazine, L80. the following is a list of the guns and other munitions of war in the for at the time;-
|Demi-culverin (Large),...................................||7||8||Falcon scald, ......................................................||6||6|
|Ditto, .........................................................||8||10||Falcon scald, ......................................................||6||3|
|Saker, .............................................................||8||0||Round-shot for culverin, eight.|
|Saker, (unservicable),.....................................||8||0||For demi-culverin, fifty-seven|
|Mynion scald,..................................................||7||0||For saker and mynion, thirty-two.|
|Mynion scald,..................................................||6||4||Standing carriager (unserciable|
Lord Orrery thought that Bantry and Berchaven should be carefully guarded. Not only did their waters afford a secure retreat for the descent of a hostile fleet, but the country was inhabited by a large population impatient of British rule. "I know no place in Ireland," said Orrery, in a letter to the Lord-Lieutenant, in 1665. "so fit to begin a rebellion in as this place, -both for the multitude of ill-people in it, the fastnesses of the country, and the good, unguarded harbours in it, from whence, out of France, they may be there in forty-eight hours." In another letter, he says that West Carbery contains, "great crowds of ill-affected Irish." Again, that there was a great number of the worst sort of people in Ireland-that they were ready for any villiany." The bad opinion which his lordship entertained of West Carbery, Beere, and Bantry, in two years after-when he had more experience, and better opportunities of knowing the people-extended itself still further. "I am certain," said the acute and observant lord-president, "that here is not such a pack of rogues in all Ireland as those in the west of this county."
In 1689, the Count de Chateau Renaud cast anchor in Bantry bay; and landed a supply of money and military stores for the use of King James. Admiral Herbert, who had received orders not to allow any assistance to reach the south of Ireland from Brittainy, heard that the French were in the bay; and , although their fleet consisted of twenty-eight ships of war and five fire-ships, he boldly sailed in to attack them. Not only did Chateau Renaud's squadron greatly out-number him in men and guns, but he had the additional disadvantage of having the wind against him. After exchanging some broadsides with the enemy--which seems not to have hurt either party--Herbert, seeing no probability of being able to beat the Frenchman, circumstanced as he then was, judiciously stood out to sea; and the Frenchman, instead of following him, absolutely drew in closer to shore. Both fleets claimed the victory. The House of Commons passed a vote of thanks to its admiral for what--to make the most of it-was but a drawn battle, if it could be even called a battle;* and King James was so overjoyed, that he had bonfires lighted, and a Te Deum chanted, in honour of the great victory gained over the English fleet by the French.
In 1967, some troops in the service of William the Third arrived from Flanders, and landed here.
On the 14th of December, 1796, another French fleet sailed from the shores of France to Bantry Bay, having on board twenty-five thousand men, under the command of General Hoche. Owing to thick fog, which lasted some days, they were enabled to escape the British fleet which was on the look-out for them; and by Christmas-day, the greater portion of them, consisting of thirty-six sail, with several thousand men on board-together with forty-one thousand one hundred and sixty stands of arms, twenty pieces of field artillery, nine large siege guns, mortars, howitzers, sixty-one thousand two hundred kegs of powder, seven millions of ball cartridges, seven hundred thousand flints, &c.--were safely in the harbour. Finding that the whole country were up in arms against them, and that a determined spirit of resistance filled every loyal breast, they held a council of war; when, after much discussion, it was decided to land the soldiers, under the guidance of some Irishmen who had accompanied them. But, upon further reflection, they thought that by this time troops must be on the march from every quarter upon Bantry; the peasantry--at least, that portion of them who had anything to lose--were decidedly hostile to them; and that in the perplexity they were in they had not even their general to consult, they finally determined to put to sea again--which they accordingly did, on the 2nd of January, 1797, having just remained nine days.+
* It took place in that portion of the bay between Great Island and Mintervary.
+ As soon as the French fleet were recognized in the offing, Mr. James Sweeney--who subsequently attained the rank of major, and died a few years ago--was sent off in hot haste with the intelligence to Cork. Mr. Sweeney, who was a Bandonian, knew all the short-cuts in the country well; and he got to his destination in an almost incredibly short space of time, completely using up the three horses which were kept in waiting for him along his route. In the hurry of starting, he forgot to lock up a favourite little dog, and did not know that he was following him until he was may miles on his journey. The little animal accompanied him all the way to Cork; and When Mr. Sweeney had delivered his dispatches to the authorities, and gave them all the information he was possessed of concerning the great event that brought him from Bantry, he hastened to see after his little escort. He found him lying on his saddlecloth in the stable where his horse as put up, prostrate, and gasping for breath, upon seeing him, "poor Pompey" mad an attempt to get up and greet his old master as usual, but the effort was too much for him; he fell back, and after a few feeble struggles he was dead. Mr. Sweeney carefully wrapped poor Pompey in the cloth on which he lay; and on on his way back to Bantry he had his family burial-place in the churchyard of Ballymodan opened, and with his own hands he laid the remains of his faithful little companion amongst the dust and ashes of his own kindred.
Near Bantry formerly stood a Franciscan abbey, which was founded by Dermot O'Sullivan in 1460. Where it stood is still known as the friar's Hill, and the burial grounds that anciently surrounded it are still in use; but of the old building itself there is not even a stone left. Although none of the remains of the old priory were in existence in Smith's time, yet such was not the case some years before. When Dive Downs visited Bantry in 1699, he spoke of it ruins, and said they were within a short distance of the town. The ruins, when he wrote, must have included standing walls, and even a roof of some kind, for we find by a presentment passed by the Grand Jury of the county, only three years before, that there were then tow friars living there.
At the closed of the seventeenth century, the country beyond Bantry was still wild and barbarous. It did not contain a single Protestant place of worship, nor was divine service according to the rights of the Reformed Church ever heard, in all that extensive region stretching from Bantry to the confines of the county of Cork, and from thence to Glanerought in Kerry--a distance of at least twelve miles from the eastern boundary of the count. Eagles brought forth their young in its fastnesses, and wolves prowled about in its plains and valleys. Even the people who lived there were but little better than savages, and a journey through O'Sullivan Beare's country in the reign of William the Third would be almost as great a feat as a journey into the interior of Africa would be nw. When the bishop of Cork set out from Bantry for Berehaven, he returned by the same route; preferring on both occasions to trust himself to the waves in an open boat, rather than face the dangers of a passage over-land; and when he brought his life out of that country, and came safe to Cork, he thanked God.*
When the fishing was good, Bantry prospered; and when the fish ceased to frequent the bay and the coasts adjoining, the town gradually kept sinking from bad to worse. Pilchards, herrings, haak, and sprats were at one time taken here in great abundance; but for the last fifty years the take of fish of any kind did not pay the expenses. it was during the middle of the last century that fishing was remunerative in Bantry.
*See Clerical Record of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross.
In 1749 Mr. Richard Meade, an enterprizing fish-merchant in the town, proved to the satisfaction of the Dublin Society that he caught and cured on his own account, in that year, no less than three hundred and eighty thousand fish of various kinds; and Mr. James Young, amptjer trader, saved, the previous year, two hundred and thirty-one barrels of sprats, and four hundred and eight-two thousand herrings. A valuable san, thickly strewn with coral, and a tourist traffic in the summer month, are the chief support of Bantry now.
The neighbouring bay conferred the title of Viscount Berchaven upon the Berkley, and subsequently upon the Chetwynds; and Bantry itself gave the title of earl to the Ropers, a family now extinct. At the present the earldom of Bantry is borne by the Whites, of Bantry House, one of whom, in 1734, married Martha, daughter of Rowland Davis, dean of Cork and Ross' by whom he had Margaret (married to Richard, Viscount Longueville), and a son,
Simon White, who married, in 1769 Frances Jane, daughter of Richard Hedges-Eyre, of Mount Hedges. He predeceased his father, and left, amoungst other issue;--
Richard, who succeeded to the estates upon the death of his grandfather. He was born August 6th, 767. On the 31st of March, 1797, he was raised to the peerage of Ireland, as baron of Bantry, in appreciation of the valuable services which he rendered in opposing the French in their attempt at landing in Bantry Bay. On the 29th of December, 1800, he was advanced to the viscountrey of Bantry; and on the 22nd January, 1816, he was created Viscount Berehaven and Earl of Bantry. He married, in November, 1799, Margaret Anne, daughter of William, fir Earl of Listowel; by whom he had:--Richard, the late earl; William Henry, who assumed the surname and arms of Hedges; Simon, an officer in the army; Robert Hedges, and Maria. Upon the death of the first earl, in 1851, his eldest son, Richard, the second earl, succeeded. He was born in 1800. In 1830 he married Mary, third daughter of William, Marquis of Thomond. She died in 1853. His lordship, who was a representative peer, died in July, 1868, and was succeeded by William Henry, the present ear.
About five miles south-west of Bantry is the pretty little village of Carrigbuie. It is agreeably situated at the head of Dunmanus Bay--one of the great inlets from the Atlantic--and in a district where copper barytes, flags, and slate of superior quality, are to be found in abundance. The copper-mines in this locality are favourably know. The "south band," which runs along the coast from Mizen-head to Roaring-water, has already produced copper-ore worth a hundred thousand pounds. The Bandon barytes mine has rewarded the energy and perserance of a Liverpool company with a yield of several thousands of tons. Flag quarries, which overhang the sea, produce flags of a fine buff colour, and are represented as capable of being worked to great advantage; and the slate veins of Sea-lodge and Rossmore, already traced to a length of two miles, are found to have an average width of ninety feet. These are also worked by an English company, who have a ready market for their produce in France, as well as in many parts of England and Scotland. "After a careful and minute search of the Carrigbuie estate of the Earl of Bandon, we find," say Messrs. Thomas and Son, tow eminent mining engineers, who have been for a long tome acquainted with that country, "that there are no less than thirteen ploughlands that contain minerals, offering every inducement to the capitalist to develop them."*
Carrigbuie-that is , the yellow rock-lies in a well-sheltered vale, through which flows a noisy stream, which empties itself into the bay here. Previous to the expiration of the lease by which Carrigbuie was held under the Earls of Bandon, it consisted of but a few thatched cabins, which are described as being both filthy and miserable. These have now disappeared; and a great improvement has taken place in its appearance, as well as in its prospects, since it has come into Lord Bandon's hands. The mud cabins have been replaced by rows of clean and substantial houses. Good-sized shops display tempting wares in their windows and on their shelves. A post-office delivers and dispatches the inhabitants' letters. A dispensary is furnished with every requirement for the sick; and a hospitable hotel, with its well-supplied table and its comfortable accommodation, helps to persuade the traveller that he is at home.
Durrus Church is but a short distance from Carrigbuie.
*Vide Descriptive reports on the mines, minerals, flag, and slate quarries on the estate of the Earl of Bandon in the south-west of the county of Cork, printed at the Mining Journal office, Fleet Street, London, 1865.
It was built about the year 1798, on the site of a chapel-of ease, which was used for divine service before the breaking out of the great rebellion in 1641. After the suppression of that memorable rising it does not appear to have been used again; as in little more than sixty years afterwards, although its walls (which were built of large square stones, imbedded in clay mortar) were standing, its roof was gone.
Most of the lands of Durrus and Kilchohane were forfeited by the Irish proprietors in 1641. In the reigns of William the Third and Queen Anne, the principal landed proprietors in this immense district were Judge Bernard, Lord Angelese, Colonel Freke, Lord Cork, Mr. Hull, Mr. Hutchins, and Major Eyre.
Rosscarbery-anciently Ross-Alithra-(the wood of the pilgrims) and Ross Lehir, is situated in the west division of East Carbery. Upon the conquest of Ireland by the English, the fee of the county of Cork was conferred by Henry the Second on Robert Fitz-Stephen and Miles de Cogan, and they bestowed the town and all the lands of Ross (save those belonging to the bishop) upon Adam de Roche; and subsequently a charter of incorporation, by which many privileges were secured to "Ross Lehir," was granted to it by King John. Like a great many cathedral towns, the cathedral or abbey, or some religous house, was first erected, an then a town nestled around its walls. Such was the origin of Rosscarbery.
"St. Faghna or Fachnan," say Dr. Hanmer, in his Chronicles of Ireland, published in 1571, "lived in the time of Finbarry, and founded a monastery upon the sea, in the south part of Ireland, where he became abbot; the which seat grew to be a city, wherein a cathedral church was builded and patronized by Faghna. This town-of old called Rossai Lithry, but now Roskarbry-hath been walled about by a lady of that country; but now according to the fruits of war among the Caries, O'Driscales, and other septs, scarce can the old foundations be seen. There hath been there of old a great University, whereto resorted all the south-west par of Ireland, for learning's sake. St., Brendan, bishop of Kerry, read publicly the liberal sciences in that school."
Farther (of Faghna or Faghnanus), mine author recordeth:--"That he being a wise and good man, by mishap, fell blind; and, with many prayers and salt tears, desired of God restitution of his sight, for the good of his convent and the students brought up under him. A voice he heard:-"Go, get some of the breast-milk of Broanus, the artificer's wife; wash thine eves therewith, and thou shalt see.' He went to a prophetess called Yta (St. Yta, an abbotess) to learn how to come by this woman, and it fell out that this woman was here sister. He found her out, washed his eyes, and recovered his sight. Whether it be true or no," says the doctor, "I know not; I report it as I find it."
Archbishop Usher gives an extract from the Life of St. Mocoemog, which speaks highly of the renowned school at Ross-Alithra; and states that a city sprung up there owing to the great influx of students from all parts.
In the reign of Henry the Eight, Ross O'Carbery was part of the country of McCarthy-Reagh. Towards the close of Elizabeth's reign, "Florence McCarthy, notwithstanding the infinite favours and bounties which he had received from he Majesty--being wholly Spainiolized--had possessed the minds of those in Carbery and Desmond with a strange opinion of his worthiness; and having combined with Tyrone and other rebels at his late being in Munster, did show himself in open action against he Majesty. Whereupon the commissioners--Sir William St. Leger and Sir H. Power-sent Captain Flower and Captain Bostocke into Carbery, with twelve hundred foot and one hundred horse, to make prosecution against the rebels of those parts."
In their way to Ross, the English, we are told, not only spoiled the country, but they contrived to lay hold of the heads of thirty-seven notorious rebels, besides others of lesser note.
In the beginning of September, 1600, the garrison of Kinsale marched to Rosscarbery, "upon hope of doing service thereabout;" but they were disappointed--probably they were unable to catch anything they could do service upon. However, it would never do for them to return from such a long march as empty as they set out. Accordingly, they pushed on to Leap, and from thence made a sudden descent upon Kilcoe. Here they were rewarded for all their toil by a prize of three hundred cows. Driving these home before them, they returned to Kinsale, without losing either a man or a beast. On another occasion, the whole country from Kinsale to Ross was so utterly wasted, that there was neither horn or corn, or even a house left there to shelter a rebel; and from Ross to Bantry the country was similarly spoiled.
In 1642, Florence McCarthy, of Benduffe, Blac O'Cullane, and others, after plundering the town of Ross, besieged Captain Arthur Freke and his heroic little garrison in Rathbarry Castle. Notwithstanding the valiant defence made by Freke and his warders, victory would eventually decide against them-owing to the want of food, as well as to the overwhelming numbers which prowled round and round the castle walls, like famishing wolves round a sheep-fold--had not the Bandon Militia and Lord Forbes's regiment of Scotch come to their assistance, and conveyed them safely to Bandon.
During the siege- which lasted thirty-five weeks--the Irish used the cathedral of Ross as a shambles; and within its precincts they used to slaughter the cows and sheep which they took from the Protestant inhabitants.
It was at Ross the last act in the drama of the great rebellion was performed; when the town was surrendered to the English, and a peace concluded between General Ludlow on the side of the Parliament and Lord Muskerry on behalf of the Kilkenny Confederation, on the 22nd of June, 1652.
A great deal of the lands forfeited in the parish of Rathbarry and the neighbourhood, and which had belonged to the O'Heas and the Barrys,* were granted to William Penn, Phillip Percival, and the Duke of York; but the town itself was conferred by Cromwell (April 12th, 1653) upon Captain Robert Gookin, "he having laid out £600 in fortifying the abbey, and in buildings intended for the English inhabitants, and to strengthen the place."
Upon an inquiry in 1654, a report was made, from which it appears that all these improvements cost no less than £2,143 9s; and in consideration of this, Gookin was granted Abbey-Mahon and twenty-six ploughlands adjoining.
Edward Synge, bishop of Cork, obtained a patent, dated July 1st, 1675, for three fairs to he held here annually-one on the 15th of August, one on the 8th of September, and on the 8th of December; also two weekly markets-one on Wednesday, and one on Saturday.
In James the Second's time Ross was garrisoned by some Irish troops, under General McCarthy; and so well posted were they that an English force sent to reduce them considered it too hazardous an undertaking, and marched elsewhere.
*James and John Barry were seized of the fee of Rathbarry Castle in the time of Charles the First, as appears by an inquisition taken an Bandon-Bridge in A.D. 1627.
It is stated that the first Christians in Ireland were the Corcailaidia, who are said to have been believers in Christ before the arrival of St. Partick. From them sprung Liedania (the Mother of St. Kerman, who was born in the Island of Cape Clear, A.D. 352). From the Corcailaidia also, and from King Maeconius, was Mongach (the hairy); and St.. Fachnan was the son of Mongach.
There is also an old legend about St. Fachnan or Gaghna, who is the patron saint of Ross, which says that he used to pray daily on the side of a hill, half a mile to the east of Ross; but that one day he left his prayer-book behind him. The following night turned out to be very wet; nevertheless, not a drop of rain touched the holy book, as the angels-knowing what was coming-hurried down and built a chapel over it to protect it.
St. Faghna was succeeded by
Saint Finchad, who was a pupil of St. Finbarr's. He was followed by twenty-four bishops, not one of the names of whom have been preserved. Then came
Dongal Mac Folact, the twenty-seventh bishop. He, as well as the previous twenty-six, were all of the same line, a circumstance which gave rise to the following lines:--
"Hail, happy Ross! that could produce thrice nine-
All mitred sage of Liedania line.
From Fachnan, crowned with everlasting praise,
Down to the date of Dong's pious days.
Benedict was bishop in 1172, and sat about eighteen years.
Maurice, who followed, died in 1196.
Daniel, consecrated at Rome by Pope Celestin the Third. He produced letters purporting to be written by the Irish bishops, asserting that he was elected to the vacant See, and thus imposed on his Holiness. Tow other monks also went from Ross to the Pope, pretending that they were elected. The great Vicar, not knowing which of them to believe, entrusted the examination of the pretensions of the three candidates to the archbishop of Cashel and bishop of Killaloe. They reported in favour of Florence, one of the two monks, and they confirmed him in the See. Shortly after Pope Celestin died, and Innocent the Third occupied the Papal chair. Daniel again went to Rome; and told Innocent that the reason he was deprived of his mitre, was because he did not give the King of Cork money; and that the King-one of the McCarthys-was vexed with him, and ordered his dean not to obey him. That the dean readily complied with his Majesty's instructions, because he had a pique against him, for not conferring the archdeaconry upon his son-an infant. He also charged the dean with stealing the holy oil. But he severely punished him for this-he excommunicated him; but even this severe chastisement does not appear to have done him any good, for shortly after he stole the church books.*
Florence, who died A.D. 1222
Robert (alias Richard) was bishop in 1225
Malechias (who held lands from the chapter of Cloyne; these he equally divided between his two sons, John and Lawrence).
Florence (alias Fineen O'Clogheena) resigned the bishopric in 1252.
Maurice (chaunter of Cloyne) succeded. He died in 1269
Walter O'Micthain succeeded, and died in 1274.
Peter O'Hullecan succeeded, and died in 1290.
Laurence was his successor. He died in 1309.
Matthew O'Fin succeeded. This active prelate recovered several of the lands belonging to the See, which had been unjustly usurped by Thomas Barret and Phillip de Carew.
Laurence O'Holdecan succeeded. He died in 1335.
Dennis succeeded. He died in 1377. The See was vacant for some time after this; and the custos was fined a hundred marks for not appearing when summoned to attend and account at the Parliament held at Castle-Dermot.
Bernard O'Conner succeeded Dennis.
Stephen Browne was bishop in 1402. He had the temporalties restored to him on the 6th of May, 1402, having removed all clauses in the Pope's bull prejudicial to the rights of the crown.
Matthew died in 1418.
Walter Formay died in 1424.
Cornelius Mac Elchade was bishop in 1426.
Timothy sat in 1488.
Odo or Hugh succeeded in 1489.
Edmund de Courcey followed in 1494, and died in 1518.
John Imurily followed in 1519, and died same year.
*See Dr. Brady's Records
Bonaventure (a Spaniard) was a bishop in 1523.
Dermot Mac Donnell followed in 1544. He died in 1552.
Thomas O'Herlihy sat in 1561, and resigned in 1570. He assisted at the Council of Trent with two other Irish bishops, namely,-Donat, of Raphoe, and Eugene, of Achonry. O'Sullivan, an Irish historian says that this prelate was detained for some time a prisoner in England; but that he was at length discharged, as the authorities considered him half a fool. He resigned in 1570, and died in 1579. He was buried in Kilerea Abbey.
William Lyon succeeded in 1582. He died in 1617. From Lyon's time the See of Ross was united to that of Cork.
The cathedral,* which has always been used as a parish church, was rebuilt in 1612. It was considered a handsome structure, in the English style, and had a square tower. It was in a vault in this building-which was taken down and again rebuilt some years ago-that Mrs. Goodman (Wife of the Rev. Richard Goodman, vicar of Ballymodan) was buried; and concerning whom it is related, that the sexton, being anxious to make his own of a ring which was on one of her fingers, entered the tomb at night, and in his efforts to possess himself of the coveted jewel, awoke her out of the state of catalepsy she was in.
In the vicinity of Rosscarbery is Rathbarry Castle (now Castle Freke),+ the residence of George Patrick Evans-Freke, Baron Carbery. The family represented by Lord Carbery claim descent from Elystan Glodrydd, prince of Fferlys++
* In the year 1747 some underground passages and chambers were discovered near the cathedral. They are represented as being similar to those found near Kinneigh Church, which was a cathedral at one time.
+ There were several coins found here some years ago bearing the names of Edmund and Athelstane, or Adelstone. These are supposed to have been brought to Ireland by Aulaf, who took refuge here after his defeat by Athelstone in A.D. 934.
++It is related of one of this family, that being in England on one occasion, he was conversing with some acquaintances on the antiquity on their respective families. One derived descent from a gentleman who perilled his life and his fortune for Charles the First; another travelled back to the era of the rival roses; another farther still, to the days of the great Norman invader; and another to that remote period when that almost fabulous her, Prince Authur and his knights sat at their round-table. But our Cambrio-Hibernian surpassed them all; he traced himself up to some one, with a name unpronounceable by civilized tongues, who ruled over a territory in Wales hundreds of years before Prince Arthur's great grandmother showed her first tooth. "Ah! Oh: indeed! I shouldn't wonder"-remarks one of those whom he addressed, and who naturally felt indignant at finding he was but a mere sapling alongside the gigantic oak of the Evanses-"if some ancestors of your's were in the ark with Noah at the flood." "There were none of them there, sir!" replied Mr. Evans, sternly. Then drawing himself up to his full height, and making a low bow:-"I beg to acquaint you, sir," continued he, "that, upon that memorable occasion my people were on board their own yacht; and, when sailing past the ark, Noah to off his hat to the, and said how delighted he was to find his old friends, the Evanses, were all right.!"
In the reign of Elizabeth this branch of the Evanses possessed such wealth and influence that the were able to return eight members to sit in the English Parliament. Two brothers-John and Robert Evans-came over and settled in Ireland in the sixteenth century. John was ancestor of the Lords Carbery, and Robert of the Evanses of Baymount, county Dublin.
John who was living in Limerick in 1628, was the grandfather of
The Right Hon. George Evans, of Bulgaden Hall, county Limerick, barrister-at-law. He was a zealous promoter of the revolution; and after the accession of William he was made a member of that monarch's Privy Council. He represented Charleville, in the count of Cork. In 1617 he married Mary, daughter of John Eyre, of Eyre Court, and had, with other issue,
George, his heir, who was advanced to the peerage, May 9th, 1715, in the dignity of Baron Carbery, of Carbery, county Cork, with remainder (default his own) to the male issue of his father. He was member for the county of Limerick in the Irish Parliament. Was governor, constable, and keeper of the castle and fort of Limerick, and a member of the Privy Council. So well please was Queen Anne with his services that she presented him in person with a valuable emerald ring, which is still an heir-loom in the family. He also sat in the British Parliament as representative for Westbury, in Wiltshire. He married, in 1703, Anne, daughter and co-heir of William Stafford, of Blatherwick, in Northampton, and had
George, his successor, of whom presently.
John, of Bulgaden Hall, who, in 1741, married Grace, only daughter of Sir Ralph Freke, Bar., of Castle-Freke, county of Cork, and sole heiress of her brother, Sir John Redmond Freke, M.P., by whom he had five sons and four daughters; among whom were:-George Evans, who married Miss Stamer, and died issueless; and John Evans, who assumed the additional surname of Freke, and was created a baronet in 1768. He, Evans-Freke, baronet- married, in 1764, Elizabeth, daughter of Arthur, Earl of Arran, and, dying in 1777, left John-sixth Baron Carbery-his successor. George, of Bulgaden Hall, married the widow of the fourth Lord Carbery. Percy, who married, in 1797, Dorothea daughter of the Rev. Dr. Harvey, of Kyle, county Wexford, and left issue;--George Patrick, the present peer; Percy Augustus, lieutenant-colonel, died in 1847; Fenton John, late captain in the 2nd Life Guards. He married, in 1851, Catherine Felicia, eldest daughter of Thomas, Earl of Longford, and has a daughter, Georgiana Louisa. William Charles, married, in 1840, Sophia, third daughter of Phillip, Earl of Harborough, and widow of Sir Thomas Whitecote. Jane Grace Dorothea, married, in 1843, the Hon. and Rev. Charles B. Bernard, present bishop of Tuan-second son of James, Earl of Bandon-and has issue.
George-the second-baron-succeeded upon the death of his father in 1759. He married, in 1732, Frances, daughter of Richard, Viscount Fitz-William, by whom he had:-George, his eldest son and successor; John, who became fifth baron; and Frances Anne. He was succeeded upon his death in 1759 by his eldest son,
George-the third baron. He married, firstly, in 1760, Juliana, daughter of Baptist, Earl of Gainsborough, by whom he had an only daughter, married to Hartopp Wigby, of Dalby House, Leicestershire. His lordship married, secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Christopher Horton, of Catton Hall, county Derby, and had an only son, George,, who, upon his death in 1783, succeeded him.
George, the fourth baron-represented Rutlandshire in the English Parliament. He married Susan, only daughter and heiress of Colonel Henry Watson; and died without issue in 1804. His widow married George Evans, uncle of the present peer. He was succeeded by his uncle, John, the second son of the baron.
John-the fifth baron. He married, in 1759, Emma, daughter of the very Rev. William Crowe, Dean of Clonfert, by who he had issue-a son, who predeceased him, and three daughters. He died in 1807, and was succeeded by his second cousin, Sir John Evans Freke, who became
John-the sixth baron. He married, in 1783, Catherine Charlotte, third daughter of Arthur, Earl of Arran; and dying without issue in 1845, was succeeded by his nephew,
George Patrick-the seventh baron. His lordship married, in 1852, Harriet Maria Catherine, only daughter of Edmund William Shuldham, lieutenant-general E.I.C.S., of Dunmanway, and has issue, Georgiana Dorothea Harriet.
Macroom (that is the plain of Crom) was formerly spelt Macromp. Smith says the town takes its name from and old crooked tree which stood there at one time, and under the branches of which travellers used to rest themselves.
After Druidism disappeared, the bards (who were next in importance to the first Order of the Pagan priesthood) retained most of the privileges they had previously possessed; and for centuries after the introduction of Christianity they contrived to hold their assemblies here on the plain of Crom.
The town, which was probably coeval with the castle, had some new blood poured into it, when Cormac McCarthy,* in the reign of James the First, induced the Hardings, Kents, Goolds, Fields, and other English families to settle there.
In 1641, Donough, Lord Muskerry, who lived in Macroom Castle, was one of the most prominent leaders in the great rebellion; and upon its suppression in 1652, the town, castle, and the vast territorial estates of that nobleman, were forfeited. Upon the accession of Charles the Second, however, they were restored, and enjoyed by his descendants until the reign of William the Third, when they were again forfeited† for the active part taken by Donough, the fourth Earl of Clancarthy in the cause of James the Second.
At the great auction of forfeited estates held in Dublin in 1703, the greater portion the Clancarthy property underwent the hammer; and on the 23rd of June in that year the Hollow Sword Blades Company purchased 55,000 acres of this estate,-including "the town of Macroom, Tubbernacool Park, Warren Park, and the Orchard; Wholehane's tenements, several houses, cabins, shops, gardens, parts of gardens, three closes, the fairs, markets, mills, and the mile-end called Magheren; Pidgeon-house Park, Slevine; the house wherein are held the manor courts of Macroom, the guard-house in Macroom, and the market-house; together with the manor and seigniory of Macroom, the master county of Kerry and the bishop himself. The former was speedily disposed of-he was shot on the spot; but the bishop was hanged the next day at Carrigadrohid.
When General Ireton (Cromwell's son-in-law) was made lord-president of Munster, he sent some troops from Kilkenny, who burned not only the castle but the town in addition.
The year after the battle of the Boyne the English garrison in the castle were hard pressed by a body of Irish in the service of James; but on learning that Major Kirk and three hundred dragoons were marching against them, they raised the siege and made off. The castle, which consists of a vast quadrangular mass of masonry, overhangs the river Sullane, and commanded a ford which was formerly there.
* He died in 1616, after being chief of the great house of McCarthy-Morre for thirty-three years.
† About the year 1750 these estate were valued in £150,000 per annum; in 1796 in £200,000; and they would let at the present day for probably half-a-million sterling annually.
|[Preface] [Contents] [Bernards] [Index] [Depositions] [Maps] [Definitions] [Town/Parish Descriptions, 1835] [Resv'd]|