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History of Bandon
[Pages 227-258] JUDGE BERNARD AND HIS DESCENDANT - THE FRENCH EXPECTED - LORD BARRYMORE CLAIMS SOME OF THE CORPORATION LANDS - PROVOSTS' ACCOUNTS - LOSS OF AN ENGLISH SHIP OF WAR ON THE NEIGHBOURING COAST.
Francis Bernard, familiarly known as Judge Bernard, was born at Castle-Mahon, A.D. 1663. He was the eldest son of Francis Bernard, high-sheriff of the county of Cork in 1676, and great-grandson of Francis Bernard, the first of his family who settled in Ireland (i.e. Queen Elizabeth).
For several centuries before this offshoot from the parent tree was planted here, the Bernards were domiciled in England. When William of Normandy landed in Sussex, in the memorable year of Grace, 1066, among the mail-clad warriors who accompanied him was Sir Theophilus, who is described as "a valyant knyghte of German descent." Sir Theophilus-who was the son of Sir Egerett-had a son Sir Dorbred, who was the first to assume the surname of Bernard, and whose son, Robert Fitz-Bernard (in 1172), accompanied Henry the Second to Ireland; and so high did this officer stand in that monarch's estimation, that-when Henry left for England-he entrusted Fitz-Bernard with government of Waterford and Wexford.
Sir Henry Bernard (the christian name of Henry became a general favourite with the Bernards, in compliment to their royal patron) was grandson of Sir Francis Bernard, who married Hannah, daughter of Sir John Pilkington, and was a lineal descendant of Sir Dorbred's, He lived at his ancestral seat-Acornbank, in Westmoreland-where his forefathers had been seated for many generations. He married Anne, daughter of Sir John Dawson, also of Westmorland, by whom he had four sons,-Robert, William, Francis, and Charles. Francis, his third son-who settled here in Elizabeth's reign -married and had two daughters (one married Sir George Reynolds, and the other Percy Freke, and a son Francis, lord of the manor of Castel-Mahon, where he resided previous to the breaking out of the great rebellion in 1641. This Francis married Alice, daughter of - Freke, Esq., of Rathbarry Castle, by whom he had seven daughters (Elizabeth married Captain James Burrell; Katherine married Francis Beamish, Esq., of Kilmalooda; another married Lieutenant Johm Langton; Ellinor married Captain William Holcombe-whose eldest daughter, Jane, married William Sweete; another was married in 1660, by Rev. Thomas Weight, in Ballymodan Church, to her cousin, Captain John Freke, of Garrett's Town; Mary married Captain John Poole.of Mayfield; and Anne married Reuban Foulkes, Esq., of Youghal) and one son Francis. Upon the death of his father-will dated December 21, 1666-
Francis succeeded. He married-marriage settlement dated December 5th, 1661-Mary, daughter of Captain Arthur Freke, and grand-daughter of Sir Percy Smith, by Mary Boyle, sister of Richard, first Earl of Cork, and had issue:- Maria married Eusebius Chute, of Ballygannon, county Kerry; and, secondly Francis, son of Sir David Brewster, of Brewsterfield, same county. Anne married Robert Foulkes, Esq., Youghal. She died in 1754, leaving the bulk of her property to her nephew, Stephen Bernard, who then became owner of Prospect Hall, county Waterford. Elizabeth married the Rev. Samuel Wilson, of Little Island, county Kerry. Mary married Edward Adderly, Esq., of Innoshannon, son of Eward Adderly, by Mary, daughter of the Lord Chief-Justice Sir Mathew Hale. And two sons,-Francis the judge; and Arthur, progenitor of the Bernards of Palace Anne, who, on the 22nd of December, 1695, married Anne Power (or La-Poer), ''att the castle of Lismore, in the great dining-room, about eight of the clock on Sunday night.''
The father of Francis, the judge, lived in the most eventful period of our history. From the time that McCarthy-Reagh marched on Bandon at the head of three thousand men, in the February of 1642, until the town threw wide its gates to one of Cromwell's generals, in November, 1649, he held a commission in one of the companies of foot raised y the Bandonians for the service of the State.
It does not appear, however, that he served after Colonel Courtnay-the Royalists governor-and the troops under his command were compelled to march out. Neither does him seem in any way to be connected with the unsuccessful attempt made a few weeks before, ''to seize upon the governor, officers, and guards, and to secure the town for the Parliament and the Lord-Lieutenant (Cromwell).''
Mr. Bernard's name appears on the roll of officers known as the 1649 officers; that is, on the roll of those to whom arrears of pay were due prior to the 5th of June, 1649.
His military services were rewarded with a grant, under the Act of Settlement, of Knockane-Ideene, for which he passed patent, December 10th, 1669. These lands, which are on the southern banks of the Bandon river, adjoin the town of Ballineen, and have been ever since enjoyed by his descendants.
As a private gentleman he was highly esteemed; and, as an impartial, active, and judicious magistrate, perhaps, the best proof that can be given of the good opinion entertained of him in those respects, even by those from whom he differed widely in religion and politics, was the request conveyed to him in the April of 1688, by the provost of James the Second's Bandon corporation, from the council chamber of James's Grand Jury of the county of Cork, "that he should make cognizance of the high-constables, overseers, and undertakers of works for the barony of Kinalmeaky, for which they have not given any account; accordingly the said Grand Jury do entrust," &c.
In 1690 he died-having been killed whilst herorically defending his castle against an assault made upon it by a strong party belonging to Colonel Charles McCarthy's regiment of foot. Upon his decease, he was succeeded by his eldest son, Francis, the subject of this sketch.
Judge Judge Bernard was born in peaceable times. The great storm which had raged for nearly a dozen years, was succeeded by a profound calm. The turbulent waters which had flooded this unhappy country, bearing terror and destruction on their angry surface, had settled into the stillness of a mill-pond. The fired and the blood-stained walls of the colonist's home was replaced by a new and handsome residence. The low of cattle and the bleat of sheep told that flocks and herds again trod the soft pastures. The traveller listened with delight to the ploughman's peaceful whistle, and the milkmaid's song, as he passed along the high-road, or made his way through shady lanes and green fields to his journey's end.
The Judge, as we have said, was born at Castle-Mahon-an ancient fortalice which belonged to the O'Mahonys; by one of whom, it is said, to have been built in the reign of King John, and which occupies the site of the rath in which St. Fin Barr was born, and resided with his parents nearly thirteen hundred years ago. Here the future senator and lawyer read the classics until he was nearly ready to enter college. He then went to live for some time with Dr. Wilson, of Little Island, Kerry, (the husband of his sister, Elizabeth), under whom he completed his studies.
He entered Trinity College, Dublin, on the 30th of April, 1679, as appears by the Entrance Book, in which he is described as "Franciscus Bernard, Pensonarius, filius Francisci Bernard, natus annos sedecim, natus in Comit Corcagiae, educatus sub ferula Magistri Wilson." His college tutor was the Rev. Samuel Foley.*
* The Rev. Samuel Foley-son of Samuel Foley, Esq., of Clonmell, county Tipperary-became a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1677, chancellor of St. Patrick's in 1689, precentor of Killaloe in 1691, dean of Achonry the same year, and bishop of Down and Conner in 1694. He died May 22nd, 1695. His brother, Samuel Foley, was appointed prebendary, rector, and vicar of Kilbrogan, Bandon, in 1704.
After obtaining his degree of A.B., and completing his terms as a law student, he was called to the Bar. Being a hard reader, and a painstaking and clever man, he soon rose to eminence. Before he was twenty-nine years old he was recorder of Clonakilty-having been sworn into that office, September the 7th, 1692, in room of Richard Cox (afterwards Lord Chancellor of Ireland), who resigned. Before he was thirty-one years old he succeeded John Dowdall in a similar office in Kinsale; and had even attained to the recordership of the important city of Bristol whist still a very young man.
Like many other eminent lawyers-both before and since his day-he was desirous of obtaining a seat in Parliament. He may have thought that those daily conversant with the working of the laws may perform a useful part in framing new laws. or in moulding the old to the requirements of the age. Be that as it may, his wish was soon gratified. He was not more than one week recorder of Clonaklity, when the sovereign, burgesses, and commonality of that corporation assembled, "pursuant to a receipt directed to them, to choose two burgesses of the most discreet and the most sufficient men of the said town, to be and appear at the next Parliament, to be held at Dublin on the 5th of October, 1692;" and the said suffrain, burgesses, &c., freely and unanimously chose Colonel Percy Freke and Francis Bernard, Esq.
On the 28th of October, 1693, Mr. Bernard was sworn a free burgess of the Bandon corporation,* in lieu of Sir William Moore, deceased; and in 1695, he-in conjunction with Mr. Riggs, of Riggsdale-was elected to represent his native town of Bandon in the new Parliament about to assemble in Dublin.
That the Bandonians should select him as one of their representatives was just what one would expect. He was a fellow-townsman, and one they were proud of. He was a distinguished lawyer; and had been a member of the late House of Commons, His religious feelings, his political principles, were the same as their own. Their interests were identical.
Both were oppressed† and vanquished under James the Second; and both were free and exultant under William the Third. Under a Popish king they were dispoiled of their goods, and compelled to fly from the county to save their lives. Under a Protestant king their properties were protected and their lives were safe.
* Mr. Bernard obtained civic honours in various other places. He was appointed a burgess of Castleconnell in 1690; of Clonakilty in 1692; Bandon, 1693; Belfast, 1700; and Dunleer in 1707. He was presented with the freedom of the city of Kilkenny in 1705; and of the city of Cork in 1725.
† Mr. Bernard was attained by King James. His name appears on "The list of those who are hereby adjudged traitors, convicted and attainted of high treason; and shall suffer such pains of death, penalty, and forfeitures respectively, as in cases of high-treason are accustomed, unless such persons shall deliver themselves up the 10th of August, 1689." His estates were forfeited, as were also those of his farther and brother. These, however, were all restored upon the accession of William and Mary.
His supporters placed implicit confidence in him; and their confidence was not misplaced. Before the House had well sat, he presented a petition from his constituents, setting forth:- " That they disarmed the garrison of Bandon, and seized upon the town for his Majesty's service; and that afterwards, being overpowered by Major-General McCarthy and twelve thousand Irish, they were forced to ransom ten of the principal townsmen from execution, by compounding for fifteen hundred pounds, which they borrowed from English merchants at Cork, who had lately sued out execution against the petitioners for three hundred thousand pounds, principal and interest, to their inevitable ruin, unless relieved by the House, &c. They, therefore, prayed that the Lord-Deputy should be asked to intercede for them with his Majesty for a grant of some portion of the Earl of Clancarthy's estate,* as a recompense for their services and sufferings on the late troubles."
He also presented a petition from Richard White, stating:- "That he was one of the persons who became bound for eight hundred pounds of the money borrowed for the said town of Bandon, and that his whole substance hath been taken in execution for same; and praying that his deplorable condition be take into consideration."
But he did not rest satisfied with the mere formality of presenting the petition. He urged the House to take the matter up; and, in all probability, told the assembled Commons that they should allow no hurt to befall those valiant subjects of their Majesty, who appeared so early and so vigorous in so good a cause.
His appeal was successful. The House appointed a committee, composed of twelve of its members, to hear evidence and report. The committee† did so; and the report, which was brought up by Sir John Broderick, set forth:- "That the committee were fully satisfied that the suffering inhabitants of the town of Bandon appeared very early in defence of his Majesty and the Protestant interest in this kingdom, and disarmed a garrison of Irish, consisting of two companies of Irish and one troop of horse. That they were besieged by a body of twelve thousand Irish, under McCarthy and the Earl of Clancarthy. That they were forced to pay fifteen hundred pounds for the preservation of themselves and the said town form fires. And finally recommended that the debt should be satisfied out of the Lord Clancarthy's estate or some other of the forfeitures in Muskerry."
* They probably hinted at that portion of Lord Muskerry's estate which Cromwell gave them, and which Charles the Second restored to Muskerry's grandson (Lord Clancarthy). Prior to this, they were willing to accept compensation out of General McCarthy's estates (Lord Mount-Cashel). In a letter from Captain James Waller (Governor of Kinsale and Deputy Vice-Admiral of Munster) to Sir Robert Southwell, he says that Major Love (his brother-in-law) was employed to obtain of the government compensation out of General McCarthy's estate, for the money the corporation of Bandon were compelled by him to pay upon the surrender of that place.
† The committee consisted of:-
|Mr. Waller,||Colonel Beecher,||Mr. George Riggs,|
|Sir. John Meade,||Mr. Riggs,||Mr. Richardson,|
|Mr. Solicitor-General,||Sir Francis Blundell,||Sir St. John Broderick,|
|Mr. Bernard,||Mr. Robert Rogers,||Colonel Purcell.|
Upon the report being read, the House passed a series of resolutions, and gave directions to Mr. Bernard to introduce a bill founded upon them.
The bill was not long in preparation. Neither was it long in passing through the House. It had hardly passed though one stage, when it passed into another-and so on, until it passed through all. Though it may get thus far, it may then be shelved for years, But this was not a measure, in our representative's opinion, to he thus treated; neither was he the man to permit it. Scarcely was the last formality complied with, when he was with their Excellencies the Lords Justices, pressing that the bill should be at once sent to England to obtain the royal signature. His urgency prevailed; and in a short time the bill returned an Act of Parliament.
The only portion of the committee's report which the House did not adopt was that recommending that the money should be raised off some of the Muskerry forfeitures. The House preferred it should be raised off the province of Munster, which was accordingly done; and thus his Bandon constituents, as well as their descendants and successors, have ever since been relieved from a debt of two thousand five hundred pounds, mainly, if not entirely, owing to the energy, the perseverance, and the unfaltering devotion of their zealous and worthy representative, Mr. Francis Bernard.
Two years after he first sat for Bandon, he married. His wife was Alice, grand-niece of that uncompromising Republican, General Ludlow,* and only daughter of Stephen Ludlow, Esq., one of the trustees appointed by the 11th of William the Third, to carry out the trusts in connection with all rectories impropriate, tithes, vicarages, glebes, and advowsons, forfeited by those who were found guilty of acts of rebellion.
In 1703 he was again returned for Bandon, along with Richard Georges, of Meath (subsequently Quarter-Master General of Ireland); and in 1713 he sat for Bandon for the last time. On this occasion his co-representative was Mr. Bladen, of Albany Hatch, in Essex.
In politics, Mr. Bernard professed himself a Tory; and his friends being seldom in office-and even then but for a short time-a fitting opportunity was not afforded them of placing him in that position to which his abilities eminently entitled him. But, although opposed to the Whig administration, his opposition was not very vigorous, and was never factious. Notwithstanding that he would remove them form the management of affairs, yet he approved of many things that they did. And it was but natural that he should. A Tory king seized on his estates, and also on those of his farther and brother; and a Whig king restored them. It was under a Tory government a debt was imposed on his fellow-townsmen-"to their inevitable ruin, unless relieved;" and it was under a Whig government that they were relieved, and their inevitable ruin averted.
* The Ludlow took their surname from the Castle of Ludlow, in Shropshire. Stephen Ludlow-ancestor of the Earls of Ludlow-was son of Henry Ludlow; and he (Henry) was the son Sir Henry Ludlow, of Maiden-Bradley, county Wilts, by Letitia, daughter of Thomas West, sixth Lord Delaware. At the restoration, General Ludlow fled to Switzerland, where several attempts were made to assassinate him and other English refugees, as he would have been, undoubtedly, one of the very first to share the fate of his valiant companion in arms, Major-General Harrisson, "who was so barbarously executed, that he was cut down whilst yet alive, and saw his bowels thrown into the fire. Chief-Justice Coke-another friend of his, who had been solicitor for the High-Court of Justice at the trial of Charles the First-was dragged to the scaffold upon a hurdle, upon which was the head of Harrisson, with its ghastly face uncovered, and turned towards him. Coke met death like a man. He declared that, "as to the part he had taken in the action, he was most ready to seal it with his blood." Mr. Peters, Mr. Scot, Colonel Scroop, Colonel Jones, and several other-relying upon the Act of Indemnity, and the proclamation calling on them to surrender themselves within fourteen days, under the penalty of exception from the benefit of the said act for life and estate-came out boldly from their hiding-places, and unreservedly placed themselves in the royal hands. But they soon had reason to regret what they did; for, with the characteristic mercilessness and treachery of this branch of right divine, they were quickly seized upon, and nearly the entire number hanged and quartered.
We have said he approved of many things the Whigs did. Indeed, he would seem to have been more of a Whig than of a Tory. Writing to a friend in 1714, he says:-"I have as great a value for the Revolution as the most perfect Whig in the world. Again:-"I am determined to stand by the present government as long as I have life, or an acre to lose in the service."
Although warmly in favour of a bill that was brought into the Commons for establishing a new bank in Ireland-a valuable measure which the government supporters threw out, "they having got up such a public clamour throughout the whole kingdom that there was no standing against the torrent, and we were knocked down by a majority, without either argument or debate;* and although he severely censured the government of granting a patent to Mr. Wood, for supplying a deficiency in the copper coinage of this kingdom-yet such was the high opinion entertained of his judgment and honour by the very head of the government to whom he showed no mercy on this point, that the Viceroy sent for him, and spent three hours discussing the matter with him. In a letter to the Right Hon. Edward Southwell, Mr. Bernard tells us a great deal of what passed at that interview, and that "it ended in the Lord-Lieutenant being convinced that it was not possible for him to give any currency to Wood's halfpence; and that, if he could not obtain a power from the other side to assure the people that they should be freed from them, it would be impossible for him to do the Kings; business." In a week after, the Viceroy sent for him again' "and he told me, that since I had been so free with him as to break my mind to him, he had discoursed with the Lord Chancellor and Connolly, and that they had concurred with me in everything; and that he was convinced and satisfied that the method I proposed-and then treated me with so much confidence, as to show me his letter to the Duke of Newcastle upon the subject, which pressed the easing of us from Wood's coin" So thoroughly did he share in the indignation which Drapier's letters aroused in the public mind at this time, "that he didn't care to show himself at Court until Wood,† as well as his coin, be laid aside."
* Vide-Judge Bernard's letters to Right Hon. Edward Southwell.
† Mr. Wood obtained a patent in 1723, to supply a deficiency of £108,000 in the copper coinage of Ireland. Dean Swift, under the signature of M.B. Drapier, attacked the government for granting Wood this privilege; and such sensation did his letters excite, that the patent was cancelled, and Wood was compelled to leave the country. The public mind was greatly incensed against Wood and the government at this period. Archbishop Boulter, in one of his letters to the Duke of Newcastle, Secretary of State, says:-" We are at present in a very bad state, and the people so poisoned with apprehension of Wood's halfpence, that I do not see there can be any hopes of justice against any person for seditious writings, if he does but mix somewhat about Wood in them.
In 1705 Mr. Bernard was made Justice and Commissioner of the County Palatine of Tipperary, by the Duke of Ormond; and on the retirement of William Witshead, Esq., he was appointed to the office of Solicitor-General, on the 3rd of July, 1711. In 1724 Lord Carteret, the Lord-Lieutenant-although of opposite politics-sent his secretary to him, with the offer of the post of Prime Sergeant, just vacant by the death of Robert Fitzgerald; and this-to use Mr. Bernard's own words-"being done in so kind a manner, that I accepted of it; though it will not add any profit, but is attended with the trouble of going circuit- which I have declined for some years past." Upon the death of Charles McCruthers, he was appointed to his place; and took his seat upon the Bench, as one of the Judges of his Majesty's Court of Common Pleas, June 26th, 1726; and there he continued to sit, giving great satisfaction to the Bar and the public, until two days before his death-which occurred on the 29th June, 1731.
As a lawyer, he was not remarkable for the possession of any conspicuous forensic powers; but he stood high for a profound knowledge of the law, for keen penetration, and for sound judgment. Archbishop Boulter, who was a contemporary of his, says:-"He was allowed to be a profound lawyer, and man of integrity; and as such-when the rage of party cooled-his merit was taken notice of, by promoting him to a judge's place."
As a practising barrister he was much sought after. In the journals of the Irish House of Commons, we find permission asked from that assembly-at various times-that he should be allowed to appear as counsel before the Lords. He was leader in the celebrated case of Lord Limerick v. Annesley, when he appeared for the plaintiff; also in the great Appeal case of Sir Humphry Jarvis v. Offley. He appeared for the petitioner in the Chancery suit of Bayly against Charles McCarthy, and in a great many others.
As we have before remarked, Mr. Bernard was a man of keen penetration and sound judgment; but in no portion of his career were those qualities more perceptible than during the sale of forfeited estates-which began about the year 1702. The sale continued for years, as the estates to be sold were enormous; and as the biddings were often inconsiderable, the commissioners were unwilling to force too many of them together into the market.
That the biddings should be small-and reach, perhaps, to not a quarter of what they would in settled times-ought no to surprise us. We should remember that the effects of the rebellion, which was put down in 1692, were still felt in 1702. It was true that a great portion of the capital, which fled from Ireland to escape being laid hands upon by Tryconnell or his royal master, had returned; but its owners were still frightened, and they hoarded it. Suppose it was invested in the purchase of those estates; and suppose Anne-who, two years before, lost the only child she ever expected would succeed her-should die, as she now was, childless; or should abdicate in favour of he brother, the Pretender* -for whom she entertained a strong affection; or should leave him the throne at her decease? Putting aside the principle of gratitude, had he not a precedent in his own family, to show him how he ought to act? Where there not many of those who adventured their money for lands here in his grandfather's reign, or who had obtained grants for valuable services, deprived of these lands in his uncle's reign? And was it likely that the son of James the Second-who was taught to abhor a heretic from his cradle-would protect Protestant purchasers in the possession of estates from which Roman Catholics had been ejected?
Hence it was that the prices obtained were apparently insignificant; but-considering the circumstances at the time-were in reality their full value. We are acquainted with the rental of a property bought at this time for a sum less than it annually produces now. Yet the great inducements given to buyers, by the low prices procured for the lands, were not sufficient to coax some of those who brought them to keep them. The Blarney estate was purchased by Sir Richard Pyne-who, from his official position as Lord Chief-Justice, would reasonably be thought to be nearer the sources of correct information than the ordinary buyer-but he quickly disposed of this purchase to Mr. Jeffries, at a sum less than he paid for it himself. The Hollow Sword Blades Company, who bought immense estates in this country, got rid of them as well as they could.†
* "Oh, my brother! my poor brother! what will become of you?" was among the last exclamations of Queen Anne,-(Vide Queens of England, Miss Strickland). Again-same work-:-"The suspicious of the tendency of Queen Anne to the cause of her brother led the Whigs to a resolution of dethroning her, which, there can be little doubt, they would have perpetrated long before, had it not been for the moderation of her measures. Glannville (the member for Hythe) was heard to declare, 'that the Queen and her ministers' designs for the Pretender were well known; and the opposite party had resolved that the Queen should not remain on the throne one fortnight; for which purpose they had sixteen thousand men in readiness-not, he added, to begin first, but to resist the intrusion of the Pretender.'"
† Those who purchased under the Hollow Sword Blades Company were secured by two English Acts of Parliament, -the Irish Trustee Act, and a special Act obtained by the company to make good the titles of those who purchased from them. -See Boulter's Letters.
Mr. Bernard was able to see before him. He knew that no inconsiderable portion of the English aristocracy and landed gentry, nearly all the inhabitants of cities and towns, and ten of thousands of the intelligent freeholders and yeoman, were deadly opposed to the crown of England being ever again placed upon the head of a Stuart. If, however, the Pretender was called back, and governed in accordance with the wishes of his people, he knew he need not fear for his purchases; and should he not do so, he knew well that the same power which deprived his farther of his crown, and his grandfather of his head, was still in being. He saw all this, and he bought boldly. He invested close on thirty thousand pounds* at the sales; and when these were over, he purchased a large portion of the Earl of Anglesea's grants in Bantry and the Carberries; the town of Macroom, its manor and castle, the manor of Kilcrea, the manor of Blarney, and the conservatorship of the river Lee, and the fishings therein, from the Hollow Sword Blades Company. In 1708 he bought from Hester, widow of Thomas Gookin-her six daughters joining in the sale-the lands of Killountain (alias West Gully), Currymachane, Brittas, and Gaggin; and from many of those who longed to be rid of what they had. And the largest estate in the largest county in Ireland testifies that he was right. He died, as has been previously stated, on the 29th June, 1731; and in a few days after his remains were removed from Dublin, and arrived at Castle-Bernard. Here they staid until next day, when they set out for their final resting place; and were laid in the family vault, in the chancel of Ballymodan Church; and a magnificent white marble monument, by Flaxman, was erected to mark the spot where they lay.
* We need scarcely remind our readers that thirty thousand pounds in our day is by no means commensurate with a similar sum nearly two centuries since.
The Judge was the father of a large family, and was a kind and considerate parent. On one occasion, preliminaries were arranged for a marriage between his eldest son and the daughter of the Earl of Barrymore; yet, when he found that the young gentleman didn't care much about the young lady, he broke it off. "I do not find," said he, in a letter to one of his friends, "that he has any inclination to proceed in the matter; and God forbid that I should press him to act against his inclinations in an affair of so much consequence to him." On another occasion he objected to his sons travelling, because he was told the distemper abroad rendered it unsafe.
He was as kind a brother as he was a father. When his sister Elizabeth, who married Dr. Wilson, fled from this country upon the arrival of Tyrconnell as Lord-Lieutenant, and escaped to England with her husband and children, where poor Wilson soon after died, leaving his widow and a little boy and girl totally unprovided for, Mr. Bernard at once sent for her; and although money was very scarce-it having almost quitted the kingdom in despair-nevertheless, he provided liberally for herself; he allowed her a handsome income, to maintain herself and her children; he paid all the expenses of educating the latter, and, in addition, undertook to provide suitably for them when they were grown up.
He left behind him six sons and one daughter, namely:-
Francis, his heir, born in 1698, of whom presently.
Stephen-of Prospect Hall, county of Waterford-a barrister, born in 1701. He was elected to represent Bandon in 1727. In 1734 he was appointed to the recordership of Kinsale, in succession to Mr. Jephson Busteed; which office he filled for many years. He died at Tarbes, France, in 1757. He was unmarried.
North Ludlow, major 5th Dragoons,* born in 1705. Married Rose, daughter of John Echlin, Esq., of Echlinville, county Down; and, secondly, Mary, eldest daughter of Richard, Viscount Fitz-William, and widow of Henry, ninth Earl of Pembroke and sixth of Montgomery. It was this lady brought the Fitz-William estates into the Pembroke family. She died in Dublin, and was buried in St. Mary's Church in that city. North Ludlow also died in Dublin, April 15th, 1768, having had issue by his first wife:-Charles, who died young; James, who succeeded his uncle Francis, the squire; and two daughters-Mary, married at Ballymodan Church, August 26th, 1756, to Isaac Hewett, Esq., of Clancoole; and Eliza, married January 14th, 1766 also at Ballymodan Church, to Richard Sealy, Esq., of Richmond.
Arthur, William, John; and one daughter, Elizabeth, who married James, third Viscount Charlemont, and was mother of James, fourth Viscount and first Earl of Charlmont, commander-in-chief of the "volunteers" in 1779. She married, secondly, her cousin, Thomas Adderly, Esq., of Innoshannon. She died in 1743.
* Richard, Viscount Molesworth was the colonel. Lord Molesworth was also General and Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in Ireland, and Major-General of the Ordinance for the year 1751.
Francis-best known as Squire Bernard-was the Judge's eldest son and heir. He succeeded upon the death of his father in 1731. He was elected to represent Clonakilty in 1725, in room of Richard Cox, Esq., of Dunmanway, deceased; and in1766 sat for Bandon. In 1722 he married Anne, daughter of Henry, Earl of Shelburne,* by Arabella, daughter of Charles, Lord Clifford, son and heir-apparent of Charles, Earl of Cork and Burlington. This lady did not survive long, as she died in her thirty-first year, having had a son, who predeceased her.
Had this youth survived, he would have been the largest landed proprietor in the British isles; as, in addition to the very extensive estates of his father, he would, upon the death of his uncle, Lord Dunkerron, and his infant son, have inherited the vast patrimony of his grandfather, Lord Shelburne-containing upwards of one hundred and thirty-five square miles-as next heir; and which, after his death, Lord Shelburne bequeathed to John Fitz-Maurice, the second son of his sister Anne, by Thomas, twenty-first Lord Kerry (ancestor of the Marquis of Lansdowne).
Although the Squire lived in an age when every man of wealth and station had an embroidered coat or vest on, wore frills and rich ruffles of Mechlin lace, and was decked out with valuable jewels, yet he was conspicuous, in this time, for the costliness of his habiliments, for the lustre of the rubies and garnets which glowed on the hilt of his rapier, and for the size and brilliancy of the diamonds which glistened on his fingers, and on his shirt-front and shoe-buckles.†
* Henry, Earl of Shelburne, was the second son of the celebrated Sir William Petty, by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Hardress Waller. In the north aisle of the chancel of Wycombe Church, is a monument to his memory, with the following inscription:-"To the memory of Henry Petty, Earl of Shelburne, son of Sir William Petty. His Lordship married Arabella Boyle, daughter of Charles, Lord Clifford, son and heir-apparent of Charles, Earl of Cork and Burlington, by whom he had issue:- Julia, who died unmarried, aged twenty-three years. Charles, who died at the age of twelve years. Anne, who married Francis Bernard, Esq., of Castle-Bernard, in the kingdom of Ireland, and died aged thirty years, leaving no issue. James, Lord Viscount Dunkerron, died in the fortieth year of his age; Elizabeth, his wife, in her thirty-third; and with their only son, who died and infant, lie buried underneath this monument."
† Long before his time, expensiveness of attire was fashionable, and had reached an extreme, which, even in the gayest part of the last century, would be looked upon as outrageous. In the reign of James the First, the Duke of Buckingham used to walk about, dressed in a suit and cloak of uncut velvet, encrusted all over with diamonds to the value of eighty thousand pounds. The ladies were even worse. At the wedding of the Princess Elizabeth (daughter of James the First) with the Count Palatine of Germany, Lady Wotton wore a gown, the embroidery of which cost fifty pounds a yard; and Lady Arabella Stuart had a dress on which cost fifteen hundred pounds, and jewelry, the price of which would be represented now-a-day by a sum equivalent to between one and two million sterling.
He made great improvements at Castle-Bernard. It was he who planted the rows of colossal beech, which stretch from the western entrance of the demesne to the east end of the castle. He built an eastern front to the old fortalice, where his forefathers had lived the previous century; and which his grandfather had improved by throwing down the bawn walls which surrounded it, and enlarging and modernizing the windows; and which building his father (the judge) enlarged by the addition of handsome brick* front, facing the river; and which, when completed, the entire was by him named Castle-Bernard.
When Dr. Smith was collecting materials for his history of the county of Cork (first published in 1749), he visited Castle-Bernard. "The house," said he, "has two regular fronts; the walls are of brick, with Corinthian pilasters, coignes, and beltings of Portland stone. There are fine gardens o three side of it, adorned with fountains, statues, and other decorations. That one the north is a most delightful spot, called the water-garden, with cascades, jets d'eau, &c. The apartments are well disposed. Adjoining is a very noble park, which is about four miles in circumference. The Bandon river runs through it, being divided by several islands, sweetly wooded, as are most of the upper grounds."
But even the far-famed attractions of the royal grounds at the King's castle at Windsor-although depicted in immortal song by the greatest poet of the eighteenth century-failed, according to the opinion of the eminent topographer above referred to, to rival the beauties of the sylvan scenery here. "But this park," says Smith," may be truly said to be pleasant beyond any poetical description."
* The bricks were made from the clay of the field that lies on the southern bank of the Bandon river, between that charming bower known as Lady Harriet's cottage, and Baxter's-bridge.
In addition to the beech planted, leading to the west-gate of the demesne, the Squire planted two rows of beech trees, extending from the new front which he built almost to the very church gate at Ballymodan. The townspeople took fire at this. They did not object to his planting all the lands intervening between the fair-green and Castle-Bernard-amongst other reasons, perhaps, because they had no control over them, as they formed a portion of Mr. Bernard's castle-but they strenuously resisted the planting and enclosing of that portion of their common where the trees stood.
After a protracted struggle, in which both sides showed strong feelings, the Squire was obliged to give way; and so chagrined was he at the discomfiture of this pet project, that he uprooted not only the trees complained of, but also all those which formed the continuation of his new eastern entrance; and, packing up, he transferred himself and his establishment to England, and never set his foot in this country again.
Upon his arrival in London, he took up his residence in Spring Gardens, and shortly after he purchased Bassingbourne Hall, in Essex, from the family of De Bassingbourne, by whom it was erected. He almost re-built this old mansion; and when completed, it resembled Palace Anne-a beautiful residence raised by his uncle, Arthur, some years previously, on the southern banks of the river Bandon, and a few miles to the west of the town. Bassingbourne was tastefully planted, and had a large ornamental lake in front of the house.
But even the allurements of his country seat, and of Spring Gardens, were not sufficient to prevent him travelling a great deal abroad. He visited most of the principal cities in Europe, where he spent large sums in collecting many valuable pictures and articles of virtu. He died at his town residence in Spring Gardens, March 19th, 1783, aged eighty-five years; and was buried with much heraldic pomp and display.
By his own particular desire, his body was drawn to Lokeley Church, near Bassingborne, by six of his favourite grey mares; and upon the conclusion if the beautiful and impressive service for the burial of the dead, his costly-draped coffin, with its mountings and armorial bearings, all of solid silver, was laid in a vault in the chancel. He was succeeded by his nephew, James, eldest surviving son of his brother, North Ludlow. James was born in 1730; and in 1752 he married Esther, sister of William Smith, Esq., of Headborough, and relicit of Major Gookin. She died in 1780.
Mr. Bernard was first elected provost of Bandon in 1764, in which year he also served the office of treasurer to the corporation. He was again provost in 1768; and again in 1776.
During his long connection with the Bandon corporation-which continued to his death-he was most assiduous in the performance of his duties; and during the time he served as provost, so anxious was he to be always on the spot, that he used to leave Castle-Bernard altogether, and reside within the walls.
When the great flood, which happened here on the 15th of January, 1765, swept away old Bandon bridge, and flooded the lower parts of the town-causing great loss and distress amongst the poor inhabitants who lived there-he came forward and volunteered to supply the corporation with whatever funds they could deem necessary to afford the sufferers relief.
One who saw a great deal of the world, and who was well acquainted with every surface which humanity presents to the eye, thought highly of Mr. Bernard. "Though he is far the richest person in these parts." said John Wesley, "he keeps no race-horses or hounds, but loves his wife and home, and spends his time an fortune in improving his estate and employing the poor. Gentlemen of this spirit are a blessing to this neighbourhood. May God increase their number!" Speaking of Castle-Bernard:-"It has a beautiful front," said he, "resembling that of Lord Mansfield's house at Carnwood; and he (Mr. Bernard) has opened part of his lovely park to the house, which, I think, has now as beautiful a situation as Rockingham House, at Yorkshire."
Mr. Bernard first sat for the county in 1783. On this occasion there was a great contest, and at the close of the poll Mr. Bernard stood at its head. There being:-
|Sir J. C. Colthurst........................||209|
He again sat for the county in 1790, and again Lord Kingsborough was his colleague; but Lord Kingsborough was unseated, upon a petition presented against his return by Mr. Morris.
As has been stated previously, he married the widow of Major Gookin.* This lady had by Gookin two sons-Robert and Waller. Waller died a child in 1751; and Robert, a mere youth, was accidentally killed† at Castle-Bernard, in the summer of 1760.
It appears that young Gookin, with a love of sport common to all little boys, ascended to the top story of King John's tower; and whilst standing near a window, through which bats and swallows used to fly in and out of the apartments which they had made their own, he made a stroke at a swallow with the battle-door which he held in his hand; he missed his aim, and in endeavoring to repeat it he stepped back, when he unfortunately fell through the trap-door through which he had come up, and received such severe injuries that he died on the second day after.
* The Gookins (originally Gokin, Gockin, Cokin) were from Canterbury, Kent; and down to A.D.1700 their posterity continued within a circuit of five miles of that city. Vincent and Daniel Gookin were contemporary with Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork, who was a native of Canterbury, in 1566. Daniel Gookin founded a colony in Virginia at his own expense. Vincent came to Ireland; he became Sir Vincent Gookin.
Sir Vincent married a daughter of Sir Thomas Crooke, Bart., by whom he had two sons-Vincent and Robert; and after her decease he married again, and had several children. Upon the death of his father, Vincent succeeded. He died without issue, and was succeeded by his brother, Robert Gookin. He married Mary Smith, by whom he had four children-Vincent, Robert, Mary, and Anne. Mary married Morgan Bernard, and had Steward Bernard (who married his first cousin, Dorothy Gookin, by whom he had John Bernard, of Bernard's Hall); and Anne married Abraham Lamb, and had Vincent Lamb (ancestor of the Lambs of Kilcolman).
Vincent Gookin succeeded his father, and dying issueless, his brother, Robert succeeded. He married Hester Hodder, and had one son Robert. After her death he again married, and had two children-Vincent and Dorothy-and dying, left Robert his successor. He married Dorothy Waller, and by her left a son, Robert; and dying Robert (i.e. -Major Gookin) succeeded. He married Hester Smith, daughter of Percy Smith, Esq., of Headborough; and dying, in 1752, left two sons-Robert and Waller. The Gookins lived for a long time in Ibane, and later are described as of Courtmasherry; and many of them (including Major Gookin and his two sons) are buried in the churchyard of Lislee.
† It would seem from the date of the deed executed by his co-heirs-John Bernard, Esq., of Bernard's Hall, and Vincent Lamb, Esq.,-that this unfortunate event occurred previous to the month of July, 1760.
Mr. Bernard had by his wife two sons and five daughters, namely:-
Francis, his heir, of whom presently.
Charles-born in December, 1762-died before his father.
Rose, born March 8th, 1758, married-November 13th, 1773-William, Lord Riversdale, by whom she had seven sons and one daughter; and, secondly, Captain Millerd, of the 55th Foot, by whom she had no issue. She died May 26th, 1810.
Esther, born March 17th, 1759, married-December 2nd, 1775-Sampson Stawell, Esq., of Kilbrittain, and died leaving issue.
Mary, born in 1760, married Sir Augustus Warren, Bart., and died November 14th, 1825, leaving issue.
Charlotte married-September 3rd, 1785-Hayes St. Leger, Viscount Doneraile. She died September 2nd, 1835, leaving issue.
Elizabeth married, in 1785, Richard Acklom, of Wiseton Hall, Notts, by whom she had a daughter, Esther Acklom (who, in 1814, married John, Viscount Althorp, who, upon the death of his father in 1831, became Earl Spenser).
Mr. Bernard died* in Dublin on the 7th July, 1790, and was succeeded by Francis, born November 26th, 1755. He represented Bandon in 1783, in conjunction with Lodge Morris, Esq. He was created Baron Bandon on the 30th of November, 1793, having declined a peerage twice previously. The patent states that the honour was conferred for the distinguished services, loyalty, and fidelity of himself and his ancestors.
He first took his seat in the Lords on the 25th of March, 1794. He was introduced by Lords Lismore and Donoughmore; and on his Patent of Peerage being read and delivered to him with the usual formalities, he was sworn, and took his seat as a baron. In two years later he was made Viscount Bandon, on which occasion he was introduced to the House of Peers by Lord Harburton and O'Neil; and on the 6th of August, 1800, he was advanced to the dignities of Viscount Bernard and Earl of Bandon.
* His body was brought from Dublin, and interred in Ballymodan Church. The account of the expenses is still extant which was furnished for supplying fresh horses at the various stages on the way down, and of the payments made to "keeners," fresh relays of whom met the funeral at specified places, and took the "keen" from the previous lot, who returned to their homes; and in this way the lamentation was kept up unceasingly, day and night, from the moment the coffin was brought out of the house where Mr. Bernard died, until it was entombed in Bandon; a period which in those days, and under the circumstances, must have at least occupied a week, if not more.
In 1798 he pulled down the two fronts added to Castle Bernard by the Judge and the Squire, and built a spacious mansion a little to the east of the old castle, with which it is connected by a long corridor.
On the 12th of February, 1784, Mr. Bernard married Catherine Henrietta-who died July 8yh, 1815 -only daughter of Richard, Earl of Shannon, by whom he had:- James, the second Earl. Richard Boyle-in holy orders, D.D., and dean of Leighlin-born September 4th, 1787, died in 1850. Previous to his entering the church, he represented Bandon in Parliament in 1812, and continued to sit until 1815, when he accepted the stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds. Francis-Lieutenant 9th Light Dragoons-born February 27th, 1789, died at Coimbra, in Portugal, in 1813. William Smith, born September 13th, 1792, was colonel 17th Lancers. Served many years with the 1st Dragoon Guards, in which regiment he obtained his troop. He was the first representative for Bandon after the passing of the Reform Bill in 1832. He again sat for Bandon in 1857, and continued to sit until his death in 1863. He was high-sheriff of the county in 1820; was provost of Bandon in 1824, again in 1826, 1828, 1830, 1832, 1836, and finally, in 1841, after which the corporation was abolished. He married (in 1831) Elizabeth, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Gillman, of Clancoole, Bandon.
Henry Boyle, coronet 1st Dragoon Guards, killed at Waterloo, born 1797.
Charles Ludlow, born 1805, died January 21st, 1861
Catherine Henrietta, died in 1850.
Charlotte Esther, married (in 1816) Hayes, Viscount Doneraile, by whom she had a son-the present year.
Louisa Anne, died in 1851.
The Earl died in November, 1830; and was succeeded by his eldest son,
James, the second Earl, D.C.L., F.R.S., Lord-Lieutenant and custos rotulorum of the county of Cork, and a representative peer. Born June 4th, 1785. He first sat for Bandon in 1820, and again in 1830. He married-March 13th, 1809-Mary Susan Albinia, daughter of the Honourable and most Reverend Charles Broderick, D.D., archbishop of Cashel, and had issue. He died October 31st, 1856, and was succeeded by
Francis, the present year.
Charles Broderick, born January 4th, 1811, lord bishop of Tuam, Kullalla, and Achony. Married-July, 1843-the Honble. Jane Grace, sister of George, seventh Baron Carberry, and had issue:- Percy Broderick, born September 17th, 1844; James Boyle, born December 22nd, 1847.
Henry Boyle, born February 6th, 1812, colonel 87th South Cork Light Infantry. Married-January 18th, 1848-Matilda Sophia, youngest daughter of Lieutenant-General Charles Turner.
Francis (the present peer) succeeded upon the death of his father in 1856. Born January 3rd, 1810. He first obtained a seat in Parliament, January the 6th, 1831, having only attained his majority three days previously; on which occasion he succeeded his father in the representation of Bandon, he having become Earl of Bandon by the death of Francis, the first Earl.
He was again returned on the 7th of May-same year-for the new Parliament summoned to assemble on the 14th of June, but retired in a few weeks. On the 2nd August, 1847, he again sat for Bandon, and continued to represent the town until the decease of the late peer in 1856. On the 16th of August, 1832, he married Catherine Mary, sister of Thomas Charlton, Esq., Apley Park, Salop (he married Louisa Anne, daughter of Charles Marquis of Queensbury, by Caroline, daughter of Henry, Duke of Buccleuch), and has issue:-
James Francis, Viscount Bernard born September 12th, 1850.
Mary Catherine Henrietta, married-July 1863-Richard Aldworth, late colonel 7th Royal Fusileers.
Charlotte Esther Emily.
Adelaide Mary Lucy.
1666- It appears that Samuel Browne, provost, and Mr. Francis Bernard, were directed to examine the accounts of Mr. Clarck, master of the House of Correction.
Among other matters which were brought under their notice, was a statement to the effect that Mr. Clarck had given no security for the property of the county which was entrusted to him. In reference to this affair, Lord Barrymore wrote the following letter:-
"To my very loving friend, Samuel Browne, provost of Bandon, and Mr. Francis Bernard, Bandon,
"I understand by Mr. Clarck, master of the House of Correction, that on account of some information which ye hath received, that no security was given for the stock of the county, ye were ordered to call him to account; I do hereby certify that Redmond Barry, Esq., and Ensign Richard Peard, of Castle-Lyons, were security for the said Richard Clarck; and it (the said security) was taken by me, by order of the Justice at the Sessions. I do further desire ye not to proceed any further in the accounts; in regard, I am now going to Charlesville, where the Lord-President shall receive satisfied how the county stock is employed by him. "Yours,
"Kilnokerry, April 5th, 1666." "Barrymore.
As some of the old proprietors had been already restored to their estates. and as the government intended to restore many more, the Bandon corporation began to grow uneasy least they should be deprived of the lands bestowed on them by Cromwell, or that the rents payable by them should bee increased. In answer to a letter of their's on this subject, to their representative, Dr. Georges, they received the following reply:-
"I have that due sense of my obligation to yourself and your corporation, that I can omit no opportunity that may give me occasion to express my gratitude to you both. And though I had many friends and relatives that I am inclinable to gratify, yet upon the last disposition of his Royal Highness's lands in the county of Cork, for this following year, I have only preserved your interest-I mean the land which was last year let to your corporation-being not yet in a capacity to procure them to be confirmed, and settled upon you as part of what is secured to you by the last law. I have, however, upon your agreement with Sir Kirle and Colonel Townsend, engaged them that the interest of your corporation should be continued, without any increase of rent for the following year; which you may, if you see occasion, inform them from me. And if you observe any inclination in them to fail in that engagement, let me receive notice thereof; and I hope before the period of this year, I may be able to secure your corporation better in this particular which, I pray, assure them. From him who is
"Their and your most affectionate friend and humble servant,
"April 21, 1666." "Robert Georges.
A great portion of this year was spent in making preparations to receive the French, who were almost daily expected to make a descent on our neighbouring coasts. Lord Orrery (the Lord President of Munster) was particularly active. He devoted a great deal of his time to Kinsale,* at which port, he was informed by the Duke of Ormond, the enemy intended to land. Orrery lost no time in settling that place in order. He laid a boom across the channel, constructed bastions and curtains, erected earthworks upon the ramparts, placed six thousand pounds weight of biscuits in the fort; employed "a food chirurgeon and two mates, with a chest of medicine, to clap in there;" sent to Limerick for two hundred hand-grenades, and set to work all the basket-makers in Bandon, making gabions and dust-baskets.
As soon as he had rendered Kinsale defensible, he hastened up to Bandon-"the frontier town of the west"-where he called out three companies of foot and a troop of horse. During his stay here he had an interview with some of the principal gentry in the west of the county, who readily came forward and offered to assist hem with four hundred foot and three hundred horse, which he gladly accepted. To this force was subsequently added Armitage's company of foot, also Wade's and Stawell's.
Of the officers. and of others who solicited appointments, Orrery speaks creditably enough, with one exception:-"Gookin is rich, a man of good brains, and fit to command horse. Townsend had money and brains also. Gifford, although very stout, is very poor, yet he is as able to command foot as Townsend. Moore is a good horse officer, and an honest man; but as for Lieutenant-Colonel Arnop, he is somewhat crazed."
Several of the Dutch prisoners taken during the war were lodged for safety in Bandon, where the government agreed to pay them a penny a day each for their support; but this miserable sum was not only insufficient for the purpose, but it was, in addition, paid so irregularly, that the unfortunate Hollanders would, in all probability, have died of hunger had not the townspeople liberally assisted them.
* Some idea of the kind of town Kinsale was at this time may be inferred from the fact that, in the following year, out of forty houses in Higher Fisher Street, and also in Lower Fisher Street (the two principal streets in Kinsale), thirty-one were built with stone, and roofed with slate. The other nine also built with stone, but they were roofed with straw.
1667- There was a great deal of wrangling, and even actions at law, between our corporation and Richard, Earl of Barrymore,* about the lands of Ryne, Lackyduffe, Ballynargan, and Concanmore. The former claimed them by Letters of Patent from the King, and the latter as lord of the manor of Timoleague, to which manor the lands anciently belonged; also by an exemplification of an inquisition taken at Kinsale some time before, which Mr, Flemyn (his lordship's agent) insisted on calling a patent. In order to settle the differences between them, and put an end to the vexatious and expensive proceedings both sides were engaged in, Lord Orrery wrote to Lord Barrymore as follows:-
"Finding by the complaint of the inhabitants of Bandon, that, notwithstanding the several civil actions which I have wrote to you about the differences between your lordship and them for the lands which they lay claim unto, there is not anything done for the determining of it, I have appointed the last of this month for the hearing of the defence concerning these lands; and do desire your lordship to be here with your proof and evidence at such time. I have ordered Captain Browne, on behalf of the inhabitants of Bandon, to be here also, and to produce his patent, and what else he can show for those lands, that I may do therein according to right.
"I remain your lordship's friend and servant,
"Charleville, 19th July, 1667." "Orrery.
The parties accordingly did appear on the appointed day at Charleville; and, in addition to the exemplification of the inquisition previously referred to, Lord Barrymore produced a witness-Edmund Arundell-who offered to swear that he himself , as well as his father, used to pay a heriot per annum for these lands to Lord Barrymore. Browne, on behalf of the Bandonians, replied by producing his Majesty's Letters Patent for the lands, and several other lands; and proved that the said lands were the property of several "forfeiting Irish Papists." The case was a plain one, Orrery decided in favour to the corporation in full, and ordered Richard, Earl of Barrymore-within ten days after sight of deed-to restore the lands, &c.
The corporation let the lands to Captain Freke, and put him in possession of them, by an order bearing date May 10, 1670:-
"To Wit, We, the provost and burgesses of the borough of Bandon, whose names are hereunto subscribed, authorize William [illegible], of Bandon, to give full and plenary possession of the lands of Ryne, Lackyduffe, and Ballynegan, and all tenants, houses, gardens, orchards, &., in the barony of Ibane and county of Cork, unto Captain Ffeke, of the barony of Knocknameal, in said county, as tenant to the provost and corporation.
(signed) "John Poole, Provost.
* Captain John Sweete, of Timoleague, offered the corporation fifty pounds per annum for these lands-a fair rent in those days.
Captain Freke was not one month in possession when Lord Barrymore began again. Notwithstanding Orrery's decision against him, he still claimed the lands as his; and actually levied a distress on them for sixty pounds, which, he alleged, accrued due to him as chief rent since 1641.
"I have been this day at Ringe," (writes Freke, in a letter addressed to "Brother Poole,") and I find my lord has gotten possession of the house by threatening the people, and pretending he had authority to have it by right of the old inquisition you have seen, As may appear by this letter of Robert Hopper's to me last night, he hath put a padlock on the door, but nobody was in the house when I was there; but, as I came through Timoleague, I was told he had appointed a man, and he goes there this night. He did not meddle at all with the stock on the lands, but he had driven all my sheep at Concanmore, for sixty pounds he pretends is due to him out of that ploughland for forage and chief rent ever since 1641. So if you or Captain Browne go or send to Charleville, I may get a special order that you may feed or graze the lands of Ringe, Lackaduffe, Concanmore, and Ballinglanvig-with all your interests of in chief rents-quietly; and also to command all his tenants to forbear gathering forth these when he is come; for, truly, I dare not venture any stock until such an order is gotten. I sent all my sheep this day to Rosse, and will bring more there until after the shearing, by which time I hope things may be quiet. As for the house, I think you may get an order for it again, This I thought good to acquaint you of, which is all from he that is
"Yours to command
"Bandon, June 8th, 1670 "John Freke.
Whether the provost and corporation again wrote to Lord Orrery on the subject, or whether it was upon their advise Captain Freke acted when he reoccupied the house and lands, does not appear. At all events, he did enter upon the lands, and by force possessed himself of them. For this he was indicted and brought to trial before William Meade, Robert Bathurst, and the other Justices who were assembled at the General Quarter Sessions of the year, held at Bandon. We are unable to say what the decision of the Bench was, but, at all events, it prevented any more litigation for some years.
1670- The following is the account furnished by Captain John Poole, of the disbursements made by him during his provostship:-
|"My expences at ye Assizes when wee had a tryall (Earl of Barrymore's business)............||1||10||0|
|For poasting of letter at same tyme..................................................................................||0||3||8|
|My expences at ye Summer Assizes................................................................................||1||0||0|
|Paid a footman for coming from Cork wth a lettr.............................................................||0||2||6|
|Expences on my journey to Charlesville...........................................................................||1||10||0|
|For making eight halberts................................................................................................||2||16||0|
|For gravelling ye bridge..................................................................................................||0||0||6|
|For ye Rock of Inishanon...............................................................................................||3||0||0|
|Mr. Francis Borne, for a yard and interest on £9 10s.,.....................................................||0||19||0|
|For whipping a boy and woman* ..................................................................................||0||2||0|
|A man for goeing to Captn Hungerford's. .......................................................................||0||0||10|
* The same chivalrous forbearance that signalizes the present age, in dealing with that portion of our humanity known a the fair sex, and which would fain impress upon us that a woman can do no wrong, did not prevail in those rude days. Joan Booth, for instance, who only a few years previously was brought before the provost and burgesses for making use of her tongue too freely-a lingual accomplishment, by the way, not even yet quite out of fashion- was ordered to be ducked in a horse-pond; but, upon her submission upon her bended knees, and her promising never to call Mr. Hethrington "a base rogue" again, her penance was remitted for the present.
1676- By this time lands do not seem to have increased much in value. Buy a lease dated August 19, 1676, we find that the Earl of Cork demised the entire townland of Granoore to Dermod McFinen Carthy, husbandman, "without fine or interest, and all the appurtenances; and, in as large a manner as possible, accepting royalties, free-ingress, and regress; for the term of twenty-one years, for the sum of ten pounds lawful money of England-to be paid at the southern market-house in Bandon, on the 25th of March and 29th of September. And also, every Michaelmas, two-and-sixpence in lieu of two fat capons; and also, on the death or alienation of said Dermod, forty shillings in lieu of a heriot; and also to do suit at the manor, Enniskeane, and to grind his corn at the said Earl's mills, of Manch; and also to keep one able man and horse, armed with swords and pistols, to attend said earl's musters, and for defence of town and country. Lease to the void if lands let to any but British extraction.
1681- Mr. John Watkins, who was provost this year, was also provost the year following; and had been provost ten years before, having succeeded William Chartres in 1672. His account of receipts and disbursements for 1681 is as follows:-
|Received from Capt. John Freke, in money, at two several times............................||8||5||9|
|Received of Mr. John Sweete, at two several times................................................||12||17||4|
|By customs for ye year..........................................................................................||34||0||0|
|By a rate...............................................................................................................||19||15||6|
|To money paid for the customs..............................................................................||17||0||0|
|Captain Poole, for waiting on commission of army.................................................||0||9||0|
|Money paid for billeting the soldiers, proclamation and expenses............................||0||6||0|
|Paid for whipping several rogues...........................................................................||0||9||0|
|Paid the bellman....................................................................................................||6||0||0|
|Paid John Nash for halburds for ye town's use.......................................................||3||11||0|
|Paid Frank Moyers for one year's interest..............................................................||5||0||0|
|For a lock for the stocks.......................................................................................||0||1||0|
|Concerning the powder alleged to be found...........................................................||1||11||0|
|William Lisson, for mending the cage.....................................................................||0||2||7|
|Mr. [illegible] and Carey, for ye Irish-town bridge.................................................||1||10||0|
|Jonathan Sloane, for mending ye bridge.................................................................||0||0||6|
|Money for commissioners of army.........................................................................||2||15||0|
|Paid for ye rates-collecting....................................................................................||0||10||0|
|My own salary.....................................................................................................||10||0||0|
|The Marshall, for Thomas Olliffe...........................................................................||1||6||9|
|Money paid two assizes and four sessions.............................................................||12||0||0|
|Paid Cornelius Conner, churchwarden..................................................................||1||15||7|
|Money paid insolvencies.......................................................................................||1||0||6|
There were great floods in the winter of this year; "the hill of Killary," it is said, "hath been washed down, and hath chocked [sic] up the river, and by its means made the land in the great road* leading from thence to Bandon impassable for man or horse in winter;" and Bandon bridge was so "put out of repair" by the last great floods, that it took thirty pounds to restore it.
* Much as our forefathers suffered from floods, the people in the west of England were worse off, and even in times much later. Thomas Prowse, M.P., told the House of Commons in 1752, that in the neighbourhood of Taunton the roads were so bad that he verily believed it would cost as little to make them navigable as it would be to render them fit for carriages to travel upon.
1682- As Lord Orrery-who had decided against Lord Barrymore's titled to the lands rented from the corporation by Captain Freke-was now dead, Lord Barrymore probably thought he had now a good chance of asserting his presumed rights. Accordingly, he again brought his claims forward; and prevailed upon the authorities to issue a commission to take the evidence. It was signed by Lord Berkley (the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland), and directed to William Warner, Francis Bernard, and Thomas Hungerford. We have not been able to discover any account of their proceedings, but it would seem that they were unable to add anything to what had been previously known.
In Dunworly Bay-a portion of our neighbouring coast-a shipwreck occurred; although a shipwreck is not, unfortunately, or even has been, of rare occurrence on our shores, yet the loss of a ship of war not more than a dozen miles from our town is an event in our history. We are well acquainted with the scene of this occurrence; and for a long time before any record of it appeared in print, or even was known to exist, tradition had been had made us conversant with many of the particulars.
A great many years ago we inquired of an old peasant what was the name of that ledge of rocks jutting out into the sea at low water.
"Cannon Point,'' said he; "and the reason it was called so was because one of the Kings ships struck on it and went to pieces, leaving many of her cannon strewn about where she lay."
He also told us that several of the cannon may still be seen on a bright summer's day lying at the bottom of the little bay, within the ledge of rocks we have referred to. He was unable to recollect the ship's name, but he knew it was that of a bird; but what bird, he could not call to mind, although he had often heard it when a child.
In a summer or two afterwards, in company with a few boys of our own age, we happen to be strolling about the rocks in the vicinity of Cannon Point, at low tide.
"Suppose we go out, and try and see the guns at the point," cried one who was weary of unsuccessful crab-hunting.
"Oh! that's just it," replied we all; and away we flew over the intervening space, as fast as power legs could carry us
Laying ourselves flat on the rocky rim of the little bay, we looked eagerly into its deep waters, but we could see nothing; a breeze had rippled their surface, and the sunlight skipping from one tiny wave to another, rendered it impossible to fix a steady gaze into the mysterious depth beneath.
"Let us strip off and dive down," said one of the youthful inquirers; thinking, naturally enough, that the best way to ascertain the truth of the old stories we had heard was to go down and judge for ourselves.
"Agreed!" burst simultaneously from the lips of all; and, jumping up, we began to undress at once.
We had not proceeded very far with our task, when one little adventurer suddenly remembered that his mamma gave him strict injunctions not to attempt to enter the water until he was rid of his cold; and then he favoured us with a hard cough or two, as if to show us he was still far from being well. Another, for the life of him, could not open his necktie, therefore, he couldn't get his shirt off; and, of course, no one could expect him to go diving with it on. And another felt convinced that if he got his boots off, he could not get them on again.
"Well," we replied, "do is you like, we will make the attempt at all events."
Plunging in, we swam to the opposite side of the little bay, not many yards in width; and, taking in "a big breath ," we went in headforemost, and a few seconds reached the bottom. We plainly saw guns of various dimensions, and came up to the surface with the good news.
After a little rest we again went down , and caught hold of a large gun by the muzzle with our hand-and it was probably the first human hand that had touched it since the reign of Charles the Second-and, groping about with the other, we laid hold of what we believe was the round shot. Leaving go of our hold of the gun, we hope to raise our well-earned prize with both our hands, but having nothing to hold by, we were quickly born up to the surface. Again we made the attempt, and succeeded in laying hands on another gun, but felt too exhausted to continue below.
From that time to the present -although we have promised ourselves over and over again that we would pay another submarine visit to those mementoes of the old ship-we have not yet done so.
The ship was the "Lark" frigate, and belong to the British navy. She was lost on the spur of rocks mentioned previously, at eight o'clock on the evening of Thursday, the 25th of November, 1682.
The following account of the disaster, by no less a personage than the captain himself, as latey found by a friend of ours, among the Carte M.SS in Bodleian library. It is headed
THE LARK FRIGATE;
A Narrative from ye 23rd off November, 1682, to ye 25th of ye same.
Between three and four o'clock on Wednesday morning wee fell in between ye Blasketts and ye Sskellecks wch ly off to ye westward-most part of Ireland, ye wind being at SSW. We got oure tacks on board and stood away to ye E. ward, and about foure in the afternoon we had ye river of Kilmare open. Ye wind being at S an easy gale which occasioned us to lagg much into ye bay, the same time we went about to ye westward, Ye wind wearing and halling two or three points, occasioned our tacking very often. Off ye Cape Dersey lyeth three ilse, about two leagues into ye sea bearing SW&NE wch wee could not reach; but att nine wee went between ye two westwardmost Ile steering away E. b S&ESE then ye wind coming to ye WSW we went away S&SbE, till day, for to keep clear off the land, and as soon as ye day appeared we halled away E&EbN along shore, very fine weather, wth ye wind at SSW and made every headland; and about foure in ye afternoon my mate Will Hendly who was about a twelve month since Master of His Majestys ship Garland, and served in ye ship three years under ye command of Captn Hodder who recomended him to me by letter of being a very able piolate for ye coast of Ireland, that having been there stationed for three years the saide William Hendley telling off me and all my officers, how able he was to harbour ye ship in King-saile, and several other parties of Ireland; I never having been upon the coast, consented thereunto for the piloting off ye shipp into ye saide harbor of King-saile, weh all willingless, affirming that having made ye old head, as he thought he would carry ye shipp in ye darkest night yet could be. About six o'clock wee came up wth ye headland wch ys called ye Seaven heads, [This is a mistake, it was the Galley head] wch he was very confident was ye old head of King-saile, and halled close on board ye northernmost shore, and told me our best way would bee to goe up before ye towne, ye wind being out att sea, it would not be safe to ride any lower. I told him ye safest and best place I was for, but when we came to have but six fathoms water I told hem I liked not ye shoulling of ye water soe fast, and he told me it was ye Mede, wch is a bank att ye going in off King-saile harbor. But soon after ye water grew shouller wch came to five and four fathoms water, wch meade me call to him manny times and tell him wee had best come to an achor. He still was positive, and told me he should come to deeper water but I being afeard of ye danger wch afterwards happened, I halled up our fore-saile and lowered out top-sailes, ye water still shoulling very fast; but before I could stop ye shippes way noththstanding I braced all aback and let goe our anchor, ye shipp running aground to all oure great misfortune, about eight o'clock att night and ye setting off ye moon and ye top of high-water. I fired manny gunnes for assistance, but not any body came to us, in a long time that could doe us any service. And immediately after wee struck we lowered oure yards nad top-mast and got oure small anchor into our boate and run it out with two hausers upon one end into sixteen foot water and brought yt to ye capstan and endeavoured all wee could to save ye shipp, but ye tide ebbing very fast from us and a storm of wind coming at SSE wee could do noe good and then wee concluded ye best way toe save ye shipp, would be toe cut oure maine and four mast by ye board, wch I accordingly did and by Gods assistance may bee ye savinge off ye shipp. Yet storm continued untill eleven on Friday morning att wch time ye shipp having been full of water, for manny hours before yt , wee were forced all toe stand on ye quarter deck to preserve oure lives. About five in ye morning ye boate went ashore wth nine men wch they affirm broke from ye shipps side, and about eleven they came off wth orders. Ye men accordingly obeying, soe that att three times I cleared the shipp except six of us, myself and the Doctor being ye last on board except three men left to guard and keep ye country people from ye shipp. Sir Richard Ruth, Captain Hopson and Captain Deering came from King-saile toe my assistance and manny men off ye two shipps and about one o'clock in ye afternoon I went on shore to advise wth them for ye better saving off ye shipp and stores. This is ye Testimony of subscribers hereunto mentioned.
|John Moyle Chyrg
Thomas Parsons Gunner
Henry Mould Baotswn
Robert Fancis Carpter
|}||The bay where wee received oure misfortune* is called by the name of Timoleague bay,, about eight myles NW from the old head of King-saile|
* There is no such place in any ancient or modern map of Ireland as Timoleague bay. However, it is but natural that he should call the place where he received ''his misfortune'' by that name, as Dunworly bay was not mapped at that time; and, besides, it is only two miles distant from the town of Timoleague itself, therefore the writer may well be pardoned for calling a bay so close to the town by the name of the town.
1683- A very severe frost visited Bandon, which lasted for many weeks during the winter. So intense was it, that an instance is mentioned of a potato being found in the middle of a ball of woollen thread, stiff with frost, long after the frost itself had disappeared.
The hearth tax chargeable in this locality was this year two shillings per hearth, as appears by an allownace made the farmers of the tax of two shillings per hearth for each hearth in the guard-houses of the Bandon garrisons. They contained eight hearths, and the amount remitted was sixteen shillings.
Amongst the presentments of the Grand Jury for 1683, we find that a Quaker named James Woode, and another named Cook, are described as vagrants, going about to seduce his Majesty's subjects under the pretence of religious meetings; and that they congregate several fanatics in Youhgal and Mallow, to the scandal of the Protestant religion, and in contempt of the government.
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