[Preface]    [Contents]    [Bernards]   [Index]    [Depositions]    [Maps]   [Definitions]    [Town/Parish Descriptions, 1835]  [Pictures]


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25



Chapter XX




1738 - The first Masonic Lodge was established in Bandon. It was styled “No. 84, or the Antient Boyne”.  Although, as we have just stated, it is numbered eighty-four, we must by no means infer that there are eighty-three lodges now in existence that were established before it; the fact being that it is the oldest fraternity in the kingdom with a few exceptions.  Whilst so assiduous were the members in the performance of their various masonic duties, and so well did they appreciate each others friendship and society, that - saving the 27th of December, 1796, when the French fleet lay in Bantry Bay, and when a French army was hourly expected in Bandon - there is not a single recorded instance of the non-observance of  a festival.

The warrant constituting the lodge, appointing officer, &c., was issued by the Grand Lodge, and was signed by the Earl of Tyrone, grand-master of Ireland, and Cornelius Callaghan, D.G.M.  The first lodge was opened on the 12th of June, 1738 in a room in the house of Mr. Thomas Bourk, when the following were present:-


Matthew Adderly, Esq., master             Mr. Thomas Wheeler

Mr. John Friar, deputy master               Mr. Thomas Bourk

Richard Screech, senior warden            Mr. William Norwood

Robert Morris, junior warden                Mr. Robert Simmons

Rev. John Friar                                     Mr. John Donnellan


After entering into a subscription to pay for the warrant and other necessaries, they made arrangements for duly celebrating the festival of St. John.  During the next fifteen years the undermentioned were duly initiated:-


Bernard, Arthur.                       Harman, Thomas.                     Minnear, William.

Bennett, Thomas.                      Honner, Rober.                        McCarthy, Charles.

Cotter, Edward.                       Hammett, Richard.                    Rugg, Henry.

Ellis, Peter.                               Jarvis, Samuel.                          Tottenham, Cliffe.

Gillman, Stephen.                      Laone, John.                             Travers, John Moore.


Sixteen years after they first met, a member was guilty of some conduct unbecoming a Christian and a mason.  It came to the ears of the lodge and they were determined that no stain should rest on the escutcheon of their fair fame.  Accordingly “an emergency” was called, and the erring brother was expelled forthwith; and adds Moore Travers, the secretary, “there was not a member of this society present would vote in favour of him.”

In 1768, a bye-law was passed, “That upon the death of any member, the brethern shall apply to the friends of deceased to know if their attendance at the funeral will be agreeable ; if so, every member shall, at his own expense, furnish himself with a band scarf, gloves and aprons bound with black riband, and attend the funeral with the jewels, &c.”  There are a number of resolutions on the books from time to time, directing that sums of money be given to various poor brethern.

In 1779, a lodge held in Kinsale had the presumption to call themselves “The Boyne Lodge.”  The original Brothers would’nt stand this; they considered it an unwarranted invasion on their exclusive right to “the Boyne;” and they memorialized the Grand Lodge that the Kinsale pretenders “should no longer assume that name, it only belonging to this lodge.”

In 1790 a resolution was passed, to the effect “that no more than one bottle of wine, or a pint of rum in punch, shall be allowed each brother every lodge-day before the bill is called for and settled, except on the festivals.”

On the 24th of June, 1793, the members walked in procession to church; and on their return to their lodge-rooms, they unanimously agreed to a vote of thanks in favour of the Rev. William Gorman, their “chaplain, “for the very excellent and learned sermon preached by him on the occasion.” They also thanked Lieutenant-Colonel Jaques, of  the ----- Regiment of Foot, “a worthy brother, for his very politely granting the band of his regiment for their lodge on this day.”

On the 24th March, 1814, the brethern marched in procession with Lodges 167 and 413, from the market-house in the South Main Street to Irishtown, to witness the laying of the foundation-stone of the School of Industry for Females, by Catherine Henrietta, Countess of Bandon.

Tuesday, the 29th of May, 1838, was the centenary anniversary of the foundation of “The Antient Boyne.”

“This rare and interesting event,” says Dr. William Belcher, the secretary, “was celebrated on the above day, by the brethern of 84 assembling at their lodge-rooms, Williams’s Inn, at ten a.m.; where they were joined by the officers and deputations from the following lodges of Cork, Clonakilty, and Castle-Townsend:- Nos. 1, 3, 8, 27, 67, 71, 95, 156, 385; and the deputy provincial grand-master, the senior and junior grand-wardens of Munster.  The brethern, attired in ancient masonic costume, marched to Ballymodan Church, where a charity-sermon was preached by the Rev. James Gellock, the provincial grand-chaplain of Munster, in aid of the funds of the Cork Masonic Orphan Asylum....... Ninety-six brethern sat down to dinner at six o’clock p.m., including twenty-nine brethern of 84.  The evening was spent in the utmost harmony and brotherly love, and every brother present appeared highly gratified with the proceedings of the day.  The officers of the lodge present on this occasion were:-


Francis B. Hingston, W.M.                   Robert T. Belcher, S.D.

Adderly, Beamish, S.W.                       James Hamilton, J.D.

Franklin, Baldwin, J.W.                        Willliam Belcher. sec. and tres.

            Richard Bailie, senior tyler                     Hugh Douglass, junior tyler


Among the names on the master-rolls of this venerable fraternity are the following:-


Bandon, Francis, Earl of.                                              Duntze, Sir John                      

Boothby, Colonel                                                         Garibaldi, General.

Butler, Hon. James (son of the Earl of Ormond).           Hall, Col., Devon Militia.

            Bushe, Charles Kendal.                                                Hindle, Capt., 6th Dragoon Guards   

Blouden, Capt., 18th Light Dragoons                            Kinsale, John, Baron of

            Blake, Lieut. Colonel, Galway Militia                            King, Col., Sligo Militia

Cox, Rev. Sir Michael                                                  Moore, Sir Emanuel

Cane, Capt., 12th Lt. Dragoons                                    Quintin, Capt., 10th Hussars

Cunningham, Hon. John                                                Warren, Sir Augustus

Coote, Lieut. -Genl. Sir Eyre                                        Westmeath, George, Earl of

De Courcy, Hon. William                                              Williamson, Major, Light Dragoons                              

Dyson, Capt. 3rd Dragoon Guards                               Younghusband, Capt., 7th Dragoon Guards


            There were also a great many French officers admitted, who were prisoners in Bandon in 1746 and 1747, as:-


Comes, Jean Baptiste                           Du Roche, Francois                  Kersabie, Chevalier.

Cottin, Oierre.                                      Fostain, Louis.                          Floronce, Pierre.

Du Portas, Jean, M.D.                          Guzeau, Louis.                          Du Roche, Francois.


            Although the collars worn by this lodge are of orange velvet, yet they have no political significance whatsoever, as the orange was adopted by them sixty years before the existence of the Orange Society; and so well aware were the Roman Catholic brethern of this fact that, when a deputation- consisting of two Protestants and Roman Catholics - was sent to Cork by “84” some years ago, the Roman Catholics refused to wear any other colours than those of their lodge.


It appears that the deputation, being duly announced, presented themselves for admission; but were peremptorily refused on the grounds that they wore party emblems. They protested against this assertion, urging that orange was the colour worn by their lodge ever since its foundation; but it was of no avail, in they should not come until they were properly habited.  Finding all remonstrations useless, the two Protestants uncollared, and prepared to comply; but the two Roman Catholics would not hear of it; they turned furiously on their brother deputies, and upbraided them in the most emphatic language, taunting them with deserting their colours, and exciting the feeling of the antient Boyners to such an pitch, that they flung from them the loathed blue, and, returning to their first love, they put on the orange collars, and indignantly left the room.

Some amusing stories are told in connection with the old “84”. An inquisitive fellow, who said he caught the tyler asleep one night on his post, averred that he peeped through the keyhole, and saw the brethern inside walking in procession round a big black jug; whilst a skeleton sat under each light, and played “The Boyne Water” upon a skull with a pair of cross-bones.  Another, who alleged he looked through a crevice in the floor overhead, stated that each of the members used to go three times to the corner of the lodge-room, where a voice used to speak to them out of a coffin; and to a married man would say:-“Fear God, honour the King, and be a good husband and father; and to a single man, after lecturing him a great deal, it used always conclude by telling him above all things never to marry a Papist.  The ordeal of the poker has at all times great terrors for the uninitiated.

Some years ago, a gentleman, whom we shall call Mr. B------, was ballotted for , and accepted as a candidate for masonic honours.  He was duly noticed to be present at the Devonshire Arms on a certain day for initiation, and he attended.  As he ascended the staircase, ominous knocks and the mutterings of distant thunder caught his ear, and by no means helped to allay the fears which had possessed him during the greater part of the previous week.  Arriving on the landing, he gently asked the tyler may he go in; but the redoubtable Dick Baylie would not even allow him to get his nose inside the scarlet curtain which hung some feet in front of the lodge-door.  Even the dress the tyler wore appeared in harmony with the sanguinary and mysterious deeds that are said to have been perpetuated within.  A huge red cloak covered him to the very toes; the large sleeves, which hung below his hands, terminated in cuffs of orange velvet, on each of which was a representation of a skull and cross-bones in lustrous black; the blue collar had on it moons and stars of bright yellow; and candlesticks, compasses, and other cabalistic symbols of the craft, nearly covered it with odd-looking devices.  On his head was a gigantic cocked-hat, which would almost have served him for a boat, it was so large.  This was surmounted with blue and red feathers; and in his hand was a flaming falchion.

“Keep off.” said the terrible Dick, as the bewildered candidate moved forward a step or two, “or before you can say domine salvun fac, I’ll run you through the gullet!”

Mr. B------, not caring to encounter so fierce-looking an opponent, went down stairs, and after strolling about for a little time, he sauntered into the kitchen.   A roaring fire was down at the time, and the covers which lay on the various cooking utensils kept up a perpetual trotting-match with one another, as if to see which of them would be on the floor first; but the monstrous poker - more than half of which was thrust in between the bars, and which already looked soft and white with the glow of intense heat - fixed his attention at once.

“Ah! well, Johanna,” said the victim, addressing the cook in an assumed indifferent tone, “what do you want that big poker for?”

“Faith, sir” replied the latter, looking very thoughtful, “I’m afraid I’ll get into a scrape about that same poker!”

“Why so?”

“Because, by some mistake, their own was taken up to the farm, and put as a prop under the loft where the master keeps the oats for the horses, and I suspect they’ll never be satisfied with this piece of wire!”  looking contemptuously at the great poler.

“And who is it that - that - that wants such a thing at all?” falteringly inquired Mr. B----------.

“Why, the freemasons, sir, to be sure!” said the cook,   “The doctor*  ran down to me a while ago and told me to be quick, as they were going to make a mason immediately;  and many is the one I reddened for them before; but I suppose they’ll kill me entirely now!”

“And why wouldn’t that poker do-do-them?”

Yerra! is it that knitting-needle? Whisht! by gor, here they are!” as a door was heard to bang-to upstairs.

Pressing his hat on his forehead, the applicant for masonic honours shot out of the kitchen like a flash of lightning; and fleeing through the open door, he bounded down the limestone steps, and ran for his life.

“Come back!” roared the cook; “Hould him!” cried the boots; “Catch him!” shouted the waiter; but away he sped faster than before.

When the fellows who lounged outside on the steps, and who, to do them justice, were never averse to a bit of fun, got an inkling of what occurred, they gave tongue with a vengeance, and some of them even gave chase; but they might as well try to overtake a telegraphic message on its way to its destination along the wires.  The affrighted candidate was soon out of sight; and, from that day to the present, no one has ever seen him in this locality.

Masonry has been much on the increase of late years.  Men are more anxious than heretofore to congregate where they can enjoy one another’s friendship and society irrespective of creed or party; and where they can spend their evenings more profitably than taxing their ingenuity to discover a religious or political grievance.

Another excellent department of masonry is that devoted to charity. Out of their abundance there are few who do not give cheerfully to a fund, out of which a brother less fortunate than themselves can be assisted to get his legs again, and again, and again, to fight the great battle of life; and, should he fall in the struggle, a fraternal hand will tend his orphans, until they are ready to enter the great conflict, and battle for themselves.


*  The late Dr. O----n.


So long as freemasons adhere to the divine precept which teaches peace and good-will among men - and it has been their guiding star ever since their venerable institution had a beginning - so long may they continue to smile at those tissue-paper thunderbolts which occasionally illumine the darkness of our daily press.


1739-  This was known as the year of the great frost, which was so intense in this vicinity, that potatoes are said to have been found frozen in the middle of large balls of woollen thread.  All the rivers in this area were frozen over; whilst such was the severity of the frost in Cork, that the Lee was not only sheeted over with ice, but the ice was found to be strong enough to support shows, and booths, and tents.  In consequence of the great severity of the weather, provisions became very scarce, and wheat brought as high as forty-two shillings the kilderkin.


1748-   The Methodists first visited Cork in 1748. We have been favoured with an original letter written by one of their hearers at this time, in reply to an unjustified attack made upon them by a clergyman of the Establishment.  The letter goes on to say, “I would ask any gentleman what fault he can find with the doctrine of these Methodists?  Do they not preach, with the utmost zeal and ardency, the word of God according to the dictates of the revealed religion?   And what visible inducements have they for undergoing the troublesome fatigues of preaching - for quitting their native homes and families, but the happiness of their fellow-creatures.  If we are to believe their words, they want none of our gold or silver, but all they desire is to rouse us from the lethargy under which we have, for a long time, unthinkingly laboured.  On the other hand, those gentlemen who write and speak against them for putting them in mind of their duty, care not how the shadow is, so they have the bone; and, when they are inducted, will not do any one individual act relative to their duty without payment, and to a man verify the old proverb, ‘No penny, no paternoster’.  What benefit can the immortal part of us receive or expect from a set of people who must be hired for showing us the road to heaven?  Must not everybody, who thinks at all, imagine that the benefits resulting to our souls by preaching the methods lately prescribed and laid down to us without gratuity, fee, or reward, will be greater than those laid down at the price of a great part of our worldly substance?  For my part, I cannot find any fault with these Methodists; but what I would desire would be, that the lazy, imperious shepherds would mind their flocks, so that we may have no need of procuring gratis what we ought to get from them who are too well paid for the little they do.”

A regular post was first established, this year between Cork and Skibbereen.  The unfortunate postman, who was not only obliged to walk the entire way, but to carry the mail-bags in addition, was paid only the miserable sum of six pounds per annum - a little over two shillings a week.  In some years later, the biped was displaced by a quadruped, which was bestrode by one William Leary, and to whom the custody of his Majesty’s royal mail was entrusted.


1749-   John Wesley paid his first visit to Bandon.  He put up at the residence of Mr. Hawes, a very respectable man, who occupied a house near the middle of the northern side of the South Main Street. In his journal he writes:- “I rode over to Bandon, a town which is entirely inhabited by Protestants. I preached at seven, in the middle of the main street.  Here was by far the largest congregation, both morning and evening, of any I had in Ireland.”  Under date June 2, he continues:- “In the evening, a gentlewoman informed me that Dr. B. had averred to her, and many others, that both John and Charles Wesley had been expelled the University of Oxford long ago; that there was not a Methodist left in Dublin or any town in Ireland, but Cork and Bandon, all the rest having been rooted out by order of the government; that neither were there any Methodists left in England; that it was all Jesuitism at the bottom.  Alas for poor Dr. B. ! God be merciful unto him a sinner!”  In about twelve months after this, Wesley visited Bandon again, of which he writes:- “God gave us great peace at Bandon, notwithstanding the unwearied labour, both public and private, of good Dr. B. (Dr. Browne, rector of Kilbrogan) to stir up the people.  I began preaching in the main street, at the usual hour, but to more than twice the usual congregation.  After I had spoken about a quarter of an hour, a clergyman, who had planted himself near me, with a very large stick in his hand, according to agreement, opened the scene -indeed, his friends assured me he was drunk or he would not have done so; but, before he had uttered many words, two or three resolute women, by main strength, pulled him into a house, and, after expostulating a little, sent him away through the garden; but  here he fell violently on her that conducted him - not in anger, but in love, such as it was - so that she was constrained to repel force by force, and cuff him soundly, before he would let her go.  The next champion that appeared was one Mr. M., a young gentleman of the town; he was attended by two others, with pistols in their hands; but his triumph, too, was short.  The third came with greater fury, but he was encountered by a butcher of the town - Jim Moxley - who used him as he would an ox, bestowing one or two heart blows upon his head.  This cooled his courage, especially as none took his part.”

 It is rather singular that the very pulpit from which old Browne used to fulminate his anathemas against his fellow Christians, the Wesleyans, was the very one used by them in the service in connection with the laying of the foundation-stone of the present Methodist chapel.

At the August Assizes (1749), the persecuting spirit that had pursued the Wesleyans in various parts of the county and city of Cork, was embodied by the Grand Jury in a presentment as slanderous as it was lying and malignant.  It is as follows:- “W find and present Charles Wesley to be a person of ill-fame, a vagabond, and a common disturber of his Majesty’s peace; and we pray he may be transported.”  They also presented a similar request against eight Wesleyan ministers, who had previously visited Cork.

Despite these persecutions, not only here but throughout Great Britain, the Wesleyans flourished.  At all times they have shown regard for the Church of England and they allow her clergy even still to baptize their new-born infants, to perform the marriage ceremony when they seek to enter the marriage state, and, when they have passed through the last scene of all, to bury them.

The admirers of Wesley consider themselves Church of England people; but the Church of England people of that stamp who have worshipped within her walls before any of her clergy and laity became infected with a passion for ceremonies and baubles.  They look upon themselves as possessing that pure and healthy Protestantism which the church enjoyed before Archbishop Laud endeavoured to seduce her from the Faith of the Reformation, and lead her to Rome.

An anecdote is told here of Dr. Browne, the rector of Kilbrogan; and who, amongst other matters, was accused, as we have seen, by Wesley, of “making love such as it was.”  In those days, however extensive a place morality may have occupied in a homily or discourse, practical morality was not the fashion with the clergy as it is now.  It is said that a married lady left her liege lord, and that the doctor - perhaps, purely out of politeness - escorted the fair matron to her retreat.  Be that as it may, an action-at -law was brought against him, and the injured husband recovered a thousand pounds damages.

The doctor determined to turn over a new leaf after this.  He saw the error of his ways, and he made up his mind to atone for his misdeeds by devoting himself anew to the all-important duties of his calling.  Meeting Captain Savage, the provost, one Sunday morning:-

“Well, captain”, said he, “how is it that I never see you in church?”

“Well, really I don’t know,” said Savage.

“Don’t know!” said Browne, who felt irritated at being treated so lukewarmly by our chief-magistrate. “Don’t you know anything? Come now, could you tell me how many commandments there are?”

“How many commandments there are?” said the provost, repeating the question and looking thoughtfully an the ground, then moving his lips as if repeating them, and counting on his fingers at the same time, “there are nine, doctor” said he, appearing quite pleased at being able to answer this great theological crux.

“Well, I always thought,” said the rector, rising to his full height, and looking quite triumphant with the easy victory he had gained over our great civic dignitary, “tat there were ten!”

“And so there were, too,” said Savage submissively; then looking innocently in his interrogator’s face, “but you know you broke one of them, and we have only nine ever since”.       

The doctor suddenly recollected he had an appointment elsewhere, and left abruptly.


1749- About this time great efforts were made to introduce the linen manufacture into Bandon.  Although the manufacture of linen was not as extensively entered upon as its promoters would wish, yet what did leave our looms was so highly valued, that one of our townsmen, John Starkey, was one of the few in Ireland who received a prize of fifty pounds; and Jonathan Tanner, another townsman, not only received another prize of fifty pounds, but an additional sum of forty pounds, on the grounds “that he had distinguished himself as a useful manufacture in that part of the kingdom.”*


* Vide the Gentlemen’s and Citizen’s Almanack, for A.D. 1751


The principal article of our local trade at this period was camlet, which was a coarse cloth, made of woollen thread, and dyed a bright colour.  It generally found a market in Portugal and the West Indies, and was shipped in small casks about the size of butter firkins. Butter was also forwarded by the same shippers to the same markets and always commanded a high quotation. Towards the end of the last century, and the beginning of this, the camlet manufacture again revived, but in the course of a few years, it again left us, never, we fear, to return.

The population of our town must have been by this year very considerable, as it contained no less than a thousand men amongst the manufacturing classes capable of bearing arms. Many of these used to parade in full regiments, consisting of a red coat, faced with black, knee-breeches. &c.

About this time watchmen were first appointed here. Their duty was to cry the hours at night, and to keep strict watch and ward from sunset to sunrise. Although they walked the streets after the sun went down, they did not give the regular cry until within an hour of midnight. Then they began:-  “A-pa-st e-le-ven oh-o-’clock!”

                                    “Maids in your smocks, look at your locks;

                                                Put out your fire and candlelight:

                                    And so good ni-i-i-ght, good ni-i-i-ght!”

The injunction to unmarried ladies, who were presumed to be in a state of semi-nudity, to look to their locks, was a regular double entendre, and one which we are surprised to find the gravity of our forefathers and foremothers permitted to continue so long.  It meant, that not only should they see that their doors were all duly secured, but that they should inspect their silken tresses before they sought the solace of Morpheus. In addition to calling the hours, they called the direction of the wind also:- “Wind from the Nau-au-aurth.” &c.; but if it blew south-west, or showed indications of rain from any point, they used to add, “and we-ll sure-ly have ra-in before maur-ning!”  There was one old fellow, however, who was totally unacquainted with the four cardinal points, and instead of saying wind from the north or south, he would say:- “Wind blowing up Sea-ly’s Lane!” or down, as the case may be. If the wind was from the east or west, he’d be obliged to go on another tack. If from the east, he would say:- “Wind blowing a-gen me as I walk to Tom Laone’s cor-ner!” If  from the west:- “Wind straight into my face as I goes up to where Bill Anstis lived before he went to Ameri-ky-ky-ky!”

The townspeople got so used to these announcements, that, as if by common consent, they fixed on a word or a term in each cry, and at once knew the course of the wind. Thus:- when they would hear “up,” they knew the wind was northerly, and “down,” southerly; “Tom Laone” told them that the wind was from the east, and “Bill Anstis,” that it was from the west.


1754 The first meat shambles was erected here. It was built at the northern end of the bridge (western side), and contained twenty-two stalls. These were in great demand by the butchers, who paid one pound annually for each stall, and occupied them on the opening day in the following order:-


1. William Moxley.                                           12. Cornelius Rickard.

2. Timothy Kencash.                                         13. John Reen.

3. James Harris and Will Tomson.                                 14. William Searls.

4. Richard Morgan.                                          15. Timothy Murphy.

5. Christopher Lisson.                                       16. William Moxley.

6. James Moxley.                                                         17. John Searls.

7. James Moxley, junr.                                      18. Cornelius Forehane & Son.

8. Denis Murray.                                                          19. Stephen Moxley.

9. Michael Hurley.                                            20. Robert Searls.

10. Thomas Wholehane.                                               21. John Lisson.

11. John Burchill.                                              22. Edward Drake.


1761  A new Parliament assembled in Dublin this year. The members for Bandon were William Conner and Thomas Adderly.

1762  Alice Cambridge, the well known Wesleyan minister, was born in Bandon on the first day of this year. Her father was a member of the Established Church, and was a regular attendant; and her mother was a Presbyterian; but Alice, in making her choice, selected that system which appeared to her to combine the excellencies of both the previous ones, and the faults of neither - she was a Methodist.

Miss Cambridge was a woman of great energy and perseverance. Nothing daunted her. Although a preacher in petticoats was in her day almost as great a novelty as in our own, and though she knew her congregation often contained those who came to jeer and not to pray, nevertheless, she stood up in the pulpit unabashed, gave the little cap which she wore on the back of her head a twist, tightened her apron-strings about her waist, and entered becomingly on her discourse. She died in 1829, having enjoyed a long life, in which she did a great deal of good and no harm.

Upon the proclamation of war between England and Spain, in the beginning of this year, a lot of disaffected in this kingdom banded themselves together, and under various names - as Fairies, Redboys, Whiteboys, Levellers, &c. - they traversed the country, principally between sunset and sunrise, attacking the houses of peaceable inhabitants, and doing serious injury to life and property. Their avowed object was to level the fences recently constructed round waste lands or commons in various parts of Ireland, and which lands, they alleged, belonged to the poor; but their real object was to co-operate with Spain, and, if possible, restore the Pretender. Many of them were taken prisoners; and in the pockets of several were found military commissions, lists of the names of many of their confederates, and the following ballad:-


“Come cheer up, my lads, for your glory is near!

Away with all doubt, and away with all fear!

To freedom we call you - a Stuart shall reign -

Usurpation shall vanish - accept aid from Spain.

            Chorus. - Right royal is our prince, right royal our men!

                        In the cause we are ready - steady, boys, steady! -

                        We’ll fight till we die, or restore him again.


“No longer we’ll wait for assistance from France,

Nor again shall they lead us a wandering dance;

For Spain, on whose word we may surely depend,

Has the power and the will our rights to defend.



“The offspring of Brunswick or Strelitz - poor lords!-

Shall never usurp or command our brave swords.

For the sword shall again be adorned by a king,

Of whose great ancestors our Druids shall sing.



“Come cheer up, my lads, for the time it draws near

When the land of all whelps and true-blues shall be clear;

When Prince Charles as king, my boys, toasted shall be,

And our bondage reversed into grand liberty.



“No blue-livered whelp, or Cromwellian black booy,

In grandeur shall ride, or in splendour shall move.

Of their titles we’ll strip them, and enslave ‘em, my boys.

Their sorrows we’ll heighten, and retrieve our own joys.



The loyalist party here had a poetaster, too; and he replied in a song of similar style and metre, and well known in this neighbourhood at that time:-


“Come cheer up, my lads, dear Protestant boys;

Let’s support well our rights, our religion, and laws;

In spite of the power of the hard-hearted crew’

Who their hands in our blood, would most gladly imbue.

            Chorus.- The Protestant cause now calls for our aid.

                        To defend it be ready - now’s the time to be steady -

                        We’ll conquer or die ere slaves we are made.


“They say they’ll enslave us - Oh, subjects so rare!

More savage in nature than India’s wild bear.

The aid that must come is expected from Spain;

For which they may hope and long wish for in vain/



Their treason they speak ‘gainst our gracious, good King;

And malice they went on his great noble kin.

Of Brunswick and Strelitz, of mighty descent;

For which they in time will most sadly relent.*



Their Prince Charles, they say, on the throne they will fix;

But can they forget the great year forty-six.

Then let rebels dare not think him to bring in,

For we’ll die before a Papist be king.



“My Protestant boys, the time is now come,

When we should be ready at the beat of the drum,

To support our good King, and the old English cause -

So famed for its rights, its religion, its laws.




In another loyalist ballad, which was very popular here, Prince Charlie is spoken of with great acrimony. Speaking of King George, it says:-

“And in his stead, to place on the throne

A vagabond, whose parents are unknown:

Pretender to three kingdoms not his own.”


“An epitaph for the Levellers (commonly called the White boys)” shows the bitter feelings entertained by the loyalists for these freebooters:-


“Now judgment passed by the great God of Heaven -

Die, die, you must, in numbers odd and even.

You purchase shrouds, Great George provides the rope

In spite of France, the Spaniards, and the Pope.



* “When are they going to be hanged,” is the remark made in a foot note of the old MS. copy which was kindly lent to us.


“In heaps within this hole, you lie together,

Rebellious crew - you birds all of a feather.

Secure them, devil; let you bolts be tight;

Loose them by day, but guard them well by night.


“Poor Satan thinks, perhaps, their number few;

But hundreds of them shall the same steps pursue,

Since living is the Light-horse and the Blue.


“They’re fixed with you for evermore to dwell.

All that I fear - not big enough is hell.”*


* We know of no species of composition more calculated to give one a correct idea of the feelings possessed by the contending parties than the popular ballads of the times. They were written when the blood was up, and they express in unmistakeable language what the writers thought and felt at the time.


1765 Scarce was this year a fortnight old when a great flood swept away old Bandon bridge. It appears that a large tree having fallen into the river at the park, was rolled down by the angry waters, and having, unfortunately, got across one of the main archways of the bridge, it lay there. It was not very long in its new position, when a rick of hay floated out of the kitchen- garden belonging to a widow woman named Barry - who lived in a house on the site of the premises occupied by the late Mrs. Anne Williams - and sidelong into the huge stream, was stopped in its downward course by the tree. The tree and the hay-rick were speedily supplemented by a host of other impediments, including bundles of faggots, branches of trees, strawstacks, &c.

The current being now greatly obstructed. back-water was the result; the vast volume of which was every instant on the increase. The old boundaries can restrain it no longer. Quickly reaching to their utmost height, it overtops them, and pouring down, the foaming waters rudely force every obstacle out of the course of their downward sweep, and soon a great portion of the town lies under water. Meanwhile, the old bridge firmly holds its ground; but after a little time it begins to tremble; a little later, and it shakes; later still, and a fissure appears; and another, and another, and a huge rent announces its impending doom. And now, as if conscious that its work was done - that its inevitable fate was at hand - it lowers its old historic front, and dropping slowly and silently into the grave of angry waters that are impatiently awaiting it below, it disappears; and in a few short minutes there was not a stump left to record where it stood.

The bridge was in excellent repair when this causality overtook it.


It was only the year before the old pavement was ripped up, as appears by an account furnished the corporation by John Harris; in which he charges six and sixpence for cash paid Daniel Dineen, Darby Dogane, Matthew Sullivan, and Teige Downey, three days each, for ripping up the pavement of the bridge.

This great inundation which occurred on the 15th January made a breach in Innoshannon bridge, which the Bandon corporation hastened to repair at their own expense, “so as to make a communication for carriages to and from the said town of Bandon to Cork and other places.” The bill for these repairs contain the following items:-






Robert Browne============............................................................




Robert Browne’s boy, five days at 16d




James Callahane, five days at 18d




Daniel Carthy, five days at 18d




Twenty six labourers at 6d




Robert Hai=== and horse, three days at 1. 1d




Dennis Connel  and ====, three days, =====




James Hickey and ===, three days at 1. 1d




Two quarrymen a day ==== at 10d




Quayage for ====== four days at 6d




Bringing ========= to the bridge




My attendance five days at 2. 2d




                                                            (Signed) William Martin.

Week ending May ==th, 17==


The deed not only destroyed Bandon bridge, but it caused a great deal of suffering and distress in the town. To relieve this, a public meeting was held at South Market-house, in the month of February, under the presidency of Jonathan Tanner, the provost, at which it was resolved that:-

“Whereas, by the great inundation of the 15th of January last, a great part of the town of Bandon was overflowed, by which many of the inhabitants were great sufferers, and some so much distressed as to be under the necessity of accepting some public benevolence. We, therefore, in order to relieve such of them as are in greatest want of our assistance, do agree that the sum of sixty one pounds eight and sixpence shall be immediately borrowed from James Bernard, Esq., who proposed to lend said sum; and accordingly do pay the same to Jonathan Tanner, Esq., provost of said borough, to be by him given to the following persons, agreeable to the sums therein annexed.”

Another resolution providing a boat for the river also passed:-

“And whereas the bridge on the river Bandon was by said inundation carried away, and it is though necessary a proper boat should be provided to carry on communication from the north to the south side of the town. We do, therefore, agree and order that any sum not exceeding twenty pounds shall be expended in procuring a boat and other necessaries for conveying passengers over said river.”


1766  Upon the death of William Conner, Francis Bernard, of CastleBernard( familiarly known as Squire Bernard), and who had a seat in Parliament more than forty years before, having been representative for Clonakilty in 1725, was elected in his place.

1768 An immense fall of snow, which continued for several days. In many places it was six feet in depth. An old newspaper records the case of a gentleman who was riding from Bandon to Cork, and so firmly did his horse get embedded in the snow that spades and shovels were had recourse to in order to dig him out. Francis Bernard and Thomas Adderly elected to represent the town in Parliament.

1770  Block wheels were first introduced into the neighbourhood. They were composed of solid blocks of timber, about three feet and a-half in diameter, and from six to eight inches in thickness and were heavily bound all round the edge with iron. A carpenter named William Hennessy was said to be the first to bring them into notice here ; and so slowly did our public take to them, that the Red Strand, near Clonakilty - now famous as the daily resort of hundreds of sand-carts - only three vehicles made their appearance in the entire year.

1778  The new bridge over the river, in place of the one carried away, was completed and opened for traffic. The delay was owing to the largeness of the sum required, and the imperfect state of the Grand Jury laws, which rendered it a matter of great difficulty to procure the necessary funds. The sum required, however, was at length forthcoming, partly in assistance from the county, but principally from private subscriptions; and the bridge was formally thrown open to the public this year.

On a mural tablet in the battlement over the centre arch, and facing the roadway, is the following inscription:-

                                                            “Tandem Emer==,

                                                            Sub Auspices,

                                                            Johannes Travers, *

                                                            Prepo==== Anno Dom,



During the interval that intervened between the destruction of the old and the completion of the new, intercommunication was kept between both sides of the town by ferry-boat, for the procuring of which, as


* It was Mr. John Travers, who was provost in 1769, 1771, 1773 and, lastly, in 1775, who laid the foundation stone.



we have previously stated, were voted by the corporation. In ordinary week days this mode of conveyance was safe enough, but on market-days it was dangerous, owing not alone to the crowded state of the boat, but to the state of the boatman, one Tade Callaghan (Boskeen).

It happened that one market-day in particular, the boat was passing over more than usually depressed, while Tade, who was quite the other, being more than usually elevated, roughly laid hold of the oars; and scarcely had they arrived mid-way, when some by mischance he upset the boat and the passengers, and all were tumbled into the water. The river happened at this time to be much swollen after a prolonged fall of rain. and some of those who were thrown in never reached the banks alive. Amongst those who perished was the inebriated charm of the Bandon river - poor Tade Callaghan himself.

Abductions were very prevalent about this time. Many a fellow, when he took a fancy to a girl in those days, showed the warmth of his affection for her by stuffing a pocket-handkerchief, or an old stocking, or perhaps the torn-off sleeve of his shirt, half-way down his Dulcinea’s throat to stifle her cries; or knocking down her father; or, it may be, fracturing her brother’s skull in his efforts to make her his own. They did not understand the amenities and courtesies of civilized life in the country parts round here at this rude period. A rustic lover never thought of  “seeking an introduction”; or even if he did become acquainted with his intended, he never took the trouble to try and create a favourable impression on her mind concerning him, by saying a few nice things to her, as he strolled with her along the boreen, or gently pressed her soft hand as he bid her good-night, or endeavouring to look as if he would die of a broken heart if she did not throw him a smile or two, so as to enable him to survive until he would see her again. He could not with any of these puerilities. When he became enamoured, ‘twas the might of Hercules* he called to his aid, and not the blandishments of Cupid.


* An advertisement appeared in one of our county papers about this period in reference to an abduction case in our own neighbourhood, in which a reward of twenty guineas was offered for the apprehension of Daniel McNamara of Enniskeane, distiller, and a similar sum for the apprehension of one Daniel Horrigan, a Popish priest, who married him to a young lady of thirteen years of age, “forcibly and against her will” carried away from her paternal roof.


On one occasion one of those pastoral youths tumbled head and ears into love at first sight. Now, if some charming little creature threw a  (425) coy glance at him over the top of a fan, to fan the spark of admiration which glimmers with more or less intensity in the breast of every lord of the creation of the fair sex, into a blaze; or did she utter a pretty sentiment or two, or even say a kind word to him, one would not be much surprised to see the flames of love bursting through the combustible soul of a young man of two-and twenty. But no, gentle reader; when this refined rural first saw Bessie; when his heart for the first time beat quick, and then, as if ashamed of itself for being so foolish, suddenly almost came to a standstill; when he felt a kind of creamy, sugary sensation flushing all over him - she, industrious, sensible young woman as she was, had one end of a sugawn in her bronzed fist, whilst the other end was carefully secured to one of the hind legs of a pig, which she was endeavouring to sell to the best advantage at Bandon fair. Poor Bumkin looked, and he loved; and then of course he made up his mind that the loved one should be his wife. Accordingly, he collected a lot of his friends, and on the second night after he stormed his charmer’s abode.

The old man (her father), hearing a lot of voices shouting to Bessie to get up and dress herself, put his head out the window and asked what they wanted?

“We want your daughter, Bessie” cried the storming party, “and we must have her!”

“You shan’t!” says the old paterfamilias, as he shut down the window, and bolted it.

“Let us in this instant, or we’ll burn the house!” said the outsiders; but there was no answer. “We’ll burn it to the ground!” again shouted they; but there was still no answer, and all within was as silent as the grave. The they began battering at the door with their whiphandles, but there was no reply.

After some little consultation among themselves, two or three of the strongest of the party came forward, and putting their shoulders to the back-door, they forced it in; and rushing upstairs, headed by the intended husband - who had previously ascertained the room in which his intended wife slept - they entered Bessie’s apartment; and rolling her up in the bedclothes, and wrapping a huge frieze cloak round her, they brought her away.

The poor girl, who had heard everything that passed since the storming party surrounded the house was so overcome with fright that she could (426) make no resistance. She sobbed a little at first, but in such a low tone that she could scarcely be heard; and knowing that nothing could turn these cruel men from their purpose, she remained silent altogether, contenting herself merely with hiding her bashful young face from the gaze of those who surrounded her.

She was quickly lifted into a cart, which was ready for the purpose, and away they drove as fast as they could, escorting the storming  party on horse-back. On they went at a gallop. Not a syllable was spoken - they did not even whisper to one another - as those who had been guilty of such a gross outrage were hurrying to get away from the sense of their guilt with as much celerity as possible. Bessie too was quiet as a mouse. Notwithstanding that she sighed occasionally, and exhibited other signs of suppressed feelings, she was calm and collected. On they sped, and on, until miles lay between the terrified daughter and her disconsolate parents.

And now the day was beginning to break. Bright beams of light shooting up from the east, and stretching across the cold morning sky, were fast dispelling the darkness. For some time previously the swain, who began to look upon his fair prisoner as now undoubtedly his, made up his mind that he ought to get a kiss - one at the very least - to console him for all he had gone through for her sake. If she would but allow him take one - even ever, ever so small a one - he would feel well satisfied for the risk he ran of having a foreign body, like a charge of duck-shot, or a musket bullet or two, impelled through the axis of his alimentary canal, by a discharge of a blunderbuss by her incensed father; or of being sent to rusticate among the flora at Botany Bay for the period of his natural life, by the judge of assize; or worse still, of being battered into a pancake at the next fair, by her indignant cousins.

Bessie resisted with all her might.

Yerra! wouldn’t his own colleen do that for him, after all he went through for her?” But not a word did his own colleen permit to pass her lips. He must get it. “Bad luck to me!” says he, “if I’ll be fit to look at for a month of Sundays, if I don’t get - if it was only the least bit of a taste of a kiss. By gor! I’ll die dead entirely, entirely, if I-------” Forcing her hands and the hood of her cloak from her face, he looked; and lo! it wasn’t Bessie was there at all, it was her mother!

“Holy Mary!” yelled the distracted man, as with one bound he (427) sprang out of the cart upon the road, “for blooming Bessie to be changed into----’twas the fairies did it!” “Holy Mary!” roared he again, as he caught sight of Bessie’s mother, who now sat bolt upright in the cart, nightcap and all, and nodded familiarly at him - as much as to say, how are you Johnny; then dragging his hat down on his forehead, he took to his heels, and made off across the country.

It appears that when the old lady heard the stormers crying out for her daughter, a thought flashed across her mind; and instantly going to Bessie’s room, she made the young lady got to her father’s bed, whilst she took possession of her’s - previously taking the precaution of hiding the candle least it should be lighted, and the imposture discovered.

When the escort saw their leader make off, they naturally thought they were pursued; and putting spurs to their charges, they all endeavoured to save themselves by a precipitate flight. Meanwhile, materfamilias, seeing the coast was clear, leisurely turned the horse’s head round and steered it home where she duly arrived bringing the horse and cart with her, as trophies of her ingenuity, and the possession of which she retained unchallenged - the owner being afraid to demand them.

The unhappy lover was ashamed to show himself. He kept lurking about the neighbourhood for some time, and then reached Cork. From Cork he went to Liverpool; and from that city he set sail for America. And, we may safely assume, that much as he chafed under the bad treatment he received from Bessie and her mother, he kept his opinion of their conduct to himself; and that when he did make up his mind to take a colleen in the new world, he did not do things in the take-it-for-granted style he did in old Ireland.


 [Preface]    [Contents]    [Bernards]   [Index]    [Depositions]    [Maps]   [Definitions]    [Town/Parish Descriptions, 1835]  [Pictures]


01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25