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HISTORY OF BANDON
[Pages 428-451] THE MAC CARTHTY DUVES - THE BANDON YEOMANARY - THE HAZLITES - OUR VOLUNTEERS AT BALLINCOLLIG - TRADE COMBINATIONS PREVALENT - STRIKES FLOOD - THE COAL-YARD - ANECDOTES
1773- Two of the MacCarthy Duves (pronounced Dhooves) were hanged, in April of this year, on the Gallows Hill in Bandon. There were three brothers, all of whom were leaders in the famous band which bore their name. Originally they were labourers to a farmer at Rockfort, near Innoshannon, where they were born, and where they lived until their numerous crimes left them no house and scarce a resting-place to hide in. The three were noted for their uncommon daring and effrontery; but the worst of the entire lot, as well as the cleverest, was the notorious Donogh. We are told that he even outwitted a celebrated highwayman of his day, and that on his own especial territory-Kilworth Mountain. It is related that a gentleman in this neighbourood was robbed by the well-known desperado on his return with the rents of some property of his in that district. Being naturally afraid to venture there again, unless under the protection of a sufficiently strong escort-an opportunity which seldom presented itself-he was obliged to trust to the chapter of accidents, and let the matter lie. Some short time before this, he had the good fortune to do good service to the famous Donogh; but whether, by so doing, he conferred a favour upon society, or perpetrated a gross injustice upon it, is a subject we will not stop to discuss. On thing, however, is certain, that, were it not for his zealous interference, it would have been literally all up with Donogh. Being anxious to do something for so great a personal favour, Donogh went to him, and volunteered not only to go down single-handed but to bring up every stiver of the money safe and sound. The gentleman, nothing loth, boldly entrusted him, and gave him a letter to his agent; and, early upon the next morning, Donogh was mounted and far upon the road to Kilworth. He had not travelled over more than half of that bleak moor, when a well mounted man overtook him, and, with a "God save you!" reined in his horse to the jog-trot pace of Duve. After a few civil remarks, the stranger inquired what brought him to such a dreary place, surmising that it must be something very important. Donogh unhesitatingly told the truth-that he was sent for a considerable sum of money, adding that he expected to be back there by the day after the morrow. Soon after, his new acquaintance struck into a by-path, giving Donogh a half-crown piece to drink his health, and warning him, above all things, to take care of his money.
In due time, our traveller arrived at his destination, presented his letter, got the money, and, having rested both himself and his horse, again started off on his way home. Having arrived at Kilworth, he was soon joined by his former companion, who, after bidding him the top of the morning, asked if he got the money. Duve mildly replied in the affirmative.
"Come then," said he, "out with every blessed cross of it this minute!" roaring into his astonished ears the name of the dreaded free-booter.
The poor country boy was all aghast. He began to clasp his hands, and to cry, and he implored the "dacent gintleman" not to take his money away; but the highwayman was inexorable-his heart could not be softened. He swore out a tremendous oath, and the terrified purse-bearer dropped the money-bag.
"Whisha, sir!" said he after a pause, getting off his horse, and brightening up as if a thought suddenly struck him, "I wish you'd drive a bullet through my hat," at the same time putting his caubeen upon the ground, "in order to make the master think I made a terrible hard fight of it entirely."
Donogh's late opponent was highly amused at the design; and having procured what he wanted, readily consented to oblige the poor simpleton; and dismounting, speedily accomplished the desired object.
"Drive another through this, yer honour," says Duve, holding out the cape of his coat. Again he complied. "And another through this," holding up one of his ample skirts.
"Oh! I have fired off both my pistols," quoth he, walking towards his horse, which had strayed away a little distance in quest of a mouthful of fresh grass.
Quick as lightening, Donogh rushed between them, and, presenting a large horse-pistol at his head, swore by the ---- that, if he did not deliver up every mortal rap on his possession, he would blow him to pieces that very instant, shouting out in a voice of thunder, "For here's the master of your master! here's Donogh Duve!"
The other had often heard of Duve before; and knowing there would be no use in trifling with such a powerful opponent, who, in addition to being armed, was physically his superior, he therefore acted like any sensible man would have done under the circumstances, and disgorged to order. He first laid down his pistols, then his ball-cartridge, Donogh's money-bag, and his own purse containing fourteen guineas; next followed three watches and a few trinkets. Having turned his pockets inside out, and rid himself of everything worth taking, he was ordered to march off some paces tothe rear, and turn his back, In the interim, Duve, who had safely secured all the valuables, coolly mounted Brennan's charger; then riding up to him, and stooping over the pommel of the saddle, he told his outwitted antagonist in a confidential whisper, that whenever he met a poor simpleton again, not to forger Donogh Duve.
The immediate cause of the arrest of the Duves, and their subsequent execution, was an attack upon the house of a man named Holland, who lived as dairyman and caretaker to Mr. Alcock, of Roughgrove, and resided in the old residence, which, at that time, occupied the present site of Roughgrove House.
Holland had returned from Cork late in the evening, after disposing of some butter, and brought with him, amongst other things, a heavy iron bar-in those days used for shoeing block-wheels. About one in the morning, he was awoke out of a sound sleep by the smashing in of the front door; and, before he could well arose his dormant senses and seize on the iron bar just mentioned, tow of the daring burglars rushed up stairs. The staircase was very narrow, and led from the landing into his room by a very sharp angle. It was mainly owing to this, and the circumstance that only one person could pass up at the time, that rendered Holland's position so advantageous. The first to come up was a man named McCarthy, form the neighbouring townland of Shinagh, and behind him was Daniel Duve with a loaded blunderbuss. Holland was at the top of the stairs, and threatened MacCarthy if he dared to approach another inch. The latter's reply was a bound forward, and, with one blow, Holland struck him dead. He then rushed down, holding the dead man in his arms, and pressing him upon Duve, who was thus forced to retreat foot by foot without being able to get a shot at his opponent. When he had reached the last step of the stairs, Holland, putting forth all his strength, made a violent rush at him, still pushing on the corpse. He upset Duve, and instantly throwing himself upon him, after a fierce struggle, he tore the blunderbuss from his grasp. Duve again seized it, and, after a fight still more fierce and prolonged, Holland was again victorious. Meanwhile, some of the gang, who had been left outside to watch, came in, and furtively carried away MacCarthy's body. Upon their return, they found that not only was Dan a prisoner, but that his powerful antagonist had received assistance. Again they retreated, but this time with the loss of another of their number-the second brother, Michael Duve. He was bravely seized upon by the servant-girl, and held until her master and the servant-boy came to her help. They then secured their prisoners by spancelling their arms and legs, and twisting ropes about them in such a way, that for them to effect their liberation was impossible. Then barricading the doors and windows as well as circumstances would admit, with beating hearts they anxiously awaited the morning dawn. So cautious did they deem it necessary to be, that they were afraid to light a splinter of bog-wood, or even to blow a sod of turf, lest the light would betray them. Nay, they did not venture to speak even in a whisper, in dread lest the voice should become a guide to the armed gang assembled outside, and a fatal discharge from a blunderbuss terminate all further solicitude. Several times stones were thrown at the doors and windows, sometimes at a distance, but at other times so close that it was evident there were but a few feet between the assailants and Holland and his trembling companions. On one occasion (and it was the only one), a fellow attempted to climb in through a window; but here the iron bar again came into requisition, and it descended with such force within an inch of the intruder's skull, that he instantly jumped to the ground, and was not imprudent enough to repeat the experiment. All this time, the Duves were swinging away merrily, probably to let their friends outside know their exact position. These evidently understood them, and, by whistling and coughing, endeavoured to keep them in courage. Time rolled heavily away, every minute they thought now was as long as an hour at another time. "Will it ever be day?" thought Holland, as he anxiously peered through the diamond-paned window-glass, and looked out upon the black massed clouds that lay before him. Again he looked out, and again; but the prospect was as uncheering and the darkness as impenetrable as ever. At length, a pale blue flash flared in the eastern sky, The cock gave out a lust crow. Again Holland looked out, and, lo! the morrow had come. Shortly after, a neighbouring farmer knocked at the door, and asked if any thing was wrong, stating that his dogs were barking all through the night, and he thought there must be mischief somewhere. He was told in a few words, and directed to wake up the neighbours. These soon began to drop in, armed with pikes, reaping-hooks, and whatever offensive weapons they could conveniently lay hands on. Finding that all hopes of a rescue were now at an end, Michael Durve burst into fits of crying, and asked God to forgive him for his numerous offences; but Dan preserved a sulky silence, broken but once, when calling to one of those that surrounded him. He addressed him by his Christian name, and asked for a shough of the pipe-a request that was instantly complied with. In a few hours later, a sergeant's guard arrived; and the Duves, being delivered up to them, they were handcuffed, and marched into Bandon.
Meanwhile, news of the capture of the famous Duves had spread far and near. The peasantry of one district no sooner told it to those of another, than throwing down their mattocks and grephanes, they flocked in crowd to Bandon. The whole flat of Barry's Walk, extending from where the Convent of the Order of the Presentation now stands, a full mile and a half along the old Macroom Road, was black with people; but there was one place in that swaying mass of humanity where the thick crowd was thickest, and where the murmur of voices was the loudest. In the middle of this thick crowd, a small space was with difficulty preserved; and in the centre of this was a little old woman, with a white kerchief tied round her head, and her figure enveloped in a frieze cloak of ample dimensions. This little old woman was the mother of the Duves, and, when the unfortunate men arrived before where she was standing, she went upon her knees to give her boys her blessing; but the salutation she received was a terrible one.
"Oh, damn you! you old -----!" cried Dan, "it was you were the cause of all!"*
At the ensuing Spring Assizes they were both tried, as was also their eldest brother, Donogh, who had been arrested in a house on the lands of Geara, in the parish of Kilmeen, to which place he and some others had forcibly carried off a young woman named Taylor, with the intention of marrying her to one of his comrades.
The Rev. Emanuel Moore, having heard of the outrage, collected some of his neighbours, and, accompanied by his brothers, followed in hot pursuit, and came up with them in the house just mentioned. Having knocked several times at the door without receiving any answer, they were preparing to burst it in, when it was at length partially opened by and old woman, who, thrusting out her head, asked what they did want. They soon told her; but she stoutly denied that there was any one within. This, however, did not satisfy Mr. Moore. He resolved to judge for himself, and announced his intention of making a search. Accordingly, pushing past the old woman, he gained admittance; but, finding the inside was all in darkness, he groped his way to the fire-place, and taking up a sod of turf, he began to blow it in order to procure a light.
Duve, who had been in the loft overhead, and who was an anxious listener to all that had passed, had previously descended a few steps of the stairs, where he sat down, and quietly awaited the turn of events; but finding that the place was about being searched, and that he must necessarily be made a prisoner, with a poor chance of escaping the latter.
He afterwards declared he had no intention that time of shedding blood; his object being to escape, and to use his arms only for that purpose if necessary; but, when the glowing turf-sod revealed the features of his untiring foe, he could not resist the tempting opportunity. He raised his blunderbuss to his shoulder, took deliberate aim, and Mr. Moore fell mortally wounded upon the hearthstone; then, jumping down, he daringly rushed for the door; but here he was met by the guard outside, and, after a desperate resistance, he was finally disarmed and secured.
* It is stated, that when her sons were children, one of them stole a halfpenny worth of brogue-nails, which he brought to his mother; and she, to encourage him, gave him a penny, and sent him back for more.
For this murder he was arraigned; but the judge directed the jury to acquit him, it being found that Mr. Moore had no warrant for his arrest. He was, however, immediately put upon his trial for having stolen the blunderbuss withy which he committed the fatal deed; and, this being satisfactorily proved, he was found guilty of the felony, and sentenced to death, as were also his two brothers, who had been convicted of the burglary at Roughgrove.
It was ordered, in addition, that the executions should take place in the town nearest to where the offenses had been committed. Accordingly, when the tree unfortunate men arrived in Bandon, Michael and Dan were detained there; but Donogh was strongly escorted to Clonakilty. When the escort arrived at a cross-road adjoining that town, then and still known as Fae's Bridge, they found that every preparation had been made by the local authorities for carrying out the dread sentence of the law, and also that numbers of persons from the country as well as from the town had assembled to feast their eyes upon one of the most notorious criminals of the day, and to see if that reckless daring which tracked his career through this world would cower as he approached the next. He soon took his place on the drop; the rope was adjusted; and, after nodding and smiling to some of his old friends whom he recognized in the crowd, the belt was about being drawn, when he sought, as a last request, to be allowed to say a few words. This was assented to; and, stepping a pace of two to the front, "Good people," said he, with a comic expression of countenance, which provoked roars of merriment from those who had come to see him die, "all I have to say is, that the best thing for you to light a pipe with is the faded stalk of a potato!" Then, turning with the same humorous leer to the executioner, he told him to go on.
This apparent disregard for this impending doom might in some measure be accounted for by the fact that he wore and iron collar round his neck, with strong projecting hooks, so that when the drop would fall, the rope would slide up, and, being caught by them, would be prevented from pressing fatally on the jugular- a contrivance that was made for him by a smith named Lane, from Ballinacurra. But this did not avail him; for Hasting Moore-a brother of the murdered man, and one of those who assisted in his capture at Geara-was watching his every move from the foot of the scaffold, and perceiving that his neckerchief was unusually large, or, as some assert, having received private information, he ordered the hangman to lay bare his neck; and, lo! the imposture was discovered. And casting a vengeful glance at his insatiable enemy,
O'Moore," quoth the wretched man, "may the curse of the unfortunate and the worst of bad luck attend ye, and all belonging to yees, for ever and ever." And, with those direful maledictions upon his lips, he passed into eternity.
His two brothers, Michael and Dan, as we have said, were detained in Bandon; and when the time appointed for their execution drew near, endless droves of the country people-many of them whom were on foot all the previous night-kept streaming in from every village and cabin for miles around. Each successive arrival adding itself to the already swollen mass, soon filled up the area in front of the guard house in which the condemned lay, and, flowing over, occupied every thoroughfare and passage in the neighbourhood, The houses at the opposite side, and those from which even a distant view could be obtained, had their doors, windows, and even a distant view could be obtained, had their doors, windows and very chimney-top alive with the townspeople, all burning with the same consuming curiosity which, at an early hour on that morning, drew the peasantry in thousands from their beds.
The huge mob waited and waited noiselessly. There was scarce a whisper to disturb the monotony of that gigantic silence. At length, the large hand of the clock, which had been tediously toiling round and round the big black dial-plate, approached the appointed hour. A body of foot, who had taken up their position close to the prison-windows, where they grounded arms and stood at ease, were now ordered, "Attention!" and "Fix bayonets!" The dragoons, who sat listlessly upon their horses, rode sharply to the front; then, drawing swords, they wheeled to the right, and halted in rear of the infantry. The excitement, became vehement. The enormous crowd, waving to and fro, carried people by hundreds off their feet. Many were in danger of their lives; and several received injuries so serious, that they carried the marks of them to their graves. But, nevertheless, every eye was still fixed upon the doorway from whence the Duves were to come forth.
They had not long to wait. In a few minutes the two miserable men, heavily ironed and handcuffed to each other, were led out and marched into the centre of the escort. Their appearance was the signal for a tremendous shout, which was caught up and echoed and re-echoed even by those who were so far distant as to be scarcely able to distinguish the glittering accoutrements of the soldiery. All through the streets, and up to Gallows Hill, the shouting continued; the hoarse roar of voices rolled from one end of that vast assemblage to the other.
It could not have been a shout of sympathy, for no honest men could sympathized with those whose hearts were hardened, and whose hands were stained with crime; nor could it have been one of exultation, for how could thousands exult over the choking of two wretched beings? No: it was an outburst of a felling generated by circumstances, and not an impulse of nature. It forbade them setting the captives at liberty; for they shuddered at the thought of their being again free. It showed them the expediency of pushing by death those who had well deserved their doom; but yet those Duves had for years despised the laws and derided the authorities-hence the feeling which lifted Mick into a brave man and Dan into a hero.
The preparations for the last scene were simple, and were soon completed. It was then inquired of them if they wished to say anything. To this, Mick answered that he could not deny the justice of his sentence; and, after some few remarks to the same purpose, he concluded by imploring the prayers of all those present in behalf of his soul. But when Dan, who was scarcely less a criminal than his brother Donogh, was asked what he had to say, "Och! the divil a bit!" replied he, "only I wish to J------- the job was over, as I don't want to be standing here in the cowld!"
After the hanging a considerable time, the bodies were cut down, and stretched upon the ground. A few scores of the curious still hovered about the spot. As time passed on, those thinned to units; and in a few hours, of that immense concourse which deafened the overhanging skies with their cheers, and thronged in multitudes around their scaffolds, there was not even one left to scatter a handful of straw over their corpses, or event to shade their livid faces from the light. The evening closed in, and there was no one would own them. At last, Mr. George Kingston, who was the owner of a timber-yard in the vicinity, and who had often good reason to complain of the frequent robberies committed on his premises after nightfall, had them removed, and buried within his concerns; trusting that even in death their very ashes would prove a safeguard against the ill-disposed. The timber-yard is now the site of that agreeable suburban retreat known as Kingston's Buildings, and which upon two sides enclose and ornamental shrubbery, in the western portion of which, and within a few feet of where groups of little children are continually engaged in play, repose the peaceful dust of the once notorious and dreaded Duves.
1775- The corporation being anxious to encourage an efficient schoolmaster to settle in the town in place of the Rev. George Wood, who was unable to perform the duties of principal, owing to the bad state of his health, granted the sum of twenty pounds annually, to be paid to the new head-master, "over and above the sum appointed by the late Earl of Cork. In consideration, said master shall instruct four boys appointed by the provost and burgesses of said corporation."
The first Earl of Cork, who died at Yougal in 1643, provided for the erection of a free school in Bandon, and then bequeathed the sum of twenty pounds annually towards the payment of the master; which sum was doubled in 1812, by the Duke of Devonshire.
The first schoolmaster, about whom we have enabled to collect any particulars, was the Rev. Thomas Mills-Mills who obtained deacon's orders in Kilbrogan Church, in March, 1700, obtained a sizarship in Trinity College, Dubllin, in 1694. He remained head-master until his death, in 1720. He was succeeded by the Rev. John Fryer, who was licensed to the curacy of Ballymodan in 1720, previous to which he was hypodidasculus of Bandon school, on the nomination of Mills. The Rev. George Wood, who was head-master in 1775, and who, as we have above stated, was obliged to resign owing to his infirmities, was ordained deacon in 1742; in which year he probably replaced Fryer. In 1761 Wood was curate of Kilbrogan; and in 1764 he obtained the rectory of Garryroe, upon the death of the Rev. William Meade. In 1748 he married Jane Beamish, of Kulmalooda. He died in 1792.*
* His eldest son, Thomas, inherited most of his effects. He had also a son, George [whose son, George, an officer in the 82nd Regiment, was the author of A Subaltern Officer], and two daughters-Mary, married to John Teulon, and Elizabeth, married to James White.
John Teulon had by his wife:-John, of whom presently; Charles, lieutenant-colonel 28th Regiment, fought at the Peninsula and at Waterloo, where his regiment suffered severly; Peter, lieutenant-colonel 12th Madras Native Infantry, was commandant at Delhi; George, lieutenant-colonel her Majesty's 35th Regiment; Thomas, A.B., Dublin, died in France; Lewis, died young; Richard, M.D.; Maria, married John Beamish, M.D.; Frances, died unmarried.
John married Catherine Morris, daughter of George Beamish, of Clohine, and had issue:-George B. Teulon, J.P.; Charles Peter, B.L.; Thomas, major 35th Regiment; Catherine Maria.
Pierre Teulon-progenitor of this branch-fled to England upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, accompanied by his brother, Antoine (ancestor of Seymour Teuon, of Tenchley Park, Surrey). Their elder brother remarried behind, and inherited the family property at Mount-Pelier, Lanfuedoc, and from him is descended Pierre Emil Teulon, president of Minister, under the late King Louis Phillipe. Pierre, who married Miss Jacobs (a Dutch lady), came to this country from England, and settled in Cork. He had two sons-John and Peter. John married Sarah Bruce, of this county; by whom he had John who married Mary Wood, as mentioned previously.
The Rev. Mark West obtained the head-mastership upon Wood's resignation. West was a scholar of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1770. In 1774 he was licensed to the curacy of Desetmore, Knockavilly, and Brinnym for performing the duties of which he received fifty pounds per annum. In 1778 he was curate of Ballymodan; and from 1782, until his death, in 1787, he was prebendary of Currograngemore.
Mr. St. Leger Chinnery succeeded West; and upon his death, in 1786, Mr. Michael Kiely succeeded.
The Rev. William Sullivan obtained the mastership in 1808, upon the death of Kiely. Mr. Sullivan obtained the deacon's orders in 1798. From 1818 to 1836 he was prebendary of Templebryan; and from 1825 to 1836 (when he died) he was rector of Kilnagross.
The Rev. Dr. John Brown succeeded Sullivan in the spring of 1826. He obtained first sholarship in 1819, and shortly after was admitted to deacon's orders. He resigned in 1842, on being appointed principal of Kilkenny College, and was succeeded by his brother, Dr. Stephen Browne. Dr. Stephen obtained the second scholarship in 1826, Bishop Law's mathematical premium in 1830, and honours in each of his under-graduate years.
1776- William Brabazon Ponsonby, and Lodge Morris, elected to represent Bandon in the new Parliament.
1777- The Bandon Boyne (corpse of yeomanry), which consisted of but one company, was enrolled. Their uniform was a blue coat, edged with buff, yellow buttons, buff waistcoat and small clothes, and gold epaulets. In 1782, amongst other officers, were ensigns John Laone and ------- Wright, surgeon Richard Laone, and secretary Bernard Blake.
1778- The Bandon cavalry were enrolled. They wore a dark olive-green jacket, half lapelled, cuffs and collar of crimson velvet, and epaulets of silver; furniture-white cloth, hosing, and holster-caps, embroidered; device--"B.C.," harp and crown. The officers in 1782 were:-
Colonel ................ Sampson Stawell
Major .................. John Moore Travers
Captains............... Robert Waterhouse
Simon T. Davies
Cornet................... Charles Bernard
Chaplain................ Rev. Charles Hewitt.
The Bandon Independants were also enrolled this year. Their strength was the same as that of the Boyne-one company. Their uniform consisted of a scarlet coat faced with black, yellow buttons, and gold epaulets. In 1782 the officers were:-
Colonel................... Francis Bernard
Captain................... Robert Scaly
Lieutenant............... Thomas Child
Ensign..................... John Travers
Adjutant................. George Kingston
Surgeon.................. Richard Laone
Secretary................ Richard Needham
The Rev. Mr. Hazlitt was Presbyterian minister at Bandon for some years.
"His theological views," says a writer, "where those of that kind which is called the English Puritan school. Being bound to no creed, they used the Scriptures with great freedom; and as many of that school became first indifferent to some popular theological opinions, and finally Unitarians, so Mr. Hazlitt was more anxious about moral than doctrinal teachings."
The same authority also furnishes us with some of the pranks played off by some of the military officers stationed here at this time, from which we extract the following:-
"Amongst the English visitants who were sent to this country to irritate it by bad conduct, was a regiment of cavalry, the officers of which were a set of giddy coxcombs, who amused themselves by mischievously annoying the mere Irish, and perhaps with as cruel an ignorance, but as little individual malice, as schoolboys. Our aborigines wore large cloth cloaks with hoods to them. The women, coming into Bandon from the neighbourhood to buy milk, had, on their way to the milk-market, to pass the mess-room, where the officers idled some of their time. The mess-room was at the White Hart Inn, in the centre of the town, an conveniently placed for a war upon the women natives. They had in the room a sufficient store of sods of turf; and the sport was to throw at each woman as she passed by. The cream of the joke was, if the earthen jug or pitcher fell broken on the street, and the poor woman's purchase of milk ran about, the military hero go great applause for his good aim, and his merit was deemed as high as what he won at 'blind hookey.' This excitement, however, lost novelty and interest, and the military sent over to reconcile the Irishry discovered one of higher zest. Bandon did not then enjoy public shedded-in meat-markets; and the meat was exposed for sale in the streets, and on the 'big bridge.' The sport-seeking heroes noticed this facility for fun; and, seeing a poor Papist eyeing the beef on a Friday or a fast-day, they compelled him to turn up the knees of his breeches, kneel down on his knees in the street, and eat a bit of raw beef at the point, and from the point of the sword."
The house in which the Rev. Mr. Hazlitt lived was in Gallows-hill Street, near where the mill-stream crosses the roadway, and it adjoined the cross lane leading north to the Castle Road. Every trace of this house is now completely gone. Mr. Hazlitt had several sons, amongst whom were- Hazlitt, the biographer of the first Napoleon, and a celebrated critic; also John and William, his brothers, who became afterwards men of artistic and literary fame. John was a painter, and some of his words were highly approved of by commissioners. William was a writer of ability; and Hazlitt's Round Table-two duodecunics if light but useful essays-read well even to those who love the masterly style of the Spectator. These two brothers-for the painter could handle the pen with the same facility as the brush-were active contributors to the London Examiner of their day; and it is stated that that publication was entirely indebted in the two Hazlitts for the high intellectual style and independent bearing which, at that time, rendered it so popular and attractive.
Mr. Hazlitt took a great interest in the war that was raging between England and her American colonies. He altogether sided with the latter, and he openly expressed his desire that they should succeed. This brought upon him the reproaches of his fellow-townsmen; and whenever they would see him in the streets, they used to cry out to beware of the black rebel.
To some of the members of his congregation, too, his advocacy of American notions was not agreeable. One Sunday morning he was more than usually vehement in advocating the right of our Transatlantic cousins to govern themselves, when up started one of his bearers, and hurriedly pulling his plug of tobacco out of his mouth-"I didn't come hear to listen to treason," said he, addressing the preacher; then taking up his hat and cane, he indignantly walked out.
Hazlitt was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. King- a quaint and somewhat singular personage, but with a rich stratum of humour cropping out on the surface. We are told that, whilst staying with a friend (the late Richard Dowden Richard) at Sunday's Well, in Cork, he pointed over to the imposing palatial residence of the Lord Bishop of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross. "Look Richard," said he to him, "look at the fisherman's hut." Mr. King was succeeded by the Rev. William Hunter, the clergyman now in charge. The congregation is not at present large, owing to the decadence of the woollen and linen manufacture, and the extensive emigration consequent thereon.
1780- The wollen trade again revived, and flourished vigorously for about thirty years during which time there was a very extensive business carried on, and an immensity of employment afforded. Some idea of its extent may be surmised from the fact that, at this period, there were no less than eighteen hundred looms employed in one department of the trade alone. The principal manufacturers and exporters were the Messrs. Dowden, Wheeler, Biggs, Quinlan, Popham, and Sealy. A considerable portion of the product of the Bandon looms was disposed of in Dublin, in Limerickm and even as near home as Cork.
In the latter city, the principal agent was an old Puritainical oddity, that kept a shop near the Exchange, and was familiarly know as "Ould Dowden." So strict was this old gentleman in his habits, and so cautious in his replies to the various interrogatories put to him during the course of an long business life, that he was scarcely ever known to venture out into the world of word beyond yea or nay. He attended his place of worship with scrupulous punctuality; and whether he was in good health, or on the point of death, or whether the sun was shining, or whether it was pouring "cats and dogs", it made no difference with "Ould Dowden"-he was the first man to enter the Princes' Street Presbyterian meeting-house, and the last to leave it. From all these circumstances put together, it was thought that, if he ever did curse anybody, the execrated party must necessarily wither up like a blasted potato-stalk; so the "the curse of ould Dowden down atop of ye!" became an anathema by no means calculated to add to the personal comfort of the anathematized.
1781- The volunteers of this country were reviewed at Ballincollig by the Earl of Charlemont. They formed a select and well disciplined body, amounting to thirty-five thousand men. The Bandon companies mustered strong on the occasion, and were mainly composed of very tall and heavy men; the man on the extreme right of the first rank being close on six feet five inches in height, and in weight exceeding twenty stone. Their splendid appearance , and the precision with which they executed the various military manoeuvers, drew strong expressions of admiration from the general officers present. They also earned the approbation of an old apple-woman-a native of the town-who could not restrain here exultation. "Yerra, well done entirely," said she. "my fine black Protestant Bandon!" The Bandonians were amongst the first to arrive on the field, and marched to their position to a tune not likely to infuse much military ardour into their ranks, the drums and fifes playing, :Oh ! what a Rasping Beau your Daddy was!"
Although the Bandonians, collectively, were thought highly of, yet there was among them a copse which did not share in the fair fame of the others. Amongst them was a body known as the Bandon Independents. Most of the men of this force were said to be leavened with the principles which became notorious the year after in the volunteers of 1782.
1783- Francis Bernard, of Castle Bernard, (subsequently Earl of Bandon) and Lodge Morris, elected to represent Bandon.
1784- The old Bandon Quarter Sessions book contains various entries which show how our forefathers encouraged trade in those days. Amongst others, is a charge preferred against Cornelius Mahony, "that he, on the 18th of December, did, in the suburbs of Bandon, buy two hundred weight of butter, valued three pounds, which was designed for the markets of Bandon; and being market-day, did forestall and buy up same."
Manure does not appear to be worth much at this period, as appears by another entry under date March 22nd, 1785; which states that Darby Kealcher and several others, were indicted for going upon the lands of Ballylanglay, and carting and carrying away one hundred and fifty loads of dung, valued in 12s. 6d. [a penny a load], the goods of Charles Martin.
It contains also a copy of an indictment against Thomas Starkey, William Starkey, and another, for contemptuously entering the parish church of Desertserges, and, maliciously disquieting and disturbing the congregation during divine service; and that they did, in addition, assault William Bottimore, the clerk.
We are unable to say what could have induced the Starkeys to enter a place of worship during divine service, and conduct themselves as is represented. Perhaps they were some of those old-fashioned Bandonians who would become as wicked, on being shown a table-cover with a cross on it, as a bull would on being shown a piece of red cloth. We suspect there must have been something atrocious in their eyes, however, or they would never have acted so contemptuously as they did. When a man shows his contempt, it must be for something he contemns. It may have been that the rector got suddenly infected with a rage for candlesticks and holy-water, or he may have propounded doctrines from the pulpit to which their Puritan ears were unaccustomed. Be that as it may, their conduct was unpardonable. If they did not like the proceedings in the Desert Church, they should not have gone there. And what right had they to maltreat poor dearly-beloved Roger, for doing, perhaps, only what he was ordered?
1785- A great row happened this year. It seems that one of the 5th Dragoons, passing over the bridge, met a countryman, and taking a fancy to his stick, tried to wrest it from him; and would probably succeeded, had not the countryman's companion come to his assistance, and knocked the soldier down. A well-known mischief-maker named John Cunningham, who happened to be present, immediately ran off, and told some of the troopers, whom she met in Irishtown, what had occurred. These instantly hastened to their comrade's help. The townspeople sided with the countryman, and a regular battle took place. In a short time, all the troops in the barracks turned out, armed with swords, and attacked indiscriminately every civilian; but the country people were the especial objects of their vengeance. Of these, forty-two were wounded, several severely injured, and two killed.
The Rev. Robert Swindells-a celebrated Wesleyan minister-visited Bandon. He was about preaching in the open piece of ground in front of the present Saving's Bank, when down came some of the officers of the gallant 5th Dragoons, bringing with them several trumpeters for the purpose of preventing his being heard. Swindells well knew their object, and, by a humourous contrivance, turned the laugh completely against them. He commenced the service by giving out the well-known Wesleyan hymn, "Blow ye the trumpets! blow!" He only gave out the first line, and then stopped. Upon this the trumpeters blew away, much to the amusement of the congregation, and the confusion of the officers, who felt quite disconcerted to find that heir men should take such and instrumental and prominent part in the service, and that, too, at the bidding if the very man whom they had come to blow down. So indignant were they at being out-generalled by the simple Wesleyan, that they ordered their men back instantly to barracks; and, slipping away one by one, they left Mr. Swindells in undisputed possession of the field.
1786- Unlawful assemblies and trade combinations were rife at this period. Indeed so much so, that our corporation felt it their duty to express themselves strongly on these matters, as appears by a resolution dated June 7th, in this year; in which they state that they will give every assistance in their power to suppress all .unlawful assemblies and combinations, and bring the authors and all persons in any way concerned therein, or in aiding or abetting the same, to justice.
The audacity of some of those who took part in those unlawful assemblies may be surmised from the circumstance that, upon one occasion our chief magistrate was assaulted in the execution of his duty by a leader among them-on John Davis-"in contempt of the law and in open defiance thereof;" and, as if "that most daring outrage and insult" was not enough to canonize Davis in the eyes of the mob, he absolutely had the effrontery to rush on the provost's rod, and break it in two. So indignant were the respectable townspeople at this wanton injury and display of contempt for the authority of their chief magistrate, that they called a public meeting, and collected subscriptions fro the purpose of having the offenders speedily brought to justice.
1789- On the 17th of January, there was a great flood known as "Strike's flood." A very heavy fall of rain began on the previous day, which contained incessantly throughout the night. The rain dissolved the snow which had covered the ground for several day, and the town was visited with an inundation which even exceeded that of '65, when old Bandon bridge was carried away. So high did the water rise, and with such rapidity, that many people could only escape out of their houses by breaking through the roofs. Some notion of its depth in the lower parts of the town may be conjectured from the measurement of the water at Weir Street, which at one time reached a height of four feet and a-half. It went away as suddenly as it came; and, however it may have damaged property, there was only one life lost-that of a blacksmith named Strike, whose forge was on the site occupied by the late Mr. William Hart's establishment.
The flood having entered Strike's smithy, began rolling the movables to and fro; upon which some one jestingly remarked to him "to see to his anvil, as it was beginning to float!" Hearing this, he jumped off the hob, with the intention of shutting the door, and preventing its exit; but, by some mismanagement, instead of keeping within, he got outside, and having "a drop taken," he lost his footing and fell. At this time, there was no wall or fence of any kind where Burlington Quay now stands. It was an open space, with a slope continuous to the river. Poor Strike was swept down the declivity, until he was carried into the main channel; here the fierce waters hurried him along, and so rapid was their progress, that no trace of the body could afterwards be discovered.
The centenary anniversary of the Black Monday insurrection was kept on the 25th of February as a great holiday. All the shops were closed; the bells rung out a merry peal, in commemoration of that great event; and the provost, free-burgesses, and common council, duly robed, attended divine service, accompanied by most of the inhabitants; after which a procession was formed, which walked through the streets, carrying the flags of the old Bandon militia, and other interesting relics of bygone days.
The first Methodist chapel was built in Bandon. It was erected on a plot of waste ground, in front of the church gate at Kilbrogan, and adjoining the present fish-market. Previous to this, the Wesleyans worshipped in the large room of a house which, with others, possessed the site now occupied by the bridewell. The chapel was opened on Thursday, the 3rd of May, by John Wesley, on which occasisn he preached a very impressive sermon, from the text, "To the Jew first, and to the Gentile." Our informant-an old lady only a few years deceased, and to whose memory we are indebted for many interesting facts contained in these pages-was present on the occasion, and assured us she was even then old enough to be on the look-out for a husband. She treasured up every minute particular connected with the interesting ceremony, and, after the lapse of seventy-two years, was able to describe the very dresses worn by many of those present on the occasion.* This was Mr. Wesley's last visit to Bandon. During this time, as well as on a previous occasion, he was the guest of the late Mr. Tomas Bennett, of Shannon Street; who used to relate, that upon Wesley's entering the parlour, Mungo, who had been sunning himself on the hearth-rug before the fire, got up and violently barked at the venerable apostle. The host was distracted, and seizing his gold-headed cane, made several ineffectual attempts to demolish the canine miscreant; but Wesley stopped him, and patting him familiarly on the shoulder, "Never mind, Tom," said he, "never mind! there is many a dog in the human family that barks, intent more on making a noise than on doing an injury."
* There is an old lady still alive, and living here, who received the sacrament no less than three times from the hands of John Wesley. The great age she must have now attained to will be evident to the reader, when we remind him that Wesley was born the year after the death of William the Third-that is one hundred and sixty years ago. But there is even here amore singular instance still of a long stretch into the past-our old and much-respected fellow-townsman, the Rev. T. Waugh. often conversed with one who was old enough to remember the siege of Londonderry; and who used to relate, with all the freshness and vividness of a recent impression, many interesting facts connected with that ever-memorable struggle. We doubt if the whole world can furnish another instance of so close a connection between our day and any event so long since recorded in history.
1790- April 19th-Lodge Morris Esq., of the city of Dublin, and Broderick Chinnery, Esq., of Anne's Grove. elected to represent the town in the new Parliament
1791- Several of the flour-mills, both in town and country, were much injured this year by a large mob. This did not result from any scarcity or want of provisions, but from the fact of the bolting millers, as they were called, beginning now for the first time to buy up large quantities of wheat. The townspeople considered this an interference with their established usage, having up to this time been accustomed to buy their weekly supply of raw grain direct from the farmer in pecks, half-pecks, or bushels, according to their requirements. They used then to take it to the manor mill, where it was ground and prepared for consumption. The farmers, of course, were glad to meet with a purchaser who took their entire lot, and paid as much for it as they could get from the small buyer by retailing it. Consequently, they went to Kilbrittain, and attacked Mr. Stawell's; from thence they proceeded to Mr., Pratt's of Shannon Vale; thence to Balliniscarthy, and to several others.
1792- On the 13th of December in this year the coal-yard for the benefit of the Bandon poor was established.
At an assembly of the provost and free-burgesses, &c., on December 13th, it was agreed to take into consideration the very high price of firing, and the distressed state of many of the poor inhabitants of Bandon and the suburbs thereof, on account of the scarcity of firing, which is likely to continue; and to consider the best means of keeping so necessary an article at moderate price.
"We, the provost and free-burgesses of said borough, having considered the same, do think that the only and best means of doing so, is by creating and establishing a coal-yard; and for that purpose do consult and agree to permit and suffer a sufficient part of Gallows Hill belonging to the provost and free-burgesses, and out successors for the time being, to be taken in, and enclose at such part of said Gallows Hill as the provost and any three or four burgesses of said borough shall think most convenient and proper for the purpose of erecting said coal-yard; and that the same, when erected, shall be under the management and direction of the provost and free-burgesses for the time being. And that the provost, from time to time, shall make such rules and regulations, and nominate and appoint such person or persons, as may be necessary to regulate and superintend the same; provided that at the making of such rules and regulations, no less than three of the free-burgesses shall be present with the provost, and shall consent thereto. And this we, the said provost and free-burgesses, do for the good of said borough; and do hereby give our consent and grant to, and ensure to and for their uses and purposes aforesaid, against us and our successors, provosts and free-burgesses of said borough, for ever. Witness our hands.
|The provost and free-burgesses, pursuant to the above, have appointed
Thomas Travers, Esq., Thomas Biggs, Esq., Armiger Sealy, Esq.,
Francis Fielding, Richard Donovan, William Banfield, Thomas Weldon,
James Sweeney, George Allman, gents., and John Campbell, Esq.,
to be overseers of the coal-yard, and to raise subscriptions for carrying
the same into effect.
1793- On the 18th of November, Colonel Bernard (afterwards Earl of Bandon) obtained permission to raise and organize a body of infantry-the old force, enrolled in 1777 and 1778, having been disbanded for some years. This body was divided into three corps-the Boyne, the Union, and the True Blues. The Boyne wore scarlet coats, faced with blue, and trimmed with gold lace, and upon their breastplates and equestrian statue of William the Third crossing the Boyne. The Union, too, had scarlet coats; but their trimmings were laced with silver, and their facings were of black velvet. The True Blues, also, had coats of scarlet, braided with silver lace. Each company had three officers-a captain, lieutenant, and ensign. Those of the Boyne were:-
Captain .......................Robert Travers
The True Blues
These companies being entirely composed of volunteers, there was very little difference in the social scale between the officers and men; the full private of one year a full-blown captain in the next, and vice versa. The Boyne company, which was first called out in 1777, was a recognized embodiment of the Bandon volunteers, the original members of which we have seen taking part in the decisive engagement between William and James more than a century before. As vacancies would occur in the ranks of those that smelt powder on that memorable occasion, they were filled up by the sons of those that were there; as time rolled past, by the grandsons; then great-grandsons; when these could not be had, then by undoubted sympathizers. Thus was the body kept up; and, now that yeomanry corps and Irish volunteers are things of the past, yet this old fraternity still clings together, with its outward appearance, indeed, changed-an orange ribbon being substituted for a scarlet coat, and an orange lodge doing duty as a barrack-room; but the old spirit still lives. There is the same uncompromising hatred of Pope and Popery that raged in the bosoms of those that plunged into the water with their brethren of Londonderry; and their repugnance for receiving brass money at its impressed value, and their horror of wooden shoed, are as great as ever.
There are a great many anecdotes still told here about the old Protestant inhabitants and their intense aversion to the Papacy. Many of these are very amusing, but others are positively ludicrous. We are told that the grandfather of the late Mr. ----- was a very well-intentioned, simple-minded man, who used to say his prayers, not only every morning and evening, but even if the middle of the day, whenever he could conveniently do so. Yet it was notorious of him, that, in repeating the Lord's Prayer (which he never failed to do in his supplications), whenever he came to "As we forgive them that trespass against us," he would always put in as a contingency, "provided they weren't Papists;" the simple-minded man telling the Great Creator that he would be afraid of his life to ask forgiveness for any of them, for if Sally (his wife) heard it, she'd throw boiling water on him.
Even yet, not many years since, one of those old-fashioned Protestants happened to be summoned to give evidence in a case at the Cork Assizes. He was cross-examined by the late Mr. George Bennett, who, amongst other questions, asked him what religion he was of.
"Yerra, Bill!" quoth the witness, turning to a friend who had accompanied him from Bandon, "does your hear that?"
Bill did hear it, and indignantly told the learned counsel he must be a very ignorant fellow that would not know a Bandon Protestant by looking in his face.
Nothing daunted by Bill's rebuff, counsel persevered:-""How do you know you're a Protestant?"
"How do I know I'm a Protestant?" said he, repeating the words in a contemptuous and mimicking tone, "O holy Moses! for a learned man to ask such a question as that!"
"Yes, sir: I again repeat it;" but this time it was observed that the worthy advocate' voice betrayed no inconsiderable share of irritation, "How do you know you're a Protestant?"
"Cause I ates mate of a Friday, and hates a Papist!" was the surly reply.
Bandon Protestantism was believed to be the ne plus ultra of orthodoxy; and even the Roman Catholic inhabitants, whether from hearing so much about it, or being brought so often in contact with its professors, we know not, but certain it is that they absolutely became tinged with it themselves, and used to institute favourable comparisons between themselves and the Protestant of the neighbouring town. "A Bandon Papist is better than either a Cork or a Kinsale Protestant any day!" is an aphorism, the truth of which is so self-evident, that it has never yet been called in question.
The Bandon militia, after a respite of nearly a century, were called to arms this year.
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