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HISTORY OF BANDON
[Pages 61-78] a joint stock company to manufacture wOOLlEN CLOTH in Bandon projected - the Beechers part with their side of the town - names of many of the puritAN settlers - this ASSIZES held here-great dinner given to the judges - the walls - the masons strike for a rise in wages - murder - the famous house of call - the town militia - inhabitaNTS complain of having troops quartered on them - original letters of the lord president VILLIERS - the EARL of cork - SIr whAreham st.LEDGER - the provost refuses to impose any more taxes on the townspeople for the support of the Garrison.
1617 - Bandon was by this time a place of considerable size and importance. There were no less than two thousand English families residing in the town and neighbourhood . These were well acquainted with the manufacturer of woolen cloth, then were an industrious and thriving people. A company was formed to establish a cloth factory here in this year, with a capital of three thousand pounds; and their intention was to avail themselves of the skill and intelligence of the townspeople in the manufacture; but owing to the withdrawal of one who undertook to subscribe a third of the sum required, the design fell to the ground "And thus," says Sir Thomas Wilson, "was a project, from which incalculable advantages must have resulted, unaccountably quashed."
1619 - Amongst the disbursements of the Bandon Corporation in this year is the following item:-"To Mr. Harry Beecher, for his half-year's rent, due by ye townes fayers, markets, £7 17s. 6d." This was the last money transaction between Bandon-Bridge and its original founders, the Beechers. Upon the 2nd of May, 1619, Harry Beecher, by deed of the feoffment, conveyed "the incorporated town of Bandon-Bridge, on the south-side of the river Bandon," to the Earl of Cork. Previous to this Lord Cork was the lay impropriator of the parish in which the south-side is situated; and was also part owner of the town itself, having purchased Captain Newce's interest in the northern-side, as appears by deed dated June 20th, 1613. Newce held under Sir Bernard Granville, the original patentee. Sir Bernard, conjointly with his eldest son, Boville, assigned to Sir Lionel Cranfield (after words Earl of Middlesex ). Lord Middlesex conveyed the same to Sir George Horsey, or Horsley, November 1st, 1623, and Horsley assigned to trustees for Lord Cork , September 20th, 1625;* and thus Lord Cork became the sole owner in fee of the town on both sides of the river. It was imperative on the provost to furnish details of the income and expenditure during his official year.
* For many of these particulars we are indebted to Francis E. Curry, Esq., the respected agent of the Duke of Devonshire.
The following it is the oldest account, as furnished by one of the pros , and extent among the corporation papers. It was furnished by Thomas tailor, who was "provost in the year of power lord , 1619 on:-
|To Mr. Harry Beecher for his half-year's rent due by ye townes fayers , markets...||£7||17||6|
|To Mr. Wright, as much as he paid for the charges laid out by him for the Commissioners of the peace,
for the provost of Bandon-Bridge time being
|Paid for my charges to Cork, and man, and the stopping at Cork||1||2||0|
|Paid for taking down part of the rails of the bridge, being ready to fall into the river||0||0||6|
|Paid to Mr. Carey at ye last assizes||0||16||8|
|Paid Town Clerk for his yearly allowance due at Michaelmas||2||0||0|
|Paid to William Fuller for the half bushels and the pecks||0||6||0|
|Paid to four carpenters for mending the great bridge||0||15||0|
|Paid to the R. Hon. Lord Boyle, per John Turner, for the use of the fairs and markets on the south side
of the town lately in the possession of Harry Beecher, Esq., due at Michaelmas last past
|Also for fairs and markets upon Coolfadda||7||10||0|
1620 - This year the colony of New England was planted by the Puritans. Although forced back repeatedly by a severe weather, they persevered; and finally sailed from Plymouth on the 6th of September, in the "Mayflower." On the 10th of November they got into Cape Cod harbour, and the next day one hundred and one persons were landed in Connecticut . It is interesting to note that the names of several of those pilgrim fathers are identical with those of several of the Bandon colonists-as Edward Fuller, Thomas Williams, Richard Clarke, Martin, Mullins, White, Warren, Hopkins, Cook, Rogers, Turner, Browne, Gardiner, &c. Puritan settlers had been pouring in here ever since the settlement was formed, but more especially since peace and order were restored upon the evacuation of Kinsale by the Spaniards; and by this time they had become very numerous. Many of those who settled here had been persuaded to come over by Lord Cork, since he had become connected with the town; and were induced to leave England by the encouragement that nobleman held out to them. They principal came from Taunton and Kingston, in Somersetshire, and brought with them their wives and families. As we have said, they were Puritans; but they belong to that portion of the body known as the English Presbyterians, then were not so austere and unrelenting in their religious and political views as the Independents. Among those who settled here about this time were:-
* poss. my family
This was also the first year in which the freedom of the town was conferred. Some of the entries in the Freeman's original Book are as follows:-
" Azarius Piers, sworn at a court holden on the 20th day of October, 1630, by the provost, for the freedom, at the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady, Saint Mary the Virgin, at the sign of the Star. Henry Jackson, sworn at a court holden the 20th day of October, 1630, by the provost, for the freedom, at the sign of the Star, in manner following, vid.- At the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, Christ, hath paid the fee at the Feast of Easter here next following, to the said provost, to the use of the corporation. Michael Nicholson, late apprentice to Thomas Cook, feltmaker, having served his apprenticeship, was made free of the borough, May 8th, 1631."
It was but natural that Lord Cork, having become owner of the incorporated town of Bandon on the south-side, and likely to become sole owner of the north-side before long, should endeavour to bring his new town into notoriety. Accordingly we find that he induced the authorities to hold the autumn assizes for the county of Cork this year in Bandon. The Commission was opened at the sign of the Star, and it is probable that their lordships sat and administered justice within sound of sundry demands for noggins of aqua-vitæ and pots of ale. During their stay here the judges were entertained right royally. The Star, under whose benign influence they had come to expound and enforce the laws of "our Dred Sovereign Lord, James the King," shone upon a brilliant feast, and shed a cheerful light, rich with the warm tinting of a hearty welcome, upon all comers. A very interesting view of the good cheer-embracing as it does many of the luxuries of the modern dinner-table-which was provided for their lordships and the country, is to be found in "A note of the particulars paid out by Randal Fenton, provost, Robert Patteyson, John Peters, and the Seargeants, for entertaining the judges and the country."*
|For eight neate tongues, at 4d.,||2||8||5 hens, 3 cocks, for white broth,||3||4|
|For churcoles||3||3 turkeys, at 2s. 6d.||7||6|
|For egges||2||2 pounds of raisons, at 16d.||2||8|
|For dyvers bread and ginger cakes||7||8||4 pounds of dried sucker and ginger plate||10|
|A pound of pepper||3||A sheep to Mr. Newce||3|
|8 oz. of synimon at 4d.||2||8||A sheep to the market||1||10|
|5½ oz. of cloves, at 9d.||4||Cream and milk||2||2|
|A quarter pound of ginger||6||3 cwt. pf oyster, to bake, at 8d.||2|
|3 oz. of nutmeg, at 4d.||1||7 pounds of butter, at 4d.||4||8|
|A quarter of mustard||6||4 pigges, at 20d.||6||8|
|A bottle of vinegar||1||8 couple of rabbitts, at 7d.||4||8|
|4 pounds of loafe shugar||8||A barrel of picle oysters||3|
|Six mullets||4||4 pounds of prewnes, at 4d.||1||4|
|8 pounds of currants||5||4||3 quarts of aqua-vitæ, at 16d.||4|
|8 pounds of sewett, Rich-weaskoll||2||4||6 playce||2||6|
|3 pounds of rice, the Dickenny||1||6||3 pounds more of loafe shugar So much pd. Mr. Gookin's cook, 3 days||10||0|
|3 dozens of chickens at 3s. per dozen||9||Paid the cook for four days||8|
|2 samons, at 2s. 6d.||5||So much to women turnspits||5|
|2 codd, at 18d.||3||Sums owned myself||0||5||0|
|4 pounds of figge, at 3d.||1|
|5 capons, at 16d.||6||8||£8||11||2|
Randal Fenton, Provost
There were two other accounts furnished: one by John Blofield and William Browne, and the other by Patteyson and Peters:-
Blofield and Browne's Account:
|To wood for roasting||£0||3s.||6d.||For a quarter of veal more||£0||2s.||6d.|
|For a turkey||2||6||For wine, at several places||2||10||6|
|For a calve to roast, at 6d.||10||0||For butter, to John Blofield||0||6||2|
|For mutton to Richard Wright||9||0|
|For some lambs to him||7||0||£4||11||2|
Patteyson and Peter's Account:
|Paid by Patteyson to joseph Lavellan||£1||10s.||0d.||A barrel of beer||£0||2s.||6d.|
|Two cwt. of apples||1||4||Joseph Clere, his account||0||3||8|
|Paid for butter||12||2|
|Paid for a barrel of wheat||1||8||0||£4||14||2|
|Summary. My general at||8||11||2|
|Patteyson & Peters||4||14||2|
* The figures and amounts we have given in modern characters. The spelling we have given as we found it.
It would appear from the accounts we have just seen, that there was scarcely anything which this country, and-we were going to add-a foreign clime, could produce, that was not duly represented on the festive board. There was one great omission, however, and it must have been conspicious by its very absence-the time honored baron of beef. Could it have been that their lordship's metropolitan palates were to fastidious for the old baron, and that nothing would satisfy them but Dickenny rice and pickled oysters? Or was it that meat, which was a savory viand at the breakfast-tables of the maids of honour of the preceding sovereign, was now only fit food for carrows and idle horse-boys.*
* Spenser tells us "that the idle-horse-boy is fit only to be hanged." One would think, after this, that it would be no easy matter to surpass him in wickedness; "but the carrows," says the same author, " are much more lewde and dishonest."
In addition to the great entertainment given by the corporation, Mr. Richard Tickner, the provost, gave another; and there is no reason to think that every delicacy which graced the corporate board was not present at his. Every thing went on merry as a marriage bell, until it was time to pay the various bills. The townspeople did not object to pay for the entertainment which the corporation produced; but they did not think it fair to be called upon to pay a shilling of what Tickner expended "avowedly of his own bounty," and for which he had received "the whole and sole commendacions and thanks." Tickner-(who was evidently one of those open-handed, hospitable, good fellows, who are frequently to be met in every age and in every society, and who would be only too happy to feast himself and his friends on all occasions, provided he could saddled the expenses upon others)-boldly said that they should. The dispute was ended by referring the matter to Lord Cork, who wrote the following letter on the subject to Mr. Randal Fenton, Tickner's successor : -
"The townspeople complained that Mr. Tickner levied off them a great sum of money, which he expanded in entertaining the judges; which he bestowed on them as his own peculiar liberality,-and for it was generally received and esteemed,-and not as the gratuity from the corporation. And for that , Mr. Tickner avowed the entertainment to be his own bounty; and that he had the whole and sole commendacions and thanks for it." He (Lord Cork) concluded his letter by deciding "that the townspeople should not pay for Tickner's entertainment. Lismore, November 15, 1621."
It is probable that the walls of the town were being rapidly proceeded with at this time. It was only the year before Lord Cork succeeded Beecher as owner of the southern-side, and they were nearly completed in 1625. It would seem however, that they were commenced immediately after the incorporation, and must it had made great progress; for we find that Captain Adderly, who was provost in 1616, was rated in that year for a house "which he had built without the walls, by the west-gate." Beginning at the south-side of the salmon weirs, they ran south, inclining a little westerly to the roadway in front of Mr. George Fuller's residence-(at this place was west-gate, or Carbery Port ); from hence, to south-west portion of Ballymodan churchyard, and thence (still south, with the easterly incline), until it reached south-east extremity of Fitzgerald's distillery; thence a straight line, east, until it arrived about ten yards east of Mr. Pope's corn-store, where it turned sharp to the left, forming the boundary wall of Mr. Swanton's tanyard. Here it crossed the Bridewell river, and ran along its banks, until it reached Mr. William Bennett's house in Castle Street. Here was south-gate (so called because some of the principal roads-Foxe's Street, Warner's Lane, &c.-led from it directly south). It was named Francis-gate, in addition in compliment to Francis, Lord Shannon, sixth son of the Earl of Cork; and also Kinsale Port. It continued hence to run with the stream at its base, until it reached the Bandon river. It began again on the northern-side, and skirted Kilbrogan stream, till it reached that part of the North Main Street which fronts Provincial Bank. There stood water-gate. It was then continued up the Cork road for about three hundred and twenty yards to north, and then went in a direct line-crossing the little stream near Kilbrogan churchyard-to Mr. Hegarty's house, a few yards south of the present meat market. Here was north-gate. It continued again, almost in a straight line, until arrived about thirty feet to the west of the barracks. It then ran due south, until it reached the bastion in the river, known as the round tower.
The walls were mainly composed of a thick, black slate. That used in building the southern-side was quarried in Ballylanglay. The northern part was composed of a similar material, most of which was brought from Twoomy's glen and the adjoining quarries in the park. There were generally about nine feet thick, and varied in height from thirty feet to fifty. There were six bastions:-one at each corner of the walls, one in the river, and one midway on the south wall. Each these was mounted with two guns, and flanked the outward surface of the walls completely. There were two postern gates, in addition to the four regular gates mentioned previously. One of these was in that portion of the wall which ran up Cork road, and the other in that part between the bastion to the west of the barracks and the bastion in the river. The openings occasioned by the river itself were protected by iron flood-gates, and by pallisades composed of beams of timber and poles.
The area enclosed by the walls was estimated at twenty-seven English acres. There were three castles* also erected, each of which contain twenty-six rooms. The turrets and the flanks were platformed with lead, and were mounted with cannon. One of these overlooked the gate in Castle Street; another was on the site of the Quaker's meeting house (a few yards east of south-east corner of the butter-market), and the third was on the spot at present occupied by the town-hall.
The two market-houses also were now built. The one at the south-side stretched across the Main Street, from the north-eastern extremity of the piece of ground now occupied by the present building to where the drapery establishment of Mr. Richard Dawson stands. In the centre was a capacious arch, capable of allowing the tallest cartload to pass under; and at the south-side of this arch was a large and deep well, from which the inhabitants in the neighborhood used to supply themselves with water. After standing about a century, it was taken down in 1721. The market-house on the northern-side adjoined north-gate on the south, and was somewhat smaller than the other. The walls , which were strong then well built, were said (in nearly forty years afterwards, upon excellent authority) to be the best in Ireland. The sum expended on their erection, which must have been very considerable, was raised by a public tax,† aided with very considerable contributions by Lord Cork.
* The device of the Bandon coat of arms is taken from the bridge of the town and these three castles.
† Vide State Letters of the Earl of Orrey.
All these defenses and improvements, including the completion of the two churches, market-houses, &c., were effected at an outlay of fourteen thousand pounds; a sum which, though large in our day, must in those days have been regarded as enormous. Whilst engaged in these operations, the draw upon Lord Cork's coffers was so continuous and exhausting, that there is reason to fear his lordship was often, hard-up;" and found it difficult to raise the wind as many others, who, with equally benevolent intentions, plunged headlong into stone and mortar.
During the progress of the works he frequently visited Bandon. It is related that, during one of these visits, he stayed at the house of an elderly lady named Franklin, whom he had induced to settle in this country, and who lived in Kilpatrick; and being very much pushed for money, he offered to sell her the four ploughlands of Rockfort, Ballinacurra, Callatrim, and Kilpatrick, together with all their royalties, &c., for the sum all of fifty pounds.* The old lady agreed; and mounting her palfrey, she had reached as far as Kemeagarah Ford, on her way to town to have the papers prepared, when her good sons heard of her intentions; and running, as it for their lives, they overtook her, caught the palfrey by the bridle, and turned her back; very angrily enquiring of her, "if it was for sticks and stone she was going to give all her money?"
* These four ploughlands are worth at present about £1,300 per annum.
We should have mentioned that during the building of the walls and incident occurred which showed that trade combinations existed, and that those engaged in them looked with as much hatred and distrust upon those who dare violate their rules in those times as in our own. There was a strike among the masons. Their usual rate of wages was twopence-halfpenney a day, but, seeing a long job before them, they could not resist the temptation of striking for "a rise." Accordingly they demanded threepence daily, and "struck " when they were refused. Lord Cork would not yield; so the knights of the trowel, gathering up their tools, marched off in the body to Kinsale, with one solitary exception. This poor fellow refused to accompany them, thinking, probably, that the old wages were better than none all; and, for aught we know, he might have had a wife and little children, or an aged mother, depending on him for support. Be that as it may, he continued at his work.
The Earl of Cork, being anxious to complete the walling of the town as soon as possible, was obliged to send for the refractory tradesman, and give the required three threepence. Upon their return, they found their former fellow-craftsman still working away, and they resolved on inflicting exemplary vengeance on him ere that day's sun had set. For this purpose, they had during the day prepared a grave for him in the walls; and, gathering around him when they had stopped work in the evening, one of them hit him from behind on the head with a pickax, fracturing his skull and killing him on the instant. They then laid him in his bloody tomb, placing the fatal pick axe under his head, and his hammer and trowel beside him. Laying a large flag over the enclosure, they quickly ran a course of masonry over it to conceal it; and trusted they had effectually hid for ever this dreadful crime from human eyes.
The unfortunate man was missed, but nobody could tell what had become of him. 'Twas true that mysterious words and ominous shakes of the head had often hinted that there was foul play; and in course of time the facts themselves began to creep out; but there was no one then who cared to busy themselves about what was no particular concern of theirs. And one generation handed down to another the story of the murdered mason, who was built up in the walls, until even the very story itself was dimmed and obscured by the long lapse of time.
About five and thirty years ago, two labourers were removing a part of the old town wall, preparatory to the erection of a summer-house. They worked hard, for they found it very difficult to dislodge the stones and mortar out of the bed where they had lain for over two centuries. They persevered; and slowly, stone after stone was loosened from its firm setting, and removed. At last they touched upon something that was likely to reward them for all the toil of their lives. They had met with a large flag, and, upon tapping this with the handle of the pick, it gave out a hollow sound. Visions of Spanish doubloons and crocks piled with gold arose before their eyes. Hard as they worked before, they now redoubled their exertions. The stones and the mortar flew madly about in all directions. The huge flag was seized with a vigor which those who held it never possessed before. It was dragged up on end, and lo!-there were the moldering bones of the poor mason. There was the fatal pickaxe under his head, and there was his hammer and his trowel lying by his side, just as they were placed on the day of blood. On the right-hand side, corresponding with where his pocket might have been, was a small silver coin of the reign of that Edward the Sixth; probably some of the poor fellows earnings. The hammer, trowel, and pickaxe were in good state of preservation, as was also the coin; but the skeleton, upon been exposed to the air, soon crumbled into dust.
The jurisdiction of the provost and the burgesses did not extend beyond the walls; consequently, whenever a poor fellow got heavily into the books of his creditors, and, therefore, thought it necessary to get out of the way, all he had to do was to outstep their worship's judicial limits. In this manner he secured his own liberties by escaping from their's.
There was a notorious house of call in these old times, and it was the resort of all the rakes and all the spendthrifts of the day. It stood just beyond the stream that ran in front of the water-gate, and was consequently outside the liberties of our town. Here was continually a collection of fast and loose characters-drunkards, in every stage of intoxication-swearers, aiming at originality in their impious affirmations-painted strumpets, tricked out in every color of the rainbow; in fact, the vile human sweepings of both town and country were associated here. All accounts agree in representing it is a regular plague spot. It is even said that the very air above it was saturated with oaths, tobacco-smoke, and maledictions.
But a change-a delightful, moral, and religious change-has come over the spirit of its dream. All the bad ardent spirits which once haunted the old dram-shop have been long since swallowed up by time . The pedestal upon which Baucus stood, surrounding by its votaries, is now possessed by Minerva. The altar on which worshipers placed tankards of nut-brown ale and bottles of aqua-vitæ, is now a platform from which religious discourses are delivered. Even the very side of the old haunt is occupied for purposes differing altogether from those for which it was a anciently used. Revival prayer-meetings are now held where words shocking to pious ears were uttered; christian young men assemble where immorality was once supreme; and the Conservative Registration Association holds its sittings where those were accustomed to meet who had but little respect for the rights of property, and who having nothing of their own which they could look admiringly upon under the head of Meum, were only too anxious to lay their hands upon the heritage of Tuam.
1622 - On the 16th Jul, Lord Cork obtained Patents in his own name for the lands which he purchased in this neighbourhood from Sir James Semphill of Baltees, Scotland. Also for the manors of Ballymodan (alias Ballybandon), Castletown, Ballydehob, Clonakilty, and Innoshannon; together with five hundred acres of domain lands.
Bandon had increased so much in population from the extensive immigration before referred to, that we find in this year the town possessed quite a little army of its own. When the King's commissioners paid their official visit here on the 30th of August, Captain Andrew Kettleby's troop, consisting of sixty-six well-mounted and well-equipped troopers, marched to the parade field for inspection. A body of foot was also on the ground; which, exclusive of its four captains, five lieutenants, and five ensigns, consisted of six sergeants, six drummers, and five hundred and sixty-four rank and file.* The Captains were:- Anthony Stawell, Hubert Nicholas, Richard Crofte, and Anthony Shipwith. This was a valuable frontier garrison in these days. The wild tribes of the O'Crowleys, the Hurlys, the O'Donovans, the McCarthys, and others who roamed in undisturbed possession of the Western Carberries, could never hope to attack Cork with success, or even spoil its lands on the south and west, until they had overcome those sturdy soldiers; and it was next to impossible for them to overcome a well-trained body of men such as these were, who were cemented together by a common interest, stimulated by religious zeal , and glorying in the country they had come from, and the race from which they had sprung.
* The men were drilled and disciplined by experienced soldiers. In one of the provost's accounts furnished about this time, is the following item:- "Money paid to Sergeant James for his paines in training the townsmen, 10s."
1625 - The quartering of troops upon towns was a favourite method with the government in those days of providing for the feeding and lodging of its soldiers, without putting itself to much inconvenience or expense. But however satisfactory this plan may have been to the authorities, it was most unsatisfactory to those who had to feed and give up their best bed to the trooper, upon a promise that his keep and housing should be paid for.* As the payments were not satisfactory,-indeed, the only satisfaction they often had was the knowledge of the debt being still due,-the quartering of a garrison upon a town was a most obnoxious measure. The corporation knew this, and they complained of the hardship to Lord Cork. Lord Cork wrote to Sir Edward Villiers,† the Lord President, on the subject, and received the following reply:-
"Good my Lo,-Be pleased to observe that if I have a little over-burdened one towne, I have altogether eased another; which I have done by sending none at all to Clonykylte. And those three companies which are at Bandon-Bridge do not exceed one, as I was informed, for the number of them all would not be above a hundred men. And when those whom I have employed about the musters in the country are returned which I expect daily, I shall be very proud not only to ease them of that towne, but all the rest that have the like relation to your lordship. Desiring to be excused, if upon every of the dislikes, I do not presently satisfy desires. And this I write to give your lordship satisfaction, but not the townsmen, who, if they had been rational, might have understood by a law I sent there that I meant not long or over-much to burden them.
"And so I rest, "Yor lops servant, to be commanded, E. H. Villiers, Youghall, 1625."
* They were to be paid at the rate of tenpence a day for billeting and dieting a horse soldier and his horse, fourpence halfpenny a day for a foot soldier, and eightpence halfpenny daily for an infantry officer.
† Sir Edward Villiers died September 7th, 1626. On a stone in St. Mary's churchyard, Yoiughall, was part of an inscription in Smith's time, with those lines:-
"Munster may curse the time that Villiers came
To make us worse by leaveinge such a name
Of noble parts as none can imitate
But those whose harts are wedded to the state,
Munster may blesse the time that Villiers came!"
Scarcely was this garrison gone when the town was threatened with another. "I have had much ado." said Lord Cork, "to keep a garrison form coming to the town, to be lodged there, as in all the towns of Munster." In order to show the authorities that there was no necessity for stationing soldiers in Bandon, and thereby escaping the inconvenience and expense of maintaining them, Lord Cork wrote to the corporation, desiring them "to take Anthony Skipwith and Richard Crofte (two of the town militia captains), and go all in person from house to house, throughout the town and liberties, and take a true note of the names of everyone (from fifteen to three-score) in every family; and also what powder, spears, arms, and weapons be in every house. And require all them that have not arms sufficient to furnish their whole family to make a speedy petition for them, in order to keep a garrison from being lodged in the town; and especially in those houses that have not arms for themselves and their people; for, presently after New Year's Day, my Lord-President will be here to see them mustered, which for your own credit I much desire should be considerable. Whereunto, let me entreat you all to use your best endeavours, that it may appear unto his lordship that there is no need to place a garrison there; all in there being sufficient for the keeping of a good watch upon the town. I recommend to you best cares; and yourselves, with my hearty commendations, to the Almighty. From Cork, this 20th of December, 1625.-Your most assured loving friend, R. Corke."
Now that the inhabitants had a prospect of being permanently rid of of a garrison, they turned their attention with renewed vigour to the walling of the town. They were also anxious to supply themselves with a good store of the munitions of war, at reasonable prices; and wrote to Lord Cork on the subject.
"For the munitions," replied his lordship, " which you desire to supply your wants withall, I have brought orders with me form Dublin, from the Master of the Ordinance, to George Pearce, Master of the Stores here, to supply all your defects at the King's rates; and, therefore, send me word what is it you desire. I will give orders you shall have it for ready money, or upon your bills at show of six months to be paid." Concerning the walls, he wrote that, when he would arrive in Bandon, "I shall speak that that shall be satisfactory unto you for your desires touching the walls of the town and those parts that are not finished. I have given fresh orders, as you desire, unto John Louden and John Turner, who are now here with me."
We have stated previously, that it was not unusual for the government to be indebted to the town for the maintenance and lodging of soldiers, The following is one of the accounts:-
|First,- There is due to the town, for three months and a half, for billeting and dieting of Sir Francis Willoughby's foot
company of soldiers, after the rate of 2s. 6d. a week's allownace for every man
|£82 3s. 0d.|
|And more, to the town for the diet and expenses of Sir Francis's lieutenant and ensign||0 12 11|
|More is due.-Three month's and a half to Captain Michael William's soldiers, for same time, at same rate||70 19 4|
|More, for Lieutenant Starky's diet, five months and a half, at 5s. per week||5 10 0|
1627 - Lord Cork occasionally shows bad temper in his correspondence with the provost and burgesses of our corporation. In one of his letters, "touching the licenses of the victuallers and the stalls in the market, "he petulantly addresses our chief magistrate s "Mr. Provost." and at another time as "your lordship." "And wherein for that I have formerly delivered my opinions unto your corporation, I will for this time forbear to write any more, of give Mr. Fenton, the provost, any other satisfaction."
The following were the amounts received this year form the butchers, for stalls in the market:-
|Bartholomew Harden||3||0||Christopher Burte||6||0|
|Samuel Burchell||2||0||Nicholas Raymond||5||6|
|John Rose||4||6||Edward Jackson||4||0|
|John Bagge||2||0||Griffin Thomas||2||0|
|Thomas Robinson||4||4||John Ruck||2||0|
|Thomas Franklin||5||6||Richard Maskall||1||6|
|Henry Burrowes||3||0||John Harvey||2||0|
|John Loystone||3||0||William Robinson||2||0|
From the accounts furnished by Henry Turner, the provost, of the payments made by him this year, we extract the following:-
|For making clean of the wall against my Lord-President's coming to Bandon-Bridge||1||0|
|For whipping a man that stole a sheet||6|
|Mr. Crofte, a year's rent for the Marshalsea||10||0|
|Money paid to John Fenerson to keep out the beggars||3||0|
|Paid for whipping a woman||0||4|
|Paid for whipping of two fellows for pilfering||1||0|
|Paid more for whipping a gearle (sic)||0||4|
|Paid Sir Thomas Strafford's officers for three troop horse imposed upon the corporation, from the 18th of December, 1627, till Jun 19th, 1628||0||17||2|
1628 - Notwhithstanding that the Bandonians had completed their walls, and showed the authorities that they themselves constituted a garrison which was both numerous and well-armed, nevertheless, troops were poured in upon them in such numbers, "that most of the poor inhabitants of the corporation were utterlie ruined thereby." At last they determined they would not stand it any longer; and in a letter to the Lord-President, St. Leger, they plainly told him "that the petitioners, being plantators, are living and residing upon siegniory lands, which ought not to be doubly charged, as now they are." After stating that some householders had already left the town in order to avoid the heavy charges, they informed his lordship that, unless he gave way, they would address themselves "to the King's Majesty for relief, whose royal will and pleasure, we presume, is not that his English new plantations of this kingdom, which with such care have been erected and cherished, should thus be overthown." St. Leger replied condolingly:-"The worst of those particular sufferings are already past," said the Lord-President; "but, as they have done hitherto, they shall do well to show patience to continue until some compromise be made for the provisioning of the army otherwise, which will not be long; unless the petitioners can by any other means relieve or save themselves, which I shall be glad of."*
* For many of the letters of the first Earl of Cork, several letters of Sir Edward Villiers, Sir Wareham St. Leger, the Lord-Deputy Wentworth (afterwards Earl of Strafford), Lord Inchiquin, Sir Francis Slingsby, and others, now for the first time published, we are indebted to the valuable collection of manuscripts in the possession of the Earl of Bandon.
In addition to maintaining and billeting the soldiery, the town was also compelled to advance money for their use. The following is a receipt, in acknowledgement for cash paid by the corporation to a cornet of one of the troops of horse quartered here:-
"Received by me, Richard Seckerston (cornet of Sir Thomas Strafford's troop), of the provost and corporation of Bandon-Bridge, the sum of fifteen pounds seven shillings, it being due for three horsemen of the aforesaid troop, for three weeks and eleven days, beginning the nineteenth of June and ending the last day of September; for the which sum I pass and give my ticket. Witness my hand, the third of November, 1628.
"I have received, likewise, five shillings for the warrant."
Bandon was not the only town in the west of this country upon which soldiers were quartered. There were some sent to Clonakilty, and even to Baltimore. Concerning Clonakilty, the provost of Bandon received the following letter addressed to Captain Oliver Shortall. As this document furnishes us with reliable information as to the manner in which troops were provided for on the line of march in those days, we give it at full length:-
"For as much as I have received directions form the Rt. Honourable the Lord-Deputy and Council to distribute upon the towns of the Province such commanders, officers, and soldiers, as lately arrived in this kingdom under the command of Sir [omitted] Crosby, Bart. These are, therefore to will and require you, Captain Oliver Shortall, to rise with your colours, armes, and baggage, your ensigns, one seargeant, one drummer, and thirty-three soldiers, and to march, after the rate of ten miles a day, the direct way to the town of Clonakilty, there to remain untill you shall receive further directions. And for avoiding of extortion and oppression, you are hereby willed and required that neither you or any of your officers do depart from your company, upon any cause whatsoever, untill you come to the said garrison. Hereby also charging and requiring all officers and others the inhabitants of the country to furnish you with flower (sic), garrisons for carrying; and also to provide for you in the said thoroughfare constant meat, drink, and lodging, such as the country doth afford, for which they are to give their ready money or tickett; with which provisions your ate to content your soldiers, without exacting other money or provisions as you will consume. The contrary at your peril. Dated this 17th of September, 1628.
"Wareham St. Leger. To Captain Oliver Shortall, the Officer-in-Chief."
1629 - Although the corporation were sorely oppressed by the maintaining of the garrison, and although the Lord-President assured them the worst was past, yet he afforded them no relief whatsoever. It does not appear that the townspeople carried out their threat of writing to the King; or if they did, Charles does not seem to have lightened their burthens, or even to have given them the poor solace of a kind word; for we find that the provost,* despairing of hope form that quarter, bodily took the matter into his own hands, and stubbornly refused to assess any more imposts upon the inhabitants for the support of the troops. Thus open defiance-this display of contempt for the crowned-head which the Lord-President represented-greatly irritated him. He thought, probably, that it must not be tolerated that those over whom a king reigned by Divine authority should fly in the face of that authority, by refusing obedience to it; and thereby setting an example which may spread to other communities, and eventually imperil, if not destroy, the sovereignty which God hath placed over us. Punishment must be inflicted.
* Mr. John lake, although elected and sworn in as provost in 1628, yet, like all the others, he served the largest portion of his official year to year succeeding. It was in the portion of the year "1629," in which he was provost, that he refused to enforce the tax on the town.
Should he ask , who you are those refractory Bandonians? he would be told that they were seedlings, transplanted from the great hot-bed of English Puritanism; and that they contained within themselves the germs of an uncompromising resistance to unconstitutional government. That although they were planted in another soil, yet they firmly took root in that soil. That the sap was spreading through every trunk and every limb; and that, when they spread out their branches, they would, probably, and entwine them with those of their genus on the other side of that channel from which they had brought themselves; and might even yet overshadow the throne itself by the very luxuriance of their foliage.
It must be shown that such a flagrant outrage upon the constituted authorities could not be passed over lightly. Yet it may do more mischief then it could do good to exercise much severity. The latter view was evidently that taken by St. Leger, who contended himself merely with ordering that "one horse-man should lye and remain upon the said provost, taking meat, drink, and lodging, horse-meat, fire, and candle-light, and twelve-pence each day he shall remain, and for so many days as he shall be forced to travel (after the rate of twelve miles a day), until the said money (i.e.-the assessment which the provost refused to lay) be collected and paid."
The townspeople had evidently the best of the encounter in the end, as there is no mention of money being paid in any of the subsequent accounts for the maintenance of the soldiery, or even any allusion to their being billeted in the town for several years afterwards.
Upon the departure of the Lord-Deputy for England, Bandon and other corporate towns petitioned Viscount Ely and the Earl of Cork, who had been sworn in as Lords Justices, that they should be assessed as part of the county at large, and not as corporations: in other words, upon the area, and not a upon the valuation.
The Lords Justices revised the old enactment , by means of which every Roman Catholic, who was not regularly in attendance at least once in every Sunday in the Protestant parish church, was subject to a penalty of nine-pence for each offence.
We find according to an inquiry held this year at Bandon, before William Wiseman, Esq., that the value of "a greate oake tree" was 11s. 6d. It appears, according to sworn testimony, that Edmund Barrie, of Magowlie, cut down on the lands of Magowlie, since the first of June, 1629, "foure greate oake trees, price, every tree, 11s. 6d. sterling, being p. cell of the inheritance of Andrew Barrett, whereby the saide woods are much spoiled, to the great damage of the saide wards inheritance."
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