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On the 3rd of March, 1609, King James I. granted a charter to Limerick.1 The city was erected into a county, and the bailiffs were created sheriffs. This charter, and the proceedings subsequently taken, constitute matter of the highest importance in the History of Limerick. An index-

in. The two Lord Justices, whose office it was to try him, having remorse of conscience, evaded it, whereupon the President, with despotic authority, ordered Dominick Sarswell, the King's attorney, to try him, which he did, contrary to the dictates of his conscience. He asked the Lord Brittas if he would conform, as it was the King's pleasure, but was answered by him that he knew no king or queen who renounced the law and faith of the King of kings; thereupon Sarswill declared him guilty of high treason, and pronounced sentence of death against him, that he should be hanged, beheaded, and quartered, which sentence the said Brittas received with a joyful and cheerful countenance. When he was brought to the place of execution outside of the city, he behaved with the greatest devotion and composure, as if going to feast. When he was hanged, Sir Thomas Brown, and many other gentlemen, interceded with the President, that he should not be quartered, and their request was granted ; his friends conveyed his body into town, and he was buried in St. John's church, Limerick, the 20th of December, in the year 1607. So far Kothe, who gives the date two years earlier than Carve.

His daughter, Eleanor Bourke, became a Dominican Nun, and died in 1646 in the Irish Dominican Nunnery of Lisbon, in the odour of sanctity.

On the 28th of July, 1618, Theobald De Burg, a relative of the above John Bourke, who married a daughter of the Earl of Inchiquin, was created Baron of Brittas by James I. j but he and Lord Castle Connell being in the Rebellion of 1641, were attainted and fled to France. On the accession of James II. they were restored to their estates, which they had forfeited. In the rebellion of 1688, they were again attainted, and lost their properties.

Brittas Castle was on the river Mulchair, in the Parish of Caherconlish.

'This Charter recites the great sufferings of the city of Limerick in the rebellion of the Geraldines, their assistance to the King, in the war in Ulster, and in anticipation of the future services of the inhabitants toward the crown, proceeds to declare the city of Limerick a free city of itself. It grants to the mayor, bailiffs, and citizens, and inhabitants of the city, to be a body politic and corporate, by the name of the mayor, sheriffs, and citizens of the city of Limerick, with the usual power to hold lands, to demise or assign them, to plead and be impleaded by their new corporate name. It confirms all their former possessions in the most large and ample manner, by whatever corporate name enjoyed, or by whatever legal title, grant, or proscription acquired. The Charter then proceeds to make the city of Limerick a county of itself, as already referred to under the head of " Limits," excepting thereout the King's Castle and the precincts thereof, one lower room under the Tholsel used as a common gaol for the county, and also the site of the Abbey of St. Francis and its precincts, being a fit place for holding the Assizes and Sessions for said County of Limerick, and confers full power for perambulating these boundaries. This Charter enables the mayor, sheriffs, and citizens to choose " one of the more honest or discreet citizens," to the office of mayor, to be chosen as theretofore; directs that instead of two bailiffs two sheriffs shall be chosen, and points out the mode of their election, and how vacancies in the office, by death or amotion, are to be filled up. It directs that all persons thereto free citizens shall continue so to be, and that in all things they shall be ordered and governed as formerly. It enables them to choose as many aldermen, Serjeants at mace, and other officers as usual. It confers an exclusive Admiralty jurisdiction, both criminal and civil, over so much of the river Shannon as extends three miles north east of the city to the mouth of the main sea, with all creeks, banks, and rivulets within their limits; gives power to hold a Court of Admiralty or Record every Monday, before the Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen, any three or more of them (of whom the Mayor and Recorder are to be two), who were to keep the peace at the Shannon within these limits; to receive recognizances, to take fines and amercements, waifs, royal fish and other royal prerogatives, with a non-intromittent clause as to the Admirals of England and Ireland. A Society of merchants of the staple was incorporated by this Charter, by the name of "the Mayor, Constables, and Society of Merchants of the Staple of the City of Limerick:" with the privileges and franchises of the Merchants of the Staple of Dublin and Waterford. This Charter further constituted the Mayor, Recorder, and four of the Aldermen (a class first noticed in this Charter), Justices of the Peace for the county of the city; the four Aldermen to be annually elected as therein mentioned and thereafter noticed; and empowered any three or more of them, of whom the Mayor and Recorder were to be two, to hear and determine within the city, at all times to be appointed by them, all felonies and other crimes, except treason, misprision of treason and murder, and do all things in relation thereto as belonged to the office of Justice of the Peace. This Charter also granted to the Corporation all fines, escheats, and amercements, in as ample a manner as the Corporations of Dublin, Waterford, and Cork enjoyed the same, except such royal fines as should be imposed on the sheriff or coroner, of the said county of the city of Limerick; the fines as granted, (except as aforesaid) to be collected by their own officers, to be applied to the repair of the walls, bridges, and other necessary uses of the city; and lastly, it enabled them to hold lands, &c. to the value of JE40 per annum, notwithstanding the statute of mortmain.

ture of perambulation1 was made on the 31st August, 1009, between Donat, Earl of Thomond, Bernard, Lord Bishop of Limerick, Sir Francis Barkley, Knight, and Sir Thomas Browne, Knight, on the one part; and the mayor,

1 The indenture recites letters patent dated 3rd of March, 6th James I. and states that the Commissioners have perambulated, measured, limited, mcared, and bounded unto the said mayor, sheriffs, and citizens, three miles of land, and they declare the said county of the city of Limerick to extend and reach to the bounds of all parts, according to the admeasurements, as they are hereinafter declared, and that the under written towns, castles, lands, and hamlets, and other places named for mears, limits, and bounds, are the extreme bounds, limits and true means of the said city—three miles from the exterior of the said city, east, west, and south.''

The first bound, mear, or limit, from St. John's Gate, is, and doth extend to the new small hillock, round, or moat, made by the causea on the west of Killcowlinc, betwixt ltoshard on the east, and Gortdromagh, west, Gortnehowyle, north-west, all which is the mear of Kilcowline and Walshestown.

The second mear, or bound, is another round which draweth from the first, eastward, standing upon the hill south-east of Carrigparson; the town and lands of Carrigparson lieth within the same, toward the city.

The third gear, or bound, is at the Shannon, directly from the castle of Downnshe upward, drawing along the small current or water of Aghanenegorte, and so as the said brook or water runneth east to the moore called Maen Cnockenrewe, so directly to Ballibarrie, leaving the town and castle out, but not the land of Ballybarrie, within the said compass, and the bound to go through the next ford by West Skarte Ireo, the towns of Coole Ilenan, Carromartine, Cloneclive, the Gransagb, Garren Ikie, Garrinoe, Cnockenrewe, Clonetwnyh, Aghbcgge, Carotanevoye and Careonebellye, and so from Ballybarrie, making directly to the former round or moate, standing on the hill by East Carrigparson aforesaid, within which bound these towns are contained, viz., the two Killonans, Conyheigh, Newcastle, Callagh Itroye, Curraghkip, Ballyreine, Lyshlian, Kilbane, Bealagbennolyne, Bealasymon, Cowell, Sbcynan, Kilpatricke, Garriglasse, the Kenaghe, Dromrave, Atdmore, Con touring, Carrigparson, Carnarrie; Walshe bis Towne, Balibrowne, Balliogarhie, the Parke Drowmbanyhs; the mear, limit, and bounds, taken from Mongerctt-gate, in Limerick, goeth directly to Ballinecurugh, and go directly to the two Mongcratta, Clough Kettinc, and so to Brienduffe O'Brien his mill, called the Mill of Clarcn Icokyc, from the said mill to the ford of Cloghtokie, from the ford of Cloghtokie to the ford of Anagh Irestie, aa the brook or water between both fords runneth, including the Town and Lands of Cloghtokie aforesaid, wholly to be of and in the county of the city of Limerick, from the ford of Anagb. Irestie to the ford of Leyme Ineigh, as the water or brook between both fords runneth from the ford of Leyme Ineigh to the church and trees of Cnocknegawell, from the church of Cnockncgawell along to the stone in the middle of the moore, holding direct course by the hedge of Cnockballinevruhir, and to the height of the same, and by the dyke or hedge directing up the hill along to the moate on the top of the said Hill of Ballinebraher, from the said moate on the top of Cnockballynebraher to the town of Ballinebraher, and through the land that goeth through the middle of the said town, and so along through the lane, southward, by Caher Ivaghcllie, including all the lands thereof, to be of and in the county of the said city of Limerick, and so along the highway called Boherbane, close by the land of Lykydowne, leaving the ploughland of Boherhod and Ballyneffrancke without the said mears and bounds, from the lands of Luckdown to the eastward of Carrigmartin, from Carrigmartin downward the lowe waie, westward to the Hedge of Walshestowne, belonging to the Lord Bourcke, where there is a moat erected, and from thence to the first moat above declared, erected at the causea of Kilcowline, which is the first mear or bound assigned in length from the said city of Limerick, the mear taken from the mills of Brienduffe's, called the mill of Claun Icekie, drawing to the north-west as the watercourse thereof runneth through the Bog of Campire, and then leading to the bog directly, to the

* This admeasurement of 1C09, which created the county of the city, "three miles every way, in and through the County of Limerick, from the exterior part of the city walls," does not include the North Liberties; and the boundary east, west, and south, exceeds the limit of three miles as prescribed by the Charter. The North Liberties are on the County of Clare side of the river. Their limits are at equal distances from the city, varying from one to three statute miles. They are referred to, and in part defined in the Inquisition taken A.D. 1015, and Epitonus, pp. 138-9, 40. The South Liberties extend on the County of Limerick side of the Shannon in every direction, from four to five statute miles. Whether that part of the river Shannon, between the confines of the Liberties and the sea, is part of the county of the city, has been questionable, but it is generally considered to be so. Offences committed on the river, between the confines of the Liberties and the sea, are triable, and have been tried in the city in one memorable capital instance, in particular, hereafter referred to. In 18o4, the late Alderman Henry Watson, Mayor, accompanied by the Corporation, sailed to Scattery Island, where he exercised Admiralty rights. On this occasion, a Kevenue Cruiser, then in the Shannon, saluted the Corporation Steam-boat, which was also saluted as it passed Cratloe, the residence of the late Augustus Stafford, Esq. M.I'.

sheriffs and citizens of Limerick on the other part. This important instrument sets out the ancient liberties and franchises of the city, and orders the the limits to be bounded by great stones or other notable signs. The charter was followed by a grant of mills and water courses, and lands in the county, to Sir James Fullerton.1 Patrick FitzDaniel Arthur, was the first mayor under the new charter; and William FitzMartin Creagh, and George White were the last of the bailiffs, and the first of the city of Limerick sheriffs. The indenture excepted and reserved his majesty's castle of Limerick, commonly called the King's castle, with the precinct thereof, one lower middle room under the common gaol of the said city, and all that the site of the late abbey or monastery of St. Francis, and all the penances of the same, as a place convenient for holding sessions and assizes for the county of Limerick.

The rigors of the law were now enforced with terrible vengeance—the alternative of apostacy or civil degradation was again offered to the citizens of Limerick, their magistrates, &c, as it was in other parts of the kingdom.

The merciless rigors of a bloody code were inflexibly executed; in the year 1611, Cornelius Douan, Bishop of Down and Connor, together with Patrick Locheran, priest, were for the faith hanged and quartered, the 1st of February.—Sir Arthur Chichester being Lord Deputy.—Analecta.

In this year David Comyn was chosen mayor, but Edmund Sexten was in the same year, chosen also; David FitzWalter Eyce held the office of sheriff for six months. Christopher Creagh and Patrick Lyseiaght,2 the one for the entire time—the other for the five remaining months of the civil year. The cause of this was that Donat O'Brien, Lord of Thomond was made President of all Munster. Comyn who was true to his faith, was deposed from his office of Mayor, because he refused peremptorily to go to church, and take the oath of supremacy, he was seconded by Daniel Rice, one of the sheriffs, who also refused. Edmund Sexten was chosen mayor, and Patrick Lyseiaght and Christopher Creagh, who conformed, were made sheriffs.3 Catholics, nevertheless, in defiance of the government were chosen mayors by the corporation; but they were presented with the oath, which the moment they refused to take, they were deprived of office. The same thing occurred in the next year, 1612, when William Meagh or Mead was chosen mayor, and Patrick FitzHenry White and John Skeolan were sheriffs. They held office for four months. Christopher Creagh was then appointed mayor, he held office for eight months—and took the oath, but did not go to church. George FitzJames Creagh and John Lyseiaght were sheriffs for eight months. Meagh, White and Skeolan were deprived, because they were of the Catholic religion; the others were allowed to fill their places becaused they conformed.1 Still a struggle was made, and again the Catholics were defeated by the law, which sought to enforce the taking of the oath on the Catholic believers. Dominick FitzPeter Creagh, John Fitz William Arthur, and George Woulf were appointed, the first named, mayor, the others sheriffs; they held office for three months; but all were deposed on the 19th of December, for refusing the oath of supremacy; and in their places were chosen William Haly, mayor, David Bourke and Thomas Power, sheriffs. Thus defeated so often in their attempts to have a Catholic mayor occupy his proper place at the head of civic affairs, persecution continued also to rage, and the part taken by the Protestant party forced the Catholic mayors out of office in the next year, when Michael Walters was mayor of Limerick, Nicholas FitzNicholas Stritch, and William Roche of Cahirivahalla, were sheriffs. They held office for five months, when James FitzJames White was chosen mayor, William Roche, the above mentioned, Peter FitzPeter Creagh, were sheriffs for thirty-three days. James Galway was the third mayor, David Bourke and Thomas Power were sheriffs for two months, Arthur Fanning and Christopher FitzDominick Arthur, were sheriffs for four months. All these, without exception, were of the Catholic faith; and all were likewise disturbed and removed from office, because they refused to go to church, and fulfil the duties which an odious and obnoxious law sought to force on them.2 We may well imagine the state of the city, under these circumstances; we may well imagine also, the state of the law, which in a Catholic city sought to deprive the Catholics of the power of choosing mayors of their own form of belief. For the fourth time the same thing occurred in the year succeeding, and with a similar result. William Stritch was for the second time chosen mayor of Limerick; James Fitz Henry Whyte and Walter FitzEichard Arthur were sheriffs; they held office for 14 days. Symon Fanning was chosen mayor in place of William Stritch, and George Sexten and George Eochfort, sheriffs. David Comyn was chosen mayor the second time, Nicholas FitzHenry Whyte, sheriff; James Galway was for the fourth time chosen mayor, James FitzJohn Stritch sheriff, Christopher Creagh, mayor, Patrick Lyseaight, Sheriff. The two last mentioned conformed.

great stone standing in the hedge called Legancampyne, and from the said stone to Craggenecorbally, mearing with the Lord Bishop's and Brienduffe's land, and so along the highway till it comes to the heap of stones called Lishdermode Ikallie, and so to Sh.inanc, in the highway, betwixt Tirevowoughtragh on the west, and Tirevowoughtragh on the east. The great castle of Crattlaghmoell on the north of the Shannon standeth right over against this way, mearing Tirevowoughtragh west, and Tirevowoughtragh on the east. We, the said Earl of Thomond, and others of the Commissioners before named, having measured from the exterior part of the wall of the said city of Limerick to the bounds, mears, and limits before expressed, do leave and include as well all the towns, castles, and hamlets before-named, with all and singular their members and appurtenances, as all other towns, lands, fields, roads, meadows, pastures, commons, and appurtenances to the same belonging, between the bounds aforesaid and the walls of the said city, to be of and in the county of the city of Limerick, and within the compass of the three miles granted by his Majesty by his Highness's charter to the Mayor, Sheriffs, and citizens of Limerick. In witness whereof we, the said Earl and others of the said commissioners, to this part of this Indenture to be returned and remain in his Majesty's High Court of Chancery in Ireland, among the records of the same, have set our hands and seals the day and year above written—Thomond, Barnard Limic, Ffra Barkeley, Thomas Browne.

1 Report of Commissioners of Public Records.

'Thus the name* is spelled in contemporary MSS. * Arthur MSS.

The battle of the Mayors appears to have ceased in this year, when Dominick Roche was the second time Mayor, and John Fitzjohn Stritch, for for the second time sheriff, and Richard Lawless, sheriff also. These all conformed. But the Catholics were not to be beaten down. It was owing in fact to this resolute spirit on the part of the Catholics, that Sir George Carew on an occasion already mentioned, had proceeded so severely against the Mayor, Sir Geoffry Galway, Bart. The instructions given to Sir Oliver St. John, afterwards created Viscount Grandison, who in this year succeeded Sir Arthur Chester, subsequently created baron of Belfast, was to enforce with rigor the fine inflicted on Catholics for absenting themselves from the Protestant service.

1 Arthur MSS. and White MSS. » Arthur MSS.



Whilst the wars of the Mayors were raging within the walls of the city, several grants were made, viz.1 of the cocquet of Limerick, &c. to William Bruncor.2 An appointment of officer of Customs, and a grant of the king's mills3 were made; a view of the revenues of the "wears," &c. was also taken,4 and on the 18th of March, 1615, a most important inquisition was taken before Sir Francis Aungier, Knight, and the celebrated Sir John Davys, the king's Attorney General, with the following "good and lawful men of the said county of Limerick," viz. Henry Barkley of Ballycahan, gentleman; James Rawley of Ballingowley, gentleman; Connor O'Heyne of Calicrclly, gentleman; Donell M'Mahawne of Cragan, gentleman; John Oge Gerrald of Ballinard, gentleman; Kiehard Wall of Cloughtreade, gentleman; Richard Purcell of Ballincarrigy, gentleman; John FitzEdmonde of Gilleterstown, gentleman; Dermode M'Tighe of Twogh, gentleman; Walter Brown of Camus, gentleman; Thomas FitzJohn of Ballynemoug, gentleman; Teigh O'Brien of Gortboy, gentleman.*

1 Repertory of Patent and Close Rolls of Chancery.
» Ibid, 1612. Ibid, 1G13-H-16.
» Crown Rent Roll, 1613.

* It appears from this inquisition that " the Mayor and Bailiffs of the city aforesaid, tenants of the Weares of the city of Limericke aforesaid, called the Fisher's tent, lying from the Lex Weare, on the east, as far as the river called Castle Donrn.ll, on the west part, by the veare, 8s. 10jd.

■'' This inquisition shows the grants of King John to the bishops of Limerick; the grants of Queen Elizabeth of St Mary's Priory and its lands at 4d. per acre, to Edmond Sexten, and also the lands of Monksland, Clasknagilly, Branlouge and Inshymore, to the said Edward Sexten; the grants by letters patent of King Henry III. to the Leper House, near the city of Limerick. of forty ploughlands, one ploughland of which the said master of the said Leper Hospital* held when the inquisition was taken—that Gerald, Earl of Desmond held one ploughland in fee of the land called Corbally, parcel of the said forty ploughlands, that he was attainted of high treason, whereby the ploughland became seized by the Queen Elizabeth who granted the same by letters patent to Robert Annislie, one of the undertakers in the Co. of Limerick, for the yearly rent of forty shillings—that Corbally now (1615) is in the possession of Thomas Gould by conveyance and assignment of Annislie, and that no rent is paid out of it to the Mayor and commonality of Limerick. The inquisition found that Bealus, alias Courtbrack, was another of the forty ploughlands—that the Earl of Desmond held it in fee, that on his attainder it was granted by Queen Elizabeth to Robert Annislie at a rent of three pounds per annum; and that it is now (1615) in possession of the Earl of Thomond, and paid no rent to the mayor &c. The inquisition further found that half a ploughland called Farranygallogh, parcel of the said forty ploughlands, was in the tenure and occupation of the nunnery of Killone, in the County of Clare, whicli together with the nunnery and its possessions came unto the crown, and was by letters patent granted to the said Baron of Insequine, and is now (1615) in the possession of the Earl of Thomond for which no rent is paid to the mayor &c. The inquisition also found that two parts of two ploughlands in three parts divided in Ratwyrd, being parcel of the said forty ploughlands, came into Queen Elizabeth's hands by the attainder of John Browne, and were by the Queen granted to the said Robert Annislie, out of which £6 rent is paid to the King, and that three other parcels of land—viz. Gorteardboher, containing ten acres, Gortrebowley, five acres, Rathgreylan, fifteen acres, with three parcels of land, are accounted for one ploughland, parcel of the Baid forty ploughlands, and arc now in tenure and possession of Phillis White, Simon {fanning, and Edmond Burke of Ballasimon, for which they pay no rent to the mayor &c. The inquisition further finds that certain other such parcels of Gowens lying south near St. John's Gate, and the land of Martin Croft, and Clowncgonderiske, containing a ploughland, being part of the forty ploughlands, are now in the tenure of the mayor and commonality of the city, and that the mayor and commonality are seized of the following parcels of land being part of the said forty ploughlands: viz. Park, containing Jths of a ploughland in possession of Thomas Comyn, held by him from the

* The Master of the Leper House of Limerick resided in Mongret street, in 1414.

Arthur MSS.

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