« PreviousContinue »
Bridge has derived its second name, the original being Rate, from which is derived Bunratty. The O'Gradies1 were also supporters of Brian Roe, and had been defeated at the battle of Clare Abbey in 1276, when commanded by Mahon, the grandson of Donald Connachtahc. On the other side, Donogh was supported by his relatives, the Macconmaras, the commanders
1 A large collection of notes in reference to the O'Grady family is in the possession of Miss Julia O'Grady, Castle Park, near Limerick. They held a territory in the county of Clare, called Kirell-Dongail, extending around Torngraney. and in later days they constantly held the chief ecclesiastical dignities in the Cathedral of KUlaloe. It is stated that the Bradys of Babeen, Co. Clare, and Brady, the first Protestant Bishop of Meath, were of the senior branch of the O'Gradys, who changed their name when becoming Protestants. The evidence is to be found in a work lately published by Mr. Brady, a son or brother of the Lord Chancellor Brady, containing extracts from the Chapter Books of Cloyne, Ross, Cork, &c. &c. The Kilballyowen branch, of whom it pedigree is in Burke's Landed Gentry, have been settled in Limerick, at Knockany and Kilballyowen, from an early date. Any belonged to the O'Kerwicks; Thomas de Clare held it in 15 Edw. 11., and the O'Gradys held it about A.D. 1400, building Ballycahane Castle in 1496 (D'Alton), and Rockbarton Castle, at Askeaton, soon after. A portion of the County Limerick estates, however, belonged to the celebrated Pierce Lacy, of Bruff j Kilballyowen, Kilcullanc, and other lands, being then O'Grady property. So we find these lands confirmed to Donough O'Grady in 1611 (Bot. Pat. Hib. 8 Jas. I.), and Pierce Lacy's estate confirmed to Sir Thomas Standish three years later (Rot. Pat. Hib. 11 Jas. I.) Sir Thomas Standish had a large estate, which eventually passed through his daughters; a small portion to the O'Gradys (Dermod O'Grady having married Faith Standish; see the will of Sir T. Standish, dated 1635), but the larger part to the Uartstonges, now represented by the Earl of Limerick. The Annals of the Four Masters describe John O'Grady, Archbishop of Tuam, who died in 1371, as the "leading man for wisdom and hospitality in his time." From these Annals, we can trace the chieftainship of the senior branch of the O'Gradys as follows:—
1268. Donell, chief of his name, died.
1311. Donell, chief of his name, died.
1408. Teige, chief of his name, died.
1485. Nicholas, Abbot of Torngraney, died.
15—. ?' Uonough, son of Nicholas, died.
1559. Donoughoge, son of Donough, and grandson of Nicholas, Archdeacon of Killaloe, died. The Annals do not tell us, but we know by other records, (Patent Rolls, 9th July, 1553) that he was the chief of the O'Gradys, and had a confirmation of the estates from the Crown, with the honor of knighthood by Patent. 1582, Donongh, son of the above Donough, "a man of great power," died. He was Dean, probably of Killaloe, as the dignities in that Cathedral were kept in the same families for generations. The last notice I find of the O'Grady family in the county of Clare, and one which shows that the Limerick branch acted in concert with their kinsmen in that county, is in the very curious journal of the siege of Ballyally Castle, near Ennis, printed in 1841 for the Camden Society. This castle was held by the widow of Maurice Cuffe (an Englishman, and a merchant in Ennis), assisted by her sons, one of whom was ancestor of the Earl of Desart. On the 10th January, 1642, Hugh O'Grady, of Stradnegalow, raised his clan, and began hostilities against the English settlers in the county of Clare, and on the 4th February they, with Connor O'Brien of Lemeneigh, Sir Donell O'Brien, and a few others of that name, (but without the approval of the Earl of Thomond,) and aided by the Mac Namaras, O'Loghlens of Burren, O'Hogans, O'Shaughnessys, and others, made an attack on Ballyally castle. "Captain Henry Grady, of Cnockaney, in the County of Limerick," was one of those so engaged—and being one of the chief leaders in the undertaking, he was deputed (being then styled in the Narrative "Captain Henry O'Gradey,") to summon the castle—" and being demanded by some that were upon the battlement warding, what athorety hee had to demand it, or right or claimed he could laie to it. Whereupon hee anshwerd that hee had commission from his majesty to banesh all the Protestants of the kingdom of Ireland. Heere upon without furthar exeamenation, there was a bullet sent from the castell by one of the wardars to exeamen his cumishon, which went through his thigh, but he made shift to rumble to the bushes and there fell downe, but only laye by it sixteene wickes, in which time, unhapely, it was cured."
This shot was fired, it appears, by "Andrew Chaplin, minstar ;" perhaps some Protestant clergyman of the district.
The O'Gradys were not intimidated by it. Having no cannon, they first made two "sows," a small one to clear the way, and B large one to follow; the latter being 35 feet long, 9 feet broad, and mounted on four wheels. It was double planked; nailed with nails to the value of £.">, which had been collected to build the house of correction in Ennis, and covered with two rows of hides, and two rows of sheep skins, which made it bullet proof. They likewise made a leathern gun five feet long and 5 inches in diameter, with which they tried to batter the castle, but " shec only gave a great report, having 31bs. of powthar in har, but let's fly backwards, the bullet
of the great sept of Glancuilen, so called from Cuilen, the seventh in descent from Caissen, from whom this powerful race was also called Hy-Caessen, which Caissen was the second son of Cas, eighth in descent from Olliol Olum, king of Munster, in A.D. 234. This sept included the following families, Clan Macconmara, Clan-an-Oirchinneagh (Maclnnerhenies) Clan a Ghiollamhavil, Clan-an-Chlaraugh, ClanMmheanmain, O'Maeldowny, O'Halloran, O'Slattery, O'Hossin, O'Hartigan, O'Haly, O'Cindergain, O'Maly, O'Meehan, and O'Liddy. Donogh was also supported by the two very powerful families of O'Quinn1 and O'Dea, the chieftains of Cinel Eearmaic, now the barony of Inchiquin.
In 1309 these families met to decide the sovereignty of Thomond by the arbitrament of the sword, and a battle ensued in which Dermod, the grandson of Brien Roe, was defeated, and his brother Connor slain.4
The next year the territory of the O'Gradies (the Cinel Dongaile) was invaded and devastated by Dermod, by whom they were compelled to join him. The English as well as the Irish were now pitted in hostile camps, in consequence of the feuds existing between the general dines and De Burghos, the latter of whom supported Donogh, while the Geraldines joined their connexions, the De Clares, in sustaining the claims of Dermod.
The first entry in the Annals of the Four Masters for 1310, states that "Conor O'Brien the best roydamna (heir presumptive, literally,' makings of a king/) was treacherously slain by the black English."3 In the year 1811, was fought the battle of Bunratty, in which 630 gallowglasscs of Donogh's army were killed, and De Burgho taken prisoner. The besiegers were commanded by the Bed Earl of Ulster. Clonroad Castle was burned to the ground; Donogh himself was treacherously slain by a relative, and his successor Dermod died in the same year in which he was chosen.4 Thefee events are somewhat differently recorded by the Annalists of Clonmacnoise, who state that he was deposed and succeeded by Murtagh son of Turlogh. On the death of Dermod, his kinsmen Donogh and Brian Bane, grandsons of Brian Roe, once more took the field with the families of the Hy-Mbloyd. They were defeated at the battle of Tully O'Dea, and obliged to fly to Bunratty to seek the assistance of De Clare, which was granted. In the year 1313 Donough, supported by the English, vanquished his enemies, drove Murtagh O'Brien and his brother into Connaught, and was himself formally inaugurated King of Thomond.8 The next year, however, a new division of territory took place by a decision of the States of Thomond, who awarded the eastern portion to Murtagh with the addition of Clonroad and Hy Cormac, the present barony of Islands. Murtagh O'Brien, encouraged by the inremaining within." And as the sows also turned out useless to the besiegers, being taken in a successful sally on the 27th of Feburary, they raised the siege.
The O'Gradys and O'Shaughnessys afterwards attacked Jnchicronan castle, of which they eventually obtained possession. But we find no mention of the O'Gradys of Knockany as concerned in further actions at this period.
1 The O'Quins are at present represented by the Earl of Dunraven. The O'Deas who gave their name to the parish of Dysart O'Dea, were connected by fosterage with the O'Briens, between whom and them a strong tie of affection subsisted to a very late period.
» Annals of the Four Masters.
■ This expression puzzled Dr. O'Donovan who thinks it means the English lately came over. It is most likely, however, that it is a term of reproach which was richly merited by these ruthless and perfidious and turbulent invaders, the theatre of s quarrels was now transferred to the kingdom of Thomond.
4 Annals of the Four Masters.
s Annals of the Four Masters.
triguing English, who still pursued the Machiavellian policy of dividing and conquering, again sent for their Connaught allies, the De Burghs, O'Kellys, and O'Maddens, and succeeded in expelling Donogh and Brien. These monotonous feuds and barbarous dissensions always fomented by the AngloNorman invaders, were diversified by a more interesting event in the history of Thomond, occasioned by the arrival of a new invader.
In 1315 Edward Bruce invaded Ireland. He defeated Richard Earl of Ulster and Feidlim O'Connor, who marched against him with 8000 men: the walls of Athenry are said to have been built by the spoils of the battle.1 In the following year Bruce besieged Limerick, burned the suburbs, and in the same year, (1316) he made the city the rendezvous of his army. Tradition points to the place in which it is said he resided during his occupation of Limerick. Donough, grandson of Brian Roe O'Brien, was one of the first princes to join Bruce, by whom he was conducted to Cashcl, Nenagh, and Castle Connel.
The chieftains of Thomond, however, who sided with the English, had made formidable preparations to receive him, and having given command of the army to Murtagh, King of Thomond, compelled the Scottish invader to retreat just as he was on the point of crossing the Shannon.8
1318, Battle of Dysert C^Dea. Richard Lord Clare, with four knights and eighty men were slain by MacCarthy and O'Brien. Lord Clare was interred among the Friars in St. Francis's Abbey, Limerick. The name of De Clare now disappears from Irish history; but not from the locality of Bunratty where the great castle was built, because we find to this day certain members of the Studdert family bearing the name of De Clare.
Returning to the Civil History of Limerick, in 1331, Maurice FitzThomas, Earl of Desmond, was apprehended in the city on Assumption Day, by Sir Anthony Lucy, the Lord President, and sent to the Castle of Dublin. In the next year some followers of Desmond, who had been confined in the King's Castle, rose on the Constable, killed him, and seized the Castle into their own hands. Bamberry the Mayor, headed the citizens, and showed such courage, presence and resolution, that they soon recovered the Castle, repaying the hostages in a manner so hostile that they put them to the sword without exception, irrespectively of rank or quality.
The salmon and eel fisheries in those disturbed and anxious times, were not lost sight of; on the contrary they continually occupied the attention of the authorities; and the records of the time show clearly the valuable estimation they were held in as well by the citizens as by the Government.3
A Parliament held at Kilkenny in 1340, having granted a subsidy to the King, Ralph Kelly, Archbishop of Cashel, opposed the levying of it within his province. In this proceeding he was supported by the Bishops of Limerick, Emly, and Lismore; and at an assembly held at Tipperary, they decreed that all beneficed clergymen, contributing to the said subsidy, should lose their benefices, and that the laity who were their tenants, should be excommunicated, and their children to the third generation held incapable of holding any church living within that province. In execution of this decree the Archbishop and his suffragan Bishops were charged with having gone to Clonmel, and in their pontifical robes, in the public streets, excommunicated all those who granted or ordained the said subsidy, or who were concerned in levying the same, and for this offence an information was exhibited against them, the King's damages being laid at one thousand pounds. The Archbishop pleaded that neither he nor his suffragans had granted subsidy in the said Parliament—that by Magna Charta the Church was to remain free, and all were to be excommunicated who should infringe the liberties granted thereby. He confessed that he had excommunicated all who were enemies to the King's peace, who should infringe the said statute, or levy any subsidy without the King's consent—but he denied having excommunicated any person on account of the said subsidy. They were, however, found guilty, but we are not informed that any punishment was inflicted on them.
1 Hardiman's History of Gal way.
1 The invasion of Ireland by Edward Bruce is so interesting an event, Independently of its connection with the History of Limerick, that the reader will consult with advantage a sketch of his progress in Ireland, by Dr. M'Dermott, from Hollyshed, Campion, Cox, Leland, Moore, Lodge's Peerage and other sources.
* Pipe Roll, 12th and 13th Edward, 1318-'19.—Thomas Crop and Alexander Barrett, Provosta of Limerick, render an account of £36 13s. 4d. of the farm for the same city; this roll mentions £6'5, which they delivered to the Bishop of Limerick for recompense of the fishery there for Easter term, in the 12th year of the reign of king Edward, son of king Edward, and for the six years preceding, viz. by the year £10. Robert de Saint Edmund's account (£120) of the issues of the weir at Limerick, is set out as well as other accounts of the issues of the weirs.
A charter was granted in aid of building a bridge at Limerick, and the election of a city coroner took place.1 In the year after the city returned its first members to Parliament; and absenteeism2 was prohibited; whilst the fisheries still filled the public mind with proceedings connected with them. CHAPTER VIII.
Pipe Roll, 2nd and 3rd Edward III., 1328-'29.—Robert Long and William de Eupe, Bailiffs, render account of the farm of the city of Limerick, and several sums and £95 delivered to the Bishop of Limerick in recompense of the fiahery of the city of Limerick.
Pipe Roll, 2nd and 3rd Edward III., 1328-'29.—Account of the issues of the weir.
Commission to the Mayor of Limerick, dated 13th June, Edward III.. 1831, Ireland commission of weirs.—" Know that we of our special grace have granted to our trusty the Mayor, &c. Commonalty of the city of Limerick, in Ireland, our weirs, to the said city belonging; to hold from the day of making these presents, to the end of the five years next following, paying to our Exchequer as much as those who heretofore held those weirs," &c. &c.
Pipe Roll, 10th to 12th Edward III., 1337—1339.—City of Limerick: John Daniel and Thomas Ricolt, Bailiffs, render an account of the fee farm of the city, and a sum of £25 which to the same is allowed, in recompense of the fishery of the city of Limerick, which was of the Bishop of Limerick, &c. &c. Robert de Saint Edmund's account is set out, and the account of Mayor and Bailiffs' arrears of farm, of weirs, of water of Shynyn.
Pipe Roll, 17th Edward III., 1343 "44.—City of Limerick: William Western and Richard Walsh, Bailiffs for the same, render an account of the fee farm, £30 recompense to the Bishop of the fishery of Limerick; account of the issues of the weirs.
In 1343, there was a grant to John de BaUtot of the king's weirs at Limerick. Hugh da Burgh, treasurer, caused the weirs to be extended, and that extent to be delivered to the exchequer.
1 Calendary of the Patent and close Rolls of Chancery—67.
1 We give the following as a curious instance of the wills of this period. 1361, 36th Edward III., 12th of August, Edmund Wyndebald, citizen of Limerick, gave to his son Paul Wyndebald, and in defect to him of legitimate male issue, to William Long, and in defect of legitimate male issue to William Long, to Peter de Rupe (Roche), and in defect to Peter de Rupe of legitimate male issue, to Robert de Rupe, and in defect of him of such issue, to the heirs in a direct line of the said Edmund, for ever, all the messuages, lands and tenements, and returns to them belonging in the city and suburbs of Limerick, as also all the lands and tenements of Donnouyer and Carrigbethelagh, with their appurtenances in the county of Limerick. Witness the Mayor U. B., and Bailywes J. W., T. T., above named, Eustacius Delece, Thomas Kildare, Gilbert Fitzthomas. Compared at Drogheda the 12th of May by Nicholas Stanihurst, Notary of the Diocese of Derry, (Arthur MSS.)
Nicholas Bakekar, Mayor; John Wigmorc and John Troy, Bailiffs:—Arthur MSS.
ANNALS OF THOMOND. GRANTS, &C.
We resume the Annals of Thomond, already given in summary. Mahon Maonmaighe O'Brien, the eldest son of Murtogh, the usurping king of Thomond, who according to the Four Masters, deposed his uncle Dermod in 1363, is gratefully remembered by nationalists for having compelled the English of North Munster to pay the Bubchios or black rent. Twelve years of this prince's reign were spent in feuds, chiefly excited by the intrigues of the English. He was succeeded by his brother Torlogh, surnamed Mael or the Bald. The new king was dethroned and banished from Thomond by his nephew, Brian Catha an Aonaigh, and took refuge in the county Watcrford with Garrett, Earl of Desmond, who, leading an army to reinstate him in his dominions, was met and totally defeated by Brian. This battle was fought on the banks of the Maig, now Monaster Nenagh, in the county Limerick, near the celebrated Monastery founded in 1131 by Turlogh O'Brien. On this occasion the Earl of Desmond, John Fitz Nicholas, and Sir Thomas Fitzjohn, with many other nobles, were taken by O'Brien and Macnamara of Thomond, in the Abbey. It was from this battle, in which Brian Catha obtained a great victory, that he received the surname of Aonach, from the fair green on which it was fought. The Four Masters state that on this occasion " Limerick was burned by the Thomonians and the Claincuilen (the MacNamaras), upon which the inhabitants capitulated with O'Brien. Sioda Cam (Macnamara,) son of the daughter of O'Dwyer (of Kilnemanagh) assumed the Wardenship of the town; but the English who were in it acted treacherously towards him and killed him." The same authority states that Brien O'Brien, lord of Thomond, was banished by Turlough, son of Murtogh O'Brien and the Clanrickardes; from which it appears that Turlogh Mael was set np again by the English. In this feud the Macnamaras followed opposite parties. The death of Turlogh Mael in the English Pale is recorded by the Four Masters as having taken place in 1398, which was the year in which his patron Garrett or Gerald also died. James, the successor of this Earl, obtained a grant of the territory east of the Blackwater from Henry V. in 1413, in which year also he granted to the descendants of Torlogh O'Brien a part of the lands about the Comeragh Mountains, where their posterity are still known as the Waterford O'Briens.1
In the year 1394, Richard the Second, king of England, landed in Waterford. He is said to have been stimulated to undertake his new enterprise by a taunt uttered by the German Electors, from whom his ambassadors had in vain solicited the Imperial Crown of Germany; the Electors pronouncing him unworthy of that high dignity, as neither being able to keep the conquests
1 In 1367 the statutes of Kilkenny were passed prohibiting the use of the Irish language, costume and customs, the presentation of Irishmen to ecclesiastical benefices as well as their admission into religious houses. The practice of the Brehon Laws and the entertaining of bards and minstrels were by it declared penal. We have great pleasure in stating the curious fact, that by the returns of the late census, it appears that we have in this year, 1864, more people speaking Irish than existed at the passing of this atrocious measure. We notice, too, with very great satisfaction, that the study of the Irish language ia increasing rapidly every year, even among the -better informed classes of Irishmen.