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Henry 8) David Comyn was for the second time Mayor of Limerick; Nicholas, son of Thomas Fitzwilliam Arthur, was Mayor for the second time in this year also: William Fanning and Andrew Harold were Bailiffs. David Comyn died during his Mayoralty of a terrible pestilence, which prevailed all over the city; and on the 4th of September he was succeeded by Nicholas Arthur. Dr. Arthur does not fail to remark that it was now the supreme Pontiff conferred on Henry 8th the title of " Defender of the Faith," in consequence of "the book he published against Luther;" and that "the Turks invaded the island of Rhodes."1
It was in this reign (28th Henry 8th, cap. 15) it was enacted that none of the king's subjects shall be shaven above the ears, or wear the hair on their heads like long locks called Glibbes, or have any hair on their upper lips called a Crommeal, or wear any shirt, smock or kercher, Bendel Neckerchour, Mocket or IAnnen cap coulr'd with saffron, nor wear above seven yards of cloth in their shirt or smock, and no woman to wear any coat or kirtle tuck'd up, or embroider'd with silk or laid with Usker, after the Irish fashion; and none to wear any mantles, coat or hood, made after the Irish fashion; a forfeiture of the thing so worn (to be seized by any of the king's true subjects) and also the penalties following:—
Every Lord Spiritual and Temporal,
Every Knight and Esquire,
Every Gentleman or merchant,
Every Freeholder and Yeoman,
And every other person,
To be recovered in any of the king's courts and to be divided between the King and Prosecutor, proviso, not to extend to any woman, herds or horseboys wearing a mantle, nor any persons on their journey, or upon Hue and Cry?
In the rapid progress of events we see how Henry changed not only his policy but his faith, how those religious institutions, which flourished so vigorously when he was fulminating against Luther, soon afterwards were doomed by him to suffer spoliation and ruin, and how the properties which went to the alleviation of human misery and woe, under the care of the monks and friars, and in support of the old faith, were handed over to those who submitted to his will and changed their principles at his pleasure.
Henry proceeded in his active courses strengthening his power in Ireland. On the 19th of November, 1534, Thomas Butler was made Baron of Cahir, and in the beginning of the next year Maurice O'Brien and Ulick Bourke, induced by the example and success of the Earl of Tyrone, went to England to wait upon the king, having made their submissions, and surrendered their estates. O'Brien obtained a grant of all his lands in Thomond, and all the Abbeys and patronage in the king's gift within his precincts to him and his heirs male; and he was made Baron of Inchiquin, to him and his heirs, and created Earl of Thomond for life, with a remainder to Donough O'Brien and his heirs for ever, who for the present was made Baron of Ibricane but whether this Donough were nephew or natural son of the Earl's is not very plain. This Lord of Ibricane had also an annuity of twenty pounds per annum granted to him in tail, and the Abbey of Insula Canonicorum, and half the Abbey of Clare; and the king bore the Earl of Thomond's charges and gave him an order to be of the Privy Council. As for Ulick Bourke, he had his charges bome, and was created Earl of Clanricarde, and his estates were regranted to him, and the Abbeys and patronage of all benefices within his precincts.
1 Arthur MSS. » Irish Acts of Parliament.
Thus ended the kingdom of Thomond under Murrough O'Brien, the fifteenth and last of its princes who had been elected chief, by Tanistry to the prejudice of his nephew Donough, to whom in compensation he resigned the Lordship of Ibricane. Murrough is at present represented by his lineal descendant Lord Inchiquin.
Limerick UNDER THE TUDORS CONTINUED. Henry VIII. LORD LEONARD
GRAY. EDMOND SEXTON, etc.
The English convocation and the English Parliaments having acknowleged the supremacy of Henry VIII., with a ready servility, the new head of the Church expected to find in Ireland an equal subserviency, but in this he was grievously disappointed. A most unexpected and decided resistance arose in the opposition of the Catholic Bishops, of whom, a few only were induced to submit to the new orders of things. We give the events in the original words of our authorities.1
Ap. Parry, who had been in the service of Lord Leonard Grey, writes in 1535, respecting his journey from Cork to Limerick, to secretary Cromwell, after he had visited Callan, Clonmel, &c, stating that they had removed from Cork to Mallow, and there encamped by a river side, and on the following day went to Kilmallock, and lay there that night—he describes it as a very "poore townej" and the next day came to Limerick, "and of treuthe CBreyn was cum downe, and lay within three myl of Lemeryk, and as the saying was with a great ost; ana hurled down the wodes in this way, as we schold have gone into hys counterey, and had forsakyn two of hys castels, herd by Lemeryk; and herd that we were so ny, he went into the mountayns from us, for fere of ordynance: and when that he herd tell that we had no ordinance, then he restored his men into hys castels agayn, with such ordinance as he had of his own. And without ordynance to bett the one pyll we could never enter well into hys cunterey. Therefore my Lorde Jamys thought best to recoyll bake again, and to bring the Desemontes, and Cormack Oge with his company, to a say, ore that hee wold pase eny further." He adds, that in Limerick they had "very good cheer, but nat nothing lyke the cher we had in Corke." They parted eight miles off to a place (Monasternenagh), "the wyche is after the order of Grenwyche," and my Lorde of Kyldare was the founder of it, for he hath a castel and landes evyn ther fast by, and ther met with my Lorde Jamys, hys brotherilaw, whyche is CBren's sone," (Donough, nephew of Murrough O'Brien.) The account of the interview between Donough and his brother-in-law, Lord James, describes the latter as telling the former that he had married his sister, forsaken his father, his uncle, and all his friends and country, to come to him to help to do the king a service. He had been sore unrewarded, had no gains—had nothing to live upon. If it pleased the king to take him into his service, he would come into the country and bring with him a piece of ordnance, to take the Castle of Carrigogunnel,1 and that the king would give to him that which never had belonged to an Englishman for two hundred years, he said he desired no aid but the English captain and a hundred Englishmen, to pursue his father and his uncle, who were His Majesty's enemies, and the Irish who were ever the enemies of the English. m pledged himself he would hurt no Englishman, but do all he could against the Irish and the king's opponents. And in all such land as he should conquer, it was his wish that the king should plant Englishmen, the land to be holden of the king, according to his pleasure; and he further promised to discard all "Yrsyche Faschyons," and to order himself after the "Ynglysche laws," and all he could make or subdue. He besought a reply.
i State Papers of Henry VIII.
1 Carriooouxxel Castle.—This Castle is four miles distant from Limerick, to the S.W., bordering on the demesne of Tervoe, the residence of the Right Hon. Wm. Monsell, M.P. Mr. Crofton Croker, in his Antiquarian Researches in the South of Ireland, says it is one of the largest castles he remembers to have seen in Ireland. It stands on an abrupt limestone rock," and commands an extensive view, across the Shannon, of the County Clare, and the low grounds termed " Corcass Land," which form the banks of the river. Its building is ascribed to the O'Brien family. Through stipulation and treachery it was lost more than once by the followers of the Earl of Desmond, and those sent to reduce him and the country. At the Siege of Limerick, in 1690, it was garrisoned by 150 men, adherents of James H., but surrendered without resistance to Major General Scravenmore, " the leaving these detachments in such places," observes Dean Story, in his History of the Civil Wars, "being very unaccountable, since they had a mind to defend them no better." The castle was deemed so tenable a position that it was considered expedient to destroy it, and it was accordingly blown up, together with Castle Connell. Hi story received the very large sum of £160 for the purchase of gunpowder to ruin those fortresses. The dilapidated ruins tell the effects of the explosion. Immense fragments of the walls and towers, lie scattered around in picturesque confusion. "It is a matter of difficulty," adds Mr. Croker, " to trace the original plan." Near this Castle Charles Johnson, the author of Chrysal, or the Adventures of a Guinea, and other works, was born in 1719, and received his education from the excellent teacher, the Rev. R. Cashin, who was superior of the Limerick Protestant Diocesan School in the early part of the last century.
The Vol. 1425 of the Harleian MSS. contains the following pedigree of "O'Brien of carry- Connell, in the Countie of Limericke."
Cam Briax O'briax,
I of whom the
Brian Duff. E. of Thomond
I and others descended.
Brian Duff, of
A large portion of the rock is of a basaltic nature.
Parry adds, that old Sir John of Desmond, "who cane spek very good Ynglysche" arrived on the same day; and the parley was postponed for that day fortnight at "Yowgholl."
In a letter dated from Limerick on the 9th of August, 1536:' The Council of Ireland write to Cromwell, that Donough O'Brien, O'Brien's eldest son, who had married the daughter of the Earl of Ossory, told what had been stated in the letter of Stephen Ap. Parry, of his desire to serve the English and possess Carrigogunnel, and set to the reformation in those quarters—the Deputy put an English ward of soldiers in the castle, and being there they consulted together as to the winning and breaking of O'Brien's Bridge—" wherein we thought the said O'Brene's sonnes ayede and conducte d necessary, as we supposed, that, havynge the same, we shud with the les difficultie achyve our purposes." In order to attain this dignity the council states, that the Castle of Carrigogunnel, "which had been inhabited by the O'Briens for 200 years before,' was given by indenture to Donough O'Brien, "to be kept under us during the king's highness pleasure."—" After which conclusion takyn the said castell by tradyment, was taken again by the persons which had possession thereof before—but we trust shall lytel prevayl them, but that the Deputies conclusion and army, and the promises thereon shall take effect." The letter proceeds to state, that on Friday they marched with all the army, with demiculverins, and such other ordnance as they had towards the bridge, and by the conduct of the said Donough and his friends, they were brought to it in a secret and unknown way, on this side of the water, where never English used nor carts went before, whereby they achieved the progress with less danger than they could have done on the other side. On Saturday they reached the bridge, and after the army was encamped, the Deputy and gunners made a reconnoissance. On this side was a strong castle, "builded all of hewen marbell," and at the other side a castle, but not of such force, both built within the water, but not much distant from the land. At this end the O'Briens had broken four arches of the Bridge at the end next the land. The gunners fired all day at the castle, but with no effect, "for the wal was at lest 12 or 13 fote thick," and both the castles were well warded with the gunners, gallowglas and horsemen, "having made such fortifications of timber and hoggsheades of carthe, as the lyke have not been seen in this lande." They had a great piece of iron, "which shot buylees as great in maner as a mannes hede." They had also a ship piece, a "Portingall piece," "certayne hagbushesses," and hand-guns. The Deputy seeing the ship-piece no avail, ordered that each man should make a faggot a fathom in length, to fill that part of the water between the land and the castle, and desired ladders to be made; which done, he appointed certain of his' own retinue and a company of "Mauster Saynclows" to give the assault; by which they carried the castle, the defenders escaping at the other side; and having done so they broke down the bridge. [A letters of William Body to Cromwell gives the credit of the capture to Ossory.] Two of the army were slain, several were wounded; while the timber of the bridge was loosing, the Mayor of Limerick, Edmond Sexton, with about 30 others who were standing on it at the time fell, but were not injured. Gray also gives a long account of the above achievements to Cromwell.
Henry VIII. in a letter to the town of Galway, in which letter the Irish customs of clothing, &c, are forbidden, and in which he takes from malefactors the sanctuary of the Friars Minors, &c, in and near that town, and calls upon the justice to bring them to punishment—proceeds to say, "Moreover, yf O'Brene, or any other Irysheman, be at war with our deputie, or our subgietes of our Cittie of Lymerycke, that in no wyse, by any coloure, practyse, or covyne, ye suffer no vytals, iron, sault, or other commodities, to passe from you to theym, dureing the tyme of their contention till they shall be perfectly reconciled, upon payne of your allegeannces; and alwayes that ye obsarve the articles before written, specially concerning the keepeing of markettes, and that none of you resorte with anny merchandyce amongynst Iryshemen at anny tyme. And where we be informed that at such seasons as strangers refrayne within the havyn of Lymerycke, certayne of you foresttale the market of our said cittie, alurying and procuring the stranger merchauntes to repayre oute of the havyn of Lymerycke to you, offering theym avauntage above the profere of the sayd citie, to ther gret disadvanytage and commodities, and p- haunsing the pryce of foren and alyen merchaundyses, to the profit of alyens: we therefor woll and commaunde you, that you do not provoke anny merchaundise aryving in theyr havyn from you to theym/' He commanded that he should hear no further complaint on this behalf, or in any of the premises if they intended his favors.
l News papers. a State Papers.
In the same year Cowley, writing to Cromwell on the establishment of the king's dominion in Ireland, says :—
"Then a thousand to arive at Lymyrik, and the Erl of Ossery, and his son, and power to joyne with them, and first to wyn the pyles and Casteles from O'Dwyer (chief of Kilnemanna, west of Owney), and next that to wyn the Castele and towne of the Enagh (Nenagh, in Tipperary), and to builde and enhabite the towne, and so to pursue all the Irishry at this side of the water of the Sheynan, and to wyn O'Bryn's Bridge that standeth upon the same water. Then to peruse all Clancullen (the ancient barony of Clancullen was situated between Limerick and Killaloe, now forming part of the barony of Tullagh) in O'Ibryne's countree, and to win the pyles and holdes, and specelly the strong castele called Bon Baytte n), eight myles from Lymerick, on the river of Lymerick—consequently to make a strongholde of Clare, and to enhabit accordingly; and to make two other baronies in the midst of O'Brien's countreey. There are piles enough in that counteray already, so that there needeth no more than to enhabite."
Thomas Allen, in the same year, writes a long letter to Cromwell on the subject of the Lord Deputy's expedition for the fortifying and re-edifying of Woodstock and the bridge of Athy. After giving an account of the expedition, he says, " And his Lordship went to Kilkenny, where he met the Erl of Ossorye and MacGilphatrick, where he and Omore were contendid to remayne, and goo to Dublin with my Lord, and ther to abide his and his counsaile's order, and to put in pledgis for performance thereof, and to attend upon my Lord in this joumaie. And from thens departed the Chief Justice, and the Maiour of Limerick (Edmond Sexton) to speke with O'Brene and the Erie of Desmonde, who have confethered togeder."
In a long letter from the Lord Deputy and Council to Cromwell, written from Dublin the 23rd day of November, the journey of Munster is said to have taken fruit and success, &c. &c. "For undoubtedly the pretended Earl of Desmonde, after diverse communications had betwixt him, the Maior of Lymerick, the Chief Justice, and the Master of the Rolles, at severall tymes, condescended as well to delyver his too sonnes in hostage, and to fynde the