of A Family Name
Áed’s family, indeed all of Clann Mac Gilla Phádraig, recognized the important position he had held within the Irish Church at Cill Dara. They were proud of him. After all, under Irish law a bishop had the same honor price as a king. And in this age of family name formation, “Lectors, abbots and bishops also made their contribution to the stock of surnames as did other related elites such as the poets, historians and topographers.”4 As future generations of his file (family) were born, grew up and had families of their own, they gradually all became known as “Ó h-Èremón.” A sub-sept within the Mac Giolla Phádraig sept developed. Ó h-Èremón gradually became a patronymic for the entire extended family descended from Áed’s immediate family. Its English equivalent might be called a surname. Reverend Patrick Woulfe, in his landmark book published in 1923, Irish Names and Surnames, summarizes:
In early times, when the population
of Ireland was small and scattered, one name generally sufficed to designate
each individual, and one name, as a rule, is all that we find….surnames or
family names, as we understand them, were unknown. The Irish had, indeed, from
a remote period a well-established system of clan-names, formed from the names
of distinguished ancestors, as : Uí Néill, descendants of Niall of the
Nine Hostages...but these names were ordinarily used in the plural and as a
common designation of the whole clan. For the individual the single name was
The single name system, which, as I have said, was universal in the beginning, after a time broke down. With the growth of population, or as one name outstripped others in popularity, difficulties of identification arose…with the result that a further distinction became a necessity….
From an early period we find the patronymic in use for this purpose. Irish patronymics were formed by prefixing Mac to the genitive [possessive] case of the father’s name, or Ó to that of the grandfather, and the Irish Annals are full of designations of this character. Cormac MacAirt (Cormac, son of Art) and Laoghaire MacNeill (Leary, son of Niall), among the names of our early kings, are examples….
These second designations were not, however, surnames in the modern sense of that term. They were not fixed or hereditary, nor common to all the members of a family. The adjunct, whether descriptive or patronymic, was purely personal and ceased with him whom it described and to whose name it was attached….
Surnames in the modern sense are the growth of the 10th and three succeeding centuries. During that period the patronymic, which before was purely personal and changed with each generation, gradually became fixed…and began to assume the permanent and hereditary character of a family name….
The period at which this change began can only be determined approximately….The 11th and 12th centuries must, however, be assigned as the period within which the great bulk of our Irish patronymics became fixed and began to assume the hereditary character of family names.…I think it must be admitted that by the end of the 12th century surnames were universal among Irish families.5
Remember, too, that Áed may have been married or had a concubine and had children of his own, although there is no evidence. The Irish Church had grown adept at ignoring these situations. This subject was part of the discussions at the Synod of Cashel held in 1101. Recall that the synod was presided over by King Muirchertach, who was married to his first cousin.
Over time, variations of the nascent patronymic Ó h-Èremón developed as Middle Irish—in use since about 900—slowly evolved into Early Modern Irish by around 1600. “A very noticeable feature in Old Irish documents is the astonishing standardization of the language and spelling....This uniformity was, however, lost in medieval times.”6 These variations were a predictable result of two types of activities over the centuries. First of all, the tiny sub-sept—perhaps starting as just that single extended family—became dispersed over time. And, because Irish pronunciations varied by the dialect spoken in a given area, the pronunciation of the patronymic began to vary. In Irish speech, the [m] sound as it is used in this name is “lenited” (softened) to a [w] or a [v] sound, or no sound at all, depending on the dialect of the speaker. So the name would be pronounced as [oh AY-ra-whon] in Connaught and part of west County Offaly, but as [oh AY-ra-vhon] in other areas. “Broad mh, bh is pronounced [v] in south Offally as in Munster.” It would be pronounced as [oh AY-ra-on] in other parts of Munster and in eastern Leinster. These pronunciations were all correct. And Osraighe, being a boundary kingdom, was a melting pot of dialects. “It is to be noted that in Ossory, another transition area between Munster and Galeonic Irish, there is considerable variation….”7
Secondly, written variations of the name developed, both in Irish and in English, over time. It’s a good guess that, although they slowly became separated, the Ó h-Èremóns continued to live primarily in or near their ancestoral land, “Mac Giolla Phádraig’s country,” for centuries. Their agrarian activities required no written Irish records, and none were generated, much less preserved. They are the lost generations, living their lives as they always had, but leaving nothing in writing. Only where there was interaction with the English, typically in a legal setting, do we have any evidence that the sub-sept was still in existence, still carrying the name which Bishop Áed originated in 1096. Irish pronunciations at these court proceedings were literally foreign to the English clerks’ ears, but they tried as best they could, working in the immediacy of the moment, to take notes in English. These they later transcribed onto vellum sheets to create permanent records. So a wide variety of spellings of a wide variety of pronunciations was the inescapable result.
To add to this complexity, a convention
developed as time went on which called for the placing a little dot over a
consonant in order to represent its lenition. This was easily accomplished in
writing the language, but since typeset English had no such character, the
convention changed to placing the letter “h” after the lenited consonant. In
addition to this, another convention specified that a silent “h” precede an
Irish name beginning in a vowel. It was supposed to be a prosthetic spirant
only, but at times it actually found its way into the name as the initial
letter. It might even be capitalized. All of this produced a proliferation of
“h” letters in Irish words, as printed in English. And there was still more
complexity: another convention developed making it necessary in certain
situations to add “glide vowels” around consonants in Irish. So what started
nine hundred years ago as “Ó h-Èremón” and was
subject to numerous permutations along the way, eventually came down to us spelled
as “O’ Heremon” in Middle English, and finally as “Ó hEireamhóin”8 in
Modern Irish. (We will see later what happened to the name as written in English.)
Leinster was now independent of
the Uí Briain’s, and the Uí Chinseallach’s regained their
strength. Yet another ruthless and ambitious young king, born about 1110, unexpectedly
became King of the Province of Leinster upon the death of his brother. His name
was Diarmait mac Murchada (anglicized Dermot MacMurrough), the grandson of the
great Diarmait mac Máel na mBó, and he was destined to become infamous in Irish
history. “Unquestionably, Diarmait’s activities made him extremely unpopular
amongst the bulk of his provincial subordinates.”9 In 1132 mac Murchada took
control of the great monastery of Cill
Dara. The abbess was raped by his soldiers, and she was forced to
marry one of his followers. He then installed his niece, Sabdh ingen
Gluniarainn mac Murchada, as abbess. This, the last major Irish church office
open to women, was soon to be abolished. The 1152 Synod of Kells-Mellifont
deprived the Abbess of Kildare of her traditional precedence over its bishops
when the last abbess of Kildare died in 1171. The Anglo-Norman invasion of
Ireland brought this famous abbacy entirely to its sad conclusion.10
Gerald of Wales, Giraldus Cambrensis, visited Kildare in 1186 and saw the Book of Kildare (perhaps similar to the famous Book of Kells), which he described as “dictation of an angel.” This book or others at the monastery held the records of the great events affecting the monastery, and these events would naturally have included the deaths of its abbots and bishops—including Áed. The Book of Kildare and its other books are now lost, but the information in them and from other monastic records (including a famous Annal sponsored by mac Murchada himself: the Book of Leinster), were probably some of the sources used by the Four Masters for their compilation. Thus we have a record of Áed’s death, and can reconstruct, hypothetically at least, his life story.
The character of life in Ireland was about to change forever, and Leinster (including Osraighe) would be the first to feel the effects. “When the Anglo-Norman invaders came over to Ireland, the fortunes of the Mac Gillapatricks, the native kings of Ossory, fared badly. They lost a considerable portion of their kingdom—that represented by the County Kilkenny—and were obliged to confine themselves henceforward to the northern corner of their kingdom in Queen’s County, where they maintained a sort of wild independence until the middle of the sixteenth century....”11 (Laois was renamed Queen’s County during the reign of Queen Mary. It returned to its original name in the twentieth century at the time of the Irish War of Independence.)
things had changed after the death of Áed. Osraighe had divided into three separate
territories. “The death of Gillapatrick Ruadh at Mag-Cobha, was the
signal for dissensions and strife in Ossory. In the extreme north, Fionn
O’Kealy raised the standard of revolt against the MacGillapatricks, and
succeeded in establishing his independent sway over his native Magh-Lacha, and
Ui-Foircheallain. The MacGillapatricks contended amongst themselves for the
kingship of the rest of Ossory, with the result that the southern portion of
the territory came to acknowledge one ruler, while the district lying in the
centre and extending as far north as Magh-Lacha, made choice of another. Thus,
in the beginning of the twelfth century, Ossory appears broken up into three
small separate states, each with its own line of rulers or kings.”12 Of the three, the northernmost became known
as O’Kealy’s Country. The other two, with Mac Giolla Phádraig kings, kept the original root name and
became: Deischeart Osraighe (South
Ossory, a slice of territory just above Waterford) and Tuaisceart Osraighe (North Ossory, a much larger and more important
section which contained the “Canicopolis,” the Cittie of Kilkenny.)13 John
Hogan, Mayor of Kilkenny in 1883, will guide us through this critical time
period. “We shall follow the fortunes of the Mac Gillaphadraig family through
the discordant complications which darken the political horizon, and with the
extinction of their royalty we shall witness the expiring moments of the Irish
nation.”14 The list of the
Kings of Osraighe, the regnal list, contains familiar names in these times, as
new kings took control of the territory upon the deaths of their fathers or
their brothers. (South Ossory had its own line of succession, but we will
follow events in Tuaisceart Osraighe, where in all probability the descendents of Áed’s family, the Ó h-Èremóns, a sept within a sept, lived.)
Gillaphádraig III, Ruadhe, had been killed in battle in 1103. His son Domhnall II, Ruadhe, succeeded him, but he must have been only a youngster. He “was killed by another youth at a game” six years later. His brother Donnchadh III, Balc (Strong), succeeded him in 1109. Things didn’t work out well for Donnchadh III. In 1121, his son “was killed by the Osraighe themselves.” Then in 1123 we find that he himself was killed. The annals report that “Donnchad Mac Gillaphádraig Ruadhe, Lord of Osraighe, fell by his [own] tribe.” Gillaphádraig IV, grandson of Donnchadh III, then succeeded. He managed a stable reign of some twenty-three years, but disaster struck the kingdom in 1146 when, “Gillaphadraig…lord of Osraighe, was killed by the O’Braenains by treachery in the middle of Cill-Cainnigh.” Donnchadh IV, son of Gillaphadraig IV, succeeded.
In 1151, the rising star of Leinster, Diarmait MacMurrough began to interfere with the affairs in Osraighe. First he deposed the King of South Ossory (Cearbhall) and installed Donnchadh over both territories. Then he took Donnchadh IV prisoner “through treachery and guile,” and placed Cearbhall in charge of both. Then MacMurrough released Donnchadh and returned everything to its original sovereignty.15 This interference was just the beginning of a long and painful odyssey which lay ahead for the tribe of Mac Gillaphádraig. Things got worse.
High Kings, with Opposition
The much larger conflict raging in
Ireland at this time was the one between the north of the island and the south.
Turlough O’Connor, King of Connaught, died in 1156, and his son Roderick
succeeded. But trouble quickly developed. “In the year 1156, Muircheartach
O’Loughlin, senior chief of the northern O’Neills [King of Ulster], was proclaimed monarch of all Ireland;…Roderick
O’Connor…at once disputed O’Loughlin’s right to the sovereignty of Ireland. The
northern princes and Leinster
recognised O’Loughlin’s supremacy; Connaught, Munster, and Ossory paid obedience to Roderic O’Connor.”16 This split in
loyalties between Leinster and Ossory was a formula for trouble between them,
and trouble quickly developed. Diarmaid MacMurrough submitted to O’Loughlin,
and the High King in the north recognized MacMurrough’s sovereignty over
Leinster, and gave him sovereignty over
Osraighe as well. “Ua Lochlainn appears to have entertained feelings of the
deepest hatred and resentment for the Ossorians. They were unfavourable to his
assumption of the chief power ; they were, moreover, the inveterate foes of his
friend and ally, MacMurrough. He marked them out, therefore, as the first and
most special objects of his vengeance, and during the first year of his reign
led an army of his northern warriors into their territory, ‘and wasted and
spoyled all Ossory, without respect of church or chapel…. [Such were the horrors of this invasion that] the people of Laeighis
[Leix], Ui-Failghe [Offaly], and Laithe Osraighe [Half Ossory], then fled to Connaught.’”17
King Donnchadh IV died in 1162, and his son Domhnall III, Romhor (Fat), succeeded him, but he was slain by “the O’More’s of the plain of Leix” three years later. Domhnall’s son, Donnchadh V, succeeded in 1165. Donnchadh V, characterized as a religious man, died soon after, and his son Domhnall IV, Duibh (Dark), succeeded as king. “It was his lot to be called to rule at a period fraught with deepest and direst consequences to his native land, his own principality, himself and his kindred.”18
Meanwhile, the larger conflict between Ireland’s north and south continued to swirl. Alarmed at the aggressive actions of O’Loughlin, “all the kings of Ireland” held a great council and decided to check him with an alliance of their forces. O’Loughlin was killed in battle in 1166. The south of Ireland then held sway, and Roderick O’Conner became High King. In Dublin, he “was inaugurated king as honorable as any king of the Gaiedhil was ever inaugurated….all the kings of Leath Mhogha (the south of Ireland) came into his house and submitted to him.” He then led his army into Leinster, and Diarmaid MacMurrough submitted to him.
“MacMurrough was at this time, and had been for many years, the best hated King in Ireland. Naturally cruel and tyrannical, the cup of his inequity was filled, in 1152, when he took away Dervorgilla, the lawful wife of Tighearnan Ua Ruairic, King of Breffny and Meath, and lived with her, in open adultery, at his castle in Ferns. [There are two sides to this story.] During the lifetime of his powerful friend and ally, King Muircheartach Ua Lochlainn, MacMurrough had, however, little to fear from his enemies. But no sooner was Ua Lochlainn removed by death, than the day of retribution came.”19 Soon we read that “…the men of Brefney, Meath, and the Danes of Dublin” headed by Tighernan O’Ruairc, marched into Leinster, proceeded to Ferns and demolished Mac Murrough’s castle. Mac Murrough narrowly escaped and fled with a few followers over the Irish Sea. This was in August, 1166.
The Fleet of the Flemings
The iron-willed but aging MacMurrough—now
in his late fifties, but determined to win back his kingdom—sought the help of
King Henry II of England, who referred him to his Norman nobles in Wales. They
smelled the opportunity of a land grab in MacMurrough’s plight. Down on their
luck in Wales anyway, they agreed to help him. Earl Richard de Clare fitzGilbert
(nicknamed Strongbow) was the lead noble, and he assembled a force of
mercenaries to assist Diarmait MacMurrough. It included some “Galls” and some Welch
of Flemish stock, who were simply called “Flemings” in the Annals.20 “The fleet
of the Flemings came from England in the army of Mac Murchadha….They were
seventy heroes dressed in coats of mail.” With this force MacMurrough, in
August 1167, returned to and quickly regained his kingdom of Uí Cinnseallaigh. He then marched into Osraighe. Domhnall’s
men engaged and repulsed the invaders several times, but ultimately the
“seventy heroes dressed in mail” and archers with their deadly Welsh crossbows,
defeated the Osraighe, who had neither. Domnhall Mac Gillaphadraig, after
counsel with his nobles and chiefs, submitted to MacMurrough. MacMurrough
accepted then withdrew from Osraighe, leaving Mac Gillaphadraig still in
possession of his kingdom. “This engagement formed the first introduction of
the ‘fleet of the Flemings’ to the people of Ossory.” Roderick O’Connor, hoping
MacMurrough would be satisfied with what he had retaken, stopped him there, and
forced him to make amends to Tighearnan Ua Ruairic. MacMurrough complied, but then
had to simply lay in wait for almost two years, hoping for the English help
that had been promised by the Norman-Welsh nobles. Tensions between Leinster
and Ossory continued, however. In 1166 King Domnhall took MacMurrough’s son
Enna prisoner, “for criminal intercourse with his wife.” In 1168 Domnhall
blinded him.21 “From this last quotation we can understand the cause of the
hostile relationship…in existence between the royal houses of Diarmaid Mac Murragh,
King of Leinster, and that of the Mac Gillaphadraigs, Kings of Ossory….”22
Then in May 1169, MacMurrough’s help
finally arrived. Robert fitzStephen brought a fleet with a total of 3,000 men—archers,
knights and esquires—into Ireland. MacMurrough with his forces rushed to join them.
Together they quickly took the Norse-Irish town of Wexford; they then advanced upon
Osraighe. After another gallant defense, Domhnall and his men were vanquished.
Especially devastating in open terrain were the crossbows, new technology in
Ireland, “for at this date the Irish had no missile weapon except stones thrown
from slings.”23 MacMurrough, busy with other matters, returned with his
forces to Ferns, and all the other kings of his territory came and submitted to
him. But not Domhnall, who was “the most powerful, as well as the most
irreconcilably hostile, of his tributaries.” Domhnall was defeated but still
unconquered. After the invading forces withdrew, he returned to his castle in Cill Cainnigh. But he would not occupy
it for much longer. In 1170, Strongbow himself came to Ireland.
In the year 1170, on the 24th of August, Richard Fitzgilbert, better known
as Earl Strongbow, with his two hundred knights and eleven hundred esquires,
landed at Waterford harbor. Diarmaid is said to have received the news with
alacrity, and immediately proceeded with his forces which, as a matter of
course, included the “fleet of the Flemings” to welcome the invaders. They
first reduced the city of Waterford, with great cruelty to the inhabitants,
after which Mac Murragh presented the hand of his daughter Aoife, or Eva, to
Strongbow, with the reversion of his kingdom of Leinster to him after his
own death as her marriage dower. But as this reversion in favour of Strongbow could
not be effected till after Mac Murragh’s death, it became necessary to provide
a domestic fortress and territory for the immediate occupation of the earl’s
household and extensive retainers. After the accomplishment of the nuptials Mac
Murragh, attended by the “fleet of the Flemings,” and Strongbow, by his knights
and esquires, undertook the conquest of Leinster….
They first reduced Dublin…Brefney…Clonard…Kells…Meath…Offaly…and lastly they entered Ossory and expatriated Domhnall Mac Donnchadh to Upper Ossory from the fortress and territory of his ancestors, after which they garrisoned the castle of Ossory with the Flemings of Mac Murragh’s army, and, it now being late in the season, Diarmaid returned to Fearns where he died in May of the following year, and the Earl returned to his wife in Waterford till the opening of hostilities in the following spring….24
The two divisions of Osraighe are referred to in new terms beginning around this time, now more than a half-century after the breakup of the old kingdom in 1103. We now find references to “Lower Osraighe,” the area containing the capital, and to “Half Osraighe,” the area of the kingdom to its north. “The territory of ‘Liath Osraighe,’ i.e., Half Osraighe, was also denominated ‘North Osraighe,’ and still later Upper Ossory, and comprised the three baronies in the Queen’s County now called Clandonagh, Clarmallagh, and Upperwoods. The division of Ossory into two principalities or lordships was first made by Diarmaid Mac Cearbhall in the year 911, and from the last quoted passage from the ‘Annals’ it appears that Northern Ossory was governed by a collateral branch of the Gillaphadraig family, but who were subject to the Mac Gillaphadraig or kings of Ossory proper.”25 Centuries later, roughly this same area became known as Upper Ossory . It was even occasionally referred to in the Annals as Slieve Bloom, because the territory abutted the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. The northern kingdom at this time was actually slightly smaller than the three present-day baronies. The MacGillaphádraigs may have pushed the boundaries south somewhat over time. “It may be noted that the border between cantreds of Odogh and Aghaboe does not coincide with the present border between co. Laois (or Queen’s County) and co. Kilkenny. The latter may actually reflect the advance of the McGillapatricks in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.”26 Hogan continues.
Domhnall Duibh was expelled from his ancestral fortress in Lower Ossory late in the year 1170. He retreated to the northern territory of his kingdom, then called “Laith Osraighe,” i.e., Half Ossory, now Upper Ossory, where a branch of his family had been settled for about two hundred years previously. In the year next following that of his retreat from Lower Ossory we read of his making a “clearance” of his newly-acquired estates, evidently to make way for his own tribesmen who had retreated with him from the ancient seat of his authority.
In the “Annals of the Four Masters” we read :—“A.D. 1171. Domhnall Ua Fogarty, lord of South Eilie, was slain by Domhnall, son of Donnchadh, lord of Osraighe, and he made a slaughter of the people of the two Eilies, [in present-day County Offaly] where he slew three hundred persons.”….the slaughter of the clansmen there was clearly an effort on the part of Domhnall Duibh to make way for his own tribesmen—the O’Carrolls, O’Dunphys, and other septs of the Mac Gillaphadraig family [including the tiny sub-sept of the Ó h-Èremón], whose descendants of those names are prominent amongst the population there to the present day. From Domhnall Duibh (Duff), i.e., Black Domhnall, first originated the title of Lissduff, the residence of the Fitzpatrick family in that country to the present day. Here Domhnall Duibh settled down with his relatives in the year 1171 far removed from his ancestral mansion, which had been, for more than a thousand years the dwelling place of his progenitors, and with which and its princely estates passed away the real grade of the Mac Gillaphadraig for ever.27
John Hogan goes on to assert
that MacMurrough’s daughter Eva actually lived at the old castellum in Cill Cainnigh during this time, probably
under the protection of the Flemings. And although Strongbow honored a
commitment to serve King Henry II in France for a while, their two children
were quite likely born there: a daughter Isabella in 1172, and a son Gilbert in
The Annals of the Four Masters record that on 1 May 1171, “Diarmait Mac Murrough, King of Leinster, by whom a trembling sod was made of all Ireland…died…without a will, without penance, without the Body of Christ, without Unction, as his evil deeds deserved.” Earl Strongbow succeeded him to the Lordship of Leinster, which by English thinking included Osraighe. (This succession would never have been recognized under Irish Brehon law, which required a tanist, nor under English common law. Mac Murrough had older children.) Strongbow soon led an army of 2,000 into North Osraighe to exact submission from Domhnall. Domhnall dared not risk a pitched battle with this force, and opted instead for a parley, which was granted. Domhnall submitted to Strongbow.
King Henry II, concerned that the Welsh-Norman nobles were forming a power base in Ireland for possible attack on his kingdom, made an extended visit to Ireland himself, landing at Waterford in October 1171. He stayed for the next six months, spending the winter at Dublin, and made the rounds to the native Irish chiefs, cleverly convincing them and their clergy that he was there—with the approval of the Pope—to protect them from the encroachment of the nobles. He took their submissions and granted their lands back to them. (Strongbow spent much of his time at Kildare, where he held court.) Over those six months almost all the Irish kings, including Domhnall Mac Gillaphadraig, submitted to the English king. Domhnall was re-granted his territory in North Osraighe as a vassal of Earl Strongbow. (Strongbow granted away O’Kealy’s Country and South Osraighe to his followers.) English feudalism had started to replace Irish kingship.
The Destruction of Cill Cainnigh
In 1174 Strongbow, flush with his successes in Leinster, decided to push his luck and joined in with an attacking force headed into the province of Munster. They were led by scouts from Clan Mac Giollapatrick.28 (How things had changed since the death of Áed.) Roderick O’Connor marched from Connaught to oppose him, and the two armies dug in at Thurles (County Tipperary). Strongbow called for reinforcements from Dublin, and they quickly answered the call. They marched to him through Osraighe, even staying overnight in Cill Cainnigh. Donald O’Brien (a descendant of the brother of Aed’s old patron King Muirchertach) advanced from Limerick, joined forces with O’Connor, and Strongbow’s forces were decisively defeated at Thurles. He and his survivors fled to Waterford. Donald O’Brien returned to Limerick to refresh his troops and to plan a revenge on Cill Cainnigh the following year.
In the year 1175 Domhnald O’Brian marched from Limerick into Ossory to chastise Mac Gillaphadraig for his perfidy towards himself, as well as for his general encouragement of the cause of the foreigners. O’Brian directed his march to Kilkenny, which was then a depot for Strongbow’s forces, and garrisoned for that purpose by his foreign adventurers, who were stationed there by Mac Murrough when he banished Mac Gillaphadraig out of this locality in the year 1170….O’Brien…so awed the garrison at Kilkenny that, on receiving intelligence of his approach, they fled panic stricken to Waterford leaving the Castle of Kilkenny without protection or defense….After their departure the town was demolished and the country wasted.
This is the third destruction of Kilkenny recorded to have occurred within less than one century. In the year 1085 the most part of Kilkenny was burned. In A.D.1114 Kilkenny was again consumed by fire ; and now in the year 1175 the town is demolished and the country wasted. What wonder that so little has survived, historical or monumental, to perpetuate the memory of the ancient city?
This last demolition of Kilkenny and the wasting of the country was projected and executed by O’Brian with the object of frustrating the schemes of the invaders who then garrisoned Kilkenny for the consolidation of their military strength in this part of the island, and with that view the assault of O’Brian was an act of deliberate destruction, carried on by design, and in which every structure in the locality—social, civil, and ecclesiastical—was leveled to the ground….The old castle of Ossory was leveled to its foundations, neither domicile, nor streetway, nor boundary, nor landmark escaped the vigilance of the levelers, so that of the ancient Cill Cainnigh, a single edifice—her venerable Cloighteach—alone remains the silent witness of her ruin, the solitary memorial of her existence. Of the fallen city it might be virtually said “Not a stone was left upon another that was not thrown down.
With the fall of Kilkenny passed away every vestige of its previous history, its traditions, its social and civil usages. Domhnall Mac Gillaphadraig now held his secluded court amidst the wilds of Upper Ossory, where he died in 1176, one year after the fall of Kilkenny….
After the fall of Kilkenny…Domhnall O’Brian and his victorious retainers, as a matter of necessity, at once returned to Limerick leaving Kilkenny completely deserted, after which an unbroken silence hung over the city in ruins. The colony of Flemings who had formed its garrison and retreated to Waterford at the advance of O’Brian now returned, and, unopposed, retook possession of their former position on the site of the old fortress here. They at once became masters of the situation and formed a civil organisation for the defense of the locality. To meet the requirements of their new position they extended and fortified the area of their former occupation, and in the execution of such contrivances as were required for their civil inhabitation they laid the foundation of the future city of Kilkenny.29
John Canon O’Hanlon picks up the story at this point: “In 1178, a Cistercian monk, named Felix O’Dullany, who lived in Aghaboe, and who is called Abbot of Ossory, found the city of Kilkenny in ruins, with its ancient church of St. Canice. Having at first fixed the seat of his See in Aghaboe, and in proximity with his own family tribe-lands, he resolved on a restoration of the fallen city, and this he was enabled to effect….with the aid of Earl Mareschal and his Countess Isabella, together with their Norman retainers. He accordingly removed the Episcopal See, it is stated, to the City of Kilkenny, where he laid the foundations of a Cathedral, afterwards dedicating it to the Abbot and Patron St. Canice….He was succeeded…by Hugh Rufus….He granted a great part of the city of Kilkenny to William Marshall the elder, Earl of Pembroke….During the time of Hugh Rufus, in 1210, Kilkenny was made Shire-ground, and Sheriffs with other officers were appointed for it after the English manner.”30
Saint Patrick’s Burial Ground
“The old cemetery now known as ‘St. Patrick’s Churchyard’ was formerly the site of the ancient Parish Church of St. Patrick, in the now obscure suburbs of the city of Kilkenny. The proximity of the site of this ancient church to the castle of Kilkenny, which occupies the site of the ancient fortress of Ossory, clearly implies the original connection of that church with this establishment….The ancient city of Ossory, or Kilkenny, consisted of four distinct baili or Celtic hamlets, respectively denominated Cill-Cainnigh, Donoughmore, Tempul-na-Maul, and Tempul-na-Rioc or Kil-Rioc….These parishes remained attached to their respective churches till William Earl Mareschal and Bishop de Rous disturbed the ancient topography of the city. [c. 1202] They suppressed St. Rioc’s Church, and subdivided his parish between St. Mary’s, St. Patrick’s, and St. Canice’s, as they are at the present time .”31 This was probably established when the church was built by the happy King Donnachadh I, Romhor, in the tenth century, and might have become the preferred final resting place for the elite of Donnchadh’s tuath. This leads us to an interesting speculation. If Aed’s family were indeed of the noble grade—a distinct possibility considering the fact that he became Bishop of Kildare—then perhaps some of them received the privilege of burial in this very cemetery. They and others of Clann Mac Gilla Phádraig may still be there to this day!
The Earl of Pembroke, Richard de
Clare fitzGilbert, nicknamed “Strongbow,” first Lord of Leinster, was appointed
custos (chief governor) of the
fledgling colony in Ireland. He had started the process of converting his
Leinster from a loosely bound dynastic kingdom into a tightly organized feudal
lordship, accepting the submissions and taking hostages from three kings of
Laois: Mac Gillapatrick, O’Dempsey and O’More. But since, as custos, he had many scattered military
obligations, “It seems highly unlikely that extensive settlement had actually
taken place in western Leinster before he died in May 1176.” That was about to
change. His son Gilbert inherited his demesne, but died still a minor in 1185. So
Gilbert’s older sister, Isabella, inherited Leinster, including Osraighe. And,
despite the partial evacuation begun in 1171, many of Clann Mac Gillapatrick must
have still made their residence in Tuaisceart Osraighe.
King Domhnall Mac Gillapatrick also died in 1185, and his son Maelseachlainn became king. Isabella, a ward of King Henry II, was given in marriage in 1189 to William Mareschal, “the greatest knight in Christendom,” who then became the second Lord of Leinster. Maelseachlainn died in 1193, but before he died he was forced to witness the expulsion of the last remaining members of Clann Mac Giollapatrick from the lower kingdom. Those who had not already moved with their king circa 1171 were forced to relocate to “Half Osraighe,” the area of the northern kingdom.
On the death of King Maelseachlainn, or, more probably, a year or two
before it, the right of the Mac Gillapatricks to hold the Kingdom of Tuaisceart
Osraighe, even as vassals, was declared to have been forfeited, by their Norman
over-lord, and a general sentence of eviction from their native territory was
passed against the whole Mac Gillapatrick clan. The circumstances that led up
to these drastic measures are not far to seek. Isabella, the daughter and heir
of Earl Strongbow and Eva MacMurrough, was but a child of five years old at the
death of her father in 1176. During the next thirteen years, while she was a
ward of King Henry II, English influence had very little sway in Ossory,
because its Kings, though Isabella’s vassals, were too powerful to be
interfered with by the invaders.
A new state of things, however, soon arose. In 1189, Isabella was given in marriage to the first and most powerful of English nobles, William Marshall the elder, Earl of Pembroke. In right of his wife the Earl became entitled to the Lordship of Leinster, which consisted of the counties of Wexford, Carlow and Kildare, all Ossory, and Dunamise, i.e., Leix. In 1191, two years after his marriage, he was appointed to the chief governorship of Ireland, under the title of Lord Justice ; and during this first term of his retention of that office, one of his chief concerns would naturally be to establish and strengthen his dominion over the extensive Irish possessions, to which he had become entitled.
The MacGilpatricks, it must be remembered, were the bitterest foes of his wife Isabella’s, house. Their territory was the fairest in the Lordship of Leinster ; it was also the border-land of his possessions, and if occupied by a disloyal people, who made common cause with their Irish neighbours in Munster, might one day shake off his yoke. He, therefore, passed against the Mac Gillapatricks the decree of expulsion from their native district, which he now determined to parcel out among his needy English friends and followers. The date of this expulsion may be fixed at 1192, in which year, according to the Dublin Copy of the Annals of Innsfallen, a castle was erected at Kilkenny by the English, that is, by Earl Marshall, who at this period must have erected castles in Ossory for the protection of his new planters.
In their flight from their own land, the Mac Gillapatricks and such of their sub-tribes as shared their banishment [including the sub-sept of Ó h-Èremón], turned to the north, to seek other lands among their kinsmen, in the district of Magh Lacha and Ui Foircheallain, to be known henceforth as Upper Ossory. Twenty years before, Magh Lacha had been granted by Strongbow to Adam de Hereford ; and a similar grant of Ui Foircheallain must have been made by him to other followers, about the same time. The new grantees entered at once on possession of the confiscated lands, and they did so in no half-hearted manner. They erected strong fortresses at Aghaboe, Castletown, and elsewhere, to keep the natives in check….It cannot be expected that the old tribes looked on with indifference while their chiefs were being set aside, their own lands appropriated by strangers, and many of themselves reduced to beggary ; and hence there can be no doubt that at this period Upper Ossory was in a ferment of confusion, disturbance, and agrarian outrage.
It was whilst thus torn with bitterness and strife that this district was made choice of the MacGillapatricks for their new home. History throws no light on the circumstances attending their first settlement in Upper Ossory, nor on the manner in which they were received there. Probably their coming was almost as unwelcome to the native clans as to the English settlers ; it certainly added a new and powerful element of strife to those already existent, and reduced Upper Ossory to a state of utter chaos….
The land war in Upper Ossory continued for more than a century and a half…and only ceased in the second half of the fourteenth century, when the Mac Gillapatricks expelled the last of the English settlers, brought the O’Phelans and O’Delanys into subjection, and established their undisputed sway over the whole district lying between the Co. Kilkenny and the Slieve Bloom.32
The Price of Progress
William Marshall himself, trying too hard to save his demesne in Normandy, fell into disfavor with King John and was forced into exile in Ireland in 1206. It was a blessing in disguise for him. He had a keen business sense but was quite ruthless, and he realized that his lordship of Leinster was underutilized and had great potential for grain production. By reason of its climate and soil it was ideal for the new European agricultural revolution: spring and winter seed sowing, and a three-field rotation producing wheat, oats, beans and peas. The Gaelic Irish economy depended mainly on cattle-grazing, thus to his way of thinking they were obviously unsuitable for implementing the new techniques. They were an obstruction to progress. It was necessary therefore, as Marshal (known as “the Marshal”) and his colleagues saw it, to be rid of the Gaelic Irish then living on their estates and to import peasants from England and Wales. This was a radical change from the policy of King John and his predecessor King Henry II, as well as the early settlers. They all had tried to insure that the two classes of Irish who cultivated the soil (the free and the betaghs), although displaced by warfare, would return to their lands. Marshall and his colleagues acted not on racial or political grounds, but on a purely impersonal calculation of their economic returns. So although the Mac Gillapatricks lost their homeland of a thousand years and were forced to relocate to less desirable land to the north, it was simply the price of progress. “And it paid rich dividends to Marshal and his successors in the lordship of Leinster.” It more than made up for his losses in Normandy.
The Marshall is also responsible for establishing the town of New Ross on the River Barrow, which was to become one of the greatest ports of thirteenth century Ireland, holding first place in the wool trade for a while. (Did the family of John Arvine emigrate from New Ross to King’s Stanley, Gloucestershire, England, in the sixteenth century, prior to his christening there in 1589? Did Thomas Arvin emigrate from New Ross to Annapolis in America in 1745?) The Marshall’s achievement was symbolized by the creation of not just a town but of a new deep-water port for the south of Leinster (bypassing King John’s royal port of Waterford.) It quickly overshadowed Wexford as a trade center, and even displaced Waterford, despite the many concessions granted to that town by King John and his successors. Its strength was the hinterland linked to it. Large numbers of English and Welsh tenants were introduced, and satellite towns sprang up in Kildare, Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford, looking to Kilkenny as the capital and New Ross as the port. With this urbanization came a thriving commercial life, which meant income for Marshall and revenue for the crown.
Meath was undergoing a similar process, and whole areas of Munster were developing also. The immediate beneficiaries were the Anglo-Norman barons, and King John was in no position to resist their policy since he needed their support to survive in England. He was forced to agree to Magna Carta in June 1215. William the Marshal, now back in his own ascendancy, was by his side on this occasion. He remained as John’s chief counselor until he died in October 1216, at which time the Marshal became regent of England. Magna Carta was issued on 12 November 1216 and transmitted to Ireland. Thus the rights of the barons in Ireland were rendered secure. Not so the rights of the Irish. In January 1217 Marshal sent an order in the king’s name from Oxford directing the justiciar to see that no Irishman was to be elected or promoted to any cathedral church in Ireland, since “our land of Ireland” could be disturbed by such an appointment. Another more formal directive to the justiciar was to use every means in his power to ensure the election and promotion of the king’s clerks and of other worth English clerks when each vacancy arose, measures necessary for the welfare of the king and his realm. When Pope Honorarius III heard about this abuse he immediately put an end to it, firing his papal legate in Ireland and appointing a new one.33
Terra Guerre, Terra Pacis
The history of the colony of Ireland in the era that followed can be divided into three distinct phases, each with its own themes and perspectives. The first phase, “which could be called the ‘conquest stage,’ was largely complete by the death of King John in 1216. The second phase, which coincided roughly with the reign of King Henry III from 1216 to 1272, was an era of stability, peace and prosperity. In fact, this period can be viewed as the apogee of Anglo-Norman lordship in the midlands. However, the final phase is of a markedly different character. The late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries were dominated by a sense of impending crisis for the colony. In the main, this was due to the native response to the challenge posed by Anglo-Norman domination, a response which became increasingly militarised during the reign of Edward I and which is frequently cited by historians as a prime example of the phenomenon known as the Gaelic revival, or resurgence.”34
“It is important to remember
that when the English used the work ‘peace’ they did not employ it as an
alternative for ‘harmony,’ but rather as a substitute for ‘control.’ It was for
this reason that areas settled by the newcomers, no matter how prone to
internal violent conflict, could be described as being in ‘the land of peace’
while even the most peaceful native lordship, so long as it remained free of
English power was labeled ‘the land of war.’35
These were prosperous times for the English. Not so the Irish. “There is abundant evidence that, for a hundred years or so after the invasion, the colonists, who came in great force, overpowered the natives of Leinster and Munster, took possession of the fertile plains, and drove the aborigines into waste places.”36
William the Marshal and Isabella had a large family, but their sons produced no heirs, and his line was doomed to extinction. In 1247, Leinster was painstakingly partitioned amongst the Marshal daughters, or more accurately amongst their heirs. These were the manorial estates of Wexford, Carlow, Kildare, Dunamase and Kilkenny (including Upper Ossory.) From this point forward, Laois was in the hands of absentees. Each had its own administrative system and a seneschal (a steward with the responsibility of maintenance and defense of the manor.) But the Mac Giolla Phadráigs refused to accept this circumstance. We read, in the Annals of Clonmacnoise, of the death of the grandson of the chief:
A.D. 1249. Donnagh mac Anmchy macDonnogh MacGillepatrick, the best head of a companie that ever descended of Osserie, of the race of Colman macBrickne Keigh, or Scanlon macKynfoyle doune, for manhood, vallour and bounty, was killed by the Englishmen of the fforge, as he deserved of the English divers times before, for he killed, preyed and burnt many an Englishman before that day. Donnogh was the third Irishman [in point of distinction] that warred against the Englishmen after their first looting of their land….37
Prosperity, Then Poverty
A sort of tentative prosperity was gradually building within the colony. An example was the appearance of a prosperous “new town of Leys” with 127 burgesses among its residents. But the death of the Lord of Offaly in 1268 and a famine in 1271 triggered a confrontation between the colony and the native Irish. Thomas de Clare mounted a campaign against the “enemies” in the Slieve Bloom Mountains (presumably the Mac Gillapatricks.) The Mac Gillapatrick leader, Geoffrey Bacach (Lame) was killed in 1269. Some land in the colony is described as now worth nothing “because of the war of the Irish.” In 1284 the Irish managed to burn Lea castle, caput of the Geraldine lordship of Offaly. The hostility of the Mac Gillapatricks to the colony appears to have continued, as the Seneschal of Kilkenny was required to account for a fine which was owed by the Irish of Slieve Bloom in exchange for having the king’s peace. And, “…as the thirteenth century progressed and English common law became more rigid, Irish lords who did not enjoy the right to use that law came to be seen as inherently inimical to English rule. Because they were Irish they could not use English law and because they did not use English law they were felons.”38
War continued in the summer of
de Stanford, Archbishop of Dublin and the justiciary (chief administrator of
the colony of Ireland) was forced to intercede from Dublin on an unprecedented
scale, calling the entire feudal host of Leinster into a massive defensive
system. There was a full scale 12-day campaign in the fall of 1289.39
“In the month of September, 1289, as the Irish were still unsubdued, the
Justiciary summoned all the loyal men of the Pale to meet him at ‘Butavaunt’ in
Leix, and from thence proceeded to so harass and destroy the native
territories, that by the end of the year, the enemy submitted and came to the
King’s peace.”40 Stanford’s report hastily concluded that “the
Irish as well of Offaly as of Laois came into the king’s peace and were never
hostile again.” But this proved to be a little too optimistic.
In 1294 there was a great storm which destroyed the corn, “so that many people perished from hunger.” And despite John de Stanford’s efforts, within five years the region was again engulfed in turmoil. By then signs of the seriousness of the problem began to emerge. The colonists were going to have to make a major effort to restore order in the region if the settlements of Laois were to survive. And a man named John Wogan came to Ireland to become the justiciar in 1295.
Settlers and Private Armies
“Manorial records of the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries leave no doubt that the Anglo-Norman ‘conquest’ of Ireland was backed up by a movement of settlers from England and Wales. The thirteenth century was a time of increasing population in England, and local land and food shortages in particular years may have tempted people to move, especially when the attraction of improved social status was held out to them. The arrival in Ireland of new settlers, and the consequent expansion of old settlements and growth of new ones, should be seen as a local manifestation of trends general to western Europe at the time. Unfortunately we know nothing of how the settlers were impressed or recruited, nor of the ways and means by which they came to Ireland….Even by 1300, when records appear to show a predominance of settlers of English and Welsh origin on many manors, we do not know how their numbers related to the native population. It is likely that the displaced Gaelic Irish were still in the majority except in the most intensively settled Anglo-Irish areas of the south-east, in Dublin and Meath, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, south Wexford, and south Tipperary….but there were local concentrations of Gaelic Irish, most of them betaghs, on almost every manor. Despite some mixing, even by 1300 the incomers must still have been thought of as foreigners, separated by differences of language, custom, and social status from the indigenous population.41
“Conditions in Ireland from the time of
the invasion made private armies a normal feature of private life. Alliances
with cooperative Gaelic lords also provided many a feudatory with armed
men….John fitz Thomas of Offaly…was at that time was building up his military
strength…he and Peter de Bermingham mutually sealed an indenture….The factions
thus formed were to be a permanent threat to the peace.”
Áed O’Conchobair, King of Connacht, was taken prisoner by fitz Thomas, his followers killed and cattle seized. He was eventually restored, but soon provoked a war against fitz Thomas. Ulster was also engulfed in the disturbance. At one point fitz Thomas was responsible for “the robbery of the town and castle of Kildare.” Later fitz Thomas, acting in concert with the Irish, seized the earl of Ulster and held him in the castle of Lea. “The annals state starkly, ‘This led to confusion throughout Ireland.’….No wonder that the record of the eyre of Kildare in 1297 represents jurors in Kildare and Offaly recalling this period as ‘the time of disturbance,’ or even more starkly as ‘the disturbance.’ This eyre revealed a terrible, indeed frightening, situation in the midlands, where lawlessness was rampant and all control seemed to be gone. Fitz Thomas and his followers went on a rampage, terrified the people, and virtually held the country to ransom. Crime of every kind increased enormously….[Newly appointed justiciar John Wogan finally got the two sides to agree to a settlement, and even to provide troops who served together in Scotland in the campaign of 1298.]
“Fitz Thomas clearly emerged as a ruthless man, determined to augment his power and influence at almost any cost. He certainly was largely responsible for ‘the time of disturbance’ in the midlands and encouraged many Irish to attack English settlements in order to hurt his enemy de Vesci. This was conducive to disorder at a time when the stability of the lordship was being undermined. The gradual increase in lawlessness, which is a marked feature of the second half of the thirteenth century, is an index of the failure of the Irish administration to cope with the problems of lordship.”42
“The trouble was triggered by fitz
Thomas’s impetuous behavior as he engaged in an intense power struggle with the
greatest magnate in Ireland, Richard de Burgh, earl of Ulster, which was
sparked by their competing claims to dominate Connacht. Notoriously, on or
around 11 December 1294, the earl of Ulster was captured and incarcerated in
fitz Thomas’s castle of Lea. De Burgh was held in captivity for a total of
three months before being released on 12 March 1295. Not surprisingly, both the
Irish and the Anglo-Irish annals note that the entire island was thrown into a
state of ‘confusion’ or ‘disturbance’ as a result. It is clear that disorder
and violent acts were widespread throughout Ireland.”43
“Mainly owing to the widespread disturbances caused by John fitz Thomas, the ‘Irish enemies’ in the 1290s were a sore threat to the peace of Kildare, Leix, and Offaly. So much was revealed at the great 1297 eyre of Kildare, with communities at the mercy of rampaging Irish. During the eyre juries in different places regularly referred to Offaly as a distinct ‘land of war’ (terra guerre), a place of refuge form the land of peace, so that criminals who flee there cannot be distrained. Already the land of peace had greatly contracted. In 1297 the abbot of the Cistercian abbey of Monasterevin, on the banks of the Barrow in County Kildare, was pardoned for receiving Irish felons of Offaly, because, the jurors said, ‘his house is situated in the marches outside the land of peace’ and he did not willingly receive them…..
“Between July 1297 and April 1298, John Wogan held an eyre, an administrative instrument which somewhat resembled a parliament-in-miniature, in Kildare.” This was done to implement part of a statute passed by the parliament in Dublin in 1297: to set up Kildare as an independent county.44 “In 1297 Wogan summoned his famous parliament to deal with the problem, promulgating a series of ordinances ‘to establish the peace more firmly.’”45
Áed’s Descendants: the Lost Generations
As stated previously, not many records exist which reveal the presence of Áed’s descendants—those who lived in the span of time between his death and the emergence of modern Ireland. But there are a few whom we can document who may be descended from Áed or his immediate family. Here is what we know about them. Unfortunately these dots cannot be connected or placed into a unified pedigree. But they don’t have to. Each one stands on its own, each a fascinating glimpse of a particular point in time in this vast sweep of time in Irish history.
The war of the “Gaelic resurgence” was growing stronger. Now in 1297 we find, for the first time, written records of some possible descendants of Áed’s family, the sub-sept of the O’h-Èremón. As you might guess, they are records from a court proceeding. John OHyrwin, Douenald Ohirwyn, Moriertagh Ohaurin and several others are accused of the murder of Walter Sweyn, sergeant of the King. Court was held in Kildare to assess the evidence. The Cantred of Offaly, in which the City of Kildare rested, was part of the liberty of Kildare. Sweyn may have been in the Offaly to serve writs when he was murdered; presumably this is where the crime was committed. Offaly was the name of Irish tribal land which lay a short horseback ride to the north of “MacGiollaPhadráig’s Country.” The sheriff and his serjeants had dangerous occupations, but they were well compensated for the risks they took.
year the sheriff made his tourn of the liberty, holding court in the principal
towns and manors. He wore his lord’s livery and received an annual fee of £10.
He was assisted in his duties by a fairly large staff which included the chief
serjeant of the liberty.
The chief serjeant received no fee. On the contrary, he paid £13 6s. 8d. a year for the right to hold the office. It was, however, a profitable position and afforded the holder many opportunities to enrich himself through irregular activities….
The chief serjeant, assisted by his sub-serjeants, usually took over from the sheriff such routine duties as serving writs, choosing juries, levying fees, collecting fines and amercements, making distraints, etc. The legal and proper emoluments of the office are not clearly set forth. It is clear, however, that it was a position which lent itself admirably to extortion and bribery of every sort. A serjeant could supplement his rightful income by such irregularities of distrained goods for his own use, accepting payments form those wishing to avoid jury duty, and suppressing writs inimical to his own interests….
The office could be a dangerous one on occasions, especially when the serjeant’s duties took him to the border areas where the Irish were strong. In 1302 serjeant of Kilkenny was sent to levy a debt on the border of that liberty. The seneschal deemed it wise to raise a relatively large and well armed force to accompany him….46
Here is an abstract of the proceedings
which the clerks made from their hand-written notes. Court was held at Kildare on
21 July 1297. The defendants were apparently tried in absentsia.
PLEAS OF THE CROWN–KILDARE.
CANTRED OF OFFALY, WITH THE CITY
OF KILDARE, COMES BY
The jurors present that:
John OHyrwin, Douenald Ohirwyn, Moriertagh Ohaurin, Roger le
Rede, Maur. Ker, M’gillemol Odoyng, Neuoc Inyn Oconoyl, and
Eddous her son, by the abetting of Agnes, widow of John Moy, slew
Walter Sweyn, serjeant of the King, in Neuok’s house ;and after the
felony drove Neuok’s cows and carried her other goods to the house of
John le Bond, and kept them until she sent for them. And Agnes
took Neuok to the church and concealed her in a chest, until the Irish
came on the morrow with a force, and took her away. John Ohyrwyn
and the others outlawed ; Agnes and Neuok waived. Neuok’s chattels
3s. 9d., of which Gilbert de Sutton, sheriff of Kildare, will answer.
91. EXTENT OF THE MANOR OF DONKERYN [KING 'S CO.].
11 August, 1305.
Manerii de Donkeryn facta super Compotum T.
Marescalli receptoris ibidem die Martis proximo ante Assump-
cionem Beate Marie Virginis anno Edwardi xxxiijo per subscriptos
. . .
. . .
Redditus De Loryn O Trynyn pro
xxiiij acris per ann. xvjs.
ville. De Condyn O Donan pro xxiiij acris per ann. xvjs.
De Petro O Resith pro x acris per ann. vjds. viijd.
. . .
. . .
. . .
De Donewith Oherewen pro x acris per ann. vjs. viiijd.
De Johanne clerico pro iiij acris et dim. per ann. iijs.
De Thoma aucupe pro xxiij acris j estag. per ann, xiiijs. xd.
. . .
. . .
Summa viili. xixs.
PLEAS OF THE CROWN.
YET OF PLEAS OF THE CROWN AND DELIVERY OF GAOL AT DUBLIN,
BEFORE JOHN WOGAN, JUSTICIAR OF IRELAND, ON TUESDAY THE
MORROW OF S. LUCIA, a.r. xxxiiii.
The sheriff was commanded to take Will. Otyr of Kylsthegham,
Agnes his sister, Simon Bek, Robert Bek [many others named]
. . . Ric. Mcrink, Thomas O Hirwen, Dufloran Mcmol, . . Collekas
Olestan, Ric. Mcyoghy Otothel, Will. Lissebon, Thomas the tailor
(cissor) of Staghgonyld, [several more named]. . . , charged with
And the Sheriff now returns that they are not found. And the
Jurors testify that they are suspected, and that they fled. Let their
chattels be confiscated for flight. And let them be outlawed.
…the strenuous attempts made by [John] fitzThomas and the government to restore order in Laois were demonstrable failures. Despite their best efforts, the Irish dynasties continued to pose an almost permanent security threat. Thus, in 1307 the Irish of Offaly burned the vill of Lea and actually besieged the castle, forcing fitzThomas and Edmund Butler to mount a relieving expedition. Further south, the MacGillaPatricks were behaving in a similar fashion. For example, by 1306, the administration was obliged to maintain a garrison costing £40 per annum at the castle of Offerlane, “which lies in a strong march,” while the lands of the manor “lie waste on account of the war of the Irish.” Against this difficult background, the government attempted to curb the problem by adopting desperate expedients. Most notoriously, in 1305 it sanctioned the murder of nearly thirty O’Connor Falys at the hands of Piers de Bermingham in his castle at Carbury in county Kildare. Perhaps the most significant point to be made about this drastic effort to persuade the Irish of Laois to return to their former loyalties is that it was completely unsuccessful and, not altogether surprisingly, had in fact quite the opposite effect, of inflaming the entire region.54
A new era
in Anglo-Irish relations had been inaugurated. Chief governors could bargain
before taking up office, control from England weakened, and most important of
all the English taxpayer was beginning to accept responsibility for the cost of
maintaining the king’s peace in Ireland. A new pattern was emerging in Ireland,
too, in which the Dublin government counted for less than the powerful local
lord in many parts of the lordship. Already this tendency to focus governmental
attention on what later became known as the four loyal counties in the east was
manifest. And as the process of assimilation to the Gaelic way of life
continued, many of the Anglo-Irish lordships were becoming hardly
distinguishable from those by Gaelic lords. The settlers in many places had
already been swallowed up or displaced. In the west, especially, gaelicisation
The success of the Gaelic revival was evident on many levels. It had gained a momentum of its own now and was impossible to check in the old way by employing brute force, treachery, and exclusion….
There is one event which perhaps can be taken to symbolize the success of the Gaelic revival and which shows how much Ireland had changed in a couple of generations. In 1328 “the Irish of Leinster came together and made a certain king, that is Donal son of Art MacMurrough. Who, when he had been made king, ordered that his banner should be placed within two miles of Dublin and afterwards to travel throughout all the lands of Ireland.” This was the first inauguration of its kind in Leinster since the twelfth century and it marks a significant advance in the revival of old Irish institutions.55 By April of 1329, the O’Brennans and MacGilpatricks were burning and raiding in Kilkenny.
Growing ever stronger against the English in the mid-fourteenth century, the Mac Giolla Phádraigs began to extend the boundaries of their territory, Upper Ossory, to the south. “As regarded their relations with the crown of England, the bitter enmities of the great Irish chiefs, and their stern, haughty spirit of independence, were never stronger….The ancestors of those Leix and Offaly chiefs succeeded some centuries previously in recovering their ancient clansmen’s territories. This knowledge fired the courage of a warlike race, that held these lands by the sword. It even led to the dangerous experiment of opposing King Henry VIII. in the field. When Lord Offaly, son of the Viceroy Kildare, rashly threw off his allegiance, and revolted, the O’Moores and O’Conors became his active abettors. But, the Geraldines were quickly put down, their leaders were executed, and their lands confiscated. Their allies, however, the denizens of the wilds and woods of Leix and Offaly, would not allow the new lessees and farmers of the Geraldine estates to till, sow, and reap in peace. This struggle, as to whether the lands should be for the Irish or the English was a protracted one. It lasted fully sixty years, and it was contested with remarkable pertinacity on both sides.56
The English stronghold of Aghaboe fell to the Mac Giolla Phádraigs in 1346. Most of the town was burned in the ferocious assault. The Annals of the Four Masters (written from the English perspective) record, “Item, on Friday the 13th May, Dermot MacGilpatrick, the one-eyed, ever noted for treachery and treasons, making light of perjury, and aided by O’Carroll, burned the town of Athebo, and venting his parricidal rage against the cemetery, the church, and the shrine of that most holy man, St Canice, the Abbot, consumed them, together with the bones and relics, by a most cruel fire.”
A new Justiciar, Thomas Rokeby, took charge in 1349. “He found the country still greatly disturbed.…and Clyn says ‘all the Irish of Leinster universally put themselves at war against the English and the men of peace, burning, spoiling and killing whom they could.’ O’More, O’Connor Faly and O’Dempsey destroyed Lea and other castles; MacGilpatrick burnt the town of Aghabo; in June the Irish of Ulster killed several hundred of the English in Louth….the defense of Leinster seems to have been entrusted to the local authorities, not without success: at least Clyn tells us that the sheriff of Kilkenny ‘took a great prey upon Carwyl McGillepatricke and upon his men.’”57
The Memorandum Rolls of Edward III for 1355 state that in January of that year, “the McGilpatricks, Irish felons and enemies of our Lord the King, waged war against the Castle of Aghbo, invaded all the adjoining country, perpetrating plunderings, injuries and burnings daily on the people of our lord the King there.”58
Within a few years the English resorted to hiring the services of certain Irish clans in attempts to control the others. “1359, June 8. A mandate was issued to Thomas de Quykeshull, clerk, to pay to McGilpatrick £10 for his services against the Irish of Leinster. But, notwithstanding this generosity on the part of the Crown, the MacGillapatricks could not be persuaded to look with anything but disfavor on the English of Aghaboe, and hence, about this period, they expelled the latter from Aghaboe altogether, and annexed their lands to their other possessions in Upper Ossory. It was probably at this period, too, that the MacGillapatricks succeeded in gaining possession of the strong castle of Castletown-Ui-Foirchellain.” By 1382, the Mac Giolla Phadráigs were in such total control of the area that they Fineen MacGillapatrick, “Prince or Lord of Upper Ossory,” founded the Abbey of Aghaboe for friars of the Dominican Order.59
Virtual anarchy continued for another half
century. “A.D.1441, July 1st, an. 20 Henry VI. The King grants 100 shillings to
the sovereign, provost citizens of Kilkenny, for the losses and expenses
incurred by them in resisting the Irish enemies and English rebels, and
especially in breaking the castle of McKilpatryk” A.D. 1443. The King of Upper
Ossory, Mac Gillapatrick’s two sons, “Fingin MacGillyPatrick and Dermot
MacGillePatrick…were both murdered in Kilkenny by Mac Richard Butler’s
direction….Fingin was beaten to death and afterwards Richard Butler’s sonn
cruelly ransacked Ossory….Another preying party was made by Mac Gille-Patrick
King of Ossory…and the mac mac [grandson] of Piers Butler was killed and
two or three of the murtherers that ha[d] beaten Fingin MacGillePatrick.”60
1460: “The Public Revenue at the Seat of Government was very low, because the
whole Kingdom was in possession of the Irish at this time, except the Pale, and
some few places on the sea-coast of Ulster ; and even those parts were so far from
being quiet, that the colonists were fain to buy their peace by yearly pensions
to the native chiefs, and to pay tribute and contributions to them for
protection.”61 1477: “A great war broke out between the English of Meath and
the English of Leinster….Ireland could only be ruled in Ireland, in spite of all
the efforts made to govern it from England”62 As the English control over
the colony reached its lowest point, at the dawn of the sixteenth century, King
Henry VIII ascended to the throne of England.
Again we find a possible descendant of Aed Ó hÈireamhóin. In 1523, Jamys McInheryne (James MacInney-herin, e.g. son of the daughter of Herin, “a base Leinster name”) is found listed in the Earl of Kildare’s Rental Book. He lived in “Leys, O’More’s Countre,” which was either the cantred of Leys across the Barrow River from County Kildare, or perhaps a small Gaelic village called Leys. It might even have been a remnant of the “Newtown of Leys,” which had been an English settlement centuries before. Newtown had long since been made untenable because of Irish raids during the Gaelic resurgence. The exact location of the English “Newtown of Leys” is now lost.
McInheryne agreed to provide 8 gallons of honey to Garret Óg, Ninth Earl of Kildare, annually on Michaelmas (29 September). Ironically, this was in order to obtain the Earl’s “protection” from raids. This Earl of Kildare was operating, in effect, like an Irish chieftan himself, extorting “black rent” from the Irish as the Irish had been accused of doing to the English settlers in earlier times.63 O’More’s Country was the territory of a Gaelic border sept located “beyond the Pale” in present day County Laois [LEE-ish]. Honey was an essential sweetener in the days before sugar was known; McInheryne must have had an extensive beekeeping operation.
William Ro O’Dempsey was the receiver. The receivers worked for the treasurer, the counterpart of the English exchequer, in a given liberty. His accounting was done on a tapetum, the checkered cloth used in medieval accounting from which the term exchequer is supposed to derive. “The lands of the liberty were extensive and far-flung and collections from relatively distant areas were facilitated by the appointment of receivers (usually some resident official) in those areas.”64
“In January, 1523, Gerald, ninth Earl of
Kildare, returned to Dublin, and obtained permission from the Lord Deputy, the
Earl of Ormonde to invade the territory of Leix. In this expedition he was
accompanied by the Mayor and several of the Dublin citizens. They marched into
that country and burned several villages. However, they were surprised in an
ambuscade, where they lost several men, and retreated with much difficulty to
Another possible Ó hÈireamhóin descendant is Brian Oheryn, who is found at Balkingglas (Baltinglass) in 1540. He is among the 14 “true and lawful men of the neighborhood” who served as jurors (appraisers) to an extent (a survey) of the Abbey of Baltinglass on 29 November 1540. King Henry VIII had ordered the dissolution of the monasteries in Ireland.
“Kildare’s second most valuable monastery was the Cistercian abbey at Baltinglass. Situated on the shifting border between southeast Kildare and west Wicklow, the abbey is variously referred to as being in Kildare and Wicklow in contemporary accounts. Because of its location...the abbey was open to frequent attacks from neighbouring Gaelic septs. As a result of its strategic location, Baltinglass Abbey was nominated for suppression in the second commission for the dissolution of religious houses issued in May 1536. At a parliamentary session held in October 1537 it was enacted that possession of the sites and properties of the abbey be assumed by the crown….The monastic estate was largely wasted and left unoccupied from the time of its dissolution in May 1537 as a result of the war waged by Terence O’Toole, MacMurrough and their adherents.
“The 1540 extents jurors described the abbey buildings as in need of repair but necessary for the defense of the inhabitants and their goods.”66 The extent valued the abbey at 18.s. 8.d. Brian was probably a tenant on the property looking out for his own interests, since the value of the property would be a baseline for future rental rates.67 “Jurors were drawn principally from the local population and their presumed willingness to serve suggests either pragmatism or opportunism.”68 The ruins of the Abbey, founded by Diarmait MacMurrough, King of Leinster, in 1148, and appraised by Brian Oheryn almost 500 years ago, still stand today.
Coign and Livery
“The practice of quartering armies on the local countryside had long been a feature of Gaelic Irish areas, where local lords claimed a traditional entitlement to this method of supporting their forces. The adoption and adaptation of this system by Anglo-Irish lords led to widespread condemnation of it under the general title of ‘coyne and livery’….Under its operation soldiers would exact food and lodging and, in some instances, wages from the local population….The use of such exactions to maintain private armies was already creating difficulties for many of the colonists.”69
Coign and livery could only work effectively when political conditions were stable. In the past the Kilkenny community had agreed to provide food and lodging for soldiers and stabling for their horses when the force required for local defense was fixed with their consent. From the late 1540s, however, attempts by military commanders to raise the number of troops in response to changing circumstances threw the system into disarray….and captains took on extra men despite local disapproval, so that coign and livery became the subject of scandal….
The wave of pardons issued by the government between 1547 and 1552 allow us to identify the geographic nature of the coign and livery problem. Hundreds of soldiers…received general pardons so that they could evade prosecution for their offenses….this suggests it was the landlords of the borderlands who lay behind the crisis, hiring more and more soldiers to protect or extend their lands and letting them forage far and wide for their maintenance money….the tax necessary to support large garrisons in each [borderland] would never be acceptable to the majority of the county population who lived in the midland bowl. Thus the local borderlords had recourse to illegitimate means of military maintenance, and they bastardized coign and livery, employing a whole range of illegal and repressive methods to pay for their forces.
The cheapest option was to let the soldiers forage for themselves. A number of commanders encouraged their men to boost their earnings through protection rackets, intimidation, theft and murder. In 1552/3 a woman refugee fleeing the Laois plantation was caught on the highway leading into Co. Kilkenny and “spoiled of all, [stripped] to her very petticoat” by her assailants, kerne employed by Viscount Mountgarret and the baron of Upper Ossory. It is significant that her attackers put her four servants to the sword….The level of bloodshed – murders and “accidental killings” – that occurred in the mid-Tudor period was quite unprecedented.70
Reinvention: Brian MacGillaphádraig
As Early Modern Ireland was emerging, the MacGiollapadraigs were perceptive enough to realize that the political winds were changing. And the actions taken by their clan leader, Brian, helped sound the death toll on the political ascendancy of the Kildare Fitzgeralds. “The defection of the MacGiollapadráigs and the loss of Upper Ossory played no small part in the lead-up to one of the great watersheds of Irish history, as it helped to drive the Kildare Fitzgeralds to the brink of self-destruction in the revolt of 1534 – a revolt which every schoolchild is taught, laid the foundations for the English reconquest of Ireland and the age of plantation. For once, events in Upper Ossory mattered.” Brian MacGiollapadráig turned over his younger brother Dermot to Earl Piers Butler, the earl of Ossory and head of the powerful opponents of the MacGiollapádraigs, because Dermot had murdered Butler’s son. Dermot was held “in fetters and never heard from again. This drastic action shows how far he [Brian] was willing to go to insure the survival of his clan.…the MacGiollapádraigs consciously reinvented themselves, becoming one of the first Gaelic clans to accept the re-emergence of English power in Ireland during the reign of Henry VIII.”71
As the English royal government
demonstrated its determination to cut the Fitzgeralds down to size and to
promote the Butlers at their expense, Brian realized it was time to cut a deal
with the rising Butler star. He thus became one of the great winners of
post-Kildare Ireland. He was the first Gaelic chieftain to be granted a peerage
by an English monarch, becoming “Baron of Upper Ossory” in June 1541. He was
the first native Irishman ever to sit as a member of the Irish parliament. He
traveled to London to be knighted by the king in person in 1543. In many
respects he was the first of a new breed, a Gaelic anglophile. But it was not
what it seemed. “Outwardly an agent of anglicisation, Brian was really
something quite different – a Gaelic chief seeking to preserve his Gaelic
inheritance by whatever means necessary.” He even married Margaret Butler and
became an open ally of her family in order to continue his independence of
them. But his new wife, like his brother, was just another pawn in Brian’s
His tactics set his clan on a steady course which allowed them to hold onto their territory through the end of the sixteenth century, even as the O’Mores, the O’Connors and the MacMurrough Kavanaghs were overwhelmed by the pitfalls of the reconquest. And yet Brian would be double-crossed by the crown even as he had double-crossed the Fitzgeralds and the Butlers, and Upper Ossory would eventually fall prey to the ambitious government officials who greedily eyed MacGiollapadráig lands.
Earl James Ormond died in 1546, and his brother Richard Butler, first Viscount Mountgarret became governor of his estates. He proved to be ineffective as head of the Butler family. Unlike his dead brother, he was a staunch Catholic. He became uncomfortable under Edward VI (who ascended to the English throne upon the death of his father King Henry VIII in 1547) when the established religion became openly Protestant. And an unusual alliance was formed. “The appearance of John Bale, a zealous Protestant bishop, at Kilkenny in 1552 drove the viscount into a conspiracy with his neighbour, the MacGiollapadráig baron of Upper Ossory [Brian Fitzpatrick] to drive the prelate out. Previously Mountgarret and Upper Ossory had been at war.72 Raids in Kilkenny followed. “During those raids, as we are informed, the Irish chiefs were usually accompanied by trained military followers, who are called kernes. ‘Every kern had a page or boy, who commonly was nevertheless a man, to bear their mantelles, weapons and victuals, for two, three, or four days, when they go on a valiant journey.’”73 Once again we come upon possible descendents of Áed. Hugh O’Heyryne and Fearghall (Virgil) O’Herine, kerne, were granted pardons by King Edward VI on 30 November 1550. Hugh carries the exact name (although anglicized and spelled phonetically) of his illustrious ancestor, the good Bishop of Kildare.74 Maurice O’Heryn, kern, County Carlow, was granted a pardon on 2 November 155175, and Gilpatricke O’Heyeren was granted a pardon about the same time, although no date is given on his Fiant.76
The Second Lord
Brian now looked to the future with confidence. He became convinced that the power of the Ormond Butlers would not be a threat to his position in Upper Ossory and determined to challenge them head on. He sent his son and heir, Barnaby MacGiollapadráig, to London to be raised as a courtier in order to break the Butlers’ monopoly of court influence. It was Brian’s single biggest mistake. Ironically, Brian had sown the seeds of his own destruction by empowering his son.
“By the early 1550s it seemed that this
investment in the Tudor state was beginning to pay dividends. Far from disappearing
into obscurity Barnaby had grown into his role with remarkable speed. In
February 1547 he had been selected as one of the henchmen for Henry VIII’s
funeral, and when the king’s body was conveyed from Westminster to Windsor for
burial, Barnaby carried ‘a banner of ancient arms’ in the funeral procession. A
few months later, Barnaby…presented Brian’s petition for Leix Abbey to the
master of requests. He was everything Brian had wanted him to be – accustomed
to palaces and the company of royalty, Barnaby had become a thoroughly
anglicised Irish youth who spoke English fluently and signed himself
‘Fitzpatrick’ in the English manner.”
Barnaby had formed a friendship with Henry VIII’s son, Prince Edward (now King Edward VI), even becoming his “proxy for correction,” i.e., his whipping boy, at their school. He was made gentleman-in-ordinary of Edward’s privy chamber in 1551. He even served England by traveling to Paris in 1552 to act as a sort of open spy on Henri II, the French king. But ironically, Barnaby achieved power and influence at the expense of his father.
A New English
King Edward VI died 6 July 1553 at the age of 15. His half-sister Catholic Queen Mary ascended to the English throne. “Queen Mary’s accession was announced to general celebration in Kilkenny town square on 20 August 1553, and in the presence of the shire gentry there was a Catholic procession in the streets….At once Mountgarret and Upper Ossory dispatched their men to eke out Bishop Bale and his servants. On 8 September five of Bale’s episcopal tenants, including three Englishmen, were ambushed and killed in a hayfield by an armed gang of 20 soldiers, who ‘leaped out of their lurking bushes, with swords and with darts’. Bale was convinced his life was in danger from ‘the furious family of Mountgarret’, and about a week later the frightened bishop stole away and fled the country. Following his exit Kilkenny was a more staunchly Catholic place than it had been before his arrival.”77
Once he had established himself at the new court, Barnaby returned home in the autumn of 1554 to his father and his new step mother Elizabeth (nee O’Connor), Brian’s third wife. He found Upper Ossory a changed land. Barnaby blamed Elizabeth, “the most naughty and malicious creature alive” for his clan’s loosening its ties to England as the plantation of the midlands progressed. As a courtier he could ill afford to do anything else.
In 1556 Barnaby, not his father, was chosen to lead a band of MacGiollapadráig horsemen and kerne for a hosting operation against the Scots in Ulster, and he was appointed to a permanent position in the royal forces as captain of 40 kerne funded with £400 per annum in expense money. He eventually recruited for his forces many more than the original 40 kerne expensed by the government and many extra horsemen.
The pardons continued during this time. Ouno O’Herin, kern, County Offally, was granted a pardon by Queen Mary and her husband Spanish King Philip on 22 June 1557.78 And Morghe O’Heryne, County Offally, was granted a pardon on 3 December of the same year.79
Queen Mary died 1558, and her half-sister Elizabeth ascended to the English throne. Still the pardons flowed. Dermot duffe O’Herin, Donoghe O’Heryn, Nell O’Heryne and Donoghe O’Herin were granted pardons by Queen Elizabeth on 16 December 1558.80 Thomas O’Heron, cottier [serf], Rathcan, was granted a pardon on 28 June 1560.81 Gillypadrick O’Heryn and Thady O’Heryn were granted pardons on 28 January 1561.82 And Owen O’Heryn, husbandman [farmer], King’s County [County Offaly], was granted a pardon in 1578 [date torn].83
Barnaby’s star had continued to rise, and the balance of power in MacGiollapádraig’s Country was about to tip from father to son. “More and more of the MacGiollapadraig clan were moving over to his side, so that finally in 1559 (sometime after 17 August) he was ready to move directly against his father. A coup d’etat was staged in which Baron Brian was deposed as clan leader with consummate ease. His anglicised hybrid son had out-manoueuvred him, gaining the support of most of the senior MacGiollapadraigs who decided they would rather be ruled by one close to the English monarchy than by the baron and his bride, the dreaded Elizabeth O’Connor.
“Brian spent most of the rest of his life
confined to Upper Ossory as a virtual prisoner of his son….Barnaby was careful
to retain a strong grip over the clan. It was not difficult for him to do so,
for he was usually able to rely on a strong measure of state support….in
1566…Barnaby declared his father old, frail and impotent, incapable of
leadership, and asked the crown to confer him with regency powers.”84 With
the stroke of a pen Barnaby was granted his father’s estate, but he had to wait
patiently until Brian’s death to become the second baron of Upper Ossory.
Barnaby was among those who had ambitions for additional lands, especially land newly separated from the Church. “The accession of Edward VI. re-awakened the expectations of suitors for church lands, especially in Ireland. The Protector Somerset, the Dowager Countess of Ormond, and the young Baron of Upper-Ossory—the King’s Whipping Boy—were all solicitors at one and the same time, for the rich Abbey of Liex.”85 Evidence shows Barnaby was successful in obtaining at least three estates in Queen’s County, apparently simply by solicitation (Query), during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The estates were situated just across the Nore River and adjacent to “The baron of Osseries or McGillPatrick’s Countrey.” The famous antiquarian Robert T. Dunlop wrote an article about “The plantation of Leix and Offaly” for The English Historical Review in 1891, and in it he attached an appendix listing several estates and their proprietors at the time of the inquisition of 1622. Among these estates were three apparently originally granted to Barnaby Fitzpatrick. By 1622 the proprietor was Edmund Butler. Here is a partial abstract from Dunlop’s appendix:
The following summary of the inquisition of 1622, giving names of the proprietors in 1622, the extent of the
estates, the original grantees, and how they were acquired, will probably be scanned with interest.
Proprietors in 1622 Estates in Queen’s County Original Grantees How Acquired
. . .
. . .
. . .
Butler, Edmund Arleyne --- acres (1) Donnel McGilpatrick, 9 Eliz.  Query
(2) Barnaby Fitzpatrick, 19 Eliz.
“ “ Desert Beaugh --- “ Barnaby Fitzpatrick, 13 Eliz. “
“ “ Killine 120 “ Barnaby Fitzpatrick, 6 Eliz. “
. . .
. . .
. . .
The estates are shown on a striking color map hand drawn circa 1561, now in the custody of the British Library.87 This map is shown as an insert in the book authored by Very Rev. John Canon O’Hanlon and Rev. Edward O’Leary, History of The Queen’s County (1907), Vol.1. In 1863, Herbert F. Hore wrote an extensive article about this map.88 A few years after Hore’s article an image of the map was optically reduced to a black and white line drawing and published in an article in the Journal of the Archaeological Society of the County Kildare.89 This line drawing makes for easier identification and location of Barnaby’s three estates, and it gives their correct spelling: Ardlea, Dysartbeaugh and Killinec.90
Ormond vs. Upper Ossory
Unlike his Machiavellian father, Barnaby
Fitzpatrick did not feign collaboration with the Ormonds. He had a running feud
with Thomas, the “Black Earl of Ormond.” It played out in both their
territories for years. The Lord Deputy of Ireland, William Fitzwilliam had to
step in several times to maintain order. “Since the 1530s the MacGiollapadraigs
had aped the Butlers step for step, like them welcoming English reintervention
in Ireland in order to profit from it, but whereas the Butlers expected the
crown’s blessing for territorial expansion, the MacGiollapadraigs desired royal
protection of their territories from outside aggressors, principally the Butlers.
Furthermore, whether Earl Thomas accepted it or not, the incumbents of Dublin
Castle were usually grateful to the MacGiollapadraigs for providing a means by
which to restrict Butler power in the south. Given a choice between rival lords
in Ireland the Tudor government preferred to prop up the weaker the better to
hold back the stronger, perceiving the politics of reconciliation to be
fundamentally about limiting noble power in the regions.”91
In May 1573 the Graces of Roscrea ransacked Sir Barnaby Fitzpatrick’s house at Culahill and kidnapped his wife and daughter. In November 1573, the MacGiollapadraigs forced entry into Foulkescourt Castle and rescued a prisoner committed there “for felony.” The feud continued on, and Earl Thomas complained to Fitzwilliam that, “His ongoing refusal to punish the MacGiollapadraigs only encouraged the lineage to escalate their campaign against Ormond’s authority in Kilkenny, assaulting tenants, stealing his livestock, burning two of his borderland castles, and finally, before February 1575, temporarily occupying his newly acquired manor house at Durrow.”92
Lord Henry Sidney was appointed by the queen as Lord Deputy in August 1575, and was accused of encouraging even more aggression against the Ormonds. In the spring of 1576, brothers Tirlagh and Callough MacGiollapádraig raided areas in the north-east of County Kilkenny and occupied the Ormond castle at Durrow. It remained in MacGiollapádraig hands throughout the entire summer of 1576. Ormond went to the castle in August to pick up the keys, but was turned away, and MacGiollpádraig’s “base born” servants remained in occupancy for another year.
Barnaby, steering a course of neutrality, tried to prevent members of his clan from participating in the Desmond revolt of October 1579. But his half-brothers Dermot and Turlough MacGiollapádraig threw in with the rebels. Within days Ormond accused Barnaby of treason, and by January 1581 he and his lady found themselves imprisoned in Dublin Castle. He took ill there and never recovered, dying in November, “one of the greatest victims of Ormond’s power.
“Having commenced his career so brightly
as a creature of the English royal court, Barnaby Fitzpatrick, second baron of
Upper Ossory, ended it…a broken man….Arguably his sole achievement of any
moment was his retention of Upper Ossory’s independence – an achievement which
cost him his life….he bequeathed to his successor a lordship that was in danger
of coming apart at the seems, torn between pro- and anti-English factions as
the negative aspect of the government policies he had supported began taking
effect around the southern midlands.”93
After 1581 the gradual fragmentation of
the MacGiollapádraig dynasty accelerated. Barnaby’s younger brother Florence
became third baron of Upper Ossory, but lacked influence with the government. And
he had a flawed inheritance. Another younger brother, Geoffrey Fitzpatrick of
Ballyowley and his followers were concerned that too much power was
concentrated in the hands of the chieftain and that cooperation with the state
was destroying the very fabric of the clan. They had rebelled against Barnaby
in 1578.94 Florence’s his half-sister Grainne, daughter of Brian and Elizabeth,
was also a major threat to his power. And Florence’s main opposition was
provided by Shane MacGiollapádraig, reputedly a bastard son of Brian, who
continually sniped away at his power. “Serious problems were headed Florence’s
way…the seventeenth century would soon mark a major downturn in the fortunes of
himself and other senior members of the clan…the colonial administration of
Dublin no longer needed the MacGiollapádraigs as a counterweight to the
Butlers; suddenly the clan was dispensable…In the cold wind now blowing from
Dublin Castle the Catholicism of the MacGiollapádraigs also counted against
By the turn of the century we find a new form of the surname, O’Hervan [oh EYR-van] now being used. Presumably members of this family are also descendants of Bishop Áed. The [v] pronunciation of the lenition is now being used, and the surname has taken on an early modern appearance. Philip O’Hervan, of Kiltolleghane (Kiltegan), County Kilkenny, was granted a pardon by Queen Elizabeth on 27 May 1600.96 Edward MacLysaght tells us, “The form O’Hervan occurs in a Fiant as late as 1601.”97 Kiltegan is a small town located a few miles southeast of Baltiglass, also along the border of County Wicklow and County Carlow. (For information about both towns, see www.visitwicklow.ie/BaltinglassMain.htm)
The Plantation of Upper Ossory
Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, bringing an end to the Tudor line. James VI of Scotland came south and accepted the crown of England as James I. (Jamestown, in the New World of America, was founded in 1607 under his reign. Englishman John “Arvine” became a planter there in 1620.) As King James consolidated his grip on power, Ireland was given a new lord deputy, Sir Arthur Chichester, appointed in 1605. Two of Chichester’s senior judges would soon decide that the Upper Ossory freeholders were now out from under the feudal power of Florence MacGiollapádraig. This was a fatal blow to the old ways and the old days of Clan MacGiollapádraig. “To all intents and purposes the MacGiollpádraig chieftancy was dead and buried….After 1605-6 Upper Ossory ceased to be ruled even nominally by its traditional overlord and instead splintered into several independent component parts.”98 Just as Ossory had done a half a millennium before. And inevitably, Upper Ossory was destined to fall to plantation.
policy of all the English sovereigns and of all their deputies and representatives
was the same, namely, to despoil the natives and enrich their English subjects,
at the expense of the former. By whatever name the process might be called the
thing itself was always the same. Hence in studying…State Papers, the words,
‘settlement,’ ‘quieting,’ ‘appeasing,’ ‘establishing law,’ ‘pursuing and
punishing rebels, outlaws, disaffected,’ etc. etc., are nearly all synonymous, i.e.,
despoiling ; and, if objection be made, exterminating. Such opposition is
designated disaffection, disorder, outlawry, and of course rebellion. The
Catholic Queen Mary was hardly any better than Elizabeth in pandering to the
insatiable greed of the freebooters….Although the official accounts make hardly
any mention of the cruelties inflicted on the inhabitants, some shocking
episodes filter through, that are typical of a large class of which nothing
further will ever be known, as in the ceaseless warring no native writings
could be preserved, if, indeed, they were ever made….from the Slieve Bloom and
the Nore to the Southern shore of Cork ; the Irish clans were in motion, and,
fired with a sense of the wrongs and treachery practiced upon them, they
brought devastation and slaughter to their foes. It would be impossible, say
the Four Masters, to enumerate the number of preys, plunders, and slaughters
committed by them….The Lord Justice as signally distinguished himself by the
amount of destruction he caused in seeking to overcome those irrepressible
“The crown was able to proceed with a plantation of Upper Ossory as a result of establishing its title to the territory at a court of inquisition held at Maryborough on 17 September 1621. The court declared that James I was lord of the area by descent…from its medieval conquerors, the Marshalls and the de Clares, claiming that it had passed to Elizabeth de Clare as part of her purparty following the death of her father Gilbert in 1318. This was a fiction, mere pseudohistory.”100 But within three weeks the baron and the senior MacGiollapadraigs had capitulated and “willingly surrendered to the king’s pleasure.” Pseudohistory or not, they had seen combative natives of Wexford transported to America and the earl of Ormond ruthlessly reduced.
By the spring of 1622 well-placed officials in London caught a drift of another potential land grab in Ireland. The king’s favorite, George Villiers, duke of Buckingham, was first in line to receive the spoils of this plantation. Under the euphemism of “surrender and regrant,” a wholesale confiscation of Upper Ossory took place. “Thus, where the barons had once controlled circa 25,000 acres, after agreeing to plantation they were required to exist on just 10,500 acres. The plantation was a double-cross, reducing the barons – with their own consent – to the level of the poorest peers in the county.” George Villiers was himself granted 10,788 acres. “The MacGiollapadraigs and their clients underwent plantation only to enrich Buckingham and his family, not to advance the English colonial presence in Ireland.
“The onset of plantation coincides with
the survival of evidence concerning the economic condition of the leading
members of the clan – evidence which tends to suggest that the
MacGiollapadraigs were increasingly impoverished by their experiences.”101
The Family Name is Reduced and Anglicized
The family name had now truly become a surname, yet it did not stop evolving. The English were now once again in the “Ascendancy,” and completely dominating the Irish. As the seventeenth century progressed, many Irish names began to be altered—shortened and anglicized—to suit the English ear. The pace of this activity increased over time until it affected the whole of Ireland. Most Irish names were “modernized” as the English put it, “mutilated” as author Rev. Patrick Woulfe put it, by the Irish themselves as a direct necessity for dealing with the English. Most Irish names developed a modified form, usually simplified, shortened and spelled without a “Mac” or “Ó” prefix. For the average “base-born” Irish family, changes like these might have happened abruptly in a specific circumstance, such as when required for record-keeping by the English-speaking landlord of their tenement. Reverend Patrick Woulfe, in Irish Names and Surnames, gives a good summation of what had happened.
Ever since the coming of the Anglo-Normans, a contest for supremacy has been going on between the two races that inhabit this island ; and English policy once deemed it of such political importance to force Irishmen to conform to English ways and adopt English surnames, that the matter was thought worthy of special legislation. Accordingly it was enacted by the Statute of 5 Edward IV (1465), that every Irishman dwelling within the Pale, which then comprised the counties of Dublin, Meath, Louth and Kildare, should take an English surname….[However, this statue was not very effective.]
It was only after the defeat of the Irish at Kinsale  that what the Statute 5 Edward IV aimed at really began to be accomplished. Then set in fashion of changing Irish into English surnames ; and it continued all through the century, until, after the fall of Limerick , the Irish people were brought completely into subjection. Thence forward an Ó or Mac to a man’s name was no recommendation in the eyes of the powers that ruled the country. The people were taught or forced to believe that they must have an English surname, or at least an English version of their Irish surname. Hence the almost wholesale rejection of the Ó or Mac during the long night of slavery and oppression through which Ireland passed in the century of the penal laws. To reduce one’s name as much as possible to the level of the English pronunciation, to give it an English appearance, to modify it in some way and to some degree, was almost a condition of life.102
The principal cause of
the change of these names was the ridicule thrown down upon them by English
magistrates and lawyers, who were ignorant of the Gaelic language. This made
the Irish ashamed of all such names as were difficult of pronunciation by
English organs, and they were thus led to change them by degrees, either by
translating them into what they conceived to be their meaning in English, or by
assimilating them to local English surnames of respectable families, or by
paring. The families among the lower ranks who have translated, anglicised, or
totally changed their ancient surnames, are very numerous, and are daily
becoming more and more so. Besides the cause already mentioned, two reasons may
be assigned for this desire which prevails at present among the lower classes
for the continued adoption of English surnames: first, the English language is
becoming that universally spoken among these classes, who now believe that many
Irish surnames do not sound very euphoniously in that tongue; secondly, the
names translated or totally changed are, with very few exceptions, of no
celebrity in Irish history, and when they do not sound well in English, the
owners wish to change them to respectable English or Scotch names, in order
that they may obtain English or Scotch armorial bearings, and cease to be
considered as of plebeian Irish blood. As this change is going on rapidly in
every part of Ireland, it appears desirable to give here some notices of the
Milesian or Scotic names that have thus become metamorphosed.
…in the first place, the name Aedh means fire ; but Hugh, which has been borrowed from the Saxon, signifies high or lofty. Since, then, they bear not the same meaning, and are not composed of the same letters, it is quite obvious that they have nothing in common with each other….103
The story from the English point of view was somewhat different.
…at the time of the Union [of England and Scotland in 1707], the reach of standard English was relatively limited. Indeed, it is open to question whether standard English itself had yet come into being. Several non-English and many non-standard, regional, or sectional cultures were functioning. It was only through a very long programme of assimilation, sometimes voluntary and sometimes involuntary, that much higher levels of standardization were achieved....In Ireland, English names made a big step forward through the preparation of ‘plantation maps’ of the seventeenth century, which were drawn up by English officials in conjunction with Anglo-Irish landowners....often, Gaelic names were given a simplified, Anglicized orthography....Surnames needed to be standardized to bring every individual citizen within the purview of officialdom. The English had used nuclear family surnames since medieval times, but the Celtic peoples had other practices. Hence, as the English administration advanced into Celtic areas, Anglicized surnames were imposed....104
And from our modern-day point of view:
“Fortunately, however, the original surname continued to live on, unaffected by any changes in the English form, wherever the Irish language continued to be spoken, and thus we are able to recover the Irish form of many surnames that otherwise would have long since disappeared forever.”105
The Gaelic names remained alive, but they were hidden away, used less and less. As you might imagine, different anglicized spellings of evolved from different Gaelic spellings. But in this instance, presumably, they all descended from that one name which Áed had selected when he assumed the dignity of the Bishop of Kildare, his “episcopal” name. What once had been spelled “Ó h-Eremon” now comes down to us in an anglicized, reduced form as Irvin, Ervin or more rarely, Arvin. The name is also often confused with the Welsh names Irwin, Erwin, and the Scots names Irvine, Ervine.) The prosthetic silent “h,” supposed to be used before an Irish surname beginning in a vowel, might even account for the modern-day names Hervan and Harvin.
Modern-day internet references point confusingly to multiple sources for this surname and its possible variants: Welsh, Scottish, Irish (see www.surnamedb.com) and English (see www.houseofnames.com). But there is a published reference, The Dictionary of American Family Names, which states that Arvin is “Probably a variant of the Irish ‘Irvin,’” which in turn is said to be “Irish: reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic ÓhÉireamhon, ‘son of Éireamhon,’ a personal name of uncertain origin.”106 Reverend Patrick Woulfe, a priest of the Diocese of Dublin, published his monumental work, Irish Names and Surnames, in Dublin in 1923. In it he lists the name Ó hÈireamhóin on page 567 and gives us the names he believes have evolved from it. Sixty years later Edward MacLysaght, the preeminent authority in his era on Irish surnames, authored a number of books on the subject. One of these was More Irish Names and Surnames, published in 1982. Here is his entry for the name IRVINE, Ervine IRWIN, Erwin:
I treat Irwin and Irvine together because the two names have been much confused, especially in Ireland....According to Reaney[,] Irvine is taken from a Scottish place-name, while Irwin is derived from the Old-English eoforwine (boar-friend). Woulfe treats them as synonyms, deriving both from the Gaelic O’hEireamhoin, “A rare south of Ireland surname”, and ignores the fact that these are almost entirely British surnames bourne of families of planter stock in Ireland....
It is possible that some descendants of the small Gaelic sept mentioned by Woulfe are extant under the name Irwin; but any references I have found to it relate to Leinster not to Munster. In 1297 and again in 1305 men named O’Hirwen, O’Hyrwin etc., were outlawed and about the same time we find an O’Herewen among the tenants of the manor of Dunkerrin, King’s Co. The form O’Hervan occurs in a Fiant as late as 1601.
Postscript: The Kings of Ossory
Appendix One – Genealogical Table of the Kings of Ossory to the English Invasion[Decide for yourself where pseudo-history becomes genuine history.]
9. Crimthan Mor Hogan’s estimate
10. Ængus Osraighe 105 A.D.
Laeghaire Birn 135
12. Amalgadh 165
13. Eochadih 195
20. Coneruidhe 405
21. Blank 435
22. Blank 465
23. Duach 495
24. Feradach Finn 525
25. Colman Mor 555
26. Ceanhpaladh 585 Per Annals of
| Four Masters
27. Scanlan Mor 615 640
28. Faelain 645 658
29. Tuainasnamha 675 676
30. Cucearca 705 711
31. Cealach, son of Fealchair 735 730
32. Tuaimsnahasnamha, 765 765
| son of Flan
33. Dunghal, son of Ealach 795 767
34. Fearghal, son of 825 797
35. Dunghal, son of Ferghal 855 841
36. Cearbhall, ancestor of 885 885
| Clann Cearbhall
37. Diarmaid deposed --
38. Ceallach 909
39. Diarmaid restored 927
40. Donnchadh, head of Clann Donnchadh 974
41. Gillaphadraig I, from whom the Mac Gillaphadraig 995
42. Donnchadh II 1039
43. Gillaphadraig II 1055
44. Domhnall I 1087
45. Gillaphadraig III, surnamed Ruadh 1103
46. Donnchadh III 1123
47. Gillaphadraig IV 1146
48. Donnchadh IV 1162
49. Domhnall II, surnamed Magh Laeighis 1165
50. Donnchadh V 1168
Domhnall III, surnamed Duibh, 1176
the last of the kings of Ossory
Appendix Two – As Reconstructed from Carrigan in “The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory”
51. Domhnall III died 1176
54. Donnell Mor (Great) of Magh Lacha d.1249
55. Geoffry Bacach (Lame) d.1269
56. Geoffry Fionn (Fair)
57. Donnell d.1324
58. Donnell Dubh (Black, Dark) d. 1431
Finghin na Cul-choille (Fineen of Cullahill)
61. Sethraigh (Geoffrey) d. 1489
62. Seaghan (John) d. 1468
63. Brian na Luirech (of the Coats of Mail) d. c1511
Appendix Three – The MacGiollapadraigs’ main line descent, c.1450-1640
Culchoille, the MacGiollapadraig d. 1468
Geoffrey MacFinine, the MacGiollpadraig d. 1489
Brian, the MacGiollpadraig
Brian Oge, the MacGiollapadraig, 1st Baron of Upper Ossory d. 1575
Florence, 3rd Baron d. 1613
Tiege, 4th Baron d. 1627
Barnaby, 5th Baron d. 1641
Barnaby Oge, 6th Baron
Appendix Four – The Lords Barons of Upper Ossory
Brian Mac Gillapatrick
created as First Lord Baron 11 June 1541
| upon agreeing to forsake his family name; died 1575.
Brian Oge, or Barnaby Fitzpatrick Born c.1533; succeeded 1569 as
Second Lord Baron [and friend of
| Edward VI]; died 11 Sept 1581.
Fineen, or Florence Fitzpatrick Succeeded 11 September 1581 as Third Lord
Baron; died 11
| February 1613. He secured the annexation of Upper Ossory to the
Queen’s County 26 April 1602 [thus insuring it was finally beyond
the control of the Butlers in Kilkenny]
4. Teige, or Thady Fitzpatrick Succeeded 11 February 1613 as Fourth Lord Baron; died December
5. Brian, or Barnaby Fitzpatrick Died c. 1638.
6. Barnaby Fitzpatrick Died c. 1666.
Barnaby Fitzpatrick Died in 1696, whereupon his title was
Appendix Five – Modern Day Descendants: The Fitzpatrick - Mac Giolla Phádraig Society
Go to (www.fitzsoc.com) for a visit with the modern day descendants of Clan Fitzpatrick (of Clann Mac Giolla Phádraig, of Clann Donnchadh, of Clann Cearbhall, of Clann Osraige....) This clan is now entering its third millennium. Ængus Osrithe would be proud.
Researched and written by Robert Joseph Arvin, Jr. © Copyright A.D. 2008
1. Seoán Mór Ó Dubhagáin, Triallam Timcheall na Fódla (Let Us Travel Around Ireland); see also James Carney, “Literature in Irish, 1169-1534” A New History of Ireland (1993), Vol. 3, p 689-90; see also John O’ Donovan, The Topographical Poems of John O’Dubhagain and Giolla na naomh O’Huidrin (1862)
2. Marie Therese Flanagan, “High-kings with opposition 1071-1166,” Dáibhí O’Cróinín, ed., A New History of Ireland (2005), Vol. 1, p 916
3. County Clare Library (www.clarelibrary.ie)
4. William J. Smyth, Atlas of Family Names in Ireland Documents of Ireland, University College Cork temporary website (http://www.ucc.ie:8080/cocoon/doi/)
5. Rev. Patrick Woulfe, Irish Names and Surnames (Dublin, 1923), Introduction xiii-xix
6. Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland, The Enduring Tradition (1983), p 12
7. Nicholas Williams, “The Irish Language in County Offaly,” William Nolan and Timothy P. O’Neill, eds., Offaly History & Society (1998), p 539ff
Irish Names and Surnames, p 567
9. Kieran O’Conor, “The Impact of the Anglo-Normans in Laois,” Laois: History & Society (1999), Pádraig G. Lane, William Nolan, eds., p 164
10. Francis X. Martin, “Diarmit Mac Murchada and the coming of the Anglo-Normans,” Art Cosgrove ed., A New History of Ireland, (1993) Vol. 2, p 51
11. Rev. William Carrigan, The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory, (1905), Vol.1, p vii-viii
12. Carrigan, Diocese of Ossory, Vol. 1, Introduction, p 52-53
13. Very Rev. John Canon O’Hanlon and Rev. Edward O’Leary, History of the Queen’s County (1907), Vol.1, p 160, 164; C. A. Empey, “The Cantreds of Medieval Kilkenny,” Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (1971), Vol. 101, p 128-134
14. John Hogan, Kilkenny: The Ancient City of Ossory, The Seat of Its Kings, The See of Its Bishops, and The Site of Its Cathedral (1884), p 159
15. Carrigan, Ossory, Vol.1, Introduction, p 55-56
16. Hogan, Kilkenny, p 159
17. Carrigan, Ossory, Vol.1, Introduction, p 56
18. Carrigan, Ossory, Vol.1, Introduction, p 59
19. Carrigan, Ossory, Vol.1, Introduction, p 59, 60
20. Seán Duffy, Ireland in the Middle Ages (1997), p 62
21. Carrigan, Ossory, Vol. 1, Introduction, p 61; Francis X. Martin, “Diarmait Mac Murchada and the coming of the Anglo-Normans,” Art Cosgrove, ed., A New History of Ireland (1993), p 69-70
22. Hogan, Kilkenny, p 162
23. Annette Jocelyn Otway-Ruthven, History of Medieval Ireland (1968), p 44
24. Hogan, Kilkenny, p 163,164
25. Hogan, Kilkenny, p 158
26. Empey, “Cantreds…”, RSAI, Vol. 101, p128
27. Hogan, Kilkenny, p 163-166
28. Francis X. Martin, “Overlord Becomes Feudal Lord, 1172-1185,” Art Cosgrove, ed., A New History of Ireland (1993), p 105
29. Hogan, Kilkenny, pp 171-173
30. O’Hanlon and O’Leary, History of the Queen’s County (1907), Vol. 1, p 132
31. Hogan, Kilkenny, p 234
32. Carrigan, Ossory, Vol. 1, Introduction, p 69-71
33. Martin “Overlord…”, New History of Ireland, p 150-153
34. Cormac Ó Clèirigh, “The Impact of the Anglo-Normans in Laois,” Laois: History & Society (1999), Padraig G. Lane, William Nolan, eds., p 162-163
35. Brendan Smith, “Keeping the Peace,” James Lydon, ed., Law and Disorder in Thirteenth-century Ireland (1997), p 57
Herbert F. Hore, “Notes on a Facsimile of an Ancient Map of Leix,
Offaly…” The Journal of the Kilkenny and
Southeast Ireland Archaeological Society, (1862-1863) Part 2, p 352; see
also pp 345-372.
37. Annals of Clonmacnoise, as quoted by Carrigan, Ossory, Vol.1, Introduction p 72
38. Smith, “Keeping the Peace,” Law and Disorder in Thirteenth-century Ireland, p 58
39. O’Conor, “Impact of the Anglo-Normans…”, Laois: History & Society, p 171-173
40. H. S. Sweetman, ed., Calendar of Documents Relating to Ireland (1886), p 265-276, as quoted by Lord Walter Fitzgerald, “Historical Notes on the O’Mores and Their Territory of Leix, to the End of the Sixteenth Century,” Journal of the Archaeological Society of the County of Kildare and Surrounding Districts, Vol. 6, No. 1 (January 1909), p 15-16
41. R.E. Glasscock, “Land and People, c. 1300,” Art Cosgrove, ed., A New History of Ireland, p 221-222
42. James Lydon, “The Years of Crisis, 1254-1315,” Art Cosgrove, ed., A New History of Ireland (1993), p 185-188
43. Cormac Ó Clèrigh, “The problems of defense: a regional case-study,” James Lydon, ed., Law and Disorder in Thirteenth-century Ireland, (1997) p 34
44. James Lydon, Law and Disorder in Thirteenth-century Ireland, The Dublin Parliament of 1297 (1997), p 34
45. Lydon, “Crisis…”, New History of Ireland, p 185-188
46. W. F Nugent, “Carlow in the Middle Ages” Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol. 85 (1955), p 71-72
47. James Mills, ed., Calendar of the Justiciary Rolls, or Proceedings in the Court of the Justiciar of Ireland, 23-31 Years of Edward I [1295-1303] (1905), p 187
48. Edward MacLysaght, More Irish Families (1982), p 133-134
49. Newport B. White, ed., The Red Book of Ormond (1932), p v-viii, 152
50. Otway-Ruthven, Medieval Ireland, p 218-219
51. James Lydon, “A Land of War,” A New History of Ireland (1993), p 267
52. James Mills, ed., Calendar of the Justiciary Rolls, or Proceedings in the Court of the Justiciar of Ireland, Part 2: 33-35 Years of Edward I [1305-1307] (1914), p 458. For an introduction to the medieval plea rolls, see the website of the National Archives of Ireland (www.nationalarchives.ie/topics/Medieval_plea_rolls/MPL.htm)
53. Francis X. Martin, “The Expansion and Consolidation of the Colony,” Art Cosgrove, ed., A New History of Ireland (1993), p 173
54. O’Conor, “Impact of the Anglo-Normans…”, Laois: History & Society, p 171-173
55. James Lydon, “The impact of the Bruce invasion, 1315-1327” Art Cosgrove, ed, A New History of Ireland (1993), p 301-302
56. Herbert F. Hore, “Notes on a Fac Simile of an Ancient Map of Leix, Ofaly, Irry, Clanlier, Iregan, and Slievemargy, Preserved in the British Museum,” The Journal of the Kilkenny and Southeast of Ireland Archaeological Society (1862-1863, part ii, pp 361-363
57. Otway-Ruthven, Medieval Ireland, p 264-265
58. Carrigan, Ossory, Vol. 1, Introduction, p 73
59. Carrigan, Ossory, Vol. 1, Introduction, p 74
60. MacFirbis’s Annals of Ireland, from 1443 to 1468, as quoted in Carrigan, Ossory, Vol. 1, Intro, p 75
61. O’Hanlon and O’Leary, History of the Queen’s County, Vol. 1, p 413
62. O’Hanlon, Queen’s County, Vol. 1, p 415
63. Herbert F. Hore, “Rental of Earl of Kildare,” The Journal of the Kilkenny and South-east of Ireland Archaeological Society (1862-63), pp 110-137; see also (1858-59), pp 301-310 and (1864-65), pp 501-518, 525-546
64. W. F. Nugent, “Carlow in the Middle Ages” Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol. 85 (1955), p 69-70
65. O’Hanlon, Queen’s County, Vol. 1, p 422
66. Mary Ann Lyons, Church and Society in County Kildare, c. 1470-1547 (2000), p116, 119
67. Newport B. White, ed., Extents of Irish Monastic Possessions 1540-1541 (1943), p 125-126
68. William Nolan, “Kildare from the Documents of Conquest,” in Kildare: History & Society (2006), p 235
69. Art Cosgrove, “England and Ireland, 1399-1774,” Art Cosgrove, ed., A New History of Ireland (1993), p 541-542
70. David Edwards, The Ormond Leadership in County Kilkenny, 1515-1642 (2003), p 175-176
71. David Edwards, “The MacGiollapadraigs (Fitzpatricks) of Upper Ossory, 1532-1641,” Pádraig G. Lane and William Nolan, eds., Laois: History & Society (1999), p 329
72. David Edwards, Ormond Leadership, p 178-179
73. O’Hanlon, Queen’s County, Vol. 1, p 426
74. Kenneth W. Nichols, The Irish Fiants of the Tudor Sovereigns During the Reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Philip & Mary, and Elizabeth I (1994), Four Volumes. Fiant 642. The original Fiants were destroyed in the fire at the Irish Public Record Office in Dublin during the Irish Civil War in 1922. Fortunately, calendars (summaries) of them had been made by the Deputy Keeper of the Records for Ireland in the nineteenth century. Unfortunately, no detail is included in the calendars.
75. Fiant 894, ibid.
76. Fiant 1122, ibid.
77. Steven G. Ellis, “John Bale, Bishop of Ossory, 1552-3,” Butler Society Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3, (1984) p 284-291 as quoted by David Edwards, Ormond Leadership, p 179; Peter Happè and John B. King, eds., The Vocacyn of Johan Bale, (1990), p 58
78. Fiant 148, ibid.
79. Fiant 180, ibid.
80. Fiant 10, ibid.
81. Fiant 259, ibid.
82. Fiant 332, ibid.
83. Fiant 3506, ibid.
84. Edwards, “MacGiollapadraigs
(Fitzpatricks) of Upper Ossory…”, p 344
85. O’Hanlon, Queen’s County, Vol. 1, p 435
86. Robert T. Dunlop, “The Plantation of Leix and Offaly,” The English Historical Review, Vol. 6 (January 1891), p 94; see also p 61-96
87. Cotton MS: Augustus 1, vol. 2, item 40
88. Herbert F. Hore, “Notes on a Fac Simile of an Ancient Map of Leix, Ofaly, Irry, Clanlier, Iregan, and Slievemargy, Preserved in the British Museum,” The Journal of the Kilkenny and Southeast of Ireland Archaeological Society (1862-1863, part ii, pp 345-372
89. Lord Walter Fitzgerald, “Historical notes on the O’Mores and their territory of Leix, with appendices,” Journal of the Archaeological Society of the County Kildare and Surrounding Districts. (January 1909) p 1-88
90. Ibid., pp 73-74. There also exists a similar full color map, drawn circa 1565, now in the custody of Trinity College Dublin, titled “Leix and Offaly.” It is catalogued as MS 1209, no. 9. A color plate of the western portion of this map appears in: Pádraig G. Lane and William Nolan, eds., Laois: History & Society (1999), p 212.
91. Edwards, Ormond Leadership, p 214
92. Edwards, Ormond Leadership, p 215
93. Edwards, “MacGiollapadraigs…”, p 349
94. Edwards, “MacGiollapadraigs…”, note 82, p 373
95. Edwards, “MacGiollapadraigs…”, p 355
96. Fiant 6442, ibid.
97. MacLysaght, More Irish Families, p 133-134
98. Edwards, “MacGiollapadraigs…”, p 356, 358
99. O’Hanlon, Queen’s County, Vol. 1, p 435, 437, 439
100. Edwards, “MacGiollapadraigs…”, p 361
101. Edwards, “MacGiollapadraigs…”, p 364, 366
102. Woulfe, Irish Names and Surnames, Introduction vi-xxxiii
103. John O’Donovan, The Topographical Poems of John O’Dubhagain and Giolla na Naomh O’Huidrin (1862), p 42, 52
104. Norman Davies, The Isles, A History (1999), p 777-778. See also Embassy of Ireland, Washington, DC website (www.irelandemb.org)
105. Woulfe, Names, Introduction vi-xxxiii
106. Patrick Hanks, ed., The Dictionary of American Family Names (2003)
107. Godfrey Tennyson Lampson Locker-Lampson, Godfrey Locker Lampson, A Consideration of the State Ireland in the 19th Century (1907), p 19
108. Lampson, Consideration, p 16
109. Hogan, Kilkenny, foldout facing p 172
110. Carrigan, Ossory, Vol. 1, Introduction, p 74-78
111. Edwards, “MacGiollapadraigs…”, p 329
Carrigan, Ossory, Vol. 1,
Introduction, p 79-95; see also Wikipedia
Antiquarian Map of The Queen’s County and Cotton Map of Laois are inserts from: Very Rev. John Canon O’Hanlon and Rev. Edward O’Leary, History of the Queen’s County (1907), Vol. 1
The Marriage of Aoife and Strongbow
by Daniel Maclise, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Images of kings and queens of England courtesy Wikipedia.
Image of Fitzpatrick Coat of Arms copyright Ronan Fitzpatrick. Used with permission.