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A History of the O'Mahony Septs of Kinelmeky and Ivagha
REV. CANON JOHN O'MAHONY, GLENVILLE, CROOKSTOWN
Journal of the Cork Archæological and Historical Society, various issues, 1906-10
Cork: Guy & Co., 1912
Origin of the name Ivagha. Ui Eacac Muman, the Clan Eochy of Munster (as has been previously stated), was the original name of the tribe, which, since the close of the eleventh century, has been called after one of its chieftains of that century, Mahon, son of Cian. It became in process of time, like other tribal names, territorial. The word has clearly a territorial signification in the Book of Rights (circa A.D. 1014) in which the head of the Sept is referred to as Ri on-escac n-oll,2 the adjective meaning "great" in the sense of "extensive." This name, or, to speak with strict accuracy, its prepositional form, Uib eacac, has been anglicised Ivagha (sometimes Evagha) in English State papers and historical works, since the middle of the sixteenth century. The territory of an Ulster tribe which bore the same Irish name has been anglicised Iveagh. It is an advantage that the habitats of two similarly named but unrelated tribes should be thus discriminated; in deviating from this established usage a mistake was made by O'Grady (Silva Gadelica) and by the translator of the Vision of Mac Conglinne.
The application of this territorial name varied with the vicissitudes of the tribe.
In the history of South Munster there is no fact attested by more abundant evidence (evidence unknown to Smith and Gibson) than that the Sept-land of the Ui Eachach Mumhan during many centuries extended from Cork to the Mizen Head, as one continuous territory, including Kinelea and Muskerry, and was ruled by a chief whose principal residence was Rath Rathleann, in Kinelmeky. When stating in a previous page that the territory had expanded to those, dimensions before the year A.D. 800. the present writer had not then discovered the ancient Annals known to Sir James Ware as "The Munster Annals," and erroneously classed in the R. I. Academy as "Annals of InnisfaIlen." From this authority we learn that, instead of being the gradual growth of centuries between the time of Corc and A.D. 800, the territory above defined was the patrimony which the eponymous ancestor of the Tribe,3 Eochy, inherited from his father, Cas (the second son of Corc), who governed, likewise, the district between Cork and Carn Thierna, near Fermoy. By the same Annalist, under the year 979, Carn Thierna and Carn Ui Neid (the Mizen Head), are given as limits of the Sept-land during the chieftainship of Cian, A.D. 979-1014. This assertion is confirmed by topographical evidence and oral tradition. Windele4 explored an ancient Fort, not many miles north of Carn Thierna, which he found to bear the name of "Lios Ratha." Cian (recte "Céin, genitive of Cian), and to have attached to it the local tradition that "it was the head of all the forts in the County." In the time of Mahon, as we learn from the Leabhar Oiris, the entire country that he ruled over was divided into nine districts or subdenominations―naoi b-Fonn. One of these was the Fonn-Iartharach or "Western Land," whose extent is determined for us by the circumstance that it became a "Decanatus" or Deanery, which comprised the parishes of "Kilmoe, Kilmacomogue, Scoole (Schull), Caheragh, Kilcrohane, and Durrus." To this the name Ivagha was narrowed after the division of the Sept. In this "Western Land" the Ri Rathleann had in the eighth century one of the three Duns which by custom and the Brehon law a Ri was expected to have. This was Dun Cob a at the boundary of Ivagha and Corea Laidhe, as is stated by the author of the Vision of Mac Conglinne, which, though containing fictitious incidents, introduces personages and place-names, known from other sources to he historical.
When stating that the district which has been thus described was a part of the possessions of the Chief of Rathleann, we do not mean to say that there were no families in it except those of the dominant tribe. It is quite possible that some families of the Corea Laidhe, or of a tribe that preceded them, may have been permitted to remain as tributaries, and continued to live in their ancient homes in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. But of this there is no evidence. Topography attests that the Ui Baire (for instance) were at one time seated in Muintervary, but when, or how long, it cannot say. O'Daly, O'Glavin, and O'Mehigan held portions of land from the Chieftain of Ivagha by virtue of their hereditary functions, as will be shown later on.
There was a time when the authority of O'Heerin's descriptive poem used to he invoked to determine beyond question the habitats of tribes in Munster. But such an estimate of O'Heerin's authority will be held by no one who has read with care the critical notes of Dr. O'Donovan in his edition of the Topographical Poem, and later research has discovered errors in the poem which escaped the notice of that learned editor. The Bard was unable to acquire his information, invariably, from a personal investigation in each tribeland, and frequently had recourse to conjecture and hearsay, and to books that gave not the historical but the semi-mythical occupiers of a district. The greatest of his blunders, that which places the O'Callaghan tribe in Bearra and Kinelea, has been already commented on. In one of the above-mentioned parishes, Kilmocommoge, he placed, around Bantry, the tribe of "O'Beke of the race of Fergus of Uladh," but no such tribe is known to history, tradition or topography. The origin of this error may be easily explained. He heard or read that there was by the western coast a Cineal mBeice-the "race of Beke, son of Fergus," and, not being familiar with this earlier portion of the Genealogy of the O'Mahonys, erroneously inferred the existence of a tribe of O'Beke sprung from a Fergus whom he supposed to be the Fergus whose name was more familiar to him, namely, Fergus Mac Roigh, the exiled northern king. In the present History, O'Heerin has been quoted only in confirmation of facts already sufficiently proved from some other source.
Though the Fonn-Iartharach was wrested from the Corca Laidhe at a very remote date, a considerable number of the tribal names of the displaced Sept, which had become place-names, have come down to the present time, affording, as Canon Lyons acutely pointed out (in his article on the Western place-names), a confirmation of the old Irish tract, The Genealogy of Corea Laidhe. But it would be unreasonable to assume that all the place-names of Ivagha are of Corea Laidhe origin, and that none of them were derived from the Sept of the Ui Eachach who occupied the territory for twelve centuries. It may be fairly maintained that Leacan Mic Aedha and Scrahan Ui Laeghere, with Doire Laeghere (Derry Leary), were derived from Aedh and Laeghere, the ancestors of the two branches of the Ui Eachach. Rossbrin (spelled always in Irish, Ror Broin) was called after Bron, grandfather of Ciano Balteen Macraith was a portion of the lands of the Tanist Macraith, son of Dermod 0 'Mahon, slain in battle in 1259. So, also, it appears to be beyond doubt that the large territory, east of the Fonn-Iartharach; Clan Shealbaigh, received its name from one of the Ui Eathach chiefs of the seventh century; Selbach (in praise of whose father and ancestors there is extant a distich in the Book of Ballymote, p. 173), and not from the Corea Laidhe Clan-Shealbaigh, one of the nine very small and obscure families of the district of O'Dongaile.
It was in consequence of the long coast line of this region that the tribe got the reputation for seamanship referred to by the author of the Wars of the Gael and Gaill, when stating that they helped Brian in a naval expedition. From this quarter, also,5 in the year 1209, was brought in ships a reinforcement to Kinelea, to Donogh na Himerce O'M., then engaged In resisting the invasion of Finin of Leac Laghtin MacCarthy (so called "a loco occisionis"). The battle was an indecisive one, as the Annalist only records that "many persons fell on that occasion."
The name Ardnianagh (Ard-ná-manac); "the height of the monks," proclaims, with evidence as satisfactory as any written record could afford, the fact that in the townland which is still so named there once existed a monastery. In another townland, called Bawnaknockane, there were said to be the remains of an ancient religious house (Lewis's Topographical Dictionary, 1837). There had also been erected by some Head of the Sept, or with his necessary co-operation; a "Schola," or seat of learning, said to have been "in connection with the School of Ross"―which probably means nothing more than that its first teachers were invited from that more ancient foundation. Its memory is preserved in the name of the parish, Schull―an altered form of Schola―which, under the name "Scoole," is mentioned with other parishes in a Bull of Innocent III confirming the privileges of the See of Cork, in the year 1199. In subsequent official documents the parish is called "Parochia S. Mariae de Schola." As the Schola must have been a considerable time in existence before it could impart its name to a very extensive district around it, we may infer that its erection was long anterior to the Norman invasion. Its ruins have been identified in the townland of South Schull.
The organization of the early Irish Church was distinctly tribal, whether or not we believe to be authentic the statement of the Leabhar Breac:―"Patrick, in his testament, said 'Let there be a chief bishop to every tribe in Ireland.'" The ancient diocese of Cork was identified with the tribeland of Mahon and his predecessors, who, accordingly, provided a most liberal endowment for their spiritual head. The greater part of that endowment was in the Fonn-Iartharach―6nine ploughlands in Schull; the adjoining island of Mawninnish (Castle Island) one ploughland and a half; the island called the West Calves, one ploughland and a half; at Cruachán (Crookhaven) one ploughland and a half; three ploughlands in Kilcrohane and three in Kilmcomommogue, making a total of twenty-five and a half ploughlands In the west. In the middle and eastern portions of the tribeland fourteen ploughlands were set apart for the same purpose. The clansmen, of course, continued to occupy those lands, paying to the See of Cork the rent or dues that they would have to pay to the chief if he retained those lands for himself.
When a division of the Sept became inevitable, in the circumstances previously narrated, after the year 1260, Dermod Mór, its acknowledged Head, might have elected to remain at Rath Rathleann and retain the fertile lands of Kinelmeky, to which was still attached the district of West Muskerry, afterwards distributed among the three minor septs or subsepts of the clan; But he made choice of the "Western Land" for himself and his posterity, and his brother, Concobar, became Chief of Kinelmeky. The motives of this preference for the distant and less fertile region in West Cork are stated by Sir Richard Cox with tolerable accuracy, but not without some conjectures suggested by prejudice, in his MS., "Carberiae Notitia," compiled in 1686:―"The best and the eldest branch of this family was O'Mahon Fune (Fionn), who resided in West Carbery, and was commonly called O'Mahon Onyerer (recte Aniarthair), or "of the West." His chief seats were Ardintenant and Three Castle Head,7 and he is said to have had twelve castles of his own. The other branch was O'Mahon Carbery, and his seat was at Castle Mahon. . . . And it is observable that the principal Irish always kept as near the sea as they could, though in the most barren and mountainous countries. And the reasons were, that they had the profits of their creeks and havens. They had correspondence with and received advantages from Spain and other foreign countries; they were the freer from the English forces; and consequently they had greater liberty of tyrannizing over their followers and neighbours and of securing such prey as they could take. Thus we see O'Sullivan Mor in Dunkerron, MacCarthy Mor in Iverath, and the great O'Mahon in Ivagha and Muintervarry, &c." The special advantages, then, of the "Western Land" were (1) the wealth derived directly from the fisheries, (2) the harbour dues, and (3) the facility afforded for trading with foreign nations. The importance of Ivagha as centre of the fisheries is attested by Camden (Britannia, 1586): "Tertium promontorium est Evaugh (Ivagha) inter Bantre et Baltimore; qui copiosa halecum capttira notissimus est sinus"; and in a MS. in the British Museum (Lansdowne 242) by a contemporary of Cox: "But none of the fisheries of Munster are so well known as is the promontory of Evagh (Ivagha), whereunto every year a great fleet of Spaniards and Portuguese used to resort even in the midst of ye winter to fish also for cod." The letter of the citizens of Cork in 1450 (quoted on a former occasion) dwells on the large incomes that the English adventurers on the south and west coasts―the "Lords Caro (Carew), Arundel, and Sliney derived from creeks and havens."
The dues exacted from the foreign vessels which made use of the harbours of Crookhaven, Schull, Dunmanus, &c., must have been considerable, but no particulars about them are given in the Inquisition8 about the property of an Ivagha chief, Conor Fionn O'Mahony, who died in 1592. The Inquisition held about twenty years after his death is very imperfect; it sets forth the deceased Chief's castles arid ploughlands, but is silent about the amount of his harbour dues and imperfect as to his tributes from his kinsmen, the other proprietors of castles in his tribeland. But we may assume that the harbour dues were similar to those demanded at Baltimore, of which there is an account in the Inquisition held on Fineen O'Driscoll. O'Sullivan Beare's income from such dues was estimated by Carew at three hundred pounds a year, and at five hundred a year by the author of the Pacata Hibernia, equivalent to eight or ten times that amount of money at the present day. The income from the same source obtained by the Chief of Ivagha must have been still more considerable, as the peninsula was situated between two bays, Dunmanus and Baltimore, and as it enabled him to build more castles and maintain more horsemen for military purposes than any two of the Western tribes.
Though the sea was the principal source of wealth to the tribe of Ivagha, the land, amidst much waste, contained many fertile portions that attracted after the 9confiscation many English settlers. Owing to the present treeless condition of the whole peninsula ending in the Miizen Head, many will be surprised to learn that most of it was well wooded in the 12th century. In the (Dublin) Annals of Innisfallen, under the year 1178, it is recorded that after a defeat by the Dalcassians "the race of Eoghan Mor took refuge in the woods of Ivagha." A statement by the author of that compilation may require confirmation, but such confirmation is forthcoming from the topography of the country, which has been rightly called "the most enduring of all records." No10 less than fourteen place-names in the peninsula are derived from "Doire," the oak, as, e.g., Derrynatra, Derrycarhoon, Derrylahard, &c. And it may reasonably be supposed that woods existed in other localities that derived their names from some other circumstances, the personal name of a proprietor, the proximity of a rath, or a historic event, as, e.g., Lissycaha (the fort of the battle). In places that are now wind-swept and cold, the ancient woods not only afforded shelter for pasturage, but supplied mast and acorn for the rearing of swine―the most important food-producing industry among the Anglo-Saxons as well as among the Irish. "Forests abounded everywhere, and animals were simply turned out and fed on mast, &c. Wealthy people, chiefs and even kings, as well as rich farmers, kept great herds, which cost little or nothing beyond the pay of the swineherd" (Joyce, Social Hist. of Ancient Ireland, vol. ii., p. 279). See the extract already quoted from Robert Payne's account of Kinelmeky. Names compounded with "Doire" do not imply that woods consisted solely of oak trees; hazel trees were often, perhaps generally, intermixed, as is suggested by some passages in ancient tales, as, e.g., "Doire-na-nath in which fair-nutted hazels grow." Hazel nuts were such an important article of food that plentiful nut-harvests were thought worthy of being recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters. The Bard O'Heerin, who died in A.D. 1420 and made his circuit through the South about A.D. 1400, alludes to the food-producing woods of Ivagha:―
"Ui Eachach of the west of Banba (Ireland)
Is the great patrimony of O’Mahouna;
Land of fair mounds, irriguous not undulating,
Extensive is that plain of brown nuts."
Dr. O'Donovan's translation.
The means of subsistence were, in all probability, greater in Ivagha in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, down to the commencement of the Desmond war, than they were three centuries after. The direct and indirect losses from the destruction of the woods were, assuredly, not compensated for, in that part of the country, by the adoption of any improved system of agriculture in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. Accordingly the population must have been much larger in the former centuries. In 1831, according to the census of that year, the population of the peninsula of Schull and Kilmoe was twenty-two thousand (Lewis's Topographical Dictionary).
What may have been the fighting strength of the undivided clan in A.D. 1172, or of the Western Branch, about a century later, when it possessed nearly all the Fonn-Iartharach, we have no means of even conjecturing. But there is extant Carew's estimate of the forces of the Ivagha sept in its reduced condition in the Tudor period, and of the other neighbouring septs. There are other estimates besides Carew's, but they are valueless, being made by persons who had no source of information except hearsay, whereas Carew is known to have been exceedingly well served by his numerous, specially appointed, spies.
The following is Carew's list11 of the forces of West Cork and the adjoining district of Kerry:―
O'Mahon of Ivagha}
O'Mahon of Brin, i.e., of Rossbrin Castle}
O'Sullivan, Beare, and Bantry
O'Driscolls of Collimore and Baltimore
O'Donoghue Mor (Lough Lene)
O'Mahon was Chieftain of the entire of Ivagha, which included Rossbrin, but the very considerable contingent of his cousin and subordinate of Rossbrin Castle is mentioned separately, for a reason that will be given later on. Carew always speaks of O'Mahon Fionn as the sole Chief, whose forces, therefore, were seventy-two horse and two hundred and twenty kerne.
As each horseman had one Daltin or Gilla, in the earlier times, and two in the later period (Joyce's Social Hist., i., p. 146), one hundred and forty should be added in order to express the total of O'Mahon Fionn's forces. The number of horsemen in Ivagha (72) must be regarded as relatively large, if we bear in mind that (according to Carew) the English cavalry in Munster amounted only to five hundred, and that the contingents of MacCarthy Reagh and MacCarthy More, in their own tribelands, were sixty and forty respectively, though each had a multitude of kernes.
The peninsula of Ivagha was defended by an exceptionally large number of castles. Many of these were built on headlands, the sites of prehistoric Forts. Promontory Forts were a conspicuous feature of the west and south coast from Duncearmna, on the Old Head of Kinsale, and Dundeedy (Galley Head), to Dunlogha, Dunmanus, Dunamark, &c. It is singular that they were all called Duns, not Raths. They served as look-out stations as well as strongholds in which the inhabitants of the coasts could take refuge. From the dawn of Irish history down to the middle of the seventeenth century, sea rovers were the terror and the scourge of the maritime districts. The ancient tale, Cath Finn Tragha, or the "Battle of Ventry," mentions the stations along the coasts where watchmen were placed to signal the approach of an unexpected invader. Though narrating fictitious events, the tale is to a certain extent historical, as the author, like the authors of the most ancient poems and tales in all countries, unconsciously reproduces the customs of his own time and locality. The Dun had begun (not however in Munster) to be superseded by the castle12 in the century preceding the Norman Invasion. From the first quarter of the 13th century it must have become evident to the Irish that the Dun should without delay be discarded for the castle, the most effective protection against sea rover and land-plunderer. They must have been impressed by the systematic way in which the Norman adventurers built castles13 to secure the advantages they had gained. They must have known, too, that "for want of castles the attempts of the Anglo-Saxons to revolt against their Norman masters were easily quelled" (Hallam's Hist. of Europe, quoting Orderic Vitalis).
It was during the Chieftainship of Donogh na Himerce O'Mahon (ob. 1212), not long after the Invasion, and before the Division of the Sept, that the first castle was built in the "Western Land." The original Annals of Innisfallen have under the year 1207 the entry: "The Castle of Dunlochy was built." This passage is quoted from Duald Mac Firbis's English translation, as the edition of the Bodleian original by Dr. O'Connor ends at A.D. II 96. "Dunlochy" certainly stands for Dun a’ Loca, an ancient Dun that took its name from the adjacent lake,14 and was situate at the end of the promontory now known as Three Castle Head. On this site were built three square towers, at a short distance from one another, which, being connected by a wall that also enclosed the lake, may be considered as one castle. For want of a photograph, an imperfect sketch of this ruined castle is here reproduced, which some West Cork Antiquary sent to Windele in 1840 (Windele's Papers, Cork, Topography, R. I. Academy).
The name Dunlough still survives as the name of the town land which includes Three Castle Head. A writer in Bolster's Magazine in 1827, and Windele's correspondent (above mentioned) state that many legendary tales are related of the castle, and that the Lake was supposed to be haunted by an enchanted woman, whom Kean Mahony had seen and then died; whoever saw her died soon after." The picturesque and lonely situation of the castle and its great antiquity had set the imagination of the country folk to work.
Near the eastern point of Schull Harbour, and about a quarter of a mile from the western shore of Lough Trasnagh (Roaringwater Bay) was erected the Castle of Ardintennane, the principal seat of the Chieftain of Ivagha. Its site, like that of Castle Lac, Caherdrinny, Shanid Castle, and others of the 13th century, is an ancient Rath, whose inner rampart was replaced by a curtain wall; in this there appear to have been flanking towers, one only of which now remains. The wall has been almost completely destroyed, but the Castle, now commonly called White Castle, is in a fairly good state of preservation. It is a solid square keep, whose walls are about six feet thick, and as in other castles of its early period, the entrance to the staircase leading to the upper rooms is from the outside, over the door on the ground level, which opens into a high vaulted basement. The name of the Castle not being found in any southern Irish MS., has been the crux of our etymologists, who assume the accuracy of some one of the forms in which the word is spelled in various Inquisitions and other State Papers―"Ardintennane," "Ardintynan," &c. In the Annals of Loch Cé, under the year 1473, the name is spelled Ard anTennáit which is easily explained by the Editor as the "Height of the beacon," Tennáit being the regularly altered form of Tendál, the old Irish term for beacon used in the tale "Bruden da Derga." But then, Northern Annalists are sometimes inexact in the spelling of Southern names, and it is hard to suppose that several persons, on different occasions, would agree in giving " Tennán" as the phonetic rendering of " Tennál" "Rem in medio relinquam."
Two miles from the Chieftain's residence, on the same side of the bay and "opposite Horse Island is the ruin of the Castle of Rosbrin, which belonged to O'Mahony, being boldly built on a rock which hangs over the ocean." So far Smith's description is quite correct, but he goes on to say that (on an allegation which shall be considered presently) "Sir Geo. Carew demolished it and battered its west wall to the ground." The fact is that Carew never attacked the Castle, and that the west wall was not battered down but stands erect, and the building might be regarded as in a good state of preservation until five years ago, when a considerable portion of the east wall was thrown down by lightning.
On returning from Rosbrin we pass by Castle Island, the Irish name for which15 was Mawninish, i.e., Middle Island, a name which describes its position. Here are the remains of another Castle. Smith's description of the two next may be adopted: "I proceeded west to Leamcon . . . near a good harbour, between Long Island and the continent. Here are two Castles built by the Mahonys in ruins. The larger is caIled [Leamcon, otherwise] Black Castle, built on an island to which is a very narrow passage easily defensible, and more to the west is BaIlydevlin, another old seat of the Mahonys." Leamcon Castle cannot be said to be "in ruins," except in the sense of being unroofed, as its walls are perfect, though, for about two or three feet above the foundation, they bear evidence of having been attacked by means of the besieging instrument called16 "the Sow." Ballydevlin17 is described in the (six-inch) Ordnance Survey map as "Castle in ruins," but it would seem to have been as complete as Leamcon in 1844, when the author of Sketches in the South of Ireland wrote: "Look at the Black Castle out there, like a solitary watching all day long its prey on its rock-perch. And westward still, see the bold and high Ballydevlin; see how it cuts the clear blue sky with its embattled loftiness"―and he adds a boatman's legendary tale about this Castle, which is refuted by historical documents.
Near Crookhaven the ordnance map marks in the townland of Lisagriffin, "Castle in ruins," and in the town land of Castle Mehigan, ''Castle''; about the latter something will be said later on. To quote Smith again: "Then comes Dunmanus Bay, which has its name from Dunmanus Castle, erected on the east bank thereof by that Sept (O'Mahonys), and was fortified by walls and flankers. Towards the bottom of the bay is Dunbeacon, another Castle of the Mahonys." Dunmanus Castle, built on the site of an old Dun, on the shore of Dunmanus Harbour, was the most recent, the largest, and the best constructed of the Ivagha castles. It is in a very fair state of preservation, but the curtain walls and the flanking towers seen by Smith have disappeared.
On the opposite side of Dunmanus Harbour, in the townland of Knockeens, another site of a castle is marked in the ordnance map.
Dunbeacon Castle, which bears the name of a Dun (not The Doona), about a quarter of a mile to the north, was the nearest to the head of Dunmanus Bay. It still exists, but in a ruinous condition. Lewis's Topographical Dictionary (s. v. Kilmoe) states that there are remains of a castle "on the shore of the Lake of Dunkelly."
The twelve Castles mentioned by Cox in his Carberiae Notitia (and Regnum Corcagiense) have now been enumerated. If to this number be added the two in Kinelmeky, it will be seen that the two branches of the O'Mahony race held exactly one-fourth of the fifty-six castles erected, according to Windele, by the native septs in the Co. Cork.
The Castles in Ivagha were all of the antique type, intended to afford security rather than comfort. In none of them was the staircase accessible from the door at the ground level, as in the more recent Castles in Muskerry, which approximate to the type of the fortified house. We learn from Stanihurst18 that in the vicinity of Irish Castles there were provided residences of a more commodious kind, but of less durable structure and materials, so that seldom can traces of them be found. There is not, for instance, a trace of the "hall with orchard and grove adjoining one of O'Driscoll's Castles," in 1537, which would not be heard of in our time if that Chieftain had no feud with the citizens of Waterford, or if they preserved no MS. record of it.
This is a suitable occasion for briefly examining the charge of piracy and wrecking that has been often made against the western tribes by some prejudiced or ill-informed writers. The crushing reply to this charge is that for centuries vessels from Spain, Portugal, France, and Belgium came annually to the west coast of the County Cork to trade and to fish.19 They would not come habitually to ports that were in the occupation of pirates and wreckers. The Chieftains who, as we have seen, obtained a large income from harbour dues, and appreciated the opportunity of obtaining powder, arms, and other necessaries by trading with the foreigners, would assuredly not deter them, or allow them to be deterred, from entering their ports. This is no mere conjecture. More generally than any others, the O'Driscolls have been accused of inveterate piracy, chiefly on the ex-parte evidence of some MSS., written in Waterford, recording a chronic feud between them and that English colony. Now, in 1551, the O'Driscoll Chief exercised his ancient tribal jurisdiction by ordering the execution of eleven men, including three of his own clansmen, for piracy. This assumption of authority the Lord Deputy, of the time, was not strong enough to punish, but he saved appearances by sending "a pardon for the murder" of the men named. in the Fiat, "being pirates" (Calend. P. R., p. 247). Dermod O'Sullivan Beare (ob. 1549) exacted a large ransom for the liberation of certain English pirates (Gibson, Hist. of Cork, i., p. 170). On one occasion, as his grandson Philip relates, he seized and hanged the Captain of an English vessel fitted up as a ship of war, who was attacking the Spanish trading and fishing vessels at the mouth of Berehaven harbour. No doubt, this was reported to the English Government as an instance of O'Sullivan's piracy. We may safely infer that a similar interest in the protection of foreign vessels must have induced O'Mahony of Ivagha to repress pirates, as his neighbours did, though he may not have gone so far as to put them to death; and thus the State Papers would contain no record of his action. It is literally true that there is not a single contemporary document which makes a charge of piracy, or of aiding or abetting piracy, against the Chieftain of Ivagha or against any of his Sept, with one solitary exception, the owner of Rosbrin Castle in 1562. The question whether the English vessel which Donald Mac Conogher O'M. attempted unsuccessfully to seize was an innocent merchantman or one of the predatory kind that O'Sullivan dealt with, will be considered later on; for the present it is enough to say that the judgment pronounced against him was that of "the port pirates and piratical mayors and Council men" (as Mr. Gibson calls them) of the City of Cork about that period. It has been contended by some that the position of several of the Castles of Ivagha implied that they were built for the purpose of piracy. This is a futile argument. A fort near a harbour or cove was necessary to secure the payment of the harbour dues, and to store the dues when paid, as they usually were, in kind. Smith relates that "King Edward the Sixth in 1552 was advised by his Parliament to build a Fort at Baltimore to oblige foreign fishermen to pay tribute" (Hist. of Cork, bk. ii., ch. 2).20
After the Septs were extinguished, the people of the South and West coasts, no longer restrained by the controlling hand of a Chieftain, may have lapsed for a time (until England's rule was better established) into the practices which are unwarrantably attributed to their predecessors who had lived under the Tribal system.
After this topographical and general account of Ivagha, we shall proceed to set forth the succession of the Chieftains and the events connected with them down to the extinction of the Sept.
The opinion which has been already expressed (supra, Part iv. p. 71) that Dermod Mor, for some time Head of the undivided Sept, became the first Chieftain of the Western, separated, portion of it, may be further confirmed by the fact that the western tribal genealogist (Irish MS., 23; H. i.e. R. I. Acad.) prefixed to the entire series of Ivagha Chiefs the designation "Clann Diarmada." "Clan Tadhg" would, surely, be the designation chosen if his son was the first of the Western line, and thus made an epoch in the tribal history. The official appellation of each of this line of Chieftains was "Lord of Fonn lartharach" (Annals of Four Masters and of Loch Cé). The original extent of the district from which they derived their appellation has been already described. Dermod, however, did not possess this ancient district of his tribe, in its integrity. From it had been detached Kilmocommogue,21 in the heart of which the Marquis Carew bad built his Castle of Dunamark, in 1215. Possibly, too, Caheragh, during the contests with Donal Got McCarthy22 and his son, Fineen, "of Ringrone," had been encroached on (as it certainly was in the course of the next century); of this, however, there is no evidence. But he still preserved not only the peninsula ending in the Mizen Head, and containing the parishes of Schull and Kilmoe, but also that which then was called (as it is now) Muintervary, and comprised the parishes of Durrus and Kilcrohane. The larger portion of this latter region was bestowed by Dermod Mor on a branch of the bardic family of O'Daly. A well-endowed hereditary family of Bards was considered to be an indispensable appendage of every considerable Chieftain's establishment. Cox, who consulted Irish Antiquaries (as he more than once asserts), when composing his "Carberiae Notitia" and "Regnum Corcagiense," writes:―"The territory of Muintervary was, according to Irish custom, given to O'Daly, who was successively Bard to O'Mahon and to Carew." This plainly implies that the family of O'Daly that settled in the West were originally bards of the O'Mahons,23 and received from them an endowment in the land mentioned. The fact that some24 O'Dalys were afterwards found to be bards to Carew, during the comparatively short period that the Carews flourished in West Cork, would by no means prove that the heads of that branch detached themselves from the Chief who had endowed them with their land. The O'Dalys continued to hold the land assigned to them down to 1641. They built a castle, and the Ordnance Map shows, besides, a ruin named "O'Daly's Bardic School." How long they continued to perform their original functions of Bards and Chroniclers for the Chieftains of Ivagha cannot now be known. Another portion of Muintervary25 was given to the O'Glavins, "stewards or termons of the O'Mahons." The name of this ancient family is preserved in the place-name Carran Ui Glavine, near the Mizen Head, which was their original habitat. But the entire of Muintervary was not made over to O'Daly and O'Glavin. The Chieftain's relatives retained a considerable portion. At the time of the Confiscation of 1641, we find in the "Book of Survey and Distribution" (1657) that "Dermod O'Mahony, Irish Papist," was dispossessed of more than a thousand acres in Kilcrohane. In process of time, if not from the beginning of the new chieftaincy, the western O'Mahony employed another Bardic family, that of O'Mehigan,26 and endowed them with some three hundred acres of land in Kilmoe (as appears from the Inquisition of Dermod O'Mehigan taken in 1623), and with the wardership of a castle―Castle Mehigan―built by the Chieftain, as, of course, it could not have been built from their own limited resources. As the names O'Glavin and Mehigan are not in the "Genealogy of Corcalaidhe," those families were, in all probability, branches of the old Ui Eachach tribe in the West.
We have already (Part i. supra) dealt with the fiction that it was from Carew that the first Head of the Western Sept obtained "the lordship of Ivagha"―which, as has been amply proved, he derived from a long line of ancestors, commencing with Cas, son of Corc, in the fifth century. It may be interesting to trace the genesis of the "Herald Office" fable, which well exemplifies that of the "Three Black Crows." In a MS. now in the Lambeth Library, Sir George Carew had written, doubtless from his family archives,27 that "Dermod O'Mahon married the daughter of the Marquis Carew, and had with her Innisfodda (Long Island) and Callow-Chrage (a ploughland) near Skull-Haven"―lands which belonged to Dermod's territory, and which Carew restored in this manner. This very limited statement in the Carew archives is found in Camden's Britannia (1586) expanded into the declaration that "the O'Mahons got ample estates in the promontory of Ivagha through the kindness and favour of Marquis Carew.28 The "Herald Office" in 1600 (quoted in new ed. of Smith's Cork) improved on Camden, as follows:―"And he (Carew) did make O'Mahon lord, of Ivagha,” adding that "the O'Mahons do confess that they hold from Carew." The writer of this stuff was in a state of equal ignorance as to the early history of the O'Mahons and the history of the Carews in West Cork. In the general uprising of the Irish of South Munster, consequent on the victory at Callan near Kenmare, and some other battles afterwards, Carew's Castle of Dunamark was burned and his power destroyed, the same fate befalling Arundel, Sliney and other adventurers.29 There is not a trace of a Carew discoverable in West Cork in 1300. Sir Peter Carew, in the statement of his case in 1567 (Smith's Cork, new Ed.), candidly admitted that "they were by the Civil Wars expulsed," referring to the battles above mentioned. He does not say that they "withdrew to take part in the Wars of the Roses," the fiction by which colonists in 145030 sought to explain the decay of the English interest in the Co. Cork. The lands of the Carews were, says Sir Peter, "occupied by others who do now claim the same for their inheritance"―instead of admitting that they held from the "expulsed" Carews, as the Herald Office writer31 pretended. The fact is,32 that the existence of the Carews in West Cork had been forgotten or was known only to antiquaries, when Sir Peter Carew came over from England in 1567 with "a forged roll," as O'Donovan says, to put forward his preposterous claim, founded on the Charter33 of Henry II, empowering Fitzstephen to plunder the Irish Septs. This "claim" and the attitude of the Irish Chiefs with regard to it have been discussed in a previous page.
Dermod Mor (whose father died in 1212) must have been advanced in years when he took up his new position about 1260, and possibly died not long after. He had four sons, Macraith (killed in battIe, 1254), Tadhg Ricard (called after his Norman grandfather, Richard De Carew), and Donal (Irish MS. H. 23, i.e., R. I. Acad). Of the two latter nothing is known.
Tadhg succeeded to the Chieftaincy. By Tanist Law he was preferred to his nephew, Fineen, son of the eldest brother, Macraith, ancestor of the Clan Fineen O'M., whose history has been given.
Tadhg was succeeded by his son, Donogh an Ratha Dreoàin,34 so called from the Rath in which he lived before he became Chief. The Fort is marked in the Ordnance Map in the townland, now called Rathruane, a corrupted form of Rathdreoain, near Ballydehob. It is referred to by Lewis (Topogr. Dictionary, s.v. Schull):―"At Rathrovane is a fort surrounded by a mound of earth and strengthened by a massive stone wall firmly built without mortar." Donogh left two sons, Dermod and Tadhg.
Dermod, known as Dermod Mor II, succeeded his father as the fourth Lord of Ivagha. The aggression of the Mac Carthy Reaghs, during the latter half of the 13th century, on the three western tribes was not met by them with combined action, and Dr. O'Donovan thinks that the aggression was completely successful about 1290, and that all three consented to pay tribute. This opinion, however, is not correct. The Chieftains of Ivagha continued to resist for a longer time. This is to be inferred from an entry in the Annals of Munster under the year 1319, which states that a force of the McCarthys, under the command of "the sons of Finin McCarthy (presumably the nephews of Donal Caomh McC. Reagh), came in their long boats to Beara to the island of Creagaire (Beare Island) to besiege Dermod Mor and his brother,35 and continued there for five weeks," that Fineen, eldest son of Dermod Mor, brought reinforcements from Ballyrisode, under difficulties, as the vessels of Ivagha appear to have been away on some expedition under the two other sons of Dermod (Donal and Dermod Og); that only one vessel was available; that when sufficient clansmen had been brought over by repeated journeys in the night, the skirmish commenced, with the result that two of Dermod's family and one of Fineen McCarthy's fell, with many followers on both sides; and finally, Donal and Dermod arrived with their ships, "and brought off their own party safely to the Carn" (the Mizen Head). This entry is very crudely written, and does not explain how the Chief of Ivagha happened to be in Beare Island and in possession of a place so strongly fortified that it withstood so long a siege. One thing seems clear, that the O'Sullivan clan, which is not referred to at all, had not at this date established itself in Beara. This opinion may appear to be refuted by the entry in the Annals of the Four M., 1320, recording the erection of the Bantry monastery. But this entry is very questionable. Ware, who had access to many Irish MS. authorities, ascribes the erection to a Dermod O'Sullivan, who died in 1466.36
Dermod Mor II, in the Lambeth MS. above referred to, is described as "living in 1311," and we have just seen that he was alive in 1319,37 when the incident at Beara took place. He is said to have died in the year A.D. 1327.38 Before his death he arranged that "Rosbrin and eighteen ploughlands at its foot" should be given to his sons Donal and Dermod. He was succeeded by Fineen. The new Chieftain refused to carry out the provision made for his brothers by their deceased father. Thereupon Donal and Dermod decided to leave Ivagha. Dermod "went to Deasmumhan (McCarthy Mor's country in Kerry) and received a hospitable welcome and a tract of land from McCarthy," who was doubtless well acquainted with his neighbour, the late Chieftain of Ivagha, and probably a relative. Donal, the elder of the two brothers, "went to Barrets country" (Barony of Barrets), then subject to MacCarthy Mor as overlord,39 and most probably by MacCarthy's authority or desire, obtained all or some of the ploughlands of the parish of Kilnaglory. The tribal genealogists kept track of the descendants of the two refugee brothers, as may be seen (supra) in Genealogical Table No. iii, under the headings "O'Mahony of Kilnagluaire" and "O'Mahony of the Sliocht Dermod Og" (the Kerry Branch). From the historical MS. which vouches for the foregoing, it may be clearly inferred that Ardintennane and Rosbrin Castles were in existence in the time of Dermod Mor. The words "18 ploughlands at the foot of Rosbrin" mean, surely, "at the foot of" a castle not of another townland. And the castle would not have been intended by Dermod for the younger sons, if the Castle of Ardintennane were not in existence to serve as a residence for his successor in the Chieftaincy. Dunlogh Castle, or "Three Castles," whence the name of the south-western headland, had been previously built, as has been shown, on the site of an ancient Dun which guarded the neighbourhood of the Mizen Head, but this Castle would not be a sufficiently central residence for the Ruler of the Clan. Ardintennane and Rosbrin Castles may be considered to have been built not later than A.D. 1310.
Fineen, the fifth Lord of Ivagha, had when Tanist shown himself at the combat on Bear Island to be resourceful, brave and energetic; but of his career as Chieftain no particulars have been handed down. In the ancient tract called the Genealogy of Corcalaidhe (Ed. Dr. O'Donovan, 1849) we read that Donchadh, great-grandson of Gasconagh O'Driscoll (slain in battle by the English at Tralee, 1234), "had two sons, Macraith and Am-Iaeibh, and Orlaith, daughter of O'Mahouna, was their mother." Fineen, son of Dermod Mor, must have been the O'Mahouna referred to. "Orlaith, i.e., golden princess, is now obsolete as the name of a female." (Dr. O'D.'s note.) He was succeeded by his son Donal, who was probably the Chieftain in 1381, when there occurred another aggression on the part of the McCathys. An entry in the Annals of the Four Masters, under the above year is as follows:―"Dermod MacCarthy, heir to the Lordship of Desmond, was slain by O'Mahony"; the Dublin Innisfallen Annals add, "of the Fonn Iartharach. " This is not to be understood of as a murder or assassination; according to the usage of the Irish Annals, one chief is said to have fallen by another, when killed by his soldiers in battle;40 if the former meaning were intended, some such words as "affil," by treachery, or "dolose," in the Latin entries, would have been added. If the entry refers (as it probably does) to the tanist of MacCarthy Mor, then it must be held that he was assisting McCarthy Reagh in his aggression; for there is no evidence or probability that there was any direct contest between MacCarthy More and the Clan of Ivagha. We are not told what was the result of the combat, but about this time, or not long after, McCarthy Reagh finally succeeded in obtaining tribute. As the tribute exacted was small in amount (about £3041)―small even when taking into account the altered value of money and commodities―the Clan, which would break out into insurrection against an exorbitant or oppressive amount, acquiesced in the payment of a moderate amount, as MacCarthy Reagh himself acquiesced in the annual payment of a tribute of a hundred beeves to the Earl of Desmond.
Donal was Chieftain in 1383. In that year originated the minor sept often referred to in the State papers, the Sliocht Teig O'Mahowne (Slioct Taidg Ui Matgamna). This is proved by a statement of the chief member of this sub-sept, in a Chancery Bill dated Nov. 11th, 1623. In that document it is set forth that "the plaintiff is Dermod O'Mahonyof Skeaghanore, gentleman, great-grandson of Donogh Mac Dermod O'Mahony, who died owner of 22 ploughlands of Sliocht Teig O'Mahowne,42 in the Co. Cork. Plaintiff's ancestors have been in quiet possession of the lands for 240 years." We shall subsequently give details about this case against the all-grasping Lord Cork's representative, but for the present the document is adduced to fix a date. The Sliocht would, of course, be called after its first ancestor, through whom it branched off from the main line. Now, the names of the four sons of Donal’s successor, Dermod, are recorded, and there was no Teig among them. We may infer that among the sons of Donal (about whom no particulars are recorded) there was one named Teig, to whom this extraordinary grant of about one-fifth of the whole tribeland was given. Though the members of this sub-sept were thus made exempt from head rent to chieftains, they would not, according to tribal custom, be exempt from other occasional dues, or from sending horsemen and kernes in time of war. The history of this minor sept has been hitherto misapprehended, as also was the position of its territory. It has been supposed to have been "South of Clan Teig Roe and West of Clan Dermot"―altogether outside the peninsula which includes the parishes of Schull and Kilmoe. But this was not so. Belonging to the sub-sept there were, within the peninsula of Ivagha the following ploughlands:―Bawnashanaclogh, Shanavatowrie (now Shanava), Kilcoosane (now Coosane), Collagh (Colla), Scartineculleen, Bawnaknockane, Ballyrisode, Rathrovane (Rathruane), with Ardura and Ardglass, now in the parish of Kilcoe, but formerly in Schull, as can be proved from old wills in the Record Office. It is unnecessary to go through the troublesome task of identifying the remaining townlands, but a few words may be said on the question that has been raised43―whether Glenbarahane, the land on which Castletownsend was built, was an outlying portion of this sub-sept's district, not continuous with the remainder. It is certainly true that Smith states that "on the banks of the river stands Castletownsend, but formerly Sleughteig" (by a misprint Sleughleig), and in the Down Survey no less than seven plots of land in the map of the parish of Castlehaven are said to be in the "Slioghteig" (sic). But in one of the observations accompanying the map we find "Slioght Teig Mac Cargh"44 (sic), and nowhere is the full name written "Sliocht teig O'Mahowne." There was a Sliocht Teig among the O'Driscolls. The one point that could be raised in favour of the opinion that Glenbarahane belonged to a sub-sept of the O'Mahonys is that it was anciently a parish in the Diocese of Cork, whose limits were those of the Ui Eachach tribeland, and may have continued in the possession of that tribe. See the enumeration of the Cork parishes in the Bull of Innocent III, A.D. 1199.
DonaI died in some year about the close of the century, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Dermod. This Chieftain was known among his contemporaries by the honourable appellation of Dermod Runtach, "the reliable." This adjective underwent strange transformations in the Lambeth and Herald Office pedigrees.45 The century 1400-1500, nearly covered by the lifetime of Dermod Runtach and of his sons, was the most peaceful and prosperous period in the history of the Western Sept. The generosity of Dermod and the hospitality which he exercised at his residence, Ardintennane, are extolled by the Annalists in language similar to that in which the Bards celebrated the munificence of his ancestor, Cian, in the eleventh century. His second son, Donogh Mor, built, on a picturesque spot by Dunmanus Bay, the Castle of Dunmanus, the largest, and the best constructed of the Ivagha Castles, with six flanking towers. Local tradition preserved his name as "Donogh Ruadh," and the carved stone bead, which is shown near the top of the west wall, is said to represent his features. Tradition also says that he commenced to build a castle at Knockeens, but did not persevere, finding that the site of the existing castle afforded a more secure foundation. Finin, the third son, and the most celebrated member of the family, obtained Rosbrin Castle, with nine and a half ploughlands. It has been already shown that Rosbrin was not built by him, but by an ancestor a hundred years before his time. Dunbeacon Castle was built for, or by, the fourth son, Donal, who had with it four ploughlands. His issue soon became extinct and a subsequent O'Mahon, using the inherent right of a Chief, bestowed it on his own son Finin of Cruachan (Crookbaven). The entry in the Annals of the Four Masters about Dermod Runtach is as follows:―"A.D. 1427, Dermod O'Mahon, Lord of Fonn Iartharach (Western Land), a truly hospitable man who never refused to give anything to anyone, died after the victory of penance"―the latter phrase being the usual one to denote a religious death. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Connor (Concobar). This Chieftain received a sobriquet―almost inevitable in those times―the appellation Cabaicc46 "of the exaction," perhaps from a severe tax imposed for castle-building. The name has been absurdly translated "the hostage." In the Lambeth document he is called Connor Kittoch, "the lefthanded." He married the daughter of O'Dowda of Connacht (a powerful Chief, in whose territory there were twenty-four castles), and he had four sons. For the second of these, Finin Caol (the slender), he is said to have built Leamcon, called also Black Castle. It is now erroneously called "Castle Point" by the people of that locality, but educated persons among them are aware of the real name. The Down Survey notes:―"Near Leamcon Castle is a fair stone house with an orchard." The posterity of Finin Caol does not seem to have died out, as there is in the Co. Cork still a family known as "Mahony Caol."
The following entry regarding Concobar (Cabach) is found in the Annals of Loch Ce (Kê):―"O'Mahon of the Western Land, i.e., Concobar, son of Dermod, son of Donal, son of Finin, son of Dermod Mor, died, after penance, in his own Castle of Ard an Tennail, A.D. 1473."
Donogh Mor of Dunmanus, who had been Tanist since his brother's succession in 1427, now obtained the Chieftaincy in conformity with the established law, and his brother, Finin of Rosbrin Castle, became Tanist. In the preface of Finin's Translation of Mandeville (of which more later on) is a list of contemporary Chiefs, among whom we read of "Donogh, son of Dermod, son of Donal, son of Finin O'Mahon, and Donal and his brethren, over the Ui Eachach"―the ancient tribe-name of the Sept. DonaI, who (with "his brethren") is mentioned after Donogh Mar, was the O'Mahon of Carbery (Kinelmeky), the head of the other branch of the Clan. Donogh and Donal are mentioned also as two contemporary heads of their septs in the Book of Munster, p. 636. Donogh Mor died about two years afterwards, as will be shown presently.
On the death of Donogh Mor, his brother Finin, of Rosbrin Castle, succeeded to the Chieftaincy. The tenth Lord of Ivagha had spent his years at Rosbrin in pursuits very different from those which usually engrossed the minds of Irish Chieftains and Anglo-Irish Lords. He devoted himself to the study of books, and acquired the reputation of being the most learned man of his time in Ireland. A knowledge of Latin he had an opportunity of acquiring in his youth at the "Schola S. Mariae," situate at about the distance of one mile from his birthplace, Ardintennane Castle, on the opposite side of Schull Harbour. Most Irish Chieftains of that period possessed an acquaintance with Latin,47 sufficient for conversing with foreigners, but falling far short of the extensive knowledge of the language ascribed to Finin by his contemporaries. The English language, not taught in any Irish school, he acquired in maturer years, induced solely by a scholar's love of learning and for the sake of the literature. That language would not at that time be valued by him as a means of communicating with the Dublin officials of the English Kings, whose power was at a low ebb in Ireland in the fifteenth century, and was not felt at all in remote Ivagha. The following are the testimonies regarding Finin's attainments in the contemporary records:―The AnnaJs of Loch Ce, the Book of the O'Duigenans of Kilronan, Co. Roscommon:―which the Editor, Mr. Hennessy, translates as follows:―"O'Mahouna of the Western Land, Finin, general supporter of the hospitality and humanity of West Munster, and the most learned man of his time in Latin and English, died in 1496."
The "Annals of Ulster," under the year 1496, which Dr. MacCarthy, the Editor, translates:―"Finin O'Mahouna died this year between the two Nativities, or a week before Christmas, an intelligent, polished, erudite man, and learned in the history of the world in the East and hither"―an idiomatic phrase for "from end to end."
Both records were written by contemporaries. The Ulster Annalist died five years after he penned the obit. just quoted. A MS. of the "Annals of Loch Ce," including the entries for the fifteenth century, must have been in existence48 in the earlier portion of the next century. The Four Masters, under the year 1496, copy the words of the Loch Ce entry almost exactly, making but a slight modification. Of the rare learning which our Annals attribute to this Chieftain no evidence in the shape of literary remains was known to exist until after the middle of the nineteenth century. In the autumn of 1869 Dr. James Henthorn Todd, while spending a vacation in Brittany, visited its ancient capital, the city of Rennes, and, when inspecting the public library, was shown an old Irish MS. He copied some pages, which, on his return, he showed to Prof. Hennessy (Editor of the "Annals of Loch Ce"), who discovered the nature and authorship of the MS. In the following year 1870, Dr. Todd read before the R. I. Academy a paper entitled, "Some account of an Irish MS. deposited by President De Robien in the Public Library, Rennes." Having narrated the circumstances of his discovery, and having alluded to the numerous translations of "Sir John Mandeville's Travels," and the widespread popularity of that book in the 14th and 15 centuries, he writes:―"It has not hitherto been known that there was an Irish version of this remarkable book made at the close of the 15th century by an eminent Irish Chieftain, Finghin O'Mahony."49 Induced by Dr. Todd's paper, the Ron. John Abercrombie visited the Rennes Library, transcribed the MS., and wrote an elaborate review of it in the Revue Celtique in 1886. He is an acute critic, and shows a fair knowledge of Irish Gaelic. Finally, Whitley Stokes copied the Rennes MS., and published it in the Zeitschrift fur Celtische Philologie (Halle, 1899). He gave a literal English translation, divided the text into paragraphs, extended the contractions, and gave a list of the rarer words. Both critics make it clear that the translator worked from the English version, not from the French original. Mr. Abercrombie, while inferring from the translation that "Finghin knew English well," thinks it probable that he was not acquainted with French; but his argument for this latter opinion, which it would take too long to examine here, is by no means conclusive. When Dr. Todd wrote, Sir John Maundeville was regarded as a real personage, and figured in every history of English literature as "the Father
Pages 186-87, Oct.-Dec., 1909 missing
MS. "a little later," we may, perhaps, conclude that in 1478 Donogh died and Finin succeeded to the chieftaincy.
It may well be supposed that the "general supporter of humanity and hospitality in West Munster" (as the Loch Cé Annalist calls Finin) would extend his generosity by preference to those of his countrymen who cultivated such learning as was attainable in those times. A specially welcome guest in his Castles was Donal O'Fihelly,53 a man of considerable reputation for learning and the author of Annals of Ireland in the Irish language, which he dedicated to his patron, the Chieftain of Ivagha. Donal was an Oxford scholar, and Antony à Wood in his Athenae Oxonienses, in making mention of his name, says that he was much regarded by his countrymen for his knowledge and industry in matters of history and antiquity, and adds that he was living in 1505. The love of learning which stimulated Donal O'Fihelly and many of his countrymen in the 15th century to study at Oxford, giving their name to "Yrischemen's Street" in that city, was truly disinterested, for they could not hope to obtain thereby any material advantages on their return which would compensate them for their years of hard study and privation. O'Fihelly's historical work was not heard of since it was seen in 1626 by Sir James Ware 54 "in the possession of Florence McCarthy in London"―doubtless the unfortunate Florence Mac Carthy Mór, a prisoner in the Tower of London. If it could be discovered, it would fill up many a lacuna in the history of the South Munster Tribes who have got but scant justice from the Annalists of the North.
It is probable that it was in the lifetime of Finin that a bard attached to Rosbrin Castle composed the "Saltair (Psalter) of Rosbrin." It was extant when Smith wrote his History of Cork, and the description he got of it from some Irish scholar was that "it contains little else than a genealogical account of the (Western) family of the O'Mahonys." Since Smith's time no copy of this MS. has been seen. "Unkind fate," says Windele,55 "has bereft the Senachie [storyteller] of this record. Some may deem this no loss to literature, but for my part-and there are those who may too agree with me―I am not disposed to wish the loss of any work which may afford the smallest gleam of light on the history, the manners, opinions, or state of mental or political improvement of an ancient people. A Mr. Otway, the flippant writer of Sketches in Ireland, glorying in the loss of this psalter, asks with exultation, "where is now the rhyming record of all the pious practices and crimson achievements of those sea lords?" 'Would that I could answer! I would not give one of its quatrains for all the disingenuousness and fanatical slaver of his discoloured and muddy sketches." (From the article, "Dr. Mac Slatt in the West," marked "J. Windele" in his own copy.)
Though this Chieftain must have gone to reside at Ardintennane Castle, for two centuries the chief residence of the Head of the Sept, he continued to be called, in the next generation and since, "Finin of Rosbrin" from the name of the place where he spent the greater part of his life.56 What remains to be recorded of him is soon told. He married the daughter of O'Donoghue Mor of Loch Lene (Killarney), and had a son Donal, and a daughter who was married to O'Driscoll. He governed his Clan for about eighteen years, and died at an advanced age in the year already mentioned, 1496.
From the days of the first distinctive ancestor, Aedh Urgarbh (fl. 550) the Clan whose history is here being written had never been convulsed by any internal dissension. There was hitherto no instance of a disputed succession. It was in strict accordance with the Law of Tanistry that three sons of Dermod Runtach, viz., Concobar or Connor, Donogh Mor, and Finin succeeded in their turn to the Chieftainship. "The Law of Tanistry is," said Carew (Lambeth Pedigrees) "that the eldest man of the blood succeed to the Lordship of the territory." By virtue of the same law,57 Donal, the fourth and youngest of the brothers, and the survivor of then, expected the Chieftaincy. But the actual rule of succession was by no means of the fixed and unalterable character that the above absolute statement would imply. The right of the Clan to make a selection from the immediate relatives of the deceased Chief, though it was generally latent, and might be supposed to be in abeyance, was often successfully asserted. When the son of a popular chief was of full age and gave evidence of military qualities, the Clan usually acquiesced in his appointment with such unanimity that the uncles did not put forward their pretensions. The raison d'etre of the Tanist usage did not exist in such instances. This will explain how from the first quarter of the tenth century to the end of the first quarter of the twelfth, or to be more exact, to the year 1135, the succession of Chiefs of the O'Mahony Clan was identical with the succession in the genealogical list of the ruling family. The Chieftainship passed from father to eldest son, as if the system of Primogeniture was recognised. But at the very first opportunity that presented itself―in the year just mentioned―the ordinary Tanist Law was not interfered with, and the uncle succeeded in preference to the nephew, who was under age.
To return to the affairs of Ivagha in 1496, on the death of the last Chieftain, the Clan was involved in the turmoil of a disputed succession. Conor (Concobar) called Conor Fionn (genitive, Finn), or "the fair-haired," the son of Conor (Concobar Cabaicc), who died (as we have seen) in 1473, opposed the claim of his uncle, Donal of Dunbeacon Castle. His own claim was opposed by junior cousins, the sons of Donogh Mor and of Finin who saw a chance for themselves, if the established usage were to be set aside. Eventually, Conor Fionn triumphed over all his opponents, not perhaps by force of arms, for that circumstance is not mentioned by the Annalists, who would not be likely to omit mentioning a combat. Probably he got so large a following among the Clan that all opposition had ssoon to be abandoned. He was the first "O'Mahon Finnn," an appellation given to all his successors in the MSS. of the Irish Genealogists and in the State Papers, down to the extinction of the Sept. To distinguish him from the namesakes who succeeded him, the genealogists of his own tribe gave him the sobriquet of Conor Fionn na neac "of the steeds." Besides his eldest son, who succeeded him, he had a son Finin of Cruachan (Crookhaven), where he had a castle, which after the Confiscation (1657) the English authorities used as a prison. It is alluded to in Bishop Dive Downes’ visitation in 1599:―"There (in Crookhaven) are also the walls of an old castle, which they say was formerly a prison; there are the ruins of a chapel at the west end of the town." To this Finin his father gave the Castle of Dunbeacon, with the four ploughlands attached to it, after the death, without issue, of his uncle and unsuccessful competitor, Donal. Between the Ivagha Chiefs and the Heads of the other Western Septs friendly relations had existed without interruption during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, arid were occasionally strengthened by marriage alliances. Con or Fionn had a daughter, Joanna, who was married to O'Driscoll (Conogher), and became the mother of Sir Finin; after O'Driscoll's death she married O'Mahony of Carbery, Chief of Kinelmeky. She is referred to in an Irish elegy on Sir Finin (in O'Donovan's Genealogy of Corcalaide)58 where he is apostrophised as "son of Joanna of the race of heroes." Adjoining Ivagha on the east was the territory of the Clandermod, a branch of the Mac Carthy Reaghs. According to the Clandermod pedigree in Carew's Lambeth Collection, Donal Mac Carthy (son of the Clandermod Chief, Donal, and his wife, a daughter of Barry Roe) "was married to a daughter of O'Mahonie," and received from his father "the castell of Kilcoe and other lands"; and "Honor, daughter of O'Mahonie," was married to the fourth son, Cormac, who obtained "for his portion Cloghan Castle and three carucates of its demesne land." The Christian name of the "O'Mahonie" is not given, but from chronological reasons it is clear that he was the first Conor Fionn. Another daughter was married (Lambeth pedigree of the O'M.) to Maolmuire Mac Swiney, whose son Turlough, captain of galloglasses in the pay of Mac Carthy Reagh, defeated the Geraldine invaders of Carbery at Innishannon, A.D. 1560 (Annals Four M.)
Conor Fionn had three brothers―Finin Caol (a quo the families known as Mahony Caol), occupied Leamcon Castle, and another brother, David, held four ploughlands in the neighhourhood of the same Castle, and Dermod had Dunlogh Castle, on "Three Castle Head," with eight ploughlands.
Conor Fionn was the ruler of the Clan for seventeen years. The following is the notice of him in the Annals of the Four Masters, under the year A.D. 1513:―"O'Mahony, Conor Fionn, son of Conor, son of Dermod Runtach, died this year. This Con or made his way to the Chieftainship of his native territory, in spite of the Sinsear and the Soisear." On the entry the Editor, Dr. O'Donovan, has a footnote:―"In despite of the Sinsear and Soisear, i.e., in despite of his senior and junior rivals; Tar Lámarb in this sentence means literally 'beyond their hands,' i.e., beyond their exertions; the hands of both senior and junior rivals being raised to prevent him from making his way to the ceandud, headship or chieftainship of his native territory of Ivahagh."59
The late Chieftain was not immediately succeeded by his eldest son. The Chieftainship passed to Conor Fionn's next brother, Finin Caol of Leamcon Castle, by the Tanist law of lateral succession. In the Report drawn up in 1515, which sets forth, for the information of Henry VIII, that by far the greater part of Ireland was still in the hands of the "Irish enemy," and gives a list of sixty-four Heads of Septs, Finin Caol O'M. was the personage referred to as "O'Mahon of Fonnsheragh (Fonn lartharach), Chyef Captayne of his nation." He and his predecessors had kept aloof altogether from the representatives of English power in the country, and had governed their Tribeland according to immemorial usages, just as if Henry II had never landed in Ireland. It is not known how long Finin Caol held his office, but on his death, though he had a son (Donal, a quo O'Mahony Caol), by the operation of the same law that secured the Headship for himself, he was succeeded by another brother. This was Dermod of Dunlogh Castle on Three Castle Head―a lonely residence which he was probably not reluctant to exchange for Ardintennane. On the death of Dermod, the Chieftainship at length reverted to his nephew, the son of Conor Fionn. Conor Fionn, the second O'Mahouna Fionn, was distinguished by the tribal genealogists from his namesakes (grandfather and father and son) by the appellations of Conor Fionn Og and Conor Fion na ccros.60 His accession may be considered to have taken place before 1535, as his predecessor, the son of one who died in 1473 (Annals F. M.) and succeeded in 1427, would probably be much over ninety years of ago in 1535. It is morally certain that he must have been the Chief in 1540. In 1537 Antony St. Leger came over from England as Lord Deputy, with instructions to obtain from the Irish Chiefs and Anglo-Norman Lords a declaration of allegiance to Henry VIII, and (what his Majesty was equally solicitous about) a recognition of his claim to be the Head of the Church in his dominion. When St. Leger came to Cork for this purpose in 1642, six Heads of Septs responded to his invitation and made the required declarations. These were McCarthy Mor, McCarthy Reagh, McCarthy of Muskerry, McDonogh of Duhallow, O'Sullivan Beare (Dermot), and O'Callaghan. They certainly pledged their allegiance to the King of England, but as to his novel claim to be "Head of the Church" possibly they did not realise its full meaning, and thought he was asserting some right to ecclesiastical patronage; at all events, they and their sons after them continued to live as members of the Catholic Church. Conor Fionn Og of Ivagha, his kinsman O'Mahony of Kinelmeky, and O'Driscoll, O'Donovan, O'Keeffe, the two O'Donoghues, and Mac Auliffe paid no heed to the Lord Deputy's humiliating demands.
Conor Fionn Og married Ellen, the daughter of "O'Mahony of Carbery,"61 Chief of Kinelmeky, and had three sons, Conor, Donal and Dermod, the latter of whom died sine prole. In the interval between the year last mentioned (1542) and the year 1562 there is nothing to record about the affairs of Ivagha. But in the latter year an incident occurred which occasioned the downfall of one of the principal families of the Clan, and eventually brought the Chieftain into collision with the English Government. From the end of the last century the owner of Rosbrin Castle had been regarded as next in status to his cousin, the Chieftain who resided in the neighbouring Castle of Ardintennane. His wealth equalled or nearly equalled that of the Chief, and he could bring to the muster of the tribal forces a larger contingent of horsemen, though fewer kerne. In fact, he was able to raise a much larger number of horsemen than the heads of the other western septs, O'Driscoll, O'Donovan, and O'Sullivan Beare62 taken together. While such resources were at the disposal of the descendants of "Finin of Rosbrin," it is some evidence of their strong sense of tribal discipline that none of them attempted by armed force to seize on the Chieftaincy when that position became vacant. In 1562 the proprietor of Rosbrin was Donal, son of Conor, son of DanaI, the son of Finin "The Scholar. " About Donal no Irish account has come down to us, and the only source of information is an Inquisition held in Cork in 1576, the fourteenth year after his death. In this Inquisition it is stated that "Donal Mac Conogher O'Mahonye, of Rossbryn, gentleman," was seized on Sept. 20th, 1562, while within the Liberties of Cork, tried on a charge of what is vaguely called "felony," condemned, and put to death. In other documents the specific charge made against him is mentioned as "piracy." As the Inquisition further states that he was attainted and his Castle and demesne lands absolutely forfeited, and as high treason alone involved absolute forfeiture of real estate, it is clear Donal must have attacked at sea some Government vessel―an act that would be construed, in legal phraseology, as "levying war on the King." From the point of view of the western septs, this act would not be regarded as piracy in the ordinary sense of the term. They would not place it in the same category as an attack made on a vessel coming from the Continent to trade or fish on the Irish coast. They were "the Irish enemy," officially described as such in the State papers of that century. They knew that from 1339, when "an admiral was sent to arrest traders with the Irish," an attempt was made from time to time to deprive them of their chief means of living by preventing Spanish and French vessels from coming to their harbours.63 An Act of Edward IV (1465) deplored the increasing commerce of the Irish, and ordered that no foreign vessels should fish in Irish waters. This policy was continued by Elizabeth, who sent orders that "the commerce be got into our own people's hands," i.e., the hands of English colonists in the towns of Ireland. But the Government was too weak to carry out this policy effectively, and vessels from the Continent, protected by the western Chiefs, as we have shown in a former page, came in hundreds to the Western Coast, while (as the Mayor of Waterford64 wrote in 1542) they carefully avoided the southeast coast" haunted by the Thomsons, Eagles, Colles, Whiteheads, and other English pirates. It may be, therefore, that the vessel that Donal pursued to Cork Harbour and failed to take was one engaged in keeping off foreign traders that might have come into his own harbour of Rosbrin.
A trial on a charge of piracy, held in the piratical city of Cork, was a curious spectacle:
Quis tulerit Gracchos de seditione querentes.
Mr. Gibson, vol. i. p. 170 and seq., having given instances of "port piracy," and related how Malvoisey wine, part of the plunder of a Venetian vessel65 driven in by stress of weather, was sent as a present to the King (Edward), sarcastically observes: "Foreign traders would scarcely style Cork Harbour ‘Statio bene fida carinis.' "
Having put Donal to death, the Cork civic authorities fitted up, at the enormous expense of £400 (£4,000 of our money), an expedition to seize Rosbrin Castle, which they claim to have done "with the loss of killed and wounded citizens." They then made it over on "O'Mahono Fynn (Fionn) and "Cornelius O'Mahon" (his son and successor), "who kept the Castle and land for eight years and enjoyed all the profits." This, of course, means that they were compelled to surrender the Castle to the Chief of Ivagha, and to retire without recouping themselves for their great expenditure. It may be presumed that Rosbrin and its lands were held by the guardian of his tribe on behalf of the heir. In 1571 (according to the authority above quoted), Sir John Perrott, the newly-appointed Lord President of Munster, sending an adequate force to Rosbrin, wrested from the Chieftain of Ivagha that Castle and its lands, the custody of which "for the Queen's use" was then entrusted to Mac Sweeny gallowglasses, who were in the pay of the Government. Next year we find this garrison charged with rebellious practices and punished with a fine (probably never enforced) of "sixty good fat cows." (Fiants of Elizabeth, 1572.)
From a pardon, in the Fiants of 1576, to the Mac Sweeny gallowglasses and to "Teig Mac Conor O'Mahony, gentleman," for "conspiracy, confederation, and rebellion," it is plain that the garrison made common cause with the dispossessed family. The question "Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes" had now to be faced. A garrison composed of English soldiers could not be provided. So, in a "Fiant" of 1578, "by the advice of our right trusty counsellor, Sir
Hugh Sidney," Conogher O’M., brother of the attainted Donal (and father of Teig above-mentioned) was put in possession of the castle and demesne lands, subject to an almost nominal rent and to the conditions that he "shall not alienate or impose on his tenants the exactions of coyne and livery.'" The document enumerates the seven and a half (recte nine) ploughlands, and it is interesting to find among them the obsolete place-name "Kileaspuig-mic-oen," which preserved at that time the memory of a now forgotten Bishop. The Rosbrin family rapidly regained their status, as it must have been in the next year―preceding the Desmond War―that the estimate of their forces was made, which has been already given from Carew's investigations.
But to return to the history of the head of the Clan, Conor Fionn, the second of that name. From the Cork Inquisition we infer that he was alive in 1571, when Sir John Perrott's expedition came to seize Rosbrin. This loss, and perhaps some personal afflictions during the course of his life, may probably account for his Irish sobriquet, "na ccros"―of the misfortunes. He must have been, then, advanced in years, and he probably died soon after, but we have no exact record of the date of his death. His son did not immediately succeed him. The Chieftaincy passed, first, to his brother Donal, and then to his brother Dermod. To their names is attached the mark indicating Chieftainship in the Lambeth pedigree (Carew MSS.); the document requires corroboration, which in this case is forthcoming. In 1587 there was a controversy in the O'Sullivan Beare Clan66 between Donal Cam (afterwards the celebrated Donal of Dunboy) and his uncle Owen or Sir Owen, the actual Chief, as to whether the Tanist succession or that by lineal descent was the rule of the Clan. The latter, in support of his contention, asserted that the Tanist Law of succession prevailed "in all the adjoining Clans," the next of which, on the south, was Ivagha. Donal, his nephew, would be glad to be able to point out, in reply, a contemporary instance of immediate lineal succession in Ivagha, but he was unable to do so. Neither Donal nor Dermod O'Mahon enjoyed for more than a year or two the office which came to them so late in life. There is reason for believing that Conor Fionn III succeeded in 1575, and that he, and not his aged uncle Dermod, was the "O'Mahon" whom, with a few other Chiefs, Sir H. Sidney in December of that year was thinking of having "nobilitated," in order to try to win them over to the English interest. (See Gibson's Hist. of Cork, vol. i. p. 227.) Con or Fionn married, first, the daughter of McCarthy Reagh, and on her death took as his second wife the daughter of the Knight of Kerry (Harleian MS., 1425, Brit. Museum). He had several daughters, and three sons all younger than the daughters, and minors at the time of his death.
In 1576 a Fiant grants the pardon of "Owen Mac Carthy Reagh of Kilbrittain; Florence O'Mahoone, called O'Mahoone Carbery of Castlemahon; Con or O'Mahoone of Crookhaven, and Finin O'Hederschoil, called O'Hederscheol (O'Driscoll)," for sundry infringements of English Law. From the collocation of the third name between those of two Chieftains, it is certainly that of Conor Fionn, though "O'Mahon of Ivagha" was accidentally omitted after it; one of the castles in which he used to reside was Ballydevlin, near Crookhaven, and he might, therefore, be described as from it. The charge of fabricating false money brought against so many Chieftans, according to the Fiant, requires some elucidation. About 1550 the Lord Deputy was petitioned by the Kinsale Council to compel their neighbours, Mac Carthy Reagh, Barryroe, Barry Oge, and others "to take the King's coin." But as Mr. Gibson shows, the coin sent to Ireland in the reigns of Edward and Elizabeth was a debased coinage. Foreign merchants, he says, shunned ports where the coinage was light and bad. Under these circumstances the Irish Chiefs were driven to manufacture a coinage for themselves, such as the Spanish and French traders would not refuse to accept. They probably took for their model the Spanish dollar, which was of good silver, and, says Mr. Gibson, "must have gone far to make King Philip popular in Ireland. "
Conor Fionn (III) was Chieftain of Ivagha in the memorable year 1579, the year of the Insurrection known as the Desmond Rebellion. The Rosbrin family, though recently restored to their possessions after an exclusion of seventeen years, courageously resolved to take part in the struggle for civil and religious liberty. Donal Mac Conor O'M., who had become head of that family, in succession to his father, led his contingent of "forty-six horsemen and one hundred kerne (vide supra) to the rendezvous at Ballyhowra on [Thursday] the 9th of August,67 where he met his kinsman, the Chieftain of Kinelmeky. There is reason to believe that Donal of Rosbrin was accompanied by some other leading men of the Clan outside his own territory. One of those was the proprietor of Dunbeacon Castle, whose participation in the Rising would not be known but for an incidental reference in a State Paper of 1588, which will be quoted later on. But the Head of the Clan kept aloof from the enterprise. It must not be assumed that he did not share the national sentiments of his kinsmen of Rosbrin and Kinelmeky. He had a cogent reason for remaining at home―the protection of his tribeland against the machinations of a hostile neighbour on the north-west. This was Owen, or Sir Owen, O'Sullivan, the then Chieftain of Beara, who, for his loyalty, obtained a title from Queen Elizabeth. Not venturing to invade Ivagha himself (see previous account of his forces), he invited the hot-headed youth, Sir James of Desmond (youngest brother of the Earl) to do so. Raiding of this kind, which had been long since given up by the Celtic Chieftains of the South, had remained the ingrained, hereditary practice of the House of Desmond, as we have shown in the account of Kinelmeky.68 No Irish tribe kept a sufficient standing force in arms, and a long peninsula such as lvagha might be raided in remote parts by marauders, who could retreat before the clansmen could be concentrated. O'Sullivan's nephew and competitor for the Chieftainship―the subsequently celebrated Donal Cam of Dunboy―in his "Answer to the false allegations of Owen O'Sullivan,"69 addressed to the Lord Deputy in 1587, says, "After the proclaiming of Desmond and his confederates, Nov. 2nd, 1579, Owen sent word to Sir James of Desmond, younger brother of the Earl, and entreated him to come to O'Mahon Fionn's country, adjoining his, and to spoil the said country; and if there was any danger towards him, that he would hasten to rescue him, which James did, coming to and fro through Owen's dwelling. Owen was always ready to help him if danger was imminent." This account―and especially the expression "coming to and fro"―implies a succession of rapid inroads and retreats arranged so as to avoid an encounter with the injured clan. This aggression, of a furtive character and unredeemed by any display of bravery, assumes a peculiarly odious aspect from the time chosen for it―the time when nearly half the clansmen of Ivagha had departed for the national campaign. A few months afterwards this impetuous Sir James indulged in his hereditary practice once too often. Influenced by "hereditary enmity for Sir Cormac Mac Teig,"70 he made a raid into Muskerry without the co-operation of a confederate on the frontier, was wounded, seized and handed over to the English authorities of Cork, by whom he was executed in the barbarous fashion of the times.
The incident which we have narrated illustrates the difficulties which lay in the way of a complete combination of the Southern tribes in 1579.
After the close of the Desmond War, Sir John Perrot, Lord Deputy, summoned a Parliament for April, 1585, to which he invited the Heads of Septs. In every historical notice of the O'Mahonys hitherto published it is stated that Conor Fionn O'Mahony attended "Perrot's Parliament." It is quite certain, however, that he did not attend; he felt himself much safer in his land of castles and fastnesses. Neither did any other Chief71 from the South, except Mac Carthy More, then Earl of Clancar. The Roll of Perrot's Parliament, still preserved, and published by the Irish Archæol. Society in "Tracts Relating to Ireland," Dublin, 1840, is decisive on this point. The Four Masters, who first made that erroneous statement, took it for granted that all the Munster Chiefs responded to the invitation of the Lord Deputy, as did their own patron, O'Gara,72 and a few others from Connacht and Ulster. Their entry regarding Conor Fionn is here quoted because (though erroneous as a statement of fact) it is a correct genealogical record: "Thither came O'Mahony of the Western Land, Conor, the son of Conor Fionn Og, the son of Conor Fionn, the son of Conor O'Mahony."
Had he attended this Parliament, he would have the mortification of witnessing the attainder of a remote kinsman, "O'Mahony of Carbery" (slain in battle), and of a nearer relative. In the 8th chapter of the Act of Perrot’s Parliament (2nd session), amongst the participators in the Desmond War, attainted and sentenced to death, was "Daniel Mac Conogher O'Mahowne of Rosbrin Castle, gentleman." But his attainder by name in the Act of Parliament had been forestalled by the action of the English authorities in 1584, in which year a lease from Queen Elizabeth conveyed to Oliver Lambert, gent., the Castle and demesne of Rosbrin, "containing half an acre of land, surrounded by a wall, with edifices therein,"73 and "one thousand and eighty acres adjoining, parcel of the possessions of Donal O'M., of high treason attainted." As neither in this, nor in a subsequent document in 1602 regarding the Castle, is Donal mentioned as "slain in rebellion" or "executed for high treason"; he probably succeeded in escaping to the Continent. Unaware of the lease to Lambert, one Teig Carty74 (acc. to State Papers, 1587) sought to obtain a bargain from the Privy Council by offering £5 for a "half acre called Rosbrin," hoping that they would not remember that there was a Castle on the plot of land. After the lapse of a few years, some confiscated lands having been restored to their (Anglo-Irish) proprietors, by the weakness or policy of the English Government, numerous applications were made for similar concessions. In the "Docquet of Irish Suitors" (1594) and "List of particular suits" (1597) appear the names of O'Connor Sligo, Donal Mac Teig O'Mahony "suing for Rosbrin," and a few others of the Irish. Donal was the grandson of the Donal who was put to death in Cork in 1562, as already narrated, and whose son Teig had gone after his father's death into the Spanish service and acquired the agnomen of Spainneach. Donal, son of Teig Spainneach, did not succeed in recovering Rosbrin. He joined O'Neill's Insurrection, and was one of the numerous recipients of pardons mentioned in the Fiants of 1602. Rosbrin was surrendered by Lambert to the Crown in 1602, was leased again to one Morgan, and thus passed away forever from its original proprietors, about whose subsequent fortunes nothing is recorded.
The name of the insurgent owner of Dunbeacon Castle is shown in the Harleian MS. pedigree, Brit. Museum. He was Donal, son of Finin of Cruachan (Crookhaven), and grandson of the first "O'Mahon Fionn." He was, therefore, a first cousin of the ruling Chief in 1579. The Harleian MSS., in stating that he was "Lord of Dunbeacon with four ploughlands," and "living in 1600," does not necessarily imply that he retained the ownership until 1600. It is clear from a letter of Justice Jessua Smith in 1588 that the castle was confiscated, and that its owner imitated the example of the expropriated Donal Grainne O'Mahon of Kinelmeky, who burned Castlemahon―"a like company hath burned Dunbeacon Castle." It seems to have been given to one Apsley (Smith, Hist. of Cork), from whom it passed to Hull.
In the beginning of the year 1579, the Sept-land of Ivagha75 contained one hundred and fifty ploughhands. The sea continued to be its principal source of wealth, as in past centuries. The large dues76 paid by foreign vessels that came to trade or fish, the profits of trading with those vessels, and the fisheries, kept up a population that would be greatly reduced if it became mainly dependent on the land. In 1584 commenced the decay of the Sept, and continued until its downfall in 1649. Rosbrin and Dunbeacon were detached, by confiscation, from the remaining territory, and garrisoned by strangers. Strained relations arose between Spain and England, and the Spanish and Portuguese vessels that used to frequent the coast in such large numbers must have ceased to come. In 1586 the English Government went through the form of appointing a Commission77 to inquire whether the dues and customs in the harbours of the southern and western coasts may not "belong of right to Her Majesty," and the finding of such a Commission was a foregone conclusion. The Chieftain of Ivagha had fallen on evil days, and had to raise funds by the hitherto unknown expedient of a mortgage, an expedient not consistent with the old Tribal Law. He mortgaged Innisfodda (Long Island) and "Callacrowe," equivalent to "three ploughlands," to one Richard Roche, of Kinsale, whose son continued in possession of the said lands until 1612. After 1590 the Co. Cork Chieftains who still maintained their ancient status, alarmed at the extent of the confiscations, and at the continual arrival from England of adventurers hungering for more forfeitures, began to think of securing their possessions by a title derived from English Law. O'Mahon of Ivagha, O'Donovan, O'Callaghan, and Teig Owen MacCarthy of Drishane, consulted together78 in the beginning of 1592, and decided to yield to the inevitable and adopt the policy of "surrender and regrant," i.e., to surrender their tribelands to the English Sovereign, to be conveyed back to the Chiefs personally as feudal owners. They jointly signed a form of application to the Lord Deputy, drawn up by a lawyer named Thomas Gould. The request forwarded to Elizabeth was readily granted, for English policy had, for a long time, been aiming at the total abolition of Tanist Law, which generally ensured the selection of a capable head of a sept. In a letter to the Lord Deputy, dated March 4th, 1592, the Queen agrees to accept (inter alios) "from Conogher O'Mahon alias O'Mahon Fionn of Ivagha the surrender of his possessions, and to regrant the same to him and his heirs, without prejudice to any rights we may have or ought to have to these lands, &c."79
What those heads of septs did through necessity when English power had become supreme in the South, had been done without such an excusing circumstance by McCarty Reagh in 1496, when the authority of Henry VII was almost a nullity outside the Pale, and by McCarthy More long before the issue of the Desmond War extinguished the hope of Celtic independence. This procedure of "surrender and regrant" has been often condemned as a spoilation of the clansmen, whose rights to a share of the tribeland were as definite as that of the Chief to his portion, and who would become the tenants at will of a Chief converted into a feudal landlord. No doubt, in course of time, that evil result was experienced. But in presence of the danger of confiscation for the benefit of English adventurers, the conversion of their own Chief into a landlord would probably appear to the clansmen, if they discussed the matter at all, the least of two evils. In Ivagha the "surrender and regrant" made no change in the immemorial relations between the Chief and his subordinates; the successors of Conogher were content with their hereditary portion and their old rents; they recognised all existing rights of occupancy, and never exercised over their cousins' lands the newly-acquired feudal authority. This is amply proved by numerous "Inquisitions" of the owners of castles and ploughlands in Ivagha, who are described as "owners in fee," and as letting lands to tenants without any reference to the Chief.
Conor Fionn died on March 20th, 1592, a few weeks after he had exchanged his ancient status for that of a feudal proprietor.
From the preceding history it is evident that the succession of Chiefs had been in strict accordance with Tanist Law, which would not be the case if the Sept of Ivagha recognised any overlord as having a discretionary power to interfere with its choice by refusing "the rod of Chieftaincy." Wherever such a right was admitted it was not suffered to fall into abeyance, but exercised from time to time, and its exercise recorded. The existence of such a right would be specially exhibited in the case of a disputed succession. Now, in the one instance of a disputed succession―after the death of Finin "the scholar," in 1496, not only is there no evidence of any interposition by an overlord, but such a supposition is clearly negatived by the wording of the entry in the Annals of the Four Masters, under the year 1513. The entry (quoted page 190 supra) taken in connection with O'Donovan's note, makes it plain that the first O'Mahon Fionn, by his own energy, and not by the favouritism of an outsider, forced his way to the headship, "the hands of both senior and junior rivals being raised to prevent him." It is a mistake to suppose that a payment of a chiefry was, as a matter of course, a recognition of the right to inaugurate. Many instances might be given to prove this assertion, but the following extracts from McCarthy More's80 claims should suffice:―"The Eighth is the country of McGillacuddy. He (McC. More) claimeth the Rising out, the giving of the Rod, the finding of 30 gallowglasses. . . . The Eleventh is the country of O'Donoghue-Glan (of the Glens). He (McCarthy More) hath there no other duty (i.e., right) except six and forty shillings of yearly rent." To supply some evidence of the "giving of the Rod" in Ivagha, Mr. McCarthy (Glas) quotes "a marginal note to the pedigree of the O'Mahonys at Lambeth," and attempts to prove that the note is in the handwriting of Sir George Carew: "O'Mahon's country doth follow the ancient Tanist law. Unto whom McCarthy Reagh shall give the white rod, he is O'Mahon . . . the election avails not without the rod." Now, Carew could not have written that note. He knew that, seven years before he became President of Munster, the usage of Tanistry was abolished in Ivagha by the surrender and regrant, and he himself had got in 1501 the custody and wardship of O'Mahon's son Donal, "as being the son under age of a feudal proprietor." The note was most probably the guess-work of the same English genealogist, who re-wrote it in the Herald Office (A.D. 1600) pedigree and notes―the blunders of which document we have previously exposed.
Conor Fionn had been the ruler of the Sept for about eighteen years. He was the last Chieftain who succeeded to anything like the power and resources of his predecessors In the West since A.D. 1260. His adherents were strong enough to prevent any interference with the "regrant" which secured for his eldest son, Donogh―then only 10 years of age―the inheritance of his possessions. The adoption of the English Law of Primogeniture, whatever may have been its advantages, had certainly the effect of diminishing the power and importance of the Sept during the troubled period between 1592 and 1602. During that decade it had neither a leader nor a figurehead, and consequently obtained less prominence in the Irish and English accounts of the time than other septs whose resources were inferior. The successor by Tanist Law81 was Conogher "Bhade" (An bard?), who had married the daughter of O'Mahony of Carbery. But Conogher Bhade being excluded by the "surrender and regrant" from the castles, lands and rents that were attached from time immemorial to the office of Chieftain, was reduced to a mere "nominis umbra"; and his existence is known only from the genealogies; he is not mentioned in the history of the times. The English Government did not omit to take advantage of one of the "incidents" of feudal tenure in order to bring the sept more completely under its control. According to an entry in the Calendar of State Papers for the year 1597, "Sir Geoffrey Fenton obtained from the Crown a grant of the custody, wardship and marriage of Donogh, son of Conor O'Mahon, alias O'Mahon Fionn, late of Ardentynan. " But the legal power thus taken and intended to be availed of, if circumstances should permit or require, appears not to have been exercised. Young Donogh was in lvagha three years after, though still a minor; for he must be the O'Mahon Fionn whom Carew, in his letter to the Privy Council (dated April, 1600), mentions with some other Chiefs described as "friends," i.e., relatives of Florence McCarthy,82 of whom the Government was becoming suspicious. It was not unusual at that period to allow minors, after being formally claimed as wards, to live with their own families. Florence McCarthy, when a minor, was permitted to live at home instead of being sent to Dublin or domesticated with Sir W. Drury, who obtained a right to his wardship.83
In 1598, six weeks after O'Neill's great victory of [Friday] Aug. 14th, a strong force despatched by him under Tyrell arrived in Munster (Oct. 3rd), and Cecyll was informed that "the very day they set foot in the Province, Munster to a man was in arms before noon." The Earl of Ormond mustered the Queen's troops, diminished by the desertion of two hundred Irish, and marched to Mallow. Only one Irish Chief came to the assistance of the English Government in its hour of need. "Thither came McCarthy Reagh with sixty foot and forty horse, all furnished." (Ormond's Journal, Oct. 14th.) That was all McCarthy could raise in his own immediate tribeland, and he could not influence the West Cork Clans, who judged for themselves what cause they would support by their forces; the epithet "vassal" clans applied to them by Professor W. F. Butler was inaccurate and unhistorical. This circumstance may serve as a commentary on McC. Glas's remark in his Life of Florence:―"How important it was to the Government to secure the services of the Sept of McCarthy." From Mallow, Ormand marched to Cork Journal, Oct. 17th), where "McC. Reagh delivered his son Fynin as a pledge for himself, Conor O'Driscoll (son of Sir Finin) and O'Donovan till they delivered their own' pledge"―which they never sent. It is significant that he could not speak for the O'Mahony Sept, but Ormond went through the form of ordering that "all the rest in Carbery send in their pledges within three days"―an order not complied with.
In 1600, March 6th, when O'Neill fixed his camp at Inniscarra, he was visited by some representatives of the Western O'Mahony Sept, as well as by Moelmoe, head of the eastern Sept; the Annals of the F. M. speak of them in the plural, "Thither came . . . the O'Mahonys," &c., &c. This event marked out the western clan for the attentions of Sir Henry Power,84 then President .f Munster, who described his retaliation in his letter to the Privy Council on April 30th, 1600. "I sent in the beginning of April a thousand men (under Captain Flower) into Carbery, with directions either to waste it or to take assurance of the freeholders at their first entry. They took a great prey and killed divers of the O'Mahons, the principal men of that part (i.e., of Carbery)." Captain Flower, in his own account,85 does not give exactly the same description of his exploits in Ivagha. After stating how he "killed many of the churles and poor people in O'Donovan's country, not leaving a grain of corn within ten miles," he adds: "Having spoiled Clan Dermod, and upon our march into O'Mahon Fionn's country, I had certain intelligence that Florence McCarthy had prepared 1,800 men to intercept me on my return. I returned to Ross." Possibly the guerilla warfare of the clansmen against his superior force had something to do with his change of mind. A specimen of his skill in placing his retrograde movements in a favourable light in his reports may be seen in Mr. McCarthy Glas's Life of Florence, p. 240. It is significant that though Sir H. Power says he took with him a thousand men, Hugh Cuffe86 writes that "Captain Flower returned from Carbery with 680 foot and 80 horse." Joshua Aylmer,87 one of their officers, reports that the foot, which so valiantly killed O'Donovan's "poor churles" (noncombatants), "retired most shamefully with little less than running away," when charged by Dermod O'Connor's kerne near Ballinhassig, a fortnight after those exploits in \Vest Carbery. (Aylmer to Cecil, April 21st, 1600.) Carew, who succeeded Power about the beginning of May, improved on the tactics of his predecessors, who made raids on tribelands at a time when the corn was not ripe. He ordered his officers to wait "in their garrisons in or near the rebels' land" until August, and then to destroy their corn instead of encountering them in battle. The result of these warlike tactics was that the "O'Maghons and O'Crowleys were thoroughly broken and were unable to hold up their heads next year." (Pacata Hibernia, Bk. i. p. 138.) The writer goes on to say that they sued for peace through Sir R. Percy, who commanded in Kinsale, and obtained "Her Majesty's protection, which being granted they remained loyal subjects until the Spanish came." The above passages have been erroneously understood of the "O'Maghons"88 of Kinelmeky, whom the same Sir Percy, about two months after, invaded as rebels under no protection. Next year, 1601, according to the Calendar of State Papers, Sir George Carew obtained "a grant of the custody, wardship and marriage of Donal, (second son of Conor O'Mahon,89 late of Ardentynan." A.D. 1601 was the year of the Spanish Invasion; Don Juan de Aquila's fleet entered Kinsale Harbour on [Sunday] Sept. 23rd. As is plainly implied in the passage quoted from the Pacata Hibernia, the Ivagha Clan, shattered though it was by the events above narrated, sent a contingent under some one of its principal men to Kinsale.
After the disaster at Kinsale, though most of their neighbours submitted to Carew, the Clan of Ivagha still held out. They garrisoned two of their Castles that appeared to be best fitted for defence, Leamcon and Dunmanus. Carew despatched to the West (March 19th, 1602, new style) one of the Irish Chiefs that aided him at Kinsale, Donogh O'Brien, Earl of Thomond. The "Instructions for the Earl of Thomond," given in page 517 of the Pacata Hibernia, are as follows:―”. . . . The service you are to perform is to do all your endeavour to burn the rebels' corn in Carbery (which included Ivagha), Beare and Bantry, take their cows, and use all hostile persecution upon the persons of the people as in such cases of rebellion is accustomed. Those that are in subjection or lately protected, as O'Driscoll, O'Donovan, and Sir Owen McCarthy's sons, to afford them all kind and mild usuage." Another passage of the Pacata Hibernia, p. 505, referring to those who submitted, says:―" As for Sir Finnin O'Driscoll, O'Donovan, and the two sons of Sir Owen McCarthy, they and their followers, since their coming in (submitting), are grown very odious to the rebels of those parts, and are so well divided in factions amongst themselves, &c., &c.
From the same author we learn that on May 26th, when the Earl of Thomond was besieging Dunbay, he despatched a foraging party to Dunmanus, whence he succeeded in bringing off a "prey of three score and six cows with a great many garrans" (p. 544). On the 4th of next month a body of soldiers "went to Dunmanus Castle, which was held and guarded by the rebels, which they surprised and kept the same, killed four of the guard" (p. 546). The troops were accompanied to Dunmanus by Owen O'Sullivan and his brothers (sons of the late Sir Owen), who always sided with the English, earning for themselves and their posterity the sobriquet of "galldha" (ghoula). It is difficult to understand the story of a "surprise," seeing that the upper rooms in which the defenders were are completely inaccessible from the ground floor and vault. What Carew would have termed "a surprise" may be known from the stratagem he planned for taking Blarney Castle in the absence of its owner. Sir Charles Wilmot, with only a sergeant's guard of two dozen men, presenting the appearance of attendants, was directed to go beyond Blarney "to hunt the wild deer," and on returning, as if wearied by the chase, to stop at the Castle, ask for refreshments, and overpower the guard. This unknightly plot to take advantage of the well-known Irish hospitality was foiled by the suspiciousness of McCarthy's warders, who perhaps may have heard of a similar plan being employed two months before at Dunmanus. (Pac. Hibern, p. 599.)
On the fourth day after Dunboy Castle was blown up, according to the Pacata Hibernia, the Castle of Leamcon, "which the rebels warded," was taken by Captain Roger Harvey's Company. This was the most defensible of the Ivagha Castles, situate as it was on a small peninsula approachable only by a narrow neck of land, about six feet wide. We are not told how long the siege continued. The western wall of the castle near its base, by its deeply indented condition (shown distinctly in the photograph reproduced in the Oct., 1909. No. of this Journal) bears evidence that the besieging Instrument called "the Sow" was brought to bear on it, and that much progress was made towards opening a breach. The defenders, doubtless, lacked an adequate supply of powder―the chief want experienced by the Irish in the Co. Cork. Three years previously Lords Barry and Roche complained that they had no powder in their castles, and Ormond "gave them a small quantity." Dunboy was an exception, for it had been supplied with ordnance and powder by the Spanish general.
The owner of the Castle of Leamcon, at the time of the siege, was Conogher O'M., son of Daniel, son of Finin Caol, a former chieftain of Ivagha (vid. supra). He and his warders, on surrendering the Castle, received quarter, which Carew would not grant before the fall of Dunboy. This may be inferred from a document in the Pacata Hibernia (p. 428), "A list of those who shipped themselves to Spain on July 7th, 1602," in which we find the name of "Conor O'M. of Leamcon, one of the O'Mahons of Ivagha."
On the last day of June, Carew set out on Hs return journey to Cork, leaving six garrisons in Carbery, one of them being at Abbeystrowry, not far from the boundary of Ivagha. He considered the insurrection now at an end, but in his journey through Carbery he found that he was mistaken:―"Those that were before distracted had received new life, and made fast combinations to hold out till expected aid from Spain should arrive." "All this alteration" he soon found "did arise from the arrival of Owen Mac Egan (Bishop-elect of Ross), who brought with him Spanish treasure" and a promise of another Spanish expedition. The Spanish money was distributed among the Irish leaders; the portion intended for the Ivagha insurgents was probably conveyed to them by a member of their clan, "Donnell O'Mahon," who came over with Owen Mac Egan (Pac. Hibernia, p. 429), and returned to Spain on July 7th. The list of those who received the Spanish money was given in the Pacata Hibernia on the testimony of Owen O'Sullivan's wife, who was kept as a hostage in Dunboy by O'Sullivan Beare's orders, and was there when Owen Mac Egan landed at Ardea, June 6th.90 Neither before or after her liberation, at the fall of the castle, would she be entrusted with Irish secrets, being the wife of a bitter, enemy.
Within ten days after Carew's departure all the western insurgents had re-formed their combination. They were attacked and harassed by Captain Roger Harvey, who had the chief command of the six garrisons, "who took their preys and had the killing of many of their men; besides he took from them divers castles, strongly seated near unto the sea, where ships might safely ride, and fit places for an enemy to hold, as, viz., the Castles of Dunmanus, Leamcon, &c." (Pacata Hibernia, pp. 584-585.) From this passage and its context it is plain that the O'Mahons of Ivagha, after Carew's departure, regained possession of the two Castles they had lost, and that some time before the renewed struggle ended, they were again dislodged. The want of ammunition could not be supplied in Ireland by Spanish gold. The Insurrection came to a close in the following January (1603) at the skirmish in Grillagh, where Teig O'Mahon distinguished himself, and where the lion-hearted Owen Mac Egan was killed. (O'S. Beare, Hist. Cath. Hiberniae, p. 243.)
On March 10th of the troubled year 1602, Donogh O'Mahon, the nominal head of a leaderless Clan, still under age, died at Ardintennane Castle. He had married the daughter of O'Donovan in the previous year. His brother Donal, also under age, succeeded him. As these brothers were too young to have taken part personally in the Rising, and as they were minors and "wards," their territory was secured from forfeiture. From the Inquisition held about his father's property in 1612, we learn that Donal, on the death of his brother, immediately entered into the possession of his lands and effects―a proof that though a ward of Carew's he had not been removed from his home. In the reign of James I this could not happen. The grantee of a ward (under the Court of Wards, founded by Bacon's advice as "a means to weed out Popery") was required "to maintain and educate the minor in the English religion and habits in Trinity College, Dublin. "
From Donal's accession down to the Confiscation in 1650 the history of the Clan is little more than a record of continuous decay. An exodus took place to France and Spain of the principal men of the Sept, who were compromised in the Rebellion, and of the clansmen who were brought to destitution by the burnings and pillagings their land had undergone in the three preceding years. The majority of the refugees of the Co. Cork tribes went to Spain, where they were most hospitably received by the King and the Spanish' nobles, and the Bishops. From such refugees the King formed an Irish Legion, which was commanded successively by Henry and John, sons of Hugh O'Neill, and which won great distinction in Flanders. It is not generally known that the first Irish Brigade―a celebrated name in the military history of Europe, was formed in the King of Spain's service. The Irish nobles and gentlemen, while waiting for Commissions in the Army, had pensions assigned to them and paid monthly (O'S. Beare's Hist. Cath., p. 262, Dublin Ed).91 An English spy in 1606 sent a report (Cal. State Papers, 1606) that among the "Gentlemen Pensioners" in the army of the King of Spain as yet without a command were―"Conogher O'Mahon, Teig na Bally O'Mahon, DonaI O'Mahon." In all probability the first-named was the dispossessed owner of Leamcon Castle, who has been already mentioned as a refugee. The names of many others of their kindred would, doubtless, be found in the Archives of the Spanish Army and Navy for the seventeenth century, and especially for the years succeeding the Cromwellian Confiscation.
The necessities of the new Chieftain, and also of his kinsmen the other landowners of Ivagha, in consequence of the devastations and the loss of their old resources already described, are plainly indicated by the letting of their lands, sometimes for a long term of years, to strangers. Donal is shown, by the Inquisitions92 held about his father's and his own property, to have had in his own possession the three Castles of Ardintennane, Ballydevlin and Dunlogh (Three Castles Head), with the ploughlands that went with them, receiving "chiefries" from the owners of the other castles. In 1607 he let Ardintennane,93 with nine ploughlands attached, to one Thomas Holland for "a term of years" (Inquisition), and on the expiration of the term he appears to have let it again to one Sir Geoffrey Galway. He chose Ballydevlin Castle as his permanent residence. This is a suitable occasion for exposing a misleading source of information regarding that locality and the West Coast generally. Speed's Map ("one of Speed's bad maps," to quote Smith's criticism) represents Ivagha―spelled by him "Eragh"―as not including the peninsula of Kilmoe, and places an imaginary tribe, "O'Connor," at Ballydevlin and its vicinity. Speed can never have visited that coast, as he almost fills Roaring Water Bay with islands of about the same shape, there being no "Long Island" among them. The townlands of Kilmoe are fully known from the numerous Inquisitions, and there was certainly in it no such tribe or such place-name as "O'Connor." Perhaps having heard that the place was occupied by "Donal Mac Conor" (O'M.), Speed changed the name "Mac Conor" into "O'Connor," as Mac C'arthy has been found written "O'Carthy in some State Papers.
In 1627 Dunlogh Castle ("Three Castle Head"), with the ploughlands of Dunlogh, Kildunlogh, and three others, was let to one Coghlan, who in a later document appears to have divided his rights to the land with Boyle, Earl of Cork.
In the numerous Government Inquisitions held between 1612 and 1637 about the different proprietors of Ivagha, cousins of the Chieftain, they are all recognised as owners in fee simple. Neither Leamcon nor Dunmanus was forfeited by the action of their defenders during the "Rebellion"; they were held to be the property of the young Chief, who was a minor, and thus of his successor, through whom, probably, the next-of-kin of those defenders succeeded to those Castles and lands. In 1622 the two representatives of Conor O'M. of Leamcon (owner at the time of the siege), leased to Sir William Hull, the one six and the other seven ploughlands for fifty and thirty-four years, respectively.
A brief account will now be given of the territory of the minor sept (called, after a "Teig" who lived before 1400), "Sliocht Teig O'Mahowne," so often referred to in State papers. Of "the thirty-six ploughlands," Donogh O'M. of Skeaghanore (a ploughland not of the Sliocht) held twenty-two in 1602; Teig O'M. of Ballyrisode, held four, and some others held, severally, the remaining ten. After the death of Donogh, and during the minority of his son, Dermod, then only six years old, the all-grasping Boyle, afterwards Earl of Cork, seized the lands in 1615 on the plea that he purchased them from one Donogh McCarthy, who alleged that they were "sold to him twenty years before by the uncle of the deceased Donogh O'Mahon." Boyle, in his diary of April 16th, 1616, writes of having given some timber "from my woods in the lands of Sliocht Teig O'Mahowne." He sold the lands, doubtless at a good profit, to one Morgan Peake, against whom a Chancery suit was instituted on behalf of Dermod in 1623. The Chancery Bill states that plaintiff is "Dermod O'M., of Skeaghanore, gentleman, . . . whose ancestors held quiet possession for two hundred and forty years," and sets forth his demand with great minuteness. We don't know the details of the case, or the "order made in 1628" (Cal. State Papers), but the presumption is against Boyle's bona fides. It would not be the first of his shady transactions. Florence McCarthy Mor complained in the Tower that he was a sufferer by "Boyle's tricks." And the Earl of Ormond had some time before written that "Boyle had been the means of overthrowing many of Her Majesty's subjects by finding false titles to their lands and turning them out." Dermod O’M. recovered some of his land at all events, for in the Book of Survey and Distribution (1657) we find him having eleven hundred acres at Ardura, which was in the Sliocht Teig's territory. Dermod's family was known in lvagha as "O'M. of Muscrigh" (Muskerry), some one of his ancestors having been fostered by one of his namesakes in West Muskerry.
In 1616 an arbitrary act of James I displayed his utter disregard for the rights which the Irish Chiefs had acquired by "surrender and re-grant," and must have spread a sense of insecurity through every tribeland in the County Cork. This was his grant to a favoured Scotchman (one Sir James Sempell) of the lands of Kilbrittain, and many other ploughlands which Mac Carthy Reagh held by Letters Patent, of a great part of Ivagha, including Ardintennane, and nine ploughlands of which O'Mahon's father, the former chief, got a re-grant in 1593, and of several "chiefries," those of "Sliocht Teig O'Mahowne," and others. There is evidence, however, that the grant was not put into execution. Its impolicy, perhaps, rather than its flagrant illegality and dishonesty, weighed with the King's advisers, on reconsideration, and caused it to be left in abeyance.94 In none of the lvagha Inquisitions is there any mention of a head rent, or rent, to Sempell or to his assignees being a charge on the lands.
In this connection, it may be stated that neither is there mention made in any of the above Inquisitions of the chiefry called "The Earls' Beeves," which is admitted in one of O'Driscoll's Inquisitions, and in one of Mac Carthy Reagh's. An Earl of Desmond had probably sometime in the 14th century succeeded in imposing a tribute of a hundred beeves on Carbery, or the most of it. After Desmond's attainder the Government continued to exact this "slavish tax," as Cox calls it in his Regnum Corcagiense. As Ivagha appears to have escaped paying any portion of it, the Chief did not attend a meeting held about 1610 by the principal men in the West to obtain remission of the tax. There is nothing else to record about Clan or Chieftain until Oct. 23rd, 1641. Nicholas Browne, an undertaker, who knew the Irish well, warns the Privy Council of England, in Elizabeth's reign, that "they (the Irish) are expecting from tyme to tyme to take advantage to recover the lands of their ancestors, and to expell the English." Such an opportunity seemed to be presented by the dissension between Charles I and the Parliament in 1641. It has been sought to represent this Insurrection as a war of Catholics against Protestants, and not of despoiled Irishmen against English Planters. A different and truer view of it was expressed by Lord Castlehaven, a contemporary witness, and by Lord Clarendon, witness of a similar movement in 1685; "the contest," writes Clarendon to Rochester, "is not so much about religion as between English and Irish, and that is the truth." Professor Mahaffy, in An Epoch of Irish History, thinks it noteworthy 'that the day selected for the outbreak, Oct. 23rd, was St. Ignatius' Day―"very significant as showing Jesuit influences." He found a mare's nest; the Feast of St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits, is July 31st. If he read the history of South Munster, he would have known that in 1261, when Normans and Celts worshipped at the same altars, the Irish "rose against the English adventurers, burned twelve castles and killed their English warders."95 (O'Donovan's Note to Four M., year 1261.)
Though there had been no general confiscation in Ivagha, Rosbrin had been confiscated, with its nine ploughlands, and Dunheacon, with its three ploughlands. Sir W. Hull occupied Dunbeacon, and year by year was acquiring leasehold interests from impoverished landholders, and thus greatly encroached on the tribeland. As an undertaker he probably had the highly unpopular qualities of that class, which, according to Camden, were the principal cause of the rising in Munster in 1598. By his own account, given in his "Depositions," all Ivagha seems to have besieged him and his retainers at Crookhaven, and his sons at Leamcon, and taken his culverin and his goods. Though he claims to have repelled the "rebels," he goes on to say that he and his staff got on board an English ship and sailed to a place of security. He bestows the name of "robbers" on the leaders of the Sept, who, no doubt, when they spoke of him, returned the compliment. He mentions as his "chief robbers" great O'Mahowne alias O'M. Foone (Fionn), of Kilmoe, in the Barony of Ivagha, gent., Denis Ruadh O'Mahowne, Lord of the Castell of Dunmanus, gent., and others." Towards the end he mentions "Dermod Merriga (Mergeach) O'M., of Gubbeyne," who bore a sobriquet usual in the Kerry branch of the O'M. at that period. "Great O'Mahon"―a term also used by Cox―is a rather crude translation of "O'Mahon More," analogous to O'Sullivan More and McCarthy More; the epithet being always given to the head of the senior of two septs of the same name.
When Hull and the occupant of Rosbrin and some other planters
had taken their departure, the members of the Clan helped the insurrection in
other localities. Hence, besides the Chief, Donal, and Donogh of Dunmanus
Castle, the following were outlawed at Youghal in Aug. 1642 (as transcribed from
a MS. in British Museum, Add. 4772):―
"O'Mahowne, Kean of Geary, gentleman.
"Dermod of Skeaghanore, alias O'M. of Muscrigh, gentleman.
"Conor, of Leamcon, do.;
"Kean alias O.M., of Ballinskeagh, do.
"Florence, of Arderavingy, do.
"Conogher Mac Finin, of Gortranully, do.
"Conogher alias O'M. Mac Idwylia, do.
"McDermod Finin, of Knockiculleen, do.
"McDermod John Mac Teig, of Long Island, do."
The outlawry had no effect until the end of 1649. At some date within that period of seven years Donal died, and was succeeded by his son Conor, the last O'Mahon Fionn, who in a short time became a mere titular Chief. The Book of Survey and Distribution and The Down Survey give the remainder of the history of the broken clan, though for some reason or other best known to the compilers, fully one-third of the confiscated proprietors, including many of those in the above list, are not mentioned. "Dermod of Skeaghanore, Irish Papist, forfeited 1,460 acres." A Dermod of Kilcrohane 284 acres, and in Durrus an O'M. named "Mac an doille" 646 acres. The family of Dunmanus lost 1,600, and the family of Leamcon96 1,240 acres. The then nominal Chief, Conor" is described as living in Ballydevlin Castle. Tradition tells that he and the nominal Chief of Kinelmeky met at some assembly of the Irish, and that a tribal bard, impressed by the occasion, composed an elegy, which was preserved in the beginning of the last century, but of which now only the two introductory lines survive.
From the destitution at home which the bard laments they doubtless sought refuge in Spain. So also did many of the other proprietors of Ivagha, but some remained in the condition of tenants on the freeholds they once held. One of these was the son of Dermod of Skeaghanore, who lived on a farm in Ardura, part of the Sliocht Teig lands, his father's property. He made his will in 1719 (now in Record Office), which, though then aged, he signed in a clear distinct hand, "Kean O'Mahon"―which shows that the present form of the surname was not then in use in the West. He leaves to his children "the Irish interest I had in this ploughland (of Ardura) if it ever be restored," bequeathing a hope doomed to disappointment.
At the time of the Down Survey (1657) nearly all the Castles97 were untenanted and described as "ruinous." The ancient name, Ivagha, survived while the Irish language was spoken in the district. (This Journal, vol ii., p. 235.)
Since this series of papers was commenced some additional material has come to hand which will be made use of when they are republished in a book form. A summary of the principal points which have been established by the citation of original sources may now be given. It has been shown that (I) the Sept was the first of the Eoghanacht Clans, descended from Corc, that formed a separate existence; that (2) from the beginning of the sixth century its Chief ruled from Rath Rathleann the territory from Cork to the Mizen Head, including Kinelea called after its tribe-name (3) that the tribeland became the Diocese of Cork in the ecclesiastical organisation of the country; (4) that two of the Chieftains became Kings of Munster; (5) that its predominance in South Munster continued until the twelfth century; (6) that the division into the Eastern and Western Sept took place about the middle of the thirteenth century. Neither of the two branches ever sided with the English against their fellow-countrymen during the long struggle which ended in 1603.
The History of the Sept is now ended. But in the next number a brief account, will be given of its offshoot, the Kerry branch, which continued to flourish, and to which belonged several highly distinguished officers of the Irish Brigade.
I.―The "Féilire of Oengus" (ob. circa 840), under the 11th of December, mentions "Tech Saxan in Hui-Eachach Mumhan." This is Tissassan, about a mile and a half south-west of Kinsale, which is thus shown to have been in the Ui Eachach Tribeland.
2.―From the ancient Latin "Life of S. Carthagus" it appears that St. Dimma, who flourished half a century before St. Finbar, was the first Bishop of Cork. See "Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae." Edidit Carolus Plummer, 1910, p. 183. "He was the son of Cormac of the tribe of Eacaidh"; this Cormac was the brother of the Chieftain Aedh Uargarbh (a quo Cineal Aodha), ancestor of Mahon. "Et dixit Carthagus Exi cito ad regionem Hui Eachach," &c., &c. "Go at once, to the land of the Ui Eachach in South Muster, for there will be your resurrection, and your own tribe will have an internecine warfare if you do not arrive in time to hinder it. And Bisbop Dimma went to his own country. . . and preaching the Divine precept made peace among them; and he built a monastery in his own country, which be offered with all his 'parochia' to S. Carthagus," who, however, is not said to have accepted the offer. Dimma died ministering as Bishop in Ui Eachach Mumhan, i.e., the tribeland which after St. Finbar's time began to be called the Diocese of Cork.
3.―According to the Carew Calendar, 1592, a "composition for cesse" was signed by two proprietors in Ivagha in Sept., 1592. There was then no Chieftain, as Conor Fionn died in March, and his son was a minor.
4.―As regards the islands now "The Skeams," Dive Downes, who knew and used the modern name, found the name "Inniskean" in the ancient rolls of the Diocese of Cork, which are allowed to be "ancient and authentic" (Bishop Lyons, in 1588). The name is not in the "Geneal. of Corcalaidhe," but is In McC. Reagh's Inquisition; it implies the ownership of some Cian of the Ivagha Sept, and it passed to Corcalaidhe by some marriage arrangement, probably that of Flnin of Rosbrin's daughter.
1. This is a suitable occasion
for indicating two misleading productions which have been considered to be
sources of information about the present subject. I. The first is an article of
two pages which appeared in the "Cork Hist. and Arch. Journal," year
1897, vol. iii., 2nd Series, p. 304, written as a review of a contribution of
Mr. Harold Frederic's to the New York "Times." The two pages―with
the exception of one passage quoted and applied from the Four Masters―are
simply a tissue of misstatements. The reckless writer went to his imagination
for some of his "facts"; others he derived from State papers bearing
on the affairs of the Eastern Sept, which he adapted to the Western by leaving
out the words that refer to Kinelmeky and its circumstances in 1588. To refute
his errors in detail would be a waste of time and space. II. The next is a paper
of the Herald Office, A.D. 1600, containing a pedigree, with accompanying notes,
published in the new Ed. of Smith's "Cork," pp. 269 and 270. Of the
pedigree it is enough to say that (down to A.D. 1300) it is utterly at variance
with Duald Mac Firbis and all the Irish genealogical MSS.
in the R. I. Academy and the Library of T.C.D. The notes are equally erroneous
as regards the mediæval history of the Sept. In preparing for a new edition of
Smith's "Cork," it would be well to expunge this paper.
2. Eacard, nominative; Eacac, genitive; Ui Eacac, descendents of Eochy, is a nominative plural; On-Eacac, genitive plural; Nib-Eacac, dative plural, or "prepositional."
3. Its entries about events of the eleventh century coincide verbally with those that Sir James Ware quotes from "Munster Annals." These Annals open abruptly with the passage about the patrimony of Cas, brother of Aengus, contemporary of St. Patrick:―[long phrase in Irish]
The transcriber took "Cuirc' to be an abbreviation of "Cormaic"; this error is here rectified. Sliabh Caoin, the northern boundary, is the hill east of Macroom, afterwards Sliabh Min, now corrupted to Sleaveen. Flan, a successor of Cas, made the "Muskerry Paps" (and the Blackwater) the northern boundary. See Irish quatrain in Smith's "Cork," New Ed., p. 14.
4. Windele Papers, R. I. Acad., Cork Topography. Excursion to Kilmaclenin.
5. (Dublin) "Annals of Inilisfalten."
6. Smith's "Hist. of Cork," p. 128. Rent Roll of the Diocese of Cork.
7. Another castle in which he used to reside was Ballydevlin. (Inquisition of 1612.)
8. It was held in Cork; the Inquisition on O'Driscoll was held in Rosscarbery, where evidence about his affairs was easily procurable.
9. See "Book of Survey and Distribution" (1657), and the names of some of the settlers in Smith.
10. The late Canon Lyons called attention to this circumstance in his article on Place Names in this "Journal" (vol. ii., year 1893).
11. The list is taken from Mr. McCarthy Glas's "Life of Florence MacCarthy Mor, p. 9.
12. References to "Annals Four M." are given in a previous footnote. See Ware's "Antiquities," p. 134, about Turlough O'Connor's Castle in Tuam, "the wonderful Castle," in 1161.
13. See the list given by O'Donovan, note to "Annals Four M.," years 1215 and 1261. In the small County of Carlow, the key of the Pale, the English had built 148 castles before the time of Henry V, as is stated in a letter to that king from the Dublin Parliament. It might be expected that the great number of castles built by the O'Mahonys of Ivagha would be regarded as evidence of the resources and the foresight of the Sept. The strange comment of Professor W. F. Butler in his "Notes on Carbery" ("Cork Hist. and Arch. Journal") is that "they had a perfect mania for building castles." In keeping with this curious comment is the statement of the same writer that "the most important Sept in West Cork was a Sept that, admittedly, had the smallest force, the fewest Castles, and the most barren territory. (Inquisition in Appendix to "Annals Four M.")
14. The compilers of the Dublin "Annals of Innisfallen" misunderstood the original Annalist when they added to his entry―"built by the English." They evidently took Dunlochy to be Dunloe in Kerry, built by the English in 1215 (O'Donovan). But (1) Dunloe in Irish is Dunloich ("Annals F. M.," 1570), which is now pronounced by Irish speakers exactly as the English name; (2) Dunloe Castle would not derive a name from a lake a mile distant. A local name would be more likely to be given to it from the river Laune, on whose bank it stands.
15. Statement of an old man named Leahy, an Irish speaker, who was born in the island.16. See, for an account of this machine, "Miscellany of Celtic Soc.," 1849, and O'Sullivan Beare ("Hist. Cath."), who quaintly calls it Muc-us Bellicus!
17. Recte Bealdwylin (as in Inquisitions), the "mouth of the flood," as being exposed to the southwest waves.
18. Cum quibus (Castellis) aulae satis magnae et amplae . . . in istis aulis epulari solent, raro tamen somnium nisi in castellis capiunt (p. 219). . . . Coenitant autem magnifice et opipare (p. 221). "Hibernire Descriptio," Leyden, 1627.
19. Fretum circumjacens piscibus seatens Hispanos. Gallos, Belgas, piscatores accit. (O'S. Beare, "Hist. Cath.," i. 6.). . . . Celebre est Evaugh (Ivagha) promontorium quod inter Bantre et Baltimore, &c.; quo numerosa quotannis Hispanorum et Lusitanorum classis, ipso brumali solstitio, ad piscandos etiam asellos confluit." Camden from the Elzevir "Res publica Hibernire." From a State paper of 1569 it appears that six hundred Spanish vessels set sail that year for the lrish Fisheries.
20. Mrs. Green, in her recently published "Making and Unmaking of Ireland," pp. 137-140, gives proofs of the systematic attempt made in the 15th and 16th centuries to prevent foreign vessels from trading with the Irish, and shows that about 1540-1570 the southern coasts were infested by a large number of English pirates.
21. This district includes Bantry. There may be something in Smith's derivation of that name from "Beant Mac Fariola (recte Fearchealla), a descendant of the O'Donovans and O'Mahonys," notwithstanding the clumsy conclusion of his sentence. His informant probably told him that Beant was of Eoghanacht origin, like the two clans mentioned. In a note on the genealogy of the O'Mahonys in the "Book of Munster," Duaid Mac Firbis traces Fearceall to Corc, King of Munster, as follows:―"Fearcheall mac CinfaoIa, mic Aodha-Finn, mic Criomthan, mic Cobthaigh, mic Duach, mic Cairbre, mic Cuirc, mic Luighdach." Here it may be noted as significant, that there was an ancient parish of Duach in the district known as Ui Cairbre (Carbery). The majority, however, of this Cairbre's race settled in Kerry. Beantraighe would mean descendants of Beant, as Ciaraighe the descendants of Ciar, Muscraighe, the race of Muse, &c. The Beantraigh in Wexford may have been a different race, as the Ui Eachach Uladh were of a different origin from their southern namesakes.
22. Canon Lyons ("Cork Hist. and Arch. Journal," 1894) conjectured that the contest with Donal Got McCarthy "took place at Cahir (near Ballineen) called Caitr na g-cnam." The conjecture is unfounded. The scene of the combat is called in Carew's Lambeth pedigree of the O'M., Carrigdourtheacht―wherever that may be. The name of the Cahir fort is probably prehistoric. It is incredible that in the 13th century the bodies of the slain were allowed to remain unburied, and that their whitened bones gave a name to a place.
23. See also Smith, p. 18, new Ed.
24. The Head of the O'Daly Clan was a Chieftain in Westmeath. "There was no family," says O'Donovan, "to which the Bardic Literature of Ireland is more indebted." A banch settled in Munster in the twelfth century.
25. Muintervary is not, as has been conjectured, Tuovintirrydorke in McCarthy Reagh's Inquisition. Tbe Muinter Doirc were a Corcalaidhe family who gave name to another district.
26. Eoin Masach O'Mehigan was a wandering member of this family and the author of an elegy on O'Driscoll's son, given in the Miscell. Celtic Society, 1849.
27. He thus corrects the Lambeth pedigree, which erroneously says that Dermod married the daughter of McCarthy Reagh. Carew also says that Dermod's widow married "Donal Cham from whom the branch of McCarthy Reagh." This McCarthy cannot be identified. Mr. McCarthy Glas thinks that Donal Caomh was meant (1311-1320), but Carew always spells phonetically, and "Cam" is not Caomh; besides, Donal Caomh was a contemporary of Dermod's great-grandson, Dermod More II.
28. In hoc promontorio, Evaugh, O'Mahoni ampla praedia beneficentia M. Carew acceperunt. Camdeni Britannia, 1586.
29. Dr. O'Donovan writes in a note to "Annals F. Masters," 1261:―"After this signal defeat of the English, Fineen of Ringrone and the Irish Chieftains of South Munster burned and levelled the Castles of Dun Mic Tomain, Dunnagall, Dunnalong, Dunnamark, etc., and killed their English warders." O'Driscoll repaired and retained Dunnalone and Dunnagall.
30. See Letter of the Citizens of Cork to Lord Deputy Rutland, 1450, quoted in a former note.
31. His document has been gravely quoted as a historical authority in "Notes on Carbezy" in this "Journal." See a fuller refutation of it in a former footnote.
32. A curious reminiscence of the Marquis Carew was unconsciously preserved near Bearhaven by people who knew nothing about him. Canon Lyons writes in "Cork Hist. and Arch. Journal," 1893. p. 265:―"A curse in common use in Berehaven is Cor de talam Mc Marcuir cugat: "may you have a plot of Mac Marcus's land." He adds: "Mac Marcus was some cruel middle landlord." I have no doubt that he is mistaken in this interpretation, and that the imprecation, when first used seven centuries ago, meant, "May you have a plot of land from the Marquis's son," who was probably a byword for cruelty.
33. Henry the Eighth affected to be more conscientious than his predecessor, Henry II, for in 1536 he proposed for discussion to his Council, as a dubious question, whether he could dispose of all the lands of Ireland. But there is reason to call in question the authenticity of the oft-quoted Charter of Henry II, which bears no date. In 1207, John, certainly, treated it as non-existent, without a protest from anyone. He gave a grant to Philip De Prendergast of 40 knights' fees between Cork and Innishannon―a portion of the "Kingdom of Cork" already given away by Henry's Charter, if genuine. So also he gave to Richard De Cogan the district of "Musgry O'Millane," to hold in fee, &c. Milo de Cogan's heirs would not apply for that grant if they already had a right by Henry's Charter to half the county; they would be admitting the nullity of the alleged Charter. Nor could they, without evoking a protest, have applied for a grant of any of Fitzstephen's portion. The "Charter of Henry II" must have been forged after the death of John, and the City of Cork excluded from the grant of the "Kingdom of Cork," as the citizens would be sure to inquire into the validity of the document if it affected themselves.
34. So spelled by Duald Mac Firbis in the "Book of Munster." In other MSS., Ratha Dreodhain.
35. Tadhg, called Tadhg an Oir, i.e., of the gold, from his wealth. He was the ancestor of the Ui Flon Luadh branch. (Genealogical Table No. III.) It was probably not himself, but his son, that left Ivagha and obtained from O'Mahon of Kinelmeky the territory of Ui Flon Luadh. O'Hart ("Irish Pedigrees") absurdly states, as if it were an unquestionable fact, that from this Teig "of the gold" came the family of Gould―known to be one of the old Cork City families of Danish descent.
The head of the Ui Flon Lua O'M. minor sept was attainted in 1602 for taking part in O'Neil's Insurrection. When writing the account of this family, we doubted this fact owing to D'Alton's mis-quotation. We have since found the evidence of the attainder in a Patent Roll of James I (1605), of which the following is an abstract:―"Grant from the King to Sir Wm. Taaffe (in consideration of faithful services to Queen Elizabeth) of the entire territory of Ifflonlua (West), Muskerry, 28 carucates, the lands of DonaI Mac Conogher O'Mahony, late of Ifflonlua, gentleman, for high treason attainted"―in the curious Law-Latin of the time, "pro alta proditione attinctus." D'Alton had confounded him with a namesake, "Donal Mac Conogher O'M.," of Rosbrin Castle, attainted by the Act of Parliament, 1584, for taking part in the Desmond Insurrection.
36. This historic Clan, forced by the invaders to leave its ancient tribeland near Clonmel in A.D. 1192, established itself in Kerry. But the Clan did not occupy Beara at that date, as Mr. J. M. Burke, B.L., has proved in the June number of "Ivernia," 1909.
37. In the MS. of the "Munster Annals" in the R. I. Acad. the date was accidentally omitted, but in the MS. of that work used by the compiler of the Dublin "Annals of Innisfallen," who transcribes this entry, the date was 1319. The compiler arbitrarily altered the name "Donal" into "Cian."
38. So states Sir William Betham in his account of the Kerry Branch of the O'M., but he does not mention his authority.
39. See "Life of Florence MacCarthy," by Mr. Mac Carthy Glas, p. 33.
40. The Four Masters would not have omitted the words "affil" or "Thre Feill" (through treachery) if they found the words in the ancient historical MSS. that they had before them. On the other hand, the compiler of the Dublin "Annals of Innisfallen,' who inserted these words, was quite capable of introducing his own conjectures into ancient entries, as we have proved in No. 79, p. 127. supra.
41. Daniel McC. Reagh's Inquisition, 1636.
42. There were 36 ploughlands according to Carew; as only 22 were claimed by Dermod, 14 other ploughlands must have been partitioned among his kinsmen.
43. This question was raised by Mrs. Dorothea Townshend in a paragraph in "Notes and Queries" in this "Journal," Oct.-Dec., 1906. She dwelt on the fact that "Glenbarahane" is said in the Down Survey to be in the Slioght Teig, and (2) stated that "the relatives of the proscribed Teig O'Mahon claimed it in a long lawsuit." There was no "proscribed" Teig of that sub-sept at that time. The nature of the lawsuit will be stated later on. There is no proof that Glenbarahane was claimed in that lawsuit.
44. Perhaps Karragh, which was an O'Driscoll praenomen.
45. The statements of those documents for the period. 1014-1400 are quite erroneous. For the period after the latter date they are often confirmed by Irish MSS., and, accordingly, some of the information they contain is made use of in this and the following pages.
46. Cabac, (genitive Cabaicc) meant also "a talker," or "of the cape" (caba).
47. There are extant some treaties between the English Lord Deputies and the O'Neills written in Latin. In the Parliament of 1541 the Earl of Ormond translated the Lord Chancellor's speech into Irish for the Irish Chiefs who attended. The "Indenture" prepared in 1542 to be signed by the Irish Chiefs (and actually signed by a few of them), pledging their allegiance to Henry VIII, was drawn up in Latin that it might be understood by them. McWilliam Eighter, the great Mayo Chief (Hibernis Hibernior) conducted his negotiation with Sidney in Latin. Dermod O'Driscoll conversed in Latin with the Spaniards at Castlehaven in 1601, according to O'Sullivan Beare. Even at the Confederation of Kilkenny, Bishop Heber McMahon had to address the assembly in Latin, not knowing (as he admitted) "either the French or Sassenagh languages." A Royal Proclamation in 1605 against the Irish Jesuits was published in Dublin and other parts of Ireland in Latin. "That it may be generally understood, I am putting it into Latin" (Chichester to Cranbourne).
48. A copy belonging to Brian Mac Dermot, Chief of Moylurg, was transcribed in 1588, and the copyist added entries about the events of Brian's lifetime; the MS. transcribed must have belonged to the earlier part of that century, if not to the end of the 15th.
49. Dr. Todd attempted to give the genealogy of the Chieftain from the time of Mahon, but was misled by the incorrect "Herald Office" pedigree of A.D. 1600.
Pages 186-87, Oct.-Dec., 1909 missing
53. See O'Donovan's Edition of "Genealogy of
Corcalaidhe," pp. 53-54. about the O'Fihelly territory. The celebrated
Maurice De Portu O'Fihelly, Archbishop of Tuam, 1506, and called in the
Continental schools where he taught "Flos Mundi," was a member of this
family, and probably a relative of Donal's.
54. See Mrs. Green's "The Making and Unmaking of Ireland," p. 291, &c. See Ware's "Irish Writers," p. 90, and Wood's "Athenae Oxoniense." Smith copied Ware's notice about O'Fihelly and his patron in the last chapter of his "History of Cork."
55. Bolster's Magazine, Dec., 1829, p. 230.
56. Rossbrin, on one side, rises sheer from the sea. On the land side it appears from