Monday, April 29, 2024

Timoleague Franciscan Friary


Timoleague Franciscan Friary

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien


The Franciscan Friary at Timoleague, in West Cork, stands on a promontory overlooking the estuary and the sea beyond. It was founded in the thirteenth century but it was no fresh foundation but only the latest expression of religious faith on the shores of the southern sea. In the mid seventh century a travelling monk called St. Molagga arrived in Timoleague. He was born at Athacross Molaga near Kildorrery.[1] In his youth St. Molaga left Ireland to learn Christianity in Scotland and in Wales under St. David before returning to Ireland to study at Clonmacnoise. St. Molagga went on to found several monasteries. He was named as abbot of Timoleague and abbot of Tulach-min.[2] The saint’s feast day of 20th January was the occasion of a patten and fair day known as St. Molaga’s Fair.[3] A holy well, called Lady’s Well, exists at Lettercolm, about a half mile west of Timoleague.[4] In 1164 the coarb of Mo-Laca was slain.[5] The circumstances as to why he was killed are unknown. In the same year the coarb of Emily and his son were also killed.[6] Unfortunately Timoleague parish is not included in the 12th century list of landowners of Corcu Loidge which instead records material from the middle and western portions of the Diocese of Ross.[7]

Timoleague parish and the Diocese of Ross

Timoleague formed a parish within the diocese of Ross in medieval times. The bishop of Rosailithir (later shorten to Ross and also known as Ross Carbery) is not mentioned at the synod of Rathbreasail (1111), or Kells (1152). Instead the bishop is first mentioned in 1152 among the suffragan bishops of Cashel. To be a suffragan bishop in 1152 means that the bishop was active before that date but how far back in time is unclear. A number of abbots and erenaghs of Ross are mentioned between 824 and 1096. In 1085 Neachtain died as bishop of Rossailithre. In 1172 Benedict was bishop of Ross and was succeeded by many others until the 16th century.[8]

In 1177 Milo de Cogan received a grant of half of Desmond from the English king which included much of the coastline west of Cork city. Later de Cogan granted the area around Rynnanhlan (Courtmacsherry) to Geoffrey Fitz Odo, ancestor of the Hodnett family, written in Irish as MacSeathraigh (MacSherry). Geoffrey Fitz Odo or Milo de Cogan (sources differ), then granted the area around Timoleague to Henry le Botiller (Butler) and his son John Butler. David de Barry married Henry Butler’s daughter and received Timoleague as a marriage portion.[9] Between 1224 and 1253 Florence, Bishop of Ross, quitclaimed to David de Barry the towns and estates of Tatmelage (Timoleague), Rathynunchy (Courtmacsherry), Munisege, and Killude along with other unnamed places. All these places were originally owned by the Bishop of Ross before the grant to Milo de Cogan. In 1355 the de Barrys held the manor of Timoleague and Courtmacsherry from the Bishop of Ross.[10] When the dioceses were formed between 1111 and 1152 the newly elevated diocesan bishops acquired or seized the property of old monasteries that had ceased to function or had fallen on hard times. By such means an early Bishop of Ross would have acquired the property of the old monastery of St. Molaga at Timoleague.

East window, MacCarthy tomb & mural passages

Franciscan Friary founders: Barry or MacCarthy

The documentary sources differ on when (1240 to 1370s), and by whom, the Franciscan Friary at Timoleague was founded.[11] This is understandable when the Bishop of Ross had a claim to Timoleague as did the family of David de Barry. Into this mix came the MacCarthy family after the 1250s as they fought back against the Normans to recover the kingdom of Desmond (Counties Cork and Kerry along with part of west Limerick). One of their ancestors was Cormac MacCarthy, founder of Cormac’s chapel on the Rock of Cashel in the early 12th century. The MacCarthys were also conquering Irish territory as in 1232 they became lords of Carbery after defeating the O’Mahony family.[12] The Franciscan Order was a mendicant, living off gifts and donations than having their own estates. The Athenry Franciscan Friary book of donations shows many different people funding different buildings within the friary and features like installing new windows.[13] Each of these donors could be regarded as founders of the friary.

One source says the Timoleague Friary was founded in 1240 by MacCarthy Riabach.[14] This is possibly based on an entry in the Annals of the Four Masters to that affect.[15] Another observer says this foundation was originally a secular church and that the Franciscans didn’t occupy the church until a later date. The suggested friary founder was Margaret de Courcy, wife of William de Barry. He died in 1373 and Margaret is said to have founded the friary to remember her husband.[16] She died in 1375 and was remembered in a lost book belonging to the Friary.[17]

A tomb of one of the Barons de Courcy lies in the choir along with those of many other different noblemen. A manuscript in the British Museum says it was William de Barry, Lord of Ibaun, founded the friary before he died in 1373. Yet the same manuscript also gives the foundation to the MacCarthy Reagh.[18] Luke Wadding considered MacCarthy Reagh to be the founder as his tomb was in the centre of the choir and the Barry tomb was somewhere else in the church.[19] The Brevis Synopsis Provinciae Hiberniae, from which Wadding got his information, gives the foundation to Lord William James Barry in 1240 but as noted that others give MacCarthy Reagh the founder and strengthen their argument by highlighting that his tomb was located in the centre of the choir.[20] The Brevis Synopsis was written by Fr. Francis Matthews in the 1620s as a brief history of the Irish Franciscan Province.[21]

Another author though that the site of the friary was originally a castle belonging to the Moril family. Later the MacCarthys took over the castle and gave it to the Franciscans to establish a friary.[22] A number of other Franciscan friaries were founded at sites which were previously a castle, or proposed castle site, such as at Youghal.[23] The unfinished castle at Quin was given over to the Franciscans.[24] The Timoleague author may not have been totally off the rails therefore. It is recorded in 1219 that Diarmait, son of Domnall MacCarthaig captured a castle at Tech Mo-Laga belonging to Henry Butler and took hostages.[25] At some unknown date David de Barry married Anabel daughter of Henry le Botiller and received the lordship of Timoleague and the half cantred of Uí Badhamhna (Ibawn) with its castle as a marriage portion.[26]

Sir James Ware though that the original friary was at Cregan in Ibaun alias Ibawn (otherwise written as Uí Badamna) and that the friars only moved in 1279 to Timoleague. Ware was referencing a manuscript by Donald O Fibely (fl. Sec. xv. ex) which said that Dermot Fuscus died and was firstly buried in the new monastery of Cregan. Later in 1279 was translated to Teathmolagiam (Timoleague). Ware though it was the friars who were translated but rather it was the body of Dermot and the original source does not described Timoleague as a monastery.[27] Local folklore also scribes to the friary moving from an original location to a new site above the River Arigideen at Timoleague.[28] Moving monasteries is not far from possible in the Diocese of Ross context. The Cistercian abbey of Fons Vivus (also called Maure Abbey) was originally built at Aghamanister in about 1172 and moved before 1278 to a new site two miles away at Crecan in Uí Badamna. In 1278 Diarmait MacCarthy, son of Domnall Cairbreach, was buried in the new Cistercian abbey.[29]

Elsewhere James Ware changed his mind and said the friary was founded in the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) by William de Barry while at the same time acknowledging that MacCarthy also had a foundation claim.[30] Dr. Cochrane took up the 1279 date and said that William de Barry founded the friary in that year. But the same author also gave a second opinion that in 1312 the friary was founded by MacCarthy.[31]

Cathedral and Friary architecture  

The confusion about when Timoleague friary was founded is not just in the documents but is also reflected in the architecture. The choir and adjacent part of the nave have thick walls with mural passages within. The upper mural passages are interrupted by large two storey round headed arches known as a ‘giant order’ arch. These arches had a Classical origin and were adopted in European Romanesque buildings and early Gothic buildings. The now demolished Waterford Cathedral had examples of these giant order arches. The thick walls with mural passages are similar to that in the two Dublin cathedrals and the cathedral at Newtown Trim. These architectural features suggest a building that was built early in the 1200s rather than late. It also points to a pre-Franciscan use for the building.[32] Samuel Lewis, in his 1837 Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, also said that the high mural passage reflected that found in English cathedrals.[33] In the years around 1213 Daniel, an Englishman or Anglo-Norman, was bishop of Ross.[34] He may have imported this English cathedral feature to Timoleague.

The architecture seems to suggest that an early 13th century Bishop of Ross had designs to build, or convert an existing church, at Timoleague into a cathedral church. The new church was built with at least four large round headed windows on the south side and at least five on the north side as well as a large round headed east window. The three lancet windows on the present east gable are a later insert. The church took on the area of the later choir and one bay west of the later tower. After the Franciscans took over the nave was extended to its present length. The guest house on the west side of the friar’s cloister has roof gutters throwing water onto the church wall. This is something the builders would not have done unless the nave was shorter and the church didn’t extend as far west as the guest house. the alignment of the guest house was originally east-west but was changed to north-south when the cloister was built.  

Outside east window, sacristy to right

The new church (cathedral?) was constructed around an existing church, or beside one, as it is not built on an east-west alignment. Early churches up to the 10th century were aligned north-east to south-west and after the 10th century new churches were built on the east-west axis. Old churches and cathedrals, such as at Westminster Abbey and Winchester cathedral, were often knocked down and rebuilt on the new east-west fashion. In the early 13th century Timoleague church should have been built on the east-west alignment but was instead constructed north-east to south-west. The later friary complex continued with the north-east to south-west alignment.

The layout of Timoleague friary is slightly different to other Franciscan friaries. At most friaries the chapter house and refectory form two sides of the cloister but at Timoleague the chapter house and the refectory are both on the east side with the refectory abutting the chapter house on its north side. Moyne and Ross Errily are the only known friaries with a similar layout of the cloister to Timoleague. Yet at both of these places the refectory forms part of an outer courtyard. There doesn’t appear to be any evidence of an outer courtyard at Timoleague.[35]

In the fifteenth century the ‘giant order’ arch in the thirteenth century north wall of the chancel was blocked up. Inserted into the base of the arch was a recessed tomb. The gap of over a hundred years between the construction of the thirteenth century chancel arch and the fifteenth century tomb was a relatively long difference in time.[36] It would appear that the blocking of the arch and the insertion of the tomb were contemporary but there could have been the lapse of a few years between both events. The recessed tomb also functioned as an Easter Sepulchre where the host was stored, possibly in a wooden box or chest, between Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday.[37] A short calculation makes about sixteen different building phases at Timoleague friary with at least six in the choir/nave area and many different building phases around the complex.

Blocked giant arch

Folklore says that the Franciscans of Timoleague established a hospital for leprosy at Spittle, two miles south of the Friary. Each day a friar would visit the hospital to offer prayers and comfort to the sick.[38]

Bishop of Ross as founder of Timoleague Friary   

The Diocese of Ross is not a coterminous diocese and so having more than one cathedral could better aid the management of the diocese. Later it was found that the diocese was too poor to support two cathedrals and therefore retained the cathedral at Ross (Ross Carbery) and disposed of the Timoleague building to the Franciscan Order. As in the time in the late 16th century, when Bishop de Courcy commissioned the tower, dormitory, refectory and library, he was aided by James de Courcy, Baron Kingsale. Thus an earlier Bishop of Ross could have established the Franciscans at Timoleague and was aided in funding the extra building work required by a local lord, be it a Barry or a MacCarthy, and this local lord was then regarded as the founder of the friary.

In this regard there is an interesting event in 1265. In that year Bishop Maurice of Ross requested to resign his bishopric and became a Franciscan friar. His reasons were that he had poorly administrated the diocese and caused unspecified misdeeds.[39] Is there some Timoleague Friary foundation connection with Bishop Maurice? In about June 1269 the dean and chapter of Ross informed the king (Henry III) that Maurice had resigned as bishop and they sought a licence to elect a new bishop. By September 1269 the dean and chapter had elected Brother Walter Omychien of the Franciscan Order as the new Bishop of Ross which action received the royal assent.[40] Thus we have Bishop Maurice favourable to the Franciscans and his successor was a Franciscan. Establishing Timoleague Friary would be a good project for either man. By February 1275 Bishop Walter was dead and the cathedral chapter elected Brother Peter Ohullcean of the Cistercian Order as the new Bishop of Ross.[41]

Franciscan Friary in operation

A manuscript written in about 1325 said that Timoleague friary had thirty friars at that time and this was the same as in 1316. The manuscript listed Irish friaries active in 1325 for the general chapter of the Franciscan order which was meeting at Lyons.[42] Canice Mooney took up this manuscript and gave a foundation date between 1307 and 1316.[43] Gwynn and Hadcock concluded that as Timoleague was a friary for both Irish and Anglo-Irish friars then Donal Glas MacCarthy and William de Barry were co-founders.[44] In 1366 Donal Glas MacCarthy, prince of Carbery, was buried in the friary.[45]

In 1299 the port and market town of Timoleague was mention in a list of market towns that existed in the Anglo-Norman controlled part of present County Cork. By that time Timoleague was at the western edge of the Norman area the bounds of which had retreated eastwards from the mid 13th century.[46] Timoleague port is said to have conducted a good trade with Spain; exporting butter and hides while importing wine.[47] It is said that the friars didn’t take well to the drinking sailors from Spain and prayed for the trade to end thus the river began to silted up and foreign trade declined.[48]

In the papal taxation roll of 1302-6 Timoleague church (Thamolagi) in the deanery of Obathumpna, was valued at 40s. The cathedral church at Ross was valued at 3 marks or just shy of 40s. This doesn’t mean that the Franciscan Friary at Timoleague was wealthy. Rather that the church and parish of Timoleague was worth more than most parishes in the Diocese of Ross. Lislea parish was worth 3½ marks and the highest value parish in the deanery of Obathumpna. The Cistercian abbey of Fonte Vivus was worth 6 marks.[49]

Observant Movement

In the early years of the fourteenth century a movement developed in Italy for a return by the Franciscan Order to a stricter observance of the ideas of St. Francis. In 1430 this movement was approved by the general chapter at Assisi as the Observant Reform. Those friars who wished to maintain the existing Franciscan rule were called the Conventuals. Both groups continued to exist within the Franciscan Order until 1517 by which time the tensions within were too great and Pope Leo X created two distinct Orders.[50] The first Observant house in Ireland occurred in 1433 with the new foundation at Quin in Co. Clare.[51] In 1460 Timoleague friary adopted the Observant reform under the direction of Lord de Barry.[52] Timoleague was joined in the Observant movement by other local friaries at Kilcrea and Sherkin.[53] The south transept and south aisle may have been constructed at this time to facilitate the new Observant Order. The patron of this work could have been MacCarthy Reagh who was living at Kilbrittain Castle a few miles to the east of Timoleague but we have as yet no documentary proof of this. If this was the case, then MacCarthy Reagh could have assumed the style of a founder of the Franciscan Friary or more a new founder of the new friary.

Cloister; kitchen to left; chapter house to the right

In general terms the Conventual friars were located in the English areas of Ireland while the Observant friars lived in Gaelic areas. From 1460 to 1517 the Irish Franciscan province had a Conventual friar as minister provincial and an Observant friar as the vicar provincial.[54] In 1494 and again in 1530 provincial chapters of the Franciscan Order was held at Timoleague Friary. Further provincial chapters were held in 1536 and 1563 at Timoleague.[55] The Franciscan Observant reform was not confined to that order. The Augustinian and Dominican Orders had their own independent reform movements in the 15th and 16th centuries.[56]

Timoleague parish

Separate from the Franciscan Friary was the parish of Timoleague and its church. It is not clear where the parish church was located. In 1486 it was said that Odo Ohega (O’Hea) held the rectory of Timoleague (worth 12 marks) for a number of years. Timoleague was spelt variously as Thimolacgy, Innayraidh and Tempulmicylayn. Philip Yhillygh (O’Herlihy?), vicar of Cruary (worth 9 marks) petitioned the pope to united the vicarage of Dysert (worth 3 marks), which was held by Thomas Ohedyrsgol (O’Driscoll), dean of Ross, for several years, with Cruary as the Dysert church was ‘ruinous in roof and walls’ and the Dysert people often went to Cruary church to hear mass for about twenty years. The pope appointed the chancellor and two canons of Ross to united all three benefices to Philip for his life if it was shown that he had a good claim to them.[57]

At about the same time John Oharth alias Odvnnyhn (O’Donovan) held the vicarage of Theachmolaghe (Timoleague) with the vicarage of Naepryg (Aghamanister) for several years according to a petition of 1491 with a combined value of 12 marks. Thady Abairain petitioned for the two vicarages along with the rectory of Carbery (held by Donald Ohega) to hold for life. Three canons of Ross cathedral were appointed to judge the petition. The papal letter was said that Carbery rectory was under lay patronage but didn’t say who the patron of Timoleague was.[58] In 1493 John Odunyhyn (O’Donovan) still held the vicarages of Teachmolage (Timoleague) and Nayra (Aghamanister) with a combined value of 14 marks. In March 1493 Thady Ymayrayn petitioned Rome for the two vicarages to be united with Cruari rectory aliis Cruary (detained by Donal Ohacga aliis O’Hea). A canon of Cork cathedral was asked to judge the matter the results of which are unknown.[59]

The relationship between the parish church and the friary was not always without difficulties. As the Franciscan Order became more clerical tensions with parish clergy surfaced over permission to preach, right of burial in friary grounds, and friars hearing confession among other issues.[60] In 1493 Timoleague Friary was mentioned among other Franciscan convents in the dioceses of Cork, Cloyne, Ardfert and other dioceses in the province of Cashel. By ancient custom a certain part of the goods of the deceased must be given to the local bishop and parish church of the parish the deceased person usually lived in when alive. But the guardians of the various Franciscan convents said they were exempt from such charge when people were buried in their graveyards after the convent in question gave a fourth part of the funeral fees to the local parish church. It was said by petition to the pope by David, Archbishop of Cashel, and a number of his suffragan bishops, that the Franciscans were advertising this so-called opt out clause to the people. As in any age people usually have something against paying taxes and charges thus the Franciscans were encouraging the people to be buried in their grounds and avoid church taxes. This was to the economic damage of the parish churches according to the petitioners. The pope appointed the abbot of Abbeydorney along with the precentor of Ardfert and a canon of that cathedral to summon the guardians of the various convents, including Timoleague to a meeting; to hear both sides and issue a just judgement without right of appeal.[61]   

Franciscan Bishops of Ross

In the 1490s Edmond de Courcy, a Franciscan from the Diocese of Ross and doctor of divinity, was bishop of Clogher and Ross at the same time. In 1485 Edmund de Courcy arrived in Ireland from Rome with a claim to be the bishop-elect of Clogher but his letters from Rome didn’t arrive. In July 1488 Edmund de Courcy was appointed papal nuncio and collector in Ireland. At a provincial council in July 1489 Edmund was recognised as Bishop of Clogher. Bishop Edmund then appeared to have travelled to England or Rome for a few years. In September 1494 he reappears in the records on becoming Bishop of Ross. It seems that Bishop Edmund held the Cistercian Abbey of Fonte Vivus with the Diocese of Ross. Although James MacMahon challenged Bishop Edmund for Clogher, the latter held both dioceses for at leat the following six years. In 1502 Bishop Edmund resigned the diocese of Clogher.[62] Bishop Edmund is accredited with commissioning the tower at Timoleague Friary. He also funded the building of the dormitory, infirmary and library. James de Courcy, Baron of Kinsale, is also accredited with helping in this construction work.[63] James de Courcy was his nephew. The tradition de Courcy lands extended from Kinsale to Timoleague.[64] The tower is about 76 feet tall and, although considered roughly built, looks impressive when view from the water. After Bishop Edmund’s work the friary had two dormitories; one over the refectory and another over the kitchen. It is not clear which one was funded by Bishop Edmund. The new library was said to be one the first floor of the north range.[65] On 14th March 1518 Bishop Edmund died and was buried in Timoleague Friary.[66]

Edmund Courcy, Bishop of Ross, was known for his affection and clemency towards the poor. The sanctity of his life was famous.[67] In 1504 Alan Patrick O’Fihely, O.F.M., died and was buried at Timoleague. He was well known for his learning according to James Ware.[68]

On 19th January 1519 John O’Hurley, bishop of Ross, died and was buried at Timoleague Friary.[69] He was originally a Cistercian monk at Fonte Vivus (Abbeymahon) and later abbot there before becoming Bishop of Ross in 1512. At some time John O’Hurley took the Franciscan habit and thus elected to be buried at Timoleague.[70] Folklore says that John O’Hurley was a relation of Edmond de Courcy, Bishop of Ross, and succeeded the latter when he retired on account of old age. The document of resignation was witnessed by Cornelius Cahalane, Guardian of Timoleague Friary and Lady Eleanor MacCarthy of Kilbrittain Castle.[71] Lady Eleanor was a daughter of Gerald, 8th Earl of Kildare, and wife of Donal MacCarthy Reagh.[72] In December 1519 Pope Leo X provided Thady O’Reilly, Bishop of Dromore (bishop since 1511), to the vacant see of Ross with permission to unite the two dioceses along with holding the abbey of Assaroe for his lifetime. Bishop O’Reilly struggled to manage the two dioceses at opposite ends of the country. In June 1526 he died and a new bishop was provided to Ross while Dromore was left vacant for ten years.[73]

South transept and aisle

Timoleague avoids suppression in 1540

In 1536 a provincial chapter was held at Timoleague Friary in a period of great change and uncertainty.[74] In 1536 the Irish Parliament passed the Act of Supremacy which recognised King Henry VIII as head of the church. The Suppression Bill moved more slowly through parliament and it was only passed in October 1537. Franciscan convents in the English area of influence fell as part of the general suppression of the monasteries.[75] Convents and abbeys in the Gaelic areas were generally left open and were not suppressed for many decades with exceptions. Locally in the Diocese of Ross the Benedictine priory at Ross and the Cistercian abbey at Fonte Vivus were suppressed.[76] Although the friars remained in Timoleague Friary after the suppression of the monasteries, their stay there was not totally secure. In 1568 James Barry, Viscount Barrymore, applied to the government for a lease of 21 years on the former abbeys of Omaughan and Corr in County Cork. Queen Elizabeth granted the lease subject to the government repossessing if needed. If such happened then Viscount Barrymore could have one monastery from a list of four, namely: Ballybeg, Buttevant, Castlelyons and Timoleague.[77] All these monasteries were located in traditional Barry estates or were strongly supported by the family in medieval times. In 1582 Viscount Barrymore died in Dublin Castle after supporting the rebellion of the Earl of Desmond. His lease of Timoleague passed to Thomas Wye and later on to Thomas Chapman.[78] 

In 1587 Dom Eugene Eganus, a doctor of theology, was mortally wounded by the heretics when Apostolic Vicar of the Diocese of Ross. Eugene Eganus was also head of Timoleague friary. He was succeeded as head of the friary by Dom John Donald McCarthy.[79] Folklore says that Bishop Owen MacEgan was buried in 1602 at Timoleague Friary at night time but that a supernatural bright light lit up the scene of burial in the north-west angle of the cloister.[80] Other sources say that Owen McEgan had gone to Rome and Spain in early 1602 and pleaded with O’Sullivan Beara to hold out at Dunboy Castle for help but the castle fell before McEgan returned. Bishop McEgan then tried to raise a rebel force but was defeated at Cladagh, near Enniskeane, where he was killed and afterwards buried at Timoleague in the north-west corner of the cloister.[81]

The friary complex partially dismantled    

In 1595 Moriartum O’Hea, guardian of Timoleague, died and was buried in the Friary.[82] In 1596 the Protestant Bishop of Cork, William Lyons, is said to have sent a vessel to Timoleague to procure timber for his new house in Cork. On arriving in the port the captain learnt that the friars cells in Timoleague Friary were still wainscoted with oak and judging that to be a faster way to load his vessel, the captain took the oak panelling. But when the vessel was only a short distance out in the sea a gale arose and the vessel sank with its cargo.[83] This story appears to be an assembly of two different stories relating to Timoleague Friary. The first story says that in 1590 the then Protestant Bishop of Cork had plans to build a new corn mill near Cork and sent a team to Timoleague to dismantle the friars corn mill there and return with the timber for his new mill. But the river (at Cork or Timoleague is not clear) came into flood and washed away the mill.[84] This story and the following story were taken from Brussels MS. 3947 written before November 1617 by Fr. Donatus Mooney at the Irish Franciscan College of St. Antony in Louvain.[85]

The second story relates to 1596 when Dr. Hamer came to Timoleague and removed the wooden panels in the dormitory cells and loaded them aboard a vessel to take them to an unspecified location. But a storm came up and the vessel sank.[86] At the age of 38 Dr. Meredith Hanmer became Archdeacon of Ross and vicar of Timoleague. Later in 1598 he became Warden of Youghal College before moving in 1603 to Kilkenny.

After the Battle of Kinsale in 1601 the whole countryside fell into confusion and fear. In 1602 Carew passed through Timoleague (where he hanged three rebels) on his way to fight O’Sullivan Beara. In May 1602 Dermot Maol MacCarthy, chief of the Carbery rebels, was killed. Afterwards he was buried at Timoleague with great ceremony.[87]

Timoleague friary repaired

In 1604 Timoleague Friary was repaired.[88] It is often said that Timoleague Friary was protected after the Reformation by the MacCarthy family.[89] In 1607 Sir John Fitzedmond Fitzgerald of Cloyne had a lease of the rebuilt friary possibly under Barry protection.[90] In 1600 David Barry, 2nd Viscount Buttevant (1559 creation), was said to directly own 392 ploughlands in Co. Cork and had the letting of three parts of every freeholder within his manors which amounted to about 1,000 ploughlands. In Ibawn David Barry held 300 ploughlands across the three manors of Timologe (Timoleague), Rathbarry and Lislie.[91] In 1607 Viscount Buttevant secured a yearly fair at Timoleague for two days at Midsummer Day, called St. John the Baptist day.[92] In 1618 Viscount Buttevant had all his estates in County Cork restored, including Tymolagge (Timoleague), Rathbarry, Inishonan and Ibawn following questions about his true ownership verses other Barry claimants.[93]

In 1612 an English force approached the friary with the desire for plunder and possibly prevent its use by any invading force from the sea. But a much smaller Irish force led by Daniel O’Sullivan repulsed the attackers.[94] Despite this victory it seems that Timoleague friary was not in good shape. It didn’t attend the general chapter held in 1612 and was not named among the eight convents governed by a guardian.[95] In the years 1611-14 Timoleague friary was rebuilt and mass was once again said within contrary to the law.[96] In 1613 Timoleague, Kilcrea and Buttevant were named among a number of former monasteries that were re-occupied by friars, publically preaching and saying mass.[97]

Timoleague Franciscan library

At this point it may be worth highlighting an extract from a book of the friars minor of Timoleague at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Among a bundle of manuscripts in the Rawlinson collection (Rawlinson Class B 479, fo. 119v) in the Bodleian is an extract, on one page, from what was described as the Liber fratrum Minorum de Timoleague.[98] The date of this Timoleague book is not given or the material in the citation. The entry just before the Timoleague citation is a grant of knighthood dated to August 1616 but manuscript B. 479 with its 120 folios contains a range of Irish civil and ecclesiastical material from 1035 to its compilation in 1644. Although Sir James Ware started B. 479 at Oxford in 1644 he could have made the extraction from the Timoleague Friary book many years before then.[99]  

A friary is a general term used in English to describe a place where friars live either as a convent or residence. A convent was the part of the friary where the friars actually lived but was also used to describe a house that had six or more friars. A residence was a house with less than six friars or a place with friars but was not recognised by the local bishop as a full foundation.[100] 

The friary in early 17th century

In 1616 Fr. Mooney, the provincial, visited Timoleague on his circuit of Munster and said that although the buildings were standing they were in needed of repair.[101] In 1618 the guardian of Timoleague friary, Owen Field, ruled the Irish Province admirably for three years.[102] Fr. Eugene Feildeus, a lector in philosophy and theology at Salamanca who was celebrated for the conversion of heretics and the salvation of souls, was associated with Timoleague friary.[103] In 1615 he was appointed guardian of Timoleague.[104] In 1624 Friar Florence McDonnell MacCarthy was the guardian of Timoleague Friary as well as being superior of all the Franciscans in Munster. In October 1624 Sir Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, alleged that Friar Florence was then in England but intended to secretly come to west Cork and raise a rebel force. This force was then to await an Irish and Spanish force from the Low Countries led by the Count of Beerhaven. Lord Cork produced a letter from Friar Florence to him expressing the Friar’s desire to uphold the king and keep peace in west Cork. Lord Cork also had two letters written from Spain in July 1624 from Friar Cornelius Driscoll to Friar Florence. Friar Cornelius told his superior that he had finished his studies and awaits going to Ireland to preach but is stopped by news of invasion. Friar Cornelius tells how the Count of Beerhaven desires to invade Ireland with part of a Spanish army of 120,000 men stationed in the Low Countries. In November Lord Carew told the Duke of Buckingham to arrest Friar Florence who was then in London, less he should slip into Ireland and cause unrest. Lord Carew said that Friar Florence was anti-government in the last rebellion.[105]

In 1628 government agents intercepted a letter from a person called Tuoam in Spain to his sister, Grainne Ny Nowen Field near Timoleague. The sister was to give an enclosed letter to Ungenio Field, a Franciscan friar in Timoleague Friary. The enclosed letter thanked Friar Ungenio for providing previous intelligence on who among the gentry would support an uprising. The author told Friar Ungenio to prepare the country as the Irish earls in Spain had secured an armada to be sent to Ireland. Friar Ungenio was to get Sir Richard Boyle to support the uprising as he was a great person in Ireland and had previous expressed support for the Catholic cause.[106] This Ungenio Field was Owen Field, the guardian of Timoleague, and in 1630 he was imprisoned for this letter.[107] Clearly Friar Ungenio was not much good a spy work as in the 1641 Rebellion Lord Cork proved to be the strongest Protestant supporter in Ireland. These government letters present the fear that Franciscan friars in Ireland and Europe will aid an uprising in Ireland or a foreign invasion. It is likely that some Franciscan friars had such desires but to what extent is difficult to tell in the mist of plots and counter plots, real or imagined. Fr. Owen Field was guardian again in 1659-61 and died in 1668 when he was buried at Timoleague.[108]  

In the mid 1620s Timoleague friary provided education for students of philosophy.[109] Friar Cornelius O’Driscoll, a student in Spain in 1623, was possibly a one time student from Timoleague.[110] In 1626 Bartholomew Barron, a nephew of Fr. Luke Wadding, was at Timoleague Friary for his education, studying philosophy under Fr. Owen Field. In October 1626 Bartholomew entered the Franciscan Order as Br. Bonaventure at Timoleague.[111] In 1626 Dom John Donald McCarthy, a doctor of scared theology and pastor, and successor to Friar Eugene at Timoleague, died and was buried in Timoleague friary.[112] At the provincial chapter held in Limerick in 1629 Timoleague was named among the second rank convents with a president as the superior.[113]

Refectory, chapter house behind shutters; choir in background

Micheál Ó Cléirigh visited Timoleague 1629

On 18th June 1629 Timoleague Friary was visited by Micheál Ó Cléirigh as he journeyed around Ireland collecting lives of the old Irish saints from ancient manuscripts for the purposes of compiling them in a book to be printed at the Franciscan College of St. Antony at Louvain. At Timoleague Br. Micheál transcribed the life of St. Mochua of Balla and an anecdote of St. Baithin. On 18th June Br. Micheál wrote I conveint na mBrathar i tTeagh Molacca as Leabhar Mheg Cárthaigh Riabhaigh ro sccriobh an Brathair Bocht Michéul O Clerigh Beatha Mochua agus gach a bfuil sunna gó so [Out of the Book of MacCarthy Reagh this life of Mochua, and what is along with it up to this has been written in the convent of the friars at Timoleague].[114] The book of MacCarthy Reagh was written for Finghin MacCarthaigh Riabhach and his wife Catherine, daughter of Thomas, 8th Earl of Desmond, and is better known today by its modern name of the Book of Lismore as in 1814 it was discovered within the walls of Lismore Castle.[115]

Br. Micheál stayed at Timoleague for at least two or more days (he was in Cork on 24th June) as on 20th June he did more transcribing at Timoleague Friary from the MacCarthy Reagh book. This was a life of St. Findchú as Micheál Ó Cléirigh wrote As Leabhar Meg Carthaigh Riabhaigh ro scriobhadh an Bheatha so Fionnchon i conveint na mBrathar i tTeagh Molaga [Out of the Book of MacCarthy Reagh this Life of Fionnchú was written in the convent of the friars in Timoleague].[116] This saint is otherwise known as St. Finnchú of Brigown near Mitchelstown.[117] After Timoleague, Br. Micheál went to Cork for at least six days to copy more saint lives from a manuscript held by Domhnall Ó Duinnín including curiously enough a life of St. Molaga of Timoleague.[118] You would think that he could find at life of St. Molaga whilst in Timoleague.

At first reading of this story one could assume that the Book of MacCarthy Reagh was kept at Timoleague Friary. But when Lewis Boyle, Lord Kinalmeaky, captured Kilbrittain Castle (home of MacCarthy Reagh) in June 1642 he seized the book there and sent it to his father, Sir Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, at Lismore. There the book appeared to be accessible to the public until possibly during the war between King James and King William (1690-1) when it and the Lismore crosier were hidden behind a wall. In 1814, during renovations at Lismore Castle, the wall was knocked through and the book emerged as the Book of Lismore.[119] It would seem that the Book was more usually kept at Kilbrittain Castle and was only deposited in Timoleague Friary for Br. Micheál to do his extracts before returning to Kilbrittain.

The friary as centre of education  

In the 1620s Timoleague was one of a number of Franciscan convents that taught philosophy.[120] At about the same time Timoleague was named among the four houses of Donegal, Moyne, Multyfarnham and Timoleague that were at the forefront of regular studies and for sending students to the various colleges in Europe.[121] This fact and Br. Micheál transcribing manuscripts at Timoleague gives an impression of Timoleague in the 1620s compared to the Franciscan manuscripts in Europe. The Brussels MS. 3947 and the Brevis Synopsis were both written in Louvain to highlight the suffering of the Franciscan convents against the heretics (the Protestant English) in a Counter Reformation movement to generate support for the Franciscans. But in Ireland, places like Timoleague did experience suffering yet also had a strong education and literature programme of activity. In later years Timoleague continued a literary connection through the Irish poem, Oidhche dham go doiligh by Seán Ó Coileáin. The poem was first written by Fr. Mathew Horgan in English.[122]   

In about 1631 Fr. O’Mahony [he also went by the name Fr. Matthews] wrote that the convent still existed even after being plundered by the English, the friars imprisoned and others fleeing into the surrounding countryside.[123] This redaction of the words of Fr. Francis Matthews is often repeated in various stories about Timoleague Friary.[124] The words are possibly a collection of events over many years rather than one day the English came and the friars ran away.

Timoleague in times of war

In 1631 Edmund Galwey, O.F.M., wrote to Fr. John of St. Francis (Punch) about various news in Italy and Ireland. Friar Edmund mentioned that the Franciscan convents in the Diocese of Cork and Cloyne had suffered persecutions over the years and could do with support. He proposed an annual indulgence for pilgrims visiting the Franciscan convent at Cork and Timoleague of the feast day of both houses. The feast of the Cork house was that of St. Mary Magdalene while that of Timoleague was the feast of St. Molaga (Malagchi).[125]

In 1642 Timoleague Friary was attacked, sacked and burnt by Lord Forbes. The few remaining friars then retreated to the surrounding countryside and lived in the houses of the local people.[126] It would appear that the destruction of Timoleague Friary must have been near permanent as it is not mention in the report of Franciscan manuscripts from the 17th century held in Dublin.[127] Yet the Timoleague friars were active in the 1640s as in 1645 Daniel Crowley, guardian of the friary, signed the petition to divide the Irish Franciscan Province.[128] The 1642 attack was not necessarily an anti-Catholic action. The real target of Lord Forbes was the castle at Timoleague belonging to Roger Shaughnessy which was successfully besieged and burnt.[129]

During the Commonwealth Cromwellian period (1653-1660) the friars left Timoleague and lived at Cloggagh. After 1660 they returned to Timoleague and were generally active until the mid eighteenth century.[130] In the 1740s, Anthony Cosident, guardian of Timoleague, lived in a house in the town.[131]

Guest house facing north

The last of Timoleague Friary 19th century

In 1800 Timoleague was listed among the old Franciscan friars that still had friars operating in or near the old medieval houses. But by 1830 Timoleague had disappeared from the list of active houses.[132] In about 1822 the last active friar in the area, Fr. Bonaventure Tobin, died.[133] Yet in is said that the last titular guardian of Timoleague was appointed in 1872 with Friar Patrick Carey.[134] In 1832 John Windele visited Timoleague Friary. He found the MacCarthy Reagh tomb inscription before the high altar to be almost illegible. On the Gospel side of the choir he observed the delicate tracery niche tomb of James de Courcy, baron Kingsale while on the north side was a tomb for the O’Cullane sept of Carbery. In the nave was a 1635 tomb dedicated to Thady O’Cullane. The side chapel off the transept held the carved tomb of Bishop Edmund de Courcy.[135]

In the 1840s Colonel Robert Travers of Timoleague House was the owner of Timoleague town and the surrounding countryside. But it is not recorded in Griffith’s Valuation as to who was the owner of the friary ruins which occupied 3 roots and 20 perches in area.[136] The ancestor of Robert Travers, John Travers, lived circa 1615 at Ballynamona near Courtmacsherry.[137] In 1891, during a mission in Timoleague parish given by a Franciscan from Killarney, High Mass was celebrated in the ruins of Timoleague Friary for the first time in centuries.[138] In 1895 another mass was held in the friary ruins.[139] In October 1900 Friar Maher went on a tour from the Franciscan House in Cork to Upton, Timoleague, Limerick and other places. It is suggested he visited the old Franciscan Friary at Timoleague.[140] In August 1904 some unnamed friars went from Broad Lane in Cork to Timoleague for some unspecified reason.[141] In June 1905 Fr. M. [Maher?], went to Timoleague on behalf of the Franciscan House at Broad Lane in Cork.[142] there he said mass in the friary ruins.[143] On 15th August 1913 or 1914 the Franciscans of Broad Lane in Cork went to Timoleague. After mass in the parish church they led a procession of the Blessed Sacrament from the church to the friary and there celebrated Benediction.[144]

Timoleague chalices

Two silver chalices exist from Timoleague Friary. The first chalice was found in a house on Cape Clear by Fr. Leader while he was holding stations. He observed an old box in the corner of the room and asked what it was. The householder said it was left there by a priest during the Penal Law days. On opening the box it was found to contain old vestments that fell apart when exposed to the fresh air. Also in the box was a chalice with the inscription ‘Convent of the Friars Minor of Timoleague’. Fr. Leader took the chalice from the house and gave it to Fr. Ned Mulcahy, then parish priest at Timoleague. Today it is used in the present parish church in Timoleague.[145]

Daphne Pochin Mould learnt the story differently in that a fisherman from Cape Clear found a drifting boat one day. On examination the boat contained two dead friars and a third barely alive. The latter was taken to Cape Clear where he was nurse back to health. The friar said they were from Timoleague Friary but it is not recorded did he give reason why they were in the boat. On leaving the island the friar left a box with the family who were so helpful and said he would collect it on his return but he never came back. It was in the 1850s that Fr. Leader was saying the station mass and observed the box.[146] An old resident, Mr. Cadogan, had informed Fr. Leader about the history of the box.[147]

There is another story connected with the Timoleague chalice and a boat. This story is in the Book of MacCarthy Reagh (Book of Lismore) that Br. Micheál Ó Cléirigh consulted in Timoleague Friary. It relates to three young clerics who got into a boat and sailed across the sea to find an uninhabited island where they could establish a monastery. But they only brought three cakes with them on the voyage which was insufficient for the journey. They sailed for a considerable time without finding the island and two of the clerics died and the third pledged to full fill the vows of his colleagues. Eventually he found the island where he stayed for many years saying his own prayers and those of his comrades. One day St. Brenainn came to the island and gave the old cleric the communion and blessed him so that he went to heaven.[148] Were the three friars aware of this story in the Book of MacCarthy Reagh and was it their inspiration?

The second chalice associated with Timoleague was held by the Franciscans of Liberty Street in Cork. It measures 8½ inches in height with a bowl 3½ inches wide. The foot is hexagonal holding up a six-sided stem. The chalice is marked with the inscription ‘Orate Pro Animabvs Caroli Dale et Elizie Browne Timoleagve’.[149] This translates as ‘Pray for the souls of Charles Dale and Eliza Browne of Timoleague.[150]

Elsewhere it is said, according to John Windele, that a bell from Timoleague Friary was taken to Kilbrogan Protestant church.[151]

Guardians of Timoleague

We don’t have any names of the guardians of Timoleague Friary from its foundation in the 13th century up to 1517 with one names and a near continuous list from 1607 onwards to the last in 1872.[152]


Road view facing north


End of post



[1], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 13, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[2] Gwynn, Aubrey & R. Neville Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland (Blackrock 1988), p. 46

[3], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 15, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[4], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 20, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[5] Annals of Inisfallen, 1164

[6] Annals of Inisfallen, 1164

[7] Ó Corráin, Donnchadh, ‘Corcu Loídge: Land and Families’, in Patrick O’Flanagan & Cornelius G. Buttimer (eds.), Cork History and Society (Dublin, 1993), pp. 63-81, at p. 72

[8] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 96

[9] Nicholls, K.W., ‘Some unpublished Barry charters’, in Analecta Hibernica, No. 27 (1972), pp. 113-119, at, pp. 113, 114, 115

[10] Nicholls, ‘Some unpublished Barry charters’, pp. 113-119, at, pp. 114, 115

[11] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 259

[12] Collins, John T., ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, in Fr. Jerome O’Callaghan, O.F.M., Franciscan Cork (Cork, 1953), pp. 44-47, at p. 44

[13] Coleman, Ambrose OP, ‘Regestum Monasterii Fratrum Praedicatorum de Athenry’, in Archivium Hibernicum, vol. 1 (1912), pp. 201-221

[14] Jennings, Rev. Brendan, ‘Brevis Synopsis Provinciae Hiberniae FF. Minorum’, in Analecta Hibernica, Vol. 6 (1934), pp. 139-191, at p. 148 (p. 12)

[15] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 44

[16] Webster, Journal Cork Archaeological Society, Vol. XXIV (1924), pp. 104, 105

[17] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 44

[18] British Museum, Add. MS. 4821, f. 102b

[19] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 259

[20] Jennings, ‘Brevis Synopsis Provinciae Hiberniae’, pp. 139-191, at p. 148 (p. 12)

[21] Jennings, ‘Brevis Synopsis Provinciae Hiberniae’, pp. 139-191, at p. 139

[22] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 259 with reference to L.A. Alemand (translated and edited by J. Stevens), Monasticum Hibernicum (1722)

[23] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 261

[24] O’Keeffe, Tadhg, Medieval Irish Buildings 1100-1600 (Dublin, 2015), p.192. About a hundred years separated the destruction of Quin castle and the arrival of the Franciscans.

[25] Annals of Inisfallen, 1219

[26] Nicholls, ‘Some unpublished Barry charters’, pp. 113-119, at, pp. 117, 118

[27] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 259

[28], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 1, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[29] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 125

[30] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 259

[31] Cochrane, Journal of the Cork Archaeological Society XVIII, p. 126

[32] O’Keeffe, Medieval Irish Buildings 1100-1600, pp.157, 158

[33] Cadogan, Tim (ed.), Lewis’ Cork: a topographical dictionary of the parishes, towns and villages of Cork City and County (Cork, 1998), p. 424

[34] Dunning, P.J., ‘Irish representatives and Irish ecclesiastical affairs at the Fourth Lateran Council’, in J.A. Watt, J.B. Morrall & F.X. Martin (eds.), Medieval Studies: Presented to Aubrey Gwynn, S.J. (Dublin, 1961), pp. 90-113, at p. 91

[35] O’Keeffe, Medieval Irish Buildings 1100-1600, p.153

[36] O’Keeffe, Medieval Irish Buildings 1100-1600, p.119

[37] O’Keeffe, Medieval Irish Buildings 1100-1600, pp.118, 120

[38], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 18, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[39] Conlan, Patrick, Franciscan Ireland (Mullingar, 1988), p. 15

[40] Sweetman, H.S. (ed.), Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland (5 vols. London, 1886, reprint Liechtenstein, 1974), vol. II (1252-1284), nos. 856, 857

[41] Sweetman (ed.), Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, vol. II (1252-1284), nos. 1099, 1104. A Latin version of the royal assent is found at Watt, John A., ‘English law and the Irish Church: the reign of Edward I’, in J.A. Watt, J.B. Morrall & F.X. Martin (eds.), Medieval Studies: Presented to Aubrey Gwynn, S.J. (Dublin, 1961), pp. 133-167, at pp. 166, 167

[42] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 259 citing the Annals of Clyn, p. 17

[43] Mooney, Canice, Terminus (1954), p. 128

[44] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 259

[45] Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquarians of Ireland, XXIII, p. 338

[46] O’Brien, A.F., ‘Politics, Economy and Society: The development of Cork and the Irish south-coast region, c.1170 to c.1583’, in Patrick O’Flanagan & Cornelius G. Buttimer (eds.), Cork History and Society (Dublin, 1993), pp. 83-154, at pp. 93, 95

[47], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 3, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[48], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 2, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[49] Sweetman (ed.), Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, vol. V (1302-1307), p. 293

[50] Conlan, Patrick, Franciscan Ireland (Mullingar, 1988), p. 21

[51] Conlan, Franciscan Ireland, p. 21

[52] Jennings, Rev. Brendan, ‘Brussels MS. 3947: Donatus Moneyus, de Provincia Hiberniae S. Francisci’, in Analecta Hibernica, No. 6 (1934), pp. 12-138, at p. 67 (p. 48)

[53] Conlan, Franciscan Ireland, p. 23

[54] Conlan, Franciscan Ireland, p. 23

[55] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 259

[56] Martin, F.X., ‘Irish Augustinian reform movement in the fifteenth century’, in J.A. Watt, J.B. Morrall & F.X. Martin (eds.), Medieval Studies: Presented to Aubrey Gwynn, S.J. (Dublin, 1961), pp. 230-264, at p. 231

[57] Haren, Michael J. (ed.), Calendar of entries in the Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Papal Letters, Vol. XV, Innocent VIII: Lateran Registers, 1484-1492 (Dublin, 1978), no. 105

[58] Haren (ed.), Calendar of Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. XV, no. 813

[59] Fuller, Anne P. (ed.), Calendar of entries in the Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Papal Letters, Vol. XVI, Alexander VI (1492-1503), Lateran Registers, Part One: 1492-1498 (Dublin, 1986), no. 127

[60] Conlan, Franciscan Ireland, pp. 16, 17

[61] Fuller (ed.), Calendar of Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. XVI, no. 116

[62] Gwynn, Rev. Aubrey, The Medieval Province of Armagh (Dundalk, 1946), pp. 166, 167, 169, 171, 176

[63] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 259

[64] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at pp. 44, 45

[65] Pochin Mould, Daphne D.C., Discovering Cork (Dingle, 1991), p. 93

[66], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 9, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[67] Jennings, ‘Brevis Synopsis Provinciae Hiberniae’, pp. 139-191, at p. 183 (p. 84)

[68] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 45

[69] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 45

[70] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 125 citing Ware-Harries, History of the Bishops of Ireland (Dublin, 1739)

[71], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 16, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[72] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 45

[73] Gwynn, The Medieval Province of Armagh, pp. 147, 148

[74] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 45

[75] Conlan, Franciscan Ireland, p. 25

[76] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 45

[77] Cunningham, Bernadette (ed.), Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, Tudor Period, 1568-1571 (Dublin, 2010), no. 69 (b)

[78] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 45

[79] Jennings, ‘Brevis Synopsis Provinciae Hiberniae’, pp. 139-191, at p. 183 (p. 84)

[80], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 17, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[81] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at pp. 45, 46

[82] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 46

[83], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 3, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[84] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 260

[85] Jennings, ‘Brussels MS. 3947’, pp. 12-138, at pp. 12, 67 (p. 48)

[86] Jennings, ‘Brussels MS. 3947’, pp. 12-138, at p. 67 (p. 48)

[87] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 45

[88] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 260 citing Smith, History of Cork, vol. II, p. 104

[89] Conlan, Franciscan Ireland, p. 143

[90] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 46

[91] Brewer, J.S. & William Bullen (ed.), Calendar of the Carew Manuscripts preserved in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth (6 vols. London, 1869, reprint Liechtenstein, 1974), vol. III (1589-1600), p. 513

[92] Russell, Rev. C.W. & John P. Prendergast (eds.), Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland, James I, 1606-1608 (London, 1874, reprint Liechtenstein, 1974), vol. II, p. 332

[93] Russell & Prendergast (eds.), Calendar of the State Papers, Ireland, James I, vol. V, p. 216

[94] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 260

[95] Conlan, Franciscan Ireland, p. 36

[96] Russell & Prendergast (eds.), Calendar of the State Papers, Ireland, James I, vol. IV, p. 394

[97] Brewer & Bullen (eds.), Calendar of the Carew Manuscripts, vol. 6 (1603-1624), p. 279

[98] McNeill, Charles, ‘Reports on the Rawlinson collection of manuscripts preserved in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, Rawlinson Manuscripts, Class B’, in Analecta Hibernica, No. 1 (1930), pp. 118-178, at, p. 130

[99] McNeill, ‘Rawlinson collection in the Bodleian Library, Class B, pp. 118-178, at, pp. 121, 128

[100] Conlan, Franciscan Ireland, pp. 158, 159

[101] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 46

[102] Jennings, ‘Brevis Synopsis Provinciae Hiberniae’, pp. 139-191, at p. 172 (p. 61)

[103] Jennings, ‘Brevis Synopsis Provinciae Hiberniae’, pp. 139-191, at p. 172 (p. 61)

[104] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 46

[105] Russell & Prendergast (eds.), Calendar of the State Papers, Ireland, James I, vol. V, pp. 535, 536, 537, 547

[106] Mahaffy, Robert (ed.), Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland of the reign of Charles I (4 vols. London, 1900, reprint Liechtenstein, 1979), vol. I (1625-1632), p. 323

[107] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 46

[108] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 46

[109] Jennings, ‘Brevis Synopsis Provinciae Hiberniae’, pp. 139-191, at p. 163 (p. 45)

[110] Russell & Prendergast (eds.), Calendar of the State Papers, Ireland, James I, vol. V, p. 537

[111] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 46

[112] Jennings, ‘Brevis Synopsis Provinciae Hiberniae’, pp. 139-191, at p. 183 (p. 84)

[113] Conlan, Franciscan Ireland, p. 38

[114] Ó Muraíle, Nollaig (ed.), Micheál Ó Cléirigh, His Associates and St. Anthony’s College, Louvain (Dublin, 2008), p. 62

[115] Ó Muraíle (ed.), Micheál Ó Cléirigh, p. 63

[116] Ó Muraíle (ed.), Micheál Ó Cléirigh, p. 62

[117] Ó Muraíle (ed.), Micheál Ó Cléirigh, p. 142

[118] Ó Muraíle (ed.), Micheál Ó Cléirigh, p. 142

[119] Brady, Donald, The Book of Lismore: An Introduction (Dungarvan, 2010), pp. 1, 2

[120] Conlan, Franciscan Ireland, p. 39. The other convents were Cashel, Drogheda, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny and Multyfarnham.

[121] Ó Muraíle (ed.), Micheál Ó Cléirigh, p. 158

[122] Conlan, Franciscan Ireland, p. 143

[123] Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses Ireland, p. 260

[124] Jennings, ‘Brevis Synopsis Provinciae Hiberniae’, pp. 139-191, at p. 148 (p. 12)

[125] Jennings, Brendan, O.F.M. (ed.), Wadding Papers, 1614-38 (Dublin, 1953), p. 461

[126], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 8, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[127] Burtchaell, G.D. & J.M. Rigg (eds.), Report on Franciscan Manuscripts preserved at the Convent, Merchants’ Quay, Dublin (Dublin, 1906)

[128] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 46

[129] Cadogan (ed.), Lewis’ Cork, p. 424

[130] Conlan, Franciscan Ireland, p. 143

[131] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 47

[132] Conlan, Franciscan Ireland, p. 52

[133] Conlan, Franciscan Ireland, p. 143

[134] Pochin Mould, Discovering Cork, p. 94

[135] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 47

[136] Griffith’s Valuation, Timoleague, parish of Timoleague, barony of Ibane & Barryroe

[137] Burke’s Irish Family Records (Buckingham, 2007), p. 1128

[138], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 5, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[139] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 47

[140] Kennedy, Liam & Clare Murphy (eds.), The account books of the Franciscan House, Broad Lane, Cork, 1764-1921 (Dublin, 2012), p. 628

[141] Kennedy & Murphy (eds.), The account books of the Franciscan House, Cork, p. 690

[142] Kennedy & Murphy (eds.), The account books of the Franciscan House, Cork, p. 702

[143] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 47

[144], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 6, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[145], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, pp. 4, 5, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[146] Pochin Mould, Discovering Cork, p. 94

[147] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 44

[148] Brady, The Book of Lismore: An Introduction, pp. 19, 20

[149] Day, Robert, ‘The altar plate of the Franciscan Church, Cork’, in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, second series, Vol. III (1897), pp. 44-50, at p. 46

[150], The School’s Collection, Vol. 319, p. 5, Scoill Tigh Molaga

[151] Collins, ‘The Friary of Timoleague’, pp. 44-47, at p. 47; Pochin Mould, Discovering Cork, p. 94

[152] O’Callaghan, Jerome, O.F.M., Franciscan Cork (Cork, 1953), pp. 93, 94