Thursday, January 3, 2019

Subject Index of the Calendar of Ormond Deeds


Subject Index of the Calendar of Ormond Deeds
Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

This subject index of the six volumes of the Calendar of Ormond Deeds as edited by Edmund Curtis and published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission between 1932 and 1943 is not exclusive but is an index of subjects observed while studying the volumes over the years. Additional subjects can be added to this index. All six volumes were published with and index of people and places but the study of medieval history sometimes demands the investigation of subjects like castles, mills, churches, gardens, orchards, etc., and this index will hopefully help medieval historians to dig deeper and gain a better understanding of medieval life.

All numbers in this index refer to document numbers with some references to page numbers. The index to the first volume of the Ormond Deeds had numbers that referred to document numbers while in the other five volumes the indexes referred to page numbers.

Kilkenny Castle 

Curtis, Edmund (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, 1172-1350 A.D. (Dublin, 1932)

Advowson, 798, 853, 857, 863
Animals, 416, 454, 576, 635, 656, 764, 765, 856
Animal values, 459
Archer service, 77
Black House, 74
Boat 863
Buildings, 237, 328, 419, 605
Burgery rent, 775
Butcher’s stall, 830
Castle, 29, 30, 31, 34, 36, 37, 39, 179, 316, 338, 398, 466, 468, 471, 677, 857, 863
Chapel, 863
Church, 341
Commodity prices, 239, 453
Crops, 639, 735 (vii), 856
Debt, 449, 451, 615, 639
Dovecot, 548, 602
Dower, 816
Dowry, 715, 816
Farm cart, 712
Fishing, 863
Gardens, 455, 597, 598, 599, 654, 661, 664, 686, 743, 759, 787, 833, 847
Gift for loyal service, 416
Grove, 620, 621, 640, 723, 770, 818
House, 391, 402, 568, 593, 614
House built, 204, 300, 351, 376, 377, 405, 516, 619, 672, 673, 849, 850
Lamb (tithe), 656
Markets, 677, 863
Messuage built on, 516
Military retainer, 420
Milk (tithe), 656
Mill, 30, 91, 154, 159, 176, 177, 178, 185, 194, 206, 221, 228, 246, 285, 297, 301, 305, 330, 337, 396, 411, 419, 477, 489, 504, 505, 507, 510, 528, 530, 539, 547, 552, 555, 561, 595, 638, 655, 667, 694, 744, 778, 780, 818, 863
Quarry, 70, 504, 805, 827
Quay, 715
Rabbit-warren, 863
Sand-pit, 504
Sea-sand, 232
Sheep-fold, 382
Shop, 279, 830
Slate, 805
Stone house, 52, 86, 206, 637, 648, 649, 650, 665, 679, 697
Tenement (empty), 637, 648
Tithes (pasture excluded), 656
Turf, 856
Waterford (county) deeds, 7, 189, 242, 307, 327, 558, 592, 605, 625, 657, 669, 670, 736, 749
Weir, 615, 710, 778
Well, 516
Wood, 479, 485, 489, 522, 525, 527, 528, 595, 675, 681, 710, 721, 769, 815, 818, 856
Wool (tithe), 656
Wreck, 863

======================

Curtis, Edmund (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, Volume II, 1350-1413 A.D. (Dublin, 1934)

Abbey foundation, 165
Advowson, p. 62, nos. 85, 99, 134, 143, 145, 151, 257, 258, 265, 283, 287, 303, 309, 324, 341, 384, 385, 406, p. 331, no. 435
Animals, 38, pp. 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, nos. 106, 317, 353, 361, 362, 378, 380, 383, 405, pp. 332, 351, 347
Archers, 237, 238, 240
Assizes of ale, p. 311
Bake house, 316
Bees, p. 351
Boat, p. 259
Bridges, 104
Castle, 43, p. 47, nos. 65, 75, p. 75, nos. 113, 121, 123, 126, 135, 201, 214, 221, 235, 245, 287, p. 216, nos. 343, 386, 389, 413, 415, 423, 426, pp. 323, 326, 328, 329, 332, 342
Castle chapel, 377
Castle constable, 43, 53, 126, 127, 133, 176, 201
Cemetery, 336
Church, 97, 162, 258, p. 264, no. 426
Copper mines, 200
Crops, 317, 380, pp. 333, 343, 345
Debts, p. 75, no. 237, pp. 197, 198, no. 369
Digging sods, 9
Documents burnt, p. 380
Dovecot, 180, 201, p. 216, no. 330, pp. 342, 343
Dower, 150, 268, 365
Farm carts, 77, 106
Ferry, pp. 300, 301, 309
Fishing, 9
Gardens, 12, 57, 80, 103, 122, 123, 130, 169, 201, 213, 241, 264, 321, 401
Goods coinage, 323
Grove, 2, 9, 338
House, 2, 42, 114, 118, 123, 377, 380, pp. 340, 344
House building, 91, 118, 366, 374
Household expenses, 220, 212, 388
Iron, 405
Kilkenny sovereign, 428
Lead mines, 200
Markets, 106, 123, 217, p. 326
Marriage portion, 211
Mill, pp. 35, 43, 45, nos. 72, 83, 84, 105, 107, 110, 269, 287, 297, pp. 216, 218, nos. 306, 311, p. 227, nos. 326, 343, 346, 348, 368, 375, 387, 388, 415 (3), 420 (2), 422, pp. 342, 343
Mines, 200
Orchard, 207, 239, 380
Ploughing, 148, 317
Ponds, p. 60, nos. 198, 269, 288, 306, 326, 368
Salt, 405
Ship, 32, p. 338
Soldiers, 237, 238, 396
Soldier levies, 33, 37, 39, 46, 205, 219, 234, 296, 403
Stone house, 289, 359
Stone wall, p. 332
Turf, 77
Waterford (county) deeds, 59, 68, 87, 162, 170, 279, 280, 303, 306, 307, 309, 325, 326, 331, 348, 349, 350, 387, pp. 310, 330
Weir, 9, p. 60, nos. 201, 249, 281, 297, 387
Wood, 3, 21, 25 

=======================

Curtis, Edmund (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, Volume III, 1413-1509 A.D. (Dublin, 1935)

Advowson, 39, 76, 79, 88, 134, 172, 197, 287, 341, 346, pp. 382, 385
Ale, 95, 331
Animals, 11, pp. 53, 63, nos. 180, 195, 224, 280, 289, 325
Archers, 38, 140
Bees, 95, 138, 147
Castle, 8, pp. 33, 49, 59, nos. 103, 110, 115, 116, 120, 125, 139, 157, 178, 229, 234, 238, 255, 267, 296, 300, p. 368, no. 356
Castle chapel, 157
Castle hall, 356
Castle constable, 8, p. 51, nos. 115, 157, 159, 160, 292
Chapel built, 309
Chapter house, p. 387
Chiviler, 56
Cemetery, p. 365
Common hall, 223, 228, 268, 309
Crops, 11, 135, 305
Debt, 234, 342
Dovecot, p. 48, nos. 128, 138, 156
Dower, 5, 132, 197
Empty plot, 28, 305, 335
Ferry, pp. 54, 58, nos. 95, 119, 120, 147 (2)
Fishing, 240
Fish pond, 264, 265, 305
Gardens, p. 4, nos. 31, 80, 107, 113, 124, 147, 159, 173, 189, 193, 194, 201, 227, 238, 260, 270, 276, 278, 291, 340, 345
House, 25, 216, 234, 282, 305
Household expenses, 161
Houses built, 63, p. 55, nos. 115, 335
Markets, p. 5, no. 10
Marriage confirmation, 144
Meadow warden, 46
Mills, 2, 48, 65, 66, pp. 58 (2), 59, nos. 95, 101, 119, 122, 123, 127, 141, 147, 157, 158, 160 (4), 163, 172, 178, 234, 235, 238, 261, 265, 314, 339, p. 347
Mill pond, 48, 65, 201, 261
Mortgage, 250, 255, 275, 302, 329
Orchard, 22, 187, 208
Parliament, 211, 213, 214, 231, 242, 247, 248, 249, 252, 261, 286, 288, 295, 298, 316, 342, pp. 352, 366
Pilgrimage, 98
Ploughing, p. 375
Pool, 58
Quarry, 339
Rabbit-warren, 21, 22, 28, 209
Ships, 159, 301, 316, 323, pp. 343, 344, 378
Shops, p. 384
Soldier levies, 154
Stone house, 21
Stone mills, 17, 42, pp. 48, 59, nos. 95, 112, 119
Stone tower, p. 375
Town oven, 95, 113, 119, 160
Town rebuilt, 9, p. 54, nos. 157, 234
Town wall (repairs), p. 381
Trades people, 331
Weir, 65, p. 55, nos. 119, 197

=======================

Curtis, Edmund (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, Volume IV, 1509-1547 A.D. (Dublin, 1937)

Abbot’s room, p. 27
Advowson, 42, 100, 218, 315, 321, 342, 344, 349, 361, pp. 328, 379
Animals, 8, pp. 18, 19, 44, nos. 99, 110, 131, 156, 180, 189, p. 356
Archers, p. 336
Birds, 277
Building repairs, 11, 102, p. 358
Castle, pp. 16, 45, nos. 64, 66, 90, 99, 111, p. 125, nos. 139, 189, 192, 204, 214, 218, 237, 244, 246, 248, 254, 268, 271, 287, 294, 300, 304, 311, 317, 329, 352, 357, 361, pp. 323, 328, 344, 379
Castle constable, pp. 29, 31, nos. 139, 257, 302, 327, 330, 357
Chimney, 223
Church upkeep, 113
Church repairs, p. 347
Common hall, 18
Crops, 354
Dovecot, 276, 361 (3), pp. 328, 379
Dower, 110, 122
Farmer (good), 298
Fishing, 43, 65, 67, 94, 176, 299, 303, 309, 340, p. 358
Gardens, 63, 74, 155, 160, 168, 206, 222, 228, 252, 305, 326, p. 353
Gunner, 305, p. 336
Hall (new), p. 176, no. 329
Harvesting labour, 245
House, p. 27, nos. 193, 208, 223, 232, 275, 276, 289, 292, 303, 306, 309, 340, 343, 350, 361
House repairs, 153, 326, 343, 355, pp. 353, 369, 370
Marriage, 19, p. 80, nos. 117, 177
Mills, 37, 43, 94, 98, 127 (2), 130, 140, 157, 184, 219, 225, 276, 278, 296, 299, 305, 342, 361 (3), pp. 344, 356, 357, 360, 362, 379
Mortgage, 57, 119, 135, 150, 266, 358
Orchard, 172, 222, 309
Parliament, 204, 220, 258, 285, 361, pp. 313, 315, 326, 327, 333, 335, 336, 338, 371, 377, 378
Pools, 43, 278
Prize wines, pp. 330, 335, 343, 367
Rabbit-warren, 320
Ships, pp. 16, 17, no. 118, pp. 358, 369
Smithy, 48
Soldier levies, p. 44, nos. 109, 118, 235, 261, 307, 318, 322, 334, 348, p. 316
Start of the world, 288
Stone houses, 146, 163, 203
Tithes, 319
Toll house, 48
Town oven, p. 319
Trades people, 47, p. 174, nos. 232, 240
War weapons, pp. 16, 17, 318
Weir, 140, 141, 309, 340
Wool, 41, 118

=======================

Curtis, Edmund (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, Volume V, 1547-1584 A.D. (Dublin, 1941)

Advowson, 36, 140, 141, 166, 177
Animals, 1, p. 19, nos. 10, 39, 140, 150, 154, p. 179, nos. 185, 193
Bake house, 82, 102, 103, 116
Boatmen, p. 72, no. 192
Building materials, 21, 59, 192
Buildings, 181
Castle, p. 22, no. 10, pp. 29, 30, 31, nos. 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 35, 46, 49, 50, 54, 59, 62, 63, 92, 95, 103, 106, 137, 138, 139, 142, 153, 156, 158, 165, 167, 169, 170, 171, 172, 175, 177, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 189, 190, 192, 194
Castle building, p. 22, no. 11
Castle constable, p. 29, nos. 18, 76, 77, 192
Chimney build, 81
Churches, 36, 82, 88, 91, 107, 114, 130, 131, 149, 161, 163, 164, 166, p. 217
Cleric relations, 42
Common hall, 66, 84
Crops, 29, 39, 77, 91, 185
Deer, 193
Double ditch, 102, 103
Dovecot, 131
Dower, 29
Fishing, 59, 96, 192, 197
Gardens, 10, 18, 30, 38, 43, 55, 90, 116, 130, 131, 132, 155
Gunner, 72
Horse, master of the, 127
Houses, pp. 8, 12, 25, nos. 18, 39, 51, 72, 81, 86, 116, 118, 129, 133, 137, 140, 147, 150, 163, 165
Linen sheets, pp. 8, 9, 12, no. 39
Market, 192
Marriage, 94
Meadows cut, 136
Messuage (ruined), 132
Mill, p. 72, nos. 48, 54, 59, 70, 96, 116, 131, 152, 165, 197
Miller, pp. 7, 12, 72
Mortgage, p. 23, nos. 18, 64, 147
Orchard, 11, 30, 130, 132, 165
Parliament, p. 8, nos. 39, 50, 111
Ploughland measure, p. 165
Prize wines, 68, 75, 85
School, 181, p. 202
Sheep house, 102, 103
Slate house, 132
Stone house, 52, 57, 65, 72, 78, 156, p. 179, no. 192
Tithes, 19, 36, 128, 149, 162
Town oven, p. 48
Weir, 59
Wool, pp. 3, 5, 9, 10
Woollen cloth, p. 13

=======================

Curtis, Edmund (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, Volume VI, 1584-1603 A.D. (Dublin, 1943)

Advowson, 111
Animals, 15, 26, 29, 33, 58, 75, 77, 107, 118, p. 124
Bake house, 145
Castle, pp. 3, 5, nos. 4, 7, 8, 12, 17, 25, 30, 36, 37, 39, p. 30, nos. 51, 53, 58, 65, 66, 67, 73, 86, 88, 90, 98, 100, 107, 112, 115, 116 (2), 118, 124, 140, 141, pp. 120, 181, 182, 192, 194
Castle constable, pp. 126, 132, 133, 143, 144
Chapel, p. 93
Church, 131
Crops, 11, 12, 81, 82, pp. 129, 136, 183
Dovecot, 88
Fishing, p. 9, no. 124
Gardens, pp. 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, no. 32, p. 30, nos. 46, 48, 84, 105, 113, 131, pp. 182, 189
Gate and ditches, 27, 31, 32
Hall, p. 93
Horses and horse-boys, 76, 77, 80, 95, 96, 100, 107
House, p. 3, nos. 49, 51, 75, 77, 89, 93, p. 75, no. 114, pp. 89, 90, nos. 124, 131, 145, pp. 134, 181, 182, 196, 100
House building, 27, 31
House repairs, 27
Market, 121
Mills, 88, 89, 104, pp. 89, 90, nos. 118, 131, pp. 127, 168, 187, 189, 192, 194
Mortgage, 51
Orchard, 36, 93
Parliament, 72
Prize wines, 50
Shop, 121
Soldiers, 61, 116, 127, 133
Standing stones marking boundaries, pp. 137, 142
Thatched roof, p. 93
Tiled roof, p. 93
Tithes, 9, 11, 89, 117
Treason, 72, 73, 89, 126, 129, 131, 136
Trinity College Dublin (Kerry property), 128
Vicar choral, 123
War weapons, p. 34
Weir, 145
Work service, 76, 77, 82, 107

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End of post

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Friday, December 28, 2018

Lisfinny Castle and its history


Lisfinny Castle and its history

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

Introduction
   
Lisfinny Castle, or tower house (to give the proper terminology), stands on a south facing slope overlooking the Bride and the town of Tallow beyond at the western edge of County Waterford. The castle is a rectangular tower house with four floors. A barrel-vaulted loft is over the ground floor and a vault over the second floor. The first and second floors are lighted with rectangular windows while the third floor had wider windows with dressed surrounds.[1]
   
The name Lisfinny means Fineen’s Liss or Fort in Irish and is situated on the ridge called Druimfineen which extends from Helvick Head to Castlelyons in County Cork. Lisfinny was named for Fingin Mac Luchta, who was king of Munster around AD 190.[2]  

The first Normans
        
The Normans came in 1169 and within a few years had captured most, if not all of present County Waterford. To secure their new found they built castles at strategic places. These first castles were of timber construction raised on a mount of earth and surrounded by a timber fence. We called this type of castle, a motte and bailey as in this drawing. A good example of this construction is the small hill called Gallow’s Hill outside Dungarvan. The Round Hill just east of Lismore possibly had a timber castle upon it but archaeological investigations have yet to be conducted to determine if this was so.   
   
The next development of castles occurred when Prince John came to Ireland in 1185. He had stone castles built at Lismore, Ardfinnan and Tibberaghny. These castles had a round keep surrounded by a stone wall. The present Lismore castle is largely a construction of the nineteenth century.

Lisfinny tower house

The land of FitzAnthony and Fitzgerald
    
The land upon which Lisfinny was built was part of the honour of Dungarvan in the mid thirteenth century and the property of Thomas FitzAnthony. It came to the Fitzgerald family after John Fitzthomas Fitzgerald (died 1261) married Margaret, one of the daughters of Thomas FitzAnthony. The descendants of John Fitzthomas Fitzgerald held the manor of Lisfinny until the 1580s.

Resident lord of Lisfinny
   
In 1520, the 8th Earl of Desmond gave to his fifth son, Gerard Oge a lease of the manor of Lisfinny, which included the town of Tallow and its surrounding townlands. Gerard subsequently leased this property to his fourth son, John Fitzgerald, along with Strancally castle. When John died in 1550, his twelve year old son Thomas should have inherited the property. Instead the Earl of Desmond seized both manors to avoid the Dublin government acquiring them under the rules of wardship. Young Thomas was imprisoned where he died in 1554. The Earl gave both manors to his brother Sir John Fitzgerald of Desmond. Sir John also had a lease of Mogeely castle.[3]

Building the tower house
   
We have no exact date for when the present tower house was built. Similarly we do not know how much it cost or how long the construction period lasted. The new castle of Kirby Muxloe in England was built for Lord Hastings in 1480. It took four years and one month to build.
       
A recent experiment was conducted into tower house security. The main point of access into a tower house is the doorway. A team of eight used a battering ram at a rate of twenty hits per minute and knocked the door flat in 54 hits or five minutes work. A fire experiment on the door took 40 minutes to burn the door. Most doorways are on the ground floor. It is only in the extreme south-west of Ireland that you find tower houses with a first floor doorway.[4]

Life in the tower house
   
We have little record of life in Lisfinny tower house but a French visitor to Ireland in 1644 described the tower houses in these words = “the castles or houses of the nobility consist of four walls extremely high, thatched with straw; they are nothing but square towers without windows, or at least having such small openings as to give no more light than a prison. They have little furniture, and cover their rooms with rushes”.[5]

Affane to the first Desmond rebellion
   
Following the battle of Affane a great number of people across County Waterford and elsewhere received pardons for their involvement. In May 1567 Peter liagh Poer of Lisfinny, horseman and Richard fitzedmund Poer of Strancally got a pardon.[6] We often think of West Waterford as an exclusive Fitzgerald area but a number of people called Power lived there.
   
In 1572 the properties of Sir John of Desmond were listed as the castles, manors and towns of Kilmanahan, Lisfinny, Mogeely, Carrignavar, Philipstown, Agh Crossen, Broghill and Kilcolman.[7]
    
Living at Lisfinny in 1572 were a number of gentlemen and soldiers of the Sheedy family. These were Rory (alias Ferdoragh) McSheedy, and his two sons; Manes McSheedy and Edmund McSheedy, all gents. Also at Lisfinny was Donill McShane McConemarre, a galloglass. These people received a pardon along with Eustace FitzThomas Roche of Rosgrelle on February 15, 1572.[8]
   
At the same time as the above, James FitzJohn Fitzgerald was living at Strancally. He got a pardon on September 30, 1572 along with his cousins Maurice Fitzgerald of Sheanmore and Maurice FitzJames Fitzgerald of Mocollop.[9] On October 1st, John Fitzgerald of Desmond, lord of Lisfinny received a pardon.[10] On that same day the Earl of Desmond, Gerald Fitzgerald also got his pardon.[11]
   
Late in 1573 Sir John of Desmond, with Donnchadh Mac Brien, conducted four lightening strikes upon the Earl of Ormond’s property in Counties Tipperary and Waterford. The purpose of these attacks was to feed the rebel armies and deny the English an available food supply. At the County Waterford castle of Derrinlaur, Sir John took 180 cows. While Sir John stayed in the Tipperary/Kilkenny area, 40 of the cows were taken back to Lisfinny and killed there.[12]

Lisfinny tower house

Between the rebellions
   
Following the first Desmond rebellion (1569-1573) many of those who took part received pardons including Thomas Oge Mac Thomas Mac Rory McGrath of Lisfinny in November 1576. This man was the seneschal or chief steward for Sir John of Desmond in the manor. Other members of the McGrath family held similar positions in neighboring manors like Mocollop.   
   
In late 1575 Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy of Ireland, conducted a tour of Munster by way of Waterford and Dungarvan and onto Cork via Lismore and Lisfinny. At the later place, he called upon Sir John of Desmond, the owner and judged him to be a “good and loyal subject”.[13] Within a few years this opinion would be radically changed as Sir John became one of the principle rebel leaders in the second Desmond Rebellion.
   
For the moment John Fitzgerald received the by now usual pardon for rebellious activity. On May 5, 1576 he got this along with Gerald Fitzgerald (alias McRodery) and Johnn oge McGrath of Lisfinny. Manus McSheedy had by this time moved from Lisfinny to Mogeely. In the wider area of Lisfinny manor, Thomas McShane McEdmund of Curraghreagh also got a pardon with the others.[14]   
   
Beyond the manor of Lisfinny a number of attainers and supporters of Sir John of Desmond also got pardons on May 5th, 1576. These people lived in many parts of Counties Cork and Waterford including a number of local people. John McTibbot Roche of Kilbeg and Donal McDavid Eleighane, of same, both husbandmen; David McEdmond Roche of Kilwatermoy (A kern), Donal McMaurice McGrath of Kilcha and William FitzJames Roche of Kanmock, both horsemen; Peter Power of Tullogh, yeoman; David YKeely of Templevalley, John McDavid YKeely and Maurice McDavid YKeely of same, husbandmen; Donal McDiermod boy of Knocknamuck, Thady McYLeyne of Ballymakernagh, and William McShane YLeghan of Kilwatermoy, all husbandmen.[15]
   
Later in November 1576 Thomas oge McThomas McRory McGrath of Lisfinny received a pardon along with a whole host of people across Counties Cork and Waterford. The other person from Waterford in this pardon was Thomas McEdmond Power of Monatrim.[16]

Second Desmond rebellion
   
In 1579, Gerald, fifteenth Earl of Desmond, made an attack on Youghal as the opening action in his final rebellion. Following five days of pillaging within the town, the amassed treasure was taken to Strancally and Lisfinny castles, which were at that time garrisoned by Spanish soldiers.[17] Shortly after, the Dublin government wrote to London that they didn’t believe they could take Lisfinny Castle without cannon, such was the strength of its garrison and masonry.[18] 
   
During the Desmond rebellion of 1579-83, the Earl of Ormond adopted a “scorched earth” policy in the winter of 1579-80. After passing through County Limerick, Ormond proceeded to Coshmore/Coshbride in December 1579 where he burnt the lands of Sir John of Desmond at Lisfinny.[19] By May 1580 a force led by Lord Power, Sir Thomas of Desmond and the sheriff of County Waterford camped near the woods of Lisfinny to stop the rebels coming into County Cork via The Vee road from Clogheen.[20] 

Walter Raleigh

Lisfinny under Raleigh
   
During his life, Sir John didn’t care too much for personal property but his English adversaries did. John’s great castle at Mallow eventually passed to Captain Thomas Norris (who hoped, unsuccessfully, to get Lisfinny and Mogeely), Edmund Spenser, the poet, got Kilcolman castle while Sir Walter Raleigh got the castle and manor of Lisfinny.[21]
   
The government had given a three year lease on Lisfinny manor, along with the manors of Mogeely, Strancally and Shane, to Richard Shee and Robert Rothe of Kilkenny in March 1584.[22] The grant mentions the lands of Twileig, Aglish, Knocknamuck, Barnenebolegy, Curragh Reagh, Ballingarran and Kilbeg as part of Lisfinny.[23]
   
The manor of Strancally which was previously held with Lisfinny was in 1584 the property of James fitz John Fitzgerald, who was by then deceased. In the Rothe/Shee grant these lands included Strancally, Kilnaganagh, Kanemucky, Kilmacnicholas and Monetrown.
   
The original plantation of Munster had planned for four classes of seignory; viz: 12,000 acres, 8,000, 6,000 and 4,000. The planter with 12,000 acres was to have a demesne farm of 2,100 acres; six farmers with 400 acres each; six freeholders with 300 acres each and 42 copy-holders with 100 acres each. The remaining 1,500 acres was to be apportioned in smaller tenures on which at least 36 families must be settled.[24]

There were originally to be three big planters of 12,000 acres in this region, namely: Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir John Stowell and Sir John Clifton were to get the lands on the west bank of the Blackwater. They were to populate their new estates with people from Devon, Somerset and Dorset. But early in 1587 Stowell and Clifton sold their interests to Raleigh or were pressurized to do so. The result was that instead of Raleigh getting 12,000 acres he ended up getting 42,000 acres which made him the biggest planter in Munster.
   
In March 1587 the manor of Lisfinny, as part of 42,000 acre estate along the Blackwater and Bride Rivers, was granted to Sir Walter Raleigh.[25]  Raleigh got full ownership in fee farm with only a rent to the crown of one hundred marks sterling.[26] In 1589 Raleigh gave a lease of Lisfinny to his chief local agent, Andrew Colthurst.[27]
   
In the summer of 1599, during the Nine Years War, the Earl of Essex conducted a long march through Munster. The army entered the Bride valley from the west by way of Fermoy and Castlelyons. Their objective was to take Conna Castle, home of one of the chief rebels. On 16 June the army reached Conna but found the castle burnt and abandoned by the rebels. Essex established a camp between Conna and Mogeely Castle to rest the night. The following day was Sunday and Essex used the rest day to await further reinforcements.
   
During Sunday night, Essex got four hundred troops into the bawn and outhouses of Lisfinny Castle. This was a very benefitual move as a large rebel force shadowed Essex’s army while it marched to Affane to cross the Blackwater. The rebels threatened to attack near Lisfinny but with the castle in English hands, their escape route as closed and they didn’t wish to get boxed in. Essex successfully crossed the Blackwater and proceeded on to Dungarvan and Waterford while subduing the countryside along the way.[28]  
   
In the following year of 1600, Henry Pyne (who leased Mogeely from Raleigh) petitioned the government to put garrisons in many of the castles on the Bride including Kilmacow and Lisfinny. Pyne’s own castle already had fifty troops from the Lord President of Munster. The government directed the Munster President to examine the situation and make his own judgement on the merits of places garrisons in the said castles.[29]
   
In May 1601 a great number of pardons were given out to people who took part in the Nine Years War. A few local people got such pardons like Donagh McTeige of Lisfinny, husbandman, along with William Brown of Lisfinny, yeoman and Dermod O Dolan, a labourer of same. These were joined by James fitz William Roche and Morish McConogher boy of Kilwatermoy, (both yeomen) along with Philip McDonnell I Donortie of Mocollop, yeoman.[30]

Lisfinny under Boyle

   
In 1602, Sir Richard Boyle purchased Sir Walter Raleigh’s Irish estates including Lisfinny. The manor at that time covered six ploughlands and included the townlands of Aghanbrogue (Ahaunboy), Ballygarran, Croghrew (Curragh Reagh), Kilcalf, Kilmore, Kilowen (Coolowen) and Knocknamuck along with Tallow town. At an inquest the following year, the manor was measured at five and a half ploughlands but included a salmon weir on the Bride and the townland of Aglish.[31]
   
By the time of the Civil Survey in 1654, Lisfinny had declined so much that it failed to get a mention. Instead we are told of the ruined castle in the townland of Knocknamuck which was the former stronghold of the Desmond Fitzgeralds. The manor of Lisfinny had been so developed over the past fifty years that it now measured seven and a half ploughlands.[32]

Lisfinny castle & house

Later times at Lisfinny
   
Over the centuries the castle was left as a ruin while a new Georgian house was built beside it. However, in 1888, the castle once again fulfilled one of its original functions. Douglas Pyne, the lessee of Lisfinny, for M.P. for the consistency of West Waterford and choose to support the tenants in the Land War. The authorities didn’t like his actions of support and attempted to arrest him under the Coercion Acts. But Pyne was one step ahead of the government and before they could arrest him, he had barricaded himself into the castle. Here he had a big store of provisions to see out a long siege. The police erected tents in the garden and settled down for the long wait. Pyne observed how relaxed they were and took advantage of this by escaping early one foggy morning. Before the police knew what had happened Pyne was long gone. Sometime later, whilst returning from England, Pyne fell, or was pushed, overboard from the Cork steamer and was drown.[33]  

In all this history, and the history unrecorded, Lisfinny tower house still stands as a monument to all the preceding and a credit to the builders who erected it some 500 years ago.

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[1] Moore, Ml. (ed.), Archaeological Inventory of County Waterford (Dublin, 1999), no. 1615
[2] Redmond, G. O’Connell, ‘The castles of North-East Cork and near its borders’, in the Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society, vol. xxiv, (1918), p. 148 [accessed 1st June 2013]
[3] Heffernan, K. & Billensteiner, F., The History of Strancally Castle and the Valley of the Blackwater between Lismore and Youghal (Strancally Castle Library, 1999), p. 16
[4] Archaeology Ireland, Summer 2009, pp. 8-10
[5] Foley, K., & Enright, F., Evidence of the Past (Dublin, 1989), p. 121
[6] Fiants of Elizabeth, no. 1046
[7] Calendar of Carew manuscripts at Lambeth (Liechtenstein, 1974 reprint), vol. 1 (1515-1574), p. 417
[8] Fiants of Elizabeth, no. 2199
[9] Fiants of Elizabeth, no. 2471
[10] Fiants of Elizabeth, no. 2478
[11] Fiants of Elizabeth, no. 2476
[12] O’Dowd, M. (ed.), Calendar of State Papers Ireland, Tudor period 1571-1575 (Dublin, 2000), no. 774.9
[13] Calendar of Carew manuscripts at Lambeth, vol. 3 (1575-1588), p. 352
[14] Fiants of Elizabeth, no. 2779
[15] Fiants of Elizabeth, no. 2782
[16] Fiants of Elizabeth, no. 2941
[17] Redmond, ‘The castles of North-East Cork and near its borders’, in J.C.A.H.S., vol. xxiv, (1918), p. 148
[18] Calendar of Carew manuscripts at Lambeth, vol. 2 (1575-1588), p. 177
[19] McCormack, A., The Earldom of Desmond 1463-1583 (Dublin, 2005), p. 150
[20] Calendar of Carew manuscripts at Lambeth, vol. 2 (1575-1588), p. 257
[21] Berleth, R., The Twilight Lords (New York, 1978), p. 190
[22] Redmond, ‘The castles of North-East Cork and near its borders’, in J.C.A.H.S., vol. xxiv, (1918), pp. 63, 149
[23] Fiants of Elizabeth, no. 4339
[24] Fiants of Elizabeth, no. 4901
[25] Calendar of Carew manuscripts at Lambeth, vol. 2 (1575-1588), p. 452
[26] Fiants of Elizabeth, no. 5046
[27] Redmond, ‘The castles of North-East Cork and near its borders’, in J.C.A.H.S., vol. xxiv, (1918), pp. 63, 149
[28] Calendar of Carew manuscripts at Lambeth, vol. 3 (1589-1600), pp. 306-7
[29] Calendar of Carew manuscripts at Lambeth, vol. 3 (1589-1600), pp. 477-8
[30] Fiants of Elizabeth, nos. 6505, 6624
[31] Hayman, Rev. S., The hand-book for Youghal (Youghal, 1896, reprint Youghal, 1973), pp. 17, 20
[32] Simington, R. (ed.), The Civil Survey County of Waterford AD 1654-1656 (Dublin, 1942), pp. 4, 5, 10, 27, 29
[33] Redmond, ‘The castles of North-East Cork and near its borders’, in J.C.A.H.S., vol. xxiv, (1918), p. 150