St. Patrick’s Day in the Ormond Deeds
Niall C.E.J. O’Brien
The Ormond deeds form the largest single collection of medieval deeds and records in Ireland following the destruction of the Public Record Office, Dublin, in 1922. The various documents within the collection were dated at varied times throughout the year. This article recounts some of the deeds which were dated on St. Patrick’s Day. It is not clear if medieval people treated St. Patrick’s Day with any special treatment than we do today with parades and a day off work. Medieval people also had the day off work as they did for most of the year on saint’s feast days and other holy days. St. Patrick’s Day was recognised by religious people outside Ireland as at Muchelney Abbey in Somerset.
On 17th March 1346 William Fitz Maurice granted to William Coterel the land of Hamunsboli. The land of Hamunsboli is identified as Cotterellsboly in the parish of Ennisnag, Co. Kilkenny. In about 1293-6 Brother David de Castell, Prior of the Hospital of Jerusalem, granted a carucate of land at Corbally, alias Hamunsboli, to Hammund son of John which the Hospital had by gift of William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke the carucate was formerly held by Eustace de Bereylmund.
The grant of St. Patrick’s Day 1346 was from William Fitz Maurice and John his son to William son of Richard Coterel of a messuage and sixteen acres of arable land at Hamunsboli in Hospital near Ennisnag to have and hold forever. The grant was made at Le Boli in Hospital near Ennisnag and witnessed by among others, Gerald Fitz Hamund and Philip Fitz Hamund.
The Coterel family acquired a large estate in central County Kilkenny in the fourteenth century. The grant of 1346 was not the first acquisition by the Coterel family of property from that of Fitz Maurice. In 1342 Maurice son of Fule Fitz Maurice of Corbally and John son of Alan Fitz Maurice made a grant to William son of Richard Coterel of one messuage and two carucates of arable land at Corbally. In 1412 Patrick son of Walter Coterel was lord of Stamkarthy and Hamunsboli.
At Carrick-on-Suir on St. Patrick’s Day (17th March) 1396 an indenture was made between James Butler, Earl of Ormond, and Robert Herbryke whereby the Earl granted the manor of Donada to Robert. A previous deed relating to Donada was made on 4th November 1351 when William Goer of Waterford made a quit-claim of Donda and the mill to Richard Dodd of Dublin. Later in the fourteenth century the manors of Donada and Rathtrone were held by Sir John de Bermingham from James Butler, 2nd Earl of Ormond. Following the rebellions of John de Bermingham against King Richard II his lands were seized, including the two Ormond manors (worth £16). On 4th May 1391 King Richard restored the two manors to James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond.
On 17th March 1410 William Allyngton granted the manor of Donadagh in County Kildare to Robert Herbryg and Nicholas Stokes forever. William Allyngton had recived the manor by grant of Thomas of Lancaster, Seneschal of England and Lieutenant of Ireland. Robert Herbryg was an important associate of the Earl of Ormond in the Kildare area. In 1412 he was granted a lease for life on the manors of Clintonscourt (Kildare) and Blackcastle (Meath) from the Earl of Ormond for £46 12s 4d in annual rent.
Nicholas Stokes appears in the records as a senior official in the court of the Earl of Ormond. In 1412 he managed the rents from the barony of Knocktopher.
On 17th March 1409, Johanna Fisse made a quit-claim all her lands in New Ross to Robert King, chaplain, his heirs and assigns. These messuages, lands, rents and tenements were formerly held by Henry King, father of Robert King. Johanne Fisse was the sister of Martha Fisse, baker (wife of John Redmond), and John Fisse of New Ross. In about 1380 Martha Fisse made her will and left Johanna Fisse a gold ring. Robert King, the chaplain, received 4s and was one of the three executors. Tibina Meyler, the wife of Robert King, received a half mark. The history of this property before 1409, and its subsequent history afterwards, is lost to us in the absence of surviving documents.
On 17th March 1544 an award was published at Cashel by Edmund, Archbishop of Cashel, James Fitzgerald, Earl of Desmond and Richard Butler between James Butler, Earl of Ormond, and Sir Thomas Butler, Baron of Cahir. The dispute concerned the imposition of coyne and livery in the cantred of Clonmel. Coyne and livery worked best in stable political conditions. The private tax was where local gentry agreed to provide food and lodging for soldiers and stabling for horses. In the 1540s and after military commanders tried to extract more taxes to fund extra troops to the disapproval of the local gentry and freeholders and the system broke down.
By the award the Earl and Baron were to be at peace with each other. The Baron was to allow the Earl to livery his men and horses in the cantred of Clonmel. The Baron was to allow gallowglass to live within his area. If the Baron wished to build castle the local freeholders were to supply workmen and the Earl’s lands were to provide funding. The Baron was to abide by any awards made by the Earl of Desmond, Archbishop of Cashel and Bishop of Lismore concerning any complaint of the gentlemen and freeholders of the cantred of Clonmel. The Baron was to assist the Earl in the recovery of his ancient rights and help the officers of the liberty of Tipperary in the administration of same. The Earl was to defend the Baron in all lawful cases against all men except against the King. The Baron was to be commander of half the Earl’s army as his family were by ancient custom.
Cahir Castle - home of the Baron of Cahir
Three days before, on 14th March 1544, the Baron of Cahir acknowledged a bond to the Earl of Ormond of £1,000 to cover the expenses of coyne and livery in the cantred of Clonmel. The Baron was to abide by the judgement of the three justices above, or failing that, to abide by the judgement of William Brabazon, Lord Justice of Ireland, and three government officials.
As can be seen only a few of the hundreds of medieval documents in the Ormond collection were dated on St. Patrick’s Day. Many more documents were dated on 16th March and 18th March but they appear as just another day at the office than any direct connection with St. Patrick’s Day.
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 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds (6 vols. Stationery Office, Dublin, 1932), vol. 1, p. v
 B. Schofield (ed.), Muchelney Memoranda (Somerset Record Society, Vol. XLII, 1927), p. 130
 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. 1, no. 784
 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. 1, no. 311
 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. 1, no. 784
 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. 1, p. 751
 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds (6 vols. Stationery Office, Dublin, 1934), vol. II, p. 304
 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. II, p. 228
 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. II, p. 5
 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. II, p. 212
 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. II, p. 294
 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. II, p. 305
 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. II, p. 306
 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. II, pp. 191, 287
 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, vol. II, p. 346
 David Edwards, The Ormond lordship in County Kilkenny 1515-1642: The Rise and Fall of Butler Feudal Power (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2003), pp. 175, 176
 Edmund Curtis (ed.), Calendar of Ormond Deeds (6 vols. Stationery Office, Dublin, 1937), vol. IV, pp. 262-5