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in 1612, dying in 1613. Cotton states that he was educated at Cambridge, and that there was an elder brother, Donough, by whose death in his father's lifetime the bishop became chief of the clan.
The palatine jurisdiction of the Ormonds, originally granted to James le Botiller, Earl of Ormond, in 1328, and which was seized by the Crown in 1621, did not include the Barony of Dough Arra (MacBrien's country). This forms the major portion of the present Barony of Owney and Arra, and it was joined to the county of the Cross of Tipperary in. 1606. The palatinate jurisdiction was restored to the Butlers in 1662, and the Duke of Ormond exercised it over the whole of the County Tipperary, including the Barony of Owney and Arra, and the county of the Cross.
Cnocdn an 6in pfnn means 'the little hill of the white bird.' From a very early period en (am) has been Irish for 'a bird,' and the termination naneane, 'of the birds,' is found in Ardnaneane and Rathnaneany. In O'Beilly's Irish Dictionary, eanpionn appears as Irish for 'an osprey or kite.'
Few who hear the English-sounding name of Birdhill are aware that it is a translation of a very ancient Irish place-name. When the stations on the G. S. & W. Bailway shall have their old names printed in Irish characters, how many a Saxon (not to mention Hibernian) tra-veller, in making the tour of the Shannon and Lough Derg, on reaching; the picturesque little station that the Guide-book would have taught him to look for as Birdhill, will be startled on finding himself lost at a place transformed into Cnocdn an 6m pfnn!
The only legend that I have been able to gather in the neighbourhood as accounting for this ancient name is a variant of the story of Ossian, the hound Bran, and the blackbirds. The original tale may have referred to a white bird; but in course of time it is possible that it may have become lost, and the better known Ossianic legend have taken its place. This last will be found very fully related in a paper on "The Fenian Traditions of Sliabh-na-m-ban," by Mr. John Dunne.1
Mr. Gleeson, an aged farmer, who has a holding close to St. Commaneth's Well, related to me the following version of the origin of the name Birdhill:—
"In Ossiah's days, a great bird, so large that its shadow covered acres, was engaged in devastating the country around, during which time his dog, Bran, had a terrible fight with it, which ended in his defeat. Some time after, Ossian asked the hound one day if he saw or heard anything, and on the third inquiry, Bran declared that he saw something which caused so much darkness that it could be naught else save the ill-omened bird again. The aged hero gave Bran up for lost;
1 Journal, vol. i., 1849-51, p. 352. The Eev. J. F. Lynch, in the "Journal o£ the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society," April, 1896, relates the "Legend of Birdhill" at some length.
but the faithful dog bade him take courage, as he was 6ure, if he could only get something to throw down the bird's throat, he should kill him. Ossian accordingly provided him with a large ball, which, during the struggle that ensued, Bran managed to plant right in the bird's throat, killing him at once. The neighbourhood was greatly relieved, and since this memorable contest the hill on which it took place has been known as that of the white bird."
Another account states that Bran killed a notorious blackbird on Moon-a-lu, 'the bog of the blackbird,' on the margin of which Birdhill station now stands.
In the story, as related by Mr. Dunne, Ossian blew a trumpet, when the sky became darkened by flights of birds of blackest plumage; Bran attacked and killed one enormous bird, the virus of whose blood infused poison into his veins. The dog becoming maddened, Ossian, in selfdefence, ordered the boy who accompanied him to hurl a ball of brass into his mouth, as he rushed towards them. The boy was too frightened, and in the end, Ossian himself killed his hound with the ball.
Ossian's bronze trumpet is said to lie buried beneath the rock known as Carrigeen, on the townland of Birdhill, which forms a prominent and striking object in the landscape, and from the summit of which a most extensive view, embracing portions of five counties, is to be obtained.
NOTES ON ASKEATON, COUNTY LIMERICK.
BY THOMAS J. WESTROPP, M.A., M.R.I.A., Vice-president.
't'he Parish Chuech Of St. Aiaby.—The Church of Askeaton (like several others in the ancient district of Connello) is attributed to the Knights Templars, and stated to have been built in 1291.1 The first
St. Mary's Church, Askeaton—The Belfry.
legend can be shown in other cases to have originated in the prefix "Temple."- "What truth lay behind it is hard to discover; as in the
1 Lewis's "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland," vol. i., p. 81.
2 Si>cli as Temple Athlea (Athea), Temple Glantan, Tenipleinniwebaoith (Strand), records relating to the suppression of the Templars, I only find a small preceptory, perhaps even a mere plot of land, in Limerick;1 no mention even of the reputed house of Newcastle, none of Askeaton. Of course, as the Templars were not priests, they must have sought the ministry of the parochial clergy.* It is, therefore, quite possible that some of the Knights of the Temple may have stayed in Askeaton Castle, and worshipped in the church.3
As regards the alleged date, if intended to mark the first foundation, it is demonstrably false. If "Iuriasc" or"Inniasc" be Inisc(efty)* or Askeaton in the inquisition of Meyler FitzHeniy and Bishop Donat O'Brien (1200, 1201),5 as its position next to Tomdeely would seem to imply, we might conjecture that the foundation of its church took place along with that of the castle in 1198-1199. However, the church of the Blessed Virgin at Iniskefty is mentioned in 1237 and 1268,6 so if the old writers had any valid authority for the date 1291, it may represent a mere restoration under the de Clares.
The rectory, as already noted, had been granted before 1237 to the Abbey of Keynsham, in Somersetshire. Many details of its history, and of the litigation and quarrels of the Bishops of Limerick with the representatives of the English house, have been given. Its advowson was held by the de Clares at any rate down to 1322. In 1318 the church was robbed by a certain Roger Crompe.7 A custom had grown up in those uncertain times of storing not only valuables, but even provisions (such as corn), in the churches, as the peasants in Iceland store goods and even dried fish in the sacred edifices to this day. The segis of the church was, however, often powerless to protect the holy place from desperato men, who feared neither God nor human laws; and the Plea Rolls show that an unusual outburst of sacrilegious theft had taken place in the weakened state of law and society after the invasion of the Bruces. For example, at the assizes of 1318 and 1327, "in the County of Limerick alone, we find mention of a chest full of silver belonging to Felicia the Tanner, stolen from the church of the Friars Preachers at Kilmallock, and taken to Grene by Thomas the Chaplain.8 Goods were
Templenamona (Monagay), and Temple beinid (Ballyallinan) all to the south and east of Newcastle. The legends of the Templars of Newcastle are mentioned in Fitzgerald's History, 1826. See also " Memorials of Adare," pp. 151-152.
1 See MSS., T.C.D., 1060, and Exchequer Rolls, London, i. Ed. II. "De bonis templariorum, Lymer."
* As Froude remarks, this selection of confessors, unattached to their order, goes far to acquit the Knights of consciousness of the abominable beliefs and actions of which they were accused to their ruin.
3 The only shadow of corroboration—the hospital lands in Askeaton town—has been already noted. But the resultant proof is very slight. See p. 31, supra.
4 See Appendix A, infra, p. 126. 5 " Black Book of Limerick," No. xxi, p. 14. 6 See vol. xxxiii., p. 29. 7 Plea Roll, 124 of xi. Ed. II., m. 34.
s William, Bishop of Emly, was believed to have been involved in the Kilmallock c ase, so it may have been not a robbery but some mistake leading to illegal removal. Ibid, also No. 123. Term S. Trin. xi. Ed. II., m. 30, m. 34, m. 35, dorso, m. 37; No. 124, m. 34; and No. 126, xiii. Ed. II., m. 3.
also taken from the churches of Athnedcs (Ath na deisi or Atheneasy), Kilfrosse, Balisiward, Ardpatrick, and Iniskefty, while soon afterwards (1329) the prior of the House of the Holy Trinity of Adare, with two friars, John Leys and Gilbert de Clare, was accused of stealing goods worth 100 shillings from the new house of the Augustinians in that place. The jury found as to the Askeaton robbery, "that Soger Crompe had put himself into the church of Iniskefty," and "committed divers robberies in the said church." Meanwhile, as the law "dragged its slow length along," the criminal seized his opportunity, "escaped from justice, and fled out of the villate." I found no record of his subsequent capture, unless he was one of the sixteen thieves, of whom eight were executed at Limerick by John "Wogan, the Chief Justice, while the rest abjured the realm.
Little else but lawsuits about the rectory, and questions about the vicarage and advowson, .with valuations in the episcopal visitations, remain. We get a glimpse of the church and its English owners in 1381, 1395.1 William de Neweton, "proctor of Kenesham Abbey, near Bristol in England," undertook in the former year to satisfy the Crown as to the fines of Garth5 and Inskyfty rectories in County Limerick, according to the survey of the extent of the same newly made. He asked to have his expenses allowed in the matter, and promised to pay the balance into the Exchequer. In 1395 the royal letters of Eichard II., confirming the Abbot and convent of Kenesham in two parts of the rectories of Garth and Iniskefty, in order that they should keep the lands against the Irish rebels, were produced at a court, held at Kilmallock by the Justices, Roger l'enfaunt and Odo de Lees, in Hilary Term.
From the ruins, it is evident that some repairs took place in the church late in the following century; but the skilled hands that left their mark on the castle and abbey were not employed.
On the dissolution of Keynesham, the Irish rectories became impropriate to the Crown, Askeaton was granted to Nicholas Fanning in 1542,3 and possibly was administered by the Earls of Desmond. After the fall of this noble house, we find, in the surveys of 1583 and 1586, that in the parish of Askeaton "is no temple except an old chapel, of which the walls alone are left, and which belongs to the parish of Ballingarrie. The rectory is impropriate, and pertains to our Lady the Queen, in right of the late abbey of Kensam in England."4 "The Vicarage was held by Maurice oge mac Person, and had to supply coyne and liverie to the Earl of Desmond, and to support 2 horses and 4 horse boys."5
1 R. Mem. Scac. iv. Ric. II. (Ireland), m. G6, dorso. Ibid., xviii. and six. Ric. II., m. 27.
2 Ballingurry, Countv Limerick.
» Fiant, 311, Henry VIII., Ap. Seventh Ann. Report D. K. R. I. « Desmond Roll, 1583, Public Record Office, Dublin. This, the Rental of O'Conyll, 1452, and the Inquisition of May, 1584, identify Iniskefty with Askeaton. 5 Peyton's Survey Book, 1586.