Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

us. The Archbishops of Tuam were always remarkable men—well to the forefront in Irish public life to-day as from the first. At the Lateran Council—the 11th General Council called by Alexander III.—we find Catholicus O'Duffy, of Tuam, and St. Laurence O'Toole, of Dublin, and six other bishops from Ireland. Two of them were subsequently Lords Justices of Ireland, and practical governors of the kingdom.

"William Daniel was the first Protestant Archbishop, and the first translation of the Bible into Irish is by him; and this was the first book printed in Irish in Ireland. The last Protestant Archbishop was Dr. Trench, after whose death, by Act of Parliament, Tuam, with Killala and Achonry, became an ordinary bishopric and suffragan to Armagh, in that church; and its first Bishop was Dr. Plunket, eldest son of the famous Lord Chancellor, and uncle to the late respected Archbishop of Dublin, who was ordained in Tuam, and spent his early years here.

Many remarkable families were connected with Tuam. There were the Echlins—one of whom was Dean of the Cathedral, who was murdered by his servants, in 1712, at the age of seventy years. The murder was curiously discovered. The aged clergyman, on Good Friday, at the Mall House, where he resided, was found murdered in his bed. The room and house bore all the appearance of having been rifled. The .servants said that robbers had broken in and did the foul deed; and so it was believed until about Easter Sunday, when some of the townspeople coming into the yard noticed that the little dog of the murdered Dean was lying upon or beside a closed well in the yard, and their curiosity being excited, they went over, and taking up some stones, evidently freshly thrown in, they discovered the boxes and plate of the murdered man. Immediately the servants took fright, and one of them becoming King's evidence, the other three were tried, hanged, and buried in a field at the top of the Dublin road.

The Deanes were an old family, having extensive property in Tuam, and in 1777 one of them, Ambrose Deane, mysteriously disappeared when on his way from Tuam to Dublin, after collecting his rents here. A well in a demesne, five miles from Tuam, is curiously associated with this disappearance. The Burtons were connected with Tuam— the famous Sir Richard Burton's grandfather being a clergyman here, and his aunts and uncles are buried beside Archbishop Synge. The Burkes, of Waterslade and Knocknagur, were closely connected with Tuam, and the unfortunate Thomas Henry Burke, who was murdered in the Phoenix Park in 1882, was born at Waterslade; and Sir Thomas Farrell told me that he stood as a model for the statue of Burke of Curraleigh, which stands in the cathedral grounds, erected by Dr. MacHale to commemorate the memory of that very charitable man, whose tomb may be seen at Creevaghbawn, uninscribed, however, with his name, but erected by him to the memory of his family.

Associated with Tuam was a family named Lally.1 In the neighbourhood is Tullinadaly. A street or road in Tuam is called after them, where they resided, one of whom leaving Ireland with the disbanded Irish army, after the Treaty of Limerick, became a distinguished soldier in France—the hero of Fontenoy, and a Marshal of France—a man who nearly succeeded in wresting India from the English, as Macaulay tells us, and who, after all, when he returned to France, was beheaded; his son, however, rehabilitated his name and fame, and got the attainder withdrawn and the confiscated fortune restored to him. The Lallys have now died out. The monument standing in the field, which is described at p. 255, was erected to one James Lally, who was member for Tuam in James II.'s Parliament.

Tuam returned two members to the Irish Parliament—one of its last members being Sir Jonah Barrington.

It was in the square of Tuam that Lake's dragoons, riding up from Castlebar, without drawing rein, gave that retreat the name of the Castlebar Races.

The cross in the square is one of the most celebrated of the sculptured crosses in Ireland; and Miss Stokes gives a drawing and description of it in her "Early Christian Architecture." It is of sandstone—a stone not to be found within thirty miles of Tuam, and is a fine specimen of workmanship of its time and kind. A cast of it in plaster was at the London Exhibition of 1856, and can be seen in the Museum, Kildarestreet, Dublin.

1 See preceding Paper, p. 255.

THE CAREW, BAGINBUN, AND FETHARD CASTLE
INSCRIPTIONS.

BY GODDARD H. ORPEN.
[Submitted August 9, 1904.]

't'he final word on these inscriptions has not yet been said, nor do I flatter myself that this Paper will close the subject; but I think I have some new evidence and some important conclusions to announce. Having heard some rumours inconsistent with the antiquity of the Baginbun and Fethard Castle inscriptions, I paid a visit to Fethard on the 17th and 18th June, to investigate the matter on the spot. As I intended to make some remarks about the stones on the 29th June to the members of our Society taking part in the archaeological cruise, I did not

[graphic]

Insckiption On The Cakew Ckobs.

wish to be disconcerted by some Edie Ochiltree exclaiming at the conclusion of my dissertation, "I mind the bigging o' it"! Accordingly, I examined the stones, and afterwards questioned several of the inhabitants of Fethard as to what they knew about them.

The Baginbun stone is a boulder of a greenish granite, and^must have been borne a considerable way by the ice. It has probably never been stirred by the hand of man, and may have been buried for jcenturies. The surface on which the inscription is cut is, for granite, smooth, fine, and hard, and shows no sign of having flaked or recently weathered away. The lichens and stains can be seen on the lettering, as elsewhere. There is nothing to suggest to the eye a modern date for the inscription. The upper surface of the stone measures 45 by 33 inches (Macalister); but as the stone is partly buried, its full dimensions have not been ascertained. On the other hand, the Fethard Castle stone is a thin slab of a purplishred sandstone, carefully squared, and measuring 29J by 16£by 3 inches. The letters on it are about one-third larger than those on the Baginbun stone. The surface appears to be exceedingly friable. In fact, since Colonel Vigors's rubbing was taken (1894) a large piece has flaked off, carrying away the C and part of the following E of the third line. Looking at the sharp edges of most of the remaining letters, it seems impossible to believe them centuries old. Indeed, it would seem, from the perishable nature of the stone, that in another century, if not sooner, there will be little of the inscription left.

Next, as to what I learnt from the inhabitants. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. W. H. Lynn (architect), and of hearing from his own lips both the information he has received, and the opinions he has formed. I had, however, better quote from his letter, written on the 4th August, 1900, and printed in the "Journal of the Waterford and South-east of Ireland Archaeological Society." He writes:—

"T was at Fethard about a month ago, and being in the Castle yard, was examining the inscription there, when a man present—and not an old man—informed me he had witnessed the carving of it, and that the carver told him it was a copy of one he had seen at an old castle in Wales. The inscription on the boulder-stone near Baginbun is slightly different from that on the castle stone ; but I have no doubt it had a similar origin.

"I have been familiar with the Fethard district from boyhood; but I have no recollection of hearing of these inscriptions until within comparatively recent years; and when I did, I was led to regard them as the outcome of a quiet humour on the part of a resident there. The association of Baginbun with the English invaders, under the leadership of Strongbow and Raymond le Gros, and the connexion of the latter with Carew Castle, combined with my friend's knowledge of the Carew inscription, no doubt, suggested the perpetration of the hoax. Hence these rude copies of the "Welsh inscription.

"As copies, they may not be very accurate; but, so far as fulfilling the purpose for which they were made, they would seem to have been fairly successful."

Mr. Lynn in his letter does not mention the name of his friend, the resident with the "quiet humour," who was said to have been seen carving the inscription ; but there can be no object now in concealing his identity, more especially as it is common property in Fethard. It was Major Edward Lymbery {obiit 15th December, 1890), who lived at Fethard Castle, as far as I could ascertain, from about the year 1860 to 1878 or later. Mr. Lynn further told me that the carving of the Fethard Castle stone took place about forty years ago, and that in his belief it was the Rev. John Lymbery (for thirty-seven years Vicar of Hook, obiit October, 1884), brother to Major Lymbery, who carved the inscription on the Baginbun stone ; but for this belief he could give no grounds beyond his opinion, from what he knew of the man, that it was the sort of thing he would do, "to quiz antiquaries."

Now, as to Mr. Lynn's statement, I of course accept it so far as it is a statement of fact, and, as will presently more fully appear, I am ready to believe what Mr. Lynn was told; but the inferences that he draws with regard to the Baginbun stone, and to Major Lymbery's motive in carving the Fethard Castle stone, stand on quite another basis, and seem to require much further consideration. With regard to Mr. Lynn's supposition as to what suggested " the hoax" to Major Lymbery, I may here point out that Baginbun was not popularly associated with Raymond le Gros, but with FitzStephen or Strongbow, neither of whom had any particular connexion with Carew Castle. Nor was the connexion of

[graphic][merged small]

Baginbun with Raymond le Gros ever proved or reasoned out until I made the attempt in the year 1898. Moreover, it would appear that as Mr. Lynn, though "familiar with the Fethard district from boyhood," has "no recollection of having heard of the inscriptions until comparatively recent years," he could hardly have taken much interest in such subjects.

Before seeing Mr. Lynn I questioned P. Foley, a tradesman in the town, of about forty years of age, and he told me that he had known the marks on the Baginbun stone from his childhood; and that his father, an old man of eighty-six years of age, still alive, but bedridden, knew of them from his boyhood; and that the school-children from Fethard used to be asked jocosely to read them. He further said that he recollected, about twenty years ago, Major Lymbery asking Father Kirwan to try to read the inscription. I do not think I asked Foley about the Fethard stone; but when asked had he ever heard that Major Lymbery had cut

T r> t A T ) Vol. xiv., Fifth Ser. ( XT

Jour. R.b.A.I. j Vo, Con5(,c Ser> j U

« AnteriorContinuar »