Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

in these officers and their Corporation. Weekly and half-yearly courts -were held. Courts Leet and Courts Baron, as well as Piepowder Courts on fair days. Catholics were not expressly excluded, but their exclusion was effected by the discretion left to the members of the Body Corporate. There were to be two great fairs annually. It is worthy of remark that these existed from the earliest times. Two weekly markets were likewise established, and at these tolls might be exacted. Guilds were likewise formed, and their rules had to be finally confirmed by the going Judge of Assize. The Mayor and Becorder were ex-officio magistrates for the County Tipperary, and both these and all citizens were exempt from serving on juries. The entire Corporate Body, i.e. the Mayor, Aldermen, Bailiffs, Citizens, and Commons might frame new laws and regulations, all together in public meeting assembled, subject to the Assize Judge's approval. Tlie names of three candidates were sent on for the office of Mayor annually to Dublin Castle. In time the Corporation degenerated into a close borough.

J-NQUI8ITION ON THE Pkopeety OF THE ARCHBISHOPS OF CiSHEL.

One of the Courts of Inquiry was held in the year 1629, the fifth year of King Charles the First, into the possessions of Malcolm Hamilton, the late Archbishop. It was directed to Bobert Waters and Garvine Barclay, Precentor of Cashel, and to Bedmond M'Grath and Gerald Fitzgerald, Archdeacon of Emly. The Inquisition proved that the ten marks reserved by the Charter of Maurianus (1229) out of the town court and pasture were still paid to his successors, being at the time (owing to the change in the currency) equal to an annual charge of £5. It was also proved that the Archbishop received rent out of the Great Bakehouse and out of two marts, which latter would correspond to the shambles reserved in the Charter of 1229. These items proved of inestimable value in the great and successful struggle of the citizens for the recovery of their property in 1843. The names of the jurors in the Inquisition of 1629 are as follows, viz.:—

Walter Hackett, of Cashel, Esq.

Philip Purcell, of Kilnesheare, Gent.

John Butler, of Loughinfidory, Gent.

Thomas Stapleton, of Leinstown, Gent.

Walter Woodlock, Moortown Park, Gent.

Bedmond Comyn, of Kilbragh, Gent.

Patrick Fleming, of St. Dominick's Monastery.

Thomas Sherlock, Cashel, Burgess.

Thomas Creagh, of same, Burgess.

Edmond Sail, of \

Robert Fleming, of

Bobert Boyton, of I Cashel

James Boyton, of J

Tkial In Cloxmel.

In 1348 a great trial took place in Clonmel before Walter Birmingham, Justiciary of Ireland. The Provost, bailiffs, and commonalty of the city of Cashel were put on their trial by the Crown for having refused to go as an escort to Clonmel with certain prisoners who were sent thither from the King's Jail in Cashel. They refused to escort them, on the grounds that their estates were free from all secular service to the Sovereign. This was owing to the fact that the estates were originally a grant from the Church. This record was used by the Reformed Municipal Body of Cashel in 1843 to prove the identity of the city estates with those originally granted by the Church. They produced the Charter of Maurianus, which proving that they owed no secular service for their estates, judgment was given in favour of the said Provost, bailiffs, and commonalty.

THE HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OF ST. CATHERINE'S,
OLD ABBEY, COUNTY LIMERICK.

BY JOHN WARDELL, M.A., M.E.I.A.
[Read October 6, 1903.]

TPin: nunnery of "Manisternagalliaghduff," or, as it is now called, Old
Abbey, is situated in the parish of Robertstown, and in the modern

[graphic]

Old Abbey, County LimeiuckThe West Dook or Church. (From a Photograph by Mr. T. J. Westropp.)

barony of Shanid. This barony forms part of the ancient district known as Connelloe, in the western division of County Limerick. The ruing of the convent, hidden away in a lonely hollow, lie in a small valley. This, running down to the Shannon on the north, is hounded on the south and west by low green hills, and on the east by fairly open, rolling country.

The highest point in the western range of hills is Knockpatrick, which is crowned by the old church of that name. The village of Shanagolden, with its thirteenth-century church, the nave of which is still in use, lies about two miles to the west of the nunnery. To the south-west, and perched on the summit of a detached and moated hill, is the famous castle of Shanid, which dominates the entire valley, and commands the approaches leading to the Kerry border.

From the fields surrounding Old Abbey House may be obtained a glimpse of Foyncs Island, girdled by the silver Shannon, while beyond the river stretch the uplands of County Clare, with the level-backed hill of Mount Callan standing out against the skyline.

The various rectories, or vicarages, connected with the nunnery, all lie within the compass of the valley. The most distant is that of Orange, the Nova Grangia or Gransha of the records, which lies some nine miles to the south-east of the Abbey, and close to the town of Newcastle.

Dunmoylan, to the north of Grange, is but three miles away from the nunnery, while Robertstown, "the church of the castle of Robert Goer," lies just as far to the north as Dunmoylan to the south. Beyond Robertstown, the rocky island, or semi-island, of Aughinish juts far out into the Shannon. At Dunmoylan, Grange, and Robertstown, may be seen the remains of small churches, while one wall of Goer's Castle is still standing. The church of Kilmoylan, or Kilruolane, situated on one of the two home ploughlands, does not appear to have been connected with the convent.

Of the history of this Abbey but little is known. This is the more strange, seeing that it was the only nunnery in this part of the country, and that, judging by its remains, it must have been of considerable size. Lying, as it did, in a country so rich in incident as Coimelloe, it is curious that it played so small a part in history.

Even as to its situation considerable doubt has existed. The county historians, Ferrar (1786), FitzGerald, and Lenihan, have followed Arch-dall, who, following Harris, confused it with a place of similar name at Lough Our.1 Ferrar makes no mention whatsoever of the'ruins at Old Abbey. FitzGerald, after a brief description, remarks that they have escaped the notice of "Ware and Archdall, while Lenihan merely refers to their existence.

The first to get on the right track was Dr. Reeves, who, as is

1 "History, Topography," &c, of Limerick (by Rev. P. FitzGerald and J. J. M'Gregor, 1826), vol. i., pp. 363, 315, and vol. ii., p. .577. See also Journal, vol. xxi., p. 322.

stated in the " Memorials of Adare," identified Monasternagalliagh, near Shanagolden, with the house of that name mentioned in the Elizabethan Fiants. Dr. Reeves rested his identification upon the near neighbourhood of the rectories of Grange and Bobertstown, which in itself would be scarcely sufficient evidence. Mr. "Wcstropp and I came to the same conclusion quite independently, and I submit that the documents recited in this article complete the identification of Old Abbey with the St. Katherine's of the records.

Considerable confusion would seem to exist between Manisternagalliagh in Connello and several small monasteries of similar name, all situated in the County Limerick. First comes Ballingoul, Ballingould, or Ballingoula, alias Ballynambraher, near Sixmilebridge, called in Fiant No. 405 (February, 35 Hen. VIII.) the "House of Friars Minor, by Lough Gur, alias Ballynebraher." This house is also styled the ''Monastery of Whitefriars at Ballynegall"; and it is probable that the grant (39 Eliz.) to Trinity College, Dublin, of the " Franciscan house at Ballynegall," refers to the same place.1 Then there is Ballynagalliach, or "Monasternagalliach juxta Aney," or Isunstown, near Lough Gur. This has been frequently confused with St. Katherine's, and has usurped its place in all Histories of the county. It seems to have been a place of no importance, and in 1840 only a fragment of the west gable was standing. It is said to have been founded in 1283 for Augustiniau nuns. Then Manister na ngall in Kilflin Parish, south of Kilmallock, a Dominican cell, called also Abbey Ballynagaul, and lastly, Monestur ne Calloweduff in Kilmurry Parish, near the City of Limerick; none of these places, however, being in the district of Connelloe.

History.

Of the foundation of St. Katherine's of O'Conyl no record exists, but it would seem that it is alluded to in the Inquisition made as to the lands of Thomas Fitz Maurice, who died on Wednesday next after the feast of the Holy Trinity (June 4th), in the year 1298.*

In the section which deals with the Manor of Senede (Shanid) occurs the following entry :—" Wherefrom are subtracted 8*. paid yearly to the Bishop of Limerick for land which his (Thomas') grandfather1 granted to the nuns of O'Konyl, and 26«. 8d. paid to the same Bishop to acquit land of demesne which Sir Thomas held of him there."

1 "Domus ifiuni ue Ballyn Brahur or Ballynumrarc in Clanwilliam," "House of liraher Duife or Black Friars, Ballynegall, in Cossetlereo-fl'arren ne monaster, guldens, and at the village of Ballynegall 2 acres."—Christopher Peyton's Survey (1586), pp. 255-256.

"Monestarene callowe duffe, Lymerick, in the Parish of Temple Moyrry (Kilmurry), near the city, with certain gardens, orchards, and fields *' (Ibid., p. 257).

2 C. S. P. I., vol. iv., p. 259. See also Pipe Rolls. 27 Ed. 1., So. 27.

3 John FitzThomas of Connelloe (O'Konyl), County Limerick, son and heir of Thomas FitzMaurice, and grandfather to the Thomas above mentioned, was slain at Callan, 1261. From an Inquisition (8th August, 1282) we find that he held " a cantred in Cunyel called Shennede, in said County of Limerick."—C. S. P. I., 1252-128-4.

« AnteriorContinuar »