change in west Cork after Cromwell's visit
Continuing our look back on some of the excellent articles
which appeared in the Castletownbere Christmas Newsletter
in the 1980s. The following article was submitted by Micheal
Hanley formerly of the Square, Castletownbere, and a Manager
of AIB in Tuam Co. Galway, for a number of years.
Sadly Michael passed away last May (RIP). Each year without
fail Micheal wrote a special article for the Newsletter,
which we will bring back over the next few years.
In this article Cromwellian Confiscations in Beare
and Bantry one can understand the research that went
into it. The first confiscations in Beara took place before
Cromwells time. The chiefs of two McCarthy sets, one
in the half-barony of Beare, the second in the half barony
of Bantry, were both killed in action in the Desmond Rebellion,
and the sept lands were forfeited to the Crown. It was in
Cromwells day, however, the native Irish lost all
The names of the twenty forfeiting tituladoes, as given
in John OHarts The Irish and Anglo-Irish Landed
Gentry when Cromwell Came to Ireland (p.276) are as follows:
The spelling is given as in the original. (1) Daniel OSullivan
Beare. (2) Cahil OSullivan, Beare. (3) Owen McShane
Boy. (4) Thomas Browne. (5) Teige Buy. (6) Owne McDooling.
(7) Owne McFynin Duff. (8) Teige McDaniell. (9) Tfynin McDermott.
(10) Donogh McKnogher ODonogane. (11) Mortogh McDaniell.
(12) Owen McTfynin. (13) Rory McTfynin. (14) Dermot McTfynin.
(15) Randolph Linihigane. (16) Dermott OLiney, alias
The OLiney. (17) Owen Riegh. (18) Murtagh McDaniell
Sullivane. (19) Owen McTeig Sullivane. (20) Owen McTeig
It is worth noting that sixteen of the twenty tituladoes
are OSullivans (1) Donal OSullivan Beare far
and away the greatest landholder in Beara. During the 1641
Rebellion he was a Colonel in the Confedrate Army. As well
as taking his share in the fighting, he was sent on diplomatic
missions to the Continent. He was eldest son of Owen Ogue,
and grandson of Sir Owen OSullivan Beare.
If chieftainships had not been extinguished he would unquestionably
have been chief of his nation. He married a daughter of
Viscount Clare not the first OBrien marriage
made by an OSullivan Beare, as Donal Cams mother
was a daughter of the Earl of Thomand. Among his own people
he was known Donal Cron (the Swarthy). He was not the first
of his line to hold that name, for an ancestor of Donal
Cam, chieftain in his day, was also known as Donal Cron.
After the Restoration in 1660 he petitioned the King for
the return of his lands. I have seen a long letter from
King Charles, ordering that he be restored to all the lands
he held before the Cromwellian confiscations. However, despite
this and his continued plea neither he nor any of the nineteen
others ever got as much as a rood back.
Title had changed several times in many cases, the King
was insecurely seated on his throne, the Roundhead faction
was still strong in England, and indolent, clever Charles,
remembering his wandering youth, was resolved, no matter
what else happened, not to go on his travels
again (2) Cathal OSullivan Beare. Note the full title.
It seems probable that he was a younger brother of Donal
Cron. The other OSullivans were probably decendants
of Sir Owne, or heads of venous septs. (3) Owne McShane
(4) Thomas Browne. Sir Valentine Browne came over to Ireland
after the Desmond Rebellion as a land surveyor. He was married
to Thomasine, daughter of Sir N. Bacon, Keeper of the Great
Seal. He was a crypto-Catholic, and if he had remained on
in England, it is likely that the family would have conformed
within two generations. The crippling recusancy fines would
have seen to that.
In Ireland, in an obstinately Catholic atmosphere, he openly
adhered to the old Faith. He was given lands for his services,
and was accused by his enemies of feathering his own nest
a common complaint against land surveyors, notably
the greatest land shark of them all, Sir William Petty.
His son, Sir Nicholas Browne, ancestor of the Earls of Kenmare,
married a daughter of Sir Owne OSullivan Beare, and
two of Sir Nicholass daughters married brothers, sons
of OSullivan Mor of Dunkerron.
It seems highly probable that the forfeiting proprietor,
Thomas Browne, was a decendant of Sir Nicholas, possibly
a younger son. (5) Tadhg Buidhe OSullivan. (6) Owen
MacDulaing OSullivan. (7) Owen MacFineen Duff. Presumably
the MacFineen Duv of his day. (8) Tadhg MacDonal OSullivan.
(9) Fineen Mac Dermot OSullivan. (10) Donough MacConor
ODonegan. (11) Morth MacDonal OSullivan. (12)
Owen MacFineen OSullivan. (13) Rory Mac Fineen OSullivan.
(14)Dermot MacFineen OSullivan. (15) Randal OLynch.
(16) Dermot OLyne. Why alias The OLiney
is appended I cannot say. In Irish usage the head of his
clan was known as ONeill, ODonnell, ODriscoll
etc. The ONeill, ODonnell etc., is an English
custom. (17) Owen Riabhach (Swarthy, or Brindle) OSullivan.
(18) Morty MacDonal OSullivan (19) Owen MacTadhg OSullivan.
(20) Owen MacTadhg MacDonal OSullivan.
It would appear that the ODonegans were once a power
in the land. I have been unable to discover whether they
were settled in Beara before the first OSullivan Beare
ever set foot there, but I think it likely that this is
so. They may have lost lands to the early Normans, Lord
Barnwell of Berehaven and deCarew of Dunamark, and later
when the Normans were driven out by the MacCarthys, they
may have suffered at the hands of the OSullivan Beares.
The place-names, Ballydonegan below Allihies and Reendonegan
near Bantry, appear to indicate that they once held large
tracts of land. I believe that the OLynes were hereditary
physicians to the OSullivan Beare Lords. Don Philip,
the historian, tells us that Amhlaoibh OLyne accompanied
Donal Cam to Spain and that he was a famous doctor, remarkable
for his skill in curing ailments. Presumably one of Amhlaoibhs
kinsmen made peace with Owen Ogue, and held the septs lands.
Dermot OLyne lost all in Cromwells confiscations.
It is worth noting that the famous Dr. Lyne of Ardgroom,
who figures in Smiths History of Cork, and of whom
Gerard Lyne has written extensively, was also named Dermot,
and he may well have been a grandson, or even a son (for
he was a very old man in the early 1740s) of the 1641 titulado.
One last comment that may be worth noting. At the time of
the Cromwellian confiscations ODonegan, OLyne
and OLynch all had their holdings of land to the north
of Castletownbere, which is loosely known as The Northern
Parish today. (Eyeries).
Courtesy of the Southern Star