Toby Caulfield - Flight of the Earls and Plantation

“Chichester was worried about the success of the Plantation because of the quality of some of the grantees.”

Following the Flight of the Earls in 1607, their lands were declared forfeit to the Crown and were set aside for plantation.

Meanwhile all the paraphernalia connected with the Plantation had to be worked through, beginning with the various Inquisitions (meetings) of the Commissioners whose task it was to find out what land was available, the names of the various balliboes and townlands, who held them and how many acres each contained.

Sir Toby Caulfield obtained much of the best land in the parish of Donaghmore as a servitor. Indeed he fared very well, better than most, in Irish land. One of the Plantation Commissioners himself, he attended the many Inquisitions not merely in Dungannon but throughout Ulster and secured for himself vast acres in all the escheated counties.

Among his acquisitions were many Abbey lands, of which he took possession on the argument that because of the Suppression of the Monasteries they were in his hands before the Flight of the Earls and were therefore not forfeit to the Crown. He was a special favourite of the Lord Deputy. “Take notice of him”, says Chichester, writing to the Lord Privy Seal, “for he is a very worthy gentleman of good sufficiency, to do the King’s service in war or in peace, from whom I have had my best assistance in furthering the King’s service.”

His grant in the parish of Donaghmore is dated 20 January, 1610 and corresponds to the territory called Ballydonnelly, formerly the territory of the O’Donnellys, and contained the following townlands, Glassmullagh, Monyshaketeney (Lisnamonaghan), Dromhirke, Riscor, Stackernagh, Aghloske (Aughlish), Dromneferne, Kilglasse, Creeve, Tullyallen, Killoleven, Derrikill, Cullenrawer, Glasstroman, Mullabane, Lissogalen, Dromcor, Ballyward, Goory, Agheantubber, Cessefoigh, in all 1000 acres, called the Manor of Aghloske, at a rent of Stg8. Several townlands included in the grant, are missing from the list which make the total grant of land up to 1,680 acres.

Sir Toby built his castle and bawn on the southern bank of the River Torrent, thus fulfilling one of the conditions of undertakers and servitors,which states, “Within three years they must build with a strong court or bawn about the same. The Grantee shall place upon his proportion 48 able men of 18 years of age and upwards, who had been born in England, or in the lowland parts of Scotland, which 48 men shall be reduced into 20 separate families at least, 4 fee farmers to be settled on 120 acres, six lease holders to have 100 acres for 21 years, and upon the remainder 8 families or more of artificers (builders), husbandmen and cottages, their allotment to be decided by the Grantee. Neither shall any of the above have the right to alienate any of the land.”

Among some of the other conditions the undertaker or servitor were required to undertake were, “draw their undertenants to build their houses together; have a convenient store of arms in their houses; take the Oath of Supremacy (belong to the Established Church, Protestant); conform themselves in religion; be resident upon their proportions.”

While many of the servitors and undertakers were remiss in adhering to these conditions, the same cannot be said of Toby Caulfield.

His undertenants lived in the newly founded village of Castlecaulfield, a true Plantation village. Chichester was worried about the success of the Plantation because of the quality of some of the grantees. “Plain country gentlemen,” he describes them, “who may promise much but give small assurance or hope of performing what appertains to a work of such moment.”

Indeed Chichester threatened them with forfeiture if they didn’t make efforts to fulfil their conditions. Captain Pynnar was sent to inspect the progress of the Plantation in 1618 and 1619. He made a most favourable report concerning the estate of Sir Toby Caulfield, as follows,
“Sir Toby Caulfield hath 1,000 acres, called Ballidonnelly, whereonto is added a fair house or Castle, the front whereof is 80 feet in length and 28 in breadth from outside to outside, two Cross Ends 50 feet in length and 28 in breadth; the walls are five feet thick in the bottom, and four at the top: very good Cellars underground, and all the windows of hewn stone. Between the two Cross Ends there goeth a wall which is 18 feet high and maketh a small Court within the Building.

This work, at this time is but 13 feet high and a number of men at work for the sudden finishing of it. There is also a stone bridge over the river which is of lime and stone, with strong butterises for the supporting of it. And to this is joined a good water mill for corn, all built of lime and stone. This is at this time the fairest building I have seen. Near unto this Bawn there is built a Town in which are 15 English families, who are able to make 20 men with arms.”

There is further reference to the building in another survey which was carried out in 1622. The 1622 survey substantially corroborates the earlier one, while recording some interesting additions. “He hath also built Bawne of lyme and stone, 180 foot square, and 12ft. high, 4ft thick at the bottome, 3 at the Topp, with 4 Flankers 18 foot high, battlemented; this Bawne doth environ the Castle and sundry other buildings: viz a faire strong Gatehouse at the entry into it, being 25 foot long and 18 broad, 2 stories and a half high, battlemented and the gutter leaded with an Iron Gate and a strong doore within it; a stable of 80 foot long and 15 broad of lyme and stone, with a loft over it to hold corne; and some buildings for servants; two Cage worke houses, each 20 foot long and 20 broad, intended for offices but as yet doe serve for the dwelling house, the Castle being not fully finished with the Walles.”
Thus, to implement one important aspect of the Plantation scheme was built the Castle and Bawn of Sir Toby Caulfield, and the town that bears his name.

Courtesy of the Tyrone Times