F. Erlington (Francis Elrington) Ball.

A history of the County Dublin; the people, parishes and antiquities from the earliest times to the close of the eighteenth century (Volume 2) online

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thp: people, parishes axd AXTigiTriEs from the earliest



Boing' a Hi.stoi"\- of that portion of tho Louiil}- coin]irisi'i.l witliiii

tho Parislios of





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J'KIXTI-.Ti AMI I'l lU.lSIIIH l;\ \l.l,\. TlidM .V Co. (,1, 1 M I I' I , I ", A IlllK V-ST,




Ix issuing tho soroud jnu t of my liistoiy T have lo tliaiik my
readers for the favourable rece])tioii whicli ilu>y liave accorded
to my attcmpi io collect the annals of my miiivc connlv. and
to express my ap])ieciatiou of the kindly manner in wliicdi llie
first part of tliis woik has been reviewed.

It is my hope that the publication of the next part may not
be so long delayed as the present one has been, and that, as
has been suggested, 1 may be enabknl on the completion of
the history of the parish(^s to write an intioduct ion dealing with
the general history of the entire county.

I wish once more to acknowledge the encouragenuMit and
assistance afforded me by my brother fellows and members of
tiie lioval Societv of Antitiuarians of liidand, in whose jonrnal,
ill iiajieis of mine on '' ^fount Meirion and its lH>-tory," " The
Antiquities from Jihukiock to Dublin," and " 'I'lie Battle (d'
liai lim ines," some of the inf(iniiati(Ui contained in these pages
has already a[)j)eared.

]n the prcparatldii (d' this part for Press I have again had tlie
beneht ol the historical and archaeological knowledge of Mi'.
-lames ^lills, the JJcpnty Ki'cper of the ivecoicis m Iiidand ;
:\rr. ('. Litton FalkiiK'r. the IJev. William l^>yn(dl, an.l Mr.
Tcnisoii (iriiNi'-. I am al-o indi'btcd in a \('iy special degrei>
to the Earl of i'mihioke and to his agent. Mr. l'"aiic NiMinni.
I'c^idcv thc^r, I have rcrci \('d a'^sistaiicc, Inr which I am mcst
ciiilcinl, trciii llic Most l(c\. Dr. Douiicllv, iJishon ol Canea;
Dr. I'. W. .Joyce. .Mr. II \ JHiry. the .\ssistaiit Deputy K'ee|.er



of ilie Rocoids In Iroland ; Mr. M. J. M'Eiieiy, Sir Ariliur
Vicars, Mr. (x. D. Burtcliaell, liev. P. Diniu'cn, Sir Fredericlv
Shaw, Mrs. lilackbiiriie, Mr. Louis Perrin-liatclioll, Sir John
Nutting, and Mr. AV. 1 1. Robinson. Tlio Director of the
Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge, Di'. M. J. James, and liis
assistant, Mi-. II. A. Chapman, ]iav(^ given me every facility, as
have also Mr. Alfred de Burgli, of Trinity College Lil)rary;
Mr. T. W. Lyster, of the National Lihiary of Ireland ; Mr. J. J.
M'Sweeney, of the Royal Irish Academy ; and the Librarians
of the British Museum and Bodleian Libraries.

The Controller of His Majesty's Stationery (Office has per-
mitted me lo make use of the (Jrdnance Map for the purposes of
the frontispiece, and the blocks from which some of the illus-
trations have been taken have been lent me by the Council of
the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, and by the Editor
of the " Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge."



April, 1903.


Parishes of Donnybrook, Booterstown and St. Bartholomew, and

Part of the Parish of St. INIakk :


Merridii and its Castle, .... 1

Booterstown and the Blackrock Road






Ecclesiastical History,


Parish of Taney

Duiidruiii and its Castle,



Mount Merrion,

Ecclesiastical History, .


Portion of the Pahimi of St. Peter


Ranelagli and Sandford,



Paris-ii of Rathfarnham :

Rathfariihain and its Ca.stle,


Terenure and Kimmagc,

Ecclesiastical History, .




. 152




The parishes wliidi luive been o-roujiod in this part of the
history lie to the south of the City of Dublin in the Baronies
of Rathdown, Dublin, and T'pper Cross. They are bounded
on the east by the sea, on the south by the parishes of Monks-
town, Stillorg'an, Kilmacud, Kilgobbin, and AVhittMduucli. on
the west by tlu» ])arishes of Tallag-lit and Ciaunlin, and on the
north by the City of Dublin, and are intersected by the River
Dodder, the most important river next to the Liffey in the
County Dublin. AVith the exception of portion of the parishes
of Taney and Ratlifarnham they comprise ihickly populateil
suburban districts, foiming' two of the laigcsi townships in the
metropolitan county, Raihmines and Pembroke, and portion
of the township of IJlackrock.

At one time these parishes were closely connected; their
churches were portion of the corps of the Archdeaconry of
Dublin, and lu-aily all Ihc hinds which they cdiitain were
divided between three owners, the Fitzwilliams of ^leiiion,
who arc now rcpiocnlcd I)y the Earl of Pembroke; the Brets
of Rat h t'arnJiani. wlm wcic succee(h'd hy (he Loftuses; and
the Archbishop of Diihlin. This hisioiy treats of these
parishes, when tlieic weic hui eh'Ncn i'csi(h'nces of any inijxn-
tance within thoii' Ixmnds, namely, the ('aslles of Meirion,
Booterstown, Slnimon^coiii t , Baggot i at h, Donnybiook, Roebuck,
Dundruni, Bahdiy, Kathmincs, Rat hfaiii h;im. and Teicnuic;
:iii(l toiii |)l;iccs (if W()i>liip. imnicly, (he ('liuidics of Doiiiiy-
liiook. Dnmliiim, iind I ':il li In i ii li;i m , ;ind Ihc sumH chiiiicl of
Merrion. The l:ind> wcic cntiicly ilcxolcd tn ;igiiciilnirc, ;nid







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Parishes of Donnybrook,
Booterstown, & St. Bartholomew,


Parish of St. Mark, Dublin.

■ Formcrli/ the Parii^h of Danni/brook — i.e., Diutihudrh-Bror vr tin- Chnrrh "/ St. Broc,

mill part of the Parish of St. Kcrin.)

The Parish of Donnylirouk in the seventeenth century iippcars to liave consisted
of the Tiiwiihuuls of Jlerrion, IJooterstown, Sinnnonscourt, Donnyhi-ook, Forty
Acres, and llaggotrath.

These Townlauds with an addition from the Parish of St. Keviu, are now represented
by the modern Townlands of Annefield, Baggotrath, Baggotrath East. Balls-
bridge, Beggarsbush, Blackrock, Booterstown {_i.e., Baile-an-bhothair, or the
Town of the Road), Clonskeagh {i.e., Cloonske, or the Meadow of the White
Thorn Bushes), Donnylirook East and West, Forty acres, Irishtowii, Merrion
(Nos. I. and II.), Priesthouse, Ringsend {i.e., Rinn-Aun, tlio Point of tin; Tide,
or more probably the end of the Rinn or jmint >, S;illyniount, Sundyniount,
Simnionscourt, Smotscourt, anil Willianistown.

The small portion of the County Dublin, in the Parish of St. Mark, was reclaimed
from the foreshore, and is known as the Town laud of the South Lots.


Meeeion, now a .sulnirb of Dublin, lying about three miles to the
south-east of the city, on the coast, and intersected by tlie road to
Blackrock and by the Dublin and Kingstown Railway, containsi
no building of cirlicr date than the eighteenth century. It was,
however, for many generations the home of a family foremost
amongst the lantUcl propi'ietors in the metropolitan county, and
the ground now occujiied by the Asylum for tiie Female Blind,
opposite Merrion Railway gates, was for several ccntuiies the site
of one of the principal mediaeval castles in the iici^libouilKidd of
Dublin, the I'uins of which were removed niurc than a hundred
years ago. ...

The Fitzwiliiams of Mc I'rinn, now rc^pi'cstMilcd bv tlir Karl of
I'liiihi iiki' and .Mnnt'-;"nii'ry (ihiir discindanl in thr fi'in.ilc line
and tin nwnci- nj' tlicii' estates), were a fainily .inidnL^sl whoso
membLis the sovereigns of England found many uf their most



valiant liegemen and faithful adherents, and are also remarkable
as being one of the few families in Ireland descended from early
settlers which retained their property through all the troublous
periods. The first of the house to come to Ireland are said to
have arrived in the reign of King John, and to- have been members
of the great English family to which Earl Fitzwilliam, the inheritor
of the Earl of Strafford's estates in Yorkshire and the County
Wicklow, belongs — a statement which led the Fitzwilliams of
Merrion in the seventeenth century to cease to use distinctive arms
and to adojDt those which Earl Fitzwilliam bears.

The fourteenth century saw the Fitzwilliaui family firmly estab-
lished in the southern portion of the County Dublin, and before
long they rivalled in the extent of their possessions the monastic
owners of Monkstown and Kill-of-the-Grange. In the fifteenth
century they had acquired no less than four manors- — those of
Merrion, Thorncastle, Dundrum, and Baggotrath. The three
former manors included the lands now known under the denomina-
tions of Merrion, Booterstown, Mount Merrion, Kilmacud, Dun-
drum, Ballinteer, Donnybrook, Ringsend, Irishtown, Sandymount,
and Sidney Parade, while the manor of Baggotrath embraced the
lands on which Merrion Square, Fitzwilliam Square, and the
adjoining streets now stand, as well as those forming a. great
portion of the Pembroke Township. Speaking in genera] terms,
the property of the Fitzwilliams, which has come down in its
entirety to the Earl of Pembroke, extended from Blackrock and
Kihnacud, where it joined the lands of the Abbey of the Blessed
Virgin Mary and of the Priory of the Holy Trinity, to Trinity
College, then the Priory of All Saints, and to St. Stephen's Green,
formerly portion of the estate of the Coi-poration of Dublin.

It was not until the beginning of the fifteenth century that the
lands of Merrion, which then constituted a manor, came into the
possession of the Fitzwilliams. These lands which lie within the
franchises of the city of Dublin, and over which the Corporation
had certain rights, appear to have been originally portion of the
lands of Donnybrook, and to have been always held in conjunction
with the adjoining manor of Thorncastle, which included the lands
lying between Merrion and Blackrock. The first owner of Donny-
brook and Thorncastle after the Anglo-Norman Invasion was
Walter de Rideleford, Lord of Bray, who was given the greater
portion of such of the lands to the south of Dublin as were not in


the possession of ecclesiastical establishments. He was a brave and
noble warrior, who is said to have slain the leader of the Norwegian
army which came to the assistance of the Irish when they were in-
vesting Strongbow's forces in Dublin, and in addition to the grant
of lands to the south of Dublin, he was also given a large tract at
Castledermot in the County Kildare. This warrior was succeeded
by another owner of the same name, and it was not until 1244 that a
Walter de Rideleford ceased to be identified with Thorncastle. By
marriage with an illegitimate descendant of Henry I., the de
Eidelefords had become connected with the reigning house, and
also through the same alliance with many of the leading Anglo-
Norman invaders, the founders of the houses of Fitzgerald, Fitz-
maurice, and Carew.

The last Walter de Rideleford connected with Thorncastle had
two daughters. One was twice married, first to Hugh de Lacy, Earl
of Ulster, and, secondly, to Stephen de Longespee, sometime
Justiciary or Viceroy of Ireland. The other married Robert de
Marisco, who was son or brother of a successor of Stephen de
Longespee's in the chief governorship. Robert de Marisco and his
wife predeceased her father, and on the latter's death in 1244 his
Dublin estates passed to their only child, Christiana de Marisco,
who was then an infant. As an heiress she became a ward of
the Crown, and the King, as was then customary, gave the custody
of her lands and bestowal of her hand in marriage to a guardian,
in her case one Fulk, of Newcastle; declaring, although she was
then but two years old, that it was his intention she should become
the wife of her protector. The royal decree was not infallible.
Five years later she was under the care of Ebulo de Geneve, and
described as his wife. Again man proposed but Providence dis-
posed, and she escaped from the care of Ebulo dc Geneve to retain
her maiden name thi-ough life. She was on terms of intimacy
with Eleanor of Provence, the widowed Queen of Henry III. ; and,
as she accompanied her royal mistress abroad after tli(> Queen had
taken the veil, she jDrobably followed the example of her royal mis-
tress in joining a religious community. This lady was possessed of
great wealth, which she freely spent in the service of Queen Eleanor
and her son, Edward I., and on being granted lands in England she
assigned her Irish property to the Crown (').

(») Swcftman's Calendar, 1171-1284; "The Xormaii Sctlleiiicnt in i.cinstrr."
I )y James Mills, Jonrnnl, K.N.A.l., vol. xxiv., p. Hi.'J; " Sontj of Dcnnni .unl il,,.
Karl," Pfiitcd liyd. 11. Orpcri ; ^Jiraldi ('aiiil)r( iisis OfUTa in Rolls' Scric-; ; Lyiali'.s
" lA-t^al inslitiiti.iiis in Ircl.-iml diirinL' <lic icii.'n of llcniy 11." ; Cokayno's " ("oni-
plolc Peerage," v(j1. i., p. \'.\ : " Di- (ionary of .National Mio},'rapliy," vol. \\ii.,p.
170, vol. xxxvi , |). KH ; " C'liarluiarivs of .St. Mary's Abbey."

It -'




At the close of the thirteenth century the manor of Thorncastle
was held from the King by William le Deveneis, who became one
of the judges of Ireland, and was knighted. He began his official
career in Ireland as Remembrancer of the Exchequer, and, subse-
quently, it was alleged, through the goodwill of an ecclesiastical
viceroy whom he had placated by gifts of land near Coolock,
obtained other offices. The custody of the King's demesnes in
Ireland was committed to him, and he was given a grant of lands
in the mountainous country adjoining the royal forest of Glencree.
The profit from these he did not long enjoy. Until about the year
1290 the Irish and the Anglo-Norman invaders lived in comparative
concord, but from that time constant warfare was carried on
between the inhabitants of the hills, and those of the low lands.
In a petition toi the Crown William le Deveneis set forth that his
tenants had fled, and although he was given authority to compel
them to return, and to enclose his lands for the preservation of
game, the lands near Glencree had to be given up as valueless, and
he was obliged to fall back upon lands like those of Thorncastle
nearer to the seat of government. From William le Deveneis the
lands of Thorncastle passed to Walter de Islip, jDrobably a kins-
man of the Archbishop of Canterbury of that name, who flourished
about the same time. Walter de Islip was an ecclesiastical pluralist
who held amongst his benefices and dignities a cure of souls in the
diocese of Norwich, the parish of Trim in the diocese of Meath, a
canonry in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, a jDrebend in the
diocese of Ossory, and the precentorship of Ferns Cathedi'al, as well
as the lay offices of Chief Baron and Treasurer of the Irish
Exchequer. From him the lands of Thorncastle passed, about the
year 13'20, to Robert de Nottingham, one of the wealthiest citizens
of Dublin, and mayor of that city.

The earliest indication of the existence of a castle at Merrion is
in 1334, when Thomas Bagod, a member of the family from which
the district of Baggotrath derived its name, signed there a deed
relating to the lands lying to the north-west of Merrion, now
known as Simmonscourt. The lands of Thorncastle and Merrion
had before that time come into Bagod's) occupation, through his
marriage to^ Eglantine, vv^idow of Robert de Nottingham, and after
his death a year or two later they passed to John, son of Matthew
de Bathe, of the County Mcath, who married a daughter of Robert
de Nottingham. By John de Bathe the lands of Thorncastle and
Merrion were in 1366 assigned to Sir John Cruise, the distinguished
soldier and diplomatistj already mentioned as owner of the adjacent


lands of Stillorgan, and from the fact that he is described as of
MexTion, and dated a deed there. Cruise appears to have resided
sometimes in the castle. From him, at the beginning of the fifteenth
century, the lauds passed to the Fitzwilliams (i).

The first of the Fitzwilliams to become owner of the lands and
manor's of Merrion and Thorncastle was James, son of Hugh Fitz-
william. whose near relatives were then seated at Dundrum and
Swords, and his succession to them arose like that of the Derpatricks
to Stillorgan, from his marriage to a daughter of Sir John Cruise.
About the year 1420 they jDassed to his son, Philip Fitzwilliam,
and as the latter was then a minor the custody of his property and
guardianship of his person was entrusted, after having been for a
short time held by Hugh de Burgh, to James Cornwalsh, Chief
Baron of the Irish Exchec^uer, who is stated to have met his death
in the Castle of Baggotrath at the hands of a kinsman of Philip
Fitzwilliam. On attaining to years of discretion Philip Fitzwilliam
became involved in the events which preceded the Wars of the
Roses, and took the side of the White Rose, or Yorkist party. In
1446 he is described as one of the counsellors of Henry VI., and
a servant of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, the father of
Edward IV. and Richard III., and is said to have rendered good
service to the Crown, not only in Ireland against the enemies of
the Pale, but also in England against the house of Lancaster.
Philijj Fitzwilliam was succeeded by his son Stephen, who in 1464,
when residing at Merrion, entered into a c(nitract with Dame
Elizabeth Fleming, doubtless one of the Slaiio family, to marry her
daughter by a previous marriage, Anne Cruise, on condition that
the Cruises relinquished any right which they might have to liis
property. On Stephen Fitzwilliam's death his lands passed to his
son James, charged witli a jointure to his widow, wlio married,
secondly, R(jbert Cusack ; and as James Fitzwilliam was a minor
they were for a time in the custody of guardians appointed by the
Crown r-^).

At the end of the fifteenth ceiituiy the manor of Merrion came
into the possession of the branch of tlie Fitzwilliam family seated

(I) Swcciiiian's Calendar, 12r)2-1.307 ; Jii-ticiaiy, MiMiK)raii(lii, ai\(l Plea llolls ;
" TIk- lloyai I'^Jrest of (JifiKTcc," by 'J'. P. \a- Faini. Jniirnnl. h'.S.A.f., vol. xxiii.,
]). 274; Calendar of Kn;,'lisli Patent and Close Itolls ; Cottoirs "Fasti Eeelesiio
Hiljernice " ; " Dietionary of Xalional Bin^'iaphv," vol. x.xi.x., p. 74; Chri.st.
Church Deeds, No.s. 589, 741 ; Patent llnlls, |.|). •_'7" iS,").

{■■') .Memoranda Polls; Patent KuHm, p]). 18:{ 220.


on the lands of Dundrum. The latter lands had been assigned in
1365 to William, son of Richard Fitzwilliam, and were at the end
of the fifteenth century owned by Thomas Fitzwilliam, the fifth in
direct descent from him. In Thomas Fitzwilliam were combined
the possession of large property, a liberal education, and high con-
nections. When he had come of age in 1486, ho had succeeded in
addition to the manor of Dundrum to the manor of Baggotrath,
and to other lands in the Counties of Dublin and Meath ; and
in order to fit himself for the care of his estates he went three years
later to London to sti;dy law. His immediate ancestors had
married into the houses of Ferrers, Bellew, and Holywood — all
families of importance in the Pale — and to the position and pos-
sessions which he inherited he added by his own marriage. His
wife, Eleanor, daughter of John Dowdall, was, on her mother's side,
a grand-daughter of Sir Jenico Dartasse, a wealthy native of Gas-
cony, a country which in his time joassed from English to French
rule, who had settled in Ireland and married intO' one of the old
Anglo-Norman families, the Plunketts of Killeen, and ultimately
the Fitzwilliams inherited the gi'eater portion of the Dartasse pro-
perty. -

There is a curious tale told of their succession to it. Thomas
Fitzwilliam's mother-in-law married three times, her first husband
being Thomas Barnewall, her second John Dowdall, and her third
Rowland Eustace, Baron of Portlester, sometime Lord Chancellor
and Treasurer of Ireland. She had by her last husband, amongst
other children, three daughters, who married respectively Sir
Maurice Eustace, Sir John Plunkett, and Sir Walter de la Hyde.
On a certain occasion while these ladies, with their husbands,
and Thomas Fitzwilliam and his wife, were searching in a house in
Dublin for papers concerning their mother's estate, Sir Maurice
Eustace discovered a deed by which their mother had settled her
property on her heirs by her marriage to John Dowdall. This
deed Sir Maurice Eustace secretly took away with him, and, as
soon as they had parted from the Fitzwilliams, told the others its
purport. Its provisions were considered unjust, and it was jDro-
posed that the deed should be burned. To such a course Sir
Walter de la Hyde, in whose chamber in the White Friars' Monas-
tery, near the modern Aungier Street, they were assembled, would
not agTee, but on the bell in the White Friars' Church beginning
to toll he, being a pious man, went off to his devotions, and during
his absence the deed was consigned to the flames. Of this his wife
told him on his return, much to his sorrow and discontent. The


next Lent, •" being sore moved in their conscience," the de la
Hydes disclosed what had been done, and enabled the Fitzwilliams
to obtain possession of the whole property — a service which the
Fitzwilliams rewarded by allowing the de la Hydes to retain tho
portion then held by them.

Although sometimes described as of Merrion, both Thomas Fitz-
william and his eldest son, llichaid, who succeedotl liiiii on his death
in 1517, appear to have made Baggotrath Castle their principal
residence. The only record concerning Merrion in their time is a
lease made in 1519 by Richard Fitzwilliam on his going to England
of all his messuages and lands within that manor to a physician
called Owen Albanagh. The lease reserves a rent of twelve marks
besides the paynrent of an annual custom of hei'rings and other fish,
and provides for the resumption of possession by the landlord on
his return to Ireland.

Richard Fitzwilliam, who succeeded Thomas Fitzwilliam as his
eldest son, and who married one of the de Bathes, was a most
trusted adherent of Gerald, ninth Earl of Kildare, the father of
Silken Thomas, who was connected with both the Fitzwilliams and
the Eustaces, and acted as intermediary in the dispute concerning
the Dartasse property. When the Earl was summoned to Eng-
land to render an account of his government as Lord Deputy,
Richard Fitzwilliam went in his train. To the Earl's influence was
doubtless due the offices of honour and emolument which Richard
Fitzwilliam held, including those of groom of the chamber to Henry
VJIL, seneschal of the royal manors near Dublin, and gentleman
usher of the Irish Exchequer. His death took place in 1528, when
he was still but a young man. Ilis will shows him to have been a
devoted son of the Church, and a man whose object it was to estab-
lish and perpetuate the position to which his familv hail attained.
To the White Friars' Monasteiy in Dublin Fitzwilliam bequeathed

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Online LibraryF. Erlington (Francis Elrington) BallA history of the County Dublin; the people, parishes and antiquities from the earliest times to the close of the eighteenth century (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 16)