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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but he was constantly on the move, earning from his uiicio William,
till' chaiacter of l)i'ing as unfixed as Mercury. His visits to 1 Iceland
were generally of shoit duration ; on (me occasion he accomplished
the feat, a remarkable one in his time, of perfonniiig the j<mrney
there and back in fourteen days, but he found time on his visits to
this country to extend his patronage to William Asht'oid. (he first
President of tlic Royal Hibernian Academy, by whom a number
of paintings and drawings of ^Mount Merrion were executed. These
are now presei'ved in the Fitzwilliam IMuseuni, and from them the
accompanying views of the place are taken (i).

(') " Dirtioiiarvof Naiiuiial I'.i.M.TMiiliy," vol. xi.x., p. 229 : l'l,i\ tail's " Family
,\ntir|iiity," vol. "v.. d. 4^: I'.iiti^li .Miisniin \<\i\. MS., lit, 2(4. Dp. I.",. 17. :Vj';
" Fx"t(fTH of Horace \\'al|><)li','" (•(IKcd [)y i'llci ( 'iinniiiL'iiarn. vol. i\., pp. -JtiC),
32.'{, 32H ; also son for .Aslifori! " Dirlionniy of .Nntioiial BioL'rapliy," vdI. ii., p.
10!). and IJiackor's Skctclic-. p. ( «».




S S,


^ .2


During the seventh Viseount's lifetime jNIount Merrion House
was occupied by Mr. Richard Verschoyle and by his wife, Miss
Barbara Fagan, who was, as her mother had been before her, agent
to Lord Fitzwilliam, and the seat is still shown in Mount Merrion
where that lady used to sit and watch for her husband coming up
the straight drive. To Mr. Verschoyle succeeded, as agent and as
occupier of Mount ^Merrion, Mr. Cornelius Sullivan, of whose
sporting proclivities old inhabitants have still recollections, and
subsecjuently Mr. John Edward Vernon, to whom the Pembroke
estate owes so much, and whose abilities were recognised in his
appointment as one of the original Connnissioners under the Irish
Land Acts (i).

After the death of the seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam in 1816 his
estate passed to his cousin, George Augustus, eleventh Earl of Pem-
broke and eighth Earl of Montgomery, the descendant of Queen
Caroline's maid of honour, and the titles, after being held for a
few vears successively by his two brothers, became extinct. The
eleventh Earl of Pembroke left his Irish estate to his second
son, the great and good Sidney, Lord Herbert of Lea, whose sons,
the thirteenth and fourteenth Earls of Pembroke, have since succes-
sively held the property (-).


The great diversity in the spelling of the name Taney in ancient
records must ever leave its origin a matter of speculation, and it is
a subject for regret that the dedication of its first church is also
lost in the obscurity <if past ages (3). Bid it is established beyond
question that before the Anglo-Norman Conquest a church stood at
Dundrum on the site of what is now known as the old church — an
eighteenth century sti-ucturc^ — and that under the Celtic ecclesiasti-
cal arrangement the place was one of religicnis importance. It is said
that it was the seat of one of the rural bishops, or chorepiscopi, and
that the extensive rural deanery attached to Taney in the thir-
teenth centun', which ('ml)raced such distant parishes a.s Cooloc'k,

(') Hall aiui ilainillnii-. - l'ari-<li of Taney." |)|i. I l'.>. ISI: /C.rshtnv's Mnqn-
zinc for ITH'.t, p. '>^^>.

(■')" Dictionary of Xational l'.io-_'ia|.liy,"' vol. wvi., |). -Ml': Cokayiic's
" (Viiiiplctf! Pccraj.'c."

(•') Sec for at1<-iii|i1-. In iilciitily llic ilciliialory >;iiiil .()' II an Inn's •' Lives nf the
Irisli Kainl.s" vol. i.. p. H'.S ; v<il. vii.. p. liTl , and I'.i p. i l.y I'al i i( k .1. ( )' Kcilly in
.Jiiiini'il, J{.S..\./.. \cil. \\\ii., p. :i77.


Chapelizod. and Clonsilla, represented the limits of his authority.
After the Anglo-Nonnan Conquest the Church of Taney, together
with the portion of tlie lands of Churchtown, or Taney, assigned to
the See of Dublin, was given to the Archbishop, and towards the
close of the twelfth century Taney became a prebend in the newly-
founded collegiate church of St. Patrick, which was soon afterwards
created a cathedral establishment. Subsequently, in exchange for
the Church of Lusk, the Church of Taney, then a mother church,
with the chapels of Donnybrook, Rathfarnham, and Kilgobbin
dependent on it, was gi'anted to the Archdeacon of Dublin, and the
prebend of Taney, which has been revived since the disestablish-
ment of the Church of Ireland, became merged in that dignity.
From that time until 1851 the parish of Taney continued to be
portion of the Archdeacon's corps, and was served, like Donny-
brook, by curates appointed by him (l).

During the temj^orary dissolution of St. Patrick's Cathedral in
the sixteenth century, William Power, the Archdeacon of Dublin,
was given a pension as prebendary of Taney and Rathfarnham, and
the revenue from those parishes was leased to Sir Richard Rede,
and subsequently to Sir John Allen, who successively filled the office
of Lord Chancellor, with the condition that fit chaplains should bo
found for the churches. The tithes which were levied on the town-
lands of Taney, Dundrum, Balally, Ballinteer, Roebuck, " the
Chantrell Ferme,'' and Callary, were valued at £19 per annum, and
the glebe, on which there was a house, and which, wuth the fees and
oblations, were assigned to the curate, was valued at 9s. Early in
the seventeenth century the church was returned as in good repair
and provided with books, but some years later it was stated to be in
ruin. The parish was served generally by the Cui'ate of Donny-
brook. In 1615 the Rev. Robert Pont was in charge of the cure ; in
1630 the Rev. Richard Prescott; in 1639 the Rev. Thomas Naylor,
afterwards a prebendary of Ferns Cathedral ; and in 1641 the Rev.
George Hudson. The cure in 1647 was returned as vacant, and
probably the church became quite unfit for use during the Common-
wealth (2).

(') Dansey'.s " Horse Decanica^ Kiiralos,"' vol. ii.. p. .jKi; Reeves' "Analysis of
the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough " ; " Crede Miiii," edited bv Sir John
Gilbert, pp. 21, 1.36 ; Sweetnian's Calendar, 1302-1307, p. 239 ; Christ Church
Deed Xo. 150; Mason's " History of St. Patrick's Cathedral," p. 44.

(2) Mason's "History of St. Patrick's Cathedral." p. 44; Fiant PMward VI.,
Xo. 32; Regal Visitation of 1615: .Archbishop Bulkeley's Report, p. 154; Dio-
cesan Record.


Under the Roman Catholic Cliureh the parish, as we have seen,
was within the Union of Donnybrook, and the Rev. John Cahill,
who had chai'ge of the union in tlie beginning of the seventeenth
century, held services at Dundruiii and at Balally. Nearly all the
parishioners belonged to that faith — in 1630 there were only two
Protestant householders — and under the protection of the chief
residents, the Fitzwillianis and the Walshes, Mr. Cahill was able to
perform the services of his church without interference 0).

After the Restoration Taney parish was generally placed in
charge of the curate appointed to Donnybrook, and the church, in
which at that time the Archbolds of Kilmacud found a burying
place (2), was allowed to remain in a state of dilapidation. At the
beginning of the eighteenth century a church, now a ruin, was built
at Kilgobbin, and curates were appointed at the lilieral stipend of
£35 a year and book money to the joint charge of Kilgobbin and
Taney, amongst them being, in 1753, the author of the '" Monasticon
Hibernicum," and editor of Lodge's " Peerage of Ireland," the Rev.
Mervyn Archdall, who became subsequently a prebendary in the
Ossory diocese. It was not until the middle of the eighteenth
century that the structure now known as the old church of Taney,
which stands in the gi'aveyard, and serves as a mortuaiy chapel, was
erected through the exertions of Lord Chancellor Jocelyn's friend,
Dr. Isaac Mann, who was in 1757 appointed Archdeacon of Dublin,
and of his curate, the Rev. Jeremy Walsh, whom Dr. Mann nomi-
nated in 1758 to the charge of his parishes of Kilgobbin and Taney.
It is, externally, a singularly plain building, more resembling a
barn than a chuixh, and, internally, the original reading desk and
pulpit, which still remain, rising above the Communion Table, show
that it was equally devoid of ornament. It had, however, the dis-
tinction of being consecrated by the munificent Dr. Richaid
Robinson, then Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, and afterwards
Primate, and a ])eer, with the title of Loid Rokcby, who piM-foniied
the ceremony on Sunday, June S, 1760, and a year latei- was used
by the Bisho]) of Limerick, Dr. James Leslie, for an nidinat i<i'i, at
which tlir Rev. Ivhvaid I.cdwicli, the aiiti(juaiy, and the Rev.
Beather King, afterwards Curate of Stillorgan, were achnit'ed to
the Oi-flci- of Priest. But perhaps the most ri'iiiai-lval)le scene its

(') Arfiil)isli(i|i iJiilkrli y'> l;i|iij|t. |i. |.")l,

(■■') Tin- only tiHiilistoiics of the .-icvtiitcciit h ntiluiy in tlic ^;ravc\iiii| (if 'rniicv
rclaff to inemhiTrt of thiH family. Str ]}nll and IliuniUon's " Parish d iaiuv,"

pp. 27/jH. ' : ,




walls ever witnessed was in Jnly, 1787, when that famons ovator,
the Rev. Walter Blake Kirwan, not long after his reception into the
Established Church, delivered one of his great sermons in support of
the schools then lately founded iu the parish, and when the congre-
gation, in addition to their edification by "" a finished ]oiece' of execu-
tion," were delighted by the " heavenly psalmody " of a choir
brought from Dublin (i).

■ The Old Church at Taney.

From a F/iotograph hij Thomas Mason.

After the erection of Taney Church the parish of Kilgobbin was
given to another curate, and the Rev. Jeremy Walsh, who lived in
the house now known as Whitehall, near Rathfarnham, where he
married in 1778 the widow of Thomas Eyre, a member of the Irish
Parliament, devoted his whole time to Taney parish. His succes-
sors continued to do the same, the appointments to the cure being
as follows: — in 1787, the Rev. William Dwyer, who only remained
a few months, and then went to Cork ; and the Rev. Matthew
Campbell, who served the jDarishioners faithfully for twenty-five

(1) Ball and Hamilton's "Parish of Taney." pp. 'J4. 07. 214, -2.30; Pnes Or-
rnrrenccs, vol. Ivii., Xo. 47 ; Reports on the Churches in the Diocese of Dublin
preserved in tlio Parliamentary Papers in the PubUc Record Office ; Dublin
Chronicle, 1787-1788, pp. 286, 296, 297


years; in 1814 the Rev. Richard Ryan, a son-in-law of INlr. John
Giffard, in whose time the present church of Taney was built ; in
1820 the Rev. Henry Hunt, who was thanked, on the motion of
Lord Downes, for his zeal in the parish, and was afterwax"ds Vicar-
General of the Elphin diocese; in 1821 the Rev. William Forde
Vance and the Rev. James Bulwer, who was a most accomplished
artist and writer, and who was subsequently beneficed in Norfolk,
where he had charge of the Library at Blickling Hall; in 1824 the
Rev. Henry Hamilton; in 1825 the Rev. Alexander Burrowes
Campbell; in 1828 the Rev. John Prior, who was presented with a
piece of plate in recognition of his activity and Christian bene-
volence; in 1834 the Rev. Samuel Henry Mason; in 183G the
Rev. Clement Archer Schoales; and in 1837 the Rev. William
Heniy Stanford, whose labours during his ministry of fifteen years
was the subject of an eulogistic address. On his resignation the
parish of Taney was severed from the Archdeaconry, and the subse-
quent appointments as rector have been — in 1851, the Rev. Andrew
Noble Bredin; in 1857, the Rev. Edward Busteed Moeran ; in 1867,
the Rev. William Alfred Hamilton; in 1895, the Rev. John Joseph
Robinson; and in 1900, the Rev. William Monk Gibbon (i).

(1) Ball and Hamilton's " Parish of Taney," pp. ">:}, (>9-S().

H li


Portion of the Parish of St Peter,


(For)inrlu part of the Parish, of <S7. Kevin.) . __

The portion of tlie Parish of St. Peter lying outside the City of Dublin was, in
ancient times included in the Manor of St. Sepulchre, and now comprises the
modern Townlands of Baggotrath East, North, and West, Cullenswood,
Harold's Cross East and West, Milltown, Portobello, Kanelagh North an(l
South, and Rathmines East, South, and West. ; .


Rathmines, wh'icli lies to the west of Donnybrook, and is now the
largest suburb of the Irish metropolis, formed originally portion of
the property of the See of Dublin, and was included within the
Archbishop's manor of St. Sepulchre. At the beginning of the
fourteenth century the Rath in the tenement of St. Sepulchre,
previously held by Richard de Welton, came into the possession of
a family called de Meones, and to this fact is due the name Meones'
Rath, afterwards inverted into Rathmines. Some members of +liis
family, supposed to' have come over from Hampshire in the train of
Archbishop John de Derlington, who was appointed to the See of
Dublin in 1279, occupied a high position in Ireland. William de
Meones, who was executor of Archbishop de Derlington, combined
the clerical dignity of a Canon of St. Patrick's Cathedral with the
lay offices of Chamberlain and Baron of the Exchequer, and ether
members of the family acted as bailiff and Mayor of Dublin. In
1326 the Rath was held by Gilbert de Meones, a warrior, to who)u
one of his kinsmen bequeathed a corselet, and in 1382 by William
de Meones, who styled himself Lord of Meonesrath. In addition
to the Rath, the Meones family were tenants for other lands in
the manor, known as the Stoneway and the Pass, the former being
now represeinted by lands near Mount Argus, and the latter being
en the east side of the old highway to^ Rathfarnham, now the
road through Harold's Cross. They were also owners of a mill
near the Dodder (i).

(1) "Notices of the Manor of St. Sepulchre in the Fourteenth Centiu-y," by
James Mills, Journal, R.S.A.I., vol. xi^., pp. 31j 119; Manqscripts in Trinitj'
College Library, No. 1207-30,


During the seveuteenth century Ratliniiues had an eventful his-
tory. Soon after the arrival of the Earl of Strafford iii 1G33, tho
lauds, which had been previously in the possession of the Barons of
Howth, were selected by Strafford's friend and counsellor, Sir
George Radclifife, as the site of one of the great mansions which
were projected during the I'ule of that masterful viceroy. In this
case, unlike others, the house was actually completed. It stood
close to the road through Old Rathmines, which was then llio
highway from Dublin to Dundrum, not far from the site of tho
modern Rathmines Castle, on the gi"ound now lying between
Pahnerston Villas and Cowper Villas. Its value was estimated at
£7,000, then an enormous amount, and it was, doubtless, as a con-
temporary writer says, a stately thing. There Radcliffe, who was
the best of good fellows, as well as an able man, heartily welcomed
his friends, and there under the guidance of Radcliffe's fowler,
Strafford, who says he would have been the most solitary of men
in Ireland without his friend, possibly indulged in his favourite
sport of hawking, for which the surrounding country at that time
was well adapted. But Radcliffe's residence at Rathmines was of
slKut duration — ^in the autumn of 1639 he dated a letter there; a
year later he was in prison in London — and in 164'2 his house,
which had passed safely through the previous winter of rebellion,
was occupied by the wife and children of the Earl, afterwards
Duke, of Ormonde, who was then commanding the army in Ireland.
In August of that year, probably on account of a serious illness
winch Oniinnde had at that time, his family moved into Dublin,
and three days after they had left, the house was burned. Its
destruction was generally attributed to marauding Ixinds of the
Iiish Aiiiiv, but some thought one of Ormonde's own iKUisehold
had been a party to it, and made much of the fact that the care-
taker had fled, and that his wife was found dead (l).

Before tho cessation in 1013 the neighbourhood of Rathmines
was liable to incursions fi-om the troops of the Confederate Army
stationed in tho Countv Wicklow. In April of tliat yeai' Thomas
Parnell, a goldsmith, of Duljlin, was walking, as he subsecjiicnl ly
deposed, in the fli'lds which then lay near St. Kevin's Church,
waiting for service to begin, when he was suddenly surprised I)y " a
coinpaiiy f)f reljellious soldiers" uiidci- tlie coniniand of Captain

(') CiirU- l'ii|)cis, vol. ii.. p. IT"-'; ' Dictionary of \aticiini l'.ioi:ra|>liy." vol.
xlvii.. ]). 12.''.; l)own Survey Map ; Onliiaiire Survey Map <il iSItT; D'.Mton'H
" History of the Coniity Duliiin," p. 77H ; ' Si lalVonrs Letters," editeil liy William
Knowler, vol. ii., p. IS! ; Depositions of Hi 1 1 (Williarii Mridi.'es ot llafolil's ( Iraii^e);
riilciidar of Irisli State Piipers, i<>:5:{ |(i47, p. - 1; " .Metiioirs and Letters of
I'lick, .Miircpiis of riariri( arde " (Lon 17">7). p. "-'•i'i.


Toole, and was carried away forcibly to Powei^scourt. The next
day he was taken to Arklow, where he was kept for twenty-six
weeks a close prisoner, and often threatened with execution, " which
bred great terror and fear in him.'' In September of that year,
after the cessation had been concluded, a troop of horse and two
companies of foot came within musket shot of trenches which had
been made near St. Kevin's Church, and on their return, after
killing a herd and wounding several others, drove before them into
the County Wicklow all the cattle that they could find. The
number of cattle driven off was estimated at 359 head, as well as
29 horses, which were also taken, and amongst them were nine
cows belong'ing to the Archbishop of Dublin, which were grazing
in a field near Harold's Cross. This act was a violation of the
treaty of cessation, but in spite of the utmost efforts on the jDart
of the authorities and of sevei'al journeys undertaken by the owners
at the risk of their lives into the wilds of the County Wicklow,
only a few of the cattle were' recovered, and these not the best (i).

The summer of 1649 saw the great historic event with which this
district is associated, and which has been already referred to in
connection with Baggotrath, the Battle of Rathmines, resulting in
the signal defeat of the Royalist Army under the command of the
Marquis, afterwards Duke, of Ormonde, by the troops of the Parlia-
ment, then gaiTisoning Dublin, under the command of Colonel
Michael Jones. It was in the immediate neighbourhood of Sir
George Radcliffe's mansion on the gi'ound now covered by Palnier-
ston Park and the adjacent roads that Ormonde encamped his
troops on moving from Finglas, where he had lingered in a state
of fatal inaction for many weeks. There on the 27th July, at ai
council of war, attended, under the presidency of the Lord-General,
by Lord Inchiquin, his Lieutenant-General ; Lord Castlehaven, the
General of the Horse ; Lord Taaffe, the Master of the Ordnance ;
General Thomas Preston, the well-known commander of the Con-
federate Army ; Sir Arthur Aston, who fell a few weeks later in
the massacre at Drogheda; Sir William Vaughan, Major-General
of the Horse; and Major-General Patrick Purcell, Major-General
of the Foot; the disastrous decision was made to despatch Lord
Inchiquin with two regiments of horse to Munster, where it was
apprehended Cromwell would land, as well as the determination to
take Rathfarnham Castle, then garrisoned by the Parliament, which
was successfully accomplished the next day.

(1) Depositions of ir)41 (Tliomas Parnell, John Johnson, Robert Parry, and Jolin
Davies cf the City of Dublin).



•1> i .



E "^




At Rathmines another council of war was held on August 1st,
at which it was decided to fortify Baggotrath Castle if practicable,
and from Rathmines, after an inspection and favourable report
had been made by Lord Castlehaven, General Preston, and Major-
General Purcell, a body of troops under the command of the last-
named set out that evening to execute the work. In his tent at
Rathmines, Ormonde sat up all night in order to be ready for an
attack should one be made, and to complete despatches which he
was preparing to send off to France to Charles II. ; and from there
at daybreak next morning he rode down to Baggotrath to see what
progress had been made with the work of fortification. At Rath-
mines, after his return some hours later, while taking in his tent a
few moments' rejDose, he was awakened by the sound of firing, and,
on rushing out of his tent, found, before he had gone many yards,
that the soldiers at Baggotrath had been driven off, that Sir William
Vaughan had been killed while gallantly leading some of the cavalry
to their support, and that Vaughan's troop, as well as others which
had been placed between Baggotrath and Rathmines, had been

The land between the Donnybrook Road and the road through
Old Rathmines was then divided into fields, and Ornvonde's camp
was approached from them by narrow lanes. These it would have
been easy to defend, but owing to treachery and inefficiency, which,
doubtless, existed in an army composed largely of deserters from
the Parliament ranks, and officered in many cases by Irishmen more
conspicuous for their loyalty than for skill in arms, no attempt was
made to do so, and it is even .said that barriers which had been
placed in the lanes were removed. The Parliament commander.
Colonel Michael Jones, pushed on the advantage which he had
gained until the right wing of Ormonde's army was completely
defeated. As soon as Ormonde perceived, as he tells us himself,
that the troops of which that wing were composed were running
away towards the hills of Wicklow, where some of them had been
born and bred, and the way to which they knew only too well, he
turned his attention to the centre of his army, composed of foot,
which had served under Lord Inchiquin, and which were then
commanded by Colonel Giffard. To its support he brought other
troops under the command of his brother, Colonel Richard Butler,
and Colonel Reyley, but these failed hiin, and on Colonel Giffard's
men being attacked from behind by a troop of Colonel Jones' horse,
which approached them by a lane which ran from Milltown to
what is now the Ranelagh Road, and in front by a party of
Colonel Jones' foot, they gave way and accepted quarter.


As a last resort, Ormonde, jumping liis horse over a ditch, made
for the left wing of his army, which, probably, was stationed
between RadcliflFe's house and Rathgar, and which Ormonde had
not called to his ass'istance, as there was a resei"ve of the Parliament
Army in front of them, but he found that news of the defeat of
the right wing and centre of the army had reached them, and that,
thinking themselves deserted, they w^ere making good their escape.
After several fruitless attempts to rally them, Ormonde, who had
displayed much pei'sonal bravery, and whose armour had aloaie
saved him from a wound, or even death, made off himself towards
the County Kildare, leaving the Parliament forces in possession of
the field. The victory was a decis'ive one, and in the fulness of
their rejoicing the Parliament proclaimed that they had slain
4,000 of Ormonde's army, and had taken 2,517 prisoners, many of
high rank, in addition to seven cannon, many transport waggons,
two hundred draught oxen, and a camp furnished, as they repre-
sented it, with great store of provisions and wine, and with all
manner of silk, velvet, and scarlet cloth, which also fell into their
hands. This account is much exaggerated, and the total number of
men under Ormonde's command cannot have much, if at all,
exceeded the combined numbers returned as killed and taken
prisoners ; but it is equally impossible to rely on the Royalist reports
which, while calling the battle a drawn engagement, and a night
surprise, give the number killed on their side as not more than
600. After the battle some of the English Royalist troops took
refuge within the walls of Radcliffe's house and made so gallant a
defence that it was not for some days that they laid down their arms.
and then only did so on promises of safety for their lives (i).

Durijig the Commonwealth the population of Rathmines,
including the residents in Sir George Radclifl'e's house, which was

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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 10 of 16)