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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restored and was rated for taxation as containing six hearths, was
returned as only six persons of English and six persons of Irish
extraction. Sir George RadclifTe was still stated to be (nviui- of tlio
lands, which included pditions known as Lord Ifowth's land and
Widow Drury's land, hut, his house, witii a demesne of sixty acres,


(') (Jardiiifi's " IlistDiy ot tin- ('iiiiiriiiiiwcaltii ainl l*i nicildialc," \(il.
1)9; Carte's "Life of Ormonch; " (Lon. \i:M\), p. 77; CiJlMMt's '■ History of the
Irish f'onffflf.Tation and tlic War in Ireland," vol. vii., \>. !•_':{ ; Cartc'.s " ("nliccfion
f)f Oriffiiiai Inciters and i'a|)crs "' ( l.un., I 7:i'.i), \(il. ii., |i. 107 : Curry's '' Memorials
of the- fJreut Civil War in l'',iii:land," vol. ii.. p. !.")!»; Walsii's " History and Viti-
dication of tlie Loyal Fotiiiiilary or Irish Keiiiotistrance." |). (KMt ; "The Water
Siijj|)lv of Aiiiieiit Duhlin," \>y Henry P. Merry in .huniKil. II. S.A.I., vol. x.\i..
\). .">.")7 ; l'roice(hn{iS of the I'oyal Irish .Aeadeiny. ser. i., \(il. \i.. p. ;{0."> ; .Imtnitll.
U.S. A. I., vol. x.xxii., p. '254 (note); 'IVaets pre.serveil in \\\r Tin ji pc Ci jIIccI icm in
tlie N'atiniiid l,iliiar\- of lii-land and in the Koyal Iri-h .\iadein\.


was occupied by Captain Williaan Shore. Captain Shore was con-
nected with the County Fermanagh. His first wife wasi a daughter
of Henry, Baron Dockwra, of Cuhnore; and Sir Henry Brooke,
ancestor of the baronets of that name, who had married another
daughter of Baron Dockwra, had also an interest in the house and
demesne of Rathmines. On the death of his first wife. Captain
Shore married the widow of Baron Lewis Hamilton, the brother
of the first Lord Glenawley, and father of the distinguished de-
fender of Enniskillen in the time of James II. She was a native of
Sweden, of which countiy her first husband was a noble, and is
said to have been possessed of a large fortune and to have been of
very high birth. She married, in addition to Baron Hamilton
and Captain Shore, two other husbands, an ancestor of the Arch-
dalls of Fennanagh, and Montgomerys of Tyrone, and an ancestor
of the Summerville family, now ennobled under the title of Ath-
lumney. Captain Shore's death occurred about 1668, and ten years
later there were legal jiroceedings between his representatives and
Thomas Radcliffe, the only son of Sir George Radcliffe, with regard
to tho lands of Rathmines (i).

At the beginning of the eighteenth century the Temple family,
ennobled under the title of Palmerston, came into possession of
Rathmines. and to this circumstance the use of the name Palmer-
ston in the present nomenclature of a great portion of the district
is due. The rural character of the neighbourhood was still main-
tained ; in October, 1704, Dr. William King, then Bishop of Deny,
and afterwards Archbishop of Dublin, stayed there temporarily, as
lie had done shortly before at Rathfarnhani, in order to obtain
country air, and the only residence of any importance besides the
mansion house was one called Boland Hall, the owner of which in
1727 put an end to his life by throwing himself into the Dodder at
Milltown (2).

Under a lease made in 1746 by Henry, first Viscount Palmerston,
tho mansion house of Rathmines became the country seat of the
Right Hon. William Yorke, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in
Ireland. When the lease was made, Yorke occupied the position of

(') Hearth Money Roll ; Census of 1059 ; Repertory Chancery Decrees, vol. ii..
pp. 320, 405 ; Book of Distribution in Royal Irish Aearlcniy : Book of Survey in
Public Recoixl Office ; " Monea Castle and tlie Hainiltons," by the Earl of liejniore
in Ulslcr Journal of Arrha'ologi/, vol. i., pj). 195, 250 ; Lodge's Peerafje, vol. vi.,
p. 80 ; Burke's Extinct Peerage.

('-) Leases in Registry of Deeds Office: Archl)islio]i King's Correspondence in
Trinity College Library ; Dtihliyi WecJcli/ Joiinird, >^t\\ A]m\. 1727; J>Hliliii C/min-
icle, 1 788-1 7S9, p. (;08.


second justice of that court — a position to which he had been
promoted thx-ee years previously direct fi'om the English Bar
through the influence of his kinsman, the great Earl of Hardwicke,
then Lord Chancellor of England. In Ireland he was received with
every attention by Hardwicke s friend, Lord Chancellor Jocelyn,
and a year after his arrival in 1744 he married the widow of Mr.
William Cope, of Loughgall, who had died shortly before of fever,
a year after his marriage. Yorke thus became connected with the
chief of his court, the Right Hon. Henry Singleton, who was her
uncle, and with the astute Philip Tisdal, already mentioned in con-
nection with Stillorgan, who was her brother-in-law. In 1753 Chief
Justice Singletoii retired in Yorke's favour, and in 1755, William^
Marquis of Hartington, afterwards fourth Duke of Devonshire, soon
after his arrival in Ireland as Lord Lieutenant, honoured the tewlv-
appointed Chief Justice by dining with him at Rathmines. Yorke
resigned the chiefship of the Common Pleas in 1761 on being
created a baronet and appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in the
room of the illustrious Anthony Malone, but only held the latter
office for two years, until 1763, when he retired to London, where
he died in 1776 fi'om accidentally taking a dose of poison, and was
buried in the chapel of the Charter House (i).

At the close of the eighteenth century a school was established
in Chief Justice Yorke's residence, and about thirty years later
it presented the appearance of a farmhouse, and was used as a
boarding-house, which was frequented by persons of a consumptive
tendency. At the latter period it had been superseded by the
modern Rathmines Castle, which was built about 1820 by Colonel
Wynne, and was subsequently occupied successively by Sir Jonas
Green, sometime Recorder of Dublin, and the Rev. Thomas Kelly.
It was not until Chief Justice Yorke's time that direct com-
munication was made between what is now known a.s Old Rath-
mines and Rathgar the latter place having until then been ap-
pi-oachcd from Dublin through Harold's Cross by the construction
of Ilighfield Road. The consti-uction of Rathgar Road and the
modern urban districts of Rathmines and Rathgar dates only from
the nineteenth centuiy (2).

(') Ijea.se in Kegi.stry of Deeds Otlici' ; I'm'.-i Occurn nr('<, mA. \I., .No. :{;i. \(>1.
xli.. No. 74, vol. lii., No. (U ; Diihlin dnzr/tr, 2ii(i Oetolier, 1741, liTtli October,
1742; Harris's " T.,ife of LonI ('liancellr)r llardwieke." vol. ii., pp. .")n. ."((M. oOli ;
Burke's " Larulcd (ieiitry " under Sin{.detoii of .Mell ; Haydn's " Knok of Dii^-
nities " ; Atinual UhjIkIi r foe 177<>, j). IS!I.

('^) Duhliti Jfiurnal, -No. '-'(i'.)'.! ; " I'lan of iiatliiniiirs Si Imol niidci- llir iliirctiori
of tlic Reverend Cluuies IJairy."' jncseived anion>;st llaiiday Tracts (vol. ."»(>'.•) in
l{oval lii.-li .Vciidcriiy ; Dulilin I'l niti/ .loitninl, mI. ii., p. Si.



{Funiu.rli/ callcii Cullcn-^wood.)

The lands on which these suburban districts stand lie between the
lands of Rathmines and those of Baggotrath and Donnybrook,
and once formed, like the lands of Rathmines, portion of the pro-
perty of the See of Dublin, constituting a manor, subordinate to the
manor of St. Sepulchre. This manor, which appears in the four-
teenth century under the name of Colon, has been identified with a
place called Nova Colonia, where, in the thirteenth century, the
Archbishop of Dublin had a residence. In the opinion of the
Deputy Keeper of the Records in Ireland it formed the corps of
the prebend without cure of souls, in right of which the Archbishop
of Dublin occupies a seat in the chapter of St. Patrick's Cathedral.
At Nova Colonia in 1253 ArchbishoiJ Luke signed a decree, and
there in 1290 Archbishop John de Sanford, then Justiciary of Ire-
land, received, a deputation from the merchants of Dublin. A great
portion of the lands was covered with the wood, whence the
name Cullenswood is derived, which on more than one occasion
is said to have afforded cover to the Irish tribes when making
attacks on the English inhabitants of Dublin. According to tra-
dition, on a certain Easter Monday, a day for long afterwards
known as Black Monday, the original English settler's from Bristol
to the number of 500, while engaged in public sports near it, were
surprised and slaughtered by a party of the Irish, and in it more
than a hundred years later the chief of the O'Tooles and eighty
followers concealed themselves all night before making an attack on
Dublin, which resulted in their being put to flight and pursued for
six leagues, with a loss of seventeen killed and many mortally

The manor of Colon did not escape the devastations of the neigh-
bourhood, which, as mentioned in the history of Dundrum, resulted
from the invasion of Bruce, and a deplorable picture is presented
in 1326 of the state of the manor. The buildings, including the
Archbishop's hall and chamber, with a chapel attached, which were
built of stone and roofed with shingles, as well as offices, consisting
of a kitchen, fannhouse, stable and granary made of timber, were
part in ruin and part level with the ground, while the meadows
which extended along the highway were destroyed by trespass on
the part of the carriers and their pack horses ; the pastures could
not be stocked owing to the raids of the malefactors from the


mountains, and the wood had been so ravaged thai there was no
profit to be obtained even from the sale of firewood, while the
ground which it had occupied was useless for pasture. The serfs,
who had worked the lands for the Archbishop, fled, and the Arch-
bishop, finally thinking it well to have some profit from the
manor land, leased it at a low rent to tenants better able to defend
his property, such as was in 1382, a stout English farmer called
Richard Chamberlain, who held it in conjunctitm with the Arch-
bishop's lands near Dundrum (i).

About the middle of the sixteenth century portion of the lands
of St. Scpulelne were leased by the Archbishop of Dublin to Sir
Thomas Fitzwilliam, then described as of Baggotrath, and together
with them the office of keeper of the wood of Cullcn upon the
surrender of John de Bathe, by whom it was then held, was granted
to him. At the beginning of the seventeenth century the wood of
Cullen was held by Sir William Ussher, of Donnybrook, and at the
time of the rebellion of 1641 the lands of Cullenswood were
occupied by a yeoman called Thomas Ward. In depositions made
bv Ward he recounts how in April, 1642, his house and offices at
Cullenswood were totally destroyed by fire, how the rebels robbed
him of sixteen cow^s, a bull, and eight horses ; how at the time
Mr. Paniell, as related under Rathmines, was taken prisoner, he
was taken also, but was let go on surrendering his arms ; and how
subsequently at Powerscourt he saw a man wearing his sword (2).

The ground now occupied by the Carmelite Convent of St.
Joseph, close to the Dublin. Wicklow, and Wexford Railway, was
in the eighteenth century tlie site of a house calhnl Willbrook.
This house was for a number of years the residence of the Right
Rev. William Barnard, successively Bishop of Raphoe and Derry,
who, as a monument in Westminster Abbey records, after ruling the
latter diocese for twenty years with great approbation, died in 1768
in Loiido'i, whcic 1m- had gone for the luMiefiti of liis iiealtli. After
the deatli of the liislio]), \\'illl)iook was taken by an organ I)u:lder
from London with the object of its conversion into a. ])laee of
public amusement, and soon the episcopal residence becann^ a grand
house of entertainnuMit, with a theatre and gai-dens laid out with

(') " Xotcs on llii- ^l:uior c.f St. Sr|inl(Iitr in I lie l^'mirlrcnt li Ccnliirv," I)y
JanicM ^lills in ./o////((;/. /,'..S'..I./., vul. \i,\., pp. ."il. I lit; L'dth |:c|»irl ultlir Dcpulv
Keeper of tlie i^'conls il) IrclaiKl, A|)P., p. ■")0 ; S\mc( niairs ('.iIcihI.u. I -iS.") <)'J,
p. :{7''i. I'-".':'. K'.l)|. |i. 117: D". Minn's " Ili-tnlV nf the CiHiiily Ullliliri." p. 77!',

" ('lijutiil.iiii- ril St. .M;iiy'^ .\lil>iy," \'<\. ii.. p. '^'>\.

(■-:) Fi;iiil lvlu;iol \'l., \n. "il'-l: (';iltr I'apcr-. Mil. I \i., p. .'i 1 7 ; I >r pi i..it i(ins (if
ICill t'l'linnia- Waul n| ( 'iilli-n-^wiMicI).


alcoves and bowers for tea drinkers. It was all modelled on Rane-
lagli Gardens in London, and thus obtained the name of that
fashionable resort. A fine band was constantly in attendance, the
favourite vocalists of the day appeared in the theatre, and some of
the earliest aeronauts niade their ascents from the gardens. Not
far off there was then a tavern with the curious sign of '' The
Bleeding Horse," and the neighbourhood was, on at least one
occasion, the scene of a duel.

The gardens disappeared after a comparatively short existence,
but left their name impressed on part of the lands of Cullenswood,
and the use of the name Sandford, derived from the foundation of
Sandford Church by Lord Mountsandford, in connection with
another part of the lands, has caused the name Cullenswood to
become almost obsolete (i).


The village of Milltown, which is situated close to the river Dodder,
on the road from Dundrum to Dublin, still exhibits traces of anti-
quity in an old bridge, now disused except for foot traffic, and in
some large houses, which have seen more prospei'ous days. From a
very early period it has been the scene of industrial enterprise, and
until very recent years it was the site of water-mills, whose place
is now taken by a steam laundry and dye works. So early as the
fourteenth century the existence of a mill is mentioned in con-
nection with the lands, then known as Milton, which were included
within the manor of St. Sepulchre, joining on the north those of
Rathmines and Cullenswood, and were held under the Archbishop
by a family called Brigg, Hugo Brigg in 1326 and Henry Brigg in
1382 being the tenants (2).

The neighbourhood has always been celebrated for the excellence
of the stone found in it, and during the sixteenth century a glimpse
is afforded us of mediaeval quarrying operations carried on at Mill-
town to provide stone for the repair of Christ Church Cathedral.

(M Leases in Registry of Deeds Office ; Cotton's " Fasti Ecclesire Hibernice " ;
Pwt'.s Occurrence-'^, vol. Ixv., No. 0720 ; O'Keeffe's " Recolleetions of his Life,"
vol. i., p. 291 ; DuUin Gazette, No. 2727 ; Dublin Chronicle, 1787-1788, pp. 181,

(-) "Notices of the Manor of St. Sepulchre in the Fourteenth Century," by
James Mills, vol. xix., pp. 31, 119.



These operations were conducted under the direction of a famous
ecclesiastical architect, Sir Peter Lewys, the builder of the bridge
of Athlonc, who was precentor as well as restorer of the Cathedral.
In an interesting memoir of Lewys, the present Assistant Keeper of
the Public Records of Ireland, has explained that the stone was
cut out of the bed of the river by means of iron tools kept pointed
by a smith who was always in attendance, and, as the accompanying
illustration shows, distinct traces of these operations are still to be
seen near the foundation of the old bridge. In order to allow the

The Old Bridge of Milltown.

From a l'}toto(jraph hy Mr. Lujiiard R Stratigwaifs.

stonecutt-ers to cut the rock, llie river had to be diverted from its
course, and, needless to say, in spite of dams and bowls for baling
out the water, the work was carried on with extreme difficulty.
One day a bank of earth fell on a mason, whoso life was only saved
" with much ado," and on another occasion, owing to autumn rains,
the Dodder rose to such a height that it carried away all protection
for the craftsmen (i).

At tlic time of the Rebellion of IfVIl, wlicn tiir lands of Mill-
town belongcfl lo tlir l.oftuscs of Rathfaiiili.nn, a miller, .lolm

(') "Sir I'l ii I Lewys," liy Ikiiiy i'. lUiiy in Triumadiuns Qunliiur Coroiuili
Lodge, vol. xv., p. 4.


Bacon by name, was the principal resident at Milltown, and in
depositions made by him he recounts the loss of sundry horses of
English breed used by him in his trade, as well as of cows, and tells
how after he had taken refuge in Dublin his house was coinpletely
demolished. In order to keep the rebels in check a troop of horse
under the command of one Hugh Booth, was stationed afterwards
at Milltown, but while patrolling the country in June, 1642, Booth
was surprised near Merrion by a party of the Irish Army under
tlie command of Captain Bernard Talbot, and after twelve of his
men had run away and two had been killed, hci was taken prisoner,
with the other three, and carried off to Arklow, where he was kept
a close prisoner in daily fear of death for twenty-two weeks. Under
the Commonwealth, when the population of Milltown was returned
as fourteen inhabitants of English birth and five of Irish, Milltown
continued in possession of Sir Adam Loftus, of Rathfarnham (i).

During the eighteenth century Milltown, which became then the
property of the Leeson family, ennobled under the title of Earl of
Milltown, was the seat of various manufactures. Amongst the
mills mentioned as existing there at different times were two* corn
mills, a brass mill, an iron mill, a paper mill, and a mill for grinding
dry woods. One of the best quarries for limestone in the County
Dublin was near Milltown Bridge, where there is safid to have been
a rath ; and the manufacture of garden pots was also carried on
by " the ingenious Mr. Heavisid." Until the latter part of the
century, when Classen's Bridge, near Old Rathmines, was built
by Ml". John Classen, the owner of the mill for grinding dry woods,
the only means of crossing the Dodder was by means of the old
bridge, which was too narrow for vehicle traffic, and by a ford,
where the present bridge of Milltown is built. This ford was the
cause of loss of life, as persons on horseback were reluctant to
make the short detour necessary to cross by the old bridge, and
were sometimes carried away by the rapid waters of the Dodder
when in flood. Thus in 1756 a countryman and boy going on
horseback to Powerscourt, though warned not to make the attempt
to cross the ford, persisted in doing so, and were carried away and
drowned, and in 1782 Mr. Clarke, the steward of the Home of
Industry, met his death in the same way, the occurrence being re-
markable, as his daughter, and only child, had been drowned in
the Dodder a year before. The ascent from the ford was also

(') Depositions of KUl (John Bacon of Milltown and Hugh Booth of the City
of Dublin) ; Census of 1()59 ; Book of Survey in Public Record Ot!ice.


dangerous and steep, and in 1787 a child on the roof of a mourning
coach accompanying a funeral to Dundrum was thrown off there
and killed on the spot (i).

Milltown is stated in that century to have been a large and plea-
sant village, much frequented by the citizens of Dublin, and a. gi'eat
thoroughfare for pleasure parties going to Powerscourt. Thither
from time to time the populace was attracted by advertisements of
sports; in June, 1728, a race foi- grass fed horses, not exceeding £6
in value, from John Burr's, in Milltown, to the Cock in St. Kevin's
Pox't, with a saddle as first prize and a bridle as second, is
announced : and in -Tnly, 1758, races for horses and also for girls,
with a prize of a cap and ribbons, for which entries were to be made
at the Phoenix at Milltown, were to take place. But, doubtless,
even greater crowds assembled at Milltown in November, 1753, to
see the punishment of William Kallendar, who, for a rescue, was
so severely whipped from Milltown to Dundrum that he died a
few days later iu Newgate Prison, leaving, as the newspaper records,
a v.-ife and five small children to mourn his loss. Amongst the
inhabitants we find Mr. Hugh Johnston, who, in 1727, was made a
magistrate for the metropolitan county ; Mr. John Randall, the
owner of the paper mill, '" a man of very good character," who in
175^; was thrown from his horse and killed; Mr. Dogherty, the
owner of the iron mill, who in 1758 was found dead in his bed;
]\rr. Robert Tomlinson, whose house in 1779 was attacked and
plundered in the middle of the day by a set of desperate villains;
the Viscount St. Lawrence, who in 1 783 was residing near Mill-
town ; and the Ladies Eleanor and Isabella King, daughters of the
first Earl of Kingston, who were visited in 1797 in a house near
Milltown left them by a Mrs. Walcot, by the diarist already men-
tioned in connection with Seapoint, who drove- out from Dublin in
a green chaise to sec them (-).

(1) Teases in Registry of Deeds Office; Exfh((|inr- liill : DnhJ'nt Joiirmil. .Xo.
ni\-2; Diihli)) Chronirlr, ITSS-lTSit. p. <»()!); Kiitly's " .Xaturai History of tiie
County Dublin," vol. i.. ]>. \r.\ : Dnhlin ('lin>nif!(\ ITS? ITSS, ))p. ;5.")i», 4r)l ; Pncs
Occurrences, vol. jiii.. No. :{ ; llihirninn Mngazinr for 1 T^ii, p. .")."»!.

(2) lewis's Dublin Guide, p. IHC) ; Dnhlin Penny .Jnurnul, vol. iii., p. 372;
Irish Penny Jonrmtl, vol. i., p. 2X1 ; Warrants for Magistrates in Public Record
Office; Dublin WeeHi/ . Journal, IHtli June, lT2Si; Pite's Ocriirrenccs, vol. 1., Xo.
{)•>, vol. li., Xo. SO. vol. Iv.. Xo. ."),S, vol. Ivi., Xo. ItS : K.xsliaw's MarrayiiK- for 177i>,
p. '4«7; Dublin. /oiiru'il, Xo. (i(i;j:J ; MS. Diary of'Ale.xander HaMiiltoii, k.< ., i.i..n.


Parish of Rathfarnham.

(i.e., Ratk-Fcni<t)ni(nii or F'lnian' v ll<itli.)
■ ♦-

The Parish of Rathfarnham in the seventeenth century appears as containing the
Townhinds of Kathfariihani, Tereniire, Kininiage, Rathgar, Little Newtown,
liiittertirld. Seholarstown, and St. John's Leas.

It now contains the Townlands of Ballyroan (/.("., Baile Ruadhain. or Rowan's
Townland), Butterfiehl, Kiiuniage, Newtown Little, OUl Orciiard, Rathfarn-
ham, Rathgar {i.e., Ratli-gearr, or Siiort Rath), Seholarstown, Terenure {i.e.,
Tir-an-iubhair, or the Land of the Yew), Whitehall, and Willbrook.

The objects of archaeological interest in the Parish are the Castle of Ratiifarnliam
and a fragment of the Old Church.


The Castle of Rathfarnham, formerly the seat of the Right Hon.
Francis Blackburne, sometime^ Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and still
in the occupation of his descendants, is one of the few fine residences
of any antiquity in the metrojoolitan county. It was originally a
fortified and embattled structure built in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth by that great legal ecclesiastic, Archbishop Loftus, but
owing to alterations in the eighteenth century carried out in a
Grecian style of architecture, it now presents the ajDpearance of a
modern house.

This castle is not the first dwelling which has occupied its site.
Soon after the Anglo-Norman Conquest the lands of Rathfarnham,
then joining on the north those within the manor of St. Sepulchre
and on the east those within the parish of Taney, had been given
to a family called le Bret, and during their ownership, which lasted
for many generations, a manorial residence stood ui^on their pro-
perty. They were people of importance amongst the early settlers,
and, in addition to Rathfarnham, became possessed of estates
in Tippcrary and Cork. The first of the family connected with
Rathfarnham was Milo le Bret, to whom in 1199 a grant of
the lands was made. His name appears amongst the magnates of
Ireland, and he was personally known to King John, at whose
courb in England he was, on at least one occasion, a visitor.





1) O

I 2


Towards the close of the thirteenth century, after the lands had
been held by Walter le Bret, who in 1269 made a perpetual assign-
ment of a> portion of them now known as Kimmage, Geoffrey le
Bret appears as the proprietor of the manor of Rathfarnham, for
which he rendered military service valued at 68x. to the Crown.
He saw much service as' a. soldier. During a period of twenty years
he was one of those i^esponsible for the protection of the marches
of Dublin, and large sums were from time to' time paid to him for
expenses incurred in resisting the enemies of the Crown at Saggard,
Newcastle, and other places. In these operations he gained so

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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 11 of 16)