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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name. After great exertions the Archbishop was successful in
securing the necessary amount, and in 1723 the Rev. John Borough,
who died in 1726, and was buried in the churchyard, was appointed
the first minister. He was followed in 1726 by the Rev. Michael
Hartlib, -who in early life was patronised by the Ormonde family,
and whose ajDpointment, as he held a distant benefice. Archbishop
King did not approve; in 1741 by the Rev. Isaac Mann, who was
afterwards successively Archdeacon of Dublin and Bishop of Cork ;
in 1750 by the Rev. Theophilus Brocas ; in 1764 by the Rev. John
Brocas; and in 1795 by the Rev. Robert Ball, who is buried in
Stillorgan Churchyard (i).

The Fitzwilliams continued to make use of their burying place at
Donnybrook; in 1667 Oliver, Earl of Tyrconnel was laid there, in
1676 Thomas, third Viscount Fitzwilliam, and in 1776 Richard,
sixth Viscount Fitzwilliam, but besides these a host of distinguished
people were buried at Donnybrook, and, to compare great things
with small, Donnybrook Churchyard may be considered the Mount
Jerome of the eighteenth century. Amongst those interred there
were^ — in 1729, Archbishop King, who was buried, according to his
desire, " in the little pleasant village " of Donnybrook in a tomb
prepared by Ulster King of Arms, and whose interment was
attended by most of the nobility and gentry, and thousands of
the citizens; in 1730, his nephew. Archdeacon Dougatt, who was
buried in the same grave ; in 1733, Sir Edward Lovet Pearce, the
architect of the Houses of Parliament, whose residence at Stillorgan,

(M Archbishop King's Correspondence preserved in Trinity College Library,
Class v., Tab. 3. Xos. 3 and 7 ; Diocesan Records ; Blacke.-'s Sketches, pp. 72,
74, 77, 80, 83, 92, 93, 146, 152, 161, 162, 167, 180, 191. 201, 279, 406, 409, 446


where he died, has been noticed ; in 1739. his brother, Lieutenant-
General Thomas Pearce, who was "■ at once Governor, Mayor, and
Representative in Parliament of the City of Limerick"; in 1758,
Bishop Clayton and the Right Hon. James Tynte; in 1759, Dr. Bar-
tholomew Mosse, the founder of the Lying-in Hospital, who died at
Cullenswood ; in 176'2, Arthur Newburgh (whose residence ab
Donnybrook has been noted), and his wife, who only survived him
a few months; in 1766, Bishop Clayton's widow; in 1780, the Hon.
Francis Napier; and in 1785, Sir James Stratford Tynte, the
General of the Volunteers. At Irishtown also some persons of note
were buried, including Lord Chancellor Jocelyn's first wife, Henry,
Lord Power, and a son of Lord Mayo (i).

During the first twenty years of the eighteenth century the cure
of Donnybrook was entrusted to the Rev. Walter Thomas, but on
succeeding to the Archdeaconry in 1719 the Venerable Charles
Whittingham came to reside, as has been mentioned, in tlie glebe
house next the churchyard, and ministered in the parish, with the
assistance of his curates at St. Peter's, Dublin. Amongst those
actins: as curates of St. Peter's and Donnvbrook were — in 1735, the
Rev. Thomas Heany, afterwards Curate of INlonkstown ; in 1747,
the Rev. William Donellan ; in 1749, the Rev. Thomas Burton; in
1750, the Rev. James Hawkins, afterwards successively Bishop of
Dromore and Raphoe ; in 1753, the Rev. John Druiy, a prebendary
of Christ Church and St. Patrick's Cathedral, who died in 1791 in
Cuffe Street ; in 175G, the Rev. Peter Chaigncau, who was Secretary
of the Dul)lin Society; in 1757 the Rev. John Owimi, "a young
gentleman of extraordinary good character," who d'wd in 17l')0 in
St. Stephen's Green. Then we find ,i|)])ointcd for Donnybrook
alone in 1760, the Rev. Pliili|) Sheills; in 1761, tlu> Rev. Lawrence
Grace; in 1767, the Rev. Dive Downes, brother of Lord Downes,
sometime Chief Justice of the King's Bench; in 177L', the Rev.
]Matthew West, the autlior of several poems and phiys ; in 1780,
the Rev. Gore AVood ; and in 1800, the Rev. George Wogan, who
was niuich red in IS'Ji; by burglars (-).

During the eighteenth ccMitury the Roman Catholic Church estab-
lished a place of worship at Ringscnd in addition to the one which

P) Sfo fnr iii.^^friptiniK on toiiiIisfDiics in Ddtiiivln'ook L'ravcvnnl iitnl ni Si.
.Matthew's, Jiinf.scn.l, lilackci'.s Skct.li.-,^. pp. liit ISS, I.VJ l.->7. - 'SS ;t(is. ;{)•_> :{.-.(i,
also for intfrmenlH, n.xtracts from the p.iiisli rciristoi-K in Hln<kt'r's Skrtiiic'^. pp.

(2) Diocr-san Rfronis : Ulacki-i's Skctciics. pp. 71. SS, '.I'J. lliJ, I'.Hl. -".Mi. 111.
413, 41.'., 4:{K, m, \\H, 11!». I.'.l, (.V2, 4r.4, 4():{ ; CottoD'H "Fasti Kcclvsia.'


existed at Booterstowii, and in the year 1788 Ringsend was severed
from the other parishes, and made an independent charge. Amongst
the clergy serving in Booterstown we find in 1731 the Rev. Francis
Archbold; in 1766, the Rev. Matthew Kelly; in 1775, the Rev.
James Nicholson; and in 1794, the Rev. Thomas Connolly, a
preacher of great celebrity. Ringsend was in 1766 se^rved by the
Rev. Mr. Brady, as Curate to Mr. Kelly, and after its severance
from Booterstown the following were appointed to its charge: —
in 1788, the Rev. Peter Richard Clinch, whO' is buried in Irish-
tcwn Churchyard; and in 1792, the Rev. Charles Joseph Finn,
an accomplished scholar (i).

An interestiing description is given by Austin Cooper of the
appearance at the close of the eighteenth century of the old Church
of Donnybrook, which was dedicated to St. Mary. It was, as he
mentions in his notebook under the date March 8tli, 1780, a very
plain structure, of T. shape. Opposite the entrance stood the
Communion Table, which was severely unadorned, and on the right
hand side of the entrance was the reading desk, which was sur-
mounted by a handsome pulpit. Between the reading desk and the
Communion Table the royal arms were displayed, and on the
opposite wall there were several trophies composed of flags and
banners, a coat of armour, and a sword and shield, with the motto
'■ ad mart (III /7r/r//s-." A fine black marble font, which was placed
in the church in the year 1729, stood at the entrance to the nave.
Adjoining the chancel was the chapel built by the Fitzwilliams, the
door of which was always locked, and from which there had been
fonnerly an entrance into the church near the Communion Table,
and in it there was then to be seen a black marble tomb bearing the
inscription " Here lyeth the body of the Right Honourable and
Most Noble Loi'd Oliver, Earl of Tyrconnel, Lord Viscount Fitz-
williams, of Meryonge, Baron of Thorncastle, who died at his house
in Mei-yonge April 11th, 1667, and was buried the 12th day of the
same month " (2).

Of the ecclesiastical history of Donnybrook in the nineteenth
century and of the numerous places of worship with which the dis-
trict is now adorned much information will be found in the
charming annals of the parishes of Booterstown and Donnybrook
compiled by one of the most painstaking of parish historians, the

(MBlacker's Sketches, pp. 88, 154, 160, 205, 426, 428, 430, 447, 4-50, 453, 457 ;
Religious Returns preserved in the Public Record Office.

(2) Cooper's Note Book; Blacke/s Sketches, p. 16.5.


late Rev. Beaver 11. Blacker, who long ministered in them. Here
it will suffice to record a few of the more important events. In
1824 a movement set on foot by Mr. James Digges La Touche, of
Sans Souci, already mentioned in the history of Bootei*stowu,
resulted in the severance of the Booterstown district from Donny-
brook. Bootex'stown, the tithes of which had been enjoyed in
an anomalous manner by the Dean of Christ Church as rector of
the adjoining parish of Monkstown, was then fonned into a
separate parish, with the church, dedicated to SS. Philip and James,
in Cross Avenue, which was then erected, as the parish church.
In 1827 the old church of Donnybrook, all trace of which has
completely disappeared, was replaced by the modern church of St.
Mary in Simmonscourt. And shortly before the Disestablish-
ment of the Irish Church, in 1867, a similar movement to that in
Booterstown resulted in the formation of the parish of St. Bartholo-
mew, which comprises lands formerly in Donnybrook, with some
additions from the original parish of St. Peter's, Dublin, and in the
erection of the handsome parish church in Clyde Road (i).

(1) Blackor's Sketches, passim.


Parish of Taney.

(Coimnoiilji Cdl/cd Dimdnon — i.e., Dinidronia, or tin' Fort on the Ih'd'je.)

Tho Parish of Taney is sliown on the Down Survey Map, which was made in 1657,
as consisting of tlie Townlands of Dondrom, Ballintery, Rabuck, Owiienstown,
Kihnacudd, Ballowley, Tybeistowne, Moltanston-ne, and Milltowne.

Dondrom and BalHntery are represented by the modern Townlands of BalHnteer
(i.e., Baile-an-tsaeir, or the Town of the Carpenter), Drunimartin, and Dun-

Rabuck is represented by Friarsland, jjart of Roebuck, Mount Anviilc, and
Trimlestown or Owenstown.

Ownensto^^•n now foiins part of Mount Merrion or Callary.

Ballowley is represented by Balally (i.e., Bally-Amhlaibh, or the To\\ n of Olave).

Milltowne by C'hurchtown Lower and Upper, Farranboley {i.e., Dairy Land) and

part of Roebuck.
Tyberstowne and Moltanstowne are now included in the Parish of Kill-of-the-

Grange, and Kilmacudd is a separate Parish.
The modern Townlands of Rathmines Great and Little were formerly included in

the Parish of Rathfarnham, Mount Merrion South formed part of Kilmacud,

and the lands included in Kingstown and Tiknock {i.e., Tigh-cnuic.or the House

of the Hill), do not appear in the Down Survey.

The only object of archaeological interest in the Parish is Dundrum Castle.


Dundrum, or the Fort ou the Ridge, which lies to the west of Still-
organ and south-west of Donnybrook, still possesses remains of a
castle, occupying, possibly, the sdte of the dun or fort from which
the place derives its name. These remains are in the grounds of
the modern house known as Dundrum Castle, ovei"hanging the river
which flows through the village, and besides being of considerable
extent are of great strength, one of the walls being nearly six feet
thick. The castle, which was built in two portions, one much larger
than the other, is now an empty shell, but still possesses several
features of interest, including windows, some more modern than



o s

01 :~.


others, passages and small chambers constructed in the thickness of
the walls, a garderobc, and fireplaces, one of these being of remark-
ably large size (l).

The names Dundruni and Taney denoted in the century
immediately succeeding the Anglo-Norman conquest separate and
distinct lands, those of Dundrum being the property of lay owners,
and those of Taney, now represented by the modern townlands of
ChuiThtown, being the property of the Church. After the Con-
quest the lands of Dundrum and Taney were assigned to the family
of de Clahull — a family whose possessions extended to' Kerry, where
its members ultimately settled — and at the beginning of the thir-
teenth century Sir John de Clahull, who was Marshal of the Lord-
ship of Leinster, was the owner. To his generosity and piety the
Church, vinder a grant from him to the Priory of the Holy Trinity
and the Archbishop of Dublin, owed the lands of Taney, to some
portion of which the Priory appears to have had previously a claim
under a grant from an Irish chieftain called by the Norman scribe
Marmacrudin, and these lands afterwards became solely vested in
the Archbishop, and were included in his manor of St. Sepulchre.
The lands of Dundrum were constituted a manor in themselves, with
all rights and privileges appertaining thereto, and under Sir John
de Clahull's successor, Sir Hugh de Clahull, were farmed by free
tenants, including John de Roebuck, David Basset, and Elye,
Geoffrey, and Neininus de Dundrum, excepting some portion of the
lands with a tenement, which was part of the jointure of Sir Hugh
de Clahull's wife, the Lady Nichola. From Sir Hugh de Clahull
the manor of Dundrum, after passing through the hands of his son-
in-law, Sir Walter Purcell, who held judicial office, and of Hugh de
Tachmun, Bishop of Meath, came about 1268 into the possession of
Sir Robert Bagod of Baggotrath.

The lands of Dundrum were similarly situated to those of Car-
rickmines, on the very extremity of the lands to the south of
Dublin, afterwards enclosed within the Pale, and suffered severely
by the raids of the Ii^ish enemies of the Crown. At the beginning
of the fourteenth century, when the invasion of Edward Bruce took
place, a state of utter lawlessness prevailed, and the lands lying
between Dundrum and Dublin, then composing the manor of St.
Sepulchre, were completely devastated. On the lands of Farran-
boley, near Milltown, then part of that manor, the native L'ish,

(') " The Lesser Castles of the County Dnl)Iiii/' hv E. R. M'C. Dix, in The Irish
Builder for 1897, pp. 227, 236.


who had become serfs under the episcopal owner, and who had to
submit to depredations from settlers like the Walshes, the Harolds,
and the Archbolds, as well as from their own countrymen, were
driven off, and the Archbishop of Dublin was subsequently forced
to lease these lands, together with the adjoining lands of Taney, or
Churchtown, at a reduced profit to free tenants, amongst whom
were Edmund Hackett, Richard Chamberlain, and John Locumbe.

It was at this time that the Fitzwilliams appear as resident on
the lands of Dundrum. which had, doubtless, undergone a similar
experience to that of the lands within the manor of St. Sepulchre.
Their coming there was probably clue tO' that great ecclesiastical
statesman, Alexander de Bicknor, then Archbishop of Dublin,
into whose jaossession the manor of Dundrum, after it had been
transferred from the Bagods to Sir Eustace de la Poer in exchange
for lands in Limerick, had passed, and to whom the Fitzwilliams
must have been known as residents near his gi'eat feudal castle at
Swords, where they had been previously settled. At Dundrum the
Fitzwilliams erected a castle, probably similar to one which a suc-
cessor of John Locumbe undertook to build on the lands of Church-
town, described as a sufficient stone house, walled and battlemented,
eighteen feet in breadth by twenty-six feet in length within the
walls, and forty feet in height, and in addition to the lands of Dun-
drum they acquired those of Ballinteer, anciently called Cheevers-
town, from a family of that name. Although another member of
the Fitzwilliam family, Thomas Fitzwilliam, is mentioned as beinff
in possession in 133 '2 of lands near Dundrum, the first of the name
in possession of the manor of Dundi'um was William, son of Richard
Fitzwilliam, to whom in 1365 a conveyance of the manor was made,
and who had rendered a few j^ears before valiant sem'ice against the
O'Byrncs and O'Toolcs at Saggard in rescuing, after a battle in
which five of the enemy were killed, prey which those tribes had
carried off. William Fitzwilliam was succeeded by his son, John
Fitzwilliam, and John Fitzwilliam by his son, William Fitzwilliam,
who man-icd Ismaia, daughter of Sir Edward Ferrers, of Baggofc-
rath, and who has been already mentioned in connection with the
assault on that castle, in which Chief Baron Cornwalsh lost his
life (1).

(') " The Xornian Rcttloiiionl in Lcinsior," and " Noticos of llic Manor of S(.
ScpMlclirc in llio Fourteonlli rciiliiiv." I)y James Mill.'* in Jminuil. U.S. A. I., vol.
.\.\iv., p. KIT, vol. xix.. l)i>. :!l, ll'.t: Cliiist C'liuicli Deeds, C. :{(;i : I'lea, ^reiiic-
r.inda, and Jnstieiarv Rolls ; I'afenI liclls. py). 4K. (;f;. 15:5 : (Sdendarof llie Lii)er
.Vi^'cr, Iiy T'rofessor C. T. Stokes in J.R.S.A.L, vol. .x.xiii., p. 'M)7y. l)'.\l(on"s Jlislory
of the Count V Dnl.lin, p. HI2.

F 2


The last named Williain Fitzwiliiaiu was a person of impor-
tance ; he had a crowd of retainers who resided together with the
tradesmen of Dundruiu, the tailor and the cloth di-esser, in the
village under the protection of his castle, and he served for some-
time as sheriflp of the metropolitan county. His eldest son, Thomas
Fitzwilliam, who married Rosia, daughter of Sir John Bellew, pre-
deceased him, and on his death about 1452 he was succeeded by
Thomas Fitzwilliam's son, Richard Fitzwilliam, who married
Margery Holy wood, and who was succeeded about 1465 in his turn
by his son, Thonias Fitzwilliam, husband of Eleanor Dowdall, of
whom we have seen, both under Mcrrion and Baggotrath.

After transferring the seat of their branch of the family first tO'
Baggotrath, and subsequently to Merrion, the Fitzwilliams of Dun-
drum appear to have allowed the Castle of Dundrum to fall into
disrepair. It was, however, rebuilt by Richard, son and successor
of Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam, who in his will made in 1596 desires
that all his tenants dwelling at Dundrum at the time of his building
there and giving him assistance should be forgiven the rents due
after h'is death. One of his younger sons, William Fitzwilliam,
who married the widow of Primate Henry Ussher, subsequently
resided in the castle, and there in 1616, on his death-bed, he declared
his will by word of mouth, leaving '' all he was worth in this world "
to his wife and infant daughter. At the time of the outbreak of
the Rebellion in October, 1641, it was the residence of a nephew
and namesake of its former occupant, Lieutenant-Colonel William
Fitzwilliam, the younger son of the fii-st Viscount Fitzwilliam, and
afterwards holder of the titles as the third Viscount, but was taken
possession of by the rebels, who were driven out of it by a body
of troops in the following January. Lieutenant-Colonel Fitzwilliam
with his family afterwards returned to live there, but found him-
self a sufferer from pillage on the part of the English soldiers. To
defend himself from the latter he obtained in 1646 from the Duke
of Onnonde a protection for his house, his lands, and goods, as well
as for his family and servants, but a few weeks after he had received
it he accompanied his father into neutral quarters.

During the period of the Rebellion Dundrum was a centre of
disaffectioii. A resident at Churchtown, Richard Leech by name,
who, although one of the churchwardens of the parish, is stated to
have been a Roman Catholic, was murdered by the rebels there,
and at the time Lieutenant-Colonel Fitzwilliam obtained protection
for his property from the English soldiers, a travelling clothier,
called Robert Turner, as he was coming through Old Rathmines,

UunDrum and its Castle. 69

then the high road from Dublin to Dimdrum, was robbed by one,
Donagh Cahere, of the latter place. In a letter to Cahere, the
Duke of Ormonde states that he has been informed that Cahere,
with his nephew and thirteen horse and foot, had taken Turner
prisoner, and had seized his horses, bridles, saddles, pistols, and a
quantity of cloth, and. after warning Cahere that if any harm befel
Turner, whom Cahere had threatened to hang unless a ransom was
paid, twenty Irish, then m the Duke's custody, should suffer for
it, demands that Turner, with all his goods, sh(nild be delivered up
safely (i).

The Castle of Dundvum during these troublous times fell into
disrepair, but was restored by Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Dobson,
one of the officers of the Parliament Army, to whom it was leased
in 1653, together with the lands of Dundrum and part of those of
Kilmacud and Balally. by the Parliament. It is described shortly
afterwards as being a slated castle in good repair, with three
hearths, and having attached to it a barn and a garden. At the
time of the Restoration, Dundrum is returned as containing four-
teen persons of English and thirty-three of Irish extraction,
inhabiting twenty-three houses, but on the neighbouring lands the
population was very small. On the lands of Churchtown, which
were then he'd by Sir William Ussher the younger, of Donnybrook,
and by a Mr. Owen Jones, there were two English and five Irish
inhabitants, only two of whom paid hearth tax, and in the moun-
tainous district of Ticknock there were fifteen inhabitants with
only four houses paying tax (-).

Lieutenant-Colonel Dobson was a leading man amongst the rulers
of Ireland under the Commonwealth. He was one of those who
took evidence against the participators in the Rebellion, and was
also a Commissioner for Revenue and Transplantation, for the Civil
Survey of Ireland, and for the letting of lands. In recognition of
his position he was admitted to the freedom of Dublin by special
gi'ace on payment of a pair of gloves to the Mayoress. After the
Restoration he came to terms with the Fitzwilliams, on their
regaining possession of their pi'operty, and continued to occupy the
castle, with a short int( rval during James II. 's rule (3), when ho

(1) Memorarula Rolls ; Will of William Fit/.williani of Diindnun : Ball Wrifrht's
" Usslicr ^IcDioirs," p. 40; Dopositions cf 1(141 (.lohii lliL'i.'iiis()ii of Kathfarn-
hani) ; Lfltor of Robort Bysso, MS. F. 3, 11, in Triiiitv CdIIcl'i' Lihrary ; Diocesan
Records; Carte Papers, vol. .\i.\., f. '>]2, vol. clxiv., fT. •J'.IT. 'VM.

(*) Crown l!cntal ; Fleet wofKl's Survey ; ll(;iitli Mdiny itull; Census of IG.W ;
Siibsifly Rolls.

(■') See an aeennnt of a fin<l of James II. 's brass nioiicy at Kinuslewii, near
Bundniin, bv Hie late Dr. Wiiliani Fia/cr in Jo^irmd, I!. S.A.I., vol .xxiii.. p. \M.



sought safety beyond the seas, until his death. This took place at
Dundruui in 1700, when he had attained a patriarchal age, and he
passed away surrounded by his children, grandchildren, and great
grandchildren. His only surviving son. Alderman Eliphal Dobson,
the most wealthy Dublin jiublisher and bookseller of his day, suc-
ceeded to the occupation of the castle. Like his father, he was a
Nonconformist, a member of the congregation worshipping at New
Row, in Dublin, but we are told that " he valued no man for his
starched looks or supercilious gravity, or for being a Churchman,
Presbyterian or Independent, jDrovided he was sound in the main
points wherein all good men are agreed." He had the misfortune
to lose one of his legs, and was remarkable for the possession of a

- Dundrum Castle in 1802.

From a Plate in '" The Literary and Masonic Magazine,"

wooden substitute, which creaked horribly. The first Bible printed
in Ireland was one which bears his name in the imprint, and in his
will he bequeaths to Trinity College near Dublin one of the best
folio Bibles printed by him to be preserved in the Library, as well as
a legacy of ten pounds to buy other books.

The castle grounds in his time were greatly improved, and the
castle must have presented quite an attractive appearance standing
in a flower garden laid out with trim box borders and neatly-cut
yew trees, with a pleasure ground and kitchen garden adjacent, all
of these being surrounded by a grove of ash trees and sloping down
to the river, which then was a more picturesque object than it is in


the present day. As the owner of the surrounding lands, Alderman
Dobson was an important person, and, as one who could afford such
luxuries as well-furnislicd houses, jDlate, books, horses and carriages,
was regarded, no doubt, w-ith great awe by the villagers as he jn-o-
ceeded to and from the castle in his heavy cumbersome coach. The
castle and grounds were left by Alderman Dobson (who w-as buried
on St. Patrick's Day, 1720, in St. Werburgh's Church, Dublin), to
his widow, with remainder to his eldest son, Isaac Dobson, of whom
we have seen under Donnybrook, and after her death they were
leased by Isaac Dobson to " an eminent silk weaver and a man of
unspotted character,'' Thomas Reynolds, whose descendant and
namesake bore an infamous part in the Rebellion of 1798. Al-
though the castle was partly inhabited until the close of the
eighteenth century, it was gradually falling into decay, and Austin
Cooper, who visited it in 1780, found it in possession of an owner
whose object was profit rather than beauty, and who was then
cutting down the grove of ash trees. Several sketches of the castle
were made by Gabriel Beranger, who describes it as having been
very picturesque, with a grand entrance by stone stairs from the
courtyard (i).

The principal resident at Dundrum in the latter half of the
eighteenth century was the brother of the first Earl of Lanes-

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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 7 of 16)