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The Charter of Clare Abbey and the Augustinian ‘Province’ in Co. Clare
By Michael Mac Mahon



In order to avoid tedious repetition in the footnotes the following abbreviations are used throughout:

Gleeson: Gleeson & Gwynn, A History of the diocese of Killaloe (Dublin 1962).
Dwyer: Dwyer, Philip, The diocese of Killaloe from the Reformation to the close of the Eighteenth Century ( Dublin 1878).
Westropp, Churches: Westropp, Thomas J., ‘The churches of Co.Clare and the origins of the ecclesiastical divisions of that county’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy (1900), pp. 100-316.
Inchiquin Mss: Inchiquin Manuscripts (ed.) John Ainsworth (Dublin 1961).
C.P.L.: Calendars of Papal Letters.

1. Watt, The Church in Medieval Ireland, (Dublin 1972), p. 185.

2. Gwynn & Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses, Ireland (London 1970) p. 149.

3. Ibid, p. 151. See also Dunning, P.J., ‘The Arroasian Order in Medieval Ireland’, Irish His. Studies, IV, pp. 297-315.

4. Westropp, ‘Foundation Charter of Forgy Abbey, Co.Clare’, J.R.S.A.I. (1892) p. 79.

5. Gleeson, pp. 202-5.

6. A total of seventeen holy wells dedicated to this saint have been identified, mainly in central Clare including one at nearby Doora.

7. Inchiquin Mss. p. 541.

8. Gleeson, p. 312.

9. Ibid, p. 465.

10. Inchiquin Mss., p. 548.

11. Gleeson, p. 325

12. Westropp, loc. cit.

13. Frost, The history and topography of the county of Clare (Dublin, 1893), p. 121.

14. Dwyer, p. 335.

15. Nicholls, ‘Rectory, vicarage and parish in the western Irish diocese’, J.R.S.A.I. (1970), p. 84.

16.Dwyer, p. 111.

17. Inchiquin Mss., p. 492.

18. C.P.L., VII, 415.

19. Inchiquin Mss., p. 541.

20. Nicholls, op. cit., p. 57.

21. Westropp, ‘Canons Island’ J.R.S.A.I. (1897) pp. 286-90; ‘The Augustinian Houses of Co.Clare’ J.R.S.A.I. (1900), pp. 118-35.

22. Westropp, Churches, p. 136.

23. C.P.L., xii, p. 667; xvi, no. 149.

24. Gwynn & Hadcock, op. cit., p.184.

25. C.P.L., xii, p.667.

26. Inchiquin Mss., pp. 329-30.

27. Gaynor, ‘Our unique deanery: Corcabaiscinn’, Molua (1942) p.11. Fr. Gaynor’s statement that twelve parochial rectories were impropriate to the Collegiate Church of Iniscathaigh is however plainly inaccurate. The impropriations of Iniscathaigh in the deanery of Corcabaiscinn are well documented and consisted of sixteen ‘portions’ (sometimes called ‘particles’ in the papal letters) of ecclesiastical lands in the baronies of Clonderlaw and Moyarta cf. Pat. Rolls James 1, p. 80 and Frost op. cit. p. 279.

28. Ibid; Nicholls, op. cit. p. 83.

29. Gaynor, loc. cit. Killone also held lands known as fearann na gCailleach (part of the glebe lands of Killeely) on either side of the river Shannon in the Liberties of Limerick, and other lands further south in Co. Limerick at Ballynagallagh, near Loch Gur. All these were held in right of its dependant chapel, Peter’s Cell in Limerick City. These impropriations also passed to baron Inchiquin at the Dissolution and in consequence fearann na gCailleach is known today as Rosbrien – Gearóid Mac Spealáin, Stair Aos Trí máighe (Baile Átha Cliath, 1967) pp. 136-7. C.F. also Begley, The diocese of Limerick (appndx.), p.420.

30. Gleeson, 306; cf. also Nicholls, op. cit., 84.

31. Dwyer, 113-117.

32. Ibid, p. 141.

33. C.P.L., VII, p. 192; xi, p.221.

34. Gleeson, p. 463.

35. Ó Cléirigh (ed.) Kilfiddane-Coolmeen and Cranny (1981), p. 28.

36. Gleeson, p. 212, p. 215.

37. Westropp, Churches, p. 151.

38. Ibid.

39. Ordnance Survey ‘Name Books’ Parish of Kilmurry-Ibrickane. (cf O.S. 6-inch sheet no. 38). In the ‘Name Books’ for Kilfarboy Tobarmuiris shoud also read Tobarmurry (i.e. Mary’s well).

40. Frost, p. 120.

41. Westropp, Churches, p. 176.

42. Dwyer, p. 504.

43. Ibid, p. 499. A similar feature occurs at Kilchreest.

44. O.S. ‘Name Books’, Parish of Kilmurry-Ibrickane.

45. Ibid, townland of Shandrum.

46. Harbison, ‘The pieta from Kilmurry-Ibrickane, Co. Clare’ in appndx. to John Hunt, ‘The influence of alabaster carvings on medieval sculpture in Ennis Friary’, North Munster Antiquarian Journal (1975), p. 39.

47. O.S. ‘Name Books’, Parish of Kilmurry-Ibrickane.

48. C.P.L., xii, p. 468, 473; xiv, p.65; viii, p.415.

49. Gleeson, p. 464.

50. Mac Mahon, M. ‘A double-oped stoup’ at Kilchreest, The Other Clare, xiii, p. 9.

51. Westropp, Churches p. 125.

52. The Killone font is illustrated in Westropp ‘The Augustinian Houses in Co. Claresupra. Fr. Michael Hillery, P.P. Kildysert, has informed the writer that the old church at Kilmaley, like that at Killone, was dedicated to St. John the Baptist.

53. Gleeson, p. 210.

54. Gleeson, ‘The Episcopal succession in the diocese of Killaloe’, N.M.A.J. (1940) pp. 51ff.

55. C.P.L., vii, p. 276.

56. Annals of the Four Masters, sub anno 1483.

57. C.P.L., xii, p. 195.

58. Gleeson, p. 447.

Augustinian Tradition; Westropp’s Survey;
Holy Water Fonts; Expansion and Regression