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Clerics and Clansmen: The Vicarages and Rectories of Tradraighe in the Fifteenth Century
By Luke McInerney

 

Notes

1. The author wishes to acknowledge the insightful and detailed comments during the preparation of this article by Kenneth W. Nicholls, and the useful advice of Henry A. Jefferies, Brian Ó Dálaigh and Patrick Sunter.

2. On parish formation see K.W. Nicholls, ‘Rectory, Vicarage and Parish in the Western Irish Dioceses’, Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, vol. 101 (1971) pp 53-84. Nicholls argues that parish formation west of the Shannon dates from after 1250, with Gaelic ecclesiastical sites before this time being based on the right of ecclesiastical patronage attached to lands independent of the existence of churches. In this pre-parish system church lands were administered by a comharba or airchinneach. Also see Patrick Nugent, The Gaelic clans of Co. Clare and their territories 1100-1700 A.D (Dublin, 2007) pp 120-8. Nugent argues that the impact of the Normans in parish formation only resulted in the parishes of Bunratty, Drumline, Clonloghan and Feenagh as creating a recognisable parish network. Parish formation in Gaelic regions probably began after granting parochial status to the territorial unit, the túath, by the mid-thirteenth century,
taking some time for the development to take root.

3. Gerrard Ryan, ‘Pre-Reformation Church and Monastic Sites in the Barony of Bunratty Lower: c500AD-1550AD’, The Other Clare, vol. 9 (1985), pp 44-50: 44-5.

4. The earliest reference to Kilnasoolagh can be found in the Papal Registers for the year 1256 when the Bishop of Killaloe, Isaac Ua Cormacain (1253-1267), was granted a Papal Licence to empower him to receive the resignation of ‘Peter’, the perpetual vicar of ‘Kelluonasulech and Biratti’ [sic Bunratty] which together totalled less than 10 marks, and for the Bishop to enjoin a penance on the vicar and confer the vicarages onto Peter anew. W. H. Bliss (ed.), Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers relating to Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters Vol. I AD.1198-1304, (London, 1893) p. 326.

5. Dermot F. Gleeson, ‘The Diocese of Killaloe in the 13th Century’, North Munster Antiquarian Journal, no. 4 (1939) pp 142-58 & 156-8.

6. Ryan, ‘Pre-Reformation Sites in the Barony of Bunratty’, p. 45.

7. 7 Sinéad Ní Ghabhláin, ‘Late twelfth-century church construction: evidence of parish formation?’ in Elizabeth Fitzpatrick & Raymond Gillespie (eds), The Parish in Medieval and Early Modern Ireland: Community, Territory and Building (Dublin, 2006) pp 147-67. Ní Ghabhláin argues that the surge in church building from the late twelfth century in Kilfenora diocese was connected to Irish church reform and posits that the increase in church construction could reflect the establishment of a parish system a century earlier than Nicholls’ suggestion that parish formation did not occur in the west of Ireland until after 1250, ibid., p. 167.

8. On the Inquisition Post Mortem of Thomas de Clare see H.S. Sweetman (ed.), Calendar of Documents Relating toIreland: 1285-1292 (Liechtenstein, Kraus Reprint, 1974) pp 207-8.

9. The 1622 Royal Visitation noted that Killaloe diocese was divided into seven deaneries. These deaneries in Clare included: ‘Omulled’ (Uí mBloid), ‘O’Gassin’ (Uí Caisín), ‘Tradry’ (Tradraighe), ‘Drumcliffe’ and ‘Corkavaskin’ (Corcu Baiscinn). These deaneries were clearly based on the pre-Norman triocha cét territorial system. Dermot F. Gleeson, ‘The Coarbs of Killaloe Diocese’, Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, no. 79 (1949) pp 160-69:162. Also see John Rider, Protestant Bishop of Killaloe, in the 1615 Royal Visitation published in Michael Murphy, ‘The Royal Visitation, 1615: Diocese of Killaloe’, Archivium Hibernicum, vol. iii (1914) pp 210-19.

10. The 1641 Books of Survey and Distribution show these glebe lands preserved in parishes in Tradraighe. For example, their sizes in Irish acres were: Kilnasoolagh (43a); Kilmaleery (56a), Kilconry (3a); Clonloghan (239a); Tomfinlough (3a & 2 roods); Kinfinaghta (110a.). See R.C. Simington (ed.), Books of Survey and Distribution, Vol. 4, Clare (Dublin, 1967), p. 154, p. 157, p. 161, p. 167, p. 169, p. 93. The large ‘glebe land’ recorded for Clonloghan was not just glebe land set aside to support the resident cleric of the church but was mensal land of the bishop as it is recorded ‘in ecclesiastical fee’ throughout the fifteenth century, see Nicholls, ‘Rectory, Vicarage and Parish’, pp 56-9 & p. 83.

11. In Irish comharba and airchinneach respectively. See K. W. Nicholls, Gaelic Ireland (Dublin, 2003) p. 224.

12. Ibid., p. 129.

13. Gleeson, ‘The Coarbs of Killaloe Diocese’, p. 169.

14. Dermot F. Gleeson, A History of the Diocese of Killaloe (Dublin, 1962) pp 323-4. On the Uí Ciaróg of Rathblathmaic (ie Rath) see Tadhg Ó Donnchadha, An Leabhar Muimhneach: Maraon Le Suim Aguisíní (Dublin, 1940) p. 311 and see the reference from c.1661 by Bishop Worth that ‘Arthur O Connor brought to me Connor Kerroge, who sayes that he and his ancestors for many yeares were tents. to ye Bp for ye said 2/1 p and yt his ancestors wr clerkes to ye parish of Rath, & paid ye Bp 10sp annú, and to Bp Maloenie since ye wars’. See MS 1777, Typescript copy of a survey of lands in the diocese of Killaloe made for Bishop Worth, 1661, transcribed by (Rev) James B. Leslie, National Library of Ireland, 1936, p. 24. On the Maol Ompile (Uí Mhaolanfaidh), read the 1405 mandate relating to ‘Baleincayssleay and Ara’ (Castletown Arra) and Iniscealtra and its rector ‘Cornelius Omlampaylls’ in Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VI AD.1404-
1415
(London, 1904) p. 33.

15. Cited in Henry A. Jefferies, ‘Erenaghs in pre-plantation Ulster: an early seventeenth-century account’, Archivium Hibernicum, vol. 53 (1999) pp 16-9:17.

16. Nicholls, Gaelic Ireland, p. 118.

17. Gleeson refers to this income as ‘Cathedratics’ (from the Latin Cathedraticum). Gleeson, Diocese of Killaloe, p. 296.

18. Ibid., p. 139.

19. Ibid., p. 295. On the role of erenaghs and coarbs see Henry A Jefferies, Priests and Prelates of Armagh in the Age of Reformations, 1518-1558 (Dublin, 1997) pp 125- 6. According to Jefferies, ‘the erenagh was the head of a clan holding church lands under a bishop. All male members of the clan were entitled to farm equal portions of the erenagh’s lands, but the erenagh was their representative.’ Ibid., p. 125.

20. A papal mandate of 1444 refers to ‘…the rectory of Burnnathi called Tradey…patron, Matthew Obryn, prince of Thomond’. This mandate mentions that the patron presented a canon from Limerick to the Bishop of Killaloe for institution, thus confirming that the Uí Bhriain kings possessed the advowson which was inherited by the Earls of Thomond, and later by their heirs, the Earls of Egremont. The Uí Bhriain kings ‘inherited’ the advowson of all the rectories of lay patronage in Tradraighe from the Normans, not the Mac Conmara. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol.IX AD.1431-1447 (London, 1912) p. 438.

21. Nicholls, ‘Rectory, Vicarage and Parish’, p. 59. Even after the Norman colony had been regained by the Irish after 1318, the right of presentation to the rectory of Uí Caisín lay with the king. This is probably because prior to 1322 the advowsons belonged to the de Clares, before the manor at Bunratty had been regained by the Irish. By the fifteenth century there is no mention of the king having the right of presentation to the rectory, presumably because the reality on the ground had changed and no vestige of royal authority at that later dated existed in Thomond. In 1339 we read in a royal patent, ‘Joh’ ograd psentatr ad eccl’ de Ocassyn & Ocormak in epatu Laon’ (John O’Grady presented the ecclesiastical benefices of Uí Caisín and Uí Cormaic in the bishopric of Laoinensis [ie Killaloe]). It would appear that the king’s presentation was done on the back of the recent exit of the de Clare’s from Clare, and is significant that it was to a Gaelic rather than a Norman cleric. A presentation in 1339 was to ‘Joh’ Omurthy’ to the benefice of Kylfynatyn (sic Kilfintanan), which was described as ‘Thoe f’ & her’ Rici de Clare’ indicating that the advowson of Kilfintanan was originally the hereditament of the de Clares, although references to Kilfintanan in the fifteenth century Papal Registers do not refer to the church as under lay patronage at that period. See Nicholls, ‘Rectory, Vicarage and Parish’, p. 60 and p. 78; E. Tresham (ed.), Rotulorum patentium et clausorum Cancellariæ Hiberniæ, Vol. I. Pars 1. Hen. II.-Hen.VII., (Dublin, 1922) p. 26b. See, for example, references in the Papal Registers for the years 1427 and 1444-5 which describe Kilfintanan as a vicarage, collated to clerics under ordinary episcopal authority.

22. The parishes of the rectory of Tradraighe included Bunratty, Clonloghan, Drumline, Feenagh, Kilconry, Kilmaleery, Kilnasoolagh, and Tomfinlough. The parishes of the rectory of Uí Caisín included Quin, Clooney, Doora, Inchicronan, Kilmurry-na-gall, Kilraghtis, Templemaley and Tulla.

23. Regarding the secular lands of the rural rectories we read in a 1461 papal mandate ‘the rectory of rural lands called the rectory of Cunhy and Ocaissyn in the diocese of Killaloe with cure and of the patronage of laymen’. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. XII AD.1458-1471 (London, 1933) p. 139.

24. An advowson was the right of patronage of a church or ecclesiastical benefice such as the right to nominate a clergyman to such a church or other benefice. On a definition of advowson see the on-line New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia.

25. Nicholls, ‘Rectory, Vicarage and Parish’, p. 62.

26. Nicholls states that in Killaloe diocese a third or a half of the share of the tithe from each townland in the parish went to the parish vicar, the rest going to the rector. In 1661 Bishop Worth wrote that two thirds of the tithes and spiritual duties of the rectory of Drumline were mensal (ie episcopal revenue). The other third presumably went to support the cleric at Drumline vicarage. See ibid., p. 56 and MS 1777, ‘survey of lands in the diocese of Killaloe’ p. 38.

27. A benefice was the right given permanently by the Church to a cleric to receive ecclesiastical revenues on account of the performance of some spiritual service. An appointee must prove to be of legitimate birth and good reputation – a precondition which many Gaelic clergy needed dispensation from given the propensity of clerics to have secular ‘wives’ or being the offspring of an ‘illegitimate union’. On the latter point see the 1429 mandate of Cornelius Macconmara, treasurer of Killaloe, for the perpetual vicarage of “Drumlygayll” (ie. Drumline). Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VII AD.1417-1431, p. 236. On a definition of benefice see the on-line New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia.

28. Nicholls, ‘Rectory, Vicarage and Parish’, p. 54.

29. Ibid., p. 57.

30. Gleeson, Diocese of Killaloe, p. 297.

31. The terms ‘in lay fee’, ‘in rural fee’ or ‘of rural fee’ were rectories which collected the tithes of the secular lands and were of the patronage of laymen – ie the Uí Bhriain kings who had the right of presentation to the bishop of clerics to be installed in these rectories. It is not surprising that this system (which had Norman origins) often resulted in the kindred of the lay patrons being awarded lucrative benefices and made these rectories ripe targets for lay usurpation. Nicholls, ‘Rectory, Vicarage and Parish’, pp 56-7.

32. For example, in 1622 the chanter at Killaloe held a benefice called ‘Clohinkelly’ of Clonileah (ie parish of Kilseily) and this was a non-resident benefice to provide the chanter with an income. Nicholls, ‘Rectory, Vicarage and Parish’ p. 68.

33. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VII AD.1417-1431, p. 490. See the reference for the year 1449-50 which relates to the removal of ‘Dermit Macinnaerchynnyd’ and the assignment of ‘Matthew de Maccomara’, rector of Bunratty, who held ‘the rectory without cure of Clonlothan [sic Clonloghan]…which is called in ecclesiastical fee’. This description indicates that Clonloghan supported non-resident clerics, given the reference here to ‘without cure’. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. X AD.1447-1455 (London, 1915) p. 441.

34. On the Clonloghan vicarage see the 1464 papal mandate which refers to the moveable goods being dilapidated and alienated from the ‘vicarage’. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. XII AD.1458-1471, p. 410.

35. Alan Ford, The Protestant Reformation in Ireland, 1590-1641 (Dublin, 1997) p. 24.

36. Nicholls, Gaelic Ireland, p. 119.

37. See, for example, the 1429 mandate of Cornelius Macconmara, treasurer of Killaloe, for the perpetual vicarage of ‘Drumlygayll’ (ie. Drumline). Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VIII AD.1427-1447 ( London, 1909) p. 123.

38. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. XII AD.1458-1471, p. 547.

39. Jefferies points out that meaningful conclusions can only be drawn from specific allegations in the historical record as the generic claim that a cleric ‘detained’ a benefice unlawfully was often used as a pretext by the secular nobility and the higher clergy to impose their sons into senior positions in religious houses and parish vicarages. This method was also used by the sons of lesser clergymen to secure a benefice for themselves. The Roman Curia, because of the great distances involved, usually appointed three local judges to investigate the charges made against a cleric and to pass judgment. This system was open to abuse as it was practice for the cleric making the allegation to choose the judges. See Henry A Jefferies, ‘Papal Letters and Irish Clergy: Clogher Before the Reformation’, in Henry A Jefferies (ed.), History of the Diocese of Clogher (Dublin, 2005) pp 143-90.

40. Henry A Jefferies, Priests and Prelates of Armagh, p. 79. Concubinage amongst Gaelic clergy took the form of secular ‘marriages’ as canon law forbade clerical marriage. Clerics in medieval Gaelic Ireland routinely ignored the canon law prohibition of married clergy, however this did not lead to a situation where the ‘wives’ of clergy or their daughters were of inferior social status. A papal mandate from 1322 cites William, archbishop of Cashel, who was reported to have fathered ‘fourteen spurious daughters, to whom he has given dowers, and has married them to rich and noble men’. Bliss, Papal Letters Vol. II AD.1305-1342, p. 228.

41. Gleeson, Diocese of Killaloe, p. 444.

42. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VII AD.1417-1431, p. 510.

43. Anne P. Fuller, Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers relating to Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters Vol.XVI Lateran Registers Part One: AD.1492-1498 (Dublin, 1986) p. 379.

44. The Papal Registers record clerics receiving benefices on dubious grounds and concealed information, which resulted in conflicting mandates issued by the ordinary authority of bishops and the universal authority of the pope. Consider the example in 1422 when Cornelius Ogryffa of Kyllmaelyery (sic Kilmaleery) vicarage ‘had himself made a clerk by authority of the ordinary [ie the bishop] and, afterwards, without mentioning that he had been made a clerk and stating that he was the son of an unmarried man and an unmarried woman, received papal dispensation to be promoted to all other, even holy orders and hold a benefice even with cure, under pretext of which he has had himself promoted to the order of acolyte’. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VII AD.1417-1431, pp 236-7.

45. Simony is defined as the deliberate intention of buying or selling such things as are spiritual, or such things that are annexed unto spirituals. An example of simony in the papal mandates occurs in 1413 in connection with the Rory Ocorbayn, a subdeacon of the diocese of Killaloe, where it was alleged that he was intruded into the vicarage of Quin by the unlawful collation by the dean of Kilmacduagh. The priest of Quin vicarage, Laurence Omelyer, had a ‘perpetual silence’ imposed on him and Rory, in order to ‘escape vexation’ from Laurence and his adherents ‘gave certain small presents to Laurence’. Rory was dispensed to hold the vicarage, notwithstanding the ‘fact of his having given the said presents to Laurence’. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VI AD.1404-1415, p. 367. On simony see the on-line New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia.

46. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VI AD.1404-1415, p. 256.

47. Canon and civil law, the usual form of law in Western Europe, was studied together and made up the corpus of ‘Roman Law’. The study thereof is frequently referred to in the Papal Registers, with seven years often the length of study.

48. A note under this reads: ‘James O’Lonergan, who received provision of Killaloe on Dec. 9 1429’.

49. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VIII AD.1427-1447, pp 504-5.

50. This should be read as ‘John Meicommead [John son of Cú Meadha] of the same ‘nation’ – ie a Mac Conmara kinsman. The Latin word Adorendreis cannot be identified.

51. Ibid., p. 505.

52. The 1641 Books of Survey and Distribution record that Kilnasoolagh vicarage comprised 43 Irish acres of glebe land. K.W Nicholls notes that where a church had an endowment of tithes and became an ecclesiastical benefice then any vestige of the coarb or erenagh system broke down. When the church endowment consisted only of lands it remained the hereditary office of a particular family. Kilnasoolagh vicarage, and after its creation as a rectory in 1463 united with Bunratty (‘Tradry’) and the Treasurership of Killaloe, was an ecclesiastical benefice under the bishop’s ordinary authority. The temporary creation of Kilnasoolagh as a rectory with ‘cure of the souls of the parishioners’ (continuing its vicarial status) in 1463 was collated by the Roman Curia and the installation of clerics there was under ordinary authority, not under lay patronage, Nicholls, ‘Rectory, Vicarage and Parish’, p. 66. On the temporary creation of Kilnasoolagh as a rectory in 1463 see Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. XII AD.1458-1471, p. 195. Also see Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, Vol. 4, Clare, p. 157.

53. An intriguing reference exists in an inquisition concerning John McNamara of the barony of Dangan-i-viggin, taken at Galway on 27 January 1585 (recte 1586). The inquisition, in setting out lands exempt from secular tribute, record Clonloghan, Kilnasoolagh, Kilmaleery and Carrigoran as belonging to the bishopric of Killaloe. The reference to Carrigoran is significant as it was part of the sept-land of the Mac an Oirchinnigh. Could it be that Carrigoran (and Kilnasoolagh) were held by the Mac an Oirchinnigh as chief tenants of the Bishop of Killaloe? A reference in 1616 to a ‘James mac Enernie’ occupying the church lands of Kilnasoolagh (43 acres) that were claimed by the Protestant Bishop of Killaloe may suggest that the termons there were under the stewardship of the Mac an Oirchinnigh. See R.W Twigge, Materials for a History of Clann Cuilein, Add MS 39260, Twigge Collection, British Library, pp 180-6. Also see MS 1777, ‘survey of lands in the diocese of Killaloe’ pp 11-12. The author has consulted the original MSS of Bishop Worth held in the Church Representative Library and can confirm the spelling as ‘mac Enerni’, rather than ‘mac Everni’ as given in the typescript version by Leslie.

54. Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, Vol. 4, p. 148, pp 157-160, p. 163, p 169, p. 171. On the genealogy of the Mac an Oirchinnigh see Luke McInerney, ‘Survey of the McInerney Sept of Thomond: Part I’, The Other Clare, vol. 31 (2007) pp 67-72 (and Part II in The Other Clare, vol. 32 (2008) pp 27-35).

55. The version of the surname is the compacted form of Mac an Oirchinnigh – ie. Mac an Oirchinn. The possibility that ‘Macmeyrcheyn’ is a different surname is slight given that the reference relates to four parishes associated with the sept and the surname retains the internal ‘ch’ phonetic that is characteristic in spellings of Mac an Oirchinnigh. See Rev. Patrick Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall: Irish Names and Surnames (Dublin, 1923) pp 308-09.

56. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VI AD.1404-1415 (London, 1904) pp 256-7.

57. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VII AD.1417-1431, pp 236-7. Also see the entries for 1424 and 1427.

58. ‘Ducal race’ referred to Matthew being related to the landholding lineage of the sept whose chief representative was the ceannfine.

59. A perpetual vicar was a cleric who had the right to the vicarial benefice for their lives (a portion of the tithe) and were not removable except for a canonical offence or some irregularity. Gleeson, Diocese of Killaloe, p. 294.

60. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VI AD.1404-1415, pp 256-7.

61. For the two mandates for 4 April, 1422 and 5 May 1427 not reproduced here see Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VII AD.1417-1431, pp 236-7 and p. 510.

62. On the grant of Kilmaleery in 1422 see Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VII AD.1417-1431, p. 236.

63. Ibid., p.359.

64. See note 44 in Dermot F. Gleeson, ‘Obligationes Pro Annatis Diocesis Laoniensis: 1421-1535’, Archivium Hibernicum, vol. 10 (1943) pp 1-103:16. It would appear that Tymorlogyg (Tymurloga, Thomurlog, etc) was a small rectory without cure located in the parish of Quin. The Papal Registers indicate that Tymorlogyg commanded modest revenues and was united to the rectory of Drumline, with Tymorlogyg rectory being under lay patronage. Drumline was perpetually annexed to the treasureship of Killaloe, and the Bishop of Killaloe received the rectorial tithes of the townland of Drumline. The Papal Registers record both the vicarage of Drumline (see years 1429 & 1465) as well as the rectory without cure of the parish church ‘in ecclesiastical fee’ of Drumline (see 1455, 1458). It was from the latter that the Bishop of Killaloe derived revenue from. See Nicholls, ‘Rectory, Vicarage and Parish’, pp 78-9.

65. The mandate of 1427 was recovered from the burnt register of Pope Martin V in 1443. The reference to ‘Matthew Macmuerchyay’ is likely to be Matthew who held the benefices of Quin and Bunratty in 1411. That the mandate was written in 1427 and refers to Matthew having been deceased by that stage, and the benefices of Tymorlogyg and Drumline being void on account of his death, points to Matthew of 1411. Also see Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol.IX AD.1431-1447, pp 399-400.

66 See ASV Regestum Supplicationum 129f. 63. This is also excerpted and published in Special List 43 available at the National Library of Ireland Manuscripts Reading Room. In terms of date, this excerpt appears under the chapter ‘Second Year of the Pontificate of Martin V, 21 Nov 1418 – 20 Nov 1419’.

67 See ASV Regestum Supplicationum 131, 34-34v, Special List 43, available at the National Library of Ireland Manuscripts Reading Room. The spelling could be ‘Tymirlogach’, on inspection of the original mandate.

68 See the mandate issued on 4 April, 1422 in relation to ‘Cornelius Ogryffa’ and his appointment to the vicarage of Kilmaleery. The vicarage of Kilmaleery was vacant and void because ‘the late Matthew McYnaerchynnyger held it more than a year without having himself ordained a priest and without dispensation’. Ibid., pp 236-7.

69 Gleeson is mistaken to assert that the Mac Conmara were the lay patrons of Quin as the records indicate otherwise, see Nicholls, ‘Rectory, Vicarage and Parish’ p. 59, and also see the mandate of 3 June, 1472 in Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VIII AD.1471-1484 (London, 1955) p. 302.

70 See Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall, p. 512. According to Woulfe, the Ó Dubhlaoich were dispersed from County Meath and settled in the territory of Ely O’Carroll in north Tipperary, while another distinct sept were located in southeast County Galway. Another possible origin for the name is Ó Daláigh (O’Daley), a professional poetic sept with a notable branch that settled in the Burren during the mid-thirteenth century. This name appears in the list of Irish families for the barony of Bunratty in the ‘1659 Census’and may be the real origin of the name ‘Ydulayg’ which is variously spelt ‘Odublaych’ and ‘Odulayg’ in the Papal Registers for the years 1422 and 1424, see Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall, p. 493 and Séamus Pender (ed.), A Census of Ireland Circa 1659 (Dublin, 1939) p. 168.

71 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VII AD.1417-1431, p. 236.

72 Gleeson, ‘Obligationes Pro Annatis Diocesis Laoniensis’, pp 1-103.

73 Ibid., p. 32.

74 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. X AD.1447-1455, pp 440-1.

75 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. XII AD.1458-1471, p. 195.

76 Ibid. The Treasureship was normally sustained by the rectorial tithes from the parish of Drumline. So union with Kilnasoolagh as a temporary rectory must have reflected the poor state of the Treasury. Kilnasoolagh’s creation as a rectory had its origin in this mandate of 1463, as prior to this it was a vicarage attached to the rectory of Bunratty, Gleeson, Diocese of Killaloe, p. 300.

77 Ibid., p. 202.

78 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VIII AD.1471-1484, p. 754.

79 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VI AD.1404-1415, p. 42.

80 The Mac Flannchadha (MacClancy) legal family had their bailiwick at Tuath Glae. The main lineage of the clan centered on the parish of Killillagh down to the mid seventeenth century. According to Suim Cíosa Ua Briain (‘The Rental of Ó Bhriain’) the Mac Flannchadha were located at Tuatha Glae and held lands immune from rent. See James Hardiman (ed.), ‘Ancient Irish Deeds and Writings Chiefly relating to Landed Property from the Twelfth to Seventeenth Century: With Translation, Notes and a Preliminary Essay’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, xv (1826) pp 36- 43:42. On the 1418 mandate see Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VII AD.1417-1431, p. 108.

81 In 1574 Mac Flannchadha kinsmen occupied the towerhouses at Clonloghan, Stonehall and Urlan. See R. W Twigge, ‘Edward White’s Description of Thomond in 1574’,North Munster Antiquarian Journal, vol.1, no.2 (1910) pp 75-85:79-80. The Mac Flannchadha also occupied Ballysallagh West, Stonehall and Urlan four years earlier in 1570 where one was described as a ‘brehon’ and another as a ‘priest.’ See Martin Breen, ‘A 1570 List of Castles in County Clare’, North Munster Antiquarian Journal, vol.xxxvi (1995) pp 130-8:132-3.

82 Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall, p. 512. See the Papal Registers for the years 1422 & 1443.

83 Ibid., p. 617 & p. 594. See the Papal Registers for the years 1424 & 1483.

84 The Ó Flannabhra were originally based in Limerick but became dispersed throughout Munster. Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall, p. 530. See the Papal Registers for the year 1483.

85 Ibid., p.562. Woulfe regarded a branch of the Ó hÉanna as a Dalcassian sept of Thomond and an ecclesiastical family that produced several notable ecclesiasts. There is also a Limerick branch of the family that is of Eoghanacht origin. See the Papal Registers for the years 1427 & 1468.

86 Ibid., p. 546. See the Papal Registers for the years 1422 & 1424.

87 This surname appears to have been recorded as ‘O’Maelane’ in the Island Barony in the 1659 ‘census’, Pender (ed.), A Census of Ireland, Island Barony chapter. The Irish form of the name possibly is Ó Maoláin or Ó Maoileáin and rendered in English as Mullen or Mullan(e), Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall, p. 139 & p. 603. See the Papal Registers for the year 1497.

88 Thus it was described in c.1418. See ASV Regestum Supplicationum 109 f.183. I am grateful to K.W. Nicholls for providing this reference.

89 The Papal Registers often describe coarbs by the Latin term of plebani, though not always. A papal mandate dated 1461 referring to the Diocese of Derry, mentions ‘Donald OKaan, rector of the parish church of St Cainnech Drumachose called the comorbanship de Roho’. The mandate contained the accusation of willful murder of a layman by Donald OKaan. The delator, in this case Maurice Okaan, was presumably a kinsman of Donald who sought the lucrative rectory valued at 40 marks. Undoubtedly the possession of the rectory was kept tightly within the ranks of the ‘OKaan’ (Ó Catháin) coarb family and, despite the allegations of clerical misconduct and murder, it is a telling point that the deletor was a kinsman of the incumbent coarb. See Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. XII AD.1458-1471, p. 141.

90 Gleeson, Diocese of Killaloe, p. 139.

91 Kenneth Nicholls, Gaelic and Gaelicised Ireland in the Middle Ages (Dublin, 1972) p. 128.

92 See note 53 above regarding the church lands of Carrigoran and Kilnasoolagh recorded in the 1586 inquisition of the barony of Dangan-i-viggin.

93 See, for example, Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VII AD.1417-1431, p. 352.

94 This was probably the case in 1411 in relation to ‘Matthew Macmeyrcheyn’ who held both Quin and Bunratty. See Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VI AD.1404-1415, pp 256-7.

95 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol.IX AD.1431-1447, p. 404.

96 Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall, p. 377.

97 See the Papal Registers for Clonloghan for 2 May 1427 which refers to ‘Malachy Macgyllamury’ and ‘Cornelius Macgyllamury’ which suggested that they were closely related, perhaps proof that the Mac Giolla Mhuire were an entrenched clerical family based in the vicinity of the ex-Norman parishes of Clonloghan and Bunratty. In 1464 mention is made in the Papal Registers to ‘Cornelius Mickellamure’ (a compounded form of the name) in connection to Clonloghan. Woulfe places the Mac Giolla Mhuire as having their seat at County Down, Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall, p. 377. Nicholls suggests that the Mac Giolla Mhuire of Waterford were of Ostman origin based on a reference to the family in 1283 in the city and county of Waterford in a charter of Henry II, hence their namesake in Tradraighe may have originally been an Ostman family of Limerick. I am grateful to K. W. Nicholls for his advice on this subject. Also see G. J. Hand, ‘The Status of the Native Irish in the Lordship of Ireland, 1272-1331’, The Irish Jurist, vol. 1, summer (1966), pp 93-115: 113.

98 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol.IX AD.1431-1447 (London, 1912) p. 404.

99 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. XII AD.1458-1471, p. 410.

100 A reference in 1603 in the will of ‘Connoghour Mc Donnogho O’Brien’ of Dromoland to ‘John McEnerhyny ‘prist’ and James his son’ who had a quarter of Dromoland in mortgage, indicates the flouting of church rules on celibacy by Gaelic clergy up to the early seventeenth century. John Ainsworth (ed.), The Inchiquin Manuscripts (Dublin, 1961) entry no.1481, p. 504.

101 Anne P. Fuller, Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers relating to Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters Vol.XVI Lateran Registers Part One: AD.1492-1498, p. 454.

102 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VIII AD.1471-1484, p. 131.

103 In 1424 several almost identical mandates were issued to assign both Donald and Thady Mac Conmara to Quin rectory. These identical mandates created problems and Donald and Thady obtained subsequent mandates to assert their legitimacy over Quin and Bunratty and confirm their claims. Another Mac Conmara, Dermit, was removed in 1427 for illegally detaining the rectory having obtained it through ‘simoniacal entry’. Gleeson, ‘Obligationes Pro Annatis Diocesis Laoniensis’, p.7.

104 Fuller Papal Letters Vol. XVII Part II, AD.1492-1503, pp 111-12. This mandate, dated 1502, refers to the incident of 1472 whereby the king of Thomond intruding a kinsman, Dermot Ó Bhriain, into the benefice of Quin. The mandate illustratively details the event: ‘Dermot Obryion, canon of Killaloe, improperly aspiring to the rectory…made a pact with Cornelius Obryen (the sole patron of the rectory in peaceful possession or almost of the right of presenting the suitable person for it at a time of vacancy), that if Cornelius would present him, he (Dermot) would pay him a certain amount of money, and afterwards the said patron Cornelius presented Dermot for the rectory, thus vacant, to Matthew, then bishop of Killaloe…and bishop Matthew, perhaps unaware of the said pact, by ordinary authority had, for certain just reasons, united etc. the rectory to the canonry and prebend of the church of Killaloe which Dermot was then holding…and Dermot, by pretext of this presentation and union etc., had acquired the rectory’.

105 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VI AD.1404-1415, p. 37.

106 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VIII AD.1471-1484, p. 302.

107 Nicholls, Gaelic and Gaelicized Ireland, pp 110-11. This could be the James O’Longergan who held the vicarage of Kilnasoolagh in 1405 as he was a canon at Killaloe. In 1411 a Rory O’Longergan was recorded as holding Kilnasoolagh and his position was clerk and official-general of the episcopal court of Killaloe. It is possible that he was another son of Dermot O’Longergan. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VI AD.1404-1415, p. 42 & p. 256.

108 Another example of father-son inheritance, this time regarding the benefice of Quin, is recorded in the Regesta Supplicationum for c.1417. It was recorded that Rudrious O Corbayn held the vicarage of Quin and vicarage of Kilraghtis but that his father, priest Reynald O Corbayn, simultaneously detained the vicarage of Kilraghtis. Rudrious sought dispensation to hold both vicarages, perhaps as part of a collusive suit supported by his father to ensure familial possession of the vicarages. See ASV Regestum Supplicationum 106 f.33. I am grateful to K.W. Nicholls for providing this reference.

109 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VI AD.1404-1415, p. 116.

110 James Frost, History of Clare, p. 413 & p. 405.

111 Hardiman (ed,), ‘Ancient Irish Deeds’, p. 43.

112 Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall, p. 553.

113 Ibid., p. 472.

114 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VI AD.1404-1415, p. 367.

115 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. XII AD.1458-1471, pp 352-3. The rectory of Thomurlog, which was under lay patronage, was located in the parish of Quin. See note 64 above.

116 Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol. VII AD.1417-1431, p. 484.

117 The ‘first fruit’ bonds for Killaloe confirm the appointment of ‘Eugenius Macinnertheny’ in June 1427. The bonds mandate that the ‘first fruits’ – the first year’s revenue of a new parish benefice – for Kilfintanan were assessed at ‘oct marcharum sterlingorum’ (8 marks sterling) and were payable to the diocese of Killaloe. Gleeson, ‘Obligationes Pro Annatis Diocesis Laoniensis, pp 13-14. Gleeson notes in reference to this appointment: ‘Macinnertheny, alias MacInerney, a well-known Clare family’.

118 A mandate for 1445 records the value of Kilfintanan vicarage as 1 mark, down from 8 marks when it was assigned to Eugenius Macmuertheny 1427. Twemlow, Papal Letters Vol.IX AD.1431-1447, p. 495.

119 Ibid. The reference to wars here is obscure. However, the Irish annals record for the year 1444 the violent desposing of king Mathghamhain Ó Bhriain by his brother Toirdelbach. The annals also record for the year 1446 that a ‘great war broke out in Thomond, by which all Thomond was spoiled’. See the year entries in John O’Donovan (ed.), AFM (Dublin, 1856).

120 Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall, pp 519-20.

121 Bliss, Papal Letters Vol.V AD.1396-1404, p. 315.

122 Seán Mac Ruaidhri Mac Craith, Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh: The Triumphs of Turlough, Vol II, p. 36.

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