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The History and Topography of the County of Clare by James Frost

Part III. History of the County of Clare
Chapter 22. Act of Settlement—Court of Claims

Clare reserved for Transplanted Papists; Names of several of these; [Implementation of the Act of Settlement]

A.D. 1653. Ireland being now finally conquered, and the inhabitants, for the most part extirpated, the next step was to settle upon it a new proprietary. With that design an Act was passed in the British Parliament, in September of this year, setting out in detail, a scheme by which a survey was to be made, and lots drawn, by the soldiers and by certain persons who had previously advanced money for the prosecution of the war against the Irish, and who were, on that account, called Adventurers. By the terms of that Act no part of the County of Clare was to fall to the share of these latter. Like the province of Connaught, it was reserved for papists who had not taken arms against Cromwell or English Rule, and also for such of the soldiers as could not be supplied with lands in Leinster or the other counties of Munster. For this reason, we do not discover the name of any Adventurer amongst the new settlers in Clare. [1] On the other hand, we find the names of Sarsfield, Nugent, Arthur, Creagh, Blake, Bourke, Butler, and others who were called “Innocent Papists;” these being turned out of their homes in other counties, were transplanted into Clare to make room for the new settlers. For the purpose of assigning the lands, certain Commissioners were appointed by the Act of Settlement. These Commissions sat at Athlone, and subsequently at Loughrea, and by their instrumentality, great numbers of people were placed in their new holdings. Others, however, failed to procure locations, and with the object of inquiring into their claims and adjudicating upon them, a new Commission was nominated, which in 1677, and the following years sat at Dublin. Some of those that remained unsupplied, got lands from these New Commissioners. They heard the causes of the various claimants who came before them, and then, in those cases where a right was proved, they issued Decrees ordaining that lands should be given in Clare or in Connaught, specifying those lands, and setting forth with great minuteness, the amount of Quit Rent which was to be paid out of each denomination. A complete collection of these Decrees exists in the Public Record Office, Dublin, and from an inspection of it we are enabled to say, that many of those who appear in the book of Distributions and Forfeitures, as allottees of lands in Clare, were transplanted persons. The collection is entitled “Inrolments of Connaught Certificates,” and it consists of eight large bundles, each bundle containing about eighty skins of parchment.