Clare County Library
Clare History
Home | Search Library Catalogue | Foto: Clare Photo Collection | Search this Website | Copyright Notice

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

Part III. History of the County of Clare
Chapter 27. Period of the Commonwealth, and Reign of Charles II

Commissioners appointed at Limerick to levy monthly subsidies on the County of Clare; These subsidies fixed at £400 per month

In the interval between the time of the partition of the lands of the county under Cromwell’s settlement, and the arrival of King James II. in Ireland, the materials remaining for giving a history of Clare are scanty. Its inhabitants, for the greater part, were either slain or driven into exile; its priests proscribed and forced to flee into mountains and woods for the performance of the divine offices; its pastures were denuded of cattle; and poverty and sorrow reigned throughout the land. After the taking of Limerick by Ireton’s lieutenants, an administrative body, consisting of three persons was formed there, whose principal duties appear to have been the levying and collection of a poll tax, or subsidy, on the neighbouring counties, and the settlement of differences relating to the supply of food and forage to the several garrisons scattered over the district. From the Order Book of these Commissioners we shall select a few extracts having reference to Clare: [1] “12th Oct., 1652—Ordered that the governors of Cratloe, and the inhabitants of Annaghbeg, pay equally, to the garrison of Castlebank, fire and candle light according to the establishment. By a subsequent order, Colonel John MacNamara of Cratloe is discharged from supplying firing to Castlebank. Oct. 22nd, 1652—Slaney O’Brien, having made a complaint, it was referred for settlement to Lieut. Willey, governor of Ralahine, John MacNamara, and Thomas Fanning. On the petition of John Reagh MacNamara, it was ordered that the governor of Ballyallia castle should ascertain what corn had been taken from petitioner by Lieut. Bret Lewis, and further that the petitioner should not be troubled for the fourth sheaf on the lands of Kilkishen, or prevented from ploughing the same. Nov. 1st, 1652—Order to commanding officer at Carrigaholt, for the protection of Richard Creagh in the barony of Moyarta. Ordered, that Rory MacMahon’s woods be not cut, they being intended for the use of the coal works. A monthly contribution of £400 to be levied upon the county of Clare, in the following proportions:—Bunratty, £226; Islands, Inchiquin, and Moyarta, £50 each; and Corcomroe, £24. November 11th, 1652—Another levy of £400 monthly, with £110 in lieu of forage, was agreed upon, the first to continue for thirteen months, the last for six.