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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 27. Period of the Commonwealth, and Reign of Charles II

Their [Commissioners’] harsh conduct; Subsidy rolls—Specimens of these; Valuation for taxing purposes made of the several baronies; Lord Orrery made Governor of Munster; Letters from him to the Duke of Ormond describing the condition of Clare

Such was the iron rule of the Cromwellians in Clare, and such it continued to be while their power lasted. Nor were things amended by the accession of Charles II., as we find, from the general history of the country, that the inhabitants continued to be driven out to make way for the new settlers. The poll tax also, originally imposed by the Parliamentarian Commissioners, continued to be exacted by the monarch’s agents. That fact is proved by the discovery, amongst the Public Records in Dublin, of certain parchments called Subsidy Rolls; of these I shall here give one or two specimens: —

“By the Commissioners for raising four entire subsidies in the County of Clare.
“To the Right Honourable the Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Dublin.

“An Indented Return of the Four Entire Subsidies, granted his Majesty by Act of Parliament, and payable in said county, and to be paid by the representative sub-collectors in said county, into the hands of Mr. Henry Ivers, collector of the said subsidy, and by him payable into his Majesty’s Exchequer. Given under our hands and seals the 16th day of September, 1663, and 10th day of May, 1664. The whole sum charged on the said county, for the last four subsidies, that is for the year 1662-63, amounts to the sum of £1,547—Signed and sealed by Henry Lee, Giles Vanderlure, S. Burton, Ben Lucas, John Gore, Thomas Hickman, John Colpoys, Wm. Hobson.” Then follows a long list of the several baronies, parishes, and townlands in the county, with the names of the occupiers of lands who were liable for the subsidy money, and the amount payable by each. These names have been given in this work, in our extracts from the Book of Forfeitures and Distributions and under the heading of their several townlands. The tax was raised upon a basis of the valuation of the county, made by order of a commission under the Great Seal, directed to certain agents, by virtue of an Act of the Parliament held at Chichester House, Dublin. The valuators appointed for the county of Clare were, Sir Henry Ingoldsby, John Cooper, Henry Lee, and George Purdon. Their work bears no date, but it must have been executed in 1661 or about that year. They placed the impost on the several baronies as follows:—Bunratty, £376, Edmond Daniel, collector; Tulla, £350, James Barry, collector; Inchiquin, £170, Henry Lucas, collector; Clonderalaw, £109, Richard Barry and Owen Coghlan, collectors; Islands, £119, Michael O’Dea, collector; Corcomroe, £121, Daniel McDonogh, collector; Moyarta, £105, John McGarrett, collector; Burren, £107, Daniel O’Brien, collector; Ibrickan, £70, Murtagh McThomas, collector; Borough of Ennis, £16, Michael O’Dea, collector. [3] These subsidies appear to have been collected during the remaining years of Charles the Second’s reign, and also during the reign of his successor.

Lord Orrery was appointed Governor of Munster, and from his letters to the Duke of Ormond, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, we select the subjoined paragraphs relating to Clare: “Jan. 5, 1667.—Lieut. Colpoys, Lieutenant to the Lord Ibrickan’s troop, told me his Lordship being absent from Ireland, cares not for the troop, and this information, being confirmed by Captain Purdon, I humbly move your Grace that Lieut. Colpoys may be Captain, who is an honest stout gentleman, and I will see forthwith to have it made a good troop. July 2nd, 1667.—A French ship, hovering on the coast, sent a boat ashore to fetch away Godfrey McSweeny and John Morgion, two pilots of Maleboy, three miles from Kilfenora, and reputed to be two of the best pilots in Ireland. These men steered the French vessels by signs into the bay. I have sent to secure the families of these men as prisoners.” In several of his letters, Orrery praises Daniel O’Brien of Carrigaholt for his fidelity to the King of England. He had been exhorted to be very watchful in Clare, and to use his influence in the suppression of the looser sort of people, and to hinder them from burning the property of Tories.