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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 30. Reign of James II. and William and Mary. 1689 to 1700.

Sir Donogh O’Brien, Bart.; Daniel FitzGerald; William Earl of Inchiquin; Elinor Nihill

Sir Donogh O’Brien, Bart., declares that in 1684, he lent to Francis Arthur of Ballyquin, gent., the sum of sixty pounds for which he got the lands of Shannaboe, barony of Tulla, containing 144 acres, in mortgage, the deed being witnessed by Florence MacNamara, James Roth, and Denis Hickey. Sir Donogh received his interest money regularly till 1691, the beginning of the late rebellion, but then and until 1695, the land lay waste. For some time after the last named year he could only obtain a rent of four pounds for the farm and had to pay quit rent at all times. Francis Arthur being attainted of high treason, the lands became vested in the Commissioners, and Sir Donogh prays them to let him hold until his claims for principal and interest are paid off in full.

In another petition Sir Donogh sets forth that he had lent to Lord Clare the sum of four hundred pounds on mortgage of the lands of Drinagh and Ballykennacurra, parish of Rath, and Drominagran, parish of Kilshanny. Date of deeds 1668 and 1682, witnessed by Peter Purefoy, John Bourke, John Clignett, Henry Ivers, Robert Power, James Casey, and Pat FitzSimons. These lands were occupied in 1682, by Maurice and Rickard O’Connell, gents., as tenants for twenty-one years, at the yearly rent of forty-five pounds. Sir Donogh states that the O’Connells had surrendered, thinking this rent too high; that he left them to others from whom he sometimes received payment in the brass money of James II.; that they lay waste for two years from 1689 to 1692; that the greater part of the rent had to be paid by the tenants as subsidy money. These tenants were Sam. Lucas, Pat Ronan, Wm. Baker, James Russell, Mahone O’Hehir, Michael M‘Donogh, Christopher O’Brien, and Donogh Considine. The petition concludes by asking the Commissonors to vest in him the ownership of the lands.

In a third petition Sir Donogh submits that under the Act of Settlement the lands of Danganbrack, Ardnavoylane, Creevagh, Caherkelly, Madara, Keevagh, and Kildrum, making a total of 440 profitable acres, were set out to Nicholas Arthur, who subsequently mortgaged them to Patrick Arthur. In the 17th year of the reign of Charles II. the Arthurs conveyed them to Edmond Mara, M.D., in mortgage for £500, and in 1665 they levied a fine whereby Mara became owner. Mara let them to David Nihill. In 1677, he sold them to Nicholas Woulfe for £640. In the Court of Claims, instituted in 1676, for considering the claims of persons transplanted into Connaught and Clare, Mara passed certificate and letters patent to himself with a saving of the right of Nicholas Arthur. Afterwards N. Arthur filed a bill in Chancery against Woulfe, and borrowed from Sir Donogh O’Brien a sum of three hundred pounds, with the further design of borrowing as much more as might be required to pay off Woulfe’s claim. He conveyed to Sir Donogh all his right and title in the lands, by a deed dated in 1683, in mortgage, and Sir Donogh paid off Woulfe’s claim in full and entered into possession. Nicholas Arthur having been outlawed for high treason, Sir Donogh prays to be allowed to hold the lands till he is paid his claim in full, amounting to £1,242. His petition contains a schedule of his demand for principal and interest, with an account of credits; in it he states that the best land in Quin parish was worth no more than two shillings and six pence per acre, and that from March, 1690, to March, 1692, the land was of no value, being under the army and “kreaghts” for that time. [His claim was allowed, and the equity of redemption sold to him in 1703, for ten pounds.]

Daniel FitzGerald of Minare, son of John FitzGerald of Inishmore, county Kerry, declares that his father had in 1676, lent to Lord Clare a sum of £900, for which he got a mortgage on the lands of Coor, Nooaff, Kilnacally, Kinturk, Drumatehy, Rianageshagh, Kilquane, Rathcraggaun, Boulyneaska, Drummineanalagh, and Sheeaun, barony of Islands. Lord Clare being attainted of treason, Fitzgerald claims the benefit of his mortgage.

William, Earl of Inchiquin, states that his grandfather Murrogh, by lease of 1666, demised to Auley Lyne of Inchy, co. Kerry, at the rent of sixpence per acre, for a term of ninety-nine years, the lands of Tiermacbran, Nooan, Letter, alias Killuragh, Kilnoe, and Cregane, in the barony of Inchiquin. Lyne assigned his lease to Lady Lucy Fitzmaurice, and she, by will, devised the lands to her son-in-law James Barry who had become the husband of her daughter Catherine Fitzmaurice. The two mills of Cregane belonged to the Earl. After the death of Barry his widow married John Stephenson since attainted of treason. [Stephenson’s lease was sold in 1703, by the Chichester House Commissioners, to the Hollow Blades Company.]

Elinor Nihill, alias Hackett, widow of David Nihill, junior, says that her late husband was owner in fee of Fortanebeg, Arrud, and Lismeighan; that by his will of 1685, he bequeathed these lands to his eldest son David, the third part being reserved to his wife, the petitioner, as her jointure. She adds that the will was proved in the Consistory Court of Killaloe, but that it was lost in the late rebellion. David, junior, was killed at the battle of Aughrim on the 12th of July, 1691. Mrs. Nihill further states that although her son’s estate is forfeit she is entitled to one-third as her jointure. Her petition is witnessed by Thomas Meagher, Denis Hickie, and Laurence Nihill. [Her claim was allowed, and her son’s lands sold to Robert Westropp of Kilkerrin, for £435, by the Commissioners, in 1703.]