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Ordnance Survey Letters by John O'Donovan and Eugene Curry, 1839

Parish of Quin (b)

The following references to the Abbey of Quin are from the same authority:-

A.D. 1402. The Abbey of Quin in Thomond, in the Diocese of Killaloe, was founded by Sioda Cam Macnamara, Lord of Clann Coilein for Franciscan Friars, and that it might serve as a burial place for himself and his descendants.

A.D. 1584. A new Chief Justice came to Ireland, viz., Sir John Perrott, on the 21st of June, accompanied by Sir John Norris who had been sent as President over the two Provinces of Munster, and by Sir Richard Bingham, who had been sent as Governor over the Province of Connacht. The Chief Justice had not passed an entire month in Dublin before he proceeded to Athlone and thence to Galway to which Town the Chiefs of the Province of Connacht repaired to meet and welcome him and acknowledge him as their ruler and as the Chief placed over them by the Sovereign. The Lord Chief Justice, having spent some time in Galway set out for Limerick and arrived the first night after leaving Galway at Kilmacduagh; by the second night he had reached Cuinche in the Territory of Clann Cuilein, where he was met by the Chiefs of the County who had not met him at Galway. Among those was Cruise, the Sheriff of the Co. of Clare, who had then in chains Donogh Beg, the son of Teige, who was son of Donogh O’Brien, heretofore the archtraitor and head of the plunderers of the Province of Connacht. Donogh met his merited fate, for his joints were dislocated by a rack and his bones broken and smashed with the back of a large and ponderous axe, after which, his half dead body thus mangled, was fastened with hard and tough hempen ropes to the top of the Cloccas (Tower) of Cuinche, under the talons of the ravenous inhabitants of the air, to the end that the spectacle he presented might operate as a warning to evil doers.

There is no recollection of the above transaction now living at Quin.
Of the ruins of the Abbey, I shall herewith send what Archdall has collected concerning it :-

Co. of Clare - (Archall’s Monastn. Hib. Vol I, p.53, R.I.A.)

Quin, called also Quint or Quinchy, is in the Barony of Bunratty, five miles east of Ennis.

An Abbey was founded here early, which was consumed by fire, A.D. 1278 (M. Gough). The Monastery of Quin, for Franciscan Friars, was founded 1402 by Sioda Cam Mc Namara (Annals of the Four Masters) but Father Wadding places it in the year 1350, yet at the same time declares that he thinks it was more ancient (as quoted by Allemande).

Pope Eugene IV granted a license in 1433 to McNamara to place the Friars of the Strict Observance in this Monastery, which, as Wadding observes, was the first House of the Franciscan Order in Ireland that admitted of that reformation (as quoted by Allemande).

The same year Macon Dall Mc Namara, Lord of Clancoilean erected this Monastery, being a beautiful strong building of black marble. His tomb is still remaining (War MS., Vols. 3, 4, page 165).

Inquisition 24th April IV James, finds that the half of a quarter of land called Reane, containing sixteen acres and lying on the west side of the River and Abbey of Quin, was parcell of the Demesne of the said Abbey, and a mile in the Town of Quin with the water course was also a parcell thereof, the whole of the annual value of 3s. besides reprises (Chief Remem.).

This Monastery, with all the manors, advowsons, etc., of Daveunwall, Icharne, Dounagour and divers others with the site of all the hereditaments thereof, was granted to Sir Torlogh O’Brien of Inishdyman, in fee, December 14th 1583 (Rolls).

A graunte was made unto Torlagh O’Brien, Knt., and his heirs and assigns, upon his surrender, bearing date 30th November XXVI of Elizabeth, of all Castles, Manors, Franchises, Juresdictions, advowsons and all appurtenances in the Towns, Villages, etc., in Dawnecuoalle, Feharrie, Dovunegoarre, Dovamefelym, Cahircloggain, Dromore, Glanacarnell, Glanlukeyn, Killvickrihie, Cloankarll, Mamonennaghe, Lassaryen, Cahirshirkyen, Teannaughe, Iyerlehyen, Ballega, Dromohoallean, Kullenaghe, Balleurdonellvaan, Ballehmultra, Balle Thonnowe, Balle Thohell, Duirenclyne, Morerca, Killynoyhan, Kylwoan, Ballevick, Gillmarten, Killeanne, the two Cahirvollucks, Kahirlappan, Faenoyrbegg, Karha, Cahirvickellye, Covelelabegg, Covelamore, Seassie, Clyneranell, Lisslarhye, Moherne, Slye, Lysnehoan, Keiltavickengoan, Tullaghelunan, Tannervaska, Karnoreoughe and Cloaher. To hold the same in capite by the service of a Knight’s fee, together with the site of the Monasterie of Quynhie, a water mill and ten cottages in the Town of Quynhie with all the lands and appurtenances thereto, to hold in capite for ever by the hundreth part of a Knight’s fee (Auditor General).

The Roman Catholicks repaired this Monastery in 1604 (Cox, Vol. 2, page 10).

Bishop Pococke thus describes its present state (Journal):-

Quin is one of the finest and most entire Monasteries that I have seen in Ireland; it is situated on a fine stream with an ascent of several steps to the Church; at the entrance one is surprised with the view of the high altar on each side of the arch of the chancell. To the south is a Chapel with three or four altars in it and a very gothic figure in relief of some Saint; on the north side of the chancell is a fine monument of the family of Mcnamara of Ranna, erected by the founder on a stone by the high altar; the name of Kennedy appears in large letters; in the middle between the body and the chancell is a fine tower [1] built on the two gable ends. The cloister is in the usual form with couplets of pillars, but is particular having buttresses around it by way of ornament. There are apartments on three sides of it, the refectory, the dormitory and another grand room to the north of the chancell, with a vaulted room under them all. To the north of the large room is a closet, which leads through a private way to a very strong Round Tower the walls of which are near ten feet thick. In the front of the Monastery is a building which seems to have been an apartment for strangers [2] and to the south west are two other buildings.

During the Wars of Torlogh and De Clare, Quin was often the scene of slaughter and bloodshed, as may be seen in the Ordnance Survey Copy of those Wars at pages 19, 31, 35, 59, 129.

In the list of Castles preserved in MS. T.C.D. Class, E. 2, 14, are the following, situated in this Parish, viz.:-

  1. Dangan, possessed by John Mc Namara.
  2. Croppoke, possessed by O’Brien (Tivilagh).
  3. Dangan Breake, possessed by John Mc Namara.
  4. Quin, possessed by Donogh Mc Murrogh O’Brien.
  5. Ballyhannan, possessed by William Nellan.

Of the Castle of Quin nothing remains, but the others remain in good external preservation, Croppoke being still inhabited by Captain Scott.

The ruined Castles of Ballymarkahan and Craggan Owen are also in this Parish, but not mentioned in the above list. The following places mentioned in Hardiman’s Irish Deeds are situated in this Parish, viz.:-

  1. Daingean.    
  2. Daingean Breac.    
  3. Baile-Ui-Mharcachain.
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No. 21
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