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| The West Clann Chuiléin
Lordship in 1586: Evidence from a Forgotten Inquisition
By Luke McInerney
2. See the six volumes of this work at the British Library: R.W. Twigge, Materials for a History of Clann Cuilein, Add MSS 39260-39270, Twigge Collection, British Library. Also, the Local Studies Centre at Clare County Library, Ennis, holds microfilm copies of the volumes.
On R.W Twigge’s publications see R.W. Twigge, ‘Jacobite papers
at Avignon’, Scottish Historical Review, Vol.10, 1913,
pp 60-75; R.W. Twigge, ‘Edward
White’s Description of Thomond in 1574’,
4. George Unthank Macnamara was an acquaintance of R.W. Twigge and both discussed historical issues through their letters to each other, some of which are preserved amongst Twigge’s Materials for a History of Clann Cuilein. On George Unthank Macnamara see Peter Harbinson, ‘George Unthank Macnamara (1849-1919): Corofin’s Great Medical Antiquary’, The Other Clare, vol.32 (2008) pp 38-46.
5. James Frost, A History and Topography of the County of Clare, (reprint, Dublin, 1973).
6. In his 1896 book on the McNamara sept, N.C. MacNamara makes a brief reference to the inquisition. See N.C. McNamara, The Story of an Irish Sept: Their Character & Struggle to Maintain Their Lands in Clare, (1896, republished by Martin Breen, 1999) pp 16-56.
7. A baile was the bailiwick of most sept-estates and comprised four quarters. Patrick Nugent points out that land size rested on the economic potential of land and hence a standard acreage of a quarter depended on qualitative factors such as productivity and presence of arable pasture, etc. In Clare, a common land unit was the leathbhaile, which comprised two quarters and was assigned to constituent septs of a ruling clan. See Patrick Nugent The Gaelic clans of Co. Clare and their territories 1100-1700 A.D (Dublin, 2007) pp 175-89. A land unit that was larger than the baile, but probably fell into disuse after the Anglo-Norman invasion, was the tríca cét. The tríca cét was subdivided into thirty ‘feeding places’ (baile biadhtaigh, anglice ballybetagh). The ballybetagh as an important property unit of a clan and would have been controlled by the clan chieftain who held sway over subordinate freeholders and tenants who worked on the ‘ballybetagh estate’. Patrick Dinneen, Irish-English Dictionary (Dublin, 1927) p. 1267 and Nerys, T. Patterson, Cattle Lords and Clansmen: The Social Structure of Early Ireland, (2nd ed., London, 1994) pp 170-1.
8. G.A Hayes-McCoy, ‘Gaelic Society in Ireland in the Late Sixteenth Century’, History and Society, no. 4 (1963) pp 45-61:48.
9. I have borrowed the term ‘primitive bureaucracy’ from D. Blair Gibson as he refers to the change in social organization of the chieftain-state of Muirchertach Mór Uí Bhriain in the early twelfth century, but is also relevant for the later medieval period. See D. Blair Gibson, ‘Chiefdoms, Confederacies, and Statehood in Early Ireland’, in Bettina Arnoldt (ed.), Celtic Chiefdom, Celtic State: The Evolution of Complex Social Systems in Prehistoric Europe (Cambridge, 1995) pp 116-28:127.
10. On feudalism in Gaelic Ireland see Tadhg O’Keeffe, Medieval Ireland: An Archaeology (Dublin, 2000) pp 267. O’Keeffe argues that a shift away from relationships based on clientship to that of labour services which is recognised as ‘diagnostic feudalism’ occurred around the time of the early Norse incursions (late 700s). These changes manifested themselves in the organisation and use of landscape (subdivision into spatial hierarchies such as the tríochcéad and baile) and the evolving role of kinship.
11. According to Colm Lennon ‘coshery’ or cóisir was almost identical to the cuid oíche in that it involved certain vassals to lay down a banquet for their masters and provide hospitality. During the sixteenth century these practices seemed to have increased as chieftains expanded the elaborateness of their trains of attendants and followers, Colm Lennon, Sixteenth Century Ireland: The Incomplete Conquest (Dublin, 1994) p. 55.
12. Sir John Davies, Lawes of Irelande, 1609, published by Hiram Morgan (Cork, 2005); original text at National Archives, Kew, London SP 63/226 No.8.
13. Patrick J. Duffy (ed.), ‘Social and Spatial Order in the MacMahon Lordship of Airghialla in the Late Sixteenth Century’, in Patrick J. Duffy, et. al. Gaelic Ireland c.1250-c.1650: Land, Lordship and Settlement (Dublin, 2001) pp 115-37;8. See also Katherine Simms, From Kings to Warlords: The Changing Political Structure of Gaelic Ireland in the Late Middle Ages (Dublin, 1987) pp 129-30.
14. See Sir John Davies’ observations, ibid., p. 130.
15. Steven G. Ellis, Ireland in the Age of the Tudors 1447-1603: English Expansion and the End of Gaelic Rule (London, 1998) chapter 2.
16.R.C. Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, Vol. 4, Clare (Dublin, 1967) pp 142-4 & p. 146. Knappogue was still occupied by a McNamara as late as 1669 when a bond was issued by ‘John MacNemara alias Macnemara of Cnappoge, Co Clare, esq., to Edmond Meara of £24.’ The entry is curious as it is a possible reference to John McNamara being the acknowledged chief of the ‘clan’ at that time. Despite the prohibition of using Gaelic titles, it is reasonable to assume that they were used locally. John Ainsworth (ed.), The Inchiquin Manuscripts (Dublin, 1961) No.1110, pp 361-2.
17. Derived from Biadhtaigh in Irish meaning ‘feeding place’. The ballybetagh were agricultural producing lands. O’Keeffe states that on the Anglo-Norman manors Irish ‘betagh’ tenants held their lands en bloc and whence the term, ‘ballybetagh’, Medieval Ireland: An Archaeology, p. 60.
18.Kenneth Nicholls, Gaelic and Gaelicised Ireland in the Middle Ages (Dublin, 2003) p. 37. The ‘cuddies’ were a universal custom and mainly consisted of entertainment for a night for the clan chieftain and his household and followers, levied on the houses of principal vassals of his lordship. Cuddies were also converted into a fixed charge and had to be paid whether or not the clan chieftain turned up.
19. Ibid., p. 38 and p. 224.
20. Kenneth Nicholls, Land, Law and Society in Sixteenth Century Ireland (Dublin, 1976) p. 19.
21. Nicholls, Gaelic and Gaelicised Ireland, pp 34-40.
22. Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, p. 94, p. 121, p. 128, pp 158-60, p. 164. Other minor clans such as the O’Hallorans of Ogonnelloe parish and the O’Slatterys of Tulla parish would appear to have been under the lordship of the McNamara Reagh clan.
23.See the Inquisition Post Mortem of 13th March 1606, which mentions ‘Loghlen MacInerney, died at Ballysallagh, on the 12th of November 1572, then being owner in fee of Ballysallagh, Ballykilty with its water-mill, and of Carrigoran’. Frost, County of Clare, p. 280.
24. On references to the water-mill at Ballykilty see for the year 1606 and the year 1635 when it is recorded ‘two ploughlands of Ballykilty, and the two mills thereon standing’, Frost, County of Clare, p. 280 & p. 329.
25. The Cusacks were an old Thomond family known in Irish as Mac Íosóc. They appear in the ‘McNamara rental’ of c.1330 and were allied to the O’Briens in the sixteenth century. Patrick Woulfe also identifies an Anglo-Norman branch of Cusacks who settled in Meath and Leinster. See Rev. Patrick Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall: Irish Names and Surnames (Dublin, 1923) p. 254 & p. 385 and Nugent, Gaelic clans of Co. Clare, p. 232, p. 245.
26. Nugent, Gaelic clans of Co. Clare, pp 200-01.
27. The 1585 composition book of Connacht recorded that the freeholders of Thomond were to be acquitted of ‘all manner of cesses, taxes, charges, exactions, cuttings, impositions purveying cutting, finding or bearing of soldiers and all other burdens whatsoever’. A. Martin Freeman (ed.), The Compossicion Booke of Conought (Dublin, 1936) p.15.
28. Patrick J. Duffy (ed.), ‘Social and Spatial Order in the MacMahon Lordship of Airghialla in the Late Sixteenth Century’, pp 8-9. The erenagh was responsible to the bishop for the entire clan and he had lordship rights over his clan such as rents and services and in return the erenagh owed rent and services to the bishop. See Henry A Jefferies, Priests and Prelates of Armagh in the Age of Reformations, 1518-1558 (Dublin, 1997) p. 125.
29. Dermot F. Gleeson, A History of the Diocese of Killaloe (Dublin, 1962) p. 33.
30. Ibid., pp 32-6.
31. See Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, p. 157, p. 161, p. 169. The bishop of Killaloe’s interest in Clonloghan amounted to 239 Irish acres in 1641. The bishop of Killaloe held 10,485 Irish acres, however the fourth Earl of Thomond detained many ecclesiastical lands for his own use, thus the territories associated with the bishopric must have been larger before the post-reformation granting of land to secular patrons, Nugent, Gaelic clans of Co. Clare, p. 201. On the detainment of ecclesiastical land by secular patrons in 1622 see Rev. P. Dwyer, Diocese of Killaloe from the reformation to the eighteenth century (Dublin, 1878) pp 136-8.
32. See Frost, History and Topography of Clare, p. 268.
33. See Patrick Nugent, ‘The interface between the Gaelic clan system of Co. Clare and the emerging centralising English nation-state in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century’, Irish Geography, vol. 40, no.1 (2007) pp 79-98:82. The historical value of the surviving inquisition post mortem abstracts have not been lost on historians who view the inquisitions as one of the best ways of assessing the fortunes of Gaelic freeholders. James Frost’s recording of 218 inquisitions has left us with an extensive record of English administration in late sixteenth century Clare. Other sources for inquisition material are John Ainsworth (ed.), The Inchiquin Manuscripts (Dublin, 1961) and Petworth House Archives, which preserve two inquisitions concerning Donough O’Brien, Fourth Earl of Thomond. See P.H.A. Bundle B.26.T16 (1 April 1619) and P.H.A No.1141, Inquisition Post Mortem, 4 January, 1624/5. I am grateful to Kenneth W. Nicholls for these references.
34. During Sir Henry Sidney’s circuit through Thomond he noted that he was accompanied by ‘the two McNemarrowes, by us called the East and West McNemarrowes, chief gentlemen of that country, which if it were in quiet, they might live like principal knights in England’. J.S. Brewer & William Bullen Esq. (eds), Calendar of the Carew Manuscripts Preserved in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth, 1575-1588 (London, 1868) p. 47.
35. Bernadette Cunningham, ‘Newcomers in the Thomond Lordship, c.1580-c.1625’, Dal gCais, no. 11 (1993) pp 103- 11:103. Also see Freeman, (ed.) Compossicion Booke of Conought.
36. Lennon, Sixteenth Century Ireland, p. 241.
37. Patrick Nugent, ‘A Historical Geography of the Transformation in the Territorial Organisation of Gaelic Society in County Clare during the Early Modern Period’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University College Cork) pp 310-11..
38. Patrick White, (Rev) History of Clare and the Dalcassian Clans of Tipperary, Limerick, and Galway (Dublin, 1893) p. 202.
39. According to a letter ascribed to John McNamara and dated to 3 March 1588-9 written at Ennistymon, McNamara wrote to Lord Burghley and stated: ‘I thought yt necessarie on my parte hereby to acquaint your good Lordship with the unkynde dealinge of the right honourable Thearle of Thomondes my cozen choweth toward me, who rather practisseth howe to encroach uppon my suiable [?] lyvinge’…[and] ‘for that most and famousest number of the lawyers of this land are allied to the Earl of Thomond through his marriage with the house of Kildare and his kindred with the house of Ormond, whereby I am forced to take refuge in the conscienes of her Majesty’s ministers of the Council in Ireland’ (original spelling). McNamara also mentions the dissension between his father Teige and Conor O’Brien, the third Earl of Thomond. See Twigge, Materials for a History of Clann Cuilein, Add MSS 39260, Twigge Collection, British Library, p. 192. Twigge cites the original MSS: S.P.I. Elizabeth CX 411.A.
40. By the 1400s Uí Caisín was called Clann Chuiléin and was the territory of the McNamara Reagh and McNamara Fionn clans. The division of Uí Caisín occurred after the death of the Lochlain Mac Conmara (d.1366). His two half sons, Teige and Aodh agreed to the division of lands which Teige retained the lands of West Clann Chuiléin. MacNamara, Story of an Irish Sept p. 138.
41. A curious report entitled ‘A declaration of the qualities of the Lords, Captains, and gentlemen of Thomond, notable both spiritual and temporal’ probably authored by Daniel Neylan, the son of John O’Neilan Protestant Bishop Kilfenora, has come down us. Written in c.1567 it uses colourful language to berate the nobility of Thomond and it refers to ‘Maknymarra of the west Clancolene called Teigg’ who is described the ‘root of all stirring in Thomond’. Teige was the father of John McNamara. See K.W. Nicholls, ‘A Commentary on the Nobility and Gentry of Thomond, Circa 1567’, The Irish Genealogist, vol .4. no. 2 (1969) pp 65-73. I am grateful for the identification of the author by K.W. Nicholls.
42. After the fall of Bunratty castle in 1332 the McNamara consolidated their position in east Clare and translated their newfound high-status by levying a tax over eight subjected túatha and styled it as Suim Tigernais Meic Na Mara (ie. ‘Sum of the Lordship of MacNamara’). See Patrick Nugent, ‘The Dynamics of the Clan System in Fourteenth Century Clare’, in Ciarán Ó Murchadha (ed.), County Clare Studies (Ennis, 2000) pp 55-71; Lorna Molony, ‘Conquered Lands: The Manifestation of MacNamaras’ Clare c1250-c1500’, University of Limerick History Society Journal, vol. 5 (2004) pp 101-15; and James Hardiman (ed.), ‘Ancient Irish Deeds and Writings Chiefly relating to Landed Property from the Twelfth to Seventeenth Century: With Translation, Notes and a Preliminary Essay’, Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. xv (1828) pp 43-7.
43. This was ‘Donough McGlanchi of the Urlan chief of his name’ who was recorded in the 1585 composition agreement. McClancy freeholders were recorded as holding Urlan tower-house in 1570 and 1574. See Freeman (ed), Compossicion Booke of Conought, p. 11; Martin Breen, ‘A 1570 List of Castles in County Clare’, North Munster Antiquarian Journal, vol. xxxvi (1995) pp 130-8:130 and R.W. Twigge, ‘Edward White’s Description of Thomond in 1574’, North Munster Antiquarian Journal, vol. 1, no.2 (1910) pp 75-85:77.
44. This was ‘Mahon McEneryney of Ballysallaght’ who was a juror at a 1598 inquisition. Mahon was sept-head of the Mac an Oirchinnigh and he featured in three inquisitions in 1579, 1606 and 1632. The inquisitions detail a feud between senior and junior branches of the sept over the sept-estate, and the allegation that Mahon killed his cousin Loughlin with the aid of a galloglass mercenary in February 1573 at Carrigoran, in order to secure proprietorship of the sept-lands. Mahon (c.1548-1617) was recorded in the Fiants in 1577 (at Ballykilty) and 1589 (at Ballysallagh). Mahon died in 1617 and his heir-at-law was John who, to secure his inheritance, lodged a pedigree at Dublin. See The Irish Fiants of the Tudor Sovereigns: During the Reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Phillip & Mary, and Elizabeth I, introduction by Kenneth Nicholls (Dublin, 1994) vol. 2, no. 3040 p. 406 & Fiant 5401, p. 96; Frost, History and Topography of the County of Clare, p. 269 & p. 280; Chancery Bills: Survivals from pre-1922 Collection, B. No.228, National Archives of Ireland; Genealogical Office, Dublin, MSS 221, Milesian Pedigrees, Vol II, p.40.
45. The forename Sollo is preserved several generations later in 1641 in Sollo O’Mulqueeny who held land at Cregavealcosha in Templemaley parish and nearby the sept’s ancestral estate at Ballymulqueeny. See Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, p. 126.
46. The O’Hickey (Uí hIceada) were hereditary physicians in Thomond and their patrons were the O’Briens. The sept held their patrimony at Ballyhickey in Clooney parish up to 1641.
47. Fr Paul Walsh suggests that the Thomond branch of the O’Mulconry (Uí Mhaoilchonarie) at Ardkyle were descended from the two sons of Torna Óg Ó Maoilchonaire, Seán and Muiris, who flourished in the sixteenth century. Fr Paul Walsh, Irish Men of Learning (Dublin, 1947) pp 34-48. Domhnall Ó Maoilchonaire compiled the poem Créad fá seachnaim síol Aodha? for his patron John McNamara (Seán Mac Conmara) possibly as an inaugeration ode in c.1571. See RIA 784 (23/G/9).
48. This could be ‘Donill mac Clanchie a prest’ who occupied ‘Ballineclohie’ (Stonehall, Kilconry parish) in 1570, Breen, ‘A 1570 List of Castles in County Clare’, p. 130.
49. The O’Roddan were referred to in the fourteenth century Suim Tigernais Meic Na Mara (ie.‘Sum of the Lordship of MacNamara’) as Maoir mintire Rodain agus marasgáil. See Hardiman (ed.), ‘Ancient Irish Deeds’ p. 43.
50. The O’Roddans continued as a hereditary steward family down to the end of the Gaelic order. In 1573 they were recorded in a deed regarding the land of Conor McNamara of Aylebeg near Bunratty and are described as ‘the Rodan family the stewards of the Earl of Thomond’, Frost, A History and Topography of the County of Clare, p. 184.
51. The O’Liddy sept were a formerly important sept in Clare and they featured in the fourteenth century saga, Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh. See Sean Mac Ruaidhri Mac Craith, Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh: The Triumphs of Turlough, ed. Standish Hayes O’Grady (London, 1929), p. 30 & p. 113. The O’Liddy declined in status during the medieval period. No member of the family is recorded in the 1641 Books of Survey and Distribution. Also see a reference to ‘Muintir- Lideadha’ in John O’Donovan, (ed.), The Topographical Poems of John O’Dubhagain and Giolla Na Naomh O’Huidhrin ( Dublin, 1862) note 725.
52. The O’Moloneys were established as a sept of the Clann Chuiléin least as early as the fourteenth century. They are mentioned as supporters of the chieftain Maccon Mac Conmara at the battle of Corcomroe in 1317. See Mac Craith, Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh, pp 96-7.
53. See Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall, pp 607-08. The O’Mulconery school of history at Ardkyle has been described as their most prestigious Munster school.
54. On the origins of the Mac an Oirchinnigh see Luke McInerney, ‘Survey of the McInerney Sept of Thomond’, Part I, The Other Clare, vol. 31 (2007) pp 67-72 and idem, ‘Survey of the McInerney Sept of Thomond’, Part II, The Other Clare, vol. 32, (2008) pp 27-35.
55. These include McNamara branches at ‘Moghan’, ‘Ballynegewne’, ‘Kilkyssyne’, ‘Twoamenlogh’. Other individuals recorded without surnames, but were likely to have been McNamaras, were located at ‘Clonlogha’ and ‘Castletonne’. Reference to ‘Mahowne og’ at Ballynrecreggy could have been the son of the juror Mahowne McEnerhin of Ballysallagh, or alternatively, a junior McGylleduffe or McNamara.
56. The MacGilladuffe’s received pardons for rebellion in 1585 and 1602 where they were described as ‘husbandmen’. A pardon from 1602 concerned three brothers who were possibly the sons of Conor: ‘Mahowne moile [mall – the slow] McConogher McGylliduffe of Ballynecreggy’, ‘Tirlagh gancagh [gancagh – the snub-nosed] McConnoghor of the same’ and ‘Teige cowny McConogher McGilliduffe of Ballinecregg’. The pardons show that the MacGilleduffs were probably free tenants at Ballynacraggie. See The Irish Fiants of the Tudor Sovereigns: During the Reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Phillip & Mary, and Elizabeth I, No. 4753, p. 703 and No. 6617, p. 549.
57. The modern form of the name is Mongovan. As an old Clare surname whose origin is obscure, Mongovan does not feature in the 1641 Books of Survey and Distribution or in the 1820s Tithe Applotment books or the 1850 Griffith Valuation in Tradraighe. In the latter source, a cluster of Mongovans were located in the parish of Kilmihil in Clonderalaw barony in the 1850s. In 1577 both Mongovans (Donogh and Donel) were pardoned and recorded as ‘husbandmen’ at Urlan, see Irish Fiants, no. 3089, p. 417. See Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall, p. 618.
58. Enumerated with the demesne lands were four quarters that belonged to the bishopric of Killaloe.
There is difficulty in arriving at exact figures given that some land
denominations recorded in the inquisition are not cited with their number
of quarters. Land denominations without any indications of size are excluded
from these totals thereby making these figures under estimates. Estimates
do not include the 26 quarters recorded as paying a rent to the Earl of
Thomond as these generally duplicate quarters given as either part the
demesne or mensal lands of the lordship. The inquisition does not specify
the quarters of the mensal lands so the overall total of quarters would
be higher than the
60. Acreage based on the returns in the 1641 Books of the Survey and Distribution.
61. McMahon lands recorded include Clenagh Mor, Clenagh Beg and Lismoyle in Kilmaleery parish.
62. The O’Roddans’ sept-estate was located at Ballysheen and Ardmaclancy in Kilfinaghta parish, see Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, p. 94 and Nugent, The Gaelic clans of Co. Clare, p. 77.
63. The O’Liddys’ patrimonial estate located at Ballyliddane (east and west) in Kilfintinan parish, Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, p. 179.
64. The O’Moloneys held estates at Kilnacreagh in Kilfinaghta parish and at Ballybroughan in Kilfintinan parish, but their larger estates were located in the lordship of East Clann Chuiléin at Kiltanon in Tulla parish. Much of the east Clare hinterland was under the patronage of the McNamara Reagh clan who colonised east Clare after 1318 and displaced the Ui Bloid clans. On the McNamara Reagh clan see Nugent, The Gaelic clans of Co. Clare, pp 224-6, also Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, p. 92 & p. 179.
65. Nineteen freeholders of the McNamara Fionn clan filed claims against the fourth Earl of Thomond, including the chief of the sept, McNamara Fionn of Dangan-i-viggin who claimed 50 townlands and sub-denominations. These claims reflected the clan’s assertion of lordship over freeholding sept-lands and which amounted to almost fifty per cent of the barony on Bunratty. The McNamara Fionn experienced a sharp decline in fortune after 1585 and by 1622 the Earl of Thomond was in receipt of many of the rents from these lands that traditionally were under the lordship of the McNamara Fionn. Four of these land denominations are also recorded as part of the inheritance of John McNamara and probably constituted his mensal lands in the 1586 inquisition document, leaving 12 land denominations unidentified. Frost, A History and Topography of the County of Clare, p. 295 and Nugent, The Gaelic clans of Co. Clare, p. 227.
66 Eight pecks of oats is equivalent to about two bushels or approximately 30 kg.
67 Viz. ‘Mahowne mcEnerhin of Ballysallaghe’, ‘Shane mcEnerhine of Carrigere’ and ‘Thomas mcEnerhine of Kyllanesowlegh’.
68 G.A Hayes-McCoy, ‘Gaelic Society in Ireland in the Late Sixteenth Century’, p. 48.
69 The denomination no longer exists under this name, but was known as Whybogh in 1641 and Foybogh in 1659. The Cusask’s had an interest there in 1641, though most (Mac) Cusack freeholders in 1641 were recorded in the nearby parish of Kilseily where they were under the lordship of the McNamara Reagh clan, see Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, p. 181 and pp 73-8.
70 A notable example was the high-status O’Mulconry (Uí Mhaoilchonaire) hereditary chroniclers whose patrimony was at Adkyle in Feenagh parish, but which had become part of the estate of the Earl of Thomond by 1641, see Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, p. 177. On the O’Mulconry see Brian Ó Dálaigh, ‘The Uí Mhaoilchonaire of Thomond,’ Studia Hibernia, 2009, [forthcoming].
71 For a socio-political hierarchy that existed in 1641 in Clare which divides septs into controlling various land units such as tríocha céad, túatha, baile, quarter and half quarter, see Nugent, The Gaelic clans of Co. Clare, p. 221.
72 On the colonisation of east Clare by the McNamara after 1318 see Nugent, ‘The Dynamics of the Clan System in Fourteenth Century Clare’, pp 55-71; Aoife Nic Ghiollamhaith, ‘Kings and Vassals in Later Medieval Ireland: The Uí Bhriain and the MicConmara in the Fourteenth Century’, in Terry Barry, Robin Frame & Katherine Simms (eds), Colony and Frontier in Medieval Ireland ( London, 1995) pp 201-16.
73 A complex tribute-collecting apparatus had functioned since the mid fourteenth century. The purpose of the ‘McNamara Rental’ of c.1330 was to levy a tax over subjected túatha that formerly were controlled by the Uí Bloid clans. The annexation of Uí Bloid territories by the McNamara transformed them into a canopy-clan which maintained control by placing kinsmen on subject lands. This process echoed practices in feudalised systems by controlling subjected populations through extending a system of feudal obligation and military service on vassals. In the Gaelic context the principal difference was the role of kinship amongst prolific and expanding clans which settled their junior branches on subject territories.
74 These denominations were Ballycasey in Drumline parish; Carrow-Ballymcneale in Tomfinlough parish; Rineanna in Kilconry parish; Clenagh Beg in Kilmaleery parish; Clenagh Mor in Kilmaleery parish; Lyssennynke a land division possibly in Kilmaleery parish; Ballysallagh West in Kilnasoolagh parish; Horlan Beg (Urlan Beg) required to pay a third part of rents and oats owed out of Ballysallagh West; Ballygirreen in Kilnasoolagh parish; and Latoon in Kilnasoolagh parish.
75 Acreage based on the returns in the 1641 Books of the Survey and Distribution.
76 P.J. Duffy, ‘The Territorial Organisation of Gaelic Landownership and its Transformation in County Monaghan, 1591- 1640’, p. 8.
77 Amongst this list of lands included ‘Ramollune’ (Rathfolan in Kilnasoolagh parish), ‘Runnannae’ (Rineanna in Kilconry parish), ‘Dengen’ and ‘Cnappocke’ (both in Quin parish), and ‘Crattullagh Moyle’ and ‘Crattullagh Keyle’ (both Killeely parish).
78 See, for example, the reference in the genealogies to the McNamara sept-branch called Sliocht Ráthmaoláin in Seán Ó hÓgáin, Conntae an Cláir: A Triocha Agus A Tuatha (Baile Átha Cliath, 1938) p. 143. Also, see references to McNamara sept-branches occupying tower-houses at Dangan, Knappogue, Cratlomoyle and Cratlokeel in 1574. See R.W. Twigge, ‘Edward White’s Description of Thomond in 1574’, pp 75-85:79 (cf. State Papers of Ireland: Elizabeth, vol xlv, 35, 1).
79 Prior to the fourteenth century their power-base included An Túatha Mór, which was co-extensive with the parishes of Tulla and part of eastern Quin and Clooney. See Ó hÓgáin, Conntae an Cláir: A Triocha Agus A Tuatha, p. 44 where it states that Upper Clann Chuiléin comprised the parishes of Kilraghtis, Templemaley and Clooney.
80 It is interesting to note that the inquisition provided for the freeholders who occupied the mensal lands to pay a yearly amount of ‘sertaine pecks of otts’ (sic oats) in lieu of paying the amount of horsemeat and boysmeat. This point makes clear the economy that operated in the lordship in the sixteenth century was regulated with the trappings of a feudalist system of exchange and tribute-collection.
81 The ceitherne were light troops and usually played an auxiliary role to the professional gallóglaigh, or heavily armed gallowglass soldiers, which were deployed by Gaelic chiefs in the later medieval period.
82 K.W. Nicholls states that the right of pre-emption and trading monopolies was enforced by Gaelic lords in their territories. In various lordships freeholders were required to sell goods at fixed prices to their lords, or to give their lord the first offering of such goods. Also, Gaelic lords granted trading priviledges to merchants for financial return – classical rent-seeking behavior – which provided an income to the lord, Nicholls, Gaelic and Gaelicised Ireland, pp 43-4.
83 Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, Clare, p. 146.
84 The existence of Ballymacloon townland in Quin parish points to a sept formerly important but had declined in status by the early modern period. The McClunes do not feature in the fourteenth century Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh, and by 1641 were not in possession of their namesake Ballymacloon. See R. Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, p.146. An interesting document survives, dated 5 August, 1635, where two freeholders Donogh and Loughlen McCloone, had interests in Ballymacloone and Cullenagh in Quin parish. The document indicates that the McCloone patrimony, from the time of King Conor McTurlogh O’Brien (d.1539), was partially under mortgage and the McCloone’s became ‘tenants at will’. This relationship extended to the time of the fourth Earl of Thomond and in 1635 James McEnnerhiny testified regarding his arbitration between Loughlen McCloone who had unlawfully mortgaged land in Ballymacloone, and the fourth Earl. The land was originally in the proprietorship of the McCloones but had passed to the Earls of Thomond, thus reducing the McCloones to the status of tenants. Petworth House Archives, MSS. 3911.
85 This underclass of tenants was probably counted in the population totals in the 1659 ‘census’. In this ‘census’ the principal freeholders—most of whom were minor gentry – were recorded as ‘tituladoes’, while the population totals for each townland refered to a head-count of male tenants, big and small.
86 Dr James Nellan held the tower-house of Ballyallia and also Ballycarroll in Templemaley parish in 1574. See R.W. Twigge, ‘Edward White’s Description of Thomond in 1574’, p.79. This branch of the O’Neylans collaborated with the Earls of Thomond and conformed to the established church in the sixteenth century. Dr James Nellan was one of the beneficiaries of the confiscation of monastic lands and an ostensible supporter of the anglicized ‘new order’. The O’Neylans prospered during the transition from Gaelic feudalism to an anglicised county and this was largely due to their alliance with Donough O’Brien, Fourth Earl of Thomond, and their previous grants of pre-Reformation ecclesiastical land in Kilfenora Diocese. Nugent, The Gaelic clans of Co. Clare, pp 228-9.
87 The other land denominations in the ownership of John McNamara at the time of his death included Cratloe Moyle, Garryncurra, Carrowancloghy, Ballymorris, Tomfinlagh, and Ballymulchana. These lands were part of the mensal estate of John McNamara and were, under common law, inherited by his eldest son, Donald (Domhnall Fionn), Frost, A History and Topography of the County of Clare, p. 300.
88 A reference from 1312 in the Annals of Inisfallen states that a public highway was located near ‘Cuinche’ (ie. Quin) and presumably linked the cities of Limerick and Galway. The strategic position of Quin – the heart of the West Clann Chuiléin lordship – was an avenue for the export of foodstuffs from the Gaelic hinterland to markets at Limerick and Galway for produce such as hides and corn. The West Clann Chuiléin lordship was particularly connected to trade with Limerick and this would have boosted the Gaelic economy and deepened market exchange. See Gearóid Mac Niocaill, ‘Land Transfer in Sixteenth Century Thomond: The Case of Domhnall Óg Ó Cearnaigh’, North Munster Antiquarian Journal, vol.XVII (1975) pp 43-5:45.
89 Acreage based on the returns in the 1641 Books of the Survey and Distribution.
90 It appears that these lands belonged to the Bishop of Killaloe. The Bishop of Killaloe would have continued the practice of the pre-Reformation bishops of deriving part of the diocesan revenue from ecclesiastical lands farmed by hereditary tenants on termon lands and under the stewardship of local erenagh headmen.
91 Some church lands appear under the category of sept-lands. The inquisition mentions the denominations of ‘Glann’ and ‘Moyntervalowne’, with the former yielding ‘11s 8d & chief rent to Bishop of Killaloe’, and the latter yielding ‘16s 8d & chief rent to Bishop of Killaloe’. Both of these lands were located in Clareabbey, a parish that comprised extensive termon lands. The inclusion of these lands amongst the sept-lands may reflect their dual obligation to yield ‘secular’ rent to the McNamara Fionn, and a rent to the Bishop Killaloe. The Earl of Thomond was the chief landholder in Clareabbey 1641, reflecting earlier land grants to the Earls of Thomond after the religious houses were dissolved in the midsixteenth century. On the identification of Glann and Moyntervalowne, see Frost, A History and Topography of the County of Clare, p. 321.
92 Freeman, (ed) The Compossicion Booke of Conought, p. 17.
93 While there is no direct evidence of this, it is worth recounting that John McNamara Fionn had five sons, viz: Cúmhedha (d.1587), Domhnall Fionn (d.1643), Ruadhrí (d. after 1641), John Óg (d. after 1641) and Tadhg (d. after 1636). In 1602, John McNamara Fionn, in a deed, granted certain lands to Sheeda Cam McNamara and Galfridus Mulchony to be held in trust for his son Donald (Domhnall Fionn). The lands included Cratloe Moyle, Garryncurra, Carrowancloghy, Ballymorris, Tomfinlagh, and Ballymulchana. These lands were part of the mensal estate of John McNamara. Also, in 1601, he enfeoffed his son John Óg on Knappogue castle and the lands of Dromullan, Ballyroughan, Coolbane and Ballymulcanna. See Frost, A History and Topography of the County of Clare, p. 300 & p. 302. On a pedigree of the McNamara Fionn see Twigge, Materials for a History of Clann Cuilein, Add MSS 39270 (rolls), Twigge Collection, Vol. XII. Larger pedigrees, etc., British Library.
94 Investigation of the fifteenth century Papal Registers for the parishes in Tradraighe does not show an obvious hereditary incumbency of an erenagh sept. The Mac an Oirchinnigh (McEnerhiny), while originating as an erenagh sept in the twelfth century, were not by the later middles ages a defined erenagh sept in Tradraighe. Numerous references to Mac an Oirchinnigh clerics holding benefices in Kilnasoolagh, Kilmaleery and Clonloghan is suggestive of an important vassal-sept who sought numerous appointments for local benefices, not least because of the opportunity for patronage and the sept’s proximity to these parishes. See Luke McInerney, ‘Clerics and Clansmen: Vicarages & Rectories of Tradraighe in the Fifteenth Century’, in this issue [vol. 48, 2008] of the North Munster Antiquarian Journal. The 1586 inquisition recorded Carrigoran and Kilnasoolagh belonging to the bishopric of Killaloe. McEnerhiny freeholders may have yielded a rent to the Bishop of Killaloe and potentially acted as erenaghs, as by the sixteenth century erenaghs were ecclesiastical tenants and paid a chief rent to the diocesan bishop. This is in line with the reorganisation of the episcopal economy at the 1210 Synod of Connacht where the termon lands were vested in bishops and the coarb and erenagh became principal tenants of the diocesan bishop.
95 Acreage based on the returns in the 1641 Books of the Survey and Distribution.
96 See Frost, A History and Topography of the County of Clare, p. 295. The five land denominations were: Cratloemore, Portdrine, Ballycorey, Shandangan and Ballymacnevan (spelling as per Frost).
97 Frost, History and Topography of the County of Clare, p. 176. It was the poet MacLiag who is traditionally ascribed as recording the famous tribute of cattle collected from the kings of Ireland and brought to Kincora, the palace-fort of Brian Ború.
98 L. Price, ‘Armed Forces of the Irish Chiefs in the Early 16th Century’, The Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, vol. lxii (1932) pp 202-07:204. The contemporary source stated that, ‘a batayle of Galoglas by 60 or 80 men harneysed on foot w[i]th sparres everi one wherof hath his knave to beare his harneys wherof sume have speares sume have bowes.’ The McNamara Fionn would have raised 80 galloglass plus one retainer for each galloglass soldier, as well as 200 horsemen and 600 kern, with the total force being 960 men-at-arms.
100 Calculated from the stipulation that one footman upon every quarter of inhabited land in the lordship was to serve the Earl of Thomond. Overall there were over 287 quarters of land recorded for the lordship.
101 Frost, A History and Topography of the County of Clare, p. 295.
102 This is probably the reference to towns and villages that were bound to keep McNamara’s horses and boys with horsemeat and boysmeat (ie. foodstuffs) every Christmas and Easter when he kept feasts at Dangan. We can recognize this as the custom of cuid oidhche or ‘cuddie’ – forced hospitality and exaction of food-rents from the base population and client-septs.
103 The lands that owed tribute to the Earl of Thomond in the southern estuarine lands of Tradraighe are mostly not displayed on the map in this article as they overlap with the sept-land and demesne denominations in the lordship. Lands subject to the Earl’s rent charge but which are not identified on the map under this category include: Ballintlea, Ballymorris, Portdrine in Kilfintinan parish; Cratloekeel, Cratloemoyle, Foybogh in Killeely parish; Ballymarkahan in Quin parish; Kilkishen in Kilmurry-na-gall parish; Ballyvorry in Kilconry parish; and Clenagh Beg in Kilmaleery parish.
104 Bernadette Cunningham, ‘Newcomers in the Thomond Lordship, c.1580-c.1625’, p. 105.
105 See Mac Craith, Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh, p. 114.
106 Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, p. 137. The name is anglicised to Normile or Normoyle. The Irish form is Mac Giolla Mhaoil. A similar sounding surname exists in Clare, Mac Confhormaoile (ie. the hound of Formoyle, a place in Clare) and which Woulfe regarded as a probable branch of the McNamara. Formoyle is probably located in Inch parish in Inchiquin barony where one freeholder, Phillip MacEnormoyle, resided in that parish in 1641; in the vicinity three other kinsmen were located confirming the historic connection there. The relationship between the two surnames is unknown, but Woulfe suggests that Mac Giolla Mhaoil was once used in Clare, inferring its rare usage in modern times. It survived in the form of Normile and Normoyle into the mid-nineteenth century in Quin, but is a rare surname. Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall, p. 339 & p. 376., also see Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, pp 536-8.
107 Alternatively this could be a reference to Mooghaun townland in Tomfinlough parish.
108 See Rev. Patrick Dinneen, Irish-English Dictionary (Dublin, 1927) p. 304 & p. 67.
109 Ibid., p. 137.
110 Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, p. 159. Ballysallagh East was held in common between five related McEnerhinys and Sir Daniel O’Brien in 1641.
111 This was the ‘Mahone McEneryney of Ballysallaght’ who was a juror at a 1598 inquisition. See Ainsworth (ed.), The Inchiquin Manuscripts, No. 936, p. 294.
112 The 1641 Books of Survey and Distribution, p. 159 divide Ballysallagh West into four plough-lands, ie. Trincastlan, Ranaghan, Trin McMikle and Chaghre Monghan. The first division refers to one-third of the caisleán - or castle - and is a direct reference to the fields around Castlekeel which was then a McClanchy fortified residence at Ballysallagh West. See Breen, ‘A 1570 List of Castles in County Clare’, p. 133.
113 T. Whitely Moran, ‘The Medieval Gaelic Genealogies III’, p. 10.
114 In an undated Chancery Bill, but probably from the late sixteenth century, ‘Mahowne McInerryney’ was alleged to have killed his cousin, with the aid of a galloglass mercenary, in 1573 at Carrigoran. Mahon, who was the same Mahon cited in the 1586 inquisition as a juror, held Knockslattre(ry) at that time. In 1619 Tibbot McRiccard alleged that Mahon had seized Knockslattry on the pretence that it had descended to him in right of his mother, sister to Tibbot’s father, Riccard Roe McMolery. In 1641 Knocklatter (sic Knockslattery) was joined to Kilnahow and occupied by Loughlin McInerine. Loughlin was a notable freeholder of the sept and served as the seneschal of Inchiquin’s Manor Court at Corofin in 1670. See Chancery Bills: Survivals from pre-1922 Collection, B. No.228, National Archives of Ireland; Petworth House Archives, C.13.35 (dated 24 May 1619); Simington, Books of Survey and Distribution, p. 131; and Ainsworth (ed.), The Inchiquin Manuscripts, No. 1359, p. 449. On Loughlin see also Luke McInerney, ‘Survey of the McInerney Sept of Thomond’, Part II, p. 30.