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Kingdom of Annaly - North

 

Ancient Granard Once a seat of Government 

 

After the time of St. Patrick the Kingdom of Annaly was divided into two sections, each ruled by an O'Farrell. Ancient Granard was the chief town in the northern division and was also the seat of Government. The House of Parliament or, as it was then called, "the Convention Hall", stood where Granardkille Chapel now is, and O'Farrell, the ruler had his castle on the Moat of Granard.


The Moat is of very ancient structure, indeed it may be concluded as certain that its erection goes a long way before the Danish era. It bears some resemblance to the great Moat of Kilfinnane in Co. Limerick, but it is much smaller. It was very strongly fortified except on the southern side, which seems to have been guarded solely by the deep trench on the summit, out of which the defender fired arms and hurled stone missles at the approaching enemy.

After the Norman invasion (1172 - 1266) it was occupied by Sir Richard Tuite, Baron of Moyashell, who entertained King John of England within its walls on August 12, 1210, just then that monarch was concluding his sixty days' visit to Ireland. In King John's Itinerence, complained by Thomas Duffus Hardy, F.S.A., reference is made to the Royal visit. A short time after this Sir Richard was killed in Athlone while holding a court there, and the castellanship passed over to his son, who, however, held it only for a short time. In 1215 the Moat was held by Sir John Fitz Leons, a Norman Baron.  

Sometime afterwards the O'Farrells regained possession and held it  till 1500, when it commenced to decay. The O'Farrells were the last occupants until Lord Delvin was Granted the region of Granard. Towards the close of the 18th century there was an entrance to the Moat from the summit and a spiral stairs led to the bottom, from which could be seen arched passages and beautifully constructed chambers, but it was impossible to explore the  interior fully on account of the way being blocked by fallen masonry. No trace of this doorway remains, but it is believed to have been exactly in the centre. 

    There are many strange traditions connected with this old Moat. One refers to the fabulous riches concealed within its walls, and another, perhaps stranger, states that an underground passage leads from its interior to the cave of Diarmaid and Grannia, a distance of 1,000 yards. This tunnel is stated to have been the arms depot of the ancient warriors in which were stored bronze sgians, stone axes, iron flints and other ancient implements of destruction, and it is said that these weapons remain to this day in the tunnel. 

    In the 17th century Granard was an important town and had a charter granted by Charles II 

In olden times this Parish was called Caladh-na-h-Anghaile which means the Callows of Annaly or the County Longford. It belonged together with the adjoining parish of Rathclyne to the Ó'Quinns who were styled Lords of Rathclyne and who had their castle at Rathclyne. The ruins of this castle are still to be seen near "Elfeet" Lanesboro. The place in which dwelt the Lords of Caladh-na-h-Anghaile is now represented by the ruins of Elfeet Castle on the shores of Lough Ree.

 

The old castle consists of a very high tower, and was built in such a way as to command a view of the whole lake. The walls are of very thick and solid proportions the spaces between the rough and unmeasured stones being filled up with a cement like mortar which was called grout, and was used in old times in the erection of buildings. It is recorded that in the latter end of the fifteenth century there seven castles erected in Annaly and that Elfeet Castle in the Callows was one of them. 

https://www.duchas.ie/en/src?q=annaly&t=CbesTranscript 

 

Baron Delvin of the Nugent Family was the first to receive grants In Capite, grants for knights service, grants of market and fair,  and Grants Forever within Annaly of Westmeath prior to and after the separation of the County Longford.

Principality or Kingdom  of Annaly or  Anghaile , Annaly or Annalie or Chieftain and Princes ofAnnaly  (http://www.from-ireland.net/history-longford-annaly-farrell    (also known as Conmaicne Maigh Rein)  - Royal house with legal 'Fons Honorum' (the rights to grant Titles of Nobility).

Feudal Baron of  Annaly or Anghaile and Teffia  

The Purchase of said rights in Fee Simple by Counselor George Mentz, Seigneur of Blondel,  includes the right to the Seignory and Barony by any name it may be called or known in the County of Longford. 

 

Longford Origin - O’Farrell, Prince of Annaly, for Friars of the Order of St. Dominick, was probably the origin of the town of Longford.    The foundation of a Dominican Abbey, in 1400, by Dhomna . 

In 1429 a great conflagration occurred in this Longford monastery, which was burned to the ground--the monks being left homeless; and such was the distress to which they were reduced that, on March 16th, Pope Martin V. issued a Papal Bull, granting a plenary indulgence to all persons who would aid the monks in rebuilding it. On March 12th, 1433, Pope Eugene IV. granted a Bull towards the same object, which he confirmed by a second one, issued on the 16th of July, 1438. In the year 1448, a terrible disease swept away masses of the Irish people, who were entirely ignorant of its nature, or the remedies for it. Amongst the list of those whom it took away, are found the names of Aedh-buy O’Feargeal, Henry Duffe M‘Fedechan, and Diarmud M‘Commay, “three righteous monks of the monastery,” These men were_interred, in all probability, in the precincts of the present ruins, situated in the grounds attached to the Protestant Rector’s residence. This place did not exist longer than the year 1530, because we find it recorded that this monastery, with certain lands attached, was granted in the fourth year of the reign of Philip and Mary—that is, about the year l552—to one Richard Nugent and his heirs, in capite, for ever.  

 

 "Lissardowlan as spelled today" History of the County Longford - Page 60 - Google Books Result- The Ancien Kingdom Seat of the Annaly Chiefdom. Lios na nUamhanach/Lisnanagh | Logainm.ie    See Map of Where Lisnanagh Is - " 1377. The Castle of Lios-ard-ablha (now only marked by the moat of Lisserdowling near Longford in County Longford) was erected by John O’Farrell, Lord of Annaly and granted forever to Baron Delvin by King James. 1377 The castle of Lisardabhla, now Lizard or Lisardowlin, in the county of Longford, was erected by John O'Ferrall, lord of Annaly. A.D. 1378. * Granted to Nugent/Delvin 1609

Castle, Bawne and Town and Lands of Lisserdawle  and 8 Cartrons ( 80 acres each) are granted to Richard Nugent Baron Delvin along with the Annalie Monastery of Inchemore or Inismore along with cottages and land of the Island.

 

Baron Annaly of Westmeath Grant by Philip and Mary

BaronAnnalyGranardBaronAnnaly2

Citation of Place Names and Grants in Longford

Annaly Grant King Edward 1552 -  Citation

Markets and Custom Collections for Fower and Templeton and the Priory of Annalye along with the Granard monestary along with with lands of the O'Ferralls - See Below

AnnalyGrant1552

Templeton of Longford https://www.townlands.ie/longford/moydow/killashee/killashee/templeton-glebe/

 

 

 1620 Grants of Northern Annaly to Lord Baron Delvin

VIII. 17.-—“ Grant from the King to Richard, Lord Baron of Delvin. —Longford County. The lands of Smere, 215a. of pasture, 147a. bog and wood, and 282a. of mountain; Cornedronee, 92a. pasture, and 206a. bog and wood; Rosseduife, Drumshanaly, and Faghowry, 1,000a. pasture, and 332a. bog and wood; Doonbeggan, 69a. pasture, and 66a. bog and wood; Cleynragh, 137a. pasture, and 100a. bog and wood; Birrenagh and Crott, 265a. pasture, 75a. wood and bog, and 197a. mountain; Aghagagh and Dromowry, 1 cartron and quarter, 230a. pasture; Aghekine and Lisgarry, 228a. pasture, and 106a. bog and wood ; Agherclogh, 7 8a. pasture, and 55a. bog and wood, with a common and a mountain belonging to the above lands, 212a. pasture and 638a. mountain; Ballyranell and Coolegawen, 50a.; Ballyneraghan, 111a.; Portegurtenwoghtragh, 50a. ; Portegurtenyeightragh, 50a.; Cartronvore, 27a. pasture, and 84a. bog and wood; also the lands of Creeve, adjoining the lands of Ballyneraghan; total, 2,970a. pasture, 2,288a. bog, wood, and mountain; rent, pasture lands, £ 30 7s. 8§d., Engl.; bog and wood, £4 15s. 4d. To hold in capite, by military service, with a provision that the said Richard, Lord Baron of Delvin, is not to assume the name, style, or title of ‘ the Great O’Farrall,’ in giving or paying any rent, taxation, or service, or divide the lands before mentioned according to the Irish custom of gavelkind, otherwise this patent to be wholly void.—All the lands granted under the commission for the plantation of Longford and Ely O’Carroll’s territory, are subject to the covenants set out in Art. N 0. 11. 17th.”

 

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Queen Mary and Philip -  grants "in capite" for knights service to Baron Delvin of all Lordships, heritaments, fisheries, mountains,  and Castles of Lehra, The Abbey of Granarde, Granard, Foure, Belgarde,

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Citation of Lehra Granard Belgarde Barony Grant

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On many occasions this monastery was despoiled. First in 1066, when the original institution suffered in a dynastic dispute between the chieftains of Breffney, and again in 1272 when Hugh O'Connor, one of the Kings of Connaught, was at war with the English of the Pale. Two of its abbots became bishops of Clonmacnoise, one in 1398, and the other, John O'Mayle, in 1447. Mention is made of one of its abbots, Cornelius O'Ferral, in the Vatican Papers of Pope Innocent VIII.

St. Patrick erected a church here and placed St. Guasacht over it; his feast is honoured on the 24th January. It is traditionally told that a labourer's cottage at the entrance of the village from Granard, covers the site of this ancient church, of which now nothing more is known.

“At Lerha, in Longford (says O'Halloran), there was an abbey  of Bernardines founded by Richard Tuite, an Englishman, Lord of Granard. The first monks of this abbey came from that of Our Lady, Dublin, of the Order of Clairvaux. Some say this house was founded in 1210. The founder was killed the following year at Athlone, by the falling of a tower, and was buried in Abbeylara.” Here also were buried many of the O'Farrells, Princes of Anghaile.

Tuite came over to Ireland in the first invasion and settled at Granard. In 1199 he built the Castle of Granard,” to defend his territory against Ó Raballais (O'Reilly) of East Breffney.

On the 30th of November, 1315, Edward Bruce burned the old town of Granard; on that day month, according to tradition, he plundered this monastery and made it winter quarters for a short period. The monks fled to Athlone, but returned the following Spring, when Bruce had departed. Richard O'Farrell, who became bishop of Ardagh, surrendered this abbey  about 1541. Its possessions were very large, Tuite having enriched it with 18 cartrons of land, or about 1440 acres, perhaps more. The following record which I take from the Monasticon Hibernicum, will show that Abbeylara was an institution of great wealth and influence:“On the surrender of the abbey, the said Richard was seized of two carucates of land with their appurtenances in Clonmore, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 13s. 4d.; four carucates in Lerha, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 26s. 8d.; two carucates in Clonecryawe, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 13s. 4d.; two carucates in Tonaghmore, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 13s. 4d.; four carucates in Monktown, value, besides reprises, 26s. 8d., and the tithes of corn of the rectory of Monktown of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 40s.; also of a moiety of tithes of the rectory of Granard, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 26s. 8d., a moiety of the tithes of the rectory of Drumloman, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 13s. 4d.; and a moiety of the tithes of the rectory of Ballymachivy, of the yearly value of Ios. The rectories of Athlone, Levanaghan, Clonmacnoise, Tessauran, Ballyloughlo, and Reynagh, were all appropriated to this abbey.” “Lease under commission. Dublin, 26 September, IX of Elizabeth, to Sir Thos. Cusacke, Knt., and lady Jenett Sarcefeld his wife, the tithes of Ballenamanaghe in the Annale, of the lands of lord MacGennor in the Annale (these lands lay to the west of Lough Gowna), of the lands of Mount Carbré, of the lands held by the heirs of Morff O'Ferrall, of all the Maghirt of Granarde, of four granges in Granarde, of the grange of Tonaghmore, of the grange of Rincolle, Cowldony, Clontrall, and Deraghe; the rectories of Dromloman, Ballmakier, Ballekillen, and Strade (Street), possessions of the late monastery of Larro, alias Granarde, near the town of Granarde, in the Annale O'Farrell's country. £13 18s. 6d. for the possessions of the monastery of Granarde, provided they shall not alien their interest without licence of the deputy under the great seal, nor let to anyone unless they are English by both parents, and shall not levy coyn, livery, or other unlawful impositions —consideration 20 morks.”—Fiants of Elizabeth.

It is traditionally told that Richard Nugent, better known as the Black Baron of Bobsgrove near Mountnugent, gave this monastery its final death stroke. And the following extract gives a colour of truth to this tradition :

“IV. and V. Philip and Mary. This monastery (Abbeylara) situated in Le Annaly and the lands of Tonaghmore, Raicola," Cowldony, Cloncrawe, Derraghe and Bellamane! alias Ballymanaghe in Le Annaly, with two cartrons of land in Lickebla, parcel of the possessions of the said monastery, were granted for ever in capite to Richard Nugent, royalties excepted.” –Monasticon Hiber.   Citation

 

It is traditionally told that Richard Nugent, better known as the Black Baron of Bobsgrove near Mountnugent, gave this monastery its final death stroke. And the following extract gives a colour of truth to this tradition :

“IV. and V. Philip and Mary. This monastery (Abbeylara) situated in Le Annaly and the lands of Tonaghmore, Raicola," Cowldony, Cloncrawe, Derraghe and Bellamane! alias Ballymanaghe in Le Annaly, with two cartrons of land in Lickebla, parcel of the possessions of the said monastery, were granted for ever in capite to Richard Nugent, royalties excepted.” –Monasticon Hiber.   CITATION

Abbeylara was an institution of great wealth and influence:“On the surrender of the abbey, the said Richard was seized of two carucates of land with their appurtenances in Clonmore, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 13s. 4d.; four carucates in Lerha, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 26s. 8d.; two carucates in Clonecryawe, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 13s. 4d.; two carucates in Tonaghmore, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 13s. 4d.; four carucates in Monktown, value, besides reprises, 26s. 8d., and the tithes of corn of the rectory of Monktown of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 40s.; also of a moiety of tithes of the rectory of Granard, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 26s. 8d., a moiety of the tithes of the rectory of Drumloman, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 13s. 4d.; and a moiety of the tithes of the rectory of Ballymachivy, of the yearly value of Ios. The rectories of Athlone, Levanaghan, Clonmacnoise, Tessauran, Ballyloughlo, and Reynagh, were all appropriated to this abbey.” “Lease under commission. Dublin, 26 September, IX of Elizabeth, to Sir Thos. Cusacke, Knt., and lady Jenett Sarcefeld his wife, the  tithes of Ballenamanaghe in the Annale, of the lands of lord MacGennor in the Annale (these lands lay to the west of Lough Gowna), of the lands of Mount Carbré, of the lands held by the heirs of Morff O'Ferrall, of all the Maghirt of Granarde, of four granges in Granarde, of the grange of Tonaghmore, of the grange of Rincolle, Cowldony, Clontrall, and Deraghe; the rectories of Dromloman, Ballmakier, Ballekillen, and Strade (Street), possessions of the late monastery of Larro, alias Granarde, near the town of Granarde, in the Annale O'Farrell's country. £13 18s. 6d. for the possessions of the monastery of Granarde, provided they shall not alien their interest without licence of the deputy under the great seal, nor let to anyone unless they are English by both parents, and shall not levy coyn, livery, or other unlawful impositions —consideration 20 morks.”—Fiants of Elizabeth.

The only vestige of remote antiquity worthy  of special  notice is a tumulus at one end of the town of  Granard, said to have  been a Danish rath, and called the Moate of  Granard.  It commands a view of six or seven surrounding counties. Though several ruins of monastic buildings may still be traced, few memorials of their  history have been preserved.  The erection of those at Ardagh,  Lerha  or  Granard,  Clonebrone, and Drumcheo, is attributed to St Patrick. Those of Longford, Abbeyshruel, and Ballynasaggard, were founded by members of the O'Ferral family. Abbey Deirg was built by O'Quin. A house of gray friars, dedicated to St John, gave name to Johnstown. At Lanesborough are some ruins said to have been part of a monastery, but no historical trace of such a foundation there can be discovered. The island of Inchimore in Lough Gawnagh, and those of Innisbofin, Innisclothran, and Innismacsaint, in Lough Reagh, were each at some remote period the site of a religious house now in utter ruln. The castle of Longford, once the mansion of the O'Ferrals, was taken at the commencement of the war of 1641, and the garrison slaughtered after their surrender upon terms. Castle Forbes, in the same neighbourhood, made a gallant resistance during the same period, under the command of the widow of Sir Arthur Forbes, until reduced by famine. Rathcline, placed in a highly romantic position near Lanesborough, was dismantled by Cromwell, and burned in the subsequent wars between William and James. The castles of Ballymahon, Barnacor, and Castlecor, were built to command passes over the Inny. Of these, the last named has suffered, not only by the ravages of time, but by excavations made in order to discover concealed money, imagined to have been buried in its interlor. The seats of the gentry are numerous. Carrickglass on the Camlin, belonging to the Newcomen family, is a fine residence; as is also Castle Forbes, the seat of the Earl of  Granard.  Edgeworthstown will long be noted in the annals of British literature as the residence of the Edgeworth family. Castlecor, the seat of the Hussey family, and said to have been modelled after the round tower of Windsor Castle, is more remarkable for eccentricity of appearance than architectural elegance or domestic convenience. Tirlicken was built by Lord Annaly, near the ruins of a former edifice of the same name, the seat of Sir

 

Grant 1552 - Holy Island - Inchcleraun Island, Lough Ree

With the government showing little inclination to reach a more permanent settlement with the O’Farrells, Delvin led a raid across Lough Ree shortly before Christmas 1548.21 Despite opposition from the nearby Dillons, it seems that Delvin succeeded in gaining a foothold in the southern reaches of the O’Farrell lordship. In 1552 the crown granted the dissolved monastery of Holy Island, Lough Ree, to the baron, together with associated lands and tithes.22 This was more than a mundane grant of ecclesiastical land in one’s county of residence, which many peers, gentry and officials received: it must be viewed in the context of mid-Tudor expansionism. The government was willing in 1553 to nominate a ‘captain and governor’ of the O’Farrell Boy branch, yet allowed Delvin to build up a landholding profile within the branch’s sphere of influence on the banks of Lough Ree. Lord Deputy Croft and his advisors described these lands as in ‘a waste, wylde Countrey amonge the yrishe where lytle obedyence doth contynue’, but Delvin had announced his intention to fortify his new territory.23

The Baron Delvin was also granted the monastic site at Granard, in the northeast of the Annaly lordship in what is now called the County Longford; this also represented a projected expansion of English influence. Before the 15th century Granard Abbey had been an exclusively English foundation, but papal order forced it to admit Gaelic men. The house quickly lost its English identity, and fell completely under O’Farrell patronage.24 Thus Delvin’s acquisition of Granard represented an effort to reincorporate former English church lands into English society. Confirmation of the achievements of Baron Richard in enhancing the importance of his house came in 1553, when he joined O’Connor Roe in a devastating raid on the MacDermots of Moylurg, a lordship situated west of the Annaly and a considerable distance from Delvin territory.25

County Longford Monastery of Holy Island Lough Ree also Granted to Lord Delvin in 1552

 

 LX. 21. — " King's letter to Sir Richard Nugent, Lord Delvin, doubting lest there might be omission or misrecital in former letters  patent, and that in order that he may securely and quietly enjoy his possessions, to have a new grant of the late dissolved monastery or  abbey of Inchmore, alias Inishmore, in the County of Longford, and the  late dissolved priory and manor of FORE or Fower, in the County of Westmeath, and all his other lands and tenements, subject to such tenures, rents, and services as they appear of record formerly to have been subject to —  

 

 

Market and Fair  and Carnival Custom

Pg. 116 HISTORY OF THE COUNTY LONGFORD.

Grant 1605 Market and Fair Longford County. Licence to hold a Thursday market and a fair on  the 1st of August

Do. OXIII.— " Grant from the King to Sir Richard, Lord Delvin.— Longford County. Licence to hold a Thursday market and a fair on  the 1st of August, and two days at Longford, with the usual courts  and fees ; rent, 6s. 8d., English. — 7 Dec. 3rd."   

Shrove Tuesday (also known in Commonwealth countries and Ireland as Pancake Tuesday or Pancake day) is the day in February or March immediately preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes.

 

Rathcline Castle, Lanesborough, Co. Longford

Rathcline Castle, Lanesborough, Co. Longford
A medieval tower house, enlarged in the early 17th century, now forms a vast ruin. Looks impressive but is only one wall thick.  © Copyright Kieran Campbell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 

Lisardowla1

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Elizabeth R. 56. The Queen to the Lord Deputy and the Lord Chancellor.
“Right trustie and well beloved, we greet you well: we are pleased to grant to our right trustie and well beloved, the Baron of Delvin, his heirs and assigns, in fee-farm, our castles, manors, lands, tenements, tithes, and other hereditaments whatsoever, which shall be found by office (inquisition), or other sufficient matter of recorde, to have been the possessions and lands of such persons as have been slayne in actual rebellion against us, sithence the twentieth day of June, in the five-and-thirtieth year of our reign, or of such rebels as hereafter shall be attainted for like cause, and situate in the country of Breny, called the countie of Cavan, or in the countrie of the Anally, called the countie of Longforde, or in both, amounting to the cleare yearly value of one hundred pounds of lawful money of England, at the choice of the Baron, his heirs and assigns, if the same shall be by you thought meete to be passed from us, and not found fit to be reserved in our hands for the use of any garrison or fortification; according to such rents, compositions, and services, as the premises shall appear to have been heretofore helde of us, if any suche shall be founde upon the records of our Exchequer, or else upon reasonable survey to be taken for us, according to the course of our Exchequer in like cases; wherefore our will and pleasure is, and we do authorize and require you, when the Lord of Delvin, his heirs or assigns, or any for him or them, shall bringe unto you any note or notes of any such lands or hereditaments in the counties of Cavan and Longford, then ye shall give him, his heirs and assigns, means, from time to time, to have the just particulars thereof at the hands of our auditor there; and thereupon cause, by advice of our learned Council, one or more books of so much of the castles, manors, lands, tenements, tithes, and hereditaments, as shall amount to the value of £1oo, current money of England, in the counties of Cavan and Longford, to be granted from us, our heirs and successors, in fee-farm, to the said Lord of Delvin, his heirs and assigns for ever, by letters patent under our Great Seal of Ireland ; reserving to us, our heirs and successors, such rents, compositions, and services yearly, as shall be founde by office, survey, or recorde, to have been heretofore paid, or to be hereafter meete to be reserved for any of the said lands and hereditaments, proportionably to the quantity of the lands and hereditaments, unto us or our predecessors; To be holden of us, our heirs and successors, by knight's service, in capite ; with a provisoe to be inserted in such letters patent of the lands to be made to the Baron, that he shall not alienate them, or any part of them, to any of the meere Irishrie or others, who shall not be of English descent; and also we require you, our Council, the Barons of the Exchequer, and all other our officers, to whom it shall appertain, to further the Baron, his heirs and assigns, in the expedition of this our grant : further, for that we have been advertized by you of the chargeable and valorous service of the Baron, during the late rebellion, and of his sufficiencye therein to do us service, and as we understand from him, that for the prosecution of the rebells, which we intend, our forces must be used and employed in his country, we do, therefore, thiuk it fit, and so require you, that of our forces which shall be in our pay, some parte may be assigned to his charge and governmente, either of horse or foote, as you, with the advice of our Council, shall find to be answerable to his degree, ability, and good deserte.”—Palace of Westminster, May 7, 39°.
Memorandum of the Lord Baron of Delvin, having on the 1st of June, in the year aforesaid, come before the Master of the Rolls, and having prayed that the preceding letter should be enrolled, it was accordingly ordered by— A. Sentleger.
              Membrane 7.
Elizabeth R.

1597

https://books.google.com/books?output=text&id=YEyV_RKTt18C&dq=grant+ardagh+delvin&jtp=439

 

 

 With the government showing little inclination to reach a more permanent settlement with the O’Farrells, Delvin led a raid across Lough Ree shortly before Christmas 1548.21

Despite opposition from the nearby Dillons, it seems that Delvin succeeded in gaining a foothold in the southern reaches of the O’Farrell lordship. In 1552 the crown granted the dissolved monastery of Holy Island, Lough Ree, to the baron, together with associated lands and tithes.2

 In the Westmeath context, the Dillons and the Nugents were rivals for pre-eminence and government patronage (and the feud that emerged between the families in the late 1540s was to remain an important factor in Pale politics well into the reign of Elizabeth). Delvin’s presence close to the Dillon sphere of influence was therefore provocative.76

The baron Delvin was also granted the monastic site at Granard, in the northeast of the Annaly lordship; this also represented a projected expansion of English influence. Before the 15th century Granard Abbey had been an exclusively English foundation, but papal order forced it to admit Gaelic men. The house quickly lost its English identity, and fell completely under O’Farrell patronage.24 Thus Delvin’s acquisition of Granard represented an effort to reincorporate former English church lands into English society. Confirmation of the achievements of Baron Richard in enhancing the importance of his house came in 1553, when he joined O’Connor Roe in a devastating raid on the MacDermots of Moylurg, a lordship situated west of the Annaly and a considerable distance from Delvin territory.25

Moreover, Delvin grasped the opportunities presented by more hostile Anglo-Gaelic relations to make inroads into the Annaly lordship, and to enhance his status in Westmeath and across the Shannon into Connaught.

 In contrast to Sir James Croft’s lukewarm commendation of the baron detailed in the previous chapter, Sussex recommended Delvin for the grant and praised him thus: ‘he is of a nobell and auncyent house whose auncestors have dyvers tymes had the government of that realme … his wytte and habylyte to s[er]ve is ryghte good’. Citations 41  Sussex to Mary, 25 Mar 1558 (ibid., S.P. 62/2/31). The baron received a wide-ranging grant, including lands in Westmeath, profits from the manors of Belgard and Fore, the monastery and associated lands of Granard, in Annaly: Cal. pat. roll Ire., Hen. VIII-Eliz., 394

 

 

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