CELT document E740000-001

A Journey to Lough Derg

Isaac Butler

Edited by Austin Cooper

A Journey to Lough Derg

1. A Journey To Lough Derg


(Copied from the Original MS. by the late Austin Cooper, Esq., F.S.A.)

1 Leaving the City of Dublin we proceeded thro' Stonybater to Castleknock so called as being seated on a hill, at a small distance from the great road. This Ancient Castle was built by Sir Hugh Tyrell, Governor of Trim A.D. 1174. It was fortified with large ramparts, parapets & a deep Fosse, the Lands were given to him by Sir Hugh de Lacy, for his Service in the Wars. From the Eminence appears a delightfull prospect of the City of Dublin & it's large Harbour, a noble tract of Mountains in the South, & on the North & West a curious level well cultivated Country, abounding in Vilages, hamlets & Groves, & numbers of Gentlemens & Citizens Country Seats &c. A.D. 1316 E. Bruce, Brother to the King of Scots, with the Earl of Murray & a numerous Army laid Siege to the Castle & took it making the Baron therein prisoner. Bruce lay here for some time & afterwards proceeded into Munster. This Castle with the Lands thereto belonging thro' failure of Heirs Male in A.D. 1370 devolved by the Females into another Family, who have let it fall to ruin, little thereof remaining but part of the Court Walls & the great Tower on the East Side, in which it is said was a Window wherein a lighted Candle being placed in a stormy Night could not be extinguished by the Wind. The town is seated near one 4th of a mile to the North East from the Castle, & is at present but mean. The Church has been considerable, the  p.14 Chancel was large consisting of two arched Isles, at present out of Use & uncovered, the great West Isle is in good repair &. in decent Order has a large Congregation on Sabbath days. There was here antiently a Cell & a Manual priory. This is one of the Prebends of St Patrick's Cathedral Dublin. In the Body of the Church is a large Chest, wherein are deposited the plate, Vestments &c. on which is the following Inscription: —

his Chest made for the Use of Castleknock
Church, Richard Sharpless & James Dunn
Church Wardens 1675.

On a Grave Stone near the Altar in the Church is this Inscription:

Here lye the Bodys of William Proby of
Damestown Esquire of Elizabeth his Wife
Of Anne, & Atalanta his Daughters, of Elizabeth
And Sarah, Daughters of his Second Son Thomas,
Of Anne Wife of his third Son William, of
Robert Nicholas, Son of Elinor daughter of Thomas
his Second Son, of Elenor daughter of Elenor aforesaid,
Of William Eldest Son of Charles Eldest Son of
William aforesaid, Anno ... 2

In the Neighbourhood of Castleknock (which gives name to the Barony) are good quarries of Limestone & in great plenty. A pit was lately opened for Lead oar in which was found yellow & brown Okar superior to any imported, the oar not answering Expectation the pit is since closed up. From hence we proceeded to Blanchardstown, a small Vilage, leaving Abbotstown (the sejour of Admiral Rowley when here) on our right, & by the Continuance of a good road to Curduff, 3 whose curious Groves on the Winding Meanders of the River Tolekan form an agreable prospect. From hence to Malahidert, at present a small Vilage, which antiently was a Guild, one of the prebends of St Patrick's Dublin. The Church at present in ruins is situated on a hill & dedicated to the Virgin Mary, from this appears a most extensive & delightfull prospect into the County of Meath & Dublin, in it was committed a most barbarous & infamous action by some of the neighbouring Inhabitants in September 1690, a Company of Col. Foulkes men in their march to Dublin by stormy rainy weather,  p.15 retreated into the Church for Shelter, but were all of them murdered in cold Blood before the morning, some of these Wretches were afterwards executed in Thomas Street Dublin, amongst them Patrick Moore, Andrew Cannon, Philip Strong, Jonathan Cummin & others made their Escapes. About midway ascending to the Church is an excellent Well, it is carefully walled & several large Trees about it. 4 Here on 8th September a great patron is kept with a vast Concourse of all Sexes & Ages from many miles, upwards of eighty Tents are pitched here furnished with all kinds of Liquors & provisions for the Reception & Refreshment of the Company. From hence thro' a fine Corn Country well cultivated on all Sides to Clonee, a small Vilage with a good Stone Bridge over the Tolekan, which is reported to have the best Trouts in Leinster, the place is in Meath near 1/2 a mile to Westward of the Mearings of the Counties. Dunboyn a mile West of Clonee is a parish town & Capital of the Barony, whichh bears the same Name, it is pleasantly situated in the County of Meath, 5 & has several good Houses in particular Captain Dillon, has a neat Stone House. Colonel Hamilton a noble House with curous Avenues in a genteel Taste. Mr. Lindsey of Lazershill has a neat well wooded Retreat, here is a yearly Fair for Cattle, & a Weekly Market. The Church is on the West Side of the town, it is dedicated to St Peter & St Paul, the Chancell is at present only in Use the body of the Church is in Ruins with the Steeple at the End, this is a Vicarage subordinate to the Deanery of Ratoath. 6 Here was buryed Hugh Brady Bishop of Meath 1583. On a Grave stone in the Church: —

Here lyeth the body of Edward Ford
Of Woodpark esquire who deceased may
the 17th being holy Thursday in the Year 7
of our Lord 1705 and of his Age 63.


Near the former on a Grave Stone also: —

Here lyeth the body of Walter Burton
Of Woodpark esquire who deceased May
the 17th being holy Thursday in the Year
Of our Lord 1731 and of his Age 56. 8

On the left hand entring the Church is a curious Font of brown Marble of an Octogon Form, and the following Letters on four of the Sides: —
SW. CEB. CW. 1579

Passing from hence into the great Turnpike road we left the Pace a noted Inn on our right, & another on the division road to Trim on our left & the Vilage of Rathbegan on our right, from the Bog of this place the Tolekan takes its Spring, from whence passing to Clonee, Malahidert, Corduff, Finglass, Glassneevin & Drumconerath it enters the Sea at Ballybought bridge.

Dunschaghlin 9 13 miles from Dublin takes its name from St Sechnal, who erected a Bishoprick here. He was called by the Irish Shachlin, afterwards the town was called Dun or Domnach Shachlin, which according to Arch Bishop Usher signifies the Church of Shachlin. The Church & Steeple are in good Repair, but the Chancell in Ruins in which with some Difficulty we discovered a Grave Stone in Memory of the Reverend Dr Webb with this Inscription: — 10

Reverendus Noah Webb STB
Decanus Leighninsis nec Non Vicaris
Dunshaghlinensis 8 Hic una cum numerosa
de prole tumulatus Jacet ...
Obit 7mo Augusti Ann. Dom. ... 1696
AEtat sue 58
Henricus Filius Primogenitus posuit
Ad defti incom– Multa desudet
Paucis uti totis Viribus ad Ecclesiasticae &
Patriae Bonvinse contulit

The Town is a 1/4 of a Mile in Length with several good Houses & some neat Inns. there is a Well said to be purgative dedicated to St Sechnall &  p.17 covered over with several large Trees, upon an Infusion of Galls it exhibited a pale Yellow, the Solution of Tartar changed it into a fair blue & that of Logwood into a florid purple. From hence crossing the Lands which are a low rich Soil between a light Clay & Loam, producing great Quantities of all Kinds of Grain & excellent pasturage we came to the antient Town of Trevet North of Dunshachlin. Trevet in the Barony of Skrine was antiently a considerable town & Collony of English it is situated on a rising Ground environed by a fertile Corn Country, at present it is an obscure Vilage not above six poor Cottages & a good Farm House. The Church dedicated to St Patrick has been very considerable at present in Ruins, it was built by the English at their first Entrance into Meath under Sir Hugh de Lacy. 11 In the Body of the Church have been interred a great Number of Noble persons, as appears from the Fragments of their once beautifull Tombs & Monuments, there are some modern ones, the remains of one to the Memory of Sir Thomas Cusack & Family this Tomb was large & beautified with various Sculptures upon the Cover is raised in bass relief the Effigies of Sir Thomas Cusack & Dame Cusack his Wife both in a praying posture with Six Children behind each of them with their Hands in a praying posture all in bass relief. Upon another large Stone belonging to the said Tomb the figure of a Skeleton with bow & Arrow, a Woman in a mourning posture & the following Inscription in some places very difficult to read: — 12


On a Grave Stone within the Church near the North Wall. The Arms 3 Escalops, the Crest a Sword in Hand: —

This Tomb was erected by
Mr Robert Jeallous, March the 25th
1725. Where Under lieth his
Father and Mother Edmond
Jeallous & Mary Woods with
One Child & his Wifes Mary
Pettit & Erinlli Holms where
He designs to be interred him-
-self, where many of his Ancestors
hath been interred these five
Hundred Years Past.

On a raised Tomb with a Coat of Arms, the Crest a Lion passant on a Dragon: —

This Tomb was erected by Mr
John Fitz Patrick of Gerard's Town June
the 22d. Anno Domini 1726 ...
Here lyeth the Body of Mr Laurence
Fitz Patrick who departed this Life
the 23d of February 1722 in the 61 Year
Of his Age, likewise the body of Mrs
Mary Fitz Patrick alias Nugent his
Wife who departed this Life the 26th
day of April 1725 in the 59th
Year of her Age.

From Trevet we took the Short way over the Fields which are covered with Corn & Pasture into the Turnpike Road which leads to Killeen, antiently a Town of Note reduced at present to a few Cabbins. The Castle is a large stately quadrangular Building, erected by Sir Hugh de Lacy A.D. 1180 & was a long time the Habitation of the Plunkets Earls of Fingal who lived from their Arrival with Strongbow. Sir Christopher Plunket was Deputy of Ireland A.D. 1432 which Title (almost defaced) is to be seen upon his Tomb in St Mary's Church a small distance from the Castle North West. This Church was a great Ornament to the Town, it was of Gothic Structure, with 2 Towers at the West End, the East Window was of curious Workmanship with beautifull Cavings & large & high. The Floor of the Church consists of a Number of curious insculped Tombs  p.19 Monuments & Grave Stones, some very antient which time has rendered almost unintelligible. Round the Margin of a Grave Stone: —

Here under lieth the Body ... Esquire
Of Robart Cusack of Gerardstown and Towey
Cusack in Connaght and ...
Margaret Plunket his Wife and his former Wife Margaret
Porter, and the Body of his
Son and Heiair James Cusack Anno Domini 1620

On the Tomb the Cusack's Arms almost defaced. Near the South Entrance within the Church on a large Grave Stone the Passion of Christ is beautifully performed in Bass relief, tho* pretty much defaced with this Inscription:

Here lieth the Bodi of John Quatermas
And his Bedfellow Ellenre ne-hor Oft: this  13
Chu: Porch:
And Leaft. ANAN
SoLs: God Be

At the East End of a large Tomb, whereon is the Figure of a Knight in complete Armour, in haut relief is the following Line in, as I apprehend, Irish Characters [characters unintelligible].

There are several large Grave Stones & Covers of elevated Tombs, with the Figures of Mitred Bishops, some whereof had been inlaid with curious brass Work, others with Scriptural pieces but greatly defaced by time. This Church was a Vicarage subordinate to the Dean of Skreen. In the Chancell on the right of the Altar are 2 Monuments fixed in the Wall with particular Coats of Arms & an Inscription under each as follows: —

Festina Lente
Sir Nicholas Plunket 3d Son to
Christopher Lord Baron of Killeen
& Jane Dillon his Lady, Daughter to James Dillon Lord Baron of Kill-
-keney West, afterwards Earl of
Roscomon died the 25th day of
December, A.D. 1680
And of his Age
the 79th

Dieux en tout
This monument was erected
for him by Sir Valentine Browne
of Ross in the County of Kierry
Bart. & Dame Jane his Wife
Sole Daughter & Heire of the said
Sir Nicholas Plunket & was
finished in the Month of
October 1681.


The Plunket' s original Name was Plugnet they came into England with the Danes & settled here in Strongbow's time. They have enjoyed Honours for several Ages, in 1486 Broughton Plunket Lord of Killeen, 1493 Edmund Plunket Baron & Lord in Parliament, 1549 John Plunket Baron of Killeen, 1682 Luke Plunket Earl of Fingal. The Lands in the Neighborhood are a very rich Soil, affording Plenty of grain with good Pasture & Medows. A small Distance Westward from Killeen is finely situated the antient house & Church of Dunsany, at present in miserable ruins, 14 the Church was a noble large pile 120 foot in Length by 24 in breadth, it's great arched Windows in the Gothic Taste are visible proofs of it's Antient Splendor. In the center of the Chancell (which is seperated from the body of the Church by a large well turned Arch) is a noble raised Tomb of gray marble embelished on the Sides with several Coats of Arms; upon the Cover in haut relief is a Knight in Armour & his Lady on his right in the proper Dress of the Age they lived in, but no Inscription, they are supposed to be the Founders of the Church. In the East Wall is fixt a large black Marble with the Arms of the O Neil videlicet: —
3 Mullets
2 Lyons passant guardant & a bloody hand between them
1 Mullet proper below them
the Crest an extended Arm, armed with a Sword; with the Inscription below them:

Here lyeth the Body of Sir
Bryan O Neille Bart one of the
Justices of the King's Bench in the Reign
of King James the 2d and died the 17th of October
1697, And the Body of Dame Mary his Wife
Sister to the Lord Dunsany, and the
Body of Dame Mary O Neille als Baggot
Who died March the 1st 1714 who was
Wife to Sir Henry O Neille the said Sir Bryan's
Son who erected this Tomb Anno
Domini 1706

Near the West Window is a curious Octagon Font of Green marble, with the Figures of the 12 Apostles in bass Relief on the Sides. There is also on the pedestal the Effigies of 4 Men having a Coat of Arms on their right hand & each of them fronting the 4 cardinal points of heaven. A few yards South of the Church is a large Danish Bath, from whose Summit is  p.21 discovered a beautifull cultivated Country, this Church was a Rectory subordinate to the Deanery of Skryne.

From hence bending our Course Northward we came into the great Turnpike Road which leads to Tarah antiently called Temoria, 17 mile North West from Dublin; it is an hill of easy Ascent near the Center of Meath, upon it's Summit is a plain extending North & South upwards of 100 yards by 30 in breadth. On this place the Monarchs of Ireland had their palace or principal Seat Royal & there kept their Grand Conventions. Historians says that Cormuck McArt the 109 Monarch of Ireland built his great Hall upon this plain & that it was 300 feet in length & 50 in breadth that it had 14 great doors & 1150 waiters daily at his Table. This Hill is encompassed by a spacious plain & is so advantageously situated that from it's Summit, 'tis possible in clear weather to distinguish more than 12 Counties & for a prospect to the Boundaries of the Horizon few places can produce the like, in this Vilage are 2 tolerable Inns. The Church dedicated to St Patrick is on the North Side of the Hill, the Body of the Church ia unroofed, the Chancell only being in use, the steeple at the West end is low & square & open, a worried Bullock made a Shift to go up the Stone Steps to the first loft & fell into the waste part of the Church where he expired on the Spot. 15 In the Chancell on a black marble is this Inscription: —

Here lyeth the body of Robert
Galbraeth late of Rivers Town
in the County of Meath Esq r
who departed this Life Novemb 1
the 2 d Anno 1712 aged 56 Years
Here also lyeth the body of his
Mother M rs Margaret Nisbit who
Departed this Life December
the 28 An 1712 Aged 86 Years

On the North Side of the Hill in a Bottom the Earl of Meath has a large modern Seat, there is a fine Avenue from the Road to the House which with the Rookery forms an agreable prospect. 16 From the Summit of this Hill the Mountain Talten can be easily discerned, where the Taltanian Sports have been much celebrated by the Irish Historians, they consisted of Warlike Exercises, they were held yearly at this Mountain for 15 days before & 15 days after the 1st of August. Lugaidh Lam-Fadha 12th King of Ireland who began to A.M. 2,764 first instituted them. This Country is well inhabited both by rich Farmers & Numbers of Gentlemen who have beautifull Seats  p.22 in several parts thereof, great Quantities of Marl are found in divers parts of the Country with which to good purpose they manure their Lands. Near the great Road on the Side of the Hill was found a Vein of excellent Ocre, both Yellow & Brown as good as any imported. Two Miles North of Tarah, is the Vilage of Skreen, formerly known by the Name of Scrinum Sancti Columbani, it was given by Sir Hugh de Lacy to Adam de Feipo, & praeterea feodum unius militis circa Duvelinum, scilicet Clantorht & Santres &c.

Francis Feipo founded an Augustin Monastery here in the Reign of Edward 3d. The Church dedicated to Columb-cille, is delightfully situated on the Summit of the Hill (above the town) the Chancell only is in Repair the other part is uncovered, at the West end a Steeple; over the Entrance of the Church is a much time defaced Bust of the Saint. 17 This is a Rural Deanery belonging to the Bishop of Meath, it has eleven Vicarages & 4 Rectories. From the Church appears a delightfull prospect to the North & North East. In clear Weather the Mountains of the County of Armagh those of Dundalk & Carlingford may be easily seen, with a prospect of the Sea near Drogheda. In the burial Ground of the antient Church may be seen the Fragments of Tombs, Grave Stones some of them very antique. In the Church near the Altar, on a large Grave Stone: —

Hoc MonuMENTum GuAETEro
MARWARde BARoni A Scrin
ConiuGi Ac MatildAE DARcey Mari
GeNEr A Delvin Minor Natu
Filius at IeNEta MARWARD HE AEres
et Unica Natu PoSUErunt EcclesiAE
Ornamento hic VEro sepultus
MEmoriae PerpetuAE
Iohanes Cusack Fuisdem GVA ERTl
ex MaTRE Germanus FraTER sculpsi
Manu Propria Anno Domi. 1611. 18


From hence turning to the left we came into the great Turnpike Road, passing by Ardsallagh, on the west Bank of the Boyne, the beautifull Seat of Mr Ludlow the House is lofty & well designed with a fine Firr Grove which almost encompass the House here are delightfull Gardens, & curious subterraneous Grottos. 19 — Kilcarne 21 miles from Dublin here is a stately strong Stone Bridge of 5 Arches over the Boyne. 20 A Mile of good Road brought us to Navan, the Capital of the Barony & is a Borough & sends 2 Members to Parliament, it is situated on a rising Ground near the Conflux of the Boyne & Blackwater, the Town is compact & tolerably well built, in the great Street the Market house a low mean building. A large weekly Market here on Wednesdays with 4 Fairs in the Year it was formerly noted for one of the best Markets in Leinster, for Cattle & Grain the Dublin Butchers had this for their Common Market before Smithfield was built. The Church lately rebuilt is low, without a Steeple & on the left entering the town. 21 On the South Side of the Black near it's Conflux with the Boyne, was a famous Abbey; on the Scite of which the present Horse Barracks are built. In the Abbey burial Ground are Remains of some Old Tombs & Figures in Haut Relief. Upon the Cover of a large tomb is the following: —

Here lyeth the Body of Phinehas Eckersley
Of Bective in the County of Meath Son of
Roger Eckersley of Balreask Gent: who depa-
rted this Life June the third 90 in the 26th Year
Of his Age, Also the Body of Phinehas Eckersley
this Son born the 1st of July 90 after his Fathers
Death, who departed the 12th of the said Month
This Tomb Stone was ordered by his Relict the
Daughter of Richard Janns of Black Castle
Esqiure in Memory of her said Husband Roger.

Sir Hugh de Lacy walled this town & gave it the Lands belonging thereto, with those of Ardbracan unto Joceline Son of Gilbert de Nangle, the Borough gives Title of Baron to the Bight Honourable James Darcey.  p.24 On the East Bank of the Boyne opposite to Navan are the Ruins of the great House of Athlomney, tis reported that one of the Families of the Maguires was living in it when Oliver Cromwell took Drogheda & to prevent Oliver from getting any Shelter or Subsistence there, set the Stately Fabrick on Fire which consumed all the curious Apartments which were said to be very rich & costly. A small Distance to the Westward of this house are the Ruins of a large Church with the Remains of several Tombs & Grave Stones on one may be read this Inscription: —

Hoc Monumentum est erectum inveri
BonAE Vite Boni Gulielmi Gough Memo
Et Ejus Sponsae Matronae spectassimae
Anno CHEevers quae hic tumulatur et
usque Posteris Anno Domini
Tatu — Disce quis hac lapidum Submole Viator
Conditur et Coelum Scandere posce Deum

This was a Vicarage in the Deanery of Skrine.


A mile North East from hence are the Ruins of the Antient Church of Kilkervan it was a large stately Gothic Edifice the East Window was lofty adorned with curious fret Work, in the West end is a noble large Pont of Gray Marble with our Savior & his 12 Apostles in haut relief on the Pedestal well wrought. There have been several Tombs & Grave Stones but most of them demolished, one near the Altar has this Inscription under a Coat of Arms: —

Here lyeth the Body of Humphry Barry of
Killcarne Gent: who departed this Life
the 17th day of March 83 also Susan Porester
his Wife who departed this Life the 18th
day of March 91 this monument was
erected by their Son Richard Barry in Memory of
his beloved Pather & Mother — 1692

This Church was a Vicarage in the Deanery of Duleek & Diocese of Meath. At a distance from hence not exceeding a Mile northward on a rising Bank are the Ruins of the antient Castle of Dunnae also that of Ardmulcan Church & Steeple a Rectory in Duleek Deanery. On the North Side of the Church is a large Danish Rath a great Ornament to the Place. A Mile North West from Navan on the Bank of the Blackwater are the Ruins of the antient Church of Donamore it is an Original being a low rude Building the Steeple at the West end of a circular Form 93 foot high, the Covering pyramidal with four Windows under it opposite to the four points of Heaven, the Door for Entrance 6 feet above the Surface of the Earth, this is a Vicarage under the Deanery of Slane. 22 The Vilage is mean, near it in the Center of the Road is an Antient Heathen Monument of Seven great Stones in a circular form & about 2 foot 1/2 above the Earth. Near  p.127 2 miles North West on the Bank of the Blackwater, lies pleasantly situated, the antient town of Donagh Patrick, from whence is a good prospect of a delightfull Country in a wholesome air, this place is greatly reduced, the Church was a curious large Gothic Pile dedicated to St Patrick; 23 at the East End is a large Grave Stone with the following Coat, the Crest a Pelican: "Virtus in actione consistit." 24

Coll: Mathias Everard departed
this Life, 12th day of March
1714/5 And by his Will directed
his Brother Christopher
Everard of Randelstown Esquire
to lay this tomb stone in the
Roome of an Old one that was
defaced in this Church of
Donagh Patrick by time, where
Many of their Ancestors are
interred, for the said Christopher
And his Posterity.
Requiescant in Pace.

In the Chancell close to the Wall is a large brown Marble Grave Stone,  p.128 Whereon is in raised Work y History of the Crucifixion & on the Edges of the stone with some difficulty may be read this Inscription:  25

The Church is a Vicarage under Deanery of Kells, this part of Meath is well cultivated mostly under Corn, from the Vilage is a fine prospect of the neighboring Plains covered with Hagards & Barns. Half a Mile West of Navan is a great Dean's Rath encompassed with 2 Fosses, it is a large high Mount with Parapets. Ardbreacan antiently Tibrudultan, 2 Miles West of Navan has been considerable in former Ages, it appears by an Irish Mss, that A. D. 1134 Sitricus Prince of the Deans at Dublin spoiled Ardbracan, in 1136 Dermot King of Leinster burnt it, King John kept his Court A.D. 1208. This town from a rich flourishing place, is at present a poor mean Vilage, by it's Situation it is capable of vast Improvements. The Land is blest with a fertile Soil for grain & pasturage, in the neighborhood is one of the best Lime Stone Quarries in the Kingdom, it is cut into Tomb Stones, Chimney-pieces &c bearing a polish equal to the best Marble, it is a curious grey Color. The Church dedicated to St Oultan is a modern Erection on the Foundation of the antient one, which was large & beautifull as appears from some of it's antient venerable remains in the Chancell. 26 From the Number of the Fragments of Tombs & Grave Stone it was a great burial place for persons of Distinction & Merit but Time & bad Usage have rendered them unintelligible. Here was a large noble Abbey. In this Diocese is neither Dean nor Chapter, nor Cathedral, nor Oeconomy it was divided into 11 rural Deaneries which were so many Sees before the Arrival of the English. The Antient Mansion house falling into Decay, was taken down by Bishop Price, who laid the Eoundation of a magnificent Structure the 2 Wings are finished in the Augustine Taste & it is expected that y' present Bishop Maule will finish the Body. 27 The Inhabitants  p.129 are badly supplyed with Water, there being but one Spring (dedicated to St Oultan) in the town a small distance South West from the Church. Bending our Course Northerly at 2 miles distance we came to the Castle of Liscarton a noble large Fabrick of fine hewn Stone at present in decay. A small distance from the Castle are the Ruins of a neat small Church of hewn Stone but lined with Brick, there was a beautifull Window both in the East & West, this was a Vicarage belonging to the Deanery of Trim.

On the right of the Road are the Ruins of Castle Martin the Habitation of Adam de Ruport A.D. 1182 one of the Adventurers with Strongbow. Kells or Kenlis 29 miles from Dublin is pleasantly situated on a rising Ground not far from the banks of the Blackwater, it forms an agreable prospect for 2 miles in a gradual Ascent to the town, it was formerly larger & walled with Gates & Towers by the English soon after their Arrival & was esteemed amongst the Cities of the first Rank in Ireland & was the Key of those parts of Meath against the Incursions of the Ulster men. The Castle built by the English in 1178 is in the market place, on the right entring the Main Street, 28 which had some fashionable houses in it. Opposite to the Castle is a large Cross of one entire Stone erect, adorned with several Figures in Bass Relief with Irish Inscriptions 29 altogether unintelligible, of great Antiquity. The Church 30 dedicated to St Cenan, is in the West part of the Town, it was large with a square Steeple in the Center, at present the Chancell is in Use, the West Isle being uncovered. Over the North on a Marble Plate: —

This Windowe
was builded bi Ri
chard floudi of
Kenlis Merchean
nt the 12 of Juli
1578 whose Soule
God take to his

 p.130 On the South West Corner on a Plate of Black Marble over 3 large Crosses: — 31

On the right entring the Church Door is in very bad cut Characters, are the following Lines scarce legible: —

The Bodie of this Tomb being in utter ruyn & Decaie was reedi-
-fied in Anno Domini 1578 11 Elizabeth XX throghe the dilige
ce & Care of the reverende father in God Hugh Brady Byshop of Meat
He & Sir Thoe Gar— Archdiaco of the same & Dean of Christ Church
in Dublin both of her Majestic is prive Counsaile & Sir Henry Sidney
Knight of the Noble Ordire being then Lord Deputie &c the said.

In the burying Ground on the Cover of a large raised Tomb is: —

Hie infra sitae sunt exuviae
Viri vere Reverendi
Iacobi Morecraft S T P
Archidiaconi Midensis
Doci Probi Pii
Qui per Viginti quinque Annorum Spaticum
Gregi Constatur incumbens
Fideliter invigilavit
AEdes hasce Deo sacras
Impensis partim propriis
Ab aliis partim erogatis
Autores redidit et excornavit
die Aprilis nona
Anno Dom. 1723
AEtatis Suae 54

On the South Side of the Churchyard is a Round Tower 99 feet in Height it has under the roofed Cap 32 which ends in a point 4 Windows each opposite to the Cardinal & Here was a famous Abbey. Anno 1152 a Synod was held here. Kells was esteemed for the Birth place of several holy persons as St Kennan & it gives title of Viscount to the Earl of Cholmondeley, is a Borough & returns 2 members to Parliament. Sir Thomas Taylor has a noble dwelling on the left entring the Town but makes no Figure being  p.131 blinded by walls & trees. Here are 4 yearly Fairs. This being the last Town on this Side of the County of Meath. I shall conclude with this remark. That the Inhabitants were always esteemed a warlike hardy People witness their many Conflicts with the Deans, their routing & destroying the Armies of Reginal & Broader 2 Danish Kings & often having the Balance of Power in the Kingdom. East Meath is a curious flatt Country, well cultivated with a fertile Soil abounding in all the necessaries of Life & esteemed one of the richest in Grain of all Kinds in the Kingdom not to mention their Sheep & black Cattle well known to Smithfield Dublin, the Country was divided into 2 Counties the 34 Henry 8.

A Mile from Kells we passed over a Stone bridge of 3 Arches thro which flows the Blackwater from Lough Ramour, the Country appears open & waste with few houses. 3 miles more westerley brought us to the Boundaries of the Province of Leinster & Ulster & into the County of Cavan, not far from hence near Lough Vanch was a fine Convent. The Country is here very rude & desolate, a large Bog on our right & on the left Lough Ramor, which is said to be 4 miles in length & one in bredth, plentifully stored with Wild Foul & Fish. A small Island a Pistol Shot from shore had a good dwelling house on it, with large Gardens well laid out belonging to Col. Woodward of Kells who on the 28th of May 1726 the Birth day of his late Majesty invited several Gentlemen in that Neighborhood to a friendly Collation, where having several pieces of Cannon firing, one of them burst & tore the Colonel, in pieces, since which time the House has lain waste & is falling into Ruin. 33

Virginia, entring the County on that Side (in the Barony of Castle Raghen) is on the North Bank of Lough Ramor, upon the Elbow thereof which trends southerly, a poor despicable place not affording a Tolerable Inn. Here is a good Stone Bridge of 3 Arches over a River which enters Lough Ramor. From hence thro a rude barren Country of craggy Rocks with Mountains covered with bogs & heath, the Road up & down hill, with a few scattered miserable Cabbins, to Bally James Doough, or Black Jamesstown, here is a Barrack for a Company of Foot, 2 Inns about 12 houses, a rivulet with a Stone bridge divides the town, there is annually a Fair here 18 October for black Cattle said to be the greatest in the Kingdom. Forwards the Country puts on a better Countenance, the Husbandman's Labour is here apparent from the great Increase of Tillage, having plenty of small Barley, Bear & Oates, there appear no Copses Woods &c., the lands here are generally divided & inclosed either by a dry ditch or dead Stone Wall. 34


Crosskeys a convenient good Inn 44 miles from Dublin is commodiously situated, by a River, Mill & Bog.

Cavan computed 49 Miles from Dublin is between Hills & cannot be perceived untill one enters therein, the great Street aranges North & South, above one 4th of a Mile: wherein are several good Inns also the County Goal & Session House a large Stone Building, the Church is small & near the bridge, the River, a branch of Lough Earne, is called from the Irish derivation the Milkriver, there goes a merry tale of a man who travelling from hence into Fermanagh where being charged for his milk told his Hostess that if she was were he came from, she should have as much as could drink & fill her Churns without payment.

Here was formerly a strong Castle but was demolished by the Earl of Kildare A.D. 1514. Here was also a large & beautifull Franciscan Monastery. Cavan gives Title to Earl of the Lambert Family, is a Borough, has 4 annual Fairs & a market on Tuesday.

From hence to Belturbet are counted 7 miles of troublesome road from the Number of Hills or Brays, the Lands are well laid out & cultivated with Grain. About midway we passed over Butler's bridge of 5 strong Stone Arches over a branch of Lough Earne, here a Corn, a tucking & a Paper Mill all set a going under one Roof & by one Wheel. From hence the road becomes agreable, on our left the gentle Streams of Loughearne & on the right the rising Hills and Loughs at the Intervals covered with wild Fowl of all Kinds produce a most entertaining Prospect. Belturbet is pleasantly situated upon the bank of Loughearne. Entring the mean Street, the town arranges in a strait Line which with the Market House Church & Steeple form a pleasant prospect. The Barracks are neatly built at the North Entrance of the town & have the Lough in front. The Church is at the South end on a rising Ground from whence appears a beautifull prospect of the Country & Lough. At the North End of the bridge Lord Lanesborough has a House, a large quadrangular Building the Gardens behind the house are well laid out on the banks of the Lough. The Bridge of 5 Arches is in the West Street, here are several Boats & Lighters, which take in Goods & Passengers for Eniskillen & several parts of the Country, this town is a Borough & a Rectory & Vicarage in Kilmore diocess. No Roman Catholic is allowed to live on the East Side of the bridge. Here are 4 Yearly Fairs.

Two miles brought us to Aghalan bridge & Vilage, the bridge divides the Counties of Cavan & Fermanagh, a Mile from hence we had a large Lough 2 miles in Length plentifully stored with Fowl. This Country from the great Variety of Plantations in such good Order makes the whole appear like a continued or delightfull Garden.

At Callyhill John Ennery esquire has a Seat it lies at a small distance on the left of the great road, in a fine sporting Country, brush Woods abound in this part. There are neither Inns nor Alehouses on this road, yet almost every house have for public Sale, Aquavitae or Whiskey, which is greatly  p.133 esteemed by the Inhabitants, as a wholesome balsamic Diuretic they take it here in common at & before their Meals. To make it the more agreable they fill an Iron pot, with this Spirit, putting Sugar, mint & butter & when it hath seethd for some time, they fill their square Cans which they call Meathers & thus drink out them to each other. What is surprizing they will drink it to Intoxication & are never sick after it, neither doth impair their healths. An Irish Doctor took upon him 300 Years since to give the following ludicrous Virtues of Aquavitae.

  1. It dryeth the breakings out on the Hands.
  2. Killeth Fleshworms.
  3. cureth the scald of the Head.
  4. keeps back Old Age.
  5. strengthens Youth.
  6. helpeth digestion.
  7. cutteth plegm.
  8. casts off melancholy.
  9. enlightneth the heart.
  10. quickneth the mind & Spirits.
  11. cureth the Dropsie.
  12. healeth the stranguary.
  13. expelleth the gravel.
  14. wastes the stone.
  15. breaketh wind marvelously.
  16. keepeth the head from gidiness, &c.

A house or 2 forms the Vilage of Stragownagh which is remarkable for 2 Yearly Horse Fairs.

Kinawly formerly a town of good Account at present consists of one house, the Remains of a Foot barrack & the ruins of a large Church, this was a Vicarage in the Diocess of Kilmore. The Country here appears rude & thin of Inhabitants, however it is in many places cultivated. The famous nitro-sulphurious Spa of Swadlingbar is in the Neighborhood, much frequented by persons of Quality, here is a good Inn & several houses for the Reception of the Water drinkers. 35 It is delightfully situated in a fine Sporting Country, the great Mountain Benaghlin of a prodigious height & flat Top, 2 miles North West & that of Gallaheen South East a mile or better from Swadlingbar form an agreable rural prospect.

Florence court 3 miles northerly from the former is the Seat of the Reverend Mr. Loyd; the house Gardens & Groves are well designed & laid out in beauteous Forms; here is a Spa but not much frequented.

The road from hence for 4 miles in full of hills to Eniskillen 75 miles  p.134 North west from Dublin, the town is an Island in the narrow part of Loughearne which connects the upper & Lower Loughs into one. The town is joined to the main Land by 2 strong Stone bridges on the North & South Sides, the latter was fortified with a square Tower, Gates & a Drawbridge. Likewise a small regular Fort of four bastions which command the Entrance, at present demolished from this to the North bridge better than the 4th of a mile is laid out in a Street of good houses mostly of Stone. The Church is near the Center, large with cross Isles, a Steeple & Spire, the Barracks are opposite the Church on the Bank of the Lough, the Sessions house & Goal a modern large stone Building are near the North bridge. Here is a great Thursday market & 2 yearly Pairs. This town is a Borough.

A Mile east of the town near the banks of the Lough was St. Mary's Abbey at Lisgavil. At Dam-inis otherwise Dovenish Island in the Lough was a famous Abbey of curious Gothic Workmanship, at the East End of the Abbey withinside, about 8 foot high is an Ancient Inscription in Church text hand, the Letters & Stops are all raised as follows. — which in modern Characters is thus: —

Matheus O Dubagan hoc opus fecit
Bartholemeo O Flannagan priori de Daminis
A.D. 1449.

East of the Abbey is a beautifull round Steeple 69 feet high, of hewn Stone within & without, & the roof of the same in form of a Cone finish in one large Stone in form of a Bell, 4 Windows at the top opposite the Cardinal points with a man's Face over each, next to this Steeple is St. Molaise's house of hewn Stone & vaulted which ends in a point, near this house is his Bed in the Shape of a Stone Coffin, where he used to pray. The Natives say the pains or Aches in the back are relieved by lying in the bed, vix credo. The Church the most Easterly building was large & beautifull with a noble carved Window over the Altar, the Inscriptions were many but all erased and destroyed.

At Bell Con in this Neighborhood on the road to Sligo is a famous Well called Davagh Patrick, or the holy Well it is found by repeated Experience to be the best Cold Bath in the Kingdom, having releived Numbers in nervous & paralitic Disorders, & is coming into great request, it is exceeding transparent & so intensly cold the that it throws one into a shaking Fit by putting one's hand into it, it exhibits a Stream that turns 2 mills at 150 Yards from the Spring. 36 In April & May succeeding the great Frost in 1740 happened an Accident that gave Birth to a Miracle at this Spring but they could not ascribe the Saint without it was St. Patrick; the water was changed into the Color of Milk & as it was of a fine solf nature it quickly gaind the repute of being milk by the Vulgar who flockt from all parts to  p.135 see it they could not be convinced to the Contrary untill it ceased, it continued 7 Weeks.

Father O Mulloy thus accounted for it, that the ajacent lands were full of marly bottoms, that this Spring having it's Channel thro those beds of Marl, upon the breaking of the Frost, the marl was loosened & fell into the Spring and gave it the tincture which subsiding it returned to it's usual Transparency & then the Wonder ceased.

From Eniskillen to Bally-Cassidy are reckoned 4 miles of bad road mostly brays, this is a mean Vilage, here is a Stone bridge of 3 Arches over a deep River which falls into Lough Earne. A Mile to the right of this place are the Daughters, a number of subterraneous Caves, the curious Works of Nature, the first Entrance is by a Cave 25 feet high, the roof is a Rock composed of various pieces of irregular Order, this leads into another of the same form but not so lofty, & from thence continued into a Multitude of Chambers & Meanders, where they terminate has not yet been discovered a small rivulet passing thro these unknown recesses discharges itself at the Entrance of this wonderful Grotto.

The Lands in this Neighbourhood, are well cultivated & fenced, the Roads are good but troublesome from the Number of Hills, 2 miles from the former are the ruins of Yellow church (on the road side) from whence so called unknown; it is of rude Sculpture & built like a Barn, several fabulous Stories are related of this Church, one Instance is sufficient. The Founder (unknown to this day) being advertised in a Vision to erect a Church in a place named, he not regarding what the Vision informed him of builds it a considerable distance from the place where he should, when finished & consecrated, it was by Angels in one night taken up & laid where it now stands.

From hence to Lisnaridh, the Country is well cultivated fenced & covered with Copses, small Woods & thro whose Intervals we had delightfull prospects of Loughearne & the Islands which are covered with Copses, Cattle, Sheep, Goats & the ruins of Old Churches & Steeples, here we may behold a broken & interrupted Scene, made up of an infinite Variety of inequalities & Shadowings the naturally arise from an agreable mixture of Hills, Groves, Vallies & Islands.

This Town is the Capital of the Barony (which bears the Name) & here the Seneschal has his Court: this Country seems to be well inhabited but few Houses to be seen, being covered with Copses, Trees & high Hedges: the Inhabitants are well made strong & robust & all have the Scotch Accent: their Food mean in the general being Oat Bread & Meal, potatoes & great Eaters of Bread & Butter, which they wash down with their Aquavitae. A small Vilage called Cash seated in a miry Bottom, with a River & Bridge scarce 12 houses in it, 3 of which carry on a great Trade in the distilling of Whiskey, this Spirit is carried about the Country where they have a great call for it. Custom has so far prevailed here that they prefer this Spirit before any Malt Liquor; You may walk miles before you can  p.136 get any of the latter except it be in a Gentleman's or great Farmer's House.

We had here again a noble prospect of Loughearne which is upwards of 3 Leagues wide & bounded on the opposite Shoar by a vast high Mountain pretty much resembling the Hill of Howth; we also could perceive several Islands at a great Distance. In one of these Islands Sir Henry Spoteswood had a fine Seat, with Gardens Orchard, a Vilage with a Church & Steeple; which was an earthly Paradice, for privacy & Quietness, furnishd with all Kinds of provisions, with great Variety of delightfull pastime of Pleasure, such as fishing, fowling hunting the Otter & Game of all Kinds.

There is an Island near the North Shore of the Lough which is called the Bow Island, 3 miles long & near one & a 1/2 wide; on which are several Vilages, whose Inhabitants as is said seldom come on Shoar but live in that silent Retreat marry amongst each other & are blest with all the common Necessaries of Life.

This Lough, which is called the broad Lough to distinguish it from the part which is between Eniskillen & Belturbet abounds in Fish & Fowl of all Kinds, which might turn to great Advantage to the Natives did Industry prevail. In a stormy Gale this Lough resembles a Sea, by the working of the Waves, which come on Shoar equal to those of the wide Ocean.

Petigo a parish Town in the County of Donegal, the River & Bridge divide the County & Fermanagh, the Church is in good Repair as is the Glebe House adjoining it; the Vilage is small yet there is a large Congregation on Sundays at the Church, an apparent Demonstration that the Country is well inhabited.

A Mile South East from this, near the East Bank of a small River is a noble Nitro Sulphurious Spa, reputed a grand Antiscorbutic a good purger of watry Humours & a speedy remedy for the Cholic. Numbers resort hither who meet with Success in those Disorders. The Water is limpid of a whitish Cast, but intollerably fetid, in Smell & Taste not much unlike rotten Eggs mixed with the washing of a foul Gun barrel, the Sides of the Well are covered with a white Crustation, some blades of Grass found in the Well were tinged with a Copper Colour. By an Infusion of Galls it was changed into a thick muddy blackish Whey Colour, it left a great Sediment on the Sides & Bottom of the Glass & seemd to dissolve the scraping of ye Galls: the Infusion of Logwood turned it into a deep purple, a Silver Sixpence in 15 minutes was changed into a deep Yellow inclining to black & continued so for several Days, several persons send for this Water.

Three miles North from Petigoe, encompassed with high barren Mountains of difficult Ascent, Lough-Derg is seated in the Valley, in the parish of Temple Carne, Barony of Tirhu & County of Donegall in Latitude 54 Degrees 10 min. North, it is almost 3 Miles long & 2 broad, there are several Islands in it, the most remarkable is on the South East Side of the Lough within a short Mile of the main Land & is called St. Patrick's Purgatory.

Document details

The TEI Header

File description

Title statement

Title (uniform): A Journey to Lough Derg

Editor: Austin Cooper

Author: Isaac Butler

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled and proof-read by: Beatrix Färber

Funded by: University College, Cork, School of History

Edition statement

1. First draft

Extent: 12610 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2016

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: E740000-001

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT project for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Notes statement

This account was first brought to our notice by Dr C.J. Woods, formerly of the RIA.

Source description

Internet resources for place-names in Ireland

  1. www.logainm.ie
  2. www.placenamesni.org

Online availability

  • This text is available on www.archive.org

Literature, including that mentioned in the notes

  1. Roderic O'Flaherty, Ogygia seu, Rerum Hibernicarum chronologia: Ex pervetustis monumentis fideliter inter se collatis eruta, atque e sacris ac prophanis literis primarum orbis gentium tam genealogicis, quam chronologicis sufflaminata praesidiis. (...) (London 1685). (An English translation by the Reverend James Hely was published in Dublin 1793).
  2. Anthony Dopping, Meath Visitation Book 1682–1685 (=a manuscript entitled: Visitation compiled by the Most Revd Anthony Dopping, Bishop of Meath, 1682–1685, entitled 'The Book of the Churches in the Diocese of Meath and the Unions Made by the Legislature, begun 1682, finished 1685, RCB [Representative Church Body] Library D7/1/1A).
  3. William King, The State of the Protestants in Ireland under the late King James's government. Fourth ed., with editions (London 1692).
  4. John Stearne (=Johanne Stearne), Tractatus de visitatione infirmorum: seu de eis parochorum officiis, quae infirmos, et moribundos, editio secunda (Londini 1704).
  5. John Lodge, The Peerage of Ireland, 4 volumes (London 1754).
  6. William Wilson, The post-chaise companion: or, travellers directory, through Ireland. Containing a new and accurate description of the direct and principal cross roads with particulars of the noblemen and gentlemen's seats, cities, towns, parks, natural curiosities, antiquities, castles, ruins, manugacturer, loughs, glens, harbours, etc. etc. Forming an historical and descriptive account of the kingdom. To which is added, a dictionary, or alphabetical tables. Shewing the distance of all the principal cities, boroughs, market and sea port towns, in Ireland from each other (Dublin 1786).
  7. J. C. Erck, The Irish Ecclesiastical Register (Dublin 1817).
  8. Gregory Greendrake, The angling excursions of Gregory Greendrake in Ireland (Dublin 1826).
  9. John Dalton (D'Alton), The history of the county of Dublin (1838).
  10. John T. Gilbert, Chartularies of St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin: with the register of its house at Dunbrody, and Annals of Ireland (London 1884–1886).
  11. P. D. Vigors, Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead in Ireland, Journal for the Year 1890 (Dublin).
  12. Richard Pococke, Pococke's Tour in Ireland in 1752, ed. by George T. Stokes (Dublin 1891).
  13. Goddard H. Orpen, The Song of Dermot and the Earl (Oxford 1892).
  14. Philip O' Connell, "A Co. Cavan itinerary circa 1744", Breifne, 2:6 (1963) 254–273 (an annotated extract, with notes, relating to Cavan itinerary).
  15. C. J. Woods, Travellers' accounts as source material for Irish historians (Dublin 2009).

The edition used in the digital edition

‘A Journey to Lough Derg’ (1892). In: Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland‍ 22. Ed. by [Royal Irish Academy], pp. 13–24, 126–136.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  editor 	 = {Austin Cooper},
  title 	 = {A Journey to Lough Derg},
  journal 	 = {Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland},
  editor 	 = {[Royal Irish Academy]},
  address 	 = {Dublin },
  publisher 	 = {University Press},
  date 	 = {1892},
  volume 	 = {22 },
  pages 	 = {13–24; 126–136}


Encoding description

Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling declarations

The present text covers pp 331–341.

Editorial declarations

Correction: The text has been checked and proofread twice.

Normalization: The electronic text represents the edited text. 'Instances of 'ye, yt, ys' were changed to 'the, that, this', and 'wch' to 'which'. Spelling, capitalization and punctuation in the text are uneven. Punctuation has been normalized silently on some occasions. In two cases inscriptions have been omitted, but readers may consult the digitized version on www. archive.org.

Quotation: Direct speech is rendered q.

Hyphenation: Soft hyphens are silently removed. Words containing a hard or soft hyphen crossing a page-break or line-break have been placed on the line on which they start.

Segmentation: div0= the description; page-breaks are marked pb n=""/.

Standard values: Dates are standardized in the ISO form yyyy-mm-dd. Date values are encoded.

Interpretation: Titles of books, and words in other languages than English, are marked.

Reference declaration

A canonical reference to a location in this text should be made using “text”, eg text 1.

Profile description

Creation: By Isaac Butler (1689–1755)

Date: c. 1745

Language usage

  • The text is in English. (en)
  • Some text is in Latin. (la)
  • Some words are in French. (fr)

Keywords: description; prose; travel; churches; inscriptions; Lough Derg; whiskey; 18c

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2016-08-04: SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2016-08-02: File proofed (2); markup checked; bibliographic details added. File parsed and validated. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2016-07-29: File proofed (1), structural and content encoding applied. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 2016-07-29: Text captured. (text capture Beatrix Färber)


For details of the markup, see the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)

page of the print edition

folio of the manuscript

numbered division

 999 line number of the print edition (in grey: interpolated)

underlining: text supplied, added, or expanded editorially

italics: foreign words; corrections (hover to view); document titles

bold: lemmata (hover for readings)

wavy underlining: scribal additions in another hand; hand shifts flagged with (hover to view)

TEI markup for which a representation has not yet been decided is shown in red: comments and suggestions are welcome.

Source document


Search CELT

  1. This description of a Journey from Dublin to the Shores of Lough Dergh appears worth being preserved. It took place soon after the year 1740, for it will be observed that that date is mentioned in the manuscript, being a period of “great frost,” which the author considered had caused the disturbance of some marly deposit, producing a milky colouration in the waters of a “holy well called Davogh Patrick.” Dr. Maule is mentioned as Bishop of Meath. He held the See from 1744 to 1758. We find several incidental remarks of interest recorded in our traveller's account of his journeyings. His description of the universal prevalence of home manufacture in whiskey in certain localities deserves to be noticed; also his statement of the manner in which it was consumed, and its effects upon the health of the people. The arbitrary magisterial proceedings in favour of the preservation of goldfinches at Dunshaughlin are worthy of remark. Likewise several of his passing observations about local customs, and the social condition of the peasantry at the time of his journeying along the northern roads about 150 years ago. It is a matter of regret that the copying of monumental inscriptions was not carried out with sufficient carefulness, but it appeared preferable to preserve unchanged the spelling of the entire manuscript, and especially of the different inscriptions which are presented verbatim with literal correctness. It will not be difficult to detect and rectify many errors Mr. Butler fell into of an obvious character. I have to acknowledge my obligations to A. D. Cooper, Esq., of Baldoyle, for permitting the publication of this communication, copied, as already stated, by A. Cooper, Esq., his grandfather, from the original manuscript. — W. Frazer, F.R.C.S.I. The notes signed G. T. S. have been added by Dr. Stokes. The other notes are those of Mr. Butler, the author of the tour, or of Mr. Cooper, the transcriber. 🢀

  2. The family of Proby was seated at Damestown, three miles beyond Castleknock, on the right, till the end of the last century at least: see Wilson's Postchaise Companion, ed. 1786, p. 67. In Colonel Vigor's Memorials of the Dead for 1890, p. 167, a Captain William Proby appears as presenting a chalice to St Michan's church, which he sent out of Spain. This may have been early in the 17th century. 🢀

  3. This place, otherwise Corduff, must be distinguished from Corduff, near Lusk. Prior to 1690 it was the property of a Thomas Warren, who took the losing side and forfeited it. See Dalton's County Dublin, p. 564. It was, however, the seat of a Mr. Warren in 1786 — Postchaise Companion, p. 67. So the family would seem to have recovered their property. Corduff is now the seat of Mr. M. Butterly. G. T. S. 🢀

  4. Dalton, p. 581, describes this well, which was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, as still existing under the shade of two very ancient ash trees, and as producing very fine water. It was in just the same state in 1786, as we learn from the Postchaise Companion, col. 68: “Near Mulhuddert churchyard is a very handsome well, supplied with a remarkably fine spring of water, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, whose statue in miniature is set up in a niche of the building, in form of a small house round the well.” G. T. S. 🢀

  5. The Country was called in the early ages Hyniellia or the Territory of Neill, from Neill the Great whose four Sons planted themselves in this Country, which being divided among them their posterity, were called the South Neills, as those who moved into Ulster were called the North Neils. Flagherty's Ogygia, p. 400 🢀

  6. The Church of Dunboyne was, in ancient times, impropriate in the Augustinian Priory of St. Mary at Mullingar. The Prior was rector of Dunboyne parish, and besides owned considerable property in Dunboyne parish. His ecclesiastical profits out of the church were locally called “The door of St. Peter's Church in Dunboyn.” Bishop Dopping, in his Meath Visitation Book, now in Marsh's Library, incorrectly says that it was impropriate in the Dominican Friary of Mullingar, which was quite distinct from the Augustinian Priory. The Dominicans did, however, own some land in Dunboyne parish. The vicarage in Dopping's time (1693) was worth £60 per annum. The rectory impropriate in Sir Lawrence Parsons was worth £250 per annum. In 1693 the Rev. Thomas Hawly was vicar. The church was then in the same state as at the date of our tour fifty years later. The chancel was in repair; the body of the church in ruin since 1641. — G. T. S. 🢀

  7. That is Ascension Day. 🢀

  8. Woodpark would seem to have often changed its owners in the last century. In the Postchaise Companion for 1786 it is thus described: “About a quarter of a mile on this side the Black Bull Inn on the left, is Woodpark, the seat of Mrs. Shields.” — G.T.S. 🢀

  9. The Neighbourhood of this town is remarkable for breeding the greatest Quantities of Goldfinches & are supposed to be the best Songsters of their Kind in the Kingdom, Noah Webb Esquire & Justice of the peace has made it penal for any one to take these Birds without his Leave & such as are convicted are publicly whipt thro' the town. 🢀

  10. The chancel, according to Dopping, was ruined in 1641. The vicar in 1693 was Noah Webb, the inscription on whose tombstone our tourist copied. “He resided on his benefice, and preached constantly.” In a list of his clergy, with their characters, Bishop Dopping describes him as “resident and deserving.” He served two large unions, comprising the parishes of Dunshaughlin, Trevet, Rathangan, Kilbrue, and Rathfeigh. In the Act of Attainder of the Irish gentry, passed by King James II., he is called Ezechiel Webb: see King's State of Irish Protestants Appendix, p. 4. According to Erck's Ecclesiastical register, p. 26, Noah Webb was appointed Vicar of Ratoath by Dr. Dudley Loftus in 1675. In 1786 there was a considerable private school kept there by a Rev. Dr. French. — Postchaise Companion, col. 68. — G. T. S. 🢀

  11. Dopping says that both church and chancel were ruined in 1641. The parish was impropriate like so many other Meath parishes in St. Thomas's Abbey, Dublin; see Mr. Gilbert's edition of St. Thomas's "Register," in the Rolls Series. Hence the large patronage formerl y enjoyed by the Crown in Meath. G. T. S. 🢀

  12. This inscription and the corresponding note were omitted. 🢀

  13. This should apparently read: "who roft this." 🢀

  14. It is no wonder it should have been in ruins when its owner is thus described by Bishop Pococke, in his Tour in Ireland, p. 177: Dublin, 1891. “Near Kileen Castle I saw Dunsany where Lord Dunsany lives, a Roman Catholic lord of about £ 200 a-year.” G.T.S. 🢀

  15. This church of Tara, according to John O'Donovan, in the Meath Ordnance Survey Letters, was situated on the site of St. Adamnan's portion and cross, and inside an ancient pagan fort. — G. T. S. 🢀

  16. This, according to Pococke, l. c. p. 177, was an ancient building, “a large house and said to have been round a court. They say it was built by Stopford, Secretary to Oliver Cromwell, and ancestor to the Stopfords of this county.” In the bishop's time it was occupied by Mr. Brabazon, brother and heir of the Earl of Meath. In 1786 it was called New Hall, the seat of the Hon. William Brabazon. G. T. S. 🢀

  17. The Ordnance Survey Letters of 1837 in the Meath volumes describe this bust as then at the head of a grave. The writer describes a cross in the N.-E. of Skreen Churchyard, and another inscribed cross 6 feet long, formerly in the S.-E. of the walls of the old church, that is the church in use in 1751. At the top this cross is formed into the shape of a human head, with three figures standing at the foot. S.-W. of the churchyard is a quern reputed to have been used by St. Columba. This latter cross in 1837 had been taken down and placed at the head of a grave. G. T. S. 🢀

  18. The Marwards were titular barons of Screen down to the seventeenth century. This monument was erected to a Walter Marward, baron of Skreen, about 1500. See Lodge's Peerage, vol. iv., p. 51, ed. 1750. This Walter Marward seems to have been married to Margaret Plunket, daughter of Lord Dunsany, and afterwards to a Matilda Darcy. Lodge and this monument differ in little, but the Latin is very badly copied. I wonder if the monument still exists. The Feipo family are also said to have been barons of Skreen. A pedigree of the Feipo family, showing how the lands of Skreen passed, in the fifteenth century, into the hands of the Marwards, will be found in Mr. Gilbert's Chartularies of St. Mary's Abbey ii. 23: cf. Orpen's Song of Dermot and the Earl, p. 314. G. T. S. 🢀

  19. The family of Ludlow had obtained by 1786 the title of Earl Ludlow. G. T. S. 🢀

  20. In 1786 Kilkarne was the residence of the Barry family, who had owned it for more than a century: see below for inscriptions belonging to them. G. T. S. 🢀

  21. In Dopping's Visitation Book there is a long account of the old church of Navan, and the numerous monuments of the Wakely and other families which he had seen. Bishop Dopping restored the nave of the church in the year 1683, the pulpit, sedilia, and other ornaments being added in 1685, at the expense of the parishioners. The church was reopened December 19th, 1685, according to a form ordered by the Convocation of Dublin. The most notable monuments recorded by Dopping are one of an abbot of the monastery of Navan in the graveyard, and in the church one to the Manning family, dated 1616. An inscription on the pulpit by one E. Smyth, who erected it in 1490; one in a side chapel to Maw or Man, the founder of it; one to John Wakely and his wife Catherine Rawson, dated September 2nd, 1590. The Wakely family were lay rectors of Navan in Elizabeth's reign, holding the abbey property. Yet their monument has a prayer for the dead upon it. G. T. S. 🢀

  22. There is a long description of this parish of Donamore in Dopping's Visitation Book, with a list of the rectors from 1560 to 1641. He also describes the Church of Dunmowe dedicated to St. Katherine. This is evidently a church belonging to the well-known ancient castle on the banks of the Boyne, which our tourist calls Dunnae. Thomas Benson, the incumbent of Navan, held Donamore in 1694. Like so many other churches in this neighhourhood, Donamore Church is dedicated to St. Patrick. — G. T. S. 🢀

  23. The present rector of Donaghpatrick suggests that it is not the church of Donaghpatrick which is here described, but a chapel now in ruins in Mr. Everard's demesne. Donaghpatrick, like many other parishes in the neighbourhood, was appropriated to the Priory of Kilmainham. The parish is described by Bishop Stearne, who knew it well, because he had been for many years Vicar of Trim about 1690. He tells us it had a chapel attached called St. Katharine's of Orystown. This chapel had no chancel, and only a small graveyard. He also describes a church of Teltown dedicated to St. Barnabas, just beyond Donaghpatrick. All the Kilmainham impropriations in this neighbourhood were in Stearne' s time possessed by Sir John Alexander. The incumbent in 1694 was a Mr. Edward Robarts. He held no less than five churches, including the distant Nobber. All the churches were out of repair. Stearne, when vicar of Trim, published his well-known treatise, De Visitatione Infirmorum, which he printed in Dublin in that troublous time. Stearne's father was at the same time beneficed in Meath. Stearne not only published in Latin for the use of the clergy: when he was bishop he conducted all his ordination examinations in the Latin tongue, as P. Skelton tells us in his life, written by Brady. — G. T. S. 🢀

  24. The image has been omitted. 🢀

  25. The inscription (and the corresponding footnote) have been omitted as it contains characters incompatible with the character sets used at CELT. 🢀

  26. Bishop Dopping gives a long account of Ardbraccan on p. 44 of his Visitation Book. He restored the church, erected sedilia and reopened it with an office just then lately published by the Irish Convocation. — G. T. S. 🢀

  27. Price was bishop from 1734–44. He was afterwards Archbishop of Cashel, where he unhappily distinguished himself by pulling down the cathedral roof. Maule was bishop from 1744–58. Ardbraccan was finished by Bishop Maxwell. Bishop Evans left with other bequests to the diocese the sum of £ 1000 to build a new house at Ardbraccan. This was in 1723. — G. T. S. 🢀

  28. O'Donovan in his letter about Kells in the Ordnance Survey Letters says there was not a trace of this castle left in 1836, some eighty years after this tour was made. G. T. S. 🢀

  29. This cross
    was erected
    —t the char
    ge of Robert
    —lfe of Gall
    —irstowne es-
    —ing soverai-
    —e of the corp
    oration of Kel
    ls anno domi

  30. The Church has been rebuilt & is one the handsomest for the size in Ireland — the old steeple still remains & is handsomely ornamented to match the Church in the Gothic taste & terminated by a neat & lofty spire. 🢀

  31. The inscription (and the corresponding footnote) have been omitted as it contains characters incompatible with the character sets used at CELT. 🢀

  32. Now fallen off —1784— 🢀

  33. Joseph Woodward, of Drumbarragh in Co. Meath, was one of the attainted in the celebrated Act of James II.: see King's State of Irish Protestants, App. p. 4. Drumbarragh was changed during the last century into Fort Frederick, its present designation: see Gregory Greendrake's Angling Excursions in Ireland, p. 276, for some other stories about this island. — G. T. S. 🢀

  34. In 1750 a good part of Ireland must have been unenclosed, as Dean Swift describes Tipperary in a letter contained in Barrett's Essay on the early life of Swift, and as Molyneux describes Connaught in 1709, in his time. — G. T. S. 🢀

  35. Very few people now know that Swanlinbar was in the last century the Harrogate of Ireland. In the Postchaise Companion for 1786 the following description is given of it: “About a mile from Swanlinbar on the right, is the celebrated spa, the waters of which are excellent for scurvy, nerves, low spirits and bad appetite. They are to be drank as the stomach can bear them, preparing first with gentle physic. You go to bed at ten without supper. In the morning you appear at the well at six, drink till nine, taking constant exercise, and breakfast a little after ten. At one you return to the well, and drink two or three glasses, returning home at three, to be dressed for dinner at four. There is no particular regimen necessary, but to be temperate in wine, and to drink as little Chinese tea as possible. Your chambers are 8s. 1d., or 11s. 4d. a week. At Mr. Castle's ordinary you have a most excellent table. Breakfast at 8d., dinner 1s. 1d., lady's wine 6d., the gentlemen pay the remainder of the wine bill. Your horse's hay 10d. per night, grass 6d. per do., oats 10d. per peck. Servant's lodging 2s. 8d. per week, board 7s. 7d. per do., evening tea 6d. Washing very cheap and good. The post from Dublin comes on Monday, Thursday, Saturday at one in forenoon. Goes out Sunday, Thursday and Friday at ten at night.” There is an interesting notice of Swanlinbar, its Spa, and fashionable attendance in the correspondence of Knox and Jebb. Jebb's first curacy was at Swanlinbar; and he tells us that there was a great concourse of good families to the wells in 1799–1800. When did the fashion die out? Could the wells be revived? — G. T. S. 🢀

  36. The above is the very description of this well found in the Postchaise Companion, p. 74, the compiler of which would seem to have used our tour. The well of Bel Con was still famous in 1786. — G. T. S.  🢀


2 Carrigside, College Road, Cork