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well preserved corbels. Those in the north recess are rams' heads with curling corrugated horns: those in the south are, on the east, the mitred head of a bishop supported by two small cherubs with upraised wings; the west corbel has a beardless face with long flowing hair, and an elaborate coronet with three strawberry leaves. Within this recess and above a small low window till lately closed and plaistered over, is a rich flamboyant tracery of grey marble, its design being two sprays of leaves with a five-petalcd flower at the apex, the whole forming a screen,1 fitted very badly into the space, and resting on two clumsy piers. On
rn itTo7 SCREEN AND
Corbels of Belfry (1 to 3). Screen and details (4 to 7).
the eastern pier, in a recess edged with conventional leaves is a bishop like the one on the "Royal tomb," holding a cross in his left hand, and blessing with the right, the robes rather crudely represented. On the other pier, in a recess adorned with elaborate leaves and finials of late fifteenth-century character, is a little seated figure of the Virgin wearing a huge strawberry-leaved coronet, and a long robe falling in elaborate folds. She holds our Lord on her knee, who raises His right hand in
'A similar design appears in the west windows of Murcia Cathedral. In my previous Paper on Ennis, in our Journal, 1889, pp. 48, 244, appears an illustration winch the fancy of the engraver has rendered entirely different both from my sketch and the screen itself.
benediction. This is similar to a carving in the chancel of the Dominican Piiory of Athenry.
The main west arch of the belfry has two mortice holes, above pointed corbels ending in foliage like that on the screen, and probably marking the position of a rood beam. The groining of the belfry is sex-partite with bold chamfered ribs, and holes for four bell-ropes. The altar of St. Francis is the only one now visible in the church, which must at one time have possessed at least six or seven. It stands against the north pier of the belfry, facing down the nave. Behind it, in a niche adorned with finials and crockets, stands the image of the Saint: he holds a cross in his left hand, his right is open showing the stigma, and other stigmata are visible through an opening in his robe over the left side, and on his right foot (the left being broken). He wears the long gown girt with a cord knotted three times, with a tassel between the feet.
The face of the opposite pier has been hacked away, probably to accommodate another altar. Between this and the transept arches has been rebuilt the Crowe monument, a "classic " structure appropriately adorned with a cock. Near this, in the inner face of the pier of the east arch leading into the transept, is another interesting carving, a deep ogeeheaded niche with a flat hood; in the recess appears the figure of Christ with His hands bound before Him, like the boss mentioned on p. 151, n. 2, and, like it, much emaciated. A nimbus with a cruciform glory surrounds His head: to His right is the pillar to which He is tied; to His left, the seamless coat, dice, a spear, and a round pot from which projects the neck and head of a cock, in allusion to the absurd fifteenth-century legend that the bird crowed out of the pot in which it was being cooked in the house of Caiaphas when Peter denied our Lord. This must have been a very favourite legend, as rude and in the end almost meaningless representations constantly occur on the gravestones of the western peasantry far down the present century.1 Over the recess in the spandrels of the arch, three spears appear to the right, and to the left a hand and arm, holding a mass of filaments.* On the right jamb are carved a hammer and pincers; on the left, a ladder; while below the balcony of the recess are a sword and spray of the same late foliage circa 1460 or 70.
The only other carving distinct from merely architectural mouldings and traceries now visible in the priory, is a small inverted head on the east pier of the east sedile, in the north wall of the nave. A discovery worth recording, as a relic of the conventual dress, was the unearthing of a number of fragments of coarse brown cloth, adhering to bones found in a tomb in the nave. I have a piece still in my possession. No trace of the "painted blue glass" of Torlough's east window was found, but I remember seeing, as a boy, in possession of my cousin, Mrs. Stamer, of Stamerpark (who subsequently gave it to a convent), a massive metal frame pierced for sixteen small, oblong panes of glass, and turning on strong side-pivots, which had been found in the ruins.
Divided between a wish to describe fully these interesting remains, and a fear of prolonging my Paper beyond the patience even of an antiquary, I here conclude, leaving the history and more popular treatment to future writers, and if a purely technical Paper does not appeal to many who look for fine impressionist descriptions and stirring history, let them remember the proverb, "Doth the eagle know what is in the pit? or will ye not rather ask the mole?" and forgive the careful searcher for lacking their exalted post of vision.
1 The legend still prevails in western county Limerick.
2 In continental art of fifteenth century a band holding a lock of hair is sometimes introduced near our Lord, in allusion to the text, "I gave my cheeks to those that plucked off the hair." Strictly speaking the Ennis carving resembles a " Vir dolorum" rather than an " Ecce Homo." It strangely recalls a small painting of Fra Angeiico, in which, however, the arms are more extended and not bound.
NOTES ON THE HISTORY OF NAVAN.
return to the history of the church.—In 1633, according to the Liber Munerum Hibemia, or 1636, according to Dr. Dopping, Navan was constituted a rectory, and Roger Puttock, who had heen previously (1623) vicar of Donaghmore, made first rector; the rectory of Clonmacduff was also joined to Navan for 40 years. In 1671 John Finglas succeeded, and was rector of Clonmacduff and Rehetuinc. And he was succeeded in 1673 by William Smith, who in 1674 was made Dean of Dromore, and in 1675 rector of Balsoon. He was succeeded in 1682 by Thomas Benson, vicar of Donaghmore; and Clonmacduff was given to George Proud, rector of Moynalty. There was no church or congregation in Clonmacduff, or "the Black Church "; and in 1780 it was joined to Ardbraccan. In 1684, Thomas Benson was appointed rector of Navan and Athsey, Ardsallagh and Balsoon. The state of affairs in his time has been recorded by Dr. Dopping in two reports, now in Marsh's Library. In one called the Aldworth return, 1693, Dr. Dopping says :—
"Novan is a rectory worth £30. King patron. Thomas Benson rector, resides there, and preaches constantly. Church and chancel ruined since 1641 ; but the parishioners have lately repaired the mass house there, where duty is performed. No first fruits, but it pays an annual Crown rent of £12. It has a ruined house & 2 acres of Glebe."
In his list of Meath rectors Dr. Dopping reports that the churches in the union of Navan were—
vie. Donamore. 1
rect. Navan. Thomas Benson, rector, resident,
rect. Ardsallagh. None of these in repair, buty'
vie. Athlumney. f people meet in y* Mass house,
In the other report Dr. Dopping describes some remarkable monuments existing in the old church, which have wholly disappeared—
"In coemiterio hujus eccliee est monumentum lapideum cujusdam abbatis in conventu, itim, hens in uno latere sculpturas sex apostolorum et ex alio latere sex aliorum sculp: in lapide pingitur xpot pendens in cruce cum muliere ex utntque parte eum plangente."
"In y* body of y* church this inscription on a tomb—
"Edmond Manning of y* No van & Margaret his wife caused this monument to be made in memory of Patrick Manning and his wife Ann Traves (Father and mother to ye sd Edmond) and Mary Warren his first wife who was buryed towards the pulpit. Patrick Manning and his wife lived together 30 years in joyfull and happy state and changed their lives, viz Patrick y* Is' of January, 1597; his wife Anne Treaves y* 17 of March, 1611. Mary Warren first wife to said Edmund y* 13 of 7br, 1613. Good and charitable reader pray for ym & theyr posterity y' God receive y" & every of ym to y* joys of bliss. Amen, y* 19 Feb. 1616."
"Round about the foot of the pulpit—
"Orate pro animabus Rippen Smyth et Catherine Garovan uxoris ejus qui hoc fieri fecerunt an Dni 1490."
"In the chappel on y* side—
"Hie jacet venerabilis vir Jones Mew hujus capell fundator ct Alicia White uxor ejus cum germine; quorum amabus propitietur Deus."
"On y* tomb in y* upper chappell—
"Hie jacet venerabilis vir Jones Wnkely Armiger et Catherine Rawson uxor ejus quorum animabus propitietur Deus, obiit 2 9br. an Dni 1570. Ego Thomas Wakely et Maud Haukore hoc fieri fecerunt."
"In y* middle chorus at ye foot of ye arch—
"Jofies hie jaeet Nangle sub marmore. Qui in sudore suo vesccbatur pane debito protoplasti, cum Johannfi, Nangle eorumq: germine, qui quieverunt post occasum sub ."
This church with its chapels and monuments has wholly disappeared. It was succeeded by a very unpretentious structure, of which there is a sketch on the map of 1756. It is there shown as a perfectly plain building with no tower, chancel, transepts, or vestry. There was a porch at the west end, and a belfry on the west gable, and two round-headed windows in the north wall. When it was built I do not know, but it was before 1733. John Lyon became rector in 1715; Ossory Medlicott in 1719; and John Grace in 1728.
There is a report of the diocese of Meath in the Record Office, dated 1733, by Dr. Welbore Ellis, Bishop, in which Navan is thus described :— "Navan, John Grace, rector. The rectory was entirely impropriate in y* crown, but was made presentative 12 Car. I. & granted to y* incumbent under a crown rent of £12 Irish, so y' y* incumbent has ye whole tythes. This parish contains 1851 acres, but the incumbent holds with it the parishes of Duunamore (2206 acres), and Ardsallagh (950 acres). In y° parish of Dunnamore were formerly a Rectory and a vicaridge; y°