Page images
PDF

day to him also; his surety in the district of Umhal;—fifty suckling calves and fifty sheep on Baal's fire day to O'Fionachty; and fifty pigs and fifty cows every Samin's day to him; and his surety in Luighni of Connacht;—fifty calves and fifty sheep to OMaolbrennan every Baal's fire day; fifty cows and fifty pigs every Samin's day to

him also; and his surety in the district of Fiachrach, ;—fifty calves and fifty

sheep on Baal's fire day to 0'Flannagan; fifty suckling calves and fifty pigs on Samin's day to him also; and his surety in Tirawly and Irrus. O'Conor's high stewardship belongs to O'Flannagan, in preference to the three other chiefs, lords of Connaught. The guardianship of his hostages and prisoners, and the command of the securities for the provision of his fleet, from Sliabh-an-Iron \_Iron mountain] to Limerick, belongs to O'Hanly;—the body guards of O'Conor, and the joint stewardship, and the keherns to be under the control of Mac Brennan;—the straw for the encampment, the furniture, and beds for O'Conor's house, to be provided by the Clan Dockrey, and also the making of the encampment, whenever his fort is to be fitted up;—the guarding of the preys of O'Conor, when he pitches his tents, belongs to O'Flannagan, O'Bern, and 0''Dockrey;—the guards of O'Conor, and their profits, from the Curra of Cennetich eastward, to Cenantus, are subject to the command of Mac Brennan;—his guards from that Currach westward, to Cruach Patrick, belongs to the command of O'Flin;—the command of the fleet to O'Flaherti and O'Mali, whenever he goes on sea or on high sea. The chief of the house-hold of O'Conor is O'Teige [now Tighe], and he is mareschal of the household;—the steward of the horse is O'Flin;—the steward of the jewels is O'Kelly;—the chief marshal of the armies is Mac Dermott;—the carver is O'Bern;—the door-keeper O'Fionnachti;—the chief poet, O'Maolconar. Each of these lords has twenty-four towns, as a domain for his own necessities, from O'Conor; and each of the other four royal lords has eight and forty towns, namely, O'Flannagan, Mac Geracltty, O'Fionnachti, and O'MaoUirennan. The chief officers and champions, patient of fatigue, are the Galengs, the Clan Cuanans, the Conmacnians, the three Luighnis, and the men of Cera; these are the chosen

spearsmen of the armies, for they are It would be tedious to write all:

there is not a lord, nor prince, nor governor of a district, from Ballyshannon, nor from Errta, the district of the Damnonii, to Usneach in Meath, and to Duleek, the monastery of Cianan, and from Loch-Erne to Lough-I)erg, and to Birr, who is not

subject to the laws and usages, the customs and the power, of O'Conor1," &c Cat.

Stow. MSS- p. 168. The foregoing is taken from Torna O'Mulconry, chief poet of Connaught, who attended at the inauguration of Felim O'Conor, on the hill of Carn Fraogh, A. D. 1315. See also Irish Writers, p. 94; and Rerum Hib. vol. i. prol. 2.

p. 92- Here

1 This extract seems to be in some places mistranslated by Dr. O'Conor.

Here the Editor takes an opportunity of correcting an error respecting the situation of Rath Cruachan, the palace or ancient residence of the kings of Connaught. This error occurs in the History of Galway, where it is incorrectly stated, p. 33, after Beauford, that Rath Cruachan was situate between the towns of Boyle and Elphin, in the County of Roscommon. But that was a gross mistake, for although there is a wellknown hill, called the hill of Croghan (Cpuac6n), situate about mid-way between those towns (see the Statistical Survey of the County, pp. 282-4), yet it never was the residence of our provincial princes. The late Dr. O'Conor has, however, pointed out the true situation of Rath Cruachan, viz., in the parish of Kilcorky, and barony of Ballintobber: "Cruachan Arx Regia Connaciffi, cujus vestigia adhuc manent, distat duobus circiter miliaribus a Belanagare, et tribus a Castello de Ballintober. Vox ipsa Cruachain denotat, i. e. Collem Annuli, sive collem circularem."—Tig. p. 310, n. 76. Near it, to the south, is situate Roilig na Riogh, or the Cemetery of the Kings. Here a remarkable upright stone, about seven feet over ground, called Ua oeapj, or the red stone, is pointed out as the monument of Dathy, the last of the Irish pagan kings. That prince is said to have been killed by lightning at the foot of the Alps, in A. D. 428.— See the Four Masters at that year, and Ogyg. p. 160. The monument is alluded to by Mac Firbis, in his Book of Genealogies, p. 173, as follows: "Cujao copp <Daci 50 Cpuacain jap haionaiceao e i pelj na Rio£ i Ccpuaccnn, i f pail, a paBaoap Riojpaio Siol epearhom Do uprhop, aic a ppuil, jupaniu, an Caippce oeapj mup liaj opa lije na leacc, le l?aic Cpuac'an, jup a nopa, 1666." This, and other curious vestiges of antiquity in the locality, are entitled to the first attention of the future topographer or historian of this interesting county.

Among the "Depositions of Protestants," &c., preserved in the Manuscript Library of Trinity College, Dublin, F. 2. 2., "Elizabeth Holly well, relict of William Holly well, clerke, of the town of Roscommon, saith that it was an ordinary and a common report, by and amongst the rebells of the county of Roscommon, that Charles O'Connor Dun of Ballentubber, Esq., was made king of Connaught; and one Christopher de la Hyde, Esq., a justice of peace and a Papist, told deponent, that all the rebell soldiers thereabouts were gone to Tulks, to make the said Charles O'Conor Dun king of Connaught."—Jurat, loth April, 1643. Of the inclination to achieve the purpose here deposed to, there can be no doubt; for it is a curious fact, that after a period of nearly two hundred years a similar project was contemplated in the very same district. During one of the late agrarian disturbances there, a deputation of the people waited on the late Mr. Matthew O'Conor, uncle of the present O'Conor Don, and announced to him, that at a general meeting of the barony it was proposed, and unanimously resolved, that he should be proclaimed King of Connaught. Not anticipating any dissent on his part from this wise resolve, the deputies respectfully requested him to appoint a time for the performance of the ceremony, on the hill of Carnfree. How the singular proposal was entertained may be easily anticipated. Mr. O'Conor himself related this circumstance to the Editor.

The old Book of Rights and Privileges, entitled "Leabhar na g-ceart" (attributed to St. Bi'inin, who died A. D. 468; but enlarged and continued to a much later period), preserved in the Books of Lecan and Ballymote, contains an account of the rights, revenues, and privileges of the kings of Connaught; and the subsidies paid by them to their subordinate chieftains. This begins: "'Opa acap Cuapapoail Conoacc .1. mop cfp Conoacc icep biaraoncap connibeacc. Ceoumup co Cpuacan.' The revenues and subsidies of Conaght, i. e. the great rents of Conaght, both food (or entertainment) and attendance. First to Cruachan.'" An account is then given of the rights and privileges of the Conaght kings, beginning "Qifcifi pe peancap nac puaill." "Hear ye a story not to be contemned." This is followed by an account of the subsidies paid by them to their chiefs, beginning " Cuapapcal cuicio Conoacc." "The stipends of the province of Conaght."—See Irish Writers, p. 30; Book of Lecan, fo. 187; and Book of Ballymote, fo. 147. With these, the following extracts will be found, in the main, to agree.

"The rights and tributes paid at Cruachan, the King's residence, annually, viz.: From the territory of Umhall, 100 milch cows, 100 hogs, and 100 casks of beer (leand); from Greagruidhe 100 bullocks, 100 milch cows, 60 hogs, and 60 mantles (brat); from Conmhaicne 240 mantles, 200 cows, and 80 hogs; from Ciarruidke 100 cows, Ioo bullocks, 60 red mantles, and 60 hogs; from Luighne 300 cows every Mayday, and 150 hogs; 150 mantles every All Saints eve (la samhna), together with 150 bullocks for the plough; from the Corcaibh 140 cows, 310 sheep [700, in Lib. Lecan], 350 hogs, 350 oxen; from the Dealbhitas, for the freedom of their country, 150 red mantles, 150 hogs, and 150 oxen; from Imaine, for their lands, 70 mantles and 70 hogs. The free princes are those of I Briuin, Sil Muireadhaigh, I Fiachrach, and Cineal-aodha (Ktnalea). These are free from any tribute, and are as free as the king (com saera fri Rig). But if the monarch should war upon the King of Connaught, those princes are to aid the King with their forces. They are not to march their armies into the field without pay, nor fight a battle without consideration, and if any of their men be killed, they are to have restitution (Eric) for the same. When the sovereignty is not in the progeny of Aodh or Guaire, they (the latter) are to sit by the King's shoulder (Gnala), and the best of them by his right shoulder (Guala deas).—See the dan or poem 6ipci^ le Seuncap, 7c.

"What the King of Connaught is obliged to pay to his tributaries, for their service, tributes, and loyalty To the chieftain of Siol Muireadhaigh his own ring and

battle dress (Jail agus errid), together with a shield, a sword, and a corselet; to the King of Umhatt 5 horses, 5 ships, 5 swords, and 5 corselets; to the King of Dealihna

6 shields, 6 swords, 6 horses, 6 cloaks, and 5 cups; to the King of Conmhaicne 4 cloaks, 4 swords, 4 slaves, 4 women, 4 corselets, 2 mantles, and 2 pair of tables (fithil), 10 cups, and 10 horses; to the King of / Maine 7 robes, 7 cloaks, 7 horses,

7 greyhounds; to the King of Luigne 10 horses, 10 robes, 10 cups, and 10 greyhounds; to the King of / Briuin 5 horses, 5 mantles, 5 swords, 5 corselets, 10 cups, 10 slaves, and ten pair of tables; to the King of North IFiachrach 3 cups, 3 swords,

3 horses, 10 rings, and 10 pair of tables; to the Prince of Cineal-n-Aodha 7 slaves, 7 women (inna daera), 7 cups, 7 swords, and 7 greyhounds; to the Prince of Partraighe 3 cloaks, 3 cups, and 3 horses. Thus the tributes and gifts of the kings and chieftains of Connaught are settled."

"The King of Cruachan is obliged to give the monarch of Ireland, at his feast, 40 keeves (dabacA) full of liquors, with other necessaries; and not to go unattended to invite him. He is obliged to have, in return, from the monarch, at Tara, 40 cows, 200 horses, 4 rings, 4 cups gilt with gold, all to be left at his habitation at Cruachan. And, as an additional gift, 4 red shields, 4 helmets of the same color, 4 corselets, and

4 spears. He is obliged to keep Cruachan inhabited, and not to leave it to go westward more than three times in one year. The King of Cruachan (0' Conor) is obliged to give the King of Itnanie (O1 Kelly) 4 shields, 20 cows, 20 horses, and clothing for 200 men; to the King of /Fiaghragh (CPDomda) 4 ships, 10 women, 20 slaves, and 3 cups; to the King of Tuath 20 beeves, 20 hogs, and 20 tuns well filled; to the King of Luignie 4 shields, 4 robes with gold borders, and 4 ships. He (0' Conor) is no further liable to his tributaries, and they are all obliged to accompany him to Tara."

The foregoing extracts from the "Book of Rights" are here introduced as a curious elucidation of part of our provincial history. It must, however, be confessed, that they cannot be considered so perfect as might be wished, owing to the difficulty of obtaining a copy of that ancient book, which could be relied on. Several transcripts of it are extant, but they differ so much from each other, particularly in the enumeration of the various articles of cios, or tribute, that it is not easy to determine which is genuine. For an instance of this see the " Eights and tributes paid at Cruachan" (Cios Ri Gonnacht) given in Eerum Hib. Scriptor. vol. i. proleg. 2. p. 90, from an ancient manuscript at Stowe, which will be found to vary from our original. A corrected copy, therefore, of the Book of Rights, published with the various •readings, would be a useful addition to Irish literature.

When the Anglo-Normans landed in Ireland in the twelfth century, the Cuigeadh, Fifth, or Province, of Connaught, was inhabited by several tribes or families of Milesian descent; whose chieftains, and the territories which they ruled, have been recorded by one of the most learned of our antiquaries, Shane Mor O'Dugan, in a topographical

poem poem still extant. This valuable piece, like most of the other evidences of Irish history, still remains unpublished. A small part, consisting merely of the prose prefaces to the descriptions of the several provinces, has been translated by the learned author of Cambrensis Eversus, and inserted in that work, see p. 25. The portion relating to Connaught is here printed from a valuable copy of the original, in the handwriting of Cucoigcriche O'Clery, one of the Four Masters, preserved in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy. The publication of the entire, which extends to the whole of Ireland, will, it is hoped, be achieved by the Irish Archa?ological Society.

[ocr errors]

"In the Portion of Connaught.

"O'Conor supreme King of Connaught. O'Flannagan, O'Maoil-Mordha, O'Carthy, and O'Mughroin (Moran), the four chiefs of Clan-Cathail; O'Maoil-Breanainn (Mulrenin) chief of Clan-Connor; O'Cahalan of Clan-Fagharta (Faherty); O'Maonaigh (Mooney) of Clan-Murthuile; Mac Oireachty (Geraghty) of Muintir-Roduibh, O'Finachty ofClan-Conmaigh (Clancon 00); another O'Finachty of Clan-Murchadha; O'Conceanainn (Concannon) of Hy-Diarmada; MacMurchadh of Clan-Tomultach; O'Fallamhain (0'Fallon) of Clan-Uadach; Mac Diarmada of Tir-Oilleall (TirerriU); Tir-Tuathail (Tirooil) the country of Feartire, Clan-Chuain, Tir Neachtain, and Tir-n-Enda.

"In the Portion of Breifny.

"O'Ruairc (Rourke) supreme King of Breifny. Mac Tighearnan (Tiernan) chief of Teallach Dunchada (TvUyhunco in Cavan); Mac Samhradain (Mac Gauran) of Teallach-n-Eachach ; Mac Consnamha (Mac a Naw, now Forde) of Clan-Cionaoth (Clan Kenny); Mac Agadain (Mac Keegan) of Clan-Fearmaighe (Glanfarne);

Mac

« PreviousContinue »