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"Rectoria de Ballykilly. f Impropriate. Idem Johannes firmarius.
Vicarius non residens.-^ Vicarius de eadem David O'Molavoyle, studii gratia.
'Impropriate. Johannes King miles firmarius.
Ex orig. in Officio Cap. Rem. Scacc. Dub. asservata.
Rectoria de Rossa. Vicarius non residens. < Curatus residens, .
NOTE D. Seepage 10, note \ "Wolves."
In a popular work entitled "The present State of Great Britain and Ireland," printed in London, A.D. 1738, it is stated that "Wolves still abound too much in Ireland ; they pray for the wolves, least they should devour them." A little inquiry might, however, have satisfied the worthy author, that there was not then, nor for many years before, a wolf to be found in Ireland.
But that wolves did abound in Ireland in the seventeenth century, and particularly in the early part of it, there are several melancholy proofs on record. The following curious and hitherto unpublished documents on this subject, have been extracted by the Editor from the original Privy Council Books of Cromwell's government in Ireland, now preserved in Dublin Castle.
"Declaration against transporting of Wolfe Dogges." "Forasmuch as we are credibly informed, that Wolves doe much increase and destroy many cattle in several partes of this Dominion, and that some of the enemie's party, who have laid down armes, and have liberty to go beyond sea, and others, do attempt to carry away several such great dogges as are commonly called wolfe dogges, whereby the breed of them, which are useful for destroying of wolves, would (if not prevented) speedily decay. These are, therefore, to prohibit all persons whatsoever from exporting any of the said Dogges out of this Dominion ; and searchers and other officers of the customs, in the several partes and creekes of this Dominion, are hereby strictly required to seize and make stopp of all such dogges, and deliver them either to the common huntsman, appointed for the precinct where they are seized upon, or to
the governor of the said precinct Dated at Kilkenny, 27th April 1652."—Council
We here discover one of the causes of the decay and extinction of these "great wolfe dogges" which were peculiar to Ireland; and a different species from the "Canes venaticos quos Grehoundi vocamus," mentioned by Camden, 727. But that the
"common "common huntsmen," even with their aid, did not immediately prevent the ravages of the wolves, appears from the following declaration, issued the year after the preceding:
"Declaration touchinge the Poore."
"Upon serious consideration had of the great multitudes of poore, swarming in all partes of this nation, occasioned by the devastations of the country, and the habit of licentiousness and idleness which the generality of the people have acquired in the time of this rebellion, insomuch, that frequently some are found feeding on carrion and weeds, some starved in the highways, and many times poore children, who lost their parents, or deserted by them, are found exposed to, some of them fed upon by ravening wolves, and other beasts and birds of prey; the said Commissioners conceive it a duty incumbent upon them, to use all honest and laudable waies and means for the relief of such poore people.—And forasmuch as at present the poverty of the country is so great, and the number of poore who (by reason of the wasting of the country) have neither friends or habitations to resort unto, are so many, that the ordinary course provided by law for their reliefe, cannot be so effectuall as is desired: the Commissioners have resolved, and doe hereby order and declare, that subscriptions shall be taken in every precinct in Ireland, of all such persons (either civill or military) as shall be willing to underwrite any sum of money for the reliefe of poore children or other the uses aforesaid, for one year next ensuing, to be paid quarterly, and some part thereof to be advanced beforehand. And the said Commissioners have thought fitt to publish this declaration in printt, that all such as have received mercy from the Lord by being enabled to administer relief unto others, may lay hold on this opportunity, to honor him with their substance, by contributing cheerfully to this so publick and charitable a work, as faithful stewards of those talents wherewith God hath intrusted
them.—Dated at Dublin, the 12th May, 1653 Charles Fleetwood—Edmond
Ludlow—Miles Corbet—John Jones."—Council Book.
This was soon after followed by the following
"Declaration touching Wolves.'1''
"For the better destroying of wolves, which of late years have much increased in most parts of this nation, It is ordered that the commanders in chiefe and commissioners of the Revenue in the several precincts, doe consider of, use and execute all good wayes and meanes, how the wolves, in the counties and places within the respective precincts, may be taken and destroyed; and to employ such person or persons, and to appoint such daies and tymes for hunting the wolfe, as they shall adjudge necessary. And it is further ordered, that all such person or persons, as shall take, kill, or destroy any wolfes, and shall bring forth the head of the woulfe before the isaid commanders of the revenue, shall receive the sums following, viz., for every B itch wolfe, six pounds ; for every Dogg wolfe, five pounds; for every cubb which prajeth for himself, forty shillings; for every suckling cubb, ten shillings: And no woolfe after the last of September until the 10th of January be accounted a young woolfe, and the Commissioners of the Revenue shall cause the same to be equallie assessed wiliiin their precincts Dublin, 29th June 1653."—Id.
The assessments for the useful work here ordered fell heavily on some districts. Thus in Deeember, 1665, the inhabitants of Mayo county petitioned the Council of State, that the Commissioners of assessment might be at liberty to compound for
Wolfe-heads; which was ordered acccordingly Id. A great national good was,
however, effected. Those destructive animals were finally extirpated, insomuch that, in the early part of the eighteenth century the appearance of a wolf was considered a rarity in Ireland.
The necessity for destroying the wolves during the foregoing melancholy period, may be further estimated from the following order of "the State;" calculated to prevent the " starved" and defenceless "poore vagrants" alluded to, from falling a prey to them.
"Order touching poore Vagrants."
"Upon consideration had of the multitude of persons, especiallie women and children, wandering upp and down the country, that daily perish in ditches, and are starved for want of relief. It is thought fitt that such women as have able bodyes to worke, and such children of about 12 years, whose husbands or parents are dead or gone beyond sea, or who have not friends to maintain them, or means of their owne to preserve them from starving, may be taken up by the overseers of the poore, and that to prevent the said persons from starving, the overseers are hereby authorized to treat with merchants for the transporting the said persons into some English plantations in America.—Dublin, 1st July 1653."—Id. This mandate appears not to have been effectual, for the year after the following entry occurs: "13 Dec. 1654. Proposed unto his Highenes, the conveniency and good that probably may tend unto the nation, by the yearly transportation of some fitt number of Irish children into England; to be bred in the English customes, and from their superstition, by being distributed into such parishes in England and Wales as may be thought meete."—Id. No order appears to have been made on this proposal.
The unpublished annals of Ireland contain some curious notices of Wolves. Those of Clonmacnoise, quoted note \ p. 51, ante, state that, in A. D. 688, "a wolf was seen and heard to speak with human voice." See also for this, the Annals of the Four
Masters, Masters, at A. D. 690. This wonderful wolf was probably what the old Germans called a Were-wolf, for which see Verstegan, p. 237. Cambrensis has inserted this notable story in his Topographia. The Book of Lecan, fol. 61, and from it Colgan, p. 754, relate how one Lon, who had impiously opposed St. Cormac, going to Sliabh Botha Mountain, near Rosargid, was devoured by wolves Ouacap coin allca e; and a heap or Camcloch was laid on his bones. In the sixteenth century, wolves committed great devastation in Munster. After the destruction of KilmaUock by James Fitz-Maurice in A. D. 1591, that place became the haunt of wolves. For their ravages during Desmond's rebellion, see O'Sullivan in Compend. lib. viii. ch. 6. ; and at a later period, Moryson, vol. ii. p. 367, Dub. Ed. See also Lombard, Be Regno Bib. p. 92. the sun fishery, a large Spermaceti whale was drifted on shore, dead, at the bay of Bunowen, in Connemara, about two leagues from Clifden or Ardbear Harbour; in consequence of the ignorance of the peasantry and boatmen, and their continual squabbling and fighting, three-fourths of the oil was lost ; the surface of the bay was dyed with a rainbow tinge from the floating particles of oil. Shortly after an immense fish was towed into the Island of Turk, by three of the island fishing-boats; the monster was observed floating about a mile from the island, and had been but recently killed, but how could not be ascertained; this fish completely filled up the small and only inlet in the island, and measured in length thirty-three yards; it was claimed by the proprietor, I believe the Archbishop of Tuam, who, I had been informed, gave it up to the islanders. A small village near the place where they had towed it up to shortly became deserted, the inhabitants never calculating on the fojtid air caused by their imprudence. The islanders were two months employed in cutting up and launching over the cliffs the bones and remains of their prize. About the beginning of August, in beating down Blacksod Bay, with light airs, and near the Island of Inniskea, two large whales came nearly alongside the cutter."
NOTE E. Seepage 12, note". "Whales." Our Author has noticed the stranding of several whales on the coasts of Iar-Connaught; and since his time many have been cast ashore there. The following extract from a communication made by Lieutenant Burroughs, commander of the Coast Guard in the West of Ireland, and embodied in the valuable Fishery Report, alluded to p. 11, note *, ante, may, on this subject, be considered interesting. "This coast, i. e. the west and north-west coast of Ireland ( one of the best fishing coasts in Europe, abounding, from the most productive Whales, both Spermaceti and Greenland, to the common herring), possesses the worst and most ignorant race of fishermen, and (with a few exceptions) very indifferent boatmen. But the cause of these remarks may be easily accounted for; their poverty, which prevents them from procuring proper stout vessels for so dangerous a coast, and almost total absence of all patronage and support to follow up with energy and spirit the unbounded sources of wealth which nature has thrown within their grasp. It may appear still more extraordinary to those connected so extensively in the Greenland and South Sea whale fishery, that they should so long have remained in ignorance that those fish abound on the coast which I have described. In order to give proof to so bold an assertion, I shall state some circumstances which came under my immediate observation in my own vessels, and at a subsequent period in command of a revenue cutter. On a visit, in company with the Rev. Mr. Mahon, to the sun fishery at Bofin Island, we strayed on a blustry day to observe the coast and breakers; at a short distance from the shore we saw several large fish, which I supposed to be grampusses or finners, that had taken shelter under the lee of the island: still looking closely at them, they advanced towards the rocks immediately under the cliffs, where we had a perfect view of them at a distance of 500 yards with a spy-glass, their double tufted heads quite conspicuous, and no intervening back-fins; I decided at once on their species. In the month of July, after
The Parliamentary Report from which the foregoing extract has been taken, sufficiently proves that no part of England or Ireland is better situated for commanding the endless treasures of the deep, than this of Iar-Connaught. But its population derives little benefit from the vast supply of every kind of fish which annually visits its shores. When the fisheries on the west coast of Ireland shall meet with adequate encouragement, the poor, and often destitute, inhabitants of the district will become industrious and happy. It has been with many a matter of serious doubt, whether the injury entailed on the Irish fisheries by the following royal "Dispensation" of King Edward VI., "to eate flesh at forbidden times," has been countervailed by all the Royal and Parliamentary Acts in their favour, from his time to the present day.
"And where, by the lower and common orders of our Realme, certain dayes and tymes be appointed nott onely to eat ffyshe: Our pleasure by advise aforesaid, is, that you, our Deputie, shall and may, by force hereof, graunte to such and as manny as you thinke good, full libertie to eate fleshe in all tymes forbidden; Any statute, lawe, or custome to the contrarie, notwythstanding.—To Sir Anthony Sentleger, Knt. L. D. of our realme of Ireland, and to the rest of our counsaill there."—Pat. Roll, 4 Edw. VI. Rolls Office, Dublin.
NOTE F. See page 13, note e. "Geology of Iar-Connaught"
The first development of the Geology of Iar-Connaught was made by the late Alexander Nimmo, one of the ablest engineers and geologists of his time. It appeared