Query from the Privy Council of England, 1586 concerning Escheatment of Desmond Lands and whether the Customs of Fishing at Berehaven, Bantry and Baltimore, West Cork belong to her Majesty.

This record is held by Lambeth Palace Library

Lambeth Palace Library
“Instructions to be annexed to the commission for the inquisition of the state of the tenants and occupiers of the lands and territories escheated to her Majesty by attainder of the late Earl of Desmond and others, for their treason in Munster.”

(1.) The Commissioners to make inquisition of all the occupiers, and how many have sued out letters patent, and how the patentees have observed their covenants for the inhabiting of the lands with English people, and what profits they have received; and to charge them to be ready to pay the rents, which are to be paid this year after Michaelmas.

(2.) The Lord President, Vice-President, and chief officers of Munster to collect the said rents, except such as are payable into the Exchequer.

(3.) To inquire again into all titles and claims against the patentees and their officers, and by jury or otherwise to establish a final order therein, whereby the possession of the undertakers, grantees, and patentees may be settled.

(4, 5.) To inquire in what sort the escheated lands were chargeable to the Earl of Desmond and to others, whether attainted or not.

(6, 7.) To determine all contentions touching boundaries, divisions, tithes, spiritual rights, &c.

(8.) The Commissioners who are not of the Council of the province to consider of all informations made touching the cesse and other exactions taken by the President, sheriffs, or other officers contrary to the tenour of the establishment; and to set down order for the reformation thereof.

(9.) To deal with the lords and freeholders for a composition in lieu of cesse, such as is in Connaught, and to draw into that composition as well the undertakers as the residue of the country.

Signed by the Privy Council in England: Chr. Hatton, canc.; W. Burghley; Ch. Hauward; [H.] Hunsdon; F. Knowles; Thom. Heneage; Ro. Cecill; J. Wolley; J. Fortescue.

II. “Additions to the former Articles.”

(1.) The Commissioners to inquire of all leases and mortgages supposed to have been made by the rebels before they entered into action, and which are thought to be fraudulent. The claimants to make good proof.

(2.) To decide all controversies between the undertakers for passing the self-same lands in divers patents.

(3.) “To inquire how the sheriffs do keep their law days and county days within every county, for it is openly reported that the sheriffs are accustomed to devour the people in every barony or cantred with kerne and horsemen, or else to compound with the lord, and so leave the lords to their wonted parliaments, exacting from the freeholder[s] and poor men what they please.”

(4.) Controversies to be decided between the lords and the freeholders, so that the latter may depend wholly on her Majesty.

(5.) “That the charters of the cities be perused, who, claiming all forfeitures to themselves, care not what they commit, compounding beforehand for all recognizances and bands, and thereby transport out of the realm not only all kind of prohibited wares, to the utter impoverishment of the commonwealth, but maintain priests and Jesuits, and hear mass publicly.”

(6.) “That they inquire of the two cantreds or baronies of Coursy and Kinally, whether Sir Barri Oge, called Sir Robert Barrey, and the Lord Coursey, having but estate in tail, the land be not in remainder to her Majesty, neither of them having issue; and to inquire whether Sir Robert be seneschal or inheritor of the barony of Kinaley.”

(7.) Whether the customs of fishing at Beare Haven, Bantry, [and] Ballatimore be not belonging to the Queen.

III. “Articles which are to be inquired of by the Commissioners, not being of the Council of Munster.”

(1.) To inquire of all beefs, corn, &c. taken up by the Governor[s] and cessors at the Queen’s price; how much the Queen is thereby indebted to the country, and the Governors to her Majesty, &c.

(2.) How her Majesty is answered of all her fines and forfeitures of bands.

Signed: Chr. Hatton, canc.; W. Burghley; [H.] Hunsdon; Tho. Buckhurst; F. Knollys; R. Cecill; J. Wolley; J. Fortescue.

Date: 1586
Held by: Lambeth Palace Library, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Extent: 4 Pages.
Unpublished Finding Aids:
Calendar of the Carew Manuscripts preserved in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth, ed. J. S. Brewer & W. Bullen (6 vols., 1867-73), vol. II, document 606.
Former Reference Department: MS 617, p. 176