1844 Evidence of Thomas John Hungerford, Land Agent, Skibbereen, of Pre RIC Policing, A Large Sum Paid to Baronial Constables Levied as a Tax, and Black Jack Fitzgibbon (Lord Clare 1749-1802) Success in Ridding Dublin of Them and Creating One of the World’s First Metropolitan Police Forces.
Pre RIC Policing was carried out by Parish Constables almost exclusively Protestant. Often broken down NCOs or Half Pay officers from the British Army. They were noted for laziness and incompetence.
The cess a local tax amounting perhaps to 12% of rent was collected by Baronial Constables (not policemen) and their retinue of proctors and drivers.
In Dublin in the 1770s the much reviled Black Jack Fitzgibbon, a member of the Junta decided to eliminate them. He encountered enormous opposition, as the ratepayers did not want to pay for a proper police service and other vested interest were involved. He persevered and within a year of the establishment of a proper metropolitan police force there was a dramatic drop in crime in Dublin.
Incidental evidence to a Parliamentary Commission on Land taken at Skibbereen, 1844:
Estate of Henry Jermyn Esq, Aughadown, Skibbereen, West Cork, 1,275 acres, part survey of Killsarlaghta, Aughadown, 1790 by John Molony, Ploughland occupied by Denis Driscoll and Syeey/Gosnell?? 275 acres, showing also Bishop of Cork and Ross holdings at Aughadown, Dromnacaharagh, Upper and Lower Lisheen, Killhilleen, Bawngoree, Whitehall Roaring Water Road, Deed 1788, and Exchequer Bill 1771 from Stephen Warner Lands of 1740, 1710 Deed Warner/Jermyn, Richard Baldwin v Jermyns, Warners, John O’Hea, Deed 1788, and Exchequer Bill 1771 from Stephen Warner Lands at Tullnaeasky, of 1740, Denis Fenn, Various Jermyns, Warners, 1788 Party of Deeds for Minor Children of The O’Donovan, Only child, Catherine, heiress, married Henry Becher Esq., 1805. Party to 1807 pre Marriage Agreement, Elizabeth McCarthy only daughter of Owen, Caheragh to John Woulfe, Coolcrahan
Henry Jermyn, 1785, Aughadown Skibbereen prob Middle Man
Freeman, Bandon, 1797
Only child , Catherine, heiress, married Henry Becher Esq., 1805.
Deed 1788, and Exchequer Bill 1771 from Stephen Warner Lands of 1740
1710 Warner/Jermyn Deed.
Minor Children of The O’Donovan his wife nee Becher
Estate of Henry Jermyn Esq, Aughadown, Skibbereen, West Cork, 1,275 acres, part survey of Killsarlaghta, Aughadown, 1790 by John Molony, Ploughland occupied by Denis Driscoll and Syeey/Gosnell?? 275 acres, showing also Bishop of Cork and Ross holdings at Aughadown, Dromnacaharagh, Upper and Lower Lisheen, Killhilleen, Bawngoree, Whitehall, Roaring Water Road.
The Casey collection has a marriage of 1759 between Henry Jermyn and Bridget Swanton.
The Bishop of Cork’s land form part of estates including lands at Schull, Letterlickey, Durrus, and Bantry as well as Cork City. Probably a remnant of Norman incursions via Waterford or Youghal Monasteries.
Other Molony surveys (his name varies):
1828 tithe Applotments thanks to Skib Girl:
Bureau of Military History Statement (WS 1518) of Seán O’Driscoll, Officer Comanding Schull Batallion, West Cork, schedule of action, levy of £300 on farmers, intercepting mail, arms raids, reprisal burning of houses and Troubles in Durrus District
Troubles in Durrus District:
The recent publication of the memoirs of Willie Kingston, Solicitor, Skibbereen 1885-1965, (he was the author of a history of West Carbery) provide an interesting insight into the period of the troubles from a person with a Protestant background. He was born into a Methodist family and qualified as a solicitor working in the office of his cousin Jasper Wolfe. He sympathised with the objects of Sinn Fein but abhorred the brutalities committed by both sides. He describes his shock at the killings of William Connell and Matt Sweetnam by the IRA on the 19th. February 1921. He says that at the end of 1920, when it became apparent that the troubles would continue for some time, there was a wave of emigration including some of his own friends. He later describes the period after the truce when on the 26th and 27th April 1922 there was a wave of killings by Irregulars including solicitor Francis Fitzmaurice in Dunmanway, whom he had considered joining in practice earlier. Ten Protestants were shot and it was rumoured there was to be a general massacre of Protestants. 100 protestant families left west Cork in the aftermath. He considered that it was like a volcano about to erupt and decided to ‘clear off to Dublin’ on the 29th. April 1922. He describes the train from Cork to Dublin full of frightened Protestants going to Dublin or England. In the course of the journey there was an explosion at the tunnel in Cork, shots were fired at Limerick Junction and he saw a man with a revolver in his hand.
Raid by Bantry Battalion 16 November 1919 on Royal Navy sloop M.L. 171, 6 rifles 10 revolvers and various ammunition and equipment were seized. At the time the Bantry garrison was 200 soldiers of the King’s Liverpool Regiment billeted in the Workhouse and 15 RIC men
Attack 31 March 1920 by 5th Battalion, Cork No.3 Brigade led by Ted O’Sullivan (later a Senator), on Durrus RIC Barracks (located on Kilcrohane Road after present Avoca House), Constable Donovan had his right hand amputated afterwards due to injuries. O’Farrell claims one RIC man killed. At the time Durrus Barracks was a fortified stone building with steel shuttered windows, outer defences of barbed wire and defended by 12 RIC men. The raid failed to yield any arms and was called off but the barracks was evacuated the next morning. Sean Cotter, a clerk was arrested after midnight. Constable Donovan’s hand was amputated. The defenders received decorations from Major general Tudor a few days later in Kilmallock and were promoted. Compensation of £850 was paid to Lord Bandon in 1924 the owner of the property. There was a sequel in Skibbereen Circuit Court in 1936 when claims for compensation arising from the troubles were heard and John J Levis had a claim for £7 for his bicycle being taken by the IRA admitted in the sum of £5.
The military took over the workhouse in Bantry and the inmates and patients were relocated to Bantry House, which the Leigh-White family opened up.
Bantry Courthouse Burnt 25th. June 1920
In July 1920, volunteers were reported as having restored stolen cattle to Catholic and Protestant farmers in Durrus and it was reported that such activities in the district would come to and end the culprit having been identified.
Bantry R.I.C. Barracks burnt 1920, now part of Bantry Bay Hotel.
Autumn 1920 RIC Barracks at Goleen, Durrus and Kilcrohane (the owner Johanna Tobin received compensation in 1924) evacuated then Ballydehob
Autumn 1920 RIC Barracks at Goleen, Durrus and Kilcrohane (the owner Johanna Tobin received compensation in 1924) evacuated then Ballydehob Barracks closed and old Schull Barracks closed and fortified barracks opened at Meenvane. This was raided on the 4th October 1920 the guns and ammunition taken and the Barracks burnt, captured RIC men and Black and Tans released.
RIC Constable James (Isaac) Rea aged 20 from Durrus wounded, he was shot as he was talking to a local woman in Cappoquin and died 27th December 1920, buried in Durrus with full Military (from Bantry) and Police honours shops and businesses were shut down by order from 2 to 4 by order. At the date of his death he had just over a year’s service
July 1921 Schull Workhouse burned down.
Bigg’s Mill burnt at the Quay in Bantry on the 25th. July 1920. G.W.Biggs wrote a letter to a newspaper stating that this was not the work of Sinn Fein
The barytes mine was raided for explosives
Vickery’s Hotel burnt May, 1921. In 1924 compensation of £14,000 was paid to Ellen Rebecca Vickery.
Two bridges were blown up at the creamery (formerly stone arched now concrete replacement and Dunbeacon road which was damaged. A bridge at Crottees was also blown up. In Bantry the Donemark Bridge was also blown up; this may have been during the Civil War
Ambush on RIC on Bog Road, Clonee, Constable Brett killed on the 21st. June 1920, he was a native of Waterford and had been in the R.I.C. for 30 years, the last 8 in Bantry. On the day in question he gave escort to Constable Cleary, together with Sergeant Driscoll and Constables Cuniffe and Quinn, as Clery served juror’s summons for the forthcoming Quarter Sessions. They were on bicycles and as they approached Clonee Wood on the road to Durrus from Bantry they were raked by gunfire. It was reported that between 20 and 30 assailants were involved. The sopt locally is still known as ‘Brett’s gate’. The inquest in Bantry was presided over by Coroner Neville and the jurors called were John Sweeney; Marine Street, Vintner; William B. Roycroft, Bridge Street, Auctioneer; James Downey, Main Street, Shoemaker; Florence Connolly, Main Street Publican; Richard Swanton, William Street, Flour Merchant; George Symes, Blackrock Terrace, Shop Manager; Charles O’Donovan J.P., Main Street, Draper; Edward Brooks, Marino Street, Shop Assistant; David Mahony, Gurtha, Farmer;
Michael O’Driscoll, Gearhies, Shopkeeper; James J. McCarthy, Wolfe Tone Square, Hotel Keeper; Arthur O’Connor, Blackrock Road, Artisan. When the names were called out, only Roycroft, Swanton and Symes answered; the others had a fine of twenty shillings imposed. It was said at the inquest that ‘no policeman that ever came to Bantry was more popular, and, deservedly s’. No local undertaker would do the funeral and the coffin was taken to the graveyard on the back of a military truck. The military swept the area over the next few days and apprehended a Mr Cotter who was taken to Cork gaol.
30th June 1921 Explosives raid on the Fastnet Lighthouse, one ton recovered.
Incident with Solicitor Jasper Woulfe (later TD for West Cork) described by Willie Kingston, Solicitor, in Skibbereen Historical Journal. Willie Kingston was a cousin of Jasper Wolfe, Solicitor and Crown Prosecutor in Skibbereen. Wolfe at the time had friends in both camps. In April 1921, Wolfe, Kingston and Miss Brown (solicitor’s apprentice from Durrus, later Mrs PF O’Reilly wife of Fine Gael Senator) motored to Durrus where he had a case at Petty Sessions. Kingston had been in Bantry earlier, where he saw two men coming towards him, one saying to the other ‘that’s him’; he thought it was a case of mistaken identity. Later he met Jasper at the hotel and a man came out of the shadows and peered at his face. Jasper had met (Bawnie) T.T. McCarthy, cattle dealer earlier and offered him a lift to Skibbereen. They all went to Durrus in Jasper’s car driven by a chauffer and had tea in Miss Brown’s mother’s house. Leaving Durrus for Caheragh McCarthy was in front with Jasper but his profile indicated him as a cattle dealer rather than the Crown Prosecutor. In Caheragh as they rounded a corner a whistle was blown violently suggesting the man was running and giving a pre-ordained signal. Kingston and Miss Brown crouched down but nothing happened. Jasper had previously a few drinks and slept through the entire episode. When they got back to Skibbereen they heard that an ambush was being laid for Jasper. He thought that the unexpected lift to the cattle dealer had the effect of calling off the ambush.
Willie Kingston also describes attending the Dail Courts at The Land and Labour Hall Skibbereen, Fahoura School, at a field at Derryclough, a stable at Ballyorane and a mill at Donemark. His attendance at Derryclough was photographed by an American lady and appeared in the American papers and later reached Skibbereen. It is said that a Dail Court sat from time to time at Durrus Court.
Workers hut and equipment at Durrus Road Station destroyed by fire.
Kilcrohane RIC Barracks burnt 1920, later blown up.
Timothy ‘Casey’ McCarthy (Captain of Durrus Company IRA)took part in Kilmichael Ambush with General Tom Barry. He worked for 40 years with Dick Carrigaline (the Gays may have been from Cooolculaghta), died December 1956 firing party old old IRA under Captain Raphy P. Keyes rendered military honours at the graveside. Members included Mortimer O’Sullivan, John Keohane, Jack McCarthy, Jack Wholihan. In attendance were Tom Barry, Ned Cotter TD., Dick Gay, Senator Ted O’Sullivan attended removal from St. Finbarr’s hospital
Dan O’Mahony (d. 4 Oct 1975), Ahagouna, Battalion Commandant (Fifth Battalion, Bantry), Tom Ward, Durrus, Vice-Commandant, Denis O’Leary, Durrus, Jack McCarthy Durrus, Gibbs Ross (died Civil War) Durrus Brigade Adjutant.
The Philips family removed the sign ‘The Bandon Arms’ from their hotel to prevent trouble.
The Southern Star reported a case 3rd May 1924 where two former IRA members were accused of theft of a trap harness and cushions from Samuel Levis shortly before the signing of the Treaty. They were defended by Jasper Woulfe and the evidence was that at the time the Durrus area was completely under the control of the Republican army. The men were acting on orders. The jury convicted but recommended mercy and the judge remarked in discharging the prisoners on security of £10 that ‘it is rather hard that certain men should be prosecuted after the lapse of some time and others be let go free’
During the troubles and the civil war there were a number of men ‘on the run’ and were put up in safe houses. During the civil war the Free State forces were pressing against the reputed safe houses and it is said that many ‘on the run’ made their escape by boat from the Muintervara Peninsula or from Dunbeacon over the hills by Mount Gabriel to Schull
After the killing of Commandant Gibbs Ross and three others in Bantry on the 13th August 1922 a pro treaty man was taken from Bantry to a house in Upper Clashadoo/Gerhameen. He got on well with his captors even playing bowling with them. He was eventually released
The combined effect of the First World War, the Troubles and the Civil War exacted a heavy toll both on the physical condition of the countryside and on the morale of the people. Willie Kingston alluded to the fact that many of his friends decided to emigrate rather then face an uncertain future. This fate also awaited many of those on the losing side of the Civil War, at least in the 1920s. The country could ill afford such losses of energy and youth and fell into a stupor with a dominant Catholic Church for the best part of 50 years after.
Anneystrewey, bandon clonakilty skibbereen cork west cork west carbery macroom, Church of Ireland, co.cork, history ireland, Lissard, Michael Collins, skibbereen, The O'Donovan, Tom Hosford, world war 1
Abbeystrewry (Skibbereen), West Cork, Church of Ireland Memoir, 1890-1990, The last ‘Caoin’ in Skibbereen, the Wren Boys, the day World War 1 ended, Tom Hosford’s school, Michael Collins on the day of his death, the first Airplane in West Cork, Protestant Businesses in Skibbereen 1890-.
On the 1st July the Lancaster Gazette carried a report on the Monster Meeting addressed by Daniel O’Connell. Quoting the ‘Cork Examiner ‘, it repeated the reputed number of attendees of 500,000.
Daniel O”Connell arrived heading four stage coaches and a battalion of bands. Parishes from all over West Cork were represented by crowds headed by the respective clergy of each parish.
Among the parishes were,
Bantry, Thomas Barry P.P.
Drimoleague, John Ryan P.P., John Creedon C.C.
Kilmaceba, Joseph Sheehan P.P.
Castlehaven, James Mulcahy P.P., Daniel Freeman C.C., Michael Ross C.C.
Aughadown, Maurice Geary P.P.
Durrus, Richard Quin P.P.
In his address to the crowd Daniel O’Connell stated the it was for the right of every man over 20 years of age having a house, so they would all have a vote except some idle gorsoons (young fellas), without a dwelling and who could not get some honest girl to marry him (cheers and laughter).
They should defy the Landowner when they had the ballot, when the Landlord requested a vote they could say to his honour ‘Arrah then sir, we would not wish to disoblige your honour’ (hear hear!) – when at the same time they might vote for the popular candidate (Cheer Cheer!)
A sum of £500 was afterwards presented to him.
This must have been of of his last public addresses.
It is doubtful if the crowd was as great as reported.
There are various references to Skibbereen in the Daniel O’Connell letters Irish Manuscript Commission online. Members of his family were married into the O’Sullivans of Reendonegan and one of his daughters was the wife of a Resident Magistrate in Bantry. His grand daughter was married to Downes Solicitor and the O’Connell family crest may still adorn their house (Norton House) which was later the residence of Jasper Swanton, Crown Prosecutor, Solicitor and Independent TD for West Cork in the 1920s and 30s.
Pre 1876 Charles O’Connell Resident Magistrate First Catholic MP for Kerry wife 2nd daughter of Daniel O’Connell. In 1876 he was dead when his daughter Theresa married Skibbereen Solicitor Thomas Downes he died 1904. His son married Miss Curtis grand daughter of Martha Evanson of Durrus who was the wife of Rev. Madras.
Born c 1791 Roger O’Sullivan, Kings Inns Attorney Reendonegan. Clerk to Daniel O’Connell son Daniel and Hanora O’Connell Daniel’s sister Daniel O’Connell’s letters
1843-1904 Thomas Downes Solicitor Born son Thomas Mitchelstown, Castleknock College, Gold Medalist, partner with McCarthy Downing MP 1870, land agent to Wrixon-Beecher, Local bodies and railways Married 1876, Teresa d late Charles O’Connell, RM, Bantry, and first Catholic MP for Kerry whose wife was the 2nd daughter of Daniel O’Connell Died 1904, probate to widow Theresa and Daniel O’Connell Esq Agent Bank of Ireland Effects £10,676 5s 6d He moved to Norton Cottage which he bought in 1882 . The house was built by Thomas Attridge Ballydehob later rented by Alexander O’Driscoll JP then to Captain Taylor married to Thomas Attridge’s daughter then the residence of Catholic Bishop Dr Michael O’Hea. The arms of the O’Connell family – A Stag-is still over the front door. Later rented 1908 and bought by 1925 by Jasper Woulfe Solicitor
Ann Maria Curtis, Dungourney, granddaughter, of Martha Evanson, Ballydivane/Friendly Cove, Durrus, married 1867, The Liberator’s (Daniel O’Connell) grandson (Son of Charles Resident Magistrate, Bantry).
Martha married Rev. John Madras, their genealogy is here:
Magistrate: Rev. John Henry Madras (1804-1852), Pre 1831, 1835 sitting Dripsey, Of Huguenot extraction via Amsterdam married 1800 Martha Evanson, Ballydivane/Friendly Cove, Durrus, 3 sons 4 daughters. Died at residence Rathard, Aherla. His granddaughter Ann Maria Curtis, Dungourney, married 1867, Daniel O’Connell’s grandson (Son of Charles RM, Bantry),
Recollections of James Stanley Vickery as a grandchild in Molloch, Durrus, Bantry (1829-1911), House c 1740-70 and Probably Prior House in ruins Pre-1740
Enclose are picture of the house, yard and well in January 2016. Also enclosed in the probably earlier Vickery house possibly before 1740s situated just a distance from the present house which was lived in up to the 1980s by the Swanton family who are probably related by marriage to the Vickeries.
The farm comprised 170 acres large farm for the area.
In the Bantry Estate Records the Vickeries and their kinsmen the Warners and O’Sullivans were noted as yeomen farmers. Like the Warners, the Vickeries probably originated in nearby Rooska and are most likely in the Bantry area pre 1700. The Warners apart from farming also held various farms which were sub let as did the Tedagh Sullivans, The Warners had a reputation for hard work, honesty and fair dealing which transferred to their Cork descendants, the Musgrave family (Supervalu) on the female line. Like the Vickeries they were Church of Ireland and late converted to Methodism.
House 1740-70, and probable pre 1740 house:
There is a debate as to whether he has all the family information correct. Entire Recollections:
In Frank Callanan’s biography of Tim Healy (Politician, barrister, Governor General of Irish Free State) he states that his grandfather Healy was a classical teacher in Bantry. In the recollections James relates how he was taught by a master called Healy it may be the same man.
These are an extract of the early memories of James Stanley Vickery who later went to Australia. He founded a business in Ballarat dealing in chemicals, food products etc. This successful business remained in the Vickery family until World War 2.
James Swanton was a notable local figure and was a Cess payer representative in 1834:
1834. NAMES and PLACES of RESIDENCE of the CESS PAYERS nominated by the County Grand Jury at the last Assizes, to be associated with the Magistrates at Special Road Sessions to be holden in and for the several Baronies within the County, preparatory to the next Assizes, pursuant to Act 3 and 4 Wm. 4, ch. 78.
|Barony of Bantry||William O’Sullivan Carriganass, Kealkil||Michael Sullivan, Droumlickeerue||John O’Connell, Bantry||Richard Levis, Rooska|
|William Pearson, Droumclough, Bantry||Daniel O’Sullivan, Reedonegan||Jeremiah O’Sullivan, Droumadureen||John Cotter, Lisheens,||James Vickery, Mullagh, Bantry|
|Rev. Henry Sadler, The Glebe||John Godson, Bantry||Richard Pattison, Cappanabowl, Bantry||John Kingston, Bantry||Samuel Vickery, Franchagh|
|William Pearson, Cahirdaniel, Bantry||Robert Vickery, Dunbittern, Bantry||Daniel Mellifont, Donemark||John Hamilton White, Droumbroe||Samuel Daly, Droumkeal|
He was born in Skibbereen and after his parent died of Asiatic cholera in 1832 he and his two sisters went to live with their grandparents at Moloch, Durrus 1832-36. His grandfather James had formerly farmed in Rooska and held the farms by lease from Lord Bantry at a modest rent and the family was comfortably off. There was a suggestion that the family were involved in smuggling and the Vickerys are reputed to descend from two brother shipwrecked in Bantry c 1740. In later years his grandfather became religious and a leading light in the Methodist movement. James spent 4 years in Moloch and gives an interesting account of life at the time. In his grandfather’s time there were good prices for produce but hard to get to market. There were no proper roads and his grandmother or aunt had to go to Bantry it was on horseback in the old fashion pillion. When wheeled vehicles arrived on the farm but were used with a feather bed.
The house was a two storey one with slated roof. There was rough comfort with turf fires. Wood was dug out of the bog sufficient to make rafters for the outhouses, oak as black as jet. There was a resinous wood found in great plenty out of which when dry they made good torches which was often used instead of a candle. In 2008 there are still quantities of bog oak in the nearby Clonee bog.
Bacon hanging from the kitchen rafters, potatoes in their prime, with oatmeal porridge, wholemeal bread, milk and butter and honey in abundance. It was the finest honey country around with the hill tops covered in native heath and the fields in red clover. There was the best kind of fish with very little of either beef or mutton or even the staple commodity bacon. Off the wild coast grew some edible seaweeds which made a cheap pleasant and extremely wholesome food. Carrageen moss had long formed a medical food of great value. Shellfish of various kinds were cheap, crab of large size were very common. Oysters very large and plentiful were not much in use. Everything was both cheap and plentiful with the exception of that most needful of all money to purchase. He knew of turbot sold at 2/6 which would cost 20/- in Billingsgate. The people though living close to the sea were not strictly seagoing unlike the Cornish folk on the opposite coast of England.
Spinning wheels would be making music the large one for wool and the small one for flax. The articles made from these materials were very coarse but strong and endurable. Farming implements were of the primitive kind, a one furrow plough scythe, sickle and flail. The latter consisted of two well seasoned ashen sticks about five feet long united together with strip of green hide. With this the corn was threshed and it was a pleasant sight to watch the active young men face each other at the work. There was not even a winnower in use and the corn had to be separated from the chaff by holding it up to the wind the corn falling on a sheet of tarpaulin spread on the ground to receive it. Foreign matter small stones and clay was later removed prior to going to the mill by spreading it on a large kitchen table and the women of the house picked it out.
After killing the fatted cow the rough fat was melted and used in the making of candles usually by the slow process of dipping. A good washing potash lye was made from ashes of burnt furze. Starch was made from the farina of potatoes. A kind of tea was made from a certain kind of mint, china tea being a luxury forming often times a valued present from well to do friends. A sweet and mild alcoholic drink was brewed from honey called metheglin (spiced mead). Sickness was treated with simple herbs grown in the garden. He well remembered the abhorrent taste of tansy to kill worms and other parasites in the child’s interior. Whiskey was not forgotten no doubt having the well known peculiar flavour of genuine ‘Potheen’. It was very little used as a beverage by the family but as a remedy it had its place in emergencies. He dwelt on these particulars as they gave an insight on the common life of the time now passed away.
He recalls his grandfather’s death and the wake going over two nights with a professional keener.
He went around 1837 to a small private school in Bantry run by a man called Healy who was a Catholic. The new National schools had been boycotted by the Irish Protestants. Healy had attained a proficiency in mathematics but was extremely cruel, over one of the rafters he threw a small rope and tied it under James’s arms and hoisted him up swinging him gently and letting him feel the holly rod to the amusement of the other boys. His wife on seeing it stopped him and gave Healy a piece of his mind. Healy was later convicted of cruelty in front of the magistrates. James later went to live with relatives in Bandon and went to Australia in 1853. The house in Mulagh is the old Swanton farmhouse last occupied by Jimmy Swanton’s mother 1980s. and in fair structural condition. Sullivan