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History of Coleraine and Its Vicinity

Transcribed by Jane and Teena from The Coleraine Chronicle in date order of publishing.

The District and Area surrounding Colran (Coleraine) from a map of the Kingdome of Ireland devided into 4 provinces (1700)
Source -Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, The New York Public Library.

28 Jun. 1856

Papers on the History of Coleraine and Its Vicinity.
No. I
(Expressly written for the Coleraine Chronicle)

The district around Coleraine is connected with some of the most ancient acts of our ancestors of which we have any record. Beyond the period of history, while yet our forefathers were not so far advanced in civilization, as many of the tribes whom we now term savages, this district seemed to have been inhabited by some primitive people, whose rude implements of war and chase are every day found. In those days this part of the country presented many advantages to attract the notice of early settlers. Here :they could chase the dun deer in the wood, or catch the salmon in the flood” and not only has it been trodden by the foot of the savage, but inhabited, at a remote period, by people possessed of artistic skill and imbued with a high perception of the beautiful. Near Kildalloch, a few months ago, was found a brooch of pure gold, weighing 2 ozs. 6 dwt. and 18 grs., which is admirable in its mechanical execution and the originality of its design shows that the artist studied well in the great school of nature –  every curve is from the animal or vegetable life that surrounded the artist. The bird projects his beak, the snake contorts himself into myriad folds and wolf dogs and human limbs are strangely intertwined. Bronze swords, brass spears, and stone arrow-heads and hatchets are frequently found, testifying that here, in times long ago, flourished both the arts of war and peace. Near the town, at the angle formed by the junction of the Portrush and Portstewart roads, is still to be seen, one those caves so common throughout Ireland, which are said to have been the dwelling-places of the earliest inhabitants. It may seem strange to us that human beings ever would burrow in such dismal holes. Nevertheless, Tacitus describes the Germans of his time as living underground and our own poets speak of such dwellings, which they call “Bruighin” and sometimes represent them as elegantly furnished. On one of these, now called “New Grange,” County Meath, Aengus Og, we are told by them, taught philosophy.

Our ancient history, like that of all other countries, is more or less interwoven with fables, yet they are worth preserving. If we cannot make up our mind to cast away the loves and squabbles of Grecian gods and heroes, why not preserve the mythic legends that shed a poetic halo around the district in which we live? In Pagan times, when the waves at the junction of the Bann with the ocean roared louder than usual, they were supposed to portend something remarkable to the kingdom – thus “Conn of the hundred fights”* when going to the battle of Moylena heard them and interpreted their roaring as a good omen. Connell Carnach+ is represented as hearing this wave at Dunseverick and thence concluding that King Connor was in danger. These waves were called “the waves of Tuagh”, from a young princess of that name, who was stolen while in an enchanted sleep++, from the court of Conaire, Monarch of Eirin, by Mannan, the son of Lir, the Neptune of the Irish. He carried her to the mouth of the Bann, which then was called “Inver Glais”; here he laid her on the beach and a great wave rolling in bore her off, so that she was drowned and ever after the wave of that shore was called the Wave of Tuagh. The townland at the angle of the Bann and the sea is to this day called Dooey, evidently a corruption of the original name.

The old name of the Cults was “Eas Creibh”* (the cataract of Creev). This Creeve was a princess who was drowned here. She was the daughter of Owen Mac Duirtheact, who resided in Dun-da-Bheann (the fortress of the two tops or peaks) now called Mount Sandal. Here also resided a prince of the Tuatha De Dannans, named Fatha, who aspired to the hand of the princess Fin-dealbh (Fair-form); whose appearance is thus described in an old Irish book$ “Fairer than the pure snow of one night was every limb of her body and her graceful neck; her checks glowed with as deep a crimson as dyes the blood of a young heifer; both her brows were as dark as the sheen of jet; her long tendrilled hair shone like burnished gold; her eyes, blue as the flower of the Bugha, glistened like pearls in their sockets; redder than the berry of the mountain ash were her sweetly-sounding, correctly-speaking lips; and an elegant, fine, four-cornered mantle, bound above her breast with a bodkin of bright silver, enveloped her.” Our neighbour of Mount Sandal was not successful in his suit, for a stronger arm and better sword won the lady.

The tribe of the Fir Li at a remote period possessed the lands on the western side of the Bann. They were eventually driven to the eastern side by the clan of the Creibh. The latter tribe seems to have been more noble, for in the “Book of Rights” they are not assessed for any tribute to the King of Aileach, as being of the King’s own race, while the former were bound to pay 1,000 milch cows, 100 beeves, 50 good oxen and 50 hogs. At that time it was customary for the King, when he received his tribute, to give presents to his own subjects.

*Battle of Moylena
+Publ. of the Gaelic Soc.
$Ossianic Soc., Vol. 2

Custom had defined the amount of these presents; to the King of the Fir Li he was bound to give
Six shields, six swords of battle,
Six slender, proud horses,
Six bondmen of great work.*

The King of Aileach was bound to give to the King of Creibh a present, though that prince paid him no tribute.
Entitled is the King of the Craebh to a gift
Three strong steeds as a stipend,
Three shields, three swords of battle,
Three green cloaks of even colour. +

The chieftainship of these clans was hereditary in certain families, and elective among the members of those families. Such was the state of this locality when St. Patrick, about the year 450, visited Coleraine, where he was hospitably entertained, and a piece of ground was offered to him, ++ whereon to build a Church in a spot then overgrown with ferns, hence it was named Cuil Rathen, “the Ferny Corner.” It would seem that the Church was then very small, for in the “Book of Armagh”, a manuscript of the 7th Century, it is stated that St. Patrick “crossed the Bann and blessed the place where is the little cell of Cuil Raithen, in the plain of Eilniu (the country of the Fir-li), in which there was a bishop and he erected many other Churches in the plain of Eilniu.” Cairbre became bishop of this Church about the year 540. He was grandson of the prince, who bestowed the site on which it was built to St. Patrick.$

About this time occurred a revolution by which all the lands for miles on the west side of the Bann changed owners. Under the names of Li, or Fir-li, they had been conferred on the people of Dalradia by the family of  the Niall of the hostages, in gratitude for that people’s assistance at the battle of Ocha in 483, a memorable event, which set aside the collateral branches of the same race and enabled the Hy-Nialls to hold the supreme government of Ireland uninterruptedly for 519 years. The race of Niall,  victorious over its enemies and firmly fixed on the throne, soon forgot its old friends, as Kings are wont. In the year 563, at the battle of Mona-daire Lothair/ somewhere between Coleraine and the river Bush, the Hy- Niall defeated the people of Dalradia and their allies, the Picts, and forced them to leave the Lee, which, from Benyevenagh to Coleraine, passed into the possession of the race of Owen. In the time of their greatness the Dalaradians and their allies, the Picts, kept up a constant communication with North Britain, whence they made annual raids on the Roman provinces of South Britain. In some of these plundering expeditions they, no doubt, carried off the horde of coins and other Roman plunder which were lately in the possession of Mr. GILMOUR. Many similar to this have, from time to time, been found in this district, showing how successful these people were in their predatory incursions. In the year 590, St. Columb Kill,* on his return from the Council of Drumceat, visited Coleraine, where, according to Adamnan, a great entertainment was prepared in honour of him by Conall, the Bishop of Coleraine; the expense of this entertainment was defrayed by the people of the district. Every person brought presents, which, Adamnan tells us, were piled up in the court-yard of the monastery to be blessed by St. Columb Kill before being used.

It was usual on the arrival of distinguished persons at a monastery, for the people of the neighbourhood to make such presents (zenia) towards their being well entertained by the religious, whose means would otherwise have been inadequate to that purpose. About the year 660, St. Congal# founded a monastery at Camus, so named because (it was) built at the bend or bay of the river. This monastery was once celebrated, though nothing now remains of it except the old fort lying in the north of the cemetery and the shaft of a stone cress, which was once beautifully carved with some ecclesiastical precession and is now used as a pillar for the gate, while its stone pedestal lies neglected among the graves.  Near the site of this church there was a ford over the Bann called “Feasta Camsa”, the crossing of Camus, over which Brien Boru, A.D. 1005, crossed with his army to secure the obedience of the Dalradians.

The church of Coleraine, we have seen, was at one time ruled by Bishops. How long it enjoyed this honour cannot now be told. Only the names of two of its bishops are known— Cairbre and Conall.

The Book of Armagh represents the diocese of Connor as extending to Coleraine; “And he (St. Patrick) returned to the plain of Eilniu and built many other churches, which Connor has.” Hence it appears that the church of Coleraine at an early period passed under the jurisdiction of the bishops of Connor. Afterwards the church of Coleraine continued to be governed by abbots, as the following entries from the Four Masters will show;

A.D. 930, Airmhedhac abbot of Coleraine, was slain by the Danes.
A.D. 972, Roitehtach, superior of Coleraine, anchorite and wise man, died.
A.D. 988, MacLeigirm O’Muireadhan, superior of Coleraine, died.
A.D. 1110, Cearnach, son of MacUlcha superior of Coleraine, died in penitence.
A.D. 1122, Andadh, son of MacUlcha, superior of Coleraine, died.

*Book of Rights
++ Lanigan Ecc. History.
$ Ibid.
** O’Connor
/ Annals of Ulster
*** Lannigan.
#Monasticon Hibernicum

It would seem that Coleraine, in the 11th century, was a town of considerable importance. St. Bernard calls it “the city of Coleraine.”* The church of Coleraine and other churches in the neighbourhood were plundered A.D. 1171, by Manus O’Heoghy, a prince of county Down, who was afterwards defeated with great loss, including twenty-one chiefs, by Connor O’Kane, at the head of a portion of the Kinel-Owen. The church of Coleraine was again burned in the war between the Irish and Sir John Courcy. In the year 1197, “John De Courcy, with the English of Ulidia (county Down), marched to Eas Craobh+ (the Cuts), where they built the Castle of Killsancton….. and left Roitsel Petun with a strong garrison in the castle, whence they sallied out, plundering and devastating the country and the churches.” This Roitsel appears to have been Russell, a junior branch of the Bedford family, and was located in county Down by De Courcy. It no doubt seems strange to find churches devastated in the wars of Christians, but we are to consider that these stone buildings were of rare occurrence and churches were often, therefore, turned into places of defence and were frequented not only by those who sought to deprecate the wrath of heaven, but by those who hoped to escape the rage man.

The foundations of Killsanctan can still be traced, of great thickness and strength, being in general of more than seven feet in breadth. They are situated in a field at the Loughans, called Art- Mac-Con. The name Kilsanctan may have passed into Mountsandal, the title of an adjacent townland. In the year 1210, King John, when at Carrickfergus, granted to his relative, Allan, Earl of Galloway and grandfather of Balliol, King of Scotland, among other territories,

“the whole land of Toschart (the north part the diocese of Connor), and two cantreds beyond the Bann, viz., the cantreds of Kunnock (the barony of Kennaught), and of Tirkehit (the barony of Tirkeeran),++ with all belonging to said lands, except 20 knights fees near the castle of Killsanctan, viz., 10 beyond the Bann and 10 on this side Bann, which we retain in our hands, for the guard of the castle of Killsanctan.”

Allan’s younger brother, Thomas, Earl of Athol, who is called by the four masters Mac Uchtry, from his grandfather Uchtred or Gothred, also established himself at Coleraine, where he built a castle, “and in order to build it, the houses of the town, with all the ecclesiastical establishments, except the church, were pulled down.”$ On this occasion it is likely the abbey of Coleraine was demolished. Its church escaped and is the present Protestant church. The site of the abbey is now occupied by the gardens &c., between Bridge street and Ferry quay street. In 1215, King John granted to Thomas, Earl of Athol, “Killesantan with the castle of Culrath (Coleraine), and 10 knights’ fees in Twescart, adjoining said castle on the Bann, 10 knights’ fees in Kenact; lying nearest to the said castle; and Duncathel with all Twerth and Clinkinnomolan.”

When the church of Coleraine ceased to be ruled by its own bishops, its lands passed into the see property of Armagh, in which they continued till about 1247, when Hugh de Lacy, Earl of Ulster, obtained them from the primate in exchange for other lands in the diocese Armagh, A.D. 1248.** The Lord Justice of Ireland having marched against O’Neill, the English on that expedition built a bridge over the Bann and a castle at Dromtairsigh. This name has long faded from local recollection and might have been difficult to identify but for the ecclesiastical taxation, which introduces the church of Dromtarsi between those of Camus and Dunboe. It is now Killowen and Jackson-hall occupies the site of the ancient castle.

There is still preserved in the Irish Exchequer Record Office a roll containing the receipts derived from certain manors in the vicinity of Coleraine from the year 1259 to 1262./

Of £20 for the rent of Portkaman (Bushmills) for the aforesaid time; and of £40 of the rent of Portros (Portrush) for the aforesaid time; and of £23 0s. 8d. of the rent of burgages of Coulrath, with the demesnes thereof put to farm for the same time; and of £4 of the rent of the town of the monastery for the same time; and of £16 of the rent of Drumtarsy (Killowen) for the same time; and of 40s of the rent of Henry de Maundeville for two carncates of land in Drumtarsy for the same time; and of £147 for 410 cranocks of the greater hundred of oatmeal of the issues of the mills of Twescard and of the issues of the mill of Ohatheran (Agherton), the price of the cranock for the first year being 2s and of the last year, 4s; and of £40 6s 8d of the issues of the fishery of the Bann for the aforesaid time; and of two marks (£1 6s 8d) of the issues of the fishery of Lynne (the Cutts) for the same time.”

In the year 1274, a monastery, dedicated to the Blessed virgin, was founded on the west side of the Bann at Coleraine. It was at times called the “monastery of the Bann.”

*Life of St. Malachy.
+The Four Masters
++ Hardy’s Rot. Chart.
$ Four Masters
** Ibid.
/ Archeological Journal of Ulster

In 1332 (1382? cannot be sure of the exact year) the king confirmed the letters patent of Edmund, Earl of March, “to the prior and convent of friars, preachers of Coulrath the liberty of one free fishing boat * in the Bann and half of all the fish caught yearly on St. John the Baptist’s day, in a certain torrent called Lyn (the Cutts) beside the said town.”

In 1284, this house was remodelled by the Dominican order. At the dissolution, the last prior, Shane O’BOYLE, was seized of the lands of Ballitras, Bailynefaigh, Attware, Ardbeggan, Dunaville, Ballyosallye. It preserved some sort of existence up to the year 1644, when it was erected into a college for Dominicans, by a general chapter of that order, then held in Rome. A.D. 1292, the agents of the Exchequer were invested with authority to institute a strict inquiry into the financial condition of the Irish Church, for the purpose of imposing the “taxation of Pope Nicholas.” By means of this valuation, we find that the church of Coleraine+ was worth £11 5s 4d; the church of Hathrantone (Agherton) was valued at £4 11s 4d; the church of Portrush at £25 4s 8d. There was then a church at Rosselrick (the point of the cemetery) which was valued at 40 pence only, because two-thirds of its tithes were impropriate to the abbey of Kells. Two-thirds of the tithes of Kildallogh (the church of the two loughs) were at this time impropriate to the abbey of Woodburn, near Carrickfergus, hence it was only valued at £1 6s 8d. However, we are to consider that money at that time was far more valuable than at present. For instance, in an Exchequer account of 1260 there occurs the following item, “John Byset, 7 cows, the price of each cow being 40 pence, for making a distress.” ++

*Calend. Cancell Hib.
++Ulster Journal of Archaeology

12 Jul. 1856

Papers on the History of Coleraine and Its Vicinity.
No. II
(Expressly written for the Coleraine Chronicle)

In 1333, on the death of William de BORGO, there was an inquisition taken concerning the possessions in “the county of Coulrath,” whence it appears, that the district around Coleraine was formed into a county at that early period. In this inquisition De BORGO is found to have been seized of lands in Dunduan and Drumtarsy (Dundooan and Killowen). By the death of De Borgo, who was murdered at “the fords, near Carrickfergus”, all Ulster was thrown into the greatest confusion. The powerful family of the De BORGO, seeing their chief cut off without male issue and “no man left to govern or protect that province,” joined heartily with the Irish, seized the late earl’s lands, assumed Irish names and became completely Irish in manners, language, and apparel.*

The widow of the late Earl of Ulster, with her daughter Elizabeth, fled into England and the powerful sept of the O’NEILLS and their feudatories, taking advantage of the colonists confusion, made themselves masters of the greater part of the counties Antrim and Down. Lionel, Duke of Clarence, third son of Edward III., married Elizabeth, only child and heir to Wm., the late earl. As heir by his wife to the titles and estates of her father, he soon began to attempt the recovery of the latter and we are informed he succeeded in recovering “the maritime parts of Ulster” from the enemy.+ In 1369 he had Coulrath and Drumtarsy among his possessions; it is likely his conquests were rery limited both in extent and duration. A.D. 1376,++ Cumoigh na Gall (pronounced Cooey naGall), prince of the O’KANES, was taken prisoner by the English at the port of Coleraine and sent by them to Carrickfergus in fetters. The tomb of this Cooey na Gall is still to be seen in the chancel of the ancient church of Dungiven. He is said to have died, A.D. 1385, “while at the height of prosperity and renown,”$ therefore he must have, by some means, got out of his enemies hands, but how, at this distance of time, we cannot discover. Doubtless he was sent home to pacify his gallant clansmen, who seem not to have been idle during his imprisonment, for in 1832 John RYNAUX, treasurer of Ulster, is ordered to repair the castle of Drumtarsy and the bridge of Coulrath which had been broken down by the Irish. The O’KANES were a junior branch of the Kinelowen and as such, bound by the brehon laws to pay tribute to the O’NEILLS.

Around Coleraine, for ages, lived and thrived the O’KANES, and their descendants, fought, conquered and were worsted alternately, until nothing came so readily to them as the sword and the spear and no playground more acceptable than the battle-field. They were preceded in the possession of their fertile territories by the O’CONNOR’S, a tribe of Munster extraction, who were forced to give way to the O’HENERYS or McHENERYS, who in turn fell under the power of the O’KANES.

A slight recollection of the chieftains of the O’HENERYS or McHENERYS is still faintly preserved among the traditionary stories of the people. The writer remembers to have been told by a countryman at the Loughans that the last Irish chieftain, who resided in the old castle at the Loughans, was Echri McHENERY, who, to prevent his enemies from getting his riches, “threw his plate, which was all of goold, into a deep part of the Bann,” near the old castle, which has ever since been called Echri McHENERYS hole. The subject of this tradition was probably an O’KANES and not McHENRY for, from an inquisition taken at Coleraine, March 21st 1635, it appears that Nicholas QUEYTROD and Richard QUEYTROD were seized, as in fee, for the use of Randulf M’DONNELL, late Earl of Antrim, of 1 quarter land of Ballinlochan, in the county of Londonderry, containing 30 acres; 2 quarters of Lockanreagh, 60 acres; 2 quarters of Towernacbogy, 60 acres; 2 quarters of Cowldorry, 60 acres; 4 quarters of Cnockitarny (Knockintern) otherwise Ballyvolloghan, 120 acres, &c., all which they, by deed, bearing date 15th May 1609, granted to GAURED otherwise Gorry McHenry O’CANE, who no doubt is the Echri McHENRY of the Loughan tradition.

To return to our current subject the power of the English about Coleraine rapidly decreased after the death of William de BORGO and from the same causes the power of the great lords, Irish and Anglo-Irish, rapidly increased. These hated each other and all detested the English. Wars, ravages and massacres are each year recorded. They were the necessary consequences of such a disorganised state of society, when each warrior and chief did what seemed good in his eyes. In 1472, Roderick, chief of the O’KANES, was treacherously murdered by M’QUILLAN, Geoffrey O’KANES, brother, and successor of Roderick marched, with his clan, to the Route to take revenge and was himself slain by M’QUILLAN.

*Davis’s Hist. Tracts
+ ibid
++ Four Masters
$ ibid

Con O’NEILL afterwards defeated the M’QUILLANS and compelled their chieftan to hold a conference with the O’KANES. M’QUILLANS having entered a small boat at the mouth of the Bann, to appear before O’KANE, a party of O’KANES people met him on his arrival at the landing-place and they slew him and plunged him in the Bann.*

Without doubt, the Irish had then the virtues, as well as the atrocities of barbarism; but it so happens in our annals that crimes are carefully recorded, while virtuous deeds are seldom chronicled. The history of Coleraine and its vicinity, at this period, for years was a series battles between the O’KANES and M’QUILLANS, who were Welsh origin, as appears by a letter written A.D. 1542, to Henry VIII., which says

“One MAGUYLLEN who, having long strayed from the nature of his allegiance (his ancestors being your subjects and cam oute of Wales) has grown to he as Irisshe as the worste.”+

In this year, (1542), the Lord Deputy and Council write to the King

“We had sent John TRAVERS, Master of your Majesty’s Ordnance here, with a company, in aid M’GREYBYN, against a proude obstynate Irysheman, called O’CATHAN and assure your Highness, that the said John at this present is returned, having taken as well the said O’CATHAN, his castell from him, which standeth upon your river of the Ban, being an obstacle to your Highness and other your English subjects to fish there, as depredate and brent part of the said O’CATHANS lands.++

The salmon fisheries of the Bann formed a source of great emolument to the English. If as much as 320 ton weight were taken in one year in Pennant’s time, it may be presumed the produce was not inferior in former times. There is an entry on the patent rolls of Henry IV. of permission granted to four merchants to import victuals to the fishers in the Bann. In 1579, one Mathias de MONTE, whose real name was Manus O’KANE, proposed to take the Castle of Castleroe from Turlough O’NEILL and bring in Spanish merchants to the fishing. He produced a letter from the King of Spain to the Governor of Castile, recommending him, as having served in the huntsman’s and body-guard. Marshal Bagnal wrote a description of Ulster in 1586 $, from which we learn about “O’CAHANS countrey”, that “the Capten thereof is Rory O’CAHAN who was able to raise 140 horsemen and about 400 foot-men. He hath buildings in his countrey, &c., upon the Bann, neare the salmon fishinge, two castles, th’ one called the castle of Colran, somewhat defaced, yet wardable, th’ other Castle Rooe, wherein Turloughe O’NEYLE kepeth a constable and a ward to receve his part of the fishinge.”

Some time previous to this the MacDONNELLS obtained a footing and were enrolled among jaring toparchs of the district. Whatever amount of chivalry may be justly and fairly ascribed to the Celtic races of the olden day, perfectly irrespective of the boasting of their bards and Senachies, the Clann CONNELL may be put down for a fair share of it; for wherever good sword-work was to be done, there we will find the MacDONNELLS – whether among the ‘Scots Guard’, shielding the monarchs of France, in the halls of Versailles, or as commander of Galloglasses fighting the enemies of O’NEILL or O’DONNELL – all freely acknowledged the valour, fidelity and discipline of the MacDONNELLS. “The merciless MacDONNELLS from the Western Isles, with his kernes and Galloglasses”, as Shakspeare would say. The Medicis, Guises, Guelphs and Tudors were of small note, when the ancestors of the Clann Ronald were Lords of the Ocean and the Isles.

The MacDONNELLS were frequently invited by the Irish chieftains to assist them in their quarrels. In the year 1544 James and Colla, sons of Alexander MacDONNELL, came to assist MacQUILLAN against O’KANE; and ten years later, Sorley-boy, their younger brother, expelled MacQUILLAN from the Route and established himself in his fortress of Dunluce. Sorley-boy kept possession of the Route till 1584, when the Lord Deputy, Mr. John PERROT, made himself master of Dunluce. The following account of the siege is given in Sir John’s life.

“The castle had in it a strong ward, whereof the captain was a Scotchman, who, when the Deputy sent to him to yield, refused a parley and answered (speaking good English) that he would keep it to the last man, which made the Deputy draw near thither and plant a battery of culverins and cannon before it, which being brought by sea to Skerries (Portrush) the lord Deputy caused to be drawn thither (being two miles from Dunluce) by force of men, wherein he spared not the labour of his own servants; and when the small shot played so thick out of the fort that the common soldiers began to shrink in planting the artillery, the Lord Deputy made his own men fill the gabions with earth and made good his ground until the ordnance was planted and the trenches made. This being done, the Lord Deputy gave fire to the first piece of ordnance and discharged it, which did no great hurt, but shortly after it being better shaked, the next morning (after that they had overnight felt the force of the battery), they sent unto the Lord Deputy to be received unto mercy, whereunto he condescended, rather because he would save the charges of repairing again that place, which otherwise he must have beat down, and for that he could not spend the provision, weaken the forces and hinder the rest of the services then intended, by lying long before one fort; and therefore he granted them life and liberty to depart.”

*Four Masters
+State papers Vol. III
++ ibid.
$Ulster Journal of Archaeology
Shakspeare = Macbeth

The fort was afterwards regained by the MacDONNELLS, as is told in the same biography –

“Withal, there happening an accident of the loss of Dunluce (which the Deputy had now and placed a ward therein), he advertised the same unto the privy council after this manner. When he first took that pile, he placed a pensioner, called Peter CAREY, to be a constable of it, with a ward of fourteen soldiers, thinking him to be of English pale, or race, but afterwards found that he was of the CARREWS in the North. This constable, reposing trust in those of his country and kindred, had gotten some of them unto him and discharged the English soldiers, unknown to the Deputy. Twenty of these having confederated with the enemy, drew up 50 of them by night, with ropes made of withies. Having surprised the castle they assaulted a little tower, wherein the constable was and a few with them. They at first offered them life, and to put them in any place they would desire, (for so had the traitors conditioned with them before), but the constable, willing to pay the price of his folly, chose rather to forgo his life in very manly sort, than to yield to any such conditions and was slain.”

This transaction happened about the year 1585. The Deputy sent against them MERRIMAN, who slew here two sons of James McDONNELL and a son of Sorley-boy and so harassed them that Sorley-boy surrendered Dunluce, went to Dublin and made his submission in the Cathedral and having abjured all allegiance to foreign princes, he received from Queen Elizabeth’s bounty all his estates, on condition that he would furnish 40 footmen and 12 horsemen in time of war for 40 days, at his own expense and pay to the Kings of England a certain number of cattle and hawks annually. His son, Randal, received in 1603, a plenary grant of the Routes and the Glynes, a tract of country extending “from the Cutts of Coleraine to the Curran of Larne.”*

According to some the modern town of Coleraine was planned by Sir John PERROT. The houses, of which it was constructed, were timber built and were framed in London in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. Each frame consisted of hard black oak, in the form of what is called cage-work; the interstices were filled with wicker-work and clay, or, more properly, with plastered wicker-work; and the front was constructed with a pent-way or piazza.+ Until within a few years ago some of the original houses were to be seen in good preservation in the Diamond, figuring in antique and ‘outre’ contrast to the tall, trim, and modern edifices. Queen Elizabeth A.D, 1567, in giving instructions to the viceroy regarding the future security of the North, directed a fort to be built at Coleraine. Her Deputy, Sir J. PERROT, formed O’KANE’S country into the county of Coleraine about 1585. Towards the end of the Queen’s reign the garrison of Coleraine amounted to 100 men. On the 23rd September 1604, Sir Thomas PHILIPS got a conveyance of the late priory of Coleraine and its possessions from James HAMILTON Esq., who had obtained a patent of them from the Crown. In the following year Sir Thomas obtained a grant for 21 years “of the customs on goods, imported and exported, into and from Portrush and Portballintrae and the river Bann, except the duties on all wines and also the ferry and ferry-boat of Coleraine over the Bann.”

On the 7th December 1607, he procured a license from the Crown to hold a Thursday market and a fair at Coleraine on St. John the Baptist’s Day and two following days, at the yearly rent of 6s. 8d. On the 20th of April, Sir John was empowered by license from the Crown “to make Aqua vitae in Coleraine county and in the Route in Antrim county”, so that the celebrity of Coleraine and Bushmills in making whiskey is not a thing of yesterday. In the Exchequer record relating to the rents of this district, in 1262, the following occurs-

“And be it known that the 50 cranocks of malt of the issues of the said mills, contained in the preceding roll, are now commuted yearly for cranocks of oatmeal.” James also granted, April 5th 1604, the rectory of Killdalloch to Oliver LAMBERT,++ who sold it to Sir Arthur CHICHESTER in the next month. The King granted to James HAMILTON the rectory of Reisroyli (Rossrellic) in le Route; Sir Arthur CHICHESTER also purchased this. James HAMILTON got a conveyance “of the whole fishery of the pool of Lough Eaugh and the river Band up to the rock or waterfall called the ‘Salmon Leap’, also full right and liberty of catching and carrying away and exporting salmon and all kinds of fish in the said pool, Lough Eaugh and the Band, within the foresaid limits and the bottom and soil of the same and of each of them, $ along with some old ‘weares’ for catching eels in and upon the river of the Band, near to Castletowne, in the county of Antrym and full power of going to the banks of said pool and river from every part within the aforesaid limits and at the yearly rent of 12s. 6d.” This valuable grant HAMILTON sold to Sir Arthur CHICHESTER, April 10th 1606.

+Parliamentary Gazette.
++Public of Record Commissioners

26 Jul. 1856

Papers on the History of Coleraine and Its Vicinity.
No. IV
(Expressly written for the Coleraine Chronicle)

In or about 1656, the Quakers attempted to convert the town of Coleraine. Two of their missionaries, William EDMISTON and Richard CLAYTON came to it, but they did not succeed well, as is told in their own curious memoir – “We published  the day of the Lord in Coleraine in the street, warning all to repent; we put up several little papers which we had written in several places; one we put on the worship-house door; but the professors were highly offended, took and banished us over the water, giving charge that no boat should bring us back.” In June, 1657, Colonel COOPER, the Cromwellian Governor of Carrickfergus, succeeded in getting an order preventing any Presbyterian Minister from being allowed to remain in Coleraine. “Master Vescey,” of course, was not included in this order, as he was now an Independent. After the Restoration, the Established Church in this part of the country resumed its ascendancy with a vengeance. In the Journal of the House of Lords, 29th July, 1661,* there is the following entry :-

“Ordered, that Mr. BOYD, of Aghadowey, for holding a conventicle at Desertoel, in the county of Derry, contrary to the declaration of this house, be examined by the judges of assize who ride that circuit, who are to proceed against according to the nature of his offence.”

Again, June 11, Mr. KERR (minister) of Ballymoney, on the motion of the Bishop of Raphoe, is ordered to appear before the house. Lord Dungannon thus writes from Dublin, December 18 1666, to Sir George RANDON –

“by the last post I sent orders to your Lieutenant for the securing and sending up hither of Major MONTGOMERY, the horse-breeder in the county of Derry. He is one that is very troublesome, and keeps a non-conformist minister at his house, having made a convenient place for 500 auditory to meet in. Lord Lieutenant wished me to write to you, that if your officer had not taken him already that he should endeavour to do it, just at their preaching time, and to take him and his preacher together, and as many priests more as should be there. Let his chaplain be sent to the county jail, and himself sent hither, as the first order directed.” +

On the Restoration, the London Companies received a new charter, dated April 10, 1662, under which the Irish Society acts at the present day. The customs, tonnage, and poundage of the ports of Derry and Coleraine were granted to the Society, but it was found prejudicial to the rights of the Crown to carry this privilege into effect, and it was sold to the Crown for £6,000, of which £2,000 was then paid. ++

In 1685, a “quo warranto” was issued against the Corporation of Coleraine. In the same year, the site of the citadel of Coleraine was let to improving tenants. In 1689, when General Richard HAMILTON had driven the adherents of the Prince of Orange from Lisburn, Belfast, and Antrim, he advanced to lay siege to Coleraine. Thither numerous gentlemen and soldiers, to the number of 4,000, crowded for refuge, and with a resolution to defend themselves to the last. This was on the 15th of March.

On the next day, several of the English officers proceeded towards Derry to consult with Colonel LUNDY. They met LUNDY and Colonel Gustavus HAMILTON about two miles from Newtownlimavady and returned with them to Coleraine. The same day Lord BLANEY arrived with a reinforcement of 300 or 400 horse and as many foot. LUNDY said all he could to dissuade and dishearten the garrison from resistance. As matters stood, discouragement may have had some foundation; the ramparts were everywhere dilapidated and the broken walls were hastily built up with sods. LUNDY told them that his stores were insufficient for the defence of Londonderry and advised them to quit the town as soon as an attack should be made. The uniform tenor of his conduct had been such as to awaken a general distrust and such, on that occasion, was his entire deportment, that when he went out of  gate for the purpose of taking a view of town, the guard, thinking he was leaving them, drew up the bridge, and levelled their muskets and pikes at him. § They then called a council and resolved to commit the command of the town and forces there collected to Colonel Gustavus HAMILTON, who was afterwards created Viscount Boyne. On the 18th of March, LUNDY succeeded in leaving Coleraine, having first placed Colonel WHITNEY with a guard at the bridge, to prevent the inhabitants from offering any hindrance to him. A report had been circulated to the effect that if the people of Coleraine should be driven out, they should not be received at Derry. A council being called at the latter city, gave this a direct contradiction, and declared their determination to stand or fall with their friends in Coleraine. Lieutenant-General Richard HAMILTON, § the commander of the Irish army, encamped at Ballymoney, where he remained three days to refresh his troops after their long march. He then examined the situation and strength of Coleraine, which, in those days, according to M’GEOHEHAN, was strongly fortified. On the next day, a strong body sallied forth to make booty in the neighbourhood of his camp, but they were driven back to the gates of Coleraine by his cavalry.

+Randon Papers
++Marmion Hist. of the Ports of Ireland.
$Life of Gustavus HAMILTON

On Sunday, the 24th, Colonel Gustavas HAMILTON, the commander of Coleraine, having called a council of war and represented to the officers that want of ammunition would make them an easy conquest, recommended them to quit the place and retire to Derry. Some squadrons of the Irish horse appeared at that very moment a little below the town, which cut short all further consideration as to the course they should pursue. The cavalry were forced to retire by some straggling shots from the wall. On Monday, March 25th about midnight, a fire broke out near the magazine which created suspicion of treachery. On the morning of the 27th, the main body of General Richard HAMILTON’S army appeared before the town and made their way to within fifty yards of the walls on Blindgate side, by means of hedges and fences, which were prevented from being levelled by the private influence of the proprietors. They also obtained a position close to the bastion behind the church, from the fire of which they were defended by a mill, which also some ill-advised neglect allowed to remain. The Irish erected two batteries, one of which played briskly on Blindgate and the bridge. From the gate they broke the upper beam and loosened the chain, which Captain M’CULLOUGH fastened at great risk amid a shower of bullets. They battered the bridge and almost succeeded in breaking it down with a view to prevent the garrison from effecting their escape to Derry. The other battery did little mischief, as it only killed one man and made a few breaches in the church and other houses and was silenced by a musket ball which killed one of the gunners. M’GEOHEGAN says that the Irish army was badly provided with artillery, which this statement seems to confirm. The statements about this war are so one-sided that it is only by probabilities we can arrive at the truth. In the evening the Irish general, under cover of a heavy fall of snow, withdrew his forces to Ballymoney. The garrison was prevented from pursuit by the obstacles which they had themselves raised, having blocked their gates with timber, earth and rubbish, yet some leaped over the ramparts and took several prisoners. The loss on the part of the garrison, reduced to three, while the Irish are said to have carried off their dead and even burned them in a house lest the number might be known, makes the whole account look rather suspicious. A portion of the garrison was after this sent to guard the passes over the Bann to prevent the forces under Lord GALMOY from effecting a junction with those under General Richard HAMILTON. Colonel NUGENT crossed the Bann and defeated those troops in a severe engagement at Portglenone. Coleraine was in consequence abandoned and the bridge broken down, lest the Irish army would intercept their escape to Derry. To cripple the resources of the enemy, the whole country from the Bann to the Foyle was burned and laid waste. The inhabitants of Coleraine followed the garrison to Derry, where they were formed into the “Coleraine Regiment” of 13 companies, each of which consisted of 60 men and placed under the command of Major PARKER.

The Duke of Berwick, with several officers, had now arrived in the camp of General Richd. HAMILTON, before Coleraine and on the same night the general was informed that the town was abandoned. Next day General HAMILTON took possession of the town and having repaired the bridge, placed Colonel O’MOORE in command of Coleraine. When the Irish army was retreating from Derry, Sir Charles CARNEY occupied Coleraine and had the town put in a posture of defence, but on the approach of Major-General KIRK, the garrison fled in such confusion, “that”, says the London Gazette, “they had tarred the bridge and laid combustible in order to burn it, but their fear was such that none would stay to set fire to it.” Many of the inhabitants of Coleraine and the vicinity fought under the standard of William through all his wars and in all his army there were not braver officers or more devoted soldiers.

The history of Coleraine after this period becomes of a more homely or every-day character. In the Parliament assembled in Dublin, August 1695, the first assembled after the accession of William III, the borough of Coleraine was represented by Sir Arthur LANGFORD Bart. and Mr. Samuel JACKSON, third son of Thomas JACKSON Esq., who settled in this country, having obtained an advantageous lease of the estate which he built Jackson-hall, in 1668. He married, in 1650, Susanna, sister to Sir Tristram BERESFORD.* In 1703, Sir Arthur LANGFORD and Thomas PRICE Esq., were elected to represent the town of Coleraine. In the year 1709, the corporation of Coleraine solicited the Irish Society to encourage the linen manufacture in the town, which the Society refused. Nevertheless, the people of the vicinity strenuously applied themselves to that pursuit and the “Coleraines” soon became celebrated at home and in the foreign markets.

At the election of 1713,+ Mr. Wm. JACKSON son and his brother Richard contested the borough with General HAMILTON and George LOUTHER Esq.

*There is a monument erected to his memory in Coleraine Church –
Here lye the remains of Sir Tristram Beresford, Bart. He represented the county of London Derry in Parliament, A.D. 1661, ad died Januarii 15, 1675.The family of BERESFORD is lineally descended from John de Beresford, who was Lord of Beresford, in Staffordshire, A.D. 1087.

+See article on the Jackson family, by Charles O’NEILL Esq., Dublin.

The JACKSONS were unsuccessful, though the mayor of the town left no means untried to secure their return. They petitioned the House on the 4th December 1713, complaining of the undue return of General HAMILTON and LOUTHER. On the same day Alderman Arthur CHURCH and Robert BACON petitioned the House complaining of the unwarrantable conduct and illegal practices of Mr. Arthur CAREY, the mayor.

It appears that CAREY had managed to get himself elected mayor for two years in succession; that he had brought into the corporation 11 aldermen and burgesses,contrary to the power given by the Charter and against the consent of the majority of the corporation, without holding a full court. He suspended several members of the corporation and filled up the vacancies without holding a full court. He mortgaged the revenues of the corporation and took no notice of applications made to him to hold court to name an alderman in room of Alderman GODFREY deceased; to choose an alderman and burgess, in room of Alderman LYNAM and Mr. MURRAY, both deceased; that the jail was out of repair and a prisoner had effected his escape. Eventually he did call a court but did not hold it. He then called another on the 13th August of that year, but directed the chamberlain to hide the books and “to abscond himself”; that Mr. JACKSON, “who manages the mayor and for whose services he has committed many irregularities, declared to Mr. George LOUTHER, one of the candidates, that unless he got such members as he named put into the corporation in several vacant places, the mayor would run all risks and not hold a court.” Mr. CAREY was also accused of having broken open the Irish Society’s letters to  corporation and of having signed the names of several members of the corporation to letters addressed to the Society. On the day of the election, the mayor placed constables and sergeants at the Court-house door and “hindered several aldermen and burgesses to enter to vote, and hindered George LOUTHER, one of the candidates, to go in.” He even threatened to commit the Sheriffs of the county, if they entered, although it was under their precept he was holding the election.

HAMILTON and LOUTHER were returned, notwithstanding all the exertions of the mayor. Both petitions were heard on the 4th December 1713. The house resolved that the suspension of Alderman CHURCH and Robert BACON, William FORRESTER, and James RANKIN, members of the corporation, was null and void; that the elections of George CAREY to be an Alderman and of Charles CHURCH, Richard ADAMS and Edward NICHOLAS to be burgesses, were null and void; and that HAMILTON and LOUTHER were duly elected. Mr. CAREY, the mayor, was directed to be taken into custody by the sergeant-at-arms. Mr. CAREY, however, evaded that functionary till the opening of the new Parliament in 1716, when the order for his arrest dropped. During the years 1714  and 1715, those disgraceful disputes among the members of the corporation continued and one of the contending parties carried off the sword and mace. In the year 1715 the members returned to represent the borough were General HAMILTON and Sir Marcus BERESFORD. In 1720 Sir Marcus was raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Beresford and Viscount Tyrone and Francis BURTON Esq., was returned in his place.

In 1718 it was determined to build a bridge over the Bann. The Irish Society recommended that it would be built of stone and not of wood as was originally intended. The salmon fisheries of Lough Foyle and the Bann in 1721 produced 120 tons. In 1722 the Irish Society sold the produce of those fisheries in London at £14 11s. per ton. The Irish Society kept the fisheries in their own hands for a few years, but they were becoming gradually more unproductive, thus in 1723 the produce was 97½ tons, which sold in London at £15 per ton and the Lough Foyle portion of the fishery could not pay the charges attending it. These fisheries were always a valuable portion of the Society’s property, but three years after they obtained their charter, they were offered £1,000 for them, an immense sum, considering the then value of money and that large salmon could be purchased at from 4d. to 8d. in Coleraine. In 1691 the Bann and Foyle fisheries were let for two years to Lord Massareene at £1,050 per annum. In 1708 they were let at £1,600 per annum.

In 1727 there was another great contested election for the Borough of Coleraine. Richard JACKSON and Thomas JACKSON stood on their family interest and it would also seem they had the interest of the Irish Society. They were opposed by Mathew PENNEFATHER and Henry CAREY, Esqrs., who came forward on the Tyrone interest.

We need not be scandalised at the low state of civic morality in Coleraine at this period. It is of as high an order as that of any other corporation in the good old times. For instance, in Carrickfergus, A.D. 1757, the mayor, Henry ELLIS, opened a court in a stable, where he admitted his own tenants; they were called stable-men from this circumstance. A.D. 1769, the mayor, E. D. WILSON, opened a court after night, where he admitted 45 inhabitants to be freemen, who were afterwards called lantern-men. A.D. 1775, Hercules ELLIS, the mayor, held a court in his parlour; those admitted were called the parlour-men and were afterwards disfranchised, there having been no regular notice given for the admission of persons entitled, “ab uno disce otnncs.”

The sheriffs of the county of Derry were divided. Mr. Andrew MACKLEWAINE* made out a precept directed to the mayor of Coleraine only and Mr. ASH, the other sheriff, made out a second precept directed to the mayor, aldermen and burgesses, but the mayor, Mr. Griffin HOWARD, refused to proceed on the latter precept. Mr. PENNEFATHER was a perfect stranger to the town; he was put forward to secure his return to Parliament in the event of his not succeeding at the Cashel election. Mr. CAREY is represented as having no influence with the electors – both were merely the nominees of Lord Tyrone. PENNEFATHER and CAREY were returned and the JACKSONS presented a petition to the house, complaining that persons offered sums of money and other rewards to voters to engage them in the interest of Lord Tyrone and that they made them take oaths of secrecy not to discover the offers made; and that the persons offering the bribe took an oath that they would not divulge it; and that Lord Tyrone’s agent kept several members of the corporation at Bovagh, “with such caution, that none of their friends or relatives could have access to them without imminent danger,” unless in presence of the agent or such persons as he could confide in; and they were conducted on the day of election, from the agent’s home directly to Coleraine, under a guard of armed men, with such strictness “that no person could be admitted to speak or deliver a letter to them without manifest danger of his life;”  that “notwithstanding such illegal and corrupt practices, they had an undoubted majority of legal votes and these would have been much greater if the electors had been left to their freedom. Mr. Griffin HOWARD, the mayor, returned Mr. PENNEFATHER and Mr. CAREY.”

The petition was referred to the committee of Privileges and Elections; but Mr. PENNEFATHER having been elected to sit for Cashel, the petition was withdrawn on the 9th January 1728 and a new writ ordered for Coleraine. Mr. Thomas JACKSON again came forward and was opposed by Mr. Wm. RICHARDSON; RICHARDSON was defeated and, as usual, presented a petition, complaining that Mr. JACKSON had used corrupt and illegal practices to obtain votes, but not being able to substantiate this by evidence, Mr. JACKSON retained his seat, having for a colleague, Mr. Henry CAREY, which, however, they enjoyed till 1751, when Mr. JACKSON died. The Irish Society, in 1729, let the fisheries to Alderman JACKSON, for 21 years at £1,200 per annum. In 1730 the Society contributed £500 to commence the bridge. (To be continued.)

August 16, 1856

Papers on the History of Coleraine and Its Vicinity.
No. VI.
(Expressly written for the Coleraine Chronicle)

In order that most of my readers would be in a position to understand the following very interesting document, it is necessary to say a few words on church temporalities in the early ages of Christianity in this country. The Irish in general, previous to the coming of the English, did not pay tithes, hence the infamous Cambrensis accused them of being “a people the most ignorant on the face of the earth of the rudiments of faith;” and to prove this sweeping assertion he adduces, “they pay neither tithes nor first-fruits.” It is true that to a great extent in Ireland voluntary oblations had supplied the place of tithes and first-fruits, yet there are many instances of both tithes and first-fruits, not only as voluntary offerings, but even as being established by law.* The O’Kellys and their co-relatives in Hymany bound themselves to pay to St. Grellan and his successors a scruple out of every townland, together with every firstling pig, firstling lamb, and firstling foal. It would seem that on the establishment of Christianity in this country, the clergy became entitled to many oblations which the pagan priests had previously received. Hence a Brehon law, preserved in Trinity College, Dublin, treating of the rights of the church says: – +”This was a chip of the old tree. Three lia (speckled calves) was the gift at the altar as a sacrifice to heaven. Patrick ordained this on the Irish in the reign of Laogaire MacNeill, as he found it an established custom among the Irish. What was accepted from the vulgar? Geese, herns, kittens, cocks, whelps were equally offered according to the Seanachas, or old laws.” These voluntary offerings, with certain lands and fees for the performance of their various ecclesiastical functions, constituted the revenues of the ancient Irish clergy.

In the Irish principaliti es certain offices were conferred on distinguished men and their descendants. This principle easily crept into the ecclesiastical polity, and certain emoluments were conferred on distinguished ecclesiastics and their successors, without being required to perform the functions for which these were the fees. Thus the clergyman who presided over the church of Camma, in the barony of Athlone, “had the power of collecting the baptismal penny” from the race of Maine, the O’Kellys and their co-relatives, “although the baptism may not be brought thither.” ++ The successor of Aedus had “the annointing scruple” from every person of the same race, whether they were annointed by him or by another, and the burial fees of this people were in all cases to be paid to the abbey of Clonmacnoise.

There was in the Irish church a singular class of office-bearers called Erenachs. Colgan conjectured that the name was derived from the Greek “Ethnarches,” as if signifying the head of a people, and Montgomery the first Protestant Bishop of Derry would have it derived “apo tes eirenes,” from their making peace in the district. In Irish it is written airchinneach, and originally meant Archdeacons. According to the ancient discipline the Archdeacons were the managers of the property of the church; when this duty fell to laymen they assumed the title of Archdeacons. And in the capitularies, it is often enjoined, that “Archdeacons should not be laymen.” The Erenachs were laymen except that they were tonsured, and as such ranked among the clergy. The Erenachs were the actual possessors of old church lands, out of which they paid certain contributions to ecclesiastical purposes. Usher, when a young man, wrote a treatise on Erenaghs, which is replete with mistakes. He labours hard to prove that Eerenaghs were villains or serfs on the church lands. Had he at all considered the noble extraction of most of the Eerenaghs, it would have been impossible for him to have formed such an opinion. For instance, M’Laughlin was Erenagh of Derry, can we suppose that he was a serf, while another branch of the same family ruled the third of Ulster from their palace of Aileach, only distant three miles from Derry? The fact is, these Erenachies were usurpations made by laymen in most instances, and in some they were established that the church might have powerful protectors. The duties of an Erenagh were to till the church lands, to prevent any person from usurping any part of them. They were bound to maintain hospitably, to keep the fabric of the church in repair, and to give alms. Davies says “he was bound to make a weekly commemoration of the founder in the church, &c., … and paid a certain yearly rent to the Bishop, besides a fine upon the marriage of every of his daughters, which they call a Loughinipy.” This curious word signifies, reward or price of intercession; and O’Donovan think that our word luckpenny is derived from it. The Erenaghs transmitted the church lands to their successors according to the Irish laws of succession, that is, the son did not necessarily succeed on the death of his father. On the death of an Erenagh the clann in possession of the Erenaghy elected an Erenagh, and if they could not agree, the Bishop could choose one, but his choice was limited to the members of the clann; thus in Magilligan the Erenagh must be a Magilligan, and in Killrea the O’Dimonds were alone eligible to that office. The Bishop was bound to proceed to election, and he had no power to remove an Erenagh, as the Jurors of County Tyrone find “said Bishop could not att any tyme heretofore or now can remove the said herenaghs out of said lands.”

*Tribes and Customs of Hy. Many.
++Tribes and Customs of Hy. Many

From the following inquisition, and the accompanying observations, it is hoped that a tolerably accurate idea can be formed of the state of church temporalities in the vicinity of Coleraine in ancient times:-

An inquisition indented att Lymmavaddy, in the county of Colrane, the thirtieth day of Aagust, Anno Domini, one thousand sixe hundred and nyne. The jurors find that the Bishop of Derry, before the attainder of Shane O’NEILL, was seized in fee of certain rents, customes, and refections, yssuing out of certen herenagh lands withing the said barronie of Colrane, in manner and forme following: – viz., out of the herenagh land of Dunboe, neer the parishe Church of Dunboe; conteyninge 3 balliboes, over and besides the twoe balliboes of erenagh land of Naburny, and one balliboe of erenagh land of Ballymaddy, which the herenagh of that place had free; five shillings sterling per annum and an yerely refection, yf the said bushopp did not visite and not else; and also five shillings sterling per annum out of the erenaghes third parte of the tithes of the said parishe of Dunboe; and also out of the erenagh land of Graunge more, conteyninge twelve balliboes, viz., – Patogue, Mullane, Farrenlagesserie, Masserigeny, Ballyeny, Quylly, Ballymullachagh beg, the two balliboes of Ballymuilackagh more, and the twoe balliboes of Grange more, in the parishe of Dunboe; fortie shillings sterling per annum, and a yerely refection as before and not otherwise, which lands the now lord bushopp of Derry doth set and dispose at his pleasure, but by what right the said jurors knowe not, but they saye, that the said bushopp’s predecessors never enjoyed or ought to have had the said itself, but only the rent and refection aforesaid. And also out of the half balliboe of herenagh land of Ballynasse* and the late weare near Ballynassse, to the same land belonginge, in the parish of Camos, conteyning one quarter, near the parishe Church of Camos, thirteene shillings and fower pence sterling per annum, and a yerely refection as before;

And also out of the termon of Aghadowy, conteyninge one Ballibetagh, and the erenaghes third of thr tiethes of Aghadowey fforty shillings sterling per annum, and a yerely refection as before, and not otherwise, &c., …

And further, the said jurors doe uppon their othes find and present that in the said barony of Colrane are the severall parishes ensuing, viz., – the parishe of Dunboe, wherein is both a parson and a viccar, and that the tiethes of the said parishe Church are paied in specie, whereof one third parte is paid to the parson, another third parte to the viccar, and th’other third parte to the herenagh, and that the said parson, viccar, and herenagh are equally to bear the chardge of repairinge and mainteyninge the parish Church of Dunboe, and that the parson and viccar of this parishe paid twelve pence a peece proxies to the bushopps of Derry, and that in the said parishe there is alsoe one garden of glebe belonging to the said viccar;

And also the parishe of Killowen, + wherein is only a parson, to whom all the tiethes of the said parishe are paid in kynde, there being no herenagh in said parishe, and that the said parson paid yerely, twelve pence, proxies, and a refection, in the said lord bushopp’s visitation, and not else; and did alsoe bear the whole chardge of repairing and mainteyninge the parishe church of Killowen, and hath alsoe a garden of glebe in right of his said church;

And alsoe, the parishe of Camos, wherein is both a parson and a viccar, and that the tiethes of the said parishe are paid in kynde, whereof one third part is paid to said parson, another third part to the viccar, and th’other third part to the herenagh of Camos, and that they are equally to bear the chardge of repairinge and maynteyninge the parishe church of Camos; and that in this parishe there are twoe gardens of glebe, th’one belonging to the said viccar, and the other to a curate to be kept there, and that the said parson and viccar paid twelve pence a peece, proxies, to the lord bushopp of Derry;

And alsoe the parishe of Aghadowey, wherein is both a parson and a viccar, and that the tiethes of said parishe are paid in kynde, one third part to the parson, another third parte to the viccar, and th’other third parte to the herenagh, and that they are to bear the chardge of repairinge and maynteyninge the parishe church of Aghadowey equallie, and that there is one garden of glebe land belonging to the viccar, and that the parson and the viccar paid twelve pence a peece, proxies, to the said bushopp of Derry, &c. …++

*Ballynease [sic] signifies the town of the waterfall

+Dr. Reeves remarks, that the bishop derived no emoluments from land in the parish of Killowen, yet a very valuable estate now is held under the See of Derry in that parish. He thinks that Killowen parish was originally a portion of Camos, and detached from it for the convenience of the garrison of Killowen castle.

++ In many of the dioceses of Ireland there was a division of the church revenues into four parts; in that of Derry they were divided into three parts. A similar arrangement was carried out in the church of Spain, as we learn from the Spanish councils.

The following inquisitions are valuable as giving several names for the same townland, thereby preserving names that are historically important, though they have long since faded from local recollection: –


Coolrane, 21st March, 1635.

Randulph, Earl of Antrim, was seised, as of fee, of one quarter of the land of Balligyelagh, in the county of Londonderry, one quarter of Cregadvarren, and one water-mill belonging to the same quarter, 30 acres and one quarter of Carnanrighe, otherwise Merevoe, with the 30 acres pertaining to it. Being so seised, on the 2nd of November, 1621, by his deed he granted foresaid in perpetuity to Jas. Oge M’HENRY, otherwise O’KANE, of Ballyreagh, in the county of Antrim, gentleman, and to the heirs of his body, as by the foresaid deed appears. Foresaid were held of the late king James, and are now held of his present Majesty Charles, by knights service.


Coolrane, 22nd April, 1637.

Randulph, late Earl of Antrim, on the 5th of May, 1609, by his deed, granted 2 quarters of the land of Dromore, 2 quarters of Twornacavogy, 2 quarters of Cowldarra, 2 quarters of Lockanreagh, 2 quarters of Bally—, 2 quarters of —–, 1 quarter of Ballymullyany, 2 quarters of Ballylease, 1/2 quarter of Cnockantrane, and 1/2 quarter and 10 acres of Kiltynny, to Ganry, otherwise Gorry M’Henry O’CAHAN, deceased, and his heirs, &c.

By another deed, bearing the date the last day of January, 1618, he granted to Donough O’MURRY, deceased, and his heirs, the quarterland of Crossreagh, &c.


Coolrane, last day of August, 1638.

Randulph, late Earl of Antrim, was seised, as of fee, of one quarter land of Cross—, containing 30 acres. Being so seised, during the reign of the late king James, he alienated the foresaid to —MURRY, late of Crossreagh, and his heirs, in perpetuity. Foresaid —MURRY died 13 years ago. Donel O’MURRY, his son and heir, was then of full age, and married. Foresaid lands are held of the king in capite, by knights service, viz., by the one twentieth part of a knight’s fee.