'under a pump in the village of Swords' Ulysses James Joyce
 

Latest update: 16 January 2015


Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
gaelart.net

Swords
Sord Cholmcille

County Dublin, Ireland

A Textual History

A Visual History


'Sord of Columcille' / 'Swrth Colomkelle' / 'Surdum Sti. Columbae' / 'Sordum' /
'Sord' / 'Soords' / 'Surd' / 'Suird' / 'Surds' / 'Sords' / 'Swerts' / 'Swerds' / 'Swerdes' / 'Sweerdes' / 'Swordes' / 'Swords'


Swords / Sord Cholmcille: A Visual and Textual History is an illustrated history of Swords from the 1790s to the present day compiled from my collection of historical photos and engravings, my photos, and other sites. It also contains published articles about Swords from the 1830s onwards. It is hoped it will be an invaluable aid to individuals, schools and academic institutions who are interested in Swords history and especially for the Irish diaspora who will remember the town from different periods in the past. (Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)


Gaelic: Sord Cholmcille - St. Colmcille's Well

The town's origins date back to 560 AD when it was founded by Saint Colmcille (521-597). Legend has it that the saint blessed a local well, giving the town its name, Sord, meaning "clear" or "pure". However, An Sord also means "the water source" and could indicate a large communal drinking well that existed in antiquity. St. Colmcille's Well is located on Well Road off Swords Main Street.


For Swords history in pictures from etchings, lithographs, books, pamphlets, photographs from the 1790s to today, click: Swords Visual History

If you have any images from any era [photographs, drawings, etchings, old calendars etc] please let me know. Any material uploaded will be fully acknowledged. Contact me at caoimhghin@yahoo.com

 


Origins of the name Swords

"The original word is properly written "Sord," or "Surd," which is interpreted "clear," or "pure," although in modern Irish the word so spelt bears the meaning of "order ... industry ... diligence." The w came into it after the settlement of the English, who wrote the name Swerds, though pronounced Swords, as the verb shew has the sound of show. This interpretation which I give you is from an ancient Life of St. Columbkille, preserved in a very venerable MS. of the Royal Irish Academy, of the fourteenth century. [...] it was the practice of the early founders of Christianity in these islands, when planting a church in any spot, to have special reference to the proximity of a well. [...] suffice it to say, that well-worship existed in the country before the introduction of Christianity, and that when the people were converted, like the transfer of pagan temples, these wells, with all their veneration, were made over to the aid of the new religion."
(A Lecture on the Antiquities of Swords by The Late Right Rev. William Reeves)






Times Pictorial 27 May 1950

 



Swords, north County Dublin, Ireland



 

Ulysses by James Joyce
"Had Bloom and Stephen been baptised, and where and by whom, cleric or layman?
Bloom (three times), by the reverend Mr Gilmer Johnston M. A., alone, in the protestant church of Saint Nicholas Without, Coombe, by James O'Connor, Philip Gilligan and James Fitzpatrick, together, under a pump in the village of Swords, and by the reverend Charles Malone C. C., in the church of the Three Patrons, Rathgar. Stephen (once) by the reverend Charles Malone C. C., alone, in the church of the Three Patrons, Rathgar."
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/4300/4300-h/4300-h.htm

 



General History of Swords
 


(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
 
St. Colmcille’s Well

On Well Road, and also known as St. Columb's Well. In a locked chamber. Reputed to be where Swords got its name when St. Colmcille blessed the well of clear water, ‘Sord’ being the Irish for ‘clear or pure’.

(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)

 
St. Columba’s Church, Belfry & Round Tower

The round tower is the surviving remnant of St. Colmcille’s monastic settlement. The only remaining relic of the medieval church is its belfry, from c. 1300, which is open to the public in summertime, when fine days afford the visitor a view of four counties from the tower’s height. The original church is said to have fallen into ruin sometime in the seventeenth century. The new church of early Gothic style was built in 1811 on the foundations of the old. The Sexton’s Lodge is also of architectural interest and was built in 1870. The body of Brian Boru was said to have been brought there in 1014 to be waked after the Battle of Clontarf, while on the way to be buried in Armagh. The bell in the Clock Tower is inscribed ' L.D. Molesworth 1721.'

(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
Swords Castle

Swords Castle was built as the manorial residence of the 1st Archbishop of Dublin, John Comyn, around 1200 or a little later in Swords, just north of Dublin. It was never strong in the military sense, but covers a large pentagonal walled area of nearly 1.5 acres (6,000 m²) with a tower on the north, probably the Constable's residence, and an impressive gateway complex on the south. The warder may have occupied the quarters to the left of the gate, while to the right was the janitor's room with the priest's room overhead. The adjoining chapel, built in the late thirteenth century, was probably used as the Archbishop's private oratory.

Other buildings, recorded in an inquisition in 1326, have now vanished, including the great hall on the east side of the enclosure. The Archbishop abandoned Swords once a new palace was built at Tallaght in 1324 - a move no doubt encouraged by damage sustained during Bruce's campaign of 1317. The stepped battlements suggest some form of occupancy during the fifteenth century, but by 1583, when briefly occupied by Dutch Protestants, it was described as "the quite spoiled old castle". It was used as a garden in the nineteenth century and sold after the Church of Ireland was disestablished.

Swords Castle is undergoing a significant redevelopment and is intended to become a tourist attraction. The newly renovated castle was used as a film location for the production of TV series The Tudors in spring 2010.

(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
 
Old Vicarage

Dating from around 1730, now apartments with part of original building retained.

(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
 
Old Borough School

Main Street, now a public house. It was built in 1809 with fund awarded after the Act of Union from the Borough of Swords was disenfranchised. Designed by noted architect of the time, Francis Johnston. The story of the school is well documented.
 

(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
 
St. Colmcille’s RC Church

On Chapel Lane, a pre-Catholic Emancipation church built in 1827 on a site donated by James Taylor of Swords House. The graveyard contains many interesting headstones, including one for Andrew Kettle, who was known as "Parnell’s Righthand Man."
 

(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
 
The Courthouse

North Street, built 1845 in Classical style, design by Alexander Tate.
 

(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
 
Teachers’ Residences

North Street - built in 1890.

(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
Carnegie Library

North Street, built in 1909. Redbrick building typical early 20th century.


 


(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)

Fingal County Hall

The award-winning modern Fingal County Hall by Bucholz McEvoy architects dominates the northern end of Main Street. It is built on the site of Swords House, the home of the Norman family of Taylors of Swords. Records show the family came there in the 13th century and built a ‘Mansion House’ in 1403.
 

For more information see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swords,_Dublin


 



Swords Sord Cholmcille A Visual History
Pictures of Swords, County Dublin from the 1790s to today.

 





 


500s CE




THE ANTIQUITIES OF SWORDS: A LECTURE ON THE ANTIQUITIES OF SWORDS

Delivered at Swords, in the Borough Schoolhouse on Wednesday Evening., Sep. 12, 1860,
by THE LATE RIGHT REV. WILLIAM REEVES D.D., L.L.D., M.B., M.R.I.A.;
Bishop of Down; formerly Vicar of Lusk (Republished 1970)

"Conspicious among the evangelical labourers in Ireland was St. Columba, or Columbkille, whose genius and devotion have won for him a high place in the annals of the Church of Christ. This man was born in Gartan, in the county of Donegal, in 521. About the year 553 he founded the church of Durrow, and previously to 563, when he departed from Ireland to Iona, it is recorded that he founded your church of Swords.

The early Irish Life of him, to which I have already alluded, thus relates the origin of your church and of its name "Columbkille founded a church at Rechra (that is, the island of Lambay), in the cast of Bregia, and left Colman, the Deacon, in it. Also he founded a church in the place where Sord is at this day. He left a learned man of his people there, namely, Finan Lobhar, and he left a gospel, which his own hand wrote, there.

There also he dedicated a well named Sord, i.e., 'pure,' and he consecrated a cross. One day that Columbkille and Cainnech were on the brink of the tide, a great tempest raged over the sea, and Cainnech asked, 'What saith the wave?' Columbkille answered, 'Thy people are in danger yonder on the sea, and one of them has died, and the Lord will bring him in unto us to-morrow to this bank on which we stand."

"As Bridget was one time walking through the Currach of Life (i.e., the Curragh of Kildare), she viewed the beautiful shamrock-flowering plain before her, whereupon she said in her mind, that if to her belonged the power of the plain, she would offer it to the Lord of creation. This was communicated to Columbkille in his monastery at Sord, whereupon he said with a loud voice, 'Well has it happened to the holy virgin; for it is the same to her in the sight of God as if the land she offered were in her own right."' Hence St. Columba has always been regarded as the founder and principal patron of the church of Swords. He died in 597, on the 9th of June, and that day has been regarded as his festival in Scotland as well as in Ireland."




(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
 



Robert Walsh Fingal and its Churches - A Historical Sketch
(M. A., Dublin and London, 1888)



"The stately monuments of the past which still remain at Swords and Lusk would convey a very false impression of the surroundings of these early Celtic Christian communities. The round towers were not yet built. Wattles, oaken planks, and mud were most commonly the materials which formed the huts or bothies refectories, and churches of these communities and their ambulatories were vaulted by the heavens. Dr. Petrie says, stone was sometimes employed even in the case of these early communities. Of course, examples of this material would alone survive. ''Houses used for abbots and monks are of a circular or oval form having dome roofs constructed without a knowledge of the principle of the arch, and without cement, and all encompassed by a broad wall. So, in the monastic establishment of St. Molaise, at Inismurray, on the Bay of Sligo, and of St. Brendan, at Inisglory, on the coast of Erris, Mayo." These encompassing walls were sometimes fifteen feet high. Dr. Petrie thinks that these date from the sixth century ; but he adds : "Most probably, in their monastic houses and oratories, the Irish continued the Scotic custom of building with wood until the twelfth or thirteenth century."

For more information see:
http://archive.org/stream/fingalanditschu00walsgoog/fingalanditschu00walsgoog_djvu.txt

 


 

Mount Gamble cemetery , Swords

The discovery, in 2003, of a previously unknown cemetery at Mount Gamble on the outskirts of Swords has shed new light on about 300 ancient inhabitants of Swords. The cemetery was in use between AD550 and 1150, from the end of the Iron Age to the arrival of the Anglo-Normans (the early medieval period).

The site was located on a low hillock overlooking Swords, on the southern suburban fringes of the village. This prominent position was later utilised for the site of a previously unknown windmill in the later medieval period. The windmill was a simple timber post-mill built upon a timber frame. The foundations of the mill survived as two intercutting foundation trenches in a simple cross shape. The timber windmill pivoted on the centre point of the intercutting cross-shaped foundation trenches.

The name of the site, Mount Gamble, derives from a house built in the 18th century, which was finally demolished in the 1980s when a supermarket car park was constructed. Mount Gamble House is reputed to have been built in 1701 by Sir Robert Molesworth. There was no known record of a cemetery or folk tradition relating to burial at Mount Gamble prior to its discovery during investigative archaeological work, in advance of the development of a cinema at the site.



See: Chapter on Archaeological Excavations on Mount Gamble Hill: Stories from the first Christians in Swords, page 64 – 74. 

http://www.fingalcoco.ie/media/Axes,%20Warriors%20&%20Windmills.pdf

 


600s CE



Glassmore Abbey



Glasmore Abbey (2013)
Lioscian, off St. Cronan’s Avenue, Brackenstown Road, Swords

(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)

Glassmore Abbey was founded by St Cronan about AD660 – a century later than the founding of Swords. This interesting ruin and its adjacent well are dedicated to St Cronan and are located in a green in the Lioscian estate off Murrough Road. Under the rule of St Cronan, Glasmore Abbey flourished sufficiently to attract the attention of the Northmen of Inbher Domhnainn (Malahide) who raided and destroyed it and slew both the abbot and his entire fraternity in one night. Since then the abbey has been in ruins.

For more information see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brackenstown,_Swords


Robert Walsh Fingal and its Churches - A Historical Sketch
(M. A., Dublin and London, 1888)


"There is, about one mile and a-half to the north west of Swords, an interesting old ruin and well. The ruin is called Glasmore Abbey. The well is called St. Cronan's Well. The Abbey had been founded by this saint about a century after Columba founded Swords. The annals tell us, but with some disregard to the points of the compass : —
" Glasmore is a church near Swords in the south, whither came the Northmen of Inbher-Domnainn, and slew both Cronan and his entire fraternity in one night. They did not let one escape. There was the entire company crowned with martyrdom," (Archdall's Monasticon, p. 631.) That fatal night was probably February the 10th, for that is the date
given in the calendar for the martyrdom of St. Cronan."

(h) Glasmore. About a mile N. W. of Swords, in a field S. of the road from Swords to Rollestown, stand the ruins
which were left on the night when the Danes from Malahide destroyed the abbey and killed its inmates. These ruins have the appearance of having been long subsequently repaired or utilized for a dwelling or office. A very large apartment, 36 feet square, remains, surrounded by massive walls. Some wide low windows are at two sides. The corner stones of the walls are very large. As the abbey was built at the most flourishing period of the Fingal Celtic Church, special interest attaches to these ruins, which can scarcely represent a revived abbey, as none such is mentioned in diocesan records."

For more information see:
http://archive.org/stream/fingalanditschu00walsgoog/fingalanditschu00walsgoog_djvu.txt



THE ANTIQUITIES OF SWORDS: A LECTURE ON THE ANTIQUITIES OF SWORDS

Delivered at Swords, in the Borough Schoolhouse on Wednesday Evening., Sep. 12, 1860,
by THE LATE RIGHT REV. WILLIAM REEVES D.D., L.L.D., M.B., M.R.I.A.;
Bishop of Down; formerly Vicar of Lusk (Republished 1970)

"In Moortown, which is about an English mile N.-W. of you, on the way to Killossory, at the left-hand side of the road is a curious, sombre-looking ruin, and in the adjacent meadow is a well, with an old tree overhanging, and having all the appearance of a holy well.

This place is marked on the Ordnance Map as the site of the Abbey of Glassmore, and the Well as St. Cronan’s, who founded a church here, before the middle of the seventh century. St. Cronan was martyred on the 10th February, as appears from the old entry in the Calendar.

“Glassmore is a church near Swords, on the south; whither came the Northmen of Inver Domnann, and slew both Cronan and his entire fraternity in one night, so that they let no one escape; and there the entire company was crowned with martyrdom.” "



Monasticon hibernicum: or, A history of the abbeys, priories, and other religious houses in Ireland; interspersed with memoirs of their several founders and benefactors, and of their abbots and other superiors, to the time of their final suppression (1873)  
Archdall, Mervyn, 1723-1791; Moran, Patrick Francis, 1830-1911, editor

Moortown

St. Cronan Mochua was the first who received the monastic habit from St. Carthag in his monastery of Rathenen.
A.D. 571 or 572, he placed St. Cronan over the church of Cluain-Dachrann, near Rathenen ; he was afterwards a monk of Lismore, and was probably abbot there; on quitting which, he presided over the monastery of Glassmore,
where, on the 10th of February, he was inhumanly butchered, together with all his monks, by a party of Danish pirates,
who landed at Inbher-domhnann*, a port in the east part of Leinster, and not far from Dublin ; the year in which this un-
compassionate act was perpetrated, is uncertain, but we are told that St. Cronan was living about the year 631 or 636. The above account strongly evinces, that Glassmore was situated near to Swords ; and as a further proof of this, the Calendarium Casselense tells us, that St. Cronan rests near Swords, Surdum Sti. Columbani. From hence we may, with some probability, infer, that the site of the ancient Glassmore, and the present Moortown, are the same ; the latter is situated about a mile from Swords.

*Inbhir Domhnaan was the old name for the harbour of Malahide, i.e., the
"estuary of the Damnonians," a people who gave their name to Devonshire, in
England and to Erris Domhnaun, in Mayo. St. Cronan's well is marked on the
Ordnance map at Moortown.

For more information see:
http://archive.org/details/monasticonhiber01archgoog



How to find Glasmore Abbey:


Google Maps
 

Google World
 
Site of Glasmore Abbey in Lioscian (marked, just above 'New Impressions' in the top left hand corner) off St Cronan's Ave, Brackenstown Road, Swords Aerial view of Glasmore Abbey in Lioscian
in green open area in the top left hand corner.

 



Swords Sord Cholmcille A Visual History
Pictures of Swords, County Dublin from the 1790s to today.

 



 


800s - 900s CE



Baile Bricín

Baile Bricín ("The Vision of Bricín") is a late Old Irish or Middle Irish prose tale, in which St Bricín(e), abbot of Túaim Dreccon (Tomregan), is visited by an angel, who reveals to him the names of the most important future Irish churchmen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baile_Bric%C3%ADn). Saint Bricín (c.590–650; also known as Bricin, Briccine, DaBreccoc, Da-Breccocus) was an Irish abbot of Tuaim Dreccon in Breifne (modern Tomregan, County Cavan), a monastery that flourished in the 7th century (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bric%C3%ADn).
By scribes in Irish monasteries. The story belongs to the Old Irish period. Date range: c.800-900 (http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/G207008/).


"Tascor mara aidche mBuilt
tidnastar dó ind-Inbiur Suird,
bid ór, bid arcad, bud glain,
bid fín mbárc ó Rómánchaib."

http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/G207008/text001.html
http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/G207008/

Translation:

"A fleet from across the sea at night in Built
which will be delivered up to him in the estuary of Sord.
It will be gold, it will be silver, it will be crystal
It will be a wine-ship from (the) Romans."

https://listserv.heanet.ie/cgi-bin/wa?A3=ind0502&L=OLD-IRISH-L&E=quoted-printable&P=345518&B=--&T=text%2Fplain;%20charset=ISO-8859-1

 



References from
Annals of the Four Masters

965 [M965.2 Ailill, son of Maenach, Bishop of Sord and Lusca;]  [celt]

993, "Sord of Columcille was burned by Maolsechlain." [Reeves]


References:
[Reeves] See: A Lecture on the Antiquities of Swords below.
[celt] See: http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100005B/index.html
[archive.org] See: http://archive.org/stream/annalarioghachta01ocleuoft/annalarioghachta01ocleuoft_djvu.txt


 



Robert Walsh Fingal and its Churches - A Historical Sketch
(M. A., Dublin and London, 1888)



"We can well believe that the towers of Swords and Lusk were often used as stores for valuables, and as places for refuge during the centuries of unrest we have described, more especially when we remember the frail nature of the structures of the churches and monasteries at the time. Indeed, the condition of Fingal at the probable time of the erection of the towers of Swords and Lusk suggests the strong probability that considerations of safety for person and for property were the chief reasons for their erection."

"Of our two round towers. Swords is probably the older. Bishop Reeves thinks it was erected during the ninth century, or early in the tenth century. As in the case of the older towers, it has little ornament about it. It stands alone. It is built of hammered stones, and it has quadrangular doorways. Most of the towers have one doorway, about nine feet from the ground. Through this doorway refugees could gain admittance by a ladder, which they could draw up after them in time of attack, and thus, in days when artillery was unknown, be completely safe from every method of assault but the one which proved successful at Slane ; for it is quite conceivable that an immense fire round the base of a tower could practically roast all the inmates. But the tower of Swords, like only a few others, has a second door directly over the entrance doorway. Both doorways are quadrangular. The lower or entrance doorway is at present only a few feet from the ground. It is 6 feet high, 2 feet wide at the top, and 2 feet 2 inches at the bottom. The upper doorway is 20 feet from the ground, 4 feet high, and 2 feet wide. The total height of the tower is 75 feet. It is one of those with the largest circumference, 55 feet, and with the thickest walls, 4 feet 8 inches. Inside of the walls are projecting stones to sustain four floors. An enthusiastic antiquarian, who was Vicar of Swords from 1682 to 1704, resolved to suggest to succeeding generations that this tower had evidently a Christian origin. He placed the cross on the apex of the cone which still caps the tower. Under this cone are four large openings directly facing the four points of the compass."

For more information see:
http://archive.org/stream/fingalanditschu00walsgoog/fingalanditschu00walsgoog_djvu.txt






Tower and Belfry (c.1794)
For more information see: http://catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000147923

 


1000s CE



References from Annals of the Four Masters

1016, "Sord of Columcille was burned by Sitric, son of Aniat, and the Danes of Dublin." [Reeves]

1020 [M1020.6 The burning of Cluain-Iraird, Ara, Sord, and Cluain-mic-Nois.] [celt]

1020, "Sord of Columcille was plundered by Connor O Maclachlann, who burned it, and carried away many captives, and vast herds of cows." [Reeves]

1023. Maelmaire Ua Cainen, wise man, and Bishop of Sord-Choluim-Chille, died [archive.org]

1028. Gilla- christ, son of Dubhchuillinn, a noble priest of Ard-Macha, died at Ros-Commain.
Coiseanmach, son of Duibheachtgha, successor of Tola ; Gillapadraig Ua Flaith- bheartaigha, airchinneach of Sord ; Cormac, priest of Ceanannus ; Maelpadraig Ua Baeghalain, priest of Cluain-mic-Nois ; Flaithnia Ua Tighernain, lector of Cill-Dacheallog w ; and Cearnach, Ostiarius of Cluain-mic-Nois, died. [archive.org]

1031, "Sord of Columcille was burned and plundered by Connor O'Maclachlann, in revenge for the death of Raghnall, son of Ivar, Lord of Waterford, by the hand of Sitric, son of Anlaf." [Reeves]

1034 Conn macMaelpatrick, Sord-Choluim-Chille [archive.org]

1035 Raghnall, grandson of Imhar, lord of Port-Lairge, was slain at Ath-cliath by Sitric, son of Amhlaeibh ; and Sord Choluim Chille h was plundered and burned by Con-chobhar Ua Maeleachlainn, in revenge thereof. [archive.org] [M1035.4 Ardbraccan was plundered by Sitric afterwards, and Sord Choluim Chille was plundered and burned by Conchobhar Ua Maeleachlainn, in revenge thereof.] [celt]

1042, "died Eochagan, herenach of Slane, Lector of Sord, and a distinguished writer." [Reeves] [M1042.3 Eochagan, airchinneach of Slaine, and lector of Sord, and a distinguished scribe;] [celt]

1045, "An army was led by M'Eochaidh and Maolsechlann, with the foreigners who burned Sord, and wasted Fingall." [Reeves]

1048 Aedh, son of Maelan Ua Nuadhait, airchinneach of Sord, was killed on the night of the Friday of protection before Easter, in the middle of Sord. [archive.org]

1056, "the fire of God (that is, lightning) struck the Lector of Sord, and tore asunder the sacred tree." [Reeves] Lightning appeared and killed three at Disert-Tola, and a learned man at Swerts" [Swords], "and did breake the great tree. [archive.org]

1060 Maelchiarain Ua Robhachain, airchinneach of Sord-Choluim-Chille ; and Ailill Ua Maelchiarain, airchinneach of Eaglais-Beg [at Cluain-mic-Nois], died. [archive.org]

1061 Mael- incited these of Delvyn-Beathra, with their kiaran O'Robucan, Airchinnech of Swerts" king, Hugh O'Royrck, in their pursuite, who [Swords], "mortuus est. [archive.org]

1069, "Lusc and Sord of Columcille were burned." [Reeves] [M1069.4 Dun-da-leathghlas, Ard-sratha, Lusca, and Sord-Choluim-Chille, were burned.] [celt]


References:
[Reeves] See: A Lecture on the Antiquities of Swords below.
[celt] See: http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100005B/index.html
[archive.org] See: http://archive.org/stream/annalarioghachta01ocleuoft/annalarioghachta01ocleuoft_djvu.txt

 



Swords Sord Cholmcille A Visual History
Pictures of Swords, County Dublin from the 1790s to today.

 



 


1100s CE



R
eferences from Annals of the Four Masters

1102, "Sord of Columcille was burned." [Reeves]

1130, "Sord of Columcille, with its churches and relics, was burned." [Reeves] [M1130.1 Sord-Choluim-Chille, with its churches and relics, was burned.] [celt]

1136 [M1136.6 Mac Ciarain, airchinneach of Sord, fell by the men of Fearnmhagh.] [celt]

1138, "Sord burned." [Reeves]  [M1138.3 Cill-dara, Lis-mor, Tigh-Moling, and Sord, were burned.] [celt]

1150, "Sord burned." [Reeves] [M1150.6 Ceanannus, Sord, and Cill-mor-Ua-Niallain,with its oratory, were burned.] [celt]
 
1166, "Sord of Columcille was burned." [Reeves] [M1166.8 Lughmhadh, Sord-Choluim-Chille, and Ard-bo, were burned.] [celt]

References:
[Reeves] See: A Lecture on the Antiquities of Swords below.
[celt] See: http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100005B/index.html
[archive.org] See: http://archive.org/stream/annalarioghachta01ocleuoft/annalarioghachta01ocleuoft_djvu.txt

 



The Book of Leinster

The following list is from the 12th-century The Book of Leinster, formerly Lebar na Núachongbála list of abbesses and other ecclesiastics and their communities owing allegiance to Kildare (pp. 1580-1583, cf. Corpus genealogiarum sanctorum Hiberniae, 112-18, 210-12). Most of the sites are near Kildare in Leinster although some were as far away as Sligo and Tyrone.

"29. Dísert Brigte in Cell Suird" (near Swords, co. Dublin)

http://www.monasticmatrix.org/monasticon/cell-dara

 



The Medieval Latin Life of Gruffudd Ap Cynan

Gruffudd ap Cynan (c. 1055 – 1137) was a King of Gwynedd. In the course of a long and eventful life, he became a key figure in Welsh resistance to Norman rule, and was remembered as King of all Wales. According to the Life of Gruffudd ap Cynan, Gruffudd was born in Dublin and reared near Swords, County Dublin in Ireland.

Unusually for a Welsh king or prince, a near-contemporary biography of Gruffudd, The history of Gruffudd ap Cynan, has survived. Much of our knowledge of Gruffudd comes from this source, though allowance has to be made for the fact that it appears to have been written as dynastic propaganda for one of Gruffudd's descendants. The traditional view among scholars was that it was written during the third quarter of the 12th century during the reign of Gruffudd's son, Owain Gwynedd, but it has recently been suggested that it may date to the early reign of Llywelyn the Great, around 1200. The name of the author Is not known.

Most of the existing manuscripts of the history are in Welsh but these are clearly translations of a Latin original. It is usually considered that the original Latin version has been lost, and that existing Latin versions are re-translations from the Welsh. However Russell (2006) has suggested that the Latin version in Peniarth MS 434E incorporates the original Latin version, later amended to bring it into line with the Welsh text (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gruffudd_ap_Cynan).


"Cum in Anglia regnaret Edwardus dictus Confessor et apud Hybernos Therdelachus rex, nascitur in Hybernia apud civitatem Dublinensem Griffinus rex Venedotiae, nutriturque in loco Comoti Colomkelle dicto Hybernice Swrth Colomkelle, per tria miliaria distante a duomo suorum parentum."

(Translation from Latin)
"When Edward (called the Confessor) was ruling in England and King Toirrdelbach was ruling over the Irish, there was born in Ireland in the city of Dublin, Gruffudd, king of Gwynedd, and he was fostered in a place in the commote of Colum Cille called in Irish Sord Coluim Chille, which lies three miles away from the home of his parents."

Source: Vita Griffini Filii Conani: The Medieval Latin Life of Gruffudd Ap Cynan, edited and translated by Paul Russell, University of Wales Press, 2005 (reprinted 2012), pp.53-54 (With thanks to Prof Michael Cronin, DCU
http://michaelcronin.ie/)

 



Swords Sheela-na-gig


The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland
A new sheela-na-gig (at Swords, Co. Dublin)
Main Author: Dunlea, John (Rev.)
Citation: The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Ser. 7, Vol. XV, p. 114, 1945




 


A New Sheela-na-Gig.

Some time ago I noticed one of those grotesque female figures known as
Sheela-na-Gigs carved on a pillar which acted as a gate-post at Drynam House
near Swords, Co.Dublin. It was in danger of destruction by farm-carts passing
by, so I brought it to the notice of Mr. H. G. Leask, Inspector of National
Monuments. He communicated with the National Museum and, on Mr.
Wilson of Drynam House graciously giving permission, the stone was carefully
removed and is now preserved in the Museum.

JOHN DUNLEA, P.P.
(North Co. Dublin, Hon. Local Secretary).

Note : We are asked by the Irish Antiquities Division of the National
Museum to express their indebtedness to Mr. Wilson for his kind gift and for
his cooperation in the removal of the stone; and to Father Dunlea for the
preservation of a relic of our past and for his very active and practical help
towards the acquisition of the carving.-Editor.

For more information see: http://sources.nli.ie/Record/PS_UR_033877





Swords Sheela-na-gig (Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
(Location: National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin)

For more information see the National Museum of Ireland:
http://www.museum.ie/en/collection/late-medieval.aspx




 



Robert Walsh Fingal and its Churches - A Historical Sketch
(M. A., Dublin and London, 1888)


"The institution of parishes in England was a gradual process ; it was not completed until the time of Edward the Confessor (1042-1066) . The system had been adopted in the Danish city of Dublin long before the English Conquest. The time of its introduction into Fingal is probably about the year 1179, the date of a bull of Pope  Alexander III. to Laurence O'Toole, Archbishop of Dublin, in which the Pope — asserting the authority he claimed as supreme and sovereign Pontiff — states that he confirms to the Archbishop " the parochial churches of St. Thomas, St. Nicholas, &c., in the city of Dublin,' thus speaking of the parochial system as existing already in the city. But when the Pope proceeds to confirm to the Archbishop the country parts of the diocese, he mentions in his bull not parochial churches, but simply churches ; for the old system of filial churches, dependent on a mother church, and without territorial boundaries, existed still in Fingal. Bishop Beeves has translated this bull, and has identified most of the names mentioned in it. What were henceforth to be " the parochial contents of the Diocese of Dublin " are set forth at length. It is only necessary here to give that part of the bull relating to Fingal. The Pope confirms to Archbishop O'Toole " the churches towns, and possessions of the church committed to you, hereinafter named, to wit,'' Lusca (Lusk, which extended to the northern boundaries of the diocese and the county, including Balrothery and Balungan), with all that belongs to it; Sordum (Swords), with all its appurtenances within and without ; Finglas, with all its appurtenances, saying moreover the half of Rechrannu (Lambay), and the port of Rechrann (Portrane) ; Rathchillin (Clonmethan), Glasnedin (Glasnevin), with its mill ; Duncuanach (Drumcondra), Balengore (near Coolock), Killesra (Killester), Cenannsale (Kinsaley), Clochar (St. Doulagh's), Rathsalehan (?Kilsallaghan), the island of the former sons of Nessan (Ireland's Eye, including its chapel of Kilbarrack)."


For more information see:
http://archive.org/stream/fingalanditschu00walsgoog/fingalanditschu00walsgoog_djvu.txt


 



Swords Sord Cholmcille A Visual History
Pictures of Swords, County Dublin from the 1790s to today.

 



 


1200s CE
 


Robert Walsh Fingal and its Churches - A Historical Sketch
(M. A., Dublin and London, 1888)



"APPENDIX I.— A.D. 1275.
Extracts from the "Crede Mihi," relating to Fingal. The " Crede Mihi" is the oldest existing record of the state of the
Parishes in the Diocese of Dublin. The record was made about A.D. 1275, according to Archbishop Ussher. The original is in the custody of the Archbishop of Dublin. There is a transcript in the Library, T.C.D., which is somewhat difficult to decipher accurately. Some of the observations are notes afterwards added by Archbishop Allen, A.D. 1528— 1534. N.B. — For the sake of more easy reference and comparison, the Parishes in each of the following eight Appendices are put in the same order, and grouped as they were in 1S86.
XI. Swerdes (Swords), Church of. Archbishop Patron,
Thomas Comyn, with Chapels —
Killythe (Killeek).
Lispobel.
Kilrery (Killossory).
Kilsalthan (Kilsallaghan), Church of, belongs to Abbot of St. Thomas for his own use.
Chapelmidway (not mentioned).
Kinsale (Kinsaley), Church of, belongs to Swords. "


For more information see:
http://archive.org/stream/fingalanditschu00walsgoog/fingalanditschu00walsgoog_djvu.txt


 


1300s CE
 


THE ANTIQUITIES OF SWORDS: A LECTURE ON THE ANTIQUITIES OF SWORDS

Delivered at Swords, in the Borough Schoolhouse on Wednesday Evening., Sep. 12, 1860,
by THE LATE RIGHT REV. WILLIAM REEVES D.D., L.L.D., M.B., M.R.I.A.;
Bishop of Down; formerly Vicar of Lusk (Republished 1970)


"In 1326, Alexander de Bicknor, the Archbishop, having displeased the king, and further, being greatly in arrear in his accounts as Lord Treasurer, the king seized into his hands the profits of the see, in satisfaction for the deficiency; and, in order to ascertain the available amount, Inquisitions by jurors were held before the Sheriff in the various manors.

That on Swords was sped at Dublin, on the 14th March, 1326, and twenty jurors were empanelled. The result of their finding, as regards the palace of Swords, was as follows:-

“Who being sworn, say on their oath, that there is in this place a hall, and the chamber adjoining said hall, the walls of which are of stone, crenelated after the manner of a castle, and covered with shingles.

“Further, there is a kitchen, together with a larder, the walls of which are of stone, roofted with shingles. And there is in the same place a chapel, the walls of which are of stone, roofed with shingles. Also there was in the same place a chamber for friars, with a cloister, which are now prostrate. Also, there are in the same place a chamber, or apartment, for the constables by the gate, and four chambers for soldiers and wardens, roofed with shingles, under which are a stable and bake-house.

“Also, there was here a house for a dairy, and a workshop, which are now prostrate. Also, there is on the premises in the haggard a shed made of planks, and thatched with straw. Also, a granary, built with timber, and roofed with boards. Also, a byre, for the housing of farm horses and bullocks.

"The profits of all the above-recited premises, they return as of no value, because nothing is to be derived from them, either in the letting of the houses, or in any other way. And they need thorough repair, inasmuch as they are badly roofed."

Thus we perceive that so early as 1326, these buildings were beginning to suffer from the effects of time.

In 1380, the manor of Swords was seized again into the king's hands by Sir Nicholas Daggerworth, a Commissioner of Forfeitures, on the plea that the conditions of 1216 had not been fulfilled. In the return, however, of said Sir Nicholas to a writ de certiorari, he confessed that cause had not been shown why the said manor should be so seized.

Accordingly, a writ of restitution to Robert de Wykeford, the Archbishop, was issued by the Treasurers and Barons of the Exchequer. There is no evidence that this place was repaired so as again to become a residence of the Archbishop. Probably it was not, for in 1324 was erected by Alexander de Bicknor the archiepiscopal palace of Tallaght, in the south part of the county, which for centuries continued to be employed as the country scat of the Archbishop."





Swords Castle. Drawn by Geo Holmes Engraved by J and H S Storer
Published by Sherwood, Jones and ... (1824)
 


1400s CE
 


THE ANTIQUITIES OF SWORDS: A LECTURE ON THE ANTIQUITIES OF SWORDS

Delivered at Swords, in the Borough Schoolhouse on Wednesday Evening., Sep. 12, 1860,
by THE LATE RIGHT REV. WILLIAM REEVES D.D., L.L.D., M.B., M.R.I.A.;
Bishop of Down; formerly Vicar of Lusk (Republished 1970)

"The only remains of the early ecclesiastical structures that adorned this place, is the belfry tower of the old church, a square building of the 14th or 15th century ; one of the ancient round towers, 73 feet high, and 52 foot in circumference ; and the archbishop's palace. The latter was an extensive structure in the centre of a court, encompassed by embattled walls, flanked by towers, the inner portion of which is now a garden. There was also a Nunnery here, as appears on record by a pension being granted by Parliament in 1474, to the Lady Prioress and her successors."


 



Monasticon hibernicum: or, A history of the abbeys, priories, and other religious houses in Ireland; interspersed with memoirs of their several founders and benefactors, and of their abbots and other superiors, to the time of their final suppression (1873)  
Archdall, Mervyn, 1723-1791; Moran, Patrick Francis, 1830-1911, editor


"Nunnery

In the 14th year of the reign of King Edward IV., A.D. 1474, we find an actual grant, by the parliament, of 20s. yearly out of the revenue of the crown, to Eleanora, prioress of Swords, and her successors. But we meet with no other
account of this nunnery.

There are in this village some ruins of a palace, which was formerly the residence of the archbishops of Dublin. "

For more information see:
http://archive.org/details/monasticonhiber01archgoog



 



Swords Sord Cholmcille A Visual History
Pictures of Swords, County Dublin from the 1790s to today.

 



 


1500s CE




Robert Walsh Fingal and its Churches - A Historical Sketch
(M. A., Dublin and London, 1888)


The castles of Baldungan and Swords were built for ecclesiastics. They must have been the two strongest castles in the district. The Archbishop of Dublin was a great feudal baron as well as a great ecclesiastic. About the year 1200 he fixed on Swords for his country residence, and built the castle whose ruins still remain. Swords had become, within two centuries of the conquest, an immensely wealthy parish. Archbishop Allen (1532) says it " was called the golden, as if it were virtually a bed full of gold." The Archbishop had a large share of this wealth, and here he lived as a prince bishop, dispensing profuse hospitality, and rigorously enforcing English law."

"The Romish persecutions on the continent helped the Reformation in Fingal. In 1583, Sir Henry Sydney, the Queen's Lord Deputy, planted forty families of Protestant refugees from the Low Countries in the old Castle of Swords. It is significantly related of them: "Truly it would have done any man good to see how diligently they worked and how they re-edified the quiet spoiled castle of the town, and repaired almost all the same and how godly and cleanly their lives and children lived." "


For more information see:
http://archive.org/stream/fingalanditschu00walsgoog/fingalanditschu00walsgoog_djvu.txt


 



The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland


JRSAI Vol. 105 (1975)

Thomas Fanning: 'An Irish medieval tile pavement: recent excavations at Swords Castle, County Dublin', 47-82.



 



Betha Choluim Chille
/ The Life of Colum Cille  

Manus Ó Domhnaill, anglicized Manus O'Donnell (died 1564), was an Irish clan leader, son of Hugh Dubh O'Donnell. He was an important member of the O'Donnell dynasty based in County Donegal. Manus O'Donnell, though a fierce warrior, was hospitable and generous to the poor and the Church. He is described by the Four Masters as "a learned man, skilled in many arts, gifted with a profound intellect, and the knowledge of every science." At his castle of Portnatrynod near Strabane he supervised, if he did not actually dictate, the writing of the Life of Saint Columbkille in Irish, which is preserved in the Bodleian Library (Rawlinson B 514) at Oxford (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manus_O%27Donnell).


"Fothaigis eclais isin inad h-itá Sord indiú. Fácbais fer sruith diá muntir and .i. Finan Lobur. & facbais in soscéla ro scrib a lám fodessin. Tóirnis tra ann tipra dia n-ainm Sord .i. glan. & senais croiss." [P. 114]
(http://www.ucc.ie/celt/online/G201011/)

(Translation)

"Colum Cille founded a church there, and that is 'Swords of Colum Cille' today. Colum Cille left a good man from his own household there as his successor, Finan the Leper, and he left there the missal which he himself had written. Colum Cille blessed Swords and he blessed its well - Glan ['Clean'] is its name - and he left a cross there."

The Life of Colum Cille by Manus O'Donnell [1532] [ed. Brian Lacey] (Four Courts Press, Dublin 1998)

See also http://archive.org/stream/bethacolaimchill00odonn#page/98/mode/2up


 



Manuscript: National Library of Ireland, Dublin (D. 2878)

"Letters patent of Queen Elizabeth granting to the Earl of Ormonde lands in Cloghrane Swordes, Curragh, and Rath in Killosserie, Co. Dublin, part of the property of John Burnell, attainted, and Rathnenmeddaghe, Co. Westmeath, part of the lands of Oliver FitzGerald, attainted, Sept. 24, 1574."

For more information see: http://sources.nli.ie/Record/MS_UR_015970


Manuscript: Dublin: National Library of Ireland, Genealogical Office: Ms.47, pp.22-3

"Visitation Certificate of Robert Tayloure of Sweerdes, Co. Dublin, with descent from Barnewell and of Ales Fitz Symon, his wife and Joan Ience, his daughter in law, 1572."

For more information see: http://sources.nli.ie/Record/MS_UR_007981


 



St Columba's Church slate tombstones

 



Slate tombstones set into the floor of St Columba's Church. This new church of early Gothic style was built in 1811 on the foundations of the old.


 


Slate tombstones
(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)




Blakeney slate tombstone 1587
transferred to the new
St Columba's Church in 1811
(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin) (2013)


 

The oldest stone in St Columba's Church and Graveyard to the memory of James Blakeney and several members of his family who were wiped out by the plague.

"Orate pro a[n]i[m]abus Jacobi Blakeney Elizabeth Taillor Alisone [&] Anne Margarete Wallye et Wilhelm Blakeney qui obijt X die Janary a[nn]o d[omi]ni 1587 et iacent in hoc tumulo."


"Pray for the souls of James Blakeney, Elizabeth Taillor Alisone and Anne and Margaret Wallye and Willliam Blakeney who died on the 10th day of January A.D. 1587 and lie in this tomb."

(With many thanks to 'socratidion' and 'nunc est bibendum' at http://latindiscussion.com/forum/latin/orate-pro-arabus.16674/)

See also:
In Fond Remembrance: Headstone Inscriptions from St Columba's Graveyard, No.2. Fingal Heritage Group (1989)

 

 

Hewetson slate tombstone 1694
transferred to the new
St Columba's Church in 1811
(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin) (2013)

Scardevile slate tombstone 1703
transferred to the new
St Columba's Church in 1811
(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin) (2013)



 


1600s CE


 


Scardevile mural monument 1703
(detail)



Antiquarian Notes, Etc., of the Parishes of Santry and Cloghran, County Dublin
Benjamin W. Adams
The Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland , Fourth Series, Vol. 5, No. 46 (Apr., 1881), pp. 482-498

"1681. June 30th, Henry Scardevile, D.D., Chaplain to Duke Schomnerg, succeeded to these Parishes.  [Lib. Mun.] 4 September, 1691, he became Dean of Cloyne, and dying, 3 February, 1703 was buried in the Chancel of Swords Church, where his tombstone and mural monument remain; the inscriptions are given in Brady's Records, vol.ii., p. 200."
 


 


Scardevile slate tombstone 1703
transferred to the new
St Columba's Church in 1811
(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin) (2013)


Scardevile mural monument 1703
transferred to the new
St Columba's Church in 1811
(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin) (2013)


 



Robert Walsh Fingal and its Churches - A Historical Sketch
(M. A., Dublin and London, 1888)


"On the 9th of December, 1641, the Irish army of the Pale assembled at Swords under the leadership of many of the Roman Catholic gentry of the county. A contingent, which had been at first assembled at Santry, under Luke Netterville, joined them. The Lords Justices issued a proclamation calling upon this army of insurgents to disperse, and ordering that nine of the chief leaders should come before the Council the next morning, to explain their conduct. This proclamation having been disregarded, Sir Charles Coote was sent against the rebels. He was a good but stern soldier ; he made short work of the insurgents. He burned the village of Santry, and slew some rioters there ; and finding Swords fortified, he stormed it, put its defenders to flight, and killed about two hundred of them. At Kilsallaghan the Earl of Fingal, with some of the Barnewalls, Seagraves, and others, assembled a force about the castle. It is stated that their position was made very strong by the woods surrounding the castle, and by defences which they raised. It was not strong enough, however, to resist the Earl of Ormond, who attacked and carried it, driving the enemy out of the castle, which be left a ruin, and in that condition it has remained ever since."

For more information see:
http://archive.org/stream/fingalanditschu00walsgoog/fingalanditschu00walsgoog_djvu.txt





Swords Castle. Mrs Hall Travels around Ireland (1843)
 




Sir CHARLES COOTE,  (d. 1642)


COOTE, Sir CHARLES (d. 1642), military commander in Ireland, was the elder son of Sir Nicholas Coote of an old Devonshire family, and first landed in Ireland in 1600 as captain in Mountjoy's army, and served in the wars against O'Neill earl of Tyrone. He was present at the siege of Kinsale in 1602, and on 4 June 1605 was appointed provost-marshal of the province of Connaught for life with the fee of 5s. 7½d. per day, and twelve horsemen of the army. On 23 Nov. 1613 he was appointed general collector and receiver of the king's composition money in Connaught for life. In 1620 he was promoted vice-president of Connaught, and sworn a member of the privy council, and on 2 April 1621 was created a baronet of Ireland. On 7 May 1634 he was made ‘custos rotulorum’ of Queen's County, which he represented in the parliament of 1639.

At the outbreak of the rebellion in 1641 he was in the possession of property, chiefly in Connaught, valued at 4,000 l. a year. In November after it commenced he had a commission to raise a thousand men, and was appointed governor of Dublin. On the 29th he marched towards Wicklow with five hundred foot and eighty horse for the relief of the castle, and, having effected his purpose, returned in haste to place Dublin in a state of defence, defeating on the way Luke O'Toole at the head of a thousand native troops. Cox (History of Ireland) states that he was ‘very rough and sour in his temper,’ and committed ‘acts of revenge and violence with too little discrimination.’ In December he was accused by the lords of the Pale of having thrown out suggestions for a general massacre of the Irish catholics; but the lords justices cleared him of the imputation (Sir John Temple's Irish Rebellion, pp. 23–4).

On the 15th of this month he sent a party of horse and foot to fall upon the rebels in the king's house at Clontarf, and on 11 Jan. he dislodged fourteen hundred men out of Swords. On 23 Feb. he accompanied the Earl of Ormonde to Kilsaghlan, and drove the Irish out of their entrenchments. On 10 April he was despatched with Sir Thomas Lucas and six troops of horse to relieve Birr. On the way he had to pass a causeway which the rebels had broken, and at the end of which they had cast up entrenchments, which were defended by a large force, but advancing at the head of thirty dragoons he compelled them to retreat with a loss of forty men. He then relieved in succession Birr, Burris, and Knocknamease, and after forty-eight hours on horseback returned to camp late on the 11th without the loss of a single man.

From this successful dash through the district of Mountrath, the title of earl of Mountrath was taken by his eldest son when he was raised to the peerage. After taking part in the battle of Kilrush under the Earl of Ormonde against Lord Mountganet, Coote assisted Lord Lisle, lieutenant-general of horse, to capture Philipstown and Trim. At the break of day that town was, however, surprised by the Irish with three thousand men, when Coote issued out of the gate with seventeen horsemen and routed them, but was shot dead, 7 May 1642. By his marriage with Dorothea, younger daughter and coheiress of Hugh Cuffe of Cuffe's Wood in the county of Cork, he had four sons and one daughter, his eldest son being Charles, lord Mountrath [q. v.]

[Cox's History of Ireland; Carte's Life of Ormonde; Lodge's Peerage of Ireland (Archdall), ii. 63–8; Burke's Dormant and Extinct Peerage (1883), pp. 133–4; Gilbert's History of the Irish Confederation (1882); Cal. State Papers, Irish Series.]

For more information see:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Coote,_Charles_%28d.1642%29_%28DNB00%29

 


 

Charles Coote and Dorothea Cuffe have other descendants:  
 
Charles Coote m. Dorothea Cuffe
.CHARLES COOTE 1 E MOUNTRATH
.Richard Coote 1 B Coote of Coloony m. Mary St George
 .Laetitia Coote m. Robert Molesworth 1 V Molesworth of Swords
  .Richard Molesworth 3 V Molesworth of Swords m. Mary Ussher
   .Louisa Molesworth m. William Brabazon Ponsonby 1 B Ponsonby of Imokilly
    .Mary Elizabeth Ponsonby m. Charles Grey 2 E Grey
     .Elizabeth Grey m. John Croker Bulteel
      .Louisa Emily Charlotte Bulteel m. Edward Charles Baring 1 B Revelstoke
       .Margaret Baring m. Charles Robert Spencer 6 E Spencer
        .Albert Edward John Spencer 7 E Spencer m. Cynthia Elinor Beatrix Hamilton
         .Edward John Spencer 8 E Spencer m. Frances Ruth Burke Roche
          .DIANA FRANCES SPENCER (1961-1997) m. Charles Prince of Wales

For more information see:
http://www.wargs.com/political/powell.html
 



Clontarf, Sir Charles Coote and Swords

Clontarf became a significant location in Irish History, more than a century before the Castle was built. Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland, and the famous Battle of Clontarf, on Good Friday, 23rd April 1014, will always be associated with and central to the history of the Clontarf area.

It all began when Mael Morda, King of Leinster, began to plot against Brian Boru. Mael Morda made an alliance with Sitric, the Viking King of Dublin, who was assisted by the Vikings of the Orkney Islands and the Isle of Man. Brian Boru marched against them and the great battle was fought at Clontarf.

It ended in victory for Boru's army. However, on the night of the victory, Boru was praying in his tent, surrounded by five men, who were guarding him. A small group of Vikings, who were retreating from the battle through a wooded area, close to the site of what is now Clontarf Castle, came across the guarded tent. Realising who was being protected; they killed all five guards and went on to kill Brian Boru, who by now was 72 years of age.

In 1172 Hugh de Lacy built the castle as an inner circle of defence sites protecting Dublin.

In 1641 Luke Netherville of Corballis (near Donabate) and an army of 12,000 men took possession of Artane Castle and village in defence of their religious beliefs.

George, King of Clontarf, then owner of Clontarf Castle joined in the rebellion. Netherville and the King seized a vessel believed to contain the weapons and ammunition of the enemy. After they seized the weapons they returned to Swords and a lot of the local farmers and fishermen joined Netherville's rebellious army.

On 15th December 1641, the Puritan Republic General, Sir Charles Coote, led a troop of soldiers into Clontarf to quell the rebel activities. He found most of the ships cargo of weapons and ammunition in George King's Clontarf Castle. Then the massive sum of 400.00 was put on the King's head and the Castle was confiscated. Coote marched on to Swords and defeated Netherville and his rebel army.

For more information see:
http://www.irelandscastles.com/dublin/clontarf_castle.htm

 




Sir Charles Coote, 1st Baronet, d.1642

Powerful landowner in Ireland whose fierce anti-Catholicism drove him to commit massacres and atrocities against the Irish insurgents


On the outbreak of the Irish Uprising of October 1641, Coote was appointed governor of Dublin and commissioned to raise a regiment. Despite his advanced age, he was active in leading raids against insurgent positions around Dublin. He advanced south to secure Wicklow in November 1641 then marched north early in 1642, defeating the rebels at Swords and Kilsallaghan to secure the northern approaches to Dublin. Coote was accused of killing innocent civilians on the Wicklow expedition and of calling for the massacre of all Catholics. He ordered the burning of farms and villages, which destroyed the logistical resources of the insurgents but intensified the hatred of the Irish population towards the Protestant government. Coote's ferocious anti-Catholicism is said to have influenced several "Old English" noblemen of the Pale to join the insurrection on the side of the rebels.

For more information see:
http://www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/biog/coote.htm

 




Sir Charles Coote and the 1641 Rebellion in Ireland SLAIN A. D. 1642.
From The Irish Nation: Its History and Its Biography
By James and Freeman Wills


For some time before, there had been a considerable disposition to insurrectionary movement along the whole coast, from Clontarf to the county of Meath. Plunder and piracy had become frequent under the relaxation of local jurisdiction, consequent upon the general terror; and the fears of the government at last awakened them to a sense of the necessity of guarding against so near a danger. Several of the gentry also of these districts had committed themselves by acts of no doubtful character; and it was with their known sanction that strong parties of armed men were collected in Clontarf, Santry, Swords, Rathcoole, &c.: these parties committed numerous acts of violence and overawed the peaceful, while they gave encouragement to the turbulent. The party here particularized was evidently under the sanction of Mr King, a gentleman of the popular party, in whose house they stored their plunder; they were in strict combination with the people of Clontarf, who had actually formed a part of their strength and joined them with their fishing-boats. We mention these facts because the summary statement that Sir Charles Coote expelled them from Clontarf, by burning both Mr King's house and the village, must otherwise place the act in a fallacious point of view. Coote acted in this as on every occasion with the sweeping severity of his harsh character; but the unpopularity of his character, and of the lords-justices to whom he was as an arm of defence, seems to have diverted the eye of history from the obvious fact, that in this, as upon many other occasions, he did no more than the emergency of the occasion called for.

It was but a few days after that he was compelled to march to the relief of Swords, which was occupied by 1400 men. They barricaded all the entrances. Coote forced these passages, and routed them with a slaughter of 200 men.

For more information see:
http://www.libraryireland.com/articles/CooteIrishNation/index.php

 




A Memoir on Ireland Native and Saxon
Daniel O’Connell, 1843


To come back to Dublin county. The author of the “Collection,” speaking of the first week in November, 1641, says, -
“In the same week, 56 men, women, and children, of the village of Bulloge, (being frightened at what was done at Clontarf,) took boats and went to sea, to shun the fury of a party of soldiers come out of Dublin under the command of Colonel Crafford; but being pursued by soldiers in other boats, were overtaken, and thrown over board. One Russell, a baker in Dublin, coming out of the country in company with Mr. Archbold of Clogram (who went to take hold of the proclamation of the Lords Justices,) were both hanged and quartered. In March, a party of horse, of the garrison of Donshaghlin, murdered seven or eight poor people in protection, tenants of Mr. Dillon of Huntstowne, having quartered in their houses the night before, and receiving such entertainment as the poor people could afford. About the same time, a party of the English quartered at Malahyde, hanged a servant of Mr. Robert Boyne’s at the plough, and forced a poor labourer to hang his own brother: and soon after they hanged 15 of the inhabitants of Swords who never bore arms, in the orchard of Malahyde; they likewise hanged a woman bemoaning her husband hanged among them.”

“Tuesday, December 7, a party of foot being sent out into the neighbourhood of Dublin in quest of some robbers that had plundered an house at Buskin, came to the village of Santry, and murdered some innocent husbandsmen, (whose heads they brought into the city in triumph, and among which were one or two Protestants,) under pretence that they had harboured and relieved the rebels who had made inroads and committed depredations in those parts. Hard was the case of the country people at this time, when not being able to hinder parties of robbers and rebels breaking into their homes and taking refreshments there, this should be deemed a treasonable act, AND SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE A MASSACRE. This following so soon after the executions, which Sir Charles Coote… had ordered in the county of Wicklow, among which, when A SOLDIER WAS CARRYING ABOUT A POOR BABE ON THE END OF HIS PIKE, he” [namely, Coote] “was charged with saying THAT HE LIKED SUCH FROLICS, made it presently be imagined that it was determined to proceed against all suspected persons in the same undistinguishing way of cruelty; and it served either for an occasion or pretence to some Roman Catholic gentlemen of the county of Dublin (among which were Luke Netterville, George Blackney, and George King) to assemble together at Swords, six miles from Dublin, and put themselves with their followers in a posture of defence.”- Carte’s Ormond, I. 244-5.

For more information see:
http://www.irishhistorylinks.net/Historical_Documents/MemoirNativeSaxon.html


 



1641 Depositions

Language and Linguistic Evidence in the 1641 Depositions is an AHRC-funded, multidisciplinary project that aims to develop new ways of interacting with a digitized corpus of Early Modern English witness testimonies. The 1641 Depositions comprise approximately 4,000 depositions or 20,000 pages of newly-digitized and transcribed witness testimony, originally collected by government-appointed commissioners, regarding the rebellion by the Catholic Irish in 1641. These statements constitute the chief evidence for the sharply contested allegation that the rebellion began with a general massacre of Protestant settlers, and they have been central to protracted and bitter historical dispute.


For more information see:http://phaedrus.scss.tcd.ie/1641/about

 



1641 Depositions
fol. 280r


Hewetson slate tombstone (1694)
St Columba's Church, Swords
(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)


Christopher Hewetson late of Swords in the County of Dublin gent sworne and examined deposeth and sayth. That since the insurreccion of the rebellion in this Kingdome of Ireland (vzt) On & Betweene the first day of November and the first day of January last past, hee this deponent (at Swords and in the parish thereof) in County of Dublin, and at Newcastle and other lands in the County of Wexford. was Robbed expelled and depriued by the rebbells of his goods and Chattells and of the seuerall vallues hereafter expressed (vzt) of Cowes and horses forty pounds ster of hey tenn pounds housouldstuffe Eight pounds houses destroyed by the rebbells; and by fier, by his maiestie army, when the rebells incamped there that went vnto Swords forty pounds at the least And this deponent for this yeare one thousand sixe hundred forty and one hath beene alsoe by the said Rebbells dispoyled expelled & stripped of rents and proffitts of seuerall lands letten vnto tennants and in his owne custody within the seuerall Countys of Dublin and Wexford aforesaid amounting to the sume and his present loss of 50 li. and this deponent further sayeth that hee had at the the tyme of the beginning of the rebellion aforesaid, in the County of dublin and Wexford the sume of 210 li. in morgage vpon certayne lands in the sayd Countys which sume of mony by reason of the aforesaid rebellion this deponent is depriued thereof, and the present benefitts of the land wherevpon the said 210 li. was disbursed, Alsoe at the tyme of the begining of the rebellion aforesaid this deponent had in debts due vnto him vpon specialty satutestaple and otherwise in the Countys aforesaid the Sume of 250 li. which by reason of the said rebellion this deponent verily beleeueth that he is vtterly depriued of them, And this deponent sayth further that at the tyme begining of the aforesaid rebellion he had seuerall leases in the Countys aforesaid at easy rents whereout he receiued declaro all his landlords rents dischardged the sume of 60 li. per annum which from henceforth he is likly to be depriued of: And this deponent for his future loss and damage can giue noe estimate of the same And he further sayth that so many of the rebells that soe robbed <A> and spoyled him that he can name as he was informed by his seruants are Lawrence Rowen preests Barnaby [ ] Breahowne and Tho: Lynnan, of swords in the County of Dublin.
Summa tot: 608 li. 0 li.
Christopher Hewetson
Jurat: martij 5o 1641
Hen: Brereton
William Hitchcocke
452
summa – 608 li.- 0 s.
fol. 280v
453
http://phaedrus.scss.tcd.ie/1641/items/show/36777

 



1641 Depositions
fol. 188r


276
The Examinacion of William Rowen of Finglas Butcher taken before us Sir Richard Bolton Knight Lord Chancellor of Ireland & Sir Gerrard Lowther Knight Lord Chief Justice of his Maiesties Court of Chief Pleas this 19th day of November 1641.
<L> This Examinant saith that upon Thursday last was fortnight at night this Examinant Richard Delahide John Sephton Bartholomew Welsh Henry Merrick John Coopland Patrick Weston Patrick Dillon & diuerse others whose names hee now remembreth not were drinking together at the howse of John England in Finglas were they stayed but saith that he doth not remember that att that time or any other time they had any discourse conerning the Rebells in in the North. And saith that he never had any intention to goe towards neither hee nor any other to his knowledge had any intention to goe towards the Rebells in the North to k see in what state the stoode Hee further saith that on the Sunday before they hearing by Sir Henry <M> Tichborne his Coachman that there were three hundred Rebells in the parish of Santry this Examinant said to John Sephton & others that if Sir Edward Bagshaw would giue him leaue hee would goe to Santry to see if that were true or not & thereupon the said John Sephton said that if hee had a horse hee would bare him Company for his owne horse was fallen lame this Examinant replyed that if hee would soe doe per adventure they might borrow a horse in the Towne for that purpose Hee further saith that the next morning after this Examinant went to the Constables to of Finglas & tould him that he would had lost a Cow & that he would goe to Santry as well to seeke for <N> his Cow as to know whether that report were true or not And that hee went to Santry accordingly & there found a Troupe of horse & enquired of of the Troupers & likewise of the Townes people whether any Rebells had beene there or not who tould him that there had bene none there & then this Examinant went to Swords where he bought his Cow & likewise enquired there aswell for his Cow as whether
any

fol. 188v

277
<O> any Rebells had bene there and the people of Swords tould him there had bene none And then returning homeward he found his Cow at Dunbrow & so came home & brought his Cow with him & tould his neighbours of Finglas that the report made by Sir Henry Tichborne his Coachman was altogether untrue And denyeth that either hee this Examinant or any other to his Knowledge was promised any horse by the sa <P> did promise the said John Sephton any horse to goe & help the rebells or to any other purpose then is aboue expressed He farther denyeth that euer he knew or heard of any plott or conspiracy for the taking or burning the Towne of Finglas or any howse therein or thereabouts or that Richard Delahide was levying or intended to leavy any men to follow the Kings Sould souldiers to the North or to any other purpose.
William Rowen
Ri: Bolton Canc
Gerrard Lowther
fol. 189r
fol. 189v
19o 9bris 1641.
The Examinacion of William
Rowen

This examinacion doth
not conteyne any
cryme in it but
only a discourse
betwene thexaminat
and Sephton
concering the Rebels
http://phaedrus.scss.tcd.ie/1641/items/show/35465


 



1641 Depositions
fol. 165r


19o Junij 1642
Thomas Lloyd of Swords in the Com of Dublin Clark maketh fayth that sythence the Rebellion began he hath lost & bin Robbed & spoyled by occasion of the Rebellion of the Rebellion of
ffoure Cows of English breed worth __________________________________ 10 li._0_0
Three Garrens worth ______________________________________________ 8 li._0_0
In houshould stuffe beare Coales & other provision _____________________ 40 li._0_0
And that the persons undernamed are indebted vnto him in the somms hearvnder written to their names & that all or most of them are in rebellion or higly suspected to be soe
<A> James Lynam of Dublin merchant ______________________________ 118_0_0
Richard Gouldinge of Kinsale gentleman _____________________________ 40_0_0
Mychael Taylor of Swordes Com Dublin _____________________________ 3_0_0
David McKey nere Drumballyrony in Com Downe [ ] ___________________ 7_0_0
Robert Bowen of Maybestowne in Com Dublin _________________________ 8_0_0
<B> John Byam of Swords _________________________________________ 1 li._16 s._0
William Russell of Swordseaton _____________________________________ 7_10_0
Bartho: Lynam of Swordes _________________________________________ 4_16_0
<C> Bartho: Enos of the fforrest Com Dublin __________________________ 10_0_0
Bartho: Russell of Seaton Seaton Com Dublin __________________________ 12_0_0
Besides three hundred & odd pownds owinge vnto him by diverse protestants who pleadg that they are disabled to make satisfacon by reason they were Robbed & spoyled sythence the beginige of the rebellion.
<In toto 569 li.- [ ] -0>
Tho: Lloyd
Jur xviijo Junij 1642
Will: Hitchcocke
Will: Aldrich
fol. 165v
http://phaedrus.scss.tcd.ie/1641/items/show/37122

 

 



Swords Sord Cholmcille A Visual History
Pictures of Swords, County Dublin from the 1790s to today.

 




 



1641 Depositions
fol. 244r

The Deposicion of Edward Leech of the Iland of Lambay in gent who being sworne and examined saith before his Maiesties Commissioners saith
<A> That on the 12th day of December 1641 John O Malony a fryer with Thomas Hurlston and Jesper Hurlston both of Skerrys a Haven towne in the County of Dublin and one Dennis Connor a Clarke in the Courts in Dublin armed came to the Iland of Lambay aforesaid neere Howth, in one Boate belonging to the Iland armed, and two Boats more with other men armed in them being of the Inhabitants of Rushe came to the m & that thereabouts and sixe or seaven boats more (that putt not off from the mayne shoore) at Rush neere the Skerryes aforesaid which Boats were ready as the ffryer said and were directed to followe them if they should make a fyre, with men in them to ayde them as this deponent heard them say. Imediatly vpon the landing of the said ffryer in the Iland he sent to this Deponent a Lettre without date offring this deponent quarter (if he would leave all to him) voweing by the Allmighty if he refused this gratious offer to kill man woman and Child belonging to the said deponent Soone after the said ffryer came vpp to the Castle, and told this deponent what he must trust vnto And this deponent being vnable to resist (his owne servants and the whole Tennants of the Iland being Papists f Leaving him) he submitted to the ffryers pleasure, who ransaked the Castle, and tooke all that he had within doores and without (saue xx s. which he left this deponent out of 7 li. 9 s. 6 d. in money which he tooke from him.) this deponent and two Caddowes with & certaine wearing apparrell) and allsoe he left with tooke from a sonne in Lawe of this deponent xx s. out of xiij li. xvij s. which he tooke from him And afterwards he gave to this Deponent and his Company, a passe calling himselfe Chaplen Maior of the Catholique Army and Ouerseer of the Coasts & harbours and caused this deponent the next day and his family the next day to be landed at Howth, and would not suffer them to stay at Lambay alleadgeing he did intend the Castle of Lambay for a storehouse for the Catholique Armye And as the said Deponent and his family were travelling from Howth to Dublin on the xiiijth of December 1641 they were robbed of all their apparrell and what other
491

fol. 244v

other things the ffryer left them (saue the mony & Clothes on their back s ) neere vnto the towne of <B> Clantarfe vizt (vpon the uery lands of Clantarfe the vsuall place of salting herrings) by the Inhabitants neere adioyning. And this deponent further saith that vpon his landing at Howth he found the Inhabitants there keeping strict watch & ward for feare of their neighbours then in armes, and were loath to enterteine this deponent alleadgeing that they should fare the worse for it (he being a protestant) & an english man) Hee allsoe saith that the Rebbells who robbed th him of and the rest, at that tyme said thay they were souldiers vnder the commande of Captain Richard Golding of Kinsaly two or three myles distant from the place and that the said Captain was the same tyme with others at Swords & wished this deponent to goe thither vnto him which he refused to doe. Hee allsoe saith that at the same time he refused to goe through the towne of Clantarfe, and but came by the sea side hearing and fearing worse vsage in the Towne. Hee allsoe saith that at the same tyme he heard there were 300 men in Armes in the Wood of Tartaine <C> belonging to Mr Hollywood (adioyning to Clantarfe) Hee allsoe saith that the said ffryer shewed this deponent two Commissions (which as he alleadged were from the King of Spaine) sealed with Crucifixes, which he said was to authorize him to doe what he did, And the said ffryer tooke a Masse booke out of his pockett & swore by the contents thereof, that he was the first man that drewe the plott for the present Rebellion in Ireland and that he himselfe in person had acquainted the Pope and all the Kings in Christendome therewith excepte the King of England and the King of Denmark and that some Collonells in Dublin, had had mony of him, for to rayse men for Spaine, and that he had kept them aboard for some tyme within the harbor of Dublin
492

fol. 245r

Dublin, and that it was resolved by them meaning the Catholicks armie, then that not the Spawne of an English protestant should be left in Ireland very shortly. He said he was well acquainted with the Lord Justice Parsons and bid this deponent tell the Lo: Justice Parsons soe much, and allsoe saith that they (meaning those who hade taken Armes) had noe reason to complaine of their greivances to the Lords Justices because they had noe power to intermedle therein Hee allsoe said that they had both powder, and Ordnance makeing in Ireland, and when the deponent desired his Bible, which the said ffryer tooke from him with other Books, he refused to give it, and but told this Deponent that he was sworne to burne all the protestant Bibles that came to his hands. The said ffryer vsed many perswasions to this deponent and his wife to turne to their Religion and promised them, that if they would soe to <D> doe, they should goe with him to the howse of Mr Barnewell of Brymore, and fare noe worse then he did, and that if they would trye, if they lyked it not, he would leaue them safe in at the Walls of Dublin, which this Deponent refused, and then he comanded the Inhabitants of the Iland on paine of death to looke to the Cattle and goods there to the vse of the Catholique Armye Hee allsoe saith that in the way as he came by the sea syde from Howth to Dublin, with his Company being about 13teene all on foote saue his wife and haueing their Books goods at their backs and on vppon one Carre, there were many of the women of the villages thereabouts gathering Cockles (as vsually they doe) they who shouted aloud sayeing Siggy Sassinagh, Siggy Sassinagh, that is there comes English, which this deponent conceiveth was to sett on the people in armes Hee allsoe saith that at the same tyme as he passed by Clantarfe, he sawe some Coles carryeing away by some of the Inhabitants there adioyning from aboard a shipp a s h that came into the harbour with Coales which shipp they pillaged, but wheather they carryed the Coales he this deponent knoweth not. Hee allsoe saith that all which this was
493

fol. 245v

was performed before the burning of Clantarfe and (as he conceiveth) was one of the causes thereof, he haueing vpon the said xiiijth of December shewed the said passe to some neere freinds of the Lords Justices and related the said proceedings and he saith that he was robbed as aforesaid Comeing by Clantarfe, after sheweing his passe and quarter to Captain Goldings company and after one of them had reading yt: Hee allsoe saith that about a weeke before that the said ffryer came to him to Lambay, a shipp comeing out of England to the key of the L Skerryes laden with diverse goods was pillaged by the said ffryer and the Inhabitants thereabouts as the said ffryer told this deponent Hee allsoe saith that abo u vpon the 9th day of December 1641 se he sent a Boy e to D Man to with Lettres to Dublin to learne howe the busines went there, hearing that our Army was defeated goeing to Wickloe, which man as soone as he landed at Rush, was put in prison by the Inhabitants thereof and his Lettres opened and himselfe deteyned vntill he brought the Lettre from Malony above mencioned. He allsoe saith that being in familier discourse with the said ffryer the ffryer told him that all the English in Christmas Dublin should be put to the sword before Christmas then followeing and that he would saye Masse in Christchurch on christmas day said and seeming to favour this deponent gave him the word Skeane to preserve him when that day should come, and at this tyme the said Malony told this deponent that on the said 13th of December all the protestant party in Drogheda were to be massacred
Edward Leech
Jurat xviijo Martij 1643
Hen: Jones
Edw Pigott
Dublin
Edward Leech, & Lewis Meredith C. Dublin
Jurat
Intw
hand 12 dec
Intw
494
http://phaedrus.scss.tcd.ie/1641/items/show/37247
 



1641 Depositions
fol. 245v

(Note: Entered on margin)
Lewis Meredith being alsoe duely sworne saith that he was present with Mr Leech at the receiveing of the Lettre above mencioned in his examinacion from the ffryer, and at the rest of the passages above mencioned, and deposeth the contents of what is above related by the said Mr Leech to bee is true, save that he sawe not the Comission mencioned to be from the King of Spaine but heard the said Mr Leech presently relate after relate it, And he saith that the said <A> ffryer was earnest with this deponent to carry a Goshawke which he tooke from the said Leech to Coll Luke Nettervile then in Swords as a present from the said ffryer promising him a good reward which this deponent refused
Lewis Meredith
Jurat Martij: 20. 1643
Hen: Jones
Edw: Pigott
http://phaedrus.scss.tcd.ie/1641/items/show/37250


 



1641 Depositions
fol. 289r

John Locke of Soords in the Parish of Soords the Baroney of the Nether Crose within the Com of dublin sworne saith
That on or about the 7 day of december Last 1641 hee was robbed & dispoyled of his goods and Chattells of the value hereafter expressed
of bills & specialties to the value of 26 li. 2 s. 3 d. of Corne in the hagard woorth 40 li. of Corne in the grounde sowen woorth 54 li. of Leasses of Land houses houshouldstofe & tooles fitte for his Trade woorth 60 li. of heaye woorth 2 li. 17 s. of Cattell woorth 12 li. of smith <A> Cooles woorth 13 li. 10 s.- 4 d. of hearnies & other goods woorth 20 li. of debts due by booke woorth 72 li. 9 s. 8 d.
In all amounting to the some of – 300 li. 19 s.- 3 d.
By or by the meanes of these & other rebells following & others
Luke Neuterfeelde of the Corbelis
Echristopher Russel of Setton & parish of Soords
<B> x Richard Jurden of the Toune of Soords +
John Bealling & Larance Bealling of Beallingston in the parish of Soords
Thomas of Johnes of Soords
Richard Golding of Kinsaly &
<Antoney Asly of Corbilis
Richard Sherlye of the same
Larrance Rowinge A cheefe Comander of the Rebbles
Clemente Donnell of Swords>
John Locke
Jurat: Jan 20o 1641.
coram nobis
Hen: Brereton
Will: Hitchcock
504
fol. 289v
9 267
John Locke Comitat
Dubljn: 20 Jan: 1641
Cert fact
Intw 7 dec
11
http://phaedrus.scss.tcd.ie/1641/items/show/36801
 


 



1641 Depositions
fol. 119r

Robert Booth of the Swordes in the County of Dubljn Chapm{an} & Francis his wife sworne & examined say That since the begining of this Rebellion & by meanes thereof They hath haue been expelled from depriued robbed or otherwise dispoyled of their goodes & Chattells of the values following vizt of wares housholdgoodes & Cattle worth 20 li. all taken away by the rebells after mencioned vizt & in debts xxiij li. And after the English army comeing burned Six of his dwelling howses of the rent of xv li. per annum which before the rebellion were worth One hundreth & fifty powndes & now esteemed to be worth nothing: Soe as their whole Losse by meanes of the rebellion amounteth to one hundreth neentie three powndes sterling: And further sayth that the rebells that soe robbed & dispojled them & were then in actuall rebellion were & are theis that follow vizt Luke Nettervyle Collonell or ringleader of those rebells: Andrew Russell <A> of the swords gent Richard Jordan of the same gent Christopher Russell of the same gent sonn to Bartholomew Russell of Seaton gent Henry Birt of Tulloge Esquire James Fleemeing Collonells: Francis Barnwell sonn to the Mr Barnwell of Lispopple Esquire that married the Lady Bedlows daughter Nicholas Stokes of Balhary <B> Mathew Caddell of Rebell & his brother William Caddell all Captains of rebells Captain Jordeine of Barbestowne Captain Gowlding Captain Robert Traves Captain Stanmiss Captain Kent of Garristowne Captain Kelly of Lusk & Captain Michell Murphy all w And further saith That George Berris of Swords did ordinarily harbour & releeve rebells at his howse & robbd Mr Loyds howse <I> & said that his sonn shold be hanged before he should be a souldjer for the King
Signum predictorum
Roberti & Fran: Boothe [2 marks]
Jurat 8o Julij 1642
John Sterne
Will: Aldrich
212
fol. 119v
Draw this a new
George Berryes a Rebell protected harbored rebells saying his sonn shold be hanged before he shold be souldjer for the king
Dublin
Robert Booth & frances his wife
Jur 8 July 1642
Intw Cert fact
hand w
hand
hand
213
http://phaedrus.scss.tcd.ie/1641/items/show/36995


 



1641 Depositions
fol. 158r

The Examinacion of John Huxley of Rushe in the parishe of Luske & County of Dublin, a Brittishe Protestant
The said Examina te beinge duly sworne and Examined deposeth as followeth vizt That vppon the first day of December Last 1641 Robert Kelly, John Kerrigan, Bartholomewe Cassye Murogh McMorris, Walter Cockrell, Walter Patricke Martyn <A> Edward Walshe, Thomas Hamelton, Walter Bissett William Bissett, Richard Clifford, John White Nicholas Mannaghan Richard Canton, Murtoghethe houlder of This deponent s plough s , all at the parish of Lusk aforesaid yeomen and others Irishe Rebells to the number of xxi ij came to this deponents howse in Rushe, and tooke from him, sixtene head of Cattell beinge Cowes and Oxen worth xxxij li. ster. Also they tooke five horsses or plough garrens worth x li. ster Also they tooke five horsses or plough garrens worth x li. ster Also they tooke houshold stuffe and other Chattells about the house worth v li. Also hee is damnified for not sowinge his Sommer Corne beinge hindered therof by reason of this Rebellyon xv li. ster. Item hee is damnified for that he cannot enioy his ffarme which he had in Lease, and had lately paid fforty poundes Income for to James Russell gent, lx li. All which losses occasioned by the rebellion doth amount to the summe of One hundred Twenty and twoe powndes. And <B> this deponent further saith That one Malone (whoe as hee heard is a fryer,) and called himselfe the Chaplaine Major to the Irishe hoast about the vj th of december last 1641 said hee was the beginner of this Rebellyon, and that it cost him to bringe it to passe three and Twenty Thousand pounds, & the said Malone did saye that this deponent and his wife should be both hanged by him, that there might bee non of their breed left, but with much intreaty of a gentle woman Mr James Russells wife (fallinge vpon her knees vnto him to spare their liues) hee was contented, but gaue present order to take away all their Corne and Goodes and to send it to the Army ar called of the Irishe hoast This deponent further saith, that his wife tould him. That about Easter last, After the Battaile in Swordes, Thomas <C> Ryan and Patrick Ryan Tennants to Mr ffinglas of Portraren & liveing in Portrar e n came to Rushe, to a house where she lodged, and said the said Patrick Ryan said hee was the man that shott & kild Capten Cary at Swordes and the said Thomas Ryan drewe out his sword and would haue kild her this deponents wife, and forced her to but she rann to a Chamber to hide herselfe, or ells hee and his said brother had kild her as he verely bele e veth he the said [ ] Ryan also said, hee wisht the Divell had those that began that Rebellyon, becawse that they had did not kild every Englishe man and woman, and then they should haue had all thinges as they list themselues, or wordes to that effect
John Huxley
Jurat xxjo May 1642
John Sterne
John Watson
468
fol. 158v
Dublin (229)
The [ ] E xamynacion of John Huxley of Rushe
Jur 31 May 1642
Cert fact
hand w Intw
[ ] 78 1 dec
469
http://phaedrus.scss.tcd.ie/1641/items/show/37104


 



1641 Depositions
fol. 235r

William Hollis gent nowe one of the traine of Artilerie at Dublin Sworne and examined deposeth and saith: That since the begining of the present Rebellion vizt about the xth of March Last 1642 This deponent being then vnder the Comand of Captain Devaleere & a trooper: Martched with this said Captain & the rest of his troope out of the towne of Swordes in the County territory of ffingall vpon a partie to meete with, & (if possible) to surprise the Slowbegg or small runing army of the Rebells: then very frequent & dangerous to the kinges Lojall subiects in the Cuntrie) And haveing ridd vpp and downe seuerall myles at length this deponent & the re six more by Consent of the rest, ranged over the feilds the next way homewa d homewards (as they conceived) But in their way The Rebells Captain <A> John ffatt Oliver Welsh (a frier) Captain ffinglass & Captain John ffinglasse, Joh ffotterell father Rowen the Preist & other preists in their Company: and divers other Rebells Consisting in all of 100 horse & 15 musketeers or thereabouts (Lying in ambush) suddenly asaulted and sett vpon this deponent & the other six: But 2 of the six rydeing away: this deponent & the other 4 were were surprised still pursued & one of them instantly slaine (after they hadd skirmished with the rebells), & at length they fled into a mylne which the Rebells burned about their heads) soe as they were inforced to stand to the Rebells mercie: & haveing quarter, were brought out: yet this deponent & 2 more of them were carried towards the place of execucion & all threatened to bee hanged, and those twoe vizt William Murphy & Henry Shelton were then and there hanged accordingly: But this deponent earnestly pressing the Rebells for the liffe they promissed him vpon his quarter, Hee with much difficulty escaped death att that tyme: But was stript presently of his clothes money & weapons worth iiij li. at Least, and alsoe of his horse & armes: & then they carried this deponent to Westpalstowne: from thence to another towne called (as he thincketh) the Currogh: Where the Rebells kept a Court of guard all night & this deponent was kept prisoner amongst them: And from thence was carried with them to Kylartareirey
432

fol. 235v

nere Minowth in the County of Kildare: & from thence was carried a long with the said Welsh, & the rest vpp & downe the County of Kildare into & from theis seuerall townes vizt <B> Cloncurry Kilbride, & into Corckerstowne where one M r. Ailmer Liveth with a great Company of his tennants frends and servants Whoe are all (as this deponent is veryly perswaded) most notorious Rebells (although as is reported) Protected by Captain Sandford or some others; ffor indeed the said Mr Ailmer & his tennants & Inhabitants of that towne ordinarily harbour releeve & entertaine Rebells (the said Walshs his Ancient liveing with his family in that towne): & his Sergeant liveing closse by, And the Cuntry farmers (whose howses are burnd) carried thither frequently their Corne: ffrom whence it & other provision, hath beene Comonly sent to the Rebells army for their releeffe: And the Rebell souldiers are daily & nighty billetted in Corkerstown aforesaid: and in all the other towns aforesaid And from thence this <C> deponent was carried to Scurlockstowne: Where hee observed & saw that the Rebells keept a Court of guard in the howse of one Morrice ffitzgarald In which Court a guard this Deponent was kept prisoner 2 seuerall nights: And from thence this deponent was carried to Dunnadey 6 myles or thereabouts beyond Manowth (: which as the inhabitants report) is protected <D> by the Marquesse of Ormond: And yet the Lady Ailmer & her tennants in that towne doe most frequently harbour entertaine and releeve Rebells vizt the said Captain Welsh <E> Captain Scurlock & one Captain Talbott & their Rebell souldjers alsoe sending Corne & releefe to the Rebells army: and keepeing the gates of the towne open in the day time for the Rebells: But when they heare of any English armie then they shutt the gates & place Centurys vpon the topp of the Ladie Ailmers howse: in show, against the Rebells as both the deponent himself obserued, & as was confessed vnto him by divers of the Rebells themselues: And from thence this deponent was carried prisoner by the Rebells to that and into
433

fol. 236r

<F> the Island of Allen & to the howse where Morrice ffitzgarrett gent dwelleth: which said ffitzgarrett (being Lord of all or the principall parts of that Island) is (as the inhabitants there confidently report) protected by Sir Arthur Loftus knight Captain and governor of the Naas And the said ffitzgarrett frequently & att his pleasure goeth to and from the Naas: seuerall times sending to the said Sir Arthur Loftus small divers small presents: And in that deed, that whole Island being protected, The Rebells vizt Captain Welsh Captain Scurlogh Captain Talbott and divers other Rebellious persons and their souldiers doe comonly resort vnto & haue free & open harbor & entertainment there And on Ester day Last this deponent being there, sawe a Markett there kept, where alsoe there were a great number of preists & fryers & Masse publiquely said, and the towne where the Market was kept vizt Kilmeige entertained the ne th em at the least 200 Rebell souldjers which keept a Court of guard in a stable closse by the said Morrice ffitzgarrets howse & keepe Centries & haue there cast vpp framed, and finished a great work of earth & sodds: which this deponent Conceiveth to bee Cannon proofe: In And the Rebell Captains Last named have (in this deponents sight) freely and familiarly gone into and out of the said ffitzgarrets howse & have discoursed and consulted with him, Insoemuch as those Captains (as this deponent is verely perswaded) doe Comand all the howse work, & I l e and Island, & all the souldjers there: And when this deponent was brought from thence that is to say on Wednsday or Thursday in Ester weeke, a great number of souldjers were ready to bee sent from thence to ayde the Rebellious irish Army: And from that Island this deponent was carried back to Corkerstowne aforesaid: Where he was in restraint till Sunday sevenight following: & then a party of English from Mynowth comeing through that towne The deponent breake then
434

fol. 236v

then and there brake seeing them) broake from his keepers the Rebellious souldiers that had him in restraint and from the women in the howse that endeavoured to hold him fast & soe escaped to those English souldjers: And further <G> saith That the said Captain ffottrell weare whoe is now brought to Dublin a prisoner, weareth about him this deponent{s} Coate which was taken from him when he was surprised as aforesaid: And saith alsoe that one George Laiborne alias Labrum: Whoe is now in the Citty of Dublin (an English man) his wiffe being one of the Rebellious Welshes doth ordinarily goe and passe from hence to and amongst the Rebells and had the Rebells passes Amongst whom this deponent saw him at Cloncurry & other places neere Johnstowne: And this deponent was credibly <H> informed by one Richard Condron (one of fryer Welshes souldjers & one of his this deponents keepers) that the said Laiborn alias Labrum hath brought from Dublin ffortie or fifity Pownds worth of wares & goods to the Rebells And that amongst other thinges that hee brought a hatt and a feather to the said frier Welsh which this deponent himself sawe, & hee alsoe brought vnto the Rebells, provition of fruite spice Cheeses wollen cloth sneeseing & other thinges on horses backs: & the deponent saw 3 of those horses & their loads which hee soe brought whilst the deponent was soe in restraint amongst the Rebells But before this deponent gott at liberty divers of the Rebells (in th is deponents his hearing) reported that they heard that the said Laiburne alias Laibrum was apprehended & imprisoned in Dublin: & as they was to be hanged, others said that he was taken & killd or almost killed All of those Rebells expressing great sorrow for the newes
William Hollis
Jur 27o Aprilis 1643 coram
Joh Watson
Hen: Brereton
435
http://phaedrus.scss.tcd.ie/1641/items/show/37227
 


 



1641 Depositions
fol. 237r

Elizabeth the Relict of Roger Parr late one of the Clearks of his Maiesties Court of Exchequer sworne & examined deposeth and sayth That in the begining of the present Rebellion and by meanes thereof her said husband being deprived & dispoyled of his imployment and meanes worth formerly at least 60 li. per annum: and haveing a charge of wiffe and 3 smalle children to manteine, he tooke up armes for his Maiesty against the Rebells: & goeing out vpon a party to the towne of Swordes was there slaine in the way to the vtter vndoeing of her & her poore Infants: whoe are Like to perish for want of meanes
Signum predicte [mark] Elizabeth Parr
Jur vijo Ja: 1643
Hen: Jones
Hen: Brereton
561
fol. 237v
Dublin
Elizabeth Parr Jur
7o Jan: 1643
562
http://phaedrus.scss.tcd.ie/1641/items/show/37230

 



1641 Depositions
fol. 269r

Tho: Williams of Santrie in the County of Dublin husbandman laborer sworne and examjned deposeth and saith That since the begining of the present Rebellion That is to say about the begining of december 1641 before the burning of Clantarf or the the battaile or skirmish at Swordes in the County of Dublin: Hee this deponent was at Santry aforesaid forceibly depriued robbed and dispoyled of a Cow and a Mare of his apparell howsehold goodes & other thinges worth about vj li. xiij s. iiij d. being all the goodes he had & had his howse pulled downe to the grownd But hee himself with his wiffe & children escapeing away with their liues fled to Dublin And further saith That those Rebells that robbed & spoild him were his neere neighbours & thus named vizt James Lickin <A> of Santry aforesaid laborer sonn to ould Lickin of the same farmer William Cantaun of the same laborer Andrew lickin of the same brother to the said James, & Caddell sonne of Caddell of Moretonn in the said County gent (whose elder brother was a Captain of Rebells,) and by others whose names he cannott expresse: And further sajth That the Rebells in those partes of the County of Dublin about One fortnight before this deponent was soe robbed did robb & dispojle of their Corne cattle and other goodes divers some of the deponentes english and protestant neighbours vizt Mr Henry Brereton Cleark minister of Santry & one Mr Doby of Corballyes nere Santry gent And would as he is verely perswaded haue robd the rest of the protestant English, but that for feare and saffty they were fled away & taken away alsoe their goodes with them: And this deponent hath for 2 yeres been a souldjer against the Rebells under Captain Smith But haveing bin since sick and weak gott none of his pay or entertainement for nere half a yere last past: & now with his wiff & children are is like to starue, As they had done if the charitys of good people had not releeued them,
<Dr J H B>
[mark]
Jur xo Jan: 1643 coram
Hen: Jones
Hen: Brereton
774
fol. 269v
Dublin 230 121
Tho: Williams Jur 10o
Jan: 1643
Intw 1 dec
775
http://phaedrus.scss.tcd.ie/1641/items/show/37314

 



1641 Depositions
fol. 222r

336
19 Januarij: 1641
<M> John Smithe of ffinglasse in the Countie of Dubline yeoman duelie sworne & examined by vertue of his oath sayth that in the time of this presente rebellion (vizt): from the seconde of December laste vntill the 15th: he loste worth 30 li. of corne & haye which was thrashed & carried awaye by Lawrence Rainepres t e & James Loung of Abatestowne the rebelles then lyng in finglasse and there aboute: Also aboute the same time was taken from this deponent an Englishe boore & an Englishe sowe greate in farrowe worth 50 s. Also aboute the same time was taken from this Deponent 6: cowes worth 3 li. 6 s. 8 d. a peece: by the said rebelles Also when ffinglasse was burnte, there was a house of this deponents burned: for which this deponent paid 3 li. 10 s. fine & 3 li. yearlie rente for 21: yeares to come <N> Also aboute the same time was taken from this deponent in all manner of houshold stuffe to the value of 30 li. by the said rebelles: Also about the same time was taken from this deponent newe timber strawe & winter fewell to the value of 5 li. by the sayd rebbells
All which Losses amounteth to: 91 li.
<O> Also this deponent helde 4: acres of lande & a house from mr Caddell of the moretowne in the parishe of Swords: Also this deponent helde an other house from mr Dillon of Huntstowne in the Countie of Meathe Dubline which houses were burned in Swords: out of which houses & lande this deponent had 3 li. yearlie encrease of rente lefte him by his brother valentine Smith for 50: yeares vnexpired
The benefitte of which this Deponent hath vtterlie loste:
Wm: Ryves
<P> And the sayd Jo: Smith further sayth vpon his oath that Richard Long of Abbotstowne and on Frind of Dunsinck ar both gonn from theire howses and have left great store of Hay and corne and grayne of all sorts behind them: And hath driven all their cattell to the rebells
Wm: Ryves
fol. 222v
fol. 223r
fol. 223v
19 Januar 1641
A noate of John
Smythes Losses by
the Rebbelles
http://phaedrus.scss.tcd.ie/1641/items/show/35519

 



1641 Depositions
fol. 279ar

Ann the wife of Thomas fforeside Late of Coolock in the County of dublin this d sworne and examined saith
That about one month since her said husband and herselfe were at Coolock aforesaid forcibly robbed and dispoiled of their goods & of the values following. of nyne Cowes one heffer and six garrons, [ ] ffive pownds in mony: 30 barrells of Malt besides seuerall Ricks of Corne and howsholdstuff In all <80 li.> amounting to at ffowrscore Pownds ster at the least <A> By Andrew Russell of Swords gent Laborer Rowland Archbold of Cloghran Swords gent Labourer James ô Neale of ffeltram in the said County Alehowskeeper John Hayward of Rahenny in the said county husbandman Richard Caman of Rahenny aforesaid husbandmen James Ryley of Clantarfe Labourer, and Richard More of Cullock aforesaid <b> husbandman John Walsh of Newtowne in the parrish of Coolocke husbandman John Coleman of Artaine in the said County & many others to the number of 200 persons and above, And that the said Rebells then alsoe burnd all her husbands howses there & expu, And that the Rebells aforesaid turned expulsed her, her husband & 5 children from their howses and grownds whereon they have growing 7 acres of Beare & wheat, and that all their howses are since burned <140 li.> to their damage of 140 li. more, being all their meanes <In toto 220 li.> And further saith that it was comonly and publiquely reported by and amongst the Rebells aforesaid that they had the Kings Comission for what they did. And saith further saith that the said James ô Neale John Hayward Richard Caman & James Ryley came afterwards to seeke for this deponents husband & sayd they would kill him. which she thinks they would have done if they could have mett with him: But he to shun the [ ] danger hid himself in a ditch of water from 12 a clock in the night till 8 in the morning: By which he gott a sicknes which th she thincks will kill him: and [ ] that the Rebells swore they wold hang this deponent becawse they could not meete with her husband: & had done it as she thincks: but that some women her neighbors privately carr i ed conveyed her away
Signum predicte [mark] Anne
Jur 5o Jan: 1641 coram nobis
Will: Hitchcock
Hen: Brereton
370
fol. 279av
371
http://phaedrus.scss.tcd.ie/1641/items/show/36774

 



Robert Walsh Fingal and its Churches - A Historical Sketch
(M. A., Dublin and London, 1888)



"APPENDIX v.— A.D. 1630.
Extracts relating to Fingal from an " Account of the Dioces of Dublin, drawn up by Archbishop Bulkeley, and presented to the Privy Council of Ireland, June I, 1630." The MS. account is in the Library, T.C.D. There is also a translation published in "The Irish Ecclesiastical Record," 1869, Vol V., p. 145, &c., from which these extracts are taken. Lancelot Bulkeley, D.U., was Archbishop from A.D. 1619 to A.D. 1650. He endeavoured to restrain the seditious harangues which, during his time, were abundantly delivered by the Jesuits and Friars of Dublin. He died,
"being spent with grief for the calamities of the times." (Cotton's "Fasti.")

XI Swordes. The church, by neglect of the gentlemen of that parish, who are recusants, is lately fallen flat to the ground, and no part standing only some part of the bare walls. There is one Doyle, a mass-priest, who keeps school in the town of Swordes, to whom many gentleman's sons do resort. This priest commonly says mass in the house of Mr. Taylour, of Swordes, gent., whereunto there is great concourse of people on Sundays and holidays. There useth to come to church there about threescore to hear Divine Service and sermon. Mr. Christopher Huetson is vicar there, whose means there are worth £40 per annum. "

For more information see:
http://archive.org/stream/fingalanditschu00walsgoog/fingalanditschu00walsgoog_djvu.txt


 



Swords Sord Cholmcille A Visual History
Pictures of Swords, County Dublin from the 1790s to today.

 




Annals of the Four Masters

The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (Irish: Annála Ríoghachta Éireann) or the Annals of the Four Masters (Annála na gCeithre Máistrí) are a chronicle of medieval Irish history. The entries span from the Deluge, dated as 2,242 years after creation to AD 1616. The annals are mainly a compilation of earlier annals, although there is some original work. They were compiled between 1632 and 1636 in the Franciscan friary in Donegal Town (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annals_of_the_Four_Masters).

We read in the Annals of the Four Masters, that Dun-Sobhairce was among the first fortresses erected in this island by the Milesians:

A. M. 3501. "This is the year in which Heremon and Heber assumed the joint government of Ireland, and divided Ireland equally between them. In it also the following fortresses, &c. were erected, viz. Rath-beathaigh, on the banks of the river Nore, in Argatros, (now Rathveagh, within five miles of Kilkenny; (Rath-oin, in the territory of Cualann, (now the County Wicklow;) the causeway of Inbhear-mor, (now Arklow;) the house in Dun-nair. on the Mourne mountains. Dun-Delginnis, in the territory of Cualann, (now Delgany, Co. Wicklow;) DUN SOBHAIRCE, in Murbholg of Dalriada, (Dunseveric,) was erected by Sovarke; and Dun Edair, (on the Hill of Howth,) by Suighde; all these foregoing were erected by Heremon and his Chieftains. Rath-Uamhain, in Leinster; Rath-arda, Suird, (Swords;) Carrac Fethen, Carrac Blarne, (Blarney,) Dun-aird Inne, Rath Riogbhard, in Murresk, were erected by Heber and his chieftains."

http://www.oracleireland.com/Ireland/Countys/antrim/z-dunseverick-dublin.htm

See also:
http://www.ucc.ie/celt/online/T100005A/text005.html
http://www.ucc.ie/celt/online/T100005A/




Annals of the Four Masters

The Battle of Clontarf, Brian Boru and his wake at Swords

1013 [Annal M1013.11]

"An army was led by Brian, son of Ceinneidigh, son of Lorcan, King of Ireland, and by Maelseachlainn, son of Domhnall, King of Teamhair, to Ath-cliath. The foreigners of the west of Europe assembled against Brian and Maelseachlainn; and they took with them ten hundred men with coats of mail. A spirited, fierce, violent, vengeful, and furious battle was fought between them, the likeness of which was not to be found in that time,—at Cluaintarbh, on the Friday before Easter precisely. In this battle were slain Brian, son of Ceinneidigh, monarch of Ireland, who was the Augustus of all the West of Europe, in the eighty-eighth year of his age; Murchadh, son of Brian, heir apparent to the sovereignty of Ireland, in the sixty-third year of his age; Conaing, son of Donncuan, the son of Brian's brother; Toirdhealbhach, son of Murchadh, son of Brian; Mothla, son of Domhnall, son of Faelan, lord of the Deisi-Mumhan;
p.775
Eocha, son of Dunadhach, i.e. chief of Clann-Scannlain; Niall Ua Cuinn; Cuduiligh, son of Ceinneidigh, the three companions of Brian; Tadhg Ua Ceallaigh, lord of Ui Maine; Maelruanaidh na Paidre Ua hEidhin, lord of Aidhne; Geibheannach, son of Dubhagan, lord of Feara-Maighe; Mac-Beatha, son of Muireadhach Claen, lord of Ciarraighe-Luachra; Domhnall, son of Diarmaid, lord of Corca-Bhaiscinn; Scannlan, son of Cathal, lord of Eoghanacht-Locha Lein; and Domhnall, son of Eimhin, son of Cainneach, great steward of Mair in Alba. The forces were afterwards routed by dint of battling,
p.777
bravery, and striking, by Maelseachlainn, from Tulcainn to Ath-cliath, against the foreigners and the Leinstermen; and there fell Maelmordha, son of Murchadh, son of Finn, King of Leinster; the son of Brogarbhan, son of Conchobhar, Tanist of Ui-Failghe; and Tuathal, son of Ugaire, royal heir of Leinster; and a countless slaughter of the Leinstermen along with them. There were also slain Dubhghall, son of Amhlaeibh, and Gillaciarain, son of Gluniairn, two tanists of the foreigners; Sichfrith, son of Loder, Earl of Innsi hOrc; Brodar, chief of the Danes of Denmark, who was the person that slew Brian. The ten hundred in armour were cut to pieces, and at the least three thousand of the
p.779
foreigners were there slain. It was of the death of Brian and of this battle the following quatrain was composed:
Thirteen years, one thousand complete, since Christ was born, not long since the date, Of prosperous years—accurate the enumeration—until the foreigners were slaughtered together with Brian. Maelmuire, son of Eochaidh, successor of Patrick, proceeded with the seniors and relics to Sord-Choluim-Chille; and they carried from thence the body of
p.781
Brian, King of Ireland, and the body of Murchadh, his son, and the head of Conaing, and the head of Mothla. Maelmuire and his clergy waked the bodies with great honour and veneration; and they were interred at Ard-Macha in a new tomb."

http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100005B/index.html



More references from
Annals of the Four Masters

965 [M965.2 Ailill, son of Maenach, Bishop of Sord and Lusca;]  [celt]

993, "Sord of Columcille was burned by Maolsechlain." [Reeves]

1016, "Sord of Columcille was burned by Sitric, son of Aniat, and the Danes of Dublin." [Reeves]

1020 [M1020.6 The burning of Cluain-Iraird, Ara, Sord, and Cluain-mic-Nois.] [celt]

1020, "Sord of Columcille was plundered by Connor O Maclachlann, who burned it, and carried away many captives, and vast herds of cows." [Reeves]

1023. Maelmaire Ua Cainen, wise man, and Bishop of Sord-Choluim-Chille, died [archive.org]

1028. Gilla- christ, son of Dubhchuillinn, a noble priest of Ard-Macha, died at Ros-Commain.
Coiseanmach, son of Duibheachtgha, successor of Tola ; Gillapadraig Ua Flaith- bheartaigha, airchinneach of Sord ; Cormac, priest of Ceanannus ; Maelpadraig Ua Baeghalain, priest of Cluain-mic-Nois ; Flaithnia Ua Tighernain, lector of Cill-Dacheallog w ; and Cearnach, Ostiarius of Cluain-mic-Nois, died. [archive.org]

1031, "Sord of Columcille was burned and plundered by Connor O'Maclachlann, in revenge for the death of Raghnall, son of Ivar, Lord of Waterford, by the hand of Sitric, son of Anlaf." [Reeves]

1034 Conn macMaelpatrick, Sord-Choluim-Chille [archive.org]

1035 Raghnall, grandson of Imhar, lord of Port-Lairge, was slain at Ath-cliath by Sitric, son of Amhlaeibh ; and Sord Choluim Chille h was plundered and burned by Con-chobhar Ua Maeleachlainn, in revenge thereof. [archive.org] [M1035.4 Ardbraccan was plundered by Sitric afterwards, and Sord Choluim Chille was plundered and burned by Conchobhar Ua Maeleachlainn, in revenge thereof.] [celt]

1042, "died Eochagan, herenach of Slane, Lector of Sord, and a distinguished writer." [Reeves] [M1042.3 Eochagan, airchinneach of Slaine, and lector of Sord, and a distinguished scribe;] [celt]

1045, "An army was led by M'Eochaidh and Maolsechlann, with the foreigners who burned Sord, and wasted Fingall." [Reeves]

1048 Aedh, son of Maelan Ua Nuadhait, airchinneach of Sord, was killed on the night of the Friday of protection before Easter, in the middle of Sord. [archive.org]

1056, "the fire of God (that is, lightning) struck the Lector of Sord, and tore asunder the sacred tree." [Reeves] Lightning appeared and killed three at Disert-Tola, and a learned man at Swerts" [Swords], "and did breake the great tree. [archive.org]

1060 Maelchiarain Ua Robhachain, airchinneach of Sord-Choluim-Chille ; and Ailill Ua Maelchiarain, airchinneach of Eaglais-Beg [at Cluain-mic-Nois], died. [archive.org]

1061 Mael- incited these of Delvyn-Beathra, with their kiaran O'Robucan, Airchinnech of Swerts" king, Hugh O'Royrck, in their pursuite, who [Swords], "mortuus est. [archive.org]

1069, "Lusc and Sord of Columcille were burned." [Reeves] [M1069.4 Dun-da-leathghlas, Ard-sratha, Lusca, and Sord-Choluim-Chille, were burned.] [celt]

1102, "Sord of Columcille was burned." [Reeves]

1130, "Sord of Columcille, with its churches and relics, was burned." [Reeves] [M1130.1 Sord-Choluim-Chille, with its churches and relics, was burned.] [celt]

1136 [M1136.6 Mac Ciarain, airchinneach of Sord, fell by the men of Fearnmhagh.] [celt]

1138, "Sord burned." [Reeves]  [M1138.3 Cill-dara, Lis-mor, Tigh-Moling, and Sord, were burned.] [celt]

1150, "Sord burned." [Reeves] [M1150.6 Ceanannus, Sord, and Cill-mor-Ua-Niallain,with its oratory, were burned.] [celt]
 
1166, "Sord of Columcille was burned." [Reeves] [M1166.8 Lughmhadh, Sord-Choluim-Chille, and Ard-bo, were burned.] [celt]

References:
[Reeves] See: A Lecture on the Antiquities of Swords below.
[celt] See: http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/T100005B/index.html
[archive.org] See: http://archive.org/stream/annalarioghachta01ocleuoft/annalarioghachta01ocleuoft_djvu.txt


 

 



Swords Sord Cholmcille A Visual History
Pictures of Swords, County Dublin from the 1790s to today.

 



 


1700s CE



The antiquities of Ireland (1791)
Author: Grose, Francis, 1731?-1791; Ledwich, Edward, 1738-1823, continuator
Volume: v.1 Publisher: London, Printed for S. Hooper


"COUNTY OF DUBLIN.

SWORDS CHURCH.

THIS town of Swords is situated in the barony of Coolock and country of Fingal, six miles from Dublin, and had very early a religious house there founded by St. Columba, who bellowed on it, according to tradition, his missal, which he had transcribed himself. His festival is kept the 9th of June.

In 1016, Sihtric [sic] and the Danes of Dublin burnt Swords, and the fame calamity happened to the abbey and town in 1035, 1069, and at other times.

By a writ of 1 Henry VI. we find the prebend of Swords was granted to Cardinal Placentinus, with a flail in the choir, and a seat in the chapter of Dublin. This was what was called the golden prebend, and which was worth the cardinal's acceptance. Archbishop Talbot however, to prevent any such donation in future to foreigners, did with the concurrence of William Cruise the rector A. D. 1431, divide this prebend among the petty canons and choiristers of St. Patrick's cathedral, and the same year it was confirmed by King Henry.

The present church and steeple are modern, the abbey and nunnery have been long in ruins. This view was drawn by Mr. Gandon, jun. Anno 1791."




Tower, Belfry and Church. 'Published by T Hooper June 11th 1791 Engraved by Jas Newton'
for the The Antiquities of Ireland 1791



SWORDS CASTLE
.

IN Pope Alexander's bull, A. D. 1170, enumerating the churches, towns, and possessions of the fee of Dublin, the town of Swords is there named Sord. In 1282, John Fitz William of Merrion recovered six messuages* in Swerdes, from William Wycombe, and it is probable then built the castle. Here was formerly a palace of the archbishop of Dublin. It is said the lords Kingsland were obliged to hold the archbishop's stirrup whenever he came to his palace, for which service they had lands of the value of 300 l. a year. There was a sessions-house, and one knight of the shire was formely [sic] elected in the town.

In 1641, Luke Netterville made proclamation that the gentlemen of the county of Dublin should assemble at Swords upon pain of death, which they did ; when they constituted Richard Golding, Thomas Russel, Francis Russel, Robert Travers, Christopher Holywood and others their commanders, [sic]
 
The same year Sir Charles Coote was sent to disperse the rebels, who were in force about Swords. He found the approaches to the town well secured; however, bravely overcoming every obstacle, he beat them out of their fortifications and killed two hundred of them, without any material loss, except that of Sir Lorenzo Carey, second son of Lord Falkland, who fell in the engagement. This view was taken by T. Cocking, Anno 1790. "

*
messuages - (Law) Property law a dwelling house together with its outbuildings, curtilage, and the adjacent land appropriated to its use [from Norman French: household, perhaps through misspelling of Old French mesnage ménage]




Swords Castle. 'Published by T Hooper August 9th 1791 Engraved by Jas Newton'
for the The Antiquities of Ireland 1791

For more information see: http://archive.org/details/antiquitiesofire01gros
 



St Columba's Church of Ireland graveyard, Swords




(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)

This stone was erected by Rob Willon of Sords in
memory of his father William Willon who departed
this life Nov. 6th 1750 aged 57 [...] their posterity
.
(St Columba's Church of Ireland graveyard, Swords)

 



John Sweetman (1752-1826), United Irishman buried in St Columba's graveyard, Swords

 



http://www.flickr.com/photos/yournlireland/6335494936/sizes/z/in/photostream/


John Sweetman grave (Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)


JOHN SWEETMAN, (1752–1826), United Irishman, was born of Roman catholic parents in Dublin in 1752. The family had for more than a century conducted in that city an extensive brewery, to which Sweetman succeeded on the death of his father. He became identified with the movement for the removal of the civil and religious disabilities of the catholics, and was one of the chief supporters of the vigorous policy initiated by John Keogh (1740–1817) [q. v.] in 1791, which led to the secession of most of the catholic gentry. He was also a delegate at the catholic convention which assembled in Dublin on 3 Dec. 1792. In the same year a secret committee of the House of Lords accused certain ‘ill-disposed members’ of the Roman catholic church of contributing money in support of the ‘defenders,’ a secret agrarian society. They founded this assertion upon the discovery of a letter by Sweetman, enclosing money to defend a peasant accused of ‘defenderism.’ Sweetman immediately published ‘A Refutation,’ in which he denied the accusation, and stated that he had offered assistance because he believed the man to be innocent. He described himself as ‘Secretary to the sub-committee of the Catholics of Ireland.’

Sweetman was an active United Irishman. He was a member of the Leinster directory of the revolutionary organisation, and some of the most important meetings of its executive committee took place at his brewery in Francis Street, Dublin. He was arrested with other leaders of the movement on 12 March 1798. Seeing that all hope of a successful insurrection was over, they entered into a compact with the government, by which, in consideration of a promise of the suspension of the executions of United Irishmen, they made a full disclosure of their objects and plans, without implicating individuals, before committees of the lords and commons. Sweetman was one of the group sent to Fort George in Scotland early in 1799. In June 1802 they were deported to Holland and set at liberty. After eighteen years of exile Sweetman was permitted to return to Ireland in 1820. He died in May 1826, and was buried at Swords, outside Dublin. He married, in 1784, Mary Atkinson, the daughter of a Dublin brewer.

Sweetman was one of the few catholics of position who belonged to the organisation of United Irishmen as a revolutionary conspiracy. Of the twenty leaders consigned to Fort George, ten were episcopalians, six were presbyterians, and only four (including Sweetman) were catholics. Wolfe Tone, writing in his journal in France under date 1 March 1798, on hearing a rumour of Sweetman's death, said: ‘If ever an exertion was to be made for our emancipation, he would have been in the very foremost rank. I had counted upon his military talents.’

[Madden's United Irishmen; Webb's Compendium of Irish Biography; MacNevin's Pieces of Irish History; Wolfe Tone's Autobiography.] John Sweetman by Michael MacDonagh
Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 55

For more information see: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Sweetman,_John_%28DNB00%29

 



REDMOND KANE OF SWORDS (d.1778)



Amongst the family portraits hung on the walls of Lisnavagh is one of a seemingly benign, well-fed gentleman clad in blue ermine. The note on the back indicates that he was the attorney Redmond Kane of Mantua, Swords, one of the wealthiest commoners in Ireland during the late 18th century. It was from him that much of the McClintock Bunbury landed wealth came. In 1773, his daughter and sole heiress, Katherine Kane, married William Bunbury of Lisnavagh. The 1773 marriage was arguably the finest hour of the Lisnavagh Bunburys. William’s father Thomas Bunbury of Kill rather excitedly wrote in his diary: ‘I compute her fortune to be above £40,000', which, using the RPI standards, worked out at nearly £4 million in 2008. It also brought into their possession the substantial Kane estates, which had a gross rental of £2,819 in 1840. In time, the Kane estates would pass by marriage to William and Katherine Bunbury's son Colonel Kane Bunbury, from him to their grandson, William McClintock Bunbury ... and from him to the 2nd Lord Rathdonnell.

SALE OF LANDS IN THE NAUL

In May 1764, Redmond was listed as one of the agents handling the sale of various lands in the Naul, as well as lands in Swords. I may be wrong but, if Thomas Bunbury was buying lands at this point in time (and he was), then presumably he would have heard of Redmond Kane. And didn't the Bunbury family go on to own those very lands sold in the Naul? The complete notice read as follows: TO be sold, an undivided half of the Towns and Lands of Naul, and of the Mill thereon, and also of Bodingtown, Roach, Caddelstown, Flemingtown, Mooresides, Kenroestown, and Clogherstown, situate in the County of Meath, the whole Estates being set for £341. 3s. 10 yearly. Proposals will be received by Mrs. and Miss Mervyn in Dawson-street, Dublin, and by Mr. Redmond Kane in Bolton-street. -- And also to be sold, a House and Garden, with Coach-house, Stable and Cow-house, and 11 Acres of Land, at Swords in the County of Dublin, formerly in the Possession of Mr. Coles, and held for a Term of Years, whereof 14 or 15 Years are unexpired, at the yearly Rent of £20. Proposals to be received by the Rev. Mr. Eustace at Swords, and by the said Redmond Kane. (The Dublin Journal, 19 - 22 May, 1764).

Swords in Redmond Kane's Day

Redmond Kane lived between his city residence on Bolton Street and the three storey seaside villa of Mantua in Swords, Co Dublin. In the 18th century, Swords was a small town, containing a 12th century Norman castle, a few townhouses and many handsome cottages which were chiefly let in summer for sea bathing. It had a Constabulary Police and a Coast-guard Station. St. Colmcille founded a monastery there in the 6th century and a 9th century round tower survives today, along with a 13th century square Norman tower. On a clear day you can see the Mountains of Mourne from the top of the Round Tower. One wonders did Redmond Kane ever clamber up those stone steps and gaze north to where his new lands lay? John Sweetman, the United Irishman and friend of Wolfe Tone, was buried in the shadow of the two towers. The Molesworth family acquired much of the neighbouring land during their rise to power in the wake of the Boyne. The 1st Viscount Molesworth built Brackenstown House in the early 18th century; Jonathan Swift was among his regular visitors.

Swords in Redmond Kane's day was a notoriously corrupt borough. For most of Dublin City, the canvassing of individual voters was normally frowned upon. Instead, political candidates solicited the endorsement of each of the 23 guilds whose members tended to vote in a body. However, in Swords, the individual householders were determined to vote as they saw fit and were thus wide open to the concept of selling their votes to the highest bidder. I have little doubt Redmond learned his craftiness in such an environment! In 1788, ten years after Redmond Kane's death, an inspired businessman named M'Intyre secured the passing of an Act through the Irish Parliament enabling him to build a canal from Malahide to Swords and neighbouring Fieldstown. Unfortunately the scheme failed, as did the same mans' cotton manufacture which had been granted £2,000 from the Irish Parliament. (Turtle Bunbury)

For more information see:  http://www.turtlebunbury.com/family/bunburyfamily_related/bunbury_family_related_kane.html
 


 



Richard Montgomery (December 2, 1738 – December 31, 1775) born in Swords.

Richard Montgomery (December 2, 1738 – December 31, 1775) was an Irish-born soldier who first served in the British Army. He later became a Major General in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and he is most famous for leading the failed 1775 invasion of Canada.

Montgomery was born [in Swords] and raised in Ireland. In 1754, he enrolled at Trinity College, Dublin, and two years later joined the British army to fight in the French and Indian War. He steadily rose through the ranks, serving in North America and then the Caribbean. After the war he was stationed at Fort Detroit during Pontiac's War, following which he returned to Britain for health reasons. In 1773, Montgomery returned to the Thirteen Colonies, married Janet Livingston, and began farming.





When the American Revolutionary War broke out, Montgomery took up the Patriot cause, and was elected to the New York Provincial Congress in May 1775. In June 1775, he was commissioned as a Brigadier General in the Continental Army. After Phillip Schuyler became too ill to lead the invasion of Canada, Montgomery took over. He captured Fort St. Johns and then Montreal in November 1775, and then advanced to Quebec City where he joined another force under the command of Benedict Arnold. On December 31, he led an attack on the city, but was killed during the battle. The British found his body and gave it an honorable burial. It was moved to New York City in 1818.




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Montgomery




 



Swords Sord Cholmcille A Visual History
Pictures of Swords, County Dublin from the 1790s to today.

 



 


1800s CE



Memoir of Gabriel Beranger, and his labours in the cause of Irish art and antiquities, from 1760 ... (1880)
Author: William Robert W . Wilde, Gabriel Beranger, Jane Francesca Elgee Wilde
Publisher: Simpkin, Marhsall
Year: 1880


LIST OF BERANGER'S SKETCHES.

"13. The Round Tower and Church at Swords, seven miles from Dublin.
This Round Tower is not as elegantly built as some others, being of black quarry stone, as in the church, and, I believe, the steeple, though I cannot decide, as it is all plastered over and yellow-washed. The ground round being a cemetery, is much raised by continual buryings, so that the door of the Round Tower is now accessible from the ground; while in other places the ladder is required to reach the door which is generally twelve to fourteen feet from, the base; the diameter within is sixteen feet ; the inside is very smooth; and some projecting stems, like brackets, are at various heights, on which, I suppose, wooden stairs were fastened."

For more information see: http://archive.org/details/memoirgabrielbe00wildgoog





Gabriel Beranger - Tower, Belfry and Church (1790s)
For more information see: http://discovery.dho.ie/navigation.php?navigation_function=2&navigation_item=ria_3+C+31/13


 




The Round Towers of Ireland

Henry O'Neill (1877) 62 pages


SWORDS

Malahide station is on the Dublin and Belfast line, from which, about two miles west, is the town of Swords.

The country around is richly agricultural. The tower is in a churchyard, in which are also a modern church and a square belfry tower, not very ancient, possibly of the thirteenth or fourteenth century. The style of the windows, like that of the Lusk square tower, in few miles distant, is early English.

Altogether detached. but close to the belfry-tower and the church, stands the round tower. Their relative positions are shown in the view I have published in my illustrations of the towers. That View is looking north, and shows that the tower is on a moderate eminence, which, owing to the generally level character of the country, renders this and the neighbouring one of Lusk conspicuous objects for along distance.

The tower is in very good condition. Material: the limestone of the neighbourhood, an excellent building stone: coarsely hammered rubble is the style of construction. Probable height, 80 feet.

At the end of the last century the tower was repaired, being then pointed throughout. A very old man, the sexton (John Wilson), told me that he has heard his father state that, one hundred and fifty years ago, he (the father) was present when the top was repaired, and the cross put on the apex; there had been a small cross there before. The top part, from the basis of the four windows at that part, has evidently been added in recent times.

Diameter of Swords tower at the ground level : 16 feet 10 inches.

This tower is built irregularly inside. The lower diameter is from 8 feet 1 inch to 8 feet 5 inches.

At the doorway the thickness of the wall is a trifle over 4 feet.

Doorway - The sill is only 1 foot 3 inches up from the ground ; its height is 5 feet 4 inches; width below.
3 feet 5 inches; at top, 3 inches less.

The aspect is east, a little south.

The material is coarsely-hammered limestone; the name material and mode of construction as the rest of
the tower.

Windows to the Lofts.

As l could not ascend the tower, I cannot give the size of thee openings. At about 16 feet up from the threshold of the doorway, there is a rude, imperfect flooring: of flags, which has a large opening. This flooring prevented my seeing farther up. There are the remains of ladders inside, too much decayed for use. The construction of the tower inside is very coarse. The curving and sloping of the walls are irregular.

There are four ascending openings, which look, 1st, east; 2nd, north; 3rd, south; 4th, west. These are all straight-lined, and rather small ; with the exception of the first, they are of a nearly square form and are coarsely built. I could not get the measurements of them, but the first one is apparently nearly four feet high, by about half that much in width.

This one is over the doorway, and may be about eighteen feet up.

On the inside there are five floor courses, which, except the first one, only project a few inches.

The top of the tower, from a little below the top windows, is evidently not part of the original structure. These windows are four in number, are circular-headed, and look to the cardinal points. Some bricks, as well as I can judge, have been used in the heads of these windows; they are of an unusually large size.

REMARKS.

Fifty years back ("Cromwell's Excursions through Ireland," Vol. ll., p. 38, A.D. 1819-20) the change of structure in the top was noticed, and its modern construction suggested.

Other writers have also noticed the modern character of the top. Thus, in the Dublin Penny JournaI, No. 23, Dec. 1st, 1832, there is the following passage:-

"Present entrance level with the ground. This, as well as the roof and upper story, are of modern construction.”

The Dublin Penny JournaI was edited by Dr. Petrie. I see no indications of the doorway being of modern construction."

For more information see: http://www.bookprep.com/read/mdp.39015074726913
 




History of the Christian Church by Philip Schaff (7 vols., 1858–1890)


"Saint Columba or Columbcille, (died June 9, 597) is the real apostle of Scotland. He is better known to us than Ninian and Kentigern. The account of Adamnan (624-704), the ninth abbot of Hy, was written a century after Columba's death from authentic records and oral traditions, although it is a panegyric rather than a history. Later biographers have romanized him like St. Patrick. He was descended from one of the reigning families of Ireland and British Dalriada, and was born at, Gartan in the county of Donegal about a.d. 521. He received in baptism the symbolical name Colum, or in Latin Columba (Dove, as the symbol of the Holy Ghost), to which was afterwards added cille (or kill, i.e. "of the church," or "the dove of the cells," on account of his frequent attendance at public worship, or, more probably, for his being the founder of many churches.79 He entered the monastic seminary of Clonard, founded by St. Finnian, and afterwards another monastery near Dublin, and was ordained a priest. He planted the church at Derry in 545, the monastery of Darrow in 553, and other churches. He seems to have fondly clung all his life to his native Ireland, and to the convent of Derry. In one of his elegies, which were probably retouched by the patriotism of some later Irish bard, he sings:

"Were all the tributes of Scotia [i.e. Ireland] mine,
From its midland to its borders,
I would give all for one little cell
In my beautiful Derry.
For its peace and for its purity,
For the white angels that go
In crowds from one end to the other,
I love my beautiful Derry.
For its quietness and purity,
For heaven's angels that come and go
Under every leaf of the oaks,
I love my beautiful Derry.

My Derry, my fair oak grove,
My dear little cell and dwelling,
O God, in the heavens above I
Let him who profanes it be cursed.
Beloved are Durrow and Derry,
Beloved is Raphoe the pure,
Beloved the fertile Drumhome,
Beloved are Sords and Kells! [inmhain Sord as Cenanddus [Betha Colaim chille] (1918)]
But sweeter and fairer to me
The salt sea where the sea-gulls cry
When I come to Derry from far,
It is sweeter and dearer to me —
Sweeter to me."

For more information see: http://www.bible.ca/history/philip-schaff/4_ch02.htm


 





Ireland Illustrated (1831)
Wright, G. N. (George Newenham), 1790?-1877; Bartlett, W. H. (William Henry), 1809-1854
(London : H. Fisher, Son, and Jackson)

THE ROUND TOWER, THE CHURCH AND STEEPLE AT SWORDS, COUNTY DUBLIN.

These splendid remains of decaying grandeur speak to the imagination in a strain of
eloquence, which no modern work, of any magnitude, can reach. They transfer their
grand ideas to the landscape, and, in the representation of elevated subjects, assist the
sublime. Several of the various theories, explanatory of the origin and use of the ancient
Irish Pillar Tower, have been already briefly quoted ;* and although some few remarks
may yet be added, without exhausting this interesting and mysterious question, — yet

" No record lives to tell what they have been."

Mr. O'Halloran says, " Those ancient monuments, from their solidity, at this day, appear
to have been built with such firmness, as almost to defy the ravages of time;" and adds,
"that they were the retreats of wretched hermits and pious recluses." To this opinion
the learned reader will probably object, that a wretched hermit must have possessed much
genius, considerable wealth, and more considerable influence, in order to procure the erection
of such an edifice, in such an age. A very agreeable writer, and equally acute critic, expresses
himself in the following manner as to the uses of the Round Tower — " I cannot help
inclining to the opinion of their being belfries, as their very name in Irish (cloghad)
imports a steeple with a bell ; and from the following consideration : Over a great part of
the Eastern world, they have tall round steeples, called minarets, with balconies at top,
from whence a person summonses the people to worship at stated hours. As the Irish derived
their arts from Phoenicia, we may suppose from thence also came the model of these towers,
which served as the minarets of the East do at present, till bells came into use : for, narrow
as they are, (about ten feet in the clear at the base,) they might hold a bell large enough
to summon the congregation, as effectually as the voice of a man." It is rather obvious
that this doctrine is strained in its application, since the antiquarian acknowledges, tliat
the Pillar Tower might hold a bell large enough for the required purpose.

The Tower of Swords is furnished with stairs to the top, on the inside, evidently of
late construction, and it is finished with a cross surmounting the conical covering. It stands
in the church-yard, at a short distance from the steeple and church, the latter of which is
rebuilt in a very elegant Gothic manner, with buttresses and finials, and on rather a large
scale. The Tower measures seventy-three feet in height by fifty-two in circumference, at
an elevation of ten feet from the ground, and is a plain and simple structure.

The Village of Swords, to which the church is adjacent, was formerly a borough,
returning two members to the Irish Parliament ; and the ruins of an extensive building,
formerly the palace of the Archbishops of Dublin, occupy a conspicuous position at the
northern extremity of the Market-place.


For more information see: http://archive.org/details/irelandillustrat00wrig

 



The Round Tower of Swords

From The Dublin Penny Journal, Volume 1, Number 23, December 1, 1832.

 





























































The ancient town of Swords, situated in the barony of Coolock, about seven miles from the metropolis, though now reduced to an insignificant village, is remarkable for its picturesque features, its ruins, and its historical recollections. Its situation is pleasing and romantic, being placed on the steep banks of a small and rapid river, and though its general appearance indicates but little of prosperity or happiness, its very ruins and decay, give it, at least to the antiquary and the painter, a no common interest.

Like most of our ancient towns Swords appears to be of ecclesiastical origin. A sumptuous monastery was founded here in the year 512, by the great St. Columb, who appointed St. Finian Lobair, or the leper, as its abbot, and to whom he gave a missal, or copy of the gospels, written by himself. St. Finian died before the close of the sixth century. In course of time this monastery became possessed of considerable wealth, and the town rose into much importance. It contained within its precincts, in addition to St. Columb's church, four other chapels, and nine exterior chapels subservient to the mother church. Hence on the institution of the collegiate church of St. Patrick, it ranked as the first of the thirteen canonries attached to that cathedral by archbishop Comin, and was subsequently known by the appellation of "the golden prebend." There was also a nunnery here, the origin of which is unknown.

To this monastery the bodies of the monarch Brian Boru, and his son Morogh, were conveyed in solemn procession by the monks, after the memorable battle of Clontarf, and after remaining a night, were carried to the abbey of Duleek, and committed to the care of the monks of St. Cianan, by whom they were conveyed to Armagh.

Swords was burnt and plundered frequently, as well by the native princes, as by the Danes, who set the unholy example. By the latter it was reduced to ashes in the years 1012, and 1016, and by the former in the years 1035 and 1135. On this last occasion the aggressor, Conor O'Melaghlin, king of Meath, was slain by the men of Lusk. Its final calamity of this kind occurred in the year 1166.

Here it was that the first Irish army of the Pale assembled on the 9th of November, 1641, preparatory to that frightful civil war which caused such calamities to the country; and here they were defeated and put to the rout by the forces under Sir Charles Coote, on the 10th of January following, when he beat them from their fortifications and killed two hundred of them, without any material loss, except that of Sir Lorenzo Carey, second son of Lord Falkland, who fell in the engagement.

Of the numerous ecclesiastical edifices for which Swords was anciently distinguished, the only remains now existing are those represented in the prefixed engraving--for the castle, though said to have been the residence of the archbishop of Dublin can hardly be included under this denomination. These consist of a fine and lofty round tower, coeval with the foundation of the original monastery, and the abbey belfry, a square building of the fourteenth or fifteenth century. The former is seventy-three feet high, fifty-two feet in circumference, and the walls four feet thick. It contained five stories, or floors. Its present entrance which is level with the ground, is of modern construction, as well as the roof and upper story: what appears to have been the original doorway is twenty feet from the ground, and but four feet high. Respecting the uses of those singular ancient buildings, we deem it improper to express any opinion, till the Royal Irish Academy shall have announced its decision on the prize essays on this subject, now under its consideration.

These two towers with the adjacent church, form a picturesque and uncommon architectural group; but the church which is of modern erection, having been completed in the year 1818, though imposing in its general appearance, is but a spurious and jejune imitation of the pointed or gothic style of architecture, and such as might have been expected from minds so wanting in good taste and feeling as those which permitted the removal of the beautiful ruins of the ancient abbey to erect it on their site. Similar acts of wanton destruction are now unfortunately of daily occurrence, and are anything but honorable to their perpetrators, who, though they may regard such remains as vestiges of ancient superstition, should still remember, as Byron says, that

----"Even the faintest relics of a shrine 
Of any worship, wake some thoughts divine."

We are told that the inhabitants of Swords feel proud of this pretending, but tasteless structure, and we believe it possible; but if the principles of a refined and educated architectural taste should ever again be generally disseminated in Ireland, they will indulge in a very different feeling. In this country we have yet to learn that elegance of form and correctness of design in ecclesiastical buildings are, in the hands of a judicious and educated architect, quite attainable, even with the limited means usually appropriated to the purpose.

We shall give a view and account of the castle, or episcopal palace of Swords, in a future number.

G.

For more information see:
http://www.libraryireland.com/articles/RoundTowerSwordsDPJ1-23/index.php

 



Swords

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837


SWORDS, a market and post-town (formerly a parliamentary borough), and a parish, in the barony of NETHERCROSS, county of DUBLIN, and province of LEINSTER, 7 miles (N.) from Dublin, on the road to Drogheda by Balbriggan; containing 3722 inhabitants, of which number, 2537 are in the town. The place appears to owe its origin to the foundation of a monastery here, in 512, by St. Columbkill, who presented to it a missal written by himself, appointed St. Finan Lobhair, or the Leper, its first abbot, and blessed the well there. The monastery continued long to increase in character and wealth, and the town in consequence rose to such a magnitude, that it had several additional places of worship, among which were chapels dedicated to St. Finan and St. Bridget, near the latter of which was an ancient cross, called "Pardon Crosse."

It was repeatedly plundered and burnt by the Danes; and about the year 1035 it suffered in a similar manner from an attack by Conor O'Melaghlin, king of Meath, who was killed in the engagement, to revenge which his brother ravaged the whole district of Fingal with fire and sword. Notwithstanding these repeated injuries it still retained the character of a place of much importance: for when the bodies of Brian Boroimhe and his son Murrough, who fell in the arms of victory at the famous battle of Clontarf, were being conveyed to their final place of interment at Armagh, they were deposited for one night during the journey in the abbey of this town.

On the foundation of the collegiate establishment of St. Patrick's, Dublin, by Archbishop Comyn in 1190, Swords was not only constituted a prebend of that church, but it is noticed by Archbishop Alan, in his Repertorium Viride as "the Golden Prebend, similar to that of Sarum in England;" and in the same work it is registered as giving name to one of the rural deaneries in the northern part of the diocese.

King John granted to the same prelate the privilege of holding a fair there for eight days after the feast of St. Columbkill. It was incorporated by Queen Elizabeth in 1578. James I., in 1603, granted to the Archbishop of Dublin a confirmation of the privileges of the town, together with a weekly market on Monday; in this document the place is called the Archbishop's manor of Swords. A grant of two additional fairs was made to it in 1699. On the breaking out of the war in 1641, the Irish army of the pale assembled for the first time at Swords, and on the 10th of the following January they were driven from it with the loss of 200 men, by Sir Charles Coote, with scarcely any on his side except that of Sir Lorenzo Carey, a son of Lord Falkland, who was slain in the action.

The town occupies a pleasing situation on the steep banks of a small but rapid stream, which discharges itself northwards into the inner extremity of the creek or pill of Malahide: the creek, which comes within a mile of the town, is navigable for boats at high water. It consists chiefly of one wide street, a mile in length, formed of houses which, with but few exceptions, are of mean appearance.
Fairs are held on March 17th and May 9th for cattle and pedlery; petty sessions on Wednesdays; and it is a constabulary police station. Its charter, already noticed, which bears date in the 20th year of the reign of Elizabeth, incorporates the place by the name of the "Bailiff and Burgesses within the Town of Swords." It was a potwalloping borough and sent two representatives to the Irish parliament, but was disfranchised at the union.

By an order of the privy council of Ireland, dated Jan. 10th, 1837, under the Act of the 6th and 7th of William IV., for extending the jurisdiction and regulating the proceedings of the Civil Bill Court, the county of Dublin is divided into two districts: the northern, called the district of Balbriggan, consists of the barony of Balrothery, so much of the parishes of Swords, Killossory, and Malahide as are in the barony of Coolock, and the barony of Nethercross, except the part of the parish of Finglass which is within that barony; the act of council directs that two general sessions of the peace are to be held annually at Balbriggan and two at Swords for this district: for the particulars of the southern district, named the district of Kilmainham, see KILMAINHAM.

The parish, according to the county book in the custody of the treasurer, contains 3536 Irish acres, of which 1227 are in the town and its liberties. The soil is good, and the system of agriculture rapidly improving: there are several extensive corn-mills within the parish, and it is embellished with numerous seats and villas.

Brackenstown, the seat of R. Manders, Esq., is a spacious mansion, situated in a demesne laid out with much taste, in which is a cemetery erected by the present proprietor's father, whose remains are interred there: this place was the residence of the Chief Baron Bysse in the time of Cromwell, who visited him here during his military expedition to Ireland. Balheary House, the residence of A. Baker, Esq., is a large square structure with several apartments of ample dimensions; in the saloon and dining-rooms are some fine pieces of tapestry, formerly the property of the Earl of Ormonde: the surrounding demesne, through which flow the small rivers of Fieldstown and Knocksedan, is well laid out, and commands a fine view of Howth and the Dublin mountains, with the town and environs of Swords, which, with its church, round tower, ruins of the monastery, and other interesting objects, presents a varied and picturesque scene in the foreground.

Seafield is the residence of J. Arthure, Esq.; Little Lissenhall, of R. Smith, Esq.; Newport, of P. Wilson, Esq.; the Vicarage, of the Hon. and Rev. F. Howard; Swords House, of James Taylor, Esq.; Prospect Point, of Captain Purcell; Cremona, of Lieutenant Col: Gordon; and Mantua, of Mrs. Daly.

The parish is a prebend, rectory, and vicarage, in the diocese of Dublin. In 1431 it was divided by Archbishop Talbot into three unequal portions, one of which was assigned to a prebendary of St. Patrick's, the second to the perpetual vicar, and the remainder to the Economy of the same cathedral, which was thereby bound to maintain six minor canons and six choristers, and to furnish lights and to keep the building in a proper state of repair. At present, the rectory in part constitutes the corps of the prebend of Swords; one of the other portions is appropriated to the Economy fund of St. Patrick's, Dublin; and the other, with the vicarage, is episcopally united to the rectory of Kinsealy, and the curacies of Killeek and Killossory, in the patronage of the Archbishop.
The tithes amount to £273. 1. 2 ½., of which £112. 13. 5 ½. is payable to the dean and chapter, and the remainder to the vicar.

There is a glebe-house, and a glebe of 33a. 2r. 20p. The church, completed in 1818 by aid of a loan of £2500 from the late Board of First Fruits, is a handsome building of hewn stone in the pointed style of architecture: the interior is fitted up neatly but without any display of ornamental decoration; a gallery, in which is an organ, extends across the west end: the east window is of modern painted glass. The belfry tower is that of the former church, which was allowed to remain when the rest of the edifice was taken down; it stands a little detached from the main building. Near it, in the same direction, is an ancient round tower, 73 feet high, which is of a ruder construction than most of the others now existing, but has been kept in good repair; it also differs from all the others by having on the vertex of its conical roof a small cross: near the summit are four round-headed windows opening to the four cardinal points, and at different heights are four other small square windows; an opening of about four feet high, apparently intended for the doorway, is nearly 24 feet above the ground.

In the R. C. divisions the parish is the head of a union or district, which comprises the parishes of Swords, Malahide, and Cloghran, and contains two chapels, one in the town, a spacious and neat edifice with a small tower and spire, the other at Balheary. The free school, which is situated in the town, owes its origin to circumstances connected with the Union.

On the suppression of the elective franchise of the borough at that period, the claimants for shares of the £15,000 allowed as compensation for the loss of that right were very numerous: but all their claims were disallowed, and the sum was vested in the Lord Chancellor and several clergymen of high station, in trust to found a school here, for the daily education of the children of the place in reading, writing, arithmetic and such branches of manufacture as would be most likely to be useful to them during their future life; the surplus to be applied to apprentice fees for those pupils who had completed their school course, for premiums, and for the general encouragement of manufactures and agriculture in the district: upwards of 300 children receive instruction in the school, and 6 of each sex are apprenticed every May with a fee of £12 each: a dispensary attached to the institution is supported from the fund, and also a coal yard for selling fuel to the poor at low prices in times of scarcity.

The old R. C. chapel has been converted into a school, which is in connection with the Board of National Education: there are 87 boys and 52 girls in it. Another dispensary is supported by Grand Jury presentments and private subscriptions in equal proportions.

The principal relics of antiquity still in existence are the ancient round tower and the archbishop's palace; the latter was a fortified structure in the centre of a court surrounded by embattled walls flanked with towers; these walls compose the whole of the existing remains, the enclosed area having been converted into a garden. The only evidence of the former existence of a nunnery, founded here at an unknown period, is the record of a pension granted by parliament, in 1474, to the prioress and her successors.

To the south of the town, near the sea-shore, are the ruins of Seatown castle, once a chief seat of the Russell family: about a mile from the town, in the same direction, is Drynam, built by the same family in 1627, and now the property of Robert Russell Cruise, Esq. Lissenhall, an ancient seat in the vicinity of Swords, belonged to the de Lacey family in the reign of Edward I.; Sir William Fitzwilliam resided in it. for some time, when he was Lord-Deputy of Ireland. Near Brackenstown House is a high rath, which commands a fine view of all the surrounding district: near Seafield is an old burial-ground, called Ballymadrouch.

For more information see:
http://www.libraryireland.com/topog/S/Swords-Nethercross-Dublin.php


 


 

George Petrie The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland 1845

George Petrie (1 January 1790 – 1866), was an Irish painter, musician, antiquary and archaeologist of the Victorian era.

'Essay on the Round Towers of Ireland' in The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland

"I have already stated that many of the Towers have in their second story an aperture placed directly over the entrance doorway, but little inferior to it in size, and which might be considered as a second doorway. Such second apertures, when the original doorway is quadrangular, are always of the same form, as shown in the annexed illustrations of the lower and upper doorways of the Round Tower of Swords. The lower doorway is at present but three feet above the level of the ground, and measures six feet in height, two feet in width at the top, and two feet two inches at the bottom. The second aperture, which is twenty feet from the ground, is four feet in height, and two feet in width. The church of Swords owes its origin to the great St. Columbkille, and was originally erected previously to the year 563."

For more information see:
http://www.archive.org/stream/ecclesiasticalar00petruoft/ecclesiasticalar00petruoft_djvu.txt

Swords Round Tower

"Petrie suggested that the window in the second storey was an auxiliary doorway when the enemy was around the one below. This is hard to accept in those terms but in Petrie's time the original doorway may have been blocked up and it is possible that this was done for security reasons and the window was then used as an entrance."

George Lennox Barrow The Round Towers of Ireland (Dublin: The Academy Press,1979) p.89

 



Descriptions of towns from Thom's Directory of 1848



SWORDS
, an inland market-town and parish, (formerly an Irish parliamentary borough.) partly in Coolock barony, but chiefly in that of Nethercross, Dublin county, eight miles N. from Dublin, comprising an area of 9,171 acres of which 104 are in the town. Population of the parish, 3,638 ; of the town, 1,788, occupying 348 houses. The town is situated on the road to Drogheda via Balbriggan, and on a small river that empties itself into the sea at Malahide.

It is the most ancient town in the county, and had its origin in an extensive abbey founded by St. Columbkill in the beginning of the sixth century, over which he placed St. Finian Lobhar, to whom he presented a missal written by himself. It suffered much from the Danes, by whom it was incessantly plundered or burnt and subsequently similarly treated by the petty native princes in their border feuds, in one of which Conor O'Melaghlin, King of Meath, was slain in 1035. Here the Irish army of the Pale assembled on the breaking out of tile war in 1641, from which they were driven and defeated by Sir Charles Coote. The charter of incorporation, styling it the "Bailiff and Burgesses of the town of Swords," was granted by Queen Elizabeth in 1578, and confirmed by James I. in 1603, by which it returned two members to the Irish parliament, down to the period of the Union, when the £15,000 granted for the abolition of its franchises vested in trustees to found a school, which is at present in operation, attended by upwards of 300 children, and from which six, of each sex are annually apprenticed out in May, with a fee of £12 each each. The parish is a prebend in the Cathedral of St. Patrick, Dublin, and is noticed by Archibishop Alan in his Reperorium Viride, as the "golden prebend," a term similar to that given to Sarum in England - which its endowment in tithes or land does not seem to favour at the present day.

The town consists of one wide, street, about a mile in length. Its public buildings are the Parish Church, a handsome modern structure of hewn stone, in the pointed style ; a neat and spacious Roman Catholic Chapel, with a small tower and spire. A Loan Fund, having a capital in 1845 of £435, which circulated during the year £1,665, leaving a profit of £31. It has two Dispensaries, and a National School for children of both sexes. A patent for a market exists, but is not now held, and there are, fairs on March 17, May 10, July 12, Sept. 10, and Nov. 5. Quarter and petty sessions are held here - the former twice in the year, in April and October, and the latter every alternate Saturday. The parish is studded with numerous seats and villa residences, among which are Brackenstown - R. Manders. esq. ; Ballieary House - Henry Baker, esq. ; Seafield -Benedict Arthure, esq. ; Lissen Hall- Owen Beahan, esq. ; Newport Despard Taylor, esq. ; Swords House - James Taylor, esq. ; Cremona -Patrick Bowden esq., and Mantua - Joseph St. Clair Mayne, esq. The only remains of the early ecclesiastical structures that adorned this place, is the belfry tower of the old church, a square building of the 14th or 15th century ; one of the ancient round towers, 73 feet high, and 52 foot in circumference ; and the archbishop's palace. The latter was an extensive structure in the centre of a court, encompassed by embattled walls, flanked by towers, the inner portion of which is now a garden. There was also a Nunnery here, as appears on record by a pension being granted by Parliament in 1474, to the Lady Prioress and her successors.

Swords is two and a half miles W. from the Malahide station of the Drogheda Railway. The mail from Dublin arrives at 15 minutes past 8, a.m., and 40 minutes past 9 P.M. ; and is despatched at 4, P.M., and at 30 minutes 6, p.m. The Post Office grant and pay money orders.

For more information see:
http://roots.swilson.info/towns1848/swords.html

 



Swords Sord Cholmcille A Visual History
Pictures of Swords, County Dublin from the 1790s to today.

 



 


A Lecture on the Antiquities of Swords

Delivered at Swords, in the Borough Schoolhouse
on Wednesday Evg., Sep. 12, 1860,
by
The Late Right Rev. William Reeves
D.D., L.L.D., M.B., M.R.I.A.,;
Bishop of Down; formerly Vicar of Lusk






THE ANTIQUITIES OF SWORDS (Republished 1970) A LECTURE ON THE ANTIQUITIES OF SWORDS
Delivered at Swords, in the Borough Schoolhouse on Wednesday Evening., Sep. 12, 1860,
by THE LATE RIGHT REV. WILLIAM REEVES D.D., L.L.D., M.B., M.R.I.A.;
Bishop of Down; formerly Vicar of Lusk

 [Page 3 (first page)]

It has happened that an Englishman (forgetting all the names of places in his own country ending in mouth) has regarded with a kind of religious horror the number of parochial names in Ireland beginning with the syllable Kill, as a sad, but apt indication, even in spirituals, of the Hibernian proneness to truculence. The feeling would hardly be diminished were it to be told, that a professed messenger of peace was lecturing this evening on Swords, aye, and the same Swords in part appropriated by ecclesiastical ordinance to the canonry of a church, like St. Patrick's, where every stall exhibits the three great emblems of war - the sword fixed, the helmet erected, and the banner waving in defiant array.

Leaving such a display, were he to travel northwards, he would find a townland in the county of Louth, bearing the kindred name of Glasspistol, and draw very plausible conclusions as to the social condition of a  county where the voice of blood cried as it were from the very ground. And yet he might be mistaken:  the prefix "Kill" is nothing but an Irish form of the Latin cella, a monastic term appropriated to the idea, "Church;" and that, as originally employed by the most harmless of mortals, the secluded hermit. The amusingly ominous name Glasspistyll is a British compound, signifying "Green-stream," while the Swords of this evening are as weak as water, though having the common attribute of being drawn.

In fact, your name Swords, as borne by this parish of 9,674 acres, in the barony of Nethercross, with 1,294 inhabitants in the town, and a gross population of 2,962, signifies nothing more or less than "Pure," and belonged to the well, which being near the spot on which the primitive church was founded, became in after times what is called "a holy well," and gave its name to the church and parish at large.

The original word is properly written "Sord," or "Surd," which is interpreted "clear," or "pure," although in modern Irish the word so spelt bears the meaning of "order ... industry ... diligence." The w came into it after the settlement of the English, who wrote the name Swerds, though pronounced Swords, as the verb shew has the sound of show. This interpretation which I give you is from an ancient Life of St. Columbkille, preserved in a very venerable MS. of the Royal Irish Academy, of the fourteenth century.

But, to afford you an instance of the danger and uncertainty of conjectural derivation, I may mention, that I once met at a clerical meeting a gentle man of sound scholarship, who gave me to understand that Swords was a corruption of the Latin word Surdus, "deaf," it being an appellation borrowed in the middle ages from a monastery or hospital, which was founded here for the admission of superannuated ecclesiastics who had lost their hearing. Upon which I could not resist the temptation of creating a set off in the case of my own parish of Lusk, which, on the spur of the moment, and with equal credibility, I alleged was derived from the Latin Luscus, "blind of one eye," observing that as Swords was the asylum for the deaf, so Lusk was the hospital for those of defective vision.

But in all seriousness, it was the practice of the early founders of Christianity in these islands, when planting a church in any spot, to have special reference to the proximity of a well. We could easily understand how the existence 

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of a well in an eastern clime would determine the choice of site for a church; but in a cool and over-irrigated country like Ireland; it may be somewhat more difficult to account for the great importance which was attached to the well, and for the great number of holy wells, with their stations, and patrons, and votive offerings, which came to be regarded with religious veneration.

The famous Bishop Boniface writes to Pope Zachary in 745, complaining of Adalbert, a Gaul, that he dissuaded men from visiting the Limina Apostolorum, dedicating in his own honour oratories, and erecting crosses and chapels in plains, and at wells, and ,wherever he chose, and there persuaded them to celebrate public worship, till multitudes of the people, setting other bishops at nought, and forsaking the ancient churches, thronged to such places, saying, "The merits of holy Adalbert shall aid us." I could tell you curious stories of the supposed sanctity of wells, but they would divert me from the immediate object of our lecture; suffice it to say, that well-worship existed in the country before the introduction of Christianity, and that when the people were converted, like the transfer of pagan temples, these wells, with all their veneration, were made over to the aid of the new religion.

Besides, the convenience of every-day life tells us how desirable it is to have a good supply of pure water at hand, and we must bear in mind, that ecclesiastics in old times were men of like passions as in the present day, and required the same elements of sustenance for their life and health.

Conspicious among the evangelical labourers in Ireland was St. Columba, or Columbkille, whose genius and devotion have won for him a high place in the annals of the Church of Christ. This man was born in Gartan, in the county of Donegal, in 521. About the year 553 he founded the church of Durrow, and previously to 563, when he departed from Ireland to Iona, it is recorded that he founded your church of Swords.

The early Irish Life of him, to which I have already alluded, thus relates the origin of your church and of its name "Columbkille founded a church at Rechra (that is, the island of Lambay), in the cast of Bregia, and left Colman, the Deacon, in it. Also he founded a church in the place where Sord is at this day. He left a learned man of his people there, namely, Finan Lobhar, and he left a gospel, which his own hand wrote, there.

There also he dedicated a well named Sord, i.e., 'pure,' and he consecrated a cross. One day that Columbkille and Cainnech were on the brink of the tide, a great tempest raged over the sea, and Cainnech asked, 'What saith the wave?' Columbkille answered, 'Thy people are in danger yonder on the sea, and one of them has died, and the Lord will bring him in unto us to-morrow to this bank on which we stand."

"As Bridget was one time walking through the Currach of Life (i.e., the Curragh of Kildare), she viewed the beautiful shamrock-flowering plain before her, whereupon she said in her mind, that if to her belonged the power of the plain, she would offer it to the Lord of creation. This was communicated to Columbkille in his monastery at Sord, whereupon he said with a loud voice, 'Well has it happened to the holy virgin; for it is the same to her in the sight of God as if the land she offered were in her own right."' Hence St. Columba has always been regarded as the founder and principal patron of the church of Swords. He died in 597, on the 9th 

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of June, and that day has been regarded as his festival in Scotland as well as in Ireland. Accordingly, when, 600 years afterwards, the privilege of holding a fair at Swords was conceded to the Archbishop of Dublin by King John, the day chosen, or rather ratified, as previously observed, was the feast of St. Columba, on the 9th of June.

And so intimately was the memory of the founder associated with the name of the place, that almost the invariable designation of the church and district was Sord-Columcille. But coupled with this saint's name, there is another, which shares the ecclesiastical patronage of the spot; and though but few particulars are recorded of his history, there is sufficient evidence to prove that in his day he was an ecclesiastic of considerable eminence.

This was St. Finan, surnamed Lobhar, or "the Leper." How strange that such should be made a saint; but Christanity had long before abolished the disabilities of the Leper, and with the fall of the Jewish ordinal, arose the prospects of the bodily sufferer.

The Irish seem to have held such in veneration; and we can prove that several of the most honoured names in our native calendar are men whose skin was the scat of a loathsome disease, or whose features had been levelled by the ravages of cancer.

St. Finan belonged to the former class, St. Mobhi (Movee), of Glasnevin, styled the clarenach, or "flat- faced," is referable to the latter; and in the great veneration which the ancient Irish always entertained for extreme asceticism and self-denial, their respect for those who suffered by the hand of God was not less when that compulsory mortification was coupled with a holy life.

St. Finan the Leper was patron saint of three churches in Ireland, namely: Swords; Ardfinnan, in the county of Tipperary; and Innisfallen, in Loch Lene, or Killarney. The latter part of his life was spent at Clonmore near Enniscorthy, in the county of Wexford, where he continued for thirty years, all the while labouring under a sore disease, and given up to pious contemplation, frequently enjoying rapturous visions.

He died here on the 16th of March, about 650, and was buried in this monastery. Of him there is testimony in an exceedingly ancient Irish poem, where it is said in reference to Clonmore:-

"There are two worthies whose bodies lie near the cross on the south, St. Onchuo, who rose superior to the love of this fleeting world, and St. Finan the Leper, the strenuous performer of good works."

His celebrity was early recognised in England; for in the Salisbury Martyrology is the commemoration of "St. Finan the Bishop, a man of singular sanctity, who, among other miracles, restored three dead men to life." In Scotland, too, there is a memorial of his name. Sunart, which lies near the south end of the Caledonian Canal, is known by the ecclesiastical name of Ellen Finan, or "Finan's island," from the parish church which is seated on an island in Loch Sheil. In this place is preserved St. Finan's Bell, of iron, and of that square pattern, of which so many examples are to be seen in our Museum of National Antiquities.

It is well known that most of the west coast of Scotland was peopled from Ireland in the early part of the sixth century. And the colonists naturally took with them their native associations, and long maintained a       

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close relation with the mother country. One result was, that the founders of Christianity in that territory were Irishmen, and their names are borne by the churches which they founded. In 1857 I had a letter from a Scotch Advocate, a zealous investigator of his national antiquities, in which he says,

“Perhaps you will permit me to ask a question, which I have heard a good deal agitated while on a visit in the Moidart part of Inverness- shire, some weeks ago: Which of the St. Finans that appear among the Roman Catholic saints, gives his name to Glenfinan in that part of the country? There is a beautiful islet in Loch Sheil, running from Glenfinan almost to the Western Ocean, called after the same saint, Ellanfinan, on which are the ruins of an ancient church, and a churchyard, where the inhabitants on both sides of the loch, and of both faiths, still bury their dead. There is also a stone called St. Finan’s Chair, on which tradition says the holy man sat down, and admired the beautiful island on getting the first sight of it, as he came over the Ardnamurchan hills from Iona.  l have looked in vain into the books here, &c.”

To this I replied, that as we had several Finans in the Irish Calendar, he must endeavour to find out the day on which he was commemorated, and then I might succeed in determining the saint in question.

After some months I received a second letter stating that, after the most diligent local search, he had just succeeded in learning this much, that a tradition existed in the place, that the saint’s festival was either the day before, or the day after, St. Patrick’s Day. That is, either the 16th or 18th of March.

Thus guided, I turned to our Calendar, and there, sure enough, I found at March 16th, “S. Finan the Leper, of Sord and Clonmore.” Meanwhile I had removed from Ballymena to Lusk, and having early made the acquaintance of the neighbouring saints, I was able to inform my Scotch correspondent, that I lived within four miles of the principal church of this saint, whose memory reached to the confines of Argyle and Inverness.

Further, Finan the Leper was of the race of Clan, son of Olill Olum, who flourished in the year 234; and, as such, was a kinsman of St. Mac Cullin, the founder and patron saint of Lusk, who died on the 6th of September, 497; as also of St. Cianan, the founder and patron saint of Duleek, who died November 24th, 488.

All these were the offspring of Fadhg, son of Cian, which Cian was the progenitor of the race called the Cianachta, or “Descendants of Cian;” one branch of whom settled in the east of Bregia, and occupied a maritime tract, extending from Clogher Head southward to Clontarf, and running inland about five or six miles. It is curious to find the family location of saints, even at this early date, which foreshadowed the system of lay presentation; both taking their rise from the principle, that the original endower of a church was entitled to have the nomination of the minister to serve therein.

Part of this territory of Cianachta was called Ard Cianachta by Adamnan, in his Life of St. Columba, which he wrote about the year 690; and the district described by him as extending from the Ailbene, or Delvin River, to the River Liffey. In after-times, when the Danes settled in Ireland, this district became occupied by them; and as they were styled Sails, or “foreigners,” by the native Irish, their possessions acquired the name of Fine Gall, that is, “the region of the strangers,” and the name

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eventually became attached to it in the Ossianic form of Fingal, still familiar to us; and giving the title of Earl in the Irish peerage to a member of the Danish family of Plunket. The headquarters of the Danes in Fingal were at Malahide, formerly called Inver Domnon; and the name of this place is associated once in Irish record with the neighbourhood of Swords.

In Moortown, which is about an English mile N.-W. of you, on the way to Killossory, at the left-hand side of the road is a curious, sombre-looking ruin, and in the adjacent meadow is a well, with an old tree overhanging, and having all the appearance of a holy well.

This place is marked on the Ordnance Map as the site of the Abbey of Glassmore, and the Well as St. Cronan’s, who founded a church here, before the middle of the seventh century. St. Cronan was martyred on the 10th February, as appears from the old entry in the Calendar.

“Glassmore is a church near Swords, on the south; whither came the Northmen of Inver Domnann, and slew both Cronan and his entire fraternity in one night, so that they let no one escape; and there the entire company was crowned with martyrdom.”

We have got so far now as the establishment of the following facts: the Church of Swords was founded by St. Columba, about 550, in the region of Keenaght, who placed there as its first minister St. Finan the Leper, a member of the occupying tribe, and probably a native of the neighbourhood.

After this, all records became silent, and we lose sight of the place for some centuries. Meanwhile, however, we may be sure the seeds of Christian religion once sown here were steadily bearing fruit- the church becoming more deeply rooted, its influence spreading, its endowments increasing, and its presence steadily operating against the surrounding tendency to lawlessness and barbarity. It became at an early date a little monastic establishment; not such as one would expect to find, whose eye was accustomed to the stately fabrics of after-times, when wealth and civilization lent their aid to the embellishments of Christianity; but a little group of cold, comfortless cells, enclosed by a circular entrenchment of earth and stone; having a plain oratory for divine service, and a common apartment for their meals.

Wood formed, probably, a principal ingredient in the structure of these primitive buildings, and everything was constructed on the simplest and cheapest scale.

Swords does not appear in the Irish Annals until the year 965, when their (sic) is recorded “the death of Ailill, son of Maenach, bishop of Sord and Lusk.” At 1023 is recorded the “decease of Malmuire 0’Cainen, sage bishop of Sord Columcille.” At this period, and previously, it was the custom of the Irish to have bishops resident in their principal monasteries, who were often under the control of the abbots, like the modern bishops in the Moravian Churches; and whose functions were not so much the government of a diocese, as the transmission of holy orders, and the performance of those rites peculiar to the episcopal office.

Such we may believe to have been the case at Swords. There were no territorial dioceses as yet established in Ireland; nor was it till near the early part of the twelfth century that even an attempt was made to partition Ireland into ecclesiastical districts, called dioceses. Meanwhile Lusk and Swords were the two principal churches on this side of Glendalough, and though Lusk had a much earlier and fuller succession of bishops and abbots, still the

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sister church was one of considerable importance also. It rose, I believe, to this importance about the middle of the tenth century; and it is to the beginning of that, or the preceding century, that I would refer the erection of the round tower, which still remains the chief curiosity, and indeed, only surviving relique of the ancient ecclesiastical establishment of the place.

And it is remarkable to find these two churches of Lusk and Swords vindicating their claim to antiquity, by the existence of these memorials of a remote age; and, though but four miles asunder, possessing the only structures of the kind, with the exception of Clondalkin, in the county.

Another did indeed exist at St. Michael le Pole's Church, in Ship Street, Dublin, near the back Castle gate; but has long since disappeared. We may, therefore, regard Swords and Lusk as the ecclesiastical capitals of the district, and the nucleus of the diocese of Dublin. They are older than any church in the metropolis; and when they were flourishing monastic establishments, the site of Dublin was a muddy estuary, of neither note or importance.

Dublin was strictly a Danish city, and called into existence, as it was afterwards maintained, by the invading Northmen. In such an institution as the monastery of Swords we might expect an ample predial endowment, in the way of lands. And so it was; and these lands were farmed by an officer called a herenach, who was a kind of ecclesiastical tenant, having high position in the monastery, and being generally in holy orders.

At 1028, the Annals inform us, "died Gillapatrick O'Flaherty, herenach of Sord." Again, in 1048, "Hugh, son of Maelan O'Nuadhat, was killed on the Friday before Easter, in the middle of Sord."

In 1060, "Malkieran O'Robbacan, herenach of Sord Columkille, died;" and, in 1136, "MacEravain, herenach of Sord, fell by the hands of the men of Farney."

Now, these four are the only names of the herenachs of this church which have come down to us; but they are sufficient to prove the existence in this church of this ancient office, and, therefore, of all its monastic accompaniments.  

When the diocese in after-times became defined, the bishops got control of all these herenach lands, the herenachs being put under rent to them; and thus it happens as an almost general rule through Ireland, that bishops' lands are to be found in the most ancient parishes, and generally near old churches; for, in fact, the episcopal endowment became a centralization, as it wore, of all the little monastic settlements that were dotted over the country, which in their primitive days, when wants were few, manners simple, and pretensions low, afforded, each, abundant maintenance to its local superior.

But when bishops assumed a station of temporal importance, becoming peers of Parliament, and the occupiers of stately palaces, then grew the demand for increased revenues; and all the minor endowments were swept into a common purse, which filled and swelled, till the monstrous revenues of the episcopal body, in the last and early part of the present century, threatened the existence, as they impaired the health, of the Established Church.

The church lands of Swords and Lusk formed a large item in the rental of the bishop, who at first had Glendalough as his episcopal seat; and when, about the period of the English invasion, the Danish see of Dublin, which extended no further than the city walls, became enlarged with a suburban district, Swords and Lusk were transferred from the see       

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of Glendalough to that of Dublin. And in Pope Alexander Ill's bull to St. Laurence O'Toole, in 1179, confirming his archiepiscopal see, the churches of his diocese are enumerated, Lusca being the first, and Sord the second. Swords then became the head of a rural deanery; and thus preserved to some extent a shadow of its former importance.

But the cultivation of literature was always an attribute of the Irish monasteries, which were educational as well as devotional, and each had its Ferleighin, or "man of lecturing," that is, a Lecturer or Professor. The Annals notice two such at Swords. In 1042, "died Eochagan, herenach of Slane, Lector of Sord, and a distinguished writer." His successor came to a more violent end, for in 1056, "the fire of God (that is, lightning) struck the Lector of Sord, and tore asunder the sacred tree."

After the battle of Clontarf, where Brian Boru fell in the arms of victory, on Good Friday, 1014, his body was conveyed to Swords of Columcille; whither, according to the Four Masters, came Malmurry, the successor of Patrick, that is, Bishop of Armagh, with his clergy; and they carried from thence the body of Brian, King of Ireland, and that of Murragh his son, and the heads of Conary and Mothia.

Another collection (the Annals of Innisfallen) varies in the details, and states that the monks of Sord Columcille, hearing that Brian had fallen in the battle, came on the following day, and carried his body to Sord, and thence to Duleck of St. Kienan; the clergy of which conveyed it to Louth, where they were met by Malmurry and his clergy, who carried the sovereign's body to Armagh, and buried it there.

In the interval between 993 and 1166, Swords was burned and wasted by various hands.

993, "Sord of Columcille was burned by Maolsechlain."
1016, "Sord of Columcille was burned by Sitric, son of Aniat, and the Danes of Dublin."
1020, "Sord of Columcille was plundered by Connor O Maclachlann, who burned it, and carried away many captives, and vast herds of cows."
1031, "Sord of Columcille was burned and plundered by Connor O'Maclachlann, in revenge for the death of Raghnall, son of Ivar, Lord of Waterford, by the hand of Sitric, son of Anlaf."
1045, "An army was led by M'Eochaidh and Maolsechlann, with the foreigners who burned Sord, and wasted Fingall."
1069, "Lusc and Sord of Columcille were burned."
1102, "Sord of Columcille was burned."
1130, "Sord of Columcille, with its churches and relics, was burned."
1138, "Sord burned."
1150, "Sord burned."
1166, "Sord of Columcille was burned."

This is the last mention of the name in our Irish Annals. Six years afterwards, the English subjugated Ireland; and Fingall presently yielded to their sway, so that the native annalists lost sight of it; and henceforth we consult another class of records for the continuation of its history.

But before we pass from the Irish to the English occupation, let us observe that, in 1130, Swords was possessed of several churches. Now it contains but one, at least on an old site. Those churches seem to have been but a short way asunder, and within the limits of the present town.     

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The Documents of a later date give us the names of two chapels, which probably represented these earlier structures. One of these was a chapel, dedicated to St. Finian, which, with its adjoining cemetery, was situated on the south side, near the Vicar's manse, on the road to Furrows, or Forest, as it is now called, lying to the south-west.

The other was St. Bridget's Chapel, on the north side of the town, adjoining the Prebendary's glebe, and not far from the gates of the old palace; near to which was an ancient cross, called "Pardon Crosse."

The former of these was standing in 1532; but the latter was in ruins at that date; and Archbishop Alan observes that beside it were two burgages, which were let to the Monastery of Holmpatrick at Skerries. The ground occupied by the latter of these chapels now belongs to the economy lands of the parish; the site of the former is the space occupied by the modem glebe house.

But we must return to the transition period of the Irish Church, namely, the English invasion in 1172, when ecclesiastical matters, especially in the diocese of Dublin, underwent an important change. St Lawrence O'Toole, the last native Irish Bishop for a long period, died in 1180, at Eux, in Normandy, whither he went to deliver the son of Roderick O'Connor, king of Connaught, as a hostage for the tribute his father agreed to pay the king.

An Englishman called John Comyn was appointed to succeed him in 1181, being a favourite with the king of England, and an assiduous promoter of the English interest, he was handsomely rewarded, and obtained several grants and immunities for his see.

At this time, Swords was one of the principal churches in the diocese, and contributed largely to the Archbishop's income. As a benefice, it was of great value; and being what was styled a plebania, or "mother church," it possessed a great number of dependent chapelries, some of which still continue in union with it, though others have been detached.

This Archbishop on one occasion presented his kinsman, Walter Comyn, to the parsonages of the churches of St. Columcille and St. Finan, of Swords; with the appendant chapels of Cloghran, Killechni (Killeek), Killastra (Killossory), Donaghbata (Donabate), Malahida, Kinsale, Ballygriffin, and Coloke.

Of these, Cloghran, Donabate, Balgriffin, and Culock, were separated from it at an early date, but Malahide continued in union much later; and Killossory, Killeck, and Kinsaley, still form part of the union; the Incumbent being Vicar of Swords and Kinsaley, but Curate of Killossory and Killeck.

Rich and fat as this great benefice thus became, it was natural that, like the fine parishes of Winwick and Stanhope in England, it should be eagerly sought by these of high and influential connections. In 1302, William de Hothum, a nephew of the Archbishop, enjoyed it.

In 1366, the famous William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, and Chancellor, held it together with eleven benefices in England. And in 1423 it was even a fit object for transmontane endowment; for Brande, Cardinal of Placentia, was nominated to it by Henry IV; and the writ, directed to the Archbishop, commanded his to assign to the Cardinal a stall in the choir, and voice in the chapter.

In like manner, Lusk was once a great and lucrative benefice, so much so, that King Edward I thought it worth conferring, in 1294, upon James of Spain, nephew of his Queen Eleanor. Lusk was

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another plebania, and embraced, besides the present parish, all Balrothery and Balduncan. How the times are altered, when my friend, Mr Twigg, and myself, are all that are to be shown for a Cardinal and a Queen's nephew!

But I forgot to mention, that in 1190, when the collegiate church of St. Patrick's was founded, Swords was named as its first canonry; and among its endowments, were the tithes of all the Archbishop's mills, except that of Swords, which had previously been granted to the Nunnery of Grace Dieu (de Gratia Dei), in Lusk parish, on the borders of Swords; it being the Archbishop's first foundation, and indicative of religious gallantry in giving precedence to the gentler sex. In 1219 it became a pre- bend, in the remodelled foundation.

But, as I have observed, it grew to be very rich; its large income, arising out of its considerable demesne, and the tithes issuing from a wide and fertile district. It was, therefore, called (after the style of Sarum and Durham) the golden prebend; being, as Archbishop Alan observes, as it were, a sack virtually full of gold. Therefore it was, that in 1431, Arch- bishop Richard Talbot formally divided it; his motive being, as it is said, "that it was sought too zealously by cardinals, and other minions of the Papal See."

It was parted into three unequal portions-namely, one part to the Prebendary, the second to the Vicar, and the third to the Economy of St. Patrick's. Out of the last portion were to be maintained six vicars, and six choristers, and the residue to be expended in furnishing lights, repairs, and the defraying of necessary expenses.

The charters which the Archbishops of Dublin obtained from the new Lords of Ireland, not only confirmed them in the possession of the lands hitherto belonging to the See, but also conferred upon them feudal dignities and increased powers. Thus, in 1192, the Archbishop obtained a patent, authorizing him to hold in his manor of Swords an annual fair, commencing on St. Columba's Day (June 9), and lasting a week. The tolls arising from this proved a source of considerable emolument.

About this time - namely, 1200 - the castle was built. An Inquisition of 1265 finds that a constable was there in John Comyn's time.

In 1216 the manor of Swords, with fresh privileges and enlarged possessions, was granted by King Henry 111 to Henry de Loundres, the second English archbishop, on condition that he should build and maintain a castle on his manor of Castlekevin, with a view to defend the pale in that quarter from the invasions of the great Wicklow families-the O'Byrnes and O'Tooles.

Coming into this country as a conquering race, and introducing new laws and customs, the English settlers required places of refuge, and depots for property, in the midst of an oppressed and exasperated people. Hence, the lord of the manor not only needed security for himself and his immediate retainers within his crenelated walls, but felt it his interest, by the military influence of his fortress, to crush the refractory, and overawe the surrounding country; while, in cases of emergency, it afforded shelter to those in danger.

John Comyn, the first English Archbishop, was a strenuous instrument in the extension of English rule. For which reason the see became possessed of unusual privileges, and the Archbishop grew to be one of the most powerful barons in the kingdom.

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Seized of considerable estates in Swords, Lusk, and several adjacent parishes, he and his successor, Henry, felt the importance of their position in Fingall; so that this mansion of Swords served not only as a tower of strength, but a store-house of English civility and law for the territory, and withal a wholesome check upon the excesses of the neighbouring temporal barons.

On this manor the Archbishop had his own seneschal, who was exempt from all interference of the sherifi of the county, and the courts of law. He had the right to try every plea, except the four pleas of the crown. He had his gallows on an eminence near the town, afterwards known as the Gallows’ Hill, where many a male-factor paid the penalty of his life for his misdeeds; and every writ which issued from the civil courts was transferred from the sheriff to his seneschal, ere it could be served. In fact, he was a little king in his principality.

But being an ecclesiastic, and, as such a man of letters, and a father of his clergy, the military development was rather an accident of office than an essential attribute; consequently, the archiepiscopal abode required to be such as would afford scope for the accommodation of a brotherhood, and the exercise of religion-frowning battlements without, but smiling peace within. Thus the palace of Swords demanded space, that it might embrace within it the appliances of religion and peace.

At the present day we are able to form a tolerable estimate of the original strength and internal proportions of the premises, for the outline externally is perfect, and a considerable share of the old pile remains within- more, indeed, than might have been expected in a country where the demolition of ecclesiastical remains, and wanton contempt for things venerable, have seldom been attended by censure or discouragement. What the original character and contents of Swords’ castellated palace were, we learn from an interesting Extent of the archiepiscopal manors, preserved in Archbishop Alan’s Register, called the Liber Niger.

In 1326, Alexander de Bicknor, the Archbishop, having displeased the king, and further, being greatly in arrear in his accounts as Lord Treasurer, the king seized into his hands the profits of the see, in satisfaction for the deficiency; and, in order to ascertain the available amount, Inquisitions by jurors were held before the Sheriff in the various manors.

That on Swords was sped at Dublin, on the 14th March, 1326, and twenty jurors were empanelled. The result of their finding, as regards the palace of Swords, was as follows:-

“Who being sworn, say on their oath, that there is in this place a hall, and the chamber adjoining said hall, the walls of which are of stone, crenelated after the manner of a castle, and covered with shingles.

“Further, there is a kitchen, together with a larder, the walls of which are of stone, roofted with shingles. And there is in the same place a chapel, the walls of which are of stone, roofed with shingles. Also there was in the same place a chamber for friars, with a cloister, which are now prostrate. Also, there are in the same place a chamber, or apartment, for the constables by the gate, and four chambers for soldiers and wardens, roofed with shingles, under which are a stable and bake-house.

“Also, there was here a house for a dairy, and a workshop, which

[Page 13]

are now prostrate. Also, there is on the premises in the haggard a shed made of planks, and thatched with straw. Also, a granary, built with timber, and roofed with boards. Also, a byre, for the housing of farm horses and bullocks.

"The profits of all the above-recited premises, they return as of no value, because nothing is to be derived from them, either in the letting of the houses, or in any other way. And they need thorough repair, inasmuch as they are badly roofed."

Thus we perceive that so early as 1326, these buildings were beginning to suffer from the effects of time.

In 1380, the manor of Swords was seized again into the king's hands by Sir Nicholas Daggerworth, a Commissioner of Forfeitures, on the plea that the conditions of 1216 had not been fulfilled. In the return, however, of said Sir Nicholas to a writ de certiorari, he confessed that cause had not been shown why the said manor should be so seized.

Accordingly, a writ of restitution to Robert de Wykeford, the Archbishop, was issued by the Treasurers and Barons of the Exchequer. There is no evidence that this place was repaired so as again to become a residence of the Archbishop. Probably it was not, for in 1324 was erected by Alexander de Bicknor the archiepiscopal palace of Tallaght, in the south part of the county, which for centuries continued to be employed as the country scat of the Archbishop.

And it was not till 1821that it formally ceased to be regarded as a palace, and its adjuncts as manorial land, when an Act was passed, divesting the Archbishop of it, and placing the premises in the same condition as ordinary church property. It is to be observed that the site of the palace of Tallaght is now occupied by a nunnery.

Swords Castle had ceased to be regarded as a palace ages before this. Connected with this stronghold was the office of Chief Constable, which was considered as one of importance, and long survived the occupation of the castle. In 1220, William Galrote filled the situation.

In 1240, Sampson de Crumba. Thomas Fitzsimons, of Swords, was constable in 1547. In this year the reversion of the constableship was conveyed to trustees in the minority of Patrick Barnewall, of Grace Dieu; and afterwards, the office and endowments descended to his son, Sir Christopher Barnewall, who, in 1563, conjointly with the Archbishop, by consent of the two cathedral Deans and Chapters, granted, in trust, to Richard Fagan, of Dublin, the office of constable of the castle or manor of Swords, with all appurtenances, lands, and endowments, to hold for ever, with power to appoint deputies; and in lieu of the salary of £5, Irish, to have two acres of meadow in the Broad mead, to the said office appertaining, and all messuages, lands, and fishings whatever, in New Hagard in the parish of Lusk, and Rogerstown in the parish of Swords.

In 1624, Patrick Barnewall, of Grace Dieu, obtained pardon for alienation of certain interests, and, among them, this of the Constableship of Swords, with ten acres in the Broad meadow, to the said office belonging. With this constableship, it is likely that the tenancy of the premises also was vested in the Barnewalls, whose interest therein seems to have given rise to the tradition, that Lord Kingsland, in consideration of his

[Page 14]

holdings under the See of Dublin, was bound to wait on the Archbishop whenever he visited Swords, and to hold the stirrup, as His Grace mounted or dismounted. The old palace is still hold under the See of Dublin.

In later years, the only officers who have exercised jurisdiction within the Corporation were a portreeve, and the seneschal of the manor of St. Sepulchre's. The portreeve was appointed by the Archbishop, and annually sworn in at the Michealmas courtleet in Dublin, before the Seneschal of St. Sepulchre's. He has no salary nor emolument except the annual profit of three acres of land, near the town, for which he receives about £8 a year. The portreeve formerly held a court here once in the week, entertaining all claims within the manor, but otherwise without limit.

His authority, however, having been questioned, he has wholly discontinued to act, and the ordinary Petty Sessions Court is now the only town jurisdiction. The manor of Swords embraced, not only the Archbishop's properly here, but his lands in Lusk, Clonmethan, and the neighbouring parishes; and lately, when the south commons of Lusk were enclosed by Act of Parliament, the sum of £2,000, awarded as compensation, was claimed by the Archbishop, as lord of the manor, and at first allowed, but afterwards disallowed, and adjudicated to the parishioners by the Court of Chancery; and thus we see the gradual declension of church secularities, until, in the present day, almost all the feudal privileges of the church have been abolished.

Proportionate with the decline of the Archbishop's influence in Swords, seems to have been the rise of the popular element. In 1578, Queen Elizabeth incorporated the borough and invested it with municipal rights. Among these was the privilege of returning two members to Parliament, the franchise being enjoyed by burgesses, who for their burgages paid an annual rent of twelve pence.

The first members who represented Swords were Walter Fitzsymonds, of Ballymadroght, and Thomas Taylor of Swords, Esqrs. They were returned in April, 1585. From that time, we find the names of Blakeny, Taylor, Tichbourne, Reading, Molesworth, Plunket, Bolton, Cobbe, Hatch, Beresford, Massey, and Synge, representing the potwallopers, or occupants of houses resident in the borough, being Protestants, who were of the meanest class of citizens, and whose venality was as black as the pots that qualified them.

A writer in 1798 thus humorously describes the experiments resorted to by candidates, on the eve of an election:-

"General Eyre Massey, some time since, cast a longing eye on this borough, which he considered as a common open to any one occupant, and to secure the command of it to himself, he began to take and build tenements within its precincts, in which he placed many veteran soldiers, who having served under him in war, were firmly attached to their ancient leader. Mr. Beresford, the first Commissioner of the Revenue, who has a sharp look out for open places, had formed the same scheme with the General, of securing this borough to himself; and a deluge of revenue officers was poured forth from the custom-house to overflow the place, as all the artificers of the new custom-house had been exported in the potato-boats of Duncannon, to storm that borough.

The wary General took the alarm, and threatened his competitor, that for every revenue officer appearing there he would introduce two old soldiers, which somewhat

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cooled the first commissioner's usual ardour; thus the matter rests at present; but whether the legions of the army, or the locusts of the revenue, will finally remain masters of the field, or whether the rival chiefs, from an impossibility of effecting all they wish, will be content to go off like the two kings of Brentford, smelling at one rose; or whether Mr. Hatch's interest will preponderate in the scale, time alone can clearly ascertain."

In 1783, Charles Cobbe and John Hatch had been returned, but the upshot of the election in 1790 was that Hatch was beaten, and the two rivals both admitted to the enjoyment of parliamentary honours.

Out of the £15,000 which was awarded as compensation for the borough disfranchisement at the Union, have grown this school and its endowments. Would that the Union had in every instance brought forth such wholesome fruits. Fortunately, there were no wealthy masters here to claim this sum; so a public institution was founded, and the poor, for once, got the benefit of a wise and liberal disposition of public money.                                           


 



Monasticon hibernicum: or, A history of the abbeys, priories, and other religious houses in Ireland; interspersed with memoirs of their several founders and benefactors, and of their abbots and other superiors, to the time of their final suppression (1873)  
Archdall, Mervyn, 1723-1791; Moran, Patrick Francis, 1830-1911, editor


"Swords.

A village in the barony of Coolock, and six miles north of Dublin.

It was anciently called Surdum Sti. Columbae.

Regular Canons.
A sumptuous monastery was founded here, A.D. 512, by the great St. Columb, who gave to it a missal written by him-
self, blessed the well there, and placed St. Finan Lobhair, or the Leper, over the abbey; he died some time before the
year 563; although other writers extend his years to 593 or 597.

St. Columb is honoured at Swords on the 9th of June; where St. Finan is honoured on the 16th of March; and the
feast of the Holy Virgins Ethnea and Soldevia, was observed here on the 29th of March.

Nunnery.

In the 14th year of the reign of King Edward IV., A.D. 1474, we find an actual grant, by the parliament, of 20s.
yearly out of the revenue of the crown, to Eleanora, prioress of Swords, and her successors. But we meet with no other account of this nunnery.

There are in this village some ruins of a palace, which was formerly the residence of the archbishops of Dublin. "

"Moortown

St. Cronan Mochua was the first who received the monastic habit from St. Carthag in his monastery of Rathenen.
A.D. 571 or 572, he placed St. Cronan over the church of Cluain-Dachrann, near Rathenen ; he was afterwards a monk of Lismore, and was probably abbot there; on quitting which, he presided over the monastery of Glassmore,
where, on the lOth of February, he was inhumanly butchered, together with all his monks, by a party of Danish pirates,
who landed at Inbher-domhnann*, a port in the east part of Leinster, and not far from Dublin ; the year in which this un-
compassionate act was perpetrated, is uncertain, but we are told that St. Cronan was living about the year 631 or 636. The above account strongly evinces, that Glassmore was situated near to Swords ; and as a further proof of this, the Calendarium Casselense tells us, that St. Cronan rests near Swords, Surdum Sti. Columbani. From hence we may, with some probability, infer, that the site of the ancient Glassmore, and the present Moortown, are the same ; the latter is situated about a mile from Swords.

*Inbhir Domhnaan was the old name for the harbour of Malahide, i.e., the
"estuary of the Damnonians," a people who gave their name to Devonshire, in
England and to Erris Domhnaun, in Mayo. St. Cronan's well is marked on the
Ordnance map at Moortown. "


For more information see:
http://archive.org/details/monasticonhiber01archgoog


 



Robert Walsh Fingal and its Churches - A Historical Sketch
(M. A., Dublin and London, 1888)




'North-east View, Church of St. Columba, Norman Tower, and Round Tower, Swords, A.D. 1887'
Fingal and its Churches - A Historical Sketch, by Robert Walsh, M. A., Dublin and London, 1888.


"The stately monuments of the past which still remain at Swords and Lusk would convey a very false impression of the surroundings of these early Celtic Christian communities. The round towers were not yet built. Wattles, oaken planks, and mud were most commonly the materials which formed the huts or bothies refectories, and churches of these communities and their ambulatories were vaulted by the heavens. Dr. Petrie says, stone was sometimes employed even in the case of these early communities. Of course, examples of this material would alone survive. '' Houses used for abbots and monks are of a circular or oval form having dome roofs constructed without a knowledge of the principle of the arch, and without cement, and all encompassed by a broad wall. So, in the monastic establishment of St. Molaise, at Inismurray, on the Bay of Sligo, and of St. Brendan, at Inisglory, on the coast of Erris, Mayo." These encompassing walls were sometimes fifteen feet high. Dr. Petrie thinks that these date from the sixth century ; but he adds : "Most probably, in their monastic houses and oratories, the Irish continued the Scotic custom of building with wood until the twelfth or thirteenth century." But, as time went on, we may believe that the churches of Finglas, Swords, and Lusk were built of stone. The roofs of the smaller churches were also built of stone, as in the case of St. Doulagh's. But the larger churches were roofed with wood, covered with reeds, straw, or oak shingles. This would account for the frequent mention in the annals of burnings of churches. Often the chancel roof was of stone, and the roof of the nave of the lighter materials. Of this we probably have examples in the ruined churches on St. Patrick's Island and Ireland's Eye. The windows were not glazed ; often parchment was stretched across them."

"There is, about one mile and a-half to the north west of Swords, an interesting old ruin and well. The ruin is called Glasmore Abbey. The well is called St. Cronan's Well. The Abbey had been founded by this saint about a century after Columba founded Swords. The annals tell us, but with some disregard to the points of the compass : —
" Glasmore is a church near Swords in the south, whither came the Northmen of Inbher-Domnainn, and slew both Cronan and his entire fraternity in one night. They did not let one escape. There was the entire company crowned with martyrdom," (Archdall's Monasticon, p. 631.) That fatal night was probably February the 10th, for that is the date
given in the calendar for the martyrdom of St. Cronan."

"We can well believe that the towers of Swords and Lusk were often used as stores for valuables, and as places for refuge during the centuries of unrest we have described, more especially when we remember the frail nature of the structures of the churches and monasteries at the time. Indeed, the condition of Fingal at the probable time of the erection of the towers of Swords and Lusk suggests the strong probability that considerations of safety for person and for property were the chief reasons for their erection."

"Of our two round towers. Swords is probably the older. Bishop Reeves thinks it was erected during the ninth century, or early in the tenth century. As in the case of the older towers, it has little ornament about it. It stands alone. It is built of hammered stones, and it has quadrangular doorways. Most of the towers have one doorway, about nine feet from the ground. Through this doorway refugees could gain admittance by a ladder, which they could draw up after them in time of attack, and thus, in days when artillery was unknown, be completely safe from every method of assault but the one which proved successful at Slane ; for it is quite conceivable that an immense fire round the base of a tower could practically roast all the inmates. But the tower of Swords, like only a few others, has a second door directly over the entrance doorway. Both doorways are quadrangular. The lower or entrance doorway is at present only a few feet from the ground. It is 6 feet high, 2 feet wide at the top, and 2 feet 2 inches at the bottom. The upper doorway is 20 feet from the ground, 4 feet high, and 2 feet wide. The total height of the tower is 75 feet. It is one of those with the largest circumference, 55 feet, and with the thickest walls, 4 feet 8 inches. Inside of the walls are projecting stones to sustain four floors. An enthusiastic antiquarian, who was Vicar of Swords from 1682 to 1704, resolved to suggest to succeeding generations that this tower had evidently a Christian origin. He placed the cross on the apex of the cone which still caps the tower. Under this cone are four large openings directly facing the four points of the compass."

"The institution of parishes in England was a gradual process ; it was not completed until the time of Edward the Confessor (1042-1066) . The system had been adopted in the Danish city of Dublin long before the English Conquest. The time of its introduction into Fingal is probably about the year 1179, the date of a bull of Pope  Alexander III. to Laurence O'Toole, Archbishop of Dublin, in which the Pope — asserting the authority he claimed as supreme and sovereign Pontiff — states that he confirms to the Archbishop " the parochial churches of St. Thomas, St. Nicholas, &c., in the city of Dublin,' thus speaking of the parochial system as existing already in the city. But when the Pope proceeds to confirm to the Archbishop the country parts of the diocese, he mentions in his bull not parochial churches, but simply churches ; for the old system of filial churches, dependent on a mother church, and without territorial boundaries, existed still in Fingal. Bishop Beeves has translated this bull, and has identified most of the names mentioned in it. What were henceforth to be " the parochial contents of the Diocese of Dublin " are set forth at length. It is only necessary here to give that part of the bull relating to Fingal. The Pope confirms to Archbishop O'Toole " the churches towns, and possessions of the church committed to you, hereinafter named, to wit,'' Lusca (Lusk, which extended to the northern boundaries of the diocese and the county, including Balrothery and Balungan), with all that belongs to it; Sordum (Swords), with all its appurtenances within and without ; Finglas, with all its appurtenances, saying moreover the half of Rechrannu (Lambay), and the port of Rechrann (Portrane) ; Rathchillin (Clonmethan), Glasnedin (Glasnevin), with its mill ; Duncuanach (Drumcondra), Balengore (near Coolock), Killesra (Killester), Cenannsale (Kinsaley), Clochar (St. Doulagh's), Rathsalehan (?Kilsallaghan), the island of the former sons of Nessan (Ireland's Eye, including its chapel of Kilbarrack)."

"It might have been expected that the Norman barons should be forced to protect themselves by the strong arm but not that the Church should have been obliged to do so. The native Celtic Church in Fingal in her early struggles had not allowed herself to forget that her Master's kingdom was " not of this world," however much the Celtic Church at large, too soon afterwards, permitted the natural tendencies of the Celtic nature to get the better of her. The servants of the imported Norman Church made themselves quite ready to fight with carnal weapons. The castles of Baldungan and Swords were built for ecclesiastics. They must have been the two strongest castles in the district. The Archbishop of Dublin was a great feudal baron as well as a great ecclesiastic. About the year 1200 he fixed on Swords for his country residence, and built the castle whose ruins still remain. Swords had become, within two centuries of the conquest, an immensely wealthy parish. Archbishop Allen (1532) says it " was called the golden, as if it were virtually a bed full of gold." The Archbishop had a large share of this wealth, and here he lived as a prince bishop, dispensing profuse hospitality, and rigorously enforcing English law."

"The Romish persecutions on the continent helped the Reformation in Fingal. In 1583, Sir Henry Sydney, the Queen's Lord Deputy, planted forty families of Protestant refugees from the Low Countries in the old Castle of Swords. It is significantly related of them: "Truly it would have done any man good to see how diligently they worked and how they re-edified the quiet spoiled castle of the town, and repaired almost all the same and how godly and cleanly their lives and children lived." "

"On the 9th of December, 1641, the Irish army of the Pale assembled at Swords under the leadership of many of the Roman Catholic gentry of the county. A contingent, which had been at first assembled at Santry, under Luke Netterville, joined them. The Lords Justices issued a proclamation calling upon this army of insurgents to disperse, and ordering that nine of the chief leaders should come before the Council the next morning, to explain their conduct. This proclamation having been disregarded, Sir Charles Coote was sent against the rebels. He was a good but stern soldier ; he made short work of the insurgents. He burned the village of Santry, and slew some rioters there ; and finding Swords fortified, he stormed it, put its defenders to flight, and killed about two hundred of them. At Kilsallaghan the Earl of Fingal, with some of the Barnewalls, Seagraves, and others, assembled a force about the castle. It is stated that their position was made very strong by the woods surrounding the castle, and by defences which they raised. It was not strong enough, however, to resist the Earl of Ormond, who attacked and carried it, driving the enemy out of the castle, which be left a ruin, and in that condition it has remained ever since."

"One Fingal school calls for special mention. In 1809 Swords Borough School was opened. In 1812 it was attended by 261 pupils. Swords had returned two members to the Irish House of Commons. Upon its disfranchisement at the time of the Union with Great Britain, £15,000 was awarded as compensation, and was assigned as an endowment of the school. All inhabitants of the borough were entitled to benefit by it. At first the school was readily attended by Roman Catholic as well as by Protestant children. The religious convictions of all the pupils were scrupulously respected. The process which took place elsewhere, however, in one year withdrew the Boman Catholic pupils, and a demand by their religious teachers was made for the greater part of the endowment. In the present year [1888] the controversy has been settled by the decision of the ''Endowed School Commissioners." The Church of Ireland
retains the school buildings, and the endowment (after deducting £2000, which sum was given to the Roman Catholic Church as an equivalent for the school buildings) is divided between the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Church, in proportion to the average numbers of the children of each religion attending the school for some
few years past."

"APPENDIX I.— A.D. 1275.
Extracts from the "Crede Mihi," relating to Fingal. The " Crede Mihi" is the oldest existing record of the state of the
Parishes in the Diocese of Dublin. The record was made about A.D. 1275, according to Archbishop Ussher. The original is in the custody of the Archbishop of Dublin. There is a transcript in the Library, T.C.D., which is somewhat difficult to decipher accurately. Some of the observations are notes afterwards added by Archbishop Allen, A.D. 1528— 1534. N.B. — For the sake of more easy reference and comparison, the Parishes in each of the following eight Appendices are put in the same order, and grouped as they were in 1S86.
XI. Swerdes (Swords), Church of. Archbishop Patron,
Thomas Comyn, with Chapels —
Killythe (Killeek).
Lispobel.
Kilrery (Killossory).
Kilsalthan (Kilsallaghan), Church of, belongs to Abbot of St. Thomas for his own use.
Chapelmidway (not mentioned).
Kinsale (Kinsaley), Church of, belongs to Swords. "

"APPENDIX v.— A.D. 1630.
Extracts relating to Fingal from an " Account of the Dioces of Dublin, drawn up by Archbishop Bulkeley, and presented to the Privy Council of Ireland, June I, 1630." The MS. account is in the Library, T.C.D. There is also a translation published in "The Irish Ecclesiastical Record," 1869, Vol V., p. 145, &c., from which these extracts are taken. Lancelot Bulkeley, D.U., was Archbishop from A.D. 1619 to A.D. 1650. He endeavoured to restrain the seditious harangues which, during his time, were abundantly delivered by the Jesuits and Friars of Dublin. He died,
"being spent with grief for the calamities of the times." (Cotton's "Fasti.")
XI Swordes. The church, by neglect of the gentlemen of that parish, who are recusants, is lately fallen flat to the ground, and no part standing only some part of the bare walls. There is one Doyle, a mass-priest, who keeps school in the town of Swordes, to whom many gentleman's sons do resort. This priest commonly says mass in the house of Mr. Taylour, of Swordes, gent., whereunto there is great concourse of people on Sundays and holidays. There useth to come to church there about threescore to hear Divine Service and sermon. Mr. Christopher Huetson is vicar there, whose means there are worth £40 per annum. "


"APPENDIX VII.— A.D. 1887.
The Parishes and Churches of Fingal previously referred to are now grouped in the following Unions : —
"XI. (a) Swords, with it; chapels, and including (b) Lispobel, (c) Kinsaley, (d) Killossery, (e) Killeek, (f)
Kilsallaghan, (g) Chapelmidway, (i) Glasmore.
(a) Swords, Sord Choluim-Chille (sord, i. e., pure). It would be impossible, within the limits assigned to these  sketches to give an adequate description of the interesting ecclesiastical buildings of Swords. The present parochial church, dedicated, like its predecessors, to St. Columba, was completed in 1818. It stands on the site of its predecessors. It is a handsome oblong quadrangular building of hewn stone, in the early English pointed style. It is 84 feet long by 32 feet wide. The walls on each side are supported by a series of seven massive buttresses, surmounted by graceful pinnacles. To the N.W. stands distinct from the church the massive square belfry of the ancient abbey. It is about 68 feet high, 27 feet wide on the S. face, by 30 on the W. face. In an illustration in Grose's Antiquities (i 791) the ruins of the abbey are represented as attached to the S. of this belfry. To the N. of this belfry, and also distinct from it, is the interesting round tower 75 feet high, of which a description is given at p. 60.

The extensive ruins of the ancient country palace of the Archbishops of Dublin stand at the N. end of the town of Swords. The embattled walls surrounding it are still very perfect. The palace was built in troublous times, and was meant to be used as a place of defence as well as of residence. It was built about the year 1200, but was only used for about a century and a quarter. In 1324 Archbishop de Bicknor built another country palace at Tallaght, which continued to be the country seat of the archbishops until 1821. An inquisition on Swords was held in Dublin in 1326, when its palace was beginning to fall into decay. A report is preserved among the diocesan records. From this we can form an accurate idea of what buildings these old walls included. "

There is in this place a hall and a chamber for the archbishop adjoining the said hall, the walls of which are of stone crenellated after the manner of a castle covered with shingles. Further, there is in the same place a kitchen with a larder, the walls of which are of stone, roofed with shingles, and there is in the same place a chapel, the walls of which are of stone roofed with shingles. And there was in the same place a chamber for friars, with a cloister, which have lately fallen. And there is in the same place a chamber for the constable beside the gates, and four chambers for soldiers or wardens, roofed with shingles, under which is a stable and a bakehouse. And there was in the same place a house for a dairy and a workshop, which have lately fallen. And there are in the same place, in the haggard, a shed made with planks and thatched with straw, and a granary made of wood and roofed with boards, and a cow-house for housing farm horses and bullocks. . . . The premises need thorough repair. " Many of the details here mentioned can still be recognised. The famous well which gave its name to Swords is still used. A relic of Swords once highly venerated has disappeared, called the "Pardon Crosse." It stood near the old palace.

(h) Glasmore. About a mile N. W. of Swords, in a field S. of the road from Swords to Rollestown, stand the ruins
which were left on the night when the Danes from Malahide destroyed the abbey and killed its inmates. These ruins have the appearance of having been long subsequently repaired or utilized for a dwelling or office. A very large apartment, 36 feet square, remains, surrounded by massive walls. Some wide low windows are at two sides. The corner stones of the walls are very large. As the abbey was built at the most flourishing period of the Fingal Celtic Church, special interest attaches to these ruins, which can scarcely represent a revived abbey, as none such is mentioned in diocesan records."

For more information see:
http://archive.org/stream/fingalanditschu00walsgoog/fingalanditschu00walsgoog_djvu.txt


 



Swords Tokens 1838

[thanks to Joe Curtis]


Courtesy F. Heaney

 

O: SWORDS . COAL . STORES . HALF BUSHEL | 1838
       R: SWORDS | 1838               Cu 

 ----  O: SWORDS . COAL . STORE |  * ONE BUSHEL * = * | 1838 | *
       R: * | SWORDS | 1838 | *

http://www.irish-tokens.co.uk/misc%20all%20thumbs.htm#swordscoal




Andrew J. Kettle (1833-1916)

Andrew J. Kettle was born in September 1833 near Swords at Drynam, (more correctly called Drinan which derives from droighneán, the Irish word for blackthorn). He was deeply involved in the setting up of the Land League, which fought to obtain for farmers, the three Fs-Fixity of Tenure, Fair Rent and Free Sale. He worked very closely with Isaac Butt and Charles Parnell. In 1879, he presided at the meeting in Dublin, which established the Land League on a formal basis. He was appointed as its first treasurer. During the Land League campaign, he was imprisoned in Kilmainham for six months, and in 1881, he was one of the signatories of the “No rent” manifesto. His epitaph (written by his son, Tom) was, “None served Ireland better, few served her as well”. He died on the 22nd of September 1916 shortly after hearing the death of his son Tom. He is buried in St Colmcille’s RC Cemetery, Swords.

For more information see: http://www.malahideheritage.com/Thomas%20Kettle.htm




Kettle Monument
St Colmcille’s RC Cemetery, Swords.
(Photo: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)

Andrew Kettle (1833-1916)


Life
[otherwise A. J. Kettle;] b. Swords, Co. Dublin; ed. locally; farmer, involved with Tenant League; supported Michael Davitt; presided at first meting of national Land League, Oct. 1879; nominated by Parnell but defeated by clerical opposition in elections of April 1880; proposed that ‘the whole Irish party should rise and leave the House, and cross to Ireland and carry on a No-Rent campaign’, 1881;

he was imprisoned in Naas and Mountjoy; added his name to those of Parnell, Michael Davitt, Thomas Sexton, and Patrick Egan on the No Rent Manifesto (18 Oct. 1881); released through ill-health, 1881; retired from politics after Kilmainham Treaty; supported Parnell in the Split; wrote an autobiography published as The Memoirs of Andrew J. Kettle (1958); he was the father of Thomas Kettle. (DIH)

Notes
The story of his chairing a political meeting on a wagonette which gave way, throwing the chairman off, is narrated in Sir Dunbar Plunket Barton, Timothy Healy: Memories and Anecdotes (Dublin: Talbot Press; London: Faber & Faber [1933]), p.39-40. It includes a heckler's remark, ‘Go down, Kettle, your spout is broken’, and Tim Healy's ironic vote of thanks to to him for his ‘dignified conduct in the chair’.

For more information see: http://www.ricorso.net/rx/az-data/authors/k/Kettle_A/life.htm




THE KETTLE FAMILY - 'A HOUSEHOLD NAME'
By Austin Crombie

The Kettle Family come from North County Dublin with origins going back to the 14th Century. They owned lands from Artane St Margaret’s, Swords to Kinsealy where they lived. Andrew Kettle (1833-1916) was a founder member of the Land League and a farming pioneer and one of the best informed and most progressive farmers in Ireland. He was always the first to try out new machinery which he imported from Germany. A tillage farmer he grew barley for brewers and distillers and raised bullocks and did some horse breeding.

In 1880 he helped to found the Land League and was a major supporter of Charles Stewart Parnell. Often referred to as Parnell’s ‘Right Hand Man’ they had a shrewd respect for each other. In a moment of good humour the great leader said, on introducing him to a group of electors, “Here’s a man whose name is a household word.”

Andrew Kettle became something of a patriarch. He was a pillar of cloud by day, his son told a friend and a pillar of fire by night to the farmers of County Dublin. His arrest under the Coercion Act and imprisonment in Naas Jail provoked his supporters and greatly upset his family.

After he retired from public life his health deteriorated and for the last seven years of his life he was disabled by rheumatism.

When the news came through that his favourite son Tom was killed in the battlefield he was devastated. He remarked “Tom is dead, life is over for me.” Four weeks later he was dead.

For more information see: http://www.news4.ie/october2004/frame3/kettle.htm

 



Swords Sord Cholmcille A Visual History
Pictures of Swords, County Dublin from the 1790s to today.

 



 


1900s CE
 



Dublin, 1913—Strike and Lockout
[thanks to Joe Curtis]

Throughout the United Kingdom, the divisions between the labour movement and employers had deepened greatly in the early years of the twentieth century. Strikes had occurred frequently in many places, but it seemed that industrial relations were becoming more settled in the beginning of the second decade of the century. For the most part, Dublin had escaped labour unrest. In 1900 the Dublin Chamber of Commerce confidently declared: ‘We are pleased to note the growing disposition of all classes to unite in promoting the best interests of our country’. This harmony did not last and in 1913, the Labour movement in Dublin became involved in a serious conflict with the employers, known as the Lockout.


8 October. [1913] Serious riots occurred in Swords, Co. Dublin when striking workers tried to prevent farmers bringing cattle to market. Police and civilians were injured.

For more information see: http://multitext.ucc.ie/d/Dublin_1913Strike_and_Lockout


 



“The principal rallying-ground for the Larkinites” – The Swords Riot of 1913

http://www.theirishstory.com/2013/07/15/the-principal-rallying-ground-for-the-larkinites-the-swords-riot-of-1913/#.Ue0Klo3qkS7/

Christopher Lee, author of a previous article on Finglas in the Lockout, looks at the great strike of 1913 in the County Dublin village of Swords

Windows up and down the darkened street are smashed by the rioters, a hail of stones and bottles shattering every window in the police barracks. A line of police advance into a barrage of bottles and stones, some felled by the projectiles as they move on the crowd; suddenly the police surge forward, batons raised, swinging as they wade into the milling, surging crowd of men…

These scenes were not played out in the streets of Dublin but in the rural village of Swords on the night of October 9th, 1913.It is not widely appreciated the violence associated with the Dublin Lockout was not confined solely to Dublin City. Striking farm labourers from the Swords district also took part in the violence in Dublin, travelling into the city to take part in demonstrations. Throughout late 1913 the village of Swords and surrounds witnessed scenes of rioting, intimidation, vandalism and violence and hosted perhaps the largest police contingent outside Dublin.

During the farm labourers’ strike and Dublin Lockout, Swords was a stronghold of the Irish Transport & General Workers Union (ITGWU) in rural County Dublin. The village was described in contemporary newspapers as “…the principal rallying-ground for the Larkinites” and the “…centre of the trouble”. [1], [2] Frank Moss was the union organiser for the Swords district for the duration of the farm labourers’ dispute and Dublin Lockout and was instrumental in making the farm labourers of the area the most heavily unionised and militant in County Dublin.

Roots of the Dispute in North County Dublin

The farm labourers’ dispute had its roots in a campaign launched in early 1913 by James Larkin and the ITGWU to improve the pay and conditions of the County Dublin farm labourers. In 1913 Swords was a rural village in North County Dublin with a population of around 900 people. The main sources of employment were dairying and agriculture, which, before the adoption of mechanisation, required a substantial labour force.

Throughout June 1913, mass meetings in Swords, Clondalkin, Lucan, Howth and Blanchardstown enrolled large numbers of farm labourers and transport workers into the ITGWU. The Swords branch of the ITGWU established its headquarters in a house in the main street of the village. The strikers christened the house “Liberty Hall” in emulation of the ITGWU building in Dublin. Frank Moss would frequently address gatherings of strikers in the street from an upstairs window of the house.[3][4]

"Just before the lockout the ITGWU had established itself among farm labourers in North County Dublin and forced several concessions from the farmers there."

The County Dublin Farmers Association opposed the industrial campaign as every farmer and landholder set their own wages and conditions for their workers meaning labourers in different areas could be paid different wages for the same work. The demands of the ITGWU and farm labourers were for higher wages and uniform pay and conditions while retaining all of the workers’ existing perquisites, or ‘perks’.

In response to opposition from the County Dublin Farmers’ Association, by the end of July around 1,000 labourers were on strike with about 600 in the Swords district alone.[5] By August, even though the situation in Swords remained peaceable, the large and enthusiastic demonstrations conducted by the strikers prompted the authorities to station fifty Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) policemen in the town. [6] A report stated that “Beyond cessation of work no trouble has been caused”.”[7] and “…a police constable stated that peaceful picketing was going forward.”[8]

On 16th August 1913, the County Dublin Farmers’ Association, rather than see their crops rot in the fields, capitulated to the demands of the ITGWU. The conditions the farm labourers had won were a six-day week, a 12 hour day with two hours for meal breaks and a half day on Saturday. Their wages were set at 17s per week plus the usual perquisites, 4s per day for casual labourers and 1s 6d a day, or 9s a week, for women.

Despite this victory the farm labourers were about to become embroiled in the escalating strike in Dublin City. Many farm labourers would soon find themselves on strike again and unable to benefit from the higher wages they had just won.

Swords and the Lockout

In Dublin, William Murphy, President of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Dublin United Tramway Company, refused to allow any of his employees to remain members of the ITGWU. After issuing an ultimatum to his staff he dismissed any who refused to resign their union membership. In response, on 26th August, James Larkin, perhaps emboldened by his victory over the County Dublin Farmers’ Association, called on the ITGWU membership to strike.

The events of 29th and 30th August, which culminated in “Bloody Sunday”, hardened the attitudes of both strikers and employers. The indiscriminate police violence left at least two people dead and hundreds of strikers and innocent bystanders injured.

William Murphy increased the pressure on Larkin and the ITGWU by employing non-union labour to replace the strikers and on 3rd September organised 400 of Dublin’s largest employers to dismiss or ‘lock out’ any employee who was a union member.

On 12th September, the County Dublin Farmers Association, at the urging of William Murphy, decided to join the ‘lockout’, going back on their 16th August agreement with the farm labourers. The farmers threatened to dismiss any farm labourer who refused to resign their union membership.

"In September 1913 the farmers threatened to dismiss any farm labourer who refused to resign their union membership"

As a result, farm labourers across County Dublin walked off the farms and went on strike. Over the following weeks the Swords farm labourers, about 300 of whom were on strike, spent“…their time in going through the district on their bicycles, making things…unpleasant…for those members of the union who are still at work.”[9]

The strikers in the Swords district began stopping carts of produce driven by non-union or ‘scab’ workers on their way to the Dublin markets. As well as blocking ‘scab’ labour, this was a form of economic warfare against the farmers, denying them the opportunity to sell their produce and harming their incomes. This, combined with the withdrawal of labour, led to shortages of fresh milk, potatoes and vegetables in Dublin and drove up the price of what was available.

"The unintended consequence of the action against the farmers was to increase the hardship for those on strike in Dublin by forcing up food prices."

By mid-September the price of “..carrots, lettuce, and other descriptions of garden produce had advanced fully 50 percent.”[10] The unintended consequence of the action against the farmers was to increase the hardship for those on strike in Dublin. The workers on strike in Dublin were unable to pay the rising prices; “To the poor, potatoes are now at a price beyond their reach. This fact combined with the dearness of coal necessitates the use of bread and tea alone as the general food of the families of the unemployed and very poor.”[11]

‘Rowdyism’ – the first clashes in Swords

On Monday, 15th September, a gathering of striking farm labourers in Swords very nearly turned violent. Around 300 men, half of whom had reportedly been drinking heavily, paraded around the village until late in the evening, singing and shouting.

The crowd was very hostile to the police and the eight or nine police present were “…mobbed and shuffled off the footway.” The officer in charge ordered the police back to barracks “…amid the jeers and insults of the mob…” as he was concerned, if the situation escalated and the crowd “…persisted in their provocative conduct…firearms or batons would have to be produced…”.[12]

The crowd sought another outlet for its anger and marched to Kinsealy to attack the cottage of a farm worker who had not gone on strike. The cottage was guarded by two police who were powerless to stop the large crowd from stoning the cottage and smashing all the windows. The crowd remained there for half an hour, shouting and dancing to the music of a “…ragtime pipe and drum band…” which had accompanied the demonstration.[13]

"On September the 15th there were tense confrontations between police and strikers in Swords, and the following week many Swords workers were involved in rioting in Dublin city"

The next night, 17th September, strong police reinforcements in Swords “…prevented a repetition of the previous night’s rowdyism.” The strikers instead marched out to attack the same cottage in Kinsealy but were met there by twenty police armed with revolvers. The strikers “…discreetly retreated back to Swords.”[14]

The 17th September was the same night a riot took place in Finglas. Striking farm labourers began picketing a pub where a ‘scab’ worker had been served a drink. Later that night the pub and police were pelted with stones resulting in accidental shooting by the police of Patrick Daly, a 17-year-old local boy who had been a member of the crowd.[15] There were only two policemen on duty in Finglas that evening rather than the usual three or four. It is possible the others had been sent to reinforce Swords, leaving the remaining police in a precarious position when trouble started in Finglas.

On 18th September, 300 strikers, accompanied by the Swords pipe and drum band, marched into Dublin to take part in labour demonstrations.[16] The Swords strikers would have been present to hear James Larkin’s speech at Liberty Hall advising those present to be peaceable and quiet:

“The police were already responsible for the murder of their comrades, Byrne and Nolan, and only a few hours ago they shot down young Daly, at Finglas, like a dog. The people should not give any chance to the police who are thirsting to continue their murderous assaults.”[17]

However, the Swords farm labourers were far from peaceable and quiet. Prior to the riot in Swords the farm labourers gave a clear indication of their willingness to engage the police in battle.

On 21st September the Swords strikers were involved in a serious riot in Dublin. Over 200 farm labourers marched into Dublin to participate in demonstrations at Croydon Park, the pro-employer Irish Independent commented, “The contingents were from the Coolock and Swords districts and their demeanour was generally aggressive.” [18]

At around 5pm, returning from the rally, strikers attacked trams of the Dublin United Tramway Company, which were driven by ‘scabs’. The farm labourers, other strikers, and “Girls, many of them of a low type…” attacked trams on North Strand Road, subjecting them to a “…fierce fusillade of stones, bottles and sticks.”[19]

As the police moved to make arrests they were pelted with bottles and stones. While parts of the large crowd of strikers coming from Croydon Park battled the police in Lombard Street and Townsend Street, in North Clarence Street the farm labourers bombarded the police with bricks from the ruins of two demolished houses.[20]

The police conducted a number of baton charges but the strikers would disperse and regroup in the side streets, attacking the police from all sides until they retreated. One policeman commented to the newspapers, “The remarkable thing about it, said this officer, was that the rioters seemed determined to fight. They stood their ground for a while, and used such ammunition as was ready to their hand. Stones, half bricks, bottles, iron nuts were sent whizzing through the air, and many persons were injured.”

Eventually the strikers were dispersed by repeated police charges, leaving many injured on both sides. Despite being beaten back, the Swords farm labourers had clearly demonstrated they were not afraid to take on the police.

The Swords strikers complained that the Dublin newspapers had misrepresented them. They refuted claims that, “…pandemonium prevails at Swords by night, and that “terrorism” is regularly practiced both at Swords and Kinsealy.” The strikers countered “…the police authorities agree with them – that they have never done anything worse than march through the town with the local fife and drum band; that in every speech made by a labour man in the district the policy of non-interference was advocated above all things…” They also claimed the farmers’ insistence on police protection for workers and carts was part of a campaign to “…discredit the strikers in the eyes of the public.[21]

September 1913 – The farmers fight back

In late September the farmers began to organise themselves to get their harvests in despite the farm labourers strike. One of the first such efforts was made on the farm of Charles Kettle, Kilmore Cottage, Artane.

Around twenty farmers, including several Justices of the Peace and gentlemen, gathered in around sixteen acres of corn. Despite being “…unused to bearing the heat and burden of the day, they all gave a marvellously good account of themselves…”.[22] The newspaper patronisingly suggested the gentlemen labourers “…actually taught lessons in sustained effort to the groups of strikers who picketed the place during the progress of operations.”[23] A plan by the Swords strikers to march out to picket in strength the next day fell apart when they were denied use of the drum of the Swords band.[24]

"The farmers cooperated in bringing in ‘scab’ workers to get in the harvest in North County Dublin in late September 1913 – a tactic which upped the violence of the dispute there."

It was also in late September the striking labourers in County Dublin received some strike pay. The amount paid was small and varied across locations, depending it was said, upon the strength of the local union branch. Illustrating this very point, union members in Swords received around double the strike pay, 4s to 3s 6d, of those in Finglas, while those in Santry received only food aid.[25] In a seemingly desperate move, a group of strikers in Swords who had received no strike pay visited a number of shops, demanding money from the owners.[26]

Throughout late September and early October the strikers, led by Frank Moss, began to take a harder line with ‘scabs’ and non-union members and there were a number of incidents of violence and intimidation. Several incidents occurred when it became known pubs in Swords were serving drink to ‘scabs’.

On Saturday night, 27th September a group of strikers forced a ‘scab’ to leave a pub in the main street of Swords. Once outside the group attacked the man, who was rescued by the police, his attackers managing to escape.[27] In other cases Frank Moss avoided violent confrontation by ordering all union members to boycott an offending pub. Despite the hardening attitude, when union members attempted to drag a ‘scab’ out of a pub, Frank Moss stepped in to prevent violence, ordering them to leave him alone.[28]

On 1st October, the day of the monthly Swords fair, Frank Moss and the striking farm labourers intended to hold a demonstration in the main street. Moss intended to have the demonstration accompanied by the local band. However, the band instruments were owned by the local branch of the United Irish League – the grassroots organisation of the Irish Parliamentary Party – which in turn was controlled by the farmers.[29]

After some difficulty gaining access to the bandroom, the strikers were preparing to start their demonstration when a large body of police descended upon them. District Inspector Dowling informed the strikers “…if they brought the band on to the street he would be obliged to treat them as an illegal assembly, and disperse them by force, because their presence in the fair would inevitably provoke a conflict with the farmers.”[30] Finding themselves surrounded by the police and prevented from holding the planned demonstration, the strikers held their rally in the bandroom hall.[31]

Despite Moss’ previous statements of non-interference, rumours began to circulate that livestock being driven to market in Dublin by ‘scabs’ would be turned back by the strikers around Swords.[32] Patrols of police began escorting the cattle drives to Dublin. While groups of strikers were encountered, perhaps due to the police presence, they didn’t attempt to interfere with the herds.[33] However, this state of affairs would not last.

A newspaper report from early October stated the Swords strikers’ “…attitude had become more and more threatening...”[34]

On Wednesday evening, 9th October, Frank Moss addressed a crowd of strikers who had gathered to receive strike pay and provisions. Moss told the crowd “….that they had been “keeping too quiet in Swords” and that he himself had been too quiet during the strike there.”[35] True to his word, things would change that very night.
 



Weekly Irish Times 18 October 1913


October 9th 1913, the Riot in Swords

At about 10pm that evening, a herd of sheep and a large herd of cattle were being driven through Swords with a police escort.[36] As they arrived at the turnpike at the southern end of the main street of the village, a group of strikers drove the animals back up the main street in confusion, chasing and scattering them in the darkness.

"On October 9th, serious rioting erupted in Swords when police arrested a striker who had helped drive off a herd of farmers’ cattle."

The men driving the herds alerted the police and District Inspector Dowling accompanied by five or six police helped gather the scattered stock. The herds were again driven back through the village only to be met once more by the strikers who scattered them again. The police and drovers were pelted with stones and bottles and in the noise, darkness and confusion of men, cattle and sheep running in all directions, the handful of police could not control the situation.[37]

With the help of a strong light mounted on a police bicycle, the police managed to identify and arrest one man, Christopher McKittrick.[38] Leaving two constables to manage McKittrick, a sergeant cycled to the police barracks for reinforcements. As the police escorted McKittrick back to their barracks at the other end of the main street, they encountered a crowd of about 100 strikers near “Liberty Hall”.

Seeing McKittrick in the hands of the police the crowd blocked them“…forming four deep across the street at “Liberty Hall”.”[39] John Dardis, Michael Dempsey and Timothy White rushed forward, took hold of McKittrick and refused to let him go, Dardis stating he was “…a picket of the Transport Union and would not let the prisoner pass until they knew what he was arrested for.”[40] Patrick Rourke, who was “…in a fighting attitude, and very excited, shouted: “Lads, rush them!”[41]

"Three hundred strikers chased the police out of the village for a time but were eventually dispersed by two baton charges."

At this point the sergeant returned with five police officers and as the other police assisted in dragging McKittrick from the crowd, he arrested Rourke. As the police retreated towards their barracks with the two prisoners they were showered with bottles and stones, all the while accompanied by shouting and booing.

The striking farm labourers were now left in control of the main street of the village and, following the retreating police, attacked the barracks. The barrack windows were smashed by a hail of stones and bottles after which the strikers attacked the shops of those owners known to be sympathetic to the farmers and police.[42] During these wild, chaotic scenes even a window in “Liberty Hall” was smashed. It was during this wave of attacks on shops that Frank Moss was alleged to have smashed the window of McGonagle’s sweet shop, opposite “Liberty Hall”

In the meantime the police had gathered reinforcements and District Inspector Dowling, with around thirty police officers, moved in to break up the riot. As the police approached the strikers gathered outside “Liberty Hall” they were subjected to an intense barrage of bottles and stones, severely injuring several of them. At this point, District Inspector Dowling “…finding that all peaceable means of dispersing the mob were of no avail…” ordered a baton charge, scattering the crowd and injuring many of the strikers. A short time later the crowd reassembled but was dispersed by another baton charge.[43]

The police remained on the streets for the rest of the night to prevent any further outbreak of violence and to ensure herds of cattle made it through the village safely. The local doctor and nurse were busy until late in the night tending the injured strikers.[44]

The following evening saw a tense calm descend over Swords. There were rumours that the strikers were going to take revenge upon the police. A statement was made during the day by a union official, presumably Frank Moss, “…that the peaceful attitude by the men heretofore could no longer be adhered to…”.[45] Police reinforcements had arrived in the village, bringing the total up to seventy officers. Instead of sending them on their usual patrols, District Inspector Dowling kept them in the barracks, ready to deal with trouble at a moment’s notice.

As night fell groups of strikers were seen carrying fresh-cut sticks.[46] However, by 10pm, Swords remained quiet, leaving the police perplexed as to the whereabouts and intentions of the strikers.[47] It is possible many of the strikers, injured in the previous night’s baton charges, were in no condition or mood to take to the streets again. Also, it could be said, the strikers were sensible enough not to face a sizeable body of police who were clearly expecting and prepared for trouble.

The following day additional police reinforcements arrived in Swords bringing the total available to around eighty officers, a substantial police presence and possibly the largest police contingent stationed outside of Dublin during the lockout. This police presence is a testament to how seriously the authorities took the Swords strikers who by this stage numbered about three hundred in total.

Trial and punishment

The morning after the riot, at a special sitting of the magistrate’s court, Christopher McKittrick and Patrick Rourke were charged with rioting and assaulting the police. While both were found guilty, Rourke was remanded in custody but McKittrick was bound to keep the peace on a surety of £5, roughly six weeks wages for a farm labourer.[48]

At 4am on 16th October, the police moved to arrest John Dardis, Michael Dempsey, Timothy White and John Connor. Having been taken from their beds, they faced the Swords Magistrates Court that morning. Patrick Rourke, who had been in custody since 9th October, joined them in the dock. Despite the prisoners having no defence representation the hearing went ahead. They were charged with having:

“…unlawfully, tumultuously and riotously, with other persons to the number of about 100 assemble to the disturbance of the public peace, and while so assembled did unlawfully attempt to forcibly rescue one Christopher McKittrick from legal custody and arrest, and unlawfully obstruct certain constables of the RIC while in the execution of their duty.”[49]

Dardis, Dempsey, White and Rourke were refused bail and remanded in custody to face trial at the County Commission, a special court established to hear cases arising from the Dublin Lockout. Connor was released, but obliged to pay a good behaviour bond of £5. At the County Commission trial in late October, the court found John Dardis “…was the originator of the whole business.” and sentenced him to six months in prison. Patrick Dempsey was sentenced to four months, Patrick Rourke to three months, while Timothy White was found not guilty and released.[50]

Frank Moss faced trial in late October, charged with three separate acts of intimidation and with smashing the window of McGonagle’s sweet shop during the riot. At the start of the trial, Moss’ defence suggested any of the magistrates who had a personal interest in the progress of the farm labourers’ strike, should stand aside and take no part in the hearing. However, despite many of them being farmers and land owners, none of the magistrates stood aside and the defence council could only lodge a formal protest.

One of the charges against Moss was he intimidated a union member, James Lawless, by spilling the man’s drink. Lawless had been drinking in a pub when Moss demanded all union members leave because ‘scabs’ were being served there. When Lawless told Moss he would leave when he finished his drink, Moss took the drink from him and spilled it, both men leaving together. Even though Lawless told the court he had no problem with Moss spilling his drink, Moss was found guilty of intimidating him. Moss was also found guilty on the other two charges of intimidation and sentenced to three months imprisonment, with hard labour.[51]

While in Mountjoy Prison, Moss went on hunger strike and in response the prison authorities force-fed him.[52] Upon completing his sentence he was then tried on the charge of smashing McGonagle’s window, found guilty and sentenced to a further fourteen days in prison.[53] Despite his solicitor having lodged an appeal following his conviction on 24th October 1913, due to a supposed administrative error, Moss’ appeal was not heard until June 1914, when all charges were dismissed.[54] This was a meaningless gesture on the part of the authorities, as Moss had already spent four months in prison.




Weekly Irish Times 25 October 1913


The defeat of the Swords strike

Throughout late 1913, the farmers took steps to break the power of the strikers by turning to the use of “free labour”, non-union labourers, some brought in from other counties. The introduction of “free labour” into County Dublin is attributed to Mr Andrew Kettle Sr. of St. Margaret’s. Despite their having to live and work under police protection, the use of non-union labour by farmers spread quickly.[55] Adding to the pressure on the strikers, many in the Swords district, including the occupants of “Liberty Hall” and John Dardis, were evicted from their houses by their farmer landlords.[56] By early October, faced literally with starvation, eviction and the approach of winter, strikers began to return to work.[57]

"By the end of 1913, the strikers in North County Dublin had been forced back to work by starvation. Some union members were never taken back by their employers."

However, some farmers refused to take their former employees back, despite the labourers offering to do so on the farmer’s terms and asking for reinstatement “…under any circumstances…”.[58] As a result, the wives, mothers and daughters of the strikers in the Swords district, in an effort to put food on their tables, worked picking harvested potatoes from the fields.[59] The women were paid 2s a day, which, while it was less than the 4s paid to casual men, was still more than the 1s 6d which had been agreed for women under the 16thAugust agreement with the County Dublin Farmers Association.[60]

By February 1914, there were still around 230 unemployed members of the ITGWU in Swords unable to return to work as “…their positions have mostly been filled by “free” labour.”[61]

In desperation, many unemployed farm labourers took the jobs of Dublin workers who were on strike, becoming the ‘scabs’ they had previously despised.[62] Officials of the ITGWU used the strongest language to condemn the labourers who sought work in Dublin:

“The labourer who would come in to take a striker’s job was worse than Judas, for whereas Judas got thirty pieces of silver for his dirty job, they would only get twenty shillings. Judas as they all knew, afterwards hanged himself, and there would not be enough rope in the whole County Dublin to hang the labourers who attempted to act Judas on their fellow workers in the city.”[63]

Like the riot in neighbouring Finglas a month earlier, the riot at Swords did not affect the overall course of the strike. With the introduction of non-union labour into County Dublin the striking farm workers faced starvation, eviction and permanent unemployment. By late 1913 the strike had virtually collapsed and many of the striking farm labourers involved in the Swords riot had been arrested, imprisoned or evicted from their homes.

The defeat of the farm labourers and the strike in Dublin left many men unemployed, homeless and destitute. However, during the second half of 1913, the Swords farm labourers, under the direction of Frank Moss, were among the most militant and belligerent of James Larkin’s followers in County Dublin, making Swords “the principal rallying-ground for the Larkinites”.

References

[1] Irish Independent, 18 September, 1913, Page: 5

[2] Irish Times, 6 December, 1913, Page: 4

[3] Irish Times, 25 October, 1913, Page: 9

[4] The location of the Swords “Liberty Hall” was on the eastern side of the Main Street, roughly half way down, opposite the site of McGonagle’s sweet shop.

[5]“Larkinism and the 1913 County Dublin Farm Labourer’s Dispute”, Eugene A. Coyle, Dublin Historical Record, Vol. 58, No. 2 (Autumn, 2005), pp. 176-190

[6]Freemans Journal, 16 August, 1913, Page: 18

[7]Freemans Journal, 16 August, 1913, Page: 18

[8] Irish Independent, 16 August, 1913, Page: 9

[9] Freeman’s Journal, 17 September, 1913, Page: 7

[10]Irish Independent, 18 September, 1913, Page: 7

[11]Irish Independent, 18 September, 1913, Page: 7

[12]Irish Independent, 18 September, 1913, Page: 5

[13]Irish Independent, 18 September, 1913, Page: 5

[14] Irish Independent, 18 September, 1913, Page: 7

[15] “Shot Down like a Dog – The Finglas Riot of 1913”, Christopher Lee, 2013, http://www.theirishstory.com/2013/04/23/shot-down-like-a-dog-the-finglas-riot-of-1913/#.UdJdHDtxTmQ

[16] Freeman’s Journal, 19 September, 1913, Page: 7

[17] Freeman’s Journal, 18 September 1913, Page:8

[18] Irish Independent, 22 September 1913, Page: 5

[19] Irish Independent, 22 September 1913, Page: 5

[20] Irish Times, 27 September, 1913, Page: 3

[21] Freeman’s Journal, 23 September, 1913, Page: 10

[22]Freeman’s Journal, 1 October, 1913, Page: 8

[23]Freeman’s Journal, 1 October, 1913, Page: 8

[24]Freeman’s Journal, 1 October, 1913, Page: 8

[25] Irish Independent, 8 October 1913, Page:5

[26] Irish Independent, 25 September 1913, Page:7

[27] Irish Independent, 29 September, 1913, Page: 7

[28]Freeman’s Journal, 13 October, 1913, Page: 5

[29] Irish Times, 2 October, 1913, Page: 5

[30] Irish Times, 2 October, 1913, Page: 5

[31] Irish Times, 2 October, 1913, Page: 5

[32] Freeman’s Journal, 19 September, 1913, Page: 7

[33] Freeman’s Journal, 19 September, 1913, Page: 7

[34]Irish Independent, 10 October, 1913, Page: 8

[35] Irish Independent, 10 October, 1913, Page: 8

[36]Irish Independent, 10 October, 1913, Page: 8

[37]Irish Independent, 10 October, 1913, Page: 8

[38]Irish Independent, 10 October, 1913, Page: 8

[39] Irish Independent, 17 October, 1913, Page: 9

[40] Irish Independent, 17 October, 1913, Page: 9

[41] Irish Independent, 17 October, 1913, Page: 9

[42]Irish Independent, 10 October, 1913, Page: 5

[43]Irish Independent, 10 October, 1913, Page: 8

[44]Irish Independent, 10 October, 1913, Page: 8

[45] Freeman’s Journal, 10 October, 1913, Page: 8

[46]Freeman’s Journal, 10 October, 1913, Page: 8

[47]Freeman’s Journal, 10 October, 1913, Page: 8

[48] Freeman’s Journal, 10 October, 1913, Page: 8

[49]Freeman’s Journal, 17 October, 1913, Page: 4

[50] Irish Independent, 24 October, 1913, Page: 6

[51]Freeman’s Journal, 13 October, 1913, Page: 5

[52] Freeman’s Journal, 15 November, 1913, Page: 9

[53] Irish Independent, 16 February, 1914, Page: 6

[54] Irish Independent, 22 June, 1914, Page: 6

[55] Irish Independent, 3 November 1913, Page:5

[56] Irish Independent, 8 December, 1913, Page: 5

[57]Irish Independent, 1 October 1913, Page:5

[58] Irish Independent, 4 November, 1913, Page: 5

[59] Irish Independent, 4 November, 1913, Page: 5

[60] Irish Independent, 18 August, 1913, Page: 6

[61] Sunday Independent, 1 February, 1914, Page: 7

[62] Irish Independent, 4 November, 1913, Page: 4

[63] Irish Independent, 4 November, 1913, Page: 4

http://www.theirishstory.com/2013/07/15/the-principal-rallying-ground-for-the-larkinites-the-swords-riot-of-1913/#.Ue0Klo3qkS7/

 



Gilbert Keith Chesterton poem
Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, England on the 29th of May, 1874. Though he considered himself a mere "rollicking journalist," he was actually a prolific and gifted writer in virtually every area of literature. A man of strong opinions and enormously talented at defending them, his exuberant personality nevertheless allowed him to maintain warm friendships with people--such as George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells--with whom he vehemently disagreed.



The Chesterton Review Volume 29, Issue 1/2, Spring/Summer 2003
Chesterton’s Ireland Then and Now
G. K. Chesterton
Pages 15-16

A Song of Swords

This poem was written in 1913 during the years of the Marconi political scandal, a time when Chesterton was becoming increasingly disturbed by the deepening economic and political crisis in both England and Ireland. The poem was included in the 1915 and 1927 editions of Chesterton's poems, and in the 1994 Collected Poetry Part I (volume X) of the Ignatius Press Collected Works of Chesterton. For this latter edition, Aidan Mackey provided the following note: “In this poem G. K. C. took the placename at its face value in English, but the Irish name is Sord Colaim Chille, from a pure well said to have been blessed by St. Columcille. The occasion was the seizure, by locked-out and starving Dublin workers, of a herd of cattle - a swordlike stroke for liberty."

For more information see:http://secure.pdcnet.org/chesterton/content/chesterton_2003_0029_40545_0015_0016


"A drove of cattle came into a village called Swords; and was stopped by the rioters."--Daily Paper.

    In the place called Swords on the Irish road
    It is told for a new renown
    How we held the horns of the cattle, and how
    We will hold the horns of the devils now
    Ere the lord of hell with the horn on his brow
    Is crowned in Dublin town.

    Light in the East and light in the West,
    And light on the cruel lords,
    On the souls that suddenly all men knew,
    And the green flag flew and the red flag flew,
    And many a wheel of the world stopped, too,
    When the cattle were stopped at Swords.

    Be they sinners or less than saints
    That smite in the street for rage,
    We know where the shame shines bright; we know
    You that they smite at, you their foe,
    Lords of the lawless wage and low,
    This is your lawful wage.

    You pinched a child to a torture price
    That you dared not name in words;
    So black a jest was the silver bit
    That your own speech shook for the shame of it,
    And the coward was plain as a cow they hit
    When the cattle have strayed at Swords.

    The wheel of the torrent of wives went round
    To break men's brotherhood;
    You gave the good Irish blood to grease
    The clubs of your country's enemies;
    you saw the brave man beat to the knees:
    And you saw that it was good.

    The rope of the rich is long and long--
    The longest of hangmen's cords;
    But the kings and crowds are holding their breath,
    In a giant shadow o'er all beneath
    Where God stands holding the scales of Death
    Between the cattle and Swords.

    Haply the lords that hire and lend
    The lowest of all men's lords,
    Who sell their kind like kine at a fair,
    Will find no head of their cattle there;
    But faces of men where cattle were:
    Faces of men--and Swords.


For more information see: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2134/2134-h/2134-h.htm



 



Richard Coleman
BY SHANE Mac THOMÁIS



          (Card from Twangman, Inchicore, Dublin)


Richard Coleman was born in 1890. He was from a family of eleven, all of which were active in the Gaelic League. His father was a teacher in the Swords New Borough Male School on Seatown Road, which Richard attended. Richard later attended O'Connell's CBS on North Richmond Street, Dublin. He later became a Christian Brother but left after four years and ended up working in Swords for the Prudential Insurance Company.

When Thomas MacDonagh came to Swords in April 1914 to recruit for the recently-formed Irish Volunteers, Richard was among the first to join. When John Redmond forced a split in the Volunteers later that year, the remaining Volunteers elected Richard as their captain. On Easter Sunday 1916, Richard mobilised the Fingal Battalion at Saucers Town and prepared them for the following day. On Easter Monday they, along with other Volunteers from surrounding areas, came under the direction of Thomas Ashe, whose instructions were to prevent British reinforcements from reaching Dublin. On Tuesday, Thomas Ashe was asked by James Connolly to send 40 men to Dublin city. Ashe decided to send 20 and the remainder fought at the Battle of Ashbourne under the command of Frank Lawless. Coleman went with the GPO contingent. On reaching the GPO, the group was split into two. Six men became the tunnelling unit around the GPO — 'the engineering corps' — while the others under Richard were instructed to reinforce the garrison under Seán Heuston in the Mendicity Institute.

Connolly's parting words to them did not augur well for their mission:

"I don't think you will all get there, but get as far as you can.''

They got as far as the Mendicity Institute unscathed.The Mendicity garrison, under intensive fire, surrendered on Thursday. Richard and his comrades were marched to the Rotunda Hospital for identification purposes. Richard was court marshalled and sentenced to death, but this was commuted to three years penal servitude. He was sent to Dartmoor and then to Lewis Prison. He was released under the general amnesty of 1917.

Like many released prisoners Richard campaigned for Eamon de Valera in the Clare by-election in 1918, and was imprisoned in Mountjoy. He went on hunger strike, and after the death of Thomas Ashe, was transferred to Cork Jail and then to Dundalk. He began another hunger strike in Dundalk, and was released shortly afterwards. He was soon re-arrested along with others as part of the British authorities' 'German Plot' conspiracy.



The prisoners were assembled first in Dublin Castle on 17 May 1918 and then sent to Usk and Gloucester Jails in Britain. Conditions were harsh in the jail and attempts were made to criminalise them with the order to wear prison uniforms. They resisted and at the direction of the Home Office, the prison governor, Young, capitulated. On their first night in Usk, the internees won the right to free association, the right to receive and send letters, to smoke and to wear their own clothes.

Despite their victory, the prison regime weakened the men and with the onset of a severe winter, many succumbed to the influenza virus which had reached epidemic proportions, killing hundreds outside the prison walls. Richard was among a group of POWs struck down by the virus. They were left in their damp and cold cells for three days after the flu struck them down. On 1 December, a new prison doctor, Dr Morton took up his new duties in the prison and immediately diagnosed that Richard was suffering from pneumonia and had him transferred to hospital. He died a few days later on 7 December 1918.



Richard Coleman's remains were released to his brother and taken to Dublin where they lay in state for a week in St Andrew's Church, Westland Row. Over 100,000 people filed past the coffin to pay their last respects. Volunteers in uniform formed a guard of honour. A public funeral procession in driving rain from Westland Row to Glasnevin was followed by over 15,000 people. Three volleys of shots were fired over the grave at the Republican Plot in Glasnevin Cemetery.

For more information see: http://saoirse32.dreamwidth.org/1676894.html

 




The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland

JRSAI Vol. 105 (1975)

Thomas Fanning: 'An Irish medieval tile pavement: recent excavations at Swords Castle, County Dublin',
pages 47-82.











 




Fingal Historic Graveyards Project (Vol. 2)

Site Information:
Survey Ref. No. FHG 49
Date of Survey 30-Jul-08
Graveyard Name St. Columba's (CofI),

General Information:
Denomination Church of Ireland
Ownership Representative Church Body

Location:
X Co-ordinate 318047
Y Co-ordinate 246733
Townland Name Swords Glebe
Parish Name Swords
Address  Church Street Swords County Dublin

Designations:
RMP Ref. No. DU011-03403
RPS Ref. No. 360
NIAH Ref. No. 11343007 (church)
Excavation 1996:141; 1997:186; 1998:186; 2000:0347.

Historic Maps:
OS 6" Sheet No. 011
Rocque 1760
OS Map 1st ed 1830s
OS Map 3rd ed c1906

Setting
The graveyard is located in a prominent position to the west of Swords. Along with the tower and round tower it is located within a significant ecclesiastical site. The site is bounded by a large enclosure indicated by the curving alignment of the Brackenstown Road, Church Road and Rathbeale Road.

Historical Context
The church in Swords is dedicated to St. Columba, who died in 597 and is believed to have been its founder (Bradley and King 1988, 306; Walsh 1888, 13). He appointed Fionan Lobhar as first abbot (Bradley 1988, 306). The site was attacked and burned on many occasions during the 11th and 12th centuries. The church is thought to have been a temporary resting place for Brian Buru's body after he was killed in battle in 1014 (Walsh 1888, 45). Nothing now remains of the early monastery except the round tower which was probably erected in the 9th or 10th century (Fanning 1975, 47) and an early medieval grave slab fragment built into the base of the later medieval tower to the northwest of the modern church.

The eastern and southern boundary of Swords Glebe and the curving alignment of the Brackenstown Road, Church Road and Rathbeale Road indicate the original extent the early monastic foundation. Surviving elements of the medieval parish church include the residential west tower to the north of the modern church. The round tower is topped by an undecorated Latin cross dating to the late 17th century (Barrow 1979, 86). A sheela-na-gig was once located near St. Columba’s Church, but has been in the National Museum since 1945 (NMI 1945:18).

Some distance from the graveyard just off Well Road is an enclosed spring well which has been traditionally associated with St. Columcille. Local tradition records that when the saint was building a church near the round tower when suddenly he took a large step towards the main street of Swords. Where his foot landed a well sprang up out of the ground. He blessed the well and it was called St. Columcille’s well. The well is said to have the cure for sore eyes. The water from the well was also used to treat lepers at the Spiddal hospital (Ó Danachair 1958, 81; Schools Manuscript Collection vol. 789, p. 150, 152, 154, 155). In this graveyard at Swords there was a special place called "the strangers bank" where unbaptised babies and strangers were buried (Schools Manuscript Collection vol. 788).

Bibliographic References
Bradley, 1988. Urban Archaeological Survey of Dublin; Brewer 1825. Beauties of Ireland Vol I, p. 246;
Fanning. T., 1975. An Irish Medieval Tiled Pavement, Co. Dublin in JRSAI, Vol. 105, p. 47; Fingal Heritage Group. In Fond Remembrance: Headstone inscriptions from St. Columba's Graveyard, No. 2; Ó Danachair, C. 1958. Repertorium novum, p. 81; Simington, R. (ed.) 1931-61 Civil Survey AD 1654-56, Dublin; Walsh, R. 1888. Fingal and its Churches; Irish Folklore Commission Schools Manuscript Collection vol. 789, p. 150, 152, 154, 155; vol. 788.

Archaeological and Architectural Features
The graveyard (DU011-03403) contains a church built c.1818 to the designs of Francis Johnston. It is
constructed of ashlar limestone and has a six-bay nave with battlements and stepped buttresses. The church has pointed arched openings. The tower of the medieval church (DU011-03404) is located to the northwest. It is constructed of coursed limestone with large quoins. There are pointed arched openings in the south wall.

General Description
Sub-rectangular graveyard bounded by snecked limestone wall. The site is located in a prominent position to the west of the village. The ground level is considerable higher within the graveyard. The graveyard contains a mixture of 18th, 19th and 20th grave markers. They consist of headstones, free-standing crosses and some individual table tombs and sarcophagi. There are a number of re-used architectural fragments including a section of window moulding visible in the graveyard. There is an early medieval grave slab in the graveyard which is inscribed and has been set into the base of the south wall of the tower. Many of the earlier headstones are decorated with IHS motifs. Many of the markers to the north of the church are dedicated to merchants from the city of Dublin. There are a number of significant early memorials in the interior of the church.

For more information see: http://www.fingalcoco.ie/Planning/ConservationHeritage/HeritageProjects/


 



The Irish Times 8 January 1974

 



Swords Sord Cholmcille A Visual History
Pictures of Swords, County Dublin from the 1790s to today.

 




Articles on Swords Visual and Textual Histories pages:


Fingal Independent
'
Artist charts town's history on web page'
http://www.independent.ie/regionals/fingalindependent/localnotes/artist-charts-towns-history-on-web-page-29030877.html




North County Leader
'Call For Swords To Exploit It’s Rich History'
http://www.northcountyleader.ie/index.php/component/content/article/34-front-page/2581-call-for-swords-to-exploit-its-rich-history.html

 



Swords, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Sord Cholm Cille, Co. Bhaile Átha Cliath, Éire
Folio of Pen and Ink Drawings by
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin / Kevin Cryan (gaelart.net)

Contents: 6 loose A5 prints on Conqueror white card
in 2 colour Conqueror cream cover.
Cover contains illustrations and history of local heritage.
For more information email caoimhghin@yahoo.com
Folio for sale - 15 Euro p+p

 



 



 



 


 


Poster of Swords / Sord Cholm Cille (in English and Irish)
by Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin / Kevin Cryan
(gaelart.net)


Poster for sale - 15 Euro p+p

For more information email caoimhghin@yahoo.com





 


 



Society in Fingal,1603-60 Maighread Ni Mhurchadha



Society in Fingal,1603-60 (Maynooth Historical Studies) [Hardcover] Maighread Ni Mhurchadha

This tightly written study examines all aspects of Fingal (north Dublin) in a period that saw its transformation in every sphere - the beliefs, values and norms of the community, religion, marriage and the family, education, literature, the legal profession, work, crime, and leisure pursuits. The result is a fascinating case study of the social and cultural realities of early modern Ireland.

http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/product.php?intProductID=212
 




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