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Bantry. Berehaven 



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TD Sullivan 




DONAL O SULLIVAN, PRINCE OF 'BEAR. AND BANTRY. 



BANTRY, BEREHAVEN 

AND 

THE O'SULLIVAN SEPT 

BY 

T. D. SULLIVAN 

(AUTHOR OF " DUNBOY, AN HISTORICAL POEM ; " " MEMOIR 

OF A. M. SULLIVAN ; " " RECOLLECTIONS OF TROUBLED 

TIMES IN IRISH POLITICS;" "EVERGREEN;" 

"SONGS AND POEMS;" ETC,) 



If cjieAc caji cpeAc Ati cjieAc f o cIaoi*6 5Aex>eAtAib 
C-peAc -do CjteAc te cfteACA cfuoc eifieAtin 
C^eAc nA 5C|ieAc A3 ctAnriA An ctAon-cf aojaiI. 

— CA-og 5Aex>eAtAc 6 StulteAbAin, 



Of 



DUBLIN: 
SEALY, BRYERS AND WALKER 

Middle Abbey Street 

1908 

BOSTON COLLEGE LIBRARY 
CHESTNUT HILL, MASS 



PRINTED BY 

SEALY, BRYERS AND WALKER, 

MIDDLE ABBEY STREET, 

DUBLIN. 






TO THE MEMORY 
OF 

DONAL O'SULLIVAN 

PRINCE OF BEARE AND BANTRY, 

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED 

BY 

THE AUTHOR 



1584 



EVERGREEN, 

A Nets) Volume of Verse, 

By T. D. SULLIVAN, 

Crown Svo, 1/- 

VVHAT THE PRESS SAYS :— 

" They have the true Hibernian flavour. " — Scotsman. 

" The writer of those stirring verses has certainly given us 
value for our money. . . The author has an ear for rhyme and 
rhythm — a ready wit, a light touch, and a distinct sense of fun 
— an equipment which many a would-be poet lacks." — Cork 
Constitution. 

° The contents of ' Evergreen ' deal with various topics of 
current interest, and are written in Mr. Sullivan's usual happy 
vein." — Ulster Herald. 

" A charming little volume, containing a splendid collection 
of verses ; written in a bright and racy style, for which the 
author is justly famous." — Waterford Star. 

" Light and tuneful pieces. . . Noting the dates appended 
to the songs and squibs, we are struck by the appositeness of 
the book's title, for the same freshness and raciness is to be 
found in the latest pieces as in the verses that delighted Irish 
readers and audiences in the long ago." — Irish Iitdependent . 

" The charm, ease and grace of T. D. Sullivan's poems are 
too well-known to be mentioned at this stage of his literary 
career. His verses appeal to the popular taste, and live in the 
memory of the people. . . . One of the neatest and best 
printed books we have seen for a long while." — The Kerryman. 

"Genuine poetry, clever rhyme and good-humoured 
squib. ' ' — Daily Express. 

'* Will give much pleasure to lovers of poetry and good- 
humoured squibs." — Galway Express. 

SEALY, BRYERS c8 WALKER, 

Middle Abbey Street, DUBLIN. 



PREFACE 



In Ireland, every part of which has been the scene of 
stirring events, and whose people have experienced 
many vicissitudes of fortune, the publication of local 
histories relating to the affairs of minor areas—such as 
counties, baronies, and parishes — conversant also with 
the public life and actions of the leading families and 
personages in those districts, would, I have often 
thought, possess much interest, and be generally ser- 
viceable in the way of our national education. They 
would be useful materials for larger works, and 
facilitate their production. 

There still exists among the masses of our people 
(though, happily, matters are improving in that respect) 
a lamentable degree of ignorance of the history of their 
country. Generations have come and gone, " lived, 
moved, and had their being," amid scenes rich in 
historic associations, knowing little or nothing about 
them. Our land is thick sown with memorials of a 
troubled past, of times of mixed sadness and glory ; but 
our young folk tread historic fields, and see in every 
landscape the relics of stately towers, castles, churches, 
and monasteries, having but hazy notions — many of 
them having none at all — of the tales connected there- 
with, and rarely seeking to acquire any knowledge on 
the subject. 



vi PREFACE 

This work is intended as a contribution to a class 
of national literature in which, as I conceive, we are 
somewhat deficient. It is nothing in the nature of a 
guide-book ; has nothing to do with routes or fares, 
and does not expatiate on the scenic beauties of the 
regions with which it is concerned. It has much to say 
of an Irish Sept, who, for a long period, were the owners 
and rulers of a famous territory. I hope it may have 
interest for Irishmen generally ; but, at all events, if all 
the O'Sullivans, at home and abroad — or even a tenth 
of their number — show a practical appreciation of the 
work, the publisher will have a great deal to do, and 
the author will be much pleased. 

In the appendix, at the end of the Volume, will be 
found many items of interest that could not well be 
brought into the text. But it will be for the reader's 
convenience that I should here make a few explanatory 
references to persons and circumstances mentioned in 
the course of the narrative. 

Coming to the Elizabethan period, the " Lord 
President," so much in evidence, was Sir George Carew, 
Lord President of Munster, afterwards Earl of Totness. 
It was under his governorship the desolation of Munster 
was carried out, the Castle of EKmboy captured, and 
the O'Sullivan Sept dispossessed and overthrown. He 
was the compiler of the valuable historical work 
entitled Pacata Hibernia (Ireland Pacified), the 
manuscript of which he left amongst his papers for 
publication after his death. The first edition was 



PREFACE vii 

issued in London in 1633. It is an authentic narrative 
of the campaign, but written entirely from an 
English point of view. Of recent editions the most 
interesting is that of Mr. Standish O'Grady, published 
in 1896. 

" The Earl of Thomond" was a member of the O'Brien 
family, some of the heads of which had early attorned 
to English rule, and rendered important service to the 
new masters of their country. The Earl of Elizabeth's 
time is spoken of by Irish writers as " the most active 
and violent of all the Royalist partisans." 

" Lord Mount joy " was an Englishman named Charles 
Blount, who, in 1601, was appointed Viceroy of Ireland, 
and who did the work usually expected in those times 
from holders of that office. We have his name 
commemorated in Mountjoy Square, Dublin. 

The fate and fortunes of those O'Sullivans of the 
olden time would seem to have had attractions for Irish 
writers from their day to the present. Far transcending 
in historic value all other treatises on the subject is 
Don Philip O'Sullivan's Catholic History of Ireland, 
admirably translated from the original Latin, and 
annotated by Mr. Matthew J. Byrne, published by 
Sealy, Bryers & Walker in 1903. It is a good counter- 
blast for Carew's Pacata Hibemia. 

Several articles on the O'Sullivan history have 
appeared within the past few years in Irish periodicals. 

The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries, 
Ireland, in its quarterly numbers for December, 1906, 



viii PREFACE 

and March, 1907, has a paper by W. F. Butler, M.A., 
F.R.U.I., entitled " The Lordship of MacCarthy Mor," 
which is largely concerned with the affairs of the 
O'Sullivan Sept. 

The Ulster Journal of Archeology for July, 1905, has 
a portrait of Donal O'Sullivan Beare, and an account of 
his career, by the Right Reverend Monsignor O'Laverty, 
M.R.I.A. 

The Journal of the Waterford and South-East of Ireland 
ArchcBological Society, in its number for April- June, 
1901, has a paper entitled " Don Philip O'Sullivan ; 
the Siege of Dunboy, and the retreat and assassination 
of O'Sullivan Beare." 

Other such articles are : — 

" Beara's Last Defender," signed " T. B. C," in the, 

Record of the League of St. Columba, Maynooth, for years 
1902-1903." Many years previously the late Mr. John 
George MacCarthy, of Cork, published a historical novel 
with a similar title, " The Last Lord of Beara." 

" The Sword of O'Sullivan Beare," by Michael Conway, 
in The Irish Rosary for September, 1905. 

All those publications have been helpful to me ; and 
to the writers and publishers I gratefully acknowledge 
my obligations. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 

Arrival of the Milesian Invaders in Bantry Bay. — Bere- 
haven Harbour called after their Queen, Beara. — 
French and English Naval Fight in the Bay in 1689. — 
The attempted French Invasion in 1795. — Wolfe Tone's 
Account of the Expedition . . . . 1 

CHAPTER II. 

The Elizabethan Wars.— The Battle of Kinsale.— The 
Spanish Commander's intended Surrender of Donal 
O' Sullivan's Castle of Dunboy. — The Castle retaken by 
O'Sullivan's Men. — Letters of O'Sullivan to the King 
of Spain . . . . . . . . 9 

CHAPTER III. 

The Desolation of Munster. — Descriptions by English 
Writers. — The Siege of Dunboy Castle. — The Massacre 
in Dursey Island. — Capture and Destruction of Dunboy 
Castle. — Fate of the Garrison . . . . . . 14 



CHAPTER IV. 

O'Sullivan commences his famous retreat to the North. — 
Unparalleled sufferings of his Followers. — Fighting all 
the Way. — A Brilliant Irish Victory. — Thomas Davis's 
poems on the O'Sullivans. Some other Quotations . . 22 



x CONTENTS 

CHAPTER V. PAGE 

The English Market for Irish Heads. — The Price List issued 
by the Lords Justices at Cork. — O'Sullivan Escapes to 
Spain. — Is welcomed and honoured by the Kin§^~Is 
Assassinated by an Englishman at Madrid . . 31 

CHAPTER VI. 

Religious Troubles. — Endeavours to Protestantise Ireland. — 
Settlements of French and Dutch Protestants en- 
couraged by the Government. — Lord Deputy Strafford 
and his Foreign Artificers. — A Huguenot Settlement at 
Berehaven under Jacques de la Fontaine, and what 
became of it . . . . . . . . 36 

CHAPTER VII. 

How the Irish suffered for their Loyalty to King Charles I. 
— The Cromwellian War, Confiscations, and Planta- 
tions. — Dispossession of the Native Land-owners in 
Cork and Kerry. — Their Properties acquired by English 
Adventurers. — Whites, Brown es,Herberts, &c. . . 42 

CHAPTER VIII. 

The Romantic Career of Morty Oge O'Sullivan. — His 
Shooting of Lewellen Puxley. — A Military Force sent 
from Cork to capture him. — Their Attack on his House. 
— Morty Shot Dead. — His Body towed at the Stern of 
a Sloop from Berehaven to Cork. — His Head set on a 
Spike over the Jail. — Poems of Lamentation . . 46 

CHAPTER IX. 

General John Sullivan. — A Leader in the American War of 
Independence. — Captures the First Fort in the War. — 
Honoured by George Washington. — Helps to rout the 
English Army out of Boston. — American Counties 
called by his name . . . . . . . . 55 

CHAPTER X. 

The Admirals Sullivan of the British Navy. — Gunner John 
Sullivan of Bantry at the Siege of Sebastopol.— The 
O'Sullivans in Literature. — Don Philip O'Sullivan the 
Historian. — Tadh Gaolach and Owen Roe O'Sullivan, 
Gaelic Poets. — Sir Arthur Sullivan, Musician, etc. . . 61 



CONTENTS 3d 

CHAPTER XL page 

The Grand Grabber, Sir William Petty. — His Acquisitions 
in Kerry. — He is publicly accused by Sir Jerome 
Sankey of Enormous Frauds. — The Prosecution fizzles 
out. — Petty's Down Survey. — His Property now " the 
Lansdowne Estates." — Scandals of their Management 
in " the fifties." — Stewart Trench's Rules and Regula- 
tions. — The '' Lansdowne Ward " in a New York 
Hospital . . . . . , . . . . 68 

CHAPTER XII. 

The White Family.— The Lords Ban try. —Lord Clinton's 
Purchase of Bere Island. — Extraordinary Scenes. — 
Descriptions of them by John P. Prendergast, 
Author of The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland 79 

CHAPTER XIII. 
Concluding Observations ... . . . . 83 

Appendix . . , , « * . . .85 



ft Book for Irishmen to Bead. 

Recollections of CrouWed 

Cimes in IrisD Politics. 

By T. D. SULLIVAN. 
Crows* 8vo. Cloth, 3s. 6d. 

" The volume will be read with interest by all who are 
concerned with political life in the Emerald Isle." — Dundee 
Advertiser* 

" For those who desire a brightly-written survey of the 
varying phases of the Nationalist movement in Ireland 
during the past sixty years there is nothing better than Mr. 
T. D. Sullivan's book."— Pall Mall Gazette. 

" This is a chatty and interesting volume, written in an 
anecdotic style, and covering a period which goes back 
sixty years. . . . As a repository of anecdote, of des- 
criptions of events and men during stirring times, we must 
award the book high praise." — Irish Times. 

"... His style is lucid and concise, his tone is 
moderate, and he has a gift for apt quotation, of pungent 
political verse and amusing anecdote." — Literary World. 

" . . . Mr. Sullivan's volume must be read to 
understand aright the Irish question of to-day. To Irish 
people it will not only have a value, but a fascination." — 
Reynolds' Ntivspaper. 



A New Edition in Paper Covers will 
shortly be issued by the Publishers, 



SEALY, BRYERS & WALKER, 

MIDDLE ABBEY STREET, DUBLIN. 



Bantry, Berehaven 



AND 



The O'Sullivan Sept. 



CHAPTER I. 

BANTRY Bay comes in for honorable mention 
at an early period of Irish history. It is recorded 
that its shores were the first landing place of the 
adventurers who came from Spain under the command 
of Queen Scota, widow of Milesius, and captained by 
her sons. In a note to an edition of Smith's History of 
Cork published by Guy and Co. of that city, we read : 

Ancient accounts differ much from each other, some making 
only three sons of Milesius to land in Ireland ; but the landing of 
these, as well as of Partholanus, they all place in the Bay of 
Bantry, which they call Inber Sceine. 

Bearhaven is said to have come by its name in this 
way : — An Irish chief named Owen the Splendid, having 
been defeated in a great engagement by " Conn of the 
Hundred Battles," fled to Spain, where he married the 
King's daughter, Beara. Returning after the lapse of 
some time at the head of a powerful force, his vessels 
put into a commodious harbour on the south-west coast 

B 



2 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

of Ireland, with which he was so pleased that in honour 
of his wife he called it Bearhaven. The haven in later 
times gave its name to the extensive district now known 
as the barony of Beare. 

The Bay is a great inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, about 
28 miles in length, varying in width from five to eight 
miles, free of shoals or rocks in any way perilous to 
navigation, and of great depth. On its northern shore 
are three harbours, Berehaven, Adrigoole, and Glen- 
garriffe, with Bantry harbour on its eastern or landward 
end. Two islands, like great breakwaters, make and 
shelter the harbours of Berehaven and Bantry. Sir 
George Carew, in his " Pacata Ribemia" thus describes 
the place : — 

The haven of Beare is situated twelve miles to the northward 
of that promontory or foreland, so well known by the name of 
Mizzenhead, or Carrowhead. That which we properly call Bere- 
haven is the sea which entreth between the great island (before 
mentioned) and the main, or country called Beare, or O'Sullivan's 
country. At the entrance of the harbour it is not above a 
musket-shot over, I mean from the castle of Dunboy to the great 
island ; being entered, the tides are slack, good anchorage, and 
convenient places to bring ships on ground, smooth water, five 
fathoms deep at low water mark. Towards the north end it 
groweth much larger, at the least a league over, and of capacity 
sufficient to contain all the ships of Europe. 

The writer, it will be observed, calls the district 
" O'Sullivan's country," and as such it was then known, 
and had been known for a long period. But it was not 
the native ground of the Sept ; they came from a district 
in Tipperary, from the neighbourhood of Knockgraffan, 
Clonmel, and thereabouts, where they had been lords 
of the soil, but whence they were dislodged by the 
spreading power of the Anglo-Norman invaders. Then 
they moved south and joined their Milesian kinsmen 
in the wide district in which was comprised the south- 
western parts of Cork and Kerry. There the sept segre- 
gated into two great divisions, separated by a range of 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 3 

mountains ; on the northern or Kerry side of the line 
was the O' Sullivan Mor tribe, on the southern, or Cork 
side, along the shores of Bantry Bay, were the 
O'Sullivans Beare. 

Whether this settling down of the newcomers was 
peaceably effected or not does not clearly appear from 
the record ; but the resistance, if any, to their intrusion 
must have been only slight and desultory. The over-lord of 
those districts — and of a much wider extent of territory — 
at that time was the MacCarthy Mor. The O'Sullivans 
came in under his sovereignty, so to say, and like the 
other septs under his almost nominal headship, they 
undertook to pay him his customary tributes — to 
furnish him with a prescribed number of fighting men 
for his service in time of war, and with a stipulated 
amount of supplies for himself and his followers whenever 
he had occasion to go on hostings or visitations through 
his territory. Anti-Irish writers refer to those " cuttings 
and closherings " of the Irish chiefs on their clansmen 
as if they were tremendous exactions — an intolerable 
burderf ; but they were nothing of the kind. The 
clansmen lived in rude plenty ; they did not lack food 
or clothing ; there were no evictions for non-payment 
of rent — and no shootings of landlords. They loved 
their chiefs, to whom they paid a moderate amount 
of tribute in money as well as in kind, but nothing 
comparable to what is extracted from their class in 
our time by Irish landlords and England's ingenious 
system of taxation. 

The town of Bantry, we are told in some old topo- 
graphical works, was formerly called Ballygobbin ; 
other accounts state that at a more remote period its 
name was just what it is to-day — " Bean-traigh," — 
the white strand. In the time of Oliver Cromwell, 
Ireton, son-in-law of the " Lord Protector," had a 
fortification erected about a mile to the south-west 
of the present town. A number of the small traders 



4 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

of Bantry, thinking they could do better business in 
the vicinity of the fort, built some houses there, which 
came to be called " Newtown," but after some time 
both the fort and the new settlement were deserted 
and the traders returned to their old location by the 
water's edge. 

Several projects for the construction of new forts 
at Bantry and Berehaven were devised from time to 
time by the English governors at Dublin Castle, and 
recommended to the higher authorities in London, 
but they were not carried out. In the Calendar of 
State Papers, Domestic Series, of the reign of William 
and Mary, published in 1906, we get a specimen docu- 
ment in the following letter : — 

1694, April 10, Dublin Castle. 

The Lords Justices of Ireland to Sir John Trentchard. 

Experience every day shows us how well some forts (now 
demolished) were placed ; and how much it would contribute 
to the public peace and safety if they were restored. The town 
of Bantry is seated in the bottom of a large and well frequented 
bay and in the borders of Bearhaven, Glanaroghty and Muskerry, 
where for nearly twenty miles there are no Protestant inhabitants. 
This is a den of Tories who molest the country round about here ; 
the Popish natives harbour them, and, corresponding with the 
French privateers, betray to them merchant ships, so that 
within these two years above twenty ships have been taken 
from thence by the privateers, The wisdom of former times 
built a fort in this place, by which that wild and rebellious country 
was kept in awe by a small garrison. And the Irish, when it 
came into their hands in 1698, demolished it, that it might no 
longer be a bridle upon them. The re-building of this fort nearer 
to the sea than it was, will secure those ships which shelter there, 
prevent this correspondence with France, unkennel those thieves 
that from thence do so much mischief, and every year save more 
than the whole charge will come to. 

The reader will notice the assumption in this paper — 
which indeed runs through all the Anglo-Irish literature 
of the time, official and unofficial — that the only people 



THE 0> SULLIVAN SEPT 5 

who had no right to live in Ireland were the natives 
whose fathers had been there from the dawn of history. 

Bantry Bay was more than once the scene of a visit 
from a French fleet on anti-English purposes intent. 
Every one knows of the expedition under General Hoche 
and Wolfe Tone in December, 1795 ; but more than a 
hundred years before that time — in April, 1689 — a 
sharp engagement between French and English war- 
ships took place in those waters. The details, sum- 
marised from Campbell's Naval History, read thus : — 

The 29th of April (1689) Admiral Herbert, being on the south 
coast of Ireland, by his scouts discovered the French fleet, and 
next day had intelligence that they were gone into Baltimore, 
being forty-four sail ; but on pursuing them the scouts had a 
sight of them to the west of Cape Clear, and upon steering after 
them, found they were got into Bantry Bay. The admiral lay 
off the bay all night, and next morning stood in, where he found 
the enemy at anchor ; but they soon got under sail, bearing 
down upon them (the English) in a line composed of twenty- 
eight men of war and five fire-ships. When they came within 
muskct-shot of the " Defiance," who led the van, the French 
admiral (Perrault) put out the signal of battle, which was begun 
by firing their great and small shot at the " Defiance " and the 
rest as they came into line. The English made several boards 
to gain the wind, or at least to engage them closer. Finding 
that way of working very disadvantageous, Admiral Herbert 
stood off to sea, as well to have got his ships into a line as to have 
gained the wind of the enemy, but found them so cautious in 
bearing down that he could not get an opportunity to do it, so 
he continued battering upon a stretch till five in the afternoon, 
when the French admiral stood into the bay. The (English) 
admiral's ship and some others being disabled in their rigging, 
could not follow them, but continued for some time longer before 
the bay ; and the admiral gave them a gun at parting. 

In this action Captain George Aylmer, of the " Portland," with 
the lieutenant and ninety-four seamen, were killed, and about 
two hundred and fifty wounded. On the 7th of May the admiral 
got into Plymouth with the fleet. 

Clearly this was a French victory ; but English 
writers do not like to call it by that name. 
The fleet despatched by the French Directory in 



6 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

the latter part of December, 1795, with a military 
force designed to aid a projected Irish rising against 
English rule, met no enemy on their way, but were 
dispersed and wrecked by tempestuous weather. Such 
vessels of the expedition as got into Bantry Bay remained 
there for nearly a week — and a week is a great deal 
in war time — rolling and straining at their anchors, 
without attempting to put on shore the soldiery they 
had brought with them — they were awaiting the arrival 
of one of their missing vessels, the " Fraternitie " in 
which was General Hoche, the commander of the 
expedition. On board the '•' Indomptable, ,, in the 
bay was Theobald Wolfe Tone, almost heart-broken 
with anxiety and vexation as day after day went by 
without bringing in certain of the ships which had 
left Brest on the 16th of the month, but had parted 
company in the furious storm which burst upon them. 
A few extracts from the diary penned by Tone at this 
time will illustrate the situation : — 

December 22nd (1795). — This morning, at eight, we have 
neared Bantry Bay considerably, but the fleet is terribly 
scattered ; no news of the Fraternitie. . . . All rests now upon 
Grouchy, and I hope he may turn out well ; he has a glorious 
game in his hands, if he has spirit and talent to play it 

December 23rd. — Last night it blew a heavy gale from the 
eastward, with snow, so that the mountains are covered this 
morning. ... It is to be observed that of the thirty-two points 
of the compass the east is precisely the most unfavourable to 
us. . . . Oh, that we were once ashore, let what might come 
after ; I am sick to the very soul of this suspense. ... I am 
now so near the shore that I can, in a manner, touch the sides 
of Bantry Bay with my right and my left hand, yet God knows 
whether I shall ever tread again on Irish ground. ... I could 
tear my flesh with rage and vexation, but that advances nothing, 
and so I hold my tongue in general, and devour my melancholy 
as I can. 

Next day came a gleam of hope to the heart of this 
well-nigh despairing and desperate man ; but it did 
not last long. The wind, with what an Irish Nationalist 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 7 

might regard as a malignant persistency, continued 
adverse, — as if it were English manufacture, and had 
been sent straight across from London. The diary 
thus continues : — 

Dec. 24th. — Well, at last I believe we are about to disembark ; 
God knows how I long for it. But this infernal easterly wind 
continues without remorse, and though we have been under 
weigh three or four hours, we do not seem, to my eyes, to have 
gained one hundred yards in a straight line. 

Dec. 25th. — . . . The wind continues right ahead, $0 that it 
is absolutely impossible to work up to the landing place, and 
God knows when it will change. 

Dec. 26th. — Last night, at half after six o'clock, in a heavy 
gale of wind, still from the east, we were surprised by the 
admiral's frigate running under our quarter and hailing the 
Indomptable, with orders to cut our cable and put to sea instantly. 
. . . Certainly we have been persecuted by a strange fatality 
from the very night of our departure to this hour. We have 
lost two commanders-in-chief ; of four admirals not one 
remains ; we have lost one ship of the line, that we know of, and 
probably many others of which we know nothing ; we have been 
now six days in Bantry Bay, within five hundred yards of the 
shore, without being able to effectuate a landing ; we have been 
dispersed four times in four days, and at this moment, of forty- 
three sail, of which the expedition consisted, we can muster of 
all sizes but fourteen. 

Dec. 27th. — . . . At half after four, there being every appear- 
ance of a stormy night, three vessels cut their cables and put to 
sea. The Indomptable, having with great difficulty weighed one 
anchor, we were forced at length to cut the cable of the other 
and make the best of our way out of the Bay, being followed by 
the whole of our little sq.uadron, now reduced to ten sail, of which 
seven are of the line, one frigate, and two corvettes or luggers. 

So miserably ended the French expedition to Bantry 
Bay. 1 The subsequent career and tragic fate of Wolfe 

1 To memorise the expedition and honour its Irish leader, 
the Town Commissioners of Bantry, in 1898, — the centenary 
pear of the Irish insurrection — gave to the market square of their 
town the name of " Wolfe Tone Square." The motion was 
made by the Parliamentary representative of the district, Mr. 
James Gilhooly ; it was seconded by Mr. Donovan, T.C., and 
cordially adopted. 



8 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

Tone, and the outbreak of the Irish insurrection in 
1798, do not come within the scope of this work ; but 
numerous recent publications, at popular prices, bring 
the record within the reach of every patriotic Irishman- 
Here I turn back from the period of those naval 
operations to deal with the events of an earlier time, 
when, in the later part of the 16th century and the 
opening years of the 17th, Ireland was being swept 
with fire and sword by the soldiery of England, and 
the part of the country with which these pages are 
specially concerned was made the scene of horrors and 
sufferings indescribable. 




THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 



CHAPTER II. 

THE story of how the territories of Bere and Ban try 
passed from the hands of the O'Sullivans forms 
a chapter of Irish history which I propose to 
outline briefly in the following pages. The overthrow, 
dispossession and dispersion of the Sept date from the 
closing years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. From 
the beginning to the end of that reign there was an 
almost continuous tangle of wars between France, 
Spain, and England, largely due to events arising out 
of the " Reformation," then in its earlier stages ; and 
Ireland, refusing to accept the new doctrines and form 
of worship proffered to her by Henry the Eighth and 
his daughter, was inevitably drawn into the trouble. 
The suppression of the monasteries and seizure of the 
Church revenues in England had enriched whole swarms 
of needy nobles, sleek courtiers, and adventurous 
soldiers ; and there was still a field for such profitable 
operations in Ireland. The opportunity was availed of 
to the utmost. Of the ultimate result — as regards the 
shock of conflict — there could hardly be any doubt. 
England was a consolidated country, under a centralised 
government, with an army, a navy, and a national 
exchequer ; Ireland had none of these things ; she 
had chiefs, and bards, and learned churchmen ; she 
had warriors too, but their prowess had been for the 
most part exercised in inter-tribal or provincial conflicts, 
and as regards military science they were behind the age. 
Touch England — even in those days — at the remotest 
point, of her territory, coast, creek, or headland, and 
the thrill was felt at the centre of her national life : 



10 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

the head was turned round and the fangs were bared 
to bite whatever trod on the tail ; while in Ireland, 
Connaught or Munster might be invaded and raided 
again and again without Leinster's or Ulster's troubling 
their heads about it. The struggle between the two 
countries was like a collision between an iron pot, all 
of one piece, and a composite article of really finer 
material, but whose several parts were ill-cemented 
and some of them but slightly stitched together. Or, 
to vary the illustration, I would say that when it 
came to a quarrel and combat between a bard armed 
with a harp and a manuscript and a semi-savage wielding 
a hatchet, the bard was bound to have the worst of it. 

The northern chieftains, O'Neill, and O'Donnell, made 
a noble stand and achieved some brilliant victories 
before they were finally broken down and overborne. 
In the south the most splendid resistance to the 
Elizabethan forces was made by Donal O'Sullivan of 
Dunboy, Prince of Beare and Bantry. When O'Neill 
marched with an army from Tyrone to relieve Ireland's 
Spanish allies, under the command of Don Juan de 
Aquila, who were besieged at Kinsale by an English 
army greatly superior to them in number, O'Sullivan 
brought a strong contingent of his clansmen to join 
the national ranks. On the night of the 23rd of December, 
1 601, the Irish forces and the beleaguered Spaniards 
made a badly concerted attack on the besiegers. They 
were defeated, thrown into disorder, and put to rout. 
Shortly afterwards, the siege continuing, Don Juan- 
capitulated and surrendered the town on terms compat- 
ible with the honour of his army ; but he undertook 
at the same time to deliver up to Lord Mount] oy, 1 the 
forts of Dunboy, Baltimore, and Castlehaven, into 
which Spanish garrisons had been put by arrangement 
with their owners. O'Sullivan, on learning of this 

1 Sir Charles Blount, who had been made Lord Deputy foi 
Ireland and Baron Mountjoy by Queen Elizabeth. 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 11 

proposed handing over of his castle to the enemy, was 
furious. His view was that the Spanish commander 
had no right or power to do anything of the kind ; and 
he resolved that it should not be done. But the first 
question was, how to rid his castle of the Spaniards, 
into whose possession he had given it when he thought 
they would defend it to the last against the English. 
Finding that they considered themselves bound to 
act on the terms of their commander's capitulation, 
and were resolved not to yield the castle except to the 
English, O 'Sullivan decided to treat them to a process 
of summary eviction. He had some of his men inside 
the castle to work an opening in one of the walls without 
exciting the suspicions of the Spaniards, and when all 
was ready he had eighty of his followers, in the mid of 
night, to pour in through the breach and seize the place, 
to hold it, as he alleged, for the king of Spain. O'Sullivan's 
men, acting on the instructions they had received, offered 
no violence to the garrison ; but some of the latter 
fired on the intruders and killed three of them. The 
affair, however was quickly composed, the Spaniards 
agreeing to accept transport from the place by sea 
to join a party of their countrymen at Baltimore. A 
few of their number who were expert gunners were 
induced by O'Sullivan to remain to aid him in the 
defence of the castle, which he knew would shortly 
be besieged by a powerful army. 

Letters in explanation and justification of his conduct 
were then sent by O'Sullivan to King Philip and to two 
of his ministers — documents at once forcible and 
pathetic. His letter to the King, somewhat abbreviated, 
reads thus : — 

My Lord and King, 

. . . Upon the landing in Castlehaven of your generals with 
a fleet and men from your Greatness, I came to their presence 
tendering my obeisance unto them in the name of your Highness 
. . . and yielded out of my mere love and good will, without 



12 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

compulsion or composition, into their hands, in the name of 
your Majesty, not only my castle and haven called Berehaven, 
but also my wife, my children, my country, lordships, and all 
my possessions for ever, to be disposed of at your pleasure. . . . 
Notwithstanding, my gracious lord, conclusions of peace were 
assuredly agreed upon betwixt Don Juan de Aquila and the 
English — a fact pitiful, and (according to my judgment) against 
all right and humane conscience. Amongst other places whereof 
your Greatness was dispossessed in that manner — which were 
neither yielded nor taken to the end they should be delivered to 
the English — Don Juan tied himself to deliver my castle and 
haven, the only key of mine inheritance, where upon the living 
of many thousand persons doth rest that live some twenty 
leagues upon the sea coast, into the hands of my cruel, cursed, 
misbelieving enemies, — a thing I fear in respect of the execrable- 
ness, inhumanity, and ungratefulness of the fact, if it take effect 
as it was plotted, that will give cause to other men not to trust 
any Spaniard hereafter with their bodies or goods upon these 
causes. . . . My lord, in that I judge this dishonourable act to 
be against your honour and pleasure, considering the harm that 
might ensue to the service of your majesty, and the everlasting 
overthrow that might happen to me and my poor people, such 
as might escape the sword (if any should), I have taken upon 
me — with the help of God — to offer to keep my castle and haven 
from the hands of mine enemies until further news and order 
from your highness. 

Don Juan, presumably a brave soldier, but apparently 
a somewhat theatrical person, was much incensed by 
O 'Sullivan's re-capture of his castle, which he regarded 
as compromising his own honour, and he offered to 
re-take it for the Lord President, who, replied, in effect, 
that he would prefer to carry out that business himself. 
We read in the " Pacata " that :— 

When report was brought to Don Juan de Aquila (then in Cork) 
of the surprise of Dunboy, he took it for a great affront, and 
would presently have drawn from Kinsale the Spanish companies 
there yet remaining, and march to Dunboy to regain it by force, 
and deliver it according to the composition into her majesty's 
hands, but the Lord Deputy and the President (who were desirous 
to see his heels towards Ireland) wished him not to trouble him- 
self with that business, as, when he was gone, the President 
should take order for the reducing of it into his own hands. 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 13 

It does not appear that King Philip found any fault 
with O 'Sullivan for what he had done ; on the contrary 
he continued to be a friend of the Irish chief to the last 
day of his life. In " A narrative of the state of Ireland 
from the Spanish landing in Kinsale till the end of May, 
(1601) by Father W. Bath, SJ., Spiritual Director of 
the University of Salamanca, we read : — 

Don Juan made peace with the English, and delivered to them 
the strong places which he had retained. One of the Irish nobles, 
O'Sullivan, learning this, turned the Spaniards out of his castle 
of Berehaven, seized the munitions, and to prove his loyalty to 
the King of Spain, sent his son to him as a hostage. His majesty 
was greatly affected by this conduct, so much so that he con- 
ceived a lasting esteem for O'Sullivan. 

The favours and friendships bestowed on O'Sullivan 
gave great offence to the English government, and were 
protested against by one of their Ministers of State. 
Here is an extract from a letter of his to the English 
representative at the Spanish Court : — 

As touching O'Sullivan, it is very fit that you let them know 
that the report of the honor they did him hath come unto his 
Majesties ears, and that although they will alledge that in the 
time of hostility betwixt England and Spain it may be he did 
them many services, and may then have deserved well at their 
hands, for which they have just cause to reward him, yet since 
by his Majesties happy coming to these crowns those differences 
have had an end, and that there is a perfect League and Amity 
betwixt them, his Majesty cannot chuse but dislike that they 
should bestow upon him any Title or Dignity, which only properly 
belongeth unto him towards his own subjects ; that, therefore, 
he would be glad that they would forbear to confer any such 
titulary Honour upon any of his subjects without his Privity. 

From all which it appears that even in the time of his 
overthrow and exile the English kept a close watch on the 
expatriated Prince of Beare and Bantry, and did their 
utmost to prevent his being accorded in other lands 
the recognition to which his patriotism and his valour 
had entitled him. 



14 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 



CHAPTER III. 

THE storm of war which 'Sullivan expected soon 
burst upon his castle and clansmen at Dunboy. 
He made such preparations for the reception of 
the enemy as were possible to him, strengthening the 
outer walls, excavating some trenches and setting up 
obstacles to a hostile advance. But Dunboy castle, like 
most of those existing in Ireland at that period, was but 
ill-fitted to withstand artillery. The walls indeed were 
thick, but the masonry was poor ; and once a battery 
was placed within range of them and allowed free play 
for even a few days, the ruin of such structures was 
assured. To provide a place of retreat in which to 
make a last stand for the national and catholic cause, 
in case of defeat at Dunboy, O Sullivan sent a party 
of his men with three pieces of cannon to hold possession 
of Dursey island and, if possible, prevent a landing 
of the enemy there. The island is at the extreme end 
of the Beara promontory, and is divided from the main 
land by a great cleft of the mountain, of which evidently, 
it at one time formed part ; a deep and narrow channel 
is thus formed through which the tide runs with great 
force, and in which the swells tumbling in from the 
Atlantic toss up huge waves, rising to an extraordinary 
height. The place is thus described in the " Pacata " : — 

Near unto the haven of Beare there is a small island called the 
Durseys, which is very strongly seated by nature, by reason of 
the difficulty of landing, which is but in one narrow entrance, 
which may be defended with a few hands ; and besides it is 
impossible for any boat to arrive at this entrance except it be in 
a dead calm, the least gale of wind raising such billows as do en- 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 15 

danger any boat a9 shall come near the shore. This impregnable 
place was selected for their extreme refuge if Dunboy should be 
won by the English. 

The English commanders in Munster could now turn 
their almost undivided attention to O'Sullivan's country. 
They had harried, ravaged, and devastated all the rest 
of the province. To say they had made a desert of it 
would be to use an inadequate form of words, for nature's 
deserts are peaceful places with no indications of having 
been ths theatres of murderous strife and cruelty of 
every form and degree : the desert made by the soldiers 
of Elizabeth was strewn with corses, studdied with 
the ruins of castles, mansions, churches, schools, and 
peasant homes — the fields black from the burning of 
crops, dotted by skeletons of the victims of the sword, 
fire, and famine. English writers of the time, some of 
them witnesses of the scenes, give harrowing accounts 
of the condition of the country. Thus the historian 
Leland writes : — 

The southern province seemed to be totally depopulated, and, 
except within the cities, exhibited an hideous scene of famine 
and desolation. 

In the " Pacata " we read :— 

Sir Richard Pearce and Captain George Flower, with their 
troops, left neither corn nor horn, nor house, unburnt between 
Kinsale and Ross. Captain Roger Harvie, who had with him 
his brother Captain Gawen Harvie, Captain Francis Slingsby, 
Captain William Stafford, and also the companies of the Lord 
Barry and the treasurer, with the President's horse, did the like 
between Ross and Bantry. 

Several other English historians give painfully horrible 
descriptions of those scenes, amongst them the poet 
Edmund Spenser — a private secretary in the employ 
of one of Elizabeth's chief governors of Ireland, snugly 
located on part of the confiscated property of the 
Desmonds, and living in a castle robbed from its rightful 
owners. This litterateur, place-hunter and land-grabber, 



16 BAN TRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

who had himself advised and recommended the policy 
of starvation to be employed against the Irish, penned 
in his View of the Present State of Ireland (and with 
an affectation of pity) pictures of the desolation of 
the country and the murderous destruction of the 
people so shocking, so repulsive, that even at this day, 
one cannot read them without a shudder. I quote 
but one specimen, and omit the most revolting part 
of it :— 

Notwithstanding that the same was a most rich and plentiful 
country, full of corn and cattle, yet, ere one year and a half they 
were brought to such wretchedness as that any stony heart 
would rue the same. Out of every corner of the woods and glens 
they came creeping forth upon their hands, for their legs could 
not bear them ; they looked like anatomies of death ; they 
spake like ghosts crying out of their graves ; they did eat the 
dead carrions, happy where they could find them ... in a 
short space there was almost none left, and a most populous and 
plentiful country suddenly left void of man and beast. 

The reader will note the admission made in this 
" Spenserian stanza/' as it might be called, that Ireland 
under the rule of its native chiefs, before the English 
came upon them, was " a most populous and plentiful 
country." In the ruin of it this dainty sonneteer was 
only too glad to take part. The fair lands and castle 
of Kilcolman were not sufficient to satisfy his greed. 
In violation of even such English law as then existed 
in Ireland he managed to take possession of a large tract 
of land owned, not by the natives — as legal ownership 
went then — but by one of the Anglo-Norman proprietors, 
Lord Roche, Viscount Fermoy. Legal proceedings to 
recover the land were taken against him, with the result 
that the " gentle poet " was compelled to relinquish 
that portion of his ill-gotten gains. His end was to die, 
landless and hungry, in London. 

After the capitulation of the Spaniards at Kinsale 
and the dispersion of the Irish forces, Mount joy drew 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 17 

his whole army together and set out for the reduction 
of the last fortress on Irish ground holding out for the 
Irish cause. But he resolved to proceed cautiously. 
On the 9th of March, 1601, he instructed one of his 
commanders, the Earl of Thomond, to march with a 
large force into' Carbery, " and from thence into Beare, 
there to view in what manner the castle of Dunboy 
was fortified, of the incredible strength of which much 
was noised." 

The " Pacata " tells us that " the Earl marched 
as far as the Abbey of Bantry about three score miles 
from Cork, and there had notice that Donal O'Sullivan 
Beare and his people, by the advice of two Spaniards, 
an Italian, and friar named Dominic Collins, did still 
continue their works about the castle of Dunboy." 
He also had notice that Tyrell, one of O'Sullivan's 
most trusty captains, with considerable forces, was 
prepared to dispute the passage of his army through 
the rugged ground lying between Bantry and Berehaven, 
whereupon the President resolved that he would have 
his troops transported by sea to Beare island, whence 
they should cross to the mainland and proceed to the 
reduction of the castle. 

The Abbey of Bantry, above referred to, was founded 
in 1540 by Dermot O'Sullivan for Franciscan Friars. 
During the Elizabethan war it was sometimes occupied 
by Irish and sometimes by English soldiery, but its 
end was to be ruined and razed to the ground. An 
incident in its history is thus narrated in a letter of 
Sir Warham Sentleger to Mr. Secretary Fenton, written 
at Cork, March 24, 1582. 

" Good Mr. Secretary, — The best news I have to advertise you 
is that your brother James escaped of late, a very narrow escape 
of being taken by the western traitors ; he not knowing of the 
defeat of his soldiers, nor yet of the abandoning of the Abbey 
of Bantry, sent certain boats from Bearhaven thither with 
provisions for the soldiers, who, mistrusting nothing, came to 

C 



18 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

the Abbey, thinking to unload their provision, and the men 
being landed, the traitors lying close in the Abbey issued suddenly 
out and took the men and boats with the victuals, and hanged the 
men. Your brother coming after in another boat, not knowing 
the traitors to be in the Abbey was unawares unto him pursued 
with four boats full of tratiors, who had taken him if night 
had not favoured him, which being dark, he entered in among 
the rocks where he was forced to hide himself three days and 
three nights without any sustenance ; and so with great toil the 
fourth day he reached the Castle of Bearhaven, where he 
remaineth sick, by the great toil he had upon the sea and the 
cold entertainment he had upon the rocks." 

The site of the Abbey is now the chief burial place 
for people of the town and district. In it was dug the 
great pit into which were cast the coffinless remains 
of hundreds of victims of the great famine of 1847-48. 
Over the pit stands a large granite cross, erected to 
their memory in recent years by the brothers Tim and 
Maurice Healy. It bears no inscription or lettering 
of any kind other than the Scriptural words, " Blessed 
are the dead who die in the Lord." 

The siege of Dunboy Castle practically commenced 
on the 6th of June, 1602, and lasted until the 18th, both 
days included. The little garrison — only 143 men — 
made a heroic defence, but they had against them an army 
numbering over 2,000, with two batteries of artillery, 
so the little fortress was doomed from the very commence- 
ment of the operations. While the siege was in progress 
the Lord President took measures for the destruction of 
the intended last refuge of the O'Sullivans in Dursey 
island. He had a force of 160 men, with some pieces of 
cannon, embarked for the invasion of the island ; this 
they effected, and, after a stubborn resistance, made 
themselves masters of the place. How the defenders, 
after they had surrendered, were dealt with is briefly 
told in the " Pacata " :— 

Of the rebels four were killed, two hurt, who, with all the rest 
were brought into the camp, and after executed. 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 19 

But this is not the whole story ; the fate of a number 
of the islanders, as well as of the garrison, is more fully 
told by Don Philip O'Sullivan Beare in his Catholic 
History of Ireland. He says : — 

The inhabitants were terrified by the sudden arrival of the 
enemy ; some sought the protection of the altars, some ran to 
hide, some betook themselves to the fort, which the few armed 
men surrendered on the enemy's promise of safety, as it had no 
cannon or fortifications. The English, after their wonted manner, 
committed a erime far more notable for its cruelty than their 
honour. Having dismantled the fort and fired the church and 
houses, they shot down, hacked with swords, or ran through with 
spears the now disarmed garrison, and others, old men, women, 
and children, whom they had driven into one heap. Some ran 
their swords up to the hilt through the babe and mother who was 
carrying it on her breast ; others paraded before their comrades 
little children, writhing and convulsed, on their spears ; and 
finally, binding all the survivors, they threw them into the sea 
over jagged and sharp rocks, showering upon them shots and 
stones. In this way perished about 300 Catholics, the greater 
part of whom were retainers of my father Dermot. 

Hideous as this picture is, it is quite of a piece with 
the ordinary operations of the English soldiery in Ireland 
during the periods of the Elizabethan and Cromwellian 
wars. Of this abundant testimony has come to us from 
the pens of English writers. 

It may be asked did the Irish not seek to take revenge 
in kind for these atrocities ? Did they never attempt 
to follow the evil example set them ? My reply is, 
they would not be human creatures if they could take 
such usage tamely. The race of men who could do so 
have not yet been born, — and never will be. But as 
a matter of fact during the whole course of the war 
which desolated Munster, the cruelties, the savageries, 
the inhumanities of the campaign were almost entirely 
the work of the English party. The Irish " rebels " 
as they were called, were in their own country, on their 
own lands, the territories of their fathers for many 
generations — in their own homes, in the midst of their 



20 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

families ; the crops were of their sowing, the flocks 
and herds in the fields were their property. Amongst 
them, therefore, a numerous and well equipped army 
of marauders were able to carry out with comparative 
ease a long campaign of spoliation and slaughter. 
And if sometimes the harassed natives availed of 
opportunities to give the Englishmen a taste of their 
own quality, was it any wonder ? 

On the 13th of June an attempt to relieve the besieged 
castle of Dunboy was made by Captain Tyrell, one of 
O'Sulli van's chief officers ; it was ineffectual, because 
the small force under his command could do no more 
than give a somewhat lively alarm to the English camp. 
Nothing can rout and defeat one army except another 
army ; and O 'Sullivan had no army in the field. The 
siege of the castle went on ; after a cannonade of seven 
days duration the building was beaten into ruins. As 
the masonry was tumbling about their heads the 
defenders sent out a messenger to the Lord President 
with an offer of surrender if their lives might be spared 
and if they were allowed to march out with their arms. 
The response of the Lord President was to hang the envoy. 
The besiegers soon after effected an entrance into the 
ruined building ; hand-to-hand fighting of the most 
desperate character ensued, the defenders being gradually 
beaten from one point to another till they were driven 
into the cellar, where they made their last stand. A 
few of them managed to get outside the walls, where 
they were immediately cut down ; eight men rushed 
to the sea shore and attempted to swim across to Bere 
island, but the English captains, judging that something 
of the kind might be adventured, had three boats with 
armed men on board waiting for the chance, and the 
unfortunate swimmers were shot or speared in the water. 
The final scene is thus recorded in the " Pacata " : — 

The eighteenth (June) in the morning three and twenty more 
likewise rendered themselves simply to Captain Blundell, who 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 21 

the night before had the guard, and after their cannoniers, being 
two Spaniards and an Italian (for the rest were slain) likewise 
yielded themselves ; then MacGeohagan, chief commander of 
the place, being mortally wounded with divers shot in his body, 
the rest made choice of one Thomas Taylor, an Englishman's 
son (the dearest and inwardest man with Tyrell, and married to 
his niece) to be their chief, who, having nine barrels of powder, 
drew himself and it into the vault and there sat down by it, with 
a light match in his hand, vowing and protesting to set it on 
fire, and blow up the castle, himself, and all the rest, except they 
might have promise of life, which being by the Lord President 
refused, his lordship gave direction for a new battery upon the 
vault, intending to bury them in the ruins thereof ; and after a 
few times discharged, and the bullets entering amongst them 
into the cellar, the rest that were with Taylor, partly by inter- 
cession, but chiefly by compulsion (threatening to deliver him up 
if he were obstinate), about ten of the clock in the morning of the 
same day constrained him to render simply. . . Sir George 
Thornton, the sergeant major, Captain Roger Harvie, Captain 
Power, and others entering the vault to receive them, Captain 
Power found the said Richard MacGeohagan lying there mortally 
wounded (as before mentioned), who, perceiving Taylor and the 
rest ready to render themselves, raised himself from the ground, 
snatching a light candle, and staggering therewith to a barrel of 
powder (which for that purpose was unheaded), offering to cast 
it into the same, Captain Power took him and held him in his 
arms with intent to make him prisoner, until he was by our 
men (who perceived his intent) instantly killed ; and then 
Taylor and the rest were brought prisoners to the camp. . . . 
The same day fifty-eight were executed in the market place . . . 
The whole number of the ward consisted of one hundred and 
forty-three selected fighting men, being the best choice of all 
their forces, of the which no one man escaped, but were either 
slain, executed, or buried in the ruins, and so obstinate and 
resolved a defence had not been seen within this Kingdom. 

" So obstinate and resolved a defence had not been 
seen within this Kingdom." Notable and memorable 
words By members of the O'Sullivan Sept they should 
be for ever borne in memory as a testament of glory. 



22 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE fall of Dunboy caused the abandonment 
of a second expedition which King Philip had 
intended to despatch to Ireland. Its arrival was 
for some time expected by both the Irish and the English, 
and desultory fighting went on in various parts of the 
South, — in all which operations O'Sullivan and his friend 
Tyrell were active participants. They achieved some 
small successes, but by degrees they were overborne 
by the foreigners, aided, unfortunately, by Irish allies, 
the corrupted and rotten refuse of once noble clans. 
Castle after castle was captured and destroyed ; the 
homes of the humbler folk were sought out in all directions 
and unsparingly burned ; and a fresh sweep was made 
of all the live stock that could be gathered in from 
districts previously wasted, — this, of course, with a 
view that such of the natives as might escape the edge 
of the sword should perish of starvation. 

Under those desperate circumstances O'Sullivan 
decided on withdrawing from the wasted and desolated 
South, and, with the small remnant of his forces, and 
a number of the members of his immediate family, 
making the best of his way to the territory of his friend 
O'Rourke — an irreconcilable " rebel " like himself — in 
the county of Leitrim. It was a desperate venture, 
a terrible march, or rather flight, the little party — 
still fighting for their lives — being hunted almost every 
mile of the way by bands of denationalised Irishmen, 
mercenaries of Anglo-Irish settlers and recreant Irish 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 23 

families. A detailed account of those operations is 
given in Don Philip O'Sullivan's history ; the " Pacata " 
thus briefly tells the story : — 

As they (O'Sullivan's party) passed by the skirts of Muskery, 
they were skirmished withal by the sons of Teg Mac Owen Cartie, 
where they lost some of their men, and most of their carriage ; 
in passing by Liscarroll, John Barry, brother to the Viscount, 
with eight horsemen and forty foot, charged their rear at the ford 
of Ballaghan, where he slew and hurt many of them ; and of 
his part one horseman was slain. 

When they came to the river of the Shannon, they, finding 
the river high, and no boats nor troughs to pass them over into 
Connaught, they killed many of their horses, and made shifts 
with their hides to make certain little boats, called in Irish 
nevogs, in the which they transported their men and baggage. 
Nevertheless, before all were passed the river, the sheriff of the 
county of Tipperary fell upon their rear and slew many of them. 
Being in Connaught they passed safely through the county of 
Galway until they came into the Kellys' country, where they were 
fought withal by Sir Thomas Burke, the Earl of Clanrickard's 
brother, and Captain Henry Malby, who were more in number 
than the rebels. Nevertheless, when they saw that they must 
either make their way by the sword or perish, they gave a brave 
charge upon our men, in the which Captain Malby was slaine, 
upon whose fall Sir Thomas and his troops, fainting with the 
loss of many men, studied their safetys by flight, and the rebels 
with little harm marched into O'Rourke's country. 

The next morning, being the fourth of January, 1602, Sir Charles 
coming to seek the enemy in their camp, he entered their quarter 
without resistance, where he found nothing but hurt and sick men, 
whose pains and lives by the soldiers were both determined. 

What a feat to be recorded with a smug sense of 
satisfaction — the killing of sick and wounded men, 
not in the heat of battle, but in cold blood, in a 
deserted camp which the English had entered without 
resistance ! 

This wonderful retreat of O'Sullivan's has been 
expatiated on in terms of admiration and sjinpathy 
by many writers of our own time, as well as of earlier 
dates. It has frequently be^n compared to the retreat 
of the 10,000 Greeks from Persia under the command 



24 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

of Xenophon after the battle of Cunaxa. The Greek 
warriors had a longer route to traverse, involving, of 
course, a longer period of danger and suffering, 
but as regards endurance, courage, and valour, the 
men of Beare and Bantry were fully up to that high 
example. 

O'Sullivan's little party started from Glengarriffe 
on the 31st of December, 1602. With privations of every 
sort, as well as with the swords and spears of the enemy, 
they had to contend all the way. Half-starved, footsore, 
weary, worn out by constant fatigue and want of sleep, 
some dropped out and others died on their toilsome 
journey. Their chieftain rallied, cheered and encouraged 
his men as best he could. One of his little speeches 
to them is thus recorded by his cousin Don Philip, the 
historian : — 

Since on this day our desperate circumstances and unhappy- 
fate have left us neither wealth, nor country, nor children nor 
wives to fight for, but, as on this instant the struggle with our 
enemies is for the life that alone remains to us, which of you, I ask, 
in God's eternal name, will not rather fall fighting gloriously in 
battle and avenging your blood, than like cattle, which have no 
sense of honour, perish unavenged in cowardly flight ? Surely 
our ancestors, heroes famed for their high spirits, would never 
seek by a shameful flight to shun an honourable death, even 
when they could fly. For us it will be honourable to follow in 
their footsteps, especially as flight offers no salvation. See the 
plain stretching far and wide, without hindrance of bog, without 
thick woods, without any hiding places to which we could fly 
for concealment. The neighbouring people are no protection for 
us. There is none to come to our aid. The enemy block the 
roads and passes, and we, wearied with our long journey, are 
unable to run. Whatever chance we have is only in our own 
courage and strength of our own arms. Up, then, and on them, 
whom you excel in spirit, courage, achievements past, and holy 
faith. Let us remember this day that enemies who have every- 
where attacked us have heretofore been routed by the Divine 
mercy. Above all, let us believe that the victory is the gift of 
God. Let us think that Christ our Lord will be with his servants 
in their utmost need, and that for His name and holy faith we 
join issue with heretics and their abettors. 



THE 0* SULLIVAN SEPT 25 

For the rhetorical form of this address the historian 
probably is responsible ; but it may readily be believed 
that the chieftain spoke in that sense, and in the native 
tongue, which would carry his words straight to the 
hearts of his clansmen. Scarcely had he concluded his 
speech when the royalist cavalry "were down in full tilt 
upon him," and a protracted engagement ensued, 
resulting in a brilliant victory for Donal's little band of 
heroes. In this battle, says Don Philip, "about ioo 
royalists fell, the flower of their forces, their general, 
Malby, Richard Burke, three standard-bearers, as 
many adjutants, more sergeants, and the rest were 
Irish, Anglo-Irish, and English gentlemen. O'Sullivan, 
collecting the enemy's arms and colours, fled that 
evening and following night through a host of surround- 
ing enemies through O' Kelly's country, with such haste 
that he left some soldiers worn out on the road, and 
overcome with sleep. 

After three more days of such toils and sufferings, 
all that was left of O'Sullivan's little band reached 
the territory of the friendly chief, O'Rourke, by whom 
they were welcomed and hospitably entertained — for 
O'Rourke was a veritable " brother in arms," as 
resolute a " rebel " as Donal himself. When setting 
out from Glengarriffe they numbered about one 
thousand, of whom only 400 were fighting men ; — 
the rest were followers who feared to remain in 
the country after they had left ; amongst them were 
a number of women. When they entered O'Rourke's 
castle there remained of the fighting men only 18 ; 
of the non-combatants, (sutlers, helpers, etc.) 16 ; 
and only one woman had survived the hardships of 
the journey. 

The incidents of this woful but glorious march seem 
to have had a special attraction for the muse of our 
national balladist, Robert Dwyer Joyce, who has 
given us three poems founded on them. From one 



26 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

entitled " Crossing the Black water," I take the following 
stanzas: — 

We stood so steady, 

All under fire ; 
We stood so steady, 
Our long spears ready 

To vent our ire — 
To dash on the Saxon, 
Our mortal foe, 
And lay him low 

In the bloody mire ! 

'Twas by Blackwater, 

When snows were white ; 
'Twas by Blackwater, 
Our foes for the slaughter 

Stood full in sight. 
But we were ready 
With our long spears, 
And we had no fears 

But we'd win the fight. 



Horses to horses, 

And man to man — 
O'er dying horses 
And blood and corses 

O' Sullivan, 
Our general, thundered ; 
And we were not slack 
To slay at his back 
Till the flight began. 

Oh, how we scattered 
The foemen then — 
Slaughtered and scattered 
And chased and shattered 

By shore and glen — 
To the walls of Moyallo 
Few fled that day. — 
Will they bar our way, 
When we come again ? 



Of another of the defeats inflicted by the hunted 
chief on his pursuers, the same patriot bard 



THE O 1 SULLIVAN SEPT 27 

has given us a poem of nine verses, two of which 
I here quote : — 

The ambush was set in the Passage of Lightning, 

And now in the moonlight sharp weapons came brightening ; 

The lance of the Saxon from Mulla and Mallow, 

And the pike of the kern from the wilds of Duhallow, 

Soon clashed with the swords of the men of Berehaven, 

Till the echoes rolled back through the Glen of the Raven ! 



Then O' Sullivan burst like the angel of slaughter 

On the foe by the current of Geerath's wild water ; 

And the brave men of Cork and of Kerry's wild regions 

Were his rushing destroyers, his death-dealing legions ; 

And onward they rode over traitor and craven, 

Whose bones long bestrewed the lone Glen of the Raven. 

Thomas Davis was profoundly impressed by that 
touching episode of Irish history, and made it the subject 
of several poems. One of these has reference to the 
secret return of O 'Sullivan to his native place to bear 
away to Spain his wife and infant son, who, during 
his absence had been lovingly cared for by one of his 
faithful clansmen, McSwiney. Of Davis's ballad of 
eighteen verses I can here quote only the following : — 

" A baby in the mountain gap — 

Oh ! wherefore bring it hither ? 
Restore it to its mother's lap, 

Or else 'twill surely wither. 
A baby near the eagle's nest ! 

How should their talons spare it ? 
Oh ! take it to some woman's breast, 

And she will kindly care it." 

" Fear not for it," McSwiney said, 

And stroked his cul-flonn slowly, 
And proudly raised his matted head, 

Yet spoke me soft and lowly. — 
" Fear not for it, for, many a day 

I climb the eagle's eyrie, 
And bear the eaglet's food away 

To feed our little fairy." 



28 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

An hour went by, when from the shore 

The chieftain's horn winding 
Awoke the echoes' hearty roar — 

Their fealty reminding ; 
A moment, and he faintly gasps — 

"These — these, thank Heaven, are left me," — 
And smiles as wife and child he clasps.— 

" They have not quite bereft me." 



To Spain — to Spain he now will sail, 

His destiny is wroken — 
An exile from dear Innisfail — 

Nor yet his will is broken ; 
For still he hints some enterprise, 

When fleets shall bring them over, 
Dunboy's proud keep again shall rise 

And mock the English rover. 



I saw them cross Slieve Miskish o'er, 

The crones around them weeping — 
I saw them pass from Culiagh's shore, 

Their galleys' strong oars sweeping ; 
I saw their ship unfurl its sail — 

I saw their long scarfs waven. — 
They saw the hills in distance fail — 

They never saw Berehaven ! 

Davis, indeed, claimed kinship with the family of 
O'Sullivan Beare, and was quite proud of his title to 
do so. In Sir C. G. Duffy's Life of Davis we read : — 

His father, James Thomas Davis, was a surgeon in the Royal 
Artillery, and served in the Peninsular War, with the rank of 
Inspector of Hospitals. His mother, Mary Atkins, descended 
from a good Anglo-Irish family, which traced back its line to the 
great Norman House of Howard, and — what Davis loved better 
to remember — to the great Celtic House of O'Sullivan Beare. 

In a footnote Duffy adds : — 

From a family genealogy I learn that Richard Atkins married 
Anne, only daughter of the O'Sullivan Beare, and by her left 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 29 

John Atkins, who married Mary, second daugnter oi Robert 
Atkins of Fountainville, and had two sons and four daughters, 
the fourth of whom was the mother of Thomas Davis. 

The writer of the present pages published in i860 a 
narrative poem on the siege and fall of Dunboy, and 
the subsequent fortune of O'Sullivan. It follows very 
closely the historic record, and closes with the following 
passages, descriptive of the chieftain's final departure 
from the land of his fathers : — 

'Twas summer night, the rude winds slept, 

As o'er the bay a vessel crept. 

Two muffled forms went pacing slow 

Along her smooth deck, to and fro, 

Watching betimes the far-stretched spars 

Sway back and forward through the stars ; 

Pausing to hear the watch-dogs' bark 

From distant fields come through the dark ; 

And hear the heaving waters snore 

Along the old familiar shore, 

Whose headlands only met the sight 

As gloomier patches of the night. 

On passed the ship with easy glide 

Unto Bear haven's tranquil tide ; 

Her low black boat in calm profound 

Bore on one form to Beara's ground. 

He moved about with moody pace ; 

He travelled o'er and o'er the place. 

Then, when the brightening of the day 

Had warned him from the scene away, 

He sought the sacred spot of all, 

The ruin — once a castle tall — 

And wept upon the broken wall. 

On board ! on board ! fair blows the wind, 

The Caha hills sink down behind ; 

Beare Island dips ; tall Hungry, too, 

Melts down into the sea of blue, 

No more, except in dreams, to rise 

To Donal's or to Eileen's eyes. 

Like winter rain, fast fell her tears, 

And he, whose heart through troubled years 

Its inward griefs in silence kept, 

Bowed down his head, and wildly wept. 



30 



BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 



In Spain, high-placed beside the King, 

The wearied exiles rest at last ; 
If honours, wealth, and peace could bring 

A charm to hide the painful past, 
'Twas Donal's now ; but annals say 
His heart was by his native bay ; 
His words were of the gallant men 
Whose good swords flashed through pass and glen 
Where'er he led ; and when he thought 
O'er all the wrongs the Saxon wrought — 
Their treacherous arts, their faithless words, 
More deadly than their guns or swords — 
Their thirst for blood, their greed of gold ; 
Their rage that spared not young or old ; 
Their myriad crimes that heaven must hate 
And God will punish, soon or late — 
Oft did his thoughts break out aloud, 
And many a time he firmly vowed 
His race, though now proscribed and banned, 
Would have and hold their native land, 
And guard with patriot pride and joy 
The very stones of old Dunboy. 




Dunbby Castle. 
From a Map in the Pacata Hibemia. 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 31 



CHAPTER V. 

IN the midst of all this wrack and ruin the she- 
dragon, Elizabeth, died (March 24, 1603) and 
James the First came to the throne. By that 
time the Irish war was practically ended. The few Irish 
chiefs who until then had been keeping up a sort of 
desultory resistance, gave up the hopeless strife, and 
sought to get terms from the new monarch, praying 
that they might be admitted to the peace and allowed 
to retain possession of their lands. With some a settle- 
ment was made, but for O'Sullivan and O'Rourke there 
was no pardon. Life in their own country having thus 
become impossible to them, they were compelled to 
seek shelter in foreign lands. O'Sullivan sailed for Spain, 
where he was cordially welcomed by the king, who 
conferred on him rank, titles, and high honours, and 
accorded to him a considerable pension with which 
to support his dignity. 

While O'Sullivan was carrying on his brave and des- 
perate but vain resistance to the overwhelming forces of 
the English crown, Her Majesty's Lords Justices issued 
at Cork a proclamation setting a price upon his head. 
The following is a part of the document : — 

And it is also proclaymed that if any psn. or psons. of what 
degree or qualitie soever that shall unto the Lo. President bring 
the live body of that wicked and unnatural Traitor, Donell 
O'Sullyvane, als O'Sullyvane Beare, shall have sum of Three 
hundred pounds ster., and for the saide Donnell's head ^200 ; 
and for the bodies of the persons undernamed, alive or dead, 



32 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

rateably as the same is laid down upon them and every one of 
them : — 

For Mac Morris liveinge ^300, for him deade £200. 

For Fitzthomas liveinge £100, for him deade, 100 marks. 

For Donell O'Sullyvane liveinge ^200, for him deade, 100 
marks. 

For the Knight of the Valley liveinge £100, for him deade. 100 
marks. 

For John O'Connor ^100, for him deade 100 marks. 

For Oliver Hassey 100 marks, for him deade 050 marks. 

It does not appear that those offers of large rewards 
for assassinations produced any notable results. The 
authorities never got hold of Donal 'Sullivan " liveinge 
or deade." But the life of that heroic chieftain had 
a tragic ending. The manner of it is thus related by 
his cousin Don Philip, 1 who was a witness of the occurrence, 
and to some extent, unwittingly, the occasion of it : — 

But the last stroke of adverse fortune befel thus : — On the 
16th day of the same month (July, 1608), O'Sullivan, Prince of 
Beare, in whom all the hopes of the Irish at that time were placed, 
unhappily perished in this manner : John Bath, an Anglo- 
Irishman, and one whom O'Sullivan held in very high esteem — 
even to the extent of taking him under his personal protection, 
bestowing many favours upon him, and even admitting him to 
his own table in the circle of his most intimate friends — quite 
ungrateful for such high favours, carried his presumption so 
far as that when a discussion arose touching some money ad- 
vanced by O'Sullivan as a loan, he, Bath, dared to make 
unfavourable comparisons between a family, one of the most 
illustrious among the Irish, and the English, from whom he, 
himself, was sprung. Philip, the writer of this history, a cousin of 
O'Sullivan, unable to endure this insult, expostulated with Bath 
upon the matter. The dispute proceeded so far that they 
attacked each other with drawn swords, at a royal monastery 
not far from Madrid. In this contest, Bath, terror-stricken, kept 
retreating, shouting at the same time. Philip wounded him in the 
face, and, as it appears, would have slain him, had not Edmond 
O'Moore and Gerald McMorris (sent by O'Sullivan) and two 
Spanish Knights, protected him, and Philip would have been 
arrested by a constable but for their interference. When many 
were attracted to the spot by the quarrel, among others came 

1 See Appendix 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 33 

O'Sullivan, a rosary in his left hand. Whilst thus incautious, 
fearing nothing, and looking in quite another direction, Bath 
approached him through the crowd, struck him through the left 
shoulder, and again piercing him through the throat, killed him. 

So perished one of the noblest Irishmen of his time. 
Of the members of his family who had accompanied 
him into exile an account is given by his cousin Don 
Philip in a Latin poem prefixed to his Catholic History, 
from which it appears that his (Philip's) father Dermot, 
uncle of Donal, died at the age of ioo years and was 
buried in the Franciscan Church at Corunna ; his mother 
followed soon after, and was interred in the same tomb ; 
his sister Helena was drowned on a return voyage to 
Ireland, and another sister became a nun. Philip had 
in him the sea-going instinct that one might expect 
from a native of Dursey Island, and was also gifted 
with literary talent and a love of learning. He entered 
the Spanish naval service, in which he rose to the rank 
of commander, and much of his literary work in defence 
of his race, his country, and his faith, was written on 
board ship. He must have been a lonely man towards 
the end of his life, his mind filled with memories of the 
past. Thomas Darcy McGee sketches the situation 
in a pathetic ballad, from which I take the following 
verses : — 

All alone — all alone, where the gladsome vine is growing — 
All alone by the bank of the Tagus darkly flowing ; 
No morning brings a hope for him, nor any evening cheer, 
To O'Sullivan Beare through the seasons of the year. 

He is thinking — ever thinking of the hour he left Dunbuidhe, 
His father's staff fell from his hand, his mother wild was she ; 
His brave young brother hid his face, his lovely sisters twain, 
How they wrung their maiden hands to see him sail away 
for Spain. 

One sister is a black-veiled nun of St. "Ursula in Spain ; 
And one sleeps coldly far beneath the troubled Irish main. — 
'Tis Helen bright, who ventured to the arms of her true lover ; 
But Cleena's stormy waves now roll the radiant girl over. 

D 



34 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

All alone — all alone, where the gladsome vine is growing — 
All alone by the banks of the Tagus darkly flowing ; 
No morning brings a hope for him, nor any evening cheer, 
To O' Sullivan Beare through the seasons of the year. 

McGee gives to those pathetic verses the title of " The 
Last O'Sullivan Beare"; and Mr. Standish O'Grady, 
in a note to his edition of the Pacata Hibernia, bestows 
on Donal the same appellation. From the point of 
view of the chieftaincy it is quite correct, but not other- 
wise. It may be that there is not now a lineal descendant 
of the hero of Dunboy in the world ; but his relatives 
were a numerous group, and in the O'Sullivan line were 
entitled to keep the affix to their names if they so pleased 
— as many of their descendants did up to recently and 
some do still. The kinsmen of Prince Donal did not 
all quit the country after his overthrow ; they were not 
all killed ; what happened was that they were robbed 
despoiled, disinherited ; poverty and servitude were 
made the lot of men who had previously owned the fields 
they tilled, the pastures on which they grazed, their cattle, 
the vessels with which they fished the seas and traded 
with foreign countries. Some few members of the stock 
attorning to the new conditions, managed to retain 
portions of their former property, not indeed as chiefs, 
or proprietors, but rather as middlemen or small land- 
lords. But, however broken their fortunes, they were 
still O'Sullivans Beare, and as such their names are 
written in various State papers and legal documents 
for more than a hundred years after the time of Donal 
of Dunboy. 

As time went on adverse circumstances told upon 
them all. The loyalty of the Irish gentlemen to their 
legitimate king, James II., their fidelity to the Catholic 
faith, their resistance to the infamous penal laws, 
wrought their ruin. The insatiable greed, the intolerable 
arrogance, the exasperating insults of their new masters, 
broke the hearts of the best men of the old race. They 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 35 

sank in the social scale at home, or left to live under 
happier conditions and seek fame and fortune in other 
lands. Of those disinherited and expatriated Irishmen 
it can truly be said that evidence of their fine natural 
qualities is supplied by the fact that many of them 
achieved distinction and won high honours in their 
adopted countries. 

Sir Bernard Burke, in his most interesting work on 
" The Vicissitudes of Families," thus sympathetically 
writes on the subject: — 

" An Irish ' Peerage ' gives a very inadequate account of 
the royal and noble blood of Ireland. But few of the Milesian 
races have found their way into the peerage, though some still 
inherit a portion of their ancient possessions ; and it is in the 
Austrian, French, or Spanish service, among the middle classes 
or perhaps in the mud-walled cabins of the Irish peasants, that 
search should be made for the real representatives of the ancient 
reguli. . . . Many of the descendants of the minor dynasts 
could probably be discovered under the frieze coats of the 
peasants ; and a genealogical enquirer might trace in the sun- 
burnt mendicant the representative of the O'Rorkes, the 
O'Reillys, the O'Ryans, or the O'Sullivans, who were of fame 

' Ere the emerald gem of the western world 
Was set in the crown of a stranger.' " 




36 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 



CHAPTER VI. 

AFTER each of the great Irish confiscations — 
those of Elizabeth, James I., Cromwell, and 
William of Orange — many of the new lords of the 
soil sought in a variety of ways to supplant and crush 
out the native race. Not only did they seek to surround 
themselves with an exclusively Protestant tenantry, but 
even with regard to industrial occupations, they gave 
special encouragement to Protestant craftsmen to 
come in groups and little colonies from foreign countries, 
settle down and ply their trades in Ireland. There was 
much religious ferment and disturbance throughout 
Europe in those days ; the " Reformation " was fighting 
its way and being fought, and some of those who had 
adopted the new doctrines, finding that life had become 
unpleasant for them in their own countries, moved 
away to lands the rulers of which were more tolerant 
of their opinions. Naturally a number of them sought 
shelter in England, and many located in parts of Ireland 
where conditions were specially favourable to them. 
The majority of those immigrants were Dutch and 
French Protestants, and their special industries were 
the weaving of linen and silks. They worked with 
improved machinery and on new methods. It is true 
that the manufacture of " silks " as they were called, 
of fine linen, of beautiful woollens, and of artistically 
wrought articles of gold and silver was carried on in 
Ireland long before " Norman foot had dared pollute 
her independent shore," but in later times, while the 
Irish people were fighting for their lives, a great advance 
in all the industrial arts was taking place in countries 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 37 

more happily circumstanced, and Ireland was left in 
the rear. The introduction of those foreign artificers 
would have been a good thing had the scheme been 
devised and worked in a friendly, or even merely com- 
mercial spirit ; but in point of fact it was made part 
of a war against the native race. 

The chief promoter of that policy, in his time, was 
Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, who had been 
appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland by King Claries II. 
Strafford was an able man with large ideas and despotic 
notions. He thought he could mould Ireland as if it 
were potter's clay in his hands, and fancied he could shape 
it into an image and likeness of England. One of the 
instruments he relied on for that purpose was, curiously 
enough — the linen trade ; but with the manufacture 
kept exclusively in Protestant hands. He had in his 
favour an Act of the so-called Irish Parliament entitled, 
" An Act for encouraging Protestant strangers and 
others to inhabit Ireland," which had been passed some 
years before his appointment. The promoter of this 
measure was the Duke of Ormond ; under its provisions 
he and Strafford — who seemed to be quite in love with 
the scheme — were able to set up a number of those 
un-Irish — and it may fairly be said, anti-Irish — settlements 
in various parts of the country. But inspired by such an 
un-national and unnatural spirit the project did not 
work very well. Enmities, arising from a variety 
of causes, against King Charles and all his friends, were 
gathering force in England ; a revolt against the despotic 
power of the crown was being concerted by men who 
have ever since been regarded as the fathers of English 
liberty ; and when they commenced operations for the 
ruin of the king, one of their first blows was struck at 
his handy-man and favourite, his Lord Deputy for 
Ireland, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford. They 
managed to bring him to trial for many high crimes 
and misdemeanours, the chief of which was an alleged 



38 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

design to raise in Ireland, an army for the service of the 
king which His Majesty might import and employ 
against his rebellious subjects in England. He was 
brought to trial, and had his head cut off on Tower 
Hill, on the 12th of May, 1641. He was a brave man, 
and died courageously. Mindful of the fact that his 
royal master, whom he had served with only too much 
zeal, had made little or no endeavour to save his life, 
he pathetically quoted as he mounted the steps of the 
scaffold the scriptural injunction — " Put not your trust 
in princes." 

One of those anti-Irish settlements was at Bandon 
in the County of Cork ; and the temper of the dwellers 
therein may be judged from the inscription set up on 
the gates of the town : — 

Turk, Jew, or Atheist 

May enter here, but not a Papist. 

A proud proclamation, no doubt ; but its somewhat 
too confident authors were not able to live up to it. 

Early in the course of the Williamite war (in 1689) a 
Jacobite force entered and held possession of the town. 
What ensued is thus told in the Cork Remembrancer : 

The Bandonians having heard that the Earl of Clancarty 
was marching with six companies to reinforce the troop of horse 
and the two companies of foot then in their town, commanded 
by Captain Daniel O'Neill, disarmed the garrison, killed some 
soldiers, took possession of their horses and arms, and would have 
done much more if they had been assisted. They then shut their 
gates, and generously refused to gve up any of their leaders ; 
but in the end they purchased their pardon for £1,000, with the 
demolition of their walls, which were razed to the ground, and 
never since rebuilt. 



An endeavour was made to establish a community 
of those un-Irish people at Berehaven ; but it was on 
a minor scale, and did not last long. The organiser of the 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 39 

project was an adventurous Frenchman, one of the 
Huguenot refugees, named Fontaine. This gentleman 
was the son of a French Protestant minister. Having 
fled from France, he lived for some years in England, 
where he managed to support himself by carrying on 
some small industries ; he then adopted his father's 
profession ; became a Protestant clergyman, and in 
the year 1694 crossed over to Ireland to minister to 
a small Huguenot congregation in the city of Cork. After 
having served in that capacity for some time he took 
the idea that he could do better for himself by engaging 
in the fishery business at Berehaven. He rented some 
land there as a basis of operations, took houses and 
farms for a number of workpeople, got up a fishing 
company, and went to reside in the place himself. Had 
he confined himself strictly to this business he probably 
would have done very well, but he soon became a Govern- 
ment tool and made himself odious to the people of 
the locality. He was appointed Justice of the Peace, 
and in that capacity busied himself about many things 
having no relation to his commercial enterprise. He 
was alert and active against that class of dispossessed 
and desperate poor Irishmen who, living an unsettled 
life, occasionally taking spoil from the enemy, and 
ready for any anti-English adventure, were known by 
the name of " tories," and he was a vigilant agent for 
the detection and suppression of contraband operations 
on the southern coast. Aware of the enmity with which 
he was regarded, and having some knowledge of the 
art of fortification, he set up around his residence a 
line of earthworks meant to be serviceable in case any 
attack should be made upon it. 

And his foresight was soon justified, for his "Sod 
Fort," as it was called, was more than once made an 
object of attack by parties from some of the privateering 
craft that were continually hovering round the coast. 
Two of those affairs are described with some fulness 



40 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

of detail in Smiles' History of the Huguenots in England 
and Ireland, from which I quote the following 
(abbreviated) passages : — 

In June, 1704, a French privateer entered Bantry Bay and 
proceeded to storm the Sod Fort ; when Fontaine, by the courage 
and ability of his defence, showed himself a commander of no 
mean skill . . . the engagement lasted from eight in the morning 
until four in the afternoon, when the French decamped with 
the loss of three killed and seven wounded. . . . When the 
refugee's gallant exploit was reported to the government, he 
was rewarded by a pension of five shillings a day for beating off 
the privateer, and supplied with five guns, which he was authorised 
to mount in his battery. . . . 

In the year succeeding the above engagement, while Fontaine 
himself was absent in London, a French ship entered Bantry Bay, 
and cautiously approached Berehaven. Fontaine's wife was, how- 
ever, on the look out, and detected the foreigner. She had the guns 
loaded, and one of them fired off, to show that the little garrison 
was on the alert. The Frenchman then veered off, and made foi 
Bear Island, where a party of the crew landed, stole some cattle 
which they put on board, and sailed away again. 

A third and more serious attack was made on the 
Sod Fort about two years later, with a different result. 
We read : — 

On the 7th of October, 1708, during the temporary absence of 
Fontaine, a French privateer made his appearance in the haven 
and hoisted English colours. The ensign residing in the fort at 
the time, deceived by the stratagem, went on board, when he 
was immediately made prisoner. He was plied with drink, and 
became intoxicated, when he revealed the fact that there was 
no officer in command of the fort. The crew of the privateer 
were principally Irish, and they determined to attack the place 
at midnight, for which purpose a part}'- of them landed. Fontaine 
had by this time returned, and was on the alert. He hailed the 
advancing party through a speaking-trumpet, and, no answer 
being returned, he ordered fire to be opened on them. 

The siege that ensued was vigorously conducted 
and lasted some hours. Its end was the surrender of 
the fort and the capture of its garrison. Fontaine and 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 41 

his two sons were taken on board the privateer. The 
former was released on Madam Fontaine's undertaking 
to pay £100 ransom for her husband and handing in 
£30 as a first instalment. As security for the remainder 
the French captain took away with him one of the boys, 
but he too was released after some time without his 
captors making any demand for the unpaid balance of 
the ransom. 

By this time Pastor Fontaine had got more than 
enough of Berehaven, and he resolved to have done 
with it. His fishing company had turned out a failure — 
it could not possibly thrive under his management, and 
in the midst of such conditions ; his Sod Fort was soon in 
ruins, his little colony of foreigners scattered to the four 
winds, and he himself, a broken man, but withal a 
picturesque and interesting character, a traveller in quest 
of employment. He came up to Dublin, got some 
engagements as a teacher of languages, and ended his 
days in peace. 




42 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 



CHAPTER VII. 

FOR some years after the death of Queen Elizabeth 
the condition of South Munster continued 
to be what it has been pictured in the foregoing 
pages. It was a ravaged and wasted land, in which 
some remnant of the native race still managed to eke 
out an existence. There came, in fact, in the earlier 
part of the reign of her successor, James I., a period of 
comparative quiet ; things were settling down some- 
what, and the new and the old occupants of the soil were 
learning to tolerate each other, when a fresh trouble came 
on, and Irish affairs were again thrown into the melting 
pot — if indeed they can be said ever to have been out of it. 

In the reign of Charles I., son of James I., a section 
of his English and Scotch subjects, after much wrangling, 
complaining, and protesting, revolted against his rule, 
and went into armed rebellion. This was the outcome of 
religious and political contentions, too complicated to 
be dealt with here. Ireland was inevitably drawn into 
the strife ; her chivalrous people took the side of their 
legitimate king and co-religionist, though neither in the 
field of religion or politics had he shown them any favour. 
They promptly organised what might be called a national 
government — the Confederation of Kilkenny — and raised 
an army to fight for the royal cause in Ireland. But both 
in Ireland and in England the King's enemies, under the 
leadership of Oliver Cromwell, proved victorious, and 
then it was, indeed, for the Irish people a case of " woe 
to the conquered." 

The lands of all the Irish who had loyally stood by 
the cause of the late King Charles (beheaded on the 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 43 

30th of January, 1649) were now declared forfeited, and 
were divided into portions for a great auction and 
lottery to defray the arrears of pay due to the Crom- 
wellian soldiery, and square accounts with classes of 
persons called " adventurers " and " undertakers " 
who had raised troops or advanced money for the 
prosecution of the war. Those operations, of course, 
took some years to work out ; the applotments were 
made by commissioners appointed for the task, and 
hungry claimants swarmed forth to clutch the portions 
of the wreck available for them. The soldiers had to 
draw lots for theirs, and were often greatly dissatisfied 
with what fortune brought them — some acres of rugged 
ground in many cases, and of little value. The better 
lands were bought up, at a small figure, by English 
companies and persons of means, who could look 
forward to, and wait for, improvement in the value 
of their property. In this manner the lands of the 
O'Sullivans in Cork and Kerry passed away from them. 
On the southern or Bantry side of the Beara range 
of mountains a great tract of territory came into the 
possession of a family named White, of whom the follow- 
ing account is given in a standard work entitled British 
Family Antiquity, by William Playfair, Esq., published 
in London in 1810 : — 

The original founder of this noble family was Sir Thomas 
White, of Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, who was Lord Mayor 
of London in 1655 '< founder of St. John's College in Oxford, and 
brother of John White, Lord Bishop of Winchester in 1657. 
On the restoration of King Charles II., Sir Thomas White settled 
in the South of Ireland, where he became a purchaser of some 
of the land debentures granted by Oliver Cromwell to the officers 
of his army during the civil wars, and had a son, Richard, who 
resided at Bantry until his death in 1730 ; having previously 
married a Miss Hamilton of Scotland, by whom he had an only 
son, Richard, who was bred to the law and called to the English 
Bar, but never practised. He married, 10th of December, 1734, 
Martha, daughter of the Rev. Dean Davis, of Davistown, in the 
County of Cork, and had issue by her, one son and one daughter, 



44 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

viz., Simon, born 8th of May, 1739, an( i Margaret, born in 1738, 
who married, 8th of November, 1756, Richard, Viscount Longue- 
ville, by whom she had no issue. 

Simon married, in August, 1766, Frances- Jane, daughter of 
Richard Hedges Eyre, of Mount Hedges and Macroom Castle in 
the County of Cork, Esq. (by Helena, the daughter of Thomas 
Herbert, of Muckross, in the County of Kerry, by the Hon. M. 
Browne, daughter of Lord Viscount Kenmare), and dying in 
1776, left issue, Richard, the present Viscount Bantry, who was 
born 6th of August, 1767, and married, 10th of November, 1799, 
Margaret- Anne Hare, eldest daughter of Lord Ennismore, by 
whom he has had issue, Richard, born 16th of November, 1800 ; 
William Hare, born 10th of November, 1801 ; Maria, born 10th 
of November, 1805 ; and Simon, born 10th of March, 1807. 

This spirited nobleman became entitled to and received the 
honour of the peerage, in being created a Baron, 31st March, 
1797, and a Viscount, 29th of December, 1800, by the best of all 
possible claims, intrepid and unshrinking services in defence of 
his native land. When the French appeared in Bantry Bay, in 
January, 1797 . . . his lordship's determined activity and 
loyalty were so singularly exerted as not only to compel the 
departure of the enemy's fleet, but most probably save Ireland 
from serious disasters, torn asunder as she then was by intestine 
divisions. 

Considering that it was a storm of adverse wind that 
broke up the French naval expedition and blew their 
ships out of Bantry Bay, it is rather too much of this 
obliging biographer to ask his readers to believe that 
Mr. Richard White was the organiser of the whole thing, 
the elements only doing his bidding. What this gentle- 
man did was to send all the information he could collect 
to the authorities in Cork, and to co-operate to the 
utmost of his ability with their somewhat belated action 
after the departure of the French ships. His house 
became a sort of headquarters for English officers and 
officials of all kinds, he kept a sharp look out for any 
symptoms of disturbance in that part of the country, 
and took part in a skirmish against a number of peasants 
who had assembled to bar the way of a tithe-collecting 
expedition in the pass of Keimineagh. For these services 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 45 

the loyalists of Cork presented him with a gold medal, 
and the Government conferred on him the titles above 
recorded. 

The White family spread, and several of its members 
got on to handsome properties in south-west Cork. 
But there were only four Lords Bantry. The first, 
above mentioned, married Lady Margaret Anne Hare, 
daughter of the first Earl of Listowel ; the second was 
their son Richard, who married a daughter of the 
Marquis of Thomond, and died childless ; the third 
was a brother of his, named William Henry Hare White ; 
the fourth was another William Henry Hare White, son 
of the foregoing ; he died without issue, and the titles 
became extinct. The second daughter of the third 
earl, Lady Olivia Charlotte White — married, in February, 
1871, Arthur Edward, Baron Ardilaun (the famous Dub- 
lin brewer). The present possessor of the estates is the 
Hon. Egerton Leigh White, who took on the family 
name and arms of White by royal license, in July, 1897. 
A female descendant of those Hares-Eyres-Hedges- 
Whites, married in 1885, Major Charles William Bowlby 
of the Connaught Rangers. Their family reside in the 
new " Dunboy Castle," built — not far from the ruin of 
the old one — by one of the Puxleys, a relative of him 
who was shot by Morty Oge. 




BOSTON COLLEGE LIBRARY 

CHESTNUT HILL, MASS. 



46 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 



CHAPTER VIII. 

IN the great period of grabbing and gambling for 
Irish lands which followed the Cromwellian 
conquest, when Ireland came nearer to the 
condition of " a corpse on the dissecting table " than 
ever she did before or since, a Welsh adventurer 
named Puxley acquired a tract of land at the mouth of 
Berehaven Harbour, in which were situated the ruins 
of Donal O'Sullivan's old Castle of Dunboy. He built 
himself a residence in the locality, and for some years 
managed to get along tolerably well in his Gaelic environ- 
ment. On his demise a near relative who had previously 
given the benefit of his presence to the County Galway, 
succeeded to his property in Berehaven, and, with 
encouragement and aid from the Government, set 
himself up to be a high exemplar of British law and 
order, a propagator of true religion, an apostle of modern 
civilisation, a shining light to the benighted heathen. 
Forthwith he applied himself to the suppression of 
popular illegalities, the chief of which was the smuggling 
business, then in a very lively condition, between Ireland 
and France. The export of Irish wool to any country 
but England being prohibited by English law, and 
France being a much better market than England for 
the commodity, a contraband trade naturally and 
inevitably sprang up. Fast sailing craft, with the 
forbidden goods ingeniously stowed away, plied between 
the two countries, taking out Irish wool and " wild 
geese " (recruits for the French armies), and bringing 
back wines and brandies, and other articles liable to duty, 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 47 

without letting England's revenue officers have any 
knowledge of their existence. The local gentry winked 
at this state of things, and were glad to keep their cellars 
stocked with such excellent vintage at so small a cost. 
They did not cordially co-operate with Puxley, whom 
they regarded as making himself entirely too busy in 
these matters. Thus he came to be at once out of touch 
with those loyal gentlemen and detested by the peasantry. 
But Puxley was a man with a double dose of " unctuous 
rectitude ; " he stood for English " law and order," and 
was either unobservant or contemptuous of the signs 
of coming trouble he might have seen gathering round 
him. 

One of the most skilful and daring of those free traders, 
as they might be called, was Morty Oge (young Morty) 
O'Sullivan. A member of the dispossessed family, by 
right one of the chiefs of his sept and inheritors of its 
property, thrown landless and poor upon the world, his 
possessions being a clever brain, an adventurous spirit, 
and a store of bitter memories, he became in turn soldier, 
sailor, " smuggler," and avenger, and ultimately fell in 
a fight for his life with the agents of British law. In 1742 
he served in the army of Maria Theresa, the brave 
Austrian queen then fighting for her crown and dominions 
against a group of the European powers, and was 
honoured by her majesty by the presentation of a 
handsome sword. In May, 1745, he was at the Battle 
of Fontenoy — one can imagine with what delight he 
bore a part in the winning of that important and brilliant 
victory. In April, 1746, he was with the Stuart Prince 
Charles Edward, the so-called " Pretender," who suffered 
irretrievable defeat at Culloden. His military career 
being thus ended, he returned to his old favourite, the 
sea, and still fought " against the government " by 
operations greatly to the detriment of the British ex- 
chequer. Being a skilful seaman, knowing every creek 
and cranny of the coast of south-west Munster, and 



48 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

beloved by his kith and kin in those parts, he was able 
to carry on his risky, but enjoyable and profitable, 
business for years without falling into the clutches of 
the authorities, though Puxley was on the watch for 
him all the time. 

As to the smuggling trade, under the circumstances, 
it could not rightly be called unpatriotic, immoral, or 
dishonourable. It was a very natural endeavour to 
evade and defeat English laws made for the ruin of Irish 
industries, the pauperising of Irish manufacturers and 
merchants, and the transfer of their business to English 
rivals. James Anthony Froude, a writer who had caught 
up — or it may be inherited — the Cromwellian antipathy 
to the Irish race, but who sometimes could blurt out 
candid sayings and show a sort of contemptuous com- 
passion for the cruelly oppressed natives of Ireland, 
gives a good sketch of England's war against Irish trade 
in his novel, The Two Chiefs of Dunboy. Picturing one 
Patrick Blake, a prosperous Franco-Irish merchant and 
ship-owner of Nantes — an imaginary character, perhaps, 
but typical — he says : — 

His patriotism was as ardent as his father's ; but his eye was 
keen, and he discerned that there were ways of assisting Ireland's 
cause in which he could combine his country's interest with his 
own. He became the agent of the Irish Brigade. He set on 
foot the organisation for recruiting the young Catholics who 
were impatient of English rule, collecting them under the name 
of wild-geese, and bringing them over into the French service 
to learn their trade as soldiers. . . . While thus engaged, he 
discerned in the unfortunate policy which destroyed the Irish 
woollen manufactures an opportunity for disorganising the Irish 
administration, of combining all classes and all creeds there, 
peasant and landlord, Catholic and Protestant, in a league to 
defeat an unjust law, and, while filling the pockets of his country- 
men, to build up his own fortune at the same time. Irish wool, 
at the opening of the last century, was supposed to be the most 
excellent in the world, and commanded the highest prices in the 
natural market. The English woollen manufacturers, afraid of 
being beaten out of the field if the Irish were permitted to 
compete with them, persuaded the Parliament to lay prohibitory 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 49 

duties on Irish blankets and broadcloth, which crushed the 
production of those articles. Not contented with preventing 
the Irish from working up their fleeces at home, they insisted 
that the Irish fleeces should be sold m England only, and at such 
a price as would be convenient to themselves. The natural 
price, which the French were willing to pay, was three or four 
times higher, and the effect was a premium upon smuggling, 
which no human nature, least of all Irish human nature, could 
be expected to resist. . . . Before the century had half run its 
course, four-fifths of the Irish fleeces were carried underhand 
into France, in spite of English laws and English cruisers. Irish 
lawlessness for once had justice on its side, and flourished like a 
green bay tree. 

This line of business had attractions for Morty Oge 
from every point of view. It was adventurous, it was 
exciting, it was anti-English. After his return trips he 
loved to slip back quietly to old Befehaven, to see again 
the places of his boyhood, to tread the soil that had been 
the property of his fathers, and talk with some of the 
old people over their altered fortunes. And much of 
the news he heard from them was of a nature to set his 
blood aflame. 

Puxley " of Dunboy " was now the great man of the 
place, a magistrate, a revenue officer, a lay preacher, and 
general adviser to a little colony of Welsh Protestants 
whom he had brought over to be helpful to him and be 
an English outpost in those parts. I make no doubt 
that he was in his own estimation a very upright, impor- 
tant, and excellent person ; but it was inevitable that 
by the natives in that region he should be regarded 
simply as an excrescence ; inevitable also that his zeal 
and diligence in the enforcement of the revenue laws 
should make for him a crowd of enemies, and ultimately 
bring him into collision with Morty Oge. 

Puxley and Morty caught sight of each other once 
or twice — and probably each of them felt that they 
should meet again. And meet they did. One Sunday 
morning, as Puxley and a few of his co-religionists, 
were proceeding to hold a service in a little conventicle 

E 



50 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

he had built for them, they fell in with Morty and some 
of his friends on the way. Angry words were exchanged ; 
a quarrel ensued, and, whether by accident or design, 
Puxley was shot dead by Morty Oge. 1 

This deplorable incident created a great sensation 
throughout the country. The Government party took 
prompt action. A military force was despatched from 
Cork to seize the offender and return with his body alive 
or dead. They made their way to Berehaven ; but when 
they got there Morty was not to be found. He had gone 
off to France. There he might have lived safely to the 
end of his days had he been so minded ; but his native 
place had a fascination for him, and he made several 
trips to and fro — 

Even as a hare, whom hounds and horns pursue, 
Pants to the place from whence at first he flew. 

— so would Morty pay furtive visits to his old home, to 
see again his wife and child in his mountain cottage at 
Eyries, and be welcomed and watchfully guarded by 
kinsmen who loved him. But he was caught at last. 
Information of his being in the place was conveyed to 
the authorities ; another expedition — this time by sea 
— was sent from Cork to Berehaven, with all the secrecy 
possible under the circumstances ; the vessel reached 
the shore on a dark, wet, and stormy night, without 
attracting attention ; the soldiers at once disembarked, 
and — guided presumably by someone who knew the 
ground — crept stealthily up to the cottage of the outlaw. 

1 Mr. J. A. Froude, in his "Two Chiefs of Dunboy," gives 
a purely fanciful and very absurd account of this occurrence. 
He frankly calls his work a " romance," but as it is written on 
a historical basis and purports to present a picture of the 
time, be should have given a less offensive tone and turn to 
his inventions. His description of the scene in the forge where 
u Colonel Goring," (i.e. Puxley) lost his life, and of the con- 
trivance by which he and Morty Oge were brought to meet 
there, is worthy only of a " penny dreadful." 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 51 

The noise of the rainstorm prevented the occupants 
from hearing the approaching footsteps ; but the keener 
ears of O'Sullivan's watch-dog caught the sounds, and 
the animal gave the alarm by loud barking. Morty 
grasped the situation at once ; he had been in bed, and 
his friends in the house were sleeping or drowsing after 
the day's toil, but all were immediately on their feet 
and preparing to offer what resistance they could to the 
foe. The struggle that ensued is thus recorded in a 
publication called The Cork Remembrancer, printed in 
that city in 1783 : — 

Sullivan and his party took the alarm directly. Sullivan 
came to the door and opened it in his shirt, with a blunderbuss 
in his hand ; at the same time they might have taken away his 
life, but the commanding officer, choosing rather to take him 
alive, did not fire at him. Sullivan and his men fired several 
blunderbusses out of the house at the party, but finding them 
too strong, he thought on a stratagem, by sending them out one 
man at a time, thinking by that means the party would leave 
the house to follow them, by which he may get off ; but he was 
prevented by the officer, who only fired at the men as they went 
off. At length Sullivan's wife, with her child and nurse, came 
out and asked for quarter, which was granted. The officer asked 
her who was in the house ; she answered no one but her husband 
and some of his men ; upon which he ordered the house to be set 
on fire, which they were a long time doing, the men's arms being- 
rendered quite useless from the heavy rains ; but the house 
being at last set on fire, they were obliged to come out. Sullivan 
behaved with great bravery, as did his men; he stood and snapped 
his blunderbuss twice at the party, and missed fire ; likewise 
the party snapped at him twice and missed fire, and cocking the 
third time, shot him through the heart dead. 

The soldiers brought away with them the dead body 
of Morty Oge, and two prisoners named Sullivan and 
Connell. Morty's body they lashed to the stern of their 
vessel, and so towed it from Berehaven to Cork, where 
its head was cut off and spiked over the South Gaol. A 
like fate befel the gallant fellows Sullivan and Connell ; 
their heads were similarly displayed for the edification 
of his majesty's subjects, loyal and disloyal. 



52 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

Tradition has it that the giver of the information 
which brought the soldiery upon O'Sullivan's house was 
a servant of his named Scully, but there is no reliable 
record to that effect ; doubts have been thrown upon 
the story, and as the statement can neither be proved 
nor disproved, I think it would be only fair to pass in 
this case the Scotch verdict of " Not Proven." It was, 
however, made the subject of a vigorous ballad by the 
Cork poet, J. J. Callanan, a rendering of a Gaelic lamen- 
tation for her beloved master supposed to have been 
uttered by the old nurse of the family. I here quote it 
in part : — 

The sun on I vera 

No longer shines brightly; 
The voice of her music 

No longer is sprightly ; 
No more to her maidens 

The light dance is dear, 
Since the death of our darling 

O'Sullivan Beare. 



Had he died calmly 

I would not deplore him ; 
Or if the wild strife 

Of the sea-war closed o'er him ; 
But with ropes round his white limbs 

Through ocean to trail him, 
Like a fish after slaughter, 

'Tis therefore I wail him. 



In the hole which the vile hands 

Of soldiers had made thee, 
Unhonour'd, unshrouded, 

And headless they laid thee ; 
No sigh to regret thee, 

No eye to rain o'er thee, 
No dirge to lament thee, 

No friend to deplore thee ; 



THE O'SULLIVAN SEPT 63 

Dear head of my darling, 

How gory and pale 
These aged eyes see thee 

High spiked on their jail ; 
That cheek in the summer sun 

Ne'er shall grow warm, 
Nor that eye e'er catch light 

But the light of the storm. 

A curse, blessed ocean, 

Is on thy green water, 
From the harbour of Cork 

To I vera of slaughter, 
Since thy billows were dyed 

With the red wounds of fear, 
Of Muiertach Oge, 

Our O' Sullivan Beare. 

It is obvious to anyone having even a slight acquain- 
tance with our olden tongue that the poem from which 
I have quoted is founded on a Gaelic original. The 
verses of imprecation, which I omit, are further evidence 
in that direction, for, as regards both curses and prayers, 
the swing, fervour, and force of the Irish language are 
unequalled. But a more beautiful and touching lamen- 
tation is that of O'SulhVan's faithful follower and brave 
comrade Connell, written in Cork Gaol on the night 
before his execution. It is thus given in the Rev. Mr. 
Gibson's History of the City and County of Cork, published 
in 1861 : — 

Morty, my dear and loved master, you carried the sway for 
strength and generosity. It is my endless grief and sorrow — 
sorrow that admits of no comfort — that your fair head should be 
gazed at as a show upon a spike, and that your noble frame is 
without life. I have travelled with you, my dear and much 
loved master, in foreign lands. You moved with kings in the 
royal prince's army ; but it is through the means of Puxley I am 
left in grief and confinement in Cork, locked in heavy irons 
without hopes of relief. The great God is good and merciful ; 
I ask his pardon and support, for I am to be hanged at the gallows 
to-morrow, without doubt. The rope will squeeze my neck, and 



54 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

thousands will lament my fate. May the Lord have mercy on my 
master ; 

Kerryonians, pray for us. Sweet and melodious is your voice. 
My blessing I give you, but you will never see me again among 
you alive. Our heads will be put upon a spike for a show ; and 
under the cold snow of night, and the burning sun of summer. 
Oh, that I was ever born ; Oh, that I ever returned to Bere- 
haven ; Mine was the best of masters that Ireland could produce, 
May our souls be floating to-morrow in the rays of endless glory ; 

The lady his wife : Heavy is her grief, and who may wonder 
at that, were her eyes made of green stone, when he, her dear 
husband was shot by that ball. Had he retreated, our grief 
would be lighter ; but the brave man, for the pride of his country, 
could not retreat. 

He has been in King's palaces. In Spain he got a pension. 
Lady Clare gave him robes bound with gold lace, as a token of 
remembrance. He was a captain on the coast of France, but he 
should return to Ireland for us to lose him. 




THE 0* SULLIVAN SEPT 65 



CHAPTER IX. 

AFTER Donal of Beara and his cousin, Don Philip 
of Spain, I think the most illustrious man of the 
name was General John Sullivan, one of the 
heroes of the American War of Independence. Not 
only did he serve with distinction during the war, 
but, in point of fact, he may be said to have " opened 
the ball." Trouble had for some time been impending 
between the colonies and the " mother country," a 
conflict became inevitable ; but, without waiting for a 
formal rupture, Sullivan, with a small band of patriot 
followers, took action and forced the fighting. He 
captured the first fort and the first cannon taken during 
the war. One of his biographers, his kinsman, Mr. 
Thomas C. Amory, relates the incident as follows : — 

In the spring of 1774 he was a member of the Provincial 
Assembly of New Hampshire, and in September of the same year 
was sent to Philadelphia as one of the New Hampshire delegation 
to the Provincial Congress. . . . Soon after his return home he 
planned with Thomas Pickering and John Langdon an attack 
upon Fort William and Mary at Newcastle, in Ports-mouth 
Harbour — one of the earliest acts of hostility against the Mother 
Country ; and, by the aid of a portion of a force he had been for 
some months engaged in drilling in their military exercises, in 
preparation for the anticipated conflict, carried ninety-seven 
kegs of powder and a quantity of small arms in gondolas to 
Durham, where they were concealed, in part under the pulpit of 
its meeting-house. Soon after the battles of Lexington and 
Concord, in April, had aroused the people to a realising sense 
that they were actually engaged in hostilities, these much-needed 
supplies, or a portion of them, were brought by him to the lines 
at Cambridge, where he marched with his company, and were uged 
at the Battle of Bunker Hill." 



56 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

General Sullivan was a trusted officer and personal 
friend of George Washington, Commander-in-chief of 
the American army and liberator of his country. In the 
siege of Boston by the American patriots — June 1775 
to March '76 — the town being then held by an English 
army under General Gage, supported by an English 
fleet in the harbour, Sullivan rendered invaluable service 
to the investing force, and was accorded a signal mark 
of honour — a compliment at once to himself and to his 
nation — by Washington, who issued the following 
" Order of the Day," dated for the 17th of March : — 



Special Order of the 


Day. 






Headquarters ; March 17 


, 1776. 






Parole— Boston. 








Countersign — St. Patrick. 








The regiments under marching 


orders to 


mai 


ch 


to-morrow morning. 








Brigadier of the Day — General Si 


Uivan. 







That was, indeed, a memorable St. Patrick's Day ! 
For on that date, after having withstood a siege of nine 
months' duration (so protracted because the investing 
force was comparatively small), the English evacuated 
the city of Boston, and got away in their ships. One 
can easily imagine the feelings with which General 
Sullivan led his regiments into the city and hurried 
forward the retreating foe ! 

More than a hundred years before that time the chiefs 
of his sept had been hunted out of their patrimony by 
an English army ; here was he now engaged in the 
congenial operation of hunting an English army from 
one of their strongholds on American soil, and so con- 
tributing to the wresting of a whole continent from the 
crown and government of England. 



THE 0> SULLIVAN SEPT 57 

Boston was not a bad balance for Berehaven. 

The writer of one of the valuable historical articles 
that appear occasionally in the New York Irish World, 
at the close of a memoir of General Sullivan, gives the 
following brief outline of his military services : — 

It was well for Sullivan the Revolution broke out so soon, or 
he and his brave comrades would be hanged like dogs by the 
followers of King George. But soon afterward the patriot drum- 
taps resounded, calling upon every American to arm in defence 
of the principles espoused by Sullivan, and the first to respond 
to the call and rally round the patriot flag was he who committed 
the first hostile act and captured the first gun. He was present 
at Bunker Hill, and took command of the patriot army after the 
patriots were driven from their intrenchments. At Long Island, 
in the desperate and terrible retreat through the Jerseys, at 
Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Valley Forge, wherever the 
enemy were to be met, wherever a breach was to be stormed or 
a battery to be carried, Sullivan never shrank from the duty, 
never faltered, but followed the flag until at last he saw it planted 
over the ramparts of Yorktown. 

The surrender of Lord Cornwallis and the British 
army at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, gloriously ended 
the American War of Independence. But General 
Sullivan's services to the newly-made nation in a political 
capacity extended over many subsequent years. His 
brother James, also — a man of considerable ability — 
gave good service to his country, and was twice elected 
Governor of Massachusetts. 

Both the brothers were lawyers by profession, and, 
as such, were regarded in their early years with rather 
unfriendly feelings by the unsophisticated people of 
Durham (New Hampshire), where they resided. How 
they made good their footing amongst them is thus told 
in a Life of James Sullivan, quoted by Mr. Amory : — 

At the time of John's first settlement at Durham, a town rich 
in fertile farms, its inhabitants were devoted to the peaceable 
pursuits of rural life. There prevailed among them a strong 



58 BAN TRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

prejudice against lawyers. It was believed that they were a 
class not required in the community ; that they fomented litiga- 
tion for their own purposes, and craftily devoured the substance 
of their neighbours. Resolved, if possible, to secure their village 
from the presence of all such promoters of discord, some energetic 
young men gave the newly-settled counsellor notice to quit 
Durham, threatening personal coercion if this peremptory order 
were not speedily obeyed. Nothing daunted by this open and 
decided show of hostility, John Sullivan informed them that he 
should not think of it ; and, if they cared to resort to force, they 
would always find him ready. The people of the town became 
greatly excited, and took different sides in the quarrel ; collisions 
occurred between the parties, and in the progress of the dispute 
one of the assailants was severely, though not dangerously, 
wounded by an over-zealous adherent of Mr. Sullivan. The 
affair already wore a serious aspect, when a truce was called, and 
it was finally determined to settle the question by a personal 
conflict with any combatant the assailants should select. Their 
chosen champion not being considered a fair match for the elder 
brother, who possessed great physical strength, James, at his 
own request, was substituted to do battle for the law. The 
encounter took place at the time appointed, and James came off 
the victor. The people acquiescing in the result of this ordeal, 
ever after placed the greatest confidence in John Sullivan ; and 
he soon became, and continued through life, their most beloved 
and popular citizen. 



In old times many controversies were decided by the 
ordeal of single combat ; but this was probably the first 
occasion on which the right of a young lawyer to practice 
his profession in a country village was thus tried out 
and established. Those Durhamites must have been a 
fair-minded lot of young fellows ; they did not mob the 
referee (for I suppose they had one) ; and in all likelihood 
they appreciated alike the chivalry of the elder brother 
and the prowess of the younger. 

There were four of those Sullivan boys, and they all 
took the American side in the war. Their father was 
an emigrant from Limerick, where he had filled the 
position of school teacher. His son John, when he had 
risen to fame and high honour, got the old patriarch to 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 59 

write for him a short account of his ancestry — from 
which I copy the following record : — 

I am the son of Major Philip O'Sullivan, of Ardea, in the County 
of Kerry. His father was Owen O'Sullivan, original descendant 
from the second son of Daniel O'Sullivan, called Lord of Bear- 
haven. He married Mary, daughter of Colonel Owen M'Sweeney, 
of Musgery, and sister to Captain Edmond M'Sweeney, a man 
noted for anecdotes and witty sayings. . . . My father died of 
an ulcer raised in his breast, occasioned by a wound he received 
in France, in a duel with a French officer. . . . My mother's 
name was Joan M'Carthy, daughter of Dermod M'Carthy, of 
Killowen. Her mother's name I forget, but she was a daughter 
to M'Carthy Reagh, of Carbery. Her eldest brother, Colonel 
Florence, alias M'Finnen, and his two brothers, Captain Charles 
and Captain Owen, went in defence of the nation against Orange. 
Owen was killed in the Battle of Aughrim. . . . Charles I just 
remember. He left two sons, Darby and Owen. Darby married 
with Elena Sullivan, of the Sullivans of Banaune. Her brother 
Owen married Honora Mahony, daughter of Denis Mahony, of 
Dromore, in the barony of Dunkerron. . . . My mother's sister 
was married to Dermod, eldest son of Daniel O'Sullivan, Lord of 
Dunkerron. Her son Cornelius, as I understand, was with the 
Pretender in ScotlaDd in the year 1745. 

The family name figures largely not only in the history, 
but also in the topography of the United States. There 
are counties called Sullivan in each of the following 
States :— 

Indiana, New Hampshire, New York, Mobile, Pensylvania 
Tennessee, Missouri. 

The capital town of Sullivan County in Indiana is also 
called Sullivan. Then there are townships and villages 
bearing the name in : — 

Aurora County, Dacota ; Livingston Co., Illinois ; Jackson 
Co., Kansas; Hancock Co., Maine; Polk Co., Minnesota; 
Laurens Co., South Carolina ; Jackson Co., Wisconsin. 

And there are some others. Whether all these places 
were so called in honour of General Sullivan, or whether 
some of them got their designations from other settlers 



60 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

of the name, is more than I can tell ; but there they 
are at all events. 

Several members of the Sullivan sept, as well as the 
above-mentioned Cornelius, were " with the Pretender 
in Scotland in the year 1745." John Sullivan, a native 
of Kerry, was one of the most distinguished, important 
and influential men of the whole enterprise. He was a 
trusted friend and counsellor of the Prince — called by 
his English enemies " the young Pretender," and by 
his Scottish and Irish adherents " Bonnie Prince 
Charlie," " The Young Chevalier," and other endearing 
names — when he made his bold dash to recover the 
throne of his ancestors. The campaign, in the course 
of which some brilliant successes were achieved by the 
Scots, was closed by their disastrous defeat at Culloden. 
Colonel Sullivan was Adjutant-General on that fatefu 
day, and placed the Prince's troops in position before 
the battle. When all was lost, it was he who ensurec 
the personal safety of his beloved chief by seizing his 
horse's bridle-rein and leading him off the field — as 
Napoleon's marshals did with the Emperor after Water- 
loo, exclaiming " Sire, we have lost enough already." 




THE O'SULLIVAN SEPT 81 



CHAPTER X. 

THE Bantry and Bearhaven people, largely owing 
to their location and environment, v/ere a sea- 
going race. They had to do with boats and 
oars and sails almost from their childhood. Most 
of the time of the younger men was spent in fishing in 
the bay, which for a long period was the resort of great 
shoals of herrings, mackerel, and pilchards, while the 
elder folk were engaged in such farming operations as 
were possible on a rugged soil, wind-swept and drenched 
with the salt mists and sprays of the Atlantic. Trading 
vessels calling in to the harbour to land goods or procure 
provisions often took away with them some fine 
strapping youths, who, in a short time, became as 
expert and daring seamen as could be found in the 
world. English warships, on their occasional visits, 
enticed many of them to enter the naval service, in 
which a notable number of them or their descendants 
rose to high rank. In the Dictionary of National Bio- 
graphy, vol. 55, we read of the following : — 

Rear-Admiral Thomas Ball Sulivan, who had a dis- 
tinguished career. 

Admiral Sir Bartholomew James Sulivan, eldest son 
of the foregoing. 

Admiral George Lydiard Sulivan, another son of 
Admiral Thomas Ball Sulivan. 

Sir Charles Sulivan, Admiral of the Blue.* 

* Those naval officers spelled their surname with one " 1," 
which is not at all a new departure, as it is so spelled in ancient 
Gaelic writings ; the more usual form, however, in Gaelic as well 
as in English, gives the "11." In the Pacata Hibemia the name 



62 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

A remarkable run of Admirals in one family ! The 
second on the foregoing list rendered important service 
to the Admiralty in the matter of mappings, soundings 
and surveyings of coasts, creeks, and harbours in various 
parts of the world, but was especially useful to them 
by his work of that kind in the Baltic at the opening 
of the Crimean War in 1854. He was then Captain 
Sullivan, in command of the Lightning. He participated 
in the attack made by the combined French and English 
fleets on the Russian fortress of Sweaborg in 1855, an( i 
after their fire had silenced the forts and set fire to some 
naval yards, stores, and private dwellings, the joyful 
news was telegraphed to Paris and London that Swea- 
borg was " destroyed." Scarcely had the guns of the 
Lightning cooled when Sullivan wrote a gushing letter 
to his family in England relating the good news, and 
in a fit of confessedly unaccustomed piety giving thanks 
to a higher power for the same. He said : — 

Sweaborg is in ruins after two days' bombardment, and not a 
scratch on our side. ... It is almost enough to excite my pride 
to hear what they all say about my work. . . . When all was 
finished at last, and I went below — having just been told what 
the admiral said — the conflicting feelings of gratitude and 
pleasure were such that when I went on my knees to offer thanks 
to that God who still so wonderfully aids me above my deserts, 
and in spite of my neglect of Him, I could only burst into tears. 

Another man of the name distinguished himself in the 
same war, and is worthy of mention in a record such 
as this. He was a native of Bantry, and as brave a man 

is always spelled "Osulevan ;" but that work is no authority 
as regards die orthography of the names of Irish persons or 
places. O'Rourke, for instance, is written " Orwrke," O'Daly, 
" Odalie," and so on. Its copies of letters, apparently authentic, 
from the chieftain of Dunboy to the King of Spain, would indi- 
cate that his own spelling of his name was O'Sulevan. A fac- 
simile of his signature which I have seen gives the spelling as 
O'Sulyvan ; but the pronunciation in all cases is the same. 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 63 

— to say the least of it — as any of the admirals. An 
interesting sketch of his career, from the pen of a fellow- 
countryman and friend, Mr. Michael P. Barry, appeared 
in The Catholic Fireside (Liverpool), in October, 1S80, 
from which I take the following passages : — 

Most visitors to the great naval dockyard at Portsmouth, 
while being shown the many objects of interest, have their 
attention drawn by the attendant policeman to a tall well-built 
man, with a typical Irish face, who in all weathers is to be seen 
modestly and unostentatiously performing his arduous duties. 
This is Mr. John Sullivan, V.C., chief boatswain of the yard, a 
hero whose gallant breast has been decorated with the most 
coveted decorations of England and France. 

Those acquainted with the district (Bantry) may remember 
the old house at the foot of Ardnabrahair, on the left of the 
" boreen " leading to the graveyard. Here, in April, 183 1, John 
Sullivan was born in the home of his fathers. As he grew in years 
he attended a school in the neighbourhood presided over by 
an estimable lady, whose son, " Sandy " Sullivan (afterwards 
A. M. Sullivan, M.P.), was his school-fellow and friend. Little 
thought those two boys as they conned their lessons, wrote their 
copies, or alternately fought and revelled in their hot youth that 
one would live to be the learned and eloquent Member for 
Meath, and the other to wear the most coveted military decora- 
tions on his breast. . . . 

On the declaration of war against Russia in 1854 John Sullivan 
was a chief petty officer — boatswain's mate — on board H.M.S. 
Rodney, which was at once ordered to the Black Sea, with other 
" wooden walls," to commence operations. A naval brigade for 
duty on shore was organised, composed of picked men, and in 
this brigade our boatswain's mate was present at the Battle of 
Inkermann. After this battle the brigade settled down before 
Sebastopol, and the siege began in right good earnest. Young 
Sullivan was " captain " of one of the guns in No. 5 Battery, and 
on him devolved the honour of making the first breach in the 
Malakoff Tower, and blowing up its magazine at the commence- 
ment of the siege. From this achievement he won distinction 
as a crack shot, and his fame reached even to the ears of the 
Admiral and the Commander-in-chief, Lord Raglan. Admirals 
Lyons, Stewart, and Boxer, attracted by his reputation, went 
to No. 5 Battery to see the young Irishman's practice against the 



64 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

enemy, and had the satisfaction of seeing him dismount one of 
the heavy guns in the Russian redoubt, that being the third gun 
his battery had that day disabled. . . . 

On the morning of the ioth of April, 1855, a concealed Russian 
battery suddenly opened fire on the advanced works of the allied 
forces, and in a short time did terrible execution. The allies were 
dismayed. Their gunners could take no aim at this hidden foe.. 
whose missiles were decimating their men and destroying then 
batteries. What was to be done ? Some guide must be given 
to direct the answering fire. Suddenly a volunteer is called for 
to plant a flagstaff on a small mound midway between the 
opposing batteries. But who will risk it ? A deathly silence 
ensues, broken only by the terrible boom of those unerring guns, 
and the moans, the shrieks, and groans of wounded and dying. 
A few seconds, which seem an age, pass, and then out steps the 
young Corkman and volunteers for the awful mission. He takes 
the flag, and, leaping the breastwork, runs steadily towards the 
mound, exposed the while to a galling fire from the Russian 
sharpshooters. " When he gained the mound," says an eye 
witness, " he was cool and collected enough to take observations 
right and left to satisfy himself that he was in an exact 
line between the Russian battery and the British guns. Then, 
kneeling down, he scraped with his hands a hole for the flagstaff, 
and made it secure with stones and clods of earth he collected 
there. He then returned to the battery, miraculously unhurt^ 
to receive the applause and congratulations his heroism deserved. 

The writer proceeds to relate some other brilliant 
actions of Sullivan during the siege, including one 
whereby the soldiers of one of the French posts were 
saved from almost certain annihilation, and he thus 
continues : — 

The French were so grateful for this timely assistance that 
hundreds of them came to see their rescuer and to shake his hand. 
... At the conclusion of the war Commander Kennedy, of the 
Naval Brigade, recommended Sullivan for the Victoria Cross. 
This decoration " for valor " was conferred on him on the 25th 
of July, 1857. On the 16th of June in the previous year the 
Emperor of the French had created him a Knight of the Legion 
of Honour for his services to the French. In addition to these 
honours, so gallantly won, our hero received a medal for con- 
spicuous gallantry, the Sardinian medal, the Turkish medal, and 
the Crimean medal, with clasps for Inkermann and Sebastopoi 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 65 

He was also the recipient of the silver medal of the 
Royal Humane Society for saving, by swimming, the 
life of a drowning man, in the night time, in a sea 
infested with sharks. The memoir from which I have 
quoted thus concludes : — 

With all his honours he remains a simple, straightforward 
civil man ; one to whom all are instinctively drawn by a naive 
artlesness and geniality, and an uncommon amount of common 
sense. Long may he live to wear his laurels and to gladden his 
admiring friends* 

I am not aware whether this brave son of old Bantry 
is still living, or whether he has passed to that better 
land where Victoria Crosses are of no account. 



Many members of the O'Sullivan stock have been 
notable otherwise than as soldiers and sailors. In the 
domains of law, literature, and art they have given 
distinguished men to their country. Don Philip, the 
historian and controversial writer, has been previously 
mentioned ; it would be unpardonable to omit the 
names of the Gaelic poets, Owen Roe O'Sullivan, born 
in Kerry, in or about the year 1748, and Tadhg Gaolach 
(Irish Thade) O'Sullivan, a native of Cork County, born 
somewhat about the same time. No sweeter lyrics than 
those of the first-mentioned bard were ever penned in 
the melodious Irish tongue. For a due appreciation of 
the poetry of Owen Roe I would refer the reader to 
the critical study by the Rev. Patrick O'Dinneen, pre- 
fixed to his admirable edition of the poet's works. I 
quote from it but a few sentences : — 

Our poet has solved the problem of the connection between 
words and melody more successful^ than it has ever been solved 
before ; and in this respect he has no rival in literature, ancient 
or modern. ... As a lyric poet he stands in the first rank. His 
pathos is unsurpassed. He seizes on the most tangled and 
difficult metrical system and builds his poem on it as if he 

F 



66 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

were writing prose. His ear is perfect. There is never a flaw 
in his metre. . . . Eoghan Ruad is entitled to a supremacy in 
Irish literature from which he cannot be dislodged. Lyric poetry 
never flowed with such life and motion as from his pen. The 
characteristic vehemence of the Irish Celt — his enthusiasm, his 
warmth of nature, his tenderness of heart — have in his songs 
found their highest expression. 

Owen was for some time a soldier-sailor on board an 
English warship, and fought in the engagement between 
the fleet under Lord Rodney and that commanded by 
the French admiral, De Grasse, off the coast of Dominica, 
in the West Indies. He even wrote a poem in honour 
of Rodney's victory, but it was a poor thing, being in 
the English tongue, of which he was not a master. When 
asked what token of approbation he would like to receive 
from the commander, he replied that what he wished 
was to be allowed to return home — a wish that was not 
granted to him. He was an Irishman all through, a lover 
of his country, a sympathiser with his suffering race. 
His entry into his majesty's service was not a deliberate 
act — it was really more a matter of accident than of 
design. When he got clear of the army and navy, he 
devoted his bardic powers to singing the sorrows, the 
hopes, and the future glories of his country. Owing to 
the decline of the Irish as a spoken language, the poems 
of Owen Roe O' Sullivan are no longer common know- 
ledge in their native place ; but in their time they 
helped to nourish that spirit of Irish nationality which 
has come down unbroken to our days ; and in view of 
the Gaelic revival, now happily spreading over the land, 
may we not believe that before many years shall have 
passed away the old speech will again be heard and 
the old songs sung on the rugged soil of Bere and Bantry, 
on the slopes of the Kerry Mountains, and midst the 
" lakes and fells " of ever fair Killarney. 

Tadhg Gaolach O'Sullivan was not so consummate a 
master of the bardic art as was his contemporary Owen 
Roe. But he was verily a " poet born, not made." He, too, 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 67 

gave to his people a body of compositions which should 
not be allowed to die. Some of his youthful effusions 
were not of an edifying character ; he was fond of an 
idle and roystering life, and he put the spirit of it into 
some of his verses:; but that phase passed ; he became 
a man of profound and sincere piety. It is related that 
his " conversion " came about in this way : — He and a 
party of young companions were playing cards one 
Sunday in the neighbourhood of their parish church 
when they should have been at Mass. As soon as the 
service was over, the good P.P. hastened to the place, 
routed the boys, and gave Tadhg a lecture that made a 
deep impression on his mind. From that day forward, 
with an awakened conscience, he " turned over a new 
leaf." He made his poetry a vehicle for prayer and 
adoration, for the inculcation of virtue and the advocacy 
of pious practices. His devotional poems became 
immensely popular throughout Munster. Often were 
they repeated by workmen in the fields, by fishers in 
their boats at sea, around their hearths at night by 
peasant families., who loved them next to the Rosary of 
the Blessed Virgin. 

Of this honoured bard, who died while at his devotions 
in Waterford Cathedral, in April, 1795, Father O'Dinneen 
has written : — " Tadhg Gaolach is undoubtedly the 
first of Irish religious poets, and whatever place may be 
assigned him among the poets of the world who chose 
devotional subjects for poetic treatment, it is certain 
that no history of religious poetry would be complete 
without an account of his works.'' 



M 



68 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 



CHAPTER XI. 

IN proceeding to give a brief sketch of the condition 
of the inhabitants of the O'Sullivan territory 
in Cork and Kerry in our own time, it becomes 
necessary that I refer once again to the periods 
of the three great confiscations — the Elizabethan, 
the Cromwellian, and the Williamite. For some years 
after the death of Elizabeth there was little doing 
in those regions. The country had been devastated ; 
the old chiefs were gone ; the Gaelic tribal and social 
order was in ruins, and the foreign grabbers had not 
yet settled down securely on the lands. But ere her 
majesty passed away she had made large grants 
of the despoiled and almost depopulated country to 
certain of her servants, flatterers, and favourites, 
civil and military ; and thus it was that rapacious 
Englishmen came into possession of great tracts oi 
the lands of the O'Sullivans, O'Driscolls, MacSwineys, 
O'Donoghues, and other native families in Cork and 
Kerry. 

It was not till some years later, after the Cromwellian 
tornado had swept over the country, that the most 
voracious land-shark of his time — an English apothecary 
named Petty — managed to make himself the legal 
owner of an immense expanse of country on the Kerry 
side of the Berehaven mountains. Petty was a man 
of remarkable ability, the possessor of varied talents ; 
in character cunning, covetous, ambitious and un- 
scrupulous. He saw in the welter of Irish affairs 
a grand opportunity for advancing his fortunes, and 
he made skilful use of it. In 1652 he was physician 



THE O'SULLIVAN SEPT 69 

to the army in Ireland ; (he had obtained the degree 
of M.D. in 1649, an d was then, according to his own 
account, the proud possessor of £60 in the world) ; 
his medical practice added to his income ; then he 
got other employments, one of his posts being that 
of secretary to Henry Cromwell, Lord-Lieutenant 
of Ireland. But his great work — great for its magnitude, 
its importance, and its effects on his own fortune — 
was that known as the " Down Survey " — a survey, 
admeasurement, and mapping down of the lands 
confiscated in consequence of the " Rebellion " of 
1 641. For the execution of this work Petty was 
rewarded with large grants of land ; but it was alleged 
against him — probably by grabbers less lucky or clever 
than himself — that he had so juggled with his maps, 
plans and figures as to secure to himself greater ad- 
vantages both in the way of acreage and of cash than 
he was entitled to. One Colonel Sir Jerome Sankey 
formulated against him an indictment of no fewer 
than nine articles, in which he was accused of " High 
Misdemeanours, Breaches of Trust, and severall other 
Crimes." Sankey appears to have done his best to 
bring this impeachment to trial before the Council ; 
but, even in our own day, " the law's delay " — especially 
in a case of any magnitude — is proverbial ; and some- 
how the Sankey case would seem to have fizzled out — 
probably from want of means to prosecute the suit. 
The upshot of the whole matter was that Petty became 
the legal owner of a princely domain in one of the 
most picturesque and historically interesting parts of 
Ireland. Standing on the top of the majestic Mangerton 
mountain, if he could not say " I am monarch of all 
I survey " he could at all events proudly feel that by 
the exercise of his wits he had made himself lord of 
an extensive territory, beautiful beyond all description 
and bound to be very profitable in the coming years. 
"I am not certain," wrote Mr. Francis Prendergast 



70 BAN TRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

(brother of the historian John P.), in the Nation news- 
paper, " that even in our own days of rapid acquisition 
of wealth, anyone has exceeded the Hampshire apothe- 
cary of the 16th century, who, from being the owner of 
no more than sixty pounds sterling, found himself in less 
than seven years the proprietor in fee of all he could 
view from the summit of Mangerton." This notable 
man carried on his career of success to the end of his 
life. In the reign of Charles II. he was made Surveyor 
General of Ireland, and received from that monarch 
" the honour of knighthood." Additional honours and 
titles were acquired by his posterity. John, 1st Earl 
of Shelbourne, succeeded to the Petty estates on the 
death of his maternal uncle in 175 1, and William, the 
second of that title, became the first Marquess of 
Lansdowne. 

A curious fortune befel the maps of Petty's Down 
Survey. Some of them were consumed in a fire which 
took place in a Government office in Dublin ; others 
were shipped in a Government vessel for London, there 
to be engraved. But in those days there were special 
risks upon the sea, for, France and England being at 
war, French privateers were doing a lively business 
around the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland. One 
of those craft fell in with the ship that carried Petty's 
maps, attacked and captured her, and took her off to 
the French port of St. Malo. 

Probably the French Government were glad to get 
hold of Petty's maps ; they gave them a place in the 
Royal Library, but there they were so badly shelved 
and so little regarded that in a few years the librarians 
had lost all knowledge of them. Meantime, English 
officials who knew their importance as documentary 
evidence in relation to Irish landed property, were 
questing for them in every direction. How they were 
discovered is thus told in an official letter, bearing 
date Jan. 27th, 1786, from Colonel Charles Vallancey 



THE 0> SULLIVAN SEPT 71 

to the Duke of Rutland, then Lord Lieutenant of 
Ireland. 

Many fruitless searches have been made to recover these 
Surveys. Lord Harcourt made every enquiry possible for them 
in France. ; Lord Shelborn did the same ; the Catalogues of the 
French Libraries were turned to in vain ; no such maps appearing 
in the Catalogues under the words Cartes or MSS., the librarians 
never gave themselves further trouble. I have experienced 
the same both at Oxford and Cambridge. 

My pursuits this day in the French King's Catalogue were 
for old copies of the Bible, and consequently turned to the 
volume entitled " Theology," curious to know in what manner 
the collection was made. I perused the Preface, and to my 
great astonishment at page 50 found the enclosed account of 
the original Survey of Ireland, by Sir William Petty, on the 
large scale, and I suppose complete. 

Colonel Vallancey goes on to say that if the French 
Government would not consent to restore those maps to 
the English he believed that permission to make copies 
of them would be granted on the application of a British 
minister to the French Ambassador. 

The permission was asked for and accorded. Val- 
lancey made the copies ; in recent years the British 
Government got them engraved, printed and published, 
and they are now on sale to the public at a moderate 
price. The map of the Baronies of Beare and Bantry 
included in the appendix to this work is copied from one 
of them, but on a reduced scale. The size of the original 
is 2 ft. 8 by 1 ft. 4J ins. 

The present representative of the Petty family is 
Henry Charles Keith Fitzmaurice, fifth Marquess of 
Lansdowne, and bearer of many other titles, who has 
held various high offices under the Crown. All his 
predecessors in title were — as far as Ireland is concerned 
— absentee landlords, and his lordship carries on the 
tradition. In the period of the Great Famine — 1847-49 
— and many of the subsequent years, the management 
of the Lansdowne property in Kerry was such as to 



72 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

make its name notorious to the ends of the earth. For 
this it is not easy to say whether the chief responsibility 
rested on the " noble marquess " of that time — the 
fourth in succession — or on his agent, Mr. William 
Stewart Trench. The latter, I should think, was the 
inventor of the depopulating policy then carried out on 
the estate, but if so, the former was the assentor to it 
without whose sanction the scheme could not have 
been worked. Their plan was to deport to America 
hundreds of their starving tenantry, and then to enforce 
on the estate such rules and regulations as would prevent 
the re-growth of what they regarded as a " surplus 
population " on the property. This proceeding they 
represented as a benevolent and generous mode of 
dealing with these poor creatures. In reality the 
scheme had its economic and sordid side. At home 
those destitute and enfeebled persons would become 
entitled to relief under the poor law ; food, clothing 
and medical treatment would have to be provided for 
them ; when they would die, the cost of their burial 
would have to be defrayed by the union. In other 
words, the charges for all these things would fall on 
the noble landlord and such of his tenants as were not 
yet pauperised — thereby weakening their rent-paying 
capacity. Obviously it would be cheaper for his lord- 
ship to pay the passage money for some hundreds of 
those undesirables, dump them on the shores of America, 
and so clear his estate of them for ever. A painfully 
significant circumstance was that so numerous became 
the admissions of exiles from his lordship's property to 
one of the New York hospitals that a ward in the build- 
ing came to be popularly known as " The Lansdowne 
Ward." 

For such of the tenantry as were able still to keep a 
hold upon their lands, Trench formulated a set of 
" Rules of the Estate," subjecting them to a despotism 
unparalleled in the dominions of Czar or Sultan. His 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 73 

great object — next to the getting in of a stiff rent — 
was to prevent the dwelling of what he regarded as too 
great a number of persons on the estate. With this 
view he forbade the heads of families to make arrange- 
ments whereby any of their younger members might — 
even without any sub-letting — get a share of their farms 
or dwelling-houses ; he exercised a strict surveillance 
over marriages : to marry without his permission in- 
volved being speedily turned off the property ; and it 
was perilous for a tenant to harbour, even for a day or 
two, any friend, but especially any relative of his 
family ; a smart fine was the lightest penalty for such 
offending. 

An appeal to Dublin Castle against these exactions 
was at one time made on behalf of the tenantry ; the 
reply of the Lords Justices, sent by Sir Thomas Larcom, 
on the 29th of December, 1857, was to the effect that 
they saw no grounds for interference, inasmuch as Mr. 
Trench in these cases did not act in a magisterial 
capacity, " the arrangements in question being part of 
the private regulation of the estate." So there was no 
redress to be had from that quarter. 

Several illustrative instances are recorded in the 
newspapers of the time. Thus the special reporter of 
the Cork Examiner, writing from Kenmare on De- 
cember 30th, 1857, "tells °* f ne daughter and the son 
of two tenants who, wishing to become united in 
matrimony, eloped from their parents' homes — probably 
with the intention of saving the old people from any 
responsibility for their union — and got married in 
another part of the country. The correspondent 
says : — 

The " happy pair " returned to the house of the bridegroom's 
father, and remained there until the circumstances came to the 
ears of his lordship's driver. A warning was at once given to 
the tenant that the young people should remain with him no 
longer, and he was accordingly compelled to drive his son and 



74 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

his son's wife out the doors, to get a shelter wherever they 
could. This they sought in the house of the girl's father, and 
for a few days obtained it, until the terrible " warning " again 
came, and again the unfortunate pair had to tramp. I believe 
they eventually made their way to America, where the young 
man since died. But the two fathers-in-law were not merely 
warned ; they were punished for harbouring their son and 
daughter, by a fine of a gale of rent. 

This was but a specimen case ; there were many 
others reported at the time ; they were not contra- 
dicted ; they could not be denied. The special corres- 
pondent already quoted says in another letter that in a 
conversation he had with a number of the tenants, one 
poor fellow dolefully said : "I gave a month's lodgings 
to my brother-in-law, and I was fined two gales for it." 
Another was punished for having given housing to a 
labourer on his farm. Such was the landlordism of 
the Petty-Shelburne-Lansdowne-Fitzmaurice family on 
the splendid domains they had acquired so easily ; such 
was their treatment of the plundered remnant of the 
native race whose fathers had owned, lived and prospered 
on those lands for centuries before the foreign spoilers 
came upon them. 

A series of letters published in the Dublin Nation, 
from the pen of Mr. Edmund Fitzmaurice Donnelly, of 
Kenmare, in the winter of 1857 and the early months 
of the following year, first drew the attention of the 
whole country to this scandalous state of things. Amaze- 
ment and indignation filled the popular mind. The 
Nation set to work courageously to expose and denounce 
the audacious pretensions and proceedings of this 
Bashaw Trench, and the Cork Examiner rendered 
splendid service by sending a special correspondent to 
report on the situation. The facts thus placed before 
the public would now seem almost incredible. I doubt 
not that the following excerpts from the evidence will 
be found interesting. 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 76 

From a letter of Mr. Donnelly's to the Nation of 
December 12th, 1857, I ta ^e the following passages : — 

Why should the poor tenant do more than barely sow and 
reap ? Why should he fence, drain, irrigate, and cultivate his 
master's farm ? Why should he work the very flesh off his 
bones and the very blood out of his veins in improving a farm 
of which he would be deprived if he dared to give his son or 
daughter in holy wedlock without leave from the lay " Vicar- 
General," alias Mr. Trench ? Perhaps you will laugh at this 
ludicrous title — you would perhaps also laugh if you were to 
see a poor " glinster " all the way (fifteen miles from Colerns 
or Glenmore) running np to the lodge to catch his " reverence " 
before he would leave home, to get his permission to marry. 
And its the " V.-G.'s" (Trench's) trick to leave here just at the 
critical time, or not to come here until the last fortnight or 
so of Shrovetide. What was the poor glinster to do then ? 
Why I should say he was at liberty to adopt either of three courses 
— marry without Mr. Trench's leave and get "mopped out"; 
wait until he could catch Mr. Trench in the course of a half 
year or so ; or — no, sir, I need not say it. Please God, Irishmen 
or Irishwomen will never adopt the fashion of certain neighbouring 
countries, that of " living together " as the police reports in 
the English papers phrase it. 

For any violation of the " Rules of the Estate " 
heavy penalties were inflicted. As regards Trench's 
marriage laws, we read in one of the letters of the Cork 
Examiner's special reporter (John Francis Maguire, 
M.P.) : 

A poor widow, whose cabin I entered, had the temerity to 
get her daughter married without the necessary permission 
from the " office," and an ejectment was the immediate con- 
sequence, withdrawn only on the payment of three gales of 
rent, raised by the sacrifice of the little produce at her disposal. 
. . . One man of whom I made an enquiry as to how he 
had escaped, told me, with the utmost simplicity, that he had 
got his wife " just before Mr. Trench's laws came into force." 

It is only a wonder that this great law maker did not go 
on a little further and prescribe a limit to the number of 
children that he would allow to be born into each family. 



76 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

At and about this period Irish landlordism had 
reached what was perhaps its highest pitch of rapacity 
and cruelty. It was legalised tyranny, robbery and 
murder. In some parts of the country — in Mayo and 
Donegal, for instance — its work was carried on more 
brutally than in Cork and Kerry — that is to say, with 
less affectation of rectitude and of regard for high 
social and moral considerations. In later years, when 
some awakening of the public conscience to the iniquity 
of this system and the impolicy of allowing it to go on 
unchecked took place in England, the doings of the 
Lansdowne estate supplied to tenant-righters, popular 
orators, and liberal-minded statesmen some of their 
most piquant illustrations of the urgent need for a 
large measure of land-law reform. A young Irish 
lawyer, Mr. Charles Russell, Q.C., M.P. (afterwards Lord 
Killowen and Lord Chief Justice of England), visited 
the place when engaged in the writing of a series of 
articles entitled " New Views on Ireland ; or, Irish 
Land Grievances and Remedies " (published in book 
form by Macmillan in 1880), and gave an account of 
what he had seen and heard, in language unimpassioned, 
but all the more weighty because of its obviously scrupu- 
lous regard for the verities of the case. The publication 
drew from Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice, brother of the 
noble Marquess, a letter in which an endeavour was 
made to contradict and discredit the statements of Mr. 
Russell. Lord Edmond disliked especially the recru- 
descence of the story of the " Lansdowne Ward," and 
appeared to think he had disposed of it when he wrote 
that it was " an old calumny," and that a friend of his 
whom he had asked to look into this matter during a 
visit to New York, had told him on his return that 
" he believed the whole story was an impudent in- 
vention got up by Irish politicians for their own pur- 
poses." But the incredulity of Lord Edmond's friend 
was no disproof of the statement, and evidence of its 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 77 

truth was soon forthcoming in the following letter from 
a gentleman who had seen the controversy in the Press, 
and who had personal knowledge of the matter in 
dispute : — 

3 3 Curzon Street, 

South Circular Road, Dublin. 
Nov. 20, 1880. 

Dear Sir. — The information that Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice 
received from his charitable " friend " as to the non-existence 
(at present) of the Landsowne Ward in New York Hospital is 
quite correct. The New York Hospital stood in Duane Street, 
and was pulled down to make room for an extensive dry goods 
house twelve years ago. But this much I can assert from 
personal knowledge, that there was sl ward known by the 
name of the Lansdowne in the hospital, which was as well 
known to New Yorkers as Lansdowne Road is to Dubliners 
to-day, If you think this communication of any value you 
may publish it. 

Eugene O'Connell. 

P.S. — I may add that I am a New Yorker by birth, and any 
old resident of there can bear out my statement. 

Before I part with the " noble Marquess " and his 
agent it is only fair to say that in the opinion of the 
local people and of persons who went to the district to 
investigate and report on the facts, the blame for this 
unhappy state of things lay not so much with the 
Marquess as with his trusted manager and adviser, Mr. 
Trench. It was pointed out that the Marquess was 
an old man, an absentee who never saw his tenants, and 
took no personal part in the management of his property, 
and who therefore had to depend upon others for his 
ideas of the situation and the part he should play therein. 
But such a plea could not exonerate him from a fearful 
responsibility in this matter. It was his business in 
such a crisis to visit his property, see and speak to his 
tenants, consult with their friends lay, and clerical, and 
consider with them what had best be done under the 
terrible circumstances. Instead of so doing, he re- 



78 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

mained away in his English home, took no heed of the 
clamour that arose in Cork and Kerry, and contented 
himself with sending to his agent a considerable sum of 
money for the expatriation of the half famished and 
broken down people to America. 

The Petty family are still in possession of the spoils 
they got hold of in the Cromwellian period. Sir William, 
the father of the tribe, died in 1687 ; his widow, in 
consideration of his services to the State, was created 
Baroness Shelbourne for life. Their eldest son, Charles, 
died in 1696, and was succeeded by his brother Henry, 
who obtained the title of Earl of Shelbourne. On his 
death in 1752 the title lapsed, but only to be revived 
after a short interval. Henry had willed his estate to 
his nephew, the Hon. John Fitzmaurice, on condition 
that he should adopt the name and bear the arms of 
Petty. On his compliance therewith " his Majesty hath 
been pleased to advance him to the dignities of Baron 
of Dunkerron and Viscount Fitzmaurice by privy seal 
. . . And his lordship hath been created Earl of Shel- 
bourne by privy seal, dated at Kensington 30th May, 
and by letters patent 26th June, 1753." 

The present Marquess of Lansdowne (a.d. 1908) is the 
fifth bearer of the title. Like his distinguished pro- 
genitor, Petty, he is a very accomplished gentleman, 
and moreover a trained diplomat, qualified and em- 
ployed by England to take care of her interests in 
dealings with the sharpest intellects of foreign nations. 
He can buy his gloves in seven languages. The list of 
his titles, appointments and decorations is an affair of 
" linked sweetness long drawn out." He has many tail- 
feathers to his name. But to Ireland he is " no good " ; 
he is an opponent to her right to self government ; he 
is no friend to popular interests at home or abroad, 
and he is no favourite with his Irish tenantry. 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 79 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE landlordism of the White family, on the 
southern side of the Bera promontory, was of 
a milder type than that of Lord Lans- 
downe and his man Trench on the Kerry side. The 
Whites resided on their property. The first Lord 
Bantry— he of the French fleet business — was a genial 
person, understood and could speak some Irish, and 
was not infrequently asked for advice by some of his 
tenantry on personal and even family matters. He 
kept a pack of hounds at Glengarriffe, and gave the local 
gentry and farmers many a day's sport. The tastes of 
his son, the second lord, who resided at Bantry house, 
were quite different ; he would not mount a hunter for 
any consideration, or even keep a little yacht on the 
bright waters of the beautiful harbour that lapped the 
edges of his domain. But he had a taste for art, and 
loved to decorate his house and grounds with Italian 
paintings and statuary. Their lands were highly rented, 
but the management of the property was not very 
rigorous, and there were but few evictions. In the 
time of the third Lord Bantry a portion of the Bere- 
haven property was put up for sale in the Incumbered 
Estates Court, and purchased by an Englishman, Lord 
Charles Pelham Clinton. Trouble arose out of the 
transaction. Lord Charles bought the lands without 
being made aware that there existed arrears of rent on 
the property, which Lord Bantry would, at his own 
convenience, proceed to recover from Lord Clinton's 
tenants. How Lord Bantry managed to " keep it 
dark," and how Lord Clinton omitted to look to this 



80 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

question of arrears before bidding for the property is 
indeed surprising, but so it happened. The situation 
and some of the ensuing scenes are graphically described 
by Mr. John P. Prendergast (Lord Clinton's newly- 
appointed agent) in a letter of protest addressed to 
Lord Bantry and published in pamphlet form in October, 
1854. I quote a few passages : — 

My Lord. — You are already aware that the business that 
brought me to Berehaven was the seizing of Bere Island by 
your bailiffs on the morning of the 8th September in execution 
of near 200 civil bill decrees, obtained by your lordship against 
your late tenants, the islanders, at the Bantry Quarter Sessions 
in January last, for sums amounting in the whole to £1,800, 
found to be due to your lordship for rent and arrears of rent 
to Michaelmas Day, 1853. 



It does not concern your lordship to hear by what accidents 
Lord Charles Clinton was prevented from seeing, personally 
or by deputy, to the condition of his new purchases, until the 
month of August last, when his lordship, in company with his 
newly appointed agent, visited them, and was received by their 
inhabitants with a warmth that indicated fully as much joy 
at getting rid of the old landlord as at becoming the tenants 
of a new one. 

It was during the hurry of this three days visit that your 
Lordship caused Lord Charles Clinton to be informed, verbally, 
that you had claims against the lately purchased properties 
amounting, roughly, in the case of Bere Island, to over £1,000, 
and in the case of the mainland estate to near £600 — rather 
a shock to one who thought he had bought free of incumbrance 
— but which your lordship was good enough to inform him 
you would give him time to collect for you by instalments, 
adding, however, significantly, that if you were not settled 
with you could break every tenant on the island . . . 

On the very day that Lord Clinton was leaving this country 
for England — a short week afterwards — he received the news 
that your lordship's bailiffs were ravaging the island, driving 
all the cows to the pound, and threatening to carry off every- 
thing that was not too hot or too heavy. . . . 

On the night of the 9th of September last, the second day 
after their descent, a large armed force of police, summoned 
in from the neighbouring outposts, rendezvoused at midnight 



THE O' SULLIVAN SEPT 81 

at a wooded point that juts into the sound, and embarked 
hastily for the island. They were, however, unable to overtake 
a boat that started immediately to apprise the unfortunate 
islanders of the approach of these ill-timed visitors. This 
invading military force reached the island almost at the same 
moment as the friendly warners, but these last, being better 
acquainted with the short cuts to the hamlet, had time (and 
only time) to summon the terrified inhabitants from their beds, 
when they, for the most part aged and respectable women, 
fled, half naked, up the telegraph hill, where, like a frightened 
herd, they stood at gaze in the shadow of the building, 
watching the scene below. For seven days and nights they 
lay out on the hills, often on the point of giving in, through 
aching bones, swollen faces, and shivering limbs. 

One of the skirmishes which took place in the course 
of the distraint of the cattle of the poor tenants Mr. 
Prendergast thus describes : — 

One, Thady Harrington's wife (Thady was at sea) stopped 
a cow of her husband's that had been seized by one of your 
bailiffs in mistake for one belonging to her mother-in-law, 
decreed to be in debt to your lordship. Her women friends 
collected arouud, calling the bailiffs and your lordship ugly 
names — as women will. No stones were thrown, no blow was 
struck, but the cow got off. The fact is that the women gathered 
in a crowd at the cross and barred the way to the pound, 
leaving open the road leading up to the mountain where the cow 
used to graze — a hint she was not slow to take ; for, shaking off 
her mistress who had hold of one horn, and your bailiff, who 
grasped the other, she released herself from the hold of " Sooty 
Denis " (a wretched creature who acts as spy for your lordship) 
who was hanging by her tail, and, raising it high in the air, 
out of his ugly clutch, she bolted to the mountain. 

The process of " driving " the seized cattle to the 
pound and " canting " them to the highest bidder is 
thus pictured : — 

Now let me recall the familiar features of your lawless Irish 
" driving." Let us suppose some sudden call of your lordship 
for money: instantly your drivers scour the country, aided 
by a flying troop of boys, hired at fourpence to sixpence a day. 

G 



82 BANTRY, BEREHAVEN AND 

The boys, wild with delight, beat the cows out of the fields 
with sticks and stones, over hedges and ditches, down to the 
pound. The owners follow, i.e., such as can find a friend to 
bail their beasts out until the cant day ; but the poor man's 
cow often remains in the pound till nearly dead of hardship. 

On the cant day, towards the hour of canting, the pound be- 
comes choked, and then comes the scene of the strong cows 
beating down and goring the weak. Often one strong cow will 
drive the others flying in a whirl round the pound. Meantime 
the top of the great pound wall is thronged with the owners 
of the impounded beasts, each watching his own with anxious 
fear, lest they should suffer damage, and men will often descend 
among the maddened herd and endeavour to save their cows 
from the injuries inflicted by the stronger upon the weaker 
ones on those occasions. 

Of one of those scenes, in November, 1854, Mr. Prender- 
gast says :— 

This last driving of your lordships' so overcrowded the great 
circular pound of Rossmacowen that the place was a pool of 
gore ; and the bellowings of the tortured cows could be heard 
at the top of Hungry Hill. 

In later times, long after the property had passed 
from the hands of the Lords Bantry, there were some 
troubles between the Berehaven tenantry and their 
landlord — at this time a Mr. Clinton, son of the Lord 
Clinton in whose interest Mr. Prendergast wrote so 
vigorously. In May, 1905, and the July of the following 
year, decrees were obtained and notices of eviction 
served for arrears of rent — but this was in the era of 
Land Acts and Land Courts, and rent reductions, and 
settlements were arrived at without any serious difficulty. 
A good many of the tenants have bought their holdings 
under the Purchase Act, and are now their own land- 
lords, having such a grip on the soil of Beara as their 
fathers had not since the days of Queen Elizabeth. 



THE 0' SULLIVAN SEPT 83 



CHAPTER XIII. 

IT may be that no violent reversal of the great events 
of Irish history can now be effected ; but there 
is plenty of scope in various ways for bettering 
the condition of the Irish people. All men, no 
matter of what racial origin, who desire to take part 
in that good work should get a friendly welcome to the 
national ranks. As for those who may prefer to stand 
sullenly aloof, unwilling to share in the upraising of a 
long-oppressed nation, looking with frowning eyes on 
the increase of popular power and public right, let them 
have it so ; foreigners let them remain. Ireland will 
regard them simply with pitying contempt ; and they 
will have no business looking for sympathy to England, 
for they will get none. No people in the world will 
have a good word to say for a class so worthless, so 
heartless, so unpatriotic. It will quietly disappear from 
the face of the earth, " unwept, unhonoured, and 
unsung." 

The fortunes of the historic regions of which I have 
written have somewhat brightened of late years. Recent 
legislation — the Local Government Act and the Land 
Acts — are being happily availed of by the people of 
Bantry and Berehaven, and by their kinsmen on the 
Kerry side of the mountains. Whatever may happen 
in the future, those districts have proud possessions 
that can never be taken from them — " the charms that 
Nature gave them, ,, and heroic memories the glory of 
which will last till time shall be no more. 



APPENDIX. 



£*>— 



Sir George Carew and the Pacata Hibernia : — 

To these the references throughout the earlier chapters of this 
volume are, of necessity numerous. Sir George, Queen Elizabeth's 
"Lord President of Minister, " was the chief organiser of the con- 
quest and spoliation of that province. The Pacata is his account of 
the operations. One Thomas Stafford edited the papers, prepared 
them for the Press, wrote a dedication of the work to Elizabeth's 
successor, King James, and got it published in 1636, some 
years after the death of Carew. Of Carew and Stafford the 
Rev. C. B. Gibson, M.R.I. A., in his History of the County and 
City of Cork, gives the following appreciation : — 

" So cool and cruel, so cunning and unknightly a ruler (as 
Carew) never came to Ireland. We have his effigy in the Pacata 
Hibernia — a book written by a man who worshipped him as his 
Magnus Apollo — and a more sinister countenance we never 
beheld. We have no objection to adopt the former part of the 
circumscription — for the words go round the picture — Talis erat 
vultu, sed lingua, mente, manu." 



The Reign of Queen Elizabeth, p. 9 : — 

The following account of the characteristics of the O'Sullivan 
people is given in the Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland, published 
in 1846 by A. Fullerton and Co., Dublin, London, and Edinburgh : 

" The Sept of the O'Sullivans anciently inhabited most of what 
now constitutes the baronies of Beare and Bantry. They were 
inveterate opponents of the English interest and the Protestant 
Reformation, and acted a zealous and self-ruining part in the 
great rebellion of Munster, towards the close of the reign of 
Elizabeth." 



86 APPENDIX. 

Tyrell, one of O'Sulli van's most trusted Captains (p. 17) : 

" While some of his (Tyrell's) men were prisoners in the hands 
of the besiegers, the President propounded a " stratagem " to 
the captain — some accomplished piece of devilment, no doubt — 
by the doing of which he and his men were to get their lives and 
liberties. He replied : "I will ransom my men with money, if 
that be accepted, but to be. false to the King of Spain, my master, 
or to betray the Catholic cause, I will never." — Gibson's History 
of Cork. 



Don Philip O'Sullivan Beare, p. 32 : — 

This eminent patriot and litterateur, author of the Historic 
CatoliccB IbernicB, is referred to by some writers as a nephew of 
Donal of Dunboy. Judge Madden, in his recently published 
work, entitled Some Passages in the Early History oj Classical 
Learning in Ireland, so speaks of him ; others call him a cousin, 
which T take to be the correct designation, as his father was not 
a brother, but a first cousin of Prince Donal. Philip's age was 
about ten years when Donal, after having evicted the Spanish 
soldiers from Dunboy, sent him, with his own son, as a pledge 
of fealty to the King of Spain. Young Philip as he advanced 
in years developed a high degree of literary talent, and wrote 
several works in the Latin tongue, all in defence of his religion 
and his country. Mr. Matthew J. Byrne, of Listowel, Co. 
Kerry, has rendered valuable service to Ireland by translating 
into English and getting published (Sealy, Bryers & Walker), 
a most interesting portion of O'Sullivan's " Compendium of the 
Catholic History of Ireland " — the section relating to the Eliza- 
bethan war. I may add that a good deal of Don Philip's lite- 
rary work was done on board ship while he held a command in 
the Spanish Navy. 

Robbed, despoiled, and disinherited, p. 34 : — 

In the valuable work entitled Illustrations, Historical and 
Genealogical, oj King James's Irish Army List (1689), by John 
D' Alton, Esq., B.L., published in Dublin in 1855, is given, at 
considerable length, a record of notable members of " this noble 
Sept." I can here give but a couple of short extracts from the 
work, indicating how they were harried, despoiled and hunted 
down : — 

" In the Attainders of 1642 were Donell O'Sullivan Beare, of 
Berehaven ; Philip O'Sullivan, of Loughandy ; Owen of Inchi- 
clough and Drumdivane, Donell Mac Owen, of Drnmgarvan ; 



APPENDIX. 87 

John Mac Dermody, of Derryne ; Gillicuddy O' Sullivan, of 
Traghprashy ; Connor O'Sullivan, of Loughane, and Owen 
Neagh O'Sullivan, of Drumgowlane, all in the County of Cork. 
— This Sept was represented at the Supreme Council of Kilkenny 
by O'Sullivan More of Dunkeiran and Daniel O'Sullivan of 
Culmagort ; while the Declaration of Royal Gratitude, in the 
Act of Settlement, preserves the names of Captain Dermot 
O'Sullivan of Kilmeloe, Lieutenant O'Sullivan of Fermoyle, and 
Ensign Owen O'Sullivan, all in the County of Cork. 

Of those outlawed in 1691 were Daniel O'Sullivan of Rosma- 
cone, McDermot Cnogher Sullivan and Cornelius Sullivan of 
Shiskeen ; Owen Mac Murtough Sullivan of Berehaven, John 
Mac Murtough Sullivan of Lanlaurence, Thady Sullivan of 
Killiebane, Clerk, all of the County of Cork, with Dermot Mac 
Donell Soolevane of Litton, and Florence Soolevane of Nodden 
in the County of Kerry." 

The place-names in the foregoing extracts were printed by 
Mr. D'Alton as they stood in old documents. In more recent 
orthography " Nodden " is Nedeen, a former name of the town 
of Kenmare ; " Lanlaurence " is Clanlaurence ; " Rosmacone " 
is Rosmacowen ; " Derryne " is Derreen, and " Traghprashy " 
is Trafrask. 



Smugglers and privateers, p. 46 : — 

Privateers were a class of vessels owned by private persons 
or companies, and employed both for trading and warlike 
purposes. Their chief business was preying on the commerce 
of the enemy in war time. They were the highwaymen of the 
sea, but carried " letters of marque " — a sort of licence from 
their own government to cover their capturing and plundering 
operations, without which they would be pirates, entitled to no 
mercy should they fall into the hands of their enemies. The 
disorganization of trade and commerce caused by vessels of 
this class became so great that modifications of the system were 
agreed to by the European governments from time to time, 
until in March, 1856, the Plenipotentiaries of the Great Powers, 
in Conference at Paris, arrived at a resolution that : — 

" Privateering is and remains abolished." 

This Declaration was not pleasing to everybody ; there are 
even now people who hold that after the outbreak of war the 
speediest way of arriving at a peace is to make the continuance 
of hostilities as inconvenient and hurtful as possible to one or 
other or all the belligerent nations. This view is cleverly 
advocated in a work by Thomas Gibson Bowles, M.P., published 
in London in 1900. 



88 APPENDIX. 

At Fontenoy, p. 47 : — 

Morty O'Sullivan was not the only warrior of his name at the 
battle of Fontenoy. In the French official return of the killed 
and wounded of the Irish regiments in that engagement, we read 
the names of " Lieutenant Timothy Sullivan, — contused leg," 
and " Lieutenant Florence Sullivan, — gunshot in leg." A copy 
of the list will be found in the admirable paper on " The Irish 
Brigade at Fontenoy," by the Very Rev. P. Boyle, CM., of the 
Irish College, Paris, published in the Irish Ecclesiastical Record, 
for May, 1905. It would be well if this most interesting and 
valuable paper, with its excellent map of the positions of the 
opposing forces, were reprinted and issued as a separate tract. 
A more recent association of the family name with that historic 
field is supplied by the patriotic action of the Hon. Frank J. 
Sullivan, of San Francisco, who recently got fixed on the outer 
wall of the neighbouring cemetery a white marble tablet bearing 
the following inscription : — 



In Memory of the Heroic Irish Soldiers 

Who changed Defeat into Victory 

At Fontenoy, 

May iith, 1745. 

Erected by Frank J. Sullivan, 

of San Francisco, U.S.A. 



A handsome memorial cross was set up on the site of the 
battle by the Irish Literary Society of London in August, 1907. 



Prince Charles Edward " The Pretender," p. 47 : — 

Several executions for the crime of enlisting recruits for the 
service of the Scottish Prince, and of France, are recorded in the 
publications of the time. Thus we read in " The Cork Remem- 
brancer, by John Fitzgerald, printed by J. Sullivan, near the 
Exchange, 1783." — On April 18th, 1772, Captains Henry Ward 
and Francis Fitzgerald were hanged and quartered at Gallows- 
Green for enlisting men for the Pretender. 



APPENDIX. 89 

W. Stewart Trench, pp. 72 et seq. : — 

When or how Mr. Trench's agency over the Lansdowne estates 
came to an end I do not exactly know ; but subsequently he 
boomed himself largely in the newspapers in connection with 
the pill and ointment business. " Trench's Remedies " he 
proclaimed to be cures for many of the ills that flesh is heir to. 
I can say nothing for or against them, not having tried them ; 
but, if indeed they were health restorers, I think it a pity they 
were not invented early enough to be serviceable to the ex- 
patriated Kenmare tenantry in the Lansdowne ward of a New 
York hospital. 



The Bantry and Berehaven men stood in with every national 
movement of their time. Within my own recollection they were 
Repealers with Daniel O'Connell, " Young Irelanders " with 
Smith O'Brien, Phoenix men and Fenians with O'Donovan 
Rossa and James Stephens, and Land Leaguers with Parnell. 
Of the Bantry men prosecuted in connection with the Phoenix 
conspiracy in 1858, no fewer than eight were Sullivans. In the 
ccnstitutional movement Bere and Bantry gave a remarkably 
large contingent to the Irish Parliamentary Party. They 
were : — 

A. M. Sullivan. 

T. D. Sullivan. 

Donal Sullivan. 

T. M. Healy. 

Thomas J. Healy. 

Maurice Healy. 

William M. Murphy. 

James Gilhooly. 

Timothy Harrington, 

Edward Harrington. 

The Messrs. Harrington (who were Berehaveners) " went 
Parnellite " at the time of the historic " Split," and so differed 
from the rest of the above-named group, to whom was then 
humourously or sarcastically applied the name of " the Bantry 
Band." In reference to this designation a gifted young member 
of the Parliamentary Party, Mr. John McCarthy, of Roscrea, 
Member for Mid-Tipperary, published the following verses : — 

" The Bantry band ! " " The Bantry band 1 " 
Who blushes for the " Bantry band ? " 
Are truer men in all the land, 
Revilers ! than " the Bantry band ? " 



90 APPENDIX. 

Not theirs in these or darker days 
To tune their harps to tyrants' praise 
Not theirs to gather venal bays 
Where Honour warps and Truth decays ! 

Not theirs the part of sneering slave, 
When good men leagued the land to save ; 
But theirs the grit that foiled the knave, 
And theirs the cry that cheered the brave ! 

Though cradled not in halls built high 
With rackrents wrung from misery — 
Mere Irish, just as you and I — 
We cheer them yet with fearless cry. 

For love of Erin fires their hearts, 
And spite of foes and traitor arts, 
Fell Faction reels beneath their darts, 
And still the whipped oppressor smarts. 

Could every town in Ireland show 
Such Spartan bands to face the foe, 
Not long we'd wait his overthrow, 
Not long we'd wail our country's woe ! 

Then, blessings on you, " Ban try band ! " 
Speed on, speed on, brave " Bantry band," 
Till Freedom crowns your native land, 
And ends your labours, " Bantry band ! " 



Mention should here be made of the distinguished musician 
Sir Arthur Sullivan, who has but recently passed away. His 
compositions in various styles and forms of his art acquired 
great popularity, especially his work in what are known as the 
" Gilbert and Sullivan " operas. He was born in London in May, 
t 842, but his family, as we learn from the lately published work of 
his relative, Mr. B. W. Findon, was Irish from both sides. " His 
grandfather was a native of Kerry, and his grandmother (whose 
maiden name was also Sullivan) was born in Bandon, in the 
adjoining county of Cork." His father was Thomas Sullivan, a 
military bandmaster., and his mother's name was Mary 
Clementina Coghlan. See Sir Arthur Sullivan and His Operas, 
by B. W. Findon. Sislevs, publishers, London. 



APPENDIX. 91 

Portrait of Donal O'Sullivan Beare : — 

To the patriotism of the late Right Rev. Monsignor James 
O'Laverty, of Belfast, we owe it that an authentic portrait of 
Donal O' Sullivan Beare is now to be found in many Irish publica- 
tions. The reverend gentleman had learned that there was such 
a portrait in the Irish College at Salamanca, and he at once 
commissioned a reverend friend to have a copy of it painted for 
him by a competent artist. On receipt of this work, which was 
well executed, Father O'Laverty was good enough to allow 
copies of it to be made for use in various historical books and 
papers. One of those reproductions — a coloured lithograph — 
is hung in Room III. of our National Gallery of Science and Art, 
Leinster Lawn, Dublin. It is a small picture, no larger than the 
engraving prefixed to this volume (the size of the original 
painting I do not know), and is thus described in the official 
catalogue : — 

" A small full-length figure, in trunk hose, armour, and large 
ruff. He wears the badge of the order of St. James of Compostela, 
of which he was made a Knight by Philip III. In upper portion 
of picture is the inscription : — Osullevaniis Bearrus Bearrce et 
Beantvics Comes cstatis slice LIU. Ckristi vero Domini MDCXIII. 
Anno, and a shield of arms." 

This shows that the picture was painted in 1613, when 
O'Sullivan's age was fifty-three, five years before his assassination 
by Bath at Madrid. 



The " Obstinate and Prolonged Defence " of Dunboy, 
p. 21. 

There was, however, one of the heads of the sept who stood 
out against his patriotic kinsmen and gave what aid and 
encouragement he could to their enemies. This was Sir Owen 
O'Sullivan, known in those days as " the Queen's O'Sullivan." 
He was a claimant to the chieftaincy, and to Donal O'Sullivan's 
Berehaven territory. Their dispute was taken for trial before 
the high courts in England, where Sir Owen lost his case, after 
which he became a bitter enemy of his successful relative, and 
took part with the English in their operations against Dunboy 
Castle and on Dursey Island. After the overthrow of Donal and 
his followers Sir Owen got possession of Carriganass Castle, and 
members of his family continued there and thereabout for some 
time. The castle is now a picturesque ruin on the banks of the 
Ovane river, within a few miles of Bantry. 



92 APPENDIX. 

In her admirable work entitled " The Making of Ireland and 
its Undoing," basing her statements on historic records, Mrs. 
Alice Stopford Green says : — " The coasts of Ireland were famous 
for their fisheries — a trade carried on both by the Irish and by 
foreigners. O' Sullivan, prince of Bear and Bantry, ruled over 
a people who lived by fishing, and had his native fleet : when 
an English ship seized a Spanish fishing vessel off the coast he 
manned a small squadron, brought both ships to Berehaven, 
hanged the English captain and set the other free." 



Hungry Hill, p. 82. — Some residents in the locality believe 
that its earlier name was " Angry Hill," and say that its present 
title was given to it, jocosely, by a party of military engineers 
who, in the years 1840 to '45, were hutted on its sides, engaged 
on the new ordnance survey, and who often experienced some 
difficulty in procuring food supplies. But the idea is utterly 
erroneous. The mountain has borne its present name for at 
least two centuries. Unquestionable evidence of that fact is 
supplied by the Down Survey map of the Barony of Bere and 
Bantry, a copy of which is included in this volume. The survey 
was commenced in 1655 and completed in about three years; 
the place-names were recorded on the resultant maps just as 
they were known at that period, and doubtless had been for 
many years before ; and the antiquity of the name " Hungry 
Hill ' is therefore undeniable. It is indeed a magnificent moun- 
tain, rising to a height of 2,249 feet above the level of the 
sea. From a lake on its summit, down its precipitous side, a 
splendid cascade, often referred to as the finest in the three 
kingdoms, tumbles into Bantry Bay. 



A legal friend has supplied me with the following note : — 

" In the matter of John Mahony's estate in the Land Judges' 
Court (Mr. Justice Ross) in 1903, on which estate the Gap of 
Dunloe and other lands by the Lakes of Killarney are situate, 
the root of title proved by the present owner was a grant in 
Gaelic from The O' Sullivan Beare, written on parchment — in 
size not much larger than an ordinary envelope." 



I wrote some songs in praise of the grand old bay. I here 
append two of them, and so close this little work. 



APPENDIX. 93 



BACK O' WHIDDY. 

Off from Bantry pier we start 

Sailing — or it may be rowing- - 
Lads and lasses, light of heart, 
On to fair Glengarriffe going. 
Oh, the harbour's smooth enough, 

But some heads get queerly giddy, 
Once we dip in waters rough 

Round the point and back o' Whiddy. 

Then there's chaffing, back o' Whiddy ; 
Joking, laughing, back o' Whiddy ; 
Fearful tales 
Of sharks and whales 
And huge sea-serpents, back o' Whiddy ■ 

Soon we've cause for tender cares 

(Thanks, oh, thanks, sweet rolling ocean) 1 
And we hear delightful pray'rs 

Uttered with intense emotion ; 
Sometimes, too, when waves and wind 

Would try the temper of a " middy," 
Language of another kind 

Is freely spoken back o' Whiddy. 

But that's no harm — when back o' Whiddy 
It has a charm — when back o' Wihddy — 
At least I know 
I judged it so, 
Long, long ago — when back o' Whiddy. 

Sing the beauties of Glandore — 

They deserve such celebration ; 
Say good things oi Baltimore — 

A safe retreat, a pleasant station ; 
Praise what bays and creeks there be 
From Mizen Head to Ringaskiddy, 
But after all, the trip for me 

Is that which takes me back o' Whiddy I 
Oh, the long waves back o' Whiddy 1 
Oh, the strong waves back o' Whiddy ! 
Oh, the joys 
That — girls and boys — 
We knew when boating back o' Whiddy ! 



94 APPENDIX 

BANTRY BAY : 

(A " Shanty " or Boat Song.) 

Come help me, boys, to sing a song, 

And lilt a lively roundelay ; 
As fast and free we boom along, 

And top the waves of Bantry Bay. 

A fair wind fills our flowing sail — 
But let it blow from where it may, 

We'll woo the breeze or brave the gale 
With joyful hearts on Bantry Bay. 

Oh, there are harbours made with hands, 
With sticks and stones, with mud and clay, 

With piles and beams and iron bands — 
We've no such things in Bantry Bay ! 

We've fair Glengariff's silvery tide, 
We've grand Berehaven, where to-day 

The fleets of half the world might ride, 
With room to swing, in Bantry Bay. 

Historic scenes come into view 

As on we plough our watery way ; 

For chieftains bold and clansmen true 
Were long the lords of Bantry Bay. 

And well we hope the world may see, 
Ere many years have passed away, 

The sons of patriot ancestry 

Again hold sway by Bantry Bay. 

So trim your sails, and ease your sheets, 
And hoist your bunting bright and gay; 

Our trip has been a bunch of sweets — 
flip ! hip ! hurrah ! for Bantry Bay 1 



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