HIstorical Context is a section on this website involving extracts from a book, currently in progress and yet to be published or titled, by the present author. The book includes historical information on several families who held lands in Leinster.
RD Memorial 61, vol. 1, page 104.
An indenture dated July 3rd, 1708, between Mary Hewetson of Dublin, widow, of the one part, and Jane Price widow, relict, and executor of Henry Price, late Dean of Cashel, of the other part, whereby Mary Hewetson granted unto Jane Price and her assignees one annuity of forty-pounds sterling issuing and going forth of all the towns and lands settled on Mary for her jointure which were the townlands of Kilbride, Ballyfacy, Ballybraghy, Ballalog, Gilcaghmore, Ballynarin, Ballynerrin, Busherstown, Balligurrum, Milltown, Forstallstown, Ballycrony, Ballyeidin alias Ballyeidin islands, Loghleagh alias, Glencogleagh, Annaghs, and part of Jamestown containing one hundred and fifteen acres. These lands were granted to hold from ‘midsummer last past’ during the natural life of Jane Price with the estate and interest continuing unto Mary Hewestson.
The townlands of Annaghs, Ballycroney, Ballyeiden or Ballyeden, Ballyfacey, and Glencogleagh, mentioned in the deed above were formerly the patrimonial inheritance of the Butler lineage of Annaghs, Co. Kilkenny, whose principal heir in the mid-seventeenth century, Pierce Butler of Annaghs Castle, the son of Edmond, forfeited the property in 1652 due to the Cromwellian Act of Parliament of October 11th, 1652, wherein Pierce was ordered to transplant beyond the Shannon. Pierce had previously taken the oath of the Catholic confederates on October 22nd of 1642 and his estate would not be restored to him under the act of restoration. Pierce’s ancestor John Beagh Butler, from whom his inheritance of lands in the barony of Ida, Co. Kilkenny, stemmed, was the son of Thomas Butler, Prior of Kilmainham, who was head of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem in Ireland and served as deputy lieutenant of Ireland for a period in the early 15th century. Thomas, was the natural son of James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond, and became the ancestor of the Co. Kilkenny Butler lineages of Annaghs and Danginspidoge, and also the Kiltinan and Shanballyduffe Co. Tipperary, Butler lineages (Kiltinan would later be held by the Butler lineage who were the Barons of Dunboyne),. John Beagh Butler, son of Prior Thomas, was the ancestor of the Annaghs and Danginspidoge lineages, while Edmond, brother of John Beagh, was the ancestor of the Kiltinan lineage, and Richard, brother of Edmond and John Beagh, was the ancestor of the Shanballyduffe lineage.
The townlands of Balligurrim, Kilbride, Forstallstown, Jamestown, Milltown, which are also included in the above deed, were the patrimonial inheritance of the Forstall lineages of Forstallstown, Mullennahone, and Kilbride. These Forstall lineages likely shared a common ancestor in Richard Forstall who was a commissioner appointed in 1359 to collect armed horse and footman from the barony of Shillelogher. In 1413, Henry Forstall, most probably Richard’s son or grandson (Richard would also be the name of Henry’s heir in 1429), is listed in receipt of royal service regarding the lands of Kilfera and Ballyfrunk, and received a grant of lands in the barony of Shillelogher in 1416, where the townland of Kilfera is located. Henry was wed to Eleanor, the daughter of John Grace of Courtstown Castle and Elizabeth de Valle. The de Valle or Wall family, to whom Elizabeth belonged, were one of the first recorded families who held lands in the parish of Balligurrim or Ballygurrum, where Forstallstown or Forrestalstown, Milltown, Busherstown, and Jamestown are located. The Forstall lineages of Forstallstown and Mullennahone both possessed shares of lands in Balligurrum parish until these properties were forfeit due to the Forstalls involvement on the confederate side of the Eleven Years’ War in Ireland (akin to the Annaghs and Danginspidoge Butlers). The Forstall lineage of Mullennahone was in possession of the castles of Mullennahone and Carrickcloney located in Kilmakevoge parish, whereas the Forstallstown lineage held a castle at Forstallstown in Balligurrum parish; Forstallstown and Carrickcloney being townlands located alongside the River Barrow which were separated by the townland of Ballyverneen. In 1279, lands at Ballyverneen, were granted to John de Valle, whose granddaughter was the aforementioned, Elizabeth de Valle, mother of Eleanor Grace who married Henry Forstall, whose son and heir was Richard Forstall (viv 1429). A close examination of the books of survey and distribution from 1652 shows that Ballyverneen was included as part of Forstallstown. Forstallstown was held, in part, by James Forstall, son and heir of Walter Forstall, before being forfeit due to the Cromwellian Act of Parliament. Edmond Forstall of Mullennahone Castle, held 115 acres at Jamestown (in Balligurrum parish) which were also forfeit. Edmond’s grandson Edmond Dubh Forstall of Gurteens and Kellymount, was the father of Pierce Forstall of New Ross, whose grandson Pierce Edmond Forstall of Rochestown was said to be in possession of the lands of Forstallstown which “he squandered away” as is stated by Roger Forstall Sweetman, in The Forstall Letters.
An early intermarriage may have occurred amongst the Butler lineage of Annaghs and the Forstalls, for one fourth of the townland of Balligurrum was previously held by John Beagh Butler, son of Prior Thomas, and the townland of Ballycroney, which was forfeit by John Beagh’s descendant Pierce Butler, who forfeit Annaghs, had previously been held by Walter Forstall of Forstallstown before being seized subsequent to Walter’s death in 1639-1640.
In 1566 Pierce Butler of Annaghs, great-grandfather to Pierce Butler who forfeited the estate of the Annaghs Butler lineage in 1663, was included in a pardon with James fitz Edmond Forstall of Carrickcloney, Walter fitz Edmond of Carrickcloney, and John Forstall mac Walter of Forrestalstown. The first person mentioned in this pardon, along with several other members of the Kavanagh family, was Brian mac Cahir MacMurrough Kavanagh, chief of the MacMurrough Kavanagh sept of Slíocht Diarmuid Lámhdearg which held castles and lands in the parish of St. Mullins and Old Ross; Brian’s name being the first mentioned in the pardon indicates he was leader of the men involved in the incident which required the pardon. Brian’s great-grandfather, Diarmuid Lámhdearg Kavanagh, Lord of St. Mullins, was the grandson of Gerald, Lord of Ferns Castle, whose father Art Óg MacMurrough Kavanagh, king of Leinster, found himself in the crosshairs of Prior Thomas Butler, after Thomas invaded Art’s country to make war against him. Thomas Butler and his brother James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond, shared a common ancestor with Art Óg MacMurrough Kavanagh in Diarmuid mac Donnchad MacMurrough, king of Leinster (d. 1171), whose daughter Aoife was wed to Richard de Clare or Strongbow. Thomas and James Butler were descended from Aoife, and her daughter Isabel de Clare, who was wed to William Marshall. Isabel and William are credited with co-founding the town of New Ross. Art Óg MacMurrough Kavanagh was descended from Aoife’s brother Dónal Caomhánach or Kavanagh, the progenitor and partial namesake of the MacMurrough Kavanagh dynasty.
An important marriage alliance which brought peace, if for temporary period, would occur shortly thereafter when Art Óg MacMurrough’s son and eventual heir to the kingship of Leinster, Donnchad or Donogh, the brother of Gerald Lord of Ferns, took the hand of Aveline Butler, sister of Prior Thomas and James, 4th Earl of Ormond, in marriage. This would be one in a number of marriages between the Butler and MacMurrough dynasties to follow, which would include the late sixteenth century marriage of Morgan Kavanagh, son and heir of the aforementioned chief, Brian mac Cahir MacMurrough Kavanagh, to Eleanor, daughter of Edmond Butler, 2nd Viscount Mountgarret, whose grandfather Pierce Ruadh Butler, 8th Earl of Ormond, was the great-grandson of James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond; James being the father of Thomas Butler, Prior of Kilmainhan, and James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond. Pierce, 8th Earl of Ormond, was the son of Sir James Butler of Polestown, and Sadhh, the daughter of Dónal Reagh MacMurrough Kavanagh, king of Leinster, son of Gerald of Ferns. Dónal Reagh was the uncle of Diarmuid Lámhdearg ancestor of said Brian mac Cahir MacMurrough Kavanagh, chief of Slíocht Diarmuid Lámhdearg.
The Danginspidoge Butler lineage whose cousin at Annaghs, as shown above, was included with the Forstalls and MacMurrough Kavanaghs’ in a pardon from 1566, would intermarry with the Forstall lineage of Mullennahone by the marriage of Elizabeth Butler, daughter of Pierce Butler of Danginspidoge, to Edmond Forstall of Mullennahone. Pierce Butler’s wife and mother to Elizabeth, was Joan FitzGerald, daughter of Rowland FitzGerald of Burnchurch, whose son Richard was wed to the daughter of Robert Forstall of Kilfera (d. 1645), grandson of Robert Forstall (d. 1580), chief of the Forstall dynasty in Ireland. Robert Forstall (d. 1645) and Rowland FitzGerald were both included in an inquisition in 1623 with Pierce Butler of Danginspidoge, involving the lands of Burnchurch and Danginspidoge; and five decades earlier, in 1572, Walter Forstall, Gent, of Mullennahone (most probably the same Walter mentioned above in the 1566 pardon as ‘Walter fitz Edmond of Carrickcloney,’ as the Mullennahone Forstall lineage possessed both residences), received a pardon with Robert Forstall’s grandfather (Robert Forstall of Kilfera d. 1580), along with Edmond Butler of Annaghs (father of Pierce Butler of Annaghs mentioned in the 1566 pardon, Edmond being great-great-grandfather to Pierce Butler who forfeit the Annaghs estate in 1653), Oliver Grace of the Courtstown Grace lineage, James Freney of Ballyreddy, Edmond FitzGerald or Baron of Burnchurch, and Richard FitzGerald of Burnchurch, father to Rowland FitzGerald of Burnchurch whose daughter Joan, was wed to Pierce Butler of Danginspidoge, and as aforesaid, was mother to Elizabeth, the wife of Edmond Forstall of Mullennahone Castle.
John Heweston, a former colonel in the army of Charles I, would ultimately be conferred with possession of the townlands of Annaghs, Kilbride, Ballyfacy, Ballybraghy, Ballalog, Gilcaghmore, Ballynarin, Ballynerrin, Ballycurrin, Busherstown, Balligurrum, Milltown, Forstallstown, Ballycrony, Ballyeidin alias Ballyeidin islands, Loghleagh alias, Glencogleagh, and part of Jamestown. The lands then passed to his heir Thomas Hewetson whose widow Mary is the first person mentioned in RD Memorial 61. However, the Mullennahone Forstall lineage would retain interests in the townlands of Forstallstown and Ballalog into the nineteenth century and remain closely linked through kinship and marriage settlements to the men who came to hold these townlands; namely Patrick Garvey of Annaghs and Edward Murphy, a former merchant of Cadiz.
Registry of Deeds, Henrietta St.Dublin, 61-01-104; T.B. Butler, Thomas Prior of Kilmainham and his descendants (Brighton, Sussex, England), 1-14, 168; M.F. Keller, The Lineage of Mullennahone 1571-1855, Third Edition (Muing Historical Press, Castleisland, 2022), 17-39; W. Carrigan, The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory, Vol. IV, (Dublin, 1903), 89-91; K.W. Nicholls & T.G. Fewer ‘Will of Robert Forstall of Kilferagh, 1645’ Journal of the Old Waterford Society (Decies, No. 48, 1993), 7-12; E. O’Byrne, War, Politics and the Irish of Leinster (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2003) 104, 116.
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