Britannia, by William Camden

* Now annex’d, part of it to Kerry, and part to Cork.

* Desmonia or Desmond.

Desmond. Big B BEneath the Country of the old Luceni, lies Desmond, stretch’d out a long way to the South. It is call’d in Irish Deswown, and in English Desmond; and was formerly peopled by the Velabri,Velabri. and the Iberni, who in some Copies are call’d Uterini. The Velabri seem to derive their name from Aber, i.e. Æstuaries; for they dwelt among Friths, on parcels of Land divided from one another by great incursions of the Sea; from which the Artabri and Cantabri in Spain did also take their names. Among these Arms of the Sea, are three several Promontories (besides Kerry above mentioned,) shooting out with their crooked shores to the South-west, which the Inhabitants formerly called Hierwoun; i.e. West-mounster.Aestuaries Estuaries The first of them, which lies between Dingle-bay and the river Mair ⌈otherwise Kilmaire or Kinmaire,⌉ is called Clan-car ⌈or rather Glancar, from the river Carah and the Glin through which it runs, and is divided into the Baronies of Iveragh and Dunkerran,⌉ and has a Castle at Dunkeran, built by the Carews of England; ⌈but is now the possession of Hayes, an English Family.⌉ In this Castle dwelt DonaldMac-Carty.Sullevan More, a petty King of Irish descent, who in the year 1566.1565. surrender’d his Territory to Queen Elizabeth, and had it restor’d to him, to hold of her after the English manner, by fealty and homage. At the same time, he was created Baron of ValentiaBaron of Valence. (an Island adjoyning) and Earl of Clan-car;Earl of Glencar. being a person of great power and eminence in these parts, and formerly a bitter enemy to the Fitz-Giralds, who dispossess’d his Ancestors (Kings, as he pretended, of Desmond) of this their ancient seat and inheritance. He enjoy’d not the honour very long, having but one daughter legitimate, whom he marry’d to Florence Mac Carty, and liv’d to be very old. ⌈Valentia, the Island before-mention’d, doth at this day give the title of Viscount to the Family of Annesley.⌉

The second Promontory, lying between two Bays, viz. the Maire and the Bantre,O Swillivant. is called Beare;Beare. the Soil of which is a hungry gravel mix’d with stones, where * * Lives, C.liv’d O Swillivant Beare and O Swillivant Bantre, both of the same family, and men very eminent in these parts; ⌈but now the names are of no great note. A ridge of Hills running through this Promontory, makes the boundary between the Counties of Cork and Kerry. That part on the north-side, is the Barony of Glanerough in the County of Kerry; that on the South, is the half Barony of Bear in the County of Cork; to which the half Barony of Bantry joins.⌉

The third Promontory, named Eraugh ⌈or Iveragh,Iveragh. (at this day part of the Barony of West-Carbry in the County of Cork,)⌉ lies between Bantre and Balatimore or Baltimore, a Bay famous for plenty of Herrings, and yearly visited by a Fleet of Spaniards and Portuguese, in the very middle of winter, to fish for Codd. In this, the O MahonsO Mahons. had great possessions bestow’d upon them by M. Carew. This is that Promontory which Ptolemy calls Notium,The Promon­tory Notium. or the South-Promontory, and is at this day call’d Missen-head. Under this Promontory (as we may see in that Author) the river IernusIernus, riv. falls into the Sea. As for the present name of that river, I dare hardly pretend to guess at it; unless it be that which is now call’d Maire ⌈or Kilmaire,⌉ and runs under Drunkeran aforesaid. I am as much at a loss for the People which Ptolemy places upon these Promontories; seeing their name differs in several Copies, Iberni, Outerini, Iberi, Iverni; unless perhaps they are a Colony of the Iberi in Spain, as well as their neighbours the Luceni and Concani.

Desmonia was formerly of great extent, even from the Sea to the river Shanon; and it was also call’d South-Mounster. The Fitz-Giralds, of the family of Kildare, having conquer’d the Irish, became Lords of very great possessions in these parts. Of these, Maurice Fitz-Thomas (to whom Thomas Carew, heir to the Seigniory of Desmond, had made over his title) was in the third year of Edward the third created the first Earl of Desmond. Earl of Desmond. Of the posterity of this Earl, many have been very rich and valiant, and Men of great Renown. But this glory was sully’d by James; who excluding his nephew, forcibly seiz’d the Estate, and impos’d upon the People those grievous tributes of Coyne, Livery, Cocherings, Bonaughty, &c. for the maintenance of his stout but ravenous Soldiers. His Son Thomas, as he was exacting the same of the poor People, was apprehended by an Order from John Tiptoft Lord Deputy, and beheaded in the year 1467. for his own and his father’s wickedness. However, his Children were restor’d, and this honour was successively enjoy’d by his Posterity, till Girald’s time, the rebel before-mention’d; who being banish’d by Act of Parliament, Desmond was annex’d to the Crown, and reduc’d into a County, with a Sheriff to govern it from year to year; ⌈and it is also an Earldom at this day, in the person of the Earl of Denbigh in England.⌉

The most noted and considerable Families here, for Interest and Wealth, are those descended from the Fitz-Giralds; who are known by several names, that have been assum’d by them upon several accounts.vodiae udiae

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 13:06