Britannia, by William Camden

Comitatus Corcagiensis; commonly, The County of Cork.

Big T THE County of Cork (which was formerly a Kingdom, and contain’d all that Country upon the shore between Lismore and St. Brend, ⌈* * Perhaps Missenhead, C.or Brandon-hills in Kerry;)⌉ where it faces Desmond to the west, has in the midst of it Muskeray,Muskeray. a wild and woody Country, where Cormac Mac Teg† Is, C.was very famous; and, towards the Sea, Carbray,Carbray. where the Mac-Carties were most considerable. Ross. The first place that we come to upon the Coast, is Ross ⌈a Bishop’s See, now united to Cork.⌉ It is a road for Ships, and was formerly much frequented; but, now, by reason of a ridge of Sand, is disus’d. From hence there shoots out a narrow neck of Land into a Peninsula, called, The old head of Kinsale; near which, the Curcies heretofore flourish’d in great state, descended from a brother of John Curcy, an Englishman, who subdu’d Ulster. Curcy Baron of Kinsale. Of which Family, there still remains Curcy Baron of † Ringrom, C. for Ringroane.Kinsale; but (such is the uncertainty of human Affairs) not considerable in point of Fortune. ⌈The ancient Seat here is now turn’d into a Light-House.⌉

Next, in a fertile Soil, upon the mouth of the river ¦ ¦ Bany, C.Bandon, and well wooded, stands Kinsale,Kinsale. a very commodious Harbour, and a Town fortify’d with old Walls; under which, in the year 1601. the Kingdom of Ireland was at stake, and put to a fair trial whether it should belong to Spain or England. For at that time, the Island was embroiled by Enemies, foreign and domestick; and Don John D’ Aquila, with an Army of eight thousand Veterans, had surpriz’d this place; relying upon the Censures which the Popes, Pius 5, Gregory 13, and Clement 8,The Spaniards driven out of Ireland. had thunder’d out against Queen Elizabeth, and upon the assistance of those Rebels, who had sent for them under pretence of establishing their Religion (the mask and disguise for all Villanies, in this degenerate age, wherein it occasions such warm Disputes!) In opposition to these, Charles Blunt Baron Montjoy Lord Deputy, though his Army was harrassed, and it was now winter, besieged the Town by Sea and Land; and at the same time took the Field against the Rebels, who were headed by the Earl of Tir-Oen, O Donell, Mac Gwyre, and Mac Mahound: and by his Valour and Conduct he so effectually suppress’d them, that, by the self-same Victory, he both recover’d the Town (which was surrender’d to him with the Spaniards in it,) and disarm’d the whole Kingdom of Ireland, when they had resolv’d to rebel, or rather were actually revolting. Over-against Kinsale, on the other side of the river, lies Kerry-wherryKerry-wherry. ⌈(called at this day Kyrycurry,)⌉ a small territory * * So said, ann. 1607.lately belonging to the Earls of Desmond. Just before it, runs the River which Ptolemy calls † Aven-more near Yoghal.Daurona, and Giraldus Cambrensis, by the change of one letter,Ware, p.25. Sauranus, and Saveranus;Dauron, riv. which, ⌈(being at present called Lee, and)⌉ springing from the Mountains of Muskery, passes by the principal City of the County, adorn’d with an Episcopal See, to which the Bishoprick of Clon† Is, C.was formerly annex’d. Giraldus calls this Corcagia; the English, Cork;Cork. and the natives ¦ ¦ Corcach, C.Corkig. It is of an oval form, enclos’d with Walls, and encompass’d with the Chanel of the River, which also crosses it, and is not accessible but by Bridges; lying along in one direct Street, that is continu’d by a bridge. It is a populous * * Little trading Town, C.trading Town, and much resorted to; but so beset with † † Ann. 1607, not so now.Rebels on all sides, that they are oblig’d to keep constant watch, as if the Town was continually besieged, and dare not marry out their Daughters into the Country, but marry among themselves; whereby all the Citizens are related in some degree or other. ⌈At this day, it is mostly inhabited with English, who by their industry have so improved their Estates, Trade, and City, that it far exceeds any City in Ireland, Dublin only excepted. In the Cemetery here, is a Steeple, which some think to have been a work of the Danes, and to have been used by them at first for a Watch-Tower.⌉ They report, that Brioc, a very Religious Person (who in that fruitful age of Saints was so famous among the Gauls, and from whom the Diocese of Sanbrioch in Armorica, commonly called St. Brieu,St. Brieu. takes its name,) was born in this Town.

Beneath Cork, the Chanel of the River is divided into two branches, which make a large and very pleasant Island ⌈(called the Great Island,)⌉ over-against the chief Seat of the Barries, an antient and eminent family; and thereupon it is called Barry-Court. Barry-Court. Barons Barry. For they are descended from Robert de Barry, an Englishman of great worth, one who was ambitious rather to be really great, than to seem so;G. Cambr. the first, that was wounded in the Conquest of Ireland, and that everNisum mansue­fecit.mann’d a Hawk in that Island. His Posterity also, for their great Loyalty and Valour, have been honour’d by the Kings of England, first with the title of Baron Barry, and afterwards with that of Viscount Butiphant,Viscount Butiphant, and Earl of Barrimore. ⌈and are now Earls of Barrimore;⌉ and, from their vast Estate, are call’d by the People, Barry More, or Barry the Great. Saveren, riv. A little below this, the river Saveren (near Imokelly, formerly a large Estate of the Earls of Desmond,) falls from a creeky mouth into the Sea.

As the Saveren waters the lower part of this County, so BroodwaterBroodwater. ⌈(now commonly call’d Blackwater,)⌉ and formerly Aven-more, that is, a great water, supplies the upper part. Ware, Ant. p.25. ⌈This by some is supposed to be the river Daurona, mentioned by Ptolemy.⌉ Upon it ¦ ¦ Is, C.was the seat of the noble family de Rupe, or Roch,Baron Roch. transplanted out of England to this place; where it exceedingly * * Flourishes, C.flourish’d, and † † Enjoys, C.enjoy’d the title of Viscount Fermoy. In Edward the second’s time, they were certainly Barons of Parliament; for George RocheViscount Fermoy. was fined two hundred Marks, for not being present at the Parliament of Dublin, according to the Summons.Par.9. Pat. an.8 Ed.3. ⌈The chief Seat of this Family was at Castle-town-Roche in Roche’s Country, on the river Owbeg.⌉

Where the river Broodwater (for some time the boundary between this County and Waterford) runs into the Sea and makes a harbour; stands Yoghall,Yoghall. not very large, but walled round, of an oblong form, and divided into two parts: the upper, which is the greater part, is stretch’d Northward, having a Church in it, and a little Abbey without the Wall, called North Abbey;North Abbey. the lower part to the South, is called the Base-town,Base-town. and has also an Abbey, called South-Abbey.South-Abbey. The convenience of the harbour, which hath a good Kay, as also the fruitfulness of the Country hereabouts, draws so many Merchants hither, that the Town is pretty populous, and has a Mayor for its chief Magistrate.

⌈Besides the forementioned places, there are several good Towns, in the County of Cork, as, Charleville, Mallow, Castlelyons, Macroome, Bantry, Skibereen, and Cloghnikilty; but especially Bandon,Bandon. in which are supposed to be no less than three thousand Inhabitants; all Protestants British or Irish. The Town was walled by the industry and at the expence of the first Earl of Cork, and adorn’d with three very fine Castles for Gate-houses; which, together with the Walls, were demolished by the French and Irish, in the year 1690, in revenge for their never suffering any Popish House-keeper to live among them.⌉

At present, the County of Cork is only of this extent; which (as I observed) was heretofore counted a Kingdom,Kingdom of Cork. and was of greater extent, containing † † It now contains part of it.Desmond also within its bounds. King Henry the second gave this Kingdom to Robert Fitz-Stephens and Miles de Cogan, in these words: Know ye, that I have granted the whole Kingdom of Cork, except the City, and Cantred of Oustmans, to hold to them and their heirs, of me and my son John, by the service of sixty Knights. From the heir of this Fitz-Stephen, George Carew, * * Now, C.Baron Carew of Clopton, did descend in a right line; who † † Not long since, C.was President of Mounster, and, as I gratefully acknowledge, did readily give me light into some of the Affairs of Ireland.

⌈In the reign of King James the first, CorkEarldom of Cork. was erected into an Earldom, in the Person of Richard Boyle, which honourable Family doth still enjoy it; and in the same County the Earldom of OrreryOrrery. is enjoy’d by another branch of the same Noble Family; and a third hath the honour of Viscount Shanon.Shanon. See Longford.Besides which, DonerayleDonerayle. affords the title of Earl to the family of Saint-leger; and MiddletonMiddleton. the same title to the Right Honourable Alan Broderick, Lord Chancellour of Ireland; as doth BaltimoreBaltimore. the title of Baron to the Family of Calvert; Dunamore,Dunamore. to the Family of Hawley; Kingston,Kingston. to the Family of King; Altham,Altham. to a branch of the Family of Annesley; Carbery,Carbery. to the Family of Evans; and BurtonBurton. the same title to the Family of Percival.⌉

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