Britannia, by William Camden

The County of Waterford.

Big T TO the East, between the river Broodwater on the West, and the Suire on the East, the Ocean on the South, and the County of Tipperary on the North; lies the County of Waterford: a County ⌈for the most part mountainous and barren; but in some places⌉ very agreeable, both in respect of pleasure and fertility. Upon Broodwater, at its leaving the County of Cork, stands Lismor,Lismor.i.e. a great Fort, the chief Seat of the Earl of Cork and Burlington, and adorn’d with a noble Park. It hath an Almshouse and a Free-School, and is a Borough, sending two members to Parliament. It is also⌉ remarkable for being a Bishop’s See; where presided ChristianBishop Christian. the Bishop and Legat of Ireland, about the year 1148, a person highly deserving of the Church of Ireland, and educated at Clarevall, in the same Cloister with St. Bernard and Pope Eugenius. ⌈Here is a handsom Cathedral; but⌉ by reason the possessions belonging to it were almost all alienated, it is annex’d to the See of Waterford: Ware, Ant. p.142.⌈which union was made by Pope Innocent the sixth, in the year 1363. This place was also famous heretofore for a Publick School or Academy, which was govern’d for a time by St. Catald, afterwards Bishop of Tarentum in Italy, whither men flock’d in great numbers for the advantages of a Religious and Liberal Education.

Near this, is Tallow,Tallow. a flourishing Town, erected by the noble Earl of Cork, and situate in a beautiful and fertile Vale, near the river Bride, which, being navigable from hence to Youghall, renders this a place of good Trade; and it was also made a Corporation by King James the first.⌉ Near the mouth of Broodwater, lies Ardmor,Ardmor. a small village; of which, and this river, Necham has this Distich:

Urbem Lissimor pertransit flumen Avenmor,
Ardmor cernit ubi concitus æquor adit
.

Avenmor guides his stream through Lismor town;
Small Ardmor to the ocean sees him run.

⌈This Ardmor was also a Bishop’s See in the infancy of the Irish Church, but was united to the See of Lismore after the coming-in of the English.⌉

The * * Little, C.large adjoyning territory is called † Dessee, C.Decies, ⌈and is the biggest Barony in this County, containing near half of it;⌉ the Lord whereof, descended from the Earls of Desmond, had, ¦ ¦ In our time, C.in the last age, the honourable title of Viscount Decies conferred upon him; which died with him soon after, for want of issue-male. Not far from hence, upon the sea, stands Dungarvan,Dungarvan. a town well fortified with a Castle, and advantageously situated for a harbour. King Henry the sixth gave this, with the Barony of Dungarvan, to John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury; but afterwards, by reason it stood convenient to command that part of Mounster which was to be reduc’d, the Parliament annex’d it to the Crown of England for ever. ⌈The greatest part of it belongs to Sir John Osburn, Baronet, whose Ancestors for several Generations have been of good note in this County.⌉ Near Dungarvan, the Poers,Poers, Barons of Curraghmore. an antient and noble family, flourished from the first conquest of this country by the English; and were advanc’d to the honour of Barons Curraghmore, ⌈and after that to the title of Earls of Tyrone; the sole daughter and heir of the last of whom married Sir * * Now Viscount Tyrone.
See Tyrone.
Marcus Beresford, Baronet; but the title of Baron of Curraghmore, the ancient Seat of the Family, descended to the Family of Poer.⌉

Upon the bank of the river Suire, stands Waterford,Waterford. the chief City of the County; Of which, thus Necham:

Suirius insignem gaudet ditare Waterford,
Æquoreis undis associatur ibi
.

Thee, Waterford, Suir’s streams with wealth supply,
Hasting to pay their tribute to the sea.

This City, which the Irish and Britains call † † Porthlargy, C.Portlarig, and the English Waterford; was first built by certain Pirates of Norway; ⌈who having embraced Christianity, and desiring a Bishop in their City, sent Malchus a Benedictine Monk of Winchester in England, to receive his Consecration from Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury, in the year 1096.⌉ Though it is situated in a thick air, and on a barren soil, and is close built; yet by reason of the convenience of the harbour, ¦ ¦ Not so, since the growth of Cork.it is the second City in Ireland for wealth and populousness, and did ever continue particularly loyal to the Crown of England. For from the time that it was first taken by Richard Earl of Pembroke, it was so faithful and quiet, that in our Conquest of Ireland it always secur’d us from an Enemy on our backs. Upon this account, the Kings of England have granted it many, and those considerable, privileges; which were enlarged and confirmed by Henry the seventh, for their having behav’d themselves with great valour and conduct against Perkin Warbeck, a sham-Prince; who being a young boy of mean extraction, had the impudence to aim at the Imperial Crown, by pretending to be Richard Duke of York, second son of King Edward the fourth. ⌈With regard to these testimonies of their bravery, the Motto of this City was, Intacta manet Waterfordia; but in the course of the Irish Rebellion, begun Ann. 1641, by means of the Popish Clergy, it became exceedingly faulty. Now, that the English Inhabitants daily encrease, we are not to doubt, but that it will recover its ancient Character. From this place, Richard Lumley, Earl of Scarborough in England, enjoys the honourable Title of Viscount Waterford.⌉

King Henry the sixth gave the County of Waterford, together with the City, to the foremention’d John TalbotEarl of Waterford. Earl of Shrewsbury, in words which so clearly set forth the bravery of that warlike person, that I cannot but think it worth the while (and perhaps some others may think so too) to transcribe them from the Record; to the end, that justice may be done to brave Actions; We therefore (says the King, after a great deal more, wherein one sees the defects both of the Latin and Eloquence of the Secretaries of that age) in consideration of the fidelity and valour of our most dear and faithful Cousin John Earl of Shrewsbury and Weysford, Lord Talbot of Furnival and Lestrange, sufficiently prov’d in the wars aforesaid, even to his old age, not only by the sweat of his body, but many times by the loss of his blood; and considering how our County and City of Waterford, in our Kingdom of Ireland, with the Castle, Seigniory, Honour, Lands, and Barony of Dungarvan, and all the Lordships, Lands, Honours, and Baronies, and their appurtenances within the same County, which, by forfeiture of rebels, by reversion, or decease of any person or persons, by escheat, or any other title of law, have come to Us or our Progenitors, are, by reason of invasions or insurrections in these parts, become so desolate, and (as they lye exposed to the spoils of war) so entirely wasted, that they are of no profit to us, but have redounded, and now do, many times, redound, to our loss: and also, that the said lands may hereafter be better defended by our said Cousin, against the attempts and incursions of enemies or rebels; We do create him Earl of Waterford, with the stile, title, name, and honour thereunto belonging. And that all things may correspond with this state and dignity, we hereby, of our special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, that the Grandeur of the Earl our Cousin may be more honourably supported, have given, granted, and by these presents confirm’d unto the said Earl the County aforesaid, together with the aforesaid title, stile, name, and honour of Earl of Waterford, and the city of Waterford aforesaid, with the fee-farms, castles, lordships, honours, lands, and baronies, and their appurtenances, within the County; as also all mannors, hundreds, wapentakes, &c. along the sea-coast, from the town of Yoghall to the city of Waterford aforesaid: To have and to hold the said County of Waterford, and the stile, title, name and honour of Earl of Waterford; and likewise the city of Waterford aforesaid, with the castle, seigniory, honour, land, and barony of Dungarvan, and all other lordships, honours, lands, and baronies, within the said County; and also all the aforesaid mannors, hundreds, &c. to the abovesaid Earl, and to the heirs-male of his body begotten, to be held of us and our heirs, by homage, fealty, and the service of being our Seneschal; and that he and his heirs be SeneschalsSeneschal of Ireland. of Ireland to us and our heirs, throughout our whole land of Ireland, to do, and that he do in the said Office, that which his predecessors, Seneschals of England, were wont formerly to do for us in the said Office. manors In witness whereof, &c.

While the Kings of England and their Nobility, who had large possessions in Ireland, were either taken up with foreign wars in France, or civil dissensions at home, Ireland was quite neglected; so that the English interest decay’d apace ** Vid. Stat. of Absentees; in the County Caterlogh.; and by reason of their absence, the power of the Irish grew formidable. And then, to recover their interest, and to suppress this growing Power of the Irish, it was enacted, that the Earl of Shrewsbury should surrender the Town and County of Waterford, and that the Duke of Norfolk, the Baron Barkley, the Heirs Female of the Earl of Ormond, and all the Abbots, Priors, &c. of England, who held any lands there,Ann. 28 H.8. should surrender them to the King and his successors, for their absence and negligence in defending them.

⌈At present the honourable family of Talbot, as abovesaid, enjoys the joint Titles of Earl of Waterford and Wexford; and the honourable family of Villers, the title of Viscount Grandison, in these parts.⌉

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