Britannia, by William Camden

The County of Meth.

Big T THE County of Meth, on the South, bounds upon the County of Kildare; on the East, upon the County of Dublin and the Sea; on the North, upon the County of Louth; and on the West, upon the County of West-Meth. The whole is subdivided into eighteen Baronies, Dueleke, Scrine, Slane, Margallen, Navan, Kenles, the moiety of the Barony of Fower near Kenles, Killalou, Demore, Clove, Moylagh, Loghern, Old-castle, Luyn, Moyfeuraraghe, Deese, Rathtouth, and Dunboyn.

R. Boyn. The Boyn, call’d in Ptolemy Buvinda, and in Giraldus, Boandus, a noble river rising in the North side of the King’s County, runs through the middle of it. In the hither part, on this side the Boyn, the places most memorable are Galtrim, where the Family of the Huseys * * Have long dwelt, C.didGaltrim. long dwell; Killin-Castle,Killin. built by Hugh Lacy, Governor of Ireland in Henry the second’s time; and Dunsany,Dunsany. which † † Has, C.had its Barons of Parliament, eminent for their antient Nobility, and descended from the Plonkets: others derive them from the Danes; but their Arms are the same, only in different colours, with those of Allan Plonket of Kilpeck in England; who was also a Baron in Edward the first’s time. These ¦ ¦ See Fingall.Plonkets in Ireland have been very eminent, ever since Christopher Plonket (a person of great valour and wisdom, who was Deputy to Richard Duke of York, Viceroy in Henry the sixth’s time) was rais’d to the dignity of Baron of Killin, which came to him by his wife, as heir to the Family of the Cusakes; and his second son had the title of Baron of DunsanyBaron Dunsany. confer’d upon him, for his great worth and valour.

Baron Trimletston. Beyond the Boyn, stands Trimletstoun, which is a Barony belonging to one of the Family of the Barnwells.Barnwell. For John Barnwell was made a Baron of Parliament by King Edward the fourth. Viscounts Gormanstoun. Then Gormanston, which has its * * Vicecomites honorarios.honorary Viscounts, descended from the Prestons of Lancashire, as it is thought, and who have deserv’d exceeding well of their King and Country; and Slane,Barons Slane. which has also its Barons, of the Family of the Flemings; among whom is † † Aboy, C.Athboy, a populous Market-town. The Boyn, after it has passed Glan-Iores, i.e. the land of the sons of George (who was of the Family of the Birminghams, and whose heir by marriage brought a fair Estate, with the Castle of Carbray,Carbray. to the Prestons,) it arrives at Trim,Trim. a noted little Market-town, where William Pepard built a Castle. This was an ancient Barony of the Lacyes, which afterwards became one of the titles of the Dukes of York, who wrote themselves Lords of Trim. After that, it runs by Navan,Navan. which has its Baron or Baronet, but not Parliamentary, and is honour’d with the ordinary residence of the Bishop of this Diocese, who has now no Cathedral Church, ⌈nor Dean, nor Chapter,⌉ but acts in all matters with the assent of the Clergy of Meth. His See seems to have been at Cluanarard, call’d also Clunart; where Hugh Lacy formerly built a Castle: for thus we find it in the ¦ ¦ Apostolicis.Apostolical Letters, Episcopus Midensis sive Clunarardensis; and corruptly, as it seems, in a Roman Provincial, Elnamirand. Ware Ant. p.128. ⌈The truth of that matter, is thus: In Meath, were heretofore many Episcopal Sees, as, Clonard, Damleag, Kenlis, Trim, Ardbraccan, Donshaghlin, and Slane with others of less note; all which (except two Damleag and Kenlis) were united, and their common Seat constituted at Clonard; as those two were also afterwards united. The first Bishop of Clonard, was the famous St. Finian or Finan, who, with his Episcopal See, instituted a School or Academy in this place, wherein many persons, afterwards eminent for Piety and Learning, received their Education. The last of the Bishops of this Diocese, who sat at Clonard, was Simon de Rochfort, who, like his Predecessor Eugenius, changed his Style, and was called Bishop of Meath, as all his Successors have been to this day.⌉

The Boyn now grown larger, after a speedy course for some miles, falls into the sea near Drogheda. And what if one should think that this river was so call’d from its rapid stream? for Boan not only in Irish, but in British also, signifies swift; and our Countryman Necham sings thus of it,

Ecce Boan qui Trim celer influit, istius undas
Subdere se salsis Drogheda cernit aquis
.

See, how swift Boyn to Trim cuts out his way!
See, how at Drogheda he joyns the Sea.

⌈This is the river, famous in our modern Histories, for the Victory obtained on the banks of it, by King William the third, over King James the second and the Irish, on the first day of July 1690; and very lately the Right Honourable Gustavus, Baron Hamilton of Stackallan, hath been advanced to the honour of Viscount Boyne. Visc. Boyne.

Phil. Trans. N.227. At a place called Dardistoune, about two miles from Drogheda, were found in digging, three heads, with horns prodigiously large, of the Deer kind; and many more of the like kind have been also found in other parts of Ireland; to which the horns of the fairest Buck, now a days, bear no more proportion, than those of the smallest young Fawn, do to the largest overgrown Buck.elk fossil They are commonly called by the People Elche’s-horns, but these, upon the comparison, appear to be different in figure, and much inferior in size; and no description of the horns of such Animals in any other Country, is found to agree so well with these, as that of the Moose-Deer in the West-Indies,Josselin’s New England Rarities. with exceeding fair horns with broad Palms, some of them two fathom or twelve foot from the tip of one horn to the other, i.e. only fourteen inches wider than some of these.⌉

The families of greatest note in this County (besides those already mention’d, viz. the Plonkets, Flemings, Barnwells, and Husseys,) are the Darceys, Cusakes, * * Of Roscommon.Dillons, Berminghams, De la Hides, Netervills, Garvies, Cadells, ⌈Weldons, Cruses, Drakes, Lloyds, Jones,⌉ and others, who, I hope, will pardon me for omitting their names; as well as those I mention here and elsewhere, if I place them not exactly according to their several degrees and qualities.

⌈This County gives the title of Earl to the Honourable Family of Brabazon; and within it several other Noble Families have also their respective Titles of Honour; Cholmondley, that of Viscount Kells;Kells. Grimston, that of Baron of DunboyneDunboyne. and Viscount Grimston; Bellew, that of Baron Bellew of Doleek;Doleek. and Aylmer, that of Baron Balrath.⌉Balrath.

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