Britannia, by William Camden

Twomond, or the County of Clare.

Small T TWomon or Twomond, call’d by Giraldus Thuetmonia, and by the Irish Towown, i.e. the North-Mounster; shoots out into the sea with a very great Promontory, which tapers by little and little. Though it lye beyond the Shanon, it was ⌈always⌉ counted within Mounster, till Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy, laid it to Conaght. On the East and South side, it is enclosed by the winding course of the Shanon, waxing bigger and bigger; on the West, it is so shut up by the Sea, and on the North by the County of Gallway, that there is no coming to it by land, but through the territory of Clan-Richard. Neither the Sea nor the Soil would be wanting to the happiness of this County, if the Inhabitants would contribute their pains; which was formerly endeavour’d by Robert de Muscegros, an English Gentleman, and by Richard Clare, and Thomas Clare, younger sons of the family of the Earls of Glocester, to whom Edward the first gave this County: They built many Towns and Castles, and exhorted the Natives to a more sociable kind of Life. From their name, the head town of the County is call’d Clare, which is now the Seat of the Earl of Twomond, and gives name to the County of Clare. The Places of note, are, Kilfennerag, ⌈in Latin Fenaborensis, heretofore a Bishop’s See, and now united to Tuam;⌉ and KillaloeKillaloe. (or Laonensis) ⌈still⌉ a Bishop’s See. This, in the Roman Provincial, is call’d Ladensis, ⌈and, about the end of the 12th Century; the See of Roscree was united to it, which made it a large Diocese, containing about a hundred Parish-Churches, besides Chapels.⌉ A Cataract. Here, a Rock stands in the middle of the Shanon, from whence the water falls with great noise and violence; and this rock hinders Ships from sailing further; but if it could be * * Exscinderetur.cut through, or removed, or if the chanel could be drawn round it, the river would bring up Ships much higher, to the great benefit of the Country. Not far from the Shanon, stands Bunraty,Bunraty. for which Robert Muscegros obtained the privilege of a Market and Fair, from Henry the third; and after he had fortified it with a Castle, he gave it to King Edward, who granted this and the whole County to Richard Clare, already mention’d. Seven miles from hence, stands ClareClare. ⌈(once⌉ the chief town of the County) upon a Creek of the Shanon that is full of Islands; and these * * Are, C.were the only two Market-towns in the County. ⌈But at this day, they are mean Villages; and Ennis is the Shire-Town, and by much the best in the County.⌉ Many of the English who were formerly transplanted hither, are either rooted out, * * Vel degenerârunt.or turn’d Irish. ⌈From Kilmurry,Kilmurry. the Family of Needham take the honourable title of Viscount; and KillardKillard. gives that of Baron to the Family of Allington.⌉

This County †† At present is, C. was under the Government of the Irish, the Mac¦ ¦ Nemars, C.-Nemaras, Mac-Mahons, * * None of this name, now, of any note.O-Loghtons, and the most powerful of all, the O-Briens, descended from the ancient petty Kings of Conaght, or, as themselves say, from the Monarchs of Ireland. Earls of Twomond. Of these, Morogh O-Brien was the first Earl of Twomond; who had that honour given him by King Henry the eighth for term of life, and after, to his Nephew Donogh, who was made at the same time Baron of Ibercan; he succeeded him in the Earldom, and was slain by his brother Donell. Connogher O-Brien, son of this Donogh, was the third Earl, and father of Donogh, the fourth Earl, who † † Hath given, C.gave his King and Country most ample proofs of his Loyalty and Valour.

⌈At present, the right Honourable Henry O-Brien is Earl of Twomond; and another honourable person, of the same name, enjoys the title of Earl of Inchiquin.⌉ Earl of Inchiquin.

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