Britannia, by William Camden

The County of Gallway.

Big T THE County of Gallway borders on the south-side upon Clare, on the west upon the Ocean, on the north upon the County of Meath, and on the east upon the river Shanon. The Soil very well requites the pains of the husband-man and the shepherd. The western shore is much chop’d and dinted with little Bays, and bordered all along with a mixture of green Islands and rugged rocks. Isles of Arran. Among them, are the four Islands called Arran, which make a Barony; and are mention’d in Romances as the Islands of the living. ⌈From these, the right Honourable Charles Butler hath the title of Earl of Arran.⌉

Inis-ceath. Next, Inis-ceath, formerly famous for a Monastery of Scots and English founded by Colman, a person of great sanctity: and Inis Bovind,Inis-bovind. which signifies in ScotchBede, lib.4. c.4. Eccl. Hist. (as Bede explains it) the Isle of white heifers; though the word is purely British. This Monastery was soon abandoned by the English, who could not live peaceably and easie with the Scots. More inward, lies Lough CorbesLough Corbes. (where Ptolemy places the river Ausoba) about twenty miles in length, and three or four in breadth. It is navigable, and adorn’d with three hundred Islands, which produce much grass, and Pine-trees. Gallway. Towards the Sea it grows narrow, and runs by Gallway, in Irish Gallive; possibly from the Gallæci in Spain. This is by far the most eminentGallaeci galway City in the County, and at least the third in the Kingdom. It is neat, and fair-built of solid Stone, of an oval form, and tower-like; and ⌈was once⌉ famous for a Bishop’s See. By reason of its harbour and the foremention’d road just under, it has abundance of Merchants, and is enrich’d by a great trade in many Commodities, by Sea and Land. ⌈Now, it is not the See of a Bishop, but is within the Archbishoprick of Tuam; though the Warden of Galway hath contested the Jurisdiction, pretending it a Peculiar.⌉ Scarce four miles from hence, stands Knoc-toe, i.e. A hill of hatchets; below which, the greatest body of Rebels that had been seen in Ireland,The battle of Knoc-toe, 1516. was drawn together by William de Burgo, O-Brien, Mac-Nemare, and O-Carral, and defeated, with great slaughter, by the famous Girald Earl of Kildare, who, * * Per several times, was thirty three years Lord Deputy of Ireland. To the east, at no great distance from hence, stands AterithAterith. (in which word the name of the Auteri is still preserv’d;) it is commonly call’d Athenry, and is enclos’d with walls of a great compass, but thinly inhabited. It has had the honour of giving the title of Baron to the valiant Bermingham.John de Bermingham, an Englishman; of which family was the Earl of Louth. However, these Berminghams of Aterith† Are, C.were so much degenerated into the ¦ ¦ So said, ann. 1607.Irish barbarity, that they hardly * * Own, C.own’d themselves English. ⌈But the present Lord, the heir-male of that Family, is a Protestant, and a Person of great Probity and Honour. In the Church of the Friers Predicants here, are several Monuments of the Bishops of Kilmacough, and others; but the most memorable is that of William Bermingham, fix’d in the Wall, on the north-side of the Altar.⌉

The Irish families of note in these parts, † † Are, C.were the O-Kellies, ¦ ¦ O-Maidins, C.O-Maddens, * * O-Flairtes, C.O-Flaghertys, Mac-Dervis, &c. ⌈who are much reduced.⌉

Earl Clan-Richard.
Clan-Richard, i.e. the Sons or Tribe of Richard, or the Land of the Sons of Richard, borders upon these, and is reckon’d within this County. They take their name, after the Irish manner, from one Richard, of an English Family sirnam’d De Burgo, which afterwards came to have great authority and interest in these parts. Ulick de Burgo of this Family was by Henry the eighth made Earl of Clan-Richard; whose eldest son enjoys the title of * * Iniskellin, C.Dun-Kellin. He had a son Richard, the second Earl, whose children (by several venters) involv’d their father, their country, and themselves, in great troubles and difficulties. Richard, who died old, was succeeded by his son Ulick, the third Earl, and father of Richard the fourth Earl, whose untainted loyalty to the English, and great valour, were signaliz’d at a time when the English Interest was at it’s lowest ebb. The Archbishop of Toam’sArchbishoprick of Toam. See lies in this County, which had formerly several Episcopal Sees under it; at present it hath those of ¦ ¦ Enactduensis, i.e. Aghconry; united to Killala.Anagchony, * * Duacensis—united to Clonfert.Duac, and † † No Bishop of Maio, by that title. See Maio.Maio. The Bishoprick of Kilmacough (which is not mention’d in the old Provincial, unless the ¦ ¦ It is there be corrupted) as also the Bishoprick of Clonfert, are both in these parts, and as I am inform’d, under the See of Tuam.

⌈As to Tuam, the first Bishop that fixed his See here, was St. Jarlath, who flourished in the beginning of the sixth Century. Some ages after, about the year 1152, the Cathedral was new-built by Edan O Hoisin, the first Archbishop of Tuam who had the use of the Pall. The Honourable Family of Wenman have taken the title of Viscount TuamViscount Tuam. from this place; and as to the County, it hath given that of Earl of GallwayEarl of Gallway. to Henry de Massue, a person of great wisdom and valour. Also, the Honourable Family of St. George enjoy the title of Barons St. George of Hatley.⌉Hatley.

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