Britannia, by William Camden

The County of Tipperary.

Small T THE County of Tipperary is bounded on the west with that of Limerick and the river Shanon; on the east, with the County of Kilkenny; on the south, with the Counties of Cork and Waterford; and on the north, with the territory of the O Carolls. The south part is a fruitful soil, and produces much corn, and is well built and inhabited. The west part of it is water’d by the long course of the river Glason; not far from the bank whereof, stands Emely,Emely. or Awn, a Bishop’s See, ⌈(now annex’d to Cashel,)⌉ and, by report, a very populous city heretofore. ⌈At present, a branch of the honourable Family of Fairfax, take the title of Viscount from this place.⌉

The Sewer or Swire, a noble river which rises out of Bladin-hill, runs through the middle of it; and so through the Lower Ossory,Lower-Ossory. which by the favour of King Henry the eighth, gave the title of Earl to the Butlers; ⌈(as Upper Ossory hath given the title of Baron to the Fitz-Patricks;)⌉ and then through Thurles, which gave the Butlers the title of Viscounts. From whence it passes by Holy-Cross, a famous Abby heretofore; which makes the Country about it to be commonly calledThe County of the Holy Cross of Tipperary. the County of the Holy Cross of Tipperary; and hath derived to this Tract certain special privileges, anciently bestowed on the Abbey, in honour to a piece of Christ’s Cross preserv’d there.The wood of the Cross. The whole world, says St. Cyrill, is fill’d with pieces of this Cross; and yet, as St. Paulinus says, by a constant miracle it is never diminished. This was the belief and opinion of Christians, in ancient times. And it is incredible what a concourse of people do still throng hither out of devotion. For this nation obstinately adheres to the religion ⌈or rather superstition⌉ of their forefathers; which ⌈heretofore⌉ gain’d ground exceedingly by the neglect and ignorance of the Bishops; * * For there are, C.while there were none here to instruct them better.

From hence the Swire passes by Cassil,Cassil. adorn’d with an Archbishop’s See by Pope Eugenius the third, which had many Suffragan Bishops under it in old time. Ware, Ant. p.139. ⌈At first, the people of Cassil are supposed to have been subject to the See of Emly, twelve miles distant. Who was the founder of this Church, is not certain; but thus much is clear, that about the time of the coming of the English, Donald O Brian King of Limerick, built a new Church from the ground, and endowed it, converting the old one into a Chapel or Chapter-house on the south side of the Choir. It is situate without the City, and fortified with a rocky and steep hill; but is, by reason of the height of its situation, too much exposed to the Winds. In the ascent to it, is a great stone, at which (as is the tradition of the Inhabitants) every new King of Munster was publickly proclaim’d. From this City, the family of Bulkley derived their title of Viscount Cassil; and from two other places in these parts, the family of Davys derive their title of Viscount Mountcashel,Mountcashel. and the family of Cockain their title of Viscount Cullen.⌉Cullen.

From Cassil the Swire runs forward, making many Islands as it goes, till it encompasses Cahir-Castle, which has its Baron, one of the Family of the Butlers, who was raised to that honour by Queen Elizabeth. But his Son proving disloyal, suffered accordingly for it; the castle being taken by the Earl of Essex in the year 1599, and he himself committed to prison. From thence, it runs by Clomell,Clomell. a market town of good resort, and well fortified; and also by Carick Mac-Griffin, situate upon a rock, from which it takes its name; a Seat of the Earls of Ormond, which (with the honour of Earl of Carrick)Earl of Carrick. was grantedAnno 9 Edw.2. by King Edward the second, to Edmund Boteler or Butler. Here the Swire leaves Tipperary, and becomes a boundary to the Counties of Waterford and Kilkenny.

Thus much concerning the south part of this County. The north part is barren and full of mountains, twelve of which are heap’d together above the rest; and these they call Phelemge-Modona. This part is call’d in Latin Ormondia;Ormondia. in Irish Orwowon, that is, The front of Mounster; in English, Ormond, and by many very corruptly Wormewood. Butlers Earls of Ormond. All its glory is from the Earls, who have been many, since James Butler, to whom and his heirs King Edward the third gaveAnno 2 Edw.3. this title ¦ ¦ Ad vitam.for term of life, together with the royalties and other liberties, as also the Knights-fees in the County of Tipperary, which by the favour of the Kings of England, his posterity * * Still enjoys, C.enjoy’d, ⌈until, by the Grant of King Charles the second, the Title was changed from that of Earl to the more honourable ones, first of Marquis, and then Duke, of Ormond.⌉ On account of the foremention’d Royalties, this County is reputed Palatine, and he has been call’d by some the Earl of Tipperary.Earl of Tipperary.

The ancestors of this James were honorary Butlers of Ireland; from which they derive the name of Le Boteler or Butler. It is certain, that this family was nearly related to Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, being descended from his sister; and that after his murder, they were translated into Ireland by King Henry the second, who hop’d to wipe off the scandal of that fact, by preferring his relations to wealth and honours. ⌈Of these, one branch doth enjoy the honourable title of Viscount Ikerin,Ikerin. in this County.⌉

The first Earl of Ormond of this family, was James son of Edmund Earl of Carrick; who married the daughter of Humphry Bohun Earl of Hereford, by a daughter of King Edward the first; and this relation was the means of their advancement. Hereupon, his son James was commonly called by the people, The Noble Earl. The fifth Earl of this family (not to be particular in the account of every one of them) had the title of Earl of Wiltshire given him by King Henry the sixth, To him and the heirs of his body: but being Lord Deputy of Ireland, as some others of this family have been, and Treasurer of England, he was attainted by Edward the fourth, and soon after taken and beheaded. His brothers were attainted likewise, and absconded; John died at Jerusalem without children; Thomas, by the favour of Henry the seventh, had his attainder revers’d; and died in the year 1515, leaving two daughters, Ann marry’d to James de St. Leger, and Margaret the wife of William Bullein, who had issue Thomas Bullein, who was made first Viscount Rochfort, and after that Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, by King Henry the eighth, upon his marriage with Ann Bullein, the Earl’s daughter: By her he had Elizabeth Queen of England, whose memory will be ever precious to the English Nation. After the death of Thomas Bullein, Peter or Pierce Butler, a person of great power in Ireland, and of the Earl’s family, (who had been before created Earl of Ossery by King Henry the eighth,) was now also advanc’d to the Earldom of Ormond. Boleyn He dying, left it to his son, James, who by the daughter and heir of James Earl of Desmond, had a son, Thomas Earl of Ormond, * * Now living, C.whose fidelity and loyalty † † Hath shone, C.shone forth in the most difficult and dangerous times. He married his only daughter to Theobald Butler his Brother’s son, upon whom K. James ⌈the 1st⌉ ¦ ¦ Hath lately conferr’d, C.conferr’d the title of Viscount Tullo. ⌈As to the Earldom; after a continuance of many ages, it was raised, first to a Marquisate, and then to the higher honour of a Dukedom, by King Charles the second, in the person of James, Marquis of Ormond and Earl of Ossery, in consideration of his eminent Loyalty, and Sufferings in the cause of the Royal Family. Which James was also afterwards created by the same King, Duke of Ormond in England, (to enjoy the dignity of an English Duke, under that title;) and was father of Thomas Earl of Ossery, a person of great Valour, who dy’d in the life-time of the said Duke, and left a Son, James, who succeeded his Grandfather in all his Honours, and gave many Proofs of Valour, during the French wars in the reign of King William the third; but, being in the next Reign, unhappily drawn into such Measures and Practices, as were thought highly dishonourable and injurious to his Country, and being impeached in Parliament for the same, he thereupon fled out of the Nation, and stands attainted of High Treason.⌉

Men turn’d into wolves. As to what is said by some of the Irish (and those too, such as would be thought very credible witnesses,) that certain men in these parts are every year converted into wolves; it is without doubt fabulous: unless, perhaps, through excess of melancholy, they may be affected with the distemper that the Physicians call Greek Lycanthropia, which makes them fansy and imagin themselves to be so transform’d. werewolves And as for those metamorphos’d Lycaones in Livonia, so much talked of; I cannot but have the same opinion of them also.

Thus far we have continu’d in the Province of Mounster, which Queen Elizabeth, with great wisdom, and to advance the wealth and happiness of this Kingdom, committed to the government of a Lord President;President of Munster. who (with one Assistant, two Lawyers, and a Secretary,) might correct the insolencies of this Province, and keep all men to their duty. The first President was Warham St. Leger Kt. who was constituted in the year 1565; being a person of great experience in the affairs of Ireland. ⌈But this Office (as hath been said) was superseded by King Charles the second, (the last being the ingenious and noble Earl of Orrery;) and no more remains to be said concerning this Province, but that the honour of Dutchess of Munster was conferr’d upon Erengart Melusina Schulenburg; who hath since been also advanc’d to the honour of Dutchess of Kendal in England, as we have already mentioned.⌉


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52