Britannia, by William Camden

The County of Fermanagh.

Fermanagh. Small O ON the west and north beyond Cavon, lies Fermanagh, formerly inhabited by the Erdini; a Country full of wood and bogs. In the middle of it, lies the greatest and most famous Lake in this Kingdom, call’dLogh-Erne. Lough Erne, forty miles in length, and shaded with thick Woods, and full of inhabited Islands; some of which contain two or three hundred acres a-piece. And withal, it is so well stored with Pike, Trout, Salmon, and other Fish, that the Fishermen oftner complain of breaking their nets by the plenty, than of want of Fish. This Lake does not lie from east to west as the Maps describe it, but (as I am inform’d by those who have taken a full survey of it,) it begins at Baltarbet,Baltarbet. which is the utmost Village in the County of Cavon to the north, and reaches from south to north; being fourteen miles in length, and four in breadth. Afterwards, it contracts it self, as narrow as the chanel of a good large river, and so continues for six miles together.

Upon the Lough, in this narrow place, stands Iniskilling,Iniskilling. the best Fort of these parts, and defended in the year 1593. by the Rebels, and taken by Dowdall, a most gallant Captain. ⌈It is frequently mentioned in the Histories of the present age, during the course of the great Rebellion in 1641, and of the late Wars there; and is nowBarons of Iniskilling. a Barony in the Family of Macgwire.⌉ From hence, turning to the west, it is at its full bigness, being as far as BelekBelek. (for twenty miles together) at least ten miles broad; and near that place, it has a great fall or Cataract, which they call the Salmons leap. Here is a current report among the people, that this Lough was formerly firm ground, well cultivated, and full of Inhabitants; and that it was suddenly drown’d and turn’d into a Lake, as a punishment for the abominable Sin of Buggery, then practis’d among them. tsunami flood sodomy homosexuality God Almighty (says Giraldus) the author of Nature, condemn’d this ground as privy to those filthy and unnatural Acts; which render’d it not only unfit for the first Inhabitants, but for any others in succeeding times. The Irish Annals lay this to the charge of certain Scotch Refugees, who were driven from the Hebrides and skulk’d in these parts. The most considerable among the † † So said, ann. 1607.petty Princes here, is Mac * * Gwire, C.Guire. Those of that family live on both sides the Lake; so as they on the other side are reckon’d of Ulster; and they on this, of Conaght.

⌈In the Parish of KilasherKilasher. within this County, have been discover’d Marble-Rocks,Marble-Rocks. whose perpendicular height is fifty or sixty feet. They show’d themselves, by the means of Subterraneous Rivers; which, by degrees, have wash’d away the Earth and loose stones, and discover’d these mighty Rocks. Also, in this County, have been found UrnsUrns. in stone Coffins, within a Circle of very large Stones standing on end, and encompassing a great heap; but removed by degrees, for the paving of the ways.

Viscount Fermanagh. From this County, the Honourable Family of Varney, have taken the title of Viscount Fermanagh.⌉

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