Property Owners in County Carlow in the Year 1307
By Sean O’Shea
Carloviana 2016 No. 84
Page 54 & 55
While a considerable area of County Carlow was under forestation in
1307, a certain amount of information can be gleaned regarding,
property owners in the county at the time, following an inquisition
held in the town. The inquisition was ordered by King Edward 1, to
ascertain the Irish possessions of Roger Le Bygod, Earl of Norfolk,
and Lord of Carlow, who died without issue on the 11th December, 1306.
In 1302 Roger had constituted King Edward his heir on his death.
Roger Le Bygod was a descendent of William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke
and Lord of Leinster. Marshal and his wife Isobel, (daughter of
Strongbow and Eve MacMurrough), had ten children, five sons and five
daughters. Their five sons died without issue, thereby Marshal's
daughters became co-heirs of his holdings.
Maud the eldest daughter was allotted the Carlow County area, which
comprised a much larger area than the present county (the county
boundary being re-defined in the mid fifteen hundreds following the
creation of Counties Laois and Offaly. Joan, the second daughter was
granted the Wexford area. The third daughter, Isabel received the
Kilkenny area. Sibilla, a fourth daughter was allotted the Kildare
area, and Eve the youngest received the Laois area (Dunroe in Ossory).
Maud married Hugh Le Bygod, Earl of Norfolk, thus entitling the Earl
to succeed to the Lordship of Carlow. They had three sons, Roger. Hugh
and Ralph. On the death of Hugh, Roger, their first born, inherited
the titles of Earl of Norfolk and Lord of Carlow. Roger died without
issue in 1270, and his nephew, also called Roger Le Bygod succeeded to
his honours and possessions. Roger married twice without iss'ue, and
as already stated - by means of surrender made in 1302, his estate
passed to the King on his death. This comprised his Earldom, Marshalcy
and property, which included Carlow castle, then in a state of
The King's writ directed Sir John Wogan Justiciar of Ireland "to take
into the King's hands, all lands and tenements in Ireland, the
property of Roger Le Bygod, and cause them to be kept safely".
To enable Wogan to comply with the King’s writ, Walter De La Haye,
Escheator of Ireland, was instructed to conduct an inquisition, to
establish Roger's holdings, which were mainly in County Carlow. The
inquisition was held in Carlow in Apri1, 1307. Apart from insight into
the property owners at the time, some insight is also gleaned as to
the condition of the castle and town.
Another inquisition was also undertaken to establish the value of the
Knights’ fees in the county. The “Yet of Common Pleas”, relating to
the inquisition, is recorded in the Calendar of Justiciar Rolls of
Ireland (35- Edward I) which as already stated gives some insight into
the property owners in County Carlow at the time, and is set out as
follows: Yet of Common Pleas, at Dublin, before John Wogan, Justiciar,
in the quinzaine of Easter.
The King sends his writ: Edward etc. to Wogan etc. Because Roger le
Bygod Earl of Norfolk, who held of the King in capite, has died, Wogan
is to take into the King's hand all lands and tenements in Ireland, of
which he was seised when he died, and cause them to be kept safely;
and to enquire how much land he held of the King in capite, and how
much of others, and by what service, and how much they are worth
yearly, and who is his heir and of what age, and return inquisition.
Teste at Lanrecost, 8 Dec. a. r. xxxv. By pretext of which mandate
Walter 'de la Haye, escheator of Ireland, was directed to execute it,
who made extent:
Inquisition taken at Catherlach, on Saturday after the close of Easter
a r xxxv. John Sweyn, Will Baret, Roger the Welshman, Ricard Rys,
Will Went, Thomas Rauf, Adam Leth, Thomas Borne, Peter Borne, Simon.
Bryt, Robert son of Ricard, Ric Harpur, John Fraunceys, Robert le
Archer, John Cadel, Stephen Cadel, John Tybaund, Robert Cadel, James
de Valle, John Balymor, Adam Mauncel, Gilbert Maceon, Peter Loppyn,
David Cobrath, Thomas Carru, Robert Bremyl, Henry Wyce, Geoffrey
Galbarry, Ric. Galburry, Ric. le Bret, John Marcel, Robert Bendeuill,
Remund Cheure, Walter de Rupe, Will Bendeuill and Ric. Graunger.
Who say that Roger Bygod held of the King in capite, the castle and
county of Catherlach which castle is not well roofed, and opposite the
castle is a hall in which pleas of the county and assises are held, in
which are many defects, as well in roofing as in walls; which are
valued at nothing because no one would hire them, but they need
roofing and care. There are there 68 acres of arable land, of which 50
acres are worth 50s. yearly, to wit, 12d. an acre, and 18 acres are
worth 6s. (4d. an acre), 50 acres of meadow are worth 50s. yearly, a
moor and an island containing 16 acres are worth 16s. yearly. Sum 6ι.
RicTaloun holds the barony of Tamelyng, and renders for it 4s.
yearly. Peter Waas holds there 75 acres opposite the castle, and
renders 20s. yearly. Geoffrey Wade junior holds there 20 acres, and
renders yearly 12s. The burgesses of the town of Catherlach hold there
160 burgages, and render for them yearly 8l. 16½d. and do suit to the
hundred. Sum 6/. 17s. 4½d.
Also there is there an oven, which the burgesses hold at will, and it
is worth yearly 20s. The burgesses render yearly for the toll and farm
(sensar') of said town, 8s. 3d.; the prise of ale there is worth
yearly 40s.; and there are there three water - mills worth yearly 8
marks, and three weirs worth yearly 5s. Sum 8ι. 19s. 11d.
Edmund le Botiller holds one barony of Tulagh Offelmyth, by the
service of 8, as often as it shall be proclaimed, and does suit to the
county court; Nich. de Carru holds one barony in Odrone at Donlek', by
the service of 10l. and does suit as above; John de Valle holds one
knight's fee at Ardbrystyn, by the service of 40s. and does suit to
the court of Foth'; Thomas le Boteller holds one knight's fee at Gras
by the service of 40s. and does suit there; Adam Broun holds one
knight's fee at Ardynhch, by the service of 40s.; Will. Traherne holds
one knight's fee at Kilcloit, by the service of 40s., and a fourth
part of a knight's fee at Kylbolet, by the service of 10s.; the heir
of Reginald de Dene holds two knights' fees at Kenles in Foth', by the
service of 4ι. ; Ric Taloun holds an eighth part of a knight's fee at
Balymakele, by the service of 5s.; Robert Bremyl holds a third part of
a knight's fee at Balyscandyl, by the service of 1 mark. Sum 44ι. 2s.
They say that at Foth' there is a stone chamber covered with shingles
and boards valued at nothing, and no one will hire it, and a grange of
ten principal beams (furcis), almost fallen, of no value except the
beams, and 368 acres of demesne land, worth yearly 12ι. 5s. 4d., to
wit, 8d. an acre, 20 acres of meadow, worth yearly 13s. 4d., a pasture
called Oxsynles, containing 10a. worth 40d., a pasture containing 10a.
of no value, a decayed water mill with 12 acres of pasture adjoining,
worth yearly 5 marks. Sum 16ι. 16s. 8d.
Ric. Taloun holds 2 carucates of land in Balyme colye and renders
yearly 26s, 8d.; William Traherne holds 1 carucate at le Boly, and
renders yearly 30s. 6d. Amicia Manecouena. unf[d] holds two carucartes
at the Drym and renders yearly 3s. Will., de Bencleuill and Eva his
wife hold one carucate at the Kneiston, and render yearly 2s. The
burgesses of the town of CastleFoth' hold there 79 burgages, and
render for them 69s., and there are there 29 cottagers who render for
their cottages 13s. 11½d. Also the burgesses render each Michaelmas 10
geese or 20d., and for each smith’s house, four horse shoes, or 4d.
Also they render 3d. yearly rent for one place in the head of the town
(1 plac’ in cap' ville). Tho. Wade junior holds there 15 acres, and
renders yearly 1lb. of pepper and 1½lb. of cummin, or 16d. Will.
Spynel holds there 12 acres for 12d. yearly rent. Adam le Tanner holds
there half a stang of land and renders yearly ½lb. of cummin, or 1d.
Sum 7ι. 19s. The toll there is worth yearly 8s. 6d.
And there are at Dunlek’ and Leghlyn 55 acres, of which 14 are worth
yearly 7s. and the rest lies waste for want of tenants and poverty of
the land; and 6 cottiers who render for their cottages yearly 6s., of
which there are paid to Nich. de Carruchief lord of that fee 6s., to
Robert Mauncel 16d., and to Ric. son of Robert 20d. Sum; beyond this
rent repaid 4s.
And there are at Fynuagh 6 carucates 47 caruc' (recte acres) and 1
stang, worth yearly 38 marks 4s. 10d. (to wit 8d. an acre), of which
Douenald Mcmurwoth held for term of his life, two carucates 7 acres 1
stang; and there are 15a. of meadow worth yearly 7s. 6d. The works of
tenants in autumn worth yearly half a mark; betaghs render yearly 6s.
8d for suit which they were accustomed to make to the mill, which mill
is now waste land prostrate. Sum 26ι. 12s. 4d.
The serjeants of the county of Ceatherlach were accustomed to render
20 marks for their serjeancies yearly.
Also the perquisites of assises there are worth in common years,
deducting the fees- of the Seneschal and other ministers, 40/ι. Also
the county court there is worth yearly, clear, 5 marks. Also the
perquisites of the court of Fothered are worth yearly half a mark. The
perquisites of the hundred of Catherlach are worth yearly 20s. Sum
The above “Yet of Common Pleas” is confined as nearly as possible to
the present boundary of the County of Carlow.
(1) The History and Antiquities of the County of Carlow by John Ryan
(2) Brophy Papers
(3) Carlow Sentinel
(4) The Calendar of Justiciary Rolls of Ireland, 1305-1307, 35th
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