Miscellaneous: TIPPERARY, History of Tipperary taken from The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1844
IGP Archives
Tipperary Index
Contributed by C. Hunt


The Coriondi and the Udiae or Uodiae of Ptolemy are supposed by Sir
James Ware to have occupied the country which now constitutes the county
of Tipperary, and the counties adjoining it in the west and south-west.
Sir James thinks also that the ancient territory of Aradh-Cliach
corresponded to the Arra or western portion of the present barony of
Owney and Arra; that the ancient territory of Corca-Eathrach
comprehended the portions of the Golden Vale which lie around Cashel;
that the ancient territory of Hy-Fogarty was a district occupied by a
sept of its own name around Thurles; that the ancient territory of
Hy-Fogarty was a district occupied by the sept of O'Fogarty in the
vicinity of Thurles; that the ancient territory of' Hy-Kerin, the
country of the sept of O'Miagher, was quite or nearly identical with the
present barony of Ikerrin which retains the ancient name with only an
alteration in its spelling and that the ancient territory of
Muscraige-Thire or Muscraighe-Thire. the country of the sept of Kennedy,
was nearly identical with the present baronies of Lower Ormond and Upper
Ormond These territories seem to have been divided during the early
periods of Irish history, between the princes of the Dalcassian race who
governed Thomond or North Munster and the princes of the Eoganacht or
Eugenian sept who governed Desmond or South Munster These two sets of
princes alternately possessed the paramount sovereignty of all Munster;
and soon after the landing of the Danes or Ostmen, Feidlim MacCrimtham,
prince of Desmond, was king of all Munster and held his court at Cashel.
This prince was at once a  tyrant, a warrior, and a conqueror; and. in
the course at' his wars he subjugated the princes of Connaught and the
king of Meath, who then wielded the paramount sovereignty of all

At the commencement and in the early part of the 10th century Cormac
MacCullinan, of the Eoganacht race, was both king of Munster and bishop
of Cashel; in 907 he fought and defeated on a battle-field in King's
county Fiann-Siona, king of Meath and monarch of Ireland; at some period
during his episcopate, he built at Cashel a chapel which still bears his
name, and is alleged to have written the history which is usually called
the Psalter of Cashel; and in 908 in consequence of his having attempted
the forcible exaction of tribute from Leinster he was assailed,
defeated, and slain by an army of the men of that country, supported by
the princes of Ulster and the king of Meath. Near the middle of the 10th
century, Callachan, king of Cashel. desolated the country and
exacerbated the people by unprincipled and scourging wars; and his own
subjects rose against him, defeated him captured him, and gave him up as
a prisoner to Murkertach, the heir apparent to the monarchy of Ireland.
In the latter part of the 10th century, Brian Boromh, prince of the
Dalcassian family, king of Thomond, and afterwards monarch of Ireland,
held the sovereignty of all Munster.

In 1101, Murkertach, king of Munster, consigned the city of Cashel to
the church, or rather to the bishops of Cashel, who are usually alleged
to have at this period obtained the rank of archbishops. In 1172 a
celebrated assembly of Irish princes and prelates was held at Cashel,
under summons of Henry II., the Anglo-Norman conqueror of Ireland; and
this assembly recognised the sovereignty of the English king over
Ireland, and made various laws for assimilating the Irish to the English
church, and increasing the power of the Irish clergy. In the settlement
which followed the Anglo-Norman conquest, a principal part of the
territory which now constitutes the county of Tipperary seems to have
continued as a tributary toparchy,  in the possession of Donald O'Brien,
the native prince of Thomond and Ormond

In 1174 an Anglo-Norman force under Earl Strongbow and Hervey of'
Mount-Norris, advanced to Cashel with the view of attacking Donald
O'Brien, and expected to be there joined by a detachment of Ostmen from
the garrison of Dublin; but learning that this detachment were
intercepted by Donald near Thurles, and driven back with the slaughter
of about 400 of their number, they turned suddenly round, and made
precipitate retreat to Waterford there to learn that the Irish
chieftains, including the hitherto sycophantish Donald Kavanagh, were
rushing to arms against the Anglo-Norman authority. In 1175 an army
under Raymond le Gros, marched across Tipperary to the city of Limerick,
which also belonged at that time to Donald O'Brien; and, with mingled
stratagem and bravery they speedily entered the city in triumph. "In
1176 Limerick was besieged by O'Brien of Thomond, who, on the march of
Raymond for its relief, took post with his army to intercept him in a
defile near Cashel. With a force of 80 knights, 200 inferior cavalry,
and 300 archers, Raymond forced the intrenchments of the foe, while his
Irish confederates of Kinsella and Ossory stood spectators of the combat
ready to rush with slaughter on whichever should prove the defeated
party. When the victorious leader had received hostages from O'Brien who
submitted, and from O'Connor who had promised such pledges to Henry, he
led his forces into Desmond at the invitation of MacArthy, who had been
thrown into prison by his own son, the usurper of his principality.
Raymond, who received a tract of land in Kerry for the service performed
on this occasion, restored the injured prince to his dominion, who
requited his sons's unnatural conduct with imprisonment and death. The
English commander had scarcely accomplished this laudable achievement,
when he received a letter from his wife Basilia, informing him that 'her
great tooth which had been so long aching, was at last fallen from the
socket.' Understanding the death of Strongbow to be thus mysteriously
expressed, to prevent the bad consequences which would arise from the
news of the event in case of the letter's interception, he hasted to
Dublin, committing the custody of Limerick to O'Brien, since he was
unable to afford any English troops for its garrison. The Irish
chieftain, having taken a solemn oath to guard the city for the English
monarch and to restore it at the royal pleasure, set fire to it in four
quarters, as soon as he perceived the departure of Raymond's army,
declaring that this town should no longer continue to be the nest of
strangers." Thomond, inclusive probably of the greater part of what now
constitutes the county of Tipperary, was granted in 1177 to Philip De
Braosa; but, in consequence of the inability or disinclination of that
person to take possession, it still continued under the power of Donald
O' Brien.

In 1185, during the Irish administration of John, Earl of Morton,
afterwards King John, castles were erected at Ardtinnan and Tipperary
for the maintenance and defence of the Anglo-Norman power; but in 1190,
Donald O'Brien captured the castle of Ardfinnan, and defeated near
Thurles an Anglo-Norman army, under William Earl-marshal, the son-in-law
and successor of Earl Strongbow.

In 1194, Donald O'Brien, who had figured so conspicuously in resisting
the Anglo-Norman power, and who is usually said to have built the oldest
existing portion of the cathedral of Cashel, died. In 1210, Tipperary
was erected into a county by King John, during his expedition to Ireland
at the head of a considerable army; and previous to that year,
therefore, it probably was entirely subjugated to the Anglo-Norman
authority. In 1274-1277, the northern district of the county was
probably part of the seat of war between the Anglo-Norman family of De
Clare and the descendants of the O'Briens of Thomond, who still retained
possession of a portion of their ancient principality. In 1317, some
portion of the county was probably traversed and scourged by the
invading army of Edward Bruce of Scotland, in their desolating progress
from Kilkenny to Limerick.

In 1328, the royal privileges in the county were granted to James
Butler, Earl of Carrick and Ormond; and during a very long subsequent
period, they continued to be possessed by the Earls of Ormond. In 1330,
Brien O'Brien, prince of Thomond, ravaged the county of Tipperary,
burned the towns of Tipperary and Athassel to the ground, and conducted
a troublesome and disastrous though petty war against the English
authority. "This war," says Gordon, "ended with some dishonour to the
English government, and might have been attended with still worse
consequences, if the cruelty of the insurgents had not excited a
desperate spirit of defence. About 80 persons of English ancestry,
surprised in a church at the time of Divine service, in utter despair of
mercy to themselves, attempted only to supplicate for the priest's life,
who in vain presented the consecrated wafer. The host was furiously
snatched from his hand, himself transpierced with weapons, and the
miserable congregation consumed in the church, which was set on fire
over them. The enemy received many sever checks, defeated by the
citizens of Wexford, harassed by the exertions of James Butler, lately
created Earl of Ormond, and attacked by the irregular troops of Maurice,
the chieftain of Desmond. But the forces of Maurice, with whom Darcy,
the chief governor, treated as an independent prince, were more hurtful
to the English by their maintenance, on free quarter, than serviceable
in the field: and as the foe continued still formidable, and appeared on
certain information to be privately abetted by some lords of English
race, a new chief governor, Sir Anthony Lucy, took measures the most
vigorous, the execution of which was facilitated by the expectation of a
visit of the king in person with an army. Issuing summonses for a
parliament to be held at Dublin, and afterwards at Kilkenny, without
being obeyed in the attendance of the lords, he seized the persons of
Maurice, who had been created earl of Desmond, Mandeville, Walter De
Burgo, and his brother, and William and Walter Bermingham. William
Bermingham, found guilty, was executed, and Desmond long imprisoned: but
as the declaration of an intended visit to Ireland by the king, whose
warlike preparations were intended really against Scotland, was only a
feint, the war with the Irish clans was no otherwise terminated than by
precarious treaties with their chiefs, for the negociation of which the
prior of Kilmainham was charged with a commission." Almost a the first
blush of the great rebellion of 1642, Cashel, Clonmel, Fethard,
Carrick-on-Suir, and all the other towns of Tipperary, were seized by
the insurgents. Some murders were perpetrated at Cashel by the relatives
of persons whom Sir W. St. Leger, president of Munster, had put to
death; and various murders were committed at Fethard, Silvermines, and
other places, by other parties.

In 1647, the Earl of Inchiquin, who acted as parliamentarian commander
in Munster, overran the county of Tipperary, took Cahir by capitulation,
took Cashel by storm, slaughtered in the latter place 20 priests and a
multitude of the people who had taken shelter in the cathedral as an
asylum, levied contributions throughout all the circumjacent country,
and was prevented from capturing Clonmel only by the failure of
provisions for his army. In 1649, after Lord Inchiquin, in horror at the
exectution of Charles I., had made common cause with the earl of Ormond,
and when Cromwell invaded Ireland, and found himself opposed by both
royalists and confederates, a detachment of his army captured
Carrick-on-Suir, and he himself crossed the Suir at that place to lay
siege to Waterford.  In the month of October, Lords Inchiquin and Taafe,
at the head of a royalist force, marched to attempt the recapture of
Carrick-on-Suir; "and Ormond, confident of the success of the
expedition, was preparing to march thither after having accomplished the
reinforcement of Waterford, when he received intelligence that the
attempt had miscarried, and that the discomfitted troops had retired to
Clonmel. Thither also retired the marquess with his few remaining forces
in a circuitous and harassing march, through a country which had
exhibited a gloomy scene of terror, where persons of all descriptions
were collecting their miserable effects and flying in confusion
different ways to escape the English army."

The Earl of Ormond, with the main body of his army, remained at Clonmel
and its vicinity watching Cromwell, till sickness and the approach of
winter drove the siege of Waterford to an abortive termination; and
then, after having posted a large body of Ulster men at Clonmel, he
withdrew to Kilkenny. About the end of next February, Cromwell opened
the campaign of 1650, by taking Cashel, Fethard, Cahir, Clogheen, and
other places in the vicinity; and in the course of April, he commenced
the troublesome and disastrous siege of Clonmel. "At Clonmel, his next
object of attack," says Gordon, "garrisoned by 1,200 northerns under
Hugh O'Neal, Cromwell met so obstinate a resistance, that he lost 2,000
men in the first assault, and found the expediency of depending chiefly
on a blockade. Lord Roche, with a body of troop hastening to relieve the
garrison, was totally defeated by Lord Broghill, who advanced to assist
the besiegers. The Romish bishop of Ross, a most active partisan, was
taken in this battle, and offered his life on condition of his
prevailing on the garrison of a neighboring fortress to surrender: but
the heroic prisoner, when conducted within hearing of the garrison,
exhorted them to maintain courageously their post against the enemies of
their country and religion, and with undaunted spirit resigned himself
to death. O'Neal, after a siege of two months, despairing of relief,
when his ammunition and provisions were exhausted, contrived, by a
masterly piece of conduct, to withdraw his garrison secretly from
Clonmel, and to lead them safely to Waterford, leaving the citizens of
the former to treat with the English general, who granted them an
honourable capitulation, as his presence was importunately demanded

In 1651, Ireton, who succeeded Cromwell as generalissimo of the
parliamentarian army in Ireland, concentrated his forces at Cashel,
preparatory to his marching to the west forcing a passage across the
Shannon at Killaloe. At the period of Restoration, Clonmel was one of
the towns in possession of the royalists. In the war of the Revolution,
and after the battle of the Boyne, Clonmel was abandoned by the
Jacobites on the advance of William; and it formed the retreat and
asylum of the latter's army, on occasion of his relinquishing the siege
of Limerick, and embarking at Duncannoa for England.
The county of Tipperary was not involved in the rebellion of 1798; and
though it has figured with painful and ignominious prominence in many an
agrarian disturbance, it has not been the theatre of any modern
insurrection or other movement of sufficient magnitude to be a proper
topic for history.