Tipperary History


History of Tipperary taken from The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland
1844

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 Ireland. 

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 elsewhere."
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.