Templepeter INDEX

Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Old Parish of Templepeter
Land Ownership
County Carlow

Land Ownership

The McMurrough Kavanagh's, one-time King of Ireland and Leinster, brought the Normans to Ireland, although an invitation was hardly necessary! They spent the following four centuries in sporadic battles with the armies of a succession of British Monarchs, and until the latter half of the 16th Century, they were formidable power brokers in the Irish political arena.

In the vicinity of Templepeter parish the Kavanaghs held castle strongholds at Graiguenaspidogue, Ballyloo, and Castletown, and according to Victor Hadden, an authority on the castles of Co. Carlow "the Ballyloo sept of the Kavanaghs had its seat in Ballinacarrig to the North and the River Burren formed the northern boundary of the Kavanagh country.".

The O'Nolans were local chieftains in this area and on 16th February 1395, Donald O’Nolan, a captain of his sept, accompanied Art McMurrough to Ballygorey in Grangeford parish, where a peace treaty was signed with the Earl of Nottingham, an envoy of King Richard 11, whose attempt at a total conquest of Ireland failed. During the 16th century the Tudors took a more firm political grip on the country and in the aftermath of the Cromwellian invasion, almost 90 per cent of the land of Ireland was owned by landlords of British origins.

A branch of the O'Nolans lost their lands during Cromwellian rule, and were resettled in Co. Galway. According to Prof. T. P. O'Neill, the Nationalist M .P. Col. John P. Nolan, who was elected for Galway North in 1885, was a direct descendent of the Carlow branch of the O'Nolans. He was subsequently re-elected in 1886, 1892, and 1900. He did not seek re-election in the election of 1906. In the late 1500s, Graiguenaspidogue became a seat of the Butlers, while about the same time a considerable number of local estates, including the civil parish of Templepeter, were in the possession of the Eustaces.

Some of these lands were leased from the Butlers. Edmund of Kilnock, born in 1510, was the youngest son of the 1st Viscount Baltinglass. In 1584 there was a second Edmund Eustace of Kilnock, whose son Oliver had leases on Ballynunnery and Castlemore in 1604, from the Butlers. Kilnock was the only County Carlow land of Oliver Eustace not forfeited during the 1580s. His other lands had been granted to him in 1541 from the Bahinglass Abbey lands. His wife Mary, co-heiress of Sir John Travers, also lost her Carlow lands formerly owned by the Knights Hospitallers of Killerig, but she regained possession of these estates through the efforts of her second husband, Sir Gerald Alymer.

The Eustaces a Catholic family of Norman origin fought with King James at the battle of the Boyne, and as a result, Francis Eustace of Castlemore and Oliver of Ballynunnery lost their estates of more than 6,000 acres. But following claims at Chinchester House in 1703, they regained most of the property, which included- Castlemore, Rathbawn, Ballycarragh, Ballynunnery, Kilcoole, Gilbertstown, Bendenstown, Garreenleen, Kilnock, Ballyveal, Knockendrum, parts of Kilgaran (Janeville), Kilmaglush, Turtane, Ullard More and Beg, Ballykeenan, Kilmurry, Cloneen, Boherduff and Agha.

In 1852 when Griffiths Primary Valuation of Tenements was prepared, two landlords, William Garrett of Janeville (405 acres) and Pilsworth Whelan of Rathglass (270 acres) were in control of three-quarters of the parish of Templepeter. There were 45 separate holdings, most with houses, ranging from 32 perches to 228 acres, with an annual valuation of £915. (See details of Griffiths valuation Parish of Templepeter)

James Garrett, born 1676, was the first of the family to live at Kilgaran. His father, Capt. John Garrett, was one of five brothers, all of whom served in the army of Oliver Cromwell. They descended from Sir William Garrett, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1555. Capt. John Garrett got a grant of land in Laois and it appears his son came to Kilgaran sometime around 1700. The William Garrett referred to in Griffiths valuation appears to have been the last of the family to live in Kilgaran, because they are not listed as land owners there in 1876.

Their property may have been sold under the Incumbered Estates Act, introduced after the famine to facilitate the sale of bankrupt estates. In 1858, this Act was replaced by the Landed Estates Courts, where in 1873, fifty eight acres of land in Templepeter owned by the Elliott family were sold (see notice of sale). Fifty one acres had been leased on a year-to-year tenancy to Patrick Murphy for £65 a year, and the remaining 7 acres was leased for 21 years to Henry Lee for a yearly rent of £10.

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