The Parish of Finglas
The Parish of Finglas is stated in the 17th century to have contained the townlands of Ballyboggan, Ballygall, Balseskin, Broghan, Cabragh Little, Cardiff's Castle, Coldwinters, Finglas, Finglas Bridge and Wood, Jamestown, Johnstown, Kildonan, Kilshane, Laurestown, Skephubble, and Toberburr.
It contains now the townlands of Ballyboggan (i.e. O'Boggan's town), North and South, Ballygall (i.e. the town of the hog), Baflystrahan (i.e. town of the stream), Balseskin (i.e. the town of the moor), Bishopswood, Broghan (i.e. the border), Cabragh (i.e. the bad land), Cardiffsbridge (or Kerdiff's bridge), Cardifiscastle (or Kerdiff's castle), Charlestown, Coldwinters, Cruiserath (or Cruise's rath), Finglas East and West, Finglaswood, Glasnevin Demesne (i.e. the demesne of Naeidbe's stream), Globe, Jamestown Great and Little, Johnstown, Kildonan (i.e. Dunan's wood), Kilreesk (i.e. the wood of the morass), Kilshane (i.e. the wood of the fairy), Laurestown, Poppintree (i.e. St. Papan's tree), Shallon (i.e. the place of the gallows), Skephubble (i.e. the thorn of the congregation), Springmount, Stang (i.e. the rood), Stockens (i.e. the stubbed land), Toberburr (i.e. the well of the watercourse), Tolka, and Westereave.
The objects of archaeological interest are a ruined church, a cross, and fortifications known as King William's ramparts in the village, and the remains of an Elizabethan house in Finglaswood.
Finglas Village and its Vicinity
The parish of Finglas, which lies east of the parishes of Castle-knock, Mulhuddart, Cloghran, and Ward, is crossed at its most southern point by the river Tolka, and is intersected by the coach road to the north-west of Ireland. Not far from the river, on this road, Finglas village is found. Through it there flows a small tributary of the Tolka, and from it there is an extensive view of the city and bay of Dublin. Although not containing any stately remains, the village has had an eventful past, and the ground trodden by the agricultural worker has been marked by the footsteps in turn of Celtic abbots, of Plantagenet prelates, of Stuart cavaliers, and of Hanoverian legislators.
In Celtic and Mediaeval Times.
Finglas appears first in history as the site of a Celtic abbey, the origin of which has been associated, from early times, with the name of St. Cainnech, or Canice, the patron of Kilkenny. According to an ancient legend, the ground on which it stood bad been sanctified by St. Patrick, who is said to have uttered from it a prophecy that a great town would arise at the ford of hurdles in the vale beneath; and by some persons confirmation of this legend may be found in the tradition that ascribes the original name of the neighbouring church of St. Margaret to a connexion with him, and in the association of his name with a well in the village of Finglas itself.
Although the abbey is described in the ''Triads " as one of the two eyes of Ireland, nothing is known of its history beyond a record of the deaths of some of its abbots, and as the record terminates before the Anglo-Norman invasion, it is probable that the abbey ceased to exist during the rule of the Norsemen, by whom it was plundered.
When the Anglo-Norman invaders seized Dublin, Finglas was known as a town belonging to the Archbishop of Dublin, and trees, which surrounded the church and which were said to have been planted by St. Canice and his successors, seem to have been the only relics of the abbey.
The town was probably protected by the stockade against which Miles de Cogan led his forces when he made the sally against Rory O'Conor, as mentioned under Castleknock; and while Henry the Second was in Ireland, it afforded quarters for several troops of archers, who are said to have brought upon it divine displeasure in the form of pestilence by cutting down the trees, which included yew and ash, in the churchyard.
Under the Anglo-Norman settlement the lands belonging to Finglas abbey, like those of Tallaght and Clondalkin, were confirmed to the Archbishop of Dublin, and the manor in which they were comprised became the most valuable of the manors owned by him near Dublin, excepting that of Swords. When elected to the see of Dublin in 1228, Archbishop Luke found in Finglas an episcopal residence, of which he made immediate use; and during his time the town is mentioned as a borough with 19 burgesses, amongst whom members of the families of Cruise and Kerdiff are prominent. In connexion with Finglas, Archbishop Luke's successor, Fulk de Sandford, gave proof of his zeal in defending and increasing the property of the church; and during his episcopate, which began in 1256, probably he made frequent use of the episcopal residence, in which his death is said to have occurred.
For the next six years, from 1171 to 1177, the see was vacant, and from accounts of the temporalities rendered to the Crown the value of the Archbishop's manors is seen to have greatly decreased. As those to the north of Dublin were affected equally with those to the south, the loss cannot have been entirely due to the incursions of the hillmen, and was probably to be attributed in a measure to the "wars and controversies" of the great feudal proprietors.
In the case of Finglas the loss of revenue amounted to more than a third. From the receipts it appears that personal service was rendered in a far greater degree by the betaghs and cottagers at Finglas than by similar classes in the south of the county, and that as compared with Clondalkin, the manor to the south which most nearly approached it in value, Finglas had much greater profit from milling, but much less profit from litigation in the manor court.
Large profit came from "turbary and red hog," an item that does not occur in the case of the southern manors, and also there was profit from watching cattle at night, which seems to have been a service not exacted in them.
During the period that Alexander de Bicknor held the see of Dublin, from 1317 to 1349, there is evidence that the episcopal residence at Finglas, which was known as the court, was a substantial mansion. In a complaint made the year after his death it is mentioned that its stone walls bad been broken by evil-doers, and that leaden gutters from its roofs, iron bars from its windows, and clamps and bolts from its doors had been carried off by them.
Some of the buildings are said to have been roofed with tiles, and the kitchen and brew-house were provided with furnaces and vessels of brass and lead. In addition the complaint shows that the demesne contained a deer-park and a warren, in which pheasants and partridges, as well as hares and rabbits, were preserved.
Upon the demesne lands the most approved system of agriculture was adopted, the rotation of crops being wheat, cats, and grass. In the manor the feudal system had begun to decline, and an improvement in the condition of the tenantry was noticeable. In many cases a class called farmers had taken the place of the servile betaghs, but the farmers, who were Irish, were not allowed to forget their origin, and were obliged to pay a much higher rent for their land than the burgesses of the town, who were exclusively English.
To Finglas no doubt Alexander de Bicknor was a frequent visitor, and three years before his death he is seen requiring a newly elected Prior of Christ Church to wait on him there to render homage. Amongst the free tenants of the manor, who included some of the neighbouring landed magnates, he had provision for ample society.
During that century the Rath, afterwards known as Cruiserath, was successively held by the Baron of Castleknock and William Cruise, and Cabragh by the Baron of Castleknock and Robert Kerdiff; Broghan and Johnstown were in the possession of the owner of Dunsoghly; Chamberstown, or Jamestown, as it is now called, was held by Adam Chambers, and other large holdings were in the possession of the owner of Ward and the owner of Cappoge.
At the beginning of the 15th century during the episcopate of Thomas Cranley, the court was occupied by the wife of the Lord Lieutenant, the illustrious John Talbot, then Lord of Furnival and afterwards Earl of Shrewsbury, and there that great lady, who in her own right was of the highest rank, gave birth in the summer of 1416 to a son.
Although it the middle of that century the weakness of the English led the hillmen to extend their forays into Fingal, and the Finglas inhabitants were obliged to help in guarding the fords of the Liffey, the state of Finglas during the episcopate of John Walton, who was elected Archbishop in 1471, seems to have been one of peace and security.
His predecessor, Michael Tregury, mentions in his will that his barn at Finglas was full of grain; Nicholas Barrett, who died in 1474, bequeaths property at Finglas to his heirs for ever; Alice, wife of Patrick Russell, who died in the same year, was joint owner with her husband at Finglas of much live stock and corn, as well newly sown as in the haggard and Thomas Finglas, who died in 1475, although prepared to take the field in a helmet and "black doublet of defence," had farm stock at Finglas of such exceptional value as could only have been acquired in a time of prosperity?
In Tudor and Stuart Times
The discovery that the lands of Cruiserath had been once the property of the see caused Archbishop Alan to exclaim "mirabile," and to note that Much and Little Cabragh were a similar case. At the time Henry the Seventh ascended the throne, Little Cabragh, which had evidently been a considerable village, was in a derelict state owing to excessive taxation and a tendency to live in Dublin.
As it was liable to become "a den and resort of robbers," it was included in the franchise of Dublin, and its inhabitants are found afterwards successfully resisting the imposition of county charges. The lands mentioned were not the only Finglas lands that had then passed from the see, as legal proceedings show that the lands of Chamberstown, or Jamestown as they are now called, were owned by Thomas, son of Geoffrey Sale, subject only to rendering half a pound of wax to the Priory of the Holy Trinity.
In the beginning of the 16th century the court was still used by the Archbishop, and there, in May, 1511, Walter Fitzsimons, who had held the offices of lord deputy and lord chancellor, as well as the archbishopric, died. But it began soon to decay, and towards the close of Henry the Eighth's reign the principal resident in Finglas parish was probably Walter Kerdiff, the judge who has been mentioned as a resident in Castleknock parish, and who is afterwards described as of Shallon. In the middle of that century the marshal of the law courts, George Carey, was apparently the chief person in Finglas, which was then described as one of the best villages in the county.
In 1547 he obtained a lease from the Crown of the possessions at Finglas of the chancellor of St. Patrick's Cathedral, who was also rector of Finglas, comprising a fort and messuage with a garden and land, and in 1556 he obtained a lease from Archbishop Hugh Curwen of the precincts of the court, together with the demesne, parks, and land. His house at Finglas, which passed on his death, in 1559, to his wife, Margaret Caddell, was furnished with buckram hangings; and a coffer filled with silver and much live-stock leave the impression that he was a man of ample means.
At the close of the 16th century, in a deed of partition executed by George Carey's sons, the following designations are given to places in or near the village of Finglas; - the scoury lea, the long trend, the bone park, the stony bothar, the deer park, the lord's lea and meadow, Solomon's field, the scrubby park and meadow, and the stony lea; and in a lease to the vicar there appears the precinct of the old court on which a pigeon-house stood.
At that time a second legal official, the usher of the exchequer, Richard Dutton, was a resident in the village; but at the time of his death, in 1631, when he was living in Dublin, his connexion with Finglas appears to have ceased.
Amongst other prominent residents in the parish at the close of Elizabeth's reign there are found at Kilreesk the head of the Chamberlain family, one of "the men of name in the county,'' and at Ballygall, Walter Ball, sometime mayor of Dublin, who was a chief instrument in the foundation of Trinity College.
But the most notable resident then was Sir Ambrose Forth, who held the offices of a master-in-chancery, judge of the prerogative and admiralty courts, and vicar-general to the Archbishop of Dublin. He was a native of London, and was educated at Eton and at Cambridge, where he graduated, in 1568, as a master of arts.
Afterwards be came to Ireland, and here he succeeded James Stanyhurst on his death, in 1573, as a master in chancery, and acquired quickly his other high offices. To the favour of Archbishop Loftus be was recommended as an alumnus of Cambridge University, and in London, which he visited no less than five times in 10 years, he had powerful friends in Lord Burghley and other statesmen.
He was an incessant suitor for grants of lands, mid did not scruple to reward those who furthered his petitions with an acknowledgement more substantial than gratitude; but he was so entirely satisfied of his own righteousness as to call in question the conduct of the bishops, who in his opinion admitted persons that would fleece, rather than feed, the hungry flock, and also the conduct of the judges, who in his opinion brought the bench into contempt by their corrupt judgements.
From his "poor farm-house of the Cabragh" in the spring of 1604 he indited a letter indignantly denying a report of his being a man of wealth, and claiming that during a public service of 32 years he had run his course without "top or top-gallant, his faculty having been his revenue, and his frugality his thrift."
He implied that his state was one of poverty rather than of wealth; but he found it sufficiently good to support the honour of knighthood, which four months later was conferred upon him. His death took place in 1610, and his body is amongst those interred in Christ Church Cathedral. He married one of the Cusacks, of Lismullen, and left two sons and two daughters, through one of whom he became an ancestor of the Earl of Charleville of the Moore creation.
At the beginning of the 17th century the precincts of the court and other premises at Finglas, which had been held by George Carey, were acquired from his sons by Archbishop Ussher's father-in-law, Dr. Luke Chaloner, to whom in contemporary opinion the chief credit for the foundation of Trinity College was due.
In that work his antecedents no less than his personal qualities enabled him to enlist widespread and influential interest. One of his uncles had been Queen Elizabeth's first ambassador to Spain, and another had been for many years clerk of the Irish privy council, as well as mayor of Dublin.
Under the aegis of the latter his life had begun, and, though his academic distinction was in the opinion of the late Provost of Trinity College not conspicuous, he gained a high reputation as a divine, and was a man of such business capacity and energy as to be until his death the virtual governor of the college.
With the neighbourhood of Finglas he had been connected before acquiring the Careys property by his appointment as prebendary of Mulhuddart and marriage to a daughter of Walter Ball, of Ballygall, his ally in promoting the establishment of Trinity College; and from accounts kept by him of his tithes, and of the sale of farm produce, he had evidently a taste for country life, but he was probably not often able to indulge it by residing so far from the new foundation as Finglas.
In Dr. Chaloner's time, about the year 1610, there appears at Finglas, probably as an inhabitant of the court, Sir James Carroll, the principal official of the Treasury, and sometime mayor of Dublin. As a man of Irish birth his advancement to such a position was bitterly opposed, and his life was often in danger from the ill-paid soldiers, who on one occasion at Newry snowballed him in a deadly manner but he overcame every obstacle, and by making himself indispensable he not only gained high office, but also was accepted as the husband of a daughter of Sir Arthur Savage, then governor of Connaught, and previously commander of the English force at the siege of Amiens.
Before that tune there had been erected to the south-west of Finglas, at Finglaswood, a house, the nibs of which are still to be seen. From the ruins it is evident that the house was recast and additions made to it on three occasions.
The turret, which is shown in the illustrations, dates probably from the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It contains a spiral staircase, and is provided with two shot-holes commanding the main doorwav mid the approach to it. The doorway is round-beaded and the stonework is neatly chiselled, but with that exception no distinctive architectural feature remains.
In its original design the house marked the transition from defence to comfort, and is described in the Commonweahlth surveys as a stone house with offices, surrounded by a garden, orchard, and ornamental plantation. It bore the arms of the Segrave family, and was built on lands which had been granted in 1552 by Archbishop Hugh Curwen to James Segrave and Patrick Sarsfield. 40 years later, in 1591, these lands were assigned by the brother of the second grantee, Sir William Sarsfield, of Lucan, to John, son and heir of Walter Segrave and in 1609, Walter Segrave, who has been mentioned as holding some 15 years before that time the Ward, appears as a resident on them. For several generations the Segrave family had been very prominent on the Irish episcopal and judicial benches, and in the commercial life of Dublin, where Walter Segrave and his father had both filled the mayoral chair.
They appear to have always adhered to the Roman Catholic Church, but, owing to their "good and kuidly dealings" with Englishmen, they enjoyed Archbishop Loftus's friendship, and through his wife, who was a sister of Walter Ball, of Ballygall, Walter Segrave was closely allied to Protestants.
Before he made his will, which was executed in 1619, Walter Segrave had changed his residence to Little Cabragh, and was in occupation there, possibly as successor to Sir Ambrose Forth, of a house, which in a modern form remains in the possession of his representatives.
Its superiority to the house at Finglaswood is apparent from the fact that its value was nearly five times as great-namely, �400, and in its design and decoration Jacobean refinement is evident. In the Commonwealth survey it is described as surrounded by several gardens, orchards, and parks, planted with ornamental trees, and the offices and farm buildings, which as well as the house were built of stone and roofed with tiles, were most extensive, and comprised a brewery, a dairy, two stables, a coach-house, two barns, a malt-house, and an ox-house.
The chief apartments, the hall, the parlour, and the great bed-chamber, were wainscoted, and some of the bed-chambers were provided with cornices of wood from which tapestry was suspended. In the hall, where the arms of Segrave impaled with those of Ball were carved, there was a high table at which the family took their meals seated on square stools, and round the walls were ranged five court cupboards, on which plate and china were displayed.
Through the house much other furniture was to be seen, including 12 bedsteads and many coffers, one being bound with iron and provided with three keys for the safe-keeping of deeds, and in many of the rooms there were to be found carpets of tapestry, canopies of silk or taffeta, curtains and valances of mockado or white stuff, and cushions covered with wrought-velvet or needlework.
On the walls there hung two calevers, head-pieces, and halberts, as well as "the Day of Judgment in oil work," and "Christ and the twelve Apostles in tables," and in the parlour a viol and a pair of virginals in a frame bespoke the accomplishments of Walter Segrave's daughter.
In his will Walter Segrave's devotion to the Roman Catholic Church is evidenced by a project for the maintenance of candidates for the priesthood of his own or his wife's name - a project from which he anticipated that not only "the founder and giver under God" but also his executors might reap benefit - and by a bequest for pious uses, towards which he directed the sale of his three best gowns and wrought-velvet coal.
His character is further revealed by his care for the poor, especially the inmates of St. John's Hospital who were bequeathed a frieze gown each to wear at his burial, and by his remembrance of his relations, each of whom was bequeathed a ring with a death's head, the one left to his wife having also a heart as a token of a joyful meeting in eternity. After disposing of a "brass flower" worn by him when sheriff of Dublin, he closes his testamentary disposition, which was of inordinate length, by leaving his blessing to all the world.
After his appointment as Bishop of Meath in the year 1623, Archbishop Ussher was living for a time in Finglas, where he occupied probably the court, which appears to have been vacated before then by Sir James Carroll. He is said to have married Phoebe Chaloner very soon after the death of her father, who bequeathed his books to her, and according to tradition her to Ussher, and before his appointment to the see of Meath she had given birth to their only child, afterwards the wife of Sir Timothy Tyrrell. Ussher's letters from Finglas are dated in the spring and summer of 1623, before the close of which year he went to London, and there is at no other time any indication of its being his residence.
Not many years later Colonel Arthur Hill and Sir Edward Bagshawe appear as inhabitants of Finglas. With Ulster, where he raised and equipped during the rebellion a regiment of horse, Colonel Arthur Hill, who was a collateral ancestor of the Marquess of Downshire, was chiefly identified, but with Dublin he had also ties through his marriage first to a daughter of Sir Richard Bolton, the lord chancellor, and secondly to a daughter of Sir William Parsons, the lord justice.
Of Sir Edward Bagshawe little is known until 1624, when he appears as customer of the ports of Dublin, Skerries, Malahide, and Wicklow, but his services to the government must have been considerable, as in 1627 he received knighthood and was given a grant of lands, afterwards known as the manor of Castle Bagshawe, in county Cavan.
According to his own account he tried to reform as customer a state of things in which everyone did as seemed right in their own eyes, and found that the more honest and faithful he became the less he was trusted, until finally he was so misjudged as to be committed to Dublin Castle. Thence he emerged with less zeal and more discretion to become in Strafford's parliament member for the borough of Banagher, and under the Commonwealth, during which in 1657 his death took place, a commissioner of the revenue.
[Two tombstones in the ruined church of Finglas bear these inscriptions:- "Underneath this stone lie interred the bodies of George Ryves, late doctor of laws, judge of the prerogative court, and one of the masters of the chancery-in-ordinary, and (one) of the sons of Sir William Ryves, Knight, who departed this life the 27th day of March, 1647, and of Mary and Dorothy, two of the daughters of the said George and Anne, his wife, one of the daughters of Sir Edward Bagshawe of Finglas, Knight, which said Mary and Dorothy died in January next following." - "Hereunder lieth the body of Sir Edward Bagshawe, Knight, who departed this life the 6th day of October, 1657."]
From the Rebellion to the Restoration.
After the outbreak of the Rebellion in October, 1641, Colonel Arthur Hill's house was seized by Luke Netterville, one of the chief leaders of the insurgents' army, and a well-known figure in Dublin from the scarlet waistcoat and blue plush coat trimmed with fur, which he always affected. Under his orders the lead on the roof was used to make bullets; and when a few days before Christmas a force of 500 foot on Finglas, they found the insurgents well supplied with ammunition.
Although aided by a party of horse, commanded by Ormonde, they could not themselves overcome the resistance, and it was not until 1,000 foot and two troops of horse, under the command of Sir Charles Coote, arrived from Santry, whither they had been simultaneously despatched, that the insurgents were put to flight.
Some depositions relating to Finglas at that time tell of a charge of complicity in the Rebellion made against a Protestant residing at Jamestown in consequence of a conversation in the village inn, which was then owned by John England. Other depositions impute much pillage to the insurgents, including Luke Netterville's chief lieutenant, Captain Laurence Rowan, who was a friar, the Longs of Abbotstown, and Freinds of Dunsink and they tell also of the suffering of Edward Capper, who lost his life; William Baily, who was driven from his mill at Finglas Bridge; and Robert Benison, who was despoiled of his cows, which were of an English breed, as well as his horses and cars.
After the dispersion of Luke Netterville's force, Finglas did not for a long time recover its serenity. Several houses in it are said to have been burned by the English army, and in the years that followed the clash of arms was often heard there. In the winter of 1646 the lands of Cruiserath are mentioned as raided by the confederate army; and in the summer of 1647 the village was occupied by English cavalry, who intercepted while there a number of horse that had been raided from Oxmantown Green.
It was at Finglas that in the summer of 1649, before the battle of Rathmines, Ormonde lay with his army for more than a month, expecting each day that Dublin would fall before hint. As one of the besieged wrote, the town was pressed by him very closely, and a "sharp storm" was anticipated. Provisions were vanishing, neither flesh nor fish being procurable, and fortifications were but then being raised.
On the eve of his departure for Rathmines Ormonde wrote to the king that the enemy's horse was mutinous and flocking to him; but before many mere days elapsed the inhabitants of Finglas learned of the rout of his army at Rathmines, and a few weeks later heard of Cromwell's army passing close by on its way to Drogheda.
When the Commonwealth was established, the court, which was valued at �0, was described as a house built of stone, having attached to it a malt-house, kiln, and five tenements, as well as a garden, an orchard, and thirty acres of land.
It was then held under a lease from the Archbishop of Dublin by Dr. Luke Chaloner's widow she was Chaloner's second wife and had been married no less than three times since his death, her husband then being Sir Robert Kennedy, of whom their has been notice in connexion with Esker Parish.
Not far off was Sir Edward Bagshawe's house, also held under the Archbishop of Dublin, and described as of a like value and built of stone to it there was attached a malt-house and stable, as well as a garden, an orchard, a plantation, and 80 acres of land. The buildings were roofed with slate, but are said to have been out of repair. To the west of these premises lay the remains of a house built of stone, to which a garden, an orchard, and 50 acres of land were attached, and which is said to have been the property of Sir Robert King, the ancestor of the Earls of Kingston. It was probably of the court, or of this house, that Colonel Arthur Hill was an occupant.
At Finglas Bridge there were premises which are described as belonging to the Archbishop of Dublin, ''in right of his hierarchy," and which comprised a house built of stone, a malt-house, and a house roofed with thatch, valued at �0, with a mill and stone quarry attached. They were held from the Archbishop by Sir Robert Forth, who was Sir Ambrose Forth's eldest son, and who was their a privy councillor arid officer. He had received the honour of knighthood in 1627 from Viscount Falkland, and appears afterwards in 1638 as sheriff of Dublin and as a member of Strafford 's parliament. By property he was connected with the Kings county and county Cavan, and after the Restoration he acted as a commissioner of the settlement, and was constable of Philipstown.
At Little Cabragh Walter Segrave had been succeeded by his grandson, Henry Segrave, whom as a child he had married to an heiress of tender years, by name, Alice Noble. Henry Segrave had been brought up in close adherence to the Roman Catholic Church and his house was said to be a great resort of "priests, jesuits, and friars."
When the rebellion broke out he was arrested; but although sundry allegations were made against him of sympathy with the insurgents, and ill-tales were told of him in the Swan in Thomas Street, no overt act was proved, and he was soon released. Under the Commonwealth he was forced to leave Cabragh, and shortly before its close he is mentioned as resident in London, and as giving financial aid towards the Restoration?
At Ballygall, where there was a house built of stone, valued at �0 pounds, Walter Ball had been succeeded by his son, Robert Ball, who was like his father sometime mayor of Dublin, and died in 1635 ; and Robert Ball had been succeeded in his turn by his son, William Ball.
The latter, who had been a student at Leyden, was called to the Bar, and became an active member of the House of Commons, in which he represented Kells. He served in 1643 as sheriff of Dublin county, and at the time of his death, which occurred in 1649, was a captain of foot.
Amongst the owners of land in Finglas parish, at the time of the rebellion there appear James Plunkett, of Dunsoghly, who held Kildonan, Balseskin, Coldwinter, and Broghan; Sir James Ware, of Dubber, in Snutry parish, who held Jamestown; Alderman Richard Barry, of Santry, who held Cardiffscastle; Lord Howth, who held Skephubble; Thomas Luttrell, of Luttrellstown, who held Toberburr Robert Dillon, who held Johnstown; and Benedict Arthur, of Much Cabragh, who had property in the village.
During the Commonwealth the Segraves' house at Little Cabragh became the residence of a typical public man of that time, Colonel Sir Hiereme Sankey, D.C.L. All things by turn, and nothing long, Sir Hierome Sankey was constant to no form of faith, of occupation, or of government; and although his memory survives through a conflict of words, he gained in his own day the reputation of one who "would fain live easy with all men."
In religion he is said to have been successively an Anglican, a Presbyterian, an Independent, and an Anabaptist, with a belief in the opinions professed by the present Christian Scientists; in occupation he filled at one time or another the role of a divinity student, of a soldier, of a college don, of an officer, of a legislator, and of a landowner ; and as a subject he submitted successively to the rule of the parliament, of the protector, of the army, and of the king.
He is seen first at Cambridge, where lie was reputed "a boisterous fellow at cudgelling and football-playing"; then he appears in Cheshire and the east of England as a captain in the parliament's army next he is found at Oxford acting as sub-warden of All Souls' College, and introducing, with "apposite speeches and genuflexions," Fairfax and Cromwell for honorary degrees; and within a few months he appears in Ireland serving in the army again with the title of colonel.
In Ireland he became, subsequently, governor of Tipperary and a commissioner for the Connaught transplantations; and, although professing then to he an Anabaptist, he hailed Cromwell on assuming the protectorate as "the chariot and horseman of Israel," and returned himself to Cromwell's first parliament as representative of Waterford and Tipperary.
Soon after he came back from attending it he was taken, as the person best versed in Irish affairs, again to London by the Lord Deputy, Charles Fleetwood; and although it did not exceed four months, his absence was a subject of frequent complaint on the part of Fleetwood's successor, Henry Cromwell.
But he failed to retain Henry Cromwell's confidence, and when six months later Cromwell's second parliament was elected he had to seek a seat in England, where he found one at Marlborough. From that time he was more feared than trusted by Henry Cromwell, and in the attacks which he began to make then on Sir William Petty, and which have made him famous, he was believed by Henry Cromwell to aim at him.
During his conflict with Petty, who tried to smother him with ridicule on account of his belief in faith-healing, he was knighted by Henry Cromwell, presumably in the hope of conciliating him, but afterwards in Richard Cromwell's parliament, in which he represented Woodstock, he delivered a diatribe against Petty that exceeded all his previous efforts.
At that time he was one of Richard Cromwell's most trusted advisers, and prophesied that he would be found to possess a doulbe portion of his father's spirit, but a month later he was foremost in demanding the recall of the long parliament, and by his affection and seasonable services "in brining to the army reinforcements from Ireland he received a seat on the committee of safety.
While in the north of England with the troops which he had brought from Ireland he was reported to have joined Monck, but after the Restoration he is said to have been arrested, and to have been a centre of disaffection in Ireland, where he was rumoured to have been killed. Subsequently, having become reconciled to royal rule, he was appointed by Ormonde to investigate alleged frauds in the Connaught transplantations, and appears to have passed afterwards an uneventful life in Ireland until his death, which occurred in the reign of James the Second.
There is evidence that at the close of the Commonwealth Finglas village was beginning once more to see prosperous days. Extensive repairs to the church were carried out; a stone bridge, which spanned the Finglas stream, was rebuilt, and a new pond, the timber for which cost nine pounds, and a new pair of stocks were provided.
Sir Edward Bagshawe's place was then taken by his son-in-law, Thomas Harrison who was in sympathy with the Puritans, and was active in supporting a Scottish minister and two other residents in the village, Thomas Springham and Thomas Taylor, who was a government surveyor, were prominent as sharers of his views, but a resident at Finglas Bridge, James Settle, appears as an adherent to Anglican worship.
Besides these it is surprising to find in the closing year of the Commonwealth, members of two Roman Catholic families, Luttrell and Segrave, resident in the parish and recognised by the authorities as inhabitants of it.
In the case of the first family there was one representative, Nicholas Luttrell, who was a tituladoe in Finglas village, and in the ease of the second family there were two representatives, Henry Segrave's sons, John and Patrick, who were tituladoes in Finglaswood. About the time of the Restoration, Henry Segrave's death took place, and at Finglaswood, in the following October, his widow, Alice Noble, made her will. In it she-bequeathed to her sons sacramental plate, some of which was in the hands of the priests, and farm stock at Finglaswood to her unmarried daughters, Alice and Elinor, houses called the Saracen's Head and the Horse-shoe, with a horse "to carry them on their journey and up and down"; and to her married daughters, Jane, wife of Benedict Arthur of Much Cabragh, and Barbara, wife of Thomas Luttrell of Luttrellstown, some of her mugs and other jewels.'
From the Restoration to the Revolution.
As soon as royal rule was re-established a great influx of new residents into Finglas parish began, and the village soon attained the proportions of a small town. The most notable new-comers were cavaliers. One of the earliest was Ormonde's fidus Achates, Sir George Lane, afterwards Viscount Lanesborough, who, during the first decade after the Restoration, occupied a home in the village, rated as containing 12 hearths. With Ormonde's fortunes he had become identified first in Ireland in the troublous times that preceded the establishment of the Commonwealth, and afterwards abroad as Ormonde's companion in his long years of exile.
He belonged to an Anglo-Irish family, like most of Ormonde's henchmen, and was a native of Connaught, where his family had been seated for several generations at Tulsk. His father was no less conspicuous than he was in devotion to the royal cause, his zeal having led him to destroy his castle rather than allow it to be of use to the parliament, and. on the Restoration, he was given a baronetcy, while his son, whom Charles the Second had knighted while on the Continent, received various offices of emolument.
At that time Sir George Lane seems to have been obsessed with a desire for wealth, and "a knowing friend " cried out to Pepys cruelly against him for his corruption in selling places in Ormonde's gift.
But about the time that his connexion with Finglas ceased, having lost one wife, and allied himself to a handsome girl of 18, a daughter of the Earl of Dorset, he became equally obsessed with a desire for rank, and first asked for a viscountcy, which Ormonde did not obtain without trouble, and then for an earldom, which was beyond Ormonde's power.'
While Sir George Lane was a resident in the village there came as a tenant of the Segraves to Finglaswood House, then rated for five hearths, another cavalier knight, Sir William Flower, the lieutenant colonel of the regiment of guards that was then raised for Ireland.
From him the Viscounts Aslihrook trace the establishment of their family in this country; but he had been preceded here by another member of his family, Sir George Flower, who distinguished himself in the campaigns at the close of Elizabeths reign, and was governor of Waterford under two of her successors. Although born at Chepstow, Sir William Flower passed probably his early life in Ireland, as the Irish language was known to him; and soon after the rebellion he was elected a member for the borough of Ballinakill.
At that time he was a lieutenant in the army, and when Dublin was surrendered to the parliament, he appears with the rank of lieutenant-colonel amongst the officers deported to Chester. Here he was confined for four years; but he secured then his release and re-employment in the army as commander of Charles Fleetwood's regiment, which he brought from Ireland to England, and recruited at Southampton.
Afterwards he was selected by the officers of the army to champion their cause in the distribution of land in Ireland, and at the same time as Sir Hierome Sankey came into conflict with Sir William Petty, who describes him as the flower of his opponents, with a conscience and stomach equally well-leathered, and a desire to make "two pence a peck of his ashes."
With Charles Fleetwood he was removed in the time of chaos from the army, and probably rendered important services to the royal cause in the following winter, when he is found joining with Sir Harress Waller in seizing Dublin Castle.
Within a few months of the Restoration he received from the king's own hand the honour of knighthood, and two years later he was summoned to London to bring over the regiment of guards, which was raised in England, and gained much applause by marching at their head to the port of embarkation on the Dee In Dublin, where the guards were constantly quartered, he became a great personage, and the freedom of this city was conferred upon him.
At the same time he represented in parliament the borough of St. Canice, and some years later he was given a seat on the privy council, and appointed a commissioner of appeal in the excise.
In an inscription on a monument to his memory in Finglas church, the principal military service attributed to him in later life was in connexion with the concentration of a force in Ulster to overawe Monmouth's followers in Scotland, and the only other occasion on which he appears exercising command outside Dublin was also in Ulster, 10 years before, when the guards were called upon to suppress the mutiny of the Carrickfergus garrison.
In character he was evidently the best of good fellows, enjoying cheerful company and the pleasures of the table, and retaining by these attributes friends in England, notwithstanding that he was not "an able scribe." To Finglas, where his wife, one of the Weldons, was buried, and to Chepstow, where his grandmother's tomb was an object of his care, he shows in his will much devotion, and to his family and servants he is seen by his bequests to have been an affectionate relation and kind master.
As a neighbour at Finglas Sir William Flower had for some years the major of the guards, Sir John Stephens, who was a relation of his own, and who married a sister of his wife. Like Sir George Lane, Jack Stephens, as he was called, long and faithfully followed Ormonde's fortunes, and thereby suffered imprisonment at the hands of the confederates in Ireland, and of the parliamentarians at Chester.
While an exile he received at Bruges, from Charles the Second, his knighthood, and after the Restoration, when he secured a seat in parliament for the borough of Fethard, he was appointed governor of Dublin Castle, and given grants of land and an office in the excise. but he did not live long to enjoy them, or a privy councillorship which was added; and he seems to have been unfortunate in the loss of his eyesight, and in the failure of various ventures, including the manufacture of earthenware and the ownership of a privateer.
Not long before Sir John Stephen's death, which occurred in 1671, there was buried at Finglas, Sir Daniel Treswell, the commander of the battle-axe corps, which was raised for Ireland together with the guards.
[In the churchyard at Finglas there is a tombstone with the inscription :-Here under lieth the body of Sir Daniel Treswell, knight and baronet, who faithfully served his Majesty in honourable employments during the whole war in England and Ireland and died the 24th day of May, 1670" and near it there is another tombstone to the memory of his wife's nephew: Hic jacet Ricardus Plowden Treswell cujus anima requiescat in pace qui obiit decimo quarto die Augusti anno domini 1672."]
As the son of one of the Heralds he appears first in the train of a distinguished foreigner proceeding to Geneva, and afterwards he is found serving as an officer in Ireland, where he was taken prisoner by the confederates and tried for his life by the parliamentarians.
As one who was known to the king, and had been "always right," he was given after the Restoration, in addition to the battle-axe command, a company of foot and the office of surveyor of woods south of the Trent, which had been held by his father and brother.
Five years later there fell to his lot a baronetcy and the representation of Downpatrick - honours which he owed to Ormonde, whose kinswoman, one of the Plowdens of Plowden, he had married; and, subsequently, he was inspired by these favours, in spite of advancing years, to volunteer for service in the first Dutch war.
At the court, which was rated for seven hearths, there was residing after the Restoration another officer, whose family had been identified more with the cause of the parliament than with that of the king, Colonel Robert Bridges. Of his military service nothing is known beyond the fact that he assisted in taking Dublin Castle from Sir Hardress Waller; but according to a monument in Finglas Church he was a man of virtuous deeds, whose worthy example deserved to be held in perpetual remembrance. In addition there was then residing in Sir Edward Bagshawe's house, which was rated as containing 12 hearths and a kiln, Captain Richard Phillips, who had served in the army after the rebellion, and who had been subsequently connected with the militia in Dublin, of which he was sometime sheriff; and after the death of Sir John Stephens there was numbered amongst Finglas residents his successor, Major Edward Billingsley.
Before Charles the Second had been many months restored to the throne, Cabragh House, which was rated as containing 11 hearths and a kiln, was given back to John Segrave, who as " an innocent papist" recovered all his property.
Ballygall, which was rated as containing six hearths, was occupied temporarily in succession by Hugh Broxton and Oliver Lambert but about 10 years after the Restoration its owner, Squire Robert Ball, who was the heir of William Ball, came to reside in it.
At Finglas Bridge, James Settle [A marble monument in the modern church of Finglas records the deaths of William Settle in 1650, his second son James in 1666 at the age of 45, his wife Elizabeth in 1689 at the age of 65, and other members of the family. It bears a coat of arms.]; at Jamestown, James Ellis; at Broghan, Richard Herne; and at Johnstown, William Smith, occupied houses rated for two hearths each and at Balseskin, John Turpoole occupied one rated for three hearths.
In the village there were several large houses besides those mentioned: one rated for seven hearths, another for six, another for four, and two for three and during the first decade of Charles the Second's reign the occupants of them included Thomas Hookes, who was an alderman of Dublin, Thomas Tucker, Christopher Deyton, Samuel Appleby, Charles Wagstaffe, William Townsend, Richard Grey, and James Kennedy.
Towards the close of Charles the Second's reign the convenience of the village as a sporting centre led Viscount Blessington to send hounds to be kennelled in it, and probably many sportsmen were attracted thither. An inn with the sign of the Red Lion was then one of the landmarks; and two brewers, James Spooner and Thomas Prossor, did a sufficient trade to necessitate the employment of a number of horses.
In the vestry local needs were constantly discussed, and the corporate life of the inhabitants is seen in schemes to ameliorate the condition of the poor, including the support of destitute widows, the establishment of a hospital and a workhouse, and the provision of coats, which wore to be made of blue cloth and furnished with badges. Besides, education was not neglected, and part of the church was used as a school in which boys were taught Latin.
Before the accession of James the Second the parish received a notable addition to its residents in Colonel Roger Moore, who is found then occupying at Johnstown the best house in the parish. In the Ireland of his day Moore, whose military rank was due to a connexion with the militia, was known as an able financier, and in that capacity he bad large transactions with the Treasury, and was an official of the board of first fruits.
By Primate Narcissus Marsh he was regarded as a sound adviser, and by Archbishop King, who in his time held the rectory of Finglas, he was reckoned a man of great worth. Under the rule of James the Second Archbishop King had him as a fellow-prisoner in Dublin Castle, and the Archbishop was subsequently often a visitor at Johnstown.
Moore, who was a member of the Raheenduff family, and represented for some time Mullingar in parliament, married a lady who was a granddaughter of the fifth Earl of Inchiquin and a daughter of Anthony Stoughton, clerk of the Irish Star Chamber.
He had many sons as well as daughters, for whom he found husbands in a bishop, a vicar-general, and a fellow. Besides Colonel Moore, one of the few members of the Synge family who did not attain to the episcopal bench, Samuel Synge, Dean of Kildare, became a householder in the parish before the close of the reign of Charles the Second, as also did two Dublin civic worthies, Alderman Sir Abel Ram and Alderman Philip Castleton; an uncle by marriage of Swift, James Springham; and a member of a family well known then in official life, William Franklin, who had married the widow of James Settle, of Finglas Bridge.
From the Revolution to the Union.
To the inhabitants of Finglas, largely Protestant as they were, the reign of James the Second must have been a time of trial ; but it vanished as a bad dream when, on Saturday, July 5, 1690, the victor of the Boyne with his army encamped in their midst.
As he had advanced by the road through Swords, where be had lain on the nights of Thursday and Friday, William diverged from the direct road to Dublin in coming to Finglas, and his doing so was no doubt attributable to knowledge of Ormonde's encampment there 40 years before. During the following three days the inhabitants of Finglas witnessed all the panoply of war, and especia;ly on the first, when thanksgiving was offered in St. Patrick's Cathedral.
"This day being Sunday," wrote from the camp at Finglas one who had seen foreign Courts, his Majesty rode in great splendour to the cathedral, where all services of the church were solemnly performed the Bishop of Meath and the Bishop of Limerick were there, and Doctor King, an excellent man and a great sufferer, preached much to the purpose; the old mayor and alderman did the honours of the city, and great were the acclamations of the people as our king, who looked and appeared this day better than ever I saw him, returned by the castle; he rode in to see the castle, but did not alight."
Three days later, on Wednesday morning, William broke up the camp at Finglas, and in order "to look towards Munster," moved with his army to Crumlin, as related in the history of that place.
Although a writer with local connexions has tried to secure for a house near Finglas Bridge the distinction of having been William's abode, it is probable that he occupied while at Finglas a movable wooden house which had been designed for his use in Ireland by Sir Christopher Wren.
By tradition Finglaswood House has also been designated, amongst many others, as a resting place of James in his flight from the Boyne; and ramparts in the village have been associated with the name of William. But such hours of rest as James secured on the night after the Boyne are known to have been spent in Dublin Castle and the ramparts are hardly such as would have had a hasty origin, the southern one, which is 93 feet long by 12 feet wide, having a stone face, now propped by later buttresses, and the one to the north having at its western end a vaulted chamber.
During the reign of William there appears at Ballygall as tenant of Squire Ball, one of the chief justices, Sir John Hely, who died at an early age, in 1701, while on circuit at Ennis. He was an Englishman, with Wiltshire connexion, and was sent direct from the English bar after the battle of the Boyne to fill the post of chief baron in the Irish exchequer, from which five years later he was transferred to the more easy place of chief justice of the common pleas.
To kinship to William's secretary-at-war, George Clarke, be owed probably his appointments, and as a member of the Philosophical Society, and a sound churchman, he gained in Ireland the warm friendship of Archbishop King and many others.
Besides Sir John Hely, Finglas had in the reign of William another well-known resident in Sir William Flower's nephew and heir, Captain Thomas Flower, whose son was created Lord Castledurrow. He had served under his uncle in the guards, and showed his cavalier instincts in fighting a duel with one of Sir Hierome Sankey's kinsmen, for which, as it happened in the reign of James the Second, he was liable to the severest penalty. But he escaped with no more than nominal punishment through his father-in-law Sir John Temple's influence with Tyrconnell, who, like all the world, spoke well of Sir John, and consented to be entertained at Palmerston before the courtmartial. Within a few years of their marriage Captain Flower lost Sir John's daughter, and when living at Finglas he lost a second wife, a daughter of Colonel John Jeffreys, the master of Kilmainham Hospital. From his will it appears that be had also lost a daughter, whose wish that the Finglas poor should be remembered he did not forget; and that his chief friends were Nicholas Plunkett of Dunsoghly, Dr. John Hartstongue, Bishop of Ossory, and the Finglas brewer, James Spooner, amongst whom he divided his horses.
After his death, which occurred in 1700, in accordance with his uncle's and his own wishes, an elaborate mural monument was erected at Finglas to their memory. It is of the Corinthian order, having pillars resting on corbels with cherubs' faces, and a rounded pediment surmounted by an urn from which a gilt flame issues, and which has on either side the figure of a child. These children are not very skilfully sculptured, but the faces on the corbels are well cut and realistic.
[The monument, which is in the modern church, bears the inscription:- M. S. Gulielmi Flower, equities aurati, qui tribunus militum sub Carolo Primo partes regis et fortunas labantes fide illibata, infracta virtute, ad ultimum propugnavit. Restaurata regia familia, Ormonius coeptorum ejus testis, nec immemor illi, si non quod meruit, quod tamen ipse cupivit virtutis praemium praetorianorum militum propraefectom dedit ut fidei etiam spectatissimas uberior esset honos eum in sanctioris concillii album ascripsit, et copiarum in Ultoniam pridem missarum cum a factione Monumethensi pericula in Scotia gliscerunt sub Granardiae comite praefectum fecit; mortem obiit 10 die Junii A.D. 1681. Monumentum hoc sibi et uxori Franciscae e Weldenorum gente a se designatum statuendum curavit, Thomas Flower, armiger, ejus a fratre nepos, qui mortem obiit 22 die Junii 1700, et hic requiescit." Beneath the monument, on a tablet, the deaths of William Lord Castledurrow in 1746, and Henry Viscount Ashbrook in 1752, are recorded.]
Some years later there was erected another mural monument of a similar design to the memory of Colonel Robert Bridges. It has five urns on the summit standing on the left a child holds a trumpet with the word "resurgent" on the banner, and rests its foot upon a skull, and on the right a child holds also a trumpet, and rests its foot upon an hour-glass, while weeping. Above a crest there is wreathed a long ribbon with the initials of Colonel Bridges, his wife, and four of his sons.
[The inscription on this monument, which is also in the modern church, records the deaths of Colonel Robert Bridges in 1675 in his 63rd year, his wife Mary in 1698 in her 80th year, and nine of their children, and states that the monument was erected in 1717 by their only surviving daughter and child. It bears a crest (a blackamoor's head), and arms (argent three water bougets, sable, a crescent for difference, and bordure ermine), and was made in London by Andrew Baker.]
At the close of William's reign a recreation green for Finglas was projected, and the vestry consented to the site of the village pound, which stood upon a bill, being levelled and planted with trees for the purpose. The projector, who was one of the brewers, Philip Presser, appears to have been a great improver, but the vestry did not allow the pound to he transferred to a new site, on "the big green" near Cardiff's Bridge, until he contributed to the poor fund and covenanted that the recreation ground should be always open to the public and not enclosed.
In his design Prossor had in view no doubt the May sports for which Finglas was celebrated throughout the 18th century, and which enjoyed in the reign of "good" Queen Anne much popularity. In "The Smock Race at Finglas," a poet of that time tells how at the bagpipes' sound, the visitors from Dublin - the butcher's wife, the apprentice, and the sempstress - deserted the village inn, and flocked with the rustics to the green, to see a race for the fair sex, in which Oonah, the pride of the mill, won not only a smock but also a husband in Felim, than whom
no lovelier swain,
Incidentally the poet pictures the country magistrate administering indifferent justice and checking profanity in the case of all but his own kin, and refers to the petticoats of red cloth with green trimmings, the russet gowns, the loose mantles, and the snowy kerchief which the Finglas women donned in honour of May-day and the feast of St. Patrick. By Dunton, Finglas is described at the close of the 17th century as a fine town, with a pleasant village called Cabragh, shaded by stately trees, in close proximity.
The school continued to prosper, and enjoyed the patronage of Archbishop King, who placed in it the sons of one episcopal brother. and recommended it for the grandson of another. As masters of it, in 1696, Thomas Williams, in 1697, George Teebay, and in 1707, George Smith were licensed. As still further denoting the residential character of the place then, a bequest towards providing a public clock and fountain may be mentioned, and also a proposal to found a public library.
During the reign of Queen Anne the chief resident was the head of the episcopate, Narcissus Marsh, who occupied Colonel Roger Moore's house, Johnstown.
[It has been stated that Archbishop Marsh resided is a house known as Violet Hill, but the authority which is given does not confirm the statement. See Stokes's "Worthies of the Irish Church p 89, and compare Marsh's Library MS. Z. 4.4. 8, which describes the Archbishops abode as an old house at Drumcondra. Besides, the fact that papers belonging to him were found in a house does not prove that he resided in it.]
In character Narcissus Marsh, who filled in succession the archbishoprics of Cashel, Dublin, and Armagh, was essentially a bibliophile, and although reputed a profound scholar, he is remembered now, not as author of a great work, but as the founder of the library of St. Sepulchre.
For the administrative duties of his ecclesiastical office he seems to have been little fitted, and still less for those of a lord justice, a position which lie filled more than once, and in virtue of which he is seen equipping and dispatching troops for foreign service.
In the establishment of his library he met with opposition from some of his brethren, and while the bill for the library's foundation was before the House of Lords, his want of private means, and expenditure of his official income for such a purpose, caused unpleasant criticism. To Finglas Archbishop Marsh appears to have been long a visitor, and appears there when Archbishop of Dublin as a subscriber to church improvements and an attendant at the vestry. At Johnstown he was then probably a guest or temporary tenant, and after Colonel Moore's death in 1705 he used it as one of his residences until his own life end.
At Little Cabragh in the beginning of Anne's reign there is found John Segrave, who as a loyal Roman Catholic was licensed to carry a sword and fire-arms. He is believed to have built the house that now stands on the lands.
It contains on the upper floor a hiding chamber for a priest, from which it was possible to descend through a vertical passage in the wall to the ground-floor. It was also remarkable for some fine wood panelling. An exquisitely carved Chimney-piece from one of the rooms is now on loan in the National Museum of Ireland. It is in style late Jacobean. On the upper part there are carved the arms of the Segraves of Killeglan, quartered with those of the family of Wafer, and bearing on an escutcheon of pretence the arms of the family of O'Neill.
From the family of Wafer the Segraves derived Killeglan, and the wife of John Segrave was an O'Neill, a daughter of Sir Neill O'Neill, the second baronet of the Killelagh line. To John Segrave there succeeded his son Henry Segrave, who was granted at the close of Anne's reign the privilege of carrying arms. In the village the chief residents were kinsmen of Lord Santry, James Barry, and Paul Barry who was married to James Barry's sister. They were respectively nephew and son of Matthew Barry of Rathcoole, and held jointly one of his offices, the clerkship of the pipe.
Besides these there are found during Anne's reign, Isaac Manly, the controller of the post office, who figures in the Journal to Stella; Captain Godfrey Richards, whose terror of the sea is seen from a will made before crossing the channel; Thomas Everard, and his sons James and Benjamin, who enjoyed in the church the nearest seat to the altar; John Heath, whose library and collections of shells and stones and of coins and medals were bequeathed to Trinity College; William Thornton, whose daughter married the last Lord Santry; and Christopher Busby, an eminent shoemaker of Dublin and a centenarian.
During the later part of the reign of George the First the parish probably numbered amongst its residents the Lord Chancellor, Thomas Wyndham, who on his creation as a peer assumed the title of Baron Wyndham of Finglas. He was a member of the Wiltshire family, and on his retirement from the bench he went to live under the shade of Salisbury Cathedral, in which his body rests under a stately monument sculptured by Michael Rysbrack.
In its school he had received his early education, and from its school he had passed to Wadham College at Oxford and to Lincoln's Inn, whence in 1705 he had been called to the English bar. To this country he came in 1724, as chief justice of the common pleas; in it he was promoted in 1726 to the woolsack, with a grant five years later of a peerage; and from it he took in 1789 his final departure.
Amongst other residents in George the First's reign there are found Boyle Moore, a son of Colonel Moore, who probably went to reside at Johnstown in 1718 when it became vacant on Archbishop Marsh's death, and a son of Squire Robert Ball, Captain John Ball, who appears to have maintained a connexion with Finglas, although the seat of his family was moved to Drogheda from Ballygall. Besides these there is mention of John Jephson, a king's counsel; the Honourable Ignatius Nugent, a brother of Lord Riverston Sir Nathaniel Whitwell, who received his knighthood at the court of St. James's; Paul Barry, a son of the resident of that name previously mentioned; Lewis Layfield, a well-known Dublin actor; Alderman William Empson ; and Phineas Ferneley.
After George the Second had ascended the throne a house on the west side of Finglas church was advertised for sale. It was recommended to the public as being in the best air near Dublin and commanding a view of the Phoenix Park and Dublin Bay, and was described as large and well-built, with four very good rooms on each floor and a spacious hall and staircase.
In its garden there was also a banqueting-house, with a vault beneath, and attached to it staNing for six horses and a coach-house, with a loft capable of holding 100 loads of hay. Horses were then kept by the inhabitants not only for the purpose of the journey to Dublin but also for sport, and an advertisement from Layfield, then taking the part of the grave-digger in "Hamlet," tells of the loss at Finglas of a cob, which stalked very well for fowling.
Some years later Finglas appears in the autumn as the scene of a race-meeting, which lasted for five days, and at which, in a race for Irish-bred horses, Thomas Burroughs is mentioned as a competitor with a mare called Cavan Lass. Besides being a resort of those on pleasure bent, Finglas village was used for the sale of country produce, and under a grant of George the First to the Archbishop of Dublin, a market on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and a fair in April and September, were held.
The school continued to flourish, and had as master in 1747 the Rev. Arthur Connolly and in 1756 the Rev. Matthew Hemmings. But in the eyes of Dublin citizens Finglas was regarded as a place of rural delights a Dublin poet of that day sings of the pleasant Cabragh groves, in which he found "a calm and lovely seat on his retirement from the wicked city to cultivate the harmless muse," and in Finglas village "The Sign of the Garter," and at Finglasbridge "The Castle of Comfort," offered refreshment to the wayfarer.
In George the Second's reign the principal resident in the parish was John Maxwell, the first Lord Farnham, who was raised to the peerage while knight of the shire for the county Cavan. At the time of his death, which occurred in 1768, he resided in a mansion known as Farnham House, which he held under Viscount Ashbrook, Captain Flower's grandson, but while a commoner he had occupied the house in the village owned by James Barry, whose daughter he had married.
In it, in her husband's absence, she is seen entertaining Dean and Mrs. Delany at her own little dinner, when the guests took their choice between turkey, chicken, and pigeon, and beef, mutton, and venison pasty; not to speak of carps and mushrooms, and eight baskets of fruit.
Next door to the Maxwells, Mrs. Delany's great friends, the Hon. Mrs. Francis Hamilton and her sister, Miss Forth, were then residing. To Finglas Mrs. Hamilton had come on account of the school, which was thought suitable for her son, although a grandson of the Earl of Abercorn, and destined originally for Eton ; and at Delville she had become, as an accomplished painter of flowers and insects and skilful embroiderer, a welcome guest.
At that time Little Cabragh was occupied by Neill Segrave, who had married a sister of Miss Ambrose, Lord Chesterfield's dangerous Papist ; and another house in the parish afforded a country residence for the fifth Earl of Droglieda, who was drowned in 1758 while returning from England to Ireland.
Besides these the residents included Captain George Maxwell, a kinsman of Lord Franham; William Tenison and Thomas Tenison, Dean Delany's adversaries in a long litigation about the property of his first wife, who was their sister-in-law; and Thomas Tenison 's sons-in-law, James Edwards, and the Hon. and Rev. Richard Henrry Roper, a son of Lord Teynham.
After the accession of George the Third, Ballygall appears in the occupation of the Rev. William Darley and Johnstown in that of Robert French, an ancestor of Lord de Freyne, who, after representing for nearly twenty years the borough of Jamestown, was raised to the bench as a justice of the common pleas.
At Finglaswood House there appears Thomas Savage, who established there a tannery; at Jamestown, William Odlum; at Finglasbridge, Charles Vipont ; at Cardiffsbridge, William Rathborne; and at Kilreesk, William Swan, while in the village there are found the Honorable Clotworthy Rowley, Edward Lady, Thomas Towers, and John Ball.
In the early years of George the Third's reign, St. Patrick's Well at Finglas was exploited by an adventurer, who posed as a Turk, under the name of Dr. Achmet, but who was found by a fair Delilah to be a plain Irishman, Patrick Joyce of Kilkenny. In a pamphlet, published in 1769, entitled "A Succinct Narrative of the Virtues of St. Patrick's Well at Finglas in the Cure of Scorbutic Complaints," Dr. Achmet issued affidavits from his patients testifying to the life-giving properties of its waters, and invited the public to join him in bringing them into use with "taste and elegance," and in making Finglas a rival of Montpelier, then the great Continental resort.2
During the later part of the 18th century the court gave place to Fortwilliam, known in recent times as the residence of the Rev. John William Stubbs, Senior Fellow of Trinity College, and author of "The History of Dublin University," and now as the residence of his son, Mr. William Cotter Stubbs. The site was purchased by one of Dr. Stubbs's ancestors from the representatives of Dean Synge, and in the later part of the eighteenth century Fortwilliam was the residence of Dr. Stubbs's grandfather, Robert Stubbs, who died in 1799 while serving as an officer in the Nethercross Yeomaury.
At Little Cabragh, on his death, in 1777, Neill Segrave was succeeded by his eldest son, John Segrave, and thence the remains of the latter, who was colonel of a volunteer corps, were removed six years later for interment in St. James's churchyard, "with all the military honour of war." Their place at Cabragh was then taken by the Right Hon. Denis Daly, the first Lord Dunsandle's father, who in Grattan's parliament had few rivals as a speaker ; and after Daly's premature death in 1791, the celebrated John Toler, Earl of Norbury, chief justice of the common pleas, appears in possession of the Segrave house.
Before then Finglas had lost its popularity as a place of residence, and early in the next century an English traveller says that its name was seldom mentioned. But the May sports rivalled at that time Donnybrook Fair as an attraction for the populace, and although in 1788 they were in danger of extinction, they survived for over 50 years, their continuance being due to the efforts of the celebrated pamphleteer, Watty Cox, aided by two local heroes, Barnett Shew and Bryan Maguire, a noted fire-eater.
The ancient church of Finglas, which is now a ruin, comprised, as will be seen from the plan, a nave, with an aisle on its southern side, and a chancel, and was entered through a vaulted porch on its northern side. In the churchyard there stands a carved Celtic cross, its height being seven feet and its width across the arms being five feet. According to tradition it was overthrown by Cromwell's army, or removed to avoid that fate; and a century ago, on search being made for it, it was discovered buried not far from its present site.
With the Celtic monastery, for which Finglas was famous, no less than five saints commemorated in the martyrologies are identified: St. Canice, who died in 598, and whose festival is October 11; St. Flann, whose festival is January 21; St. Nec, whose festival is January 27; St. Dubhlitir, who died in 796, and whose festival is May 15; and St. Faelchu who died in 758, and whose Festival is September 24.
St. Dubhlitir is said to have held the position of abbot of Finglas, and had as successor Flann, son of Ceallach, who died in 812; Fearghus of Mahera, who died in 814; and Cuimneach, who died in 823. In addition to the title of abbot, Flann, son of Ceallach, is recorded to have been also a bishop, scribe, and anchorite; and amongst others having the title of bishop and identified with Finglas, there are found Caencomhrach, who died in 791; Bran, who died in 837; and Robbartach, who died in 865 ; the last two also bearing the designation of scribe.
When Archbishop John Comyn founded in 1190 the collegiate church of St. Patrick, Finglas was constituted its fifth prebend, and when his successor, Archbishop Henry de Loundres, changed in 1219 the collegiate into a cathedral establishment, Finglas was assigned to the chancellor of the cathedral as part of his corps. Together with Finglas, there was given to the chancellor of the cathedral three chapels then annexed to Finglas, namely, the chapel of Donaghmore or St. Margaret, of St. Bridget of the Ward, and of St. Nicholas of Artane.
Before the foundation of the cathedral Elias de Muta, or Harold, as Archbishop Alen calls him, is mentioned as parson of Finglas; and at the time of the foundation of the cathedral Thomas de Castello, who became the first chancellor, held the prebend.
Of the condition of Finglas Church in mediaeval times nothing is known, and of the clergy who officiated in it no record has been preserved. Its rectors, the chancellors of St Patrick's, were too much occupied with other preferments and business to pay attention to the spiritual welfare of a country parish, and are only mentioned as drawing the fruits of the prebend.
There is indication that in the early part of the 14th century the church was regarded as a convenient place to execute legal transfers, as in 1836, on Sunday, November 25, the owner of Dunsoghly is found perfecting a deed at Finglas ; and towards the close of the fourteenth century, in 1474 and 1475, the church of St. Canice, the abbot, at Finglas is designated by Alice, wife of Patrick Russell, and Thomas Finglas, as the place of their interment.
Shortly before the Reformation, Finglas and its three chapels were served by five chaplains; and at the time of the dissolution of St. Patrick's Cathedral the possessions of the chancellor at Finglas comprised, as well as a fort, two messuages, a garden, a haggard, 18 acres of land, and the tithes which were then leased to various persons in the Finglas neighbourhood.
During the reign of Queen Mary the chancellor of St. Patrick's was indicted as rector of Finglas for non-residence before a jury on which two of the parishioners sat and in George Carey's will there is reference to a picture of St. Canice in the church.
After the accession of Queen Elizabeth, in 1567, the appointment as vicar or curate of Samuel Mason, who had shortly before read his recantation, is mentioned ; and in 1597 the precinct of the court, "where a pigeon house standeth," and other property were leased by the Careys, to Gabriel Cornwall, as vicar of Finglas.
At the beginning of the 16th century the chancellorship of St. Patrick's was held for 15 years by the illustrious James Ussher; and in his time a vicarage was permanently established by the assignment for its endowment of the rector's glebe and a portion of the tithes.
It is said that Ussher preached constantly in the church, and the parishioners were evidently not unknown to him, as he learned from Sir Christopher Plunkett, of Dunsoghly, that a life of St. Canice had at one time been amongst the possessions of Finglas church; but from the visitations of his time it appears that a curate was constantly employed by him, and that Edward Lee, who held the office, was a master of arts and a preacher.
While Ussher held the rectory, in 1615, the church is returned as in good order; and 15 years later, in 1630, it is said to have been in "very good repair and decency," and to have been attended by a large congregation, the number of communicants at Easter being no less than 150.
The vicarage was then held by Robert Wilson, a bachelor of divinity, who was also dean of Ferns and prebendary of Donoughmore in St. Patrick's. He appears to have been chiefly resident at Finglas, where he is seen celebrating marriages and obtaining licences for his parishioners to eat meat during Lent, and where he suffered great loss at the time of the rebellion.. On his death, in 1642, the place of vicar, as well as of rector, was filled by the chancellor of St. Patrick's, the Honourable Ambrose Aungier, whose father, as master of the rolls in Ireland, was created Baron Aungier, and whose son became the first Earl of Longford of the Aungier creation.
During the years that followed the church became probably more and more derelict, and the roof began to leak and the windows were broken. But three years before the Restoration, in 1657, at Easter, the parishioners awoke to their responsibilities, and at "a public meeting of the greater number of the Protestant inhabitants" it was resolved that the church should be restored. New gutters were provided, and the windows were re-glazed; and then in true Puritan style the interior was "stopped, plastered, and whitewashed," and a pulpit, and a great and a little seat, for strangers and the minister's family, were provided. For the position of minister in the spring of 1658 a Scotch presbyter, James Levingston, of Dunblane, was nominated, and he was licensed by the State to preach the Gospel at Finglas until further order, "his knowledge, tolerance, and experience of the work of grace" having given every satisfaction.
At the Easter vestry that followed, in spite of some dissension, further preparations were made for his reception by providing an hour-glass and "fair iron branch" to fasten it to the pulpit, and by receiving a pulpit cushion from Mrs. Anne Richardson, as well as by arranging for the recasting of the bell, and safe keeping of "the utensils," which included the communion plate.
Within a year of the Restoration, in the opening months of 1661, John Power was collated to the vicarage, and a year later, in the spring of 1662, the Archbishop of Dublin visited the church with his vicar-general and his registrar, and expunged the entry in the vestry-book relating to the appointment of James Levingston as "derogatory to the ecclesiastical canon."
On Power's death, which followed quickly, in 1663, William Hill, a doctor of divinity, and a classical scholar of some note, succeeded to the vicarage. At Oxford, of which he was an alumnus, he had been a fellow of Merton College, and afterwards he had been a schoolmaster at Sutton Coldfield, and had practised as a physician in London.
From London he had migrated to Dublin in 1652 as master of St. Patrick's Free School, and in 1660 he had been appointed master of the City Free School, where he is said to have had the great Duke of Marlborough as his pupil. Like Power he did not long enjoy his preferment at Finglas, with which he held the prebend of Castleknock, in St. Patrick's Cathedral, being, in the autumn of 1667, carried off, when not 50 years of age, with his wife and son, by fever.
While Power held the vicarage the southern aisle of the church was assigned for the purposes of a school, and separated from the church, and in it William Hill, who probably was attracted to Finglas partly by the prospect, taught gentlemen's children. In Hill's time the services of the church were, however, not neglected, and the vestry provided for the church a Bible and two copies of the Book of Common Prayer, as well as holly and ivy at Christmas, and rushes at the other festivals. The linen was also washed, the plate scoured, and the church cleaned, and the church-floor levelled and the churchyard fenced.
A few years after Hill's death the church and school-house were new-ceiled and glazed, and the chancel flagged and provided with rails round the Communion table; and, ten years later, there was still larger expenditure, to the amount of nearly �0, upon them.
After Hill's death in 1667, the vicarage, as well as the rectory, had been once more held by the chancellor of St. Patrick's, who was then Peter Manby, celebrated for his conversion to the Roman Catholic religion when Dean of Derry.
On his resignation of the chancellorship, in 1671, his successor, John Worth, afterwards Dean of St. Patrick's, became also vicar, but was assisted by a curate, Henry Gonne. To Worth, in 1678, another chancellor succeeded as vicar, Philip Barber; but his death took place within a year, and, in 1679, Robert Stannard, who was then a minor canon of St. Patrick's, and afterwards Archdeacon of Lismore, was appointed to the vicarage.
Two years later, in the winter of 1681, Samuel Foley, who had been a fellow of Trinity College, and became Bishop of Down and Conner, succeeded Stannard as vicar. For the first eight years that Foley was at Finglas, the chancellorship was held by William Ring, but, on the appointment of the latter as Dean of St. Patrick's, Foley succeeded him as chancellor, and held both the chancellorship and the vicarage until 1694, when he was promoted to the episcopal bench.
While at Finglas, Foley was assisted in the position of curate by Ezekiel Burridge, who was afterwards vicar-general of Dublin, and he and his curate married two sisters, daughters of Colonel Roger Moore, of Johnstown.
At the first Faster vestry after Foley's appointment to the vicarage, the parochial organization and requisites for the church were brought under review. As a result "a decent font of black and white marble" was procured, the king's arms were set up over the chancel entrance, and the aisles were flagged with "broad-stones."
Under Foley's successor the improvement of the church continued. A school-house was built, and the south-aisle restored to its original purpose, handsome plate which is still in use was presented through the munificence of Lady Stephens and Thomas Springham, and sonic years later an organ was provided.
[Two dishes and a salver bear inscriptions recording their presentation by Lady Stephens and the date 1705; and two flagons bear inscriptions recording their presentationby Thomas Springham and the date 1696.]
To Foley there succeeded in 1695 as vicar, Dillon Ashe, who lives still as a friend of Swift, and for more than twenty years, until his death in 1716, Finglas remained in his charge. [His brother Thomas Ashe, resided for a time at Ballygall. (Journal to Stella.)] By him a vicarage was built on the site of the fort, and it was at his expense that the organ was provided. Although the purchase of a hook of homilies suggests that he was not fond of preaching, he kept, no doubt, his flock together by his social qualities and in the later years of his incumbency he had the assistance of a curate, Thomas Dancer.
On Ashe's death in 1716 another friend of Swift's, Thomas Parnell, the poet, was appointed to the vicarage. He had been long designated by Archbishop King as Ashe's successor; but, as his death took place in the autumn of 1718, his tenure lasted for little more than two years. For the greater portion of that time he was resident in London, and his incumbency is chiefly remarkable for an attempt to devote the southern aisle of the church once more to secular uses as a library. After the death of Parnell the vicarage was given, in 1719, to a third of Swift's friends, John Grattan, but in 1720 he resigned it, and the chancellor, the Theophilus Bolton, afterwards Archbishop of Cashel, once more held the rectory and vicarage. Bolton's successor in 1723 as chancellor, Robert Howard, afterwards Bishop of Elphin, was also instituted to the vicarage, and continued to hold it until 1726, when he was promoted to the see of Killala.
In his room as vicar there came in 1727 a fourth of Swift's intimates, James Stopford, who had been a fellow and became Bishop of Cloyne; and for nearly 30 years Stopford, whom Swift pronounced to be in his early years "the most valuable young man in Ireland," held the vicarage.
By Parnell in 1716 Anthony Bury had been appointed curate, and in that capacity he continued at Finglas under Parnell's successors for more than 20 years. To him there succeeded as curate in 1738 Joseph Pratt, and in 1747 Arthur Conolly.
The Roman Catholic Church has always united the parish of Finglas with that of St. Margaret, and in the early part of the 17th century its only place of worship is stated to have been in the village of St. Margaret.
A hundred years later it was returned as having in Finglas union three places of worship, served by two priests and two schools. The succession of parish priests has been as follows:- 1685, Rev. Bartholomew Scally; 1737, Rev. James Andrews; 1760, Rev. William Fletcher; 1774, Rev. Andrew Ennis; 1777, Rev. Christopher Wall; 1778, Rev. James M'Carthy; 1784, Rev. Richard Benson; 1823, Rev. Matthias Kelly; 1823, Rev. Patrick Montague; 1841, Rev. James Young; 1863, Rev. Patrick Black; 1876, Rev. Joseph Flanagan; 1889, Rev. William Breen; 1897, Rev. Patrick Slattery; 1902, Rev. Martin Hackett; 1911, Rev. Philip Ryan.
During the latter part of that century, in the autumn of 1779, Finglas church was visited by Austin Cooper, who described it as "a neat pretty church," and mentions that the chancel was furnished with panels, on which the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments appeared in gilt letters.
Some years before, in 1762, the greatest church work of that century at Finglas was accomplished in the establishment of a charity school under a board of governors, and until the close of the century, when religious differences impaired its usefulness, it appears to have educated many children of both sexes.
As successors to Stopford in the vicarage there are found in 1754 Robert Caulfield, in 1762 Richard Chaloner Cobbe, in 1767 Thomas Smyth, who held the treasurership of St. Patrick's for no less than 63 years, and in 1772 William Dobbin, who had been a fellow of Trinity College, while as curate there were licensed in 1756 Matthew Hemmings, in 1791 Thomas Daly Williamson, and in 1797 Francis Pentland.
The 19th century saw the ancient church superseded by a modern one which was built on a new site; the foundation stone was laid in the autumn of 1841, and the church was opened for service in the spring of 1843. As vicar, Dobbin was succeeded in 1819 by Edward Geoghegan, in 1823 by William Magee, afterwards Archbishop of Dublin, in 1829 by Edward Semple, in 1831 by James Phelan, in 1839 by Robert Walsh, in 1852 by John O'Regan, in 1858 by Thomas Jameson, in 1874 by John Jebb Sergent, in 1875 by William Henry Pilcher, in 1891 by Arthur William Ardagh, and in 1919 by Henry St. Clair Jennings.