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Timeline for the parishes of Kilrea & Tamlaght O'Crilly, 14th – 16th centuries.

Please refer to Notes and References at bottom of page.
Return to Kilrea & Tamlaght O'Crilly timeline front page.

Sources; Comments; Links
There was a "church and parish, Drumogarnan, that subsequently merged into Tamlaght. The site of the church was probably on the ridge of Drumagarner, called Church Hill."
The Pope Nicholas taxation of 1306; cited by Kernohan (1912), pg. 34.
  Until the 14th century, Kilrea was a secular parish. Shortly after Pope Nicholas' taxation list was compiled in 1306, the Augustinian order assumed control--possibly by grant from the O'Neills--under the auspices of the Abbey and Church of Armagh. The parish of Agivey, situated a few miles north of Kilrea, was also "appropryated" to the Abbey of SS. Peter and Paul of Armagh.
  The "old church," which is situated just east of the Episcopalian church (consecrated in 1844), was built by the Augustinians. Today, it is a lovely ruin, overgrown with shrubbery, and kept company by ancient gravestones. The dimensions of the old church were fifty feet by twenty-five feet, with seating for 120 people.
  "The Augustinians may have had a small monastery there also prior to 1369."
Account by Mr Bernard Fitzpatrick; cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 86.
Kernohan (1912), pg. 5.
Edward Bruce invaded Ulster, landing "on the coast of Antrim, with a fleet of three hundred vessels, from which he landed, at Larne, six thousand Scots. … [T]he English in Ulster were slaughtered without mercy, their castles thrown to the ground, and several of the most important towns plundered and burnt. … The earl of Ulster--Richard the red earl--whose personal interests were most at stake in the north, was the first, in spite of his age, to take up arms." After Bruce had been "crowned king of Ireland at Knocknemelan near Dundalk," and "overrun the counties of Down, Armagh, and Louth, and entered Meath, now closely followed and harassed by the English, where he listened to the council of his principal Irish associate, O'Neill of Tyrone, and retraced his steps into Ulster, where the earl had been ravaging O'Neill's territory. The Irish authorities describe the two opposing armies as marching along side by side, separated only by the deep and wide waters of the Banne, obtaining from time to time a few harmless shots at each other with their bows and arbalests, and rivaling each other in the havoc they committed on the country through which they passed."
Wright (1849), pp. 166-7.
Great dearth. Eight captured Scots eaten at the siege of Carrickfergus. A great famine throughout the country in consequence of Bruce's invasion. "The natural consequence of so long a continuance of the scourge of warfare now showed themselves in a general famine throughout the country, during which the wretched people were reduced to such extremities that they took the dead, as we are told, out of their graves, and, boiling the flesh of the corpses in the sculls, thus frightfully appeased their hunger;--even mothers, in this manner, feeding upon their own children."
Walford (1879).
History of Ireland, Vol. III (Moore), pg. 69.
Please refer to note (A), at bottom of page.

Note: According to Moore, the word, "scull," was frequently used, by old writers, to mean a covering for the head.
"[T]he Primate of Armagh, Archbishop Sweetman granted to Simon, Bishop of Derry, a lease of the Manor of Kilrea, at a rent of forty shillings together with sixty large eels and one thousand medium eels yearly."
Account by Mr Bernard Fitzpatrick; cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 86.

See also entry under 1430-1439, "Archbishop Sweetman's lease..."
(1) Father O'Molgain was parish priest at Tamlaght. A man of the name, Magrocachan (McGrogan) was another pastor of the same period.
(2) Dr. Colton appointed a rector to the parish of Deeregaruan [Drumagarner], named Dermitius Omolgan (Dermot O'Molahan or Mulligan).
(1) Parish of Greenlough (2006).
(2) The Fairy Thorn (1984), pp. 80-81.
Dr. John Colton, Archbishop of Armagh, conducted a Metropolitan Visitation of the Diocese of Derry. In addition to discharging his visitatorial powers, i.e., administering the jurisdiction of the diocese, "the Primate claimed the guardianship, within his province, of the temporalities and spiritualities of vacant sees." The temporalities "could have been only before the establishment or on the declension of the English power, for the Crown of England, having constituted all the bishops spiritual lords with a voice in Parliament, claimed in return the custody of ... all such things as they had by livery from the king, as castles, manors, tenements, tithes, and such other certainties." The manuscript, recording the Archbishop's visitation, also contained the rental of the Bishop of Derry's Lands.
Reeves (1850), pg. 75.

Link to transcription, about the visitation of Archbishop Colton, with footnotes by Dr. Reeves, in which he cited Inquisitions from the early 1600s. Dr. Reeves also gave descriptions of the parishes that made up the Deanery of Bennagh. "This deanery comprehended all the parishes of the diocese which are situate in the present county of Londonderry, being made up of the earlier territories of Creeve, Keenaght, Glenconkein, and Tirkeeran."
(1) Archbishop Sweetman's lease of the Manor of Kilrea was amended to the receipt of sixty large and forty thousand medium eels per annum. "The lease to the Bishop of Derry was withdrawn in 1439."
From the registry of Primate Swayze, circ. 1430, it appears that the bishop of Derry was then a tenant of the see of Armagh in this parish: Dominus Primas percipit ab episcopo Derensi pro manerio de Kylree in episcopatu Derensi sl.s.; mille anguillas mediocres, et sexaginta grossas, per annum (fol.60a).
(1) Account by Mr Bernard Fitzpatrick; cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 86.
Reeves (1850), pp. 75-76.
Ireland was not immune from the depredations of the Black Death, and the population of Drumagarner and environs suffered many losses.
Research by Mrs Kathleen Gillen; cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 81.
"[T]he monastery [at Kilrea] was occupied by the Franciscans and was called Father O'Dimon's monastery." Ibid.
The area comprising and in the vicinity of the modern parish of Tamlaght O'Crilly "was ruled by a branch of the O'Neills of Clandeboye--Clann Domhnaill Doinn na Bana."
Tamlaght O'Crilly: Greenlough, www.greenlough.com
(1) At Kilrea, a parson and a vicar lived on two acres of Glebe land pertaining to the Abbey of SS. Peter and Paul of Armagh.
(2) Kylrey.--"The parish of Kilreagh, contayning ten balliboes, wherein are both a parson and a viccar presentative, and the presentation of the said parson and viccar for the space of 170 yeres past (i.e. since 1439), have appertayned to the abbott of Peter and Paule of Armagh, and likewise the tiethes were paid unto the said abbott and his predecessors."--The said abbott was seised "of and in the 4 towne lands called Killreaugh in possession of the herenagh O'Demon, and twoe parts of the tiethes thereof, and of and in all the tiethes of the fishinge for eeles near adjoyninge to the same, and also the 2 townlands called Monaghgrane."--Inq. To the same religious house belonged the 4 balliboes of Athgieve, now Agivey, an extraparochial district having a cemetery and ancient church, on the river Bann, north of Kilrea.--(O.S., 12.)
(1) Account by Mr Bernard Fitzpatrick; cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 86; and, Kernohan (1912), pg. 6.
(2) Reeves (1850), pp. 75-76.
The parish of Drumagarner "became merged with that of Tamlaght O'Crilly sometime in the 16th century having the parish church at Drumnacannon. The name of the parish is written Tawlaught- drumnagaruan in the Inquisition 1609." The old church stood on Church Hill, nearer Kilrea.
The Fairy Thorn (1984), pg. 80.
The monastery at Kilrea "was closed after the Dissolution of the Monasteries Act 'to dissolve the same and to put them in safe custody in the King's use' about 1546 and became derelict."
Research by Mrs Kathleen Gillen; cited in The Fairy Thorn (1984), pp. 81-2.
In the winter of 1566-7, a remarkable outbreak of plague occurred among the English troops quartered around the old monastery of the Derry, at the head of Loch Foyle. The scarcity was general in Ireland that winter, and attended by great mortality.
Creighton (1891), pg. 372.
Sir John Perrott formed the seven counties of Ulster: Armagh, Monaghan, Tyrone, Coleraine, Donegal, Fermanagh, and Cavan.
Joyce (1903), pg. 151.
(1) The English shired lands off the county of Tyrone, lying between the rivers Foyle, to the west, and Bann, to the west, to create the County of Coleraine.
(2) "[T]he country or territory called O'Cahan's country was reduced into a county (nominally in 1585), and called the county of Coleraine, so as the county had the same limits as that Irish country or precinct of land had, and no other, until of late part of O'Cahan's country was included with the peculiar county of the city of Derry."
(1) Hill, (1889), pg. 81.
(2) Hill (1877), pg. 97, citing Davys' Abstract of Titles.
(1) O'Neill had control over territory on both sides of the river Bann in the vicinity of Portglenone. "That part of Ulster," says Dr. Reeves, "known in the sixteenth century as Brian Carragh's country, consisted of a tract on either side of the Bann, of which Portglenone may be taken as the centre. The portion on the Antrim side of the river which consisted of the adjacent part of the parish of Ahoghill, was held by inheritance under O'Neill of Clanaboy; whilst the Londonderry portion, which consisted of the south-east part of Tamlaght-Ocrilly, was wrested by force of arms from O'Cahan, and held in adverse possession. ... The place which is traditionally pointed out as the site of Brian's abode is a small island in the middle of a marshy basin at Inishrush, called the Green Lough. This spot was really the Inis ruis, 'Island of the Wood.'"--Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. vii., pp. 211-217.
(2) The Irish chieftain, Brian Carragh O'Neill, died c.1586.
(3) Different traditions surround the death of Brian Carragh, that either he died on a bed brought to the site of the Roman Catholic chapel of Greenlough, and was buried on the top of Gallows hill; or, as an oppressor to his neighbours and the district generally, he and his sons were besieged, captured, hanged, and buried at the foot of the gallows.
(1) Hill (1873), pg. 185.
(2) O'Laverty (1884), pg. 370.
(3) Ordnance Survey Memoirs.

An account of Brian Carrach O'Neill, giving also a description of the Green Lough, was presented by the Rev. Dr. Reeves to the Royal Irish Academy in 1859. Link to transcription.

Link to a portion of John Speed's map of Ulster, depicting the Countye Colrane, and the territory of Bryan Carrogh.
(1) The great territory of Tyrone included the present county of Londonderry, and was reduced to shire ground when commissioners, appointed by Queen Elizabeth, made a return into the Court of Chancery. This return set out the boundaries of the county of Tyrone, and of the eight territories, or baronies, comprising the county. At this time, the county of Tyrone included the barony of Loughinsholin.
(2) "Lough-inis-O'Lynn.--In the Survey of 1591, this barony is written Loghynisolin, and described as containing Clonconkayne and Kilytragh, or Glenconkeyne and Killitragh."
(1) Reeves (1850), pp. 125-6.
Link to transcription.
(2) Hill (1877), pg. 167.

Link to gazetteer page for Louginsholin, which includes information about the territories of Clandonnell and Glenconkeyne.

Note: The northerly townlands of Movanagher and Mullan, parish of Kilrea, and of Bovedy and Drumsaragh, parish of Tamlaght O'Crilly, are situated within the barony of Coleraine.
Nine Years' War, or Tyrone's Rebellion.
"During the seven [sic] years' war..., the native inhabitants of this province were reduced to the lowest depths of misery by the systematic destruction of their cattle and growing crops."

Hill (1877), pg. viii.


The episodes of disease, famine, and dearth, mentioned in The Famines of the World (Walford, 1879), Principal Epidemic Diseases of Ireland (Ryan, 1832), and A History of Epidemics in Britain (Creighton, 1891) may, or may not, have occurred in the territories comprising the modern territorial divisions of the parishes of Kilrea and Tamlaght O'Crilly, specifically. Walford, Ryan, and Creighton mentioned the following periods of natural disaster, without specifying which part, or parts, of Ireland were affected:
1302: Famine. (Walford)
1314: Famine and various distempers. (Ibid.)
1322: A peck of wheat sold for 22s. (Ibid.)
1339: A general famine. (Ibid.)
1348: The weather was uncommonly wet from June to December. The crops were deteriorated and destroyed; famine and pestilence succeeded. (Ryan)
1410: A great famine in Ireland. (Walford)
1433: Famine of great severity. (Ibid.)
1447: Great famine in the spring. (Ibid.)
1491: Great rain and floods all the summer, and such a famine that it was called "The Dismal Year." (Ibid.)
1497: Intolerable famine throughout all Ireland--many perished. (Ibid.)
1511: Great inundation of rain, which produced considerable damage. (Ibid.)
An epidemic, thought to be the plague, was reported in Ireland. The earl of Surrey wrote from Dublin to Wolsey, "There is a marvellous death in all this country, which is so sore that all the people be fled out of their houses into the fields and woods, where they in likewise die wonderfully; so that their bodies be dead like swine unburied." (Creighton, pg. 371; for reference, see below.)
1522: A great famine in Ireland. (Walford)
1536: "This year was a sickly, unhealthy year, in which numerous diseases, viz. a general plague, and smallpox, and a flux plague, and the bed-distemper prevailed exceedingly." (Creighton, pg. 372)
1540: An epidemic of "hot ague" (contagious pestilential fever or typhus) was prevalent. (Creighton, pg. 409)
1544: Perpetual rain all winter; great floods. (Walford)
1557: An epidemic of "hot ague" (contagious pestilential fever or typhus) was prevalent. (Creighton, pg. 409)
1580-1582: An epidemic of "hot ague" (contagious pestilential fever or typhus) was prevalent. (Ibid.)
1586: Extreme famine consequent on the wars of Desmond. Human flesh said to have been eaten. (Walford)
1588-1589: Great famine period, "when one did eate another for hunger." (Ibid.)

(B) Scant information has been input into this timeline about the ruling Gaelic chieftains and sub-chieftains who held sway in the territories comprising the parishes of Kilrea and Tamlaght O'Crilly. In order to parse the events germane to this region, the compiler needs to study the literature of the ancient kingdom of Ulster (Uladh), the early O'Néills (Uí Neill), and the tribes of Fir Lí, Cenél mBinnig, Eilne, and Uí Thuirtri. Readers who are inclined to forward suggestions for inclusion in this timeline, with bibliographic references, are asked to use our Contact page, please.

(C) This timeline may not be copied, transmitted, or reproduced for profit or for gain--in whole or in part--in any medium, including web sites that ask for donations, feature advertisements, or link directly or indirectly to any commercial concern. Please use our
Contact page to forward questions about usage.

  • Creighton, Charles. A History of Epidemics in Britain, Vol. 1. Cambridge University Press, 1891.
  • Hill, George. An Historical Account of the Plantation in Ulster at the Commencement of the Seventeenth Century, 1608-1620. Belfast: M'Caw, Stevenson & Orr, 1877.
  • Hill, George. An Historical Account of the MacDonnells of Antrim: including notices of some other Septs, Irish and Scottish. Belfast: Archer & Sons, 1873.
  • Hill, George. Plantation Papers: Containing a Summary Sketch of the Great Ulster Plantation in the year 1610. Belfast: Reprinted from the Northern Whig, 1889.
  • Kilrea Local History Group. The Fairy Thorn: Gleanings and Glimpses of Old Kilrea; published by The Kilrea Local History Group. Coleraine: Impact Printing, 1984.
  • Kernohan, J.W. The Parishes of Kilrea and Tamlaght O'Crilly: A Sketch of Their History, With an Account of Boveedy Congregation. Coleraine: Chronicle Office, 1912. Transcribed by Barbara Braswell and Richard Torrens; posted to Richard Torrens' Bann Valley Genealogy web site, www.torrens.org.uk/Genealogy/Bann Valley/
  • Moore, Thomas. The History of Ireland. Vol. III. Paris: Baudry's European Library, 1840.
  • O'Laverty, James. An Historical Account of the Diocese of Down and Connor, Ancient and Modern, Vol. III. Dublin, and London: James Duffy & Sons, 1884.
  • Reeves, William. Acts of Archbishop Colton in his Metropolitan Visitation of the Diocese of Derry, A.D. MCCCXCVII. Dublin: printed for the Irish Archaeological Society, 1850.
  • Ryan, Michael, ed. "Principal Epidemic Diseases of Ireland." The London Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol. I. London: Renshaw and Rush, 1832.
  • Sagart, Art. P. O'Raghallaigh. The Parish of Greenlough/Tamlaght O'Crilly: A Brief History (pub. 2006). Online at www.69thpa.co.uk/tamlaghtpdf.pdf (accessed 2015-01-17).
  • Tamlaght O'Crilly: Greenlough. "Our Parish History." Online at http://www.greenlough.com/our-parish/our-parish-history/ (accessed 2015-01-25ff)
  • Walford, Cornelius. The Famines of the World: Past and Present. (London: Edward Stanford, 1879).
  • Wright, Thomas. The History of Ireland, Vol. I. London and New York: John Tallis and Company (1849).
© Alison Kilpatrick 2015