Friday, 4 December 2015

Dunbrody Abbey (Walsh)

From Walsh's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, 1891, c. xix, p. 173 ff:

Dunbrody, in the barony of Shelburne, on the river Barrow, and four miles south of Ross. Harvey de Monte Maurisco, who was seneschal of the whole estate belonging to Eichard, earl of Pembroke, made a considerable grant of divers lands to St. Mary and St. Benedict, for the purpose of erecting an abbey for the monks of the Cistercian order.

Felix, who was consecrated bishop of Ossory, in 1178, was witness to this charter.

A.D. 1179, Harvey, the founder of this house, entered into the monastery of the Holy Trinity, in Canterbury. Richard, earl of Pembroke, and his grandson, Walter, were principal benefactors to
this house.

A.D, 1182, the abbot and monks of Bildewas, m Shropshire, who were included in the charter of Harvey, made a cession to the Cistercian abbey of the blessed Virgin Mary, at Dublin, of the whole right and claim, which they possessed in right of de Marisco's grant, over the new foundation of Dunbrody. John, lord of Ireland, in the lifetime of his father, confirmed the grant of Harvey.

A.D. 1216, Herlewin, bishop of Leighlin, was interred in the abbey church, a great part of which he had caused to be erected.

A.D. 1296, Walter, earl of Pembroke, confirmed the grants of Harvey and of Strongbow.

A.D. 1308, Damin was abbot.

A.D. 1340, Philip de Chicull was abbot. Having refused to submit to the visitation of the abbot of St. Mary's, near Dublin, he was deposed from his office. The prior, William de Rosse, was chosen in his

A.D. 1368, David de Cornwalshe was abbot. The monks of Tracton, in the county of Cork, having openly resisted the authority of their abbot, David was commissioned to restore them to order. David, for his trouble in so doing, was presented by the abbot, David Graynell, with a horse, worth twenty marcs, and £10 sterling in ready money; after which David took from the monks another sum of £20, and being thus bribed by both parties, he deprived the abbot Richard of his office. In two years afterwards he was convicted of the same offence, and fined in the sum of one marc, but received the king's pardon.

A.D. 1380, it was enacted by parliament that no mere Irishman should make his profession in this abbey.

A.D. 1390, David Esmonde, a burgess of the town of Wexford, being appointed by letters patent to enquire, by the oaths of good and lawful men of this county, into the extortions and offences committed in this abbey, from which mere Irishmen were excluded, having arrived to put in force his commission, David Cornwalshe, the abbot thereof, with divers associates, assaulted said Esmond, with force and violence seized and destroyed the king's letters, and secured Esmond in the abbot's prison for the space of sixteen days, until they compelled him to swear that he would never prosecute any of the aforesaid persons, nor John Develyn, who was a party to the transactions.

A.D. 1394, the said Develyn was abbot.

A.D. 1402, King Henry IV granted to the abbot and convent a confirmation of all their rights and possessions.

A.D. 1418, John Calf was abbot.

A.D. 1522, Alexander Devereux was abbot. The abbot of this house sat as a baron of parliament.

Alexander Devereux, the last abbot, surrendered this noble establishment in 1539, after having first provided for his relatives bv the sacrilegious plunder of its possessions.

By an inquisition, taken in the thirty-seventh of Henry VIII, this abbey was found to possess sixty acres of pasture in Dunbrody; one hundred and twenty acres in Battlestown; eighty acres in Duncannon ; sixty acres in Clonard, and one thousand one hundred and thirty acres in various parts of the county of Wexford, besides immense possessions in Connaught, and in the counties of Limerick and Waterford. In 1546, these possessions were granted to Osborne Itchingham, at the annual rent of £3 l0s. 6d. While in the twentieth year of Queen Elizabeth, the lands and rectories belonging to this abbey, in the county of Limerick, were conceded to Robert Callan.

The ruins of Dunbrody abbey, rising in awful grandeur at the conflux of the rivers Suire and Barrow, present a truly picturesque and magnificent appearance. These ruins, including the cloister and church, are, perhaps, the most complete, and at the same time the most extensive of any in the kingdom. At the west end stood the porch, adorned with filigree open-work, cut in stone, while the immense gothic window which rises above the porch, displays an amazing specimen of curious
and splendid architecture. The chancel and the walls of the church are entire. Within are three chapels, vaulted and groined, while the aisles are separated from the nave by a double row of arches, with a moulding, which reclines on beautiful consoles. Tlie tower also is complete, and the arch on which it rests is, for its curious and expansive curvature, much esteemed.

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