Ulsterheart Chapter 4 (St. Kerog's)
pages 90 through 92
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On 14th June 1628 Carter got another Grant of Glebe. Perhaps this may have been in connection with the building of a Rectory. Could one of the large houses to the west of Clonully Mill have been an early Rectory disposed of during some of the subsequent absentee incumbencies?
The times were perilous. O Neill resented the Scots and worse still they were at loggerheads among themselves. Bishop Spottis-woode complained that he was "hated by divers of his countrymen. Lord Balfour and Sir James Areskine and others have sold themselves to work all wickedness, and were great oppressors of their neighbours." They hated him because of his zeal for the Church and free schools, and his relief of those who were wronged. He rejoiced that His Majesty had sent such a Governor (Wentworth) that would "ere long know him and his adversaries". In fact, Balfour was accused, fled to England, and died. Sir James Areskine "perceiving he prevailed nothing by clampering (quarrelling) desired to be reconciled to the Bishop. When he died in Dublin, Bishop Spottiswoode preached at his funeral, on request of Areskine's son."53
When, in 1641 Sir Phelim O Neill was repulsed at Spur Castle, Augher, he ordered McDonnel to massacre all Protestants in the adjacent parishes.54 The authorities had anticipated this, and in 1631 ordered Landlords to prepare a list of all the able-bodied men in their Estates, who could be mustered in any emergency. The chief value of this Muster Roll today is for genealogy. Landlords and Chieftains kept their pedigrees, but here for the first time we find the names, if nothing else of some of the ordinary Kerogites who tilled the soil of Kerog nearly four centuries ago. Of the whole 137, the only one of whom we have any subsequent note is Richard Waltham. He was described as "Gentleman" on his tombstone when Kelly Groves saw it being used as a hearthstone in St. Kerog's porch in 1817. So it probably found its. way to some cottage hearth when McCoy got the use of the stones of St. Kerog's in 1833. Waltham died in 1684.
MUSTER ROLL ON LANDLORD'S ESTATES ca 1631
John Bennet er
John Bennet yr
John Headen er
John Headen yr
William Moore yr
Thomas Penny er
Thomas Penny yr
Robert Symington yr
About a dozen of these names look strange to us today. Do they represent the original spelling of surnames surviving today? This seems unlikely, since these 1631 forms do not occur elsewhere. Could they be the work of some semi-literate local official? Hardly, since so many of the spellings are so like later standardizations. A more fascinating explanation, and none the less likely for that, is that we here have a recording of the local accents of 350 years ago, with some official, perhaps an Englishman, attempting to record phonetically names he had not heard before.
Carrudhowse, Caughton, Gilpatrick, and Meliken we can readily recognise as Carrothers or Cathers, Carleton, Kilpatrick or Kirkpatrick, and Milligan or Mulligan. Ffixter may be the name Fricker which still prevails in north Tyrone. Halkeny may be the Omagh name Elkin. The only guess we can offer about Shearall is that it may be Shirley or even Sheridan, a name which, because of its three syllables was prone to misconstruction as in the later Surgeon and then Sturgeon. The surname Snowball is not unknown in other corners of Ulster, but it is more likely that our Simon was a Somerville.
About this time some doubt seems to have arisen about whether Kerog had been included in Erskine's acquisition, so Kerog as part of the bargain was confirmed by a re-grant dated 12th July 1630.
Sir James Erskine's third son, Archibald was ordained by the Bishop of Cashel, Malcolm Hamilton in 1627. He became Rector of Ballybay, and in 1633 succeeded Carter as Rector of Kerog. He also held the parishes of Derrygonnelly and Newtownbutler. He was in Kerog during the Troubles of 1641. In the House of Commons Library there is a letter written by Col. Audely Mervyn of Cavan praising the Rector of Kerog for his defence of Augher Castle during the Insurrection. Later he was installed in the prebendary of Devenish. Canon Erskine married twice. His first wife was Beatrice Spottiswoode, the Bishop's daughter. His second wife was Letitia daughter of Londoner Sir Paul Gore. Incidentally, her brother married a daughter of Capt. Rbt. Parke of Sligo
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