Hi, it is the boy from Barrystown, charming, charismatic, ebullient, scholarly, modest, witty and—wily. A historian supreme. Gold and silver for the Barrystown children.

In regard to the previous voluminous material on my blog I should like to point out that much of this was written at a time when I did not have the extensive knowledge or comprehension of Carrig-on-Bannow history that I now have. I now intend to write a better informed account of the history of Carrig-on-Bannow parish. I did not ever anticipate that I would accumulate so much information on the parish—the revolution in the information technology and it sheer extent could not be expected. One may now print off entire books that I would have spent an entire day in the archives taking a few notes by pencil from. I had previously spent up to three and a half hours travelling to Dublin by bus and spend another three and a half hours returning in the same day.

I agree with the suggestion that articles from the Journals of the Bannow Historical Society should be put on this website. I would ask all those who are able to write good history should put material on this website.

On mature reflection I think that I have underestimated the disposition to and reality of violence in ordinary Irish life until well into modern Irish history. The occurrence of faction fights even in the relatively prosperous Co. Wexford was uncomfortably high. There was a tendency to engage impetuously in violence and conversely an urge to seek it out especially in the safety of crowds. All over Europe in the nineteenth century crowds spelt trouble: an individual, fortified by alcoholic drink, was emboldened in the anonymity of the crowd. As a member of a vast crowd one was shielded from prosecution to a great extent.

Elections were marked by candidates plying crowds of non-electors (the vote was limited by a property qualification) with alcohol (the strong cheap and possibly home brewed stuff) to frighten free-holders likely to vote for an opponent from coming to the hustings. Candidates standing in the Catholic interest would have the biggest mobs on their side on the simple basis that there were much more impoverished Catholics than Protestants.

During the election of 1841 the former Rector of Bannow, Rev. William Hickey and his wife were driving through Taghmon when a gang of young men pelted stones at them. Mrs Hickey was struck by a large stone on her head and was insensible for two weeks—fortunately she survived.

In late January or early February I will lecture at Taghmon on Travers Robert Hawkshaw, the son of a Protestant rector and brother of another, a farmer, coroner, and magistrate. The conclusion is inescapable that a significant section of the Protestant community, on the basis of their Christian conscience as influenced by progressive trends in Protestant theology, deemed it imperative that they should make a profound gesture of reparation to the Catholic community, given the wrongs done to the Catholics by the Penal Laws and by the barbaric excesses of the Orange Order and Yeomanry in the Rebellion of 1798. Tom Boyse after the Yeomanry shot fifteen Catholics in a conflict with the crowd at a sale of cattle seized for failed payment of tithes in Bunclody in 1831 venomously denounced the yeomanry as an armed rabble—he added he could call them nothing else.

The great controversies in Mr Hawkshaw’s life mainly arose from one aspect of his behaviour: however difficult it may be to comprehend or actually believe this it is clear—crystal clear, as one of our famous leaders used to say—that Hawkshaw exceeded and abused his position as a magistrate to further the Catholic interest.  He was given to a rudeness of manner in contention with political opponents and did not properly appreciate protocol and procedure.

In the 1841 election Mr Hawkshaw worked for the successful campaigns of the two Liberal or Whig candidates Power and Hatton: the Catholic free-holders would have overwhelmingly voted for Mr Power and Mr Hatton. There was only one Conservative candidate Mr Grogan Morgan of Johnstown Castle, a rather moderate and fair minded Protestant. For some technical reason outside my comprehension Sam Carter Hall the husband of Anna Maria Hall the famous novelist (who spent her formative years at George Carr’s mansion at Graigue, Bannow) stood as another conservative candidate in support of Mr Grogan Morgan. Mrs Hall was a great friend of the Grogan Morgan family.

After the election Sam Hall wrote a letter of complaint to the Lord Lieutenant: he alleged that Mr Hawkshaw led a mob in from Taghmon to Wexford; that Hawkshaw’s horse was decorated with Whig or Liberal Party colours and that they were singing subversive songs. The authorities ever after 1798 were wary of stirring up tensions in the Catholic community and were therefore loath to take firm action against complaints of Catholic aggression; in this case the Lord Lieutenant did write to Mr Hawkshaw requesting his response to the allegations made by Samuel Carter Hall.

The fundamental point of Mr Hall’s complaint has to be correct: a magistrate should not openly identify with a specific party in an election and certainly should not consort with a mob or potential mob. In the prevailing political context Mr Hall’s complaint was not going to get any great attention but the Lord Lieutenant did seek an explanation from Mr Hawkshaw. One part of a paragraph in his reply was certainly not reassuring as to Mr Hawkshaw’s comprehension of the proper behaviour of a magistrate in scenarios of political contention!

Mr Hawkshaw after pointing out that he led 1,000 non-electors from Taghmon into Wexford continued:–

“We were overtaken on the road on Monday the 19th, by Captain Thomas King of Coolcliffe, (Taghmon), one of the magistrates; he asked would I see him pass the crowd; I told him at once that I would guarantee that not an unpleasant word should be said to him and I venture to say had I not been there he would not have attempted to pass. Also, Mr Leigh of Rosegarland, passed and was not annoyed in any kind of way.”

It would certainly seem a most peculiar scenario that a magistrate would be at the front of a potential mob, albeit with a purpose of restraining them; the other problem with this assertion of Mr Hawkshaw—as with many others made by him—was that one of the men protected by him wrote to the Wexford Conservative to refute Mr Hawkshaw: Frank Leigh of Rosegarland wrote–

“In a letter from Mr Hawkshaw to Lord Morpeth, he mentions, among other testimonies, as to the peacefulness of the Taghmon “that Mr Leigh of Rosegarland passed and was not annoyed in any kind of way.” The fact is that I daily drove through Taghmon, during the late election and never without experiencing the most insulting language, though certainly not personal violence, nor would I have escaped that but that it was well known I was prepared to resist it.”

I presume that Frank Leigh of Rosegarland meant that he would have resisted by gun fire. Frank Leigh and Travers R. Hawkshaw were both magistrates on the bench at Taghmon Petty Sessions or Court but they were certainly not good friends. Mr Leigh was a member of the Brunswick Clubs who were opposed to further weakening of the unwritten British constitution: they believed that the supremacy of the Protestant Church was integral to the constitution and were strongly opposed to the enactment of Catholic Emancipation, effectively a measure to permit Catholics to be elected to the Parliament at Westminster. They saw this as a dilution of the British constitution.

On another occasion Mr Hawkshaw alleged that Mr Leigh was a mere third son and thereby not entitled to own Rosegarland; in a letter to the local newspapers Mr Leigh said that he did not normally take notice of anything that Mr Hawkshaw said but on this occasion he was writing to correct serious errors of facts in his speech. Mr Leigh insisted that he was not a third son and that he held Rosegarland for three lives, one of them that of one of his sons and also for his own life. In 1836 Mr Leigh was appointed Sheriff of the County Wexford but the reforming Lord Lieutenant Mulgrave dismissed him on the basis of a connection with an alleged Orangeman. On this occasion Mulgrave was misinformed and later admitted that he acted wrongly in requiring the dismissal of Mr Leigh.

Mr John Cullen of Lower Bay House Bannow who died on November 30th 1936 left personal estate in England and the Free State valued £3, 143. This would seen to be liquid assets that is cash (personal estate but I may be wrong).

Among his bequests was that £200 to the Parish Priest of Carrig-on-Bannow to expend on repairs to the Chapel and £100 to the Prior of Augustinian Community, Grantstown. Apart from this and other bequests the considerable residue of his estate was left for such charitable purposes as his executors decided.