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County Kilkenny Ireland History


The Archdeacon (Cody) Family
Early Documented History


The first member of the Archdeacon, MacOdo or Cody family known in Ireland is Odo Archidiaconus, who witnessed the charter of Geoffrey FitzRobert to Duiske circa 1204, and other Duiske charters circa 1207 and circa 1216 (source: Duiske Charters, no. 1, 5, 9), and that of William Marshal I to Kilkenny circa 1208 (source: Chart. Priv., p. 23). From his christian name the alternate of the Archdeacons, i.e. MacOdo, subsequently corrupted to Cody, was derived.

The land of Gaueleme (barony of Galmoy) was possibly an original enfeoffment of the Archdeacons. Between 1228 and 1234, the Calendar of Ormond Deeds (#75) cites that Edusa, daughter of Antony,... grants to Stephen Archidiaconus and his heirs a carucate of land in the Vill del Yf, which she has of the gift of Thomas son of Antony [fitz Anthony]. In the 1247 feodary, Stephen Archid[ekne] is found in possession of 2 1/2 knight's fees, the land of Gaueleme (or Ganelomey, as cited in the Cal. Pat. Rolls). The same fee was found in the possession of Raymund le Erchedekne, at Gavelmoy, in the 1324 feodary.

By his marriage with Desiderata, one of the daughters and co-heiresses of Thomas FitzAnthony (source: Pipe Roll 16 Henry III), Stephen Archdeacon acquired a portion of FitzAnthony's estate in Ogenty, around Thomastown, co. Kilkenny.

Another holding of Stephen Archdeacon's which was not derived from FitzAnthony was in the neighborhood of Donaghmore, barony of Fassadinin. The only part of Stephen's holding here that can be identified is Tulah Bari, which Canon Carrigan shows as the townland of Moatpark in the parish of Donaghmore. Between 1218 an 1228 Stephen granted to the church of St. Mary and St. Columba of Inestihoc [Inistioge], and the Prior, etc., there, the church of Kilcorman [Kilcormic, parish of Donoughmore], with its chapel of Tuachbarri [Moatpark] (source: Ormond Deeds, i. 45). Stephen, and possibly a brother Matthew, both surnamed Archidiaconus, were witnesses to a grant of five carucates of land of the fee of Duuenachmor [Donoughmore, barony of Fertagh] circa 1250. Stephen Archdeacon was alive in 1261-62 when he and Desiderata his wife were involved with the other parceners of FitzAnthony's estate in a lawsuit (Proc. R.I.A., 1929, p.6).

Stephen was succeeded by Sylvester, his son and heir, for Carrigan reports a suit which Sylvester Archdeacon had with the Priory of Inistioge between 1260 and 1287, regarding vestments given by his mother Desiderata, and for the supply of requisites for Sylvester's chapel of Tholachbarry (source: Carrigan, ii. 88). He was alive in 1282 when Sir Sylvester Lercedekne occurs in Kilkenny (source: Cal. Doc. Ire., iii, 1912). A Sylvestro Archidiacono is noted among the witnesses of the charter of the liberties of Rosbercon granted by Gilbert, Earl of Gloucester, in 1294 (source: Ormond Deeds, i. 314). Sylvester had a couple of sons that are noted in the records; Richard, his heir, and William. Sir William Lercedekyn, son of Sir Silvester Lercedekyn, received grants of land in July, 1320 in the tenements of Belet and Jonstoun [Johnstown] and elsewhere. A witness to these grants was a John son of Michael Ercedekyn (source: Ormond Deeds, i.).

Richard Archdeacon succeeded his father, Sylvester, (source: Pipe Roll, 16 Ed. I, 20 Ed. I) although he was possibly dead before circa 1318, when 'the heir of Richard Lercedekne' held the Archdeacon share of Ogenty (source: derived from the 1317 feodary). A Richard Archidiaconus, along with John Archidiaconus, were witnesses in a de Rocheford grant dated September 28, 1294. A Richard Lercedekne does appear as a witness in a grant of Balyraghtyn in Odogh in March 1338, but this is apparently a different Richard (source: Ormond Deeds, i. 708).

Raymond Archdeacon was Richard's son and heir. In January, 1305 as Raymund 'son of Sir Richard le Ercedekne' he made a grant of land (source: Ormond Deeds, i. 393). Circa 1305 we find a Raymond Archidiaconus receiving land in Tipperary in the barony of Clanwilliam (source: Ormond Deeds, i. 392). In 1309 he was summoned to Parliament at Kilkenny (source: Carrigan, ii. 285). In the 1324 feodary he held the barony of Galmoy [Gavelmoy] and was killed in late 1331 (source: Grace's Annals, p.121; and St. Mary's Annals, p.374).

In April 1342 we find a son of Raymond, named Richard Lerchedekne, receiving a grant of land in Lysnevyll [Lissenvelly], in the tenement of Typerari (Tipperary). This was of the same area that Raymond received in 1305, in the parish of Templenoe, barony of Clanwilliam.

Other Archedeacons who are noted in Kilkenny in the period 1325-26 come from the Estreats of Co. Kilkenny, 19-20 Edward II. This includes a William, John, John son of Robert, William of Kilkenny, Ralph, John son of Richard, John son of Michael, and Philip son of Richard (source: Ormond Deeds, i. 577).

A John le Ercedekene held 1 carucate of land in Tylabarre of Aymer de Valance as a free tenant in Odagh in 1324 (source: 1324 feodary). John was evidently a younger member of the family, to whom this carucate had passed. There was a John (called Archdeacon) as a witness to a grant of land to Edmind le Botiller, Butler of Ireland, circa 1315. In March 1319 a John Lercedekne witnessed the transfer of the barony of Overk to Edmund le Botiller [Butler] (source: Ormond Deeds, i.).

A later history of the family is given by Canon Carrigan is his History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory. (see below).


The 1247 feodary (The de Valence Purparty) was taken from "Chancery Miscellanea", P.R.O., London (File 88/4, no. 70), collated with a list in the Calendar Patent Rolls.

The 1317 feodary (share of Hugh le Despenser and Alianora his wife) was taken from "Chancery Miscellanea", P.R.O., London (File 9/24).

The 1324 feodary was printed in the Calendar of Inquisitions post mortem, representing the inquisition on the Irish estate of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke and taken at Wexford on July 16, 1324.

Source: extracts from the book Knights' Fees in Counties Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny, Irish Manuscripts Commission, with commentary by Eric St. John Brooks, Dublin Stationery Office, 1950
Secondary source: Calendar of Ormond Deeds, Volume I, 1933.


The Archdeacons or Codys of Galmoy

The following is extracted from Rev. Carrigan's History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory, Vol II., pp. 284-286, published in 1905.

The family of L'Ercedekne, Arsdekin, or Archdeacon, long prominent in the County Kilkenny, descended from Sir Stephen L'Ercedekne. Knight, who is supposed to have been son of Odo L'Ercedekne, one of the Anglo-Norman invaders. Sir Stephen held property in the immediate area of Ballyragget, between 1213 and 1218 [source: Register of the Abbey of St. Thomas, ch. CLVI. & ch. CLXV.]. By his wife Dissere, latine Desiderata, daughter and one of the co-heiresses of Thomas Fitz Anthony, Seneschal of Leinster, he acquired a large interest in Ogenti, that is, in the town and district of Thomastown, which he transmitted to his descendants. He died after 1242, leaving a son and heir Sylvester. In the 14th century the L'Ercedeknes are much in evidence. In 1302 John, Sylvester and Maurice le Ercedekne were summoned to the war against the Scotch [source: Rymer]. In 1309 Reymind Lercedekne was summoned to a Parliament at Kilkenny; and, in 1325, with other magnates, to the war against the King of France. In the latter year John fitz Richard Lercedkne and Tancred Lercedekne, and others, go security in 1,000 to Richard de Ledrede, Bishop of Ossory, for the due performance of the penance imposed by the Bishop on William Outlaw for the crimes of heresy and witchcraft. In 1335 Sirs Edmund and William Ercedekne, knights, also John and William Ercedekne, were summoned to the Scottish war [source: Rymer].

1335. "On Thursday, the morrow of the Invention of the Holy Cross, (i.e. May 4), Sir Remund le Ercedekne with his two sons Patrick and Sylvester, Sir William le Ercedekne, and eleven of that name, were slain by Leyath O'Morthe (Lisagh O'More), his sons and servants, in a conference at Clargoly, as were Thomas le Bathe, Gerald Bagot and others, to the number of fifty. This Remund, with his two elder sons, and his uncle William, and three more of the name, were borne, for interment in the Convent of the Friars Minors, (Kilkenny), on seven biers together, one after the other, through the town of Kilkenny, with the wailing of many." [source: Clyn]

In the 15th century, the L'Ercedeknes waxing Irish, adopted an Irish patronymic and called themselves Mac Odo, from one of their ancestors Odo or Otho L'Ercedekne. Mac Odo, pronounced Macodha, or rather 'Ac Odha, has been anglicized Cody and under this form of the name all the members of the family are known.

It is only in the 16th century that the connection of the MacOdos with Galmoy becomes apparent, though it is most likely they were already seated there for several generations. In 1541 Richard Archdeacon, otherwise McCode, took proceedings in the Court of Chancery, against Edmund Archdeacon, otherwise McCode, who challenged his title to Bawnmore, certain lands in Thomastown, and other lands in the Co. Kilkenny, of which Richard Archdeacon, uncle of the plaintiff and brother of the defendant had died seised of. The defendant alleged the illegitimacy of the plaintiff; but it being proved that he was born in lawful wedlock, the Court decreed in his favour. In 1548, the same Richard was again plaintiff in a suit against John Grace, concerning the manor or town of Castletown, in Galmoy, and certain lands in Erck, which had been mortgaged to the Baron by Richard Archdekin, uncle of the plaintiff. The Court's decision was, that the plaintiff should be adjudged the said lands on paying the full amount of the mortgage to the defendant.

In 1542, the townland of Kyle, or Kylgortryan (in Galmoy), was leased by the Archdeacons to the Earl of Ormond, as appears from a deed in the Evidence Chamber, Kilkenny Castle, of which the following is a copy : --

"This indenture made XXVI day of May in the XXXIIIIth yere of the Reigne of our souverain lorde King Henry the theight betwixt the right honnable. lordd James, Erle of Ormonde and of Ossorie on thone partie, and Remond fitzRobert and Edmonde fitzJohn Archdekin otherwise McCode of fossey on thothir partie, witnesseth that the saide Remonde and Edmond have given, graunted, demised and to ferme lettin vnto the Erle all the meses, lands, tenements, wodds, mylls, and other hereditaments with thappurtenance in the towne and felds of Kylgortryan, in Gowley, otherwise called Galmoy in the comtie of Kilkenny. To have and to hold &c. for the terme and the thende of LX yeres [at a rent fo 12s, lawful money of Ireland]. In witnesse," &c.

About 1560 Gerald Archdeken's lands in the Barony of Gowle or Galmoy were valued at 30; Richard Archdeken and his kinsmen's lands in the same Barony were valued at 30.

Richard Archdeacon of Bawnmore, chief of his name, died Oct. 3rd, 1617. He was son of Edmond of Bawnmore, son of Richard of Bawnmore, son of John of Bawnballinlogh, and, at the time of his death, was seised of the manor of Bawmore, the manor of Kilmurry near Thomastown, &c. His last will, to which he signs his name "Richard McOdo." is preserved in the Record Office, Dublin. He is buried in Thomastown, where his monument may still be seen. By his first wife, Catherine Shortall, of Upper Clara, he left three daughters; by his second wife, Johanna Fitzpatrick, sister of John Fitzpatrick of Grantstown, he left no issue.

He was succeeded in his estate by his grandnephew, Pierce or Peter Archdeacon, (son of Thomas, son of Redmond), from whom the lands of Bawnmore very soon passed to the Bryan family. Pierce took a prominent part in the Uprising of 1641, for which he afterwards forfeited all his lands under Cromwell. The castle of Castlepierce, in which he lived, took its name from him. He was probably dead before 1661, as the King's letter, dated the 10th of April in that year, directs that his son "Richard Archdekin of Bawnballinlough, in the Co. Kilkenny, gent., son of Peter Archdekin of Rathpatrick," be restored to his ancestral property.

Richard Archdekin received no benefit from the King's letter, but soon afterwards he had a grant, under the Act of Settlement, of a moiety of Kiljames, (which formed part of his father's estates), near Thomastown.

In 1716 Mrs. Catherine Archdekin; of Kiljames, sold Kiljames to Amyas Bushe, of Kilfane, as appears from her will (made 1721, proved 1725), in which she desires to be buried in her monument within the church of Thomastown; mentions her second son, Thomas Archdekin, her relative James Archdekin of Rossroe, and his two sons, Patrick and John, also he daughter June; and appoints Amyas Bushe her executor. From her sons, and Patrick, John, James, Michael and Maurice, the sons of her relative, James Archdekin, of the neighboring townland of Rossroe, descend, it may be presumed, some of the families of Archdeacon or Cody now living in the neighborhood of Thomastown. The name has been long almost extinct in Galmoy.


The Archdekins of Cloghala

The following is extracted from Rev. Carrigan's History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory, Vol III., pp. 419-421, published in 1905.

"Donald m'Piers Archidekin al' M'Coode, of Kilkillen, gent.," who erected the tomb in Dungarvan churchyard, was pardoned, March 25th, 1549 [Fiants of Ed. VI]. As "Donald fitz Piers Archdeacon, of Cloghela," he was again pardoned in 1566; and as "Donill m'Piers of Cloghla, Co. Kilkenny, gent.," he was pardoned, a third time, in 1571-2 [Fiants of Eliz.]. About a dozen years before the last mentioned date, his lands, "houlden of the Mannour of Gawran," were valued at 5. The date of his death is unknown, but it must have been subsequent to 1581, the year in which he erected his monument.

His son, "Nicholas m'Donell, son of Donell m'Piers, of Cloghla, gentleman," was pardoned in 1566, 1571, and 1581-2. "Garret Archdeacon FitzNicholas, gentleman, " most probably son of Nicholas McDonnel mcPeirs, is found in the list of pardons issued Feb. 13th, 1589-90. Nicholas McOdo, otherwise Archdekin, of Cloghala, called "Nicholas Archdekin fitz Gerald of Cloughlay," in an Inquisition of 1607, died April 21st, 1623. He was then seised of a castle (i.e. the Castle of Cloghala), a water mill, certain messuages, and 5 acres of great measure, in Cloghlea and Dungravan; of 20 acres, small English measure, in Kilbleyn; 2 parts of Boherquill, &c. His mother, Johann Fitzgerald, survived him. His children were, Gerrott, or Gerald, Redmond, and Mary, aged, respectively, at the time of his death, 10, 1 1/2 and 7 years. Gerrott died Dec. 1st, 1627, leaving his brother, Redmond, his heir.

Redmond Archdekin, who thus became head of the Cloghala family, was born towards the end of 1621. Under the Cromwellian regime he forfeited (with William St. Leger) Cloghleas (731 ac.) ; (with Peter Shortall, of Kilbline, and John Archdeacon) Dungarvan (558 ac.) ; (with Edm. Ryan and Edw. Sweetman) Bodalmore and Closduffe (72 ac.) ; Boherquill, &c. On the 26th Dec., 1653, he and his wife, Rose, were transplanted to Connaught, where he was assigned 873 acres in Crossconnell, and elsewhere, in the Half Barony of Clonmacnoen, Co. Galway, at a yearly rent of 5 9s. 1/4d. His first wife dying ere she could have spent many years in Connaught, he married, secondly, Elenor Davells. He made his last will, dated from "Clonturskirt," Co. Galway, and now in the Public Rcords Office, Dublin, in 1675, and he was dead before 1677.

James Archdekin, his son, by his second wife, joined the Franciscan Order, in the Convent of Meelick, Co. Galway, on the 7th Sept., 1682, being then in his 16th year, as appears from the Obituary Book of Meelick Abbey. [text quoted by Carrigan in his book]

In 1677, Nicholas Archdakne, gent., probably a son of Redmond, by his first wife, was confirmed in the lands of Crossconnell, &c., saving to Ellinor Bourke al' Archdakne al' Davills, and all claiming under Redmond Archdakne, their right to 66 ac. in Lisdarnagh.

Two Connaught Bishops may, with very great probability, be claimed to have descended from Donald mcPierce, of the Dungarvan monument, through his great-great-grandson, Redmond Archdekin of Cloghala, "transplanted" by the Cromwellians. These are Sr. Peter Archdekin, Bishop of Killala, and Dr. Nicholas Joseph Archdekin, Bishop of Kilmacduach and Kilfenora.


The Archdekins, or Archdeacons, of Kilkenny city

The following is extracted from Rev. Carrigan's History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory, Vol III., pp. 85-85, published in 1905.

They were, no doubt, a branch of the L'Ercedekne, Arsdekin, Archdeacon, McOdo or Cody family, which held a prominent position in the Co. Kilkenny from the Invasion of the Anglo-Normans till the confiscations in the 17th century. Peter Archdekin, burgess of Kilkenny, died January 3rd, 1586, and is buried, with his wife, Helen Mandevil, in what is now called the Bryan vault, in St. Mary's churchyard. In the St. Mary's church there is a monument erected in 1636 by James Archdeacon, merchant and burgess of Kilkenny, and his wife, Catherine Woodlock. A James Archdekin was Mayor of the city on its surrender to Cromwell, March 27th, 1650. Rose Rothe, daughter of Edward Rothe (grand-nephew of Bishop Rothe) and Catherine Archdekin, married James Bryan, Esq., of Jenkinstown, and from them descends the present Jenkinstown family. In 1704 John Archdekin of Kilkenny, merchant, was one of the sureties for Dr. Edmund Murphy, P.P. of St. Mary's ; and in the same year, Jaems Archdekin, of Kilkenny, merchant, was surety for Rev. Walter Mottley, P.P. of Rathcoole and Kilderry.

Father Richard Archdekin or Arsdekin, of the Society of Jesus, author of a well-known treatise on Theology, was born in Kilkenny, March 16th, 1618 ; entered the Society at Mechlin, Sept. 30th, 1642 ; and was Professor of Theology, Philosophy and Sacred Scripture ; and died at Antwerp, Aug. 31, 1693.


Information compiled and contributed by Dennis Walsh.


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