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County Kilkenny Ireland History


Barony of Iverk


The southern or lower portion of the Gaelic kingdom of Osraighe [Ossory], is referred to in early documents as Deasceart Osraighe, which was under the control of one of the junior branches of the Mac Giolla Phadraigs (FitzPatrick) in the 12th century. The southeastern part of this area was anciently referred to as Comor na tri uisge, "the district of the three waters", possibly referring to the area where the rivers Barrow and Suir meet (Cath Finntrágha, Kuno Meyer). The Book of Lecan describes the district of Cumar fri n-Uisci (district of the three waters) about the Suaineam (junction) of the Siuir (the river Suir), the Suaineam of Beoir (an Fheoire, the river Nore) and the Suaineam of the Bearba (the river Barrow).

At the time of the Cambro-Norman arrival in the late 12th century, the Gaelic septs who are said to have inhabited this area included the Ua Bruadair (O'Broder, Brooder, Broderick, Brother) sept of Uí nEirc who were established in central and western sections of Deasceart Osraighe. The name Iverk may derive from the tribal name of the Ua Bruadair, i.e. the Ui Eirc, the descendants of Erc. The Mac Braoin (Mac Breen, Mac Brewne, Mc Brune, Mac Breane) of Na Clanna were established in the north-central section of Deasceart Osraighe. The O Caollaidhe (O'Kealy, O'Queally, O'Coely) of Uí Bercháin who were noted in the eastern section of Deasceart Osraighe (Lebar Branach, H. 1, 14, T.C.D.). The O'Kealys occupied an area which later became the old barony of Ibercon, forming the northern portion of the more modern barony of Ida (O'Donovan), in southeast Co. Kilkenny.

According to the Book of Ballymote, the Ui Eirc of Ossory, as well as the Ui Enna in Uisci, descend from mythic ancestor Enna Airgtheach, an early sovereign of Ireland who had silver shields made at Airget Ros; so that he gave them to the men of Ireland, together with horses and chariots.

After the arrival of the Cambro-Normans, Strongbow granted the area of Deasceart Osraighe to one of his household knights, Miles Menevensis (Fitz David, Fitz Bishop), and it became know as the cantred of Overk [Iverk]. At that time it included the modern baronies of Ida and Iverk, as well as a part of the barony of Knocktopher (possibly the civil parishes of Rossinan, Killahy, Kilbeacon and half of Listerlin).

The Cambro-Norman, Miles Menevensis, son of David FitzGerald bishop of St Davids in Wales, was rewarded by Strongbow in the early 1170's, with the cantred of Overk and he became baron of Overk (aka Milo of Overk). Milo established two chief manorial centers, defended by earthwork castles, at Portnascully and Clone (Clonamery) at either end of his cantred. A lesser manorial center and castle was founded at Listerlin. He and his descendants held sway over what is now south County Kilkenny for nearly 150 years. Later, a southern manor is known to have been established at Grannagh, moving the baronial center down the river Suir from Portnascully.

Miles' children included David fitz Milo (his heir) and perhaps Henry fitz Milo (who granted Athnegaddy to the monastery at Kells). Miles, the first Baron of Iverk died in 1215 and was succeeded by his eldest son, David, the second baron. The 2nd baron, David, was noted to have started the first stone castle at Clonamery, an area that is today on the northern border of the barony of Ida. David Fitz-Milo is also noted in an endowment to the nunnery in the parish of Kilculliheen, sometimes called the Nunnery de Bello Portu. David was succeeded by his son Milo fitzDavid (1247-1287), and both are noted as holding 7 knight's fees in the feodaries of 1247 [source: Knights' Fees in counties Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny]. This Milo was subsequently succeeded by his sons, Milo fitzMilo (1287-1302) and Roger fitzMilo (1302-1320). In one version of the feodary at the partition of 1317, Roger son of Miles is noted to hold the 7 knights' fees, and the lands noted include Nouerk and Obargan [source: Chanc. Misc., P.R.O., London (File 9/24)]. A variant of this feodary, from the British Museum, Addl. MS. 4791, states the 7 knights' fees were held 'late of James le Botler' at Overk (Iverk) and Obargon (the ancient barony of Ibercon, in modern Ida). The latter record would indicate the Butlers acquired these knights' fees from the descendants of Milo shortly after 1317.
Note: Milo's descendants also held lands in the southern portion of the modern barony of Knocktopher.

In 1314, an extent of the rent and services of the free tenants of the Barony of Overk was held [source: Burtchaell, 1893, pp. 182]. It mentions the following individuals as holding lands in Odaw (aka Ida): John fitz William de Roche: John Lerchdekin (Cody); David Bronfedir, and William fitz Robert de Sto. Albino (Tobin), co-heirs. These lands appear to be located throughout the modern barony of Ida. By 1317, this area is being referred to by the ancient tribe name of Obargan (Uí Bercháin) [source: Brooks, 1950, pp. 264-65].

On June 20, 1314 an Extent of the Barony of Overke appears in the Red Book of Ormond. Among those in the list include: Roger fitz Milo, Henry fitz Henry de Rupe (Rowyr), Agatha filia Maurice (Lesteling), John fitz Alexander de Rupe (Corcleyn), Radulfus de Denne (Kylgrelan), Michael Sparke (Ballicoyne), John of Balliagueran, Thomas fitz William de Sco. Albino (Ballymacallgorme), Philip fitz walter Mancell, John & David fitz Philip fitz Milo, Theobald le Botiller & Johanna his wife, the four persons listed above at Odae, Thomas de Denne (Kilcrone), Maurice fitz David (Donkyt), Philip fitz William Lerchedekyn (Oryanan), Richard le Poer (Rathforby), Robert Tyrmore (Tyrmor), John fitz William (Portenhull), Nicholas Blundell (Corlodymor ( Leghlinensi), Herbet de Marreys (Polrohan), John de la Rockell (Croc' & Ballybrameth), Philip fitz William Bronyn (Polroan), Alicia Argentyme (Adbary), Matthew fitz Oliver (Catrykmoclagh), Walter le Poer (Ballyheyn), Maurice fitz William (Ballyleyn), William de Rockell (Kylroske), Edmund le Gras (Ownyng), Roger fitz Milo & Mabillia his wife, David le Graunt (Hyllyd & Ballytarsin), William le Graunt (Clontory), David le Graunt (Ballycorry), William Graunt (Kymacboyth), Robert Wodlok (Douncole), Theobald le Poer (Loghmoing), Gerald fitz Henry (Polesculle & Loghmoynyn). Among the jurors witnessing the extent included: John fitz Alexander, Maurice fitz David, David Grege, Meiler fitz Roger, John fitz Reymund, Andrew fitz David, David fitz David, Richard fitz William, Hnery Lydyr, David fitz Reymund, Henry Cadegan, Griffin fitz Matthew, Maurice fitz Matthew, Peter Coule, Gilbert fitz Andrew, Philip fitz Milo, John fitz Milo, and Thomas Box.

It would appear the Butler family purchased the barony of Iverk, i.e. the 7 knights' fees, in two parts. First are letters patent recorded for June, 1314, and then a charter and letters patent are recorded in March, 1319 [Ormond Deeds, i.]. In the 12th year of Edward II (1319) a deed of conveyance, dated at Knocktopher, was executed, by which Roger, son of Milo, Baron of Iverk in Ossory, granted lands to Edmond le Butler, Earl of Carrick. Roger's seal on the sale document still exists in Dublin and shows the Fitzgerald saltire with 4 stars. In 1319 the Butlers held the seven knights' fees in Overk.

An entry in the 1355 feodary (Despenser purparty) shows that Fulco de Den and Walter Waddyn (perhaps a de Rupe, or Roche) held 1 knight's fee in an unspecified location. According to Brooks (Knights' Fees in Counties Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny, 1950. pp. 201), "it seems almost certain that the 1 fee held by Fulco de Den... was part of the 7 fees of the barony of Iverk, for some reason considered here as being held directly of the chief lord."

Circa 1413, in a list of royal service due to the Lord of Overk (the Butlers), the following lands are cited: Lord Roch of Rowyr [The Rower], Leserlyng [Listerlin], Balmagurin [Ballygurrim?], Four heirs of Odaa [Ida], Kilcroyn, Dunkyt [Dunkitt], Orynane otherwise called Dynbryn [the manor of Grenagh], Kilmaboigh [Kilmacow], Kilreske, Carrymoclagh, Baltartyn [Ballytarsney], Ballyheyn, and Loghran, Killagh and Rossenane [Rossinan]. Source: Ormond Deeds, ii. p.316-317.

The manor of Grenagh, otherwise Dunbrin, was likely centered around 'Granny' Castle on the river Suir. The manor, another of the Butler holdings (granted to the lord of Dunboyne), was in the southern portion of the barony of Iverk, the castle located in what is now the parish of Kilmacow. In December 1415 is an extent of manor of Grenagh, which included the following names and tenements: Nicholas Daukin (2 carucates in Clonasse); John Inam & John Fleming, 1 carucate in Flemingstown; Robert Cantwell, dim. carucates in Newton; David Graunt, 15 acres; , land in Clonsterok; Robert Cantwell, 15 acres in Ballisallgh; McArland Graunt, land in Portynhille; Prio Thomas Botiller, land in the villam of Kylkrone; , land in the villam de Gragan; and Lewellyn Walsh, 100 acres in Affadde.
Among the twelve jurors listed at the extent included: Richard Taillour, William Stephnok, John Bretnagh, William Stephwalsh, John Conndyn, Nicholas Daukin, Thomas Millward, Nicholas Tomik, William fflemyng, Thomas Bane, John Eynon, and Henry Archedekyn. [source: Red Book of Ormond].

In a list of rental due to James [Butler], Earl of Ormond in 1432, the area of the cantred of Overk is listed in [at least] three distinct groupings: Grennagh, Odaa, and Obargoyne. The entries under Grennagh (i.e. the Butler manor of Granny, alias Dunbrin] includes holdings in the modern barony of Iverk. Odaa includes rental due in the southeast corner of the county, and Obargoyne includes rent from the area about Rosbercon.

The distribution of lands in the barony of Iverk (southwest co. Kilkenny) circa 1640 shows the major landowners as the Butlers, followed by the Datons (Daltons), the Walshs, Grants, Strangs, and Denns.

The principal Irish names and their number in the 1659 census, Barony of Iverke, included: Aildwood, 007 ; Butler, 014 ; Browne, 06 ; Cody, 006 ; Donell, 009 ; Daton, 022 ; Dullard, 05 ; Dunfy, 05 ; Fitzgerald, 007 ; Grant, 033 ; Haly & Healy, 008 ; Kenedy, 007 ; Kelly, 006 ; Morphey, 006 ; Mogher, 006 ; Phelan, 011 ; Powre & Poore, 008 ; McPhillipp, 007 ; Quin, 020 ; McShane, 009 ; Welsh & Walsh, 087. Total Irish in the barony, 1358 ; total English in the barony, 099.

Further reference:
Parishes and Townlands of Iverk
Barony and Civil Parish Map of County Kilkenny


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