County Kilkenny Ireland History
Timeline of Events




Historical Timeline - County Kilkenny

Geologic Time

500 Million years ago - Sedimentary rock formed under parts of eastern Kilkenny, which was 
       under the sea.
400 Million years ago - the two parts of Ireland, the island, were fused together under the ocean.
400 Million years ago - the mountains at Brandon and the uplands at Tullogher were formed, again
       under the sea.
350 Million years ago - Kilkenny was at a dry land stage with plant life that fossilized into the 
       yellow sandstones of Kiltorcan. 
345 Million years ago - Kilkenny was submerged for about 20 Million years under a tropical shallow 
       ocean.  Lime deposits from this era eventually became the limestone found commonly in 
       Kilkenny and Ireland.  The polished limestone provides the famous Kilkenny marble.
320 million years ago - Kilkenny covered by a muddy delta and swamps, with deposits eventually 
       forming todays sandstones and coal. 
250 Million years ago - a mountain building era resulting in the east-west mountains of Munster, 
       and the Walsh Mountain area between Millinavat and Slievenamon.
2 Million years ago - Ice age glacial periods intermixed with cold and warm periods begin. 
500,000 years ago - A warm period known as the Gortian. Kilkenny is covered by forest of birch, 
       oak, pine, leder, fir, holly, yew, heather and grass.
200,000 years ago - A cold period lasting 70,000 years called the Munsterian. All of Kilkenny (and 
       Ireland) is covered by a sea of ice.  Movement of Glaciers helped form the soil of today.  
130,000 years ago - A warm period known as the Glenavian lasting about 60,000 years with climate 
       much like today.
70,000 years ago - A cold phase lasting about 60,000 years known as the Midlandian stage.  Ice 
       sheets covered the northern half of Kilkenny, from Callan to Goresbridge. The southern have 
       would have included tundra grasslands and some woodland.  Animal life is noted during this 
       time, including wooly mammoths, wolf, arctic fox, brown bear, the giant Irish Elk, reindeer 
       and lemmings. 
10,000 years ago - The ice begins to melt, sea levels begin to rise and plants begin to reappear 
       in all of Kilkenny. 
9,000 years ago - A birch dominated forest covers much of Kilkenny.
8,000 years ago - Hazel and pine become part of the forest population.

Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age

7000 BC - Mesolithic hunter-gatherer groups make their appearance in Ireland.  (est. 9000 to 
       5500 years ago)
4500 BC - Neolithic agriculture and domestication of plant and animal life.  
4000 BC - The great burial mounds soon begin to appear including the portal tombs and dolmens 
       at Owning, Harristown and Borrismore, as well as the passage graves like those at 
       Clomantagh Hill and Knockroe.
3500 BC - Neolithic single burial tombs known as Linkardstown Cists.  One was excavated at 
       Jerpoint West. 
2500 BC - Bronze Age metal working, Ring-ditches, standing Stones, Cairns and Fulachta Fiadha. 
       Standing stones included the ones at Mount Misery, Ferrybank, and the three Friars at 
       Smithstown. Stone circles present in other parts of Ireland are absent from Kilkenny.
600 to 500 BC - Iron Age begins. Goidelic-speaking Celts (from Spain? and elsewhere) possibly 
       arrive in Ireland.  
300 BC - Iron Age La Tene (Celtic) objects.   
250 BC - The Laigin from Armorica in northwestern France are said to arrive 
       in southeast Ireland. The term Laigin is an early name for Leinster.
100 BC - Hillforts and huge linear earthworks make their appearance sometime before or 
       around this period.  Earthworks on hilltops are exemplified by the ones at Freestone Hill, 
       Clomantagh Hill, Foulksrath and Cairndubh Hill.

A.D.

c100 - The Osraighe, a group of a Munster people known as the Erainn, 
       establish a semi-independent state within the territory of 
       Laigin (Leinster) in the present County Kilkenny. 
c150 - The first king of the ancient Kingdom of Ossory (Osraighe), Aengus Osrithe, 
       flourishes in the second century of the Christian era.
c300 - Agricultural activity increases and the population expands. Ringforts 
       and Early Church sites abound.
c350 - Christianity reaches Ireland.
c380 - Roman artifacts at Freestone Hill and at a Stonyford burial site.
402 -  St. Kieran [Saighir] founds the see (diocese) of Ossory at Sier-Kieran, in the 
       territory of the Ely O'Carroll. He is later cited as the first Bishop of Ossory. 
c450 - St. Patrick visits Ossory and erects a church under the invocation 
       of St. Martin, near the present city of Kilkenny.
c460 - The neighbouring tribe of the Deisi, aided by the Corca-Laighde, 
       conquer South Ossory, and for over a century, the Corca-Laighde
       chiefs rule in place of the dispossessed Ossory chiefs.
c530 - St. Ciaran of Seir founds a monastery at Grangefertagh.
571 -  The Annals record, the battle of Tola where the people of Osraighe and Eile were 
       defeated. Tola is the name of a plain situated between Cluain Fearta Molua and Saighir. 
574 -  Colmán Már macCoirpre O'Dúnlainge, king of Osraige until 574, also 
       King of Leinster.
c580 - St. Canice founds a monastery at Aghaboe (Aghavoe).
c582 - The Annals record, Fearadhach, son of Duach, Lord of Osraighe, was slain by his own people. 
600 -  St. Canice dies at Aghaboe.
c601 - The Annals record the death of Colman, son of Fearadhach, chief of Osraighe. 
622 -  The ancient Church of St Lachtain, near Freshford, is founded.
c630 - The ancient Ossory chiefs recover much of their lost possessions, 
       the foreigners overcome, and the descendants of Aengus Osrithe 
       rule once more.
640 -  The Annals record the death of Scannlan Mor, son of Ceannfaeladh, chief of Osraighe.
c650 - St. Mullin's Church, just across the Kilkenny border, is built.
658 -  The Annals record, Faelan, chief of Osraighe, was slain by the Leinstermen.
c676 - The slaying of Tuaimsnamha, chief of Osraighe, by Faelan Seanchostol.
c690 - The annals record a battle between the Osriaghi and the Leinstermen.
c711 - The death of Cucearca, Lord of Ossory.
c730 - The death of Ceallach, son of Faelchair, chief of Osraighe, at the 
       battle of Bealach Ele between the men Leinster and Munster.
c735 - The Annals record the slaying of Forbasach, son of Ailell, Lord of Ossory.
c737 - The devastation of Cinel Fiachach and of Dealbhna by the Osraighe.
749 -  The men of Osraighe cause devastation in Fotharta Fea.
756 -  The battle of Belach Gabhrain was fought between the men of Leinster and Osraighe, 
       in which the son of Cucerca had the victory over the Ui Ceinsealiagh and other chieftains.
c764 - The Annals record, a battle between the Osraighe themselves; by Tuaimsnamha, in which 
       the sons of Ceallach, son of Faelchar, were routed.
c765 - The slaying of Tuaimsnamha, son of Flann, lord of Osraighe.
c767 - The death of Dunghal, son of Ceallach, lord of Osraighe.
c781 - The Annals record, Faelan, son of Forbhasach, one of the Osraighe, was slain by the 
       Osraighe themselves.
c795 - The Vikings complete their first recorded raids in Ireland.
c797 - Fearghal, son of Anmchaidh, lord of Osraige, died.
c800 - Ossory Crosses of Kilkieran and Ahenny. 
c820 - Celtic Crosses of Kilree and Killamery.
c823 - The Annals record a victory by the foreigners (Norse) over the Osraighi.
c841 - Dunghal, son of Fearghal, lord of Osraighe, died.
c845 - The Annals record a slaughter made of the foreigners of Ath Cliath (Norse of Dublin), 
       at Carn Brammit, by Cearbhall, son of Dunghal, lord of Osraighe, where twelve hundred 
       of them were slain. 
846 -  Tradition says that Niall Caille MacAeda, High King of Ireland, was 
       buried at the site of Kilree High Cross. 
c846 - A defeat was given by Echthighern and the Leinstermen to the Osraighe, at Uachtar Garadha.
c846 - A defeat by Dunadhach, son of Dunghaile, and the Osraighe, to the Deisi. 
c856 - A victory was gained by Cearbhall, lord of Osraighe, and by Imhar (a Norse chieftain), in the territory 
       of Aradh Tire, over the Cinel Fiachach, with the Gall Gaeidhil (the Dano-Irish) of Leath 
       Chuinn. Four hundred above six thousand was the number which came with Cearbhall amd Imhar.
c857 - A great army was led by Amhlaeibh and Imhar, and by Cearbhall, lord of Osraighe, into Meath.
c860 - Celtic Crosses (granite) of Ullard, Graiguenamanagh, Castledermot, 
       Newtown and St. Mullins.
861 -  King Cerbhall of Ossory repels a Viking raid on Grangefertagh monastery.
c862 - The Annals record a prey by Cearbhall, lord of Osraighe, from Leinster, and another prey 
       in a fortnight afterwards from the Osraighi, by the Leinstermen.
c864 - Sruthar Slebhte and Achadh Arglais were plundered by the Osraighi.
c864 - A slaughter was made of the foreigners by the people of the north of Osraighe.
c868 - The plundering of the Deisi by Cearbhall, son of Dunghal, and the Osriaghi. 
c871 - The plundering of Connaught by Cearbhall and the Osraighi, along with Donnchadh, 
       the King of Caiseal (Cashel).
c876 - A slaughter was made of the South Leinstermen at Fulachta, by the Osraighi.
c876 - A victory was gained by Cearbhall, and by the Deisi, over the men of Munster. 
c885 - Cearbhall, son of Dunghal, lord of Osraighe, died.
c887 - A slaughter was made of the Osraighi by the Deisi, and the killing of Braenan, son of 
       Cearbhall, and also of Suibhne, son of Dunghus, lord of Ui Fearghusa.
c890 - Tullaherin Round Tower is built near modern Bennettsbridge.
890 -  The Annals record the slaying of the lord of Feara Cul and the lord of Caille Follamhain 
       in Ossory.
c891 - A slaughter was made of the Eoghanachta at Grian Airbh, by the son of Cearbhall, 
       and the Leinstermen.
c893 - An army was led by the Deisi, the foreigners, and Ceallach, son of Cearbhall, over 
       Osraighe, as far as Gabhran. 
c900 - Waterford, next to the Kilkenny border, is established by the Vikings.
c900 - Diarmaid, son of Cearbhall, was driven from the kingdom of Osraighe; and Ceallach, 
       son of Cearbhall, was made king in his place.
c900 - A battle was gained by Ceallach, son of Cearbhall, and by the Osraighi, over the Eili 
       and the Muscraighi, in which fell one hundred and ten persons.
c903 - Ceallah, son of Cearbhall, lord of Osraighe, fell in the great battle of Bealach-Mughna. 
c914 - Diarmaid, son of Cearbhall, is cited in the Annals as lord of Osraighe, dying about 927. 
c920 - Ath na nUrlaidhe, "the ford of the sledgings", was the site of a 
       battle between the Irish and the Danes. The town of Urlingford is said 
       to take its name from this battle.
928 -  Dunmore Cave is plundered by Godfrey and the Vikings of Dublin where 
       it was said 1,000 people were slain.
c929 - The Annals cite that Godfrey went into Osraighe to expel the grandson of Imhar 
       Magh-Roighne.
c931 - Cuilen, son of Ceallach, lord of Osraighe, died.
c938 - A great slaughter was made of the Osraighi by Ceallachan, King of Caiseal.
c939 - Muircheartach, son of Niall, with the men of the North and of Breagha, went into the 
       territory of Osraighe and Deisi and totally plundered and ravaged the entire country.
c945 - A battle was gained by Donnchadh, son of Ceallach, lord of Osraighe, over  the Leinstermen, 
       in which Braen, son of Maelmordha, King of Leinster, was slain along with the lord of the 
       Ui Ceinnsealaigh. 
c960 - Clonmacnoise was plundered by the Osraighi.
c962 - A victory was gained over Amlaeibh, son of Sitric, by the Osraighi, at Inis Teoc. 
c965 - Murchadh, King of Leinster plundered Magh Raighne in Osraighe, but was driven out by 
       the men of Munster, Osraighe and Deisi. 
c967 - Murchadh, King of Leinster, raided Osraighe and was again driven out. 
c967 - Aedh Allan, son of Fearghal, lord of Osraighe, died.
c971 - Dunchadh, the foster-son of Diarmaid, distinguished bishop and chief poet of Osraighe, died. 
c972 - Another battle was gained by the Osraighi over the Ui Ceinnsealaigh. 
c974 - Donnchadh, son of Ceallach, lord of Osraighe, died.
c981 - Brian Boru plunders Osraighe.
984 -  Brian Boru gains control of all southern Ireland (Munster).
c995 - Gillaphadraig, son of Donnchadh, lord of Osraighe, was killed by Donndubhan, son of Imhar, 
       and by Domhnall, son of Faelan, lord of the Deisi.
995 -  The Kings of Ossory and their clannspeople become known as Mac 
       Giolla Phadraig.
c1002 - Ceallach, son of Diarmaid, lord of Osraighe, was slain by Donnchadh, son of Gillaphadraig, 
        the son of his father's brother.
c1014 - An army led by Maelseachlainn, Ua Neill, Ua Maeldoraidh and O'Ruairc plundered Osraighe.
1014 -  Brian Boru defeats the Vikings at Clontarf. He reigns as High King 
        of Ireland from 1002-1014. 
c1015 - Maelseachlainn plunders Osraighe and slays Dunghal, son of Gillaphadraig.
c1021 - The Annals of the 4 Masters record, "A shower of wheat was rained in Osraighe".
c1022 - Sitric, son of Imhar, lord of Port Lairge, was slain by the lord of Osraighe.
c1026 - A plundering army was led by the Osraighi into Ui Muireadhaigh (in Leinster), and they 
        obtained great spoils. 
c1026 - An army was led by the lord of Osraighe (Donnchadh Mac Gillaphadraig) into Ui 
        Ceinnsealaigh, and plundered it.
c1027 - An army was led by Donnchadh, son of Brian (Boru), into Osraighe where his people 
        were defeated. 
c1031 - Osraighe was plundered by Donnchadh, son of Brian, and the Osraighi slew many on that 
        occasion. 
1033 -  The Mac Gillápadraig (Donnchadh) assumes the kingship of Leinster, king from 1033 to 1039.
1034 -  Donnchadh, son of Brian, plundered Osraighe.
c1036 - Muircheartach, son of Gillaphadraig, lord of half Osraighe, was treacherously slain by 
        O'Caellaighe, one of his own people. 
c1039 - An army was led by Donnchadh Mac Gillaphadraig and the Osraighi into Meath.
1039 -  Donnchadh Mac Gillaphadraig, lord of Osraighe and of the greater part of Leinster, died 
        after long illness.
c1042 - Murchadh, son of Dunlaing, King of Leinster, and Donnchadh, son of Aedh, lord of Ui Bairrche, 
        fell by Gillaphadraig, son of Donnchadh, lord of Osraighe, and others, in the battle of Magh Mailceth.
c1050 - Cleirchen Ua Muineoc, noble bishop of Leithghlinn, and head of the piety of Osraighe, died. 
1052 -  The seat of the diocese of Ossory is moved from Sier-Kieran to 
        Aghaboe (Aghavoe).  Some historians place this date as 1118. 
c1055 - Gillaphadraig, son of Donnchadh, lord of Osraighe, died.
1066 -  William (the Conqueror), King of Normandy, invades England. 100 years 
        later, Cambro-Normans will invade Ireland and have a dramatic impact on Ossory. 
1085 -  One of the original churches at the site of St. Canice's Cathedral burned.
c1087 - Domhnall Mac Gillaphadraig, lord of Osraighe, died after a long illness. 
1118 -  At the synod of Rathbreasail the limits of the diocese of Ossory are 
        permanently fixed. About the same time the see was transferred from Seir-Kieran to Aghaboe.
c1123 - Donnchadh Mac Gillaphadraig Ruaidh, lord of Osraighe, fell by his own tribe.
c1126 - Toirdhealbhach Ua Conchobair (Turlogh O'Conor) made a great slaughter of the Osraighi, 
        together with the Ua Carog, and carried off the hostages of the Osraighi on that occasion. 
c1134 - An army was led by the son of Mac Murchadha and the Leinstermen into Osraige, and 
        the Osraighi resisted and slaughtered them.  Later the son of Mac Murchadha made a slaughter 
        of the Osraighi and of the foreigners of Port-Lairge. 
c1146 - Gillaphadraig, the grandson of Donnchadh, lord of Osraighe, was killed by the O'Braenains, by 
        treachery, in the middle of Cill Cainnigh.
c1150 - Ossory inhabited by the Gaelic septs of the Mac Giolla Phadraig 
        (Fitzpatrick), O Braonain (Brennan), O Caollaidhe (Kealy), 
        O Faoileain (Phelan), Mac Braoin (Breen), O Maoldomhnaigh (Muldowney), 
        and O Cearbhaill (Carroll), among others.
c1151 - The gransdon of Donnchadh, grandson of Gillaphadraig, lord of half Osraighe, was taken 
        prisoner by Diarmaid, son of Mac Murchadha, (Dermot McMurrough), King of Leinster, through 
        treachery and guile.
1152 -  Donal O'Fogarty is consecrated as vicar-general and bishop of Ossory.
1154 -  Pope Adrian IV gives Norman King Henry II of England permission to 
        claim Ireland.
c1154 - A battle was gained by the Osraighi over the Ui Ceinnsealaigh, in which many were slain. 
1155/60 - The coming of the Cisternians to Jerpoint and Kilkenny.
1158 -  Jerpoint Abbey is founded by Donal MacGiollaPhadruig, King of Ossory. 
c1158 - An army was led by Ruaidhri Ua Conchobhair as far as Leithghlinn, and he took the hostages 
        of Osraighe and Laeighis. 
c1162 - Donnchadh, son of Mac Gillaphadraig, lord of Osraighe, died.
c1165 - Domhnall Mac Gillaphadraig, lord of Osraighe, was slain by the people of Laeighis Ui Mordha.
1165 -  Domnall macCerbaill MacGilla Pátraic, King of Osraige through the 
        coming of the Anglo-Normans, 1165 to 1176.
1169 -  On his quest to retake Leinster, Dermot MacMurrough enlists the aid of the Norse of Wexford and a 
        Cambro-Norman led contingent from Wales.  The combined army route the Osraighi near modern Freshford. 
1171 -  Richard fitz Gilbert de Clare (Strongbow), a Norman earl, becomes 
        lord of Leinster.
1172 -  Strongbow builds a wooden fortress at the present site of Kilkenny 
        city. The building of Norman fortresses, castles and towns begin. 
1173 -  Destruction of Strongbow's fortress and settlement by O'Brien and 
        Mac Gillapatrick. The Gaelic clans resist the subinfeudation of the 
        Normans.
c1174 - Ossory consists of twelve cantreds (pre-baronies): Aghaboe, Callan, 
        Erley, Galmoy, Iverk, Kells, Kilkenny, Knocktopher, Odogh, Ogenty, 
        Oskelan, and Shillelogher.  
c1175 - The Annals record the treacherous slaying of Donnell, son of Donough, Lord of 
        Ossory, by Donnell O'Brien.
c1175 - Strongbow initiates grants of territory to Miles Fitz David (the cantred of 
        Iverk), Adam de Hereford (half the cantred of Aghaboe), and 
        Griffin fitz William (cantred of Knocktopher).
1176 -  The Annals record Donnell Mac Gillapatrick (now Fitzpatrick), Lord of Ossory, died.
c1178 - Donnell O'Fogarty, bishop of Ossory, died.
c1178 - The "See of Ossory" is moved from Aghaboe to the city of Kilkenny by 
        the newly consecrated bishop of Ossory, Felix O'Dullany (1178-1202). He lays 
        the foundation of the cathedral church of St. Canice.  For some historians this happened 
        after O'Dullany died in 1202. 
1185 -  The Annals record the death of Donnell Mac Gillapatrick, Lord of Ossory.
c1190 - King John grants Theobald fitzWalter the title, Butler of Ireland, 
        and the fief of Oskelan (Gowran). Land grants awarded to the 
        Cambro-Normans continue.
1192 -  William Marshall, a Norman earl, becomes lord of Leinster.
c1192 - Donnell O'Brien defeated by the Cambro-Normans of Ossory. 
1193 -  The Augustinian Kells Priory is founded by Geoffrey FitzRobert de 
        Marisco.
1194 -  Melaghlin, the son of Donnell, who was the grandson of Gillapatrick, Lord 
        of Ossory, died.
1195 -  William Marshall rebuilds a fortress at Kilkenny city, later to be 
        rebuilt (close-by) in the thirteenth century as Kilkenny Castle.
c1196 - Grants are made to Marshall's household knights: Thomas fitz Anthony 
        (cantred of Ogenty); Geoffrey fitz Robert (cantred of Kells); 
        John de Erlee in succession to Baldwin de Hamptonsford (cantred of 
        Erley; and William Maillard, his standard-bearer (Mallardstown in 
        Erley. Marshall retains the cantreds of Kilkenny and Callan.
c1198 - The remaining cantreds of Odogh, Galmoy and Shillelogher were 
        sub-divided among a number of lesser knights: Grace (Tullaroan); 
        St. Leger (Tullaghanbrogue and Attanagh); de Valle (Ballubur with 
        Castleinch); fitz Gerald (Burnchurch); Avenal (Kilferagh); bishop 
        of Ossory (Freshford and Durrow); Bigod (Aghmacart); Drohull 
        (Tubbridbritain); Fanyn (Clomantagh); Syward, later fitz Gerald 
        (Glashare with Fertagh); Archdeacon (Galmoy (Erke?)); Smith 
        (Coolcashin); de Rochford (Sheffin and Odagh?); fitz Warin, later 
        Freyne (Rathbeagh); Devereaux (Aharney).
1202 -  The cathedral of St. Canice in Kilkenny city begins to be built in 
        the reign of Hugh De Rous, Bishop of Ossory (1202-1215).  Certain historians 
        cite this as the timeframe the See of Ossory was moved from Aghaboe to Kilkenny.
1204 -  Duiske Abbey, a Cisternian church near Graiguenamanagh, is built at 
        the site of the 9th century Celtic crosses of Akylthawn and Ballyogan.
1204 -  The first stone castle at Kilkenny city is built by William the Earl Marshall.
c1205 - Thomastown is founded by Thomas FitzAnthony.
1208 -  A charter by William the Earl Marshall was granted to attract immigrants 
        and create trade in Kilkenny.
1209 -  Hugh Rufus (le Rous, of Bodmin) is cited as Bishop of Ossory. 
c1210 - Kilkenny becomes a liberty as part of Leinster Province.
1211 -  The Augustinian Priory of St. John the Evangelist is founded.
1217 -  William Marshal the Elder granted a Charter to the town of Callan.
1219 -  The death of William Marshall, seneschal of Ireland.
c1221 - Peter Malveisin becomes Bishop of Ossory, and serves until 1230/31.
1225 -  The Black Abbey was founded in Kilkenny city by William Marshall the 
        younger.
c1232 - Walter de Brackley serves as Bishop of Ossory until 1243.
c1232 - St. Francis' Friary is founded by Richard the Marshal. 
1234 -  Richard Marshal, brother of William the 2nd Earl Marshal, dies at Kilkenny of wounds received on the Curragh in Kildare.
1244 -  Geoffrey de Turville cited as Bishop of Ossory, and serves until 1250.
1245 -  The last of the male line of the Marshals, Earl Anselm, dies, and Leinster is partitioned into five liberties. Among the 
        divisions the lordship of Kilkenny descends to Isabel Marshal and her husband Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, and 
        to their son Earl Richard de Clare.
1247 -  Donough, the son of Anmchadh O'Gillapatrick, and Turlough O'Conor of Connaught 
        kindled a great war against the English of Connaught.  Donough slew Mac Elget, 
        Seneschal of Connaught.
1249 -  Donough O'Gillapatrick, i.e. the son of Anmchadh, son of Donough, was killed by the 
        English in retaliation.
1251 -  The Episcopal Palace at Uppercourt is built by Hugh de Mapleton, Bishop 
        of Ossory (1251-1260). He continued the work on St. Canice's Cathedral at great expense.
1260 -  Geoffry de St. Leger serves as Bishop of Ossory until 1286/87. 
c1270 - St. Canice Cathedral is completed by Bishop Geoffrey St. Leger. 
        Note: This completion date is also said to be in the year 1280 and 1285.
1287 -  Geoffrey St. Leger, Bishop of Ossory, dies. Roger of Wexford assumes his place until his death in 1289.
1289 -  Michael of Exeter serves as Bishop of Ossory until his death in 1302.
1293 -  First parliament in Kilkenny during medieval times. 12 parliaments sat in Kilkenny 
        over the next 70 years. 
1294 -  A great council of barons of the English Pale is held in Kilkenny 
        city.
1297 -  The castle of Moifillith (Muckalee?), near Castlecomer, is burnt 
        down by the Gaelic O'Brennan clan.
1297 -  The Butlers acquire the lordship of Rathdowney from John Pippard.
1302 -  William Fitz-John is bishop of Ossory, and serves until 1317.
1307 -  Offerlane, in northern Aghaboe, is a beleagured Norman outpost 
        surrounded by the indigenous population (MacGillapatricks). The 
        Anglo-Norman settlement in much of northern Kilkenny is assumed in 
        the form of a military aristocracy governing a largely unassimilated 
        Gaelic population (including the O'Brennans).
1308/14 - The suppression of the Templars, a Christian sect.
1309 -  A parliament was assembled at Kilkenny city in which severe laws were 
        enacted against English settlers who adopt the Irish customs.
1314 -  Gilbert de Clare, grandson of Richard of 1245 and absentee lord of Kilkenny, falls 
        at the battle of Bannockburn (Scotland). In 1317, the lordship of Kilkenny is divided 
        among his three sisters, Eleanor (le Despenser), Margaret (de Audley), and Elizabeth (Dammory).  
1314 -  The Butlers gain the manor and cantred of Knocktopher fom Nigel le 
        Brun.
1315 -  Parliament called to resist the invasion of Edward Bruce.
1316 -  The army of the Bruces visit Gowran, Callan and Kells. Edward 
        Bruce, brother of Robert Bruce of Scotland, crowned King of Ireland.
1317 -  The lordship of Kilkenny is partitioned among 3 of Gilbert de 
        Clare's absentee sisters.
1317 -  Edward Bruce of Scotland captures Gowran, a town which was for a time 
        was an early seat of the Kings of Ossory.
1317 -  Roger Mortimer, justiciary of Ireland, and the English nobles hold a 
        council in Kilkenny city to deliberate on the most effectual means 
        of opposing the ravages of Edward Bruce. An army of 30,000 is 
        assembled.
1318 -  The accession of Richard Ledrede, an English Franciscan, to bishop of Ossory (1317-1360).
1319 -  The Butlers acquire the lordship of Iverk, in lower Co. Kilkenny.
1324 -  Donough Mac Gillapatrick, Lord of Ossory, died.
1324 -  Alice Kyteler's trial in Kilkenny by secular and ecclesiastical 
        authorities for diabolism, invocation and sorcery. She escapes.
1327 -  Simon Purcell, the sheriff of the liberty of Kilkenny, is killed 
        with twenty others fighting the O'Brennans.
1328 -  James Butler, 1st Earl of Ormonde from 1328 to 1337.
1329 -  The O'Brennans burn Drumhythyr (Kilmadum in northern Oskelan).
1330 -  A parliament is held in Kilkenny city, when an army assembled here 
        to drive Brien O'Brien from Urkuffs, near Cashel.
1332 -  The fall of the original belfry and tower at St. Canice's Cathedral.
1334 -  The paving of the streets of Kilkenny. 
1335 -  The Market Cross is erected at Kilkenny city.
1338 -  Imprisonment in Kilkenny castle of Sir Oliver and Sir Fulco de la Freyne, by Eustace le poer, 
        seneschal of Kilkenny. Oliver escapes, alerts his friends, and attacks and breaks down the castle gates. 
1338 -  James Butler, the "Noble Earl", 2nd Earl of Ormonde, 1338 to 1382. 
1338 -  A year of a very great flood according to the annals of John Clyn. 
1340 -  Henry de Valle, seneschal of Kilkenny, repels a Mac Murrough invasion. 
1343 -  Building of the bell tower of St. Mary's. 
1348 -  The Black Death takes its toll on the households of the county.
1349 -  Patrick de la Freyne engaged in fighting the McGillapatricks who 
        storm the castle of Aghaboe. 
c1350 - The Anglo-Normans abandon serious effort to recover the north 
        following a Gaelic resurgence. 
c1350 - Ballylarkin Abbey, in Freshford, is founded by the Shortall family.
1352 -  John fitz Oliver de la Freyne is commissioned as new sheriff of a 
        united county. Prior to this. parts of Kilkenny were politically 
        sub-divided into the "county of the cross" which included the 
        crosslands (church lands) as administered by the government in Dublin. 
1356 -  A foundation was made at Jerpoint Abbey by the Earl of Ormond, James 
        Butler (the Noble Earl), for the Carmelite Order of Friars.
1361 -  John de Tatenhall serves as Bishop of Ossory until his death in 1366.
1367 -  The Statutes of Kilkenny are enacted. The statutes unsuccessfully 
        try to legislate the English who "live and govern themselves according to the manners, 
        fashion, and language of the Irish enemies." 
1370 -  John de Oxford serves as Bishop of Ossory, but dies before the end of the year.
1371 -  Alexander de Balscot serves as Bishop of Ossory until 1386. 
1371/72 - Parliament in Kilkenny.
1374 -  A parliament at Kilkenny city swears Sir William I Windsor into 
        the office of Lord-Lieutenant.
1375 -  Parliament held by King Richard II in person.
1376 -  Alexander Balscot, bishop of Ossory.
1382 -  The "Noble Earl" dies at Knocktopher Castle, His son, James Butler 
        becomes the 3rd Earl of Ormonde, 1382 to 1405.
1383 -  The Annals record Mac Gillapatrick, Lord of Ossory, died of the plague.
1386 -  Numbers of the English of Ossory fell by Mac Murrough, King of Leinster.
1387 -  Richard De Northalis ascends to the bishopric of Ossory (1387-1395). 
1391 -  Kilkenny Castle, and the 1317 'le Despenser' share of Kilkenny, is 
        granted to James, Earl of Ormonde. 
1395 -  Thomas Peverell serves as Bishop of Ossory (1395-98). 
1399 -  King Richard II is entertained for 14 days by the Earl of Ormonde.
1399 -  King Richard II confirms charter granted to Kilkenny by William the Earl Marshall.
1399 -  John ?? becomes Bishop of Ossory, and is replaced within months by John Griffin (1399-1400).
1400 -  Robert Talbot encompasses the greater part of Kilkenny city with walls.
1400 -  Roger de Appleby serves as Bishop of Ossory (1400-1403). 
1403 -  John Vulcan serves as Bishop of Ossory (1403-1405). 
1405 -  James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormonde, the White Earl, 1405 to 1452.
1407 -  Thomas Snell serves as Bishop of Ossory (1407-17).
1417 -  Patrick Ragged, or Fox, serves as Bishop of Ossory from 1417 to 1421. 
1421 -  Denis O'Dea serves as Bishop of Ossory (1421-26).
1427 -  Thomas Barry ascends to the bishopric of Ossory (1427-1460). 
c1431 - Donnell Mac Gillapatrick, the son of the Lord of Ossory, died.
1443 -  The Annals record Fineen and Dermot, two sons of Mc Gillapatrick, Lord of Ossory, 
        were treacherously slain at Kilkenny, at the instigation of Mac Richard Butler.
1452 -  The death of the White Earl of Ormonde. His son, James, becomes 5th.
1460 -  Bishop David Hacket ascends to the bishopric of Ossory (1460-1478).
1461 -  John Butler, son of James the 4th, becomes the 6th Earl of Ormonde. 
1462 -  The Augustinian Friary at Callan is founded.
1462 -  Edmund MacRichard Butler of Polestown given control of the Kilkenny 
        lordship. Eamonn Mac Risderd Butler of Pottlerath founded the Augustinian 
        Friary at Callan. His son James erected the existing buildings 
        between 1467 and 1470.
c1462 - The Earl of Desmond takes Kilkenny and the other towns in the country of 
        the Butlers. 
1477 -  Thomas Butler, son of James the 4th, becomes the 7th Earl of Ormonde.
1478 -  The Annals record, Richard, the son of Edmond Mac Richard Butler, was slain by Fineen 
        Roe, the son of Fineen, one of the Ossorians, in the doorway of the church of St. Canice.
1479 -  John O'Heyden is promoted to the Bishopric of Ossory and serves until his death in 1486/87. 
1488 -  Oliver Cantwell becomes bishop of Ossory (1487-1527). He later rebuilds the 
        bridge of Kilkenny which was destroyed by a flood. 
1489 -  The Annals record, Geoffrey Mac Gillapatrick, Lord of Ossory, died.
1499 -  The burgesses of Kilkenny city marched out in aid of the Butlers 
        against Tirlagh O'Brien, but were defeated.
1504 -  Lord Leonard Grey's campaign against the O'Connors, O'Carrolls, 
        McGeoghegans, O'Malleys, O'Tooles, and O'Briens.
1508 -  A fine tombstone memorial is built at St. Canice's Cathedral for 
        James Shortal by O'Tunney (visible today).
1515 -  Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormonde and 1st Earl of Ossory, 
        1515 to 1539.  
1527 -  Milon Baron (Milo Barron, otherwise Fitzgerald) is consecrated bishop of Ossory. He dies in 1551.
1532 -  Thomas, the son of Pierce Roe, Earl of Ormond, was slain by Dermot Mac Gillapatrick, 
        who was heir to the lordship of Ossory. Dermot was delivered to the Earl by his own brother, 
        the Mac Gillapatrick. 
1536 -  The last parliament held in Kilkenny city is adjourned to Cashel.
1536 -  The suppression of the Abbeys and Monasteries by Henry VIII begin.
1537 -  Henry VIII was declared head of the Church of Ireland, but most Irish Christians 
        maintained loyalty to Rome. 
1538 - Kilkenny College is founded by Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormonde. 
1539 - James Butler, son of Piers the 8th, becomes 9th Earl of Ormonde.
1541 - Henry VIII proclaimed himself king (rather than feudal lord) of 
       Ireland, the first English monarch to do so. 
1546 - Thomas Butler, son of James the 9th, becomes 10th Earl of Ormonde 
       and 3rd Earl of Ossory.
1552 - John Bale, Anglican Bishop of Ossory (1552-1553). 
1553 - The Annals record that James, son of Pierce Butler, returned from exile and 
      succeeded his father as Earl of Ormond.
1554 - John O'Tonory serves as Bishop of Ossory to 1565, appointed by Queen Mary. 
1558 - Reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603).  System of counties adopted.
1566 - Christopher Gaffney is appointed by Queen Elizabeth to be the Ptotestant Bishop of Ossory. The Catholic Diocese is 
vacant for 17 years. 
1565 - Catholic Bishops of Ossory govern as exiles from 1565 to 1620, apart from 
       Thomas Strong during a short residency in 1583-1584.
1577 - Nicholas Walsh ascends as Anglican Bishop of Ossory (1577-1586). He is the first who 
       introduced prayer-books and catechisms printed in the Irish language.
1580 - The Annals record, John, the son of the Earl of Desmond, plundered the Butlers and Ossory.
1580 - Birth of Sean MacBhaiteir Breathnach (Walsh), cited as one of the most 
       important and powerful gaelic poets of that age. 
1582 - The Shee Almshouse was built and endowed by Sir Richard Shee. 
1582 - Thomas Strong is consecrated Catholic Bishop of Ossory in Rome, and serves most of his term as absentee until his 
       death in 1601-02.
1594 - John Rothe builds the Elizabethan merchants house known as 'Rothe House'. 
1601 - The army of Elizabeth defeated the Irish at the battle of Kinsale 
       and for the first time the entire country was run by a strong 
       English central Government. From the 16th century onwards the 
       English Government made strenuous efforts to impose Protestantism.
1602 - The See of Ossory is without a Catholic Bishop until 1618. 
1603 - James I (James IV of Scotland) becomes the 1st Stuart king of 
       England, and encourages new colonists to settle in Ireland.
1608 - James I made the towns of Kilkenny and Irishtown (now Kilkenny city) 
       a free borough, and made Kilkenny a distinct county.
1609 - The borough of Kilkenny is raised to the status of a city, by charter of King James I.  
1609 - Dr. Richard Deane becomes Anglican Bishop of Ossory.
1613 - Jonas Wheeler ascends to the bishopric of Ossory (1613-1618).
1614 - Walter Butler, grandson of James the 9th, becomes 11th earl of Ormonde.
1618 - Dr. David Rothe is appointed Catholic bishop of Ossory (1618-1650), consecrated in Paris in 1620.
1621 - David Rothe assumes residency in Kilkenny as Catholic bishop of Ossory, the first since 1564. 
1625 - Charles I becomes the 2nd Stuart king of England.
1632 - James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde, 1632 to 1688.
1641 - Griffith Williams is consecrated as Anglican Bishop of Ossory (1641-1672).
1642 - The Catholic Confederation of Kilkenny establishes a provisional 
       government in Ireland with Kilkenny city as its capitol; rebellion 
       begins. The Catholic Confederation Parliament in Kilkenny remained in session until 1648.
1649 - The King of England, Charles I, (1625-1649) is executed and Oliver 
       Cromwell invades Ireland and ruthlessly crushes the rebellion.
1649 - The seige of Callan by Crowmwell.  Callan taken in February, 1650.
1650 - Oliver Cromwell's bloody campaign reaches Kilkenny, and Kilkenny city 
       is sieged and taken on March 28th with large reinforcements under Ireton.  Bishop 
       David Rothe dies on April 20th.  The Catholic see is vacant until 1669.
1650 - Gowran is beseiged and captured by Cromwell's troops.
1651 - Cromwell conquers a plague-stricken Kilkenny city.
1652 - The English Parliament passes the Act for Settling of Ireland.
1653 - A decree of banishment against the Catholic clergy is proclaimed. Bernard 
       Fitzpatrick, who administered the diocese after Bishop Rothe's death, is tracked down 
       and killed.
1653 - Catholic and Jacobite lands are confiscated, and given to Cromwell's 
       soldiers and supporters.
1654 - Deadline for former land owners to "transplant" to Connacht 
       (including Clare).
1660 - A Catholic king, Charles II, is restored "Stuart" king of England, 
       following 10 years of Commonwealth headed by the Cromwells.
c1662 - Petitions are granted or refused for restoration for certain lands 
        lost during the confiscations of 1653.
1669 - James Phelan appointed Catholic Bishop of Ossory (1669-1695).
1672 - Bishop Parry becomes the Anglican Bishop of Ossory (1672-1679) after the passing 
       of the previous bishop, Griffith Williams.
1679 - Thomas Otway becomes Anglican Bishop of Ossory. He founded the library of St. 
       Canice cathedral in the churchyard.
1685 - Bishop George Berkeley, philosopher, is born at Dysert Castle, near 
       Thomastown.
1685 - James II comes to the throne of England, Catholic resurgence 
       continues.
1687 - A charter of James II revokes the Charter of James I creating the City 
       and County of Kilkenny.
1688 - James II is deposed and the Williamite War (William of Orange) in 
       Ireland and England begins.
1689 - Deposed King James II flees to Ireland to fight for his throne and 
       is defeated at the Battle of the Boyne by the supporters of the new 
       Protestant King of England, William of Orange. The supporters of 
       James II are known as Jacobites.
1690 - The Williamites occupy Kilkenny on July 16th.
1690 - Five regiments of Irishmen sail for France, and form the nucleus of
       France's Irish Brigade.
1690 - A charter of William III restoring the Charter of James I. 
1691 - The Williamite War in Ireland ends with more confiscation of lands.
1692 - Many members of the former Irish army (Jacobites) have begun to 
       leave and serve in the armies of France, Spain, and other Euopean 
       countries. They are termed "The Wild Geese."
1695 - The death of James Phelan, Catholic Bishop of Ossory.  Catholics are 
       excluded from freeman status in Kilkenny city.
1696 - William Daton appointed Catholic Bishop of Ossory (1696-1712), he is forced 
       to flee the country in 1698. 
1697 - The Irish parliament passes the Banishment Act, banishing all those 
       holding ecclesiastical jurisdiction by May 1, 1698. 
1702 - Partial lists of male householders for Kilkenney enumerated 
       separately by religious denomination and parish.
1703 - The proportion of land held by Gaelic and Anglo-Norman Catholic 
       proprietors fell from about 49% in 1641 to nearly 10% in 1703.
1704 - Penal Code enacted. Catholics barred from voting, education and the 
       military. Non-reigistered priests had to leave the country by July 20, 1704.
1706 - Irish Brigade of France fights at the battle of Ramillies.
1707 - Irish Brigade of France fights in the battle of Almanza.
1710 - John Smithwick started brewing commercially at St. Francis Abbey.
1713 - Malachy Dulaney appointed Catholic Bishop of Ossory (1713-1731), succeeding William Daton.
1730 - Death of Sir Thomas Vesey, Anglican Bishop of Ossory (1714-1730).
1731 - Patrick Shee appointed Catholic Bishop of Ossory (1731-1736).
1735 - The death of Edward Tenison, Anglican Bishop of Ossory.
1736 - Colman O'Shaughnessy, Catholic Bishop of Ossory (1736-1748).
1736 - Acts passed requiring all persons to tithe to the Anglican Church, 
       regardless of their own religion.
1743 - Anthony Dopping, Anglican Bishop of Ossory, dies.
1745 - Battle of Fontenoy, France, the charge of the Irish Brigade of 
       the French army breaks the English line.
1749 - James Bernard (O)Dunne, Catholic Bishop of Ossory (1749-1758). 
1756 - Richard Pococke, Bishop of Ossory (1756-65).
1759 - Thomas de Burgo (Burke), Catholic Bishop of Ossory (1759-1776).
1761 - The Tholsel (town hall) in Kilkenny city is built.
1762 - Edmund Ignatius Rice, Educator and founder of the Christian Brothers, 
       is born in Callan, Co. Kilkenny.
1762 - James Hoban, architect of the White House at Washington. D.C., was 
       born near Callan.
1763 - The Whiteboy movement spreads into southern county Kilkenny, in 
       response to laws on tithing, enclosure of common lands, and grazing.
1763 - Two bridges over the river Nore are destroyed by a great flood at 
       Kilkenny city. 
1765 - Robert Fulton, designer of the first steamship, was born in Callan. 
1775 - Battle of Ballyragget, the largest assembly of Whiteboys ever in 
       Kilkenny, 300 horsemen and 200 on foot. 
1777 - John Thomas Troy succeeds Bishop de Burgo as Catholic Bishop of Ossory (1777-1786).
1782 - Grattan's Parliament persuades British to declare Irish 
       independence, but in name only.  St Kieran's College is founded. 
1787 - Kilkenny is the first county to petition against tithes.  John Dunne succeeds as 
       Catholic Bishop of Ossory (1787-1789).
1789 - James Lanigan consecrated as Catholic Bishop of Ossory (1789-1812). 
1791 - James Hoban, a native of Kilkenny, designs the White House in 
       Washington D.C., modelled upon Leinster House in Dublin.
1793 - The Catholic Relief Bill is passed.
1795 - Thomas Lewis O'Beirne appointed Anglican Bishop of Ossory (1795-1787). 
1798 - Theobald Wolf Tone organizes an unsucessful Nationalist rebellion. 
       Kilkenny city is placed under martial law. In this year occurs the Engagement at Goresbridge 
       and the Capture of Castlecomer, both in County Kilkenny.
1798 - The British use the town of Ballyragget as an army base.
1801 - Ireland becomes part of Britain under the Act of Union.
1802 - Sir Richard and Sir John Power of Kilfane establish the Kilkenny Private Theatre. 
1809 - John O'Donovan (Seaan Mor O Dubhagain) was born at his father's farm in 
       Atatemore, Co. Kilkenny. He was educated in Dublin and edited and translated 
       The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters, as well as published 
       the Topographical Poems of O'Dubhagain and O'Huidhrin.
1823 - The Tithe Composition Act is enacted.
1826 - William Kinsella appointed Catholic Bishop of Ossory (1826-1845)
1829 - Catholic Relief Act passed to remove remaining effects of Penal 
       laws for upper and middle class Irish.
1830/38 - The Tithe Wars, which start in Graigue, violently protest 
          payment of tithes on cattle, crops and other property.
1831 - On December 14th, a mob of two thousand clashed with forty policemen 
       on tithe duty in Carrickshock, Co. Kilkenny: the Chief Constable 
       and sixteen of his men were killed and seventy people were wounded. 
       Daniel O'Connell later represented twenty-five men put on trial 
       for murder.
1835 - The diocese of Ossory becomes one of five which comprise the 
       ecclesiastical province of Dublin. The diocese comprehends the 
       greater part of county Kilkenny, the whole of the barony of Ossory 
       in Queen's county, and the parish of Seir-Kyran in King's county. 
1835 - Patent of William IV creating four additional fairs in Kilkenny city. 
1836 - The foundation stone of St. Kieran's College, Kilkenny, was laid.
1838 - The Tithe Commutation Bill was passed reducing tithes by 25%.
1838 - The Poor Relief Act establishes Poor Law Unions.
1839 - Election of the Board of Guardians of the Kilkenny Poor Law Union.
1841 - The population in the County Kilkenny 1841 census is cited at 202,420.
1843 - The foundation stone of the Cathedral of St. Mary is laid.
1845/49 - The Great Irish Famine lays waste to the Irish landscape, one out 
          of every nine inhabitants die. Also see The Famine in County Kilkenny.
1846 - Dr. Edward Walsh appointed Catholic Bishop of Ossory (1846-1872).
1846 - Patent of Queen Victoria, granting twelve additional fairs in Kilkenny city.
1849 - First tenant protection society established at Callan, County Kilkenny.
1851 - Population of Ireland reduced to 6.5 million, from 8 million in 1841.  
       The population in the County Kilkenny 1851 census is cited at 158,746, 
       a 22% decline in ten years.
1872 - Dr. Patrick Francis Moran appointed Catholic Bishop of Ossory (1872-1884).
1884 - Dr. Brownrigg appointed Catholic Bishop of Ossory.
1901 - The diocese of Ossory contained 41 parishes.
1904 - Visit of King Edward VII to Kilkenny.
1916 - The Easter uprising in Dublin.
1919 - James Authur Butler becomes the 22nd Earl of Ormonde.
1919 - The first Dáil Éireann ratified the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic and passed a 
       Declaration of Independence.
1919/21 - War of Independence between Ireland and Britain. 
1921 - The Anglo-Irish Treaty is signed in December 1921, when Britain recognised 
       Ireland’s independence as the Irish Free State, with jurisdiction over 
       twenty-six of the country’s thirty-two countiesAn Irish Free State and 
       Northern Ireland are created.
1923 - Kilkenny Castle is occupied by IRA forces.
1937 - A more complete independence of Ireland from Britain is established by a new 
       constitution framed by Eamon de Valera; Ireland is officially renamed to 'Eire'
1949 - The twenty-six counties of Ireland become the independent 'Republic of Ireland'.
1967 - The Sixth Marquess of Ormonde presented Kilkenny Castle and part of 
       the grounds to the people of Kilkenny.
1973 - The UK and Republic of Ireland join the European Economic Community.
1973 - The Kilkenny Arts Festival is established.
1994 - Five Kilkenny born Irishmen are noted in the history of the United 
       States as "Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863--1994." 
* Kilkenny Timeline compiled by Dennis Walsh (copyright 2002)

Further Kilkenny historical reference:
Kilkenny Past & Present
Early County Kilkenny
The Old English Families
The New English Families
Map of Historical Sites in County Kilkenny
Lineage of the Earls of Ormonde


Submit your Kilkenny Query.

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