Captain John, ‘Black Jack’, Blennerhassett, Williamite soldier, family genealogist and co-heir to the seignory around Killorglin founded in Elizabethan times by the Welsh captain Jenkin Conway, has left a remarkable record of the Limerick and Kerry gentry over three generations, cited hereafter as ‘Black Jack’s book. Yet he remains virtually unknown; Killorglin, originally Castle Conway, … Continue reading ‘Black Jack’ Blennerhassett And His Book of Genealogies, by Gerald O’Carroll
January 1797 Gentlemen of the Grand Jury, The present tranquil and orderly state of our country and Capital, and the scanty Calendar in my hand, call scarcely for any other expression from me than that of the most lively and cordial congratulation. The times, it is true, have been turbulent; the Laws have lost their … Continue reading Judge Day addresses the Dublin Grand Jury After Storm at Sea Prevents the French Fleet Landing at Bantry Bay
William of Orange came to the throne in the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688, succeeding his father-in-law King James II. Judge Day celebrated this watershed of English and Irish history. Here is a time line of events before and after William’s arrival at Torbay. 1687 Lord Tyrconnel (Richard Talbot), James II’s Catholic appointee, is supreme in Ireland. … Continue reading Time Line of the Civil War of 1688-9, context for events in Kerry
This year is the tenth anniversary of the appearance of my book about Judge Day, and it recalls O’Connell’s remark in his correspondence about the Judge, as ‘a mass of corruption’. Few know what O’Connell meant. A clue is to be found in the conflict of parties in the years before and after 1800 and … Continue reading Why Daniel O’Connell called Judge Day ‘a mass of corruption’.
When Charles Smith arrived in Kerry in the early 1750s to write his famous history of the county, he relied on ‘Black Jack’ Blennerhassett to disentangle the Blennerhassett family tree. The Blennerhassetts proliferated from two locations: first Ballyseedy, then Castle Conway (Killorglin) where Robert Blennerhassett of Tralee, ‘Black Jack’s’ father, married Avice Conway. She had no brothers and … Continue reading Writing Kerry’s History in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
University College Cork has a wonderful web site, known as CELT, containing original documents including the two great surveys conducted after the subjugation of the last reigning Earl of Desmond. These are the Desmond and the MacCarthy Mór Surveys. In pre-technological days there was no such easy availability, and historians had to make do with poor … Continue reading Valentia in an English Periodical
In St John’s Church of Ireland, on Friday Feb. 21, 2014, a memorial service was held for the late Sir Anthony Denny who died some months ago. His son Tom Denny and Tom’s uncle Richard Denny attended, with Richard’s wife. It was a moving occasion. The Denny Bible was brought out for all to see. … Continue reading Tom Denny in Tralee