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Leixlip Chronology to 1199 AD             

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BC8000:  Ireland and Britain (Scotland) are assumed to have become separate land-masses.

BC5000:  Mesolithic people hunt around the Dublin area. Large quantities of stone axes were found in co Antrim. These early settlers kept themselves through hunting and fishing, with no evidence of farming.  Large quantities of flints, burial places, bones and some artefacts found in Cooldrinagh by archaeologists working in connection with an expansion of Leixlip Water Works, c2004-6.

BC4000:  The first period of advanced civilisation, indicated by megalithic tombs, is dated to this period. New arrivals, neolithic people, left stone axes, mainly at Sutton. One stone axe/hammer has been found at Barnhall / Parsonstown. The large stone constructions and tombs still preserved in Ireland are from this, the late Stone Age. Modern DNA studies are likely to show the connections between different peoples; TCD experts are involved.

cBC3500:  Neolithic men settle at Cooldrinagh [= Blackthorn Recess], Leixlip, where a megalithic burial chamber, cists, skull bones, both cremated and uncremated, were found in 2005-6, together with several cairns and animal remains on top of mounds hitherto believed to be the original Viking settlement in Leixlip. [See archaeological reports associated with Fingal Co Council’s Water Works in Cooldrinagh, 2006]. The finds are similar in many respects to those found at Mount Sandal, near the Salmon Leap 2 miles out of Coleraine, [= Fern Recess], Co Derry.

BC3000:  People are beginning to settle in the Liffey valley in some numbers. The first settlers choose to live inland, as power meant control of grazing land; exemplified by Tara and Cashel. The coastal regions were relatively late being settled. [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p8.] Wealth was measured in terms of cattle. Note the fulacht fiadh find at Barnhall, on Hewlett Packard lands. Many more have been located more recently in Kilmacredock, Easton and Collinstown in connection with preliminary works on the motorway interchange road.

BC1900:  Approximate commencement date for the Bronze Age in the Dublin area. Bronze Age finds do not extend beyond BC350. [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987.] Note Bronze Age excavations and finds at Cooldrinagh.

BC300:  The Celts arrive in Ireland from Britain and the European mainland over several centuries, ending in the first century BC. They have weapons and tools of iron. With the expansion of the Roman Empire in Western Europe, Celtic culture became increasingly insular.

>300:  Irish history commenced in the 4th century AD, when contemporary written evidence started to appear, beginning with the area of Christianity and only gradually including non-Christian area. [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p3] The oldest Irish annals were written on Iona, presumably from the time of Colm Cille onwards. They are not preserved in the original [opus cit, p82-3]. The earliest evidence of Irish-Gaelic language dates from the 4th century, ie, Ogham inscriptions, centuries before Welsh, Manx and Cornish. Scots and Irish Gaelic remained the same up to the 17th century [opus cit, p11]. Archaic old Irish extended from 4th century to c750.

Ogam or Ogham means writing in the Irish language, in which the earliest records, usually memorials of the dead ruling class, were handed down. The letters are written with reference to a vertical axis, usually the edge of a stone. The letters of the Latin alphabet are marked by means of lines or strokes for consonants and notches for vowels. Most Ogham stones date from 6th century, with some from the 5th and some from the 7th [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p30-1]. An ogham stone was found at Donoghmore cemetery, near Pike’s bridge. There may be other ogham, or perhaps standing, stones in Newtown, Celbridge.

>300:  The smallest political union at this time and later was the kingdom, of which there were dozens [c150?]. The closest to a single supremacy that medieval Ireland was ever to know did not occur until the 12th century [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p9]. The king ruled over a tuaith (district), and he presided over the people’s assembly (oenach, aonach), that class of people who made political decisions. To secure compliance, he received hostages from his noblemen as well as ‘tributes’ [opus cit, p17]. The smallest social unit was the clan down to the 4th generation [opus cit, p18]. The political unit was nearly self-sufficient; for the majority life was very meagre, and few left the túat.

>300:  Ireland’s population in the early Middle Ages is estimated at below half a million [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p9].

391:  St Augustine was ordained [Annals of Ulster, Vol I, p9]. St Catherine’s and St Wolstan’s were Augustinian foundations.

c400: The Liffey valley was the northern centre of the (men of) Laigin from the 5th cent onwards [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p37].

430:  St Augustine died 28/8/430 aged 75 [Annals of Ulster, Vol I, p9].

430:  Pope Celestine I sent Palladius to Ireland to propagate the faith. He landed in Leinster with 12 men. He baptised a few persons and made 3 wooden churches [in east co Wicklow]. As he did not receive respect in Ireland he decided to return to Rome and died of a disease en route [John O’Donovan (ed), Annals of the Four Masters, Dublin, 1856, year 430]. See 431 for alternative date.

431:  Pope Celestine I ordained St Patrick to go to Ireland etc [John O’Donovan (ed), Annals of the Four Masters, Dublin, 1856, year 431].

431:  Pope Celestine sent Palladius as the first bishop to the Irish who believe in Christ, probably coming via Wales. This date is documented by a French chronicler. He is said to have established three churches in Leinster, opposite north-west Wales. The prominent missionary, Patrick, came sometime from c 400 to c460AD and the earliest extant copies of his works date to 9th and 10th centuries. He referred in his two works more frequently to monks and nuns than he does to ordinary baptised people. He did not give concrete details of the region in which he was active, nor did he mention that he was a bishop. After his writings, nothing more is heard of him in the 6th century. Palladius seemed to have spent a long time among the Irish, according to Pope Celestine’s tribute to him. Patrick seems to have worked in Ulaid [Ulster], hence Armagh being the diocesan seat traced to him, and he is said to have died at Downpatrick, Co Down. He had no contact with Rome. Some scholars believe that the later legends of Patrick were compiled from accounts relating to both him and Palladius. There was a considerable Christian community in Ireland since the 4th century which, from Patrick’s statements, does not appear to have been located in the northeast of the island, but is more likely to have been in the area of Palladius’s activities, principally in Leinster [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988,p43-9].

According to available sources, the early Irish Church was chiefly monastic in character, and there is no record of a life of a bishop, Patrick apart. There is no ready explanation for why this has been the case.

432:  Patrick came to Ireland [O’Donovan suggests he landed at Bray, co Wicklow] and he founded Ath Truim [=Trim, about 27km distant from Donaghmore church, nr Pike’s bridge] [John O’Donovan (ed), Annals of the Four Masters, Dublin, 1856, year 432].
>500: The first group of monastic founders were in the first fifty years of the 6th century, until the plague of 548/549, each more or less on the border between the provinces, running east west. These included Finnian of Clonard, co Meath (d549), who was a teacher of Colm Cille [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p50-53].

c520:  Colum Cille, aka St Columba [the elder], was born c518-522 [Annals of Ulster, Vol I, p41].  His order probably established the medieval parish church of St Columba, Confey. Colm Cille had royal ancestry in Leinster on his mother’s side, with his father a descendant from the northern Uí Néill. As a monk he received the name Columba, ‘dove’, a common religious name in 6th cent Ireland [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p54-56].

523:  St Brigid died, thirty years after St Patrick [Annals of Ulster, Vol I, p41].

539:  Cath Cuile Dréimne [the battle of Cul-dreimne] [=Culdremny, at the foot of Ben Bulben mountain, co Sligo; see photo, in John Marsden, The Illustrated Life of Columba, Edinburgh, 1995, p38] took place. Wm M Hennessy, who edited the Annals of Ulster, asserts that the real cause of this battle would seem to have been the rivalry of two great families, that of King Diarmait Mac Cerbhaill, of Curnan, who was forced from St Columba’s protection to which he had fled, and other sons of the King of Connaught. However, O’Donovan, editor of Annals of the Four Masters, says that an additional cause was a decision given by King Diarmait in a dispute between Colm Cille and St Finnen. Colm Cille left Ireland for Iona two years after the battle. Hennessy writes that the name Cooledrevny is now obsolete, but [John] Colgan [Trias Thaum., p452] states that the place was in the territory of Carbury, near Sligo, on the north [Annals of Ulster, Vol I, p56-7].  Yes, there is a Carbury [spelt slightly differently] in or near Sligo. There were two Finnians [sic], one, Colum Cille’s teacher, a bishop, of Clonard, and another who may be the same as he of Clonard, of near Bangor, co Down [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland -  The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p51 etc].

543: Columbanus [or Columba the younger] was born in Leinster in 543, and received his training at Bangor, co Down [not a Colm Cille foundation] and left there for the Continent in 587, aged 44 [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p56-7]. Do not confuse with Colm Cille, or Columba the elder!

544:  A plague struck Ireland [Annals of Ulster, Vol I, p49].

>544:  In the 2nd half of the 6th century, monastic foundations are evident in all regions of Ireland. Colum Cille (d597) founded Derry (c546), Durrow, co Offaly (c556) and Iona (563). According to tradition, Finnian was an example and inspiration for several founders of monasteries. Because of their geographic spread, Patrick is unlikely to have influenced their locations [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p50-53]. In monasteries with a secular ruler who was proprietor of the church and/or monastery lands, he had a decisive say in the appointment of the abbot. The abbots usually came from noble families that had been unsuccessful in attaining kingship.

545:  Daire Colum Cille [at Derry] was founded [Annals of Ulster, Vol I, p51].

561:  Colum Cille was condemned by a synod this year (his dispute with Finnian and the High King) [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p54-6].

563:  Colm Cille moved to Iona, off the west coast of Scotland. Iona became the centre of his work until his death there in 597. He journeyed to Durrow and his other monasteries and he was highly respected. Their life-style at Iona is recorded by Adomnán, his biographer. Only the church was situated apart from the residential buildings [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p54-6].

594:  Colum Cille died aged 75. [Annals of Ulster, Vol I, p75.]

c600-700:  Gregory the Great, a pope of Irish descent, said to be buried on the Aran islands, was called the most important teacher in Ireland in the 7th century [See Archivum Historiae Pontificae 10, 1972, p 9-23].
>600:  The name ‘Ireland’ is of Scandinavian origin and first documented in the late Viking era. Hibernia and Scotia were both Latinised versions of names used for Ireland from the late 7th century, but Scotia gradually became connected with northern Britain [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p9].

>600:  No church buildings from the 7th cent are preserved, because then they were almost exclusively of timber [usually ash]. The oldest stone ones, with steep stone roofs, eg, St Kevin’s, Glendalough, and ‘Colm Cille’s house’, Kells, were modelled on the timber ones.

>600: From this time on confederations of monasteries were founded, known as paruchiae; these crossed political and territorial boundaries, and continued after the death of the founder. The legal procedures involved in founding a monastery is not clear, but those of the 6th century were founded in areas which had not been previously settled, or hardly been settled; neither were they in no man’s land. Sometimes the land did not pass into the legal possession of the monastery, so that the monastery may sometimes belong to the family [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p61].

>600:  Ireland seems to have been christianised by now. Christianity seems to have been passively accepted, there being no martyrs for the cause. For some individuals, it was the sole purpose in life, but for the population at large, it was by no means an all-embracing way of life [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p64-7].

c650:  Watermills were introduced into Ireland in the 7th cent particularly by monasteries, but also by secular landowners. Previously corn had been crushed by stone hand-mills. The ancient law texts (Coibnes Uisci Thairidne) determined that the person with the source of the millstream on his land enjoys greater profit from it than its owner. Early mills were horizontal mills; note remains of horizontal mill on Sileachán stream; source of streams is on lands of Confey abbey. Mill is south of Columb’s Well. [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p89].

651:  In a note on the earliest record of corn mills in Ireland, the Dublin Penny Journal of 29/9/1832, p.108/9, refers to wheat mills in Ireland in this year.

c700:  The Book of Durrow is from this time. A box-shrine to contain it was made by Flann, son of Malachy Máelsechnaill and inscription to this effect was written on it. Flann was King of Ireland, 879-916 [Sterling de Courcy Williams, ‘The Termon of Durrow’, JRSAI, Vol 29, 1899, p46].

737:  Faelan, king of Leinster, died this year. The Ui Faelain was the tribe-name of the powerful sept descended from Faelan, the king. The name also applies to the territory occupied by the clan, which included the northern part of the co of Kildare until shortly after the Anglo-Norman invasion, when they were driven out of this district and settled in the east of the present county of Wicklow. In later times the most respectable representatives of the sept were the families of O’Byrne and Mac Eochaidh (or Keogh) [Adapted from footnote, Annals of Ulster, vol I, p`96-7]. Boazio’s map of Ireland of 16th locates this territory where Kilmacredock is now.

c750:  Old Irish language extended from this time to around 900.

764:  There were wars between monastic communities. This year Clonmacnoise fought against Durrow where 200 were reputed to have died. Does this account for the many graves at Stacumny discovered in an excavation for a swimming pool for Cathal Ryan, owner of Stacumny House? [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p99].

781: The battle of ‘Righe’ took place on the 1st November (all Hallows day?) in which the men of the Bregh (Breaga) gained over the Leinstermen, in which were slain Cucongalt, king of Rath-inbhir [said to be in the barony of Newcastle, co Wicklow]. Diarmait mac Conaing and Maelduin mac Fergus and Fogertach mac Cumascach, two descendants of Cernach, were victors in the battle of Rigi [sic] [Annals of Ulster, 780]. O’Donovan, editor of the Four Masters, says in a note for year 776, [p254, AoU] that this was the Rye at Leixlip, but Shearman identifies it with the King’s river, in the centre of Wicklow.

795:  Vikings attacked the monastery on Lambay Island, off Dublin, perhaps the first Viking raid in the Dublin region.

>800: Towns and villages did not exist before the 9th century. Instead, most lived in individual settlements, each known as a ráth. The name ‘ring fort’ is misleading, because the settlement was not fortified. A ráth consisted of an area of diameter of at least 10 metres, the perimeter of which was dug out and thrown up to make an embankment outside it. Palisades were erected on the embankments to fend off animals. Inside the enclosed area were buildings made of convenient materials, branches plastered with mud, and roofs of shingles or turf. If the enclosure was of stone, the living area was called a caisel. Around 30,000 have been so far recorded in Ireland, mostly from aerial photos. Some date back to the Bronze Age [=cBC2000] but most appear to originate from 300 to 1000AD. Ráths were used up to the 17th century and some subterranean chambers (‘souterrains’) have been found, which were normally used for storage, and occasionally for temporary shelter. A large ráth e.g. up to 100m dia, was called a dún, perhaps suitable for a king [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p22-3].

807:  After several Viking attacks, the monks of Iona fled to Ireland in 807 and founded a new monastery in Kells, which was completed in 814 [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p105-7.]

814:  Church of Columba at Kells was finished this year [Annals of Ulster, 814].

816:  The son of Tuathal, king of Airther-Liphi, died. Airther-Liphi is the area in Co Kildare which is east of the Liffey, according to the Index in the source [Annals of Ulster, Vol I, p309].

823:  By this time the entire coastline of Ireland was affected by the Vikings; they spared the communities of Tallaght and Finglas, probably because they were so poor. They could navigate the rivers as well as the open sea and were more mobile that the Irish. The monasteries were badly equipped for battle [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p105-7]. The arrival of the Vikings led to monasteries being increasingly constructed from stone and the first round towers (bell houses) were built. Also laymen increasingly became the abbots of a monastery, rather than the exception, as they needed the skills of those who could protect the church in battle [Richter, opus cit, p110].

823-33: Feidlimid, king of Munster (820-46), was the first Irish king who was a cleric and the first Irish king to wage war against the monasteries on a large scale. These included war against Durrow and Kildare, and several attacks on Clonmacnoise [Co Offaly] in this period. He considered the old-style monasteries too worldly. Feidlimid advanced rapidly as far as Tara c840 [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p107].

832:  The Vikings plundered the monastery of Clondalkin this year, before they made significant advances on Dublin. In 853 the Danish king Aulaffe, or Amlave, having arrived with a powerful fleet, forced all the Danes in Ireland to submit to his rule, made a truce with the Irish princes and adopted Clondalkin as a favourite residence. 12 years later his establishment was burned out by the Irish, who killed about 100 leading Danes, in a raid [Adrian MacLoughlin, Guide to Historic Dublin, Dublin 1979, p210].

832:  Diarmait, son of Ruadhri and king of Airther-Liphi, died [Annals of Ulster, Vol I, p331].

836 or 7:  A fleet of 60 Viking ships landed by the Liffey near the modern Dublin and occupied the rising ground and settled there, to all intents and purposes, permanently. In 841 a longport was constructed at the spot, so that ships were drawn up on the shore and a fortified wall raised around them on the land side to keep off attack [John Ryan, ‘Pre-Norman Dublin’, JSRAI, Vol 79, 1949, p68-9]. The Viking leader was Turgesius, aka Thorgils, aka Thorgestr, who caused havoc throughout Ireland. A similar fleet of 60 ships of Norsemen went up the Boyne. Between them the plundered the Magh-Liphe and the Magh-Bregha [=the plains of the Liffey in Kildare and the plains of the Boyne in southern Co Meath], attacking churches, forts and houses. The men of Bregha had a victory over them at Deoninne in East-Meath, the location not now being identified [Annals of Ulster, Vol I, p339].

839:  Turgesius’s fleet settled at Lough Neagh whence he ravished the north [John Ryan, ‘Pre-Norman Dublin’, JSRAI, Vol 79, 1949, p68-9].

841:  Taken as the year of the foundation of the first Viking settlement in ‘Dyflin’ [=Dublin]. [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p108]. Areas which received their names from the Norsemen include: Howth (Hoved), Baldoyle, Lusk, Rush, Skerries; Loughlinstown, Harold’s Cross, Dalkey, Bullock Harbour; Ireland’s Eye.

844:  Turgesius’s fleet settled at Lough Ribh [=Rí] whence he devastated Mide and Connaught, and burned Clonmacnoise, with its oratories, and Terryglass, co Tipperary. Maoilseachlin I, aka Máel Sechnaill I, captured Turgesius who was drowned after his capture in Lough Owel near Mullingar [John Ryan, ‘Pre-Norman Dublin’, JSRAI, Vol 79, 1949, p68-9], [Annals of Ulster, 844]. This is the king of Mide with a castle at Leixlip. He was from the Ua Neill clan. The editor of the Annals of Ulster [footnote, p350], says Cambrensis’s story of 15 young men dressed as females is without foundation. [John Ryan, ‘Pre-Norman Dublin’, JSRAI, Vol 79, 1949, p68-9]

844:  Robhartach, son of Flann, abbot of Domnach-mor, died. No location details mentioned. [Annals of Ulster, Vol I, p351.]

845-6: 846:  Maoilseachlin I, aka Máel Sechnaill I, son of Máelruanaid Ó’Máel Sechnaill, became High King of Ireland and ruled until 862 [John Ryan, ‘Pre-Norman Dublin’, JSRAI, Vol 79, 1949, p68-9].

c850:  Viking cemetery of Islandbridge used from around this year onwards [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p108].

851:  A Danish fleet from the north of England was not welcomed by the Norwegians of Dublin and there were indications of an internal struggle between them, with the Danes under the leadership of Ivar [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p108], [Annals of Ulster, 850].

852:  Maoilseachlin I tried to treat with the Viking ruler and met him at his house near Mullingar; the latter promised everything and then plundered Maoilseachlin’s lands on his way home [John Ryan, ‘Pre-Norman Dublin’, JSRAI, Vol 79, 1949, p68-9], [Annals of Ulster, 850].

853:  A Norwegian leader, Olav, arrived in Dublin with a fleet and seemed to make a temporary agreement with Ivar [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p108].

861:  Maoilseachlin I dies [Annals of Ulster, 861].

c862:  The Vikings plundered the legendary prehistoric graves of the Boyne Valley, outraging Máel Sechnaill [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p109].

866:  Ivar appears to have returned to the Norse kingdom of York, while Olav remained in Dublin [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p109.. Olav’s fort at Clondalkin was burned by Cenneidigh, Lord of Leinster [Annals of Ulster, 866].

871:  Ivar returned to Dublin, and Olav was forced to return to Norway; Ivar was for the next two years (until his death) ‘king of the Norsemen of all of Ireland and Britain’, according to the Annals of Ulster [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p109].

879:  Flann Sinna, (=Flann the older) son of Maoilseachlin I became king of Ireland and ruled until 916  - corresponding roughly to a period of 40 years of rest from Viking depredations [John Ryan, ‘Pre-Norman Dublin’, JSRAI, Vol 79, 1949, p72].

c900:  The period of ‘middle Irish’ language commenced from 900 and continued to c1600.

902:  The Vikings were expelled from Dublin [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p111].

915:  The battle of Cennfuait took place. It was mistaken for Confey, co Kildare by O’Donovan, who edited The Annals of the Four Masters, but was more likely to be in the south-east near St Mullins on the river Barrow, c7 miles north of New Ross (See Confey notes & text from annals). For the sake of inclusion this note is made: Sitric II, grandson of Imar or Ivar [I, and later to be king of York, 917-21], came with his fleet to Cennfuait on the border of Leinster. Ragnall [his brother, king of Waterford, 914-18, whose round-tower castle was in Waterford, about 20 miles from St Mullins] came with his fleet of Norsemen. The Norsemen defeated the men of Leinster and many (100 to 1100, depending on source) were slain. A son of the each of the kings of Leinster, Airther-Liphe [the plain of co Kildare through which the Liffey flows], and Laighis were killed. Sitric II travelled into Atha Cliath (from Confey, in 917, according to the Index of A. of Ulster, p27). [Annals of Ulster, vol 1, p434-5; the editor of these Annals does not accept that it was Confey, as O’Donovan contends. He notes that Cennfuait was on the border of Leinster, whereas Confey is several miles inland. He notes that the figure for the dead is written as “where 500 or more fell” in a marginal note on one MS copy.] [John O’Donovan (ed), Annals of the Four Masters, Dublin, 1856, year 915].

 Wood Quay excavations of the period reveal women’s necklaces of amber beads and children’s footwear [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987].

919:  After being defeated in England and confined to Normandy in France, the Vikings turned to Ireland again under the leadership of Sigtryg  (=Sitric), who was driven from Dublin in 918 by the then High King, Niall Glúndubh  (=black knee), but Sigtryg returned with a strong fleet in 919 and fought a battle near Islandbridge, killed Niall Glúndubh and secured power over Dublin [John Ryan, ‘Pre-Norman Dublin’, JSRAI, Vol 79, 1949, p72]. Note the finding of Viking burials in this area in the recent past. [Annals of Ulster, 919].

919:  The Vikings broke the stone church of Kells, and burnt another on the same day at Tuilen. The latter may be intended to be Tailtiu, or Teltown, near Kells, co Meath. [Annals of Ulster, vol 1, 919, p440-1].

920-37:  Viking power increased with several settlements beyond Dublin [John Ryan, ‘Pre-Norman Dublin’, JSRAI, Vol 79, 1949, p72].

921:  Sitric II left for York, England, leaving his younger brother, Godfrid aka Gothfrith, in charge of Dublin [Annals of Ulster, 920-1]. Godfrid reigns until 934 [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987].

Dublin remained in Norse hands for many years. The Viking layout of fields has sometimes remained up to the present day, indicating agricultural settlements. These settlements were small kingdoms, with a town forming the centre of the kingdom, the residence supporting themselves through barter and trade and buying some of their food. These kingdoms were smaller than the comparable ones the Vikings had set up in England, mainly because of the political diversity - rather than concentration  - in Ireland, and Ireland did not suffer another wave of Viking invasion around 1000 as the English did [Michael Richter, Medieval Ireland: The Enduring Tradition, Dublin 1988, p111-3].

934: Godfrid [=Gothfrith], king of Dublin, dies, and is succeeded by his son, Olaf, aka Ólafr, who reigns until his death in 941.

935:  The island of Lochgabhar (=Logore), Rathoath, co Meath, was destroyed by Amhlaibh, grandson of Imar; also the cave of Knowth, during the same week [Annals of Ulster, 935].

938: Olaf Cuarán [aka Amhlaeibh] went to York and Blacair(e), son of Godfrey [Godfrid], came to Ath-Cliath. A victory was gained by the king of the Saxons over Constantine, son of Aedh, Anlaf or Amhlaeibh, son of Sitric, and the Britons [John O’Donovan (ed), Annals of the Four Masters, Dublin, 1856].  See 943. The Annals of Clonmacnoise note that “Awley Cwaran, came to Yorke, and Blackare mac Godfrey arrived in Dublin to govern the Danes” for this year. This suggests that Blacaire, aka Blake, believed to be of Blakestown, came from the Orkneys to Ireland then, probably for the first time?

939:  Muircheartach Mac Neill, in a tour of the country, arrived at Dublin and took Sitric, probably a brother of Godfrey, as a pledge of Blacair’s allegiance to him [Annals of the Four Masters, 939].

940:  Clonmacnoise and Kildare were plundered by Blacair(e), son of Godfrey [Godfrid], and the foreigners of Ath-Cliath. Where in Kildare? No county yet established at this time; probably Kildare town. A great flood in this year so that the lower half of Clonmacnoise [south of Athlone] was swept away by the water [John O’Donovan (ed), Annals of the Four Masters, Dublin, 1856]. See 945.

941:  Olaf [=Ólafr] is succeeded briefly by Sitric [III].

943:  Sitric III is succeeded by Godfrid’s [Gothfrith] younger son, Blacair, aka Blákr [=Blake], and he reigns for two years, until 945, when Olaf Cuarán [aka Amhlaeibh], son of Sitric II, who has been driven out of York, takes the kingship from Blacair [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987]. Could this have been his move to Blakestown?  The Annals of the Four Masters declare: “Blacaire, one of the chiefs of the foreigners, was expelled from Dublin; and Amhlaeibh remained after him.” [for this year]. The Annals of Clonmacnoise state: “Blacaire was banished from Dublin, and Awley succeeded him in the government.” [See footnote, p655, Four Masters, 943].

943:  Donnchad, great-grandson of Maelrunaidh, King of Temhair [=Tara?] died. He had burnt Dublin in 936. 

943:  Muircheartach [Murtagh] of the Leather Cloaks, son of Niall Glúndubh, lord of Aileach, the Hector of the west of Europe in his time, was slain by Blacair(e), son of Godfrey, lord [king] of the foreigners [of Dublin], at Ardee, [Co Louth], near Clonkeen, on Sunday, 26th March [Annals of Ulster, 943]; [John O’Donovan (ed), Annals of the Four Masters, Dublin, 1856, year 941;  O’Donovan notes that the true year was 943]. Hector was the foremost Trojan warrior in Greek mythology, killed by Achilles. Muircheartach Mac Neill got his name after providing cloaks made of cow-hides for his army on this expedition. They were rain-coats.]

943:  Blacaire, one of the chiefs of the foreigners, was expelled from Dublin, and Amhlaeibh [=Olaf] remained there [John O’Donovan (ed), Annals of the Four Masters, Dublin, 1856.. See 944 or 5.

944 or 5:  Blacair [Blákr =Blake, the Norse king], abandoned Ath-cliath, and Amlaibh [=Olaf] remained in his place [Annals of Ulster, vol 1, p464-5]. He may have been the person who founded Blakestown, near Leixlip, where several mounds or mottes are indicated on the OS map of c1835. We hear no more of him. He would have been a young man at this time. His successor, Olaf, was described as a ‘destroyer of Irish monasteries and kings, who after a disastrous defeat at Tara after a long fighting career abandoned it and died a penitent in Iona in 981’ [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987, p45].

945:  The Norsemen of Atha-cliath plundered Clonmacnoise, [c7 miles south of Athlone] and the churches of west Mide also [Annals of Ulster, vol 1, p464-5].

946:  A hosting by Ruaidhri Ua Canannain to Slane, where he encountered Amlaibh [=Amlaff] aka Olaf and the Norsemen of Ath-cliath and other Gaedhils, including the King of Ireland at the time. The Norsemen were routed and a great many were slain and drowned. [Annals of Ulster, vol 1, p464-5].

948:  Blacair, son of Gothfrith [Godfrid], king of the Norse ‘foreigners’ was slain by the [aforementioned] king of Ireland, besides 1,600 killed or captured. Colman, abbot of Slane, was taken prisoner by the foreigners and died among them [Annals of Ulster, Vol 1, p466-7].

948:  The battle of Ath-Cliath was gained by Conghalach, son of Maelmithigh, over Blacair(e), grandson of Imhar, lord of the Norsemen, wherein Blacair(e) himself and 1,600 men were lost, both wounded and captives, along with him. O’Donovan writes the true year was 948, not 946, and that this was done in revenge for the death of Murtagh, son of Niall Glúndubh [John O’Donovan (ed), Annals of the Four Masters, Dublin, 1856, year 946].

950:  The Viking graveyard at Castleknock, excavated in 1938, dates to around this year [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987].

951:  Gothfrith, son of Sitric, with the Foreigners [=Vikings] of Dublin, plundered Kells, Tuileann (nr Kells), Downpatrick, co Meath; Ardbrecin, nr Navan; and other churches besides, and a great booty of cows, horses, gold and silver taken [Annals of Ulster, vol 1, p469, 950].

970:  The new High King, Donal Ua Néill, is defeated by the Irish of Brega [coastal land mass strip to north Kildare border], ‘with the help of Olaf Cuarán’ [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987].

976:  Brian Bóruma succeeded his brother as king of Dál Cais (the leading dynasty of Munster), and later king of Munster [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20; Vol III, p30-1].

980:  Maoilseachlin II (king of Ireland this year) secured a victory over the Dublin Norsemen at Tara, Co Meath [John Ryan, ‘Pre-Norman Dublin’, JSRAI, Vol 79, 1949, p74]. He was born in 948 [Annals of Ulster, vol 1, p464-5].

988:  Dubhdalethi, successor of [St] Patrick, assumed the successorship of Colum-Cille, with the consent of the men of Ireland and Alba; the successorship was the presidency of the Columban Order [Annals of Ulster, Vol I, p499].

989:  Maoilseachlin II captured Dublin city [John Ryan, ‘Pre-Norman Dublin’, JSRAI, Vol 79, 1949, p74].

993:  Sitriuc [=Sitric III], aka ‘Silkenbeard’ son of Amlaimh [=Olaf] [Cuarán], was banished from Ath Cliath [Annals of Ulster, vol 1, p503].

1002:  After joining with Maoilseachlin II against the Dublin Norse and their allies, the men of Leinster, in 999, Brian Bóruma entered Meath in 1002 and forced Maoilseachlin II to submit and relinquish his high kingship of Ireland to Brian. To this end, Brian had formed an alliance with the Norsemen [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol III, p30-1.]

1007:  Ferdomnach was made abbot of Kells, ie, successor of Colum-Cille [Annals of Ulster, Vol I, p519].

1013:  The northern rulers, attacked by Brian Bóruma and Norsemen in 1002, now attacked Brian’s ally, Maoilseachlin II. Meanwhile, Bóruma rebuilt churches and sanctuaries which had been destroyed by the Norsemen [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol III, p30-1].

1014:  Brian was slain at the battle against the Dublin Norsemen in alliance with the Leinster forces at Clontarf. The latter, notably the Leinster-men, was seeking to assert their independence of their Munster neighbour (Brian). The opposition from the Leinster and Dublin leaders (Kings Máel Mórda and Sitric [III, Silkenbeard]) to Brian Bóruma’s expansionist plans was so strong that Máel Sechnaill II refused to fight on Brian’s side at Clontarf.  Sitric [III] [Silkenbeard] also had Vikings from Orkey and the Isle of Man on his side [Richter, opus cit, p115]. Sitric had a row with Máel Mórda and he, too, took no part in the battle; he continued to reign in Dublin after 1014. Sitric [Silkenbeard] did, however, secure the help of the Vikings of Orkney under Earl Sigurd, but by the time Earl Sigurd arrived Sitric had decided not to take part in the fight. “ No one would carry the (cursed) raven banner (of Orkney) so the Earl had to do it himself and he was killed” [Cited from Orkneyinga Saga, written c1200, by E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987, p48]. The editor of the Annals of the Four Masters notes [p798] that Sitric, king of Dublin, was the brother-in-law of King Maelseachlainn II, and the son-in-law of Brian Borúma, hence his reluctance to participate in the battle of Clontarf.

The Annals of Ulster for 1014 write of “A hosting by Brian [Bóruma], King of Ireland, and by Maelsechlainn [= Máel Sechnaill II] son of Domnall, King of Tara], to Ath-Cliath. All the Leinstermen were assembled before them, and the foreigners of Ath-cliat, and an equal number of the Foreigners of Lochlann [Danes] along with them, viz, 1,000 mail-clad men. A valorous battle was fought between them… The Foreigners and the Leinstermen were defeated at first, however, so that they were entirely annihilated. In this battle there fell of the hostile band of the Foreigners, Maelmordha son of Murchad, King of Leinster, and Domnall son of Fergal, King of the Fortuatha [= border territories]. But of the Foreigners there fell Dubhgall son of Amlaidh [=Olaf]; Siuchraidh [Sigurd] son of Lodur [in Irish: Siuchraidh mac Loduir iarla Innsi orcc], Earl of Insi-Irc [= the Orkney Islands] and ….. There fell of the Gaedhil, in the mutual wounding, Brian, son of Cenneidigh, arch-king of the Gaedhil of Ireland, and ….”  etc. Of Leixlip interest is the mention of Lodur, as there is a mention of Macenloder’s castle in the earliest extant Norman reference to Leixlip; see 1202.

1019:  Kells was plundered by Sitric, son of Amhlaeibh, and the foreigners of Dublin; and they carried off innumerable spoils and prisoners, and slew may persons in the middle of the church [Annals of the Four Masters, 1019].

1021:  Branagan, son of Macluidhir [Maclodher, Machenlodher], a chief of Meath, was drowned on May-day, in Lough Ennell, and Mac Conailligh, chief lawgiver of Maelseachlainn, died, after the plundering of the shrine of Ciaran by them both, after nine days of plundering. A victory over Sitric, son of Amhlaeibh, and the foreigners of Dublin, at Delgany, Bray [Annals of the Four Masters, 1021].

1022:  The Irish-Norse of Dublin are defeated in a sea battle by the king of Ulster, Niall Mac Eochada [=McKeogh] [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987]; [Annals of Ulster, 1022].

1027:  An army was led by Sitric, son of Amhlaeibh, and Dunchadh, lord of Breagha, into Meath as far as Lickblaw, Co Westmeath, where Sitric and the Lord of Meath were beaten [Annals of the Four Masters, 1027].

1028:  King Sitric III (‘Silk- or silken-beard’) of Dublin, now christened, visited the pope in Rome [Richter, opus cit, p126]. Later, he assists Bishop Donatus to found Christ Church Cathedral [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987]. King Sitric was responsible for facilitating the introduction of Roman model bishoprics, that is, ones based on territory [Richter, opus cit, p126-7].

1031:  Glún-iairn [=iron knee], son of Sitric [III] was killed by the people of South Breaga. 

1032:  Sitric [III], son of Amhlaeibh, won the battle of [the mouth of the] Boyne, over several tribes and 300 were killed or captured [Annals of the Four Masters, 1032].

1032:  Sitric III is said to have founded St Mary’s Abbey or Church, Howth [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987].

1034:  Sitric III’s son, Olaf of Dublin, was killed in England while going on a pilgrimage to Rome [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987]. 

1035:  Raghnall, grandson of Imhar, lord of Waterford, was slain at Dublin by Sitric [III], son of Amhlaibh, and Swords was plundered and burned by Concobhar Ua Maelsechlainn in revenge thereof [Annals of the Four Masters, 1035].

1036:  Sitric III was deposed, with several changes of leadership between then and 1052, when a Gaelic king captured Dublin [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987]. 

1043:  Sitric III and his dau, Cailleach-Fináin, died in the one month [Annals of the Four Masters, 1043].

1064:  Brian Boruma’s son and successor, Donnchadh Ua Briain, visited Rome [Richter, opus cit, p116].

1067:  Smallpox outbreak in Leinster [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987]. 

1072:  Gofraid I becomes king of Dublin, but lasts only two years before more iterations, with kings of Gaelic-Norse names [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987]. 

1095:  Great plague devastates Dublin for two years [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987].

1095:  Wolstan, bishop of Worcester, died this year and was canonised a saint in 1202 [Tony Doohan, A History of Celbridge, Celbridge, undated].

<1100:  The Wood Quay excavations show that Dublin had been closely involved in North Sea trade with Scandinavia up to this time, and after this time links with the south of England and France became more important. The excavated remains of Wood Quay houses from around the 11th and 12th centuries are quite similar to other houses from that time: made mainly of Ash timber, of one room of average size 12 x 18 ft, with a fire place in the middle and sleeping spaces along the walls. Walls and roof were made of wattle and daub [Richter, opus cit, p124-5].

1105:  Domnall, successor of [St] Patrick, went to Ath-Cliath to make peace between two warring Irish factions, became ill there and he was carried while ill to Domnach of Airthir-Emhna [which the editor signals as Donaghmore, Ratoath Barony of co Meath]. This Donaghmore is about one mile nearer to Dublin than Donaghmore, near Pike’s bridge. There he was anointed and carried after that to Damlioc [=Duleek, co Meath] and he died there [Annals of Ulster, vol II].

1111:  A synod of the Irish Church decided to organise itself in two provinces, perhaps following Gregory the Great’s model for the English Church, with archbishoprics in Cashel and Armagh. The Scandinavian bishoprics, esp. Dublin, were not included [Richter, opus cit, p128].

c1115:  Turlough O’Connor, king of Connaught, aiming at the high-kingship of Ireland, divided Meath between two of the Maoilseachlins, one of who immediately killed the other. In 1118 he expelled the surviving king of Meath, Murrough O’Maoilseachlin. After making a peace with him, he came again in 1125 and expelled him again, placing three kings over Meath, one of whom was killed immediately. Meath was almost incessantly fighting with Connaught [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p41-6].

1142:  The first Cistercian monastery was founded (by the Cistercian, bishop Malachy of Armagh (1113-48) at Mellifont, north-west of Drogheda. In the Anglo-Norman invasion, the abbey was given the protection of Henry II and later of John. “A small ruined church on the hill to the north-east, probably of 15th century, was used after the dissolution as a parish church; its pre-Reformation use was probably for the dependants and tenants of the Abbey” [AA Road Book of Ireland, Dublin, 1965, p221]. There may be a similar explanation for the use of Confey’s medieval parish church. Seven monasteries were added by 1153, and 8 more by 1172. 

Malachy, Cistercian bishop of Armagh (1113-48), is also credited with the introduction of the rule of Augustine which spread widely and rapidly [Richter, opus cit, p128]. The Cistercians were immensely influential and completely superseded the older Celtic foundations. [AJ Otway-Ruthven, A History of Medieval Ireland, London, 1968, p40].

c1144:  Wm Marshal, later to take over Strongbow’s role as lord of Leinster, was born, son of John, son of Gilbert Marshal. Henry I had granted the office of Marshal of England to Gilbert, which supplied the surname to the family. The office was hereditary. During the years 1170-83 he was a faithful member of king Henry II’s household, travelling with him to the Holy Land [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol II, p200-1].

c1152:  A new division of Meath was made by Turlough O’Conor, with the support of Dermot MacMurrough, giving Murrough O’Maoilseachlin the western half and his son, Maoilseachlin, the eastern half [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p54-5].

1154:  Henry II retained as a royal prerogative, the building of castles in England, and the English nobles built their castles only with the approval of the king. But in English-controlled parts of Ireland, the aristocracy could and had to act largely according to their own decisions. The presence of their castles was indicative of their lands being ‘marcher’ land [= lands on the boundaries of area they controlled]. The English tended to settle in areas which were already being used for agriculture, rather than opening up new farmland [Richter, opus cit, p143-4].

c1155:  The Pope, in his bull, Laudabiliter, sanctioned the invasion of Ireland which was contemplated by Henry II, but it had not met with his mother, Empress Matilda’s, approval and so was postponed [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p82].

c1156:  Diarmait Mac Murchada was king of Leinster [Expugnatio, note 14, p290; See GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20].

1161:  The churches of Columba in Meath and Leinster were freed from having to pay tribute to, and subject to the jurisdiction of, the temporal lords in their area, and instead these would be due to the successor of Columba [Annals of Ulster, vol 2, 1161, p141].

1162:  Diarmait Mac Murchada afforded protection to a synod of 26 bishops at Clane. Upon the death of the bishop of Dublin, Lorcan O’Toole, brother-in-law of Diarmait, was elevated to Archbishop of Leinster, with the help of Diarmait and the Ostmen [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p62-3].

1163:  Archbishop Laurence O’Toole replaced the secular clergy of Christ Church with the Augustinians (canons regular) and a priory called Holy Trinity [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City, Dublin, 1987].

1166:  Seeking vengeance for the earlier ‘abduction’ by Diarmait of his wife, Tiernan O’Rourke, with the backing of Diarmait Maoilseachlin of east Meath, and support of Rory O’Connor of Connaught, deposed Diarmait, as the Ostmen and north Leinster tribes defected from him [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p64-69].

1166:  Diarmait Mac Murchada leaves Ireland for Bristol from near Bannow on 1st August, 1166 [Expugatio, note 11, p287-8, and note 24, p292]. He met King Henry II in Aquitaine, France, in the Autumn. Henry could not help himself at this time, but provided a letter of comfort for willing supporters of Diarmait’s cause in his kingdom. After his return to Wales he fails to rally any forces to his standard. However, he met the Earl of Striguil (‘Strongbow’), whose fortunes had been diminished by Henry II and who was interested in developing new lands abroad in Ireland. Diarmait came to an agreement with him: for the earl’s assistance with an army the following spring, he could have Aoife, Diarmait’s eldest daughter in marriage and could succeed to his lordship of Leinster [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p91]. As Henry’s approval or licence to Diarmait was a general one, the earl of Striguil thought it prudent to obtain a specific consent of Henry II to travel to Ireland: he waited two years to do this [Orpen, Vol I, p93]. The licence he got was to aid Diarmait in the recovery of his kingdom of Leinster.

1167: Diarmait Mac Murchada returns to Ireland in August, 1167 with FitzGodebert, the first of the Normans, and submits to Ruaidri Ua Concobhair in the Autumn [Expugatio, note 24, p292]. He also submitted to Tiernan O’Rourke, whose wife he had taken 14 years before, and paid him gold. In return, he was allowed to retain 10 cantreds of his tribe lands, probably about the whole of the present co Wexford [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p141-2].  A cantred is approximately 108,000 acres, making a total of about 185 for the entire country. Each cantred contained an estimated 100 ‘vills’, each of which had 30 homesteads [Orpen, opus cit, Vol I, p110, reconciled with Geraldus Cambrensis].

1169:  Robert Fitz Stephen arrived in Bannow, co Wexford, in three ships in August 1169 [or c1/5/1169, says Orpen], accompanied by Hervey de Montmorency, uncle of Strongbow [Expugnatio, p31, note 24, p292], and thirty knights from his relations, sixty men wearing mail, c300 archers and tradesmen. Montmorency was sent as a scout for Strongbow [Expugnatio, p33]. They were joined by Diarmait Mac Murchada with c500 men [Expugnatio, p31,33]. After the capture of Wexford, the walled town of which was occupied by the Norsemen, Hervey was assigned two cantreds by the sea between Wexford and Waterford by Mac Murchada [Expugnatio, p35]. This assignment was indicative of the impact Hervey had on Diarmait [Expugnatio, note 30, p293]. The area called Insula, now known as the Great Island in Kilmokea, co Wexford, on the east bank of the Barrow river, and now no longer an island, was the caput baroniae of Hervey de Montmorency’s fief [G H Orpen, Ireland under the Normans, 1216-1333, Vol III, Oxford, 1920 & reprinted 1968, p79-84]. The lands were afterwards taken by king Henry, who gave them to Strongbow as part of the lordship of Leinster, and he re-granted or confirmed them to Hervey [Orpen, Vol I, p155]. Hervey signed himself in a Latinised version, Hervice de Monte Morisco, in a deed or charter of c1174 [Maurice P Sheehy, ‘The Register Novum’ etc, Reportorium Novum, Vol 3, No 2, 1964, p254].

1169:   While many disaffected tribes of Leinster returned to Dairmait’s allegiance, others such as Faelán Mac Fhaeláin, lord of Offelan, the tribal territory of the O’Byrnes, who at this time occupied the north-eastern part of the present co Kildare, held out.  Diarmait now drove him out of Offelan, raided his territory and carried off a great spoil [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p161-2].  Mac Murchada and his Norman colleagues captured Leinster, the former made a peace settlement with King Ruaidri Ua Concohair, by which Mac Murchada would be left with Leinster, recognise Ruaidri (aka Rory O’Connor) as the King of all Ireland and give him due obedience. Further, Diarmait undertook to send back the Normans once he had pacified his own province, and gave his son as a hostage [Expugnatio, p51].

1169:  ‘At the time of the conquest of the land of Ireland and long thereafter English of this country used the English language and English dress’  -  preamble to the Statutes of Kilkenny of 1366. Cambrensis also referred to the conquerors nearly always as Angli, ‘English’ [Richter, opus cit, p130].

1170:  The Augustinian Rule was observed in 63 houses in Ireland [Richter, opus cit, p128].

1170:  Early in 1170 Diarmait determined to march on Dublin city and with Fitz Gerald marched to the Dyflinarskirri or Norse district immediately adjoining Dublin. No attempt was made to take the city, but the adjoining regions were soon laid waste by plunder, fire and sword, and at length the citizens sued for peace and submitted [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p177].

In a footnote to the Annals of Ulster, vol 2, 1170,p165, is written ‘The order of events was (1) East Leinster laid waste; (2) Dublin submits to Mac Murrough; (3) Waterford taken with great loss of life; (4) Dublin taken, followed by slaughter of citizens; (5) Meath laid waste: (6) MacMurrough’s son and other hostages slain by O’Conor.

1170:  Mac Murchada now set his sights on Connacht, together with the kingship of all Ireland, and sent a message to Strongbow. [Expugatio, p53,5]  Strongbow was a nickname incorrectly given to Richard fitz Gilbert de Clare after he was long dead (in 1223). Richard succeeded his father, Gilbert FitzGilbert, who was called Strongbow, of the de Clare family.  Gilbert was the earl of Pembroke in 1148, but Richard was deprived of the title by King Henry II in 1154 for siding with King Stephen of England against Henry’s mother, Empress Matilda [Expugnatio, note 64, p299]. Richard was in fact, described by his contemporaries as the Earl of Striguil, Striguil being where he had a fortress at a place now called Chepstow, in Monmouthshire on the Wye River [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p85-9]. In May 1170, Richard sent over Raymond Fitz Gerald, a young man of his household, with 10 knights and 70 archers. He arrived at Dundonnelll, co Wexford, where he made a fortification and was joined by Hervey de Montmorency with 3 knights and men. They were attacked by the Norsemen of Waterford; 500 were killed and 70 men of the city were thrown into the sea, Raymond being victorious [Orpen, Vol I, p181-8].  

1170:  Strongbow came with Maurice de Prendergast, 1500 men in all, from Milford Haven to Ireland, arriving in Waterford on 23/8/1170 [Expugnatio, p65; also notes 75-79, p302]. Note that Philip de Prendergast was a witness to a Salmon Leap deed of 1207, a repeat of one of 1202.Philip was Maurice’s son; he married Maud, granddaughter of Strongbow [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p391]. Orpen calls Strongbow, Richard of Striguil [Orpen, opus cit, Vol II, p5]. He was joined by Raymond Fitz Gerald and 40 knights. Together they took Waterford from the Norse or Ostmen of that city, settling it with their own men [Orpen, Vol I, p193-197].

1170: Shortly after taking Waterford, Maurice Fitz Gerald arrived at Wexford with a goodly contingent of knights and archers. Strongbow, having shown his earnest intentions, then married Diarmait’s daughter, Eva or Aoife, probably in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Waterford [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p197-8]. Fitz Stephen built the first [?] Norman fortress of the motte and bailey type at Carrick [Expugnatio, p53, note 58, p298]. A council of war was now held and it was decided the next move should be on Dublin [Orpen, Vol I, p202]. Dublin had been for 300 years or more in the Norwegian hands. After the battle of Clontarf, it did not seriously affect their position in Ireland, as they retained their hold of the coastal cities until the Normans arrived. For the most part they devoted themselves to trade and peaceful arts, becoming more christianised, with their own Norse bishops, appointed by Canterbury not Armagh, and Norse kings of Dublin. The Norsemen appeared to have retained their position in Dublin up to 1052, after which the Norse seemed to lose their independence and by 1166, Rory O’Conor, took Dublin and was there inaugurated as high king, leaving the direct rule of the city to the foreigners [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p203-8].

At this time, Haskulf, aka Asgall, or Hesculf, was king of Dublin and had submitted to Rory O’Conor and with O’Rourke had been party to Diarmait’s expulsion as king of Leinster. Mac Murchada decided to avenge himself on Dublin and with the others eventually ruined it. [Expugnatio, p53.] On hearing of Diarmait’s proposed expedition against Dublin, Haskulf sought and got Rory’s assistance and that of O’Rourke, Maoilseachlain, and others kings [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p208-9]. O’Conor, aka Ruaidrí Ua Concobhair, king of Connacht, who was among the Irish leaders, was encamped, and bathing, by the Liffey near Castleknock at this time [Expugnatio, p83, note125, p307-8]. When the Normans reached Dublin, efforts were made at mediation by Laurence O’Toole, archbishop of Dublin, and brother in law of Diarmait. While the negotiations were proceeding, the Normans, Miles de Cogan and Raymond le Gros, attacked the city on 21/9/1170 without the knowledge of Diarmait or Strongbow [Expugnatio, p67, 69, notes 91-93, p302-3]. Many were killed but most escaped, led by Haskulf, in their boats headed for the Hebrides and Man. The proposed surrender of the men of Dublin to Diarmait was taken by Rory as a repudiation of their agreement with him and he did nothing to help the Dubliners.

Diarmait still wanted vengeance against Tiernan O’Rourke (who now held east Meath, in place of Donnell Maoilseachlain, who had been expelled by O’Conor) [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p214]. Diarmait then proceeded to Meath, plundering Clonard and Kells. . [Expugnatio, note 59, p298; and p69 and note 96, p303-4, cites the Annals of Inisfallen, for 1170, mentioning these places]. Among those defeated Irish leaders was Máelsechlainn of Uí Faeláin (ie north Kildare, east Meath) Meath [Expugnatio, p85, note 115, p306]. Is this when ‘Shaughlin’s Castle at Leixlip was ruined?

Meanwhile, Henry II was concerned about the extent of the lands and powers taken by the Normans in Ireland and issued an edict requiring all to return by the following Easter, or be disinherited and banished [Expugnatio, p71].

1171:  Diarmait Mac Murchada died aged 60, having ruled for 46 years, around May, at Ferns [Expugnatio p75, note 104, p304].
The effect of his death was to cause the Irish and established Norsemen to unite in a effort to defeat the Norman invaders, particularly those who had taken Dublin [Expugnatio p77 & 79 note 115, p306]. A large number of Norse warriors landed in Dublin, having travelled from the Orkneys and the Isle of Man and under the leadership of John de Wode, summoned by the deposed leader of Dublin, Haskulf [Expugnatio p77, notes 106-108, p305]. Dublin was surrounded by the arriving Vikings and surrounded on the land by Ruaidri, King of Connacht and other Irish, including Maelechlainn [‘Shaughlin] of east Meath [Expugnatio p79]. While this was going on two of the Norman knights, Maurice FitzGerald and Raymond le Gros, had been to see Henry II in France, apparently at Strongbow’s request, in order to assure him [Expugnatio, p81 and note 120, p307]. They, too, were within the besieged city with Strongbow at this time. Also Hervey de Montmerency, Strongbow’s uncle, who Giraldus disliked, was also there to visit Henry II on Strongbow’s behalf [Expugnatio, p89, note 133, p309]. Hervey was sent after the other pair brought back dispiriting news for Strongbow. This may explain the absence of a mention of him during the siege of Dublin. Hervey returned early in September and urged the Earl to meet the King, which he did, in Gloucestershire [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p247-50].

1171:  Three months after Hervey’s meeting with him, Henry II arrived in Ireland on 17/10/1171 [says GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p255, and Annals of Ulster, vol2, 1171, p171] and Strongbow resigned to him the cities of Dublin (and neighbouring cantreds) and Waterford, Wexford, and all castles, keeping the rest of his Leinster lands. There was no trouble for Strongbow [Expugnatio, p89, note 135, p309]. With the possible exception of a Norse castle at Wicklow, it seems there were no stone castles to surrender [Orpen, opus cit, Vol I, p251]. Henry II’s contingent consisted of 500 knights, many archers, about 4000 in all, and requiring [240 or] 400 ships to take them and their horses, arms and provisions. They also brought engineering tools and a few ready-made wooden towers, the royal tent, 1,000 lbs of sealing wax etc. Most of the army were tenants who owed the King service [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p256-7]. Henry II stopped for two days at Lismore, where he selected a site for a castle. This was later built by his son John in 1185.  It is noteworthy that John also built castles at two other places where his father visited in 1185 [Orpen, opus cit, vol I, p260-1]. He travelled from Ossory [nr Kilkenny?] to Dublin, arriving on 11/11/1171, by a route unknown, having set out on 1st November. On his way he received the submission of all the principal Leinster chieftains: Faelán Mac Faeláin, King of Offelan or north Kildare: O’Toole, King of Omurethy or South Kildare; and Donnell Mac Gillamocholmog, whose territory lay in the vale of Dublin [= Liffey valley]. He also received the submission of Tiernan O’Rourke, King of Breffny and part of Meath and Murrough O’Carroll, King of Ureil [=Louth etc] [Orpen, Vol I, p264]. Did Henry II stop at Leixlip to receive some of these submissions? It would have suited, being a point where several of these kingdoms met.

1171-2:  Henry II granted a charter to his men of Bristol to inhabit the city of Dublin, together with all the liberties and customs they had at Bristol. The charter was granted at Dublin [See JT Gilbert, Calendar of Ancient Records of Dublin, and JT Gilbert, Historical and Municipal Documents of Ireland]; [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p266]. Henry stayed in Dublin holding his court from 11/1171 to 2/2/1172, entertaining many of the Irish princes [AJ Otway-Ruthven, A History of Medieval Ireland, London, 1968, p50].

c1171-3:  Strongbow’s grant to Maurice FitzGerald included the middle cantred of Offelan [= Uí Faeláin], which lay in the northern part of the present co Kildare, covering Naas and Maynooth. This cantred descended to Maurice’s elde

c1171-3:  Strongbow’s grant to Maurice FitzGerald included the middle cantred of Offelan [= Uí Faeláin], which lay in the northern part of the present co Kildare, covering Naas and Maynooth. This cantred descended to Maurice’s eldest son, William, who retained Naas, while Maurice gave half the cantred with centres at Maynooth and Rathmore [where?] to his brother Gerald [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol III, p112-3]. Exact date unclear, as original grants are not available.

c1171-3:  Strongbow granted the cantred of Offelan nearest to Dublin to Adam de Hereford, and this was divided between him and his brothers John and Richard. Adam de Hereford was the commander of the naval encounter of Cork in 1173. This occurred after a group of Normans plundered the port of Lismore and after taking their plunder aboard ships at Youghal, they were attacked by a fleet of 32 ships from Cork full of armed men under the command of the son of Turgerius, a Norseman. Adam de Hereford fought the Cork men with bows and arrows and defeated them, killing their leader; the fleet, now augmented with captured vessels, sailed in triumph to Waterford with their spoil [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p329-332]. Adam retained in his own hands Saltus Salmonis [Leixlip] and also Cloncurry and Oughterard. The castle at Leixlip is on a high promontory at the junction of the Rye and Liffey.There are mottes as Cloncurry, Castlewarden near Oughterard, Kill, Mainham and Clane. To his brother John Adam gave Kill, Kildrought (Celbridge), Clonshanbo and Mainham (Rathcoffey); and to Richard he gave Downings (nr Prosperous) [Orpen, opus cit, Vol I, p378-9; details are in the Register of St Thomas’s, Dublin, p 102-4, 75-89, 142-4 etc]. Note that there are also mottes and tumulus-like structures shown in the OS map (c1835) in Cooldrinagh, Blakestown, Collinstown, Kilmacredock Upper & Lower, Leixlip Demesne, and adjoining Knockmulrooney Turret. 

Strongbow also granted to Adam de Hereford half the vill of Aghaboe, the former cathedral town of the diocese of Ossory, near Durrow, co Laois [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, opus cit, Vol I, p388].

1172:  c March 1172, Henry II made a grant to Hugh de Lacy of the land of Meath, to hold as Murrough O’ Maoilseachlain held it. [Cal. Gormanston Register, p177.] Henry returned to Wales on Easter Monday, 17/4/1172, never to return. He regretted having to leave before building castles in some strategic sites [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p279 - 283]. Strongbow’s grant of (most of) Leinster from Henry II must have been written in similar terms; a copy is not extant. During de Lacy’s tenure (1172-1186) he built many castles both in Meath and Leinster. Most of them were first made of timber, built on mottes [ie, high flat-topped mounds], surrounded by ditches or moats, with a bailey, ie, enclosed area with ditch, bank and palisade, for the protection of cattle and servants’ quarters.

1172:  Henry II left Ireland on Easter Sunday, 16/4/1172 [Annals of Ulster, vol 2, 1172, p173].

1172-3:  Hervey de Montmorency gave a lot of his lands in Sth-West Wexford, which he had received from Diarmait after the taking of Wexford, to monks for the establishment of a Cistercian abbey there (constructed about 1182). The ruins of the large abbey are to be seen at Dunbrody, near the estuary which separates Waterford from Wexford. At this time he appears to have been appointed constable of Leinster by Strongbow, who gave him a charter of confirmation (which is in the Chartulary of St Mary’s Abbey, Vol 2, p151-4) [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p323-4].

1173:  Henry II, at war in France, summoned knights from Ireland, including the Earl and Hugh de Lacy in the Spring of 1173. Encouraged by the weakening of the garrisons in Ireland, Irish chieftains rose up and the Earl’s own household troops, who were subject to shortages, threatened mutiny. Under Raymond le Gros, an incursion was made into Offelan, ie in the north-east of the present co Kildare, where they obtained an immense booty, fresh horses and arms [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, p328-9]. This suggests that Offelan was not yet fully occupied by Normans and their planted farmers etc. Otway-Ruthven states Offelan had constantly opposed Diarmait MacMurrough and they were now finally reduced to submission [Otway-Ruthven, opus cit, p54].

1173:  Hugh Tyrrell built a (timber?) castle at Castleknock [E E O’Donnell, The Annals of Dublin ~ Fair City ~, Dublin, 1987].

1174:  After Strongbow lost the support of Raymond le Gros at the end of 1173,  Hervey de Montmorency took command of Strongbow’s forces, which were defeated under his command near Thurles early in 1174 [Otway-Ruthven, opus cit, p54-5].

c1174:  Hugh de Lacy erected a timber castle on a motte with fosse at Trim [still extant, but now stone], and another was built at Slane, co Meath. He appointed Hugh Tyrell warden of the castle. (The Tyrells were later to occupy the castle at Castleknock) [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p338-40]. With many of the king’s troops withdrawn to the war in France, including Hugh de Lacy, who was still there, Rory O’Connor launched a great attack on the Normans in Meath, advancing towards Trim. Tyrell summoned Strongbow’s help, but as the latter didn’t arrive in time (from the south) and as his garrison was small, he evacuated Trim. O’Connor found the timber castle empty and destroyed it. The castle of Duleek was also destroyed by O’Connor. When Strongbow arrived the Irish retreated and both Duleek and Trim were then repaired [Otway-Ruthven, opus cit, p55-6].

1174:  Strongbow established a priory for the Knights Templars, under the invocation of St. John the Baptist, at headquarters at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. "So powerful was its influence, that during 200 years which this order existed, it had actually acquired 16,000 lordships". Their conduct led the avaricious Philip of France to impeach their reputation and ultimately to confiscate their estate and to imprison them. Edward II followed this example and the Order was condemned, their lands were then bestowed on the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem by the Pope and the grant confirmed by the King. Under them the hospital became one for guests and strangers, to the complete exclusion of the infirm and the sick, who had always been received by the Knights Templar [Dublin Penny Journal, 9/1/1836, p221]. The Knights Templars were created to protect pilgrims to Palestine and combined this military role with a monastic life. They were modelled on the Cistercians.

1175:  In this year the Normans under Strongbow seem to have begun a systematic occupation of Mide. Clonard and Durrow were plundered, and the annals [AFM, ALC] state that the whole country from Drogheda to Athlone was laid waste [Otway-Ruthven, opus cit, p55-6]. Both Clonard and Durrow were Columban monasteries, as was, most likely, Confey Abbey. There was little or nothing left of all of these monasteries. It is presumed, therefore, that their stone was re-used by the Normans to construct castles in each of these places. Hugh de Lacy was murdered while superintending the construction of his last castle at Durrow in 1186, having already built a stone castle at Trim .It seems likely that Leixlip castle would have been among the earliest of these built after1175, as it was on a stoney precipice not on a man-made motte which required some years to settle; the stone of Confey abbey would have been used, if any, and any other to hand, of which there was plenty in Leixlip. [See AA Road Book of Ireland, 1965, for confirmation of Clonard and Durrow].

1175:  Pope Alexander III’s letter commanded the Irish bishops to assist Henry II in maintaining his Irish lands, under sanction. His letter, of an earlier date (September, 1174?) was probably brought to Ireland to the bishops in March or April 1175. [Pontificia Hibernicia, I, nos 5-7, cited by Otway-Ruthven, opus cit, p52-3].

c1175/6:  Before his death, and after confirmation of his lands by John, Lord of Ireland, Strongbow devolved much of that which was left to him of Leinster to Anglo-Norman settlers. Of interest are North Kildare [=Offelan] and Dublin. Dublin and the greater part of co Dublin were retained by the Crown. The district near Dublin had probably been dominated by the Norsemen of Dublin. Hugh de Lacy had power in his charter to deal with the lands about Dublin, but only while he was the king’s agent in the area. Some parts of the co Dublin were retained as ‘royal manors’. These included Esker, Newcastle Lyons, Saggart and Crumlin by 1200 [See James Mills, ‘The Norman Settlement in Leinster  -  The Cantreds near Dublin’, JRSAI, Vol 24, 1894, p161-75 for details]. The sheriff collected £36 odd in rent for the farm of Esker for the year to 1235 [Mills, opus cit, p172]. Strongbow seemed to retain for himself, Kildare (town), which was probably his principal seat; also Dunamase in Leix, and Carlow town, Kilkenny and Wexford towns. These five places eventually became the capita of his fief in the hands of the daughters of his successor, the Earl Marshall. In the modern county area of Kildare, at the time of the invasion it was in three tribal areas: Offelan in the north, (part of) Offaly – not the modern county – in the middle and Omurethy in the south. Strongbow divided Offelan into three cantreds.  The farthest from Dublin -  marcher or border territory -  the modern barony of Carbury, was given to Meiler Fitz Henry. The middle cantred of Offelan, including Naas, was given to Maurice FitzGerald, which passed to his son, William, and then to another son, Gerald. These lands included Rathmore, Maynooth, Laraghbryan, Taghadoe and Straffan, which Gerald had been gifted by William. The witnesses to Strongbow’s ‘charter’ to Maurice included Henry de Mot’ Moet’ (interpreted as Hervey de Mont Maurice? by the editor), William, Strongbow’s brother, Meiler Fitz Henry and Adam de Hereford [Calendar of the Gormanston Register c1175-1397, RSAI, Dublin, 1916, p145].

There may be significance in the fact that Hervey de Mont Morency [~ Maurice] was a witness; perhaps the charter was made at Leixlip?

The cantred nearest Dublin was given by Strongbow to Adam de Hereford. Adam decided to keep Saltus Salmonis (Leixlip) for himself, along with Cloncurry and Oughterard (nr Newcastle). He gave to his brother John: Kill, Celbridge, Clonsanbo, and Mainham (inc. Rathcoffey). To his brother Richard he gave Downings near Clane. Richard’s son afterwards became the lord of Clane (then called Otymy). There remained until recently mottes at all of these places, along with the stone castle at Leixlip, which is on a high promontory [For details, see the Register of the Abbey of St Thomas the Martyr, Dublin.]. [These details from GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, chap XI]. Carbury was anciently called Cairpri Ua Ciardha, Carbury-O’Keary or –O’Carey. [Annals of Ulster, Vol 1, note 3, p500].

Hugh de Lacy seemed to be the castle-building specialist, supervising Timahoe for Meiler in 1182; another near here for Robert de Bigarz, also in 1182. Another at Ardee, nr Athy, in 1181. Strongbow also gave Adam de Hereford half the vill of Aghabo (nr Abbeyleix) and half the land around it.

c1176:  Strongbow bestowed Castleknock on his friend, Hugh Tyrrel, who founded a castle there. Tyrrel’s son, Richard, later endowed an Augustinian abbey about 1184 [Henry E Berry (ed), Register of Wills and Inventories of the Diocese of Dublin 1457-1483, JRSAI, 1898, p206].

c1176:  Richard Tirel [Tyrell] granted to Adam de Hereford, for his homage and the service of the fee of two knights, the land which he holds of his brother Roger [Tyrell] in Uriel [modern Louth, Armagh and Monaghan]…etc. and Saltus salmonum [the salmon leap], Grantor undertakes to perform fully to Adam de Hereford the fee of 20 knights in .. Limerick … Witnessed by Hugh Tirel, Roger Tirel, Richard de Hereford, etc., c 1176 [Edmond Curtis (ed), Calendar of Ormond Deeds, Vol 1, 1172-1350, Dublin, 1932, No. 3]. Richard Tyrel, Tirel or Tyrrell, owned Castleknock castle, he or his predecessor, Hugh Tyrel, having been given it by Hugh de Lacy on the king’s behalf. John (reigned 1199-1216) and Henry III (reigned 1216-1272) tried to have the castle knocked, perceiving it to be a danger to Dublin, but Richard Tyrell avoided compliance with the order [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol II, p83-4]. The O’Toole and O’Byrne tribes, who were displaced, retreated to the uplands of co Wicklow, where they maintained their tribal organisation and a lawless freedom, and were afterwards from time to time a source of danger and injury to the colonisers [Orpen, Voll II, p133]. Hugh Tyrel came from Herefordshire and he was head of that family at the time of Hugh de Lacy and was a tenant of de Lacy in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Richard Tirel was Hugh’s son and successor [For details of the Tyrell family, see Eric St John Brooks, ‘The Tyrels of Castleknock’, JRSAI, Vol 76, 1946, p151-4.]

1176:  Strongbow's died in 1/6/1176 [Maurice P Sheehy, ‘The Register Novum’ etc, Reportorium Novum, Vol 3, No 2, 1964, p253] from blood-poisoning or an ulcer of the foot. He is said to be buried in Christ's Church, Dublin. He had become Lord of Leinster (apart from Dublin, which Henry II kept) in right of his wife, Eva or Aoife. His only daughter and heiress, the infant, Isabel de Clare became a ward of Henry II in England and when she was c14 she was given in marriage to William le Mareschal [Marshal] in 1189. In this way he, Marshal, acquired the lordship of Leinster. [Lord Walter Fitzgerald, ‘The Castle and Manor of Carlow’, JKAS, Vol VI, No 4, July 1910, p314]. The Marshals had five sons, all of whom died without issue, and five daughters, all of whom married. Maud, eldest, m. Roger Bigott, made Earl Marshal in England in 31 Henry III; Joan, m. Earl of Surrey; Isabel, m Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Ulster; Sybil, m Wm Ferrers, Earl of Derby and Eve m. Wm de Bruce. The lands they inherited were divided, Sybil getting co Kildare.

1176:  Otway-Ruthven [opus cit, p63] reports that the Miscellaneous Annals (p61, 63) state that in this year castles had been built at Dunshaughlin, Trim, Skreen, Navan, Knowth and Slane, all in co Meath.

1176:  Kells monastery was destroyed by the Anglo-Normans [Brian Lacey, Colum Cille and the Columban Tradition, Dublin, 1997, p89].

c1176:  Henry de Mot’ Moet’ [believed to be Hervey de Montmorency], William brother of the Earl of Striguil, Meiler FitzHenry and Adam de Hereford are witnesses in a charter of Wicklow and Naas made by the Earl to Maurice FitzGerald [Calendar of the Gormanston Register c1175-1397, RSAI, Dublin, 1916, p145]. Indicative of the closeness of Strongbow, Adam de Hereford, and Hervey de Montmorency.

1177:  At the Council of Oxford in May, 1177, Henry II made several appointments in Ireland and re-grants of his lands there. Firstly, with the Pope’s authority, he constituted his favourite son, John, then aged ten, ‘King of Ireland’, although this seemed to be a mistaken label. Later (from 25/4/1185) John was entitled Dominus Hiberniae, Lord of Ireland, in his writs, reinforcing the territorial, rather than the national, significance of John’s role. This obliged the new grantees to do homage and take an oath of fealty to John as well as Henry II for their lands. Hugh de Lacy was given the whole of Meath, and he was also custodian of the crown lands of Dublin and north Leinster, including Offelan, Offaly and (north) Kildare, before William Marshal succeeded to the fief of Leinster (Strongbow being dead, and his child a minor) [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, opus cit, Vol II, p30-37]. See 1189.

1177:  This year, four years after the canonisation of Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, who had been murdered at the behest of Henry II, Henry II established a church dedicated to St Thomas the Martyr, under the care of the Augustinian canons of St Victor, and located on the western suburb of Dublin. The oldest record-volume now extant in connection with the Anglo-Norman settlement in Ireland is the Register of the Abbey of St Thomas, Dublin, from the late 13th century. After the dissolution of the abbey by Henry VIII, the register went to Dublin Castle’s repository, and it came in the possession of Sir James Ware early in the 17th century; Ware wrote his own history based on it. The abbey was given St Katherine’s, Leixlip [John T Gilbert, Register of the Abbey of St. Thomas, Dublin, London, 1889, pxii].

1179:  The Columban monastery of Lambay island was transferred to the canons of the church of Dublin; Swords, to the Archbishop of Dublin, and Moone to the bishop of Glendalough [Brian Lacey, Colum Cille and the Columban Tradition, Dublin, 1997, p89-90].

1179:  Pope Alexander III wrote to Malchus, bishop of Glendalough, admitting him and his successors to Papal protection and concessions, including the abbacy [?] of Glendalach with its lands “Lecconfi” with all its appurtenances; “Lecppadric” with its appurtenances. Some of these places seem hybrids of Latin, French and Gaelic. Lecconfi, is probably ‘the Confi’; as Lecppadric probably means ‘the [church/place of] Padraic’ [JT Gilbert, (Ed), “Crede Mihi” - The Most Ancient Register Book of the Archbishops of Dublin before the Reformation, Dublin, 1897, p6-8].

1180:  Laurence O’Toole, the last Celtic archbishop of Dublin died on 14/11/1180, in Normandy, after difficulties with Henry II. He was the last archbishop of Dublin of Irish descent for several centuries. Henry immediately sent his officers to take over the temporalities of the see of Dublin [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol II, p59]. He was canonised in 1225 [Richter, opus cit, p148-9].

1181:  Henry removed from Hugh de Lacy the custody of Dublin in May 1181, partly because of jealousy [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol II, p51-5].

1181:  In September 1181, John Cumin or Comyn, a deacon at Evesham abbey, Worcestershire, was elected archbishop of Dublin by the bishops and clergy of England and some of the Dublin clergy who had come to England for the purpose. Cumin was Henry’s nominee, and had been an experienced ambassador and a judge rather than a pastor. He was received by the Pope and was regarded as a cardinal. [‘ab eodem factus est cardinalis..’] He was consecrated archbishop of Dublin by Pope Lucius II on 21/3/1182, with great powers which led to disputes with the Primate of Armagh. Cumin was instrumental in joining the see of Glendalough with Dublin, effected fully in 1214. He is credited with initiating St Patrick’s cathedral and building the palace of St Sepulchre (now Kevin St Police Station) [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol II, p59-65]. Cumin also had a castle at Ballymore Eustace [Orpen, opus cit, Vol II, p71]. He was the uncle of Geoffrey de Marisco (or Mareis) with lands granted him in co Limerick [Orpen, Vol II, p169]. Note that Cumin’s relatives came to Ireland; there is another John Cumin, not the archbishop.

Comyn is also credited with building Dublin Castle. An inscription on a monument in the then Corn Market, noted by Thomas Dineley in his journal following his visit to Ireland in 1680/1, has been cited as evidence of this and the fact that Henry Sidney beautified it when he was Lord Lieutenant in 1575 [Cited on p299, JRSAI, Vol 43, 1913].

c1182-3:  Hervey de Montmorency [and of Leixlip??] abandoned all his possessions, chose to follow the monastic life and took himself off to the community at Canterbury. This was a Benedictine abbey at Canterbury. Hervey had earlier presented it with the church livings of his estate at Wexford and Waterford [Expugnatio, p189; see note 345, p338, and note 30, p293]. 


1184:  In the summer of 1184 Henry II sent John Cumin to Ireland to prepare for the coming of his son, John [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol II, p91].

1185:  Earl John, son of King Henry II, was made Lord of Ireland from 25/4/1185 [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol I, p16] and came to Waterford from Milford Haven on that date with an army of about 300 knights and many horsemen and archers [Otway-Ruthven, opus cit, p64]. He was accompanied by Geraldus Cambrensis, and probably Gilbert Pipard or his brother, Roger Pipard, and Theobald Walter. Walter was John’s chief butler, and founder of the Butler family in Ireland. John’s trip was disastrous from the outset. John took away the land of the early Normans and gave it to newcomers, disgruntling the former [Orpen, opus cit, Vol II, p93-100]. John’s movements in Ireland at this time may be deduced from the charters he granted, which indicate that followed pretty closely his father’s route [Orpen, Vol II, p103]. At Kildare he confirmed his father’s charter granting Dublin to the men of Bristol [Vide: J T Gilbert, Historic and Municipal Documents Ireland, p49]. Orpen says that he probably also confirmed William FitzGerald’s grant to his brother Gerald of lands about Maynooth [Vide Chartae Priv. et Immun., p5 and Gormanston Register, f.190 dors]. He also gave lands and messuages outside the western gate of Dublin to members of his household and others; see Gilbert, opus cit. The caput of Roger Pipard’s barony was at Ardee, where a great motte marks the spot. His brother, Roger [?], may have been the original grantee; his great-grandson was Ralph Pipard of Leixlip, who surrendered all his lands to Edward I [Orpen, Vol II, p122-4]. John returned to England on 17/12/1185 [Orpen, Vol II, p105].

John travelled to Dublin via Kildare, making John de Courcy justiciar, the 2nd highest secular office and the king’s rep in his absence. He held this post until 1192. And Philip of Worcester was made temporary administrator of Meath [Richter, opus cit, p145-6]. 

Did John stay at Leixlip? John’s charter granting Dublin to the men of Bristol (See Gilbert, above, p49), written in Latin, was signed off as “Apud Kildar”.  This means ‘near, at, in Kildare’ or ‘beside, by with, at the house of Kildare’. The witnesses were Adam de Hereford (based at Leixlip), Hugh de Lacy (who had been given Meath, had his HQ at Trim, and made constable of Dublin as a counter to Strongbow), Gilbert Pipard, (of whom Orpen says accompanied John from Wales, and settled firstly near Leixlip, on the west or north), Bertram de Verdun (John’s seneschal = steward or major domo), Robert de Mortimer(the Mortimers were Lords of Trim and settled in Meath), Phillip de Wirecester and two servants .Given the location of de Lacy, de Hereford, Mortimer and Pipard [Pippard] it is plausible that Lord John was at Leixlip at the time.

1186:  Hugh de Lacy was murdered while superintending the construction of Durrow castle.

1189: About May 1189, Henry II, dying in France, promised Wm Marshal the hand of Isabel de Clare, Strongbow’s daughter and heiress, in recompense for his good service, and her lands too. A month later Henry II died and was succeeded by his son, Richard I, who confirmed his father’s gift. However, John, still Lord of Ireland, refused to give the Marshal seisin of his Irish lands, having given much of it away to others.  Richard I insisted and soon afterwards Wm Marshal seems to have obtained seisin of his Irish lordship, apart from lands John had given to Theobald Butler [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol II, p133 & p199-203]. Marshal spent most of his time with King Richard I in Normandy, until the king’s death [Orpen, Vol II, p206].

Wm Marshal’s biography was written at his son and namesake’s request from written memoirs supplied by a faithful follower, John d’Erlée, aka Erleia, Erleya, Erleg’, Erlegh’ (as it appears in Latin documents). John d’Erlée received his name from a village now called Early near Reading, Berkshire. See 1207.

1192:  In 1192, after Wm Marshal obtained seisin of his lands, a castle was built at Kilkenny; this would have been Marshal’s first castle, but may have been an upgrading of one built by Strongbow. Around this time Marshal granted Geoffrey FitzRobert lands near Kells, where Geoffrey erected a mote, followed by a small town around it. The most important feature of the new (Marshal) regime was the formation of manorial towns, by himself and by his subordinate grantees after they had built castles. The rivers were used for transport and were bridged in places, to facilitate peaceful intercourse and trade [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol II, p225-232].

1192:  King John granted an extended charter to Dublin; it was modelled on one he gave to Bristol in 1188 [Vide: Hist. and Mun. Docs. Ireland, p51-5]. An issue: Was it signed at Leixlip? [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol II, p129].
1192:  John Comyn, aka Cumin, Anglo-Norman archbishop of Dublin, is attributed with raising the status of St Patrick's (cathedral) to that of a collegiate church, commonly but not universally held to be the current building [Adrian MacLoughlin, Historic Dublin, 1979, p174]. Comyn is a signatory to title to St Wolstan's priory and probably had a house at Stacumny, hence the name: s’Teach Cumini.

1194-1212:  On the river Liffey, about two miles south-west of Leixlip, in the barony of Salt. [St Wolstan’s] Priory founded in 1202 by Adam de Hereford to honour St Wolstan, bishop of Worcester. The grant was made between 1194 and 1212 [Mervyn Archdall, Monasticum Hibericum: or a history of the abbeys, priories, and other religious houses in Ireland, Vol II, Dublin, 1879, p291-6].

1197:  Archbishop John Cumin aka Comyn went into exile after pronouncing an interdict upon his archbishopric following great injuries to himself and the Church this year after conflicting with the justiciar of the day (Peter Pipard?). He had appealed to King Richard and Earl John, but without success; he had other quarrels with King John over property, amassing a great quantity for his see in his time [GH Orpen, Ireland under the Normans 1169-1333, 4 vols, Oxford, 1911-20, Vol II, p131-2].

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