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Annals :: 1300-1400

From the surrender of Connaught to the DeBurgos to wars among the Mayo chieftains .

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The quarrel between the Fitzgerald and the de Burgo ended, the Fitzgerald agreed to surrender all their properties in Connacht to the Burkes, about 79 000 acres with a population of about 4000 people.


The Dean of Annaghdown made strong accusations in Rome against the Archbishop of Tuam ,Birminngham, and pleaded successfully with the Pope for recognition of a separate Diocese. Gilbert, a Franciscan, was elected as Bishop and the Primate made the consecration. The reason for the break was that Tuam was traditionally a Gaelic country and Annaghdown was now in an area fully controlled by Normans and the union of the two influences would not be successful.


Ecclesiastical taxation in the form of tithes originated from the crusades and consisted of one tenth of all incomes, forming a fund for the armies, later they were levied on the clergy only. King Edward I received from Pope Clement V a grant allowing him to made the levy in his kingdom for his own needs, for a period of seven years. The report from the Edardine Commission shows clearly the importance of Teampall Cholmain and Shrule .

Shrule is listed as a deanery . That deanery included nineteen churches, all of which were previously part of the see of Cong. They were Shrule, Kinlough, Moy ne, The Neale, Cong, Innishmaine, Ballinrobe, Killosheheen, Kil molara, Ross, Kilmainemore, Kilmainebeg, Attyrickard, Ballinchal la, Templenalecka, Moorgagach, Kilcommon, Moyrus and Omey.

Smaller institutions with no taxable income were not included.

The taxation imposed for a year was:

Shrule 2 pounds

Kinlough 13s. 4d.

Moyne 1 pounds

Moorgagach 1 pounds

Cloghvanaha was mentioned as an Abbey situated in Church Park but the tax was combined with that of Teampall Cholmain.


On hearing of the petition of James,the king gaoler,in his castle of Sruthir (Shrule) complaining that the prison there is coming apart,is unroofed and not well shut,so that no prisoner can be kept there without the possibility of escape,it is agreed and granted by the Justiciar and Council that the gaoler have a writ from chancery to the Sheriff of Connacht to repair the said prison.


During that year William Liath entered the war in Scotland on the side of the crown, rendering great service to the King, and in so doing gaining favours from the King including practically a free hand in Connacht.


Malachy MacHugh, a Franciscan and a native of Annaghdown, was made Archbishop of Tuam.He resolutely persisted in reuniting Annaghdown to Tuam against all opposition, even from Armagh. He succeeded in 1324 with the support of Pope John XXII.


Earl Richard was defeated in Robert de Bruce invasion of Ireland and in the same year William Liath was taken prisoner in Scotland. Felim O’Connor profited of the Norman being weakened and attacked them, among the Norman deeds we find names like de Exeter, Cogan, Prendergast, Staunton and Barry.After this success Felim formed a confederacy of Irish chieftains and tried to capture Athenry so as to isolate Galway.Earl Richard ransomed William, raised a new army and joining forces with Birmingham utterly defeated Felim.


Due to the influx of Anglo-Norman merchants, Galway grew from a cluster of fishermen huts to one of the most populous town in Ireland, but unlike their compatriots those Anglo-Normans did not assimilate the Irish culture but stayed aloof, despising the natives. This attitude permeated everything including religious life. In 1320 they erected the church of St. Nicholas for themselves, but after the union of Annaghdown to Tuam in 1324 that church was governed by a vicar appointed by the diocese and generally of Irish descent and a certain amount of friction occurred at intervals.


Death of William Liath.


Death of the Red Earl,succeeded by his grandson William


Walter, son of William Liath, decided to become sole Governor of Connacht.


Walter fought against the Earl, Walter defeated and taken prisoner, was starved to death by William “the Brown Earl” in Ulster. His brother Edmund Albanach succeeded him but not as joint Governor of Connacht.


That year William de Burgo,”the brown Earl”, was murdered by his own people, on his way to mass, near Knockfergus.The murder of Walter brought the separation between the Ulster and Connacht Burkes, the latter proclaiming their independence and, in the hope of winning the Irish to their side, adopted Irish laws, customs and language, adopting the name McWilliam

.Of the sons of William Liath, two became more prominent, the first one Ulick, who set up his castle at Annaghkeen in Headford parish, his descendants remained mainly in Galway. They were known as the Upper McWilliams, later the Earls of Clanricard sprang from that line. The second son Edmund, whose descendants settled north of the Blackriver and were known as Lower McWilliams.


Edmund,the Earl of Ulster’s son, came to this area presumably to state his claim on Connacht, he was taken by Edmund McWilliam, a stone tied to his neck, and drowned in Lough Mask, so completing the break with the Ulster Burkes. After this the Mayo Burkes adopted Irish laws, custom and language, they issued a warning that they would not tolerate further interference from outsiders or foreigners.


MacHugh, Archbishop of Tuam, laid the foundation for the friary of Ross, when the terrible plague of the black death was rampant in these parts.


The Franciscan Friar take up residence in Ross Abbey, they recieved vast grant of land for their upkeep, including Rostaff, in our parish, where they stored their corn.


Death of Edmund Burke. His son Thomas became second McWilliam.


A war now broke out betweem the Sligo and the Mayo chieftains,this seems to have originated from a quarrel among the O’Connors over the kingship of Connacht.Donnell O’Connor of Sligo, O’Dowda and O’Hara burnt Macwilliam’s country up to Carnglas and Belantondaight (?), and from Ballinrobe to Shrule and Killeenbrenin.


Annaghdown is separated again from Tuam and the name of five Bishops came down to us: Henry Tarleton, James Britt, James Conery, John ?, Thomas Barret.

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