Youghal Medieval Fair Day 2008

An annual Medieval Day takes place during Heritage Week in August …. this is a little video from one of them.

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This is from Phil Irwin and concerns an episode during the Famine :

On Friday last, D. Geran, Esq., Coroner, held an Inquest at Youghal, on the body of a boy seven years old named Wm. Miller. The corpse was taken by the Police while exposed for sale. The following jury were summoned upon the occasion. William Walsh, Thomas Dee, John Forde, John Annour, Leonard Parker, Thomas Treacy, Patrick Brien, Edward Kelly, William Cunningham, Thomas O’Neill, Edward Condon, and Thomas Garivan.
Mr. John D. Ronayne being sworn, deposed as follows. I am an Apothecary in the town of Youghal ; was in my own shop about one o’clock in the afternoon of Wednesday, the 27th inst., a man, now in Court, whose name I don’t know, came into my shop, and asked me did I want to buy a corpse ? I asked was it a man or a woman ? He first said it was a man, and then that it was a boy. I asked the age, and he said seven or eight years old ; asked was the boy coffined and buried ? and he said he was ; asked where the boy was from ? he said from the West, asked was he his own child ? he replied not ; at this moment I was called into my house, and on my return back to the shop the man was gone. In the interim, I saw a Policeman passing bye ; I called him, mentioned the circumstance, and desrcibed the man who was in my shop. In about ten minutes after the Policeman returned with the prisoner, and asked me was that the man that offered to sell the body ? and I said it was. In about three hours afterwards, on the same day, I saw the body of a boy about seven years old in the Police Barracks, Youghal. I never knew anything of the kind to have occurred in Youghal before, nor even knew of the sale of bodies there.
Mochael Mangan, Sub-Constable, sworn.—I was passing the town of Youghal at midday on the 27th inst., another Sub-Constable gave prisoner in charge to me ; observed a woman, now in Court, standing close by—she had on her back a basket and her cloak over it ; asked what was in the basket ; she said “nothing ;” removed the cloak, and took a little straw out of the mouth of the basket ; and there found, doubled together, the dead body of a boy, about seven years old ; the man and woman were arrested, and brought back to the Barrack ; did not know them ; while under way to the Barrack the male prisoner wanted to state something to me ; cautioned him not to do so, as I would bring it in evidence against him ; on coming into the barracks ; took the basket, with the corpse in it, off the woman’s back ; the male prisoner began to state a second time why he brought the child for sale ; was cautioned against doing so, but perservered. He stated that the child was sickly some time before he died ; that it was want that compelled him (prisoner) and his wife to offer for sale the dead body ; admitted the child did not belong to himself ; that he was an illegitimate child, belonging to a sister-in-law of his ; and he reared the child for the last six years, and that his mother went to England.
Richard Ronanyne, Esq., M.D., sworn—On Monday last was called on to make an examination on the body of a male child, apparently between 7 and 8 years of age—went to the Police Barrack at Youghal, was pointed out the body, doubled up in a basket, and covered with straw ; there were no marks of violence on the body ; on opening it I found the contents of the chest and abdomen perfectly healthy, but there was not a particle of food in the stomach or intestines, nor a particle of adipose or fatty matter ; from all these circumstances, together with the extremely emaciated appearance of the child, is of the opinion he died from hunger.
The Coroner asked was there any more witnesses, and none appearing, Thomas Miller, the person charged, asked permission to say a few words. The Coroner cautioned him against saying anything that would criminate himself.
Miller, a poor emaciated looking-man, who was in custody of the police, then came forward and stated —I lived with Mr. Gaggan, of Greenland for the last ten years ; and since the potatoes failed I got 8d. per day, and that was not able to support my family, being six in number. When the public works commenced Mr. Gaggin [sic] knocked off all his men but two. I went then to the public works, earned about five shillings a week, and that would not give my family a meal a day when things got dear. I had to break off from work from want of food ; I went to beg for food among the neighbours, and sent my wife to be taken, in my place for a couple of days at the works —she was refused. I went back to the works again on the following Monday, and was without food from Monday morning till the following Thursday on the works ; I used to take a drink of spring water sometimes and faint every night with weakness, and then turn into bed, not having light or fire, and I left the work on Friday to go a second time a begging. I went to Ballymacoda, to the relief committee, the gentlemen were coming out, I saw there Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Egar, the rector of the parish. Mr. Fitzgerald asked me why I was not at work ? I said I was not able, Mr. Egar looked at me, and said “I was not able to work from starvation.” Mr. Egar rode on, and told me to follow after ; I followed, till he came to a house where he sold bread at half price, at Ballymacoda ; he told me to rap at the door ; the woman came out, and Mr. Egar ordered me 2s. worth of bread ; I got it and went home. Having so much bread to share among my children on Friday, I went to the works on Saturday. I was paid my wages on the following Wednesday, 4s., and of this I had to pay 3s. 6d. to Pat Griffin, of Ring, who passed his word for meal for me the week before. I had only 6d. left going home, and took with me the worth of it in bread. I shared the bread among my children, and God knows how little of it I left myself ; the day following I saw the children had nothing, till my wife went when the tide was out to cut Doolamaun (sea weed) off the rocks ; she brought it home, boiled it, put a little salt on it, and on this we were living for days before the child, William Miller, died. I went to work again, on last Tuesday morning and on returning in the evening the child was dead. This statement I am ready to make on oath ; and if you doubt me, ask the Rev. Mr. Egar of Lisquinlan, or Mr. Fitzgerald of Ballykennely, and with the exception of the charge now against me, nothing was ever laid before to my charge.
The prisoner’s wife, a wretched care worn looking woman, with an infant at her breast—said—The reason I was selling the child was from want, and I would do anything to keep the life in my children and in myself ; and this I shall publicly say, however I may be punished by law. A couple of days before the child died, I went to my master’s son, John Gaggin of Greenland, for a few turnips to eat ; he said the last of them were in the [illegible] for the horses ; I went then and stole a few [illegible] of boiled turnips for the children ; Mr. Gaggin saw me, and told me never to do it again. I was not able to sweep the house from weakness, and would eat the cat through hunger.
The Coroner addressed the jury, and told them that exposing for sale a dead body was an indictable offence that would come before another tribunal. It was for the jury to enquire how, and in what manner, the boy Wm. Miller, came by his death. The principle evidence was that of the Doctor, and upon his testimony the jury should return their verdict.
The jury, after a short consultation, returned a verdict—Death by starvation.
Same day, inquests were held on the bodies of Margaret and Patrick Croneen, mother and son, who died at the Windmill, near Youghal. It appeared on evidence that the parties lived for days upon turnips, and latterly on the putrid remains of a pig, that died on the premises of a neighbouring farmer, and for days before death they had nothing to eat.
The Jury at once returned their verdict, finding that Margaret and Patrick Croneen died from starvation.

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1916 – 2016 Degrees of Separation

In the year 2016 there will be worldwide celebrations, commemorations of the year 1916 which marked a turning point in Ireland’s attempt to become an independent state. In particular the Rising in Dublin will be commemorated . In addition there will also be events to remember all those who fought in World War One – and especially those who died in 1916.

Youghal Celebrates History will be holding a special event called Youghal 1916 , Degrees of Separation which will tell the story of three men and a boat , connected someway with Youghal, connected someway with 1916.

Major Jack Arbutnott of Myrtle Grove,Youghal was a Major in the Scots Guards. He met Roger Casement when he was in the Tower of London awaiting trial. He was a regular sketcher and made a sketch of Casement in the Tower. He also contacted Casement’s family and told them where Casement was imprisoned. Maybe one of them remembered another famous prisoner in the Tower – Sir Walter Raleigh – who is also connected with Myrtle Grove. Journalist Patrick Cockburn tells the story of his grand father Major Jack Arbuthnott and the portraits he made of Casement in the Tower.

A very young Scottish boy joined the British Army under an assumed name – he was too young to enlist under his own name. He was posted to Cork, Cobh and Youghal.Times were tough in Youghal in 1882 . A vicious land war and a refusal to pay rents to landlords who would not negotiate led to widespread evictions. The young soldier eventually deserted. His name ? James Connolly … who would later play a major role in the 1916 Rising in Dublin. Author and Historian Felix Larkin will describe the tense atmosphere in Youghal in 1882.

A young Irishman joined the Royal Munster Fusileers full of enthusiasm to fight in World War One but they considered him, at 16 to be too young. He transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment which had no difficulty sending him to the Front Line.  HE was killed in the Battle of the Somme and his father got a telegram …. Kieran Groeger tells the story of young Eric Colpoys Hodges. His father was Rector in Saint Mary’s Collegiate Church. Reverend Hodges got thetelegram to say his son had been killed in the Battle of the Somme. It was not clear which of the two sons had been killed. It was, in fact, Eric Hodges and his story will be told.

During the Irish Civil War which followed the events of 1916, a schooner called the Isabella visited Youghal. Some of the crew came ashore and heard a cry “Halt”. Shortly afterwards a shot rang out and the Captain’s young son was dead. Dymphna Quill will tell this story along with some amazing details on how she came upon the story.

These stories will be told on September 16th, in Youghal at the Walter Raleigh Hotel.  If you are interested in attending, let us know. The event is free, yes FREE thanks to generous sponsorship from Cork County Council. We have a venue booked.  TheWalter Raleigh Hotel .  Tickets will be issued on a first come first served basis.

Youghal 1916 Degrees of Separation – you are invited !
Eventbrite - Degrees of Separation

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Checking Griffith’s Valuation ( 1851 – 1853)

Griffiths Valuation was an attempt to give a rateable valuation for every property in Ireland , the precise location of the property and the name (s) of those considered liable to pay.

Noel Farrell has produced a lovely little book,  in 2001,  which gives a print out of the section on Youghal – it is called ” Youghal  Family Roots”. There is a copy in the Tourist Office, and another copy in the Library. If interested, you can also purchase a copy directly from Noel Farrell himself. You can also directly access the Griffiths Valuation free of charge on the internet .

The sections shown here are for the North Main Street – as you can see each house is numbered –  you then go to the printed page sections and check the number for that house and you can see the owner/ occupier and also the neighbours. Neighbours are very important as some may still have relatives or memories of other neighbours.

You cannot rely on present day house numbers –  get your bearings from other side streets – in this case number one is across from the Gaol Steps ( near the Clock Gate). Numbers were changes regularly so this map, combined with the text gives us a better idea of who was where.  Updates to this section are posted on our Facebook page. Make sure you subscribe!cgs501 cgs502 cgs503 cgs504 cgs505 cgs506 cgs507 cgs508

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Youghal Quakers

Michael Ahern , writing in the Cork Historical and Archaeological Journal has an article called “The Quakers of Youghal”  which details the various families from the outset to the 20th century. Initially two English women preached at the Market Square in Youghal (  today near the Post Office there would have been a Cross and north of it was North Cross Lane which still exists). The two brave ladies were Elizabeth Fletcher and Elizabeth Smith. Some of the soldiers who hear them became interested – in particular Captain James Sicklemore and Lieutenant Robert Sandham.

Sandham married a local girl, Deborah Baker. both officers got land at Fermoy but Sandham sold his and returned to Youghal where he lived on the Main Street and his house was used as the first Meeting House.

IMG_2787The authorities were not happy and posted sentries on the door to prevent men entering the premises for a “meeting”.  At that stage some Quakers left the town –  six men and women and nine children were given money to help them leave.

One of the others convinced was Edward Laundy. We hear of him in a few places – Dinely view of ExThomas Dinely mentions that he erected an additional wharf etc.

William Penn mentions concern about him and tries to meet with him.

We also hear of him going into St. Mary’s Collegiate Church to harangue the congregation. They clearly did not appreciate his intervention, he was manhandled out of the church and physically abused by the congregation with both sticks and stones. Deborah Sandham was equally unwelcome when she went into St. Mary ‘s and also the church of the Independents ( Chapel Lane) and Robert Sandham was jailed in 1661 for refusing to serve on a jury, and his horse taken from him.

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Quaker Records

The Quakers kept reasonably detailed records of births, marriages and deaths. For those who are interested there are microfilm copies of the registers available. Nearest to Youghal is the Cork County Archive Centre in Blackpool, Cork. There is a good, easy to navigate website which details what is available – Minute books, Registers etc.

The records go back to 1671 for births, marriages and deaths. There are occasional comments about people being disunited or disowned.

Francis Malone, of Youghal, “took to wife” Ann Hillary of Waterford in 1756. For some reason he was “disowned” and disappears from the records.  Ann however “remained” in the system and later died in Waterford.

Looking through the records you see many, very short lives as infant mortality was a significant feature of life then – even for wealthy families like the Harveys.

The Quaker method of writing dates is different to what is normally used elsewhere in Ireland – it is in the format Month – Day – Year ( just as was accepted in the United States).

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