The Hovendens of Queen's County



The Hovendens of Queen's County


Peter Hovenden-Jones

Source: Laois Yearbook 1996/97

Part 1

The Hovendens were settled in Queen's County from its formation as shire-ground in 1556. The ancient spelling of the name was Hoveden, the letter "n" having been inserted in later times as giving a more euphonic sound.
In some of the old enfolments in Chancery during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the name appears as Ovington, Hovington (and Hovenden), which difference in spelling evidently arose from the mode of pronunciation; not only should the letter "H" be pronounced, but an accent ought to be placed on the first syllable.

As early as the twelfth century the name of Hoveden is found in the person of Roger de Hovenden, of Hovenden in England, who held a place in the court of King Henry II, was Professor fo Theology in Oxford and author of "Gesta Henrici Secundi" (1170 - 1192) (Ed. W. Stubbs, 1867), "Gesta Ricardi" and "Chronica" (1201 - Ed. W. Stubbs, 1868 -1871). In 1291, King Edward I caused diligent search to be made in all the libraries in England for this celebrated historian's Chronicle to adjust the dispute about the homage due from the Scottish crown.

John de Hoveden, a man of great repute in his time in the County of York, represented York City in five Parliaments. It is asserted by some that the name of Hoveden was derived from a town in the County of York, anciently called Hoveden, now known as Howden, twenty miles from the city of York, on the road from Beverley to Doncaster. Certain it is that the celebrated historian Roger de Hoveden was born in this place and one of the earliest Prebendaries here was the Reverend John de Hoveden. The town of Hoveden was in existence prior to the reign of Edward the Confessor. As to the old way of spelling the name, it may not be improperly remarked that as late as the middle of the seventeenth century some of the family located in Waterford, so spelled their name; the last of these being Anthony Hoveden, who died in 1672, his son, Captain Anthony, inserting the euphonic "n" and becoming ancestor of the Waterford Hovendens.

Anthony Hoveden had a brother, Henry, who survived him, and whom he left next in remainder after his only son Anthony. His will, dated 20th August, 1672 was preserved in the Wills Office, Dublin.

Captain Anthony Hovenden, his son, died 1711, leaving, with a daughter, Catherine, two sons, Henry, who succeeded him in his property, and John. He made his will 6th August, 1711, whereby he bequeathed his sash to his friend Ravensworth Gifford, Esquire, and his diamond and gold rings to his son Henry. His remains were interred in the churchyard of Malranken, Barony of Bargy, County Wexford. The immediate founder of the family was Giles Ovington (Hovenden) of Levidstown and later Tankardstown Castle. In 1532 he is described as a Captain of Light Horse, in 1544 as a Commissioner for the Government of Connaught and the Territory of Clanrickard, and on July 28th, 1551 he became a Commissioner for the Government of Cork, Kerry and Limerick.

The following is a transcription of the original document from that date.

"Instructions given by the Lorde Deputie and Counsell to therle of Decemond, Jerom Atwood, Humfre Warram and Gyles Ovington for the Better proceeding in the kinges service till Further ordre shalbe taken by the said Lord Deputie and Counsell, First, that those Captens taking thadvise of therle of Decemond, they and every of them shall Lay theire bandes in suche place as shalbe thought most metest for keping the Countrey in quiet, That the siad Erie, with the rest, shall have a speciall care for thapprehending of malefactors and to resyst any suche person or persons as will make wan upon his or their neighbours, or use any other unlawfull force, In whiche cases they shall be all wayes and meanes possible cause not onely the said wan or force to cease, but also thoffendours to be answerable to the kinges Lawes and ordenaunces.

"That upon occasion of wan or other unlawfull assembles, they, or as many of them as shalbe thowght nedefull, upon consultacion withe therle of Desmond, shall repayre aswell to the Erie of Comon as Clanerycarde and in there aucktyorities to wyne withe them for the better ordre and quieting of these countreys, That they, with thadvice of the said Erie or, in his absence, twoo of them at the Least, shall cause the ordenaunce sett forth by the Lord Deputie and Counsell to be published in all places necessarie within the Countreys of Corke, Lymmerycke and Kerye, The are every of them shall have a speciall care for the setting for the of Devine service according to the kinges procedinges, and Deiigently shall looke for the punyshement of hariottes, for whiche purposes they shall call for the Busshops and mynestres within theire cercuyte, Gyving them warnying of their Dutees, And for Default of doing theire duties to see them punyshed according to the ordres taken in that behalfe, And Likewise to see the hoole ordenaunces putt in execution to the purporte of theire effecte and meanyng, That They shall Receyve by bill Indented from the Master of thordenaunce all suche ordenaunce and Mynycion as shalbe Lefte at the Citie of Corcke, and thereof by warraunt signed with theire handes,

"Of whom therle of Decemond to be one, or in his absence at the Least twoo of them, cause the clerke of the ordenaunce to delyver from tyme to tyme so muche as shalbe nedefull for the Furnyture of the fort begonne within the haven of Corke, and otherwise for the kinges service as shalbe thought Nedefull, Of suehe money as shalbe Left with the Mayour of Corcke for the furnyture of the Labourerers, they shall be warraunt to the said Mayour signed by them, whereof therle of Decemond to be one yf he be present, or twoo of them, cause to be delyvered money from tyme to tyrne to William Eliott, aswell for theire victualling as for theire pay. When the Forte within the haven of Corke is so avauneede as it shalbe meate to be gardede and furnyshede, then they shall gyve ordre that suche nomber of men and Munycion be putt into the same as shalbe thought meate for the garde thereof, Further, that from tyme to tyme the said Erie and Captaynes shall signefie unto the Lorde Deputie and Counsell of theire hoole procedinges in all manner of matters, At Corcke, the First of July in the fifth year of the reign of King Edward VI".

Giles appears to have been the long arm of the law for the Earl of Desmond as demonstrated by another entry dated 22nd December 1551:-

"James, Earl of Desmond to Captain Ovington, directing him to call Gerard the son and Maurice the brother of the said Desmond before him, to answer for the preys they had taken from Owen M'Carten and others the O'Mahons."

On 29th November, 1549, Captain Giles had obtained the Lordship of Kilieban (Killaban) in Queens County. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Walter Cheevers and left a daughter, Johanna, who married Captain John Barrington of Cullenagh Castle, Maryborough, Queens County, and five sons.

His first son, John of Killeban, was granted a coat-of-arms and crest in 1585 and died in 1619. Unlike his brother, there is no mention of him in the Calendar of State Papers, Ireland. Giles's second son, Piers or Peter of Tankardstown Castle, possessed advowsons, titles and lands in King's and Queen's Counties and Counties Kildare. Meath, Down, Tipperary, Louth and Roscommon. He married Anne, sister of Sir Alexander Brett and died 19th February, 1612. In the Patent Rolls of King James I for 1613 the following appears:-

"Licence to Peter Hovenden to alienate to Thomas Hovenden, His reputed son - Queens Co. Three cottages, 54 acres arable, 16 acres pasture, wood and underwood in Tankardstowne otherwise Ballintankard; 58 acres arable, 12 acres pasture, wood, and underwood in Ballen]ean; 58 acres arable, 16 acres pasture, wood, and underwood in Beaianagare; 4 cottages, 58 acres arable, 20 acres pasture, wood, and underwood in Clonneperis; 2 messuages, 5 tenements, 3 cottages, 56 acres arable, 22 acres pasture, wood, and underwood in Curgaragh. To hold of the Crown, by the reserved rents and services; for a fine of 7 Irish - 13th February, 1612."

Another extract, this time from January 6th, 1600, reports a conversation between David Hetherington and Lord Buekhurst, Lord High Treasurer of England:-

"At which time he (David Hetherington) declared unto me, that he hath served in Ireland as a servitor to the Queen's Majesty, since the very year wherein the late Earl of Sussex came out of Ireland, being then Deputy there. And that now in this late rebellion of Ireland, there came 1,500 of the rebels to besiege his castle, called Ballyrone Castle, in the Queen's County there. At which time his men sore wounded seven of the rebels, and killed two of them; but in the end, his castle being taken, one of his men was killed two of them; but in the end, his castle being taken, one of his men was killed, and another hanged. And himself and his wife, being then out of the said castle, were first after the loss thereof, to come to Dublin, where his said wife doth now remain; having thus lost his said castle and being dispossessed of 500 acres belonging thereunto, and spoiled of all that ever he had in this world. So as now, having nothing left but his loyalty and faith to Her Majesty, he made choice to come to me before any other, to discharge and utter that which in his duty and conscience he thought himself bound to utter; and that is this, namely:-

That he, the said David Hetherington, riding into the edge of the county of Kildare, about the end of the first cessation or there-abouts, he fortuned to meet with one James O'Curran, one of the "horsemen of Mr. Bowen, Provost-Marshall of Leinster, who asing of the said David, "What news?" the said David told him he knew of none.

"Then", said the James O'Curran, "if you can tell me no news, I can tell you some". "What is that?", "I meeting of late with a kern of Onie McRory's, chief of the O'Moores, he asked me what news I heard of the Earl of Essex; and I told him how he was gone for England."

"Nay" said he, "if you can tell me no news, I can tell you some. He is now in trouble for us, for that he would do no service upon us; which he never meant to do, for he is ours, and we are his." this was the very speech which by the said James O'Curran was delivered unto me by the siad David Hetherington. And the said David Hetherington further declared unto me that about two or three days before he came now last out of Dublin, which, as he now remembereth, was about Thursday was five or six weeks last past, he the said David walking in the castle of Dublin, and talking there with one Piers Ovington of Tankardstown, of the Queen's County, touching the state of Ireland, then (he the said Piers being brother to that Ovington which is with Tyrone in rebellion, but yet, as the said David Hetherington verily believeth, is a very faithfull subject to Her Majesty, and one that hateth and abhorreth his brother for his treason)the brother being Henry Hovenden-David Hetherington omits to mention that Piers Hovenden is his brother-in-law "he the said Piers Ovington did then declare to the said David Hetherington, during their said speech and communication together in the said castle yard as aforesaid, that the speech of the kern of the Brenny was very foul and odious touching my Lord of Essex if their speech should be true, as, namely, that he was their friend, and should be King of Ireland."

Quite an example of a long, boring report, which goes on and on and seems to accomplish nothing!

Getting back to Giles's sons - the third son, Richard and the fifth son, Henry were both foster-brothers of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone. They were instrumental in capturing some 800 Spaniards of the ship "Trinidad Valencera" and other vessels which capsized as a result of damage sustained in fighting English ships in the English Channel as part of the Spanish Armada in 1588. This all took place on the coast of Donegal.

There are quite a few references to them in the Calendar of State Papers, Ireland. Captain Walter Hovenden was the fourth son and he fought in Flanders under Sir William Stanley until the latter revolted and tried to sell Deventer, which he was supposed to be protecting, to the Spanish.

The following is taken from the Calendar of Patent and Close Rolls of Chancery in Ireland:

"The Queen of Sir William Fitzwilliams, Lord Deputy, and Sir Henry Wallop, Treasurer at War; directing a pension of three shillings a day to be granted to Captain Arnold Cosbie and Walter Hovenden, in consideration of their service in the Low Countries, where, notwithstanding great offers were made to them by the traitor, Stanely, (under whom they served), to revolt, as he did, to the enemy, yet they left him, Stanley, and most dutifully remained in the service of Her Majesty. Greenwhich, 27th April, 1588."

This same Walter Hovenden was slain in Maryborough in 1579 by the O'Moores when Maryborough Fort and town were burnt - "the total defeat of his (Walter's) band and of that of Sir Warham Sentleger, Govenor of Leix."

Now to Henry Hovenden, fifth son of Giles. Henry, as stated earlier, was foster-brother of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone and was also much more than that. Henry was Hugh O'Neill's secretary, confidant, political tactician, messenger, ambassador and a Captain who went on to serve Hugh's son, Henry in Flanders.

Regarding fostering, the following is a quote from Sir John Davies on the subject:-

"There were two customes proper and peculiar to the Irishry, which, being the strong cause of so many strong combinations and factions, do tend to the utter ruin of a Commonwealth. The one was Fostering, the other Gossipred, both of which have ever been of greater estimation among this people than with any other nation in the Christian world. For Fostering did never hear or read that it was in that use or reputation in any other country, Barborous or Civil, as it hath been and yet is in Ireland, where they put away all their children to Fosterers, the potent and rich men selling, the meaner sort buying, the fosterage of their children, and the reason is, because, in the opinion of this people, Fosterage has always been a stronger alliance than blood, and the Foster Children do love, and are beloved of their foster fathers and their Sept more than their own parents and kindred, and do participate of their means more frankly and do adhere unto them in all fortunes with more affection and constancy……

Henry had a son, Robert, who married Catherine, daughter of Turlogh O'Neill, and mother (by her first husband Turlogh, son of Sir Henry O'Neill) of Sir Phelim O'Neill, the leader in the Rebellion of 1641. Robert Hovenden is described as "Genleman of Kenard."

His wife, Catherine O'Neill, was granted lands by King James I, in 1614 as follows:-

"Grant from the King to Catherine ny Neale, late wife of Terence or Turlagh oge O'Neale, and now wife of Robert Hovenden, gent. - Tyrone Co. In Mointerbirne Territory. The towns and lands of Drommurre or Drominurre and Lisnaloghoge, 1 sessiogh each, Kinard, Carrickaconablie, and Edinadeenard, 1 hal. Kiltegawanagh and Tawnaghatallin, 1 bal. Annaghgawlen and Kiltecamue, I bal. Tullinashingan or Tullinashan, 1 bal. (Dirriecrantohan) 1 hal. Mollinnamanagh or Molleneveagh, and Kilsamsoge, 1 hal. Coologor, 1 bal. Laghtmcanab, 1 bal. Mollaghmosagh and Gower, 1 bal. (Ravickett) or Rathmakett, 1 bal. Aghenisheightragh, 1 hal. Aghenissowtragh, 1 bal. total, 760 acres -

ARMAGH Co. In Towrany Territory. Corrafinghna or Carfeaghna, Coolekill, Killcanavan, Ratrelick, Dromgarne, Shantully, (Ardgonell), Finduff or (Feduffe), Nacknockbana and Shankill, Dromquoise or Dromgoose and Cluntyecraghlin, Gortfadda, Skyrre, Crosdalaitragh, Crosdalaoughtragh, (Raconmure), Glasdromen, each 1 balliboe; total, 1600 acres -

To hold all the premises to her own use, for the term of ten years; remainder to Phelimy Roe O'Neale, son and heir of the said Tirlagh and his heirs.-

To the said Catherine, mother of the said Phelimy, and lately wife of the said Hovenden -

TYRONE CO. In Moynterbirne Territory, Clarekill, I sessiogh; Dirriegoolie, Dromasse, and Laraghteene - Larahken, 1 bal. Giney otherwise Geeney, Laune, and Towaghtackligh or Tawnadacligh, 1 bal. Mollaghmore, 1 bal. Kedeagh and Creghan or Crennagh, 1 bal. Annaghkneugh and Sarvanagh, 1 bal. total, 320 acres-

To hold for her own use, for life, remainder to the said Phelimy Roe O'Neale, her son, and his heirs forever.

Total rent, 4' 14s 0d. Eng. -

The whole is created the manor of Kinard, with 500 acres in demesne; a power to create tenures; to hold a court baron; to hold a Monday market at Kinard, and a yearly fair there on 10 June. and they day after, unless such day fall on Saturday or Sunday, in which case the fair is to be held on the Monday following, with a court of pie-powder and the usual tolls; rent l3s 4d Ir.-

To hold in capite, by the service of one knight's fee."

Captain Pierce (or Peter) Hovenden had a son, Thomas, of Tankardstown Castle and Ballylehane Castle, Queens Co., who married Margaret, eldest daughter of Thady (or Teige) 4th Baron of Upper Ossory, by Joan his wife, daughter of Sir Edward Butler, Knight of Tullow in County Carlow, c.1600.

Source: Peter Hovenden-Jones


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