THE BRENNAN FAMILY HISTORY WEBSITE
Queens County (Co. Laois)
- Irish Translation:- Baile Mhic Mhaoilir: 'Son of Mary'
- English Translation:- 'Townsland of the son of the Servant of Mary'
Ballickmoyler of 1654 & 1798
Ballickmoyler is marked on William Petty's Down Survey map of 1654 as Bealach Maighe (the Highway of the Plain. Today's bilingual road signs read both Baile Mhic Mhaoilir (Village of the son of Mary) and Ballickmoyler so the meaning of the village's name has changed over time. Their was a village on this site from the Viking times according to Samuel Lewis. Regularly burned by one invading force or another through Ireland's history, its location at a major crossroads allowed it to keep thriving.
By the late 1700's it was a major centre with a large marketplace for the surrounding farm community. In 1798 it was a rallying point for pikemen gathering to march on the British garrison at Carlow town 5 miles away. The rebel troops marched to Carlow, found two British cannon defending the bridge to the town and then marched back to Ballickmoyler with the British in pursuit. Some historians claim that the rebels took out their frustrations on the village while others say that it was burned by the British troops in retaliation for it's role in the rebellion. Probably both sides burned some portions of Ballickmoyler but it never again recovered as a major trade centre after that.
Source: Tom LaPorte and his website on The Bowles Family History
Patrick J. Purcell
With additions by M Brennan
Ballickmoyler is a village in the Barony of Slievemargy, and forms part of the ancient parish of Cill Abbain (Killabban). Ballickmoyler is written on William Petty’s (b1623 - d1687) Down Survey Map of 1654 as Bealach Maighe (the Highway of the Plain). The village was burned by the Insurgents in 1798, and in consequence its market was destroyed. In 1881 it contained 48 houses, with a population on 294. In the same year, Sir Charles (Butcher) Coote published a Statistical Survey of Laois of 1801, (then Queens County), in which he had this to say about Ballickmoyler:
“The county is very populous, especially around the colliers. Ballickmoyler village is the only one in the barony, half of which has been in ruins since the rebellion, but is now repairing. The houses in the village are tolerably good and comfortable, but not from this to the collieries. The coalmines are the principal ones in the country, and there have also been worked ironmines, which long since have been discontinued. Brick clay is had in very good and great quantities. Marl (type of clay) is found in great quantities, its calcerous qualities are very rich. I have seen no industry here though the peasants weave a course cloth or frieze, though very warm. The bridges and roads in the vicinity are the worst are the county, or for that matter in the country.”
Coote mentions Cooper or Cooper Hill. Col. Rochford of Cloghrennan, and Charles Ward of Hollymount. Doonane Colliery was owned by the Hartpole family of Shrule at the time. Coulane and Ardnateggle pits were the property of Harman Fitzmaurice, and the estate of Tolerton was owned by one J. Stapleton. “The colliers,” says Coote, “are able to earn from three to five shillings per day, but they must provide their own tools, and candles from that sum”, and bemoans “that the miners would be wealthy only for their propensity for drinking whisky, which consumes all of their profits”. Coote was not impressed by the women of Ballickmoyler when he says “The greater number of the women there are very idle, and not one-fourth of their time profitably employed. The men are very industrious and earn much money, which they are prone to spend on whisky. They all talk the English and Irish languages fluently, but amongst themselves converse in the latter tongue only.”
Robert Hartpole, an English Papist1, forfeited 7,175 acres in Shrule, Clonebeckane, Ballinagall, Gurteen, Farnane, Doonane, Garrendenny, Ballahide, Rossmore etc., in 1674. He is given as the owner of one-quarter of his former estate, the remainder being in the hands of adventurers and soldiers. Thomas Hovenden, an Irish Papist1, held 1,496 acres in Gurteen, Tyrneran, Ballickmoyler, Tolerton, etc. About half of this estate remained in his hands in 1674. The remainder being divided among soldiers and adventurers.
Thomas Davills, and Irish Papist1, owned extensive estates in County Laois and in Slievemargy. He is given as the owner of 1,658 acres in Killeshin, Clonmore, Curragh and Harristown. His name appears in the Oemond MSS as having received 1,000 acres in Connaught. For this gift he most probably proved “of constant, good affection”. His Killeshin property was divided among three Cromwellian soldiers, Charles Chaney, Nathaniel Huet and John Merrick. The other portion passed into the hands of adventurers, such as Sir. Charles Lloyd and George Almery.
1 - Papist is a slur referring to "Roman Catholics". It was coined during the English Reformation to indicate one who believed in Papal supremacy over all Christians. Over time, as the political nature of the struggle between Protestants and Catholics became heated, it became a pejorative for Roman Catholics. The word ultimately derives from Latin papa, meaning "Pope". "Popish" is an adjective used much in the same vein.
Sir William Petty (1623–87) http://www.thoemmes.com/dictionaries/petty.htm
Sir William Petty (1623–87) http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/petty_william.shtml
- according to the
- Lewis Topographical Dictionary
- Ireland 1837
by Samuel Lewis
BALLICKMOYLER is described as a small village situated in the south of the county in the parish of Killabban, The Barony of Slievemargy, and within the Province of Leinster. It is located at a major cross-roads, 5 miles North of Carlow town and about 5 miles South West of Athy, on the road from Maryborough (Portlaoise) to Carlow. In 1837 it contained about 249 inhabitants.
There were about 40 houses and there was some Gentleman's seats in the vicinity, which are described in the articles on the parish. Village Fairs were held on March 16th and November 11th and the Petty sessions were are held in the Court House every Wednesday. The village has a Chief Constabulary Police Station for the Barony which also houses the dispensary. It's position in relation to the cross-roads was very important. As such, it was able to receive both trade and visitors alike who passed through the village travelling to all directions of the country especially those travelling between Carlow and Maryborough (Portlaoise) towns.
This village has seen many disturbances throughout it's history. First with the arrival of The Danes in Ireland. They were known to have destroyed the village whilst en route to Carlow. After that it was again visited and destroyed by British troops, as most towns and villages were in the 1600 and 1700's. It was also used as the main rendezvous point to assemble the Pikemen who were arriving for various parts of Laois to march on Carlow Town. These men would have taken part in the infamous Battle of Carlow against the British in 1798.
As the village rapidly increased in size and prosperity, it had obtained a patent for holding weekly markets, But during that calamitous period of 1798 more than half of the village was laid in ruins and it's markets were abandoned.
In 1839 a terrible storm, like a tornado, ravaged much of Ireland including Laois. It was called "The Night of the Big Wind." That terrible destruction had not been fully repaired by 1845, and many were still homeless and living under bridges and in crude huts, when the famine struck.
During the years of the last Great Famine (1845-1851) in Ireland, Ballickmoyler again had its part to play. This time with it's neighbouring town of Carlow. In 1841 the Guardians of the Carlow Workhouse needed somewhere to house about 100 of its patients to prevent overcrowding. They looked at the possibility of erecting shelters in the village to house these patients. Unfortunately for Carlow, the Catholic priests of Ballickmoyler, who claimed to be speaking on behalf of the local residents, refused to have anything to do with this project as they claimed that it would bring untold diseases to the village and therefore strongly objected to the scheme. Faced with this opposition the Guardians of the Workhouse in Carlow decided to drop the proposals to build sheds in the village. But it did not stop fever reaching the village, as with the rest of the country, the following year saw the village swept with Cholera resulting in many deaths.
Listed as Magistrates living in the area was John Henry Edge, A.M. (T.C.D.), (called to the bar, 1866), Farnans, Ballickmoyler and Joseph Fishbourne, Ashfield Hall, Ballickmoyler and Anneville, Carlow.
Today, all that is left of this once bustling community in the way of local facilities for the locals is An Post Post Office (now closed 2003) and a Public House known today as O'Kelly's (below).
List of persons who have suffered losses in their property during 1798 in the County of Queens.
There was a Thatched cottage in Ballickmoyler in the 1960's on the Carlow road just past Kelly's Pub. This is where the the Lawlors lived Paddy and Jimmy. Their mother was Mary and they had a sister possibly called Mary.
Adjacent to Ballickmoyler is the townland of Cappalug, noteworthy as the location of what is possibly the oldest surviving house in the County. Unfortunately this house has probably been modernised so its hard to know which house it was.
The Pretty Girl of Ballickmoyler.
- The sun had sunk behind the hills,
- The sheep were 'mid the trees reposing,
- The evening shades fell o'er the glades,
- And Nature's eyes were softly closing.
- We passed the quiet graves of Arles,
- While weary birds were homeward flying;
- The new mown hay perfumed the way,
- E'en where the village dead were lying.
- No more I sought than passing thought,
- To cheer and soothe the way-worn toiler,
- Till, luckless sight,! saw that night
- The pretty girl of Ballickmoyler :
- The winsome girl!
- The witching girl!
- The rarest girl in Ballickmoyler.
- Her winning ways — her roguish gaze—
- Her form so slight — her smile so cheerin!
- Her silken hair, and face so fair — Was ever damsel so endearing?
- Her dove-like breast — sweet bower of rest—
- A balm to heal life's worst vexation!
- I frankly vow, and well know how
- She gave my heart a palpitation!
- What Irish boy could shun such joy,
- Yet would of fame and peace despoil her?
- Blow, blossom, blow — grow, young rose, grow,
- Safe 'mid the braes of Ballickmoyler :
- The village rose — The fair young rose
- That sweetly blooms in Ballickmoyler
Source: The Irish metropolitan magazine 1857
Carlow Sentinel. 20th May 1887. (page 3, column 4).
- BALLICKMOYLER DISTRICT NOTES.
- An Enormous Hen Egg. We were shown this week an egg which weighed four ounces, and was laid by a hen which is at present rearing a clutch of chickens.
- Source: Michael Purcell 2013
- Images of Ballickmoyler - Photo PAGE
Please report any images or links which do not open to email@example.com
- The information contained in these pages is provided solely for the purpose of sharing with others researching their ancestors in County Laois.
© Michael Brennan July 2001. All Rights reserved