KILL, PARISH OF – Comerford’s “Dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin”

by mariocorrigan on October 24, 2006

THE existing parish comprises those of Kill, Oughterard, or Clonaghless, Lyons, Whitechurch, Forenaghts, Johnstown, Hainestown, Kerdiffstown, Bodenstown, and Sherlockstown.
Or, as it is generally styled in mediaeval records, Kilheale (Kil-hill). Here is supposed to have been the burial-place of the Christian kings of Leinster. Cearbhall, son of Muiregen, was slain in battle in A.D.904; he was the last of the kings of Leinster who resided at Naas. He was interred, with eight others of his royal ancestors, at Kilcorbain (supposed to be the present Kill), as stated in these lines of the poet;-
        "There are nine kings of famous career, in a noble church of shining lustre,
           Muiregan, a hero without mistake, Cellach, and Cearbhall the prudent,
           Colman, Broen, and Bran the lively, Finn, Faelan, Dunchadh the bold;
           In Cill-Chorbain, I have heard, their warlike graves were made."
        This passage refers to the existence, at and before this period, of a noble church of shining lustre, here. This extract, as given in Fragments of Irish Annals, p. 223, has
"In Cill-Nais of shining lustre."
        About the year 1210, the following grants, amongst others, were made to the Abbey of St. Thomas, Dublin;- By Robert Arthur, 18 acres of arable land in Seanballi (Oldtown), near Kill (King, p. 166). By William de Hyreis, the church of the town of Kill, with an acre of land and pasturage throughout all his lands, for the horses of the chaplain who there celebrated divine offices (Id.p167).
        A Commandery for Knights Hospitallers was founded here by Maurice FitzGerald, in the 13th century (Ware.)
        A.D.1326. The Grand Prior of Kilmainham held a chapter here. (King,p.81.)
        A.D.1332. Another chapter was held here. (Id.)
        A.D.1332. Another chapter was held here (Id.)
        A.D. 1334. Another chapter was held here on the Sunday next after the feast of St. Swythin. (King, p.81.)
       A.D.1335. The prior of Kilmainham appointed Robert Clifford porter of this Commandery, at the same time ordering him a proper clothing and half a mark sterling for shoes; and if he should choose to diet in his chamber, he should then have the apartment beyond the gate of the castle, but which he was to repair at his own cost and charge. (Id.)
        A Patent Roll, last day of February, 31 Henry VIII., presents a conveyance by which Sir John Rawson, knight, Prior of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, in Ireland, and his brethren, grant to Thomas Allen and Mary his wife, the lordship, or preceptory of Kilheale, in the county of Kildare, and all castles, messuages, and lands, in Kilheale, Crumwelleston, near Calliaghton, Kilwarnynge, near Castlewarnynge, and the town and lordship of Kilbryde with its rights and appurtenances, in the county of Dublin, and near lez thre castels, and in Johaneston, Rathmore, Sherlokeston, and le Naas, in the county of Kildare; "because the said preceptory or lordship is situated in the Marches near the Irish enemies, the Tholes (Tooles), where resistence and defence are necessarily required:" to hold to them and the heirs male of their bodies, and in default, to their heirs and assigns for ever. Rent, £5. (Morrin, 96.)
        This Thomas Allen was Clerk of the Hanaper. In June, 1608, we find Allen of Bishopscourt, and Sherlock of Sherlockstown, to be constables of Kildare.
        Another Pat. Roll, June 10th, 34th Henry VIII., shows a Lease granted to Thomas Allen of Kilester, of the possessions detailed in foregoing, "all of which came to the hands of the Crown, by the surrender of Sir John Rawson, Viscount, of Clontarf, late Prior of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem: To hold for 51 years. Rent, £6 13s. 4d. (Id.19.)
        Another Pat. Roll, dated 30th June, 9th Elizabeth, relates to a grant to John Allen of the above-named lands, etc.; and "the rectory of Kilheale, and the tithes, alterages, and oblations, of Poncheston, Wolfeston, Cromwelston, Kilwarnyng, and Welcheston; To hold to the said John Allen and his heirs male; finding a competent priest or chaplain to serve the cure of the parish of Kilheale." (Id.,8.)

        By an Inquisition, taken July 25th, 31st Henry VIII. (King p. 183), the Abbey of St. Thomas, Dublin, was found seized of the manor of Kyll, and 5 messuages, 12 cottages, 90 acres of arable land, 200 of pasture, and 4 of meadow, in Kyll, afore-said.
    1 acre of arable, and 7 of meadow, in Allesby, value,      £5 19 6
    2 messuages, 3 cottages, 100 acres of arable, 20 of
         pasture, and 4 of meadow, with their appurtenances,
         in Arthurston, alias Arlistown,                                            £3 2 0.
    1 messuage, 1 cottage, 20 acres of land,
         in Ballybrogu(Brogestown),                                               £0 14 0 .
    1 castle, 1 messuage, 6 cottages, 70 acres arable,
        20 pasture, and 4 meadow, with their
        appurtenances, in Hartwll,                                                  £1 2 0.
    42 acres of land, and 20 of wood, in Allinston, waste.
    The rectory of Kyll, and the tythes of Kyll,
    Arthurston, Hartwell, Ballybroge, Alleynstown,
    Painston, Artisland, and Sundallystown, parcel of
    the rectory of Kyll, value lawful money of England,         £19 0 0.
        A Patent Roll, April 19 5º Edwd. VI., sets forth a "Licence for AnthonySent Leger of Ulcombe, RobertSent Leger of Catherlogh, Esq., Edward Staple, Bishop of Meath, and Simon Geffree of Dublin, clerk, to alienate to Richard Aylmer of Lyons, the manor of Kyll, in the county of Kildare, with all its rights, members, and appurtenances, 6 messuages, 11 cottages, 93 3/4 acres in Kyll; Artwell, called Artewell, 1 small castle, and 60 acres pasture, and 7 acres meadow, lying between Paineston and Alestye; Arterston, alias Arthurston, 1 castle, 5 messuages, 100 acres pasture, 4 acres meadow; Nicholston, alias Niallsston, 66 acres; Ballybrogg, alias Ballybroygge, 1 castle, 12 acres; Artesland, alias Arthursland. 18 acares, and 200 acres pasture in the said manor; and 2s. chief rent annually out of Baronraghe; Aliston, alias Aloneston, 40 acres pasture, 4 acres wood; To hold to said Richard Aylmer, his heirs and assigns for ever.
        The site of the original Catholic church of Kill is that now occupied by the Protestant church. Many Catholics still bury their dead there. The Rev. John Doyle and Rev. John Andoe, both heretofore P.Ps. of Kill, are there interred; a cross, but no inscription, marks the grave of the former; the latter is interred with family.
        The chapel preceding the present one, stood in the townland of Hartwell; that now in use was built by the Rev, Daniel Nolan, who was pastor of the parish from 1804 to 1823. The following epitaphs are copied from monuments erected in this church:-
        "To the memory of the Rev. Daniel Nolan, who, having filled the Pastoral office for 22 years in this Parish, and built this Church, was translated to the union of Wells and Shankil, in the Diocese of Leighlin, where, after a tedious illness, he departed to a better life. His remains were, at his own desire, deposited here, amidst the Prayers and Blessings of a sorrowing people, and this Monument erected over them by a grateful and affectionate brother, Ob: 11a die Apr 1829. Aet. 61. May he rest in peace. Amen."
        "This Monument was erected by the people of Kill and Lyons, in memory of the Rev. William Keenan, their late pious, zealous, and ever to be lamented Parish Priest, who departed this life, April 6th, 1840, in the 50th year of his age. Req. in Pace. He laboured incessantly for 22 years to promote the glory of God and the salvation of those souls who were so fortunate as to be committed to his care. His exertions, by the getting up of public schools for the education of the children of the parish, were alone sufficient to render his memory immortal; at least the good and virtuous people of this neighbourhood will never cease to deplore the loss they sustained by his death."
        "Beneath are deposited the remains of the Rev. John Murphy, P.P. of this Parish. Died, Nov. 20th, 1842, in the 53rd year of his age, and the 23rd of his ministry. In the life of this enlightened and devoted pastor was brightly reflected every virtue of the priesthood, but especially a holy and ardent zeal for the sanctification of the sinner. He truly loved the beauty of the house of God, revered the sanctuary, and instructed the little ones with all care in the science of salvation. Long shall the blessed fruits of his ministry continue to sanctify his mourning flock, amongst whom his memory will live in grateful benediction. To his soul, O Lord, give eternal rest, Memor esto judicii mei, sic erit tuum-mihi heri et tibi hodie."
        "Here lie the remains of the Rev. Martin Nolan, P.P., who departed this life the 17th of June, 1849, in the 55th year of his age, and 28th of his ministry, having for the last 7 years of his life zealously discharged the duties of Pastor of the united Parishes of Kill and Lyons. Requiescat in Pace."
        A painted window, on the Epistle side of the Altar, has been erected to the memory of the succeeding Pastor. The following legend appears upon it:- "Pray for the soul of the Rev. James Hayden, P.P. of Kill and Lyons, who died March 25th, A.D. 1865, aged 69 years."
(Uachdar-ard, "upper height"), in this parish is the site of a church in ruins, and of an incomplete round tower. This is in the old parochial district called ClonaghlEss, a town bearing which name formerly stood in the vicinity of the church, but has completely disappeared. An Inquisition, 23rd February, 33rd of Elizabeth, finds that 12 acres of land, bounded on the east by the land called – Rowe, and on the south by the ancient town of Cloneaglish, were granted to the chantry of Oughterard, (Chief Remembrancer). The church, now in ruins, is said to have been built in 1609, on the site of an ancient chantry. The round tower of Oughterard was connected, according to Petrie, with a community of nuns, founded in the sixth or seventh century, by a St. Brigid, a different person from the more celebrated saint of that name, of Kildare. It is difficult to determine which of the saints of the name was the one connected with this place. First, we have Briga, daughter of Fergnadh, of the Hy Ercan, who, with her six sisters, was venerated on the 7th January. She it was who met St. Patrick in the plain of Western Liffey, and informed him of a plot laid against his life. Again, we find a St. Briga or Brigid, said to be of Brideschurch, county Kildare, calendared at 21st January. According to the Fifth Life of St. Brigid of Kildare, published by Colgan, this Briga is said to have lived in the province of Leinster, and to have presided over a community of nuns there. From such accounts Colgan says she may have been that virgin whose memory was venerated in Magh Life. Another St. Brigid is named in the Irish calendars at Feb. 7th, about whom, however, nothing appears to have been handed down, more than that she was daughter of Doma, or Droma. A similar entry appears in the Martyrologies of Tallaght, Donegal, etc,. at March 9thBrigit inghen Doma i Maighliphi, "Brigid the daughter of Doma, in the plain of the Liffey." Finally, Keating in his History, enumerates fourteen saints bearing this name, who were venerated in the Irish Church. In note to the Feilire of Aengus, at Dec. 18th, a Saint is named who appears to have been connected with this locality: "Magnin, or Magnend, of Kilmainham beside Dublin he is. And Tarcairtenn of Uachtaraird (is celebrated with him)."
        The round tower of Oughterard is thus described:- "The door faces the east, and is 10 feet from the ground; the head of the door is round, and the whole arch is formed of 9 massy blocks of stone. At the height of 20 feet on the south side in a window of the same shape and dimensions as the door. Within are the remains of brackets designed for the support of lofts."
        An Inquisition, 37th Elizabeth, finds the Rectory of Clonaughles, in the county of Kildare, with the tithes of the townlands of Clonaugles, Ballycanaan, and Cullenhill, and 12 acres of glebe, belonging to St. Thomas’s Abbey, Dublin, value in Irish money, £1 6s 8d.(King,p.183.)
        By an Inquisition, taken 16th January,1625, it was found, that Henry Harrington, Knight, died, Dec. 24th, 1612, seized in capite, by the 20th part of a knight’s fee, of 1 garden, 46 acres of arable land, commonly called the abbot’s land, in Oughterard, in the county of Kildare, of the yearly value, besides reprises, of 5s. (Lib Inquis.)
        At a short distance from the round tower, are the ruins of an extensive castle. This spot has also been made memorable as that on which O’Connell fought a duel with D’Esterre, in which the latter was shot.
        Under date, A.D.1094, the Four Masters record that "the men of Ireland collected to Dublin. . . . These proceeded from the east to Magh-Laighean (Plain of Leinster), and they burned Uachtar-ard, and routed the men of Munster, Leinster, and Ossory, who fled without spilling blood." The Annals of Clonmacnoise relate the same event thus:-"A.D.1094. All the nobility and forces of Ireland assembled and gathered together at Dublin, with King Moriertagh O’Brien, both Munstermen, Lynstermen, and people of Ossories, Donell mac Flyn O’Melaghlyn, King of Meath, Donogh O’Heoghie of Ulster, and Godfrey of Dublyn, with ninety shipps. These of the East came to Oughterarde, where they gave a discomfiture to the Munstermen, people of Ossorie, and Lynstermen. The Ulstermen retraited upon them, and would neither hinder or opugne the Lynstermen, but went and banished Godfrey out of Dublin, and also deposed Donnell."
        In June, 1608, Browne was provost of the town of Woghterard, and Dowling, provost of the town of Kill.
         This place takes its name from an ancient town and castle which were destroyed in the war of 1641. Of the town there are no traces; of the castle, only one of the principal towers remains, which, with the ancient church, forms an interesting feature in Lord Cloncurry’s demesne. The walls of the church are standing, and the interior is now appropriated by the Cloncurry family as a place of interment. A richly-carved Gothic doorway, displaying angels bearing scrolls, on the inner arch, is placed in the south-west. Outside the cemetery gate, some curious ancient carvings are now set in the wall; on one side are monsters, with long interlaced tails; on the other a tablet with armorial bearings and an incomplete inscription. The names of Richard Aylmer, and Alynor— ,with the date, MDXXVIII., appear upon it. In the burial-ground there is a head-stone having the following inscription:- "Here lyeth the body of William Doyle, who departed this life the 18th day of December, 1699, and Anastatia Morphey, his wife, who departed this life 18th January, 1718. The Rev. Father John Doyle, his son,——-of Kildare, Parish Priest of Lyons, fecit, 10th March, 1731. "The portion of the inscription which occupied the space, left blank above, appears to have been deliberately effaced. It, no doubt, announced him to have been a dignitary of the diocese, probably Vicar-General. Another epitaph is to the following effect:- "Here lyeth ye body of Edmond Moore, and James, his son, who departed this life in ye year 1693." In 1641, the castle was taken and sacked, and a large portion of the surrounding country wasted by orders of the Lords Justices Parsons and Borlase. In Carte’s Ormonde it is recorded, that on the 1st Feb., 1641, the Lords Justices sent out the Earl of Ormonde, with a powerful army, on an expedition to the county of Kildare, where, pursuant to order, he burned Newcastle and Lyons, etc. In the following year, the town of Newcastle and the town and castle of Lyons, etc., were reported as great receptacles for the prime gentlemen of the Royal party in Kildare. "At Lyons," says Brewer, "resided for many centuries the family of Aylmer, a junior branch of which enjoys the title of Baron in the peerage of Ireland. Ralph and William Aylmer, as we are told by Archdall, were living at Lyons in the year 1300. Michael Aylmer, in the latter part of the 18th century, sold his ancient inheritance to Sir Nicholas Lawlass, created Lord Cloncurry in 1789. The ruins of the church are in the pointed style of architecture. This church was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, as we find in Dr. Mac-Geoghegan’s list:- "Ecclesia Parochialis Sanctae Mariae de Lyons."
(Styled Johnston-pynguet in Inquis. 24th Elizabeth.) The old church of the parish of Johnstown still exists in ruins. It measures 40 feet in length by 18 in width; the opening of the east window remains; a sculptured recess for cruets, etc., is on the epistle side of altar place; another sculptured stone lies within the ruin, octagonal at top, square at base, and pierced; it is two feet high, and appears to be the base of a cross. In the centre of the church there is an ancient box-tomb, having a full-length double cross wrought on it, with two shields, one bearing three birds, the other, two animals resembling bears. The date, 1289, is found on centre of cross, but this is certainly an after addition, and probably does not refer to the denizen of this tomb, regarding whom nothing is known. From the position in reference to the altar, it must be the sepulchre of a laic.
        The Titular of this church, according to Dr. MacGeoghegan’s list, was St. John the Baptist:- Ecclesia parochialis Sti. Joannis Baptistae, Villae S. Joannis." Flattesbury, a writer of the 16th century was a native of this place and a member of a family holding considerable possessions in it. Stanihurst thus refers to him:- Philip Flattisburie, a worthie gentleman, and a diligent antiquarie, he wrote in the Latine toong, at the request of the right honourable Girald FitzGirald erle of Kildare, ‘Diversas chronicas;’ he flourished in the yeare one thousand five hundred and seventeene, and deceased at his towne named Johnstowne neere the Naas." An investigation of the armorial bearings may lead to the conclusion that the tomb referred to is that of Flattisbury the writer. Ware writes thus of him: "Philip Flatisbury lived about this time, and at the request of Gerald Earl of Kildare, writ divers chronicles, says Stanihurst. In the beginning of those Annals, extant in MS. under his name, there is this Account of the Author and his Work:- Here follows divers Chronicles written at the request of the Noble and Powerful Lord Gerald, son of Gerald, the King’s deputy in Ireland, by Philip Flatisbury of Johnston near the Naas, in the year of our Lord 1517; and the 9th of King Henry VIII.’ But comparing them with those published by Camden at the end of his Britannia, of which the greater part was writ by Pembridge, as we have elsewhere said, it appears that Flatisbury was only a verbal Transcriber of them, not the Author, excepting some little addition. ‘Tis certain that many have affixed their names to these books which they only transcribed; whereby the true Authors have been unjustly deprived of their honour." (Ware’s Writers.)
        An Inquisition taken at Naas, 4th Sept., 1638, finds that Christopher Flattisbury was seized in fee, in the town of Palmerston, of one house, 3 messuages, 140 acres of land; in Johnston, 1 castle, 2 water-mills, 10 messuages, and 160 acres; in Newtown O’More, 30 acres; in Sollans (Sallins), a parcel of land called the Hearne, 3 messuages, and 60 acres; in Great- fornaghes, 1 toft and 20 acres; in Keelogs, 4 messuages and 40 acres; in Blackditch in town of Naas, 15 acres, etc. The said Christopher Flattisbury died on 23 January, 1612; James Flattisbury is his son and heir, aged 24 years, and married.
        Another and more distinguished writer, connected with this locality, was Thomas de Palmerstown, who flourished in the 13th century. Ware has the following notice of him:- "Thomas Palmeran, or Thomas of Palmerstown, commonly called Thomas Hibernicus, was born in the County of Kildare at a place called Palmerstown, near Naas. He forsook his country for the purpose of advancing himself in learning, and continued some time at Paris, where he took the Degree of Doctor in Divinity. He afterwards travelled into Italy, and died in the monastery of Aquila, on the confines of the Kingdom of Naples, where he lies buried. He flourished about the year 1269, and not 1365, as Arthur a Monasterio erroneously remarks. He writ, ‘Flores Doctorum pene omnium, qui tum in Theologia, tum in Philosophia, hactenus claruerunt,’lib.2., which are extant, and have been often printed, as at Antwerp in 1580, octavo, and at Paris, Lyons, and lastly, at Geneva in 1614. Also, ‘De Christiana Religione,’ lib.1.; ‘De illusionibus Daemonum,’ lib.1.; ‘De tentatione Diaboli,’lib.1.; ‘De remediis Vitiorum,’lib.1.; ‘Flores Biblicos,’ Antwerpiae, 1568; and other works. The first mentioned treatise was begun by John Gualleis or Walleis, a Franciscan friar, under the title of Manipulus Florum; but death obliged him to leave it unfinished, and out Thomas put the last hand to it, and gave it the title of Flores Doctorum. He seems to have been the author of Promptuarium Morale Sacrae Scripturae, published at Rome in 1624, by Luke Wadding from a the Library of the Franciscan Convent of Aracoeli. Wadding tells of this writer, that he suffered many troubles by the illusions of the devil, and that it is reported he cut off his left thumb, lest he should be compelled by his superiors to take on him the Priesthood. The writers of the Biliotheque of the Dominican Order, vary from the foregoing account. I shall therefore give their Relation at large, because they seem to have searched narrowly into the subject. They condemn the writers of their Order, who make him a Dominican, as they do Wadding, for ranking him among the Franciscans, he having been of no certain Order. That being born towards the declension of the 13th century, he became a Fellow of the College of Sorbonne, and was in his highest reputation about the beginning of the 14th age. In 1306, he only took the Degree of Bachelor, and whether he ever had the Degree of Master, or how long he protracted his life, was undiscovered. On his death-bed he bequeathed the books which he had written, and many other MSS. to the College of Sorbonne, together with a sum of money to purchase a Rent for celebrating his Anniversary, and in proof, they quote this passage out of the Sorbonne Necrology:-‘Master Thomas of Ireland, formerly a Fellow of this House, died. He compiled Manipulus Florum, and three other small Tracts, which he has sent to us, and bequeathed to us many other books, and £6 in money to buy a Rent to be employed in celebrating his Anniversary’ . . . .Then they give a Catalogue of his Works, viz. : – ‘Tabula Originalium, sive Maniplus Florum, secundum ordinem Alphabeti, extracta ex libris 36 Auctorum, edita a M.Thoma Hibernico, quondam Socio Domus Scholarium de Sarbona Parisiensis Civitatis.’ And in his Preface he enumerates the names of the 36 Authors, from whom he collected his Work. This MS. is extant in small vellum fol. in several Collages in Paris, and was printed at Venice in 1492, and often after. Three of the Treatises of this Thomas are preserved in the College of Sorbonne, under these titles:-1.’Liber de tribus punctis Christinae Religionis ,’ etc., viz.: Matters of Faith, Command, and Prohibition. This may probably be the book before-mentioned De Christiana Religione; 2 Commendatio Theologiae,’ in which he takes up the text, ‘Sapientia aedificavit sibi Domum,’ etc., which he explains according to the Mystical, Allegorical, and Moral sense. 3. ‘Tractatus de tribus Hierachiis, tam Angelicis quam Ecclesiasticis.’ In the Sorbonne is another MS. ascribed to this Author, under the title, ‘In primam et Secundam sententiarum.’’’ (Harris’s Ware’s Irish Writers; Hib. Dom., p534.)

        The ruins of the old Church of Forenaghts (Fornochts, i.e., "bare or exposed hills,"-Joyce,) are to be seen at the rere of Mr Beauman’s mansion. From the small portion remaining, it may be judged that this Church is one of considerable antiquity. Some large stones, scattered about, have the scallopshell sculptured upon them; perhaps these formed parts of a monument to the family to Palmer, who resided in this locality, and who may have been interred here. Not far from the old Church, higher up on the hill, there is a remarkable entrenched Rath, having upon it a large granite pillar-stone.
        Even the site of the old Church of this district is unknown, but probably it adjoined the castle, of which portions still exist. By a Patent Roll, dated, May 18th, 1550, License was given to Sir John Travers, of Moncton, otherwise Carrickbrenan, near Dalcaye, in the County of Dublin, to alienate to Luke Netterville of Douthe, and others, several possessions therein named; amongst the rest is named "the castle and 80 acres of land in Heyneston."
        The old Church stood within the present demesne of Kerdiffstown, near Johnstown. A mere scrap of masonry remains in a burial-ground that has become practically disused. This Church was dedicated to St. Laurence, as we learn from the list of Dr. MacGeoghegan, in which it is set down as " Ecclesia Parochialis Sti. Laurentii de Ballakerdiss."
        This is Dr. MacGeoghegan’s "Ecclesia de Balliboudon." This Church remains in ruins; it measured about 33 feet long, by 18 in width. A stone-cased circular-headed doorway is in the west wall, in which also are two small windows, corresponding with doorway, one being beside the place heretofore occupied by the altar, on the Epistle side. The Church bears evidence of having been used, no doubt for Protestant service, in comparatively modern times. A burial-ground is attached which is elevated considerably above the level of the Church; the grave of Wolf Tone, about the mode of whose death so much discussion has taken place, is marked by a stone, bearing the following inscription:-Theobald Wolfe Tone, Born, 20th June, 1763, Died, 19th November, 1798, For Ireland."
        At Blackhall, stood a castle of the FitzGeralds. In Lynch’s Cambr. Eversus, the following passage occurs in reference to this place:- " Francis Moore, son of Viscount Mellifont, at Blackhall, in the County of Kildare, committed a horrible massacre of old men, women, and children, and transfixed the little infants on their mothers’ breasts with his swords and lances. Having spent a night with some of his officers in the house of a noble lady whose husband was absent, he was treated with splendid hospitality and costly presents; but when the lady followed him to the door to bid him adieu on his departure, he ordered a rope to be thrown around her neck, and hanged her before her own door." (Dr. Moran’s Persecutions of I. Caths.,p366.) In the Contemporary Hist. Of Ireland 1641-52, is given an account of the siege of Blackhall Castle:- " About this time the enemy did leaguer a castle in the county Kildare called Blackhall, wherein were the matter of 30 young men, well resolved, though never until then experimented in that art. The enemy were 1500 men, with artillery and other engines of war. Among the rest was a blackamoor, an old beaten soldier and (as was thought) was either possessed by a devil or a witch, for he would advance so far in sight of the defendants that he never desired the benefit of any shelter from the bullets the defendants aimed at him as their butt, receiving many in his body, not so much hurt received as once to stumble, nor did he show the least motion of cowardice or fear or give an inch of ground, rather recovered, crying out upon the defendants that the poor dastardly folk did spend their labour in vain, that he cared not for their shot, and accusing his own party of timorous and imbecility for not advancing and follow him ; the defendants did spend a great quantity of ammunition and shot against this only man, but all in vain, which observed by a young man, spoke to his comrade that they should make crosses on their bullets and aim at the blackamoor together, and, I undertake, said this young man, if we hit this rouge, his charms or black art will little avail him against the cross. The other condescended and promised to hit him at least, both charging and aiming as afore-said, they both killed and tumbled him presently stark dead to the ground to the great grief of the assailants and unspeakable joy of the defendants. Night drawing on, the enemy gave out they received orders to march home to the Naas, filling (according to custom) their carts and waggons with dead and wounded men ; of dead were found 7 score and 10, with the blackamoor and several officers and commanders and many wounded, only with their booty marched away, the defendants remaining victors in their castle lost never a man, but the general calamity of ammunition troubled them, and fearing the enemy’s return the next morning, burnt their castle and marched away to other places of service. The commander of this party was a young man of the FitzGeralds, a son of the landlord of that very town, by name Francis, a Franciscan friar, though no priest." (Aphorism. Discov. I., p.28)
        "Ecclesia Templi albi," (Dr. MacGeoghegan.) This Church – the ruins of which are still standing consisted of nave and chancel; the chancel measured 21 feet in width by 26 in length, it has an east window of two lights, with limestone casing; there is a small window on Epistle side of altar-place, and two other small windows in the side walls, facing each other. The nave is of the same width as chancel, and – as well as can now be ascertained, – extended some 40 feet, being connected with a tower-keep or fort, at the west end, in which a winding-stairs still remains, and from which an arched doorway opened into the Church. Two small windows appear in the portions of the wall of nave still standing. Within the ruin is an ancient Baptismal font, of granite, and pierced in the centre. In the grave-yard stands a curious stone cross, shaped somewhat like a two-edged sword; it stands about three feet over-ground; a cross, nearly similar, is to be seen at Oughterard. In the burial-ground, which is still in use, there is no epitaph worthy of note, – unless one, erected to the memory of Mary Withers, and stating of her that "she did unto others as she would be done by,"-be an exception.
        Dr. MacGeoghegan notes this as the site of a parochial Church, of which there appears to be now no trace. This district was probably at all times very much of a sinecure; in a Return made the 10th of April, 1766, the sole inhabitants are represented as consisting of one family, and that a Protestant one.
        According to a Return dated November 16th, 1731, (see Vol. I., p 265), there were two Mass-houses then in existence in the parish of Kill, one at Painstown, erected in 1724, and another in Lyons, built previous to 1714; John Doyle was the parish priest; another priest, named Bathe, a reputed Jesuit, and three other priests named McDonough, Hegan, and Ellis, who had settled there that year, and who are represented as leading a rambling life. The number of Protestants in the parish is set down as 80; that of the Catholics, as 800.
        GILBERT CULLEN is the P.P.named in the Return of 1704; he resided at Lyons, was aged 45, was P.P. of Lyons, Oughterard, Whitechurch, Kill, Bodenstown, Johnstown, Forenaghts, Tipper, and Sherlockstown; he was ordained in 1685, at Ossory by Dr. James Phelan, Bishop of that See, and his sureties were Edmond Cullen of Bishopscourt, farmer, and Morgan Galvan of Alarty, farmer.
        JOHN DOYLE is the next P.P. of whom we find mention made; he is named in the Return of 1731, just quoted, and his name is recorded also on the monument, which, in 1731, he erected at Lyons to his parents.
        JOHN ANDO, after an unusually protracted pastorate, died in 1804, aged 95. Whether he was the immediate successor of Father Doyle, or not, is uncertain. Dr. Delany, Bishop if the Diocese, in his Answers to Queries made by Government, in 1800 (see Vol. I, .p284), after stating, regarding this Parish, that there were 2000 inhabitants in it and three chapels, adds:- "The Parish Priest of Kill, a poor lame old man, turned of 90 years, gives one-half of the £75, the income of his parish, to his Curate, and would certainly need a second assistant, were there means to support him, having three chapels to be served every Sunday in his parish." The three chapels here referred to were situated (1) at Pluckstown, near Lyons, (2) at Hartwell, and (3) at Sallins. The site of the last-named was in the place there, still bearing the name of Chapel-lane. The P.P. dwelt at Blackchurch, where the ruins of the parochial-house were still visible some 15 years ago. It is supposed that Father Ando lies buried at Kill, in the part of the burial-ground used by the Catholics, but there is no inscription to mark his grave.
        DANIEL NOLAN was P.P. from 1804 to 1823, when he was translated to Paulstown, County of Kilkenny.
        WILLIAM KEENAN, P.P. from 1823 to1840.
        JOHN MURPHY, P.P. FROM 1840 to 1842.
        MARTIN NOLAN, P.P. from 1842 to 1849.
        JAMES HAYDEN, P.P. from 1849 to 1865, on whose demise the present pastor,
        THE REV. GEORGE JOSEPH GOWING, D.D., was appointed.

Compiled edited by Mario Corrigan; typed by Brid and Maria; edited and checked by Niamh McCabe

A history of the Roman Catholic Parish of Kill by Rev. Comerford.

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