Madden of Derryhoran

© Donal G. Burke 2017

By the early eighteenth century, a prominent family of the Maddens was seated at Derryhoran, in the parish of Meelick, to the south of the County Galway village of Eyrecourt. The Derryhoran family descend from that of Kilmacshane in the neighbouring parish of Clonfert, through the person of Owen Madden of Kilmacshane, who appears to have flourished about the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth century. The origin of this Owen Madden is unclear, but, given the connection of the lands of Kilmacshane and lands in Esker and Kilnaborris with the family of Brackloon into the early decades of the eighteenth century, it is possible that he may have been of a junior line of the Brackloon family. However, his descent from this line or from any other branch of the name, is merely conjectural and cannot be confirmed with any degree of certainty.

Owen Madden, in all likelihood, married sometime about the late 1670s or early 1680s as his eldest son was born about 1683. His wife was one of the daughters and co-heiresses of Fergus Madden of Lismore, Co. Galway, an extensive landholder who died after falling from his horse in September 1687. Joseph, son of Fergus Madden, died in his father’s lifetime, leaving Fergus’s daughters as co-heiresses. The administration of Fergus Madden’s estate was granted to his widow Catherine Madden alias Donnellan and three of his daughters; Mary, Dorothy and Christian. His widow Catherine remarried, on the second occasion to one Richard Burke and she and her second husband claimed Lismore and other property as her dowry.[i] In addition, Hugh Madden, who appears to have been the eldest son of Hugh of Gortnakelly (on the outskirts of the modern village of Eyrecourt) unsuccessfully contested on the basis of being the next male heir, the right of Fergus Madden’s daughters to the administration of their father’s estate in 1687-8.[ii]

The daughters appear to have been successful in their suit and Lismore Castle itself passed to the eldest daughter of Fergus Madden, Mary and her husband, Miles Burke of Cloghroak, County Galway.[iii] Of the other daughters; Catherine married an individual named Chesham, Christian married firstly Ulick Burke of Cloghroak and secondly John ffrench of Derryffrench in the parish of Tynagh. Dorothy married Owen Madden, who was evidently established at Kilmacshane.[iv]

John French, Christian French, John Bourke (son of Miles Burke and Mary Madden), Owen Madden and Andrew Madden were listed about the year 1700 as claimants to an estate in fee, ‘in right of their wives, as co-heirs of Fergus Madden, by descent’, of ‘the half quarter of Moyour and several other lands’, once the property of Fergus Madden.’[v] It appears that Andrew Madden was a reference to Owen’s son Ambrose, who, although then only about seventeen years of age, is found as a named party in a number of legal transactions in that year. These five individuals are found acting again in April of 1700 when Owen is given as Owen Madden of Kilmacshane, together with his son and heir Ambrose of Kilmacshane, John Burke of Lismore and John ffrench of Derry and his wife Christian ffrench conveyed 129 profitable Irish acres in Curraghboy and 36 acres in Ballynaheskeragh in the parish of Killimorbologue to Denis Kelly of Lisduff.[vi]

Five years later, in June of 1705, at about the age of twenty-two years, Ambrose Madden of Kilmacshane, gentleman, conformed to Protestantism, possibly to gain greater security to his estate.[vii] Although his father still appears to have been alive, Ambrose was acting on his own in October 1708 when he leased thirty-four acres of land for 9,999 years in Digan alias Gortelagg to Charles Plunkett of Banagher, Kings County, ‘the lease to commence the day after the death of Owen Madden.[viii] Alongside his wife and other co-heirs and their spouses, Owen of Kilmacshane had been involved in a number of legal cases from the death of his father-in-law to at least 1705. References to his involvement in those cases appear to cease after 1705 and it appears that he died sometime between 1708 and 1715. Owen was described as deceased in a marriage agreement dated June 1715 made regarding the proposed marriage of Charles Plunkett of Dillonstown, Co. Louth and Elizabeth Stratford of Belan, County Kildare in which reference was made to his son Ambrose.

Joseph Foster in his 1887 edition of ‘Royal Lineage of our Noble and Gentle Families’ gave Ellen, daughter of Samuel Raymond as wife of Ambrose Madden of Derryhoran and by him mother of three daughters; Mary, later married to James Moore, Ellen, later married to William Connor and Catherine, who was not recorded therein as married. On that basis Ambrose would appear to have been twice married, as the legal document concerning the 1708 transfer of lands in Digan alias Gortelagg gave one Mary Madden as ‘now wife of Ambrose Madden‘. This Mary Madden would therefore appear to have been the mother of his children Patrick, born circa 1708, John, born about 1717 and Anne.

Ambrose Madden appears to have become seated at Derryhoran about 1715 or 1716 as he was described as ‘of Kilmacshane’ in the same marriage agreement of 1715 and in 1716 he was known as Ambrose of Derryhoran. The property at Derryhoran upon which he resided may have formed part of the estate of his maternal grandfather Fergus Madden of Lismore, the latter having taken a lease of one hundred and forty profitable Irish acres of Derryhoran in December of 1672.[ix] It was Ambrose ‘of Derryhoran’ to whom the Bishop of Clonfert referred when deciding a dispute regarding the Madden chapel at Meelick. The friars appear to have regarded one of Ambrose’s predecessors as having provided for the construction of this large side-chapel at the friary. A dispute arose, apparently over burial rights in this chapel, and was decided by the Bishop of Clonfert the Rev. Doctor Ambrose Madden, in favour of the family of Ambrose of Derryhoran. The Bishop found that the ‘chappell of the Owens Madden’…‘was always the property and burial place of the said Maddens and their heires and…belonged to Ambrose Madden of Derrihoran’ and his heirs. Father Anthony O Donnell, Minister Provincial of the Franciscans in Ireland confirmed in 1716 the ‘said chappell and all the rights thereto belong to the said Ambrose and his heirs forever and doe order the ffathers of the said Abby of Meelick will not permit or suffer any person or persons to be buryed in said chappell but such as the said Ambrose and his heires will approve of.’[x] The origin of the association of the Derryhoran family with the ‘Eugenian’ or ‘Madden’ chapel in Meelick, however, is difficult to determine with certainty. One possibility is that their claim to the chapel was based on their descent in the maternal line from the family of Lismore. Ambrose and his children were buried near where the high altar once stood, despite their claim to ownership of the side chapel and Fergus Madden of Lismore was recorded as having been buried beneath his memorial which was located in a place of prominence in the choir of the friary church, not far from the high altar. There is nothing surviving in records to suggest that the Brackloon family would have had such a prominent connection as patrons of Meelick and they would not have enjoyed the seniority of the more prominent line of the Maddens of Lusmagh, descended from Owen balbh O Madden of Cloghan Castle, son of the chieftain Melaghlin balbh O Madden. Given the fact the chapel was known as the ‘Eugenian’ or ‘chapel of the Owens Madden’, an alternative connection may be with the line of Cloghan. This latter line is more likely to have been buried in the place of honour to the right hand side of the high altar in the church, where the Moore family, who succeeded the Maddens at Cloghan, came to be buried from the early seventeenth century. On the other side of the high altar were buried members of the Maddens of Feabeg, immediate junior descendants of the last chieftain Donal O Madden of Longford.

Although Owen died in or before 1715 Ambrose of Derryhoran was still being described in mid September of 1717 as the son and heir apparent of Owen Madden of Kilmacshane in the County of Galway, gentleman in a land transaction into which he entered with Samuel Eyre of Newtown, County Galway, Esquire. Seventeen years earlier, in February 1700 both father and son had transferred to the same Samuel 27 acres Stafford’s Survey in the lands of Kiltormer for the sum of £30 sterling but on that occasion it was found that Ambrose had been underage and so the 1717 legal transaction was necessary with Ambrose having come of age. That second transaction saw Ambrose convey the same lands ‘in consideration of a further sum of £42 sterling’.[xi]

Ambrose mortgaged 222 acres of land in the townland of Raheen and 125 acres in Cloonnamaskry, both in the parish of Kilquain between Eyrecourt and Killimor, in August 1726 to George Brown of The Neale, Co. Mayo. Having the effect of a loan, Madden received £1,000 from Brown through the transaction with the proviso that he pay back the full amount plus an additional £7 per £100 interest in 1737 and included a provision for a penalty bond of £2,000.[xii] The transaction was witnessed by Ulick Burke, described as a nephew of Ambrose Madden. It appears from this that Ambrose had a sister married to an individual named Burke. The identity of this brother-in-law and nephew, however, is uncertain.)

Although Ambrose of Derryhoran had at least six children, he appears to have lost all but one of his children in his lifetime. His son Patrick, ‘a young man of great promise’ according to the Meelick friars, died at the age of eighteen years in August 1726. In October of the following year his daughter Anne died and in November 1728 his last son John died at the age of eleven years.[xiii] All of the children of Ambrose and Mary Madden died while young. Ellen and Catherine, his two daughters by his marriage to Ellen Raymond, both also appear to have died in their father’s lifetime and by the early 1730s his daughter Mary was his only surviving child and his heir apparent.

Lodge states that Ambrose’s only daughter married in 1731 John (recte: James) More, the only son of Lewis More or Moore. James More, Esq. of Ballyna, Enfield, Co. Kildare was the son and heir of Lewis More of Ballyna by his wife Alice, daughter of Con O Neill Esq. Descended from Anthony O More, chief of his name and Lord of Leix, James had at least one sister, Mary, who married a man named Ward, resident at Madrid, and served as maid of honour to the Queen of Spain. On the marriage of James More and Mary Madden, More’s bride bought to him as a dowry the then considerable sum of £2,500.  Despite this large sum, they found themselves unable to maintain themselves in their proper social position, but they did manage to adapt to circumstances and More, when he came to write his family memoirs, would later state that he had the good fortune to meet a woman ‘who conformed herself to our situation, and who was more content to live in the manner she saw was convenient to us’.

James More was joined with his father-in-law in property transactions from at least the early 1730s. In September of 1732 Ambrose of Derryhoran, his wife Mary, James More of Ballyna in Co. Kildare, Esq. and Mary Moore alias Madden ‘only child of the said Ambrose’ of one part sold to Peter Daly of Quansbury, Esq. 346 acres in Cloonamaskry and Raheen and 73 acres in the townland of Killiane for £2,360.

In December of 1732 Ambrose and his wife Mary and James More and his wife Mary Moore alias Madden ‘only child of said Ambrose’ sold to Rev. Giles Eyre Dean of Killaloe ‘then of Eyrecourt’ approximately 277 acres of the townland of Esker subject to previous lease to Hon. Charles Plunkett, Esq.[xiv] At the same time the same parties sold to Eyre approximately 212 acres in Kilmacshane and Derrybane.[xv]  Excluded from this transaction was half a cartron belonging to John Eyre of Eyrecourt, Esq. which Eyre had set to Ambrose of Derryhoran for three lives and excepting also a cartron of the said lands of Kilmacshane which was the property of Francis Madden of Kilmacshane, gent. and excepting the townland of Derrybane subject to a ‘minuit or article made thereof to Robert Coates’. In total the property in Esker, Kilmachane and Derrybane was sold to Rev. Eyre for £2,400.

The extent of the Madden lands in both Kilmacshane and Esker would suggest a possible connection through the paternal line with the family of Brackloon. Much of these denominations was held in the early and mid seventeenth century by Rory mcCollo O Madden of Brackloon, who died in 1616 and his son Ambrose maol. Penelope Lawrence alias Madden of Lisreaghan, as sole daughter and heiress of Ambrose Madden junior and granddaughter of Ambrose of Brackloon senior appears to have been the senior-most member of that extended family descended from Rory mcCollo. As a widow in 1720 she conveyed 400 acres in Kilmacshane, Esker and Kilnaborris, apparently part of her paternal estate, to Anthony Brabazon of Creagh, Esq.[xvi]

The lands sold in 1732 in Clonemaskery, Raheen and Killiane appear to have formed part of the estate of Fergus of Lismore, inherited by Ambrose of Derryhoran through his mother.[xvii] In April of the following year Ambrose, his wife, daughter and son-in-law sold to Anthony Daly of Calla, Co. Galway, property that again may also have formerly been part of the estate of Fergus of Lismore.[xviii] For the sum of approximately £1,512 they sold 52 acres in Moyour ‘in the possession of James Moore’, 87 acres in Moyour and Lissmoyfadda ‘in the possession of Hinde’, 21 acres in Lismoyfadda in the possession of Christopher Burnet, 27 acres in Lismoyfadda ‘in possession of Michael Lynch’, 13 acres in the same denomination ‘in the possession of James Flanagan’, 16 acres in Derrymacfinola ‘in possession of Michael Nolan’ and in the same denomination 28 acres in possession of Fergus Madden’.[xix] All these denominations lay in the general vicinity about Lismore and Eyrecourt.

Ambrose Madden of Derryhoran died in 1754. Buried with his children at the Franciscan friary at Meelick the headstone erected over their grave bore the inscription:-‘Here lyes the body of Ambrose Madden of Derryhoran, Esq., who died the 4th February 1754, aged 71 years: as also the bodies of his beloved children, Patrick Madden, who died 27th August 1725; Anne Madden, who died 15th October 1726; and John Madden, who died 29th November 1728, all in the flower and bloom of their youth, much lamented. God gives them eternal bliss and happiness and a glorious resurrection. Amen’. The stone survived into the last years of the nineteenth century but disappeared by the mid twentieth century. Thomas More Madden described it in 1891 as ‘the most perfectly preserved of the tombstones of the O Maddens of a later date and exhibits the family coat of arms as at present borne, a falcon argent, preying on a mallard, the motto effaced.’[xx] Richard Monck, then living in Banagher, King’s County, the old friend and former Latin tutor of the antiquary John O Donovan visited the ruins of Meelick church in March of 1843 and passed to O Donovan a much more detailed description of the stone. He gave it as located ‘in the Abbey near where the high Altar formerly stood’. The arms upon the stone he described as ‘greatly defaced’. The crest, he wrote to O Donovan, ‘is a Hawk’s claw, with a cross pometted, whether in the dexter or sinister claw, I could not say, as for the tinctures of the shield I cannot say either, the upper part contains a cross similar to that in the hawk’s claw, the middle a Hawk over some unfortunate bird (like a goose) reversed, with its claws craving mercy apparently, which the crooked beak of the Hawk seems by no means inclined to grant, this later bird occupies the entire lower part of the shield, no motto’.[xxi]

James More and his wife Mary retained their interest in their County Galway lands following the death of Ambrose and in February 1762 are found leasing to one James Madden of Kilnaborris, gent., twenty-five acres of land in ‘Gortfurth’ in Kilnaborris.[xxii]

At his death in 1779, James More, by his wife Mary Madden of Derryhoran, left as his heir a daughter, Letitia More, who married Richard O Ferrall, only son of Ambrose Ferrall, from whom descended the More-O Ferrall family of Ballyna, Co. Kildare.[xxiii]

[i] Trustees for the sale of the forfeited estates in Ireland, ‘A list of the claims as they were entered with the Trustees, at Chichester-House on College Green, Dublin on or before the tenth of August 1700,’ J. Ray, Dublin, 1701, p. 219. Claim no. 1927.

[ii] More Madden, T., The O Maddens of Silanchia or Siol Anmachadha, JGAHS, Vol. II, No. I, 1902, p.24.

[iii] The Maddens of Lismore were doubly connected by marriage to this Burke family, with one Christina Madden of Lismore married to Ulick Burke of Clogheroke, whose daughter Evelina Burke was later be buried in the friary church in Meelick. (N.L.I., Dublin, G.O. MS 5203, Copy of records of the Franciscan Convent of Meelick, Co. Galway, made by Fr. James Hynes in 1858.) ‘Hoc die 5 Novembris anni 1728 sepulta fuit in nostra ecclesia Domina Evelina Burke pietate et religione illustris filia Ulici de Burgo de Clocrogh et Christina Maddin de Lismore valde addicta.’

[iv] More Madden, T., The O Maddens of Silanchia or Siol Anmachadha, JGAHS, Vol. II, No. I, 1902, p.24. More Madden gives only three daughters of Fergus; Maria, married to Miles Burke of Clonson-Keet, Co. Galway, Dorothea, married to Eugene Madden and Katherine Deborah Chesham. However, the Meelick Obituary and Chronicle make it clear that Christian was another daughter and describe her on her death as ‘filia Domini Fergusi Madden et Dominae Catherinae Donnellan, uxor Domini Johannis French, benefactrix optima hujus conventus.’

[v] Trustees for the sale of the forfeited estates in Ireland, ‘A list of the claims as they were entered with the Trustees, at Chichester-House on College Green, Dublin on or before the tenth of August 1700,’ J. Ray, Dublin, 1701, p. 150. Claim no. 1389.

[vi] Dunsandle papers, Analecta Hibernica No. 15 1944. Curraghboy formed part of the larger four quarters of Ballynaheskeragh in the early seventeenth century.

[vii] O Byrne, E., (ed.), The Convert Rolls, Dublin, IMC, 2005, p. 170.

[viii] Registry of Deeds, Dublin, Book 1, p. 262, No. 161. Ambrose Madden of Kilmacshane, gent., ‘son and heir apparent of Owen Madden of the said town’ set to one Charles Plunkett of Banagher, Kings County the land of Digan alias Gortelagg, composed of 34 acres for 999 years with the lease to commence the day after the death of Owen Madden.

[ix] MacLysaght, E., Dunsandle Papers, Analecta Hibernica, No. 15, Survey of Documents in Private Keeping: First Series (Nov., 1944), p. 394. The lands of the quarter of Carrowmorederryhoran, situated within the ancestral lands of the O Horans, about 1618, were held in their entirety by various members of the O Horan family at that period. One half of the quarter or a moiety was held by the head of the family, Rory O Horan of Fahie, while Edmond O Horan of Fahie and Dermot O Horan of Camus jointly held a cartron or a fourth part of the quarter. The remaining lands were divided between Cahir O Horan of Fahie and Donogh McFeriagh O Horan of Iskertealla, gentlemen.

[x] Giblin, C., OFM, Papers relating to Meelick Friary 1644-1731, Collectanea Hibernica, No. 16, B. Millett OFM (general editor), Naas, Leinster Leader ltd., 1973, pp. 48-88. The Madden chapel would appear to have been the larger side chapel or transept on the south side of the church, as the extant architectural evidence would suggest that the other smaller easternmost chapel was completed at the same time as the church walls were taken up to their capstone level in the late seventeenth century, when Captain Roger Lorcan was engaged in having the Larkin family chapel built. The trace of the junction of the smaller easternmost chapel with the church wall is still clearly visible externally on the south wall of the church. Twin stones marking the pinnacle of the chapel’s roof are still intact, set into the capstones of the churches south wall. As the churches wall was taken up to its full height in the late seventeenth century at the same time that in 1688 Captain Roger Lorcan had his family chapel erected, it would suggest that this easternmost chapel was the Larkin chapel. The presence therein of the headstone of Anthony Lorcan, who died in 1746, bearing the family’s coat of arms, further attests to this. The only other chapel must, therefore, be that of the Maddens.

[xi] Registry of Deeds, Dublin, Book 34, p. 122, No. 20844.

[xii] Registry of Deeds, Dublin, Book 60, pp. 61-62, No. 39957-8.

[xiii] Thomas More Madden, writing in 1894, described the Derryhoran family’s headstone as ‘the most perfectly preserved of the tombstones of the O Maddens, and exhibits the family coat of arms as at present borne, ‘a falcon argent, preying on a mallard, the motto effaced’. The inscription recorded the deaths of Ambrose and his children Patrick, Anne and John, ‘all in the flower and bloom of their youth, much lamented.’ (Genealogical and Historical Record of the O Maddens of Hy Many and their descendants, T.M. Madden, Dublin, 1894.) The memorial stone was no longer extant in the late twentieth century.

[xiv] Registry of Deeds, Dublin, Book 73, p. 135, No. 50180.

[xv] Derrybane is listed together with Kilmacshane in various transactions in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Although not an official townland in the O.S. maps of the early or late nineteenth century, the local place-name pronounced ‘Derrybawn’ was still used by some local people in the late twentieth century to describe that part of Kilmacshane in which a farm lay held by one Hugh Kelly.

[xvi] Registry of Deeds, Dublin, Book 29, p. 415, No. 18151.

[xvii] MacLysaght, E., Dunsandle Papers, Analecta Hibernica, No. 15, Survey of Documents in Private Keeping: First Series (Nov., 1944), p. 396. On 2nd December 1679 John Browne of Kinturk, Co. Mayo, Robert Longfield and George Kennedy, both of Dublin, leased to Fergus Madden of Lismore, Co. Galway half a quarter of Koilladullisk, half a quarter of Rahine and the quarter of Clonska alias Clonemeskra, (this latter denomination containing 232 acres) all in the barony of Longford.

[xviii] Trustees for the sale of the forfeited estates in Ireland, ‘A list of the claims as they were entered with the Trustees, at Chichester-House on College Green, Dublin on or before the tenth of August 1700,’ J. Ray, Dublin, 1701, p. 150. Claim no. 1389.

[xix] Registry of Deeds, Dublin, Book 75, p. 45.

[xx] Madden, T.M., (ed.), The Memoirs (chiefly autobiographical) from 1798 to 1886 of Richard Robert Madden, London, Ward & Downey, 1891, Appendix, p. 298.

[xxi] RIA, Dublin, O Donovan Correspondence, 24 0 39/JOD/239 (xvi). Letter dated 20th March 1843.

[xxii] Registry of Deeds, Dublin, Book 75, p. 236, No. 151037.

[xxiii] J. Burke, A genealogical and heraldic dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. II, London, Henry Colburn, 1847, p. 952.