LIEUTENANT-COLONEL CORNELIUS O'DRISCOLL.
THE ancient Sept of O'Driscoll or O'Hederiscoll were settled in Carberry with Bear and Bantry in the County of Cork. They likewise possessed the island of Cape Clear, the territory about the Bay of Baltimore, and, according to Smith (History of Cork), a part of Iveragh in Kerry. Within this ambit they had castles in Dunashad and Dunalong, near Baltimore, both of which were garrisoned by the Spaniards in the war of 1599; they had also a Castle at Dunamore in Cape Clear Island. In 1310, a period when, as Sir John Davis, the Attorney-General to Queen Elizabeth and King James, expresses himself,1 "the mere Irish were not only accounted aliens but enemies, and altogether out of the protection of the law, so as it was no capital offence to kill them," a very remarkable trial took place at Limerick before John Wogan, Lord Justice of Ireland; wherein a William Fitz-Eoger, being indicted for the murder of Koger de Cantelon, pleaded that he could not in law be guilty of murder in that instance, for that said Roger (the victim) was an Irishman and not of free blood; that in verity said Eoger was of the cognomen of O'Hederiscoll, and not of the name of Cantelon; and the jury found the facts to be so, whereupon the prisoner was acquitted. Smith, in his History of Waterford, vol. 1, p. 127, details acts of bitter hostility by the O'Hederiscoll and the Poors against the citizens of that seaport. The Four Masters record throughout, in frequent Annals, the succession of the chiefs of this Sept; and relate a memorable pilgrimage of the O'Driscoll more Fynnin (anglicized Florence) and Teigue his son, in 1472, according to the piety of the day, to the shrine of St. James of Compostella in Spain. The father died on his return, as did his son within a month after.
In Perrot's Parliament of 1585, the Sept was represented by the above Fynnin, described in lineage as son of Connor, son of Fynnin, son of Connor. He took an active part in the war of Munster, adhering to O'Neill and the Spanish invaders in 1599, as fully set forth in the Pacata Hibernia. When Don Juan de Aguila brought over money from his King for the native chiefs that joined him, £500 thereof was appropriated to Sir Fynnin O'Driscoll and Connor his son. The fatality of national division on grounds of private feuds, is powerfully evinced by a Report of the Lord President of Munster to the Council of England after the battle of Kinsale:-- " As for Sir Fynnin O'Driscoll, O'Donovan, and the two sons of Sir Owen Mac Cartie, they and their followers are so well divided in factions amongst themselves, as they are falling to preying and killing one another, which we conceive will much avail to the quieting of these parts." 2 It may be here mentioned that this Sir Fynnin was the son of Donogh O'Driscoll by Mary, only daughter and heiress of Gerald, Lord Courcey, who, by his will of June, 1599, disinherited her, and gave all his estates to his next cousin and heir male John, son of Edmund Courcey, in tail; and, in default of such his issue, to revert to Queen Elizabeth and her successors for ever. This lady survived her husband, and, after his death married, in 1611, John Galwey of Kinsale, between whom and John Lord Courcey much litigation, as might be expected, ensued.
Immediately after the battle of Kinsale, this Fynnin's eldest son, Connor, and Connor oge his son and heir, then aged nine years, fled in a small bark to Spain. Donnell, another son of Sir Fynnin, passed also to Spain with Don Juan de Aguila, as did likewise Dermot Mac Connogher O'Driscoll, with his brother and sons, and three sons of ' Iffie O'Driscoll.' Connor oge afterwards served in the Spanish navy, and was slain in an engagement with the Turks in 1618. Old Sir Fynnin, yielding to the pressure of circum- stances, and on the extinction of most of his family, surren- dered in 1608 to the King all the territory of Collymore, called O'Driscoll's country, and the soil, shore, and strand of the haven of Baltimore, with the Islands of Inisherkin and three others. The wide extent of this district within the County of Cork is defined in the grant thereof to Thomas Crocke of Baltimore, Esq., which immediately followed. In 1611, however, it appears on record, that said Crocke had license to alienate all Collymore to said Fynnin O'Driscoll, Walter Coppinger, and Donogh O'Driscoll. In 1615 the O'Driscolls' territory was defined as containing the following parishes in the Barony of Carbury, viz.: Myross, Glanbara- han (Castlehaven), Tullagh, Creagh, Kilcoe, Aghadown, and Clare Island.3---The Attainders of 1643 present the names of Teigue and Florence O'Driscoll of Ballymac-Irrene, Dermot O'Driscoll of Cruldrout, Fyrmin Mac Eista of Ballineteragh, Cornelius O'Driscol of Donegall, and Donogh O'Driscoll of the same place, all in the County of Cork. The last-named was then chief of the sept, and died in four years after his attainder. His son Connor married Catherine Mac Cartie, and died before his father, leaving another Donogh then a minor his heir, who in 1654 was expulsed from his inheritance by the Cromwellians. His son was the above Lieutenant-Colonel, who, in 1662, being then a Lieutenant, received the Royal thanks through the Act of Settlement, ' for services beyond the sea;' as did also Florence O'Driscoll of Ballyhan.
A Captain Driscoll is stated to have had an independent company after the battle of the Boyne. On the 2nd of October after that engagement, 'the Lord Marlborough came to Kinsale with the army; on the 3rd, Major.General Felton and Colonel Fitz-Patrick stormed the old fort called Castle-ni-Park, whereupon the enemy retired into the castle; at the same time three barrels of powder took fire at the gate, and blew up with about forty soldiers; at length the Governor, Colonel O'Driscoll, and 200 of his garrison being killed, the rest surrendered upon quarter," [In the November following, according to a Williamite account, a Colonel O'Driscoll, with Captains O'Donovan and Cronin, were slain in an attack on the garrison of Castletown, in the County of Cork.]
On the authority of the Appendix to King's State of the Protestants, it would appear that a Francis Napper was Lieutenant-Colonel of this Regiment in 1690. The O'Driscolls attainted in 1691 were the above Colonel Cornelius O'Driscoll, Cornelius O'Driscoll, jun., and eight others in the County of Cork, viz.: Thadeus, Alexander, Dermod, Coursie and Daniel his son, Michael, son of Brown Driscoll, with Dennis and Florence O'Drisooll of Bally-island. One of these was a Captain in Colonel Owen Mao Cartie's Infantry. Cornelius, junior, appears identical with an officer in Spain, styled Le Sieur Corneille O'Driscoll, distinguished during the great War of the Succession in 1707 and 1708, when he was Lieutenant-Colonel to the Regiment of Dragoons of the famous Count Daniel O'Mahony, before alluded to (ante, p. 502-3). At the Court of Claims in 1700, the Archbishop of Dublin claimed and was allowed an estate in fee in some of the Cork confiscations of the above Lieutenant-Colonel; while the castle, town, and lands of Bally-Mac-Rowan, other parts thereof, were in 1703 sold to the Hollow Swords' Blades Company. From the above Lieutenant-Colonel Cornelius has lineally descended the present William-Henry O'Driscoll, his great-great-grandson and heir male, now the head of this ancient sept.
Shortly after the termination of this war, Colonel Cornelius O'Driscoll addressed a petition, on behalf of the inhabitants of Carbury, to the Lord Viscount Clare, Governor of the County and of the City of Cork; wherein he shewed 'that King William had been graciously pleased, for the preservation of his subjects and kingdom, to order several places of strength in Cork to he demolished, through fear of the rebellious intentions of disaffected persons; most of which had been accordingly rased, but that the fortress ofAghadown was left near the sea, in the same state it hath hitherto been, being a place for securing above 1,500 men; which puts al great terror on his majesty's subjects thereabout,' and that it should be demolished was the prayer of this petition