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The record-evidences of the Barri family, both of Manorbeer (known also as Maynebir), co. Pembroke, and the great baronial house of the same name in the county of Cork-for both deduce their descent from the same origin- -are more or less encompassed with the difficulties which beset every descent tracing back to so remote a period, and more difficult to be recorded with trustworthiness, by how much the more the history of their remote ancestry pertains to a date of which the records were few, and those few mostly untraceable and lost to posterity. This observation, perhaps, concerns more especially the immediate AngloNorman occupants of Manorbeer, after the first William de Barri; those Barrys, namely, who, though apparently severed from their Irish relations and kinsmen, carried on the descent to its last known holder (or occupier) David de Barry, temp. Edward III.
With the possessors of the great seignories of those who passed over into Ireland, in due time Lords. Barry of Barrymore, the case is essentially different. The former are quite untraceable in Pembrokeshire or Wales after the latter part of the reign of Edward III, whereas the Irish family of bygone days rose to note and eminence, from the time of the establishment of English rule in Ireland, down to the extinction of the title derived from the Barrymore Barony, and its lineal holders at the beginning of this century. And this is so far explainable, if the observation, made somewhere,
behalf of his brother, the Earl of Shrewsbury, is not clear; but both he, his eldest brother Robert de Bellême, and (according to Orderic Vitalis) his other brother, Roger of Poitou, were outlawed and banished the kingdom circa 1112, and their estates became forfeited to the Crown. The same chronicler gives his wife as Lafracoth, a daughter of one of the kings of Ireland, and asserts that through this alliance Arnoul aspired, in due course, to succeed his father-inlaw. Nevertheless, when Magnus, King of Norway, invaded Ireland, and was killed, Arnoul's wife was forcibly taken from him by her father. This would have occurred about 1114-15, for twenty years afterwards we find him reconciled to the King, and his death is subsequently recorded. (Cf. Ordericus Vitalis, Pars III, lib. xi, p. 794, ed. Migne.)
we think, in the pages of Irish Family History, is grounded on reliable fact, that the pedigrees of the original Anglo-Norman conquerors and colonists of Ireland were more carefully kept in that country than those of their kinsmen and contemporaries who remained settled in England. As evident examples in support of this, may be cited, at any rate, the genealogies of the Anglo-Irish Fitzgeralds (house of Leinster); the Butlers (that of Ormonde); the De Courceys (Barons Kinsale); the Barrys (Earls of Barrymore); and the Roches (Lords Viscount Fermoy). This observation, however, can only apply to the Barry descent after the first two generations, for to Giraldus de Barri himself is alone due what we know of them. It is palpably evident that the history of the Barrys of Manorbeer is the history of those also who became seated in and identified with Ireland. They are so authentically associated with the first conquest of that country, that the historical details of the first adventurers and their Anglo-Irish successors, for three or four generations, in their conquered and allotted territories, are to some extent, if not entirely, the history of the occupants of Manorbeer during that same period. In the latter part of the reign of Edward III, however, Manorbeer and its estates passed entirely out of the hands of the Barri family. The far greater importance which they acquired in their newly conquered and adopted country, as Lords of Olethan, etc., made them undoubtedly more indifferent to their English estate, and so it happened that, by some apparent failure of the ultimate proprietors' right, the lands became escheated and forfeited to the Crown. This may explain how, after falling into the King's hands, Manorbeer became constantly and successively the life-tenancy of some court-favourite for the time being.
According to Camden and the Itinerary of Giraldus de Barri (chap. vi), the Barris derived their name from Barri Island situated on the shore of the Severn, or rather that of Glamorganshire, of which they were
the lords. These are authorities which it may be bold to impugn, but we would rather believe on the contrary, and assert that the island in question derived its name from them. The family is so thoroughly and unmistakeably Norman by name, that its original head was beyond doubt one of Duke William's followers at the Conquest of England; indeed, the name is still identified with the existing family of Barri in France, and known as belonging to Gascony and Guienne to this day.
Before dealing with the respective descents of the Barrys of Wales and those of Ireland, we may observe that from the time of the conquest of Ireland, when Robert de Barri accompanied his uncle Robert FitzStephen in 1169-70, down to 1215, the Welsh and Irish properties must have been in the same hands, though between 1215 and 1324, the records seem to point to more than two lords. Chronologically arranged the Barrys' of Manorbeer and the AngloIrish Barrys of Olethan, are distinctively the same persons at the subjoined dates, and this is confirmed by recorded evidence :
LORDS OF MANORBEER.
1207, William, son of Philip de Barri.
1244, David de Barri.
LORDS OF OLETHAN.
1207, William, son of Philip de Barri.
1244, David de Barri
The most notable of the Manorbeer family, and the first probable possessor of the castle and its estates (as observed), from whom the succeeding owners of it may be deduced, was William de Barri. He was the son of Odo de Barri, and married (according to some, as his second wife) Angereth (or Angharad), the granddaughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr, by that prince's daughter
We use "Barri" and "Barry" indifferently, the older orthography being "Barri”.
Nesta, who was thus sister of Robert Fitz-Stephen,1 the prominent figure in the expedition of the first invasion of Ireland. Nesta' being sister (or daughter according to some) of Gruffydd ap Rhys, the ruling Prince of Wales at that time, his position by that alliance, in addition to his Anglo-Norman associations, became important and secure. He had been one of Arnoul (Arnulph) de Montgomeri's adherents, when Henry I (or as some assert, Rufus) entrusted to that individual, the conquest of that part of Wales, and doubtless obtained the said estates as his share on the partition of the country. We rega We regard him, therefore, as the common ancestor of the two families, although, in
1 Robert Fitz-Stephen is a person of too much consequence to pass over without further notice, for he was the first Englishman, or rather Anglo-Norman, who landed in Ireland with the avant garde of Strongbow's expeditionary force, his own party consisting of thirty knights, sixty esquires, and three hundred foot-soldiers or archers. He was the son of Stephen, Constable of Abertiny (or Cardigan) and Pembroke Castles, by Nesta, the sister of Gruffydd ap Rhys, Prince of South Wales. She had been one of Henry I's concubines, and had by him Henry, father of Miles and Robert Fitz-Henry, also adventurers under Strongbow. Her second husband was Gerald (ancestor of the Fitz-Geralds), by whom she had Maurice and William. This Maurice Fitz-Gerald accompanied Robert Fitz-Stephen, and was with him at the taking of Wexford in 1169-70. "After several successes", observes Dr. Smith (History of Cork, 1774) "he, together with Hugh de Lacy, Robert de Bruce, and his half-brother, Maurice Fitz-Gerald, were constituted by Henry II joint-Governors of Ireland." As soon as the English dominion was fairly established there by Henry II, the King, in partitioning the country, made large grants to those who had assisted in its reduction. He assigned the whole kingdom (or province) of Cork to Robert Fitz-Stephen and Milo de Cogan by charter dated 1177. This charter, according to Hovenden in vitâ Hen. II, was granted at the same time the King came to Oxenford and created his son John, King of Ireland.
2 There exists the greatest possible contradiction in this descent. We follow the Brut y Tywysogion as the most trustworthy. According to that chronicle, Rhys, son of Tewdwr, began to reign A.D. 1077, was expelled 1087, and ob. 1091. His son (brother to Nesta), Gruffydd ap Rhys, ob. 1136; his son (Nesta's nephew), Rhys ap Gruffydd, flourished t. Henry II (1171), s. Brut y Tywysogion, pp. xxvii, xxx, 51, 53; xxiv, xxxi, xxxiii, xxxiv, 119, 151; xxiv, 211, 213.
point of fact, one and the same. He must have died before 1166, for at that date we have evidence that his son Philip was paying tithes of his mills and wool in Pembrokeshire. (Ang. Sac., ii, p. 469.)
THE BARRYS OF IRELAND.
William de Barri (aforesaid) had four sons, Walter,2 Robert, Philip, and Gerald. Of these, the youngest is historically the best known as Giraldus Cambrensis, the early chronicler, and of this son we will make further mention postea. From the eldest son Robert (by the second marriage), and from Phillip the second son, all the Barrys of Ireland are descended. In as much as Robert's career was short-lived, and that he fell at the siege of Lismore, we are disposed to consider Philip as ancestor of the Irish branch, or of the Barrys generally.
Robert accompanied his uncle Fitz-Stephen as an adventurer in the conquest of Ireland, under Richard de Clare (second Earl of Pembroke, surnamed Strongbow), and formed one of the first detachment of the expeditionary force. The date of the expedition is given as A.D. 1169, and was undertaken in the first instance in favour of Dermod, provincial King of Leinster. His brother (Cambrensis) tells us that he was the first man who was wounded in the conquest of that kingdom,3 in attempting to scale the walls of
1 In 1131 he rendered account for £10 for the land of his father, as by Pipe Roll of that year, and was then of full age. He is supposed to have died circa 1160, or possibly a year later.
2 Walter is recorded as the son of a former wife.
3 Conspicuous above all others in the first invasion of Ireland. A few years before he undertook the task he had been betrayed by his vassals, when Constable of Cardigan (or Aberteivi), and given up to Rhys ap Gruffydd, who imprisoned him for three years, notwithstanding that he was his half-brother. By the intercession of his uncle, the Bishop of St. David's, and another half-brother, Maurice Fitz-Gerald, he obtained his release. (Cf. Brut y Tywysogion, p. 213)
This is related to the same effect, with other particulars, in a letter of one Florence MacCarthy, written during his imprison