Murragh History Notes

There are no records of the earliest church on the site by the Bandon River; whether the one that was undermined by the river was a rebuild on the site of one even older - or how long this site had been a religious site.

Notes taken from W. Maziere Brady's Clerical and Parochial Records of Cork, Cloyne and Ross. Published Dublin 1863.

Some abbreviations:
MS - manuscript
F - folio
li. - line
RV - Royal Visitations of the clergy, made for the crown (largely destroyed in 1922)
VB - Visitation books, containing copies of returns made by rural deans at the time of bishops' visitations through their dioceses, 1690 -1870 (many destroyed in 1922)
TCD - Trinity College Dublin

1591 – Daniel O'Hennehan appears as Vicar of Murragh. ‘Rectoria de Maraughe als moraghe spectat ad.ab. grayne per usurpati- Rector de Kilmine; obtinnit utrasqueper licent.' [MS TCD E.3.14]

1615 – Edward Clerke (Dean of Cloyne,q.v.) is Vicar of Murragh. ‘Mayrath (reidens) Rector Edrus Clerke, minister et predicator. Valor 4 li. Ecclesia et cancella repantor cum libris.' [RV RIA]

1624 – Nov. 24 Sirach Gilsland, R. Murraghe, quam rect. Et rect. De Marmullane Epus unvit. Inductus fuit, 30th Nov. 1624. [RV 1634}. 1634 – R. de Morraghe, Sirack Gilsland, predicator. Val. 12 li. Per an. [RV 1634] In Gilsland appears,'Ecclesia bene, deest cooperterum.' [VB 1639] In 1642, oct. 22 Gilsland depones to loss of £48, besides his Rectory of Morrath. [MS TCD, F.2.15]. Syracus Gilsland, literatus, was ordained Deacon on 26th June 1616, and priest on 9th Feb. 1618, both by the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore. From 1618 to 1636 he was R. marmullane. In 1624 he became Vicar Choral of Cloyne, and also R. Murragh. In 1618 he took a degree in TCD.

1661 – April 2 Barnabas Honeychurch, R. V. Murragh, per mortem Sirach Gilsland. [VB DR 1669 he appears 1661 to 1681 [VB DR] Barnabas Honeychurch was ordained Deacon and Priest on 18th Dec. 1633 by Richard, Bishop of Cork. From 1633 to 1667 he was R.V. Kilsillagh, in Ross and from 1666 to his death in 1682 was Vicar of Desertserges. He also held from 1637 to 1682 the R. Garrivoe and Killowen, and from 1661 to 1682 was R.V. Murragh. He appears also in 1639 as Curate of Kilbrittain and Ringrone. In his will (dated 30th May, 1682, and proved on 1st March following) he mentions his son Roger. He desired to be buried in Murragh Parish.

1682 – August 22 Daniel Lord, A.M. R.V. Murragh and V. Desertserges. [FF] He appears 1682 to 1704. [VB DR]

1699 Church in repair. Sermon once a fortnight. [VB 1699 DD] “1699. Murragh lyes higher up the river Bandon; a church near the river, at the south-west corner of the parish; about 80 persons at church on Sunday. The walls and roof of the church in pretty good repair; a pulpit and communion table; no seats but one; not flag'd; the churchyard inclos'd: about 30 acres of glebe near the church; good land. Over against the Murragh, on the south side of the river lyes the parish of Desert; the church is about half an English mile from the church of Murragh…..(description of Desert follows)……..Killowen is a rectory, sinecure, in Murragh parish.”

“Tuesday, May 28th, 1700. I view'd Murragh and Desert, and returned to Ballimoney. Murragh parish lyes on the north side of the river Bandon, it stands near the river; the church yard is fenc't. Divine service here once a fortnight, and once a fortnight at Desert, performed by Mr. Synge, Curate to Mr. Lord. John Lamb is Parish Clerk to both parishes. There are two churchwardens in this parish. The Clerk teaches school. 17 plowlands in this parish. The sacrament administered four times a year in this church; catechizing in part of the summer. Daniel Hurley, a quiet man, Popish Priest, serves this and four contiguous parishes; he has been here since before the late troubles. There are more Protestants than Papists in this parish. There are about 100 Protestant families here; about twenty of these families are Dissenters; they go to Bandon. There was a registry bought lately; a Bible and two Common Prayer-Books, Linnen, a silver chalice *and paten, and pewter flagon and plate. About 40 acres of glebe around the church; very good land set for about £5 or £6 per annum. The rectory is worth to Mr Lord about £70 per annum. They pay tythes of potatoes in this parish, and in all this country. Few poor here belonging to this parish. The Earl of Corke has almost all this parish…” (comments about Desert) “… Mr Synge has £30 per an. For serving this cure (Desert), and the cure of Murrogh, besides the English Bookmoney.

“Tuesday the 28th May 1700 “(possible printing mistake as this is the same date as above. I would imagine this write up is a later date) “It [Murragh Church] is in repair, only the east end and some part of the south side hangs over; ‘tis built, as the other churches generally are, with stone and clay, slated; ther is a pulpit, desk and one pew. A good church-yard, fenc't; tis undermined by the river; part of it is worn away. This parish is worth about £70 or £80 per an. to the Incumbent. The glebe lies round the church, containing about 30 acres. There was formerly a vicarage-house within the church-yard. There are Common prayer-books, but they borrowed the Bible from Desert. Two churchwardens. The lands of this parish belong almost entirely to the Earl of Cork. Captain Bernard lives in this parish; some Dissenters live in this parish. Mr Lord the Incubent, allows £30 per annum, and the obventions of the Protestants to Mt Synge, for serving the cures of this parish and Desert. Divine service here once a fortnight, and Mr Synge preaches at Desert once a fortnight. Desert church in good repair, well furnish't with seats, a very good roof. A table-cloth, pewter flagon and silver cup that serves both Murragh and Desert**. [Downes' Tour]

1692 to 1796. Murragh was held with Kilbrogan (north of Bandon)

1796 – May 7 Ambrose Hickey, A.B. R.V. Murragh [FF]

1808 Order of Council for changing site of Murragh Church. [Lib. Mun.] In January, 1808 a commission finds that Hickey had expended (after memorial, etc) £1,905 13s 51/2d in building a Glebe House and offices, and that the yearly value of Murragh was, for three years last past, over £900 And in 1809, January 12, the Bishop certifies for £1,055, expended by Hickey, over and above £850 advanced to him by First Fruits. [D.R.]

1811 – April 18, Murragh new church was consecrated by the name of St Patrick. It was built on about three roods Eng, Stat. Meas., of the lands of Farranthomas, granted by Thomas Ware, esq.

1812 – June 15, Hickey makes another application to build offices, &c. (the value of Murragh having increased), which is granted by the Bishop, who, in 1813, Oct.15, issues a commission to value, which reports on June 2 1814, that Hickey spent £69 2s 7d. “in erecting a range of offices fit to contain cars, carts, straw and sheep” and that the yearly value of Murragh is £1,150. The Bishop certifies for these amounts on 12th Oct. 1814. [D.R.]

Ambrose Hickey was a scholar of T.C.D. in 1770, and afterwards took the degree of D.D. He was ordained Deacon on 16th May, 1773, at Kildare, and Priest on 5th April, 1774, at Cork. From 1775 to 1780, he was curate at Inishannon. From 1780 to 1784 he was P.Donoghmore, in Ross. From 1784 to 1796 he was R. Ballymoney, and from 1796 to his death in 1826 he was R. Murragh. He married Jane, dau. of Falkiner Herrick, esq., of Shippool, by Sarah, dau. of Thomas Bousfield, esq., of Cork, and had issue two sons, William, Rector of Mulrakin, Ferns, but better known as “Martin Doyle” and Ambrose, Incumbent of Ballinaboy, q.v.. he left, also, three daughters, Eliza, wife of Rev. Anthony Edwards, Jane (married Sampson Stawell 1828), and Anne.

1826 – July 7. Robert Kingsborough St. Lawrence, A.M. RV Murragh, certified under £600 [D.R.] In 1824 he was made Treasurer of Ross, q.v.

1830 – The Protestant population is 374

1837 “Murragh; a rectory and vicarage, with cure; 3 miles long by ¾ broad, containing 8,000A 2R 2P ; gross population 3,270; one curate employed at an annual stipend of £75 Brit.; tithe composition, £851; 37a 0r 16p of glebe, valued at 18s per acre, £33 7s 9½ d., subject to diocesan schoolmaster, £1 6s 8d. Murragh glebe-house built in 1808, under the new Acts, at the cost of £1,850 15s 4½d. Brit., whereof £784 12s 3¾d was granted by way of loan, and £92 6s 1¾d. in that of gift, by the late Board of First Fruits, and the residue, of £973 16s 11d was supplied out of the private funds of the builder, as well as a further sum of £63 16s 2¾d. under certificate of improvements ; the present Incumbent is next in succession to the builder, and having paid his predecessor £1,037 13s 1¾d., he will be entitled to receive £657 13s 10¼d from his successor on account of the building and improvement charges; of the loan aforesaid there remained £84 17s 11d. chargeable on the benefice in 1832, repayable by annual instalments of £5 1s 3d. Incumbent is usually resident. One church, capable of accommodating 300 persons, built in 1810 at the cost of £507 13s 10¼d Brit., granted in way of loan by the late Board of First Fruits, of which loan there remained £107 16s 1d chargeable on the benefice in 1832, repayable by annual instalments of £5 14s 6d.; divine service is celebrated once on Sundays, and on the principle festivals; the sacrament is administered monthly, and on Christmas Day; the benefice is a rectory.” [Parl. Rep]

1860R. St. Lawrence, rector; Thomas Bennett, Curate. The church and glebe-house in order; part of the glebe is let, and some is in the curate's occupation. The rector is non-resident. Divine service twice in summer on Sundays and once in winter, and on the usual holidays; evening service in winter at the glebe-house. Sacrament monthly, and at festivals; average communicants, 25. 52 children are on the rolls of a Church Education School. The Protestant population is 223 the present rent charge is given as £514, and the land is worth £33; total value, £547, with residence.

* = This was probably the old one that was smelted down to help make the new one?

** = Probably the new chalice of 1704


(Notes taken from J.H.Cole's Church and Parish Records of the United Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Published Cork 1903 - together with supplemental script from The Representative Church Body Library, Dublin.)

This (parish) consists of the union of the parishes of Murragh and Templemartin.

1826 – July 7. ROBERT KINGSBOROURGH St. LAWRENCE.A.M., R.V. Murragh (Brady)

Robert K. St. Lawrence was third son of the Honourable and Rt. Revd. Thomas St Lawrence, Bishop of Cork and Ross, by Frances, eldest dau. of the Revd Henry Coghlan. D.D. He was born on 29th September, 1797. was ordained Deacon on 19th May, 1822 and Priest, 13th April, 1823, both at Cork. From June to October, 1823, he was V. of Fanlobbus; and from October, 1823, to 1826, he was V. Kilmacabea and Kilfaughnabeg, and R.V. Myross, Ross. He was also treasurer of Ross (Cathedral). He died at Brussels on the 21st June, 1866 aged 69 years.

1866 – JAMES FREKE, A.B., R. Murragh, per mortem St. Lawrence. Freke became R. Kilroan in 1872.

1872 – September 4. James SMITH RUBY, M.A., R. Murragh, vice Freke.

Edward Carr Carroll (Brady,III., 162) P.C. of Templemartin became R. Kanturk, Cloyne, on 1st October, 1879, whereupon the parish of Templemartin was joined to Murragh. Upon this, John Harding Cole, B.A. was appointed curate of the union, residing at Templemartin Glebe, in 1879. He resigned in 1880, and was succeeded by Geo. Hamilton, who resigned in 1884, and was succeeded by J.Knox, who died in 1885, and was succeeded by J. Levingston, B.A., who, in 1892, became R. Drinagh, and was succeeded by Fredrick Girling, B.A., who became R. Drinagh, in November, 1902, and he was succeeded by R.Harbord, M.A. the present Curate.

(1904 - 31) There are two churches - Murragh (or Farranthomas) and Templemartin. Various improvements have been made in the former, such as panelling the chancel and walls round the church, restoration of roof, etc. the latter also has been much improved recently : the chancel has been handsomely wainscoted in pitch pine, a very beautiful memorial book stand, of polished brass, jewelled and embossed, for the holy table, has been presented, as the inscription states, “In memory of the late Revd. Thomas Biggs, LL.D., Perpetual Curate of Templemartin, from AD 1847 to AD 1860. Presented by his daughter, Jane Biggs.” Dr. Biggs, who was a son of Thomas Joseph Biggs, of Bandon, reigned Templemartin in 1861. He died on 26th of August, 1881. Murragh Church, at Farranthomas, was built in 1811.

The former church, standing near the river, was undermined by it and carried away, together with much of the surrounding burial ground.

There are in Murragh church a handsome silver chalice and paten, bearing the inscription “Deo - In usum Ecclesiæ Parochialis de Murragh Calicem hunc suis impensis instauratum et auctum dicavit Daniel Lord, S.T.D., Rector ibidem. Anno Christi 1704.” Rev. J. S. Ruby also presented a silver flagon in 1876; and he has erected shed for stabling the parishioners' horses at the church. Divine Service is held in both churches on Sundays and festivals at 12 noon, and at Murragh also during summer months at 5pm. The Rector resides at Murragh Glebe, which is a fine house, with excellent offices, pleasantly situated on the banks of the Bandon, and having 36 acres of Glebe Land, of which 28 are arable;6 acres have been purchased from R.C.B. leaving only 22 acres for future rector. The rent is £50 a year. The curate resides in Templemartin Glebe House, which is a comfortable one, close to the church, with offices, and having 16 acres of glebe land, free of rent. The church population of the union is about 235. it is under diocesan scheme. The interest on capital given by the Duke of Devonshire and others, amounting to £34 a year, goes towards the assessment, which is £214; the stipend of the Rector is £250. The present Incumbent holds a “good service” pension. The salary of the curate is £120, with a free house and land. There is a parochial school.

Parocial organisations support Seamen's Mission; C.M.S.; S.P.G.; Prot. Orph. Soc.; South American Missions, etc. James Smith Ruby, b.18th August 1822, at Knockane House, Donoughmore, near Blarney, son of Henry Ruby, of that place, by his wife, Susan youngest dau. of the late James Smith, of Newmarket. Entered T.C.D. in July, 1844;grad.B.A. 1849; M.A. 1876. Was ordained Deacon, 22nd May, 1853, and Priest 18th December, same year, both at Cork, for curacy of Donoughmore, Cloyne; Curate of ightermurragh, July 1854; Curate of Inchinabaccy, 1870; and of Killowen Church in 1871. He married, 16th February, 1860, Jane Alicia, youngest daughter of Henry Bennett, of Cork, author of some poems (“The Steamboat,” etc), vide “Journal of Cork Archaeological Society” for 1894 - and by her, who d. in 18–, has issue a sone Henry Edward, in holy orders, now Rector of Ardnageehy (qv) and two daughters, Anna Colburn, and Sara T., wife of Penrose Hawkes, of Inniscarra. Revd. J.S.Ruby is uncle of Revd. Charles Johnston, A.M. Rector of Kirubbin, Co. Down, who married, in 1896, the Hon. Nora Skeffington, eldest dau. of the present Viscount Massarene and Ferrard. Mr Ruby has published a pamphlet on Baptism, some articles in magazines, etc.

Supplemental notes
James Smith Ruby – retired 1903; d. March 23 1909, aged 86