(Cryan / Crean / Crehan)
This page is maintained by
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
(Kevin Cryan) who can be contacted
through his art website at
22 / 1 / 2023
BLAZON: Argent a wolf rampant sable between three
human hearts gules.
CREST: A demi-wolf rampant sable holding between the
paws a human heart or.
Crean family motto:
'Cor mundum crea in me Deus'
create a pure heart in me,
and make my spirit strong again.'
Origins of the name Ó Croidheáin
We can see from the earliest transliterations of Ó
Croidheáin (O'Craidhen, O'Craian, Crean) and their connections with
tombs depicting a coat of arms with three hearts that Croidhe (or 'croí' in new
spelling) referred to the Gaelic for heart.
The second part of Croidheáin, 'áin' most likely refers to 'án' which means
'noble', 'pure', 'pleasant', 'elegant' as in 'an t-aos án': the fairies
(literally the pure/noble people/folk) (see Dineen's Irish-English Dictionary).
This is backed up by the Crean family motto: 'Cor mundum crea in me Deus' (Psalm
51:10) which means: 'God, create a pure heart in me'.
The modern spelling of Croidheáin, 'croíán' is still used today in Gaelic for a
'gallant' or a 'suitor' (pure heart)(see Ó Dónaill's Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla).
 Spelt O'Craidhen in The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (Irish: Annála
Ríoghachta Éireann) or the Annals of the Four Masters (Annála na gCeithre
Máistrí, 1632 - 1636)
 A tomb in the Dominican friary in Sligo reads: "Here lies Cormac O Craian
and Aecca nic Aengusa his wife" showing the Crean coat of arms (1506).
 Spelt Crean on the Crean - Mc Dermot Crucifixion Plaque (1668), Ardcarne
Cemetery, Co Roscommon showing the Crean coat of arms.
Cryan Family History
manages the Cryan surname Project on FTDNA and created a page for research on
The following list contains files, pictures and
information that has been gathered from many different sources, including
Internet websites and lists, the National Library, the National Archives, the
Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths, Registry of Deeds, Military Archives,
Roscommon and Kerry County Libraries etc.
The Rootsweb CRYAN-LIST (1998-2007)
The CRYAN-LIST on Rootsweb was set up in early 1998
and has been a great source of information for Cryan researchers. The CRYAN-LIST
contained much information on many variants of the O Croidheain surname: Croidheain, Craigen/Creighan, Crawn/Craun, Crane,
Crean, Craen, Creen-e, Cre(a)g(h)an, Cre(a)han, Cro(u)ghan, Crain-e,
MacCroghan/McCrohan, Crowen, Cryan-s, Crion, Creyon, Krine, Crine, Cryne,
According to E. MacLysaght (Irish Families) (O)Cryan,Crynes
are Co. Roscommon versions of Crean - "O Crean,Crehan - According to MacFirbis,
O Crean and O Cregan are synonymous, Crehan being a variant of Crean. In Irish
Crean and Crehan are O Croidheain (spelt O Craidhen by the Four Masters) ...
These families formed a minor sept of the Cineal Eoghan belonging to Donegal,
with a branch in the neighbouring county of Sligo. They are twice mentioned by
the four Masters as wealthy merchants, ... in 1506 as of Donegal; in 1572 as of
Sligo. The Clongowes manuscript gives them a higher status : the then head of
the family was John O Crean of Ballynegare, and inanother place in the
manuscript O Crean of Annagh is stated to have been one of the leading families
of Co. Sligo in the sixteenth century. According to the "Annals of Loch Ce" the
Bishop of Elphin in 1582 was an O Crean, but he was "removed" in 1584. Father
Daniel O Crean (d. c. 1616) of Holy Cross, Sligo was Provincial of the Dominican
order in a period of intensive persecution."
Books with references to the early Creans:
Aspects of Town and County over 750 Years
John C. McTernan (Has a foto of Crean tomb in Abbey)
MacDermot of Moylurg: The Story of a Connacht Family
Dermot MacDermot (Author), Conor MacDermot (Illustrator)
Power, Politics and Land: Early Modern Sligo, 1568-1688
Mary O'Dowd (Author)
The Irish Dominicans, 1536-1641
Thomas Flynn (Author)
History of Sligo: County and Town, FROM THE ACCESSION OF JAMES I. TO THE
REVOLUTION OF 1688; With Illustrations from Original Drawings
Vol. 1 (Classic Reprint)
W. G. Wood-Martin (Author)
The History of Sligo: Town and County
Terence O'Rorke (Author)
The Irish & Anglo-Irish Landed
Gentry (orig. 1884, reprint 1969)
Irish Pedigrees - Vol. I Irish Pedigrees - Vol.
II or The Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation
(Limited American Edition, New York, 1915)
The Streets of Sligo
MacDermot of Moylurg: The
Story of a Connacht Family
Dermot MacDermot (Author), Conor MacDermot (Illustrator)
O CREAN (O Croidheain)
The O Creans were a minor sept of the Cenel Eoghan in Donegal. A branch
settled in Carbury in the north of County Sligo. From an early date they were
merchant family and are frequently and favourably mentioned in the Annals.
Traders were a base class in mediaeval Ireland and it is most unusual for the
Annalists to mention merchants at all, so the O Creans must have been worthy as
well as prosperous people. By the 17th century they had become considerable
1506 "Domhnall 0 Crean, a rich charitable prosperous humane merchant, died
suddenly while hearing Mass in the Monastery of Donegal." (A.C.)
1506 A tomb in the Dominican friary in Sligo reads: "Here lies Cormac 0 Craian
and Aecca nic Aengusa his wife."
1528 "John 0 Croidhin, the unique son of a merchant who was of most fame an name
for keeping up a guest house in his own time for the poor of God and for every
person of the needy folk beside and who bought more than he sold died in Sligo
in his own house on March 14, after gaining victory from world and from demon.
And his wife, namely Una, daughter of MacDermot Roe, died in the year next
after, among her friends in Moylurg, after unction and after penance." (A.U.)
1572 "Henry 0 Crean, a wealthy affluent merchant of North Connacht, died." (A.F.M.)
1560-1594. Andrew 0 Crean is mentioned in Wood-Martin as a priest of the O.P.
diocese of Elphin in 1560. He was made Bishop of Elphin by papal decree
28/1/1562. In 1582 he was appointed by Dublin as Anglican Bishop, in succession
to Roland de Burgo, himself a Catholic but Anglican Bishop of Elphin at the same
time as being Catholic Bishop of Clonfert. (See F.X. Martin's "Bernard 0 Higgin,
Bishop of Elphin" in Studies in Irish History 1979.) According to Fr. Martin,
Rome was very out of touch with this remote district! Andrew was replaced as
Anglican Bishop in 1584 by John Lynch and died at the Friary in Sligo in 1594.
(John Lynch is thus described in A.L.C. 1588:- "There was a wicked heretical
bish-op in Elphin; and God performed great miracles upon him. His place of resk
dente was in the Grainseach of Machaire-riabhach; and a shower of snow was shed
for him, and a wild apple was not larger than each stone of it; and not a, grain
was left in his town; and it was with shovels the snow was removed from the
houses; and it was in the middle of summer that shower fell." According to
Harris (Ware's Works), Lynch, who resigned the See in 1611, "lived a concealed
and died a public Papist.")
1585 William 0 Crean, Sligo, is in the Composition of Connacht. John 0 Crean of
Ballynegare, Carbury, is in a Perrott Inquisition.
1590. lohn, son of Owen 0 Crean, the least wicked merchant that was in Erinn,
died in Sligo." (A.L.C.) John married Annabla MacDermot, a daughter of Eoghan,
king of Moylurg 1533-34. Before this marriage, Annabla had had children by Sir
Brian na Murtha 0 Rourke, one of whom was Brian 0 Rourke, so that, in the Battle
of the Curlews in 1599, the two leaders in the Irish army were her son, Brian Og
0 Rourke, and her nephew Conor Og MacDermot, a grandson of Eoghan. Later on, in
more peaceful times, Annabla's 0 Crean son, Andrew, (see tree below) and Conor
Og's son Owen were close colleagues in the affairs of County Sligo. 1590/91 A James 0 Crean was High Sheriff of Sligo and informed the Binghams
of 0 Rourkes flight to Scotland with Trevor.
1598 John 0 Crean was a prominent County Sligo landowner with his seat at
Ballynegare. (Another 0 Crean seat was Annagh, now Hazelwood).
1603 James I Pardons included many 0 Creans, namely:- Donald, Fra. Richard,
Henry, Arthur mc William, Thomas, Richard mc Robert, Cormac, Henry mc Robuck,
all merchants of Sligo, Andrew Fitzjohn of Galway, and Arthur Fitzedmund,
1613 Andrew 0 Crean, gent., was granted: In Carbury By. the town and lands of
Ballynegarne otherwise Ballynecarne and 12 quarters; in Tirerrill By. the
'chapel or cell' of Ballindoon.
1621 In the Grant of a Charter to Sligo, Andrew 0 Crean was nominated Constable,
and Robert and William 0 Crean were on the Council; as was Owen mc Conor Og
1625 Alice Jones, wife of Roebuck 0 Crean, was buried in Sligo abbey.
1629 Andrew 0 Crean was High Sheriff of Sligo.
1631 Fr. Daniel 0 Crean was Provincial O.P. at the Dominican priory, Sligo,
1631- 1; 34. In the Confederate wars, he was captured at Ballymote in 1643 but
was - allowed to go free by Sir Charles Coote. He died in 1655.
1641 Andrew 0 Crean, of Crean's Castle, was again High Sheriff. The original
Castle of Sligo had been effectively demolished by 0 Donnell towards the end of
the Elizabethan wars and the two 'castles' surviving in 1641/42 were the
fortified homes of Andrew 0 Crean and of Lady Jones. In this year, when the
'massacre of the Protestants' took place, Andrew 0 Crean helped Mrs. Ann
Stanoway to escape to Owen MacDermot's house at Drumdoe (see page 225). Andrew
had sons, Captains John and William, in the 1641 Rising and a Roebuck 0 Crean
also took Part; as did Father Daniel 0 Crean, above.
1658 Peter 0 Crean, merchant of Sligo, died. (Will.) His daughter had died
before him. She was married to a Nicholas 0 Crean. They had a son, John.
At some time after the 1641-49 rebellion had been suppressed, Andrew Crean and
'Agnes née French (presumably his wife) were transplanted from Annagh, Co.
Sligo, to Annagh, Co. Mayo (just north of Ballyhaunis) with 600 acres
compensation. A Julian Crean was 'jointly with the above' with 634 acres. I
cannot place him.
Andrew's son, Captain John, who had fought in the 1641 Rising, had a daughter
Ann who married Francis Taaffe, great-grandson of Sir William Taaffe, the
Elizabethan adventurer (see page 430). Their son Nicholas, said to have been
born in Crean's Castle in 1677, succeeded a cousin as 6th Viscount Taaffe. He
died abroad in 1769, having become a General in the Austrian Service and Count
of the Holy Roman Empire. He founded the illustrious line of the Counts Taaffe
John Crean, gent, and Anthony Crean, merchant, were made burgesses of Sligo,
under James II, in 1687.
William Crean of Sligo, gent, married Nora daughter of Christopher Jones of
Lisgeoghegan, County Roscommon. Jones died in 1689.
Major Crean (British Army), with Colonel Maurice Moore, revived the Volunteers
of County Sligo in 1914. He died on May 27, 1923. (obituary in London Times.)
An Elinor, daughter of Roebuck O Crean (on dates probably Roebuck mc Owen
married Cormack MacDermot of Ardcarn. He died 1702. Their memorial tablet is at
Ardcarn. One of their daughters married Christopher Taaffe . A Roebuck O Crean,
in France, corresponded with a Terence MacDermot 'of Galway' in 1689; the
relevant papers were lost in the Four Courts fire in 1922.
(Photograph: Caoimhghin Ó
(Photograph: Caoimhghin Ó
(Photograph: Caoimhghin Ó
(Photograph: Caoimhghin Ó
(Photograph: Caoimhghin Ó
Ardcarne Cemetery, Co Roscommon
Crean - Mc Dermot Crucifixion Plaque (1668)
There was a monument to Andrew O Crean and his wife Eleanor French in the Sligo
Abbey (Dominican Priory) showing the French family coat of arms. [It is now
built into the altar of Tober-an-ailt, a holy well 21/2 miles south-southeast of
Sligo.(Not true, still in O Crean altar tomb in Sligo Abbey)] Andrew Fitzjohn of
Galway, mentioned above in the Pardons of 1603, must have been trading at that
time in Galway where the Frenches were merchants. In the transplantations,
Andrew's wife is called Agnes née French. Either this is a mistake or Andrew may
have married twice into the French family.
Some of the MacDermot links with this family are as follows. Annabla, Andrew's
mother, was a daughter of Owen MacDermot, K.M. 1533-34. Owen mc Conor Og of the
Drumdoe MacDermots (q.v.) was made a ward of Court in 1607, being then a minor.
His first guardian was Sir William Taaffe but when he obtained livery in 1617,
the guardianship had been transferred to Andrew Crean. Owen and Andrew were
closely associated in County Sligo affairs until the 1641-49 troubles. The
Cormack MacDermot, d. 1702, whose monument is at Ardcarn, may have been a son of
this Owen. His wife, Eleanor, was a daughter of Roebuck O Crean, who may have
been the son of Roebuck son of Owen in the above tree, or the Roebuck who took
part in the 1641 Rising - they were probably the same Roebuck.
The O Creans, the O seems to have been dropped after the 1641-49 Rising,
continued into modern history in the family of Crean-Lynch, as shown in the tree
below, taken from the McDonagh MSS in Sligo County Library, amplified by B.L.G.
(Ireland) 1871 edition.
According to MacLysaght, the surname Cryan, common in County Roscommon, derives
from Crean. Creans were still numerous in Tireragh in 1857. The firm of James
Crean & Co. of Dublin, originally soap manufacturers, was founded by Creans from
Crean Coats of Arms
Crean Coat of Arms
From base of stone on right:
"WEE TWO ARE ONE BY HIS DECREE,
THAT RAISETH FROM ETERNITY,
WHO FIRST ERECTED HAVE THESE STONES,
WEE ROBUCRE CREAN ELICATIONES."
From base of stone in middle
"COR M UNDUM CREA IN ME DEUS"
Head Stone Of Dominic and Mary
Crean Of Sligo (1743)
"Here Lies The Body of Mrs Mary
Crean Alias Loftus Wife Of
Dominic Crean Of Sligo
Who Departed This Life The c - Day Of
Nov 1743 Aged ----- years. Also
The Body of Mr Dominic Crean
Who Departed This Life The 4th
Day Of Oct 1743 Aged 57 years.
This Stone Was Erected By
His Elder Son Captain John
Crean of Jamaica."
This Stone is located on the ground
against the Abbey wall immediately on the right
after passing through the far right
Arch of the Rood Screen. It is beneath the
remains of Roebuck O'Crean's stone.
Mary Crean Lynch (1759)
Crean Coat of Arms (Photograph: Caoimhghin
"Mrs Mary Crean alias Lynch of Stran-
dhill departed this life 2nd July 1759
aged 84 years. Mrs Monica Geoghegan
alias Crean of Strandhill departed this
life 17th October 1759 aged 48. This
monument was erected by Mr Murragh
Geoghegan for his mother in law
who here lies."
The Irish & Anglo-Irish
Landed Gentry (orig. 1884, reprint 1969)
p. 456: "Symon CRANE" listed in the
Grants, Under the Acts of Settlement &
p. 35: The BENNETT Family: "134. Eleanor, daughter of Nathaniel WARREN; m.
Robert CREAN of Dublin (of the CREAN-LYNCH Family) .... This Eleanor in 1838
removed to the City of NY with her children.
"135. Henrietta-Agnes CREAN (d. in Saxony 31 mar, 1873); daughter of Eleanor.
Married in NYC 6-June-1840, James Gordon BENNETT, who was born at New Mill,
Keith, Banfshire, in Scotland; was the founder of the "NY Herald" Newspaper;
and died in 1872, leaving issue one son and one daughter ..."
footnote: "This Henrietta-Agnes CREAN had a brother Robert CREAN of NYC, who
d. s.p.; and two sisters - 1. Helena-Margarette CREAN, 2. Georgina CREAN.
This Helena-Margarette CREAN married, first, Lindsay Downes RICHARDSON of
Dublin (son of Marmaduke Jenni RICHARDSON of Armagh) and had: 1. Linsay Robert
RICHARDSON of NYC, Capt. 7th NY N.G. (d.s.p. 1873); Marmaduke Jenni Schomberg
RICHARDSON, NYC, living in 1881; 3. Eleanor RICHARDSON-BISHOP, D.S.p. in 1880
- all three born in Dublin. And Georgina CREAN, mentioned above, m.
Vichenburg of NY, living in Holland in 1881." [from Leslie]
The History of Sligo: Town and County
by Terence O'Rorke
EARLY HISTORY OF SLIGO CREAN FAMILY
HISTORY OF SLIGO - O'RORKE (P.275 - 277)
It is to be regretted that there is no list extant of the Priors of Holy Cross,
some of whom must have been men worth remembering. In the absence of any record,
the writer thinks it may be of use to give here, in chronological order, the
names of such Priors as he has come across, with a word or two of biography
where he can, leaving to others to add new names, and to enlarge the
biographical notices. The following are the names he has met with:-
1. Manus, son of Baethghalach MacEgan, Prior of Sligo, died, according to the
Annals of Loch Ce, in 1411. The name of this prior does not occur either in the
Four Masters or the Hibernia Dominicana.
2. Brian, the son of Dermot McDonogh, as we have seen, was Prior in 1416, when
the convent was restored after the burning; His name is given in the Four
Masters, the Annals of Loch Ce, and Hibernia Dominicana.
3. The next prior, we know of is Andrew Crean, or O'Crean, who from Prior of
Sligo, became Bishop of Elphin. He was a native of Sligo, and a member of the
most distinguished family then in the place after that of the O'Connors. They
appear to have settled in Sligo towards the close of the fifteenth century; and
the first of this branch of whom we have any record, is Cormac, who is buried in
the beautiful altar tomb which stands in the nave of the church, and which bears
a Latin inscription, thus rendered by Mr. Langrishe, the distinguished architect
and antiquary, in the "Kilkenny Journal" of October, 1884:
"Hic . jacet . Cormacus. Ocraian Et Ehon ac . Nanangasa . uxor. Eis . an . Do.,
Here lieth Cormac O'Craian, and Nanangasa, his wife, The year of the Lord, 1506.
Originally of Tirconnell, where Donnell O'Crean, "a rich, humane merchant, died
suddenly while hearing mass in the monastery of Donegal, in 1506", the O'Creans
came, probably in the wake of O'Donnell, to Sligo, where they devoted
them-selves successfully to mercantile pursuits, as the Annals of the Four
Masters record, under the year 1572, the death of Henry O'Crean, "a rich and
affluent merchant of Lower Connaught."
It is feared that other members of the family were not always so honourably
employed as these merchants, for we find "Bishop Crean, of Sleegaugh," granted
in 1547, a fee of 12d, a day for life, by Henry the Eight, which, considering
the date of the gift and the character of the giver, is, to say the least, a
suspicious transaction; while in 1593, another of the family, James O'Crean,
appears to have acted as spy for the English authorities against some Irish
bishops, including the Primate, Doctor Magauran. If these men were as guilty as
they look, the infamy belongs to themselves, and indeed, produced men as
honourable and virtuous as any of their day.
The O'Creans were not long in Sligo when they began to invest money in land; and
before many years had passed, they held landed estate not only near the town,
but in carious other parts of the country. Andrew O'Crean of Annagh, or
Hazelwood and much of the parishes of Carbury and St. John, in the barony of
Carbury, but also considerable stretches of land in Leyney, Tireragh, and
Coolavin, as well as the abbey of Ballirdoon, in the barony of Tirerrill. He
appears to have died in 1641.
Bishop O'Crean, who has probably uncle of this Andrew, was Prior of Sligo
convent in 1561, when Bernard O'Higgins, Bishop of Elphin, having resigned that
see in his favour, he set out for Rome, bearing with him the resignation, and a
letter of recommendation from the Very Rev. David Wolf, S.J., who, like
Monsignor Persico at present, was then acting as Apostolic Delegate of the Holy
See in Ireland, and whose word was decisive in everything that regarded the
administration of the Irish church.
This proceeding of the Prior, in going to Rome on such an errand, is in marked
contrast with the conduct of a few others whom we read or hear of - of some,
who, under the influence of genuine Christian humility, shrink, in reality as
well as in seeming, from the responsibility of the episcopate;and of others,
who, perhaps, from "the pride that apes humility," in dallying with offers of
preferment, are only indulging personal vanity, or some equally unamiable
constitutional idiosyncrasy; but Dr. O'Crean, when the call of duty came to him
later on, proved his humility and becoming a simple friar again - a proof vastly
more satisfactory than any amount of "Nolo episcopari" professions.
On reaching France, in the journey to Rome, Father O'Crean fell sick, and became
unable to proceed further; but the Pope, on receiving his testimonials, and
seeing his qualifications, issued the Brief for his consecration, which,
apparently, took place in France, though this is not expressly mentioned. The
appointment is thus recorded in the Consistorial Acts:-"Die 28 Januarii, 1562:
referente Cardinali 1.1orono, Sua Sanctitas providit ecclesiae, Elphinensi in
Hibernia vacanti per resignationem Reverendi Domini O'Higgins (written
O'Huyghiun,) ordinis Sancti Augustini Professoris de persona Domini Andreae
O'Crean, Hiberni, ordinis Praedicatorum Professoris, quem R.P.David, presbyter
Societatis Jesu in Hibernia commorans per suas litteras commendavit."
Unlike his predecessor, Dr. O'Higgins, whose self-will and untractableness of
temper lost him the esteem of the people, Dr. O'Crean was a favourite with all
classes in his diocese, but more particularly with the native inhabitants of
Sligo, who were proud of him as one of themselves. The feeling was mutual, for
the good bishop had a special live for his fellow townsmen; and among the
benefits, conferred by him on his native town, may be mentioned, in particular,
a cross, which he erected at the bottom of the present Market Street.
278 HISTORY OF SLIGO.
In thinking of market crosses, which were formerly very numerous in England,
there being about 5,000 of them there before the Reformation, and not rare in
Ireland, one must not conceive of them, as if they were mere naked pieces of
stone or wood in the form of a cross; for they were often arched and elaborate
stone structures, roomy enough to afford shelter to the market people upon the
coming on of rain, so that, in erecting this Market Cross, Dr. O'Crean made a
handsome and expensive present to the people of Sligo. And, the people must have
been the more grateful, as it was the bishop's own money that paid for it.
A drinking fountain may have been combined with the market cross, for the
combination was not unusual; and the discovery of a well, some time ago, at the
foot of Market Street, on the spot where the cross stood, makes it probable,
that the fountain was a part of the structure.
From 1562, the date of his appointment, to 1584, Dr. O'Crean seems to have been
unmolested by the State in the performance of his episcopal functions, and even
to have had the formal sanction of the authorities for the last two years of
this period; but being summoned, in the year 1584, to take the oath of
supremacy, and refusing, says Dr. Lynch, " to defile himself by such a
sacrilegious act," the Government set him aside as far as they could, and put in
his place John Lynch, to whom, of course, they gave the temporalities of the
see. Lynch was an unprincipled hypocrite, and in such bad odour with the people,
that they ascribed to his presence even the natural evils which befel the place
of his residence, Grange in Magherow."
There was," says the Annals of Loch Ce,
" a wicked, heretical bishop in Elphin, and God performed great miracles upon
him. And his place of residence was the Grain sech of Magherow ; and a shower of
snow was shed for him, and a wild apple was not larger than each stone of it;
and not a grain was left in his town; and it was with shovels the snow was
removed from the houses; and it was in the middle month of Summer that shower
fell." Even the Protestants came, in the course of time, to think as ill of him
as the Catholics, and, as he was reconciled to the Church before his death, in
1611, Ware says of him, "He voluntarily resigned his See, on the 19th of
August, 1611, having by alienations, fee farms, and other means, so wasted and
destroyed it, that be left it not worth 200 marks a year. It is said, he lived a
concealed, and died a public Papist."
"While this wretched man lived amid the
execrations of his neighbours, Bishop O'Crean was surrounded by the love and
respect of all, in the convent of Holy Cross, to which he retired, in 1584, and
in which he lived, a model of every virtue, to 1594, when he went to his reward.
He was buried, of course, in the convent, though this is not stated; and the
small stone statue of a bishop, or abbot, with crozier in hand, which, after
having been removed from, its proper place, now stands on the slab of the high
altar, may have been intended to perpetuate his memory.
The proper place of this
statue was, no doubt, in the buttress of the east cloister, which at present
lacks a part or member, for the statue exactly fills the space of the missing
member. It is, perhaps, still more likely that the statue was intended to
represent Saint Dominick, the founder of the Order of Friars Preachers, for a
statue of Saint Francis, the patriarch of the Franciscans, occupies an analogous
position in one of the cloister buttresses of Creevalea Abbey.
The writer is pained to have to add, that having just been to Holy Cross to test
certain measurements, made some time ago, he found the buttress of the east
cloister gone, though existing in fair preservation at the date of a preceding
visit, a fact which shows the alarming rate at which the beauties of the
structure are disappearing, and the need of taking prompt and vigorous action to
stop or check the vandalism in progress.
It is recorded that Doctor O'Crean had a special devotion to St. Ursula, and her
The drawing is from Wood Martin's book, A History of Sligo Vol II, He gives no
source or date for it, so the origin of the drawing remains unknown.
Francis Taafe, was born at Crean’s Castle, Sligo, his son Nicolas Taafe, was
also born at Crean’s Castle in
(Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 55). (also
of the Family of Taaffe)." Map
showing Crean's castle
"The map showing Crean's castle was reconstructed by myself,
from a variety of sources. The castle was clearly situated on the southern side
of Castle Street, opposite the contemporary Jones' or Gethin's castle. No
archaeological trace of it has every been found, despite some modest recent
excavations to the rear of Foleys pub. The southern side of Castle Street was
most likely extensively rebuilt from about 1820 onwards, obliterating any traces
of earlier buildings."
"Notes I made in preparation for Section 12 of the Irish Historic Towns
Atlas, Sligo, (F. Gallagher and ML Legge), 2011. This will give you a clear idea
of the chronology of Crean's Castle from contemporary sources."
Gallagher) See below:
Crean’s Castle, Castle St, S.. Fortified town house,
1600 - erected by the Crean merchant family sometime before 1600.
1630, Francis Taafe, born at Crean’s Castle, Sligo, his son Nicolas Taafe, was
also born at Crean’s Castle in 1677. (Dictionary of National Biography,
1885-1900, Volume 55). (also Memoirs of the Family of Taaffe).
1641, held out under siege during rebellion. (Wood Marin, ii, 39).
1645, mentioned in letter from Cpt Gerald Dillon to Sir Ulick Burke, stating
that it had held out against the Parliamentarians. (Wood Martin, ii, 76).
1682, John Crean, Castle, (Strafford rental). Also Peter Darsey, ‘house and
castle,’in Castle St.
1687, ‘a castle in possession of Peter D’arcy’. (Strafford Rental).Also castle
or house now in possession of John Greene. (Strafford Rental).[May have been
third fortified house].
1708. ‘Peter Darcy’s Castle house, now in possession of John Gamble. (RD.
1/331/309). 1739, ‘Ruins of Crane’s Castle’. (Henry).
1762, ‘The plot of ground whereon the old castle, commonly called Crean’s castle
stood...”. (RD 262/61/166492).
1772, castle, Castle St, occupied by William Blest. (Cess Books)[This may be
Jones’ Castle, contemporarily considered as being on Castle Street, rather than
1798. Crean’s Castle pulled down between 1798 and 1807. (Sligo Chronicle,
15-03-1863). Illustration of Castle, (Wood – Martin, ii.36)
The Streets of Sligo by Fiona
Almost a decade in preparation this book is an opportunity to explore the
process of urban growth and evolution since the foundation of Sligo by the
Normans seven centuries ago. With over 47 chapters, one for each street in the
hostoric core, the book is abundantly illustrated with maps, sketches and
photographs. Also included are lists of 19th century traders, and an analysis of
the population of the borough since 1600.
Aspects of Town and County over 750 Years
by John C. McTernan
(Has a foto of Crean tomb in Abbey)
From 'Sligo and its surroundings - 1739' Page 131
In the midst of the Town stands the old Market Cross,
supported by four small pillars of
black marble polished and fluted. It is a square to which there is an ascent of
four steps on
each side. On the top is an inscription which by the style and wit seems
monkish. It alludes
to a marriage between Hart and Crean.
Under the Arms are these lines:-
Desine mirari Lector quod bis Tria non sunt,
Sex: Unum faciunt, necduo Sculpta noles.
Nempe ex Conjugibus caro facta est una duous.
De sex corda Duo, Deque Duobus Unum.
Hinc Duo sunt Unum, sex Unum, et quod magis Unum.
Munitumque, Lupus quam quod et Hasta Fovent.
[Translated, it reads:
"Cease to marvel, Reader, that twice three
six : they make one. Nor seek for two inscriptions.
Truly one flesh is made from two spouses.
Two hearts [are made] from six and one from two.
Hence two are one, six [are] one, and what is more
one and more protected than the one that the wolf and the spear watch over
N.B. The Arms of Hart, who created this Cross, are three hearts, the Crest a
spear. Those of Crean three
hearts, the Crest a wolf. There is no date.
'the O'Creans, opulent, cultured and enjoying a social status comparable with
the merchant princes of Galway.'
[(1) Domnall O Craidhen (Donnell O'Crean) a pious and conscientious merchant,
died, while hearing mass in Donegal. (2) Cormacas O Craian, who is buried in the
beautiful altar tomb which stands in the nave of Sligo Abbey, which bears a
Latin inscription, "Hic . jacet . Cormacus. Ocraian . Et Ehon ac . Nanangasa .
uxor. Eis . an . Do., MCCCCC VI." (Here lieth Cormac O'Craian, . . . . . . and
Nanangasa, his wife, The year of the Lord, 1506.)]
Andrew O'Crean 'left the family business to become a priest and later Bishop of
in the year 1603 there were twelve O'Creans with warehouses and shops re-opened
one of the twelve Andrew Fitz John O'Crean married Ellen French daughter of a
Galway merchant prince
All mostly descended from Domnall O Craidhen (Donnell/Donald O'Crean) a pious
and conscientious merchant, died, [in Donegal Abbey] while hearing mass in
Andrew Fitz John O'Crean of Sligo was the grandfather of Nicholas Taaffe, Baron
of Ballymote, Viscount Corran and Earl of Austria, who was born in the O'Crean
Castle in Sligo in the year 1677.
Andrew O'Crean High Sheriff of the County of Sligo convened a meeting at
Ballysadare of the principal gentry
Maurice Fitzgerald, the most powerful Geraldine of his day, played a major role
in the Norman conquest of Connacht. In return, he received the Barony of Carbury
and other territories in what is now the County of Sligo. In 1236 he pursued
Phelim O'Con-nor, the titular King of Connacht, from his stonghold in Roscom-mon
across the Curlews, and did not give up the hunt until he reached the ford over
the Sligeach or Sligo river. To assist him in gaining a foothold here, he
engaged the services of Archdeacon Clarius Mac Mailin by offering him, in the
King's name, the site of a 'spital house', or hospital, at Sligo. The
Archdeacon, one of the great humanitarians of the Middle Ages, fell for the bait
and pro-ceeded to assemble on the proposed site requisite stone, sand and lime.
Just as building was about to begin, Fitzgerald withdrew his offer and ordered
the Irish King of Connacht to use the materials in the building of a castle.
When O'Connor refused to comply, Fitzgerald himself descended on Sligo and
erected what was proba-bly a typical Norman castle of the thirteenth century,
complete with keep and bawn; so that Wood-Martin is perfectly right in his
assertion that Sligo was fortified in the 13th century, for your bawn of that
period was capable of housing both retainers and livestock. Unfortunately for
the peaceful development of Sligo as an Anglo-Norman burgh, the Fitzgeralds
became embroiled in a vendetta with their counterparts in South Connacht which
resulted in the withdrawal of the Fitzgeralds, followed by the untoward decline
of the Anglo-Norman De Burgo influence. This influence ceased with the
extinction of the De Burgo earldom and the swift Gaelicisation of their kinsmen
and relatives, the Burkes of Mayo and Galway. Had the Fitzgeralds or the De
Burgos succeeded in implementing to the full their aims in regard to Sligo, its
history, instead of being a lamentable series of burnings, razings and
rebuilding, would have been something akin to that of Galway. We can also take
it as certain that the inhabitants of Anglo-Norman Sligo were, for a large part
of the 13th century, subjected to feudal laws and
customs —first under the Fitzgeralds, and, afterwards, under the 'Red Earl' de
Burgh, in the opening decades of the 14th century, when Sligo castle was rebuilt
by him in a style some-what similar to Bally-mote castle. You can take it from
the parallel case of Galway that its magistrates, provosts, bailiffs or
seneschal were appointed first by Fitzgerald and after-wards by De Burgh. Galway
only adopted its present coat of arms when its walls were built in 1396 and it
received its first Royal Charter of Incorporation. Prior to that year its
provost and seneschal used the personal seal of De Burgo as the common seal of
Galway. As in the case of Galway so also with the infant burgh of Sligo. The
office of seneschal was one of the very few feu-dal customs borrowed by the
Irish chieftains from the Anglo-Nor-mans. For them his functions varied from
public hangman and rent collector to constable of his castle and man of business
in sea-port towns. The only legacy of enduring importance which these
Anglo-Normans left in 'Old Sligo' was the Convent of the Holy Cross which
Fitzgerald built for the Dominicans in 1252. It was unmolested by the Irish War
Lords, whereas the Castle of Sligo
rarely failed to be the object of their fury in the form of demolition or
burnings. Like the Anglo-Normans, a succession and repetition of O'Donnells,
O'Connors and Burkes realised that Sligo was the key to North Connacht and the
doorway into West Ulster. Their policy in regard to Sligo was if we cannot hold
it we will make it untenable for our rivals, hereditary foes or kinsmen with
ambitions alike. Yet here and there the annalists, as if tired of recording with
monotonous regularity the War Lords' slayings, burnings and raz-ings, vary their
fare with victories over the world, the Flesh and the Devil and even condescend
to give us, here and there, a fleeting glimpse of the patient, thrifty,
resilient middle classes rebuilding Sligo town and repairing it, and even
restoring the bridges leading into, it, in the comparatively peaceful years of
the late fourteenth century, when the resuscitated branch of the O'Connors,
domiciled in Carbury, were powerful enough and united enough to protect the Town
from outposts as far away as Tuam in the south, and the Bundrowes river in the
north. The annalists tell us that in those years Sligo's buildings of stone and
wood were splendid. They give us a glimpse even of their contemporary
amusements, as for exam-ple in this sarcastic passage penned by a scribe in the
rival O'Conor Doh household: —
'Donnchad son of Muirchertach Baceach son of Domnall O'Connor died from a fall
on the flagstone in front of Sligo Castle at the Cavalry sports on St. Mary's
Day in the beginning of autumn in the year 1419. That was the day on which the
Sligo Indulgence was proclaimed and Donnchad stood in need of his share of that
Indulgence for he only lived a week after breaking his leg that day.''
The 'Indulgence' mentioned in the foregoing quotation refers to the rebuilding
of Holy Cross Convent, otherwise The Abbey, by Prior Brian MacDonagh, and is
taken from the recently edited 'Annals of Connacht'. The comparative peace which
Sligo enjoyed during much of the 15th century was interrupted by that tragic
weakness, inherent in the Brehon Code system of tanistry, under which various
branches of the Carbury O'Connors strove to become masters of the castle
and the Town. Added to this fratricidal strife was an intensive drive by the
O'Donnells to re-establish and sustain their claims to Sligo and North Connacht;
and coupled with it were the efforts made by the Connacht chieftains,
particularly the MacWilliam Burkes and the MacDermots, to keep the O'Donnells
out of Sligo and out of Connacht. These struggles were gyrostatic in regard to
Sligo and even at this distance we can see them progressing from being glorified
faction fights in the 14th and 15th centuries into that form of total warfare.
This left Ireland as a wilderness by the end of the 16th century. The
introduction of gun powder in large quantities, and a steady influx of Scottish
mercenaries also contributed to this state of affairs. Earlier references to the
Gaelic plunderings and burnings of Sligo may be, more often than not, written
off or discounted as forcible reflexion, that is a desire on the part of the
aggressor to humiliate an opponent rather than the acquisition or destruction of
his property. If this were not so in the case of Sligo Town, we could hardly
expect to find in it merchants such as the O'Creans, opulent, cultured and
enjoying a social status comparable with the merchant princes of Galway. The
beautiful early 16th century Altar Tomb of Cormack O'Crean which ante dates the
lordly O'Connor-Sligo monument in the Dominican Convent of Sligo by more than a
century, was not erected by the family of an upstart Sligo merchant, for Cormack
O'Crean was but one of numerous Sligo merchants of that name, the doyen of whom
was Donald O'Crean who also died in the year 1506. Many of the Tirconaill
surnames, now common in and around Sligo, such as Devanny, have their origin in
the merchants and artizans who came with the O'Creans to Sligo about this time.
These men of peace must have felt relieved when, in 1538, O'Donnell pulled one
Teig O'Connor from off his pedestal and nominated a rival Teige O'Connor in his
place. In return for this the O'Donnell nominee signed a solemn covenant in the
Monastery of Donegal in which he undertook to hold the castle and town of Sligo
as O'Donnell's Warden. Apart from its military articles, one of the civil
conditions stipulated that, while O'Connor retained the castle of Sligo in his
care, O'Donnell "shall have the small tower of Sligo to give it to
whosoever he pleases of his own people for the purpose of transact-ing all his
private affairs in north Connacht". Wood-Martin was of the opinion the this
tower was O'Crean's castle. But O'Donnell was not the type to requisition the
home of one of his natural fol-lowers — and the O'Creans had still many ties
with Tirconaill —while outsiders, such as the O'Connors, had alternative
accommodation which they were bound to have in the Castle of Sligo or one of its
outbuildings. These points have forced the conclusion upon me that O'Donnell,
like every other Irish War Lord of his race, having a very delicate palate for
precedent, custom and privilege, chose the "small tower of Sligo" for his
seneschal because it was already the seat of civil administration in Sligo.
While at this stage it would be unsafe to give a particular description of the
legal code used by O'Donnell's seneschal in Sligo we would be safe in assuming
that Donald O'Crean's merchant sons, grandsons and relatives had already
canalised the direction of the Guild Mer-chant which they saw working so
smoothly for the trade and commerce of their merchant friends in Galway. Even
when one of the family, Andrew, left the family business to become a priest and
later Bishop of Elphin he still retained an interest in the peaceful development
of Sligo's trade by erecting Leacanaspick (the bishop's stone), a feudal
structure surmounted by a cross and complete with stocks and lock-up for the
punishment of defaulting debtors and petty criminals. If, therefore, 16th
century Sligo had a special place of punish-ment, it follows that the Town also
had a recognised venue in which convictions were made and that venue was the
seneschal's "small tower of Sligo", which brings us to the tower emblazoned on
the Sligo Coat of Arms, where the tower is a ruined tower. Heraldic symbols are
not arbitrary nor abstract inventions. They are the totems and symbols
intimately and exclusively associated with the bearer, and I suggest that the
small tower of Sligo was of as great importance, with its accumulation of
records, etc., as the Castle of Sligo. It too was destroyed by the O'Connors and
the O'Donnells when for the last time in 1602 the Gael violated 'Old Sligo'. On
that occasion they even dismantled the Convent of Holy Cross rather than leave
it habitable for the advancing
English forces under Lambert. When some ten years later the King's Law Officers
were preparing the first Royal Charter for Sligo, the Fitzgeralds sought to
revive their ancestors' title and likewise the Earl of Clanrickard. These claims
were not unknown to the Ulster Herald of the day, and as Heralds were by law
compelled to make visitations throughout the country, he, as an antiquary on the
spot in Sligo, was bound to incorporate in his coat of arms of the New Sligo the
broken seneschal's tower as a grim reminder of the arrested development of the
'Old Sligo'. The Irish chieftains burned and destroyed Sligo on the 12th June,
1602, and the following day Sir Oliver Lambert rode at the head of a motley
collection into it. Included in it were war worn Englishmen, land-hungry
Welshmen and a collection of the Queen's Irishmen of the Pale like Sir William
Taaffe with their claims already pegged in the County, as well as native
renegades, all of them tearing asunder the shrivelled carcass of Celtic Ireland.
Their commander was not the only man amongst them who had an eye for beauty, for
a large number of his men afterwards settled in and around Sligo. He was,
however, the only one of them who has
left us his impressions of Sligo transmitted as a dispatch to the Lord Deputy on
the day of his arrival. "I found nothing but the ruins of the old castle and the
abbey broken afresh ... the town had been burned the day before by Donnell
O'Connor-Sligo . . . " . "Sligo","he continued, "is a dainty dwelling for a
gentleman ... and of great importance for the state of all this province if it
were walled, but I think it cannot be made strong. The hills on one side
overlook every quarter." In this apt description of Sligo, found amongst the
State Papers, we have the reason for Sligo's arrested development during
medieval times. Lambert was not the first man to notice this defect, for the
O'Crean's and the other Sligo mer-chants nearly forty years previously had
welcomed the return of the English rule in Connacht and had secretly and openly
peti-tioned the walling of their town. Even Elizabeth, Queen of Eng-land, having
heard of their plight, ordered the implementation of this need. But every move
made in this direction was balked by the astute O'Connor-Sligo, who saw in its
fulfilment the eclipse of his family as the Lords of Sligo. It speaks well for
the recuperative powers of Sligo town when we find that one year after its
destruction, in the year 1603, there were twelve O'Creans, with warehouses and
shops re-opened. One of the twelve, Andrew Fitz John O'Grean, married Ellen
French, daughter of a Galway merchant prince, and through this alliance was
enabled to open a branch warehouse in that city. All these O'Crean merchants
were mostly descended from Don-ald O'Crean who died in Donegal Abbey in 1506.
They had a direct interest in the business life of Sligo for upwards of three
hundred years. Here and there they threw out a branch which grew up and down the
social scale. Unlike their kinsmen, the Frenches, some of whom settled in Sligo
about this time or opened branch warehouses there, they only entered the money
lending business on somewhat similar lines to the modern merchant banks. Andrew
O'Crean and the Frenches had as their best customers the O'Connor-Sligo family
who owed Patrick French £28,000 about ihe year 1640. Andrew O'Crean held
mortgages from most of the native and newly import-ed landed gentry. In some
cases he had already foreclosed on these mortgages and one of these plums which
came into his hands was
the Hazelwood estate which was later comfirmed in his possession by royal grant.
We can readily understand the ease with which marriage alliances were made even
into the peerage, for Andrew O'Cre-an of Sligo was the grandfather of Nicholas
Taaffe, Baron of Bally-mote, Viscount Corran and Earl of Austria, who was born
in the O'Crean Castle in Sligo in the year 1677. By comparison with the O'Creans,
most of the twelve burgesses who formed the first Borough of Sligo were mere
carpetbagmen. One of these was William Harrison, the villain of P.G. Smyth's
'Wild Rose of Lough Gill'. He was a secret service man of that day, his
speciality being the discovery of properties liable to escheat-ment to the
Crown, defective titles and churchlands long concealed or returned to laymen.
The first Provost, or Mayor, Roger Jones, and the remaining burgesses such as
Edward Crofton and Richard Robinson, were genuine Elizabethan adventurers, who,
having won their spurs in battle, settled down to make a success of their
peaceful ventures, and in the process of doing so contributed much to the
development of early 17th century Sligo. In addition to being Provost of the
Borough, Jones was the nominal Governor of Sligo. He was also appointed Keeper
of the newly erected Gaol, became a merchant of note and, as such, was selected
as the first Mayor of Sligo. When the dreadful Cromwelliam Wars were over in
Ireland, Sligo had shrunk to a mere village of 488 inhabitants of which
approximately three out of four were native Irish. This figure is given in 1659
and on comparing it with the Hearth Money Rolls of a few years later the figure
is reasonably accurate. A survey of the houses in Sligo made about the same time
is full of interesting topographical detail and gives sufficent material to show
the rapid progress made towards rebuilding Sligo during the years prior to the
Williamite Revolution. The modern streets in the business sec-tion of the Town
date from this period.
[Extract from Lecture by JAMES C. MCDONAGH, delivered to the Sligo Field Club,
and published in "Sligo Champion" May 2nd 1953]
Andrew O'Crean (d. 1594)
Ó Floinn, Tomás S. R.
O'Crean, Andrew (d. 1594), catholic bishop of Elphin and prior of Sligo, bore
the name of a family of Cinél Eoghain, who by the sixteenth century had settled
in Sligo. Members of his family were prominent merchants at the port of Sligo,
where the fish trade was the lucrative industry. The O'Creans were second only
to the O'Connors Sligo, and with them had learned to survive and thrive between
the two most powerful lordly dynasties contending for control of the area, the
O'Donnells of Tyrconnell (north-west Ulster) and the MacWilliam Burkes of Lower
Connacht. As prior of Sligo abbey, Andrew O'Crean may have been educated in
Spain. He belonged to the most important of five Dominican houses (Sligo,
Roscommon, Ballindoon, Cloonshanville and Tulsk) in the extended diocese of
Elphin, stretching from Sligo to Athlone.
In 1551 Roland Burke, papally appointed bishop of Clonfert (1534), was nominated
anglican bishop of Elphin by Edward VI for political reasons. He had obtained
the temporalities of Elphin several years before, but the unpopular incumbent,
the Augustinian bishop Bernard O'Higgin (qv) (1542–61), did not quit Ireland for
exile in Portugal until about 1554. O'Crean largely owed his promotion to Elphin
to the pragmatic judgement of the Jesuit David Wolfe (qv), who described him as
greatly esteemed by the laity, not so much for his learning as for his
amiability and holiness. He also had the vital local support of the Gaelic Irish
lords and merchants, which his predecessor had lacked.
In late 1561 O'Crean set out for Rome with his fellow Dominican Eugene O'Hart (qv),
to secure his appointment to Elphin. While passing through France he fell ill.
He was made bishop of Elphin in the same consistory (28 January 1562) that
nominated O'Hart to Achonry; he returned to Sligo without participating in the
final sessions of the Council of Trent (1562–3), and, on arriving home,
designated the Dominican church his cathedral. In 1566, together with O'Crean
and Redmond O'Gallagher (qv), bishop of Killala, O'Hart convened a provincial
synod for Connacht, in which the decrees of Trent, dogmatic and disciplinary,
were promulgated as normative for catholic life, particularly determining the
criteria for the validity of sacramental marriages and the banning of
Before O'Crean's episcopacy began there was already a conflict of ecclesiastical
jurisdictions, complicated by perennial territorial rivalries in Connacht. It
has been suggested that O'Crean's active government did not extend outside the
northern portion of Elphin, where he had the assured support of his kinsmen and
probably that of the O'Connors, while Roland Burke (qv), who though he was the
anglican nominee was a catholic by conviction, exercised more than nominal
control over the rest of the diocese, strongly supported by the Upper MacWilliam
Burkes. O'Crean lived mostly with the Dominicans of Sligo abbey, who, through
the influence of Domhnall Mór O'Connor Sligo (qv), enjoyed comparative security
and tranquility. O'Crean was left undisturbed by his episcopal counterpart or by
sporadic attempts on the part of the government to introduce anglicanism. When
Lord Deputy Sidney visited Sligo in October 1566, he remarked how he was met by
O'Connor Sligo and the bishop (O'Crean) ‘offering service and fealty to your
majesty and all courtesy to us’ (M. V. Ronan, The reformation in Ireland under
Elizabeth 1558–1580 (1930), 191). Archdeacon John Lynch (qv) of Tuam was aware
of two papal briefs (5 June 1575 and 13 August 1579) addressed to O'Crean but
did not comment on their content. Bishop Burke's death in 1580 may have prompted
O'Crean to assert full jurisdiction over the whole diocesan territory of Elphin,
especially in the matter of the temporalities retained by Burke.
In 1582 O'Crean sought some form of recognition from, or accommodation with, the
Dublin government. It would appear that he was seeking, and received,
confirmation for control of the diocesan revenues, accepting them as the gift of
the crown. There was no hint that O'Crean was temporising or that he complied
externally with Elizabethan religious policy, as Roland Burke had done. It is on
record that he consistently refused to take the oath of supremacy; so the
appointment (1582) of Thomas Chester as Elizabeth's bishop of Elphin (1582–3)
speaks for itself. O'Crean was responsible for the erection of a marble cross (leacht
an easpaig) in Sligo town. He zealously promoted the implementation of the
Tridentine reforms in Elphin and through quiet diplomacy reasserted the catholic
episcopal administration of the diocese without compromise or vacillation.
Bishop O'Crean died in 1594.
Rome, Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Registra supplicationum, 3401, f. 61v;
P. F. Moran, History of the catholic archbishops of Dublin (1864), 85; ALC, ii,
512, 455; AU, iii, 482, 572–4;
P. Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedhael is Gall: Irish names and surnames (1923);
M. V. Ronan, The reformation in Ireland, 1536–1668 (1925);
Lynch, De praesulibus Hib., ii; F. X. Martin, ‘Confusion abounding: Bernard
O'Higgin, OSA, bishop of Elphin, 1542–1561’, Studies in Irish History: presented
to R. Dudley Edwards, ed. Art Cosgrove and Donal McCartney (1979);
Thomas S. Flynn, The Irish Dominicans, 1536–1641 (1993)
The Bishop of Elphin (el-FIN; Irish: Easpag Ail Finn) is an episcopal title
which takes its name after the village of Elphin, County Roscommon, Ireland. In
the Roman Catholic Church it remains a separate title, but in the Church of
Ireland it has been united with other bishoprics.
Andrew O'Crean, O.P.
Appointed on 28 January 1562. Died in
office in 1594.
ANDREW O'CREAN, BISHOP OF ELPHIN (1562-94),
AND THE CONFLICT OF ECCLESIASTICAL JURISDICTIONS
That Andrew O'Crean owed his promotion to Elphin in 1562 to the pragmatic
judgement of David Wolfe is clear from one of Wolfe's letters to Rome, dated 12
"Bernard O'Higgin, Bishop of Elphin, had resigned his see in favour of a
Dominican, Andrew Crean, the prior of Sligo, a man of piety and sanctity, who is
moreover held in great esteem by the laity, not so much for his learning as for
his amiability and holiness. The said Bernard was a good and religious man in
himself, but he was not acceptable to the people. Seeing that he was losing the
temporalities of the see through this dislike which the people had for him, he
chose Father Andrew, who is beloved by everyone, that thus all that was lost
might be regained. Father Andrew now goes to Rome, with the permission of his
provincial, to obtain that see,
[76 Cal. Pat. Rolls Ire., las. 1, pp vii, 5. 77 Lynch, De Praesulibus Hib., ii,
342. 78 ASV, Archiv. Arcis, XIV, 11, vol. 41, f. 68r: `Acculen. eps. ord praed
strenuus catholicae ficlei propugnator.' The details of O'Hart's career set out
above disprove the inaccurate assertion made by S. Ellis that the bishop
'managed to remain acceptable to both sides', namely pope and queen. See S.
Ellis, Tudor Ireland, 1470-1603, London 1985, 197. 79 P. O'Sullivan Beare,
Selections firm the Zoilomastix, ed. and trans. T. J. O'Donnell, Dublin 1960,
21. Similar tributes in A. Femandes, Concenatio Praedicatoria pro Ecclesia
Catholica, Salamanca 1618, 282; A. De Altamura, Bibliothecae DOMilli-canae, Rome
1677, 434, 538; G. M. Cavalieri, Galleria de'Sommi Pontefici, Benevento 1696,
bearing with him the resignation of the said Bernard. Father Andrew asked me for
testimonials, and though I personally know little about him, I can attest to the
reputation for virtue which he enjoys through-out the country."
Andrew O'Crean's Augustinian predecessor, Bernard O'Higgin, quitted Ireland
definitively for continental exile in about 1554. This had caused a serious void
in the diocese of Elphin. Bishop Roland Burke, who had been papally appointed to
Clonfert in May 1534, had sub-sequently surrendered his bull of appointment in
order to receive the temporalities of the see from Henry viii. During O'Higgin's
absence from his diocese Burke was nominated Anglican Bishop of Elphin on 23
November 1551. From this point it became imperative for Rome to install an
effective Catholic bishop to counter Burke's influence, excep-tionally strong in
the southern part of this important diocese. A recent study has shown that a
vital factor in O'Crean's nomination was the local socio-political support which
his predecessor had lacked.
O'Crean was evidently very acceptable 'to the people', most of all to the ruling
Irish lords and the leading merchant families of Sligo. `O'Crean was a member of
the well-known Gaelic merchant family at the port of Sligo, where the fish trade
was the lucrative industry.'8' The O'Creans were second only to the O'Connors
Sligo, and with them had learned to survive and thrive between the two powerful
lay lords contending for control of the area, the O'Donnells of Tyrconnell or
north-west Ulster and the Mac-William Burkes of Lower Connacht." As prior of
Sligo abbey, Andrew O'Crean belonged to the most important of five Dominican
houses in the extended diocese of Elphin, stretching from Sligo to Athlone.
In the late autumn of 1561 O'Crean set out for Rome with Eugene O'Hart to obtain
the letters of his appointment to Elphin. While passing through France he fell
ill, and being unable or unwilling to travel further he remained in France until
the bull of his appointment reached him." Made bishop by papal provision (28
January 1562) in the same consistory
[80 Cited by Moran, Archbishops of Dublin, 417-19 (trans. 85-7) at 85. Fora
summary of his episcopate see P. F. Moran, 'The See of Elphin in the Sixteenth
Century' in IER, 1st ser., 2 (1866), 152-4. 81 Martin, 'Confusion Abounding',
70-76. 6 Croidhelin (O'Crean) was the name of a family of Cinel Eoghain who in
the sixteenth century settled at Sligo, where they prospered as merchants, and
afterwards acquired a considerable amount of landed property in the area. Woulfe,
Sloinnte Gaedhael is Gall, 484; see also Anndla Uladh, Annals of Ulster, ed. W.
M. Hennessy and 13. MacCarthy, iii, Dublin 1895, 482, 572-4; Annals of Loch Ce,
ed. W. M. Hennessy, ii, Dublin 1939, 512; Cal Pat. Rolls Ire., Jas 1, 20, cited
in NHL, iii, 15. 82 Martin, 'Confusion Abounding', 81-2. 83 Lynch, De
Praesulibus Hib., ii, 291.]
that named O'Hart to Achonry, O'Crean returned to Ireland without participating
in the last sessions of Trent (1562-3). Later, in common with his fellow bishops
of Achonry and Killala, O'Crean accepted the decrees and legislation of the
council as normative for Catholic life and practice in Connacht. This decision
was given concrete effect in marriage procedures, where all three dioceses
decided on a uniform policy con-cerning the conditions for the validity of
sacramental marriages and the banning of clandestine ones.84 It has been
suggested that O'Crean's active government did not extend outside the northern
portion of his diocese, where he would have had the open assistance of his own
kinsmen and that of the O'Connors, and that Roland Burke, the Anglican nominee,
exercised more than a nominal control over the rest of the see, with the weight
of his Clanwilliam supporters behind him."
This is simply surmise, perhaps accurate or quite inaccurate. The truth is that
there is no firm evidence one way or the other on which to base a reliable
judgement. Andrew O'Crean lived mostly in Sligo abbey, whose fine church he
designated the cathedral church of Elphin.86 For the most part he was left
undisturbed by the reformers or by sporadic attempts to introduce Anglicanism on
the part of officialdom. Bishop Roland Burke's death in 1580 may have prompted
O'Crean to assert full jurisdiction over the whole diocese, especially in the
matter of the temporalities, a significant portion of which may have been
retained by Burke. The issue may have become more pressing with the appoint-ment
of John Harvey, an Englishman, as administrator, who was granted the diocese 'in
custodium' by royal letters patent in 1582.87
An entry under this same year in the Annals of Loch Ce suggests that O'Crean
sought some form of recognition from the Dublin government: 'The bishopric of
Elphin (Olifinn) was given to Andrew O'Craidhen by the Council of Eirinn at
Ath-Cliath.'88 What O'Crean in fact was seeking was confirmation for the
totality of the diocesan revenues, thereby accepting them as the gift of the
crown. There was no hint of temporising or of external compliance with
Elizabethan religious policy on the part of O'Crean, otherwise this would have
been dolefully chronicled by the Annals of Loch Ce or mentioned in the
contemporary State Papers. It is on record that he consistently and strenuously
refused to take the Oath of Supremacy." The mentalities and the complexities
[84 Ibid. 85 Martin, 'Confusion Abounding', 71. 86 ASV, Reg. Suppl., 3401, f.
61v. 87 J. Ware, The Whole Works of Sir James Ware concerning Ireland, ed. W.
Harris, i, Dublin 1739, 634. 88 Annals of Loch CE, ii, 455. 89 Lynch, De
Praendibus Hib., ii, 291.]
so many issues of the age may not be perfectly definable or capable of proof,
but the appointment of another Englishman, Thomas Chester, as Anglican Bishop of
Elphin, who died shortly afterwards in June 1584,90 speaks for itself. Had
O'Crean really temporised, Chester would not have been named Bishop of Elphin.
When Lord Deputy Sidney and his retinue had encamped in O'Connor Sligo's country
on 21 October 1566, `O'Connor Sligo came unto us with the Bishop of Elphin, most
humbly offering service and fealty to your majesty and all courtesy to us.'91
His conduct on that occasion illustrated his diplomatic and conciliatory
character, but this could hardly be described as displaying evidence of
compromise or vacillation. Thomas Burke, author of Hibernia Dominicana, referred
to O'Crean as 'Andrea Xerea',92 which may indicate that O'Crean once studied at
Jerez de la Frontera in the south of Spain. Beyond this designation, Burke had
nothing further to say of O'Crean's episcopate. He was at some stage of his
career awarded the degree of master of theology, which in that era would
indicate that he was a trained theologian. He was respon-sible for the erection
of a marble cross (Leacht an Easpaig) in the town of Sligo.93 Towards the end of
his life he retired from the active admin-istration of his see and lived quietly
with his Dominican brethren, having earned for himself a reputation for
sanctity. He died at Sligo in 1594, in the midst of his fellow Dominicans, who,
through the influence of Domhnall Mar O'Connor, enjoyed comparative tranquillity
Almost certainly Andrew O'Crean was buried in the Dominican church, his
'cathedral'. It was this same prominent O'Connor who was regarded with such
favour by Elizabeth that when he refused the title of earl she gave him the
right to be styled The O'Connor of Sligo. It was through his intervention that
an order was issued prohibiting the destruction of Sligo abbey. This was typical
of the policy of compromise and con-cession made by English officialdom in
Elizabethan Connacht. Lynch concluded his biographical notice on O'Crean by
adding a most valu-able and telling comment on current Elizabethan religious
policy in Sligo: it was the custom that those who had received holy orders
during Mary's reign were not compelled `to change their habit' or go into exile;
and hence it was that Andrew O'Crean was not in the least molested once he
stayed within the walls of his Dominican monastery of Sligo." Andrew O'Crean's
episcopate differed notably in style and expression from that of his fellow
Dominican bishop, Eugene O'Hart of Achonry.
[90 Ware, Works, i, 634. 91 Ronan, The Reformation in Ireland, 191. 92 Burke,
Hib. Dom., 486. 93 Lynch, De Praesulibus Hib.,ii, 291. 94 Ibid.]
While he was not moulded in the Tridentine spirit to the same extent as O'Hart,
he nonetheless favoured its spread and implementation because of his loyalty to
the Holy See, with which he had regular correspondence."
[95 Ibid. Lynch was aware of (and may have had in his possession) two papal
briefs addressed to O'Crean, dated 5 June 1575 and 13 August 1579, but did not
comment on their content.]
HISTORY OF SLIGO, COUNTY
AND TOWN, FROM THE ACCESSION OF JAMES I. TO THE REVOLUTION OF 1688 with Illustrations from orginal Drawings and Plans
BY W. G. WOOD-MARTIN
13 n LIST OF CHIEF GENTS FIT TO BE INSERTED IN THE COMMISSION OF THE PEACE FOR
THE COUNTY OF SLIGO. Lord St. Leger, Sir Roger Jones, Gustos Rotulorum ; John
St. Barbe, Edward Crofton, David O'Dowd, Swine MacDonough, George Crofton,
Provost of Sligo ; Owen MacDermot, Cormac O'Hart, William Harrison, Charles
Dowd, Andrew Crean, James Dowd, Teighe O'Hagan, James O'Connor, Swine MacDermott.
(A.D. 1616.) M38., F., 3, 15, T.C.D
1641 Towards the close of November, or the commencement of December, Andrew
O'Crean, High Sheriff of the County Sligo, convened a meeting at Ballysadare of
the principal gentry (pre- sided over by O'Conor Sligo), nominally for the
purpose of re- pressing the incursions " of foraigners, and to suppress the
violent courses of idle persons within county."
Seemingly there were in the town two centres of defence, O'Crean's Castle, and
Lady Jones's Castle (which would appear to have been in close proximity), and
both were of sufficient strength to offer stubborn resistance to the imperfect
military tactics of that age.
Sir Eoger Jones, Knt., Governor of Sligo, died in 1637 ; his widow, however,
evidently retained possession of the castle. Fig. 5 is taken from an eighteenth
century rude sketch of Crean's Castle, which would appear to have been then
1 Judging of this castle from a map of the town made in the year 1G89, there
must have been originally some kind of outworks, which were demolished in more
peaceable times. It lay a little back from the road, at the corner of the
present Albert Street, close to the abbey. In recent years, when a drain was
being opened in the adjoining street, some traces of the ancient foundations
could be observed. Le Gouz, a French tra- veller who visited Ireland in the year
1644, gives the following general description of the residences of the better
class : " The castles or houses of the nobility consist of four walls extremely
high, thatched with straw, but, to tell the truth, they are nothing but square
towers without windows, or at least, having such small apertures as to give no
more light than there is in a prison. They have little furniture, and cover
their rooms with rushes, of which they make their beds in summer, and of straw
in winter. They put the rushes a foot deep on their floors and on their windows,
and many of them ornament the ceilings with branches."
The garrisons of the castles were greatly trammelled by the crowds of helpless
women and children that thronged through the portals for protection, bearing
with them as much of their goods as they could transport.
The siege lasted from eight to ten days ; at last, Cotton, who was in conimand,
being very closely pressed by the besiegers who had taken possession of all the
neighbouring houses and points of vantage from whence a musketry fire could be
directed sent out Andrew O'Crean to negotiate terms of surrender. After two
days' absence O'Crean returned, but Cotton thought the proffered terms too hard
and broke off the parley, having previously addressed the besieged, and told
them what they had to expect ; he then asked whether they would accept the terms
or hold out, saying that he himself would maintain " the holde " with such men
as were determined " to stick unto him," but any that so wished should he
dismissed and sent out of the castle with a pass and two shillings in money. A
man named Mahon Cunningham alone stepped out of the ranks, said he did not care
to hold out to the last, and claimed his pass and money ; hoth were immediately
handed to him hy Cotton. When Cunningham perceived that none of his comrades fol-
lowed his example, he asked leave to remain, but was at once disarmed and
reproached by " the said Eusigne Cotton, who told him that he was unworthy to be
trusted in the Castle, for he was a coward."
Sampson Porter, one of the victims, suffered many severities before death put an
end to his sufferings. Peter O'Crean, a humane Roman Catholic merchant, had
obtained a protection for him and his family; but whilst O'Crean was absent on
business, some of the Irish fell upon Porter, tied his hands behind his back,
and half hanged and tortured him till he con- fessed where his scanty hoards
were hidden. O'Crean, on his return home, complained to O'Conor Sligo of the
breach of his protection, but received the same reply which most leaders of
revolution have to give, viz. : that his followers had got beyond his control.
To be in debt to any of the leading Roman Catholic mer- chants was a
circumstance which offered a favourable chance of life ; so at least found Henry
Knott, the son of an English trader who owed a considerable sum of money to
William O'Crean ; this creditor implored O'Conpr Sligo to save the life of Henry
Knott, as otherwise he would lose all chance of the debt due by the father.
After the massacre of Sligo, Andrew Crean, being anxious to save the lives of
John Stanoway and his family, sent them off to Owen MacDermott at Drumbo ; the
latter, however, was then absent at Ballymote, but on his return the situation
was not improved.
On the following day the survivors were marched off to Ballymote. Mr. and Mrs.
Crofton, Mrs. Wray, and her husband (a minister) were in front of the Irish
escort (commanded by Captain John Crean), when two men rushed from the ranks and
slashed Wray savagely with their skeans ; he was conveyed to Ballymote, where he
lingered in agony for two days before death put an end to his sufferings
Of the Irish, about sixty fell, amongst whomwas John O'Crean of Sligo, 1
together with thirty people of note belonging to the Counties of Sligo and
Leitrim. The bodies were all stripped for the sake of their clothing, and the
arms and apparel were carried to Manor-Hamilton.
1 This is evidently the Captain John Crean who was present at the capture of
The base of the cross is towards the front of the altar, and the head towards
the east window, reaching only partly across the table-stone which was formed of
several pieces. Commencing at the north side, then running along the front, and
turning up the south side, is the following inscription in Lombardic characters :
IOHAN[NES ? O'CRAIAN] ME . FIERI . FE CIT.
with long spaces between the words, and so placed that " IOHANNES " was on the
north side ; next it, and along the front, came the surname (probably O'Craian),
now lost ; ME is in the centre, just at the foot of the cross ; FIERI was next
placed in front, near the southern angle ; and FECIT is cut on the stone which
formed that angle along the south end. There is a blank between E and C in FECIT,
as if a letter had been erased. At present it is at the northern angle, which
makes the inscription rather puzzling at first sight ; it is to be hoped,
therefore, that it will be restored to its original position. The stone, bearing
on it the surname of the " JOHANNES" mentioned in the inscription, has not
been found; possibly it may have recorded the name of an early prior of the
Abbey, who had caused the table- stone to be made
There is a fine altar-tomb inserted in the north wall of the nave, with a very
sharp-pointed, arched canopy filled with elaborate flamboyant tracery. The
inscription runs along the top of the decorated front slab. The letters McS are
nearly illegible. AC is -according to the late W. M. Hennessy- the mediaeval form
of the Irish OG, i.e., young. The name of O'Crean's wife, Faraengasa, 1 is
according to the same
1 Faraengasa. A somewhat similarly sounding name occurs in an in- quisition
taken in the town (apiid villam) of Ballymote, 10th Feb., 1607. The jury find "
quod Ffarganhegula [? Ffarganhegusa] O'Connor seisit fuit .....
due Insulee in mar. vocat, Insula Noclane et Insula ne Capple
[now Horse Island] continent 2 acras terr., et Regi ptinent Jure Corone sui."
authority also a mediaeval form of a well- known woman's name, Fasaengusa.
Later tablets are inserted in the recess ; one of these bears the date 1616 over
the coat of arms and crest of the O'Creans. On the dexter side is a wolf rampant
be- tween three hearts, with the initials A. C., supposed to be those of Andrew
Crean. The sinister half is ermine, a chevron colour not apparent with the
initials E. F. alongside, evidently those of Crean's wife, who was supposed to
be Ellen Flynn. The crest appears to be a demi-wolf rampant, holding between his
paws a heart ; beneath is cut in an irregular manner the following
inscription, which would seem to con- tain a play upon the name Crean :
COR . MVNDVM . CREA . IN . ME . DEVS . ET . SPIRITV M* . RECTVM . IN . NOVA . IN .
VISCERIBVS . MEIS.
Lying against the chancel wall there are two slabs (about 24 inches each way)
with armorial bearings carved on them ; on the first appears to be the coat of
arms of the Banada family of Jones. The second slab bears the arms of the
O'Creans, with those of a different family of Jones impaled ; dexter, a wolf
rampant between three human hearts, for O'Crean ; sinister, a lion rampant, for
Jones ; above is the date 1625, and under- neath the quaint inscription :
Wee two are one by his Decree
That raigneth from Eternity ;
Who first erected have these stones,
We Robuere Crean Elica lones.
Revolution of 1688
The following is a list of the members of the new Corpora- tion of Sligo
established by James upon the ruins of the old one, destroyed either by quo
ivarranto or a forced surrender, 21st March, 1687 taken from the Patent Koll of
the High Court of Chancery, as given by Harris in his History :
"Andrew French, Provost. 24 Burgesses. Martin O'Connor, Esq. ; John Taaffe. Esq.
; Sir William Gore, Bt. ; Henry Craften, EsqV ; Oliver O'Gara, Esq.; Kane
O'Hara, Esq.; Edward Craften, Esq.; Pierce Gethin, Esq.; James French, Esq.;
Philip Ormsby, Esq.; George Craften, Gent.; Terence M'Donogh, Esq. ; Walter
Phillips, Esq. ; Philip Cox, Merchant ; Jasper Bret, Esq. ; John Crean, Gent. ;
Andrew Lynch, 1 Apothecary ; Anthony Crean, Merchant ; Peter Darcy, Merchant ;
John Delap, Mer- chant ; Bartholomew Jones, Esq. ; Thomas Jones, Esq. ; Andrew
Martin, Merchant ; Charles Hart, Gent. Laurence O'Hara, Town Clerk
The following is an alphabetical list of the names of householders, &c., taken
from " A Survey of Houses in the town of Sligo, 1663 " 1 :
Allen, Thos. ; Armstrong, Geo. ; Arthur, Peter; Audley, Joseph; Barnes, Thorn.;
Barrett, Nicholas ; Bashford, Clement ; Baxter, Garrett; Bell, Willm. ; Bennett,
Richd.; Bennett, Walter ; Blake, Adam ; Blake, Win. ; Booth, Hum. ; Bramley, Wm.
; Bryan, Richd. ; Butts, Nicholas ; Carrone, John ; Chapman, Walter ; Cockridge,
Wm. ; Uooper, Cornet ; Crafford, James ; Crafford, John ; Crafford, William ; C^reanj'
Andrew ; Crean, Cicely ; Dowan, Edwd. ; Duany, Domk. ; Duff, Conn. ; Dun,
Nicholas ; Edgworth, Major ; Edmond, James ; Faber, Peter ; Falliagh,
Peter ; Fay, Pat ; Fitzgerald, ; Flinton, Saml. ; Flood, Thos. ;
French, Andrew ; Fritt, John ; Gamble, John ; Gara, Cormack ; Gara, Edmd. ;
Garren, Donagh ; Gillaspicke, Pat ; Gillegraff, John ; Gilman, John ; Gorman,
John ; Greene, Edwd. ; Greystocke, Thos. ; Halford, Edwd.; Hamilton, John;
Hamlett, Willm.; Harrison, Thos.; Hunter, Willm. ; James, Thos.; Jones,
Elizabeth ; Jones, Francis ; Kean, Ellinor ; Kellyes, Wm. ; Kenge, Wm. ;
Kirkwood, James ; Knox, James ; Knox, Jane ; Lilly, David ; Linch, Andrew ;
Longan, Sheely ; Longden, John ; Lue, John ; Mcllwhole, Janet ; McDonogh, Edmd.
; McDooan, Teig ; McDovells, Colla ; McKilroe, Owen ; McLoughlin, Wm. ; Me Lynn,
Nicholas; McMeelry, Edmd.; McNemarra, Pat ; Malys, Edmd. ; March, James ;
Marches, Mathew ; Martyn, Brian ; Martyn, James ; Mnrtyn, John ; Mihan, Pat ;
Mills, Richard ; Moran, Edmd. ; Morgan, Capt. ; Morris, John ; Munger, James ;
Myhan, Donogh ; Neilan, Hugh ; O'Conor, Chas. ; O'Conor, Owen ; O'Conor, Sligo ;
O'Crean, Andrew ; O'Dogherty, Cahir ; O'Flyny, Thos. ; O'Kenny, Murragh ; O'Maly,
Edmd.; O'Mongan, Pat; Parke. Cornelius; Parsons, Richd. ; Prover, Maurice ;
Rampkin, Hugh ; Ratcliffe, Geo. ; Raven, Wm. ; Roa, Gabriel ; Redmond, Wm. ;
Ronan, Roger ;~Sandera, Henry ; Scroopo, Russell, ; Sheile, Francis ; Smith,
John ; Smith, Wm. ; Stoope, Wm. ; Story, Wm. ; Stuart, Jane ; Symons, Paul ;
Tewdy, John ; Troope, John ; Trumbell, Elnr. ; Tullagh, Robert ; Williams, Thos.
; Willows, Robt. ; Wills, Richd.; Wodlan, Wm. ; Woods, Humphry
BAEONY OF CAEBUEY, PAEISH OF AHAMLISH. Aghagode, 1 qr. (mort- gaged to John
French) ; worth 6 per annum. Ardnaglasse, 1 qr. ; mortgaged also to John French;
worth 7 per annum. Gortnoleck and Coltecere, 1 qr. ; mortgaged to Andrew O'Crean,
Esq. ; worth 12 4s. per annum. Dorelean, 1 qr. ; in possession of the Countys as
parte of her Dowrey from S r . Donogh O'Connor; worth 12 per annum. Clunorkooe,
qr. ; mortgaged to Andrew O'Crean, Esq. ; it hath bogges and wood ; worth 5 7*.
per annum. Killcade, % qr. ; mortgaged to Patrick French ; worth 6 per annum.
Carowloile, qr. ; mortgaged to the same; it hath goodwood; worth 6 per annum.
Tissan, qr. ; . . . mortgadged to Eoebucke O'Crean, who sets it to undertenants
for 6 per annum ; it is good arrable land, it hath good turffe, 3 days mowinge,
it will grase ... cows, and it is worth 7 per annum.
Kahaberny, 1 qr. ; ... mortgadged to Robuck O'Crean ... it is worth 10 per
Knocknagee, 1 qr. . . . ; mortgadged to Andrew Creane, Esq. ; hee leaves it to
his sonn John, whoe setts it to Thomas O'Summaghan, 1 and John Dorragha O'Laghna,
fosterers . . . ; it is good ruffe grassing ground, sheltered with shrubes . . .
; worth 12 per annum.
RENTALS OF THE ESTATES OF LANDED PROPRIETORS OF THE COUNTY SLIGO IN THE YEARS
The following lands were held by the
BARONY OF CARBURY, PARISH OF AHAMLISH. Carownogransy ; The inheritance of
Andrew O'Crean, who tooke it in mortdgage from my Lo. of Corke, hee lets it to
undertenants for 10 per annum ; it is good arrable lande, there is an old castle
built uppon it, it hath good turffe, 4 dayes mowing, it will grase 50 cowes, and
it is worth 12 per annum.
PARISH OF ST. JOHN'S. Aghamore, 1 qr. ; set for 15 per annum ; it is good
arrable land a part, it hath a great scope of moun- teyne and fir- wood, and
good turffe, 3 days mowing ; it now grases 100 cowes and it is worth 16 per
annum. Ballenogarn, 4 qrs. The inheritance of Andrew O'Crean and Henry Oge
O'Crean, who setts them to undertenants for 18 a quar. Of these 4 qrs. they have
good shelter and good turffe, it will grase 400 cowes and it is worth 72 per
annum. Lecarownocalry, qr.
PARISH OF CALEY. Cartronnogrogagh, 1 ; sett to undertenants for 5 per annum, and
all countrey chardges . . . and is worth 7 lls. per annum. Lecarownotullagha,
|-qr. ; worth 9 per annum. Clogherbeg, 1 qr. ; . . . It is some rockey grounde,
it hath good shelter, and good turffe, 6 dayes mowinge, it will grase 100 cowes,
and is worth 20 per annum. Cloghermore, 1 qr. ; ... set to under- tenants for 17
per annum and country chardges, with 4 barrells of malt, 8 fatt muttons, 12
medders of butter, 24 medders of meale, the third parte to be wheat, a chosher
at Christmas. It is some parte rockey ground, it hath good shelter, and good
turffe, 5 dayes mowinge, it will grase 100 cowes, and is worth 20 per annum.
Colgoder? i qr. ; worth 10 4s. per annum. Kineltin, 1 qr. ; it is worth 20 per
annum. Carignogroagh, iqr.; worth 6 10s. per annum. Lecarow- clunestallan, % qr.
; Annagh (now Hazlewood), 1 qr. ; Killbride, 1 qr. ; These 3 qrs. and (?) is the
inheritance of Andrew O'Crean, Esq r ., whoe setts them to undertenants for 40
per annum and 10 barrells of malt, 10 muttons, 100 workmen, 20 medders of
butter, 40 medders of meale ; it is some part good arrable land, hath good
turffe and shelter and heathy grounde, it will grase 200 cowes, and it is worth
1 In the parish of Ahamlish there is a townland named Grogagh.
2 Probably Colgagh
RENTALS OF THE ESTATES OF LANDED PROPRIETORs OF THE COUNTY SLIGO IN THE YEARS
per ann. Lissacopan and Carrownoughter, 5 cartrons; ... set to undertenants for
21 per annum ... it is good arrable land, it hath good turffe, 5 days mowinge,
it will grase 120 cowes and it is worth 25 per annum. Srabraghan, 1 1 qr. ;
Saununighteragh, 1 qr. ; sett to undertenants for 32 per annum. It is all good
arrable land, uppon the qr. of Shrabraghan ther is a good English mill, one of
the best in the country : for duties he getts in these 2 qrs. 8 barrells of
malt, 16 medders of butter, 32 medders of meale, 8 fatt muttons, 40 workmen. It
hath good turffe, 12 days mowing of good lowmeddow, it will grase 120 cowes and
is worth 38 per annum.
PARISH OF KILLASPUGBRONE. Gransagh, 4 qrs. ; John O'Crean . . . bought it from
Sr. Robert Kinge, Knt. ; it is all good arrable land, and some heathy ground, it
hath good turffe and meddowes ; the said John getts in these 4 qrs. the som of
16 barrells of malt, 16 fatt muttons, 1 6 medders of butter, 64 medders of meale,
8 workmen ; it will grase 400 cowes, and it is worth 100 per annum.
BARONY OF TIRERRILL, PARISH OF KILMACALLAN. Ardneskin, 1 qr. ; ... it is a
spongey ground and great store of heath ... it hath a weare of Eeles uppon
PARISH OF KILLADOON. Moore, qr. (now Ballindoon) ; . . . it hath good turffe and
(a) good spring with a mill uppon it ... and is worth 7 per ann. by reason of
the burialls in the Abbey and the benefitt of the mill.
MAC DONNOGH FAMILY.
BARONY OF TIRERRILL, THE HALFE PARISH OF ENNAGH (Ballysa- dare). Clooneihr, %
qr. ; Carrowmeer, 1 qr. ; Lynamanta, Cornakea- sagh, 1 qr. ; Cloonvickduffe, 1
qr. ; Eahrippen, 1 qr. ... possest by the said Sily, his mother, whoe setts it
to undertennants for 18 per ann. and 40 medders of butter, 80 medders of meale,
13 barrells of malte, 120 workmen, 21 fatt muttons, together with 60 egges and
one hen uppon every tennant. These 2 quarters are good arrable lande . . . worth
42 per ann. Cashell, 1 qr. ; . . . the Lo. Taaffe hath in mortgadge from
Nicholas Browne of Gallaway, merchant, whoe had it in mortgadge from . . . Brian
oge (Mac Donnogh) his father, together with 8 qrs. more in mortgadge of 800. The
said Lo. Taaffe letts the one half of it unto the said Brian oge, his mother,
for 4 per ann., and letts the other halfe to Thomas the Miller, together with
the mills, for 16 per ann., soe that the whole quarter may be worth 20 per ann.
Carrowmeer, 1 qr. ; mortgadged . . . about 10 years past for 100 unto Andrew (O)Creane,
Esq., who gave it to his sonne John O'Creane ... it is in parte good arrable
lande, the other parte good pasture, with a great scope of mounteine and woods .
. . worth 10 per ann.
PARISH OF EJLROSS. Clonagh, % qr. (probably portion of Castle- dargan) ; ... it
hath parte of the aforesaid logh (i. e. Castledargan lake) worth 7 per ann.
Tourehowen, ; worth 4 per annum. Tomerancy, ; . . . mortgadged to Andrew Crean,
Esq., for 26, who setts it together with a small Irish mill, to the said John
Grana for 4 per annum . . . worth 5 per annum. (All the foregoing are sub-denomi-
nations of Clonagh.)
History of Sligo; county
and town; with illustrations from original drawings and plans
by Wood-Martin, W. G. (William Gregory), 1847-1917
Publication date 1882-1892
Topics Sligo, Ire. (County) -- History
Publisher Dublin : Hodges, Figgis
DEPOSITIONS CONCERNING MURDERS AND ROBBERIES COMMITTED
IN THE COUNTY OF SLIGO. (MS. F. 3. 2, Trinity College, Dublin.}
241 Deposition of Peeter O'Crean
The Deposition of Peeter O'Crean, merchant in Sligo, taken the 18 th of May,
Peeter O'Crean of the age of thrittie three years or thairabouts,
being duely sworne upon the holy Evangelists, and examined saith, that he lived
in Sligo att the begineing of the rebellion, and thair continued till thair was
a siege layd unto the towne, And that the inhabitants of the barony of Carbery
wer the first that came to the siegde, in two great bodies, one part of tham cam
from the lower parts of the barony under the command of Teag Boy O'Connor,
Charles O'Connor, Hugh O'Connor, brothers to O'Connor Sligo, Phelim M'Shan
O'Connor, Teag O'Connor of Glen. And the other part who lived within the
bridges, wer headed by Donell M'Brian Dorrogh O'Connor, Hugh M'Con O'Connor and
others, who quartered thamselves in the houses adjoyneing to the church. The
next partie of men that cam to the siedge was Owen O'Rork and the inhabitants of
the lower part of the County of Lettrim, headed by the said Owen O'Rork,
Laughlin M'Glanaghie and others, and the dayes followeing the inhabitants of the
other baronies within the County of Sligo cam also headed by Cap* Brian M'Donogh,
who was afterwards mad Lieu" Colonell; Cap* Patrick Plunket, Cap 1 Moreis Keogh
M'Donnogh, Cap* Brian M'Swyn, Cap 1 David O'Dowd, and Cap 1 Thibe reagh Bourk
and others, who all lay in siege against the towne, till the Castles wer
surrendered, and this Deponent being further exa- mined who wer the most active
at that tyme in all thair under- takeings, sayth that he observed Teag M'Conmy
most active in robbing and plundering eftir the surrendering of the Castles, and
this Deponent being further examined saith that the English had gott quarter and
that they wer to have thair lyves and so much of thair goods as they wer able to
cary upon thair backs, with a convoy to pass whither they pleased, which was
immediately broken ; And the deponent further saith that eftir the takeing of
the Castles, hee this Deponent went to O'Connor Sligoe and procured a protection
for on Sampson Porter, whereby he migh[t] have libertie to live in the towne,
with his wyff and familie, upon which protection the said Sampson Porter re-
mained with [t]his Dep 1 in his hous, and that on Owen M'Rori O'Connor finding
his opportunitie when this Deponent was abroad upon his privat occations, fell
upon the said Sampson Porter, and did continually tortur him having a rope about
his neck and halfe hange- ing of him, and tyeing his hand behind his back till
hee the said Sampson was forced to confess that he had the matter of seaven-
teen pound of gold hid in the ground, which att length hee gott, notwithstanding
all that the Deponent was able to do for the pre- servation of the said Sampson,
his person or goods, and this Deponent
further saith that he went to O'Connor Sligo and complained of the breach of the
protection given to the said Sampson, whereunto the said O'Connor replyed, that
he was not able to remeidie it for hee had no command of the said Osven M'Eori
O'Connor; And this Deponent further saith that the said Sampson remained thair
with him eftir this first plundering of him, which incoragded others to come and
search for goods belonging to the said Sampson Porter sewerall tymes, by which
means this Deponent (as he alledgeth) was lyk to be undone, so that he this
Deponent perswaded the said Sampson Porter to remove into another house,
whereupon the said Sampson removed with a friar called Hugh M'Martin to the
Abbey, and from thence to on Dermott O'Dawan Smith his hous, out of the which
hous the said Sampson was carried to the gaole and thair murthered, and further
this dep 1 sayth that that very night wherein the murder was committed Cap ta
Charles O'Connor, Cap tn Hugh O'Connor, with some of thair fol- lowers to the
number of twelf or thaireabouts, cam in upon this Depon* rushing into his hous
about twelf a clock at night, and eftir some threatenings of the Depon* the said
Charles O'Connor Demanded of the Depon* which of all the English in prison hee
wuld rather have inlargded and sent away safe, whereunto this Depon* ansered
that he wold wish that they wer all safe, and especially hee did wish that on
Eichard Swash, shoemaker, Sampson Porter, M r "W m Welsh, and Henri Knapp, might
be sent away safe, whereunto Charles O'Connor replyed, striking his hand upon
his knee, that he should newir see Sampson Porter trott again, whereupon the
souldiers of the said Captans rushed in into the Chamber wher this Dep 4 was
with thes Cap tns with six drawn swords and twelfe drawin skeins, and bragged
that these were the swords and skiens that had committed the murder, and gloried
in the fact ; And this Deponent further sayth that he knew besyd these Captans,
thes persons following, who wer present att the committing of the murder, to
witt, Teag O'Sheal, dead, Eori Ballagh O'Hart, Owen O'Hart, Brother to Rori
Ballagh O'Hart, Gerrard Herbert, and Edward Herbert, Thomas "Welsh and Nicholas
"Welsh, which said Thomas "Welsh was then drummer to Cap tn Charles O'Connor,
and this Dep* further sayeth not.
Signed, and acknowledged PEETER O'CEEAN
244 Deposition of John Crean
Examinations taken at Sligoe, the 14th day of May, 1653.
John Crean of Sligoe sayeth that hee was made Cap tn of a foote company by Teige
O'Connor Sligoe, then called Collonell of the County of Sligoe, a litle after
Christmas, 1641. And at a meetingeof the officers of the Irish army itt was
ordered that five Capn" with theire companies shoulde goe out of the barronyof
Garb ry to beseidge Temple- house, the residence of William Crofton, Eso/, the
names of the said five cap" 8 were these, viz 1 , Tiege boy M'Shane O'Connor,
Phelym M'Shane O'Connor, Roger O'Connor, M'Fardinando Donnell O'Connor, M r
Bryan Dorah, and this examinant, and that they should ioyne with the captains of
the other barronies of the said County of Sligoe to accomplish that service, and
that they shoulde yealde obedience unto the comand of Lieut. Collonell Brian
M'Donnoge, then liu 1 to the said Collonell O'Connor Sligoe, whereuppon they all
wentt to Templehouse, and there it was agreed uppon by the cheife officers that
mett for the settinge forwarde of that seidge that there should remaine there
a partie out of each barrony of the said County, for the barrony of Carbry, this
exam* with his company was left there. Out of the barrony of Leignie Cap" Brian
O'Hara ; out of the barrony of Corren, Cap" Hugh M'Donnogh, with authority unto
Cap" Brian O'Hara to comaund in cheife oer those forces in regarde the said
garrison of Templehouse is seituate in O'Hara's country. And that after some
continewance of tyme in that seidge, the said M r Crofton yealded to deliver upp
that house uppon Capitulation articled betweene the said three cap n8 & him,
wherein was a clause of safety to the said M r Crofton, & all in that houlde
with him for their lives and some reservation of M r Crof ton's goodes and
others, the certainety whereof hee leaves to the said writinge. But as for the
murther of M r Oliphant layed to his chardge he knewe not of itt, nor did heare
hee was executed untill after the same was done by some of Cap Brian O'Hara &
Cap n Hugh M'Donnoghe's souldiers over whome hee had noe power, neither was in
place (sic) but at that tyme ymployed him self e aboute the preservation of M r
Crofton & his wife with all the English of that house which were in alone roome
with them, from the fury of the enraged souldiers, & countrymen whoe were
furiously actinge their pleasures aboute that house in the instance of that
destration. And for the murther of Henry Norwell & and the oulde woeman hee
sayeth that hee is not knoweinge of itt, nor was in Templehouse at the tyme of
their killinge, neither did hee see or knowe of the killinge of any of the
Brittish which came out of the County of Mayoe ; hee at that instant of tyme
beinge at Ballymoate uppon a visite to the lorde Taafe that then lay sicke, but
hee 'was afterwards enformed that those persons were seised uppon by Cap 1 Brian
O'Hara whoe carryed bouletts with him out of Templehouse leager to putt uppon
them in a place called Eathbane neere thereunto, where this exam 1 heares they
were murthered by Neile Murry O'Scanlan and others of the Company of Cap n Hugh
M'Shane Glasse M'Donnoghe. And as to the killinge of M r "Wray this examinant
sayeth that hee procured a horse for him, and his wife (being his tenantts) to
Carry them to Sligoe, and soe to Convoy them into the North for their safety,
And had them both sett on horse backe to goe alonge in company with M r "W m
Crofton and his wife, when on a sudden Shane M'Eickard M'Manus and Hurtagh
M'Manus of the Company of Captain Brian O'Hara, tooke the opportunity as they
were rideinge before the rest of the Company to fall uppon the said M r "Wray, &
some of them to give him a slash or two with a skeine on his heade uppon sight
whereof this exam* advanced forwarde endeavouringe to
stave them of from doeinge more mischeife, And gott M r "Wray to Ballymoate, &
there had Chirurgions to dresse his woundes, but for all they coulde doe within
two daies after hee died. This examin* lastly sayeth that his said Collonell
Teige O'Conne Sligoe came to Temple- house soone after the surrender of the
same, before either the officers or souldiers were dispersed, and that they the
Cap M whoe tooke in the said houlde bought a barrell of sacke to bestowe uppon
him for his welcome thether, where after the same was drunke each man departed
without the said Collonell 0' Connor' s further takeinge noetice of any act or
thinge that had bin there donn.
This examination taken before JOHN CREAN.
ROBT: PARKE. RICH: COOTE
252 Deposition of Richard O'Crean
The Examination of Richard O'Crean of Carowcashell, gen*, taken befor me the 24
of May, 1653.
Eichard O'Crean of Carowcashell, being of the age of fortie years or thairabouts,
being examined, sayth that he lived in Carowcashell, within the barony of
Tireragh, and County of Sligo, at the begineing of the rebellion, And that the
next day after the committing of the murder in Sligo, hee this Examinant cam to
the towne of Sligo, and heard of the said murder, and that hee heard that the
said murder was committed by Charles O'Connor, Hugh O'Connor, brothers to
O'Connor Sligo, and another Hugh O'Connor, and that thair was on of the name of
Butts at that fact whoes names this Examinant doeth not remember, and that on
Eichard Welsh being gaoler at that tyme was constrained to the murder, as this
Examinant was informed. "Wherupon this Examinant mad no longer stay in towne,
hot being greived att the said fact returned back. And this Examinant further
sayth that the said Cahill O'Connor and Hugh O'Connor committed murder in Ton-
rego upon the persons of on Thomas Coote, Thomas Crowne, and others within the
barony of Tireragh, in the hous of Mulmore M'Swyn, and that the fact was
committed violently against the wills of the said Mulmore M'Swyn and Gilian
Lynch his wyff, who is now liveing ; As also this deponent being further
examined heard that thair was a murder committed in Ardneglas upon sewerall
persons by the souldiers of Brian M'Swyn. And this Examinant further sayth that
eftirwards in the next year on Eobert Nisbitt and his wyff and his sone was
murdered in the said towne of Ardneglas by some Ulster- men, being of the
company of on Neal Merigagh M'Swyn, who is now Dead, and that very day this
examinant sayth that hee had entertained two Scottish men as servants in his
hous for a year, and
being abroad and hearing of the murdering of Robert Nisbit, his wyff, and sone,
hee this examinant mad hast home, wher he found his two servants readi to be
execut by on Eori O'fflannell, who is now dead, and some others, being in all
four in number, of the company of Brian M'Swyn, whom, with much adoe evin with
the hazard of his lyve, this examinant rescewed out of thair hands, And this
examinant heard of the murder of Skryn committed by Connor Roe M'Conmy, Colla
M'Swyn, and two women, which woomen was observed to Dy a miserable death ; And
further this examinant sayth that on Calvagh O'Connor, sone to Donald O'Connor
of Donoghatrahan, with a brother of his owen, whoes name this examin* knoweth
not, some six years ago (the said Calvagh and his brother being then in
protection) finding some strangers passeing thoroe the countrey (as this
examinant be- leeveth) they fell upon tham, nigh Donecohy, and murdered tham,
and further this examinant sayth not.
Signed and acknowledged RICHARD O'CREAN.
before mee, as witness my hand, RICH: COOTE.
The earliest recorded Ó Croidheáins both died in
the same year,1506
(1) Domnall O Craidhen (Donnell O'Crean) a pious and
conscientious merchant, died, while hearing mass in Donegal.
(2) Cormacas O Craian, who is buried in the beautiful
altar tomb which stands in the nave of Sligo Abbey, which bears a Latin
inscription, "Hic . jacet . Cormacus. Ocraian . Et Ehon ac . Nanangasa . uxor.
Eis . an . Do., MCCCCC VI." (Here lieth Cormac O'Craian, . . . . . . and
Nanangasa, his wife, The year of the Lord, 1506.)
The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland
(Irish: Annála Ríoghachta Éireann) or the Annals of the Four Masters (Annála na
Donnell (Domnall) O'Craidhen (O'Crean), a pious and conscientious merchant,
died, while hearing mass in Donegal Abbey. (1506)
Henry O'Craidhen, a rich and affluent merchant of Lower Connaught, died. (1572)
The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (Irish:
Annála Ríoghachta Éireann) or the Annals of the Four Masters (Annála na gCeithre
Máistrí) are chronicles of medieval Irish history. The entries span from the
Deluge, dated as 2,242 years after creation to AD 1616.
The annals are mainly a compilation of earlier annals, although there is some
original work. They were compiled between 1632 and 1636, allegedly in a cottage
beside the ruins of Donegal Abbey, just outside Donegal Town.[
The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (Irish: Annála Ríoghachta Éireann) or the
Annals of the Four Masters (Annála na gCeithre Máistrí) are chronicles of
medieval Irish history. The entries span from the Deluge, dated as 2,242 years
after creation to AD 1616.
The annals are mainly a compilation of earlier annals, although there is some
original work. They were compiled between 1632 and 1636, allegedly in a cottage
beside the ruins of Donegal Abbey, just outside Donegal Town. At this time,
however, the Franciscans had a house of refuge by the River Drowes in County
Leitrim, just outside Ballyshannon, and it was here, according to others, that
the Annals were compiled. The patron of the project was Fearghal Ó Gadhra, MP, a
Gaelic lord in Coolavin, County Sligo.
The chief compiler of the annals was Brother Mícheál Ó Cléirigh from
Ballyshannon, who was assisted by, among others, Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh,
Fearfeasa Ó Maol Chonaire and Cú Choigríche Ó Duibhgeannáin. Although only one
of the authors, Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, was a Franciscan friar, they became known as
"the Four Friars" or in the original Irish, na Ceithre Máistrí. The Anglicized
version of this was "the Four Masters", the name that has become associated with
the annals themselves.
Sligo Abbey (Irish: Mainistir Shligigh) was a Dominican convent in Sligo,
Ireland, founded in 1253. It was built in the Romanesque style with some later
additions and alterations. Extensive ruins remain, mainly of the church and the
Name and location The name "Sligo Abbey" is the generally accepted
traditional name, but strictly speaking "abbey" is inappropriate as Dominican
monasteries are led by priors not abbots: "convent", "friary", or "priory" would
be more correct. The community was dedicated to the Holy Cross. The ruins are
located in Abbey Street, Sligo, but when it was still functioning, the convent
lay outside the town's limits and its location was then usually described as
Monuments The church contains two noteworthy funeral
monuments: the "O'Craian altar tomb" and the mural in remembrance of "Sir Donogh
O'Connor Sligo". O'Craian's tomb is the oldest surviving monument in the church.
Its Latin inscription dates it from 1506 and states that it is the tomb of
Cormac O'Craian (or Crean) and his wife Johanna, daughter of Ennis (or Magennis).
It fills a niche in the northern wall of the nave next to the rood screen. It
consists of a stone table, similar to the altar in the choir, and a canopy
consisting of a high pointed arch with tracery. The style is late Gothic.
History Sligo Abbey, was a Dominican Friary, founded in
1253 by Maurice FitzGerald, 2nd Lord of Offaly, who was Justiciar of Ireland
from 1232 to 1245. His purpose allegedly was to house a community of monks to
pray for the soul of Richard Marshal, 3rd Earl of Pembroke, whom he was rumoured
to have killed. The Dominicans were a poor choice for such a task as their
specialty is preaching rather than praying. FitzGerald built a substantial
Norman abbey, with all the essential parts and endowed it with lands.
Founded in 1252 or 1253 for the Dominicans by
Maurice Fitzgerald, 2nd Baron of Offaly, who was also founder of the town.
Having escaped the ravages suffered by the now destroyed Sligo Castle in the
13th and 14th centuries, the Friary was accidentally burned in 1414, but was
rebuilt two years later by Friar Bryan MacDonagh with assistance from (the
other) Pope John XXIII.
In a recess in the north wall of the nave is the O'Crean tomb dated to 1506,
bearing panels in front with the Crucifixion in the centre, the Virgin Mary and
St. John on either side; other figures are probably to be identified as St.
Dominic (in friar's robes), St. Katherine (with remains of a wheel), St. Peter
(with keys), St. Michael (with shield and raised sword), and there are other
Modern Image of O'Crean Tomb
Sligo Friary, County Sligo. Copyright Sligo County Library
O'Crean Tomb, Sligo Friary
Choir Of Sligo Abbey. Drawn For Colonel Cooper from an
original sketch and partly finished from a photograph July 1882.
Copyright Sligo County Library
Wakeman drew this monument in August 1880. It can be found in a recess in
the north wall of the nave, just west of the rood-screen within Sligo's
Dominican Friary. This is the O'Craian or Crean tomb of 1506 and is the earliest
monument in the church.
What is immediately noticeable is that the lower part of the tomb was completely
buried when Wakeman illustrated it. This is because the Board of Works reduced
the ground level to the original level during the restoration of the friary in
1913 by Doctor Cochrane.
(Photograph: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
Today, because of the extensive restoration works, the whole tomb can be seen,
while in Wakeman's drawing only the remains of a finely carved canopy and a
later crest of the O'Crean's can be seen.
The tomb chest visible today is somewhat similar in design - called English Late
Gothic - to the high altar but has nine figures carved in relief on arcaded
panels on the front of the tomb.
(Photograph: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
From left to right these comprise a friar, probably St Dominic; then a figure
robed and crowned, with a sword in their right hand and he appears to be holding
a circle against his breast, perhaps representing the wheel of St Catherine; the
third figure is a possible female in a long gown held closed by a belt carrying
a staff with an oval shape on its top, and possibly represents a pilgrim; the
next figure is the Virgin Mary, beside whom is Christ on the Cross, with St John
the Apostle next to him; the next and seventh figure is St Michael the
Archangel, recognisable by his wings, raised sword and shield with a cross on
it; beside him is St Peter the Apostle, holding the keys to Heaven, and finally
there is a bishop holding a processional cross with his hand raised in
The Latin inscription along the upper part of the top slab of the tomb chest is
incomplete but the date 1506 (MCCCCCCVI) can be read and the name Cormac
O'Craian. His wife's name might be Johanna Nic Aengusa (Ennis). The O'Crean
family were an important, wealthy merchant family, originally from Donegal but
came to Sligo in the late 15th century.
(Photograph: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
The crest or coat of arms of O'Crean depicted in Wakeman's drawing is an
armorial stone and is the earliest of its type in the Friary, dating to 1616.
(Photograph: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
It bears the O'Crean family crest - combined
with those of the French family crest. The initials on the crest AC and EF are
probably those of Andrew Crean and his wife Elizabeth (?) French.
This monument was erected within the Family
Tomb (altar) in 1616 for Andrew O'Crean and his wife Eleanor French.
While quite deteriorated, you can still identify the following. On top of the
shield is the family crest Demi-wolf with heart in paws. Also the two chalices
(one on either side of the shield) have the initials AC on the left, and EC on
the right. You cannot read the date from the photo, but below the shield it says
1616. Finally, if you study it VERY CAREFULLY, you can make out on the shield,
the two shields of the O'Crean and French families. The French shield is the
lower right under the /\. On the upper left you can make out the top two hearts
of O'Crean. After you see these, you can identify the bottom heart. (Seán F.
O'Hart (Limited American Edition, New York, 1915)
O'Hart's Irish Pedigrees is a standard work of
reference for anyone engaged in Irish genealogy - no library should
be without a copy. It was first published in Dublin in 1878 at a
time I always thought of as the Celtic Twilight but which
Wikipedia tells us was the Irish Literary Revival. This was a
time when there was a flowering of work by playwrights, poets and
scholars keen to reveal Ireland's Celtic past to an audience who
were giving up the Irish language and had forgotten or never knew of
Ireland's rich heritage. The work must therefore be seen in that
Today a genealogical work which starts with the Creation and giving
a pedigree from Adam and Eve would generally not inspire great
confidence. O'Hart, quoting many ancient texts does exactly that -
stating that the Celtic race descends from Milesius of Spain, his 3
sons and his uncle. The format for the first volume therefore is
divided into 4 sections: Families descended from Heber, Ithe, Ir and
Heremon staring with the families of Brady, Brenan, Carroll, Casey,
Clancy, Coghlan, etc. and ending with Scanlan, Sheane, Spillane,
Sweeny, Tatly, Tierney and Tully. At the end of Vol I O'Hart has
included colour images of Coats of Arms.
The second Vol. gives families who were of Danish, Anglo-Norman,
English, Welsh, Scottish, Huguenot and Palatine extraction. A
General Index of both vols. is to be found at the end of Vol II
together with a most valuable Index of Sirnames (surnames). Also
given is a section Opinions of the Press quoting extracts of
reviews of the book in 78 newspapers and periodicals! One of which,The
Philadelphia Inquirer, said:
.. We have in our midst so many descendants of the old families of
Ireland, that this volume will be deeply interesting and valuable to
those who take pleasure in genealogical researches. Mr. O'Hart has shown
industry, perseverance and zeal in preserving from loss the records of
so many years for the use of our New World.
Census of the Diocese of Elphin 1749
Here is the Cryan/Crean results of the Census of the Diocese of Elphin 1749 from
findmypast. (There are crossovers). There are Crean and variants in Roscommon
and Cryan variants in Sligo. But the Cryan variants are mainly in Roscommon. So
while Crean has a long history in Sligo, Cryan seems to be relatively new. So is
it possible that as the Creans declined in importance in Sligo in the 17th
century, they moved to other counties where the local accent pronounced Crean
differently? If so, then it is very likely that the Cryans are descendants of
the Sligo Creans.
Carrowreagh Cryans Patricia Buker
Currently, there are 3 Cryan families in Carrowreagh (that we
know of) and they are all related to Sean Rua Cryan, approx 4 generations
back. From what I understand, my Gr.Gr.Grandfather Sean Rua (Red John) had 8
daughters and 5 sons. Two of the sons died young and the farm was split between
the remaining 3 sons, Patrick (Padraig Rua), Martin & Peter Cryan. The property
on which the family house was located was left to Padraig Rua who is my direct
Sean Rua married a woman with the maiden name Carney. I believe
that there were 8 daughters & 5 sons. The birth dates are not known at this time
Michael, died May 7, 1907 (26yrs). An obituary for his
funeral is available
John...believed to have died young
Patrick (also called Padraig Rua) was my Great Grandfather
Nora (married name Kehoe)
Winifred (married name Cummins or Mr.G.Commons,
xxxx (married name Nolan, Mr.& Mrs.J.J.Nolan)
xxxx (married name Fitzmorris or Mr.& Mrs.P.Morris)
xxxx (married name Kallery)
xxxx (married name Connor or Mrs.G.O’Connor)
xxxx (married name Mr.& Mrs.M.Connellan)
in black text, my Grandmother Delia Cryan communicated the
history in 1980.
In blue text, an obituary from 1907 names sisters and
brother-in-laws. Using this as a reference, there appear to be alternate
surnames. For this reason, I’ve included both for cross-reference purposes.
Also, the obituary from 1907 also references uncles which
suggested that Sean Rua had a brother Luke Cryan. The same obituary suggests
that his Sean Rua’s wife had brothers Peter Carney, John Carney & Martin
My Gr.Grandfather was Padraig Rua Cryan (Red Patrick
Cryan). He married
Catherine O’Reily and had 5 sons and 2 daughters. The birth
dates are not known at this time
Mai > Birthdate unknown. Died Oct.10/81. She married Charlie
Barrett and remained in Co.Leitrim, Ireland
Ann (called Nell) > married name Kenny
Tom > died when he was 7 at the family home in Carrowreagh.
The description from my grandmother suggested Meningitis.
Samual Gerard > born 1902. Immigrated to Argentina
William > was killed by a car in New York
John Joseph > my Grandfather, raised his family in
My Grandfather was John Joseph Cryan (called Jack) Cryan. He
Bridget Agnes (called Delia, maiden name Elwood). They had 5
Padraig, b1926, married Patricia O'Connor in
Joseph, b1927, immigrated to Canada, 1949, Married Mary
(Kelly) & died Sept.30, 2007
Richard, b1930?, resides in Carrowreagh
Samual, b1932?, resides in Carrowreagh
Thomas, b1934. He immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1953,
married Jessie Briget (called Netta, maiden name Kelly) Aug. 31, 1957. They
had 6 children which includes me (Patricia. My mother was born in Glasgow,
Scotland on Dec.17, 1935 and lived in Mallaig, Scotland until 18 years old.
They had 6 children.
Delia Margaret b1958 in Toronto, Canada. Married Charles
Grech & had 3 children, Christina Maria, Melissa Carmela & Rebecca Anne.
Patricia Mairi b1959 in Toronto, Canada. Married Kerry Buker Oct.10, 1981
and had 3 children, Brendan Patrick b1984, Shawna Mairi b1986 & Kylie
John Michael (called Iain) b1960 in Co.Roscommon, Ireland.
He died Feb.21,2000. Never married.
Gerard Patrick b1961 in Co.Roscommon, Ireland. Married
Lorrie (maiden name Tremaine) and had 2 children, Kevin & Colleen
Thomas James b1964 in Toronto, Canada. Married Sharon
(maiden name xxxxx, 1st married name McQuade) already had 2
children Ashleigh & Angeleigh. Tom & Sharon had 2 more children, Connor &
Maureen Anne b1976 in Toronto, Canada. Married Patrick
Farrell and had 3 children, Peri Jane, Caeden James & Layne Rian.
Robert Cryan (1827-1881)
54 Parnell Square, Dublin (Photograph:
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
Robert Cryan (1827-1881) was an Irish medical doctor, professor of Anatomy and
Physiology at the Catholic University in Dublin, Ireland, as well as a lecturer
on anatomy and Physiology at the Carmichael School of Medicine in Dublin.
Robert Cryan lived at 54 Rutland Square, (now called Parnell Square, Dublin,
Ireland, and was licensed to practice medicine in 1847 by the Royal College of
The Nation 22 November 1856
My Cryan Genealogy My great great grandfather, John Cryan, married Margaret Dolan in Boyle, Co.
Roscommon in 1858 and spent his life in Croghan, about 5 miles south of Boyle,
working as a National School teacher (where he is still remembered as Master
Cryan) until his death in 1906. From his age on his Death Certificate I believe
he was born around 1833 and a reference to a family who had a son, John, at that
time has been found. This was a couple, John Cryan and Catherine Drury, who
married in 1829 in Croghan and had three sons John (b.1833 in Boyle), James
(b.1842 in Boyle) and Patrick (b.1831 in Croghan). I do not know what happened
to Patrick and James. Does this information sound familiar to you? Have you ever
heard talk of a Master Cryan in your family? Maybe these names have been passed
down through the generations as they have in my family. Please let me know at
Old schoolhouse, Croghan Co Roscommon
Where John Cryan (1830s-1905), my great great grandfather, taught
Demolished 1990s (Photograph: Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin)
Croghan Village Circa 1900
Map of Parish of Croghan
From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
by Samuel Lewis
My Great Great Grandmother
My Great Great Grandmother
Eliza Shanahan (nee Sullivan, centre, front row) and her family,
Valentia Island, Co Kerry c1890s
Standing - Pat/ Annie/ Johanna / Mick.
Sitting - Maria/ Eliza (Their mother, nee Sullivan) / Nell
My Great Grandaunt, Bridget Cryan (b 1882)
(first from left)
My Great Grandaunt, My Father's First Cousin,
My Father's Paternal Grandmother, and My Grandaunt c1920s
Bridget Cryan (b 1882) / Joan O Neil / Johanna Cryan (Shanahan) / Girlie (Cryan)
My paternal grandmother with my great
grandmother out for a stroll c1930s
Sarah (Kelly) Cryan / Jane( Carty) Kelly (Sarah’s mother).
My grandparents Liam and Sarah (Kelly) Cryan 1930
Liam and Sarah Cryan
on their wedding day July 1930 in Dublin
and in Saturday Herald.
My granduncle Stephen Cryan (1892-1963) 1920s
Stephen Cryan, at the wheel (Kerry
No.3 Brigade I.R.A)
Driving a Ford Model T Touring c1920s
My grand uncle Joseph Cryan with his wife Olive
Joseph Cryan / Olive (Foster) Cryan 1930s
My grandfathers brothers and brother-in-law 1920s
(left to right) Joseph Cryan / Mr Gilsenan (family friend) / Stephen
Cryan / John O Neill / Pat Cryan. Circa 1920s
My grand uncle Pat Cryan, Garda H.Q. in the Phoenix Park
Back row Des Cryan / Kevin Cryan/
Front row Lauri Cryan / Sally Cryan 1950s
In Ireland Surnames can still be found concentrated in the County from which
they originate. In this manner one can examine the individual Surname
distribution maps on the Irish Origenes website and pinpoint a ‘Genetic
Homeland.’ The Genetic Homeland is the very small area, usually within a 5km (or
3 mile radius) where one’s ancestors lived for hundreds if not thousands of
years. It is the area where one’s ancestors left their mark in the place names
of that area and in the DNA of its current inhabitants. Since modern science can
pinpoint a Genetic Homeland it can also be used to confirm it by DNA testing
individuals from the pinpointed area. http://www.irishorigenes.com/
There are two people standing in the way of Deutsche
Bank and panic. The first is the current chief executive John Cryan. He
is no swashbuckling Fred Goodwin (RBS) or Bob Diamond (Barclays) of
pre-crisis notoriety. He is a very conservative, feet on the ground
pragmatist. He's already managed to reduce the debt of the bank and has
plans to do more. The other is even more important. German Finance
Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. He has said this year that he considers
Deutsche Bank "rock solid". That is not only reassuring in itself, but
indicates there is no way on earth that a rich German government would
let the most important bank in Germany - and by extension Europe - come
to any harm.
Cash won't be around in a decade, the chief executive of one of Europe's
biggest banks predicted on Wednesday. "“Cash I think in ten years time
probably won’t (exist). There is no need for it, it is terribly
inefficient and expensive,” John Cryan, chief executive of Deutsche
Bank, said during a discussion on financial technology, known as "fintech".
A fellow Cryan predicting the end of cash. They have to end cash
before they can bail in so there will be no run on the banks...
Cryan's Tavern, Hunterdon County, NJ, USA "If you're ever in Hunterdon County, NJ, USA stop in for Pint and say Hi to
the Cryan Family.
Our family roots are from Castlerea, County Roscommon"
Dan Cryan has degrees in Philosophy from UCL and now
works as a market analyst in London. Sharron Shatil is a Philosophy lecturer
at the Open University in Israel. Piero is an illustrator, artist and
graphic designer whose work has twice been included in the Royal College of
Art exhibition in London. Previous Introducing titles include Aesthetics,
Shakespeare and Nietzsche.
The shop M.Cryan's would have been my grandfather's brother
Matts shop in Ballymote Town . The Cinema is next door and I vaguely remember
that was owned by his brother Bartholomew (Batty). My father was born in Cryan's
confectionery shop next to McDonagh's pub in O'Connell street, now called
Doddy's. I believe this is Matt's shop in the photo which would have been in
Invoice for works carried out by Cryan's harness makers. My
great grand father Michael had a harness/saddler business in Ballymote Town.
This was carried on by the oldest brother Patrick when he died (no idea what
happened to Patrick) and I can only guess that Bartholomew (Batty) kept it
going, although he became and auctioneer/land agent. The harness/saddler
business was in New Town Street which I believe is now O'Connell street.
(1937) Thomas Cryan from Boyle, Co. Roscommon. He was twenty-three years old
when this photograph was taken. He had immigrated to England when he was
twenty-one years old and this was his first visit home. He was considering
emigrating from England to Australia at the time. Hence, he was home to visit
his family. However, upon returning to England, he decided to remain there and
ultimately established his own business. He lived in England for a further
thirty-eight years and returned to live in Ireland when he retired.
'Cryan's Hotel opened in Carrick on Shannon in August 2007. Although the family
have been in business in Carrick on Shannon for over 50 years. Having a long
established tradition of great hospitality good food and great craic in their
famous traditional Irish bar. Cryan's hotel is located right beside the River
Shannon and Carrick On Shannon Town Centre.' https://cryanshotel.ie/
The Irish Press 22 July 1960
'Crean's Dublin Made Soap'
Tigh Neachtain Pub, Galway (2009)
Cryan's Beef and Ale House 24 1st St, South Orange, NJ 07079