The LORDS COMMISSIONERS' REPORT TO HIS MAJESTY, concerning the plantation of Longford and O'Carroll's country, upon the escheated lands in those counties. MS 613, p. 89b 1618
MS 613, p. 89b
Calendar of the Carew Manuscripts preserved in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth, ed. J. S. Brewer & W. Bullen (6 vols., 1867-73), vol. V, document 203.
We to whom the business of Longford and O'Carroll's country was referred, with the advice and approbation of the rest of your Privy Council, offer these propositions following, to be observed in the plantation there to be made.
(1.) According to the survey now taken, the escheated lands of all sorts in Longford amount together to 130,356 acres, and in O'Carroll's country to 54,199; total 184,555.
(2.) Out of which, allowance being made of the glebes, abbey lands, lands formerly granted to patentees, which are not to be meddled with, unprofitable mountain, wood, and bog as they are found by the survey, there will remain of good land and profitable wood to be disposed: in Longford, 66,190 ac.; in O'Carroll's country, 36,872; total 103,062.
Then follow a number of suggestions, of which the following are the most important:--
(5.) It is best for the King's service that the undertakers, according to their several qualities, should have proportions of profitable land, some of 1,000 acres, others of 600, 500, 400, 300, and 200 a piece, besides bog, barren mountain, and unprofitable woods, of which there is likewise division to be made amongst them, by which course the buildings will be more, the bodies of men in greater numbers, and consequently the plantations will be stronger and better settled. The same order to be held in planting of the natives, but with this caution, that none of the better sort shall have more than a fourth part taken from them.
(8.) Every ancient pretended possessor who shall be now made a freeholder shall part with at least a fourth part of the lands he formerly possessed, besides a ratable proportion towards the compounding for the two yearly rents, now taken upon the country; that is of 200l. composition to Malbie's heirs, 120 beeves to the manor of Graynard.
(9.) Many of the principal natives are civil men, have built good houses and bawns, and some of them strong castles, and to these it may well stand with the King's goodness (if it may with the conveniency of the plantation) to regrant them their houses and castles again, with lands about them, upon the same conditions that the other natives have theirs. Your Deputy and Commissioners to be required to have a special care to give contentment to the best gentlemen and chiefs of several septs, by making good provision for them, that the clamours of the multitude may be restrained.
(10.) The places where the undertakers should be planted may be left to the discretion of the Deputy and Commissioners, though we are of opinion that it would sooner civilize the people and keep them from their private meetings, to have the undertakers mixed among them than to be designed to any place by themselves.
(11.) We desire that your Majesty should rather gain a good people and make a strong country than a rackrent, and therefore we do not advise a greater rent should be taken for this land than 2½d. an acre of the undertakers and natives one with another, all alike, for the good land in respect of the charge of the building and planting, and for the bog, barren mountain, and unprofitable wood (of which every native and undertaker is to have an addition to their other proportions). The Lord Deputy and Commissioners to be appointed are to set rents upon the same by the acre, both to the natives and undertakers, according to the goodness and quality thereof.
(12.) Every undertaker and native of 1,000 acres is to hold of you in capite, others of the lesser proportions to hold of your castle in Dublin in free and common soccage.
(13.) That every undertaker and native of 1,000 ac. shall be bound within three years to build a castle 30 foot in length, 20 in breadth, and 25 in height, to be built of stone or brick with lime, and compassed in with a bawn of 300 foot in compass of stone or brick with lime; and every undertaker of 600 and so to 1,000 ac. to be bound to build a strong house of stone or brick with lime within a bawn of 200 feet in compass; and every undertaker of a quantity under 600 ac. to build a good house of stone or brick with lime. The natives of these two last named proportions to be left to themselves.
(14.) That every proportion of 1,000 ac. shall have a manor with a court baron, with power to create tenures, and a leet, and every proportion of 600 and so to 1,000 ac. shall have a manor with a court baron, with power to create tenures. The proportions under 600 ac. to have neither.
(15.) That among all the undertakers and natives there may be grants made of 6 market towns, in the most convenient places, and no more, and fairs in so moderate a number, and rents to be reserved upon both.
(16.) That no native shall have granted unto him less than 100 ac. except very few upon good consideration, and none at all under 60; and all of them to hold immediately from your Majesty to lessen the dependency upon their lords.
(17.) That every undertaker and native that is bound to build may have liberty to take a proportionable quantity of timber and other materials for his building in any place within the plantation, by warrant of the Lord Deputy and Commissioners, within a limitation of the time of that liberty.
(20.) That the natives may be left at liberty to alien to British without licence, but be tied by a proviso of forfeiture in their patents not to sell their lands in fee simple or fee tail, or lease them above 40 years or 3 lives, to any of the Irish, lest the old landlords should grow great again; and the like, if they shall at any time enter into action of rebellion. And that care be likewise had that they make certain estates to their under-tenants, and not to leave them at will to shift every year.
(21.) That every undertaker and native be bound to sow yearly a quantity of hemp.
(22.) That the Lord Deputy and Commissioners may be warranted to grant a quantity of land to each parish church for the bettering of the livings of the poor incumbents as was done in Wexford, which is to be deducted out of the whole before your Majesty's fourth part be taken.
(23.) That a corporate town may be established in some convenient place within the plantation, and 100 ac. to be allotted to the burgesses that shall undertake it, with warrant to make a grant of a corporation with such name and such immunities and privileges as were granted to the new corporation in the escheated lands of Ulster, and that some lands may be allotted for the maintenance of a free school, which are likewise to be deducted as aforesaid.
(24.) That the natives be tied by a proviso of forfeiture neither to take upon them the name of O'Farroll, nor to yield to, set up, or maintain that name, by giving of rent, cutting, or service, nor divide their lands by gavelkind.
(25.) That the whole charge of admeasuring the county and other necessary expenses for the finishing of those lands, may be borne by the undertakers and natives by equal contribution; but the charge to be viewed by the Deputy and Commissioners, and no more raised than has been duly disbursed.
(26.) No man to be admitted an undertaker but such as will readily take the oath of supremacy, and, as far as may be, the natives to be drawn to this course.
(27.) That every undertaker and native be bound before he has his patent to perform all the conditions of the plantation within 3 years. The bonds to be duly taken and kept in Ireland.
(28.) None of them to have power to alien their lands to one another without licence of the state, for so all may in time be drawn into the hands of some few of the undertakers, and the plantation come to nothing; nor to alien at all to the mere Irish, but upon forfeiture of the lands to the Crown.
(29.) None to be admitted to any lands but such as will in person dwell upon them, build, and plant.
(30.) No man to be admitted as undertaker in this plantation that has any lands in any other plantation.
Signed: G. Cant., G. Carew, T. Arundell, Robert Naunton.