The Parish of Ballinasloe by Fr. Egan [See Map]

The operation of those laws is exemplified in the case of the Brabazon family. Despite the Cromwellian and Restoration Settlements, William Brabazon had been left with considerable property in the parish. He married Mary, eldest daughter of George Browne of the Neale, County Mayo, and of the marriage there were sons, Anthony and George, and daughters, Alice, married to John Burke of Lismore, Ellis, married to John Nolan of Ballinderry, and Bridgett, married to Nicholas Lynch of Barna. William remained a Catholic and survived his two sons. His daughters also remained Catholic. On March 24th, 1703, he made a settlement of his estates limiting them to certain uses, and in 1704 his eldest son, Anthony, married Margaret, daughter of Edmund Malone of Ballinahowne, William's lands in Galway and Roscommon being at the same time leased for thirty-one years to Edmund Malone in trust for Anthony and his wife. The second son, George, died without issue, and on the death of William's wife, Mary,

 

the said Anthony being very apprehensive that the said settlement made by the said William Brabazon was a voluntary conveyance and could not prevent the gavelkind of the said estate in case said William married again and should have issue male by such other marriage, and seeing the said William intent on such second marriage ... the said Anthony thereupon became a Protestant and conformed himself to the Church of Ireland as by law established in order to make the said William tenant for life on the said settled estate in a more secure manner with remainder in fee to him the said Anthony by force and virtue of the Act of Parliament made in this Kingdom entitled An Act to Prevent the further Growth of Popery and to prevent the descent of the said estate to the said Wm in gavelkind.

Anthony and his other sisters prevailed with William also to settle Bridgett in marriage before he re-married. Her dowry of 1,200 was to be paid, half by William and half by Anthony. For the purpose of raising the 600, Anthony got deeds of conveyance of the estates from William, and borrowed on them. Later he conveyed the estates to Francis, Baron of Athenry, George Browne of the Neale, and Richard Malone of Dublin, subject to his debts being paid out of the profits. In defect of heirs to him, his estates were to descend to these gentlemen. His sisters and their husbands disputed this transaction. In their statement they said that:

 

Anthony Brabazon was a Protestant of the Communion of the Church of Ireland as by law etc. for some years before he died, or at least made open profession of the said faith etc. and was Justice of the Peace by the Commission of his late Majesty King George in the Cos. of Galway, Roscommon and Mayo for some years before he died and practised the office of Justice of the Peace etc. etc. and the defdts. do also believe that the said Anthony Brabazon was also by Commission High Sheriff of the County of Galway for one year (1722) etc. That he died in the city of Dublin in or about the month of May 1724 etc. . . . [that they] doe not know what Minister of Religion attended him, but they have heard he died a Roman Catholic.

William did marry secondly, and his family by this union were seated at Brabazon Park, County Mayo. Whatever was the outcome of the litigation, he died about 1731 leaving his son, George by this marriage as heir to his Ballinasloe estates. There would appear to have been even further conformity to secure the property, and George's son, Anthony, was created a baronet in 1797. Anthony's daughter, Anne married Hercules Sharpe of Blackballs, Durham, and the property remained with the Brabazon-Sharpe family until after the middle of the nineteenth century. They had then no land in Kilcloony parish, but their holdings in Creagh amounted to 1,700 acres.

Although not taken account of in the Brabazon-Sharpe pedigree, there was another Brabazon family residing in the parish of Creagh, which remained Catholic throughout, and was represented in the present century by the O'Shaughnessys of Birchgrove (or Beagh, i.e., beitheach, meaning 'birchen'). In the Cromwellian Settlement, an Edward Brabazon received 192 acres in Beagh, resided at Attyrory, and was described as a "titulado'(1), or person of standing in the locality, in 1659.58 The name, Anthony, appears in different generations in this family during the eighteenth century. Mention has already been made of the altar erected in Creagh chapel by Anthony and Mrs. Catherine Brabazon on April 2nd, 1756. From the following advertisement he appears to have died in the same year: To be sold to the fairest bidder the lands of Beagh, Co.Roscommon, one mile from Ballinasloe, by Patrick Dillon, Exer. of Anthony Brabazon of Beagh; also 1,000 sheep, 131 lambs, 140 head of cattle, together with the farms of Coolderry, Clonaghreak and Killbegley.

Anthony Brabazon who resided at Birchgrove in 1787, married at that time Catherine ffrench, daughter of Sir Charles ffrench of Castle ffrench. They had two children, Thomas and Catherine. Thomas inherited the property, but died unmarried at Birchgrove in 1879. Catherine married John O'Shaughnessy and had a son, John, who succeeded on his uncle's death. The land concerned was that part of the denomination of Beagh now known as the townland of Beagh Brabazon, containing 446 statute acres, which represented the allotment of 192 plantation acres made in the Cromwellian Settlement to Edward Brabazon.60 The family succeeded in maintaining possession of their holding throughout the Penal Time?, while at the same time remaining Catholic. Possibly there was only one son in each generation, a circumstance which would prevent the gavelling effect of the Penal enactments.

Those few of the older stocks who now remained, were in very reduced circumstances. In Kilcloony parish, what little was left to the O'Kellys at the end of the seventeenth century, passed from them. The Tullys had forfeited. Carbury and John Egan had, at the Restoration, acquired title to 71 of the 79 acres of Grange, and the family survived there into the nineteenth century. In 1855 James Egan held 156 statute acres of the townland in fee, the remaining 48 being the property of James Dillon, but the family disappeared before 1876.

(1) This Spanish term Titulado, is used by Sir William Petty, in a census of Ireland taken by him in 1659, to denote the tenants who held from the great grantees under the Act of Settlement. The Titulados appear to have held their lands by limited tenures. They were a little Protestant garrison scattered through the country, and placed there to cooperate with the other Cromwellians to whom lands had been assigned, in keeping down the Catholic inhabitants