How the Pope Confirmed a Parish to O'Crowley, Chief of His Clan

By Michael-Patrick Crowley, Crowley Clan Newsletter, July 2011

At the end of the 12th century King Henry II of England, following individual adventures of his vassals from Normandy, England and Wales, obtained submission from the High King of Ireland, O'Connor, along with the major Chieftains. Henry II granted large tracks of land to his vassals and lords; these were shortly faced with the inability to control their lands facing the Irish.

By 1300 at the west of a line that could be drawn from Clonakilty to Bandon, to Charleville, English authority was non-existent. And, subsequent encroachments reduced that influence even further while the Irish clan houses were consolidating and gaining power. One of the major Norman lords of West Cork was Barry Roe, a cadet branch of Barry from North Cork. The Barrys, as others, felt the push from the Gaelic lords to regain their lands. In that respect it is interesting to note that Auliff O'Crowley, then Chief of his clan and Lord of Kilshallow, "on account of deadly enemies which existed between the inhabitants of his lands in the parish of Cruary and the rest of the parish, erected a church at Kilnagross and persuaded the Bishop of Ross to erect it into a separate parish (Kilnagross), an arrangement confirmed by the Pope in 1493."

Kilnagross lays south of the Bandon River and was a detached portion of O'Crowley lands, Kilshallow. However, Kilnagross because originally of the Barry holding was tax exempt.

Ref : "The Development of Lordship In County Cork 1300-1600"
K.W.Nicholls Geography Publications 1993.

Peter CrowleyComment