I received this from Kevin Lee, but unsure how authored it.


In 1641 the national rebellion seriously affected the Carnew area. The fullest details of the rebellion are contained in the depositions filed n T.C.D.


On 16th. February, 1642, Anne Lester of Hacketstown deposed that she was expelled from her home with five small children, was robbed of household goods and cattle. On the same date, John Melinton of Minmore deposed that about a month before Christmas, Thomas and Oliver Masterson with others carried away the cattle, sheep and goods of Francis Sandford.  On 19th. February, 1642, Francis Sandford claimed that he was robbed repelled and despoiled of his goods and chattels; that the parties that robbed him were, Edward Masterson, Bunneshammon, Thomas Masterson of Rosingol and Luke Byrne of Rahingrew and divers others to the number of 500 at least.


Calcoi Chambers’ deposition ( May 24th., 1643 ) stated that about November10th., deponent’s father, mother and ten children did fly to the caste oh Carnowe. The House of Minmore and gods seized. There were about eight score or more in the castle. For twenty two weeks or thereabouts the castle was besieged by Edward Sinnott of Toombe, and a good number of septs of the O’Byrnes and Kavanaghs – about one thousand or thereabouts. They were , from time to time, repulsed, but renews their assaults with fresh vigour, with the loss of many lives, and all the stratagems and tactics, by great shots of a field piece called a sow, great want of food prevailed. Deponent’s father died and many other survivors had to feed on beasts’ hides which had long lain in lime pits. Had to surrender with half of their goods, and be shipped to Wexford to go to Dublin.


Luke Byrne permitted some of them to go with a convoy towards Dublin, but Hugh O’Byrne met them and made them return. However, Luke Byrne relieved them; by this means they were sent to England and a few to the house of Garrold Byrne at Knockloe. Of the others that came out of the castle some were hanged and others detained in service. Luke O’Toole published a proclamation that as many of the English as should be found in any part of the county after twenty four hours should be hanged. The rebels that made and retained the siege were Brian O’Byrne, Donagh O’Byrne of Newstown, Co. Carlow, Thmas Masterson of Tomduff and Donal Kavanagh of Ballingate in the county of Wicklow being all commanders.


The rebels pulled down ye pulpits, burned ye seats and defaced and demolished the church of Carnowe and kept their soldiers in same. Peter Poore of Carnowe deposed the on the 19th. July, 1643 to being robbed by rebels. A little prentice boy slain getting needs. Five men turned out of the castle because there was no food, were all killed, and Englishmen that did not come into the castle stripped and robbed all and killed same. The castle continued to hold out- ‘though the rebels discharged seven shots from one small ordnance against it’.


The ‘sow’ referred to above consisted of an inverted V-shape of stout oak planks set up n wheels. These were manned by men with bars and propelled from the inside, were rushed up to the walls, the oak plans acting as a secure shelter from the missiles hurled by the defenders. By this means breaches were bored through the walls in quick time. The attack succeeded and the castle captured. Of those taken in the castle, some were hanged, some kept to do service for the rebels, a few set free.

The castle was held by the Knockloe O’Byrnes until 19th. June, 1649, when it was retaken by Sir R. Talbot, who, by direction of his Excellency, the Lord Deputy, had taken Lord Strafford’s estates into his special custody and requested surrender of Curnow castle and lands from Hugh O’Byrne. O’Byrne pleaded sickness, made various excuses and requested payment of £1,300 upon the lands and £800 upon the ‘Manor of Prospect’ Commissary General Reynolds was ordered ‘to garrison Carnowe for reducing the rebels the speedier…...’


Knockloe Castle. In the 35th. year of Elizabeth’s reign, Cahir MacGerald O’Byrne by assignment from Sir Henry Harrington built Knocklow Castle. MacRory O’Moore, Peter Butler and James Butler destroyed the castle twenty years later and it never was rebuilt. The exact site of O’Byrne’s castle at Knockloe is uncertain, but tradition holds that it was on an eminence now occupied by Fenton’s farmhouse.


1651 again found the county of Wicklow in rebellion, supporting the Royalist cause against Cromwell. Colonel Hewson received orders, ‘ to march into County Wicklow and burn the houses and destroy all crops’. Strong garrisons were to be placed throughout the county, but Phelim O’Byrne and the Cavanaghs took no part in the rebellion. From a rock close by the castle of Carnew, since known as Cromwell’s  Rock the soldiers fired cannon balls at the castle which soon destroyed the roof, and the whole district was speedily reduced.


In 1655 an edict went forth that,’ the inhabitants of Carne, Collattin and Clohamon who had not shown a constant good affection throughout the war’, were to be banished from the country and their property shared among the Adventurers.


Philip Hill of Glascarrig, having been hailed before Colonel Cooke on the reduction of Carnew, and convicted as a spy, was hung (Hore’s Wexford 1641. Dep. F.2.  11.24  12561 T.C.D.).


1649. Walter Bagenal desires (probably Phelim Hugh O’Byrne) to give orders to have those entrusted by you in Carnowe, Arklow, Clonmullin to receive such garrisons as his Excellency hath theretofore commanded. As for Carnowe, his Excellency will perform the title of his engagement concerning the same unto you, but is necessitated to garrison it for reducing the rebels the speedier etc.