Taghmon in 1798

Tom Williams

Almost every parish in County Wexford had some involvement in the events of 1798. This connection may have been central to the core of the rebellion, as was the case in Castlebridge/Screen, Boolavogue and Oulart, where many of the leaders such as, Edward Fitzgerald, Edward Roche, Edward Hay and Fr. John Murphy were residing, or it may have been peripheral, like in many parts of the county whose inhabitants were tempted into participation by the opportunity to avenge long felt injustices. The early successes of the rebel army acted as a major recruiting boost and many joined their insurgent comrades following the victories at Oulart and Enniscorthy. Likewise, the loyalist side saw its numbers swollen, as hundreds of yeomen were called to arms by their masters, to protect their property against what they saw as the rampaging hordes who were about to eject them from their holdings.

As far as can be ascertained, Taghmon's involvement in the 1798 period has not heretofore been recorded in any detail, except where the events centred on the parish, such as the Battle of Horetown and to a lesser extent, the Battle of The Three Rocks.

The participation of the inhabitants of the parish in the 1798 Insurrection was somewhat more than peripheral and prominent citizens are known to have taken an active part on both sides of the divide.


The village was centrally situated, positioned as it was on the main route from Wexford to New Ross. There were two routes from Wexford to Duncannon. The lower route went through the baronies of Forth and Bargy and the upper route went through Taghmon. The inhabitants of the village saw at first hand the movements of loyalist and rebel troops, as the constant marching of armies echoed through the old streets of the village. A government garrison was stationed there, a fact that did not deter many of the locals from becoming involved in the United cause. There was also a significant, organised branch of the rebels at nearby Rosegarland, under John Murphy of Loughnageer.

An article written in The People Newspaper in 1934 describes Taghmon in 1734. It states that the village then had a distillery, a brewery, a tanyard, a foundry and a stone cutting works. There was a large linen industry at Coolaw employing 170 people. The linen was bleached at the rear of Stream Street at the place known locally as 'The Bleach'. The brewery stood at Mahony's Row near the site now occupied by Carroll's Garage and the waters of St. Munn's Well were used in the manufacture of the beer. This probably refers to Tobar Munna, from where a watercourse ran down towards Mahony's Row. The tannery was situated partly in Tom O'Donnells yard opposite the castle and covered an area of 2 roods. The distillery occupied the large yard in Main Street behind O'Donnell's hardware store. Some of the buildings that held the corn are still in existence. All this was before Taghmon was bypassed by the new road cut through at Knockeen Cross. Little if anything, was likely to have changed in the period from 1734 to 1798. Consequently, Taghmon village in 1798 was a thriving community and capable of feeding and sustaining the large numbers of troops that encamped there.


In the second half of the eighteenth century the following residents of the Taghmon area were admitted as Freemen of Wexford Town: John Batterton, Taghmon (1776)
James McCoy, Slevoy (1772)
William and John Cooper, Tottenham Green (1792)
John Cullimore (1776)
Maurice Howlin Darcy, Coolcull (1776)
Joseph Martin, Taghmon (1776)
John and Robert Patten, Ozier Hill (1792)
Richard and James Richards, Coolstufe (1776)
William Sutton, Horetown (1776)
John Sparrow, The Cools (1776)
William Shaw, Tottenham Green (1792).
The majority of these names are largely those of establishment figures and many were active on the loyalist side during the subsequent rebellion.

Five prominent residents of Taghmon took the Oath of Allegiance before Walter Hore, Justice of the Peace, in early February 1776. They were John Breen, Walter Breen, Luke Breen, Francis Breen and William Devereux who were described as merchants and Roman Catholick Gentlemen. The fears of the establishment concerning the activities and political leanings of the Breen's and the Devereux's were later justified, as members of both families became very prominent, on the insurgents' side, in the '98 Insurrection twenty two years later.


A further glimpse of the allegiances within the Taghmon area can be gleaned from the signatories of 450 leading Catholics, which appeared on the resolution from Co. Wexford in support of the Catholic Committee in Jan. 1792 . The great majority of the signatories are middlemen, farmers, businessmen and shopkeepers . The Taghmon area is strongly represented and includes the names of many of the families who, six years later, were participants in the Wexford rebel army in the 1798.
James Boggan, Tincurry
This is probably the family who now spells the name, Bogan, and still reside at Tincurra, Trinity
Walter Breen, Slade (late Taghmon) He is possibly a relative of John Breen below. The Breens were brewers, who originally came to Taghmon from Longford. They occupied the site on which Ward's house now stands in the centre of the village.
John Breen, Taghmon
This man is probably the father of Francis Breen, the signatory, as Secretary and Adjutant, with Bagenal Harvey, of the General Order, issued from the rebel camp at Carrigbyrne on June 6 1798, following the Battle of Ross, which was designed to impose discipline on the insurgent army and to prevent looting and killings. John Breen was a well known liberal and numbered among his friends James Devereux of Carrickmannan .
James Cooney, Ballybeg
William Devereux, Taghmon
- very prominent in '98 - see below.
Garrett Doyle, Taghmon
John Doyle, Taghmon
John Echingham, Ballybeg
Matthew Furlong, Coolraheen
Robert Furlong, Harristown
Dan Gormacon, Tracystown
Dennis Gormacon, Kelly's Quarter
James Harpur,Taghmon - later a rebel magistrate at Taghmon in 1798.
Edward Hore, Taghmon
Math. Kavanagh, Coolenrane
Edward Kearin, Wilkinstown
William Kearney, Taghmon
Richard Lyons, Taghmon
-He died in 1795, aged 40. Alice Lyons (Inn Holder) Taghmon, who claimed losses of 96. 6. 10 for furniture, bed, clothes and apparel after the 1798 Rebellion , was possibly his widow.
Michael Murphy, Taghmon
John Parle, Coolateggert
Nicholas Pearl, Coolateggart
Thomas Parle, Tottenhamgreen
Richard Rogers Harristown


In the weeks and months preceding the Rebellion the spirit of disaffection among the people was very obvious. Arms were being manufactured openly, particularly by the local blacksmiths. As a consequence magistrates began to administer the Oath of Allegiance on a wide scale. Many Catholic congregations, urged on by their priests, took the oath. In the week before the rebellion one thousand people took the oath in the parish of Taghmon and a further two hundred followed on Whitsunday, 27 May 1798 . In return for their indication of loyalty they were issued with written protections. Ironically, many of these notes were found in the pockets of dead insurgents in the coming weeks.


There was a Taghmon Yeoman Cavalry and a Taghmon Infantry. There is no mention of the infantry participating in 1798 and the corps may have disbanded before the rebellion. The Taghmon Yeoman Cavalry, however, were active throughout the rebellion. Its reputed strength was at one time eighty men, but during the period of 1798 it was probably considerably less. Names such as Nathaniel Patten, Ozier Hill, C. Heatly, Rockview, Wm. Gough (not of the Horetown family who were Quakers - probably of Raheenduff), John Sutton, Longraigue, Lt. Francis King (a captain in 1798 and the owner of the property in Scullabogue where the massacre took place), E.Tottenham, Tottenham Green, William Fleming, Taghmon and William Hore, Harperstown, figured among its members at one time or another.


In 1798 the Taghmon Yeoman Cavalry was under the leadership of Capt. William Allen Cox of Coolcliffe, who was one of the Churchwardens at the Church of Ireland in Taghmon in 1797/8. The Cox's were a long established loyalist family and, typical of the period, were related through marriage to many of the landed families of South Wexford. Allen Cox was the fourth son of John Cox of Coolcliffe (d.1793) and Sarah Donovan of Clonmore (d.1810) who married in 1773 . He was closely related to the Hores of Harperstown, as his grandfather, John Cox (d.1795) had married Mary Hore (d.1792), the daughter of William Hore. The Cox family was also related, through marriage, to the Millwards of Ballyharron, the Hughes's of Ballytrent, the Suttons of Longraigue and the Tottenhams . Musgrave states that Capt. Cox - had been a captain in the 5th regiment of foot and had been retired on half pay. The convoluted nature of family connections with the 1798 Rebellion is demonstrated by the fact that Elizabeth Cox (d. 1833), an aunt of Allen Cox, married Rev. Frederick Draffen (c.1740-c.1831) in 1799 . Draffen had been curate of the Church of Ireland, Taghmon, from 1780 to 1786. In 1798 he was Protestant Rector in Ardcolm. During the turmoil he saved Fr. James Dixon of Castlebridge from the hands of an unruly loyalist mob that attempted to seize him in Bristol, where he had fled in the company of the LeHunte family of Ardtramont. Dixon was arrested, tried and sentenced to death by court martial in Waterford in 1799 for his alleged involvement in the Battle of Tubberneering. His sentence was later commuted to transportation to Botany Bay. It is widely acknowledged by historians of today that Fr. James Dixon was innocent and that he took no part in the rebellion. While he was awaiting transportation in Waterford Gaol, a petition on his behalf was received from the liberally minded Rev. Draffen. This letter argued strongly that Fr. Dixon was totally innocent of any involvement in the rebellion. The petition was not succesful. Rev. Draffen paid for his liberal attitude by having his claim, for losses sustained in the rebellion, turned down by the Dublin authorities.


Following the United Irish victories at Oulart on 27 May and at Enniscorthy on 28 May, the troops stationed in the town of Wexford had been expecting an attack by the rebel forces. Early in the morning of Tuesday, 29 May, Capt. Cox and his Taghmon Cavalry arrived in Wexford to strengthen the town's garrison. Their presence was extremely well received by the inhabitants of the town. The open land between Wexford and New Ross was now, however, totally exposed. Later that same morning word came through of the debacle at Oulart and the overwhelming victory of the United forces. Consternation reigned in the town and a messenger was sent to Duncannon for further reinforcements.


On Tuesday, 29 May, General Fawcett marched with about 200 men from Duncannon fort in order to reinforce the garrison at Wexford town. He ordered a detachment of the Meath regiment and four officers under Capt. Adams, and one corporal and seventeen gunners of the royal artillery, with two howitzers (a short gun for high-angle firing of shells at low velocities), commanded by Lt. Birch, to follow him later. Fawcett halted for the hours of darkness at Taghmon and billeted his men in local houses. At about 2.00 o'clock on the morning of the 30 May Capt. Adams and his men arrived, but seeing no sign of Fawcett and his troops, continued on towards Wexford. They were apparently encouraged by the reports of the local people that the road to Wexford was clear of any rebel activity. As they proceeded towards what is now Barntown, they were again reassured by local people that all was clear and that no rebels were in the vicinity. There appears to have been a concentrated and well-planned strategy to lure them into a trap. As dawn broke on the morning of Wednesday, 30 May they arrived at the Three Rocks, where they walked into a rebel ambush and were almost entirely annihilated. John Hay, Edward Fitzgerald and Edward Roche were present at the Three Rocks, but the principal leaders in the short victorious action against Adams and his troops were Thomas Cloney, Robert Carty of Birchgrove, John Kelly of Killane and Michael Furlong of Templescoby. The howitzers were a valuable prize for the ill-equipped rebel army, as were the numbers of muskets, pistols and sabres seized. Lt. Birch and a small number of survivors escaped and reached Taghmon, where they informed General Fawcett of the defeat. The general became so alarmed at his precarious position that he abandoned the reinforcement of Wexford and retreated with his troops to Duncannon.

The fact that Fawcett and his 200 troops were asleep in the village, and that Capt. Adams and his force of about 100 men passed through Taghmon without seeing them is quite remarkable. There had to be a concentrated effort on the part of the inhabitants of the village to cover up the presence of General Fawcett and his force.

Meanwhile in the town of Wexford, General Maxwell was becoming very anxious at the non-arrival of the reinforcements from Duncannon. He decided to ride out to meet them. He took with him the Taghmon Cavalry and Capt. Jonas Watson. On seeing the rebels massed at the Three Rocks and realising that they had possession of the howitzers, Maxwell and his troops, together with the Taghmon Cavalry, retreated to Wexford. Before this happened, however, Capt. Jonas Watson was shot dead by a rebel marksman. Loftus Richards, a Wexford apothecary, and his brother, Counsellor Richards, were then sent as envoys from General Maxwell to talk to the rebel forces. This parley with the insurgents led to Loftus Richards, in the company of Edward Fitzgerald, being compelled to ride to Taghmon to confirm that that the remainder of Fawcett's forces had, in fact, retreated to Duncannon. Counsellor Richards was detained in the rebel camp as a hostage. When they had ridden to within a mile of Taghmon, they met a large party with from six to eight car loads of provisions proceeding to the insurgent camp at the Three Rocks, who confirmed that the King's forces were in full retreat to Duncannon.


Following the great meeting of the insurgent leaders at Windmill Hill on Thursday, 31 May the rebel forces split into three divisions. Following some unnecessary delays, the southern army, under newly elected Commander-in-Chief, Bagenal Harvey, marched out of Wexford towards New Ross. It was dark on Thursday night when they reached Taghmon and they spent the night in the village in order to allow for some units to catch up. Bagenal Harvey now made a choice of a number of splendid young men to compose his staff, all of whom would, with a little experience, have become distinguished field officers. Among them was John Devereux of Taghmon, afterwards General Devereux in the South American Service.


John Devereux was born in Taghmon c.1778 and was the son of William Devereux, also prominent in the rising. John took part in the Battle of Ross and possibly had command of a rebel division. There are many versions of how he escaped detention, but the story that he was hidden by the Reverend Francis L'Estrange, a Carmelite Friar, of St. Teresa's, Clarendon St., Dublin may be the true account. A Horetown Carmelite, Rev. John Byrne, a rebel sympathiser, helped Fr. Denis Kelly in the performance of his duties as temporary P.P. of Taghmon, following the suspension of Fr. Bryan Murphy by Bishop Caulfield. Devereux, as a prominent local Catholic, would have been acquainted with Fr. Byrne. It appears that Devereux made his submission, after the rising, to Lord Cornwallis, who befriended him and took a great interest in his welfare and future prospects. The Devereux lands in Taghmon were not forfeited because of the Cornwallis' intercession on young John's behalf . He appears to have been granted a free pardon, on condition that he went abroad for a specified number of years. He developed an attachment to British justice as a result of the actions of Cornwallis and remained grateful to his benefactor throughout the rest of his life. He went to France and came to the attention of Napoleon. He may have been in the British service at the time and been captured by the French. Napoleon offered him a General's command in the army that he was preparing, in order to invade England. Subject to satisfactory service, he was to be given the whole domain of Evereux in Normandy, from which the family had originally taken its name, and created Duke of the Empire. Devereux declined the offer. Napoleon is reputed to have asked him 'were the Devereux's not descended from William the Conqueror?' To which Devereux retorted, 'On the contrary, the Conqueror was descended from them'.

He later served with distinction abroad, becoming a Lieutenant- General in Simon Bolivar's army, fighting for the liberation of South American states under Spanish rule. He returned to England and Ireland in 1818, and again in 1823, to recruit volunteers for service there. He also visited Wexford on these occasions. His motives were questioned and he became embroiled in controversy, even though he had Daniel O'Connell as a supporter. Morgan O'Connell, the Liberator's son, was one of those who sailed to South America.

John Devereux travelled widely, possibly as a soldier of fortune, on the Continent, in the United States, in South America and in Britain, where he eventually retired. He played a large part in the emancipation of Venezuela and rose to the rank of Lieutenant General. He enjoyed a considerable pension from that state for many years. Eventually he changed his name to D'Evereux.

Much of what has been written about John Devereux, including his part in 1798, has been influenced by the fanciful stories that he told concerning his exploits during the course of the rebellion. For example, he claimed in a letter to the Venezuelan authorities that he had been a general in the rising and had been called upon by 60,000 of his fellow Catholics to lead them in defence of liberty and Catholic Emancipation.

He died in 1860, aged 82, at 47, Hertford St., Mayfair, London.


William Devereux of Taghmon, whom Musgrave refers to as 'being in opulent circumstances', was probably the father of John. He may be the William Devereux who married Mary Dixon in 1771 . A large distillery owned by William Devereux, together with a large area of land, all in the town of Taghmon, which were advertised for sale in September 1791, may have been his property. William Devereux and his son both of Taghmon held important positions in the rebel forces. William Devereux was also a commissary for Taghmon parish and as such was likely to have been a member of the famous County Wexford Senate. William Devereux, according to Miles Byrne, did not escape the wrath of the loyalists following the rebellion, who had him lodged in Wexford Gaol where he died before they had time to have him executed. In a lecture on 'Taghmon in '98' given by the late Canon Pat Murphy of Glynn in Taghmon Hall in 1936, the Canon stated that the yeos were so much annoyed at not being able to arrest (John) Devereux that they arrested his relatives, including his father, who was an old man. He cheated the hangman by dying in prison.


The Senate House of the short-lived Wexford Senate of June 1798 was convened at 'the most elaborate business premises of the town' . These premises, seized by the Senate leaders, were owned by John Cullimore who had a strong Taghmon connection. The Cullimores were a Quaker family and John Cullimore appears to have been the son of John Cullimore of Taghmon (d.1779) and Mary Lockinton . The eldest son was Josiah Martin Cullimore of Taghmon who married Mary Howlin and was admitted a Freeman of Wexford in 1776. John Cullimore married Mary Whitney in 1778 . He was a merchant of Main Street, Wexford in 1788 and proprietor of a malthouse in Wexford in 1796. He claimed 888 for losses in the rebellion. These Cullimores were likely to have been supporters of the loyalist side in 1798 but Joseph Cullimore, apparently a member of another Taghmon Cullimore family, was on the side of the insurgents (see below).


The exact site of Bagenal Harvey's camp at Taghmon is not recorded. Kavanagh refers to it as 'near Taghmon'. On Thursday, 31st May a Taghmon man, Brien (probably Capt.Bryan) who was a captain in the rebel army, apprehended a member of the Taghmon Cavalry, William Fleming, at Kilburn (sic) . There is no Kilburn in the Taghmon area and the reference is likely to refer to Hillburn, which is probably the true site of the camp. We know that there was a rebel field hospital at Tracystown Maxwell talks of the aftermath of The Battle of Ross and the wounded being taken to Foulksmills where they had several doctors taking care of them... (and the rebels) converting six houses into hospitals This was probably somewhere in the Foulksmills/Slevoy area . Fleming testifies that he was forced to march with the insurgents for many days. He was saved from summary execution by the intervention of William Devereux, 'a Roman Catholic gentleman of Taghmon aforesaid, who was a captain of said rebels. ' On one occasion, some of the Taghmon insurgents allowed Fleming to escape -'having knowledge of and regard for him'. Having hidden in furze bushes for two days and two nights, he was advised by a friend to return to Taghmon as the rebel camp had moved on to Carrigbyrne. Later he fell into the hands of the insurgents and was forced to march to the camp at Corbett Hill. Following the Battle of Ross he again escaped but was, once more, apprehended at the Bridge of Ballynaboola by the insurgents. There he saw John Byron, a Protestant inhabitant of the parish of Taghmon, lying in a very wounded condition in a ditch. Fleming was on the point of being executed when he produced a letter of protection from Fr. Bryan Murphy, the Parish Priest of Taghmon, which saved his life. Later, at Slieve Coillte he was again saved by the intervention of John Devereux of Taghmon.


Following the Battle of Horetown on 20 June 1798, General Sir John Moore camped for the night near to the site of the battle. At about 8.30 on the following morning he arrived with his troops at Taghmon, where he remained until the afternoon when he set out for Wexford. Later he went back to Taghmon and camped there, spending some time looking for detachments of rebels who were, by now, in hiding. He was a humane officer and condemned the atrocities of some of the yeomen as 'worse than the rebels ever were '. Moore spent a considerable time in Taghmon, and having been promoted to the rank of major general by Lake while camped in the village, finally marched north on 9 July to take overall command of the forces at Arklow and Carnew. Before Moore's final departure from Taghmon the villagers saw yet another battalion of soldiers, a contingent arriving from Waterford to reinforce Moore's troops. The total force in the village was now close to 2000 men, which must have put a considerable strain on the resources of the villagers.


As the rebel army began to gain a foothold across the southern and eastern part of Wexford, Capt. Allen Cox became aware that he was in grave danger of suffering death at the hands of the insurgents. He decided to launch a small boat on the Corach river which flowed by his home at Coolcliffe. His destination appears to have been the open sea at Bannow and from there a passage to Wales and freedom in a passing ship. However he was spotted by some of the insurgents from the Bannow area and following a futile appeal to Fr. Edward Murphy, the P.P. of Bannow, was captured at the Scar Ferry, at Barrystown. From there he was brought into Wexford and imprisoned on a ship in Wexford Harbour. On the morning of the 20th June the notorious Tom Dixon instigated the executions of loyalists on the bridge. Capt. Cox, having been in command of the Taghmon Cavalry when the town was held by the loyalists, was well known to Dixon and the mob. He was taken from the prison ship in a small boat, brought to the bridge and piked by two of the mob. He succeeded in jumping off the bridge into the water but was shot as soon as he surfaced . His body was later recovered, presumably by his family, and buried in the Cox grave in St. Munn's cemetery.


The potency of the United Irish cause in Taghmon is further strengthened by the testimony of Richard Grandy of Ballyshan in Musgrave. Grandy says that in the house of Mr King at Scullabogue he saw Bagenal Harvey, William Devereux of Taghmon, Francis Breen (significantly involved on the insurgent side as the co-signatory - as Secretary and Adjutant - of the General Order, issued by himself and Bagenal Harvey on 6 June from the camp at Carrigbyrne), Nicholas Sweetman of Newbawn with a few more whom he did not know...but that he believed that a son of William Devereux was present. This son was probably John Devereux. Later Grandy testifies that he saw...'William Devereux retreating from the Battle of Ross and that he was sent to Taghmon where the sitting Rebel Magistrates at Taghmon were John Breen, James Harpur, Joseph Cullimore and Matthew Commons'.

A document that is part of the Rebellion Papers from 1798 is headed as follows:
Rebel Captains found entered in Company Dunmans book as having been supplied with Provisions out of his stores (Ross Army and Corbett Hill)
There follows a long list of important participants in the 1798 Rebellion, including such notables as:
Gen. Kyan (General Esmond Kyan)
Gen. Roach (General Edward Roche of Garrylough)
Col. Byrne (Colonel Billy Byrne of Ballymanus)
Col. Fitzgerald (Colonel Edward Fitzgerald of Newpark)
Also listed are a number of men from the Taughmon (sic) district: Capt. Breen of Taughmon (probably Capt. John Breen, as referred to in Musgrave p.430)
Capt. Butler of Taghmon
Capt. Bryan of Taughmon
Capt. O'Neill of Taughmon
Capt. Richard Howlin of Taughmon.


We know from this document that Captain Richard Howlin of the 1798 insurgent army was from the Taghmon area. The name Howlin is not common and intensive research of the Catholic Parish Registers in Taghmon indicates that there were only two Howlin families residing in the parish. One resided at Coolateggart and the other at Rochestown, on the borders of the parish of Taghmon and Bannow. The Rochestown family has a long tradition of using the Christian name Richard and it is still in use by these Howlins down to the present day. This Capt. Richard Howlin is also listed in The Transportation Records, where his place of imprisonment is given as Wexford Gaol. The document is dated 4/7/1799 and it is headed 'A Kalender (sic) of Prisoners in Custody in the gaol of Wexford. Christian Wilson, Esq., High Sheriff. July 4th 1799. The description of Richard Howlin's crime is 'Being involved in the Rebellion (1798)'. The document contains a long list of names, most of whom are charged with rebellion.

The landlords of the Howlins of Rochestown were the nearby Hore family of the Harperstown estate. The Hores were generally perceived to be liberal and good to their tenants. The head of the family in 1798 was William Hore, who was a nephew of the Earl of Courtown. One evening in 1798 he was travelling home from Wexford (or possibly Dublin) to Harperstown, in the company of some grand jurors. Near to the present site of the Cross of Waddingtown (another writer says near Harveystown) the group came upon a Hore tenant named Redmond, a local blacksmith, who lived in a cabin near the cross-roads. The group had partaken of some drink. The blacksmith was accused of making pikes for the rebels. One word led to another concerning the political state of the county and the victorious march of the Wexford pikemen. The group burned down the forge of the blacksmith. On the following morning, full of remorse, William Hore had the forge rebuilt. The incident, however, was not forgotten and when the Wexford rebels began rounding up loyalists to be executed on the Bridge of Wexford, William Hore was one of the first to meet his end there, on 20th June 1798. Captain Cox and Mr. Hore....were called or taken to the bridge by name. I observed Mr. Hore (who was a tall man) holding his hat over his head, and asking if there was anyone present who came from where he lived, when a blow of a pike hit him on the head; he fell forward ...many indeed were the pikes put through his body. Christian Wilson of Scar, who was the High Sheriff of County Wexford in 1798, was said to have been in the company of William Hore on that journey from Wexford. Both were members of the local Orange Lodge and they are said to have been celebrating together following a lodge meeting in Wexford. Wilson lived at Scar Castle and was a member of a planter family that had benefitted from the Cromwellian confiscations. He and other members of his family are buried in Duncormick Cemetery. He was an unpopular landlord and a notorious bigot and is the same man who was the gaoler in Wexford when Insurgent Richard Howlin was incarcerated. The burning of the blacksmith's cabin took place a short distance from the Howlin home in Rochestown. It is very likely that both William Hore and Christian Wilson knew Richard Howlin. It is intriguing to find Insurgent Captain Richard Howlin a few months later, as a prisoner in the Gaol of Wexford, under the same Christian Wilson.


Fr. Mogue (Aidan) Kearns, one of the principal activists on the insurgent side, is mistakenly said to have been born in Taghmon parish and to have been a nephew of Moses Kearns who was an official in his time in Wexford Union Workhouse. The same source states that he was buried in Whitechurch with his relatives . This is untrue and the reason for the confusion regarding Fr. Kearns is that there were, at the time, two priests of the same name. The Taghmon Fr. Kearns, who was born in Wilkinstown was, in 1798, an elderly Franciscan. Shortly before 1798 he was ministering at Carberry, Co. Kildare. He took no part in the 1798 Rebellion and was a distant relative of Fr. Mogue Kearns, who was born in Kiltealy .


From all this information we can surmise that inhabitants of the Taghmon area, both loyalists and insurgents, were very involved in 1798. There is also folk memory of family participation in the rebellion. A strong family tradition in the Doyle family of Camross relates that a member of the family participated in the Battle of Horetown. Michael Doyle was wounded at the battle and made his way homeward. He hid in a furze-covered hill field, beside the house. He recovered from his wounds and later married a Harper from Libgate, Kilmore. The present Doyle family is descended from this man.

Maurice Crane (1755-1857) of Slevoy took part in the Battle of Horetown in 1798. He was struck by a cannonball but survived and lived on to the great age of 102. The cannonball was preserved for many years in the old Crane home at Slevoy. Maurice Crane was a member of the famed levitical family and was the father of Fr. James Crane O.S.A. (1795-1873) and Fr. Martin Crane O.S.A. (1806- 1856). He became a schoolteacher and had more than 60 pupils on the rolls in the 1820s, carrying on the school in his own home in Slevoy.

The involvement of the Parish Priest of Taghmon, Fr. Bryan Murphy and that of Fr. Byrne, a Carmelite Friar of Goffsbridge, has been documented in The Journal of The Taghmon Historical Society No. 1.


Names from the Taghmon Area listed in Musgrave
In Musgrave's list of the Protestants massacred in the Diocese of Ferns the following appear to be from the Taghmon area:
Susanna Turner swore, her husband, Samuel Turner, a school master at Taghmon, was shot at Scullabogue.
William Simmons of Shannaul, burnt at Scullabogue, 5th of June - his wife and three children reduced to want.
Samuel Simmons, burnt at Scullabogue, 5th of June.
Thomas Thornton, coachmaker, of Taghmon, murdered in the beginning of the rebellion.
John Chamley of Horetown, burnt at Scullabogue.
William Jordan of Rosegarland, Foulksmills, shot at Scullabogue.
Francis Monk and his son, Edward of Rosegarland, massacred at Scullabogue.
John Eakins and his son Thomas of Rosegarland, burnt at Scullabogue.
Left a widow and five children.
Captain Allen Cox of Coolcliffe, piked on Wexford Bridge 20th June
William Hoare piked on Wexford Bridge, 20th June.
William Eakins of Slevoy, burned or shot at Scullabogue.
Robert Cook, butler to Rev. Robert Hawkshaw, burned or shot at Scullabogue.
Robert Cook, his wife murdered.
James White of Taghmon, killed in Ross.
Benjamin Green of Coolstuff, murdered in Wexford.
James Wade, mason of Coolstuff, burned at Scullabogue

Musgrave also lists the following Taghmon area residents as 'Protestant prisoners in the gaol of Wexford':
William Hore Taghmon (Later killed on bridge) Michael Gaffney Ballingale Thomas Martin Ballingale


Name OccupationAddressAmount
Jacob Boardman---Garridin (Garadreen?) 11.10. 7
John Boardman --- Ditto 25. 1. 1
Thomas Bowels Yeoman Camross 18.13. 11
James Bowls Ditto Kemress (Camross?) 29. 8. 6
Richard Brennan Yeoman Growtown 98. 6. 1
Joseph Byron -- Harristown 44.13. 9
Edward Cawl --- Coolshiff (Coolstuff?) 5. 4. 1
Samuel Cooper --- Tagmore (Taghmon?) 68. 4. 3
William Cooper --- Tottenhamgreen 15.13. 7
William Cox Lieutenant Coolcliffe 21. 6. 7
Richard Crane --- Furlongstown 36.15. 0
Edward Davis Farmer Ballinclay(Ballintlea?) 18. 8. 5
Joseph Davis Pensioner Ballincloy(Ballintlea?) 4. 2. 0
John Death Farmer Raheen 205. 5. 9
Joseph Dice --- Rochestown 86. 5. 0
Bridget Eakins Widow Slevoy 22. 5.10
Alice Edmond --- Ozier-tier (Ozier Hill?) 10. 0. 0
Samuel Ennis --- Taghmore(Taghmon?) 11.18.10
Giffard Abigail Tagmon 41.16. 6
Hawkshaw Revd. Robt. Rector Hillburn 249. 5.11
Hore Elinor Widow Harperstown 20. 9. 7
Ditto 20. 0. 9
Samuel Horton Farmer Ballingale 468. 0. 8
Samuel Jacob Weaver Ballinclay 17. 6. 1
Alice Kennedy Widow Ballinclay 15. 7. 3
Alice Lyons Innholder Taghmon 96. 6.10
Abel Martin Shoe-maker Ballinclea 19. 6. 1
John Monk Weaver Coolstuff 14. 6. 3
Nathaniel Patton Taghmore Inf. Ozier Hill 51. 1. 0
Robert Patten Yeoman Ditto 22. 8. 3
William Pigott Wexford Mlt. Sleevoy 268.11. 3
Benjamin Rigley Miller Ballybegg 10.10. 2
Francis Rigley Miller Ballybegg 10. 4. 9
Mary Scott Widow Ballingale 6.17. 0
William Shaw Yeoman Tottenham Green 5.15.11
Richard Simmons --- Ballintartin 40. 0. 6
John Smith Farmer Knockmarshal 71. 1.10
John Sparrow Jnr. Farmer Great Cools 105.13. 1
William Turner --- Ballingale 713.17. 5
Ditto 1047. 0. 0
Richard Warren Yeoman Raheen 116.18. 5
Margaret Whitney Widow Kilgarvan 28. 0. 0


  1. Wexford - A Municipal History, by Padge Reck.
  2. The Wexford Journal, Vol. V11 No. 111, Feb. 1776
  3. Sowing the Whirlwind by Brian Cleary in Journal of The Wexford Historical Society, No. 14, 1992/93
  4. Ibid.
  5. Glynn 1789-1989 Edited by Fr. Lory Kehoe P.P.
  6. Persons who Suffered Loss of Property in 1798.
  7. Memoirs of the Different Rebellions in Ireland, by Sir Richard Musgrave. p.303
  8. Notes on the Volunteers Militia, Yeomanry and Orangemen of County Wexford, by Padraig O Snodaigh in The Past No. 14 1983.
  9. Ferns Marriage Licenses
  10. The Freeman of Wexford in 1776, by David Goodall in The Irish Genealogist. See also Ferns Clergy and Parishes by Canon Leslie p.84
  11. Ferns Marriage Licenses
  12. Two Wexford Priests and '98, by Kevin MacGrath in The Irish Ecclesiastical Record of December 1948.
  13. The Wexford Rising in 1798, by Charles Dickson pp.233
  14. Memoirs of Miles Byrne
  15. The People, 2 May 1936.
  16. A letter from author, historian and former Trustee of The National Library, Mr. E.D.T.Lambert quoted in The People 4 July 1980. Lambert was working on a five volume work on the 5000 volunteers from Britain and Ireland who took part in the South American Wars of Independence under Simon Bolivar between 1806 and 1826. Unfortunately the work was never published.
  17. Devereux of Ballymagir and Adamstown, by W.H.Jeffery in The Journal of The Old Wexford Society No. 3 1970/71
  18. The People, 2 May 1936.
  19. Families of Co. Wexford, by Hilary Murphy
  20. Ferns Marriage Licenses
  21. The Leinster Journal, 14 September 1791.
  22. Memoirs of the Different Rebellions in Ireland..., by Sir Richard Musgrave p.781
  23. Co. Wexford Memories, - a series in The People, May to December 1938
  24. The Wexford Republic June 1798, by Kevin Whelan in Comoradh '98 1798-1998 -A Souvenir Record.
  25. The Freeman of Wexford in 1776, by David Goodall in The Irish Genealogist.
  26. Ferns Marriage Licenses
  27. Memoirs of the Different Rebellions in Ireland..., by Sir Richard Musgrave.
  28. Forth and Bargy, by Kevin Whelan - A footnote on P.32 in Journal of the Wexford Historical Society No. 11
  29. The Irish Rebellion 1798, by W.H.Maxwell.
  30. Memoirs of the Different Rebellions in Ireland..., by Sir Richard Musgrave.
  31. The diary of Sir John Moore, ed. Sir J.F.Maurice, London 1904.
  32. Memoirs of the Different Rebellions in Ireland..., by Sir Richard Musgrave. p.456
  33. Grandy appears to have been a professional loyalist witness, who was invariably paid for his testimony. See The Wexford Rising in 1798 by Charles Dickson pp.212
  34. The Transportation Records, in The National Archives of Ireland (Document Reference No. PPC 3907)
  35. A story told by Arthur Meadows (who narrowly escaped death on the bridge) in Ireland: its Scenery, Character, by Mr. & Mrs. S.C. Hall Vol. 11 p.172
  36. Co. Wexford Memories - a series in The People, 19 September 1936.
  37. The New Ross Standard, 24 December 1898
  38. Michael Doyle of Camross
  39. The New Ross Standard, 15 July 1949