By Mary Cowhig
The tale of the Gunpowder Plot is a well-known one.
In 1605 a group of thirteen conspirators, Francis Tresham, Robert Catesby, Robert Tom, Jack Wintour, Sir Everard Digby, Thomas Percy, Jack and Kit Wright, Ambrose Rookwood, Robert Keyes, John Grant and, most notably, Guy Fawkes, failed in their attempts to blow up the Houses of Parliament. They had intended to kill the King, other members of the Royal family and most of the Government.
What is less well-known, however, is that a family, who have lived in the districts near Carrigaline, for over four centuries, are distantly related to no less than five of the thirteen plotters.
This relationship is through a family named Throckmorton. Muriel Throckmorton, who married Sir Thomas Tresham, was the mother of Francis Tresham. Her sister, Anne, the wife of Sir William Catesby, was the mother of Robert Catesby. The sisters’ aunt, Catherine Throckmorton, was the paternal grandmother of Robert, Tom and Jack Wintour. A cousin, Elizabeth Throckmorton, married Sir Walter Raleigh and this brings us to the local link.
Elizabeth’s sister married into the Daunt family, who lived in Owlpen Manor, Gloucestershire. Her son, Thomaus Daunt, settled in County Cork in 1589, leasing Tracton Abbey from Sir Warham St. Leger and in 1595 bought land in nearby Gortigrenane from him. When Thomas and family settled in Gortigrenane, they lived in a castle which was already there but shortly afterwards the castle was destroyed. They then build the original Gortigrenane House, a type of fortified manor house. This house was destroyed in 1648 and rebuilt. In the late 18th century the house was again rebuilt by Achilles Daunt, in the Palladian style. Today however, only the base of the house remains.
Over the centuries, Thomas Daunt’s descendants have lived in various houses in the areas neighbouring Carrigaline such as Broomley Hall, Tracton, Willow Hill, Carrigaline, Heathburn Hall, Riverstick, Sunfield, Fountainstown, also Balaclava House, Spring Hill and Woodview, Minane Bridge and in Fahalea, Carrigaline, where a branch of the family still lives. Past generations of this branch lie buried in the Churchyard adjoining St. Mary’s Church, Carrigaline.
‘Remember, Remember, the 5th of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason,
Should ever be forgot.’
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