Letterbrickaun

Leitir Breacain

Teresa Philbin

Teresa Philbin

Translation:  Breckan’s hill side

By Teresa Philbin

Down Survey:  The Down Survey of Ireland is the first ever detailed land survey on a national scale anywhere in the world.  The survey is a cadastral survey of Ireland and was so called simply by its topographic details all laid down by admeasurements on maps.  It was carried out by William Petty an English scientist in 1655 and 1656.   The survey sought to measure all the land to be forfeited by the Catholic Irish, in order to facilitate it’s redistribution to merchant adventurers and English officers and soldiers in Oliver Cromwell’s army. It was to repay them and the many English politicians and adventurers who had funded Cromwell’s military campaign in Ireland.

The Down Survey name for this townland is Litterlagagh.  In 1641 (pre Cromwell), the owner was Murragh a Na Dow O’Flahartye a catholic.  In 1670 (post Cromwell) it was in protestant ownership of College of Dublin.  It is in the half barony of Ross, in the parish of Rosse (sic) in County Galway.  There were 885 plantation acres of unprofitable land and 62 plantation acres of profitable land and the profitable land was forfeited.

O’Donovan’s Field Name Books 1838:  John O’Donovan tells us the standard name for this townland is Letterbrickaun.

Irish form of the name: Leitir Breacain that translates as ‘Breckan’s hill side’.

Other forms of the name:  Letterbrickaun, Leitir Breacain, Leitir Briocain, Letterbrickaun (Boundary  Surveyors Sketch Map), Letterbrickane (County Cess Collector), Litterbrickaun (County Map), Letterbricken (Leases 1837), Lettherbrickawn (Local), Literbracken (Map of Property 1760), Letterbrickane (Map of Property 1815), Lettrbrickaun (Mearsman), Letterbrickane (Rev. Michael Heraty P.P. also spelled Heraghty), Letterbrickan (Tithe Ledger).

Description:  The Provost of Trinity College Dublin was the proprietor and the agent was Alexander Nesbitt, Esq., Junior, no 96 Stephen’s Green; South Dublin.  The land was all held under lease by Ulick Jennings, Esq., Iornpool, Kilconly parish.  The rent was – (the amount is not specified).  The soil was all mountainous; part steep rough pasture, some mixed pasture with arable pasture and tillage.  The crops were middling good.  The County Cess of 11¼d was paid per acre, half yearly for 51 acres.  Letterbrickaun is a village in two clusters, east and west of Killery (sic) Bay and under one name.  The rent of this townland and Glannagevlagh together was £100.

Situation:  Letterbrickaun is in the north west side of the parish, bounded on the north by Killary harbour; on the west by Killary harbour and Leenane; to the south by Leenane and Culliagh and on the east by Culliagh and Glanagevlagh.  It is in the barony of Ross in Co. Galway.

Killary / Caolsáile, translates as a narrow inlet of the sea and is part of the Atlantic.

Griffith’s Valuation 1849:  According to Griffith’s Valluation, Letterbrickaun (Ordnance Survey Sheet 12) has an area of 451 acres and 38 perches.  The owner was the provost of Trinity College Dublin.  The land value at the time was £28 and 9 shillings.  George Jennings and Peter King leased properties from Trinity College; they leased to other tenants that paid them rent according to the value of their holding.

Plot 1:  Peter King had a house, offices and land leased from the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College Dublin.  He had two acres of land that had an annual valuation of 5 shillings; the buildings were valued at £12 and 10 shillings and his total annual rent for the property was £12 and 15 shillings.

Plot 2:  Edmund Joyce had a house and land leased from George Jennings.  He had 8 acres and 15 perches of land that was valued at 10 shillings and the house was valued at 10 shillings.  His annual rent was £1.

Plot 3:  Peter King had 259 acres, 3 roods and 4 perches of land leased from Trinity College Dublin.  He had two tenants; Thomas Joyce (Watt) and Edmund Joyce and each paid an annual rent.

3(1) Thomas Joyce (Watt) had a house and land; he paid an annual sum of £8 and 5 shillings for his piece of land and the house had an annual valuation of 15 shillings.  His total annual rent was £9.

3(2) Edmund Joyce had land that had an annual rent of £4 and 15 shillings.

Plot 4:  Peter King leased a further 161 acres, 1 rood and 19 perches of land from Trinity College Dublin that he sublet to eleven tenants.  The following paid an annual rent to Peter King according to the size and value of their holding:

4(a):  Michael Thornton had a house, office and land.  His piece of land had an annual valuation of £1 and 2 shillings; the buildings were valued at 6 shillings.  His total annual rent was £1 and 8 shillings.

4(b):  Michael Wallace had a house, office and land.  His piece of land had an annual valuation £1 and 2 shillings; and the buildings were valued at 6 shillings, he too had an annual rent of £1 and 8 shillings.

4(c):  Mary Thornton had a house, office and land.  She paid an annual sum of £1 and 2 shillings for the land and annual payment of 6 shillings for the buildings.  Mary also had an annual rent of £1 and 8 shillings.

4(d):  Eleanor Coyne had a house, office and land.  Her portion of land had an annual valuation of 14 shillings and the buildings were valued at 4 shillings.  Her total annual rent was 18 shillings.

4(e):  Michael Coyne had a house, office and land.  The land had an annual valuation of £1 and 15 shillings; the buildings were valued at 10 shillings; his total annual rent was £2 and 5 shillings.

4(f):  Thomas McDonald had a house, office and land.  The land had an annual valuation of £1 and 13 shillings and the buildings had an annual valuation of 10 shillings.  His total annual rent was £2.

4(g):  John Wallace had a house, office and land.  The land had an annual valuation of £1 and 2 shillings; the buildings had an annual valuation of 6 shillings.  He paid a total annual rent of £1 and 8 shillings.

4(h):  Farrell Gallagher had a house, office and land.  The land had an annual valuation of £1 and 13 shillings and the buildings were valued at 7 shillings.  His total annual rent was £2.

4(i):  Charles Faherty (sic) had a house, office and land.  The land had an annual valuation of  £1 and the buildings were valued at 4 shillings .  His total annual rent was £1 and 4 shillings.

4(j):  Michael Faherty had a house and land.  His portion of land had an annual valuation of 12 shillings and the house had an annual valuation of 3 shillings.  His total annual rent was 15 shillings.

4(k):  Bailey Wallace had a house and land.  The land had an annual valuation of 14 shillings and the house was valued at 4 shillings.  His total annual rent was 18 shillings.

1901 Census:  On the 1st April 1901, Constable Thomas Parkinson collected the census for the townland of Letterbrickane (sic), in the barony and parish of Ross.  There were four private dwellings there at the time; two were 1st class, two were 2nd class, one had a perishable that was most likely thatch.  House number three was occupied by two families; the Coles and McNivens.  Number five was a Roman Catholic chapel.

No 1:  Richard Thomas King JP (33) a land holder and farmer was head of this household.  He was married to Eleanor J. (27) and they had two sons; Richard T (1½) and Peter (2) months old.  His mother Mary Anne King (64) a widow was the landowner.  His brother Michael Pat King (27) a single man was a farmer and his niece Julia M King (13) was a scholar.  Michael McLoughlin (50), a servant, was a landowner as tenant; Maggie Nee (14) and Mary Joyce (14) were domestic servants.  All in this household could read and write; Richard’s brother and niece spoke English, the others were bilingual and all were born in Leenane, Co. Galway.  The house was 1st class with seven windows to the front and ten people occupied ten rooms.  Thirteen outbuildings contained a stable, a coach house and a harness room; two cow houses, a calf house, a piggery, a fowl house, a turf house, a potato house, two stores and a laundry.

No 2:  Stephen Joyce (50) a herd, his wife Mary (45), their four sons and one daughter lived in this house.  Michael (20) was a farm labourer; Patrick (17) a herd’s son, Martin (15) and James (6) were scholars and Maggie was 4 years old.  Michael, Patrick and Martin could read and write, the others could not read. Mary was born in Co. Mayo and the rest of the family were born in Co. Galway.  The parents and three oldest boys were bilingual.  The house was 2nd class with a perishable roof and three windows in front.  The family of seven occupied three rooms.  They had a cow house on the holding.  R. T King Esq. JP was the name of the landholder where the house was situated.

No 3:  Two families were accommodated in this house (3.1) & (3.2).

3.1:  Albert William Cole (30) a coachman and his wife Mary J (31) had one son Aubrey H. who was (3) years old. Tom Southwell (40) a hairdresser was a boarder.  The adults could read and write.  All the occupants of this part of the house were born in England and were Church of England.  The house was 1st class with five windows in front and four people occupied three rooms.

3.2:  Peter McNiven (58) was born in Clackmannanshire, Scotland; his wife Mary (53) and their daughter Jessie (16) were born in Roxburghshire, Scotland.  Peter was a wool weaving instructor.  The family was Presbyterian and all could read and write.  The parents and daughter occupied two rooms in this part of the house.  There were four stables and a coach house on the premises. R.H McKeown (sic) was the name of the landholder where the house was situated.

No 4:  Patrick Kerrigan (24) a car driver, his wife Maria (23) and their 11 month old infant son John were born in Co. Galway.  They couple could read and write and were bilingual.  The house was 2nd class with two windows to the front and the parents and baby occupied two rooms.  There were no outbuildings on the holding.  R.H McKeown was the name of the landholder where the house was situated.

No 5:  Was listed as a Roman Catholic Chapel.

Census 1911:  Constable Joseph Carlos collected the census return for Letterbrickaun (sic) between the 13th and 14th April 1911.  There were five inhabited dwellings, a shop and a chapel in the townland.  Forty – one people resided here; twenty – three males and eighteen females; one was born in Mayo; the remainder were born in Co. Galway and all were Roman Catholic.  Many adults were bilingual, but many young children were not, and the Irish language was in decline.

No 1:  Stephen Joyce (61) a shepherd was married to Mary (58) for thirty – two years and they had nine children; four were recorded in this census.  Pat (26) and Stephen (22) were car drivers.  Bridget (18) had no occupation listed and James (17) was a scholar.  Stephen and his son James could not read or write; Mary and the other children could read and write.  All were bilingual.  The house was 2nd class with three windows in front and six people occupied three rooms.  They had a cow house on the holding.  Richard T King was the name of the landholder where the house was situated.

No 2:  Thomas Joyce (54) a farmer and his wife Ellen (47) were married for twenty two years and had no children.  Thomas was bilingual and Ellen spoke Irish only; neither could read. The house was 2nd class with three windows in front and the couple occupied three rooms.  They had a cow house on the premises.

No 3:  Richard Thomas King (43) a magistrate and farmer, was married to Eleanor (45) for twelve years and they had six children; five were still living.  Richard (11) and Peter (10) were scholars.  John Wm (4), James Bernard (3) and Mary Adelaide (6) were not attending school.  Michael Patrick King (38) a farmer was Richard’s brother; Michael McLoughlin (65) a widower born in Co. Mayo was a general servant and Maggie Joyce (15) and Kate Coyne (15) were servants.  The scholars and the rest of the household could read and write; Richard’s children and his brother spoke English while the others were bilingual.  The house was 1st class with nine windows in front and eleven people occupied eleven rooms.  There was a variety of out offices that included a stable, a coach house and a harness room, a cow house, a piggery, a fowl house, a turf shed and a store.

No 4:  Philip Coyne (55) a farmer and his wife Mary Anne (43) were married for twenty – one years and they had eleven children; ten were documented.  John (17) was an agricultural labourer; Phil (15), Peter (12), Patrick (10), Bridget (9) and Mary (7) were scholars.  Ellen was 6, Maggie (4), Sarah (3) and Julia, 1 year-old.  The parents and children from age seven upwards could read and write, and the parents and three eldest boys were bilingual.  The house was 2nd class with three windows to the front and the family of twelve occupied three rooms.  They had a cow house on the property.

No 5:  Thomas Francis Joyce (55) a magistrate and farmer, and Sabina (44) were married for twenty three years and they had eleven children; ten were still living.  Patrick (22) was a general merchant; Anna (19) an undergraduate N.U.I (National University of Ireland), Sabina (17) had no occupation listed. Thomas Francis (11), Arthur William (10), Marcus Edward (9), and John Martin (3) were scholars.  Mary Joyce (16) was a general domestic servant.  All in this household could read and write.  Marcus E and John M were not bilingual; the other members spoke Irish and English.  The house was 1st class with five windows to the front and ten people occupied twelve rooms.  There were nine out buildings that contained a stable, a coach house and a harness room, a cow house, a calf house, a dairy, a fowl house, a barn and a store.

No 6:  Was listed as a shop.  Thomas F Joyce J.P was the name of the landholder where the shop was situated.

No 7: Was listed as Roman Catholic Chapel.

This page was added on 23/11/2020.

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