Tobernea Manor

Effin had a Norman manor, located in the town land of Tobernea,  it was in a field near Leos farm near Macs cross.   Nothing remains now of the castle except what’s documented on ordinance survey maps. It appears to have been an important place in its time around the area. In the Thirteenth century the Manor of Tiberneyum (Tobbernea)  was an important castle at the time holding a weekly market weekly market every Tuesday and a yearly fair lasting for six days from August 27th to September 3rd. 

The serfs in Tobernea Manor held 3 carucates for 3 marks a year. The serfs boundaries would have been defined a boundary of by the area of the manor they were attached to which may have been in operation in other castles in Effin, where Ballymacshaneboy Castle and Brickfield Castle

The following information is an extract from  J. Begley, book on the Diocese of Limerick, Ancient and Mediaeval (1906).

The earliest manor in this division of which the records of this period furnish us with any details, is that of Tiberneyum, still giving its name to a townland in the parish of Effin.
1207. King John granted to Philip de Prendergast 15 knights’ fees between Inishannon and Kinsale, which were formed into the manors of Carrigiline and Duglass. Philip was succeeded by his son, Gerard, who, at the time of his death in 1251, held in addition to the above manors those of Ballyea and Tobbernea.

Gerard was twice married. His first wife was sister of Theobald Pincera, who died leaving one daughter who was afterwards married to De Cogan. His second wife was daughter of Richard de Burgh, with whom he had received as dower the manor of Tobbernea- He was in possession of this dower before the year 1240, as it is stated in the Black Book that an agreement was entered between Gerard and Hubert, Bishop of Limerick, at Kilmallock in 1240, regarding the advowson of the churches of Kilbegly, Kilconegan (Kilquane), and Effin, which incidently discloses that the manor was at least co-extensive with the present parish of Effin  and that the old tuath of Desibeg extended to the con- fines of the County Cork.

It was given to Gerard de Prendergast as a part dowry from Richard De Burgh in 1240. Its size and boundaries were defined in 1251 (Begley, 1909 p.176) as  “7 fees, 7 carucates and 59 ½ acres” Some of this land was sub-let as part payment for knights fees. There is evidence of serfdom in this manor and the native Irish had given up their freedom and some rights in order to be protected by the local lord. They could not move out of their area without the permission of their lord.

Gerard died in the year 1251, and his heirs being minors, an inquisition was held into his property, the bulk of which lay in Cork county and is outside the scope of this enquiry.

In Limerick it was found he possessed the manor of Tibemeyum (Tobbernea), comprising 7 fees, 7 carucates, and 591/2 acres, which he held of Richard de Burgh in Desibeg, and 1 carucate from the Bishop of Limerick at half a mark. These lands were sub-let in the following manner :

  • Gerald Fitzmilo, 3 fees by the service of half-knight’s fee.
  • Henry de Prendergast, 1 fee by the service of quarter- knight’s fee.
  • Henry Barat, half-fee by the service of quarter- knight’s fee.
  • In the ville there were three free tenants : —
  • Richard Gar, J carucate at 1 mark per year and 10 acres at 3d.
  • Thomas the chaplin, 1 acre at 3 d.
  • Richard Kartere, 30 acres at 5 d. per acre.
  • William Hantlan, carucates at 20s. per year.
  • John Goss, 1 carucate at 1 mark per year.
  • Konewore O’Lougan, 1 carucate at 1 mark per year
  • Richard Wilde, half carucate and 30 acres at 47$/6<f. per year.
  • Alexander Baard, 1 carucate at 20s. per year.
  • Robert le Chance, 1 carucate at 20s. per year.
  • John Lebaut, half carucate at 10s. per year.
  • William de la Hare, 1 carucate at 30s. per year.
  • F]ias Cordewaner, half carucate at 40s. per year.

The Irish held 3 carucates for 3 marks a year, and Finegole Jmene O’Conni had 10 acres of land without rent. The natives here, as elsewhere, were treated as serfs by the Norman, though it is pleasant to find that some of them occupied a more elevated position in the organization of this manor than is usually allotted to them. In the demesne there were 5 carucates 4 acres let for 22 o£ crannocks of wheat, each being valued at 40^. and 220 crannocks of oats at i8d. per crannock. There were 34 acres in meadow for 34s. a year, mills 3 marks per year, pleas and profits 20s., curtilages 6s. 8d.
David Fitzadam held 1 fee for 1 lb. of pepper.
Total revenue in money, £17 17s. ; in corn, £48 13s. 2 d.1 (Sweetman’s calendar of Documents 1)
Gerald also held from David Barry one-half cantred of corkoyhe — I presume in paper — by the service of one knight’s fee, and John Fitzthomas held the land of Gerard by the same service which was never rendered.
Gerard left an only daughter by his second wife, who was entrusted “with her portion by the king to Maurice Rochford, son of Guy, one of his grooms, to hold until her full age and marriage. She was accordingly placed under Maurice’s care, and all her dower passed into his hands. In the following year he received a grant for holding a weekly market every Tuesday in his manor of Tobbernea, and a yearly fair lasting for six days from August 27th to September 3rd.

The Manor was also connected to the Church of Effin in 1287 which was a prebendary of St Mary’s Catheral in Limerick and had a special from the Bishop of Limerick in 1287,

The following extract from The Memorial of Adare

Decree of the Bi8hop of Limerick touching the Church of Effyng.
“To all eons of Holy Mother Church who shall see or hear these present letters, Gerald, by Divine permission Bishop of Limerick, sendeth health eternal in the Lord.
“The interest of churches is best consulted for when wholesome provision for their defence and government is made by persons of discretion who possess wisdom and power, by whose favour and diligence the churches may not only be maintained in their position, but be bettered by gratuitous augmentations. For then such per­sons, and the churches for whose service ·they are engaged, are more strongly be­holden to their benefactors, when the hand of beneficence is extended to them spontaneously without waiting for entreaties, and they are gratuitously drawn to acts of goodness.
“Wherefore being desirous of exalting our church of Limerick, which is too slenderly endowed in property and members, by suitable liberality, favours and honours, and having duly weighed what is most clearly for its advantage, we make

constitute and o_rdain the Church of Effyn within our diocese, with all its rights and appurtenances, and with all its entirety, stving, however, to the Vicar for the time being the customary portion of the said Church, with the consent and will of the noble Maurice Rochfort, the true patron of the said Church, and with the unanimous assent and consent of our Chapter of Limerick, to be a Prebend in our said Church for ever, desiring,· granting, and ordaining for ourselves and our successors that the aforesaid Church shall for ever hereafter be a prebend of the Church of Lime­rick, and that the said Maurice and his heirs and assigns shall have the right of presenting a fitting Clerk who shall possess the knowledge, ability, and desire to defend the rights of the Church for us and our successors, as often as the said Prebend shall become vacant, and that we and our successors shall be bound to receive the Clerk so presented, and to admit him to the said Prebend on their pre­sentation, without hesitation or hindrance, and to assign him a stall in the choir and a place in the Chapter, saving to ourselves and to our successors, to the Dean and to the Archdeacon for the time being, the episcopal and archidiaconal and other customary fees. But that the aforesaid canon and prebend may enjoy full liberty henceforward, we will and ordain that the Vicars for the time being in the said Church, shall have the whole and entire cure of souls of the whole parish, and shall discharge all and singular the ordinary and extraordinary duties, in consi­deration of the stipend assigned to them in the said church, and shall also keep personal and continual􀂺residence in the same. Moreover we will and ordain that two Vicars shall be maintained in the Cathedral Church of Limerick, out of the property belonging to the said prebendal Church of Effyn, in such wise that each of them shall receive sixty shillings a-year, to say mass every day for ever for the souls of the aforesaid Maurice and the deceased wife of the same, his ancestors and successors, and also of the Lords Nicholas and William de Clare, their brothers, and relatives, as often as they shall not be appointed to other masses according to the obse”ance of our Church aforesaid ; and when they shall be deputed to other masses, they shall repeat for them a special collect.
“In testimony whereof we have caused our seal, together with the seals of our said Chapter, and of the said Maurice, to be affixed to the present ordinance, drawn up after the manner of a chirograph.
“Given in our Chapter of Limerick the Friday after the Feast of S. David the Bishop, in the year of Grace, One thousand two hundred and eighty-seven.’2 page 286-287.

Grant of Maurice Rochfort touching the said Church.

“To the venerable Father in Christ the Lord G., by the grace of God Bishop of Limerick, Maurice de Rochfort, health, with all respect and honour.
“Desirous as much as in us lies to advance Divine worship within your Cathedral Church of Lin’.ierick, and to render it more secure against the devices of those who would impugn the same, we will that a prebend should be made of the Church of Effyn which is in our gift, within the aforesaid your Church of Limerick, freely and without hindrance of any person; and we, for ourselves and our heirs, grant to you free power in the Lord, saving to ourselves and our heirs the full power of presenting for the same prebend to you and your successors for the time being a fit Clerk, as often as it shall happen that the said prebend shall become vacant, as the true patrons of the said prebend, in such wise that you and your successors and each of you and them shall be bound to admit the fit person presented by us or our heirs to the said prebend without let whatever, and assign him a stall in the choir and a place in your Chapter as to any other canon, ratifying and approving the ordinance to be made by you concerning the maintenance of two Vicars out of the accruing profits of the said prebends.
“In testimony whereof our seal is appended to these presents on ihe Thursday next after the Feast of S. David the Bishop, in the sixteenth year of the reign of Edward the King.”

The following extract from the Table of Procurations in the Liber Niger3 affords evidence that the right of presentation to this parish was still in the Rochfort family in 1418.

“The Church of Effyng is attached to a Prebend by a pension annually payable to the Cathedral Church ; and hath a Vicar, in the presentation of the Lord of Rochefort …. The Proxy thereof together with the chapel of Kylbygylll”

The annexed document mentions the Rochfort family in connexion with Effin.
“A.D. 1381. The King to the Escheator of Ireland, and the Sheriff of Limerick, also to Richard Colman, clerk, and Thomas Byrrell, (reciting that Stephen, late Bishop of Meath, was bound to the King in divers debts), commanding them to cause to be seized into the hands of the King, all tha lands and tenements which belonged to John de Rocheford, knight, deceased, who held of the King’s grand­father in capite, in ‘l’ypemevyn, Effyng, and elsewhere in the county aforesaid, the custody of which the said Bishop enjoyed in his lifetime”4
The following extract relative to Eflin is from the Irish Patent and Close Rolls1 :-
” Presentation by Henry VIII. of Thady Boll to the Rectory of Effing, in the diocese of Limerick, in the King’s gift pleo Jure.” April 1, 37th year.


1. See Sweetman’s Calendar of Documents relating to Ireland, under the year 1251, where all that is inserted here about Tobbernea is to be found under the above years

2. Memorials of Adare manor. With historical notices of Adare, by the earl of Dunraven E.R.W. WyndhamQuin

3. Ecclesiastical records concerning the Diocese of Limerick taken from the Liber Niger Limericensis, including a Taxa procuracionum a topographical account of the parishes with identifications and notes by Bishop Reeves 19th c.

4. Calend. Rot. Cancell. Hib., p. 109 b, No. 92.

5. The name is written Kilbygly in an instrument of the dat-e 1210, in which year an agreement was made between Hubtert do Burgo, Bishop of Limerick, and Lord G. de Prendergaste, touching the advowsons of tlw churches of Kilconegan [now Kilquane], Kilbygly, and Effyng. (Liber Niger, p.104.) By this it appeatrs that Kilbygly was anciently a distinct benefice. The modern parish of Effin is divided horizontally, along the line which separates sheets 47 and 65 of the Ordnance Survey, into two portions, the northern one of which is in the barony of Coshma, and the, southern in that of Coshlea. The former represents Effin proper, and the latter the chapelry of Kilbygly, the site of whose church is in the townland Brick­field, and still retains the old name Kilbigly, although all traces of the building have disappeared..

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