An 18 Bealtaine [1630]

Bíocuntaois Dhurlais – scríbhinn ó Iron Acton – chuig seanathair a fhir chéile, iarla Urumhun

 

Right Honrablle

your lordshipe was pleased to at my request to engadgedg your prommis to mee that you would not put anye of my fathar and mothars frinds or sarvants out of thar farmes but sence your Lord beinge [in] ireland through the instigation of some mallitious persons that hath incensed your Lordship against them hath Caused you to turne them oute: and upon your Lordships nobll promis I did asshure them all by letars that, they should keepe theire farmes [they] being Content to pay your Lordship as much as anye others and thay haveing deserved soe well from mee, I cannot in honner see them suffer: tharfore I beesech your Lordship to grant this my request as your Lordship would have me obay your commands in anye outhar things: I am advertised by a letar from my Cousen weames that your Lordship keepes backe some of the land of bennis bridg from them which belongs to them by thayr lease which I am perswaded they would not seeck if it weare not there due I am very sorye to see your Lordship should fall in contriversie with my kinsmen about soe poure a thing for I did think your Lordship had beene reconsiled to them soe leving all to your Lordships noble Consideration who I know will grant my Just and resonablle request soe with my dute and sarvis to your lordship I rest

your lordships loving grandchild to Command

From Acton the 18 of May Eliz Thurles

Bíocuntaois Dhurlais – scríbhinn ó Iron Acton – chuig seanathair a fhir chéile, iarla Urumhun
Le caoinchead ó Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann. (NLI, Páipéir Ormond, 2486, uimh. 195)

Iron Acton, Gloucestershire, England, was the ancestral home of Elizabeth Poynz, Lady Thurles, mother of James Butler, Viscount Thurles. Elizabeth and James spend the early years of their marriage there.

The manor and land of Carrick were granted to Edmund Butler, earl of Carrick by the king of England in 1315. Ormond castle as we know it today is the result of the buiding works undertook in the 16th century by Thomas Butler, 10th earl of Ormonde.  Members of the Butler family lived there until the last quarter of the 17th century. Walter Butler, 11th earl of Ormonde, grandfather to Elizabeth’s husband, lived there until his death in 1633.

Castle of Carrick on Suir by Purcell Richard (1746-1766)

Reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Tá fianaise le fáil sa litir seo ar chomh muiníneach agus éifeachtach a bhí Bíocuntaois Dhurlais nuair a bhí sí óg, agus ar an tábhacht leanúnach a bhain lena teaghlach athartha, muintir Prestons, i ndiaidh di pósadh.

 

 

Ba le sliocht iarlaí Urumhun a bhain le Elizabeth Butler, Preston roimh phósadh di, trína máthair, Elizabeth Butler freisin, an t-aon leanbh dlisteanach beo de chuid Thomas Butler, 10ú nIarla Urumhun. Richard Preston ba ea a hathair, Barún Dingwall, iarla Dheasumhan ina dhiaidh sin, duine uasal de chúirt na hAlban, fear a raibh an-ghean ag Rí Séamas VI agus I air. Ba ar an 25 Iúil sa bhliain 1615 a rugadh é i Londain, agus ba í Elizabeth an t-aon leanbh a bhí aige mar thoradh ar an bpósadh sin. Bhí baint ag a máthair le díospóid oidhreachta ba chúis le breis is leath d’eastát Urumhun a bheith bronnta uirthi, ach níor bronnadh an teideal uirthi. Ba ar Walter Butler, 11ú Iarla Urumhun, a bronnadh an teideal.
Fágadh eastát a máthar ag Bean Elizabeth Preston nuair a bhí sí 13 bhliain d’aois nuair a cailleadh a beirt tuismitheoirí sa bhliain 1628 – cailleadh a máthair in An Bhreatain Bheag agus bádh a hathair ar a bhealach ar ais óna sochraid. Ansin tugadh an Banbharún Dingwall, i ndiaidh teidil Albanaigh a hathar a bheith fágtha le hoidhreacht aici, an cailín a fágadh ina dílleachta, mar bharda cúirte agus cuireadh faoi chúram Henry Rich, 1ú Iarla na hOllainne, í. Phós sí a col seisir, James Butler, i mí na Nollag an bhliain dár gcionn, agus Bíocuntaois Dhurlais a tugadh uirthi ina dhiaidh sin.
Glactar leis gur scríobhadh an litir seo, an litir is túisce dár scríobh Elizabeth atá ar fáil, thart ar an mbliain 1630 tráth ar bhean chéile óg, thart ar 15 bhliain d’aois, í. Scríobhadh an litir in Iron Acton in Gloucestershire, áit ar chaith sí féin agus a fear céile blianta tosaigh a bpósta le gaolta a mháthar. Scríobhadh an litir seo chuig seanathair a fhir chéile, Walter Butler, an 11ú Iarla, i gCaisleán Urumhan, Carraig na Siúire. Chaill sé Caisleán Chill Chainnigh agus go leor d’eastát Urumhan mar gheall ar dhíospóid a bhain le cúrsaí oidhreachta lena mháthair, rud a chiallaigh go mb’éigean cúram áirithe a léiriú nuair a bhí an litir á scríobh.
Scríobh an bhíocuntaois óg chuig Walter go hómósach ach chomh maith leis sin tagraíonn sí dá cuid ceart agus freagrachtaí mar bhanoidhre. Bíonn sí ag gearán faoi dhíshealbhú cuid de thionóntaí a tuismitheoirí, atá ar shlí na fírinne, agus labhraíonn sí thar ceann a col ceathracha athartha. Bhí clásál ina comhaontú pósta a shonraigh go raibh Dún Feart agus Droichead Binéid i gCo. Chill Chainnigh le bronnadh ar Patrick Wemyss agus Richard Christy, nianna a hathar, le haghaidh téarma 21 bliain. Bhí dualgas orthu £100 an duine a íoc leis an iarla don chéad dhá bhliain dá dtionacht agus ina dhiaidh péire miotóg luach 20s. a thabhairt do Elizabeth gach Lá Fhéile Michíl. Tarraingíonn an bhíocuntaois aird an iarla ar théarmaí an chomhaontaithe agus tagraíonn sí dá dhílseacht leanúnach do theaghlach a fhir chéile i ndiaidh a pósta.
Ainmníodh a fear céile mar 12ú Iarla Urumhan sa bhliain 1633, rud a chiallaigh gur cuntaois ba ea Elizabeth. Idir na blianta 1632 agus 1646 saolaíodh ochtar mac di, mhair triúr acu go raibh siad in aois daoine fásta, mar aon le beirt iníonacha: Thomas, Iarla Osraí (1634–80) ina dhiaidh sin; Richard, Iarla Árann (1639–86) ina dhiaidh sin; Elizabeth, Bantiarna Chesterfield (1640–65) ina dhiaidh sin; John, Iarla Ghabhráin (1643–76); agus Mary, Bantiarna Cavendish ina dhiaidh sin agus Bandiúc Devonshire (1646–1710) i ndeireadh na dála. Ceann de na teaghlaigh ba chumhachtaí in Éirinn sa 17ú céad ba ea iad.