(18)The Coppingers and Crokers of Lisnabrin

Lisnabrin is near the village of Curraglass, which is close to the post town of Tallow, County Waterford.Lisnabrin itself, however, is in the County of Cork.It formed part of the estate given to Sir Walter Raleigh, having originally belonged to the Desmonds.[1]A branch of the Coppingers had, from remote times, lived at Lisnabrin, and when Sir Walter Raleigh acquired the estate, in 1586, he secured the Coppingers in the lands of Lisnabrin under a lease for 4,000 years at the rent of 4d. per acre. Raleigh stood sponsor to the son of Mr. Coppinger, the son being called Walter.Mr. Coppinger, Walter's father, was living at Lisnabrin, with his son and two daughters, at the time that Hugh Croker first came to Ireland.Hugh was a son of Thomas Croker of Trevillas, in Cornwall, second son of the 8th John Croker of Lineham, Co. Devon, and with his brothers migrated to Ireland. They were all probably soldiers.[2]Hugh probably served under Essex, and it was during the retreat of the English from Limerick towards Waterford, that a battle was fought between the English and Irish, called Tallow. Essex had fought two battles after leaving Limerick, one between Adare and Askeaton, and another between Askeaton and Croom, and in both had suffered considerably.He had rested for three days at Killmallock, whence he proceeded towards Fermoy, and then it is recorded by Wright[3]as if his intention in taking this route were merely to deceive his enemies and escape their pursuit, he suddenly changed his course and hurried to Lismore, in the County of Waterford. It was not till he reached this place that the Geraldine forces ceased their pursuit, and the English army took some repose after its fatigues and sufferings. No doubt he was attacked by the rebels near Tallow, at a village called Conna, and a severe engagement fought. In this engagement Coppinger took no part, though when it was over he and his servants went down to the field of battle to assist and relieve the wounded.Amongst the wounded they discovered a young English officer - he could not have been more than twenty - who was badly hurt and had been left to his fate on the field. Mr. Coppinger immediately ordered him to be conveyed to his own house, at Lisnabrin, where he was most assiduously nursed by Mr. Coppinger's two daughters.For a long time it was doubtful whether he could be brought round, but care and good nursing effected a cure. During this critical time he, of course, saw much of Lucretia, Mr. Coppinger's youngest daughter, and a strong attachment seems to have grown up between them - so strong that Hugh Croker, for so was the officer called, could not make his departure before he sought of Mr. Coppinger the hand of his daughter in marriage. Coppinger would not hear of it. In the first place, he said he must have his eldest daughter settled in life, and in the second place he could never consent to having a Protestant son-in-law. Sorrowfully young Croker departed, but determined to bring the weight of his interest with the Government to bear upon the obdurate father.He proceeded to London, and the next year, 1600, obtained a grant of Lisnabrin as a reward of his services during the war.[4]He forthwith returned to Ireland, and was received at Lisnabrin as a welcome visitor. Day after day passed before he could bring himself to tell his friend Coppinger that he was in reality the owner of the property of his former preserver.At length one day Coppinger remarked to him how curious it was that he alone of all his neighbours had escaped confiscastion.Croker then told him all, but added, "None need depart if you will allow me to marry your daughter Lucretia." To this arrangement Coppinger ultimately consented, and thus Hugh Croker and Lucretia Coppinger became the ancestors of the Crokers of Lisnabrin. Walter, the son of Mr. Coppinger, seems to have married, but to have left no issue, for he died in 1634, and letters of administration of his personal estate and effects were granted to Walter Croker, Maria Croker, Bridget Croker, and Honora Croker (described as nephews and nieces of the deceased); these, no doubt, being the children of the marriage of Hugh and Lucretia.Hugh Croker, after a long course of military service, settled at Ballyanker, and died in January, 1663

[1] The Desmond estates amounted to 600,000 acres. First Sir Walter Raleigh obtained a warrant of the Privy Seal, dated 3rd February, 1585-6, for three seignories, and half or 42,000 in the Counties of Cork and Waterford, and letters patent were granted to him in respect of the same, dated the 16th October, 29 Elizabeth, 1586. The following extract as to Sir Walter Raleigh's lands is taken from the Carew MSS. "Certificate 14th March, 1587, of the lands within the Counties of Waterford and Cork, allotted to Sir Walter Rawley and his associates, i.e., the castle and lands of Inchaquyne, the South Friars, otherwise the Grey Friars, near the town of Yoghall; the castle and lands of Ballynetrae, with Kyllnatora, the castle and lands of Shronecallye, certain lands of David McShane Roche and others, lying along the river called the Bryde, from the lands of Shronecally to the lands of Lesfynyne on the south and southwest of the river Bryde, half a plowland lying on the north side of the river Bryde, called Killnecarrigrie; the castle and lands of Lesfenyn, and the decayed town of Tallow, the castle and lands of Mogilla, and the Sheane, and the castle and lands of Kilmackowe. Further it is agreed, if the lands above mentioned do not amount to the full quantity or portion of the seignories of 12,000 acres apiece, and one seignory 6,000 acres by estimation appointed for the said Sir Walter Rawlyghe, his associates and tenants, that then they shall have of these lands hereunder specified so much as shall make up the said full number of acres for the said seignories, that is to say, the castle and lands of Mockollopp and Temple Myghell, the lands of Patrick Coondon, next adjoining unto the Sheane, four messuages or tofts in the town of Yoghall, with the patronage or gift of the wardenship of Our Lady's College of the same, Whight's Island, alias Ahavounan, and other the lands thereunto next adjoining in Imokillye. Signed - Christo Hatton Canc, Valentine Browne, Edward Fetton, John Popham, Richard Phitton, Henry Slingsbye, Arthur Hyde, Thomas Hanam." Endorsed "Mem., that the Friar's house, alias the South Friars, Yoghall, and the four messuages or tofts, with their appurtenances aforesaid, are not to be accounted a parcel of any seignory. Nevertheless, the same lying nigh to the seignories appointed for the said Sir Walter Rawleye are agreed by the undertakers to be granted unto him, and are surveyed at the yearly value of £3. 13s. 4d." (Cal. S. P.) In 1602 Sir Richard Boyle purchased all Sir Walter's estates in Ireland, and the bargain bears date 7th December, 1602, the 45 Elizabeth. In 1604 Boyle obtained by letters patent grants of these lands.

[2] Two of them at least were so, and distinguished themselves by the extraordinary and most romantic capture of the City of Waterford, in 1650 (see Smith's History of Waterford, p. 147, Ed. 1774.) One of the brothers was killed in the assault, but Hugh survived till January, 1663. A third brother, Edward, who was murdered in the Irish Rebellion, 1641, was ancestor of the family of Croker of Ballynagard, County Limerick, and of Thomas Crofton Croker, Esq., the well known writer.

[3] History of Ireland, vol. i., p. 537.

[4] In Burke's History of the Commoners, 1834, vol. i., p.341, it is stated that Thomas Croker, father of Hugh, obtained about 1600 the estate of Ballyanker, in the County of Waterford. This may be so, the father obtaining a grant of land in consideration of moneys advanced towards the expedition under Essex, and the son a grant in respect of his personal services. Or the grant may have been made as one to Hugh Croker, but as to this we have no information.

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