Waterford history

A Seventeenth Century Horse Troop in Tallow

A Seventeenth Century Horse Troop in Tallow

Niall C.E.J. O’Brien

The annual horse fair in Tallow is a fitting continuation of a long association between the town and horses. This article records the stationing of a horse troop in the town during the 1670s. Sometime before August 1677 the horse troop of Captain Henry Boyle arrived in the town. Henry Boyle was the second son of Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery. In March 1674-5 he was a lieutenant in the horse troop of his father, based at Charleville. It was good, therefore that this young officer was served by a triad of experienced company officers. His Lieutenant, Trevor Lloyd, Cornet Edward Alford and Quartermaster John Chichester had long service in the Irish army.[1]

Trevor Lloyd was the senior of the three having served in the royal army of Ireland in 1649. During the Commonwealth he was unemployed but following the Restoration he joined the horse troop of Colonel Mark Trevor (Later 1st Viscount Dungannon). After May 1662 he was appointed cornet as Edward Harrington retired. Trevor’s lieutenant was Oliver Cromwell of the Ulster family of that name and not his more famous namesake. At that time the troop was stationed in Dundalk where there were 75 soldiers beside the seven officers and two trumpeters. By January 1664 the troop had decline to 63 members in total.[2]

In June 1665 Lord Dungannon wrote to the Duke of Ormond that Trevor Lloyd had letters from the king for three years that he would get command of Dungannon’s troop.[3] Nothing became of the request. Instead, Trevor had to continue as a junior officer for another four years. On 14th June 1669 the Earl of Ossory issued a commission to Trevor Lloyd to be lieutenant in Viscount Dungannon’s troop. The promotion was due to the death of Mark Trevor, late lieutenant of the troop.[4]

By March 1674-5 Viscount Dungannon was decease and Edward Brabazon was now captain of the troop. Trevor Lloyd remained as lieutenant was joined by John Chichester as quartermaster.[5] Before August 1677 Captain Edward Brabazon had retired and Henry Boyle took command. The troop, which up to now had spent most of its time stationed at Dundalk and in Ulster, now came south to Tallow. The last we hear of Trevor Lloyd is as a major in the foot company of Warham St Leger. He was deceased by 1685 and Major William Dorrington took command.[6]

The army list of January 1677-8 shows that Captain Henry Boyle’s horse troop was still stationed in Tallow. At that time the military barracks, situated at the south end of Barrack Street, was still to be built. Its construction would not occur for another thirty years. In the meantime the soldiers and their horses were quartered in various private houses and inns of the town. From August 1662 many towns across the country were told to provide fire and candle light to the troops billeted within each town as the troops are placed there to protect the people.[7]

To pay for their lodgings, the wages of a horse troop consisted of: the captain was £19 12s per month, lieutenant £12 12 shillings per month, cornet £9 12 shillings per month and the quartermaster £7 per month. The three corporals and one trumpeter got £3 10 shillings per month while the horsemen got 42 shillings each.[8] Often the soldiers had to wait for their pay with the result that householders had to wait to get paid for providing lodging. In January 1666, John Doughty, innkeeper in Dublin, petitioned Lord Ormond for a debt owing by cornet Trevor Lloyd. Ormond instructed that Lloyd pay the debt.[9] Yet three years later the debt was still unpaid. Margaret Doughty, widow of John Doughty, petitioned Ormond about the unpaid debt owed by Cornet Lloyd. Ormond gave instructions that the debt should be paid.[10] As no further petitions appear in the archives, we presume that the debt was paid.

The main street at Tallow, Co. Waterford

The main street at Tallow, Co. Waterford

The town of Tallow had been rebuilt by Sir Walter Raleigh in the 1590s with further construction under the ownership of Sir Richard Boyle after 1604. By 1622 Tallow was a substantial town with 150 houses occupied by English settlers as well as many more houses inhabited by Irish people.[11] The iron works, establish in the area in the 1620s, were still in operation when Captain Henry Boyle’s horse troop was stationed at Tallow.[12]

After the Confederate War of 1641-53 and the Commonwealth, the prosperity of Tallow was restored with the restoration of Charles II. Butter production became an important business. A writer in 1686 reported that “We passed through Tallagh which is an English town. They trade much in butter and it is said they return in that commodity and in hides £60,000 a year”.[13]

Meanwhile by December 1678 the horse troop was still at Tallow but its officer corps had changed. John Worsopp was now lieutenant and Charles Chichester was quartermaster. Edward Alford was still cornet. The troop had three corporals, one trumpeter and 45 private horsemen.[14]

It is possible that John Worsopp was a son of Thomas Worsopp, who was collector of the customs at Dublin port in 1660. Captain Henry Boyle had great trust in John Worsopp as we see in 1682 when the latter was witness to a letter of attorney which empower Boyle’s mother to pay the £3,000 left to Henry by his father.[15]

Meanwhile, in April 1679 the king allowed a commission to be given to Captain Edward Brabazon to command the first horse troop that becomes available. Following the death of Lord Orrery, command of his horse troop was given to Brabazon in October 1679.[16] Before March 1686 John Worsopp moved to Brabazon’s troop and was captain when his will was proved in 1690.[17] John Worsopp may have moved after 1686 when Captain Henry Boyle declared that lieutenants didn’t need to pay for promotion to a captaincy. Captain Henry Boyle said they were “of that quality as may without money expect to be preferred … for they are all noblemen or at least sons of such”.[18]

It’s not clear when Captain Henry Boyle’s troop left Tallow but by July 1680 they were stationed at Castlemartyr with John Worsopp and Edward Alford still in their same ranks while George Sing was the new quartermaster.[19] Castlemartyr was Captain Henry Boyle’s home town and a place that would become the chief residence of his family. Captain Henry Boyle did return to Tallow occasionally, to transact financial matters, such as in October 1681 when he met John Jephson, to get agreement from the latter to provide security in a Jephson family settlement.[20]

It is possible that Captain Henry Boyle moved the troop to his home town, in anticipation of the announcement by the king, that captains of horse troops should spend more time with their troop or dispose of their commissions if they do not obey within a reasonable time.[21] Yet there was ways around this restriction. In August 1680, Captain Henry Boyle wrote to his mother that he would visit her in Dublin after the muster-master has come to inspect the troop.[22]

Captain Henry Boyle did not long enjoy the command of his troop. The accession of the Catholic James II brought changes in State and army which Boyle hoped would not be true.[23] By September 1686 the troop had 19 Catholic members.[24] After enduring the new regime for a few more years, Henry Boyle gave up his captaincy and left for England where he got command of a regiment in the army of William of Orange (the new King of England) that was preparing to invade Ireland. On the side of King James, there were plans that two French army units would be stationed in Tallow during the impending war but nothing seems to have happen.[25] Shortly after the victory of King William, the horse troop which was previously stationed at Tallow was disbanded. It would be another twenty years before Tallow got a permanent garrison in the new barracks.

The ruins of the army barracks at Tallow.

The ruins of the army barracks at Tallow.


End of post


[1] Historic Manuscripts Commission, Ormond Report, vol. II (1899), pp. 202-3, 206-7

[2] Ormond Report, vol. 1 (1895), pp. 241, 278, 352; vol. II (1899), p. 179

[3] Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS. Carte 34, folio 278, Dungannon to Ormond, 26 June 1665

[4] Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS. Carte 163, folio 103, commission to Trevor Lloyd issued by the earl of Ossory, 14 June 1669

[5] Ormond Report, vol. II (1899), pp. 202-3

[6] Ormond Report, vol. 1 (1895), p. 411

[7] Ormond Report, vol. 1 (1895), p. 250

[8] Ormond Report, vol. II (1899), pp. 234-5

[9] Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS. Carte 154, folio 61, John Doughty to Ormond, 22 January 1666

[10] Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS. Carte 154, folio 178, petition of Margaret Doughty to Ormond, 22 January 1669

[11] David B. Quinn, ‘The Munster Plantation: Problems and Opportunities’, in the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, vol. LXXI (1966), p. 38

[12] Niall O’Brien, Blackwater and Bride, navigation and trade 7000 BC to 2007 (Ballyduff, 2008), p. 44

[13] Sir Paul Rycaut’s Memoranda and Letters from Ireland, 1686-1687 in Analecta Hibernica, no. 27 (1972), p. 132

[14] Ormond Report, vol. II (1899), pp. 209, 217

[15] Edward MacLysaght (ed.), Calendar of the Orrery Papers (Dublin, 1941), p. 262

[16] Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS. Carte 39, folios 45-6, the King to Ormond, 26 April 1679; MS. Carte 146, folios 224-5, Ormond to Hugh Coventry, 20 October 1679

[17] Vicar’s Index to Prerogative Wills, p. 499

[18] MacLysaght, Calendar of the Orrery Papers, p. 317

[19] Ormond Report, vol. II (1899), pp. 224-5

[20] MacLysaght, Calendar of the Orrery Papers, p. 252

[21] Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS. Carte 72, folio 613, the King to Ormond, 16 November 1680

[22] MacLysaght, Calendar of the Orrery Papers, p. 235

[23] MacLysaght, Calendar of the Orrery Papers, p. 320

[24] Ormond Report, vol. 1 (1895), p. 431

[25] Sheila Mulloy (ed.), Franco-Irish Correspondence 1688-1692 (Dublin, 1983), vol. 1, no. 666


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