GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2006-12 > 1166175630
From: "conaught2" <>
Subject: Re: Dowdall's of Kilfinny and Monkstown [was:Englishhandwriting1500-1700]
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2006 01:40:30 -0800
I am sorry but I can't help you with Captain John Dowdall's family. I used
Robert Dowdle's very useful book as a resource for an article I wrote about
James Dowdall of Drogheda an Irish Martyr, for Seanchas Ard Mhacha (Armagh
Diocesan Historical Journal). Robert Dowdle is correct that Dowdall is not
a common name. There are two distinct Dowdall families in Ireland. Captain
(Sir John ) John Dowdall has no connection (other than his daughter Honora
marrying Lawrence Dowdall of Monkstown) to the County Louth Dowdall family.
Captain John Dowdall came to Ireland to serve in Elizabeth's army about 1560
several hundred years after the Louth Dowdalls came to Ireland shortly
after the Norman invasion of Ireland. The reference to Youghal was not
from Robert Dowdle's book. It was from Lives of the Irish Saints and
Martyrs by DP Conyngham, 1870, pp 42-43.
It looks as if the second Sir John Dowdall was probably Captain John
Dowdall's son. It might interest you that Ardmore was a few miles from
Youghal where Captain John Dowdall commanded for sometime. In fact the road
running north-westward from Ardmore to Dungarvan-Youghal Road and the main
road crosse the Youghal Bridge.
The first mention of the Dowdall family in Ireland was April 1215 when the
release of William de Duvedal was ordered, he had been taken prisoner in
the caslte of Carrickfergus. He probably was the ancestor of all the
Dowdalls of Louth, Meath, Westmeath and Dublin. It is this William Dowdall's
family which originated in Castletown Cooly, County Louth and Dundalk,
(members of this branch also moved into Ardee). Walter Dowdall living 1330)
of Dundalk's younger brother William a younger brother established the
Termonfeckin Dowdall line. It was the younger sons of the Termonfeckin
branch which moved into Drogheda a few miles away. The Dowdall family
origingally took care of the lands for the deVerdon family and as they
intermarried with other Norman families in the Pale they gained more land.
In fact the name Lawrence - Launcelot came from the FitzWiliam family when
one of the Dowdalls married into their family. This is the Glaspistol
branch of the family. Between the Glaspistol and Termonfeckin families they
married into more land and moved into Monkstown, Brownstown and Causetown.
The Dowdalls of Louth were Catholic and Captain John Dowdall and his brother
were Protestant, at that point I would assume they were COE which was the
COI in Ireland. My branch of the Dowdalls moved into South Derry from
County Louth after the Battle of the Boyne in the 1690s. Today there are
Dowdalls in Dungannon who are descendents of James and probably Captain
The Hayes Manuscript in the National Library in Dublin states that
"Dowdall (Sir John)
London: Tract on the sate of Ireland, addressed to James I, by Sir John
Dowdall (of Kilfinny), being an autograph copy of twhat he wrote in March
1600 for Queen Elizabeth when he was commander of Duncannon Fort, early
tempore James I
n.1714 p. 1456"
I have a copy of two of his letters, one to Queen Elizabeth in 1599 and the
other to James in 1604. Unfortunately he doesn't discuss anything personal
or anything about property. I have also looked at the Tudor Irish Fiants
and couldn't find anything about his wife.
There is a reference to Captain John Dowdall's wife in Samuel Lewis's
Topigraphical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
"In the R. C. divisions it forms part of the union or district of Croagh and
Kilfenny; the chapel is a small edifice. There is a private school, in which
about 140 children are instructed. There are some remains of the old church,
in which is a tablet to the Pigot family; and near it are the remains of
Ballynakill House, which, having been converted into a barrack, was burnt by
the Rockites in 1822. At the foot of a hill are the remains of Kilfenny
Castle, built by Cormac Mac Einery in the reign of John; it afterwards
belonged to the Kildare family, by whom it was forfeited in the reign of
Elizabeth. It was besieged by the Irish under Col. Purcell, in 1641, and
resolutely defended by the widow of Sir John Dowdall for some time, but
ultimately surrendered. Near the boundary of the parish are the picturesque
ruins of Finnitterstown castle, which was also forfeited by the same family
In another reference it refers to the Lady Elizabeth Dowdall raising men to
fight against the rebels in 1641. This would tend to support your
information about John Dowdall's wife being Elizabeth instead of Margare,
unless he was married twice. I had that mystery regarding James Dowdall,
Chief Justice of Ireland. In all the references it referred to his wife
Isabel Thunder. It was not until I was in Ireland and I uncovered some
information and found out that James Dowdall was Isabel's second husband.
What probably adds to your confusion about the Dowdall family is that there
were several Sir John Dowdalls of the Louth Dowdalls. There was Sir Johns
of Dundalk and Sir John of Glaspistol. The pedigrees in the National
Library deal with this Dowdall family and not the Kilfinny Dowdalls,
although Kilfinny is mentioned because of Honora marrying into the Monkstown
Archbishop George Dowdall was Archishop of Armagh and Primate of All of
Ireland from 1543-1551; 1553-1558.
I just found a very interesting reference telling about George Dowdall's
body being sent back to Ireland two days after his death in London. In his
epitagh written at the time of his death a priest stated his body was
brought back to Ireland, but it was quite intersting to read about the
event in somebody's diary of the time.
"The xvij day of August whent from the Jorge (fn. 5) in Lumbard strett the
bysshope of Yrland, (fn. 6) [and was] cared by water unto (blank), to be
This is from The Diary of Henry Machyn: Citizen and Merchant-Taylor of
London (1550-1563) (1848), pp. 169-84.
I hope this was of some help.