Grannell      Family History and Genealogy


The 1641 Rebellion


In 1641, the Grannells once again rose up in rebellion against the English. The Leitrim Grannell’s played a significant role in the rebellion.


On the 6th of March 1643 the Lord Justices and council, reporting to the King on the condition of Ireland, alleged that, by the end of march 1642, 154,000 protestants had been killed by the rebels, and thousands more since that date. This report was to have disastrous effect on the future of Gaelic and Catholic Ireland.


Although exaggerated the report was widely believed and stories of massacre spread wildly as refugees fled back to England and Scotland. Cromwell is said to have believed the atrocity tales and this was one off the forces driving him when he landed in Dublin on 15th August 1649.    





Extracts from the Book of Depositions (1641), concerning murders and robberies committed in the county of Leitrim.[1]


Folio 3


Edward Bisham of Bowishall, Co. Leitrim, was robbed of all his means by Charles McGovern, Barony of Tulyboy, Co. Cavan, gent; William Grogan, gent; Donal McGowran, gent; Phelim McGowran, gent; Ferrall McGrannell alias Reynolds; Geffry McRanal alias Reinolds and John his son, gent, and Tirlogh Oge MacMolinolhery, gent.

Desposition sworn 22nd October 1641


Folio 5


James Stephenson was robbed of all his goods, chattels and money (amounting to £826) by Ire Reynolds of Seabeg; Capt. Roddy O’Rourke; Geoffry O’Rourke; Edmund Granald; Patrick O’Flinn; Turlough O’Conner; Caher McDonnell Oge Macgranald also McWm.; brian O’Sherdian and others, the household servants of Mr. Humphrey Reinolds of Loughscurr, the rebels said that they would cut off his head because he said McReinols mislead and sent messages to George St. George, the commander at Jamestown garrison. Conn O’Rourke was chief rebel of the county of Leitrim; the rebels also hanged one Thomas McRanald (for bringing in a child of Sergeant Oliver) although he McRanald was one off their own nation, but he went to the protestant church which was the cause of the quarrel with him. The rebels also made justices of the peace amongst their own followers viz:- Teigue Macgranell, freeholder and McMorrogh Oge McGrannel and several others of the same band, also John Reinolds gent, son of mr. Humphrey Reynolds now taken prisoner.


Folio 8


Leonard Morton of Brenadrum, Co. leitrim, gent, had a mortgage for £500 on the parish of Kiltanyherd, Co. Leitrim and all his stock with the mortgage taken, amounting in all to £1034. He was clerk of the peace for 20 years and knew all the gentry and freeholders in the county to be rebels and papists.


Gilbert Corbin now sworn was robbed of all he had. Anthony Mills was beaten and robbed of all his goods and chattels by Con O’Rourke, Henry Reinolds of the parish Killobber, Ferdarough Reinolds. Teige O’Ruddy, Teighe O’Rourke and others who he said had a commission for the King and robbed all the English, but not the Scotch and Irish. Deponent Anthoy Mills , his wife and children were all stripped and robbed of their clothes on ttheir backs by order of the rebels.


Folio 11


Samuel Smith of the parish of Kilougher, Co. Leitrim was robbed of all his property amounting to £516 by Teige O’Brady , parish of Shanna, gent; Teige oge McGrannell; James Macabe and Patrick O’Flinn servant to mr. Humphrey Reinolds of Loughscurr, and bt other rebels, Con O’Rourke, his son, Teige O’Rourke of the town of Ballinamore, gent; Teige Oge Mcgrannell, Patrick O’Flinn and others tenants of Mr. Humphrey Reinolds of Loughscurr and others deponent did not know.


William Rogers desposed that all his goods and chattels were taken from him by the rebels Teigue O’Rourke, Con O’Rourke, Owen O’Rourke and the deponent further said that henry Reinolds of the parish of Mohill, gent, and one Carbie, and his two sons threathen to kill him, said deponent, and are now in open rebellion, and so are Teige O’Rourke  and Brian, his son, gts., of the parish of Ballinamore.

Folio 15


Susannah Stephenson wife of Archibald Stephenson deposeth that she lost all her goods and chattels worth over £100 by the rebels, they being Colonel Con O’Rourke, John Birtshall and one Patrick Flynn, footman to Mr. Humphrey Reynolds (and called by a bye-name Grisken) and Brian O’Sherdian, cook to the said Mr. Humphrey Reynolds.

Sworn 10th March 1642 before Edward Piggott by Suzanna Stephenson


Note, John Reynolds, gt., son of Mr. Humphrey Reynolds was taken prisoner and kept ever since.


Wexford, 1641


The Book of Depositions concerning Co. Wexford.[2]


John Simmes of Templeshanboe, a malster deposes (corrobated by several depositions) that on the 11th November, 1641, he was robbed of goods etc to the value of £136. He gives the names, most of them tenants and servants of Sir Morgan Cavanagh. He says rebels told him ‘they were discontent(ed) gentlemen and were the queens souldyers’ and ‘noe rebels’ and charged him and the rest not to call them rebels, and said ‘wee meaning the protestants, were rather rebels than they’.


He says that Philip Rogers of Clohamon, with his wife and children and their goods, flying to safety to England were drowned and cast away with others to the number of 80 and that one if the children died in a ditch on the way form cold and want. ‘He and divers others distressed and robbed English stayed for six weeks and some longer, but some of them were in open streets, stript of all their clothes and died in the churches through cold and nakedness’. ‘The principal rebel of the town was Sir Thomas Esmond, Knt., upon him to be Governor there’  - but he gives the names of several others.


Nathaniel Hewlett, late of Castle Beaumont, loss of £3,000 worth of goods, by the treachery of a friend, one Lisagh McMurrogh O’Brien, of Owenstown, to whom he confided his possessions and the care of his two young children and a nurse (when he and his wife went to Wexford), but who were turned out of doors immediately when he had left, and refused to restore his goods . He was imprisoned for 17 weeks and than escaped. He gave a long list of the names of rebels and those in authority.


George Charlton, of Gorey, his wife and three children were robbed and stript, in Jan. He gives names of the leaders and captains at Duncannon.



Deposition of Nicholas Rochford names gentlemen of the county who declared themselves to be in rebellion.


Natheniel Hewlett gives a long list of names.

Henry Masterson – lists those who robbed him.

Fras. Talbot, confined to Castle in Wexford by the rebels.

George Charlton, names leaders and captains


Transcripts,  from Depositions taken in Co. Wexford.[3] These transcripts I made directly from the microfilm of the original depositions. The handwriting is sometimes difficult to read.


Vol II, 119


The examination of ye Patricke Lacy of Enniscorty a yeoman aged [ } years or thereabouts taken upon oath on the behalf of the Commonwealth Commission concerning a Bryan O’Dooran of Ballivurney (gent), Wexford.


The Examinant deposeth that ye [said] Bryan [ ] at Ballivurney in the Irish quarters in ye first year of the rebellion ….


Catherine Manwerring a protestant…


The Depont saith that the said Bryan did contribute moneys in the first year of the rebellion against ye English to ye Irish for carrying on ye rebellion against ye English..

The Depont saith that he did [frequently] see ye said Bryan at ye publique meetings [ ] the Barony of Ballaghkeen in the first year of the rebellion.


And find petty officers appointed for carrying on ye rebellion against ye English..


..of ye Barony of Ballaghkeen and other places [frequented] by the Irish rebels the said Bryan [  ] in the company of others continued in ye said Barony {  } {  } .. Boggs of Bowyer and Ittai ye receptacle and place of concourse of ye rebels where the said Bryan was taken and executed by Captain Bolton[4] being [ ] found in ye enemies quarters contrary to said order of  [ ] [  ] was found by the said Bryans wife the next day after the said Bryan was executed.


Patrick Lacy his mark, 1653   




Vol II, 157


Examination of Patrick Lacy of Enniscorty concerning Brian Murphy of Ouartleigh.


The depont saith that ye depont did see ye said Brian Murphy at [tend] all publique meetings of ye Irish rebels at [ ] [nigh] the Bogg of Ittay in the first year of ye said rebellion..



Vol II, 151


The Deponts said that thr said Byran did take ye oath of association it being a [  } {general thing} and none escaping from ye taking thereof under ye penalty of excommunication.



[1] Reynolds, Fitzgerald Henry, Notes and Queries, April 12, 1924, Irish Family History, The Reynolds of Lough Scurr, NLI 8205 NI.

[2] Hore, H. F., History of the town and county of Wexford. vol. V, p. 255

[3] Microfilm 819 , Trinity College Dublin, Manuscripts Library

[4] Captain William Bolton