Researching the family of Sir William Creagh has taken an extremely long time, and while this research is not about changing history, there are some interesting facts that have been revealed.
|Residence of the Lord Mayor in Dublin a magnificent building|
Reference had been made that he was responsible for stealing the Gold SS Collar worn by the Lord Mayor. At the time I was researching I could find no reference to anyone else who may have been responsible.
A visit to Dublin was then on our itinerary, as I was looking for a photo of the particular chain.
Lord Mayor's and sheriffs were elected on a yearly basis, and still are, as has been the custom for over 400 years. I contacted a former Lord Mayor, and we arranged a meeting.
The Dublin City Hall is a magnificent building, full of soaring ceilings and marble columns. Certainly worth a visit. It used to be a market.
In the lower floors was a magnificent display about Dublin history, and included in the photos was reference that another Lord Mayor actually took the collar.
Terence Mc Dermott was the named as the person who stole the collar.
At the time I decided to find some sort of relationship between the two men.
McDermott was the Lord Mayor following Sir Michael Creagh and he was in the position for only 9 months.
The Lord Mayor's Collar
So let's follow what can be found about Sir Michael Creagh. He died 22 Mrch 1724 and is buried at St Paul's Dublin
The following transcript from the ebook "The Works of the Rev. Johnathan Swift"
(The setting is unknown but the year would be 1689)
Enter Sir Michael Creagh, and another Alderman,
Alderman. I have been man and boy in this town, let me see, some six and fifty years, and never knew the little penny so hard to be got as now
Sir Michael. Never despair, old boy. We have a brave young Prince* and the world's our own.
Alderman. Nay, I have not remembered salt butter so scarce a commodity, I know not the day when.
Sir Michael. Hang sorrow. Boy, fill me a glass of wine; more, more yet, fill it higherstill. So here; Father Greybeard, here is a health to the faimily of the Creaghs.
Alderman. I pledge you, if it be sack. But now I think on't Sir Michael, who was your father?
Sir Michael. My father was a worthy gentleman, inferior to none of his rank, upon my honour.
Aldermen. Adshertlikens, you may be mistaken in that, I assure you.
Sir Michael. Mistaken? No, Sir he was a travelling merchant; one that saw more towns than you have done chimneys.
Aldermen. But under favour Sir Michael, I have heard schollards say, he was a losopher.
Sir Michael. Ay that may be too: he always took delight to carry books about with him.
Alderman. But take me along with you: you reprehend me not; they say he carried books on his back.
Sit Michael. I say, I say he was a North County Merchant, as I told you before. Come, drink your wine, and let us be gone.
Isn't that just amazing!
* The son of James II born 10 June 1688.
Before being Lord Mayor, Sir Michael Creagh was the Paymaster for King James.
He was also involved in the melting down of gold and silver, and for the making of brass monies. Something that King James brought in at the time.
If you remember the stories about the Herrick's they were constantly requesting payment from King James for various gold pieces that had been made.
He must have been in desperate straits for money!
On page 457 of "The Memoirs of the Archbishops of Dublin" by John d'Alton is the reference which advises the relationship of Sir Michael and Sir William. Until I found this, I had no idea where Sir William Creagh came from.
The article is on Peter Creagh
A short sketch of the period, in which Doctor Creagh filled this dignity, will sufficiently account for the utter obscurity in which his acts and life are concealed; and indeed the same continuing state of things must excuse the paucity of materials for the general biography of his immediate successors.
The subject of the present notice, in his oriin and family connections, it would seem probable, was a relative of Sir Michael Creagh, who was the Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1688, and who had another brother Mayor of Newcastle, also knighted by King James. The latter erected a brazen statue of that king at Newcastle, which was pulled downby the populace and thrown into the river; but, being subsequently found was converted into bells for All-Saint's Church.
It is know that Doctor Creagh presided over the see of Cork for several years previous to 1686, about which period he was translated to the archdiocese of Tuam.
On the flight of King James, and the surrender of Limerick, he left the country, and resided in Paris until on the 9th March 1693, he was further promoted to this dignity.
Persecution was not allowed to slumber; in 1695, the more than gothic acts were revived, that prohibited the foreign or domestic education of Catholics; other penal enactments of great severity succeeded, and in 1697, "all the Popish prelates, vicars-general, deans, monks, jesuits, and all others of their religion, who exercised ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Ireland, "were ordered by an act of parliament to depart from the kingdom before 1st of May, 1698; and in case of their coming back were subjected to imprisonment and transportation to foreign parts, whence, if they again returned, they were to be arraigned as traitors; by the same act, it was provided that none should be buried in any monastery, abbey or convent, not used for the Protestant service."
Of course, while James II was King of England, and was an avowed Catholic, the Holy See recognised the regal prerogative of naming bishops in Ireland, but the fact remains that after the débâcle at the Boyne, King James's right of nomination was as freely admitted as before. The years 1690-1692 were, as is too well known, years of desolation and unrest in Ireland, but, in 1693, the exiled King nominated Peter Creagh (Bishop of Cork) for the See of Dublin, and Edward Comerford for Cashel - both nominations being confirmed by the Holy See.
Creagh, Peter, Archbishop of Dublin, grand-nephew of preceding, was born in Limerick the middle of the 17th century, and was educated on the Continent; he entered the priesthood, and officiated for some time in Dublin. Appointed clerical agent at the court of Rome, he was by Clement X. consecrated Bishop of Cork. For two years, during the persecution consequent on the Oates plot, he was obliged to secrete himself in different parts of his diocese under various disguises, suffering untold hardships. He was ultimately betrayed, and imprisoned for two years in Limerick and Dublin. About 1686, he was translated to the Archdiocese of Tuam. He joined James II. in France after the surrender of Limerick. In 1693 he was appointed Archbishop of Dublin, but was never able to discharge the duties of the office in person. The latter part of his life was spent at Strasbourg, where he died in July 1705.
From the archives: The Civic Insignia of Dublin
When King James II. arrived in Dublin, on the 24th March,1688-9, the mayoral chair was occupied by Sir Michael Creagh, a merchant in Bridge Street, who had been knighted by the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Clarendon, on 23rd April, 1786. He was made Paymaster of King James's Forces in Ireland, and was colonel of a regiment.
He was succeeded as Lord Mayor in April, 1689, by Alderman Terence McDermott, whom the King knighted on 14th May, 1690.
Whitelaw and Walsh, in their History of Dublin (I. p. 1066), state that Creagh, after the downfall of King-James, absconded with the Mayoral Collar, and that thereafter at the triennial " Riding of the Franchises " proclamation was always made summoning the delinquent, Sir Michael Creagh, to appear before the Lord Mayor.
The story, whatever be its origin, is incorrect. Creagh went abroad, where he lived in exile for many years. Returning to Ireland, though in what year does not appear, he, in 1725, petitioned the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Carteret, for the restoration of his property, which he states to have been of great value and had been seized by Coningsby, one of the Lords Justices, or for compensation for his losses, or a pension.
He refers to the " innocent sufferings " of himself and his three sons, and to the " utmost want and indigency " to which he was reduced. This petition does not appear to have led to any result. In 1727, he applied to the Corporation for assistance, and in 1732, 1733 and 1734, the Corporation made him grants of money, and eventually gave him an allowance of twenty pounds a year on account of his great necessity and indigent circumstances. This does not look as if the City had any grievance against him. The collar,
as a matter of fact, was not taken by Sir Michael Creagh, but by his successor in the Mayoralty, Sir Terence McDermott, who went to France after the battle of Aughrim.
What actually happened we learn from the Ormonde MSS. and the Stuart Papers.
The former tells us that, on 3rd July, 1690, after the battle of the Boyne, " the Lord Mayor [Terence McDermott] and Aldermen and most of the Militia went all away, carrying with them the medal and collar of S.S. ; but left the sword, mace and cap," and further, that " the City Sword was carried to the Tholsel and deposited with Alderman Motley who should have been Mayor Ijefore."
29 McDermott kept the collar and took it with him to France, as appears from the Stuart Papers at Windsor, where there is the following order from James II., dated at St. Germains
27th September, 1695, addressed to Sir Terence McDermott :
Whereas the Chain, or Collar, and Medal of Gold belonging to the City of Dublin was delivered to you by Sir William Ellis, -chamberlain and treasurer of the said city, when you entered into the mayoralty, and is now remaining in your hands, and whereas we have not yet determined in whose custody the said chain and
medal ought to remain during our absence from our Kingdoms, whether in yours as the last Mayor of the said city or in Sir W. Ellis's custody as chamberlain and treasurer thereof, our will and pleasure is that you forthwith deliver them to the said Sir W. Ellis to be deposited in our hands and preserved by us for our said -city."
This order is conclusive as to the chain having been taken to France by McDermott ; but of its subsequent fate nothing is known.
The City having thus lost its mayoral collar, Bartholomew Van Homrigh, Lord Mayor in 1697-8, petitioned King William, on 1st December, 1697, for a new one. 31 He prayed that Dublin might in everlasting memory of the great services of William III. to "the Protestant inhabitants and as a mark of his. royal grace and favour, be honoured with a Collar of S.S. with His Majesty's effigies on a medal, to be worn by all the Mayors of the City successively in all ages to come." In response to the petition
William signed a Warrant, dated at Loo, in Flanders, on 28th October, 1697, authorizing the Lords Justices to prepare and make
A letter to the King from McDermott:
28 See Stuart, Papers at Windsor, vol. i., p. 141. "Certificate, dated 3rd
September, 1699, that , being Lord Mayor of Dublin when the King was there, discharged the duties of his office with much real and fidelity, and that having come over to France after the battle of Aughrim, his faithful attachment to the interests of the King has caused him very considerable losses in Ireland, in the island of Monserrat and elsewhere."
There seems to be some difference of opinion as to who actually stole the Collar.
He was the paymaster for King James II
Sir Michael Creagh being a Protestant and also a Jacobite loyalist, appears to have made himself obnoxious to Williamite prejudice in Dublin. In the annual processions of the Williamite Corporation during the next century, headed by the Lord Mayor, it was the custom to stop at Essex Gate and summon Sir Michael Creagh to give up the official gold collar granted to the Corporation
(another report indicates that the requests always fell on deaf ears! and the practice ceased during Elizabeth's reign)
Good photo and the following story
What people tend not to notice is the presence of a certain William III on the chain, better known to us today as King William of Orange. The current Lord Mayor’s chain of Dublin was completed in 1698, only eight short years after the Battle of the Boyne and within the lifetime of William. The previous Lord Mayor’s chain showed Charles II upon it, who commissioned the first Lord Mayors Chain for the city.
The original Lord Mayor’s chain, according to W.G Strickland, was taken by Sir Terence McDermott, Lord Mayor of the city who who fled to France during the religious wars of the late seventeenth century. What became of it remains a mystery. Bartholomew Van Homrigh, the Lord Mayor of Dublin following William’s victory at the Boyne, was first to wear the William III chain, and it was valued at the time at £1,000. A Dutch merchant, Van Homrigh expressed his hope that “in everlasting memory of the great services of William III to the Protestant inhabitants and as a mark of his royal grace and favour” William would bestow .
Did Sir Michael steal the Chain? Did he have means? All his personal property was taken after the Battle of Boyne when he fled with King James?
Did he need funds to enable him to live abroad for about 14 years?
Did he know about melting down metals?
Or did he, along with the now broke King James hatch a scheme?
What did he do and where was he from 1692 when he went to France and 1713 when he requested a job on the continent?
From research about his brother, he may have been in Salsburg.
- Warrant to Sir Michael Creagh, Paymaster of the army for payment to the Earl of Melfont of 500 pounds for secret service Dublin Aug 1 1689
- Order of William III respecting the disorderly pressing of horses etc by the officers and soldiers of the army, June 2 1690. Commission of 3 persons to examine the accounts of the army. Affidavit of W. Handcock respecting the seizure of Sir Michael Creaghs goods July 15 1690
- Petition of Sir Michael Creagh to Lord Carteret 1707
Maybe he wanted to keep in his good books!
IRISH BRIGADE IN THE SERVICE OF FRANCE.
The Irish brigade owes its origin to the arrival in France of five Regiments of
Infantry, under the command of Lord Mountcashel, Lord Clare, The Honourable
Arthur Dillon, Col. Butler, and Col. Fielding, estimated at 2,013 officers and men,
which were reformed into the Brigade of Mountcashel, and comprised the Regiments
of Lord Mountcashel, Lord Clare, and Col. Arthur Dillon.
After the fall of Limerick these Regiments were followed by the rest of the
Jacobite army, estimated at 19,059 officers and men, and reviewed in 1692 at Vannes
by James II., and subsequently at Brest on the landing of the last division under
Major-General Lord Lucan : it was then decided that the Irish who were to act under
the commission of King James should be enrolled in eight Regiments of Foot, three
independent companies and two Regiments of horse, i.e. i
The Royal Regiment of Foot Guards, commanded by the Duke of Ormond.
The Queen's Regiment, commanded by Col. Simon Luttrell.
The Regiment of Marine, commanded by CoL the Duke of Albemarle.
The Regiment of Limerick, commarded by Col. Richard Talbott.
The Regiment of Charlemont, commanded by Col. Gordon O'NeilL
The Regiment of Dublin, commanded by Col. Sir Michael Creagh
The Regiment of Athlone, commanded by Col. Sir Maurice Eustace.
CREAGH, PETER (d. 1707), catholic prelate, was probably a relative of Sir Michael Creagh, who was lord mayor of Dublin in 1688. On 4 May 1676 he was nominated by the propaganda to the united bishoprics of Cork and Cloyne, and on 9 March 1692–1693 he was, on the recommendation of James II, translated to the archbishopric of Dublin. He encountered great difficulties and troubles, was obliged to fly to France, and died at Strasburg in 1707.
“From the memoirs of Archbishops of Dublin”, Sir Michael Creagh, was the Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1688 and his brother was Mayor of Newcastle. He erected a brazen statue of King James Ii in Newcastle, and the people pulled it down and threw it into the river. Subsequently it was found and converted into bells for All-Sanit’s church.
On May 11th, 1705, Queen Mary wrote to Count Caprara to solicit (on the part of herself and her son) Pope Clement XI. to hasten the beatification of Father Vincent de Paul 'who had sent missionaries to Ireland and Scotland in very dangerous times.'
The following extract of a letter from the queen to the Bishop of St. Omer, dated September 28th, 1705, is of more than passing interest, as it refers to an Irish nun of Ypres, who was a 'Jubilarian' of thirteen years standing at her death:-
This letter will be delivered by Mr. Creagh, *Canon of Strasburg, nephew of the late Archbishop of Dublin, whose niece, Miss Creagh, is one of the two Irish girls you charitably maintain in the convents of your diocese. As she has the vocation to become a nun in the Convent of the Irish Benedictines at Ypres, where her cousin provides her with a dowry, I ask you to let the Canon conduct her thither.
This nun, known in religion as Dame Mary Bridget Creagh, died on May 29th, 1768, aged 83.
The Creagh family from Ireland
John Creagh the earliest settler in Cork of whom anything has been ascertained, left a son William Creagh who lest a son John Creagh, he married a daughter of the family of Wynchedon and died about 1430 leaving a son Stephen Creagh and he died around 1466, he married Joan Skiddy and left a son, William Creagh, who died in 1521 he married Jane Galwey about 1485 and died about 1521 leaving a son Christopher Creagh, born in 1486.
He was Mayor of Cork in 1541 and a man of great influence and power among the native Irish; he was appointed in conjunction with the Earl of Desmond the Bishops of Cork Ross and Waterford, and others, by the Lord Deputy Sir Anthony St Ledger and the Privy Council to be judges and arbitrators in Munster and to hear and determine all controversies among the natives for the future instead of their Irish brehons; he married Mary daughter of Dominick Roche of the family of the Lords of Roche or De la Rupe of Femoy, County Cork
He had a son John Creagh who married in 1557 Mary daughter of Michael and granddaughter of John Waters an eminent citizen of Cork who was executed in 1492 for aiding Perkin Warbeck; he died in 1607 and was succeeded by his second son, John Creagh, his eldest son Christopher having died before his father, born in 1561 married Margaret daughter of George Archdeken and died 2 May 1614 leaving four sons:
Michael: the father of Sir Michael Creagh Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1688 and brother of William Creagh Lord Mayor of Newcastle.
John of Ballyvolane, County Clare a Colonel in the Army of the Confederate Catholics in 1642. He married Miss Lysaght of County Clare and had a daughter Christian
The O’Creaghs are noted as having valiant chiefs who made several victories over the Danes. Legend says that on one such occasion they wore green boughs on their helments, which led to the name of O’Craoibh, signifying “of the branches”. The spelling was later Anglicied to Creagh.
There are recordings of different members of the Creagh family in Ibrickan, Upper and Lower Tulla, Clare in 1659, and the name Creagh was given as a principal name of County Clare in that census. There was one William Creagh in the 1660’s leasing residence at Ballykilty from the Earl of Thomand.
Patrick FitzAndrew Creagh and wife Margaret Creagh acquired the townlands of Kilfearagh and part of Farrinbeg in 1673. Richard Creagh (d 1585) was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh came from the Clare branch.
Irish history reveals that in 1216 J Creagh was Moyor of Limerick, and in 1312 a John Creach of Adare was also the Mayor. In all there were 41 Creaghs as Mayor of Limerick and over 60 bailiffs or sheriffs.
They received property in Limerick and there are many tablets and stones in the Limerick churches with the name. At the capture of Limerick in 1651 by Ireton, Pierce Creagh was Mayor and William Creagh was Sheriff. Many of the family went to France and got patents of nobility at Rochelle. Many served in the French army in the Irish Brigade till the first revolution.
The Regiment De Dublin Infanterie was raised by Sir Michael Creagh Lord Mayor of Dublin 1688 – 89, MP for Dublin 1689 and Paymaster General to the forces of King James II. The regiment was raised in Dublin where the Colonel had much property. Strength when in James II’s service, 2 battalions, 1400.
Sounds like our William Creagh was involved with James II from these sources.
In 1686 the common council of Newcastle were removed and new ones elected in obedience to a mandate of King James !!
1686 and 1687 King James II sent two letters to the hoastmen of Newcastle, requiring them by the first to enfranchise Sir William Creagh, knt and by the second to make him free of their society in the most ample manner.
1687 Sir William Creagh knt, a zealous Roman catholic was admitted to the freedom of the corporation of Newcastle in consequence of a mandate from King James 11 dated May 31 1687.
1688 Sir William Creagh knt was by mandate from the king dated at Whitehall Dec 24 1687 elected mayor of Newcastle and Samuel Gill his sheriff.
1689 January 16th A very fulsome address was signed not only by Sir William Creagh, knit then mayor of Newcastle and by the other alderman of that town that were Roman catholics, but by some others of the magistracy who were idssenters but it was not presented to the King, having been over-ruled by a majority of the common-council.
James II and VII (14 October 1633O.S. – 16 September 1701) was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII,[from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He was the last Roman Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
The second son of Charles I, he ascended the throne upon the death of his brother, Charles II. Members of Britain's political and religious elite increasingly suspected him of being pro-French and pro-Catholic and of having designs on becoming an absolute monarch. When he produced a Catholic heir, the tension exploded, and leading nobles called on his Protestant son-in-law and nephew, William III of Orange, to land an invasion army from the Netherlands, which he did. James fled England (and thus was held to have abdicated) in the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
He was replaced by his Protestant elder daughter, Mary II, and her husband, William III. James made one serious attempt to recover his crowns from William and Mary, when he landed in Ireland in 1689 but, after the defeat of the Jacobite forces by the Williamite forces at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690, James returned to France. He lived out the rest of his life as a pretender at a court sponsored by his cousin and ally, King Louis XIV. (King James was still the King of Ireland when he landed in 1689.)
In April 1688, James re-issued the Declaration of Indulgence, subsequently ordering Anglican clergymen to read it in their churches. When seven Bishops, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, submitted a petition requesting the reconsideration of the King's religious policies, they were arrested and tried for seditious libel. Public alarm increased when Queen Mary gave birth to a Roman Catholic son and heir, James Francis Edward on 10 June of that year.
When James's only possible successors were his two Protestant daughters, Anglicans could see his pro-Catholic policies as a temporary phenomenon, but when the Prince's birth opened the possibility of a permanent Catholic dynasty, such men had to reconsider their position.
Threatened by a Catholic dynasty, several influential Protestants claimed the child was "supposititious" and had been smuggled into the Queen's bedchamber in a warming pan. They had already entered into negotiations with William, Prince of Orange, when it became known the Queen was pregnant, and the birth of James's son reinforced their convictions.
On 30 June 1688, a group of seven Protestant nobles invited the Prince of Orange to come to England with an army.
By September, it had become clear that William sought to invade. Believing that his own army would be adequate, James refused the assistance of Louis XIV, fearing that the English would oppose French intervention. When William arrived on 5 November 1688, many Protestant officers, including Churchill, defected and joined William, as did James's own daughter, Princess Anne.
James lost his nerve and declined to attack the invading army, despite his army's numerical superiority.
On 11 December, James tried to flee to France, allegedly first throwing the Great Seal of the Realm into the River Thames. He was captured in Kent; later, he was released and placed under Dutch protective guard. Having no desire to make James a martyr, the Prince of Orange let him escape on 23 December.
James was received by his cousin and ally, Louis XIV, who offered him a palace and a pension.
William convened a Convention Parliament to decide how to handle James's flight. While the Parliament refused to depose him, they declared that James, having fled to France and dropped the Great Seal into the Thames, had effectively abdicated the throne, and that the throne had thereby become vacant.
To fill this vacancy, James's daughter Mary was declared Queen; she was to rule jointly with her husband William, who would be king. The Parliament of Scotland on 11 April 1689, declared James to have forfeited the throne.
The English Parliament passed a Bill of Rights that denounced James for abusing his power. The abuses charged to James included the suspension of the Test Acts, the prosecution of the Seven Bishops for merely petitioning the crown, the establishment of a standing army, and the imposition of cruel punishments.
The Bill also declared that henceforth, no Roman Catholic was permitted to ascend the English throne, nor could any English monarch marry a Roman Catholic.