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The Bowles of Canada and their Roots in Ireland and Great Britain

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Cooper Family Members On Both Sides of the Tithe Seizures in co. Carlow 

Back to The Early History of the Coopers in co. Carlow
 
 
A tithe was an assessed amount which every landholder, both the lease holders and their tenants regardless of their faith, had to pay to support the minister and church in their parish, but only of the Protestant state church, the Church of Ireland.  This was often deeply resented by members of the other faiths who sometimes struggled to support their own church.  Parish officials would often employ tithe collectors to collect the payments often with armed support by their own men or even militia and army support when particular resistance was met with.
 
As a side note in my own Bowles of Ballickmoyler line, my ancestor John Bowles was The Rev. Edward Whitty's land agent and tithe collector.  He was beaten badly in 1787 while accompanying Whitty to seize some cattle from some tenants who were refusing to pay their tithes.  reference
 
Members of the Society of Friends (Quakers) were prevented by the teachings of their faith from both paying the tithes and from resisting the seizures of their produce by the tithe collectors.  Instead they simply recorded the extent and value of those seizures in their meeting's Record of Sufferings.
 
In the same small area of county Carlow members of the Cooper family were on both sides of this situation.  From 1697 to 1705 a Thomas Cooper was employed by the Rev. Rydall to collect the tithes in the parishes of Templepeter and neighbouring Gilbertstown.  During that same period, in a parish just a couple of miles south of there, another Thomas Cooper and his son, Edward Cooper, both of Clonegah and members of the Friends faith, had their produce seized by the tithe collectors in their parish.  Actually there seems to have been some overlapping claims on their tithes as seizures were made on their property on behalf of the parishes of Fenagh, Agha, Nurney and even as far away as Cloydah about 10km to the northwest of them.
 
We have a detailed record of these events thanks to the excellent records of Sufferings kept by the Carlow Meeting of the Society of Friends: (click on each image for a larger more readable copy)
 
Note: to differentiate between the two Thomas Coopers I have used Thomas (F) to designate the Friend and Thomas (T) for the Church of Ireland Tithe Collector.


Thomas Cooper (F)'s Seizures for his Land at Clonegath, co. Carlow from 1687 to 1696

While we know that Thomas Cooper (F) held his land at Clonegah from 1675 ref. he may have only adopted the Friends faith in 1687 as that is the first year that his sufferings were recorded.
 
In 1687 'Thomas Cooper had taken from him for tithe for the use of James Cox priest of the parish of Fenagh by Teage Curagan, Walter Sims and others two lambs, four fleeces of wool, fourteen carloads of hay and of rye, barley and oats six carloads all worth one pound ten shillings.  He also had taken from him by William Browne tithe monger and his assistants for the use of Nicholas Boodle priest and Walter Weldon impropriator (ie. the landholder) five cocks of hay worth five shillings; the whole value is one pound fifteen shillings.'
 
 His record of sufferings for 1688 states that Thomas (F) was 'of Clonegath'.  The seizures were again for the use of 'priest Cox'.  It also notes that he had 'some sheep grazing with Luke Browne at Coxeduff and fetching them away to shear the said Luke stopped them with great violence and caused his shepherd to shear four of them and kept their fleeces for tithe'.
 
The 1689 record has both Thomas Cooper (F) and his son Edward Cooper at Clonegath with Thomas (F) reporting seizures by a Thomas Butler and William Kelly and again by Cox's men.  Edward seems to have had the sheep at Coxeduff now as he reported seizures by Luke Browne for 'priest Poore pretending for the king'.
 
In 1691 Thomas Cooper (F) of Clonegath had seizures for the use of 'priest Cox of the parish of Finnah (Fenagh)' and from the town of Coxeduffe while Edward Cooper and Thomas Cuppage had seizures for the use of Walter Weldon of Agha parish.  1692 was a busy year as Thomas Cooper (F) of Clonegath had seizures for the use of James Moore of Dunleckney and for the use of Walter Weldon of Nurney parish as well as for the use of James Cox priest of Fenner (Fenagh) parish.  In 1693 Thomas (F)'s seizures were for Walter Weldon impropriator, James Moore priest, Robert Harris priest in the parish of Dunleckney, for James Cox of Fenagh parish and for priest Pinsent of Clody parish.
 
 
From 1694 to 1696 Thomas Cooper (F) of Clonegath had his produce seized at various times on behalf of the parishes of Fenagh, Agha, Dunleckney, Nurney and Clody and for the first time for the use of Benjamin Bunbury, the landholder of the parish of Killerick (Killerig).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thomas Cooper (F)'s Seizures at Clonegath while Thomas Cooper (T) was making Seizures at Templepeter from

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

This site was last updated 12/13/19