Irish Family History and Genealogy show #192
with curious news and notes from Ireland.
From the Irish Roots Cafe at www.Irishroots.com
The Sack of Baltimore, County Cork, 1631
Now here is an example of Irish genealogy that requires a
knowledge of history. The 17th century was traumatic for all
those in Ireland. The Battle of Kinsale, the Flight of the Earls,
Cromwell, The Treaty of Limerick all happened in that century.
Tens of thousands of men were exiled to the continent, these
were the wild geese of Ireland. The native Irish families lost
their lands and influence entirely. A way of life was gone.
The Village of Baltimore, Co. Cork
Originally under the shadow of O’Driscolls Castle, this seaport
was profitable in business. English settlers had been granted
rights there. Many say that Coppinger of County Cork had
designs on the town and its profits, and he may have had
something to do with the tragic affair.
Hacket the Traitor
It seems Hacket, a fisherman from Dungarvan, was captured by
the pirates earlier and he gave up the town of Baltimore to the
pirates, in exchange for his safety.
So, two ships with these pirates arrived to burn, rob, terrorize
and take hostages. The bloody band included Algerians, Ottoman
Turks and Dutchmen. Their captain was Dutch. They took around
107 hostages, only two of which are said to have ever returned.
Several books have been written on the subject, and even a
screenplay. The fate of the hostages was grim, with many serving
as galley slaves, or in the harem of the Sultan. Justice was served
to the traitor Hacket however. He was hung two years later, near the
village he had destroyed. Many of the surviving townspeople
relocated to the town of Skibbereen – which is noted for later
tragedy, during the 19th century great famine in Cork. Song and
story have recorded that misery as well
Thomas Osborne Davis
The story is well told by Thomas Davis, and is one of my favorite
recitations here at the hedge school. Here is an extract from that
work. We take up with the fate of the hostages below:
“Oh, some must tug the galleys o’er, and some must tend the steed-
This boy will bear a Sheiks Chibouk, and that a Bey’s jerreed.
Oh, some are for the arsenals, by beautious Dardanelles;
and some are in the caravan to Mecca’s sandy dells.
The maid that Bandon gallant sought, is chosen for the Dey.
She’s safe – he’s dead- she stabbed him in the midst of his serai;
And, when to die a death of fire that noble maid they bore,
She only smiled – O’Driscolls child, She thought of Baltimore
‘Tis two long years since sunk the town beneath that bloody band,
and now amid its trampled hearths a larger concourse stand.
Where, high upon a gallows tree, a yelling wretch is seen –
‘Tis Hacket of Dungarvan – He who steered the Algerine !
He fell amid a sullen shout, with scarce a passing prayer
For he had slain the kith and kin of many a hundred there-
Some muttered of MacMurchaidh, who brought the Norman ‘oer –
Some cursed him with Iscariot, That Day in Baltimore. “
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