From the Castle Rushen Papers.

Document No. 19.


Rebells from Mourn come with Horses and other comodities to sell in the Isle of Man.

Hoble Sir

Wee are given to understand that there are fourteen men gon from the Rebells in Mourn, being a Barrony in this County, with horses and other comodities to sell in yor Land and so retorne to there rebellion company agayn without suspicon, whereof wee thought fitt to give you notice that so a course may be taken that they may be sent hither to receave due punishmt according to their crimes, or at least made sure there till they be sent for.

Ther is one Toby a Smith, and one of the McNuskies who dwelt in Arglas and that be of the 14: who went from Mourn: and one Cormack Maguire, the rest be Iresh men whose names wee know not.

And so leaveing this to yor care we comitt you to Gods pteccon and rest,

yor affecconat frends and servants


20 June 1642

Nicholas Warde.

To our Hoble frend the Deputy of the Ilen of Mann

these presents.


At a Courte of Tynwald houlden at St: John's Chappell ye xxiiijth of June 1642:

It is ye opinion of ye officers in Courte whose names are subscribed yt whereas there are certaine of these men apprehended already and in durance in Castle Rushen they shal bee sent over by the first conveniencie for Ireland to the gentilmen justices who sent this letter for them. And in ye meane tyme that theire goodes bee seysed upon, Inventoryed and prised. And soe longe as they stay here they to bee Relieved out of ye goodes. And ye remaine (if any bee) to bee sent over with them to ye gentil. afforesaid. Out of wch ye said gentilmen (wee hope) will pay ye freight for bringeinge them over.


John Sharples was Deputy-Governor under Governor John Greenhalgh. Mr. D. A. Chart, Deputy Keeper of the Records of Northern Ireland, to whom a copy of this document was sent, kindly writes:-

" I have no doubt that the signature ' Nicholas "Warde' is that of an ancestor of the present " Lord Bangor. The Wardes have played a prominent part in County Down since the time of Elizabeth, and he was no doubt an active magistrate. The 'Barnard' I cannot identify, if it is meant for a surname. If it "is a christian name there is a possibility that it may be that of Bernard Warde, son of Nicholas. According to a Subsidy Roll of about twenty years later date than that of the letter, the Wardes were living at Ballyculter, near Downpatrick, in or about 1663.

I do not identify Richard West, but here again the Subsidy Roll shows a family of that name living at Ballytogher and paying £11/18/0 in subsidy, which shows that they were a family of considerable substance. I should say that the letter was written by leading magistrates of County Down, which accounts for the appearance of the names Warde and West.

' Arglas' is undoubtedly Ardglass, but the McNuskies do not sound like Ulstermen. Could the name be 'McNulty,' which is good "enough County Down, or ' McClusky,' which " is Ulster, but associated with County Londonderry? There is also a rather rare name

' McLusty,' but I have never met with " McNusky."

Notes relating to above Document.

A copy of the above document was sent to a subscriber, an expert Dublin genealogist, Mr. James Walsh. His researches, which must have cost him much labour, have resulted in the following report



On looking at the document one would at once assume that the signature was that of a Peer, especially as there is a Barony of " Barnard" in existence. This Barony was conferred on the Vane family, one of whom, Sir Harry Vane, was a Secretary of State in 1640 The Barony however was not conferred till 1698, and then on Sir Christopher, a son of Sir Harry Vane, so that the latter in 1642 could not have signed " Barnard," as the Barony was not then in existence.

I communicated with the present Lord Barnard, who resides at Raby Castle, Co. Durham, who confirmed above and suggested that the signature was that of a Commoner who had signed in the loose way then in vogue. This view appears to be correct, as will appear later.

As to the signature " Nicholas Warde."

The family name of Viscount Bangor is "Ward," and the family still resides at Castleward, near Downpatrick, Co, ;Down, where the ancestor Bernard Ward settled Circa 1570.

I communicated with Viscount Bangor, from whom and from his sister, Lady Kathleen Ward, I got the following information as to the Ward family.

A Bernard Ward (who married Leigh of High Leigh, Cheshire) settled at Castleward circa 1570, died 1584. He was Surveyor-General of Ireland at the date he settled in Ireland. Said Barnard had a son Nicholas, who was appointed Controller and Surveyor-General of Ordnance 1599. He was High Sheriff of Co. Down in 1620 and again in 1624. Said Nicholas married one Joanna Ley-cester, daughter of Ralph Leycester of Toft, Cheshire, and had three sons, viz., Bernard. Robert and Thomas. Said Bernard II married a daughter of Richard West (of whom later) named Anne and had issue a son Nicholas. Bernard Ward II was High Sheriff of Co. Down in 1656, and his son Nicholas in 1662. Robert, who married a Miss Echlin of Abbacy, Co. Down, was High Sheriff of Co. Down in 1661. He was created a Baronet in 1682 and died without issue in 1691. Thomas was a Colonel in the Army and was killed (3rd September, 1651) fighting on the side of Charles II at the Battle of Worcester. It is quite evident from the above particulars that the "Nicholas Warde" who signed the document of 1642 was Nicholas Ward, the great grandson of Bernard Ward, Surveyor-General of Ireland, who died 1684, and that the signature "Bernard" is that of Bernard Warde II, and the father of Nicholas, carelessly signed, leaving out the surname. Nicholas Ward was M.P. for Downpatrick in 1661 and High Sheriff of Co. Down in 1662. The Ward family came originally from Cheshire, where it is stated their ances-tors can be traced back to 1386.

Richard West.

This gentleman was a Major in the Army and was High Sheriff of Co. Down in 1610 and died before 1644. He had a son, a Major Roger West, who died before 1686, having previously married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Henry Tichbourne, Field Marshal of Ireland. Richard West had also four daughters, one of whom, Anne West, married Bernard Ward II, grandson of Bernard I, the original settler of 1570.

Richard West was M.P. for Downpatrick in 1613, and his son Roger West, High Sheriff of Down in 1657.

As the great Rebellion of 1641 was then in progress, and the Ward and West families occupied such prominent positions in County Down and were undoubtedly adherents of Charles I, it is quite safe to assume that these are the persons who signed the document of 20th June, 1642. It would be almost impossible to now discover in what capacities they signed, but as they are styled "Gentlemen justices" in the reply from Tynwald, they may have been sworn to act in some special capacity on behalf of King Charles I.

In O'Hart's " Irish Landed Gentry when Cromwell came to Ireland" a list is given of what is known as the 1649 officers ; that is, officers who before 5th June, 1649, fought under the banners of Charles I or Charles II. This list was compiled from claims sent in by the officers therein mentioned for arrears of pay. The original claims were preserved in the Public Record Office here, but were destroyed when that Office was burned during the recent troubles. Amongst the names appearing in such lists are Captain Bernard Ward, Ensign Nicholas Ward, Major Robert Ward (created a Baronet), Thomas Ward (killed at Worcester), and Richard West (Captain). There is now no means of ascertaining the places of abode of the respec-tive claimants or the particulars of their claims, or what offices they held respectively.

The ancient name of Castleward was Carrick-na-Sheannagh, viz., "The Rock of the Foxes," or " Fox's Rock."

The foregoing may be difficult to follow without a pedigree which I could prepare, but I am afraid it would not be possible to incorporate same in the journal. JAMES WALSH.

60, Tritonville Road,
Sandymount, Dublin. 7th October, 1931.

Note as to "the McNuskies."

The original script of the document certainly gives ` one of the McNuskies.' It would appear that this particular 'rebel' could not have been captured and sent back to Mourne, for the reason, that four years afterwards (in 1646) there appears in the Kirk Marown Register : "John Maccanuskey, the son of Henry, an Irishman, baptised 29 November, 1646."

Again, in the Kirk Malew Register, under date 1669, is the entry : "William Me y Nustey, an Irishman, buried 27 August."

 return to Index

Index Unpublished Docs


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received MNB Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2003