Ireland in the 14th century was a land torn apart by war. A vast stretch of territory including modern day Carlow, Kildare and Dublin were exposed to ever increasing raids from the Gaelic Irish O Byrnes, O Tooles and Mc Murroughs who had been marginalised into the Wicklow mountains after the Norman conquest of the 1170’s. In the increasing chaos however some were able to find opportunity as illustrated by a court case heard in Kildare in 1312.

Walter Penrys, William le Reve, Henry le Reve, William Penrys, John son of Walter le Reve, John son of Robert, Thomas Selew . Jack Baldewyn and Ranulf, a serving-man, charged that they came by night to the town of Hugetoun le Rede, and in the town of malice shouted in a loud voice, Fennok abo, Fennok abo, which is the war cry of the O Totheles [O Tooles],

understandly this terrified the townspeople who

by this cry of malice made all the men and women of the town fly out of their houses,

When the townspeople fled the accused

 “robbed in the said town four hens and eight pullets worth 6d. and a cheese worth d.,”

Alot of fuss over four hens eight pullets and some cheese…….

The 14th century is the subject of an upcoming book I am writing on the societal crisis Ireland faced in the 14th century when famine war and plague brought Ireland to the brink. You can read more about this here.  The book will be released in 2013.

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