Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

Dingle of the Husseys, Part 9

The expedition reaches Dingle.
The twentyeth we came to the Dingell, where Sir William Wynter, Captain Bingham, and Mr. Fowlke Greville came to us from aborde the Queen's shippes, which laye in the Bay of Dingel, a mile to the west of the Haven of Dingell.

A part of that daie we passed in reviewing both havens and the towne, and also in considering what place were fittest to fortify for defence of both, which, after a long debating between the Lord Justice and the Admiral, was agreed to be in the Haven of Ventrie ; they are both notable havens, and such as into which the greatest ships of charge may at all times enter.

In the Irish Ventrie is called Coon Fyntra, which is almost as to saie "White Sand Haven," because the strand is white sand, full of white shells ; and Dingle Haven is called in the Irish Coon e daf deryck, which is almost to say " Red-ox-Haven," and took that name of the drowning of an ox in that haven, at the first coming over of the Englishmenne from Cornwall, which brought some cattel with them.

We find the chiefest merchantes of the towne's houses rased, which were very strong before and built castel-wyse, — done by Sir John of Desmond, and the Knight of Kerrie, as they say, cursing him and Doctor Saunders as the root of all their calamities. The Burgesses were taken into protection by Sir William Winter before our coming, to helpe buildinge the towne againe, whose names are those following,
Bonvilles. Baileys. Skurlocke.
Kleos als Knolls. Rices. Sleynes.
Horgetts. Teraunts. Angells and Goldings.
One of the eldest of them told me that soone uppon the conquest of Englishmen in Ireland, a gentleman named "De La Cousa" was lord of that town and builded it, whose issue in manie years after finding the towne escheated to the House of Desmond, and by that reason it is called to this daye "Dingell de Couse."
This is now a major military force, with the army arriving from the east and the naval component from the west. NB the appearance of 26-year-old Fulke Greville, at the start nof a long political career.

The official Irish name of Venrty these days is just Ceann Trá rather than Cuan Fionn Trá, but the latter obviously is the source of the English name (and I wonder why "Ceann", "Head" is the official irish rather than "Cuan", "Bay").

"Coon e daf deryck" is presumably "Cuan damh dearg", which is indeed an old name for Dingle (the official Irish these days is "An Daingean", "The Fort").

I have tended to assume that White could understand and speak Irish; he obviously was not acquainted with the written language. (Though he is writing here for Cecil, who spoke Welsh but would perhaps have been unable to manage written Irish.)

Sir John of Desmond and the Knight of Kerry were both also called John FitzGerald, just for confusion.

Dingle's population today is about 2,000. Impressive that there were as many as ten families of English settlers who could call themselves "burgesses". Trade with France and Spain mst have been good.
Tags: people: sir nicholas white

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