Captain George Gafney, Private Memorandum Book

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Extracts from the Private memorandum Book of Captain George Gafney, of Kilkenny, an Officer in the Army of James II, by the Rev. James Graves. Published in the Proceedings and Transactions of the Kilkenny and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society. Vol. III, 1854-55. pp. 161- 172

“It needs no apology to introduce to the notice of the members of a Society such as ours professes to be, the following extracts. It is one of our objectives to collect and place on record the materials of history; and although the extracts I am about to give may to many seem trivial and unimportant, yet, in my mind, they are far from being so, inasmuch as the serve to introduce the private life of an officer who formed one of that formidable army which the devoted loyalty of James’ Irish subjects enabled him to oppose the forces of William III. From these memoranda we may learn how the army was fed and clothed. By their means we get a peep into the jovial habits of the officers, whilst one or two entries, such as that of the list of regiments encamped at Ardee, and the orders of the day, dated a few days before the battle of the Boyne, are of higher and more general historic interest.
The family of Gafney seems to have been founded, or at least raised to noticeable position in the Irishtown of Kilkenny, by the prelate of that name, who filled the See of Ossory from 1565 to 1576. The name frequently occurs in Corporation Records of the Irishtown; and there can be little doubt that the writer of the memoranda was of that family. (In front of an old house in Vicarstreet, at the foot of the Coach-road, is a slab bearing the inscription “”George Gaffney, Ano DOM 1704″”. This George was probably son of Captain Gafney)
The original MS is at present in the keeping of Henry James Loughnan, Esq., of Kilkenny, one of the members of this society, who kindly permitted me to make from it what extracts I pleased. Mr. Loughnan whose ancestor appears from it to have been an ensign in Captain Gafney’s company obtained the manuscript from the late James Gafney Biling, Esq., of Dublin, a lineal descendant, in the female line, from the writer. The MS consists of the remains of what was at one time a thin paper book, eight inches long by three wide, originally bound at the narrow end, pocket book fashion, the writing running across the narrow page. The binding has, however, given way, and the leaves are very much worn at the top and bottom. The dates of the entries extend over a period of about eighteen months, terminating a few days before the battle of the Boyne. Then, perhaps the writer fell; at all events there are no subsequent entries. It is an undoubted autograph.
In the order which I have chosen for my extracts, I have followed as nearly as possible the order of the dates, and commence with Captain Gafney’s entry of:””
An Accompt of what Cash I have by me
Jan ye 1st 1689
To ten Ginis att 24s per ginni……………………………£012.00.00
To one portingall pece……………………………………£001.15.00
To to broade Jacobus att 26 per……………………….£002.12.00
To to half Jacobus at 13 per…………………………….£001.06.00
To one quarter Jacobus………………………………….£000.06.06
To one broad Carolus…………………………………….£001.05.00
To one half ditto at 12s 6d……………………………..£000.12.06
To one halfe Edward……………………………………..£000.13.00

In goulde ye sume of 21.15.00
To Cash in silver ye sume of…………………………..£086.16.08 1/2
To English money ………………………………………£013.00.07 1/2
To Cash in silver one purs……………………………..£100.00.00

In goulde and silver ye sum……………………………£171.12.04 (sic)
In bras money…………………………………………..£020.00.00

Feb ye 12 1689
To bras money in one purs……………………………..£110.00.00

“”It will be seen that the writer carefully enters the rate of exchange of the sterling money, showing a considerable premium in consequence of the depressed state of the currency, of which an indication also occurs in the quantity of ‘bras’ money in the worthy Captain’s Exchequer – £130. Next, I subjoin a list of his company from which we learn that it constituted a portion of the Right Honourable Edward Butler’s regiment of foot. The Colonel was a Kilkenny man, being eldest son of Edward, second Viscount Galmoy; he retired into France after the termination of the war, where he died without issue. Under the date of March 29th, 1689, there are entries of payments to the men; these lists are nearly the same in names and number. Each man appears to have been paid every fortnight 1s. 6d., as pay or subsistence money. The muster roll presents many Kilkenny names, and is as follows:””
A list of Capt. George Gaffney his company of foote, in the Right Honourable Coll Edward Butlers Regiment March ye…….1689.
Capt George Gaffney
Left. John Brenan
Ensigne John Loughnan
Sargent Florins fits Patrick
William Boorke Sargent elect

Corporalls
James Donough
Thomas Quin
Edmond Purcell (made corporall in ye filed, and confirmed ye same time by Duke Tirconnell)
Peeter Burke drummer
Peter Holehan
John Coffi
John Boorke senior
John Boorke junior
…..Boe….(page defective)
John Coffe
William Mansell
Thomas Quing Corporall
Edmond Megher
James Curin
John Hini
Edmond Cash
Mortogh Costaly
Michaeile Fenell
Patrick Kinsalagh
Morgan Fing
James Reyan
Thomas Lawlor
Peeter Glendon
Derby Boe
James Kelley
Nicholas Kerey Corporall
Hugh Newman
Edmond Purcell Corporall
Jjohn Phelican
William McGra
William Phelan
Denish Cormock
Richard Comerford
Tadey Mackaboy
John Boorke Senior
John Boorke Junior
William Boorke
James Roth
William Quigly
John Taply drummer
Martin callan
William Farell
Peter Holehan
Edmond Megher
Simon Delaney of Lackin
Denish Reyan
John Boogi
Henry Cursi
Denish Kelley
Tady Phelan
Tady Flinn
Philip Kelley
Edward Glendon
JohnMurphi
Patrick Wier interd March ye 16
John Commin
Daniel Muldouni
Bryan Kenedey
William Kenedey
John Maring

“”It may now be interesting to have a peep at out gallant Captain’s private affairs. The date of the entry is defective from injuries done to the leaf on which it is written. The words “”………self anno Domini 16….”” Only being apparent. But, from a subsequent entry the year is ascertained to have been 1688. It may be necessary to remark that the commencement of the year was on March 25th at this period, the old style being still in use. The Captain”s uniform was sufficiently gay, as appears by the items given below:””

March ye 18
Pd for 2 yds of muslin wch made 2 payre of rufels and 2 caravats.
Pd Mary ffaning for making of them 1s. 6d. in thread 2d.
3/4 of a yde fine scoth cloth for 3 necks 15d

Mary ffaning and scoth cloth entries totalled to £00.02.00

Ye 19
Pd for a hatt and lace………………………………………………….£01.00.00
For caravatt string 3 yds scarlet……………………………………..£00.04.00
For 1 yde 3/4 of scarlet riban for ye hatt band at 16d per yde…..£00.02.04

March 20th ’88
Bought of Capt Edwd. Cadow** for a vest, 1 yd 1/4 of scharlett att 26s per yd is…………………………………………………………………£01.12.06
2 yds of Endian Silke to line it………………………………..£00.06.00
1/2 an ounce of gould thread…………………………………£00.04.00
4 dosen of gould butons………………………………………£00.04.00
Pd for 20 yds of gould breade………………………………..£01.08.06
For silke…………………………………………………………£00.00.09
For making………………………………………………………£00.03.00

**Edward Cadow was constituted a member of the Corporation of Kilkenny under the charter of James II (Harris, Life of William III)

Ye 22
Pd Ge. Cooke for a bagnett bleade……………………………£00.04.00
1 ounce of silver for ye buckles of ye belt & two oz
to ye bagnett att 5s per ounce………………………………..£00.15.00
Pd Laurence Rinehan for ye making………………………….£00.04.00
Pd Peeter Milod for ye belt…………………………………….£00.04.00
Total……………………………………………………………….£07.0…….

March ye 26
Pd Nick Cormock for 3 yds1/2 cloth at 7s per yd………….£01.02.09
4 yds 1/2 shallune………………………………………………£00.08.00
Total……………………………………………………………..£01.08.09

March 28 1689
To 2oz thread………………………………………………………00s.04d
To 3 oz silke………………………………………………………..01s.03d
To 1/4 yde buckram……………………………………………….00s.04d
To 1/4 yde deyed linen……………………………………………00s.04d
To 4 yds tape………………………………………………………00s.02d
To 7 dos nee butons, to pockets & to macking………………..02s.00d
To 2 payre of sleves 2 yds fine scoth cloth & 3 &c……………04s.00d

The next entries relate chiefly to regimental affairs, comprising some curious particulars, such as £1.8s.6d. the charge of going to and from Dublin, the making of “”my owne leding-stafe,””

April ye 4th 1689
To my charges going and coming from Dublin to gett ye 3 Comisions interd in ye mustermaster generals office & for expedition…………………£01.08.06

Ye 4th
Pd for a drum in Dublin & carige……………………………….£01.00.00
Pd for a new drum hed & putting it on………………………..£00.01.06
For drumsticks……………………………………………………£00.01.06
Pd for 16 speare heads at 8d per……………………………..£00.10.08
1/2 a st. steele putt in ye sd speares………………………..£00.00.04
for nayles for ye speares……………………………………….£00.00.04
pd Paul Heare for making my owne leding stafe……………£00.06.00
Pd Paul Heare for a musket 3s, for fixing ye lock 6d………..£00.03.06
Pd for a scabbard & handle for ye broade backsword………£00.02.00
Pd for two rapiers to P. Heare…………………………………£00.03.00
Pd Paul Heare for ye other backsorde…………………………£00.02.00
Pd for a rapier ye was broken by ye sargent…………………£01.00.00

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