Modern Nobility of Hy-Kinselagh

The following have been the noble families in Wexford, Wicklow, and Carlow, since the reign of King John:—

In Wexford, in the thirteenth century, the noble English families of De Mountchensey, and De Valence, got large possessions, with the title of lords of Wexford, by intermarriage with a daughter of Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, above mentioned; and by intermarriage with De Valence, Talbot, earls of Shrewsbury, became lords of Wexford, in Ireland; the family of Petty, marquises of Lansdowne, in England, and earls of Shelbourne, in Wexford; Butler, viscounts Mountgarret; Keating, barons of Kilmananan; Esmond, barons of Limerick; Stopford, earls of Courtown; the family of Loftus, earls and marquises of Ely; the family of Phipps, barons Mulgrave, barons of New Ross in Wexford, earls of Mulgrave, and marquises of Normandy in England; Ponsonby, viscounts of Duncannon; Annesley, viscounts Mountmorris; Carew, barons Carew.

In Carlow, De Bigod, Mowbray, and Howard, dukes of Norfolk, were lords of Carlow; Butler, barons of Tullyophelim, and viscounts of Tullow; Carew, barons of Idrone; O'Cavanagh, barons of Balian; Cheever, viscounts Mountleinster; Fane, barons of Carlow; Ogle, viscounts of Carlow; and Dawson, viscounts of Carlow; Knight, earls of Carlow; the celebrated Duke of Wharton, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the reign of Queen Anne, was created Marquis of Carlow.

In Wicklow, Howard, earls of Wicklow; Stuart, earls of Blessington; and Boyle, viscounts Blessington; Wingfield, viscounts Powerscourt; Maynard, barons Maynard; the family of Cole, barons of Ranelagh; and Jones, viscounts Ranelagh; Butler, barons of Arklow; Eustace, viscounts of Baltinglass; and the Ropers, viscounts of Baltinglass; Stradford, barons of Baltinglass and earls of Aldborough; Proby, earls of Carysfort; Brabazon, earls of Meath; Berkeley, barons of Rathdown; and the family of Monk, earls of Rathdown; the earls Fitzwilliam in England have extensive possessions in Wicklow.

Wexford was formed into a County in the reign of King John, and was, as already stated, part of the ancient territory of Hy-Cinsellagh; it was called by the Irish writers "The County of Lough Garman," as already mentioned. It was also called Contae Riavach (signifying the grey county), from some peculiar greyish appearance of the country; but which Camden incorrectly states to have meant the "rough county." It got the name of "Wexford" from the town of Wexford, which was called by the Danes, "Weisford," signifying the western haven: a name given to it by the Danish colonies who possessed that city in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The greater part of Wexford was in former times also sometimes called "The County of Ferns," from (as stated by Spenser) the city of Ferns, which was the capital of the MacMurroughs, kings of Leinster. In the tenth century, the Danes of Wexford worked the silver mines situated at Clonmines, in the county Wexford; and in that city had a mint where they struck several coins.

Carlow was formed into a County in the reign of King John; it was called by the Irish writers Cathairloch and Ceatharloch, anglicised "Caherlough," now "Carlow;" and the name is said to have been derived from the Irish "Cathair," a city, and "loch," a lake: thus signifying the City of the Lake; as it is stated that there was in former times a lake adjoining the place where the town of Carlow now stands; but there is no lake there at present.

Wicklow was formed into a County in the reign of King James the First; its name being derived from the town of Wicklow, which, it is said, was called by the Danes "Wykinlow or Wykinlough," signifying the "Harbour of Ships;" it was called by the Irish Cilmantan. According to O'Flaherty, the name of "Wicklow" was derived from the Irish Buidhe Cloch, signifying the yellow stone or rock; and probably so called from the yellow colour of its granite rocks. Wicklow was in ancient times covered with extensive forests; and the oak woods of Shillelagh, on the borders of Wicklow and Wexford, were celebrated in former times. The gold mines of Wicklow, celebrated in history, were situated in the mountain of Croghan Kinselagh, near Arklow; and pieces of solid golden ore of various sizes were found in the rivulets: one of which pieces was twenty-three ounces in weight.