O'Murphy (No.3) family genealogy

Of the County Carlow

Arms: See those of "Murphy" (No. 1).

AT the Great Rebellion of 1641, Mathew Murphy held considerable estates in Wexford, chiefly in the districts of Palace and Clonroche. With the larger portion of Ireland, Wexford also rose in Rebellion, and, under the leadership of Sir Morgan Kavanagh, marched to join the insurgent forces. Among these, with his kinsmen and tenants, was Mathew Murphy, who was made a Captain on the 15th April, 1642. The disastrous battle of Blackheath was fought between the Irish forces under Lord Mountgarret and the Kings troops under the Duke of Ormonde, in which the former were worsted. After the battle, the head of Colonel Kavanagh was brought to Lord Ormonde. Captain Murphy, with a company formed from the wreck of the Irish forces, followed the fortunes of the Confederate Army, until a wound received in the battle of Lynch's Cross incapacitated him for further service. He then returned home, and, fearing attainder of the family estates, settled in a district of the county Carlow, some few miles from Borris, in the shadow of the Blackstairs, called after him "Ballymurphy." Here he married a sister of Daniel Oge Kavanagh, and cousin of the slain chief. To him were born—1. Laurence; 2. Mathew; 3. Jane; and 4. Richard. Cromwell on his march to Ross passed along these mountains, and burned the castle which Captain Matthew Murphy had erected, and all were obliged to take refuge in the mountains, in the cave universally known in that district as "Cahir's Den." Of these children Laurence died young. In the Williamite wars the three others joined the troops of Lord Galway, and were present at the battle of the Boyne. James was badly wounded, and returned home; but the two other brothers continued with the army until the Siege of Limerick was raised, when they sailed with Sarsfield and the "Wildgeese" for France. Matthew was killed in action at the battle of Neerwinden or Lauden, when Marshal Duke of Luxemburg and William III. contended for mastery. Richard served in the regiment of Lord Clancarty, as captain. He married and had two sons, one of whom, Mathew, exchanged into the Spanish service, and his descendants hold civil and military offices there to the present day. The other, Richard, attached himself to Count Lally Tollendal's regiment, where, by successive acts of bravery, he rose to the position of Lieutenant-Colonel. As captain, he sailed with the regiment to Scotland, to the aid of Prince Charles, and was taken prisoner with the remnant of the regiment, at Inverness, the day after the battle of Culloden. Being exchanged he went to India with Count Lally, was present at the battle of Wandewash, in Jan., 1760, and was one of the officers taken prisoner after the complete overthrow of the French.

James returned from the Boyne to Ballymurphy, and married a sister of Bryan Oge Kavanagh, of Ballyleagh—this latter also marrying a sister his. Bryan Oge was an officer in Dillon's regiment, and was famous as a swordsman. He had previously served in Spain. Many stories of him are current to this day in the Barony of Idrone. It is told of him that in one of the conflicts attendant on the passage of the Boyne, being engaged with an officer of Schomberg's force, so powerful was his arm and so keen his sword, that, getting a clear sweep at his enemy, his blade clove swiftly through his neck without disturbing the head! It was only when the officer moved, that his head fell off, exclaiming as it touched the ground: "Bloody Wars!"

In the ancient abbey of Saint Moling, beside the flowing waters of the Barrow, the following moss-covered tablet is to be seen:—"Here lieth the body of Bryan Kavanagh of Drumin, of the family of Ballyleagh. A man remarkably known to the nobility and gentry of Ireland by the name of Bryan Na-Sthroka, from his noble actions and valour, in King James's troop, in the battles of the Boyne and Aughrim. He died February 8th, 1735, aged 74 years. Also Mary Murphy his wife with four of their children.—R. I. P."

Of James Murphy there were born Richard and Mathew. Of the former there was born Martin, of whom Richard, and of whom Laurence, Mathew, and James. The two latter were killed among the insurgent forces at the battle of Ross. Laurence had children: Richard, Andrew, James, and Matthew. The two first went to America; one of whom, Andrew, rose to great opulence in Columbus, Ohio, leaving several children. Mathew settled in Glynn, county Carlow, and had five sons, one of whom died in action in the passage of "Island No. 10," by Admiral Farragut at New Orleans in the War of Secession. James, the youngest son, is author of the "Forge of Clohogue," "Convict No. 25," and several other Irish national novels. He has several sons: Mathew, Michael, Thomas, Martin; and daughters Lizzie, Margaret, Mary—all living in Dublin, in 1887.