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Families of Carrigtwohill

Cotter of Anngrove & Coppingerstown

Edmond Cotter

According to Gibson’s ‘History of Cork’, the anglicised Cotter family name has its origins as Scandinavian “Kotter” of northern Europe, and is widely believed the Cotter clan are descendants of MacCotter or Maccottir family, whose ancestral seat was Coppingerstown Castle, near Ballinacurra, of whom “Mac-Cottyr" (as stated in the Down’s Survey) was prebendary (a canon of a cathedral or collegiate church whose income originally came from a prebend) of Cahirlag (Caherlag) in 1349. William Cotter, son of Edmond, of Coppingerstown Castle, had forfeited his estates as a consequence Irish War of 1641, whose name is listed on the “Forfeiting Proprietors in Ireland under the Cromwellian Settlement.”

His descendant, another Edmond, held conciderable property situated in and around Carrigtwohill, with his principal residence being Anngrove, formally known as Ballinsperry finally becoming Ballinsperrig, with further property interests in Queenstown “ the Cove of Cork”. Edmond was twice married. Firstly, to Ellish, daughter of John Connell of Barryscourt, and by her had three sons and three daughters. He then married Ellen Sarsfield, daughter of Lord Kilmallock, and by her had another three sons and three daughters.

Edmond died in 1660, and is memorialised by an Italian plaque of marble which once was surmounted upon the ancient family vault within the former Abbey grounds of Carrigtwohill, which now lies, it is believed, beneath new extension of Abbey ruins. On the still standing Belfry of these ruins is where the plaque now resides, reads;

"This monument was erected by Sir James Cotter for himself and his family Anno Domini 1688.

Edmond Cotter of Ballinsperig died A. D. 1660"

Edmond's will dated, 15th August 1660, and proved on 5th June 1661, is to be found in Rev Edmund Barry’s publication entitled ‘Barrymore’, 1902; extracts of which were also published by the JCHAS Annals of the same year. We are indebted to Greg Martin, a descendant for directing us to it.

"Item. I appoint, ordain, and authorize my well-beloved cozins, Edmond fitzJames Barry, of Dondolericke, gentleman; Edmond fitzJohn Barry, of Ballynihuboirth, gentleman; and Thomas Fforrest, of Dongorney, yeoman, to be overseers of this my last will and testament, and to act everything therein belonging to overseers in that nature."

Reverend Barry goes on to tell us the Will mentions his wife; sons -- Garrett, James, John, Ned, and Andrew; daughters -- Cate, Ellice, Mary and Ann; Grandson, Edmond Barry; Niece, Ellen Burke; leaseholds -- Ballyvillone, Lishiniskie, Ballyheatrick, Coolknidane, Bridgeland, Ballinspery, and house and park in Carrigtwohill.

The precise location of the Cotter vault has been somewhat of a mystery, and lost to time. It is evident the vault’s marble plaque has been sited in several locations before finally being mounted on Belfry’s west wall. Edmond’s memorial when seen in March 1908, for an article published by JCHAS includes following passage.

‘… was in good preservation, in spite of its age and exposure to the weather, It appears to have been first set up within what was probably the pre-Reformation church of Carrigtwohill, whose tower still remains, in one of the bays at its north side. On part of the site of this old church a more modern Protestant church was erected, leaving portions of the old church east and west of it to go entirely to decay, so that the Cotter monument has no longer any overhead protection. This second church has been replaced by a still smaller one, built close to it on the north in 1905. But the ancient tower happily remains, to the left of which is the Cotter monument.’

During the 1950/60s a photograph was taken of the Belfry showing the family memorial attached to it, but without the railings of the early 1900s. Then, more recently one of our members took a photograph from a similar angle and distance, shown alongside each other for comparison, yet they do not appear to correspond. Infact, the vault appears to be at high level, with rubble beneath it and possibly slightly above the blocked up arched doorway, with the vault's canopy about midway of the Marble plaque to its right.

Index of Cotter Families

Estate Individual Comments
Anngrove, Ballinsperig Sir James Cotter Sir James was accused of rapping a Quaker girl for which he was convicted and hanged, 1720.
Rockforest Sir James Laurence Cotter 1st Baronet, created 11th August 1763.

St David's Burial Register

The folllowing is a list of those known to have been buried in Carrigtwohill, and presumably in family vault, as recorded within St David's burial register once held at the 'Public Records Office', as transcribed by Ffolliott, which are now most likely at the National Archives, Dublin.

Date Name Additional Comments
8 Aug 1811 Cecelia Cotter  
28 Jan 1818 Anne Charlotte
12 Feb 1829 Sir J Laurence Cotter Bart.  
8 April 1831 Rev George Sackville Cotter
15 Feb 1832 Mrs Cotter Relic of Rev. George S
5 March 1833 Miss Eliza Cotter  
21 April 1832 Isabella Cotter Relic of Sir James Bart.
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