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The Bagges

Ardmore Memory and Story - The Landed Gentry

2. The Bagges
The Bagges were the other landlord family in the area. Their estate papers are not extant. However in Waterford: History and Society, Principal Inhabitants in 1746 by Henry F. Morris, there is the following Bagge reference "He (Isaac Quarry) was presumably the father of John of Ballymulalla (will proved 1680) who married Elenor, daughter of Robert Bagge, the son of John, who had come to Ireland c. 1620. The Bagges remained a prominent family in the Ardmore area and John Henry Bagge of Monea appears in the 1890 edition of Walford with 3016 acres and a rental of £2370. They are generally regarded as having been stern, in fact conforming to the general perception of the landlord class. There were many evictions from their lands at Monea i.e. in the huge area of land bounded on the west by the Youghal Road and on the east by Bóthar na Trínse. They also had lands at Ballylane, Ballinamertina and Knockmealmore. Fairly early in the 19th century the Lincoln family consisting of seven sons and one daughter were evicted from their holding in Knockmealmore, i.e. the present Ryan household.

Michéal Ó Foghlú (who founded the Irish College) as a child, had lived in the farm at the very top of Bóthar na Trínse, more or less where Powers new house now stands and his family were evicted from there. Mrs Keane (nee Ducey) who lived in their farm a little over the road in Duffcarrick, saw it take place. The family went over to their cousins' barn (Paits Mhici) at Keanes of the Lough and it is said that the ousted lady never spoke again (note the story of the phantom lady by the fireside in what was now a band-room, in the account of bands in Ardmore).

Michéal Ó Foghlú used talks of the mass evictions earlier when forty tenants were given a week's notice and their passage money to Canada. This might have been in the wake of Catholic Emancipation (1829) when the 40/- free-holders were deprived of their votes.

Eddy Mansfield (born in 1920) speaks of his grandfather and other men in the village making an effigy of the landlord and carrying it from the road in front of his residence, down the village street and dumping it over the storm-wall.

My father-in-law, William Lincoln, born 1874, Lios an Uisce told me of the tenants being brought in to set trees at Monea House (later Coláiste Deuglán) and earlier called Ardmore House. The men all got liquid refreshments at Bailys (i.e Keevers) at midday, but he was younger than the others were and he got a meal.

Seemingly, some years before that, one of the Bagges had died in Dublin; his remains were brought to Dungarvan by train and the tenants were requisitioned to go in to Dungarvan and carry the remains to Ardmore, and we are told, it was one of the wettest days that ever came out of the heavens.

He is probably the Bagge member buried at the right, inside the entrance to the old Cathedral. There is a monument over him and you will hear local people saying this was placed there, because no grass would grow on his grave; of course, the rest of us don't believe this but it is symptomatic of the lack of esteem in which they were held. Various Bagge ghost stories are told too, for instance: After the death of one of the Bagges, his former coachman met him driving his coach along the road, he saluted him and put his hand on the coach. The story goes that his hand was scorched and always bore the mark.

Two matrimonial alliances were made with the Odell family but I gather from the present Odell representative, the Contesse de Frenay, that they were not highly acclaimed. Mary Odell lived in Monea House in the early years of the century, probably before it was sold and became Coláiste Deuglán in 1922. About that time, a member of the Bagge family came and disposed of the last of the family property. That was when my parents acquired the plot at the top of the village, where they planned to build a house and installed Ardmore's first petrol pumps there 1931. They also acquired a cottage there, with a rent-paying tenant. It is said that the last of the Bagges went to Canada.

Author: Siobhan Lincoln

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