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DALY, Denis & MALONE, Edmund. The State of the Case of Denis Daly and Edmund Malone, Esqrs; and of a few other Lawyers, of the Town of Gallway, in the Kingdom of Ireland. [Galway or Dublin?] S.n. [Between 1693 and 1702]: Broadside with docket title, printed on one side only. Housed in a quarter calf binder’s folder. In fine condition. Extremely rare.
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COPAC locates the British Library copy only. No copy in NLI or TCD. Wing S 5311B. Sweeney 1307. ESTC R508189.
Daly, Denis (c.1638-1721), Lawyer and Judge was born in Carrownakelly, County Galway, the first son of James Daly, and his wife, Anastase Darcy, granddaughter of James Riveagh Darcy, Vice-President of Connacht in the late sixteenth century. His great-grandfather, Dermot O Daly (d. 1614), was a Gaelic-Irish supporter of the Earl of Clanricarde. The family had risen from utter obscurity in the mid-16th century to become powerful landlords by the 1640s. They family were supporters of the Stuart dynasty and remained Roman Catholic until the early eighteenth century.
While the details of his early life are obscure, it is known that he began training for a career within the law as a clerk to Patrick Darcy, his great-uncle. Daly entered Middle Temple in July 1673; he was admitted in April 1678 to King’s Inns in Dublin, where he began his practice as a barrister. He continued to hold his various offices throughout Revolution with impartiality and integrity. He lived at Carrownakelly, Ballymacward, County Galway. He married Mary, daughter of Thomas Power of Park, Limerick; they had four sons and two daughters.
Daly first came to prominence at a national level following the accession of James II to the throne. Well regarded within the legal profession, he was an obvious choice as the Earl of Tyrconnell directed a reconstruction of the Irish administration in favour of Catholics. He was appointed as a Justice of the Common Pleas in March 1686, to which appointment the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Clarendon, took umbrage: “Daly is one of the best lawyers of that sort, but of old Irish race, and therefore ought not to be a judge. He [is] national to the utmost degree” (Clarendon correspondence, i, 356). On the final day of April 1686, Daly’s name was included on a list of new appointees to the Irish Privy Council sent to Clarendon, confirming his swift rise from relative obscurity to a position of influence within Irish politics.
In the immediate aftermath of the Jacobite defeat at Aughrim in July 1691, Daly travelled to see General Ginkel at the Williamite camp to offer his services. Thereafter he was instrumental in convincing the garrison at Galway to surrender swiftly, as well as during the negotiations for the articles of Galway. One of the terms of the pardon he received for supporting James during the Williamite War in Ireland was his conforming to the Protestant church. He did this in 1709, which had the additional effect of protecting his extensive estates in mid-Galway. For this, some “die hard” Catholics never forgave him, and after his death an enemy wrote that he deserved a place in Purgatory.
Daly was one of several Irish catholics named as deserving of the Irish administration’s favour after the war, due to their influence within their respective provinces. Two separate papers presented to the government (1691, 1693) described Daly as an important figure within Connacht who could be instrumental in helping to maintain peace within the province, if given incentive to do so. Notwithstanding the advice of these papers, by 1696 Daly and the other lawyers of Galway had yet to receive any relief from the restrictions of the 1691 act for replacing the oaths in Ireland. That provision had now been breached under suspicious circumstances, namely that no copy of the Galway articles could be found when legitimacy was being accorded to “exceptions”. Daly was among several men who presented a petition to the English House of Commons in January 1696. The petition asked that the commons pass legislation whereby “the Roman Catholique Lawyers of the said town [Gallway] shall have free Liberty of Practise, as they had in King Charles the Second’s time in whose Reign and allways before the said Lawyers had liberty to Profess and Practise the Laws of England in that Kingdom, taking only the Oath of Allegiance”. The King’s Privy Council in Ireland having due regard to the Articles of Galway had inserted in the Letters Patents of Ratification (1692) an appeal to the English Parliament for approbation to “enable the said Lawyers of Gallway, to Exercise their Calling”. Though the House of Commons was inclined to look favourably upon the petition, and had begun to draft the necessary legislation, this was subsequently dropped at the committee stage following a counter-petition from Robert Johnson, an Irish protestant. This appears to have been the last attempt by the Galway lawyers to have their case heard.
With the turn of the century and the end of most of the proceedings surrounding land forfeitures, Daly continued to act as a conveyancer and a trustee for the estates of Col. John Browne of Kinturk Castle and Cathair na Mart. He appears on a list of catholics licensed to bear arms in 1705 and again in 1715. Daly and his brother, Charles of Calla (M.P. for Athenry in 1689), had accumulated a great deal of land purchased from the profits of their legal business. During the early years of the 18th century the brothers spent some thirty-thousand pounds buying estates such as Dunsandle Castle, Raford and Quansbury; the price of Dunsandle alone was £9,450, which Denis obtained in 1708. He died in March 1721.
In decades to come, Daly’s descendants would settle at Dunsandle, and from c.1760 to c.1820 effectively monopolised the mayoralty of the town of Galway. Daly’s great-great-grandson was made a peer, Baron Dunsandle and Clanconel, in the 19th century. In analysing Daly’s successful career, Patrick Melvin states “There was ... a marked difference in how the various Irish families gained or preserved estates from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Loyalty and government service counted for much. More crucial was the preservation of property through the 17th century and the ability to take advantage of available land. The Clanricarde family’s position as the greatest and most influential landowner in the county made relations with them particularly important”. All these factors are illustrated in the history of the related Daly families. The most crucial factor in the rise of the Dalys was the ability and family ambition of Judge Denis Daly of Carrownekelly.
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