Irish Legends

I detailed the branches stemming from my third great-grandmother, Mary Emily Knox, which I recently discovered, in a previous post. One of those branches was the branch of my 7th great-grandmother, Jane Winder, and her father, the Rev. John Winder. There is new and, unfortunately, conflicting information to add regarding the branch stemming from John Winder and our connection to to two Irish legends.

John Winder (1658–1733) was a man of minor notoriety who lived in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. I have found him mentioned in several documents, including an excerpt from a book titled the Clergy of Clogher where it states that he was son of Col. Cuthbert Winder of Wingfield, Berkshire, and came to Ireland as chaplain to William III. The only area regarding John Winder where there is a lack of agreement is that some sources list his father as Peter Winder, an Army Cornet from Devonshire. He was the vicar of a few parishes in Northern Ireland, including Carmoney, and he succeeded the satirist Jonathan Swift as prebendary of Kilroot. Some correspondence between him and Swift have been preserved.

Another source provides further insight to Rev. Winders relationship with Jonathan Swift. The Ulster Journal of Archaeology – vol. 9 (1861), quotes one letter from Swift to Winder in which Swift gives instructions to Winder regarding some books that he left behind in Kilroot when he went to Dublin.

In the letter Swift writes:

The [book titled] Sceptis Scientifica is not mine, but old Mr. Dobbs, and I wish it were restored. He has Temple’s Miscellanea instead of it. If Sceptis Scientifica comes to me, I’ll burn it for a fustian piece of abominable curious virtuoso stuff. I hope this will come to your hand before you have sent your cargo, that you may keep the those books I mentioned, and I desire you will write my name, and Ex dono [donated] before them in large letters.

In this same book, the following is said of Rev. Winder:

The Rev. John winder came to Ireland as a chaplain of King William III. He was married soon after his coming, to Jane Done (or Doane), daughter of Major Done, of Cromwell’s Army, and Letitia Lyndon, daughter of Roger Lyndon, Esq., of Carrickfergus. Jane Done was a lineal descendent of Sir Cahir O’Doherty, and his wife, Rose O’Neill, the third daughter of Hugh O’Neill, the last and great Earl of Tyrone… Sir Cahir left three daughters… The youngest, Rose, married Capt. Roger Lyndon, of Carrickfergus, whose son, Roger, married Jane Martin, the daughter of John Martin, by the Letitia Caufield, sister to the first Lord Charlemont.… thus, maternally descended from two great Irish chieftains, Hugh O’Neill and Sir Cahir O’Doherty.

The legendary Hugh O’Neil (c.1550-1616) is best known for leading the resistance against the English during the Nine Years’ War. The Flight of the Earls took place in September 1607, when Hugh O’Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, and Rory O’Donnell, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell, and about ninety followers, left Ulster in Ireland for mainland Europe. Their permanent exile was a watershed event in Irish history, symbolizing the end of the old Gaelic order.

The even more legendary Sir Cahir O’Doherty (1587-1608) was the last Gaelic Chief of the Name of Clan O’Doherty and Lord of Inishowen, in what is now County Donegal. He was killed in a battle at Kilmacrennan at the age of 21. He was presumably married and had daughters but no sons.

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