Thomas Spring of Castlemaine

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Thomas Spring of Castlemaine (died 1597) was an English Protestant soldier, landowner and Constable of Castlemaine in County Kerry, Ireland. [1]

English people Nation and ethnic group native to England

The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD. England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living there are British citizens.

Castlemaine, County Kerry Town in Munster, Ireland

Castlemaine is a small town in County Kerry, southwest Ireland. It lies on the N70 national secondary road between Killorglin and Tralee.

County Kerry County in the Republic of Ireland

County Kerry is a county in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region and forms part of the province of Munster. It is named after the Ciarraige who lived in part of the present county. Kerry County Council is the local authority for the county and Tralee serves as the county town. The population of the county was 147,707 at the 2016 census.



Thomas Spring was born in Lavenham, Suffolk, the son of clothier Thomas Spring. He was the great-grandson of Thomas Spring of Lavenham, the richest merchant in England during the early 1500s. [2]

Lavenham village and civil parish in Babergh, Suffolk, England

Lavenham is a village, civil parish and electoral ward in Suffolk, England. It is noted for its Guildhall, Little Hall, 15th-century church, half-timbered medieval cottages and circular walks. In the medieval period it was among the twenty wealthiest settlements in England. Today, it is a popular day-trip destination for people from across the country along with another historic wool town in the area, Long Melford.

Suffolk County of England

Suffolk is an East Anglian county of historic origin in England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east. The county town is Ipswich; other important towns include Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Felixstowe, one of the largest container ports in Europe.

Thomas Spring of Lavenham English cloth merchant

Thomas Spring, also referred to as Thomas Spring III or The Rich Clothier, was an English cloth merchant during the early 1500s. From Lavenham in Suffolk he consolidated his father's business to become one of the most successful in the booming wool trade, and was one of the richest men in England in his lifetime.

Spring was an officer in the army of Elizabeth I during the Tudor conquest of Ireland. He served with distinction, and as part of the Plantation of Munster he was granted over 3,000 acres of land in County Kerry in 1578. His land increased to approximately 6,000 acres when, on 12 December 1588, he was granted the estates of Killagha Abbey, which had been seized by The Crown during the dissolution of the monasteries. [3] Spring was instructed to rebuild the abbey in a castle-like manner, so that it could serve as a defensive structure. He also became constable of the castle over the River Maine, with responsibility for maintaining English royal authority over the locality. He was accorded the right to hold several country fairs as a source of income and was in control of collecting tolls and taxes for the Crown. Spring served as High Sheriff of Kerry in 1592. [4] He was the first of the Spring family to settle in Ireland. [5] [6]

Elizabeth I of England Queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until 1603

Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor.

The Tudor conquestof Ireland took place under the Tudor dynasty, which held the Kingdom of England during the 16th century. Following a failed rebellion against the crown by Silken Thomas, the Earl of Kildare, in the 1530s, Henry VIII was declared King of Ireland in 1542 by statute of the Parliament of Ireland, with the aim of restoring such central authority as had been lost throughout the country during the previous two centuries.

Plantations of Ireland

Plantations in 16th- and 17th-century Ireland involved the confiscation of land by the English crown and the colonisation of this land with settlers from the island of Great Britain. There had already been smaller-scale immigration to Ireland as far back as the 12th century, which had resulted in a distinct ethnicity in Ireland known as the Old English, or Hiberno-Normans. Unofficial plantations carried out privately by landlords also took place, such as those in County Antrim and County Down.

Spring married Annabelle Browne, the daughter of John Browne, Master of Awney, Co.Limerick, [7] with whom he had two sons. [8] His eldest son, Thomas, was a practising lawyer. His younger son, Walter, served as High Sheriff of Kerry in 1609. Walter's grandson was Walter Spring, who lost much of the family's Irish estate during the Irish Confederate Wars.

Walter Spring the Unfortunate was an Anglo-Irish Roman Catholic landowner involved in the Irish Confederate Wars.

Irish Confederate Wars war which took place in Ireland between 1641 and 1653

The Irish Confederate Wars, also called the Eleven Years' War, took place in Ireland between 1641 and 1653. It was the Irish theatre of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms – a series of civil wars in the kingdoms of Ireland, England and Scotland. The war in Ireland began with a rebellion in 1641 by Irish Catholics, who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland to force concessions for Catholics. This developed into an ethnic conflict between Gaelic Irish and old English Catholics on one side, and English and Scottish Protestant colonists on the other. Catholic leaders formed the Irish Catholic Confederation in 1642, which controlled most of Ireland and was loosely aligned with the Royalists. The Confederates and Royalists fought against the English Parliamentarians and Scottish Covenanters. In 1649, a Parliamentarian army led by Oliver Cromwell invaded Ireland and by 1653 had conquered the island.


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  1. Michael C. O'Laughlin, Families of Co. Kerry, Ireland (Irish Roots Cafe, 1994), 137.
  2. Joseph Jackson Howard, ‘Spring’, The Visitation of Suffolk ( Whittaker and Co, 1866), 165-206.
  3. James Carmody, 'The Abbey of Killagha, Parish of Kilcoleman, County Kerry', The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Fifth Series, Vol. 36, No. 3, 290
  4. Michael C. O'Laughlin, Families of Co. Kerry, Ireland (Irish Roots Cafe, 1994), 137.
  5. Joseph Jackson Howard, ‘Spring’, The Visitation of Suffolk ( Whittaker and Co, 1866), 165-206.
  6. Charles Smith, The Antient and Present State of the County of Kerry (1756), 57.
  7. "Notes on Kerry Topography, Ancient and Modern" (ctd.) by Mary Agnes Hickson, Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Association, Fourth Series, Vol 5, No. 44 (Oct 1880), pp.349-364.
  8. Joseph Jackson Howard, ‘Spring’, The Visitation of Suffolk ( Whittaker and Co, 1866), 165-206.