In 1653 the Cromwellian military conquest of Ireland was complete so now they turned their hand to the civilian conquest of Ireland. To this end an act was passed in the British Parliament which set out in detail a scheme by which a survey was to be made and lot’s drawn by the soldiers for the best estates and lands. This scheme was also applied to the Renegade Irish              ( Catholics who had supported Parliament with money etc. in the war against the Irish).


Co. Clare like Connaught has comparatively poor land and so was of little interest to the Cromwellians. As they were only interested in good land the Cromwellians decided that this land should be handed over to those Catholics who had not taken up arms against the English and Cromwell himself. The Arthur’s of Limerick were one of those Catholic families who were known to the government as “Innocent Papists”. Many of these were disposed of their homes and estates and transplanted into Clare to make room for planters approved by the government.


According to the census of Co. Clare taken by Sir William Petty in 1659 there were in the Barony of Tulla seven Arthur families these would appear the be the farming Arthurs from the Limerick Tipperary border who were transplanted to Clare. Even in 1642 there were Arthur’s in Clare. There was a little protestant colony in Kilrush composed mainly of English and Dutchmen, among them was a Man named Jacques Graniere who was despoiled of property to the value of £2,000. Raids on houses were quite common and amongst the names of the rebels we find the name of John Arthur of Inniscarthy. Ann Webster of Ennis also made a complaint in 1642 that Dominic Arthur a merchant from Ennis rifled her house  .


In 1703 Francis Arthur, a gentleman, living at Ballyquin was accused of treason and his estates sold because he supported James II.


In 1684 Sir. Donough O’Brien lent this Francis £60 for which he got the lands of Shanbor. Sir Donough received his interest regularly until 1691 when the rebellion broke out. From then until 1695 the land was laid waste by Francis Arthur and as Francis was accused of High Treason this land was given over to O’Brien.


The lands of Creevagh and Caherkelly, a total of 440 aces were set out to Nicolas Arthur in 1665 and Nicolas then mortgaged them to Patrick Arthur. The lands were then mortgaged to Dr. Mar for £500 however Nicolas Arthur was then outlawed for high treason and Sir Donough O Brien got all the lands of the Arthur’s for £10.


Now the following names are recorded in the Public Records Office in Dublin as having conformed to the Protestant religion between the years of 1702 and 1789.


Thomas Percy Arthur, gentleman – 1740.

Elizabeth Arthur  - 1741.

Thomas Arthur, Clooneycorney – 1750.

John Arthur, gentleman – 1753.

Catherine Arthur, Ennis – 1754.

Ann Arthur, Ennis – 1780.


It would seem likely that most of the names above allowed their names to go forward as protestants to protect what they had this of course was illegal (To pretend to convert).


In 1773 Thomas Arthur of Ballyquin has the Freedom of Ennis conferred upon him.


The following members of the Arthur family served as Justices of the Peace in Clare.


Nicolas Arthur – 1687.

Thomas Arthur – 1766.

Walter Arthur – 1796.

William Arthur – 1801.

Augustus Arthur – 1846.


It seems likely that all the above were protestant as all served after the time of Cromwell and it was difficult for a catholic to hold any public office. Nicolas Arthur might be an exception as he served during the reign of James II who was the last Catholic King of England


The following members of the Arthur family served on the Clare Grand Jury.


Thomas Arthur - 1799

John Arthur – 1874


Once again it would seem likely that both the above men were adherents of the protestant religion. In the parliament of King James II Thomas Arthur held the post of “Clerk of the Hanoper” in trust for Robert Arthur’s wife, Tyrconnell’s niece. Thomas Arthur held lands at Glenomera in County Clare and by this time his family had converted in order to hold on to their lands and keep the vote.


In 1747 in the Regiment de Roth that was part of the Irish Brigade in the service of France was a Lieutenant Colonel Arthur.




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