The family of Mac Carthy have for some generations
possessed a small estate in the county of Tipperary. They are the descendants
of a race, once numerous and powerful in the south of Ireland; and though it
is probable that the property they at present hold is no part of the large
possessions of their ancestors, yet the district in which they live is so
connected with the name of Mac Carthy by those associations which are never
forgotten in Ireland, that they have preserved with all ranks a sort of
influence much greater than that which their fortune or connections could
otherwise give them.
They are, like most of this class, of the Roman Catholic
persuasion, to which they adhere with somewhat of the pride of ancestry,
blended with a something, call it what you will, whether bigotry, or a sense
of wrong, arising out of repeated diminutions of their family possessions,
during the more rigorous periods of the penal laws.
Being an old family, and especially being an old
Catholic family, they have of course their Banshee; and the circumstances
under which the appearance, which I shall relate, of this mysterious harbinger
of death took place, were told me by an old lady, a near connection of theirs,
who knew many of the parties concerned, and who, though not deficient in
understanding or education, cannot to this day be brought to give a decisive
opinion as to the truth or authenticity of the story.
The plain inference to be drawn from this is, that she
believes it, though she does not own it; and as she was a contemporary of the
persons concerned - as she heard the account from many persons about the same
period, all concurring in the important particulars - as some of her
authorities were themselves actors in the scene - and as none of the parties
were interested in speaking what was false; I think we have about as
good evidence that the whole is undeniably true as we have of many narratives
of modern history, which I could name, and which many grave and sober-minded
people would deem it very great pyrrhonism to question.
This, however, is a point which it is not my
province to determine. People who deal out stories of this sort must be
content to act like certain young politicians, who tell very freely to their
friends what they hear at a great man's table; not guilty of the impertinence
of weighing the doctrines, and leaving it to their hearers to understand them
in any sense, or in no sense, just as they may please.
Charles Mac Carthy was, in the year 1749, the only
surviving son of a very numerous family. His father died when he was little
more than twenty, leaving him the Mac Carthy estate, not much encumbered,
considering that it was an Irish one. Charles was gay, handsome, unfettered
either by poverty, a father, or guardians, and therefore was not, at the age
of one-and-twenty, a pattern of regularity and virtue.
In plain terms, he was an exceedingly dissipated -
I fear I may say debauched young man. His companions were, as may be supposed,
of the higher classes of the youth in his neighbourhood, and, in general, of
those whose fortunes were larger than his own, whose dispositions to pleasure
were therefore under still less restrictions, and in whose example he found at
once an incentive and an apology for his irregularities.
Besides, Ireland, a place to this day not very remarkable
for the coolness and steadiness of its youth, was then one of the cheapest
countries in the world in most of those articles which money supplies for the
indulgence of the passions. The odious excise-man, with his portentous book in
one hand, his unrelenting pen held in the other, or stuck beneath his
hat-band, and the ink-bottle ('black emblem of the informer') dangling from
his waist-coat-button - went not then from ale-house to ale-house, denouncing
all those patriotic dealers in spirit, who preferred selling whiskey, which
had nothing to do with English laws (but to elude them), to retailing that
poisonous liquor, which derived its name from the British "
Parliament," that compelled its circulation among a reluctant people.
Or if the gauger - recording angel of the law -
wrote down the peccadillo of a publican, he dropped a tear upon the word, and
blotted it out for ever! For, welcome to the tables of their hospitable
neighbours, the guardians of the excise, where they existed at all, scrupled
to abridge those luxuries which they freely shared; and thus the competition
in the market between the smuggler, who incurred little hazard, and the
personage ycleped fair trader, who enjoyed little protection, made Ireland a
land flowing, not merely with milk and honey, but with whiskey and wine.
In the enjoyments supplied. by these, and in the
many kindred pleasures to which frail youth is but too prone, Charles Mac
Carthy indulged to such a degree, that just about the time when he had
completed his four-and-twentieth year, after a week of great excesses, he was
seized with a violent fever, which, from its malignity, and the weakness of
his frame, left scarcely a hope of his recovery.
His mother, who had at first made many efforts to
check his vices, and at last had been obliged to look on at his rapid progress
to ruin in silent despair, watched day and night at his pillow. The anguish of
parental feeling was blended with that still deeper misery which those only
know who have striven hard to rear in virtue and piety a beloved and favourite
child; have found him grow up all that their hearts could desire, until he
reached manhood; and then, when their pride was highest, and their hopes
almost ended in the fulfilment of their fondest expectations, have seen this
idol of their affections plunge headlong into a course of reckless profligacy,
and, after a rapid career of vice, hang upon the verge of eternity, without
the leisure for, or the power of, repentance.
Fervently she prayed that, if his life could not be
spared, at least the delirium, which continued with increasing violence from
the first few hours of his disorder, might vanish before death, and leave
enough of light and of calm for making his peace with offended Heaven.
After several days, however, nature seemed quite
exhausted, and he sunk into a state too like death to be mistaken for the
repose of sleep. His face had that pale, glassy, marble look, which is in
general so sure a symptom that life has left its tenement of clay. His eyes
were closed and sunk; the lids having that compressed and stiffened appearance
which seemed to indicate that some friendly hand had done its last
The lips, half-closed and perfectly ashy, discovered just
so much of the teeth as to give to the features of death their most ghastly,
but most impressive look. He lay upon his back, with his hands stretched
beside him, quite motionless; and his distracted mother, after repeated
trials, could discover not the least symptom of animation.
The medical man who attended, having tried the
usual modes for ascertaining the presence of life, declared at last his
opinion that it was flown, and prepared to depart from the house of mourning.
His horse was seen to come to the door. A crowd of people who were collected
before the windows, or scattered in groups on the lawn in front, gathered
round when the door opened.
These were tenants, fosterers, and poor relations of the
family, with others attracted by affection, or by that interest which partakes
of curiosity, but is something more, and which collects the lower ranks round
a house where a human being is in his passage to another world. They saw the
professional man come out from the hall door and approach his horse; and while
slowly, and with a melancholy air, he prepared to mount, they clustered round
him with enquiring and wishful looks.
Not a word was spoken; but their meaning could not be
misunderstood; and the physician, when he had got into his saddle, and while
the servant was still holding the bridle, as if to delay him, and was looking
anxiously at his face, as if expecting that he would relieve the general
suspense, shook his head, and said in a low voice, "It's all over,
James;" and moved slowly away.
The moment he had spoken, the women present, who
were very numerous, uttered a shrill cry, which, having been sustained for
about half a minute, fell suddenly into a full, loud, continued and discordant
but plaintive wailing, above which occasionally were heard the deep sounds of
a man's voice, sometimes in broken sobs, sometimes in more distinct
exclamations of sorrow.
This was Charles's foster-brother, who moved about
in the crowd, now clapping his hands, now rubbing them together in an agony of
grief. The poor fellow had been Charles's playmate and companion when a boy,
and afterwards his servant; had always been distinguished by his, peculiar
regard, and loved his young master, as much, at least, as he did his own life.
When Mrs. Mac Carthy became convinced that the blow was
indeed struck, and that her beloved son was sent to his last account, even in
the blossoms of his sin, she remained for some time gazing with fixedness upon
his cold features; then, as. if something had suddenly touched the string of
her tenderest affections, tear after tear trickled down her cheeks, pale with
anxiety and watching.
Still she continued looking at her son, apparently
unconscious that she was weeping, without once lifting her handkerchief to her
eyes, until reminded of the sad duties which the custom of the country imposed
upon her, by the crowd of females belonging to the better class of the
peasantry, who now, crying audibly, nearly filled the apartment.
She then withdrew, to give directions for the
ceremony of waking, and for supplying the numerous visitors of all ranks with
the refreshments usual on these melancholy occasions. Though her voice was
scarcely heard, and though no one saw her but the servants and one or two old
followers of the family, who assisted her in the necessary arrangements, every
thing was conducted with the greatest regularity ; and though she made no
effort to check her sorrows, they never once suspended her attention, now more
than ever required to preserve order in her household, which, in this season
of calamity, but for her would have been all confusion.
The night was pretty far advanced; the boisterous
lamentations which had prevailed during part of the day in and about the house
had given place to a solemn and mournful stillness; and Mrs. Mac Carthy, whose
heart, notwithstanding her long fatigue and watching, was yet too sore for
sleep, was kneeling in fervent prayer in a chamber adjoining that of her son:
- suddenly her devotions were disturbed by an unusual noise, proceeding from
the persons who were watching round the body.
First there was a low murmur - then all was silent, as if
the movements of those in the chamber were checked by a sudden panic - and
then a loud cry of terror burst from all within : - the door of the chamber
was thrown open, and all who were not overturned in the press rushed wildly
into the passage which led to the stairs, and into which Mrs. Mac Carthy's
Mrs. Mac Carthy made her way through the crowd into her
son's chamber, where she found him sitting up in the bed, and looking vacantly
around, like one risen from the grave. The glare thrown upon his sunk features
and thin lathy frame gave an unearthly horror to his whole aspect.
Mrs. Mac Carthy was a woman of some firmness; but
she was a woman, and not quite free from the superstitions of her country. She
dropped on her knees, and, clasping her hands, began to pray aloud. The form
before her moved only its lips, and barely uttered " Mother;" - but
though the pale lips moved, as if there was a design to finish the sentence,
the tongue refused its office. Mrs. Mac Carthy sprung forward, and catching
the arm of her son, exclaimed, "Speak in the name of God and his saints,
speak! are you alive?"
He turned to her slowly, and said, speaking still with
apparent difficulty, " Yes, my mother, alive, and -- But sit down and collect yourself; I have that to tell, which will astonish you
still more than what you have seen. "
He leaned back upon his pillow, and while his mother
remained kneeling by the bedside, holding one of his hands clasped in hers,
and gazing on him with the look of one who distrusted all her senses, he
proceeded :- " Do not interrupt me until I have done. I wish to speak
while the excitement of returning life is upon me, as I know I shall soon need
Of the commencement of my illness I have only a confused
recollection; but within the last twelve hours, I have been before the
judgment-seat of God. Do not stare incredulously on me - 'tis as true as have
been my crimes, and, as I trust, shall be my repentance. I saw the awful Judge
arrayed in all the terrors which invest him when mercy gives place to justice.
The dreadful pomp of offended omnipotence, I saw,- remember. It is fixed here;
printed on my brain in characters indelible; but it passeth human
What I can describe I will - I may speak it
briefly. It is enough to say, I was weighed in the balance and found wanting.
The irrevocable sentence was upon the point of being pronounced; the eye of my
Almighty Judge, which had already glanced upon me, half spoke my doom; when I
observed the guardian saint, to whom you so often directed my prayers when I
was a child, looking at me with an expression of benevolence and
I stretched forth my hands to him, and besought his
intercession; I implored that one year, one month might be given to me on
earth, to do penance and atonement for my transgressions. He threw himself at
the feet of my Judge, and supplicated for mercy. Oh! never-not if I should
pass through ten thousand successive states of being - never, for eternity,
shall I forget the horrors of that moment, when my fate hung suspended - when
an instant was to decide whether torments unutterable were to be my portion
for endless ages!
But Justice suspended its decree, and Mercy spoke
in accents of firmness, but mildness, ' Return to that world in which thou
hast lived but to outrage the laws of Him who made that world and thee. Three
years are given thee for repentance; when these are ended, thou shalt
again stand here, to be saved or lost for ever.' - I heard no more; I saw no
more, until I awoke to life, the moment before you entered."
Charles's strength continued just long enough to finish
these last words, and on uttering them he closed his eyes, and lay quite
exhausted. His mother, though, as was before said, somewhat disposed to give
credit to supernatural visitations, yet hesitated whether or not she should
believe that, although awakened from a swoon, which might have been the crisis
of his disease, he was still under the influence of delirium.
Repose, however, was at all events necessary, and she
took immediate measures that he should enjoy it undisturbed. After some hours
sleep, he awoke refreshed, and thenceforward gradually but steadily recovered.
Still he persisted in his account of the vision, as he
had at first related it; and his persuasion of its reality had an obvious and
decided influence on his habits and conduct. He did not altogether abandon the
society of his former associates, for his temper was not soured by his
reformation; but he never joined in their excesses, and often endeavoured to
How his pious exertions succeeded, I have never
learnt; but of himself it is recorded, that he was religious without
ostentation, and temperate without austerity; giving a practical proof that
vice may be exchanged for virtue, without a loss of respectability,
popularity, or happiness.
Time rolled on, and long before the three years were
ended, the story of his vision was forgotten, or, when spoken of, was usually
mentioned as an instance proving the folly of believing in such things.
Charles's health, from the temperance and regularity of his habits, became
more robust than ever.
His friends, indeed, had often occasion to rally him upon
a seriousness and abstractedness of demeanour, which grew upon him as he
approached the completion of his seven-and-twentieth year, but for the most
part his manner exhibited the same animation and cheerfulness for which he had
always been remarkable. In company, he evaded every endeavour to draw from him
a distinct opinion on the subject of the supposed prediction; but among his
own family it was well known that he still firmly believed it.
However, when the day had nearly arrived on which the
prophecy was, if at all, to be fulfilled, his whole appearance gave such
promise of a long and healthy life, that he was persuaded by his friends to
ask a large party to an entertainment at Spring House, to celebrate his
birthday. But the occasion of this party; and the circumstances which attended
it, will be best learned from a perusal of the following letters, which have
been carefully preserved by some relations of his family. The first is from
Mrs. Mac Carthy to a lady, a very near connection and valued friend of hers,
who lived in the county of Cork, at about fifty miles' distance from Spring
" To Mrs. Barry, Castle Barry.
" Spring House, Tuesday morning, October 15th, 1752.
"MY DEAREST MARY,
"I am afraid I am going to put your affection for
your old friend and kinswoman to a severe trial. A two days' journey at this
season, over bad roads and through a troubled country, it will indeed require
friendship such as yours to persuade a sober woman to encounter. But the truth
is, I have, or fancy I have, more than usual cause for wishing you near
You know my son's story. I can't tell how it is, but as
next Sunday approaches, when the prediction of his dream or his vision will be
proved false or true, I feel a sickening of the heart, which I cannot
suppress, but which your presence, my dear Mary, will soften, as it has done
so many of my sorrows.
My nephew, James Ryan, is to be married to Jane
Osborne (who, you know, is my son's ward), and the bridal entertainment will
take place here on Sunday next, though Charles pleaded hard to have it
postponed a day or two longer. Would to God - but no more of this till we
meet. Do prevail upon yourself to leave your good man for one week, if
his farming concerns will not admit of his accompanying you; and come to us,
with the girls, as soon before Sunday as you can.
"Ever my dear Mary's attached Cousin and friend,
"ANN MAC CARTHY."
Although this letter reached Castle Barry early on Wednesday, the messenger
having travelled on foot, over bog and moor, by paths impassable to horse or
carriage, Mrs. Barry, who at once determined on going, had so many
arrangements to make for the regulation of her domestic affairs (which, in
Ireland, among the middle orders of the gentry, fall soon into confusion when
the mistress of the family is away), that she and her two younger daughters
were unable to leave home until late on the morning of Friday. The eldest
daughter remained, to keep her father company, and superintend the concerns of
As the travellers were to journey in an open
one-horse vehicle, called a jaunting-car (still used in Ireland), and as the
roads, bad at all times, were rendered still worse by the heavy rains, it was
their design to make two easy stages; to stop about mid-way the first night,
and reach Spring House early on Saturday evening.
This arrangement was now altered, as they found that,
from the lateness of their departure, they could proceed, at the utmost, no
farther than twenty miles on the first day; and they therefore purposed
sleeping at the house of a Mr. Bourke, friend of theirs, who lived at somewhat
less than that distance from Castle Barry. They reached Mr. Bourke's in
safety; after rather a disagreeable drive. What befell them on their journey
the next day to Spring House, and after their arrival there, is fully related
in a letter from the second Miss Barry to her eldest sister.
Spring House, Sunday evening, 20th October, 1752.
As my mother's letter, which encloses this will announce
to you briefly the sad intelligence which I shall here relate more fully, I
think it better to go regularly through the recital of the extraordinary
events of the last two days.
The Bourkes kept us up so late on Friday night, that
yesterday was pretty far advanced before we could begin our journey, and the
day closed when we were nearly fifteen miles distant from this place. The
roads were excessively deep, from the heavy rains of the last week, and we
proceeded so slowly, that at last my mother resolved on passing the night at
the house of Mr. Bourke's brother (who lives about a quarter of a mile
off the road), and coming here to break-fast in the morning.
The day had been windy and showery, and the sky
looked fitful, gloomy, and uncertain. The moon was full, and at times shone
clear and bright; at others, it was wholly concealed behind the thick, black,
and rugged masses of clouds, that rolled rapidly along, and were every moment
becoming larger, and collecting together, as if gathering strength for a
coming storm. The wind, which blew in our faces, whistled bleakly along the
low hedges of the narrow road, on which we proceeded with difficulty from the
number of deep sloughs, and which afforded not the least shelter, no
plantation being within some miles of us.
My mother, therefore, asked Leary, who drove the
jaunting-car, how far we were from Mr. Bourke's. ' 'T is about ten spades from
this to the cross, and we have then only to turn to the left into the avenue,
ma'am.' 'Very well, Leary: turn up to Mr. Bourke's as soon as you reach the
My mother had scarcely spoken these words, when a shriek,
that made us thrill as if our very hearts were pierced by it, burst from the
hedge to the right of our way. If it resembled any thing earthly, it seemed
the cry of a female, struck by a sudden and mortal blow, and giving out her
life in one long deep pang of expiring agony.
' Heaven defend us!' exclaimed my mother. 'Go you over
the hedge, Leary, and save that woman, if she is not yet dead, while we run
back to the hut we just passed, and alarm the village near it.' 'Woman ! said
Leary, beating the horse violently, while his voice trembled - ' that's no
woman : the sooner we get on, ma'am, the better;' and he continued his efforts
to quicken the horse's pace.
We saw nothing. The moon was hid. It was quite dark, and
we had been for some time expecting a heavy fall of rain. But just as Leary
had spoken, and had succeeded in making the horse trot briskly forward, we
distinctly heard a loud clapping of hands, followed by a succession of
screams, that seemed to denote the last excess of despair and anguish, and to
issue from a person running forward inside the hedge, to keep pace with our
Still we saw nothing; until, when we were within about
ten yards of the place where an avenue branched off to Mr. Bourke's to the
left, and the road turned to Spring House on the right, the moon started
suddenly from behind a cloud, and enabled us to see, as plainly as I now see
this paper, the figure of a tall thin woman, with uncovered head, and long
hair that floated round her shoulders, attired in something which seemed
either a loose white cloak, or a sheet thrown hastily about her.
She stood on the corner hedge, where the road on
which we were met that which leads to Spring House, with her face towards us,
her left hand pointing to this place, and her right arm waving rapidly and
violently, as if to draw us on in that direction. The horse had stopped,
apparently frightened at the sudden presence of the figure, which stood in the
manner I have described, still uttering the same piercing cries, for about
half a minute.
It then leaped upon the road, disappeared from our view
for one instant, and the next was seen standing upon a high wall a little way
up the avenue, on which we purposed going, still pointing towards the road to
Spring House, but in an attitude of defiance and command, as if prepared to
oppose our passage up the avenue.
The figure was now quite silent, and its garments, which
had before flown loosely in the wind, were closely wrapped around it. ' Go on,
Leary, to Spring House, in God's name,' said my mother; ' whatever world it
belongs to, we will provoke it no longer.' ' 'T is the Banshee,
ma'am,' said Leary; 'and I would not, for what my life is worth, go any where
this blessed night but to Spring House.
But I 'm afraid there's something bad going
forward, or she would not send us there.' So saying, he drove forward;
and as we turned on the road to the right, the moon suddenly withdrew its
light, and we saw the apparition no more; but we heard plainly a prolonged
clapping of hands, gradually dying away, as if it issued from a person rapidly
retreating. We proceeded as quickly as the badness of the roads and the
fatigue of the poor animal that drew us would allow, and arrived here about
eleven o'clock last night. The scene which awaited us you have learned from my
mother's letter. To explain it fully, I must recount to you some of the
transactions which took place here during the last week.
"You are aware that Jane Osborne was to have been
married this day to James Ryan, and that they and their friends have been here
for the last week. On Tuesday last, the very day on the morning of which
cousin Mac Carthy despatched the letter inviting us here, the whole of the
company were walking about the grounds a little before dinner.
It seems that an unfortunate creature, who had been
seduced by James Ryan, was seen prowling in the neighbourhood in a
moody melancholy state for some days previous. He had separated from her for
several months, and, they say, had provided for her rather handsomely; but she
had been seduced by the promise of his marrying her; and the shame of her
unhappy condition, uniting with disappointment and jealousy, had disordered
During the whole forenoon of this Tuesday, she had
been walking in the plantations near Spring House, with her cloak folded tight
round her, the hood nearly covering her face; and she had avoided conversing
with or even meeting any of the family.
Charles Mac Carthy, at the time I mentioned, was
walking between James Ryan and another, at a little distance from the rest,
on a gravel path, skirting a shrubbery. The whole party were thrown into
the utmost consternation by the report of a pistol, fired from a thickly
planted part of the shrubbery which Charles and his companions had just
He fell instantly, and it was found that he had been
wounded in the leg. One of the party was a medical man; his assistance was
immediately given, and, on examining, he declared that the injury was very
slight, that no bone was broken, that it was merely a flesh wound, and that it
would certainly be well in a few days. ' We shall know more by Sunday,' said
Charles, as he was carried to his chamber. His wound was immediately dressed,
and so slight was the inconvenience which it gave, that several of his friends
spent a portion of the evening in his apartment.
"On enquiry, it was found that the unlucky shot was
fired by the poor girl I just mentioned. It was also manifest that she had
aimed, not at Charles, but at the destroyer of her innocence and happiness,
who was walking beside him.
After a fruitless search for her through the
grounds, she walked into the house of her own accord, laughing, and dancing
and singing wildly, and every moment exclaiming that she had at last killed
Mr. Ryan. When she heard that it was Charles, and not Mr. Ryan, who was shot,
she fell into a violent fit, out of which, after working convulsively for some
time, she sprung to the door, escaped from the crowd that pursued her, and
could never be taken until last night, when she was brought here, perfectly
frantic, a little before our arrival.
"Charles's wound was thought of such little
consequence, that the preparations went forward, as usual, for the wedding
entertainment on Sunday. But on Friday night he grew restless and feverish,
and on Saturday (yesterday) morning felt so ill, that it was deemed necessary
to obtain additional medical advice.
Two physicians and a surgeon met in consultation about
twelve o'clock in the day, and the dreadful intelligence was announced; that
unless a change, hardly hoped for, took place before night, death must happen
within twenty-four hours after. The wound, it seems, had been too tightly
bandaged, and otherwise injudiciously treated. The physicians were right in
No favourable symptom appeared, and long before we
reached Spring House every ray of hope had vanished. The scene we witnessed on
our arrival would have wrung the heart of a demon. We heard briefly at the
gate that Mr. Charles was upon his death-bed. When we reached the house, the
information was confirmed by the servant who opened the door. But just as we
entered, we were horrified by the most appalling screams issuing from the
My mother thought she heard the voice of poor Mrs.
Mac Carthy, and sprung forward. We followed, and on ascending a few steps of
the stairs, we found a young woman, in a state of frantic passion, struggling
furiously with two men-servants, whose united strength was hardly sufficient
to prevent her rushing up stairs over the body of Mrs. Mac Carthy, who was
lying in strong hysterics upon the steps.
This, I afterwards discovered, was the unhappy girl I
before described, who was attempting to gain access to Charles's room, to 'get
his forgiveness,' as she said, 'before he went. away to accuse her for
having killed him.' This wild idea was mingled with another, which seemed to
dispute with the former possession of her mind.
In-one sentence she called on Charles to forgive
her, in the next she would denounce James Ryan as the murderer both of Charles
and her. At length she was torn away; and the last words I heard her scream
were, 'James Ryan, 't was you killed him, and not I - 't was you killed him,
and not I.'
"Mrs. Mac Carthy, on recovering, fell into the arms
of my mother, whose presence seemed a great relief to her. She wept - the
first tears, I was told, that she had shed since the fatal accident. She
conducted us to Charles's room, who, she said, had desired to see us the
moment of our arrival, as he found his end approaching, and wished to devote
the last hours of his existence to uninterrupted prayer and meditation.
We found him perfectly calm, resigned, and even cheerful.
He spoke of the awful event which was at hand with courage and confidence; and
treated it as a doom for which he had been preparing ever since his former
remarkable illness, and which he never once doubted was truly foretold to him.
He bade us farewell with the air of one who was about to travel a short and
easy journey; and we left him with impressions which, notwithstanding all
their anguish, will, I trust, never entirely for-sake us.
"Poor Mrs. Mac Carthy -but I am just called away.
There seems a slight stir in the family; perhaps ------"
The above letter was never finished. The enclosure to
which it more than once alludes told the sequel briefly, and it is all that I
have farther learned of this branch of the Mac Carthy family. Before the sun
had gone down upon Charles's seven-and-twentieth birthday, his soul had gone
to render its last account to its Creator.
Source: Thomas Crofton
Croker - Fairy Legends and Traditions, first published 1825.
republished by Collins Press, Cork, 1998.