friends, here is the coat of arms you are entitled to if you are a Barrett of
the Irish route, which apparently my particular branch is. I have included a family history page on my website because I think it gives a little indication of my character and the things that are important to me such as honour and loyalty.
"Frangas non Flectes: Virtus Probitas"
"Unbowed, Unbroken: Honour and Courage"
would probably say that translates as “Pig-headed, having a memory like an
elephant and never knowing when to give up!”
is, I never even knew that Barrett was an Irish name until I started Technical
College. Whereupon a new found friend (Shamus Keogh) immediately said “Barrett
– that’s an Irish name!” well blow me down, there’s me thinking I’m simply the
result of mixing between a Cockney dad and a Geordie mum. There were obviously
many more breeds mixed up in this particular mongrel. Alas, I haven’t had the
time for any further research, perhaps I will when I retire.
although most people call me Ted or Teddy I am really an Edward. So please
don’t give me that crap “Call me James, not Jim” If that’s the case, you’d
better kiss my tush and call me Edward. In fact, I am Edward Barrett the III.
I must say,
we do seem to like Edward in this particular branch. My son is
actually Thomas Edward Barrett and his son is Frank Edward Barrett (Edward Barrett the V).
broached the subject, lets have a look at what Wikipedia has to say:
The latest genealogical research indicates that clan Barrett originated in medieval Italy, where they were known as Barretti in the northern city of Alessandria, from there they moved on to France where a
John Baret, a Norman Knight, mentioned in the Domesday book,went with William the Conqueror to
England in 1066 and settled in Pendyne in Wales
after the Norman Conquest. The Barretts then migrated to
Ireland with the Norman warlord Strongbow
(Richard Le Clare, the 2nd Earl of Pembroke) as hired mercenaries at the end of
the twelfth century in the Norman Invasion of Ireland.
There are two Barrett clans in
Ireland, the first branch of the clan are the Munster Barretts of County Cork, and the other branch is the Barrett clan of Connacht, most numerous in the Mayo-Galway mountainous areas. The two clans were
believed to be unrelated before recent research proved otherwise. The English
pipe rolls of the 13th century clearly indicate that the overlords of both the
Cork and the Mayo Barretts were the same people, and the records further
indicate that both families came from Wales. To this day, the Barretts
and the Barrys of Connacht are known as "the Welshmen of Tirawley".
The Barretts, along with the
Lynotts, are the subject of the old Irish ballad, "The Welshmen of
Castle Barrett (Castel More)
is situated on open grassy position south of the town of Mallow. The castle is
in ruins, with just a few parts of the walls standing like stone sentinels. The
remaining fragments are from the north and east walls. Castle Barrett was built
around the 13th century. It was originally known as Castle More or Castlemore.
In 1439 it was taken over by the Earl of Desmond. The Barrett family acquired
the castle in the 17th century. The castle was damaged in 1645 by Oliver
Cromwell's army. After the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, John Barrett who fought
on the side of the Jacobites lost to the Williamites. Castle Barrett was
destroyed and 12,000 acres of Barrett land was forfeited.
The following passage has been passed down through history: “In this (particular) dispute, the Barrett family had a steward that went to collect
Taxes from the Lynott family. The steward was rumoured to have “taken a maid”
and the Lynott family killed him and dumped his body in a well near Carncastle.
Barrett family was enraged and gave the Lynott men the choice of losing their
eyes or their manhood. The Lynotts chose their eyes and the Barretts removed
them. The Barretts then tested their blindness by making them cross over
stepstones at Cloghan an Dallas” The Lynotts then planned revenge for 15 years
and trained up a young man (Teoboid Mael Bourke) as their foster son to kill
the Barretts. The young man made his stand at the stream of Carnasack, but was
killed by the Barrett.”
I reckon all
the parts fit. If you have known a Barrett, you will recognise the habit of
backing the wrong horse, a fondness for a “drop of the hard stuff”, a love of
adventure, and a habit of losing trousers at weddings and other family
occasions (I would like to add “A handsome demeanour and great sense of humour”
but that might be pushing it a bit) otherwise the proof is all there.
So then, if
that doesn’t take the biscuit, we seem to be of Italian, French, Welsh and Irish origin.
spirit of this report then, I would like to include an old Irish saying that makes
very good sense “There’s very little that can’t be cured by a good laugh and a long
sleep” – I’ll drink to that.
postscript, the first person to be hanged in Australia was a Thomas Barrett in
1788, at the time of writing I reckon that was about 230 years ago. He was
supposed to have stolen some silverware. But when you read about the case it
seems more like a set-up. Bloody bastards, when I get over there I’m going to
track down the swine’s and their families that set him up.
See what I
mean about a long memory! Don’t ever cross
a Barrett, would you like to choose
between losing your eyes or your manhood?
kiss steel, we barely hold a grudge…