Accepted/Cromwell/Fr** Irish

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Posted by Bob Frewen on 13 September , 2002 at 11:19:50:

In Reply to: More on Accepted Frewen posted by Lawrence Frewin on 12 September , 2002 at 13:53:13:

Hi Lawrence,

Accepted died unmarried.

Your Q on the Irish Frewens and Oliver Cromwell
Three sons of Rev. John Frewen of Northiam, Sussex, came to Ireland with Oliver Cromwell. This was part of the family lore in the Irish branch, (though it was spoken about in a hushed tone!) and when I met Brian Frewen Carr in the US whose ancestor went there in the 1800’s it had survived as part of his family’s lore also.

The English and Irish Frewen families were in contact in the early 1800’s on the links. Thomas F living at Brickwall House in Northiam did huge work in compiling the Frewen lineage. In an exchange of corres. in 1841, (Irish Gen. Office, Mss Loose Pedigrees Vol. 722 Frewen) between him and the Ulster King at Arms (the Irish Chief Herald) Thomas states “three brothers named Frewen younger brothers of Dr. Frewen Archbishop of York were officers in Cromwell’s army and came over to Ireland: one of them died of the Plague at Limerick in 1651 when General Ireton died there: another settled in Ireland and was father to Joseph Frewen of Castle Connel & probably as you suggest was the husband of Miss Eames. In confirmation of this tradition I find in Whitelock’s Memorials that a Captain Frewen was killed at the siege of Kilkenny.”

In the “Memorials” Whitelocke states on page 450 “Captain Frewen was unhappily killed by a shot during the treaty there being no cessation.” Because we have the details of the Rev John’s other children, the survivor who remained in Ireland was either Joseph (B 1606) the youngest son of the first marriage, or Thomas (B. March 1610/11) second son of his second marriage.

Family lore in the Northiam Frewen family matches that of the Irish branch. In Rev. John’s will, both Joseph and Thomas received monetary bequests (Joseph received £150 and Thomas received “one hundred and three score pounds”) so either had little reason to return to Sussex after the war was over, particularly as they had supported Cromwell and Parliament. There always was some contact between the two branches. During the early 1900s when there was considerable political unrest in Ireland there was corres. between Edmond J. Frewen (an Irish Frewen living in London) and Col. Edward Frewen of Northiam on the advisability of him visiting his Irish estates (these were acquired long after the Cromwellian period.) In the 1960’s Roger Frewen of Brickwall came to Ireland to visit “our Irish cousins.”

Your Q :Have you found any examples of the Fr***n surname being used in Ireland prior to Cromwell?

I have not come across any Frewen/in, etc. names in the pre Cromwellian period. I admit that I have not done much research on it, as it would be a huge undertaking, manually searching through the old fiants, etc., access to which is difficult. However, there are mentions of a surname “Fraughan” which occurred (infrequently) in Co.s Wicklow and Roscommon, and in Dublin city, during the early 1800s. The Frewen family had no connection with those counties, being confined to Limerick and Tipperary. Because of the phonetics I suspect that Fraughan could be derived from the Irish (Gaelic) “Freamhann,” but I have not come across Freamhann either! Some of the Wicklow Fraughans went to Australia in the early 1800s and adopted the spelling “Frewen” through common usage – we have a record of this because it gave rise to probate problems for the first of them. There are some Fraughens in current Irish telephone directories, 2 in Dublin.
Surnames in Ireland are quite different to those in England. By the end of the twelfth century hereditary family names had become quite common in England, but even as late as 1465 they were not universal. During the reign of Edward V, a law was passed “to compel certain Irish” to adopt surnames as a method to track and control them more easily: “They shall take unto them a Surname, either of some Town, or some Colour, as Black or Brown, or some Art or Science, as Smyth or Carpenter, or some Office, as Cooke or Butler.” This further complicates Irish genealogy, already very difficult due to the destruction/absence of early records, as several families took the Gaelic form of a name – e.g. McGabhann/McGowan, and later changed to its English form, Smith. Added to this can be an infusion of English Planters of the same name, so it is confusing. Most Irish surnames are derived from the patronymic, rather than the English style of a place or trade. Some other family names were “bastardised” e.g. O’Glaisir became Glazier. Bronte, surname of the novelist, is the Irish surname Prunty.

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