Under a Curse


What remains of Ferns Castle, County Wexford. It is believed to have been constructed in the mid-1220s by William Marshal, second Earl of Pembroke. The family is said to have suffered from a curse placed on it by Ailbe Ua Maíl Mhuaidh, Bishop of Ferns after the first Earl of Pembroke had seized some of his property. The bishop declared that the male line of the Marshals should die out, as indeed it did as all five sons of the first earl failed to leave behind an heir. The fate of Ferns Castle was not much better: during the Confederate Wars, it was blown up in 1641 by Sir Charles Coote (future Earl of Mountrath) to prevent the building falling into his opponents’ hands. Only one of the original four corner towers survives and large sections of the walls are entirely lost, but enough survives to give an idea of how it must have looked.

3 comments on “Under a Curse

  1. Tom Crane says:

    Yet, those curses never work for sports…..

  2. Josiah says:

    My father is a Pembroke (Herbert, descendant of Marshal) and my mother an O’Toole. Strange marriage indeed. The family doesnt talk much about it but there is a belief that the Pembroke line of our family is cursed. Everyone fights each other, specifically the males. There is no peace within the family or extended family. Things just “go wrong” ….A LOT. It may just be the type of genes. Cing from conquerers and ‘nobility’ who weren’t known for being either honest or tranquil. But strange things have happened that have been reported like family legends of seeing knights in dreams and ominous kind of things before family wars break out. I know it sounds ridiculous but I’ve often thought of somehow trying to compensate the descendants of the Bishop of Ferns. You’d think my parents’ marriage (conquerer vs conquered) would’ve brought a sense of peace to a long standing rivalry/injustice. But alas……if indeed it is a curse

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