HILARY MURPHY'S POPULAR SERIES "FAMOUS IRISH NAMES" PUBLISHED IN IRELAND'S OWN.
This Cork name is not numerous but is well known. The family came in with the Normans.
HODNETT is a well known, though not very numerous Cork name. The first of the family are believed to have come from Shropshire in England. in which there is a place named Hodnet, not far from Market Drayton.
They probably came as subordinates to the Barrys in the twelfth century Anglo-Norman settlement, seeing that they were located in Courtmacsherry in the Barry Territory - the Barony of Ibaune and Barryroe.
In the old churchyard adjoining the Hodnet village in Shropshire tombstones bearing the name of Hodnet may still be seen, and the principal residence there was known as Hodnet Hall. The Shropshire estates remained in the possession of the male line of the Hodnetts from about 1066, when Odo du Hodenet was placed there as a reward for his services by William the Conqueror, until 1288, when Sir William de Hodnet died.
The old chronicles state that there was a Baldwin de Hodnet with the Barons assembled at Runnymede at the granting of the Magna Carta.
In Dr. Brady's "Records of Cork Cloyne and Ross" we read that the Hodnetts were in ancient times a powerful sept in Co. Cork. They had large possessions in Timoleague, Courtmacsherry and Cobh. One of them took the name Sherry (i.e., Geoffrey) and from this came the surname MacSherry.
In the reign of Henry III a battle was fought near Timoleague between the Hodnetts and Lord Barrymore, in which Lord Philip Hodnett was slain and all his possessions lost. A younger member of the Hodnett family made terms with the Barrys and received a lease of part of the family property at Timoleague, which expired in 1715, having been then enjoyed by William Hodnett.
The chief residence of the Hodnetts in early times was Belvelly Castle, about three miles to the north of Cobh. They also held property in the Great Island in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1573 a large part of the Great Island (that west of Belvelly) was named Hodnett's Wood and was mortgaged by its then owner, Edmund Hodnett, to William MacCotter.
A son of the above-mentioned William Hodnett was, it seems, a Protestant clergyman, as was his son also, who died at Baltimore, Co. Cork, in 1832, without male issue. The last known survivor of the Belvelly Hodnetts was the Miss Hodnett who married one of the Ronaynes.
There was a local tradition to the effect that the last male descendant of the Hodnetts of Belvelly was allowed to live on Fota Island, where he had a few cows as his sole means of support, till at last, having got tired of his presence there, the then Lord Barry expelled poor Hodnett from the place and drowned his cattle in the small lake which formerly existed near the chief entrance to the Fota demesne.
The following are some early records of the Irish Hodnetts : In 1321 Philip Hodinet held lands at Inchecoin (probably Inchiquin, near Youghal). This was doubtless the Lord Philip Hodnet slain in 1329 by the Barrys. In 1349 Philip Odynet held lands at Moyasha, now Mogeesha, near Midleton,on which stands Ballyvodock Castle, which was probably built by the Hodnetts about this time.
In 1582 William Fitz John Hodnett of Ballyvodigh was conditionally pardoned for having taken part in the Desmond rebellion. In 1604 William Hodnet of Ballvody, gentle man, was one of the jury fined £500 each and condemned to wear papers on their heads declaring their offence, which was that of not finding an important official guilty of treason.
In 1642 there was a Mary Hodnett of Kilbrittain Castle, and in the same year Edmund Hodnett and James Fitz Edmund Hodnett of Barrinreagh (Barryroe) were among the eleven hundred Co. Cork gentlemen indicted of treason by the Earl of Cork at Youghal. In 1653, William Hodnett, his wife Margaret, and his son Garrett, of Grange, Co. Waterford, were among those ordered by Cromwell to be transplanted to Connacht.
Among the subscribers to Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837) were Charles Hodnett of Mary St., Cork, and James Hodnett of Sallybrook Paper Mills. Under the parish of Kilnagross, near Clonakilty, Lewis's Dictionary mentions that the Protestant parochial school there was endowed with a house and an acre of land by T. Hodnett, Esq.
John Hodnett, who died at Youghal in 1865, aged 96, held properties in Counties Cork and Waterford. He had a brother named William, a favourite Christian name among the Hodnetts, John Hodnett left a son Jeremiah, a solicitor, who died in 1889. He graduated in Trinity College, Dublin, in 1839. as also did in 1867 his son, William Hodnett of Youghal.
The HODNETTS remained in their Courtmacsherry possessions until the suppression of the great rebellion of 1641 when Edmund Hodnett, who had been previously outlawed with his son, James Fitz Edmund Hodnett, and his brother Richard, was dispossessed by Cromwell, and most of his lands bestowed on Captain Robert Gookin.
The Bandon author Bennett wrote of the Hodnetts, "There are not a few hardy fishermen and humble peasants dwelling along Co. Cork coasts who themselves and their fathers for several generations never spoke a word of English, and yet with a pardonable pride still retain the Christian names and the surnames of the old Shropshire family (Hodnett) from whom they are sprung - a family that were living at Courtmacsherry when Christopher Columbus was on his way to the unknown shores of the New World, and who exercised almost kingly authority in Ibane and Barryroe for centuries before a planter had set foot in O'Mahony's Country, or Bandon Bridge had even a name".
Personal Note from James Gerard Hodnett on 15th June 1999 : My family are direct descendants of the Courtmacsherry Hodnetts. Courtmacsherry in Gaelic is spelt Cuirt Mac Searraigh, meaning through literal translation The Court of the son of Geoffrey. (Geoffrey Hodnett is referred to in the text above). The Gaelic name for Hodnett is Mac Searraigh, and this tradition is carried on to this day in my family e.g. my Gaelic name is Seamas MacSearraigh.