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Ossory :: History 229: The Age of the Witch Hunts


The highlighted region shows the location of Ossory in  South Central Ireland.

The highlighted region shows the location of Ossory in South Central Ireland.

Originally named Osriaghe, Ossory is a region in south-central Ireland that included the majority of County Kilkenny and a portion of County Laois.  The first people of Ossory most likely were forced to migrate from Munster, a southern region of Ireland. Ossory contains various districts, many of which changed their names throughout Ossory’s history. The territory was also divided much differently in its’ early stages than today. There were many more sections that made up Ossory as a whole, whereas modern Ossory is comprised mainly of Kilkenny and Laois counties.

The territories that comprise Ossory, Bishop Ledrede's diocese.

The territories that comprise Ossory, Bishop Ledrede’s diocese.

Initially from London, Richard Ledrede was a Franciscan Friar that was appointed the Bishop of Ossory, Ireland in 1318 by the Roman Church. In 1324 Bishop Ledrede came to Ossory to check in on his diocese, and discovered there was a history of heretics and sorcerers in Kilkenny, one of the main components of Ossory. Kilkenny became the main focus of Bishop Ledrede’s services, however he did try to enforce both the orders of the Church and his own bull, Super illius specula throughout all of Ossory.


Encyclopedia Britannica. “Ossory.” Accessed December 11, 2014. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/434216/Ossory.

Rootsweb. “The Osraighe Region.” Accessed December 11, 2014. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlkik/ihm/ossory.htm.

Sacred-texts. “Irish Witchcraft and Demonology: Chapter II: A.D. 1324: Dame Alice Kyteler, the Sorceress of Kilkenny.” Accessed December 12, 2014. http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/iwd/iwd03.htm.

Images: http://homepage.eircom.net/~templeorum/images/Map.gif, http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~irlkik/gif/ossory_ancient_sept.gif

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