Charles Allen Du Val

His life and works

Wall Family Of Dunmoylan

All the Wall families in Ireland descend from the Du Val Family from Normandy through the descendants of Robert Du Val (Robert de Valle) who went to Ireland in 1169 with the Norman invaders. Of these, the Wall family that settled at Dunmoylan in Munster was founded well before 1298, and probably by 1270 at the latest (1).

However no certain line of descent can be traced from then until the Tudor period. The reason is that names are known from Crown records of tenants, and when a feudal Munster palatinate was created in 1329 these State records ceased. The ruling Earls of Desmond held their own courts, but unfortunately their archives have not survived (2). During this period when there are no records, the Wall family consolidated their estates centred on Dunmoylan, where they erected a strong castle and became the most hibernised of all the Wall families. They were even known locally by the Irish name "Faltagh" (meaning "Wall"). When records become available again, in Tudor times, they have had this Irish name added to their Wall surname.

Arms of one Wall (Du Val) Family

Arms of one Wall (Du Val) Family

In 1568 the cousin of the Earl of Desmond invaded Kerry to enforce the collection of disputed rents. In the ensuing fighting Ulick Wall the "Faltach of Dun-Maoilin" was killed (3).

In 1579 the last Desmond rebellion began, and was eventually suppressed with English assistance from Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Humphrey Gilbert. Among property that was forfeited to the Crown was that of the Wall family of Dunmoylan, and English colonists were introduced. During this campaign great cruelty was inflicted upon the people of Munster. In 1580 the Faltagh of Dunmoylan, Ulick Wall was executed. He was the son of the Ulick Wall killed in 1568, and was blind from birth. (He is called Richard Wall in the Du Val Family Scroll). His estate was confiscated and leased to his murderer in 1582, but he was already in occupation (4). The heir of the murdered Faltagh was his son, another Ulick Wall who petitioned for the restoration of his ancestral estates, but unsuccessfully. By 1600 the rising in Munster had been completely put down, and Ulick Wall was pardoned by 1601.

This pardoned Ulick Wall had married Honor, daughter of Rory McSheehy, then most powerful man in Munster. Probably he settled on the extensive unforfeited estates of his father-in-law. His heir was yet another Ulick Wall (5), who seems to have become a merchant in Limerick and married "Ellinor ny Shihie", probably his mother's niece (6).

By 1700 there were several men living in Munster who were descended from the Walls who had lost their Dunmoylan estates, but still considered themselves as being a Wall of Dunmoylan Castle. It is from one of them, Richard Wall of Dunmoylan Castle, that Charles Allen Du Val claimed descent (7).

A related branch of the family, which had retained the old name Du Val, resided at Kilmallock, five miles from Limerick. Matthew Du Val of that family fought for King James II, but after the defeat at the Battle of the Boyne, he and his wife Catherine fled to France. Their son Richard Wall Du Val was born in Nantes on 5 November 1694 – an appropriate date, as he was to have a dazzling and meteoric career!


(1) The Wall Family in Ireland 1170 to 1970 by Hubert Gallwey (1970) page 179.
(2) The lands were forfeited by the Desmonds and taken over by the Crown in 1345, but they recovered their property in 1349. During this brief period of Crown ownership the names of the tenants appear in the State archives, those of Thomas de Valle, Sir John FitzJohn de Valle, and Adam FitzAdam de Valle being recorded in 1347. The Wall Family in Ireland 1170 to 1970 page 180.
(3) Annals of the Four Masters edited by John O'Donovan second edition (1856) volume 5 page 1629.
(4) The murder of the blind Ulick Wall of Dunmoylan was carried out under the command of Sir William Pelham but the actual villain appears to have been Oliver Stephenson, to whom Dunmoylan was thereupon leased and in 1587 granted.
(5) The Du Val Family Scroll refers to blind Ulick Wall murdered in 1580 (and possibly others similarly named) as Richard Wall. The reason for this discrepancy is unknown, but the explanation can not be that the two names are the same in Irish and English respectively. Ulick is equivalent to a diminutive form of William, not Richard.
(6) The Wall Family in Ireland 1170 to 1970 page 184.
(7) In the Du Val Family Scroll, Charles Allen Du Val specifically wrote down his descent from "Richard Wall of Dunmoylan Castle".