Pynnar, Nicholas (DNB00)

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PYNNAR, NICHOLAS (fl. 1619), surveyor, came to Ireland apparently in May 1600 as a captain of foot in the army sent to Lough Foyle under Sir Henry Docwra [q. v.] On 31 March 1604 his company was disbanded, and he himself assigned a pension of four shillings a day. In 1610 he offered as a servitor, not in pay, to take part in the plantation of Ulster, and in 1611 lands to the extent of one thousand acres were allotted him in co. Cavan. But he did not proceed with the enterprise, and on 28 Nov. 1618 he was appointed a commissioner ‘to survey and to make a return of the proceedings and performance of conditions of the undertakers, servitors, and natives planted’ in the six escheated counties of Armagh, Tyrone, Donegal, Cavan, Fermanagh, and Londonderry. He was engaged on this work from 1 Dec. 1618 to 28 March 1619. His report was first printed by Walter Harris (1686–1761) [q. v.] in his ‘Hibernica, or some Antient Pieces relating to the History of Ireland,’ in 1757, from a copy preserved among the bishop of Clogher's manuscripts in Trinity College, Dublin. It has been frequently referred to by subsequent writers, and was again printed by the Rev. George Hill in his ‘Plantation of Ulster.’ But there seems to be no particular reason why it should be called specifically ‘Pynnar's Survey,’ and its importance has been probably overestimated, for a fresh commission of survey was issued only three years later, the return to which, preserved in Sloane MS. 4756, is far more valuable for historical purposes. Pynnar prepared in 1624 some drawings of rivers, forts, and castles in Ireland, preserved in Addit. MS. 24200.

[Ware's Irish Writers, ed. Harris, p. 333; Cal. State Papers, Ireland, James I.]

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