The ancient arms of the Norman ROSSITERS were: Argent, on a Chevron Gules, three Pheons Or. There is a silver (always shown as white) shield with a red chevron and three gold arrow heads on it. The Alligator, or Lizard, is a uniquely Irish charge on Shields and in order to distinguish themselves from the Norman branch of the family, the Irish ROSSITERS used an alligator on top of the shield above the chevron. Later, they dropped all the other charges and left only the Alligator.
The correct ancient arms for ROSSITER then are: BLAZON ARMS: Argent, an Alligator Vert. CREST: An Eagle displayed with two heads Proper.
MODERN DESCRIPTION ARMS: A silver shield (always shown as white) with a green Alligator on it. CREST: A double-headed Eagle in its natural colours with its wings elevated.
Bargy Castle is a Norman fortress near the village of Tomhaggard in the Barony of Bargy, County Wexford, Ireland, some 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) south-west of Wexford town. The name Bargy derives from Ui Bhairrche, the name of a local tribe.
The building is a square keep to which two wings have been added at right angles during the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. The keep itself is in good condition, having been renovated several times.
From the 15th century the castle was occupied by the Rossiter family until 1667, when it was confiscated by Cromwell in response to Rossiter's part in the defence of Wexford. William ROSSITER, the last owner of Bargy Castle, was dipossessed by Cromwell. The castle was given to William IVORY in 1667
It is probable that the castle was built by John Rossiter, Seneschal of the Liberties of Wexford in 1451, whose family had lived in this area since the late twelfth century. Though staunch Catholics, they survived the Reformation purges, but ultimately forfeited their lands in the 1650s. The castle remained occupied until the 1760s
Amost a complete ruin last time I visited it.
The first Rossiter we know of was Lambert de Rosei who lived in Rosei de Roseto in Dieppe, Bellencombe, on the north west coast of France. In 1066 he sailed with William the Conqueror and fought in the Battle of Hastings. For his services he was made a Baron and granted land at West Rudham in Norfolk, England. He held Castle Acre as an under tenant to the Earl of Warwick. From here, and over the years, the Rossiter family migrated. Some went to Lincolnshire, some to Ireland, and some to Somersetshire.
The British Museum have a manuscript of a Visitation to Lincolnshire in 1190 which shows a Rossitur of Somerby. Did this Anglo-Norman family fight against Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest?.
Before the Visitation, however, was the invasion of Ireland in 1169 by Strongbow under the auspices of King Henry the Second of England. Lambert's great grandsons, Ralf and Wakelin (John) Rossiter were among the 2000 mercenaries recruited from around the southern part of Wales. For his services, Wakelin was knighted Sir John Rossiter and was granted the Baronies of Forth and Bargy. The Barony of Forth had an area of 2000 acres of arable land and contained the sea port of Wexford.
The Rossiter (Rosseter) families then proceeded to build a series of castles to protect their land. Rathmacknee was the mother castle while other strongholds were Bargy, Slevoy, Tomhaggard, Tacumshane,Ballygarvan and Newcastle, (Kilmannon). However they were deprived of their estates by Oliver Cromwell in 1650.
One of the most prominent Rosseters in Irish history would have to be Colonel Thomas Rosseter who fought against Cromwell at Wexford. By a coincidence, Colonel Sir Edward Rosseter of Lincolnshire fought alongside Cromwell at the Battle of Naseby in 1645, but that is another story.